Ever since he reluctantly released his favorite players Jason Kubel and Kevin Slowey from their “My Guy” duties on account of their kickassness in the pros, your friend B. has been in desperate search of new prospects to follow, to claim as his “guys,” to irrationally support as if they are family members, and to brag about incessantly if and when they do anything positive. He’s been on a mission to find his new guys, and has been recording his search via sporadic WoB posts. This is one of those posts. You probably couldn’t care less, and that is OK.
After starting with a list of ten, I cut three prospects last time around (Shooter Hunt for being too wild (damn shame), Wilson Ramos for being too normal, Swarzak just because). This time I’ve cut three more but added one, leaving my current list of potential Guys at five. Here is the latest update, in order of current favorites:
1. Anthony Slama, P – New Britain (AA)
Reason: He’s been dominant at pretty much every minor league stop, sure, but the main source of my mancrush is that his arc thus far has mirrored my old pal Pat Neshek’s: an unheralded strikeout machine of a reliever who is held back to an annoying degree by the organization. Carbon copy, at least from my viewpoint.
2009 update: The thing about irrational baseball adoration is you can’t properly hitch your wagon to the cart of top prospects. They aren’t for you, or me, to own. They’re for everyone. This is why I’m still pulling for Slama – he’s not the organization’s best prospect, as 24 BBs in 52 innings ain’t the way to climb the organizational ladder – but he’s got enough bright spots (73 Ks) and has been overlooked to the point that I feel I can claim him. Hands off, gang.
2. Pedro Guerra, P – Dominican Summer League (A?)
Reason: First off, there’s the fact that the 19-year-old kid currently sports an ERA of 0.00 after 44 innings of work this season, with 45 Ks, 5 BBs and an unfair .705 WHIP. And secondly, well, there is no second reason. There is no need.
3. Kevin Mulvey, P – Rochester (AAA)
Reason: I’m a fan of Mulva (Seinfeld reference!) mostly because he was the forgotten one in the trio of arms included in the Santana swap (Humber and Guerra being the others), which is too bad because he’s had the best track record of them all. After a solid (if unspectacular) ‘08, Mulva will be stashed in AAA again this season.
2009 Update: On the cusp of a call-up if injury or ineffectiveness necessitates a move, Mulva has submitted a 3.93 ERA and 1.42 WHIP in 103 innings. Not outstanding, but if you want to be a nerd about it, his peripherals hint he’s pitched better than those numbers.
4. Chris Parmelee, RF – Fort Myers (A)
Reason: Stat guys like me love the Parmelees of the world who may get overlooked by the purist lunkheads who see the low batting average (~.240 career) and immediately dismiss him. However, it doesn’t take a genius to see a 21-year old who hit 14 homers in a half-season in ‘08 and has some serious pop in his bat is worth watching. Plus, the guy knows how to draw a walk. Makes stat geeks swoon.
2009 Update: As mentioned in the last update, it’s the same old same old for Parmelee. Good power, plenty of walks and a solid OPS (.795 in high-A). He’s got a long way to go, but I’m on board.
5. Luke Hughes, 3B – Rochester (AAA)
Reason: Hughes came on like gangbusters at AA last season, posting a sweet .993 OPS and cracking 15 round-trippers. I started following him then, and latched on even harder when he went mostly ignored when fans started searching for future 3B options. He may or may not be the answer, but I’m supporting him anyway.
2009 update: Much like Slama, Hughes has ideal My Guy criteria; solid stats while going mostly unnoticed. It would at this point be a huge upset if he became an above-average player, a fact that only serves to fan the flames of my misdirected mancrush.
*** The list below is the players who have been cut from the original ten ***
6. Aaron Hicks, CF – Beloit
Reason: The 5-tool athlete worthy of our top draft pick last year is pretty much everyone’s favorite Twins prospect, and for good reason. Lit up E-town last year (.896 OPS) in limited time.
Why I cut him: I love me some Aaron Hicks. While he’s been less than dominating thus far in the season (.674 OPS), he still projects to be a stud. Thing is, everyone knows Hicks and everyone loves him. Tough to claim a player like that as one of my Guys.
7. Ben Revere, CF – Fort Myers (A)
Reason: A 21-year-old who was initially criticized as being a wasted top draft pick, Revere hit .378 last season. Need I say more?
Why I cut him: Same reason as Hicks. Sorry Ben.
8. Angel Morales, CF – Beloit (A)
Reason: Nothing beyond the fact that (a) not many people seem to have heard of him, and (b) he turned in a sick 1.034 OPS last season, including 15 dingers. Angel is one cat to watch for, and it’d be really great if you heard it from me first.
Why I cut him: Morales is young and still one to watch, but he strikes out constantly (~30% for his career), hits a ton of grounders and doesn’t walk enough. Doesn’t sound like my kind of player. At least not for now.