Each PDF for position players includes a hit chart, so you’re able to see the spread of the balls they’ve put into play.
I need to remind everyone that my numbers don’t sync up exactly with the official stats on the MILB site. Again, it’s very close to the official numbers, but don’t take my accounts as their official stats.
#20 – Chris Epps (PDF)
- Batting: 8 G, 29 PA, .261/.414/.391, 6 H, 0 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 3 RBI, 6 BB, 8 K (6 swinging)
Chris is a relatively new Cat, and I haven’t seen as much of him at the plate. He takes pitches and pieces together solid at bats, but I haven’t seen much power from him, aside from a walk-off homerun. That was the one ball I’ve seen him hit really hard so far. It looks like he’s got a tendency to pull the ball, but I’ve seen seen him slap a couple hits to left center. He’s got two multi-hit games so far, and is batting .100 w/RISP.
- Fielding: He looks fine in the outfield, and his arm is okay. He’s already got an assist from left, and I see no reason that he shouldn’t be a fine defensive outfielder, but I feel that he’ll be pushed aside in favor of the flashier outfielders as he climbs through the system.
- Notes: I’d say he’s got average speed on the bases, but I don’t see him get many good leads and jumps off pitchers. I don’t think I’ve seen him attempt a stolen base yet, but I think he has the tools to be able to do it. As of now, the word to sum up Epps is “average” but we’ll see how he does the rest of the season.
#16 – Justin Gominsky (PDF)
- Batting: 50 G, 220 PA, .259/.330/.299, 51 H, 8 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 15 RBI, 19 BB, 34 K (21 swinging)
Justin seems like an instigator, a guy that’ll slap the ball around the field without much power. He’ll put balls in play all over the field, and he’s quick enough to get some bunt basehits, and he’s very good at getting the sac bunt down. If the ball hangs up in the air as it goes into the outfield, he’s got more than enough speed to take second base. He’s hit a few hard linedrives and a hard flyball for two bags, but he’s much more prone to just get the extra base from hustle. He hasn’t had many opportunities to drive in runners, but he seems to be able to slow down the game and make good contact when the chance arises. He’s got fourteen multi-hit games so far, and is batting .260 w/RISP.
- Fielding: Gominsky is one of two centerfielders on this team, and he’s got the range and tracking ability you’d expect from a professional. I’ve seen him fooled twice off the bat, but he’s smooth enough to recover if he doesn’t get a good read. He’s one of those guys that you think is barely moving as you watch him run, but he covers a ton of ground. I think he’d be graceful enough to troll the big center field down in Houston, and he looks like he’ll be a durable guy. He’s definitely not one of those Ellsbury/Fuld types that throws their bodies around without any regard to longevity. Think more along the lines of how Bernie Williams or Torii Hunter used to play center. Quick reactions off the bat floating to the ball with what appears to be very little effort.
- Notes: I’d like to see him cut down on swings at pitches out of the zone. He’s got more than enough speed to beat ground balls out, and he makes a lot of routine groundouts look closer than they should. His bunting ability is above average, and I’d expect him to be able to get ten or eleven bunt singles a year without a problem. His arm is decent, but I don’t think it’s anything exceptional, even compared to his own teammates.
- Batting: 34 G, 141 PA, .250/.379/.405, 29 H, 7 2B, 4 3B, 1 HR, 10 RBI, 19 BB, 28 K (19 swinging)
Brandon’s got a quiet, level swing, and he’s able to keep his hands inside the ball well. He’s got some pop to both gaps, but as he gets older and develops some more strength I expect him to have some serious power to the deepest parts of ball parks. When he can get full extension on the ball, boy oh boy does it sound good and travel far. The biggest hole in his swing is just the inability to not recognize pitches on the outside corner. He’ll take ones that break back over, and swing at ones that drop far out of reach. Anything over the plate he sees well, and he’s got very good plate discipline for a guy at this level. He’s got nine multi-hit games so far, and is batting .158 w/RISP. This isn’t a knock at all, because his role has been more of a bottom of the order set up guy, rather than a clean up or fifth hole guy. I figure as he develops that pop in his bat some more, he’ll make a very solid five hole hitter. It always seems like he’s seeing 6+ pitches in his at bats, I’d just like to see him get more walks out of those than strikeouts.
- Fielding: Brandon’s sneaky quick, and looking at a guy his size you’d think that he should be much slower. He reacts off the bat very well, and he gets the ball back into the infield quickly. He’s got two assists from the outfield, and aside from an error in a spot start in right (first time at the position), he’s been fine in the outfield.
- Notes: I’m incredibly biased toward Brandon, as he’s by far my favorite player on this team. I’d really like to see him get a better grasp of the outside corner of the plate, and I want him really develop power to drive the ball more. He’s really a guy you have to watch to understand just how fast he is, but he’ll steal bases, go first to third, and he has no problem scoring from first or second in all the appropriate situations. Dude plays hard and has enough talent to go far in this game, and I really wish the best for him. #SwagLikeWontonSoup
#18 – Drew Muren (PDF)
- Batting: 53 G, 210 PA, .237/.357/.312, 41 H, 5 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 17 RBI, 27 BB, 42 K (21 swinging)
Drew is a contact hitter. He’ll take a walk if a guy is flirting around the plate, but he’s striving to put the ball into play every time he digs in. With all of the solid bats on this team, Drew usually bats down in the seven or eight hole, and I’d like to see him get a better eye at the plate. He has a tendency to lead off a lot of innings, but he’s not very adept at getting on base in those situations. He’s much better at moving runners up and extending rallies than he is at starting them. He’ll hit to both gaps, but he’s much more of an opposite field kind of guy. I don’t know if it’s because he’s late on a lot of pitches and his hands are quick enough to make solid contact, or if it’s just what his game plan is. He keeps his head down and his hands in close to his body, so I’m inclined to say he’s just got that inside-out swing down pat and he’ll keep using it until pitchers figure out a way around it. He’s got eleven multi-hit games so far, and is batting .258 w/RISP.
- Fielding: He’s a natural center fielder, and it took him close to three full weeks to get accustomed to right field. He struggled on balls hit directly at him through his first month, but he’s settled in and he doesn’t misread that many balls off the bat. He’s quick enough and has good enough instincts to recover when he doesn’t see the ball off the bat well, and he’s got an absolute cannon. I’d say the decision to convert him into a right fielder was the right move, and I’ve got him down for ten outfield assists. I feel like it’s low by one or two, but whatever the case, he’s got a very strong and accurate arm.
- Notes: I’d like to see Drew get better at bunting, as he’s more than quick enough to get as many bunt singles as Gominsky or Neiko Johnson. He has to work on his plate discipline a little bit, but I wouldn’t say his eye is below average for this level.
I was planning to break down all the pitchers as well as the position players, but my confidence in appraising pitching talent is pretty low. I figure I’ll wait until the end of the season to compile my thoughts on the pitchers, in another two – three posts over the span of a few days. I’ll take the next few weeks to get better at notating pitches, velocity and all that other good stuff. I know most of you out there are more interested in pitching than fielding/hitting, so I’ll do my best when I get to the pitchers in September.