Let's face it, the only thing worth watching in the lower levels of the system was Anibal Sanchez and he's pitching for Portland now. He went 4 innings in his first AA start striking out 6 while only walking 2. He allowed just 2 hits and no runs. He threw 72 pitches. I'm not sure why he didn't get left in longer, but it was an impressive debut nonetheless. Speaking of impressive debuts, Jon Papelbon pitched brilliantly in his AAA debut going 6 innings and allowed only 3 hits, one of them a solo home run that acounted for all the runs scored against him. He struck out 7 and didn't walk a batter. If he keeps it up he'll be helping out in Boston by next year.
But anyways, now that Sanchez is in Portland, I'm going to skip the lower level update for this week and move onto something else. I'm going to show some sabermetric numbers for the Pawtucket batters and see what we can learn from looking at those numbers. I'll probably post the Portland numbers sometime next week.
What can these numbers tell us? Well, I'm glad you asked.
Kelly Shoppach strikes out a lot, but for a catcher he's a very productive hitter. This is the kind of production we could expect out of him. He'll have a low AVG and strike out a lot, but his value to the team doesn't rely on his AVG so he can still be very productive. His power numbers are very good.
Roberto Petaine is the AAA version of Barry Bonds. He is simply knocking the snot out of the ball. He strikes out an average amount and takes plenty of walks. His power numbers are fantastic. We can expect his production to slow down a little bit and obviously he wouldn't be able to put up these kinds of numbers in the majors, but in AAA the guy is an absolute stud.
Alejandro Machado hasn't been walking at all and is the lightest hitting guy on the team. The only reason he has any value at all is because he's managing to put a lot of balls into play and he's stealing a few bases. Any thoughts I had earlier in the year about this guy possibly taking over the utility role in the majors are now completely gone after I've seen these stats. He needs to do a lot more than just hit a few singles if he wants to carry his weight.
Luis Figueroa is putting up numbers very similar to Machado, but he is striking out less and he's hit a few home runs. He also needs to start taking some walks if he wants to be of any value. He's playing at the level that we should expect him to, but that's not the major league level.
Dave Berg's value is coming mostly from his walks. He hasn't hit for any power, but he's getting on base a lot thanks to a very high BABIP and plenty of walks. He's one of the few guys on the team that is walking more than he's striking out, but he's been lucky so far. His numbers will probably start to dip.
George Lombard strikes out more often than anyone on the team, but because of some decent power and a lot of balls falling in for hits he's been productive. His stats are pretty flashy with 13 home runs and 11 stolen bases making him a power and speed threat, but in reality he's not producing much more than Dave Berg who has 0 home runs and 0 steals.
Chip Ambres has been a little bit lucky this year, but he's also been very good. If his AVG starts to dip he's still going to be able to help out the team with his decent power and walks. His .428 SecAvg, boosted by his stolen bases, is good enough for second on the team.
Mike Lockwood has the second lowest BABIP on the team so it's no surprise that he's been one of the team's least valueable players. Once his average starts to rise, his value will too, but his value is also hurting from the fact that he doesn't draw a lot of walks. His power is decent, but he needs to start getting on base more through base hits and through walks to be of more use.
Justin Sherrod has a BABIP that's almost .400. It's almost scary to think what this guy's line would look like if he hadn't been getting all the good bounces so far this year. He's hitting a few home runs, but his power production isn't incredibly impressive and he needs to walk some more. By the end of the season this guy won't look very impressive at all.
Shawn Wooten has been, for the most part, a waste of a roster spot. He strikes out a lot, doesn't walk, and his power isn't all that great either making him pretty much just a warm body to fill out the line up. With such a low BABIP we can expect his numbers to increase, but even when they do, they won't amount to much.