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Greenville Drive update: Manuel Margot, Jamie Callahan, Myles Smith

Margot continues to succeed at the plate, while Callahan and Smith are dealing with problems on the mound.

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Manuel Margot, CF

2014 19 Greenville SALL A 79 4 0 3 7 2 6 12 .274 .329 .452 .781
3 Seasons 604 22 9 8 58 19 64 77 .278 .362 .402 .764
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 4/29/2014.

Margot has seen his power drop over the last 10 games, but he's drawing walks at a better rate than he has for the season overall. Neither of those occurrences are a surprise, given Margot's youth, need to adjust and learn, and how short the season has been to this point: with more time, these 10-game stretches won't affect his line so heavily.

Don't misread that, though, as Margot has been doing well lately -- his OPS to this point is nearly 100 points above that of your average hitter in the Sally, who also happens to be 2.5 years older than Margot. He's just not hitting the ball over the fence. It's hard to complain about .282/.349/.359 over a 10-game stretch from a teenager who will remain one until after the season has ended, especially not when one of the goals of his season is to further his plate discipline and plan at the plate. Seeing him settle into a comfortable on-base rhythm without selling out for power after three early homers doesn't mean a whole lot on its own, but it's still good, and something to follow..

Jamie Callahan, RHP

Year Age Tm Lg Lev ERA GS IP BF WHIP H9 HR9 BB9 SO9 SO/W
2014 19 Greenville SALL A 5.29 4 17.0 84 2.000 11.1 0.0 6.9 10.1 1.46
3 Seasons 4.32 20 85.1 359 1.289 8.1 0.4 3.5 8.4 2.42
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 4/29/2014.

The strikeouts Callahan was picking up early have vanished in his last two starts, with six walks against four strikes in a combined 8-1/3 innings. All five of the runs he gave up in that stretch came in the first game, with Callahan pitching around his walk issues in the second by limiting his opponents to just four base hits.

The ERA is ugly, and the walk rate needs to come down, but Callahan has been both missing bats and inducing grounders. He hasn't given up a homer, either, so his command might actually be doing fine when he manages to get the ball in the strike zone: he just needs to get it there more often. Like Margot, though, Callahan is basically a baby at the Low-A level, as he's also 19, or, nearly three years younger than the average pitcher in the Sally. The fact there's anything positive to write about at this early junction is a good thing, and we'll concern ourselves more with where he's at in his development as the season drags on.

Myles Smith, RHP

Year Age Tm Lg Lev ERA G IP BF WHIP H9 HR9 BB9 SO9 SO/W
2014 22 Greenville SALL A 5.79 4 14.0 61 1.571 8.4 1.9 5.8 5.8 1.00
2 Seasons 4.01 9 24.2 99 1.095 6.6 1.1 3.3 7.7 2.33
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 4/29/2014.

Smith can't point to age like Callahan and Margot, but he also hasn't been pitching for a long time, either amateur or professional, so he's still deserving of some slack. The difference is that he won't have as much time to sort things out as Callahan, so we can't be quite as patient, but it's April: let's not be too harsh about a handful of mediocre starts.

It would be good if he could improve across the board, though, as he's giving up homers, not missing bats, not inducing ground balls, and seeing problems against both lefties and righties. The 2013 fourth-round pick also has 24 professional innings to his credit, though, so again, we'll give him some time to work on those things, even if it's one at a time for a bit.

Comparing players directly is a thing I'm not a huge fan of, but I don't mind comparing circumstances. Smith reminds me of Brandon Workman from a situational perspective, as he was drafted outside of the rounds most fans are paying attention to, and has the upside to be more valuable than that selection suggests. His repertoire is deep, but it's not fully developed, and there's a significant gap between his potential futures. Workman, to this point, has been fairly best-case scenario for this kind of player. It's too early to know how Smith's story will turn out.