Think Blue

Obsessing over the Dodgers' minor league system so you don't have to.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Minor League Recap - 8/25/09

Albuquerque lost 4-1

Chin Lung Hu
- 0 for 4, 2 K's (.287 BA)
Blake DeWitt - 1 for 3, BB (.244 BA)
Jamie Hoffman - 0 for 4 (.285 BA)

Josh Lindblom - 2 IP, 3 Hits, ER, 2 BB, 0 K's (2.91 ERA)

Chattanooga won 7-6

Trayvon Robinson
- 0 for 3, R, BB, K (.185 BA)
Lucas May - 1 for 1, 2B (.296 BA)
Andrew Lambo - 0 for 1 (.257 BA)

Victor Garate - 1 IP, 2 Hits, ER, 0 BB, 0 K's (2.08 ERA)

Inland Empire won 6-3

Scott Van Slyke
- 2 for 5, 2B (.290 BA)
Preston Mattingly - 1 for 5, R, 2 K's (.236 BA)

Great Lakes won 12-5

Jaime Pedroza
- 1 for 4, HR (13), 2 RBI, 2 R, BB (.258 BA)
Kyle Russell - 1 for 4, HR (26), 4 RBI, 2 K's, OF Assist (.273 BA)
Jerry Sands - 0 for 3, BB, E (.232 BA)
Alfredo Silverio - 2 for 4, 2 R, K (.276 BA)

Roberto Feliciano - 1 IP, Hit, R (0 ER), BB, 0 K's (0.00 ERA)

Ogden lost 8-5

- 2 for 4, BB, K, SB, CS (.337 BA)
Mario Songco - 1 for 5, RBI, R, K (.359 BA)
Nick Akins - 0 for 3, BB, 2 K's (.236 BA)

AZL won 7-3

Ivan DeJesus Jr
- 0 for 3, 3 K's (.000 BA)
Michael Pericht - 1 for 5, HR (4), RBI, R, K, E (.216 BA)
Jonathan Garcia - 0 for 3, BB, K (.306 BA)

Player of the day - Kyle Russell, OF

Russell hit his league-leading 26th home run, 6 more than the next closest MWL hitter. His .552 SLG also leads the league and his .918 OPS is second. However, the category that worries me is strikeouts, where his 164 whiffs also pace the circuit. I have trouble believing that a 23 year old who strikes out this much in Low A will have success moving up the ladder, but I'd love for Kyle to prove me wrong.


  • At 8:58 AM , Blogger Emperor361 said...

    First of all, let me say I'm fascinated by Kyle Russell. With his combination of power, whiff, and walk, he's a player who, whether he reaches the higher levels or not, does not come around too often.

    Some research I did using the Lahman database--

    The ultimate 7 Three True Outcome players (Ultimate-TTO), defined as having 1,000 or more MLB PA, 20:1 or better HR:PA, 24% or higher K rate, and 12% or higher BB rate, are:
    * Ryan Howard
    * Jim Thome
    * Russell Branyan
    * Adam Dunn
    * Jack Cust
    * Carlos Pena
    * Rob Deer

    (Gorman Thomas is left off this list because I couldn't find his A-ball walk and strikeout rates.)

    I think most would agree that Kyle Russell, if he makes the majors, projects as this kind of player.

    I next compared their HR, K, and BB rates at A-ball to their MLB rates. On average, there is a fairly consistent 5% (percentage point) increase in the strikeout rate from A ball to MLB, with the only real outlier being Branyan, who strikes out out much, much more at the MLB level.

    (What's really weird is that the walk rate stayed almost exactly the same between A-ball and MLB for these players, again with the exception of Branyan, who became noticeable more selective at the Major League level.)

    With that in mind, here are the facts on Kyle Russell:
    * His 32% strikeout rate is much, much higher than any Ultimate-TTO had at A-ball
    * At A-ball, only Howard (25%), Cust (26%), and Deer (26%) had strikeout rates at or above 25%.
    * Russell's reached A-ball at age 23; Cust (20), Branyan (20), Deer (19), and Howard (22) were all younger.
    * Branyan has the highest strikeout rate in MLB history at 34%; a 5% increase at the MLB level would put Russell at 37%, completely uncharted territory
    * The Ultimate-TTOs with MLB strikeout rates above 30% (Branyan, Cust, and Deer) are extremely low average hitters who have had trouble finding regular at bats at the major league level
    * Russell's home run rate at A-ball is similar to Cust's, and much better than every other Ultimate-TTO.

    So, the bottom line seems to be that Jered is correct in his worries about Russell's strikeout rate. He needs to improve to become a viable major leaguer.

    However, of the Ultimate-TTOs, Kyle Russell is, at this point in his career, most similar to Ryan Howard in age and K-rate, and
    has a much better HR rate.

    Ryan Howard, age 22, Sally League: 570 PA, 19 HR, 145 K
    Kyle Russell, age 23, Midwest League: 510 PA, 25 HR, 162 K

    I wish I could query some minor league data as easily as MLB data, but I'm not aware of any publicly available database. If I could, we could see how many players at A ball were similar to Kyle Russell, and what happened to those players.

  • At 9:01 AM , Blogger Emperor361 said...

    2 thoughts:
    * I'm glad they sent Songco point in damaging his confidence. I'd also like them to draft a guy like Russell or Songco in the 3rd or 4th round; one of these years, we could get a Ryan Howard type out of it (see previous comment).
    * I say that Josh Lindblom is coming up in September, and he's actually going to help the big club in a big way.

  • At 9:46 PM , Blogger Jared said...

    Excellent research. I'd love to see Russell become the next Ryan Howard, but I won't hold my breath. It should be noted that Russell is actually an excellent defensive OF (Total Zone has him at a staggering 17 runs above average in the first half, which translates to about 1 and a half wins). So even if his offense never comes around, he could have tremendous defensive value.

    I also thought it was time for Songco to head down. Hopefully he can get hot to end the season and make some progress during Instrux.

    I'm really looking forward to seeing Lindblom in Chavez Ravine. Hopefully come September, he'll be up to stay.


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