Brandon Wood: After a 0-12 with 5 K’s start, Wood was not in the starting lineup last night. In his third season in Triple-A Wood, showed some growth in his contact skills, 2007/2008/2009 Ct%’s 72%/74%/79%, but that has yet to transfer into a major league skill, 66% career Ct% in 248 PA. No matter how much power potential he may have, the combination of poor contact skills and zero plate patience, 3% BB%, means major league pitchers know that they don’t have to give him anything good to hit, .186 career batting average. He is running out of chances especially if he returns to Triple-A againt this year, as you normally don’t see players spend 4 years in Triple-A and become quality major league players.
Brett Anderson: Anderson tossed 6 shutout innings while striking out 4 and walking 1 in his 2010 debut against the Mariners yesterday. All you have to do is look at the 22-year- old’s 2009 second half skills, 8.7 K/9, 2.0 BB/9, and a 52% GB%, to know that we could be looking at a very special pitcher.
Russell Branyan: Branyan, who has been out with a back injury, went 3-3 with a double in a Triple-A rehab game, which means he should be back with the Indians in a few days. When you roster Branyan, you will get power, 31 home runs in 431 AB, but with such poor contact skills, 2006/2007/2008/2009 Ct%’s 63%/58%/68%/65%, the best average you can hope for is around .250, 2008/2009 averages’ .250/.251, but the downside could be the .228 from 2006 or .196 from 2007.
Jeff Niemann: Niemann was forced to leave last night’s game against the Orioles after he was hit in the shoulder with a line drive, but it is being called just a bruise and he should be able to make his next start. He had a breakout season in 2009, 13-6 with a 3.94 ERA, and the second-half skills growth, 1H/2H K/9’s 5.1/7.1, BB/9’s 4.0/2.1, and GB%’s 39%/42%, hints that there could even better things ahead for the 27-year-old RHP.
Daric Barton: Barton is off to a nice start, 4-12 with 5 RBI in the A’s first three games. He has outstanding plate patience, 2008/2009 BB%’s 12%/14%, and showed nice growth in his contact skills, 78%/84%, but will need to show growth in his power, 16 career home runs in 812 PA to make it as a starting 1B. At 24 years of age there is time and if the strength in his developing body catches up with his FB%, 2008/2009 FB%’s 46%/48%, that power could be coming as early as this year.
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