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Devils in the Minors

With the minor league baseball season finishing up play at the end of last month, it seemed like as good a time as any to take a look around the league at all the rosters with players from ASU in the minors and see how they fared this year. We will focus this post on players from the 2008 draft (first 15 rounds) and 2007 draft (first 15 rounds).

2008 Draft

Brett Wallace 3B, 1st Round, 13th Overall, St. Louis Cardinals:
2008 - Quad Cities, Midwest League, St. Louis Cardinals Affiliate A Level
41 G, 153 AB, 28 R, 50 H, 8 2B, 1 3B, 5 HR, 25 RBI, 17/32 BB/K, .327/.418/.490/.908 OPS
2008 - Springfield, Texas League, St. Louis Cardinals Affiliate AA Level
13 G, 49 AB, 13 R, 5 2B, 0 3B, 3 HR, 11 RBI, 2/7 BB/K, .367/.456/.653/1.109 OPS

Splitting time between A and AA ball, Wallace was a beast. Mashing on all levels for power, walking, getting on base, and just being a terror at the plate - Wallace is on a fast track to the big leagues.  It will be interesting to see if they try to keep him at 3B or if they eventually move him to 1B where he is blocked by Albert Pujols.  Could be a lucrative trade piece, or extremely valuable if he can stick at third.

Ike Davis 1B, 1st Round, 18th Overall, New York Mets:
2008 - Brooklyn, NYPL, New York Mets Affiliate A- Level
58 G, 215 AB, 17 R, 15 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 17 RBI, 23/43 BB/K, .256/.326/.326/.652 OPS

His first full year in the minor leagues can be called nothing but a colossal disappointment.  In nearly the exact number of at bats as he had at ASU this season (213 vs 215) Davis managed to hit a whopping .547 lower in OPS (129 points lower in batting average, 131 points lower in OBP, and an amazing 416 points lower in slugging %). Failing to hit for power completely, Davis struggled getting good wood on anything that wasnt a fastball.  He will need to make some offseason adjustments if he hopes to avoid being labeled one of the biggest busts of the 2008 draft.  I know it is early, but nearly every draft analyst called Davis a huge reach at 18 overall, and he certainly hasnt proven them wrong.  He will be 22 when the 2009 season starts and will most likely begin at A ball.  If he doesn't show enough to finish at AA or A+ by the end of the year, Davis will be in trouble as a MLB prospect.

Petey Paramore C, 3rd Round, 90th Overall, Oakland Athletics:
2008 - AZL Athletics, Arizona League, Oakland Athletics Rookie Level
9 G, 22 AB, 7 R, 2 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 4 RBI, 10/2 BB/K, .364/.563/.455/1.017 OPS
2008 - Kane City, Midwest League, Oakland Athletics A Level
31 G, 102 AB, 14 R, 23 H, 8 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 14 RBI, 22/30 BB/K, .225/.368/.333/.701 OPS

Petey came in, crushed the overmatched AZL league, and then cooled off once he started playing against players closer to his age in A ball.  Showing that he can work the count and get on base like any good Billy Beane draft pick should, Petey will need to show that he can hit for consistent power as he ascends the minors.  So far so good behind the plate.

Kiel Roling 1B, 6th Round, 197th Overall, Colorado Rockies:
2008 - Casper, Pioneer League, Colorado Rockies Rookie Level
18 G, 64 AB, 10 R, 22 H, 7 2B, 0 3B, 4 HR, 17 RBi, 8/11 BB/K, .344/.417/.641/1.057 OPS

Roling, naturally, crushed pitching at the rookie level and should immediately start 2009 at A or A+. He does not turn 22 until January, and should face a nice and easy climb through the Rockies minors, making his bid to replace Todd Helton eventually in Coors Field.

Stephen Sauer Relief Pitcher, 10th Round,  300th Overall, Chicago White Sox:
2008 - Great Falls, Pioneer League, Chicago White Sox Rookie Level
19 G, 0 GS, 29.0 IP, 3.41 ERA, 3 W - 2 L, 27/7 K/BB, .178 Avg against

Sauer enters the White Sox minor league system as a middle reliever, averaging 1.1 to 1.2 innings pitched per outing.  He struck out nearly a batter per inning and did not walk many (3.85 k/bb ratio) which is pretty solid for a middle reliever.  He just turned 22 though, and will need to show a lot coming out of spring training in 2009. He finished the year with a strong outing pitching 2 innings, striking out 4 and walking just 1.

Reyes Dorado Relief Pitcher, 14th Round, 439th Overall, Los Angeles Angels:
2008 - Orem, Pioneer League, Los Angeles Angels, Rookie Level
18 G, 1GS, 24.0 IP, 5.63 ERA, 2 W - 0 L, 3 Saves, 32/10 K/BB, .228 Avg Against

Dorado showed some solid stuff (32 Ks in 24 innings) but showed a tendency to let up a bunch of hits with runners on base.  He should stabilize as he becomes used to pitching out of the pen and he should slide into A ball next year.  Not sure what the Angels have with Dorado at this point.

Marcel Champagnie LF, 15th Round, 469th Overall, Los Angeles Angels:
2008 - Orem, Prioneer League, Los Angeles Angels, Rookie Level
6 G, 14 AB, 4 R, 5 H, 0 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 2BB/1K, .357/.438/.357/.795 2SB

Champagnie signed late and only got in 6 games, but showed what he could eventually become - a replica of Willie Bloomquist - a player with no power who can get on base, play some defense, and use his speed on the bases.

2007 Draftees

Eric Sogard 2B, 2nd Round, 81st Overall
, San Diego Padres:
2007 - Eugene, Northwest League, San Diego Padres, A- Level
31 G, 125 AB, 20 R, 32 H, 9 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, 18 RBI, 19BB/16K, .256/.354/.376/.730 OPS
2007 - Fort Wayne, Midwest League, San Diego Padres, A Level
22 G, 83 AB, 7 R, 21 H, 2 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, 15 RBI, 6BB/13K, .253/.308/.349/.657
2007 - Portland, Pacific Coast League, San Diego Padres, AAA Level
1 G, no hits
2008 - Lake Elsin, California League, San Diego Padres, A+ Level
133 G, 536 AB, 97 R, 165 H, 42 2B, 3 3B, 10 HR, 87 RBI, 16SB/7 CS, 79BB/62K, .308/.394/.453/.847

Sogard, manning 2B for the Padres, came off a midly disappointing 2007 campaign split between A-/A ball to put together an extremely solid effort at A+. While the Cal league is widely known as a hitters' league, walking 79 times is extremely impressive.  Sogard has shown the ability to get on base, shown some solid pop and decent speed, and has played an able second base. Turning 23 to start the 2009 Season, the Padres should see what Sogard can do in AA - maybe see what he can prove for a possible late 2010 callup.

Matt Spencer 1B, 3rd Round, 113th Overall, Philadelphia Phillies (Now with Oakland Athletics via Joe Blanton trade):
2007 - Williamsport, NYPL, Philadelphia Phillies, A- Level
51 G, 179 AB, 21 R, 47 H, 10 2B, 0 3B, 9 HR, 26 RBI, 3SB/3CS, 11BB/46K, .263/.320/.469/.789 OPS
2008 - Clearwater, Florida State League, Philadelphia Phillies, A+ Level
85 G, 307 AB, 40 R, 77 H, 12 2B, 3 3B, 6 HR, 42 RBI, 5SB/1CS, 30BB/66K, .251/.318/.368/.686
2008 - Stockton, California League, Oakland Athletics, A+ Level
41 G, 168 AB, 30 R, 56 H, 12 2B, 1 3B, 8 HR, 27 RBI, 7SB/1CS, 6BB/39K, .333/.376/.560/.935 OPS

Spencer, one of the pieces of the Joe Blanton trade this summer, had an interesting rookie campaign in 2007 flashing some power at low A, with a low on base percentage.  This carried over into 2008 where he began the year in a massive slump before being traded - where his bat came alive.  His power numbers were impressive and he was getting on base, despite a horrible 6/39 walk to strikeout ratio.  He will have to improve that if he hopes to move up in the A's system, but the A's should be encouraged by his power - even if it is in the Cal league.  A 2009 start at AA could be warranted.

Andrew Romine SS, 5th Round, 178th Overall, Los Angeles Angels,:
2007 - Orem, Pioneer League, Los Angeles Angels, Rookie Level
56 G, 231 AB, 38 R, 66 H, 6 2B, 6 3B, 5 HR, 35 RBI, 12SB/4CS, 16BB/38K, .286/.337/.429/.766
2008 - Cedar Rapids, Midwest League, Los Angeles Angels, A Level
126 G, 461 AB, 79 R, 120 H, 21 2B, 4 3B, 2 HR, 34 RBI, 62SB(!)/18CS, 55BB/76K, .260/.347/.336/.683

Romine has played good defense for the Angels, but has shown that his power is not quite there.  Playing at A ball in his age 22 season, Romine showed some speed with 62 stolen bases, a solid eye with 55 walks, but a distinct lack of power.  If he can repeat A or move to high A and show some continued growth, Romine could turn into a decent prospect - at this point hs looks destined to be a minor leaguer if he cant begin to drive the ball with some authority.

Tim Smith, LF, 7th Round, 230th Overall, Texas Rangers:
2007 - Spokane, Northwest League, Texas Rangers, A- Level
23 G, 81 AB, 18 R, 23 H, 5 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 9 RBI, 11BB/16SO, .284/.396/.383/.779
2008 - Clinton, Midwest League, Texas Rangers, A Level
121 G, 480 AB, 67 R, 144 H, 25 2B, 4 3B, 13 HR, 70 RBI, 21SB/9CS, 33BB/81SO, .300/.359/.450/.809

Smith, after being a rather late signee in 2007, has put together a very nice season in 2008. His first full season in the minors, Smith flashed some speed, solid pop (42 XBH) and a propensity for driving in runs with a solid average.  He has to work on his plate discipline (81 SO) but Smith is showing some solid wood at the corner outfield position, and a nice pickup by Texas in the 7th round.

Brian Flores, Starting Pitcher, 13th Round, 395th Overall, Tampa Bay Rays:
2007 - Hudson Valley, NYPL, Tampa Bay Rays, A- Level
15 G/ 3 GS, 5.57 ERA, 2w-3l, 32.1 IP, 31SO/12BB, 1.42 WHIP
2008 - Columbus, SAL, Tampa Bay Rays, A Level
29G/21GS, 4.19 ERA, 9w-7l, 118.0 IP, 77so/45bb, 1.39 WHIP

Flores struggled with his command in his first year in the majors, but flashed decent stuff.  In 2008 he transitioned to the rotation and he, again, struggled with his command.  77k-45 walks is not a very good ratio, but he was able to pitch 118 innings while limiting his earned runs fairly well.  With not much expectations as a 13th round pick, Flores has shown he is a decent minor leaguer, and will be interesting to follow as he makes his debut in 2009 in either A+ or AA ball.

That concludes the 2007 and 2008 draft picks, more from our boys in the bigs later.