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Hoos in the Pros: Two Months In

Baseball players are judged on a different scale from other sports. Even two months probably isn't enough to make judgements on most players. Obviously, for a guy like Javier Lopez, who is in his 13th year, we know what he's capable of. But for the young guys just getting their careers started, we need to make sure we don't read too much into a small sample.

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

We’re two months into the MLB season, and it’s time to take another look around the baseball landscape and see how our Wahoo alumns are performing. As usual, we’ll start with the guys in the majors, and then take a look around the minors.

Javier Lopez, RP, San Francisco Giants – Lopez is still hanging around, getting lefties out. In 24 appearances this year, he’s pitched 13 innings, and compiled a 1.38 ERA and a 0.54 WHIP. He’s given up just 4 hits and struck out 9 with 3 walks. Lefties are just 2/27 against him with 2 walks and 7 Ks. Despite a fastball that sits in the mid 80s, Lopez is showing no signs of slowing down.

Ryan Zimmerman, 1B, Washington Nationals – That 1B next to Zimm’s name looks funny. A career 3B, Ryan moved to 1B in an effort to keep him healthy (and to make room for Anthony Rendon, who has yet to play this year). Zimm has struggled this year, batting just .228 with 5 HRs and 33 RBI. He has a 286 OBP and 381 SLG. Those numbers are pretty bad for a 1B and are much worse than Zimmerman’s career numbers. The Nats owe Zimm over $60M through 2020, so they better hope he turns it around.

Mark Reynolds, 1B. St. Louis Cardinals –Reynolds hasn’t shown the power he has been known for this year. He’s played in 43 of the Cardinals’ 50 games, but often as a PH. He’s batting .250, which would be his highest BA since 2009, but he’s hit just 3 HRs and has a .389 SLG. His OBP is .319, and he’s struck out in over 1/3 of his PAs. He’s still a power bat off the bench, so he still has a job, but he may have trouble finding a job next year if he doesn’t start hitting some HRs.

Brandon Guyer, OF, Tampa Bay Rays – Finally an everyday player for the Rays, Guyer is playing like he doesn’t want to lose the job. He’s been batting leadoff, and providing some real value there. On the season, Guyer has a triple-slash line of .301/.370/.425. A 370 OBP is outstanding for a leadoff hitter. Guyer has 2 HRs, 13 RBI and 5 steals to go along with 16 runs scored. Guyer is also a good defensive OF and has seen time at all 3 OF spots. He’s been worth 1.2 WAR so far this year, not bad for 2 months of work.

Sean Doolittle, RP, Oakland Athletics – The A’s were hoping Sean would reprise his role as one of the best relief pitchers in baseball. Then, he began the season on the DL with a partial rotator cuff tear. He returned just this past week, made one appearance, and then went back on the DL with a shoulder strain. In his lone appearance, Doc threw 1 IP, gave up a hit and struck out 2. Thus far, there is no word on his potential return.

Phil Gosselin, 2B, Atlanta Braves – Off to a pretty start, Phil went on the DL on May 18th, with a broken thumb. He had surgery, and his prognosis was roughly 8 weeks. He expects to return around the all star break. In 20 games, and 40 ABs, Phil was hitting .325/.357/.425 with 2 RBI and 2 steals. He also had 4 doubles. Phil had been splitting time between 2B and 3B.

Kyle Crockett, RP, Cleveland Indians – After opening the season in the majors, Kyle has spent much of the year in AAA Columbus. It wasn’t because he couldn’t handle the majors, it was because he’s young and the Indians can freely move him back and forth without fear of losing him. Crockett threw 2.1 IP over 3 games for the Indians and didn’t give up a hit or a run. He did walk 3, and strike out 4. However, in Columbus, Kyle has struggled. He has an 8.56 ERA over 13.2 IP. He’s struck out 11 and walked 5. He’s given up 3 HRs. He had a bad stretch in April, but has been mostly solid throughout May. He’ll be fine.

Chris Taylor, SS, Seattle Mariners – Taylor began the season in AAA, but was called up on May 4. He proceeded to bat just .159 over the month of May (10/63) and has found himself on the bench quite a bit recently. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Taylor sent back to AAA, to see if he can work things out. He entered the season with a chance to be a big part of the Mariner’s future, but his struggles have put that in question. A 427 OPS will do that.

Tyler Wilson, SP, Baltimore Orioles – After first getting the call on May 18th, Wilson has pitched in 3 games, including 1 start. His one start came in the first game of a doubleheader against Chris Sale, one of the top pitchers in the AL. Wilson lost, but pitched 6 innings, giving up just 2 runs and on 5 hits and 1 BB. He struck out 1. Not a bad performance at all. In his other 2 appearances, he’s thrown an inning each and given up 5 hits and 1 ER over the 2 IP, with 1 K. He also got a win in relief on May 22. Wilson is back in AAA right now.

Minor Leagues

David Adams, 2B, Miami Marlins – After reaching the majors in 2013 with the Yankees, Adams had a down year last year, putting up a 666 OPS in AAA and a 738 in AA for the Orioles franchise. This year, back in AA, but now with the Marlins, he has put up an 858 OPS in 31 games. He’s batting .343 and has 1 HR and 12 RBI.

Branden Cogswell, SS, Oakland Athletics – Making his professional debut last year, Cogswell struggled to hit in Low-A ball, batting just .203 with 543 OPS. Nonetheless, he began this year in High-A, where has is batting .227 with a 611 OPS and a HR in 44 games. He’s a slick fielding SS, so he doesn’t need to hit much to move up.

Stephen Bruno, 2B, Chicago Cubs – The Cubs are not short on IF prospects, so Bruno has time to develop. He’s repeating AA after a mediocre year last year in which he batted .276 with a 739 OPS. Thus far this year, his numbers haven’t improved, batting .243 with a 643 OPS. He does have 5 steals and a HR.

Brandon Downes, OF, Kansas City Royals – In his first full-season action, Downes has hit pretty well. He’s batting .263/.310/.458 with 3 HRs and 14 RBI. He also has 6 steals and 16 runs scored. He’s struck out 35 times in 33 games, and has just 6 walks, so that is troubling. He’s only 22, so he has time to work things out.

Jeremy Farrell, 3B, Chicago White Sox – Jeremy’s career appears to be going the wrong way. In 2012, he reached AAA after putting up some impressive numbers in the lower minors. Right now, he’s in AA and barely treading water with a 547 OPS.

Derek Fisher, OF, Houston Astros – Beginning the season in Low-A ball, Fisher hit 6 HRs and batted .305 over 39 games, with an 896 OPS. So, he got moved up to High-A ball. He had a solid debut there on Saturday.

Reed Gragnani, 2B, Red Sox – Moving up to AA after a solid year in High-A ball last year, Reed has struggled early on. Batting just .236, he has a 601 OPS. He draws walks, so his OBP is solid, but a 264 SLG is very poor.

John Hicks, C, Seattle Mariners – Hicks began this season in AAA, where he left off last year. He’s batting just .203 early on, but does have 3 HRs and 15 RBI. He strikes out too much, and doesn’t walk enough, but the power is nice and he’s a good backstop, so he’s got a good shot of reaching the majors this year.

Nick Howard, P, Cincinnati Reds – Moving between the rotation and the bullpen this year in High-A ball, Howard has struggled, with a 6.58 ERA and a 1.96 WHIP. He’s struck out 22 in 26 IP, but he walked 32. Last year, in low-A, Howard also bounced around , but put up a 3.74 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP. The K’s still weren’t as high as the Reds would’ve liked and the walks were a bit high, but the production was good. It seems like perhaps Howard is trying to be too perfect with his pitches and he’ll need to learn to trust his stuff.

Danny Hultzen, SP, Seattle Mariners – Coming back off shoulder surgery isn’t easy and the Mariners are taking their time with Danny. He’s in AA ball right now, and he started 3 times in May, never going more than 3.1 IP or 56 pitches. He’s given up 3 ER in 8 IP, for a 3.38 ERA. He has a 1.88 WHIP, but hasn’t given up an HRs. He’s struck out 8 and walked 5. He’s still rebuilding his arm strength and that’ll take a while.

Branden Kline, SP, Baltimore Orioles – After pitching well in High-A ball, Kline was moved up to AA late last season. He started there again this season, and hasn’t missed a beat. In 8 starts, he’s got a 3-3 record, with a 3.66 ERA and 1.37 WHIP. He’s struck out 27 and walked 19 in 39.1 IP. The walks are too high, but everything else is solid. Hopefully, he works on his control and gets a AAA call-up later on this year.

Nate Irving, C, Arizona Diamondbacks – Irving played last year in the short-season Midwest League. He’s still on the roster for the Hillsboro Hops, but they don’t start play until later this month. Irving didn’t hit much last year, but played just 8 games.

Artie Lewicki, P, Detroit Tigers – Artie has made just 1 start this year, throwing 4.1 innings, giving up 3 hits and 1 ER. He struck out 5 and walked 3. That start was on April 10th, and he hasn’t pitched since. He’s currently on the DL.

Whit Mayberry, RP, Detroit Tigers – Pitching in AA Erie, Mayberry has thrown 24 innings over 12 appearances. He’s compiled a 2-3 record with a 3.38 ERA and a 1.67 WHIP. He’s struck out 19 and walked 5.

Robert Morey, P, Miami Marlins – Morey received a late season callup to AAA last year, and began this year there again. So far he’s made 4 starts and 3 relief appearances. In 22.1 IP total, he’s compiled a 1-1 record with a 2.42 ERA and 1.34 WHIP. He’s struck out 15 and walked 7. His future is probably out of the pen and he could see a callup later this year, depending on the Marlins bullpen needs.

Mike Papi, OF, Cleveland Indians – One of the heroes of last year’s team has started his pro career off slowly. Still, the Indians have been aggressive with him, starting him off this year in High-A after he struggled in a short-season league last year. So far, in 46 games, he’s batting just .175 with no HRs and 8 RBI. He has 9 doubles and a pretty decent .326 OBP (decent, considering the batting average). His OPS is just 560.

Jarrett Parker, OF, San Francisco Giants – Despite getting a callup last year, Parker actually has not yet made his major league debut. He’s repeating AAA this year, and he’s absolutely raking. The Pacific Coast League is a notorious hitters league, but Parker’s 11 HRs, 34 RBI and 931 OPS is still pretty good. Those numbers all rank in the top 10 of the league. Parker is also a good defensive OF. He’ll likely make his major league debut some time this year.

Will Roberts, SP, Cleveland Indians – In his 3rd year at AA Akron, Roberts’ numbers haven’t changed much. He’s currently 3-2 with a 4.53 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP over 10 starts. He’s K’d just 28 in 57.2 innings. The fact that the Indians have kept him at AA for so long does not bode well for Roberts’ future.

Scott Silverstein, P, Toronto Blue Jays – After pitching pretty well in Low-A last year, Silverstein began this year in High-A. So far, he’s struggled. He has an 0-2 record to go along with a 7.07 ERA and 2.21 WHIP. He’s got 7 Ks and 12 walks.

Cody Winiarski, RP, Chicago White Sox – Over 2 different levels already this year, Winiarski has been dominant. He made one appearance in High-A ball and did not give up a run over 2 innings. He’s made 14 appreances in AA, and has given up 4 ER in 20 innings for a 1.80 ERA. He has a 1.10 WHIP and a 27:7 K:BB ratio.

Austin Young, RP, Los Angeles Angels – Young pitched in the Arizona League for the Angels last year. He hasn’t pitched anywhere yet this year, and the Angels haven’t put out a roster for their rookie leagues yet, so I don’t know if Young is still there.