SAVANNAH, GA - Now two months into the season, Savannah Sand Gnats pitching coach Marc Valdes sits…
Inside Pitch Power Rankings
NOTE: These rankings reflect the hottest prospects in the organization over the recent schedule., not the best prospects overall.
The statistics used are up to date as of May 27
1. Jenrry Mejia
Mejia ranked atop the last edition of the Power Rankings and his hot hand once again keeps him at number one. He had a streak of 20 consecutive scoreless innings snapped in his last start, but it was the lone run he has allowed over his last 13 innings pitched with only eight hits allowed and a 8/2 strikeout to walk ratio. The opposition is hitting just .212 against Mejia so far this season.
2. Fernando Martinez
Martinez made big league debut on Tuesday night, but that comes after a tremendous hot streak during which he hit .341 with four home runs and nine RBI. For the month of May, Martinez hit .337 with seven home runs with 20 RBI with an OPS of 1.041.
3. Brad Holt
Holt has shaken off his season opener to become downright dominant over his last two starts. He was skipped in the rotation to alleviate some shoulder soreness but that has not slowed him down. He has allowed just two earned runs over his last 10 2/3 innings pitched with nine hits and a stunning 19/1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. On the season, Holt has struck out 44 and walked just nine.
4. Robert Carson
Carson's consistency has continued over his last three starts as he has allowed three earned runs and 14 hits over 17 2/3 innings. He has struck out 15 against five walks though he picked up his first victory since April 29. Carson, a ground ball pitcher, has given up just one home run this season.
5. Jeff Kaplan
Kaplan, like Carson, keeps rolling along with a 2-0 record over his last three starts. He has allowed three earned runs on 18 hits in 19 innings with 13 strikeouts against five walks. He gave up one earned run each start, the first time all season he has given up one run or more in consecutive starts. It has been home sweet home for Kaplan who boasts a 3-0 record and 0.67 ERA in 27 innings pitched at Grayson Stadium.
6. Jimmy Johnson
The second-year left-hander does not throw hard, but he does put zeroes on the scoreboard. Johnson, who earned his lone victory on May 1, possesses a 0.72 ERA in 25 innings pitched this season and has not allowed a run in the entire month of May. He has not issued a walk to left-handers who are hitting .103 off him.
7. Josh Stinson
Stinson has transitioned to his relief role with success and has picked up his production as of late. He earned his first victory on May 16 in three innings of shutout relief, the middle of a streak that has seen him toss nine straight scoreless innings. He has walked just seven batters in 24 2/3 innings this year with 27 strikeouts.
8. Tobi Stoner
Stoner returned from the disabled list on May 11 and picked up where he left off last season. In three starts since his return, he has allowed four earned runs in 19 innings pitched including seven shutout innings in his first start. The opposition hit .149 off Stoner in those starts.
9. Josh Thole
Thole's power production is still minimal, but he continues to hit his way on base. After hitting .383 during April, he is hitting .338 in May including a 12-for-31 run over his last ten games. Heading into Wednesday night's action, Thole leads the Eastern League in average (.357) and is third in on-base percentage (.426)
10. D.J. Wabick
Wabick, like Thole, has not offered much in the way of power production but his bat has been red hot this month as his .337 average in May raised his overall mark to .292. Wabick has gone 14-for-37 over his last ten games including a run of four multi-hit games in a five day span. On the season, he is hitting .359 (14-for-39) with runners in scoring position.
11. Juan Lagares
Lagares, as well like those ranked just above him, has not created many runs, but he hit .389 over his last ten games and .314 for the month for a Sand Gnats team that is slumping offensively. Over the last 10 days, he record two hits in a game six times in seven games. Unfortunately for Lagares, it is anticipated he will soon be sidelined for the season with a broken hand.
12. Kyle Allen
Allen allowed four earned runs in five innings back on May 17, but has otherwise been very efficient. He allowed only one earned run in the 12 other innings of work and picked up two wins along the way. His best effort came on May 6 when he threw five shutout innings, gave up two hits and struck out six with zero walks. After a rough long-season debut in which he went 1-1 with a 7.47 ERA in April, Allen has settled in by going 2-0 with a 2.65 ERA in four starts this month.
13. Brant Rustich
Rustich's inning totals have gone up this month with numerous outings of four or five innings and he is meeting the expectations. He has given up five earned runs over his 15 innings though eight of those game in two shutout appearances. He is striking out roughly one batter per inning and has been near unhittable at home. He has allowed just three earned runs in 18 innings at Tradition Field while the opponent's have hit .078 off him there (.422 on the road).
14. Eric Niesen
Niesen continues to prove strong his second time through the Florida State League. He was roughed up on May 16 for four earned runs and 10 hits in five innings, but has limited the opposition to just two earned runs and ten hits over his other 17 innings pitched in May. Left-handers are hitting just .162 against Niesen this month.
15. Ryan Coultas
Coultas was knocked around a bit in his last start on May 23 (Loss, 6 IP, 4 ER, 6 H), but that was his poorest start of the season. Before that he limited the opposition to three earned runs in his previous 11 1/3 innings pitched. His walk totals have climbed a bit in his last two starts, but his performances are opening eyes both inside and outside the organization.
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