With the first month nearly in the books, stats getting nearer to becoming meaningful, but certainly not quite yet. There are some players who are playing way above their heads right now, and you will soon here a “splat” sound when the come tumbling back to earth.
Let’s examine some of the hitters and pitchers who have had some fluky performances this past month.
Clayton Mortensen – We like Mortensen around these parts, and he’s got off to a pretty fantastic start so far, posting a 1.48 ERA. Under the surface however, there’s trouble. He’s striking out just under 6 batters per nine innings and he’s also walking batters at about the same rate. He’s held batters to a .214 BABIP and has yet to allow a HR. He has a FIP of 3.62 thanks to that. Because he’s a sinker-baller, I don’t expect him to give up a ton of homers throughout the season, but there are some tough parks in the PCL to pitch in. If he can raise his K’s and groundball rate, we’ll see him in St. Louis this summer, but until he does expect some bumps in the road.
Shane Robinson – What’s with this guy and hot starts? He’s hitting .375 despite a 12% line drive rate.
Brad Furnish – 16 walks to 11 strikeouts in 21 innings is yicky. He also has yet to yield a HR. This is the same Brad Furnish who gave up 14 homers a year ago pitching in one of the power-depressing leagues and parks in the minors. Things are gonna get ugly.
Steve Hill – Hitting .391/.437/.734! While he’s hitting lots of line drives, no one can sustain a .465 BABIP. Love to see the .343 ISO. I expect Mr. Hill to keep hitting for power, but he’s due to come down at some point.
David Kopp – He’s one of my favorite sleepers and so this isn’t a pronouncement of doom as I did with Furnish, but Kopp’s nice, low 2.55 ERA has been greatly helped by a 90% strand rate. He only has a 1.83 K/BB rate, but he never really has been a strikeout pitcher. A 57% ground-ball rate is nice to see.
Shane Peterson – Hitting .370/.446/.466, but 47.4% of the balls he is putting in play are dropping for a hit. For someone who is known to be a patient hitter, he’s only walking in 6% of his plate appearances. I can see why he’s swinging with his luck. 28% of his balls in play have been line drives, last year that figure was 19%. He strikes out in 19% of his plate appearances and isn’t showing much power.
Andres Rosales – Rosales struck out 10 per 9 in 2007 but didn’t really blow anyone away last year. Right now he has a 2.45 ERA for the River Bandits but has a BB/9 rate nearing 6. He’s stranding nearly 90% of his runners he allows.
I’d judge a hitter, but the QC team as a whole has been pretty inept at the plate.