Before we get to the meat of this post, let’s start off with some good news: neither Tommy Pham or Daryl Jones have any lasting injuries as a result of the outfield collision last night. Jones is going to be put on the DL because he had some swelling in his calf and he was expected to miss around a week, so the club went the safe route and used the DL. [Thanks to John Vuch for the inside scoop]
A few days ago I was chastised in the comments for having unrealistic expectations for Pete Kozma. The commentor was correct – hoping that Kozma can raise his slugging percent to .450 while maintaining his high OBP is setting the bar pretty high at this point in his career. It made me wonder, though, what a realistic expectation for a player in Kozma’s position would be. So I went back and took a look at every high school shortstop taken in the first round since 2000. A breakdown of their performances as nineteen year-olds is after jump, along with the details from tonight’s games.
- Luis Montanez – #3 to the Cubs – Luis put up a .344/.438/.531 line in rookie ball after getting drafted, but only hit .255/.316/.375 the next year in A ball. He eventually was moved to the outfield and has not yet made it past AAA.
- David Espinosa – #23 to Cincinnati – David did not play in 2000 after getting drafted and put up a .262/.340/.396 line at A ball the next year. He was moved to 2B and then outfield and has stalled at AAA.
- Corey Smith – #26 to Cleveland – Corey hit .256/.339/.372 in rookie ball after getting drafted and then hit .260/.312/.440 in A ball the next year. He was immediately moved to 3B after getting drafted and topped out at AAA before playing in the independent leagues last year.
- Josh Burrus – #29 to Atlanta – Josh was drafted as a 17-year-old and stayed in rookie ball for three years. His first season in A ball, when he was twenty years old, he hit .272/.330/.410. He was moved to 3B and is currently in AA.
- BJ Upton – #2 to Tampa Bay – We all know Upton’s story and he clearly is not a good comparison for Kozma. Upton did not play after getting drafted and put up a line of .302/.394/.445 at A ball and a line of .276/.376/.381 after getting called up to AA in his nineteen-year-old season. He stayed at short until he reached the big leagues and is now the Rays starting CF.
- Scott Moore – #8 to Detroit – Scott hit .293/.349/.459 in rookie ball after getting drafted and then hit .239/.325/.363 in A ball the next year. He was moved to 3B and is currently a corner infield utility player for the Orioles.
- Sergio Santos – #27 to Arizona – Sergio hit .272/.367/.520 in rookie ball after getting drafted and split time between A and AA the next year, putting up .287/.368/.408 and .255/.293/.365 lines respectively. He has succeeded at AA, but struggled every time he’s been tried at AAA.
- Brandon Wood – #23 to Anaheim – Brondon hit .278/.348/.475 in rookie ball after getting drafted and put up a .251/.322/.404 line in A ball the next year. He blew up in high A and is currently at AAA, waiting his opportunity either at shortstop or 3B.
- Matt Bush – #1 to San Diego – Matt hit .181/.302/.236 in rookie ball and .222/.276/.296 in low A after getting drafted and batted .221/.279/.276 in A ball the next year. Matt got into trouble almost immediately after getting drafted and never really recovered. He has been trying to start over as a pitcher.
- Justin Upton – #1 to Arizona – Like his brother, Justin is really not a good comp for Pete. He was immediately shifted to the outfield and put up a .263/.343/.413 line at A ball in his 19 year-old season. He flew through Arizona’s system and is currently starting in the outfield for their big league club.
- CJ Henry – #19 to the Yankees – CJ hit .249/.333/.381 in rookie ball after getting drafted and, splitting time between the Yankees A club and the Phillies A club the next year, he hit .243/.326/.366. He is now playing in the outfield in the Phillies system.
So what does all this tell us? Well, I find it interesting that not a single one of these guys is still a shortstop (I suppose that Brandon Wood still could be, but most believe he will probably end up at 3B). This is common, as the best athletes are usually played at shortstop in high school and then move to other positions as they mature. From all accounts, Kozma is a solid shortstop and should be able to stay at the position (although the Cardinals did start him at 3B one game to give him a little exposure at another position).
As to the original point – it certainly seems that unless your last name is Upton, having a SLG between .375-.400 is certainly acceptable and if Kozma is able to maintain his current averages he would compare favorably with any of the players on this list not named Upton.
Now, onto the regularly scheduled portion of the post: the system went 1-2 on the day with Springfield having the night off. Here are all the details:
- Colby Rasmus continued his slump, going 0-4 with a run scored. I have faith in his talent and I am going to go out on a limb and say that by the next time I write a Wednesday DFR, he will have broken out of the slump in a big way. [EDIT: correct line inserted]
- David Freese has been on fire lately. He hit two homeruns tonight and went 2-4 with three rbi.
- John Wasdin got the start and was lit up to the tune of 10 hits and six runs over five innings. He gave up 4 homeruns, while striking out three.
- The relief corps did much better: Cliff Politte struck out three in his two perfect innings, Kelvim Jimenez struck out one in his perfect inning, and Jason Motte gave up a hit and struck out a pair in his inning of work.
- Old friend John Gall did a lot of the damage against us, going 3-4 with two homers and three rbi.
- Brendan Ryan went 2-3 with a double, a walk, a stolen base and a run scored in his rehab stint.
- Man, Myth and Legend Steve Hill went 3-4 with a pair of rbi.
- Arnoldi Cruz struggled at the plate, going 0-4, but he threw out two of the three runners that tried to steal on him.
- Donovan Solano went 2-3 with a walk.
- Oliver Marmol went 1-4 with a double and a run scored.
- The first half of the piggyback, Jess Todd, got the win, giving up one hit and a walk, while striking out four in his five innings.
- Kyle Sadlowski was equally impressive as the second half of the piggyback, getting the save and only giving up one hit, while striking out three in his four innings.
- Pete Kozma continues to impress, going 1-3 with a double, a walk and a run scored. Now if he would only hit 30 homeruns this season, we might actually have something here… (I kid because I care)
- Andrew Brown also went 1-3 with a double and a walk and he also drove in a run.
- David Carpenter went 2-3 with a double, a walk and an rbi.
- It is difficult to tell from his line whether Blake King had a good night or not: he went five innings and struck out six, but he also gave up three earned runs on three hits and two walks. Push?
- Andres Rosales finished up the game, going three innings and only giving up one run on one hit. He struck out three, but had some control problems: he walked two, hit a batter and threw a wild pitch.