Every Wednesday, the Rambling takes a youthful turn…
Let’s start where we often do, in Houston...
Yulieski Gurriel (UTIL, HOU) has 91 plate appearances ever. As in, this is what he has since he hit the states, at any level. So, it’s certainly hard to gauge him at this point. What we see in this very small sample size (which includes 20 MLB PA) is encouraging, however. He seems to be hitting the ball hard, and making contact. He’s walking a bit. He’s even striking out less as he goes along. Keep in mind - he has spent no more than these 20 PA at any level, and this is his 5th level already! “Adjusting” does not seem to be a problem for him, so keep him in mind for the future. At 32 years old, he doesn’t seem to be fazed by anything, and his Cuban stats were ridiculous. This is the 4th Astro in a row that this column has covered, so we’re looking at a very special team for this year and beyond. They’ve won 9 out of their last 11 and have a real shot at the Wild Card this year, so watch out.
I was going to talk about the Astros’ Joe Musgrove, but that’s just unfair to the rest of the league, so let’s look at Alex Reyes. The story on the Cardinals pitcher is a familiar one - he has great stuff and throws the ball very hard, but where is it going? Reyes’ issue has always been control. He has a 12.1 K/9 in the Minors, and a 10.93 K/9 so far in the Majors. He can throw 100 mph, averaging around 97 when he starts. But he has a 4.7 BB/9 rate over all levels of his career. His dominance and decent GB-rate keep the other numbers from inflating too much, but this is a guy who needs to learn control or he’ll end up as simply a terrific bullpen arm. If he lowers that walk rate, however, we’re looking at a star. At just 22, he has time.
Alright, you twisted my arm - let’s talk about Joe Musgrove. In 2012, Joe was traded by the Blue Jays, along with 6 other players, to the Astros for, essentially, J.A. Happ and the shedding of Francisco Cordero. For the Astros, the jewel of that trade, at the time, was pitcher Asher Wojciechowski. However, Woj has not been able to capably rise out of the Minors and, at 27, the shine has worn off. The real news, in retrospect, was the Astros’ acquisition of Musgrove. Musgrove has dominated at every level, including the Major League level. In the Minors, he had an 8.5 K/9, and in his brief time in the Majors, that number is at 8.7. His BB-rate was a miniscule 1.1 in his Minors career. In the Majors so far, it has ballooned to 1.6 (just kidding). And it’s not pushovers that he’s faced so far, as he’s dominated the Blue Jays in two appearances against them (1.59 ERA in 11.1 IP, with an 11.9 K/9, against 2 walks). Musgrove is the real deal. Invest.
All stats through Tuesday, August 30th.
You can contact Geoff on Twitter @gigglebowl
[shareaholic app="share_buttons" id="18699940"] [shareaholic app="recommendations" id="18699948"]