Good Day UTR followers….it’s time for the format change to highlight all the Leagues within the MiLB system. Last night, the Short-Season got underway in the Northwest League, with the New-York Penn League beginning on Monday June 19th. As for the Rookie Leagues, the first games scheduled will also come on June 19th with the Pioneer League, with all others starting the following week.
By now, readers should be quite familiar with the pitchers from LoA/HiA Leagues. I would have to say, compared to previous years, your watch list should be brimming with names. It’s been an active two-and-half months with 20 pitchers making multiple Pitcher of the Day appearances and many already receiving promotions to Double-A. Those multiple UTR-POD mentions will be hard to come by when all the leagues are in full-swing. But those pitchers that do…keep an eye on them them, especially in the lower depths. The format change will be the same as last year: Featuring the Best from the National/American Leagues, the Top Pitcher from each individual league, the Top Relief Pitcher of the Day, and the Radar Blip. The Radar Blip will be the pitcher that just missed being mentioned from all the criteria’s listed above. This format will continue until the end of my tracking period (18 weeks), which concludes during the week of August 14th.TOP NL UTR PITCHING PERFORMANCE RHP Luis Escobar (LoA West Virginia – Pittsburgh) 21 years old 5 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K, Win Season Stats, 6-2, 3.71 ERA, 63 IP, 50 H, 26 ER, 25 BB, 84 K in 13 appearances with 12 starts TOP AL UTR PITCHING PERFORMANCE RHP Alec Hansen (LoA Kannapolis – Chicago White Sox) 22 years old 6 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 10 K, Win Season Stats, 7-3, 2.48 ERA, 72.2 IP, 57 H, 20 ER, 23 BB, 92 K in 13 appearances
DSL RHP Carlos Carreno (DSL Reds – Cincinnati) 18 years old 6 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 9 K, Win 3-0, 0.50 ERA
- Carreno is in his second DSL season but won’t turn 19 until September. He off to a nice start to 2017 and more starts like this will have him state-side very soon.
Play begins on June 26th Arizona League
Play begins on June 24th Appy League Play begins on June 22nd
Pioneer League Play begins on June 19th
Short-Season League RHP Stetson Woods (Northwest Salem-Keizer – San Francisco) 22 years old 6 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K
- After 3 seasons with the AZL Giants, Woods finally gets an assignment to the next level. 2016 was a lost season for the 6′ 8″ 200 lb righty, hitting the DL after making only four appearances. The 9th round high school pick (2014) will still be 22 years-old throughout the 2017 season, so time is still on his side.
- Hansen is the Top AL Pitcher of the Day, his second mention this season. He earned his first POD on May 28th when he struck out a career-high 15 batters and has now won 5 straight decisions over his last 7 starts. The 2nd round pick (2016) was also the UTR Top Pitching Propsect of the Month for the White Sox in May after going 4-1 with a 2.67 ERA and striking out 43 over 30.1 innings. As the 10th ranked White Sox prospect, Hansen currently leads all qualified pitchers at the LoA level with 92 strikeouts. He’s ahead of Scott Moss (Reds) and today’s NL POD Luis Escobar, who both have 84 K’s.
- The international free agent signee from 2014 hasn’t allowed more that 3 earned runs over his 13 starts with the Blue Rocks. Impressive for the 22 year old, in that he’s made the jump to HiA after one season in the DSL (2015) and one in the Appy League. He made 12 starts with Burlington last season going 6-3 with a 3.13 ERA, a 73:14 K:BB rate, and a 0.99 WHIP. He held Appy batters to a .212 batting average.
- Normally a 24-year old in his 4th season and playing short-season ball wouldn’t qualify for a mention. But Watson just turned 24 last Friday and his attempting to re-set his career after being released by the LA Angels this Spring. During his time with the LoA Burlington Bees, the 38th round pick in 2014 made 40 appearances with 2 saves, a 3-3 record, and posting a 3.42 ERA over 71 innings.
- Today’s UTR-POD is making his third appearance after back-to-back mentions (April 9th, April 14th) to start the season. The righty out of Colombia had a superb month of April with 45 strikeouts over 27.1 innings and posting a 3-1 record and 3,29 ERA, Unfortunately, the K-rate tailed-off in May (17 in 19 IP), but the 21 year old is near the top amongst all LoA pitchers in that category. Escobar is at his best away from Appalachian Power Park (5-0, 2.16 ERA, 38 IP, 32 H, 11 ER, 9 BB, 50 K in 7 starts).