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Minor League Highlights 6/21 - 6/23 (INPO)

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1. The Durham Bulls bats came alive the past 3 days. SS Reid Brignac went 4-10 with a 2B and a BB. Reid's splits sit at .291/.356/.436 vs. .250/.299/.412 a year ago. A big improvement this season has been BB:K as he has gone from .27 to .78. His K% has been reduced from 26.4% to 13.4% while his walks  have jumped to a more respectable 9.5%.
 
2. 27 year old OF Rashad Eldridge continues to play well for Durham since being promoted from AA. In the past 3 games he has gone 3-8 with 2 BB. The minor league vet is having arguably his best season hitting .301/.370/.361. Eldridge had a shot at AAA back in 2006 with the Mets and the Rangers but only OPSed .612 and .583. Prior to this season he put up back to back years in AA of .780+ with the Twins and the Rays.
 
3. OF Matt Joyce has been mired in a slump since being recalled to Durham going 7 for his last 49 with 9 walks. His OPS in that span has been .541. For the season vs LHP he is putting up .229/.260/.333. He's going to need to improve on those numbers to become the everyday right fielder for the Rays. In the past 3 games he has gone 1-13 with 2 BB, but his lone hit was a big home run yesterday. His seasonal slash at AAA is .268/.367/.453.
 
4. 25 yr old C John Jaso has woken up in June after a dreadful May where he OPSed .431. He has gone 3 for his last 11 with 2 BB and a HR. His season slash sits at .238/.349/.390. Jaso's plate discipline is excellent, especially when compared to Navi. He is walking at a rate of 13.7% while only striking out 12.8% for a BB/K of 1.24. For those keeping score at home Navi has walked 1.9% and struck out 14.9% for a ratio of .13.
 
5. OF Justin Ruggiano continues to play well going 3-8 with a 2B and a HR making this list for the 2nd consecutive time. THe 27 year old is now slashing .247/.341/.416.
 
6. 1B Rhyne Hughes continues his torrid hitting since being promoted from Montgomery. In the past 3 Hughes has gone 5-13 with a BB, a 2B, and 2 HRs. In 58 AAA ABs, Hughes has now posted .323/.354/.613.
 
7. Scott Kazmir had what appears to have been a one night only in Durham going 6 innings while striking out 5 and walking none. He surrendered 5 hits and 0 runs with his velocity consistently in the 90s. Kazmir was sadit o have thrown about 70% strikes.
 
8. Wade Davis made another excellent start going 6 innings, striking out 6 and walking 2. He allowed 6 hits and 2 runs, 1 earned. In 31 June innings his K/9 is 11.32 vs a BB/9 of 2.32. His seasonal FIP is 3.68 with a June FIP of 2.99.
 
9. Four Durham pitchers performed well this week out of the bullpen: Jason Cromer, Dale Thayer, Joe Bateman, and Julio DePaula. Each allowed no earned runs in a minimum of 2 innings pitched. The table below will update you on their seasons to date:
 
K/9 BB/9 ERA FIP
Jason Cromer 4.78 3.38 0.84 4.07
Dale Thayer 5.87 2.93 1.47 3.3
Joe Bateman 9.25 5.92 4.81 3.73
Julio DePaula 6.75 4.14 4.14 4.63
 
10. It was a quiet few days with the lumber for the AA biscuits, but there were a few pitching gems. Jeremy Hellickson made his return in a big way picking up right where he left off. Hellickson went 4 strong striking out 6 and walking none while surrendering 4 hits and 0 runs. Hellickson has been lights out all season with a K/9 of 10.9 and a BB/9 of 2.08. His FIP is at 2.25 with an ERA of 1.85. The right hander turned 22 in April.
 
11. 25 year old left hander Brandon Mann made his best start of the season for Montgomery going 6 shutout innings while striking out 6 and walking none. For the season his FIP sits at 3.85 with a K/9 of 5.07 and a BB/9 of 3.73.
 

12. 24 year old right hander Ryan Reid struck out the side in his one inning of work. Control has plagued him since joining AA last season. This season his K/9 and BB/9 both sit at 6.33. His K/9 has slipped this year from 10.3 to 6.33, so hopefully this inning was a sign of things to come for Reid.
 
13. Jesse Darcy made his best start of the season for the Charlotte Stone Crabs pitching a 7 inning complete game shutout. Darcy struck out 2, walked one, and allowed 5 hits. Darcy picked up his second win of the season in 13 starts. His FIP sits at 5.25 with a K/9 of just 3.68.
 
14. 24 year old right hander Tommy Rafferty has pitched 8.1 innings of relief for the Stone Crabs since his mid-season promotion. Rafferty has struck out 9 and walked 4 in his 8.1 innings posting a FIP of 2.51 while allowing 2 earned runs.
 
15. Cody Cipriano has had a cooler bat going 1-8 over the past 3 games. Why is he on this list? 4 walks over that span elevating his BB% to 11.8%. This is good because in A-and A ball Cody walked 14.1% and 13.9% of the time. Looks like his eye may be catching up to A+ pitching.
 
16. 22 year old middle infielder Omar Luna had been struggling mightily since joining the Stone Crabs in 2009. In the past 3 he has managed to go 4-6 with a BB. His slash sits at .197/.217/.413. Luna has never walked above 5% in his career.
 
17. 22 year old left fielder Ryan Royster has struggled in his second year with the Stone Crabs. He did manage to go 4-7 over the past games raising his slash to .220/.273/.295. His OPS has declined from .691 last year to .568 this year at the same level. He seems to be struggling in his splits OPSing .516 vs righties while his OPS vs lefties is .771.
 
18. 21 year old shortstop Shawn O'Malley has gone 4-8 with a stolen base over the past 3. The speedster is slashing .265/.364/.322 while swiping 25 bags in 32 attempts. He is having arguably his finest season in 4 years with the Rays organization in his first season at the A+ level.
 
19. The South Atlantic League held their annual all-star game. The Hot Rods were represented by Tim Beckham and Chris Andujar. It was a rough night for Andujar giving  up 3 hits, a walk, and 4 runs in his sole inning pitched. Becks star shone bright as he went 3-5 with a 3B and 2 strikeouts. He also committed an error.
 
Stats courtesy of MILB.com/Fangraphs/minorleaguesplits
Not all sites update daily so minor inconsistencies may appear

Will do a week in review for short season highlights during the weekend.