Player of the Week: C/OF Eric Fryer
Last 10 Games: .500 BA, 7 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 14 RBI, 1 SB
It looks like Eric is making himself comfortable atop The Sunday Harvest. Since Jonathan Lucroy got promoted to Brevard County, Eric has been making more starts behind the plate. His bat is too precious to keep out of the lineup everyday though, so WV has also been playing him in the outfield. They have also moved Fryer to the clean-up spot in the order. Instead of trying too hard or choking, the young man has only improved his hitting. He’s doing his best Mat Gamel impression right now with a .360 batting average. It looks like Milwaukee may have found another diamond in the rough in the coal mines of West Virginia.
C Angel Salome – (Last 10: .421 BA, 6 2B, 1 HR, 10 RBI) – With all the talk of Matt LaPorta, Mat Gamel, and Alcides Escobar in the C.C. Sabathia trade talks, Angel wanted everyone to know he’s not going anywhere. That is, he’s not going anywhere except up the ladder in the Brewers farm system. He’s still hitting for average and power. The defense has improved this year, and the young man still has a cannon for an arm. Look for him in Nashville next season. Perhaps he will be the starting catcher for the Milwaukee Brewers in 2010 after Jason Kendall moves on.
SS Brent Brewer – (Last 10: .300 BA, 3 2B, 1 RBI, 3 SB) – This stat line may not be impressive at all, but it is a remarkable improvement for Brent this season. The extremely raw prospect has struggled immensely all season. His average has hovered around the .200-.210 mark, and he has hit for absolutely no power whatsoever. The power is obviously still absent, but the batting average has come around a bit in the past week-plus. Could this mean that Brent has finally started to piece together his skills? Brewers fans around the country certainly hope so.
2B Eric Farris – (Last 10: .357 BA, 2 2B, 1 HR, 11 RBI, 2 SB) – Eric started off the year in extended Spring Training, rehabbing a hamstring injury. The 2008 season got off to an extremely rough start for the highly-touted second base prospect, and he kind of got lost in the shuffle in West Virginia. No more, however. He has started to breakout, as everyone expected him to do. His defense is still stellar, but his bat is beginning to turn around. Eric will never be much of a power threat, but the timely hitting will benefit him very much coming through the system. I’m excited to see how Eric Farris performs in the second half of the season.
Pitcher of the Week: LHP Chris Cody
Chris dominated in West Virginia, which earned him a promotion to Brevard County. He struggled to acclimate to his new surroundings at the beginning, and I began to be concerned that Chris was going to be demoted to the bullpen. That is no longer the case. In his last two outings, it has been business as usual for the prize of the Jose Capellan trade from last season. He has gone seven innings in his past two outings, and only given up one run through those fourteen innings. The strikeouts have returned as well – 13 combined in his past two starts. Like I said before, business as usual for Chris Cody.
RHP Luis Pena – Nashville’s closer had a horrendous start to the 2008 campaign, but has rebounded nicely since then. In his last 30+ innings, he has had a sub-2.00 ERA. Many (including Tom Haudricourt) are beginning to think Pena has earned a promotion to the big leagues. I’m not completely sold, however. He has walked 8 people in his past 9.2 innings, which will certainly not translate well to the bigs. His WHIP is 1.54. You do not need to be a stathead to understand that is not good. Luis will have to limit his baserunners before getting a call to the big show. With that said, he is not allowing runs to cross the plate, which is what it all comes down to as a closer.
LHP Troy Cate – Milwaukee acquired Cate as a free agent a couple weeks ago, and teams around the major leagues are probably wondering why they didn’t pick this guy up. In three starts for Huntsville, Troy has a 2.29 ERA with twelve strikeouts in 19.2 innings. Let’s hope this becomes the norm, as he struggled a lot for his last team – to the tune of a 7.27 ERA in 17.2 innings out of the bullpen. Perhaps he only needed to start games?
RHP Roque Mercedes – This week looks to be the “Week of the Comebacks.” Roque pitched so poorly in the beginning of the season that he became the mop-up guy out of the bullpen. That has changed recently, as the young right-hander has put together some very fine outings. In his last 17.0 innings pitched, he has only given up three earned runs. Roque has never been one to walk many people, but he has been a home run machine in 2008. He has cut down the home runs. Success has followed. Let’s hope it stays that way in the second half.
RHP Robert Wooten – An under-the-table signing of the past month, the former UNC Tar Heel has broken onto the scene as a professional quite nicely. He has pitched in two outings and has gone four innings. The young man has given up four hits and one walk, while striking out six. The Brewers are hoping to fast-track Wooten through the minor league system in the bullpen. The big league squad could use his arm in a couple seasons. Expect Robert to be promoted to West Virginia after he gets his feet wet a bit in Helena.