Since we are at the halfway point of the season, it is a good time to take a look at the players having an impact in the minor league system. Today, we’ll take a look at the prospects and how the lineup has changed since the beginning of the season for the Burlington Bees. While the team is severely lacking in power, with the exception of Moustakas, there are a few high OBP guys, who would be interesting to follow and track as they work their way through the system (Giavotella, Van Stratten).
Catcher – Ryan Egisti .216/.272/.361
A 15th round pick from the 2007 draft out of Bradley University, he has really struggled with the bat. If anything, he serves as a fine example of the lack of organizational depth at the position.
First Baseman – Clint Robertson .234/.320/.424
A 25th round pick from the 2007 draft out of Troy, AL, he has a fairly significant split hitting righties much better than lefties (.754 vs. .640). He does have 9 HR’s on the year, which places him second to Mike Moustakas on the team.
Second Baseman – Johnny Giavotella .330/.400/.396
A 2nd round pick from the 2008 draft out of the University of New Orleans, he is off to a small sample size driven hot streak. He has shown a good amount of OBP skill, walks are about even to K’s (12/14). On the other hand, he has shown a minimal amount of power with only 7 extra base hits (all doubles). Overall, he has a .796 OPS, but also has a serious platoon split with a .954 OPS Vs lefties and a .764 OPS vs. righties. The platoon split is probably small sample size driven seeing as he has only 22 AB’s against lefties, but with his OBP ability, it makes him one of the more interesting prospects to watch on this team.
Shortstop – Kyle Martin .313/.378/.522
Martin has taken over shortstop when Moustakas moved to third. He was a 29th round pick from Texas Tech and has hit for decent power 5 HR’s in 140 AB’s. If there is an area of his game that needs improvement it’s his defense with 8 errors already in 40 games. Juan Rivera has also received some PT at SS since the Moustakas Move and he’s hitting .215/.268/.277.
Third Baseman – Mike Moustakas .244/.306/.405
After an ice cold start like the rest of his fellow Bees, Moustakas has started to turn his season around and started to show the power that made him the #2 pick in the 2007 draft. After hitting just .190 in April, he’s managed to hit .262 the rest of the way with 11 of his 12 homers hit during these months. While many look at his numbers and see a disappointing season, he is a high school pick and they can take longer to develop. Finally, the big news was the position switch from SS to 3B, which to be honest needed to happen after committing 17 errors at SS. While it doesn’t help our positional need, it should help the player develop in the long run, especially since he more than has the arm for the position.
Right Fielder – Jamar Walton .228/.277/.343
Walton was signed by the Royals as a minor league free agent out of the Marlins organization, and has proceeded to do very little in the Bees uniform with only a .620 OPS. To his credit, he has played solid defense, but I would not be surprised to see him lose PT to Nick Van Stratten in the future.
Center Fielder – Adrian Ortiz .310/.335/.387
If you want to think of him as the second coming of Joey Gathright, then you probably wouldn’t be far off except that Ortiz has hit 2 HR’s and has 19 XBH’s. The real highlight of his game is his speed as he’s stolen 27 bases in 41 attempts for a 66% success rate. His plate discipline also leaves a little to be desired as he has 61 K’s in 393 AB’s, which is a little high for a leadoff hitter. For a 5th Round pick out of Pepperdine, he is arguably having the best season of anyone on the team.
Left Fielder – David Lough .267/.328/.424
11th round pick from the 2007 draft out of Mercyhurst College. Lough is a solid hitter against right-handers with a .807 OPS and a struggling hitter against lefties with a meager .581 OPS. He has some solid power with 8 HR’s third on the team and has some decent speed (10 steals in 17 attempts). Overall, he is a solid all around player with no one tool that really stands out.
Worth Watching – Nick Van Stratten/OF .352/.417/.537
He’s a 10th round pick in 2006 draft out of St. Louis CC Merimac. He’s another one with a small sample size, but doing a little bit of everything hitting 6 XBH’s with 3 steals in 54 AB’s. He also managed to have a .907 OPS last year in short season ball at Idaho Falls.
As you can see by the numbers the Bees have no exceptional stand out talent on the team, but a lot of solid contributors with balanced skills. Ortiz and Moustakas clearly are the stars with Giavotella and interesting addition from this year’s draft. The Bees currently have a 14-12 record .538 winning percentage good for 4th place in the Midwest league.