by David Finoli
As we are now a little over a month into the season, we look and see who is hot and who is not in the Bucco farm system.
Josh Palacios was as hot as hot could be with a .434 average, 4 home runs and 20 RBI’s in 13 games at Indy, earning him a spot on the Bucs.
After a horrendous start, Cal Mitchell has finally woken up, hitting .364 in May with 3 home runs lifting his once anemic average to .254.
Luis Ortiz was the most consistent starter in the organization with a 2.23 ERA and 0.96 WHIP in seven starts that included a 29-11 strikeout- bases on balls. It earned him a shot on the Bucs when Vince Velasquez was put on the 15-day disabled list.
Cam Alldred has struggled out of the Indians pen for most of the season with a 5.00 ERA and 1.50 WHIP.
So much is expected from Carmen Mlodzinski and so far, the results have not been there. The Pirates are pitching him out of the pen, and he hasn’t been consistent with a 4.80 ERA and 1.53 ERA losing both decisions and blowing his only save opportunity.
Malcom Nunez is supposed to be the first baseman of the future, but he’s had a difficult time cracking the Mendoza line as he is hitting .196 with only 2 homers.
Who’s somewhat disappointing but still not bad?
Many baseball writers feel Endy Rodriguez and Nick Gonzales have done enough to be promoted. While they’ve both improved after less than stellar starts injuries and inconsistencies make me wonder what said writers are seeing in them. Hitting .256 and .275 respectively, there has been a lack of power with five homers between them and both with OPSs under .800. It’s not to say they are doing poorly but they have potential beyond what their production has been. I think both need quite a few more AAA at bats.
Quinn Priester has been on the who’s not list since he was called up to Indy last year. But two solid starts have given folks hope that he’s turned the corner.
Henry Davis is not only Altoona’s hottest hitter but perhaps the hottest hitter in minor league
baseball. His average has climbed to .316 after a slow start and his OPS is north of 1.100. He’s been
playing in right the last two nights so perhaps the Bucs may be planning a AAA move soon to get him and Rodriguez in the lineup at the same time... if not above.
Jared Jones is just coming off the 7-day injured reserve list so hopefully he can continue the fine
season he was having with a 2.81 ERA.
Matt Eckelman has had a great year out of the pen with a 1.42 ERA allowing opposing hitters a
miniscule .159 batting average against.
Kyle Nicolas is considered one of the teams’ better prospects. You wouldn’t know it by his 5.74 ERA and 1.73 WHIP, although he has struck out 31 in 26 2/3 innings.
Former organization player of the year Matt Fraizer got off to a hot start but has struggled greatly lately as his average has fallen to .247.
Liover Peguero is a highly thought of prospect by the Bucs and a middle infielder of the future. So far this year he’s looked anything but a top prospect hitting .222
Drew Maggi was a wonderful story with the Bucs. At 33 years old and a .176 average with the Curve don’t expect anything more from that wonderful story.
Tres Gonzales got off to a great start with Bradenton and was promoted. He’s been even better with Greensboro, hitting .345 with an .842 OPS.
Third baseman, Jackson Glenn, has been over .300 with a .316 average, 5 homers and a sparkling .997 OPS.
Anthony Solmeto has been impressive for the most part with 34 strikeouts in 25 innings and a .209 average against. 15 walks is a little concerning but for the most part he’s done well.
Bubba Chandler was hot but has done poorly lately as his ERA has ballooned to 5.18. The main culprit has been his control walking 19 in 24 innings.
Eddie Yean was considered part of a nice haul from Washington in the Josh Bell trade. So far he has not shown to have Major League potential. This year out of the pen he has a 6.10 ERA as batter have hit .350 against him.
Shortstop, Maikol Escotto, has not been as expected for as the talented shortstop has struggled this season with an average hovering in the 220’s.
Left Fielder, Emmanuel Terrero, has been the offensive leader, hitting .320 with a .907 OPS and 18 RBIs in 26 games.
Owen Kellington for the most part has been successful limiting hitters to a .222 average with a fine WHIP of 1.22 in six contests.
2022 first round pick Thomas Harrington has done well in his pro debut with a perfect 4-0 mark. He’s struck out 24 in 24 2/3 innings with a 3.65 ERA but has a disappointing .270 average against.
Yoldin De La Paz has been ineffective out of the pen with a 6.75 ERA, a WHIP north of 2 and a .341 average against.
International signee and centerfielder, Shalin Polonco, has shown some power with three homers, but a .158 average has shown this season to be a poor one so far.
The fourth pick in the 2022 draft, Termarr Johnson, was said to be the best high school hitter drafted in a decade. So far 2023 has been a disappointment with a hamstring injury in spring training, followed by a .231 average to start the season. He’s improved the last couple games so maybe the early season slump will be done.