Poisoned Peacock Gets Buchanan His Shot a The Show

Rainbow throwbacks for the debut! - Scott Iskowitz

Jake Buchanan has graduated to The Show, if only for a spot start. Meanwhile, Rodon remains unsigned. Catch up with how all of the Pack alumni are doing in the bush below.

Until Carlos Rodon signs with the White Sox, Jake Buchanan is the top pitching prospect who once hurled spheres for N.C. State. Buchanan became the latest Pack alumnus to make the majors Saturday, picking up a spot start for Brad Peacock, who is overcoming a bout with food poisoning.

The start didn't go well for Buchanan or the Astros. Houston managed just one hit in getting blanked 8-0; Buchanan gave up eight hits, three walks, and five earned runs over 4.1 innings. He didn't strike out anybody. Despite the inauspicious debut, he's on the 40-man roster and is likely to get the call next time the Astros need an arm in the rotation.

Here's a look, in table form, at all the Pack alumni currently toiling away in the minor leagues. (Note: the wRC+ stat shows how a player's runs created compares to league average; 132, for example, is 32% above the league baseline. Age +/- shows a player's age relative to other players at that level of the minors.)

Player/Level

Average

On Base%

Slugging%

Walk %

Strikeout %

wRC+

Age +/-

Trea Turner/A-

.308

.400

.385

10.0

20.0

132

-0.4

Brett Austin/A

.222

.300

.333

10.0

60.0

80

-0.4

Danny Canela/A

.278

.304

.352

3.6

21.4

86

+1.5

Danny Canela/A-

.303

.410

.424

15.4

20.5

145

+1.6

Chris Diaz/A

.210

.290

.242

7.8

15.8

57

+1.6

Ryan Mathews/A

.236

.279

.441

5.9

26.5

96

+2.5

Pratt Maynard/A+

.230

.290

.377

8.7

23.2

72

+1.3

Harold Riggins/AA

.259

.344

.440

9.5

38.1

127

-0.2

Aaron Bates/AA

.125

.300

.250

20.0

30.0

67

+5.4

Jonathan Diaz/AAA

.165

.340

.278

16.8

14.0

80

+1.9

  • Turner is 5/5 in stolen base attempts.
  • Austin's K rate is alarming, but hey it's just 10 plate appearances.
  • I am claiming Canela because it makes my table look bigger. He struggled a bit at Kane County, got sent down to extended spring training in Arizona, and resurfaced in Boise, where he's back to his walk-drawin' old self. Given his positional limitations, Canela is going to have to really, really perform well to last for long.
  • This is Diaz's second year at West Virginia in the South Atlantic League (and perhaps his last year in professional baseball).
  • Despite repeating the same level and being nearly three years older than the average player in the Midwest League, Mathews' walk percentage has dropped nearly four points and his K rate has gone up almost six percentage points. Anyone need bible salesman with a little pop in his bat?
  • Maynard has spent two stints on the DL and amassed just 69 plate appearances, but, even with the wee sample, it's still a little concerning that his walk and strikeout rates so far this season are the worst of his minor league career.
  • The lowest BABIP Riggins has posted in his pro career at any stop was .385 in 2012. When he doesn't swing and miss, good things happen. Still, his .416 BABIP this year would seem to be unsustainable, making his already not-especially-noteworthy-for-a-first-baseman numbers a tad less noteworthy.
  • After being jettisoned to the independent leagues a year ago, Bates is back in MiLB (and off to a slow start through a scant 10 plate appearances). Ride them buses back to the Bigs, big man! It would be a pretty special story if he made it back after a five-year absence from The Show, and it is a lottery ticket of a longshot.
  • Diaz has had two stints with the Blue Jays this season but might need to add to that sub-Mendoza line average to get a third. The man's BABIP in AAA is .175, which is the most #ncstateshit luck ever. His BABIP was over .300 last year in AAA, so surely his luck will turn.

And the pitchers:

Player/Level

K/9

BB/9

HR/9

BABIP

LOB%

ERA

FIP

Age +/-

Eric Peterson/RK

11.57

0.00

0.00

.429

75.0

3.86

2.21

+0.4

Josh Easley/A

6.75

2.08

1.04

.276

64.4

3.63

4.50

+1.2

Cory Mazzoni/RK

15.75

2.25

0.00

.500

66.7

4.50

0.25

+3.2

Jake Buchanan/AAA

5.19

1.18

0.71

.291

66.6

3.54

3.93

-2.9

Alex Sogard/AA

5.79

4.10

1.69

.218

68.9

3.38

5.63

+1.5

James Gillheeney/AA

4.50

1.93

0.00

.267

80.0

1.29

2.86

+1.5

James Gillheeney/AAA

10.73

4.44

0.92

.370

63.5

5.36

4.08

-0.9

Eric Surkamp/AAA

10.31

2.09

0.98

.388

69.4

4.54

3.44

-1.0

  • Peterson has just made two appearances and likely won't throw much in his first year in the minors after logging 20 appearances spanning more than 50 innings for the Pack.
  • Easley put up video game numbers after signing a year ago (5-0, 0.59 ERA with four saves) but has fallen off precipitously in 2014 in large part due to a K rate that has been cut almost in half (12.6 to 6.75). Hope his wing is OK.
  • Anthony Tzamtzis (not tabled because I didn't want to break it) made one appearance this year back on June 15th. He hit two batters, walked one, and uncorked a wild pitch. Mascots everywhere are comforted that at this rate-an outing every other month or so-they are probably safe. Probably.
  • Mazzoni shows us the joy of the small sample size. Rehabbing his umpteenth injury down in the Gulf Coast League, Mazzoni has a 0.25 fielding independent pitching mark compared to a 4.50 ERA through his one appearance. Mazzoni has a big league arm if he can stay healthy. Expect him back in AA soon.
  • At nearly three years younger than the average AAA player, Buchanan still has a bit of projection left in him. For a pitch to contact guy that relies on impeccable command, first-start jitters are the enemy. If he gets an extended look, he has a chance to eat innings in the back end of some team's rotation.
  • Alex Sogard remains left handed with a pulse.
  • Gillheeney has been left handed with a pulse over two levels.
  • To write off Surkamp as left-handed organizational fodder would probably be a bit harsh. He has the components of a guy that could get another shot at the show, as his FIP indicates. With some good luck instead of bad luck, he'd have an ERA under three. So, Steven, go on dreaming about that ChiSox rotation bookended by former Pack lefties.

Patrick Peterson and Logan Jernigan have yet to log any innings. The same is true for Andrew Woeck, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery. As a senior recovering from surgery, I'm guessing Woeck got a box of used pencils as a signing bonus, but at least he gets his foot in the door.

All eyes are now turned to the Rodon watch. I will just go on believing he'll be back for his senior season until he signs. He has until July 18th to crush my dream.

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