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Kyle Russell Bomb Alert - Blue Sparks 5/3 - 5/10

Another week of interesting production from the Dodger's minor league system as some old prospects renew their sheen, 2008 draft picks continue to glow, and some who we never thought were prospects make their case.

Jason Repko  is now sporting a ten game hitting streak that has seen his OPS and wOBA climb to .948/.389 respectively. He's starting a rapid climb up the offensive charts and is now sixth in ISOP with a .325.  His wOBA is 18th but considering where it was at the end of April that is a stratospheric climb. He's doubled his line drive rate from April to May and it is paying dividends with a .414 BABIP. His ceiling may be a platoon player against LHP but at least he's showing signs of life.

Hector Luna must be an awful fielder because the man can hit for a middle infielder. At the age of 25 he was putting up a decent OPS(.753) for the Cardnials in part time play. Now 29 years old and playing 3rd base for the Isotopes, time has passed him by, but when you look at the players playing in the major leagues it makes you wonder why somone isn't giving him a chance. He currently has the 2nd highest wOBA in the PCL with an OPS of  1.118.

Blake DeWitt doesn't have enough at bats to qualify for any of the leader boards but if he did he'd be sitting near the top in all the categories. After 50 plate appearances he's sporting a nifty 1.115/.471 OPS/wOBA with a hit in every game in May until yesterday.  His walk rate is now at an all time high of 14.8%, dead even with his K rate. 

Eric Milton's last four games have looked like this:

Date Level IP R ER H 2B 3B HR SO BB
May 7 AAA @ Okla. City 6.0 0 0 2 0 0 0 5 0
May 1 AAA vs. Round Rock 6.0 3 2 6 0 0 1 6 2
April 26 AAA @ New Orleans 6.0 0 0 2 0 0 0 2 2
April 21 AAA @ Iowa 6.0 0 0 2 0 0 0 5 1

We don't know what his get out of jail timecard is but it is coming up. Very soon the Dodgers will either have to promote him or release him. Baseball Prospectus scouted Milton recently and had sided with Silverwidow with a pessimistic view on his results if he makes it back to the majors. Arm strength still seems to be a concern and Ned admitted that one of his scouts said his arm strength still needed work. 

Chattanooga Lookouts:
Lambo is having a tough May and has fallen off the leaderboards with only one extra base hit in May. He's dropped his K rate to only 17% but his walk rate is only at 7% a far cry from the 13% he showed in the Rookie league.

Jamie Hoffman on the other hand continues to float near the top of all the offensive leaderboard categories. His wOBA ranks 3rd (.435), Slug is 9th (.515),  and OBP is 3rd at (.468).

Joshua Bell has lost the power stroke but is maintaining an excellent walk ratio of 17% and has cut his K rate to 20% from 25% last year.  His ISOP is .134 and only 3% of balls in the air are turning into home runs resulting in a slug% of .414.

I'm not even going to mention Tony Abreu until he gets 100 at bats without being hurt so that means I may never write about him again.

James Adkins really sucks and it looks like Logan totally whiffed on this supplemental first round pick.

Scott Elbert has re-emerged in the Lookout rotation with a vengence. In the two starts he's made since returning to the rotation he's done the following:

Date Level IP R ER H 2B 3B HR SO BB
May 8 AA vs. Jacksonville 6.0 2 0 5 1 0 0 9 1
May 3 AA @ Carolina 5.0 1 0 4 1 0 0 6 2

That K rate and control are very impressive.

Josh Lindblom stumbled on April 22nd but that is the only blip on his impressive professional career so far.

Date Level IP R ER H 2B 3B HR SO BB
May 7 AA vs. Jacksonville 5.0 4 1 3 1 0 1 6 1
May 2 AA @ Carolina 5.0 0 0 2 1 0 0 1 0
April 27 AA vs. Huntsville 5.0 1 1 4 1 0 0 4 0
April 22 AA @ Mississippi 3.0 8 7 6 2 1 0 2 1
April 16 AA vs. Montgomery 5.0 3 3 3 3 0 0 6 1
April 11 AA @ Birmingham 5.0 1 1 5 0 0 1 6 0

That 25/3 K/BB is why we get a glint in our eyes when his name comes up.

Inland Empire 66ers
Scot Van Slyke continues his ascent up the California League offensive leaderboard powered by his .489 average in May with 22 hits in 49 at bats. He now ranks 3rd in average at .379, 5th in Slug at .629, and 7th in wOBA at .442.

Steven Caseres has rarely been mentioned here but the 9th round pick from 2008 is starting to generate some buzz with his three homers last week. While jumping straight from the Ogden rookie league to A+ ball he has dropped his K Rate from 27% to 21% and increased his walk rate from 6.8% to 11%. Those are the kind of trends we like to see. The 6'4 Caseres has plenty of size to muscle up the ball and with five home runs in 94 at bats he's doing just that.

Steve Johnson coming into the year was not known as a strike out  pitcher is leading the California league in Strikeout % at 33% which means he striking out 1/3 of hitter he faces. Good thing because when he not striking them out they are hitting home runs off of him at a nasty pace as 12% of balls in the air are turning into home runs. Even in the Cal League that number is unacceptable.

Withrow has now struck out 30 hitters in 23 innings but he's also walked 12 so he's got plenty of things to work on.

Great Lake Loons
Kyle Russell is now just toying with the Midwest League. Over the past week he's moved to the top of the leaderboard in slug(.679), OPS(1.087),  and wOBA (.451). Six home runs so far in May suggest he's ready for the next step up. He was already old for this league so let us see what he can do at the next level.

Dee Gordon is hitting .415 in May with 11 stolen bases. He's gone wild on the basepaths and now has 18 on the year.

Jamie Pedroza  now has a league leading OBP of .444 which in conjunction with his .532 slug% puts him only 2nd behind Russel in OPS as the Loons are dominating the offensive side of the ball in the MWL.

Ethan Martin looks to me like the best pitcher in the MWL when you take performance and age into account. His 2.43 FIP would lead the league if he had one more inning to qualify for the leaderboard.