Saturday, May 14, 2016

Minor League Saturday Stats Pack - Peterson, Swanson, Didder, Bird

Dustin Peterson > D.J. Peterson with .383 wOBA

It's exceedingly early, but for the first times in their respective professional careers, the younger Peterson is outproducing his much-heralded older brother at the plate. Dustin really struggled at Carolina last year, though considering his age and the difficulty with hitting in the Carolina League, maybe he should have been given a mulligan. Further, the improvements that he did make were not given much coverage. After 1-in-5 of all PA in 2014 ended with Peterson swinging through strike three, he knocked that down to 13.7 (or essentially league average). He upped his true BB% rate from 5.5% to 9.3%. These were little things that may have not impressed people looking at his .253/.319/.350 slash, but showed that Peterson was a kid who might be getting it.

In 2016, he does get it. Well, so far. His triple slash is up to .277/.345/.477 and he has minor improvements in swinging third strikes and true walks (non-IBB). He's also began to flash the power that made an intriguing player when the Padres drafted him. After about 5% of flyballs turned into homers from 2014-15, he has nearly doubled that metric in 2016. With a 119 wOBA+, Peterson is looking like he's definitely on the rise.

By Arturo Pardavila III on Flickr (Original
version) UCinternational (Crop) [CC BY 2.0],
via Wikimedia Commons
Swanson's Struggles Continue

Need another example why the Braves shouldn't rush prospects to the majors? Here is Dansby Swanson's last eight games.

0-for-3, 2 BB, K
0-for-3, HBP
0-for-3, BB, 2 K
0-for-4, K
3-for-4, 3B, BB
0-for-4, K
0-for-3, BB
0-for-4, K

This is nothing to worry about, but it does show us that maybe Swanson could be better suited working through adversity in Double-A rather than desperately searching for a hit when he puts up goose eggs in seven-of-eight games in the majors.

RPD Refuses to Slow Down

At some point, the performance of Ray-Patrick Didder has to be more than just BABIP driven. Certainly his .379 BABIP should see an element of regression, but that can't explain his .283/.372/.425 triple slash completely. One of the more interesting things to watch as the season progresses is if his .142 ISO is for the real. A competent ISO with an outfielder capable of swiping 20 or more bases is worth prospect-attention. The fact that he has a good understanding of the strikezone and takes his walks will only help.

.400 OBP + .186 ISO = Call-up?

Back in 2014, Joey Meneses became a bit of a prospect for the Rome. Signed out of Mexico, the 1B/OF was repeating the level and despite spending much of the year on the DL, finished with just 28 fewer total bases in 50 fewer games than he did in 2013. Highlights included a May 10th home game against Asheville in which Meneses hit for the cycle. At the time, with so few prospects churning in the minors (especially hitters), Meneses garnered more attention than he likely deserved. The following year, he would struggle nightly with Carolina. The performance would force the nearly 24 year-old to repeat the Carolina League assignment to begin this season. It might be time to bump him up.

He was pretty good overall, but has stepped it up over his last 17 games. He's hit .450 with 7 2B, 4 HR, and even added a pair of steals. He does a lot of his damage against younger pitchers and certainly, an abbreviated run in his second go-around with Carolina doesn't mean he should be back in our minds as a potential major leaguer, but he's not getting any younger. Time to see what he can do at Mississippi.

"You sold my dead bird to a blind kid?"

If last year's Hector Olivera exchange wasn't looking bad enough for you, the other piece acquired in the deal - Zachary Bird - has been awful so far. Moved to the bullpen to begin the season, the 21 year-old righty out of Jackson, Mississippi comes with a bevy of worrisome stats. 14 unintentional walks in 13 innings to 70 batters faced. A declining GB% rate that has fell to 42%. 5.89 FIP. Strikeout percentage that has plummeted from 18% last year to 11% this year.

Bird three a pair of scoreless innings last night with a hit allowed, two walks, and a strikeout. He got the same amount of swinging strikes in that one outing that he did the previous three in which he faced 13 more hitters. Maybe it's a hopeful sign because the Braves are certainly searching for positives with Bird.

Thanks for reading and remember to read the major league portion of this article by either scrolling down or, if you came to this blog directly, clicking here.

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