Week in Review Across the Farm
Humber had the kind of start he was looking for
Humber had the kind of start he was looking for
Inside Pitch Magazine
Posted Aug 26, 2007


The season enters its final week and soon the clubs will be reviewing the year that was. But first, each member of the organization looks to close out the last week healthy and on a positive note. Here is the run down of last week’s standouts.

NEW ORLEANS:

For the Zephyrs, their coldest stretch of the year could not have come at a worse time. They have won just four of their past 14 games and find themselves 1 ½ games back of Albuquerque and Oklahoma. New Orleans won only one game of a crucial five-game series (including a make up from June 18) against Oklahoma this week, damaging their ability to control their own destiny. They do have another four-game set on tap with Oklahoma this week, but now need considerable help to clinch their division.

Offensive Performance of the Week:

Chip Ambres: 5-21, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 5 R, 9 BB, 2B

The Zephyrs losses have been compounded by a flat offense, leaving Ambres’ week as a positive despite the less than popping statistics. Ambres has been a steady producer for New Orleans this season, hitting .280 before the All-Star break and .270 after. As of late, he has shown much more patience at the plate and collected 11 walks in his last 10 games. His 65 walks on the season places him eighth in the Pacific Coast League.

Pitching Performance of the Week:

Philip Humber: 8 1/3 IP, ER, H, 10 K, BB

Humber’s last start clearly set him apart from his teammates in the rotation. This ten-strikeout performance was perhaps his most stellar outing of his season, and definitely his best this month. He took the hard-luck no decision due to Ambiorix Burgos’ blown save, and remains 0-3 with a 5.40 ERA in August. Prior to this start, Humber gave up 13 earned runs in 12 2/3 innings pitched in his previous three starts, and had not gone deeper than five innings since July 16.


BINGHAMTON:

The B-Mets continued to bounce along as they look to wrap up their inconsistent season. They captured a three-game series from second-place Portland Sea Dogs and dropped the first two of three against the first-place Trenton Thunder. Upcoming for the B-Mets is a slew of makeup games from their April postponements, which includes six games versus New Britain and five games versus Akron (with four doubleheaders mixed in).

Offensive Performance of the Week:

Mike Carp: 8-28, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 4 R, 3 BB, 2 2B

The first baseman had a big RBI week when his team needed some pop. He is hitting .333 in his last ten games and his .304 August batting average, highest for any of his months this season, is a great turnaround from his .214 July. His ability to hit left-handers will be a serious sticking point for him this off-season, as he has hit just .165 in 91 at-bats versus southpaws this season.

Pitching Performance of the Week:

Kevin Mulvey: 7 IP, 3 H, 6 K, 3 BB, Win

Binghamton’s workhorse put together another exceptional start versus Portland on August 21. His 145 2/3 total innings pitched this year ranks him fourth in the Eastern League and his 3.34 earned run average slots him fifth in the league. He has given up fewer hits than innings pitched. He holds a 100-to-42 strikeout-to-walk ratio, and batters have hit .255 off him. Yet, he maintains an unfair 11-10 record. He has given up only four home runs this season, a surely undervalued part of his game. Simply, he keeps the ball in the yard.


ST. LUCIE:

Thanks to a torrid pace for most of August, St. Lucie finds itself right in the playoff mix. The team has dropped just two games since it lost the first game of a doubleheader on August 12 versus Sarasota. The Mets’ August 21 loss snapped a nine-game winning streak, but they now sit 2 ½ games up on Brevard County with eight games to go. A solid last week will clinch the second half division title and put them back in the postseason to defend their 2006 FSL Championship.

Offensive Performance of the Week:

Victor Mendez: 11-21, HR, 8 RBI, 5 R, BB, 2 2B, 2 3B

A recent addition to the St. Lucie roster after a brief five-game stay with the GCL Mets, Mendez has made quite an impression with his new squad. He is off to a .458 clip in his first seven games with St. Lucie, stepping in and helping to continue the team’s August surge. Mendez spent 2006 bouncing around the Detroit Tigers system from the GCL all the way up to the International League.

Pitching Performance of the Week:

Tobi Stoner: 8 IP, 4 H, 10 K, Win

Stoner gave up 12 earned runs in 15 2/3 innings pitched before his dominating start on August 22 against Brevard County. This start was just his second of 14 with St. Lucie in which he did not surrender a run. He has made progress with his control and repertoire the more he has pitched in the FSL as evident by his strikeout-to-walk ratio, which dipped from 21/14 in July to 20/2 in August. The eight innings marks the deepest he has gone into a game with St. Lucie thus far.


SAVANNAH:

Another slow week, in which they won just one game, buried the Sand Gnats even further in the South Atlantic League. They hold an overall record of 40-90, 13 games worst than the next team in the standings. The stress in the Sally League is of development, but Savannah’s trouble all year, even to the end, was their consistent inconsistency.

Offensive Performance of the Week:

D.J. Wabick: 12-29, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 6 R, BB, 4 2B

Wabick seems to perpetually get this distinction, but on a team with limited positives, the first baseman has been there week-in, week-out for his squad. He has hit .415 in his last ten games (17-for-45), putting him at .301 for the season—the first time he has been over .300 all season. How slow has the Savannah offense been in 2007? Wabick, who constantly holds the clean-up spot in the lineup, has just 34 runs in 408 at bats.

Pitching Performance of the Week:

Angel Calero: 5 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, 5 K, 2 BB, Win

After a positive stint in Kingsport, where he posted a 2.79 ERA and a 5-1 record in 11 games (six starts), Calero got his first crack at a higher level and came out strong. He exited the start with a 9-2 lead against Rome, and although the Savannah bullpen tried to give the game away, Calero did get the win. The left-hander should get one more start before the season ends.


BROOKLYN:

Despite holding a four-game lead in their division, the Cyclones have hit their first bump in the road all season, dropping consecutive series for the first time in 2007. Brooklyn dropped two of three to the Staten Island Yankees, followed by a similar series outcome versus the Oneonta Tigers. The 18 runs they allowed in the final two games against Oneonta were the most surrendered in a two-game span all year.

Offensive Performance of the Week:

Lucas Duda: 10-21, HR, 4 RBI, 4 R, 5 BB, 4 2B, 3B

The first baseman/outfielder’s hot month continues with a powerful week from the three-hole in the Cyclones’ order. The 2007 7th round pick has seen his playing time increase as the season has gone on, and he has surely made the most of it. He is hitting .364 in August with three of his four home runs and 11 of his 25 RBI. He ranks 9th in the NY-Penn League in on-base percentage (.409) and his OPS average ranks first on the team (.879). Duda currently holds an eight-game hit streak.

Pitching Performance of the Week:

Dylan Owen: 6 IP, 3 H, 5 K, 2 BB, Win

The hard-throwing right-hander has led the Cyclones rotation all season long and it continued this week. His six-inning shutout performance against Staten Island was his second straight start without allowing a run. He has given up just two runs in 16 innings pitched this month, with a .161 batting average against. He is one of only three NY-Penn League pitchers with seven wins, ranks second in the league in ERA and WHIP ratio. The 20th round pick has certainly exceeded expectations.


KINGSPORT:

Coming into the week, the K-Mets dropped six of seven games but have split the last eight games. They have received steady production from the lineup, but the young squad still has a way to go until it is top-to-bottom consistent with the bat. Kingsport won seven of the first eight games in August, and look to capture its last series of the season this week versus Greenville.

Offensive Performance of the Week:

Jose Jiminez: 6-20, 7 RBI, 5 R, 4 BB, 3 2B

The 20-year-old has manned the hot corner for 50 games this season and leads Kingsport with in average (.304), home runs (6) and RBI (36). His average ties him for seventh in the Appalachian League and his slugging percentage (.508) ranks him sixth in the league. He is hitting .323 with a robust 22 RBI in August.

Pitching Performance of the Week:

Michael Olmstead: 1-0, 12 IP, 2 H, ER, 13 K, 5 BB

The 6-foot-6, 245-pound, 9th round draft pick has been excellent since his debut. In six starts (28 total innings pitched), he holds a .182 batting average against and a 1.00 WHIP ratio, but this week’s numbers speak for themselves. He took a tough no-decision in the week’s first start in which he gave up one hit and one unearned run in six innings against the Princeton Devil Rays. He followed that up by spinning another gem, giving up just a sixth inning solo home run, earning his first win in Kingsport. His ERA currently sits at 1.93.


GCL METS:

The team’s young players wrap up their first season in professional ball on Sunday after a tough season in the standings. Saturday’s win against the GCL Nationals snapped a four-game losing streak. Yet for this team, it is all about how they progressed as still premature ballplayers. They take on the GCL Cardinals to conclude 2007.

Offensive Performance of the Week:

Gabriel Zavala: 7-15, HR, 7 RBI, 2 R, 3 2B

After a flat first 30 games with the team in which Zavala hit a meager .223, he has blown up in August, hitting .387 (24-for-62) this month. His one hitless at-bat on August 21 snapped his streak of five consecutive games with two hits. It was a significant week for the outfielder as the team’s former leader in just about every statistical category, Ezequiel Carrera, was promoted to Brooklyn.

Pitching Performance of the Week:

Nathan Vineyard: 4 IP, ER, 3 H, 8 K

The first-round pick has not started his career with much fanfare thanks to a 0-3 record and 5.27 ERA, but he has turned it around as of late. His eight strikeouts against the GCL Nationals this week was a career high. More importantly, he appears to have a better grasp of his control. He fanned 15 batters and walked only two in his last 11 innings pitched. His 2.45 ERA in August is a notable drop from his 7.30 July ERA.



Related Stories
Humber Flirts with History
 -by InsidePitchMagazine.com  Aug 30, 2007
Q&A with Catcher Sean McCraw
 -by InsidePitchMagazine.com  Aug 15, 2007
Playoffs Begin, Continue, End for Farm Teams
 -by InsidePitchMagazine.com  Sep 9, 2007

MAGAZINE COVERAGE
Subscribe today and get a full year of Inside Pitch Magazine with an annual Total Access Pass.
Sign Up Today!

Upgrade Now!
Free Email Newsletter
Don't miss any news or features from InsidePitchMagazine.com. Subscribe to our newsletter to have our newest articles emailed to you on a daily or weekly basis.
Click here for a list of all Team Newsletters.

Add Players to My HotList
Get free email alerts with news about your favorite players. Click name to add to My HotList.
SP Philip Humber (profile)
SP Kevin Mulvey (profile)
P Tobi Stoner (profile)
[View My HotList]