Time for another Saturday Stats Pack, minor league edition. Please remember to check out the major league version which looks at the Atlanta Braves’ lack of power so far, pinch-hitting woes, and whether Matt Wisler is Shelby Miller 2.0.
Gwinnett – 8 players
In the early going this season, the Gwinnett Braves have used 31 players to play just 16 games. A 32nd pitches tonight in Lucas Sims. He’ll become the 9th player to play for Gwinnett this year who hasn’t also played in the majors at some point. That number isn’t totally fair because Mallex Smith made his major league debut after beginning the year with Gwinnett, but it’s still pretty surprising to see so few major league virgins in AAA.
Mississippi – 0 Strikeouts
If you follow Kyle Tait on Twitter, you will notice that the voice of the Mississippi Braves has instituted a #WilliansWatch. The hashtag refers to Willians Astudillo, signed this offseason by the Braves from the Phillies’ organization. A catcher/whateveryouwanthimtoplay, Astudillo has already posted some quirky stat lines in his career. Last year, he came to the plate 418 times. He walked ten times, he struck out ten times. In nearly 1700 plate appearances during his six year career entering 2016, he had struck out just 51 times. So far this year, he’s only added to the plate appearances total. After last night’s game, he’s up to 50 PA with no strikeouts – or walks for that matter. Going back to last season, he has gone 152 PA without a strikeout, which is damn near amazing for the deadball era, let alone a modern era of baseball. How long will the streak continue? Remember to follow Kyle Tait for all of your #WilliansWatch information.
Carolina – 17.2 K/9
Few have had a stranger start to their 2016 than Carlos Salazar, the 21 year-old right-handed reliever for the Carolina Mudcats. In five games, Salazar has struck out 14 in 7.1 ING while giving up just one hit. The bad news is that he’s also walked 8 and been called for two balks. The walk rate, sadly, is not too extreme from his previous results. He clearly has an electric arm, but he’ll be stuck in the minors unless he’s able to turn around the flaws in his game.
Rome – 18 K’s in 17 ING
It’s not easy getting noticed if you’re Patrick Weigel this season. Stuck in a rotation with Max Fried, Touki Toussaint, Mike Soroka, and Ricardo Sanchez, Weigel won’t attrack much attention. Yet, Weigel has been just as good as any of his rotation mates in the early going. A 7th rounder out of THE Oxnard College (go Condors!), Weigel was unimpressive in his run with Danville last summer, but has been solid in his first three starts this year with a 3.6 K/BB and 2.12 ERA. If Weigel can be consistent with his delivery and throw strikes, he will definitely shed the afterthought label and enter some prospect rankings.