Minor League Minutes: 5/7/18

On Friday, the Royals called up former local prospect Jason Adam to the big league squad.

In 18 innings this season, Adam has an ERA of 1.00 with 26 K’s and only 6 BB’s. His fastball has been clocked in the upper-90’s and his curveball has some of the nastiest tilt I’ve seen in a long time. Adam will surely be a sight for sore eyes in a Royals bullpen that has been less than stellar in 2018.

And he made his debut on Saturday.

Jason’s first pitch was a 96 mph up and away fastball to Leonys Martin. Adam looked a little nervous as he battled his control with the at bat ending in a walk. The next batter was Jeimer Candelario who worked the count full before striking out. On the pitch, Martin attempted to steal and was caught by Salvador Perez. With the bases empty and two outs, Nicholas Castellanos came to the plate. Castellanos was able to hook a 1-2 curve and doubled into the left field corner. Victor Martinez followed by rolling over a change up and grounding out to first unassisted.

Over at Royals Review, I looked at how Tim Hill isn’t your ordinary submarine pitcher.

And as is the point with many submariners, the ball is released from a ridiculously low point. But Hill takes this to another level. Out of 517 pitchers that have thrown a baseball in a major league game this year, Hill has the fourth highest horizontal release point. Where the difference comes in though is on the vertical release point. Out of those same 517 pitchers, Hill has third lowest vertical release point. Think to the extreme release points of Brad Ziegler and Chris Sale. Now put them together, and you have Tim Hill.

Tyler Dierking of Kings of Kauffman evaluates Alex Gordon’s recent hot streak.

Seeing what Gordon has done since coming back is encouraging. He is showing more confidence at the plate, and his new adjustments at the plate with his stance and the new placement of the bat in his stance is showing to be a successful modification. If he can continue this, perhaps he can prove all of us wrong in our original thoughts on him post contract extension, including me.

Wayne Cavadi of Minor League Ball looks at what to make of Braves prospect Dustin Peterson’s hot start.

The numbers are looking good as well for Peterson in 2018. He is slashing .289/.347/.478 and that is after starting the season 0-for-14. The right-handed hitter has eight doubles and three home runs, despite continuing to hit more balls on the ground than in the air, a trait common throughout his career. The power has led to a career-high .189 ISO (I know, an iota of a sample size, but worth noting) but at the same time, has led to a career-worst 25.5 percent strikeout rate. It always seems those two go hand-in-hand, but Peterson has always showed an ability to draw walks to counter that. A pretty 133 wRC+ rounds out a solid first month of play, even if the .371 BABIP is a little Peterson-friendly.

Over at Fangraphs, Jeff Sullivan writes how the launch angle is revolution isn’t for everyone.

At the other end, Pederson is down more than ten degrees. Schwarber is down more than nine degrees. They have two of baseball’s three biggest decreases. Compared to the past, Joc Pederson and Kyle Schwarber are trying to hit the ball on more of a level plane. That might seem somewhat counter-intuitive, given how strong the both of them are, but baseball principles don’t apply to everyone the same. Schwarber and Pederson are trying to find their most effective, consistent swings. Schwarber’s wRC+ is way up, and his strikeouts are down. Pederson, too, has improved his wRC+, while eliminating strikeouts. It remains very, very early, but it’s hard to argue with what they’ve accomplished.


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