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Pack in the Pros: Turner on a Tear

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Like don't look at the stats they'll burn your eyes hot.

USA TODAY Sports

First-round pick Trea Turner struggled out of the gates in short-season A ball in Eugene, barely managing a .600+ OPS. Though his performance didn't seem to warrant it, the Padres promoted him to Fort Wayne in the Midwest League. Turner has rewarded his organization's trust in him by hitting in 18 of 19 games since the promotion. His production (see table below) is more than double the league average in terms of runs created. If he continues to hit at anything near this rate, a promotion to high A is likely. Such a promotion could result in Turner starting next year in AA, giving him an outside shot at an MLB trial as early as 2015.

Brett Austin is not as sizzling hot as his former teammate, but he enjoyed a very good July, posting an .851 OPS at Kannapolis. When last we checked in on the Pack in the pros, Austin had just a .222/.300/.333 triple slash line and had fanned in a whopping 60% of his plate appearances.  His K rate is still too high for a player that lacks home run power, but, if he finishes August with another .800+ OPS month, Austin will find himself on White Sox top prospects lists after the season.

Harold Riggins changed organizations in early July, getting traded from the Rockies to the Reds for former MLB all-star hurler Jair Jurrjens. Jurrjens made the summer showcase in 2011 for the Braves; he was 13-6 that year with a 2.96 ERA but, due to injury, hasn't pitched effectively in The Show since. The Rockies have given him two starts and they have gone rather poorly (20 hits and four home runs allowed in 9.1 innings, 10.61 ERA). Riggins, for his part, doesn't seem too impressed to have been traded for a big leaguer. The Reds bumped him down a level to A+ ball, where Riggins has struggled to the tune of a .677 OPS.

The hitters:

Player/Level

Average

On Base%

Slugging%

Walk%

Strikeout%

wRC+

Age +/-

Trea Turner/A-

.228

.324

.283

10.5

18.1

80

-0.2

Trea Turner/A

.443

.506

.620

11.2

19.1

219

-0.5

Brett Austin/A

.284

.359

.373

10.2

28.8

107

-0.5

Danny Canela/A-

.310

.368

.468

8.9

18.9

130

+1.8

Danny Canela/A

.278

.304

.352

3.6

21.4

87

+1.5

Chris Diaz/A

.216

.296

.264

8.1

13.1

63

+1.5

Ryan Mathews/A

.265

.320

.441

7.4

24.7

114

+2.5

Pratt Maynard/R

.100

.250

.200

16.7

16.7

45

+4.4

Pratt Maynard/A+

.238

.309

.369

10.2

21.4

75

+1.2

Harold Riggins/A+

.219

.321

.356

13.1

36.9

81

+1.2

Harold Riggins/AA

.263

.351

.447

10.2

38.5

129

-0.1

Aaron Bates/AA

.176

.333

.294

19.0

19.0

86

+5.5

Jonathan Diaz/AAA

.207

.327

.299

12.0

12.9

79

+2.0

Jonathan Diaz/MLB

.158

.256

.184

6.7

31.1

27

*

*Baseball Reference doesn't provide +/- age info at the MLB level.

Carlos Rodon has eight strikeouts already in four innings pitched, but some bad BABIP and LOB% luck has resulted in an ugly 9.00 ERA in the early going. His strong K rate indicates that his stuff is just fine; he'll start hanging goose eggs on the board soon enough.

I was worried Josh Easley was pitching hurt this year given his huge drop in K rate (12.6 last year to under seven in 2014) and overall effectiveness. He hasn't toed the rubber since June 19th and apparently won't be back on the mound again...like ever. Easley has accepted a position with Diamond Stars Baseball alongside another former Pack pen mainstay, Grant Sasser, as a private pitching tutor. After his ridiculous 5-0, 0.59 ERA debut professional season, I figured he was in the Marlins' long-term plans. Alas, as anyone knows who has ever read one of my football previews predicting Pack victory, I am often wrong.

Cory Mazzoni is finally healthy and climbed the rehab ladder all the way to AAA. Check out how his K rate dropped at each level on the climb in the table below. Despite his initial lack of success at AAA, Mazzoni is definitely in the Mets' long-term plans. Mazzoni was shut down last season on July third and only has 35.1 innings under his belt since. He'll adjust to AAA hitters with some experience and likely make his MLB debut in 2015.

The hurlers:

Player/Level

K/9

BB/9

HR/9

BABIP

LOB%

ERA

FIP

Age +/-

Carlos Rodon/R

15.00

0.00

0.00

:(

:(

6.00

:(

+0.7

Carlos Rodon/A+

27.00

18.00

0.00

.500

33.3

18.00

3.58

-1.8

Logan Jernigan/A-

9.24

4.62

0.36

.329

55.9

4.62

4.02

-0.6

Patrick Peterson/R

10.80

2.70

0.30

.359

69.2

3.60

2.53

+0.4

Eric Peterson/R

13.50

3.38

0.00

.415

62.5

3.38

1.81

+0.4

Josh Easley/A

6.75

2.08

1.04

.276

64.4

3.63

4.52

+1.2

Cory Mazzoni/R

15.75

2.25

0.00

.500

66.7

4.50

0.87

+3.6

Cory Mazzoni/A+

10.80

1.80

0.00

.400

71.4

3.60

1.60

+0.8

Cory Mazzoni/AA

7.50

3.00

0.00

.278

57.1

4.50

2.72

-0.7

Cory Mazzoni/AAA

5.02

6.28

0.63

.304

59.3

5.65

5.54

-2.9

Jake Buchanan/AAA

4.69

1.63

0.71

.296

67.2

3.87

4.29

-2.9

Jake Buchanan/MLB

4.96

2.76

1.10

.304

67.6

5.51

4.73

*

Alex Sogard/AA**

5.19

4.15

1.45

.206

72.4

2.91

5.48

+1.5

Alex Sogard/AA***

7.56

3.24

1.08

.464

64.1

7.56

4.14

+1.6

James Gillheeney/AA

4.50

1.93

0.00

.267

80.0

1.29

2.83

+1.6

James Gillheeney/AAA

9.80

3.92

1.42

.345

61.9

5.99

4.94

-0.9

Eric Surkamp/AAA

10.31

2.09

0.98

.388

69.4

4.54

3.49

-1.0

Eric Surkamp/MLB

8.68

4.82

2.89

.167

64.1

6.75

7.00

*

*Baseball Reference doesn't provide +/- age info at the MLB level.

:( Slackers at Fangraphs did not include this information.

**Statistics in Astros organization

***Statistics in Diamondbacks organization

With Jarred Cosart's trade to Miami, Jake Buchanan has a shot at sticking in the Astro rotation for the remainder of the season. If he can get his walks and homers allowed down to his AAA levels, he could be a back of the rotation innings eater for years to come, but he has very little margin for error given his lack of overwhelming stuff. I still think he needs a change of scenery to a cavernous park like Petco in order to be more than a replacement level starter long term.

Buchanan, Jonathan Diaz, and Eric Surkamp give N.C. State three alumni appearing in MLB in the same season for the first time since 2011 (Andrew Brackman, Joey Devine, Adam Everett). When was the last season to see four Pack alum play at the MLB level? (Leave your answer, and the players, in the comments.)