The Coors Effect

April 22, 2010 10:28 AM

Who's hot on the farm?

While two weeks of the regular season is far too small of a sample to draw any sort of conclusions about prospects, it's not too little information to draw conclusions about who's hot to start the year.

Warren Schaeffer

A 38th-round pick in the 2007 draft out of Virginia Tech, coming into this season, Schaeffer had hit for a .214 average and a .560 OPS (yes, you're reading that correctly.)  Suffice it to say that Colorado Springs helps hitters out some, but so far this season for the Sky Sox, Schaeffer's hitting for a .389 average and a 1.172 OPS.  In his case, it's only 18 at bats, but that's a serious hot streak.

Matt Reynolds

Occasionally, you find a gem in the late rounds, and that's been Reynolds.  So far this season, in 7.2 innings, Reynolds has 11 strikeouts and no walks.  He's given up just six hits.  What's more, I've always pegged Reynolds as a future LOOGY, but the fact is that he's been equally effective at getting right-handed hitters out: righties are hitting the same .222 against Reynolds, and ten of his eleven strikeouts have come against righties.

Keith Weiser

The knock on Weiser, the Rockies' third-round pick in the 2006 draft, is that he doesn't have the stuff to succeed in the major leagues.  The command is nice, but Weiser wears the "finesse lefty" tag that only works for a few guys (Glavine, Moyer.)  That reflected itself last year, when he pitched poorly and wound up with a 5.23 ERA, but so far he's had two very good starts to the season.  Tulsa's been pretty bad this season, but it's the offense (not the pitching) that's the problem.

James Cesario

Cesario, a 46th-round pick in 2008, is another late pick off to a hot start: .444/.512/.694.  He had a .751 OPS last year at Asheville, which might be a better indicator of his true talent, but he doesn't strike out much and has a little pop.  On the other hand, he's already 24 -- older than I'd like my Cal League prospects to be.

Ethan Hollingsworth

In 19 innings this season at Modesto, Hollingsworth has 20 strikeouts and just one walk.  As you'd expect from a pitcher with those kind of peripherals, he's got a 1.42 ERA so far, and opposing hitters are batting just .194 against him.  How he managed to lose a game is beyond me, as he's turned in three good-to-excellent starts.

Eliezer Mesa

Do I really need to comment much on a .420 average and 1.171 OPS?  Okay, there's this: Mesa has a .320 ISO without the benefit of a single homer.  Of his 21 hits this season, 13 have gone for extra bases, so he's smacking the ball with some genuine authority.  And at 21, he's still young enough to be a real prospect.  The one knock I can find on him is that he doesn't draw walks, but he doesn't strike out a ton, either, so it's not an issue of poor pitch selection.

Jared Clark

5 homers in 43 at bats?  Yeah, Asheville is hitter-friendly, but that's just ridiculous.  Clark is also hitting .349.  The bad news for the 12th-round pick from last season is that he'll be 24, an age that pretty much precludes him from being considered a top prospect (that, and the fact that he's a first baseman.)  Asheville does have some hitters off to impressive starts, but the pitching has been problematic.

Charlie Ruiz

Striking out ten batters and giving up a .087 average in seven innings is what I'd call a "hot start" for a reliever.  Ruiz has had big strikeout numbers and solid command since being the Rockies' tenth-round pick last year; the only real knock on him is that he's fairly flyball-prone, which might not work so well at Coors Field.

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