E-MAILBAG: Ask the Reports, Wednesday June 8th
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Wednesday June 8, 2011
Q: Do you think that Kansas city will trade Wilson Betemit to a contender while he his playing well and with Mike “Moose” starting to hit great in Triple-A? If so to whom will he get traded to possibly? From Pam
MLB reports: Thank you for the question Pam. I see that you have beeen following the Reports closely, as you know that I enjoy discussing Royals prospects, especially the up-and-coming bats. With Hosmer on board, it is only a matter of time before Mike “Moose” Moustakas is next. In 54 games played in Omaha, the Moose has 10 home runs, 43 RBIs, 36 runs scored, .282 AVG and .835 OPS. His 18/43 BB/K ratio does not get me terribly excited, as it does not appear that Moose will ever have the batting eye of Eric Hosmer. That being said, Moustakas should hit for decent average with a ton of power. At 22 years of age and on his second tour of duty in AAA, it is only a matter of time before he gets called up. Wilson Betemit, on the other hand, has played fairly well this year, with a .297 AVG and .776 OPS. The power is down with only 2 home runs but he has 13 doubles already. I see the Royals keeping him around for insurance and versatility. With the Royals very much in contention, they do not have an incentive to trade Betemit unless they got young pitching back (which few teams would give up at this stage). Betemit also has a very affordable contract ($1 million/2011) and will not likely be moved.
Q: What do you think of the rumored group of Garvey and Hershiser to purchase the Dodgers? From Larry, Laughlin.
MLB reports: This story has surfaced and has started to gather steam. If not for Steve Garvey, I could see the Orel Hershiser name attached to the bid providing a great deal of credibility. Hershiser is seen as a clean-cut individual with great heroics in years past for the Dodgers. Garvey on the other hand, while a strong player in his day, does not have the best reputation. Based on the news that I am hearing, I think having Garvey on board will likely kill the chances of this group winning any future bids to control the Dodgers. Frank McCourt is still lurking in the background, but his time is almost done. With all the turmoil surrounding the Dodgers in recent years, MLB and Selig will take their time to find the best possible ownership situation for one of its prized franchises. Stay tuned as this story is far from over.
Q: So has Matt Purke pitcher for TCU been drafted yet? If so, where to? From Nolan, Texas
MLB reports: What a fall from grace. Purke, drafted by the Rangers 14th overall in 2010, was drafted in the 3rd round, with the 96th pick by the Washington Nationals this year. After battling a sore shoulder and having signability issues based on the Rangers failure to sign him, many teams got scared off from this prospect. I expected Purke to go in the 1st round this year, likely to the Jays or back to the Rangers. But the Nationals, who continue to stock up top prospects, landed a 1st round talent in the 3rd round. A very successful selection as Purke will become a solid #3 solid for the Nationals down the road, as early as 2013.
Q: Hosmer have a legit chance at AL ROY this year? From Jerry, Lawrence KS
MLB reports: You think? At age 21 (a year younger than Mike Moustakas), Eric Hosmer has simply dominated major league pitching since getting the call to join the Royals. In 29 games, Hosmer has 5 home runs, 20 RBIs, 14 runs, .304 AVG and .834 OPS. His batting eye has not been on par with his numbers from the minors, as he sits at a 7/22 BB/K. But with his strong average and power to-date, Hosmer will cut down the strikeouts and increase the walks as the months and years go by. We are watching the Royals first baseman for the next decade or so. He has the potential to match the bat of Will Clark and Mark Grace and the sky is the limit for this future all-star. I compare him most to Logan Morrison of the Florida Marlins, as they are very similar players. Great company to be in. Michael Pineda has been outstanding for the Mariners but as the summer is upon us, his arm may get tired and innings become limited. On the flip-side, I can see Hosmer getting hot as the season progresses and could make a strong push for the Rookie of the Year award in the American League. Definitely keep an eye on this kid.
Q: What’s your thoughts on the White Sox drafting Keenyn Walker at 47? From James, London, ON
MLB reports: I was very surprised to see Walker drafted this early. After being drafted by the Cubs in the 16th round in 2009 and the Phillies in the 38th round in 2010, I did not expect Walker to go as high as he did. The kid is a speedster, stealing 65 bases in 63 games played this year. Compared by some to Devon White, he sees himself as the next Torii Hunter. Despite his strong bat and 6’3″ frame, I have concerns if his bat will translate to the major league level. The speed and defense are definitely there, but it’s the power and batting eye that he will need to prove to advance in the minors. A good project player with a high ceiling, but much too early for the White Sox at this slot.
Q: Looks like Francisco brought his “A game” again. Why is he still closing? From Jennifer, Toronto
MLB reports: For some reason, there is a code in baseball that you stick with your “established” closer(s) and keep trotting them out there until they absolutely cannot be trusted. Looking at the Frank Francisco’s numbers, I believe that time has come. He has given up far too many hits and runs on the season and with a 6.06 ERA and 1.78 WHIP, in my opinion he should have been pitching in middle relief long ago. With Jon Rauch also struggling to maintain consistency, many so-called experts have looked to Octavio Dotel to take the closing job in Toronto. While Dotel has been steady, he has not shown the necessary consistency in my estimation. If it were up to me, I would call upon Casey Janssen or Jason Frasor to become the new Jays stopper. Both have brilliant on the season and earned the right ot pitch in the 9th inning. Frasor has the experience but I would give the role with Janssen and see if he can run with it. The Jays are fortunate to have so many closing options and can try out different pitchers until they find the right fit. But why Francisco continues to get the call is beyond me. He is most suited to pitching the 7th or 8th inning and has proven in Toronto, like he did before in Texas, that he is not a dependable closer.
Q: What are your thoughts on the season that Jonny Venters is having so far? Also what about how terrible Uggla has been? From Kyle
MLB reports: Craig Kimbrel has pitched well this season, with 17 saves (2nd in the NL), 2.79 ERA and 1.23 WHIP. But while Kimbrel has been good, Venters has been great. All Jonny Venters has done is given up 2 ER in 35.2 innings pitched, to a the tune of a 0.50 ERA and 0.76 WHIP. Kimbrel is younger at 23 compared to Venters at 26 and was seen as a stronger prospect going into the season. Also Venters is a lefty and baseball for some reason favors right-handed closers. But the numbers don’t lie and should Kimbrel falter at all, Venters will be given the first crack at the job. The Braves are in a really good situation with these two youngsters pitching at the back end of their bullpen. If their worst problem is who should pitch the 9th, the Braves will not mind that at all. As far as the slumping Uggla goes, there are several factors for his poor season. At 31-years of age, he starting to hit his decline. He always had high strikeout numbers but his walks have taken a huge dive this season. For whatever reason, he has not been comfortable playing in Atlanta and has had troubles adjusting to his new team. Add to that the pressure of living up to his new 5-year, $62 million contract and you have a case of player that is out of place and playing under pressure. Uggla though is a solid veteran and I expect him to heat up as the summer is upon us. The only direction for him is to go up and as long as he goes back to basics and does all the little things that has made him successful in the past, he should rebound nicely. Uggla is still Uggla, give him time.
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Posted on June 8, 2011, in The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged baseball, betemit, braves, dodgers, dotel, francisco, frasor, garvey, hershiser, hosmer, jays, kimbrel, mccourt, mlb, purke, rauch, royals, ventgers, walker, whitesox. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.