NL West Notes: Williamson, Rockies, Gordon, D’Backs

There have already been a pair of headlines coming out of the NL West tonight, with the Padres outrighting Alex Castellanos and the Diamondbacks acquiring Lucas Harrell from the Astros. Here’s a look at some more happenings from that division…

  • The Giants will lose one of their top prospects to Tommy John surgery, but it’s not a pitcher; Hank Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that top hitting prospect Mac Williamson will undergo Tommy John surgery tomorrow and miss the 2014 season. Baseball America ranked Williamson as San Francisco’s No. 5 prospect heading into the year, and ranked him ninth. The 23-year-old hit .292/.375/.504 with 25 homers at Class-A Advanced last season.
  • The latest notes column from Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports highlights multiple storylines within the NL West but leads by discussing the dividends Colorado is already seeing from the offseason’s trade of Dexter Fowler. Not only are Jordan Lyles and Brandon Barnes both contributing nicely to this point, the trade paved the way for regular playing time for Charlie Blackmon. While Blackmon, of course, is due for some regression, he’s also shedding the “tweener” label that some had applied to him, Rosenthal writes.
  • Rosenthal also discusses Dee Gordon‘s progress at second base, writing that the infielder worked hard on learning the position this winter after a “reality check” conversation with GM Ned Colletti last fall. Colletti told Gordon that Hanley Ramirez was going to be the club’s everyday shortstop, and the team hadn’t received any trade offers for Gordon that he felt made sense.
  • While a lot has been made about Archie Bradley, Rosenthal points out the top prospect’s 8.76 ERA over his past three starts — none of which has been more than five innings long. The D’Backs have drawn some ire for not promoting Bradley despite the team’s pitching needs, but GM Kevin Towers has maintained it’s strictly due to developmental reasons, and Bradley’s recent skid could speak to that.
  • Harrell spoke with’s Brian McTaggart and said: I kind of got what I deserved because you don’t pitch well you don’t get an opportunity to stay.” Harrell thanked the Houston fans and said he is looking forward to a new start with Arizona.

10 Responses to NL West Notes: Williamson, Rockies, Gordon, D’Backs Leave a Reply

  1. Federal League 1 year ago

    The Fowler trade and the early returns on it aren’t really that surprising. From 2009-2013 Fowler put up a 102 OPS+ and outside of 2012, his numbers were remarkably consistent. In 2012 and 2013, Blackmon posted a 100 OPS+, albeit in a much smaller sample size.

    Different hitting styles, but the evidence was there that Blackmon could step in without any serious drop in production.

  2. GameMusic3 1 year ago

    A Houston player apparently sees a trade to Arizona as a demotion… hard to blame him.

  3. johnsilver 1 year ago

    It’s not too early to look at the 2011 draft and see the number of either front line pitchers already AT the MLB, or knocking at the door..

    Gerrit Cole, Jose Fernandez, Sonny Gray are #2’s at the very worst. Dylan Bundy, Archie Bradley, Matt Barnes, Alex Myer, Trevor Bauer and a few more are all very close.

    This draft was named as very pitching loaded where most teams could be sure of getting a good pitcher in the 1st round, some didn’t take the scouts advice. Drafts like this don’t come around very often.

    Teams that took the smart way mostly did fairly well.

    • Sky14 1 year ago

      It was a great draft for pitching or at least it looks very likely to be but I think it is safe to safe Jose Fernandez is a clear-cut number 1. I would even say the best pitcher not named Kershaw.
      The Brewers probably regret the decisions they made in that draft. Completely whiffed on two top 15 picks on pitchers when many of the names you mentioned were available. ouch.

      • schaddy24 1 year ago

        Agreed. For a few years I have been saying that Melvin isn’t “the man, the myth, the mustache” that Crew fans claim him to be.

        Braun and Fielder were obvious picks. Weeks didn’t live up to the hype (cant blame Melvin for that). Other than getting a couple “cant miss” guys, what else has he really done?

        I’m not trying to be a hater, I just don’t personally see all the hype.

  4. Brian Baker 1 year ago

    Statistically speaking, Blackmon has always looked like a good hitter. I’m not sure why it has taken this long for him to get regular playing time.

    • WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 1 year ago

      Now its easy to say Blackmon should have gotten more regular playing time but his minor league stats were pretty average and not of par with his current MLB line. Also his home/away splits, including for 2014, are really big. Home: .365/.396/.548 Away: .254/.290/.366. At home hes Miguel Cabrera, on the road he is Daric Barton.

      • Federal League 1 year ago

        Blackmon was a career .309/.376/.467 hitter in the minors and as of today he is a .307/.341/.453 hitter in the majors after 583 plate appearances. The only reason he wasn’t getting more playing time is because he wasn’t better than Carlos Gonzalez and the team had signed Michael Cuddyer to a large contract. At the money Fowler was being paid at the time, it didn’t really make sense to displace him, either.

        You can do the home/road thing for a lot of players on Colorado and draw whatever conclusions you want from it. You can do the same thing to hitters who play in Fenway or Arlington.

        • WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 1 year ago

          Most players, even from Coors/Fenway/Arlington, don’t have 100+ point variations in their AVG, OBP and SLG splits.

          Also while Blackmon’s career line looks similar to his MilB line his current .389/.436/.644 is nothing like his MiLB stats.

          • Federal League 1 year ago

            His current line is from 102 plate appearances. I’m not really shocked that a player who was a .291 career hitter coming into 2014 flirted with .400 for a month. If it happened in July after he’d been batting .265 for 3 months, nobody would care.

            Blackmon has consistently been better than league average in strikeout percentage, line drive percentage, extra base hit percentage, infield fly percentage, and the percentage of the balls he puts into play. Outside of not walking a whole lot [and he’s around 7% so far this year] and probably not being a guy with a lot of over-the-fence power, nothing he’s doing is all that surprising.

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