Saturday, April 9, 2016

Minor League Saturday Stats Pack

Each Saturday, I try to focus on a collection of interesting minor league stats that caught my eye to serve as a companion to the major league version of this series at my other site, atlantabraves.about.com. This week is difficult because I only have two games to post about for each team, but I will not let that stop me from bringing the knowledge.

Gwinnett - 5 walks

It didn't take long for Mike Foltynewicz to drive a manager crazy this season. Folty, who pitched 86.2 innings for Atlanta last year, walked five in just four innings during his first start of the 2016 season. After looking like a possible favorite to break camp this spring with the Braves, Folty remains plagued by his inability to throw enough effective strikes. Only 24, that certainly can change, but walking a handful of the 18 batters faced won't inspire much in terms of confidence.

Mississippi - Two Starts, 17 strikeouts

You can't blame the Pensacola Blue Wahoos if they feel a little shell-shocked to start the season. On Thursday, right-hander Lucas Sims took the mound for his tenth overall start at the AA level and the almost-22 year-old struck out 9 over five dominant innings. The next night, it was new Brave Chris Ellis's turn and the former Angels' third rounder struck out eight over six scoreless innings. Ellis, who started 15 games in the Double-A Texas League last year, was more dominant than Sims as he didn't walk a batter. Mississippi lost the opener 3-1, but won the game for Ellis 2-0.

Carolina - 5 errors

Keith Curcio has had a dynamite beginning of the year with an organizational-best five hits in 9 PA, but he also has an error this year and four other Mudcats, including the other two starting outfielders, join him in giving Carolina League hitters free bases. The 'Cats have pitched terribly over the first two games, but the defense certainly hasn't helped them.

Rome - 10 innings, 15 strikeouts

Much like Mississippi, it's been quite the start for the Rome staff - which is as ballyhooed as any staff in minor league baseball. First, it was 18 year-old Mike Soroka, who despite being one of league's youngest players, shut down the opposition on opening day over four innings for 7 K's next to just one walk. The next night, it was Patrick Weigel, who picked up six strikeouts in six innings. Rome would go on to win both games by outscoring the opposition 16-2. The South Atlantic League might be ready to throw up the white flag when they remember that the top two pitching prospects with Rome, Max Fried and Touki Toussaint, still haven't taken the mound.

Thanks for reading this week's Saturday Stats Pack. I'm sure next week will give me much more to blog about. Remember that you can check out the major league portion of this series by clicking this link. Some of the topics include losing streaks to begin the year, Drew Stubbs on the base-paths, Daniel Winkler's historic beginning, Fredi Gonzalez's win-loss record, and the strange lack of doubles to begin the season.

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