After a tremendous run in the FSL league (A+), including a complete game shutout in his last start, Kyle Drabek is headed up to AA. Drabek, 21, has always had the stuff necessary to dominate his opposition (97 MPH FB with movement, a CRAZY spike curve, and a ML average change up), but makeup has always been his primary roadblock. Many scouts criticized his cocky demeanor on the mound….those same scouts also cited his issues with the law (underage alcohol abuse) as a potential major issue down the road. Despite his critics, it seems like Drabek has started to mature, and his performance on the mound has been truly fantastic. Look for GREAT things from this kid.
With this promotion already discussed, I leave you with a poll: With the Phillies ML pitching situation in shambles (Brett Meyers is out for the entire year), could we see Drabek fast tracked to the majors by the end of the year? Its a legitimate question, especially when considering how well he has been pitching, and how poor Carlos Carrasco (a top Phillies pitching prospect in AAA) has been throwing this year. Vote!
If you have been reading my blog for any length of time, you will know that I am a big Neftali Feliz fan. He has more potential than any pitching prospect I have looked at in a long time (Mark Prior comes to mind), and I think he will be a special pitcher someday in the majors. The key word there is someday.
The Problem: Even by just looking at his box scores this year you can see his biggest issue: control. He is overthrowing his pitches, causing an increase in both wild pitches and walks which can fluster even the most veteran of pitchers, let alone a 20 year old pitching in AAA. It is clear that his confidence is hurting, and to make matters worse management in Oklahoma City (Texas AAA affiliate) seems to have very little leniency with him; he has been given the hook before the 5th inning five out of nine starts this year.
The Solution: It seems to me that this kid just needs to take a breather and work out his control problems….With the velocity at which he throws, command should be his #1 priority. Most control problems can be handled through good coaching, and a solid and consistent amount of innings. The biggest irony that I see here is with the Texas management: they call this kid up to AAA to challenge him, yet that don’t let him stay in games and work out his own problems. Demote him to AA, and let him pitch every 5th day, and go from there. As long as he is getting consistent innings, this really isn’t a step back, but a step forward (as long as he sees at least SOME improvement in his command). If they feel like rushing him to the bigs as a closer, fine, but I really think this kid has it in him to become a phenom in the majors before too long.
I got word today that Poveda is heading up to Oklahoma City (Texas AAA affiliate) to take Derek Hollands spot in the rotation. He is only 21 years old at this point, and he has truly been under the radar (much like Zach Britton), overshadowed by the other great pitching prospects in the Texas system. His 2009 stats may not seem that impressive, but I have also heard that his pitching arsenal has been limited (he was told not to use his change up so he could work on his curve); this explains his sub par GO/AO numbers. Poveda boasts a low 90s fastball, to go along with a plus change up (which have proven to be his best pitch) along with an improving curve. Although his arsenal is impressive in its own right, his command and bull-dog demeanor on the mound is what has separated him from other pitching prospects. Look for special things from this guy in AAA, especially if he is allowed to use his change up.
This is just a quick little prospect comparison I came up with, I hope you enjoy it!
Brian Matusz vs. Zachary Britton
Both are pitching at Class A+ Fredrick. Both of these player are in their early 20’s; both are also tall lefties with a good mix stuff. Matusz was drafted 4th overall by the Baltimore Orioles in the 2008 MLB draft; he was heralded college pitcher for San Diego State before being drafted in his Junior year. The O’s drafted Britton in the third round of the 2006 MLB Draft; at the time, Britton was a relatively unheralded high school pitcher with good velocity. Through 2008, Britton has shown improvement at each professional level he has pitched at.
Here are their stat lines for this season:
- Matusz: 2.68 ERA, 53.2 IP, 65/19 SO to BB ratio, 1.54 GO/AO, 5 HR, .230 BAA
- Britton: 2.54 ERA, 47.2 IP, 47/26 SO to BB ratio, 2.29 GO/AO, 3 HR, .222 BAA
Britton stats are big skewed because of his work hourse nature. Here is an example of that:
Date OPP ERA SV IP H ER BB SO
May 16 @KIN 1 0 0.00 0 6.0 4 0 2 6
May 17 @KIN 1 0 5.40 0 5.0 5 3 3 4
He had his worst outing of the season due to the fact he pitched a 5 inning relief spot after pitching 6 innings one day earlier.
With all of that said, I think that they are VERY similar. Britton does have more experience at the professional level, but he is also 6+ months younger than Matusz. Brian does tend to get more strikeouts (up to this point), but Britton tends to get more GO and less H.
Previous to this season, Matusz was ranked as the 25th best prospect in baseball by Baseball America. Britton was not listed on that list, and is still regularly ignored by most scouts. How much more will it take for Britton to be considered an elite prospect? That remains to be seen. Right now I consider Britton a top 70 prospect, probably somewhere in the early 60‘s or late 50‘s. If he continues on his torrid base, you could see Britton climb into the 40‘s or 30‘s. Time will tell!
I decided to re-record my first song (previously unnamed, now “Torn Apart”) with a few new parts in a different order. Here it is: “Torn Apart” Draft #2.
I also started work on my second song, called “Falling”…Here is the intro as I have it now: Falling Intro.
As always, thoughts and comments are appreciated!
I had a MASSIVE allergic reaction to an antibiotic three days ago or so, and have been going through my own dermatological hell since then. The reaction was so bad (itchy red body hives, high fever) that I was unable to sleep until last night (39.5 hours awake…new record?)…Needlessly to say, I have been in no condition to even be on my computer, let alone write out a thoughtful masterpiece as I normally do (someone really needs to create the means to denote sarcasm in writing). I am feeling a bit better after a good night of sleep, and you can expect a post sometime this afternoon or tomorrow. Sorry again!
Its REALLY raw, so be easy on it! The recording itself is really quiet, so be sure to turn your speakers up!
Your opinions are welcome as always. I am thinking I will add a bridge from the intro to the chorus, and a guitar solo over the 2nd bridge between choruses, but I have yet to write anything yet.
Souza, a Nationals third round pick in 2007, has a speed/power combination that few can contend with…but why is no none talking about him? As a 19 year old last year, Souza held his own on Class A (Hagerstown) posting a .741 OPS (2 HR, and 8 SB in 23 games) but was sent down to Short-Season ball due to to poor defense. Souza was on a role in Vermont (The Nationals SS affiliate), even earning NYP player of the week honors in late June. Steven then missed a good amount of time due to a broken hamate bone in his wrist caused by a bean ball…Even after a good amount of recovery time, Souza still seemed off, ending the year on a massive down note (batted .189 on the year)….Despite his injury woes, Souza still showed potential stealing 22 bases while vastly improving his defense at third base. Although most have forgotten about Steven (especially due to his slow start to the 2009 season), he has been showing signs of living up to the massive potential the Nationals saw in him during the ’07 draft….Over the past 10 games, Souza has batted .412 with 1 HR and 3 doubles. It is my opinion that it is just a matter of time before this kid starts catching scouts eyes again!
Every now and then a song comes a long that really connects with your life; it feels as if the singer is talking directly to you. These songs become dear to us, and serve as time markers in our lives which we look back on from a better vantage point in the future. One of these precious songs has been in my head for months now, and the clarity that it had when I first heard it still has yet to fade. The song I am speaking of is “Peace Sells” by Megadeth off of their album “Peace Sells….But Who’s Buying?” Here are the lyrics:
“What do you mean, “I don’t believe in God”?
I talk to him every day.
What do you mean, “I don’t support your system”?
I go to court when I have to.
What do you mean, “I can’t get to work on time”?
I got nothing better to do
And, what do you mean, “I don’t pay my bills”?
Why do you think I’m broke? Huh?
If there’s a new way,
I’ll be the first in line.
But, it better work this time.
What do you mean, “I hurt your feelings”?
I didn’t know you had any feelings.
What do you mean, “I ain’t kind”?
I’m just not your kind.
What do you mean, “I couldn’t be president, of the United States of America”?
Tell me something, it’s still “We the people”, right?
Can you put a price on peace?
Peace sells…,but who’s buying?”
The first few lyrics were what really struck me. At the time I first heard this song, my parents had found my weed stash and were convinced that I was on the fast track to becoming a criminal. I guess you could say I fit the stereotypical mold of a slacker (i.e. the embodiment of teenage angst)…I often have long hair with a beard, baggy pants, etc… Despite my appearance, music preferences, and opinion on drugs, I still consider myself an educated, moral, and informed citizen. Just because I carry on a certain persona doesn’t mean I intend to completely waste my life…Since when does someones choice of attire or music preference automatically relegate them to society’s junk yard? The truth is, no one person truly fits the parameters of a perfect person; so why do most feel the need to label a certain group of people (who may or may not share the same beliefs) based on superficial things? As you can see, this song arouses some strong personal opinions even now…imagine what it did to me when I listened to it the first time, while I sat in my room awaiting punishment for smoking a substance I knew wasn’t as harmful as my parents thought.
As a whole, the song’s message is about a much bigger issue (everyone claims to want peace, but very few are willing to sacrifice anything for it), but the first two verses really connected with me on a personal level. What song lyrics have you had a “personal conneciontion with”? Feel free to share!
This one is supposed to be darker metal guitar riff; keep in mind that this is only the first draft…Ideally a riff like this would be played at a fast pace, partially palm muted, with a metal chord progression being played in the background. Let me know what you think: Dark Riff Example. For those interested in this riff from a musical theory side of things, I used the major scale (E Chord form).