Monday, January 20, 2014

Catching up on Minor League Signings

  • RHP Clayton Mortensen - Former Cardinals first round pick has posted a career 1.5 K:BB ratio. He'll return to the Royals organization after allowing 3 runs in 6 innings for the Storm Chasers in 2013. 
  • OF Edinson Rincon - After filing for Minor League free agency following the season, Rincon re-upped with the Royals organization for 2014. For his career the Santo Domingo native has hit .285/.354/.418. At just 23 years-old there could still be some upside for Rincon. He should open the season in Northwest Arkansas. 
  • RHP P.J. Walters - Another former Cardinals draftee, P.J. Walters was selected in the 11th round of the 2006 draft. Walters will be 29 on Opening Day and holds a 6.28 ERA over 5 seasons. 
  • RHP Wilking Rodriguez - Just 23, Rodriguez has spent his entire career in the Rays organization. During those seven seasons he has posted a 3.90 ERA. For his career he has allowed just 2.7 walks per 9 innings and struck out 8.2 per 9. Given his track record and age, I'd venture to say he offers much more upside than the previously mentioned relievers. 
  • 3B Brandon Laird - A corner infielder, Laird has played in 53 games at the highest level. Unfortunately, he's hit just .197/.255/.370 during his time in the Bigs. Laird was considered the Yankees 10th best prospect in the 2011 Baseball America handbook after coming off Eastern League MVP honors. At the time Laird was praised for good pitch recognition that it was predicted would allow him to hit for average as well as good power.
  • SS Brian Bocock - Over 687 career Minor League games, Bocock has hit .226/.297/.306. Last season, as a Triple-A player for the Pirates and Nationals he hit an even worse .175/.237/.287. In a way it is pretty impressive that a guy who has never OPS-ed over .656 for a season could have survived as a professional for this long. GRIT.
  • RHP Cory Wade - Wade is actually an interesting pickup and I wouldn't be at all surprised to see him surface in Kansas City at some point in 2014. After all, it was just one year ago that Wade struck out 8.8 batters per 9 and walked just 1.8. Of course, what killed Wade was the 1.85 home runs that he allowed per 9, a problem that could be mitigated with a move to Kauffman Stadium. 
  • OF Johermyn Chavez - A 24 year-old outfielder whose highest level reached is Double A, Chavez will probably return to that level in 2014. Unfortunately, Chavez hasn't hit since his California League stint in 2010, when he torched the circuit by hitting .315/.387/.577.
  • OF Melky Mesa - Mesa's a career .400 hitter at the Major League level, albeit in just 15 at bats. As for his time in the minors, Mesa owns a career .246/.313/.438 triple slash. Mesa should spend 2013 in Omaha, but he'll serve as some additional depth for the Royals outfield corps in 2014. 
  • 2B Jason Donald - A 2009 Baseball American top 100 prospect, Donald was once included in the package that would bring Cliff Lee to Philadelphia. In the majors since that time Donald has failed to live up to the expectations, hitting just .257 over 170 career games. Donald spend the entirety of 2013 with the Louisville Bats and will return to AAA in 2014. 

  • C Ramon Hernandez - With the back up catcher role seemingly up in the air, Hernandez might have the best shot of all the Minor League signings at making the squad out of camp. At 37, the Venezuelan national has played 15 seasons at the Major League level. Last season he split time between the Los Angeles Dodgers, where he posted a .728 OPS and the Buffalo Bisons, where he played just 5 games.
  • RHP Brad Penny - Once upon the time Brad Penny was rated by Baseball America as the 5th best prospect in all of baseball. Since then, Penny has logged 1899 innings at the Major League level posting a career 4.26 ERA and recording 25.5 fWAR. Brad Penny didn't log an inning in 2013, after throwing 40 innings across 4 levels of the Giants organization in 2012. In Penny's last season long campaign, the 6'4" righty went 11-11 with a 5.30 ERA for the Tigers in 2011.
  • RHP Guillermo Mota - A reliever, Mota didn't pitch in 2013. This came despite posting solid peripheral numbers as a 38 year-old for San Francisco over 20 innings in 2012. Mota will be 40 in 2014, and will likely serve as an early season insurance policy for Kansas City as they stash him in Omaha, until he hangs up the cleats.

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