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Early Weekend 6-pack (7/16/09)

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1. The young and the successful

It’s probably pretty good, from a prospect perspective, to be younger and better than the guys you are playing with and against.  The following is a list of the full-season players in the Indians system who are at least a year younger than the league average and substantially outperforming their older peers.  In the case of hitters, I’ve arbitrarily defined this as at least .100 points higher than league average OPS.  With pitchers, using the data B-Ref has available, I’ve even more arbitrarily defined it as an ERA half a point lower than league average and a better WHIP than league average.  Some surprises maybe…

The AAA list is a little misleading given the number of 30+ year-old career minor leaguers hanging around and inflating the age.  The AAA pitching staff has been too much in flux to really have anyone even close to qualifying.  Some of the better pitchers who have shown up at Kinston are also disqualified because of playing time issues related to injury or promotion.

AAA - League average batter age: 27.3, OPS .716

Jordan Brown 25.6 (+1.7), .868 (+.152)

Matt LaPorta 24.5 (+2.8), .924 (+.208)

Andy Marte 25.7 (+1.6), .887 (+.171)

AAA - League average pitcher age: 27.0, ERA 3.87, WHIP 1.34

None

AA - League average batter age: 24.4, OPS .719

Nick Weglarz 21.5 (+2.9), .856 (+.147)

Carlos Santana 23.3 (+1.1), .888 (+.169)

AA - League average pitcher age: 24.3, ERA 3.88, WHIP 1.38

Jeanmar Gomez 21.4 (+2.9), 3.21 (+.67), 1.19 (+.19)

Hector Rondon 21.4 (+2.9), 2.75 (+1.13), 1.06 (+.32)

A+ - League average batter age: 22.7, OPS .720

Lonnie Chisenhall 20.8 (+1.9), .879 (+.159)

A+ - League average pitcher age: 23.0, ERA 4.08, WHIP 1.38

None

A - League average batter age: 21.5, OPS .690

Abner Abreu 19.7 (+1.8), .839 (+.149)

A - League average pitcher age: 21.6, ERA 3.64, WHIP 1.31

TJ House 19.8 (+1.7), 2.76 (+.88), 1.20 (+.11)

2. April 16 and April 18, 2009

No matter how this season ends, this will always feel great:

http://mlb.mlb.com/media/video.jsp?content_id=4202681

3. Movement is good…

…for pitchers, anyway.  On June 23rd, David Huff had his best major league start (8 innings, 4 hits, 0 runs).  In his next start on June 28th, he had one of his worst (5 innings, 9 hits, 7 runs).  What was the difference? – I have no idea.  But according to his pitch f/x logs from those two games, he was getting a lot more movement, both horizontal and vertical, in that successful June 23rd outing.  The images below are courtesy of fangraphs and show his good start (gray) superimposed on the bad one (color).  As a caveat, these games were in different stadiums, so it is possible the difference is in the pitch f/x data acquisition.  It is also worth noting that he had has similar movement in different outings without the same success.  Nevertheless, worth making note of here.

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4. Nostalgia

My first ever comment on LGT (I think):

"Regarding Millwood: A contract to keep him will likely involve something around 3 yrs/$10 mil per or 4 yrs/$8 mil per.  Given Millwood's age (30) and injury history, that's generally not a good idea..."

What was yours?

5. Seats available. Act now!

The Indians are still almost 25,000 fans short of 1,000,000 on the season.  That is obviously not a good number.  Kansas City, our closest peer in the AL Central, has had more than 100,000 more fans than us walk through the turnstiles this season.

6. Life through the looking glass

15 years ago on this day Dennis Martinez pitched a shutout, leading the Indians to a 2-0 victory over the Chicago White Sox.  The victory moved Martinez to 9-4 and put the Tribe 19 games over .500.  Here was the lineup that day:

K. Lofton CF

O. Vizquel SS

C. Baerga 2B

A. Belle LF

E. Murray 1B

M. Ramirez RF

C. Maldonado DH

T. Pena C

A. Espinoza 3B

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