April/May Round Up: Greensboro Grasshoppers


Last but not least is Greensboro, which is pretty barren in prospects.

A reminder that all numbers for hitters are park adjusted (but not pitchers).  What this also means is that, on a monthly basis, applying park factors won’t change much of the stats because of how small they are.  But it will change the yearly stats because they are a larger sample.  This is why you’ll see things like Logan Morrison’s season BABIP being higher than both his April and May BABIP.

And some misc Greensboro news: Marcell Ozuna was placed in the disabled list after only six games.  I haven’t seen anything in regards to what kind of injury it was, and it’s possible he’s simply playing in extended spring training right now and will show up again once short season ball starts up.

Kyle Skipworth

Well this is certainly an upgrade over the past couple of years.  Even though playing in Greensboro is going to help his power output, it’s still impressive after applying park factors.  And there’s certainly BABIP fueling that OPS, but you do hope he can become an above-average BABIP hitter.

Unfortunately, there’s still the massive amount of strike outs and low amount of walks.  Skipworth’s stock is certainly up after how bad he was last year, but he’s still very very far from a sure thing.  Right now I’m hoping he can put up a Kelly Shoppach-like line against RHP (.337 wOBA, 37.5% K rate, .205 ISO), and than we can platoon him like we currently are with John Baker.  That still has to constitute as a win, even if it’s far from what we had hoped when we made him the 6th overall pick.

Chad James

Chad James, on the other hand, is showing a good amount of promise after being made a first round pick.  The negative right now is certainly the control.  But he is striking batters out and getting a good amount of ground balls.  We’re still dealing with a small sample size here, but he’s living up to the hype through the first two months of the season.

Edgar Olmos

Meanwhile, Edgar Olmos having a very similiar year.  Their K% is completely identical, and Olmos is only walking batters 1% less of the time.  But there is one major difference: fly balls.  Olmos is giving him up seven percent more, making what he’s doing less impressive than what James is doing.  Still, you have to like what you see out of him so far.  These two, along with Brad Hand in Jupiter, make a pretty good pitching prospect core in our low minors.

Matthew Montgomery

Matthew Montgomery didn’t get the fanfare going into the season as Olmos and James, but so far he’s greatly outproduced them.  Now, he’s also pretty old for the league and his upside is considerably less than the above two.  But he is getting a massive amount of ground balls, while barely walking anybody and striking out a decent amount.

For those that remember, my first articles on this site was looking into underrated right handed ground ball pitchers in the system, and Montgomery fits that mold greatly.  Based off Bryan Smith’s study, he’s outproducing ground ball pitchers in A ball in every peripheral.  However, again age is a factor, as the average age of the pitcher in A ball in Smith’s study was 21 years old.  We’ll need to see how he does when he does not have an age advantage, but I’m liking him a guy that becomes a solid back of the rotation player down the road.