I thought it would be appropriate to highlight some of the individual parts of what made up the 2012 Texas League Champions. For the sake of simplicity, I’m going to feature the top 5 hitters (according to regular season wRC+), the top 5 pitchers (according to regular season FIP), and a few honorable mentions. If you feel like I’ve neglected any players, feel free to discuss them in the comments section.
Need a refresher course on wRC+ or FIP? Check out FanGraphs’ glossary. Read about wRC+ here and FIP here.
Before following the jump to the rest of the post, enjoy a video recap of Springfield’s triumphant season:
Which of those players are you worried about? The player with the lowest strikeout rate — Player C? The player with the worst K:BB rate — Player B?
If you’re the average fan as of late, you’re worried about Player A, Shelby Miller. The player who has a better strikeout and walk rate than Trevor Rosenthal, Player B, at a higher level of competition. The player with a better strikeout rate than Carlos Martinez, Player C.
I’m just getting around to Baseball Instinct’s post on Carlos Martinez. Even if you don’t want to read the post (you should though) go check out the 11 minute video. I love the curveball in on the hands of the hitter at 4:50. There’s not a lot about Martinez’s mechanics that I don’t like — I don’t have the same concerns about his plant leg and the relationship to the arm as the Baseball Instinct guys do. I think the comments about his arm coming back and him stopping it “unnaturally” are appropriate though it’s unclear to me how much undue stress that’s really causing on the arm.
Martinez is undersized for what you’d consider an average MLB pitcher and if anything that’s my biggest concern. His mechanics are so good that it helps mitigate those worries. The only other nitpick I’d have is that the follow through on his leg kick doesn’t leave him in a great spot to field the ball. There’s also a couple of pitches were he slips in the video because of the kick. That really is small peanuts in the grand scheme of a pitching prospect though.
I had Martinez as the fourth best prospect on the list last year behind Shelby Miller, Zach Cox and an very high opinion of Matt Carpenter. Some of that was his lack of any stateside pitching prior to 2011. It’s hard to see Carlos Martinez not outranking everyone not named Miller on a 2012 FR prospect list, which Jeff and I are currently at work on.
From last night’s name at Busch Stadium, here is Carlos Martinez delivering a strikeout inducing fastball. (Please ignore my odd conversation and dulcet tones. I’m not home, so I can’t strip the audio track out of it. Sorry!) After the jump, one pitch from relievers Aiden Lucas and Justin Wright.