TOP NL UTR PITCHING PERFORMANCE RHP Ryan Helsley (HiA Palm Beach – St Louis) 22 years old 6 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 8 K, Win Season Stats: 5-2, 3.08 ERA, 49.2 IP, 39 H, 17 ER, 17 BB, 50 K in 9 starts
- I chose Helsley as a “One to Watch” for the Cardinals in 2017, and he’s proving it. This could have been the 5th rounders (2015 – Northeastern St.) second POD mention in as many starts. He was bumped by Ian Anderson (Atlanta) who threw a one-hitter with 11 K’s over 6 innings on May 25th. The right-handed Helsely has now thrown 20.2 scoreless innings over his last three starts with 22 strikeouts and 3 walks. Let’s take away his two losses where he surrendered 13 earned runs. Helsley stat line would be: (5-0, 0.83 ERA, 43.2 IP, 27 H, 4 ER, 11 BB, 44 K). In his first full season at LoA Peoria in 2016, the UTR Organizational All-Star went 10-2 with a 1.61 ERA and 109 K’s over 95 innings (17 starts).
- The 28th ranked prospect in the Cardinals system was a NL Top Prospect Pitcher for April.
TOP AL UTR PITCHING PERFORMANCE LHP Alex Wells (LoA Delmarva – Baltimore) 20 years old 7 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, Win Season Stats: 4-2, 1.74 ERA, 51.2 IP, 45 H, 10 ER, 8 BB, 40 K in 10 starts
- Awesome morning of boxscore scanning when both of your top pitchers end-up being those on the “Ones to Watch” list. I’ve been waiting for Alex Wells to break-through as a Pitcher of the Day. He finally joins his twin brother Lachlan Wells (Minnesota Twins…really!) and the other Wells pitchers in the minors, Nick Wells (Seattle) and Tyler Wells (Twins) as a POD. Like his NL counter-part Helsley, the 2016 UTR Organizational All-Star has thrown three scoreless outings in-a-row, but his streak only stands at 13 innings. It could have been longer, if bad defense during his May 26th start hadn’t chased Wells after 3 innings, when five Delmarva errors allowed 8 runs. Wells lowered his ERA to 1.74 and moves into the SALLY Top 5. The Aussie free agent signee in 2015 has only allowed more than one earn run in 2 of his 9 starts. Wells is ranked #25 in the Orioles system and was the Birds Top UTR Pitcher for April. I’m currently crafting the Top Pitchers for June and can release that Wells will once again make the list.
- This stat-line usually isn’t worthy of a mention, but I believe Bramblett could be primed to full-fill my “One to Watch” selection for the Royals. Getting his first shot at full season ball, the Royals are stretching out the 30th round pick (2016) from Alabama. His 5 innings last night matched his longest outings from last season with Appy Burlington; and his longest this season over 6 appearances. He’s only allowed one earned run over his last two starts (9.2 IP).
- Sodders was the AL Pitcher of the Day on April 29th. He gave up two earned runs last night, which is only the second time over his 9 starts. It bumps his ERA from 0.83 to 1.05, but its still second best amongst all LoA qualified pitchers, behind the Mets Jordan Humphreys (0.66). Sodders does hold the LoA best 93% LOB rate.
- Second scoreless outing by Poppen, who’s last start earned him the UTR AL Top Pitcher of the Day. The 19th round pick in 2016 was the only pitcher within the Twins system that made mention in my “best” list for the month of April.
- Butler makes a daily mention as a starter after two AL Top Reliever of the Day selections – April 11th, April 20th