A couple of weeks back, it seemed like if any former Tech baseball player was going to get the call to the majors this year, it would be either Austin Wates or Ben Rowen, who are excelling in Triple-A ball. However, Jesse Hahn received the call from Double-A on Monday, and he will start on the mound for the San Diego Padres on Tuesday night.
Hahn was a sixth round pick out of Tech in 2010, but he didn’t pitch in the minors until 2012 because of Tommy John surgery. Once he finally made his return, his numbers have been impressive…
2012: 2-2, 2.77 ERA in 14 starts in Low A ball
2013: 2-1, 2.15 ERA in 19 starts in High A ball
2014: 2-1, 2.20 ERA in 10 appearances (7 starts) in Double-A ball
Hahn was traded from the Tampa Bay Rays (good pitching depth) to the Padres in the offseason, and that trade has certainly helped him get to the majors faster. Though he has limited experience above the Single-A level (only 32.2 innings in Double-A so far this year), he has good stuff, and the Padres were very impressed with him in Spring Training. This is an emergency start because of an injury, so it’s likely that Hahn will head right back to the minors after this game, but he certainly has a chance to break into San Diego’s rotation somewhere down the line.
Because San Diego is on the west coast, the game (vs. the Pirates) will start at 10:10 EST on Tuesday night. Fox Sports San Diego will carry the game. If you subscribe to the MLB TV package, you’ll be able to catch it outside the San Diego market.
OF Austin Wates, Oklahoma City Redhawks: Considering Wates is in the Astros organization, it’s a little bit surprising that he hasn’t gotten an opportunity in the majors yet. The injury bug has bit him a bit, which has certainly limited his chances. However, in 25 games in Triple-A this year, he is putting up good numbers:
Wates hits for average, and he has drawn more walks than strikeouts this year. He also hasn’t been caught stealing in 14 attempts. He’ll never hit for power, but he has a skill set that certain major league teams can use.
Wates will be eligible for the Rule 5 draft in December. If he isn’t on Houston’s 40-man roster by then, then another team can pick him up and place him on their 25-man roster.
RP Ben Rowen, Round Rock Express: Rowen got off to a rough start in Triple-A this year as he battled back from a Spring Training injury. However, he has steadily improved as the year has progressed. The submarine pitcher is on the Rangers’ 40-man roster, and he could find himself on the major league club when rosters expand in September. Here are his minor league stats:
2010: 1.09 ERA in 21 appearances in Low A ball
2011: 1.98 ERA in 33 appearances in A ball
2012: 1.57 ERA in 38 appearances in Advanced A ball
2013: 0.69 ERA in 51 appearances in combined Double-A and Triple-A
2014: 3.18 ERA in 13 appearances in Triple-A
Rowen’s ERA has dropped from 4.76 to 3.18 since May 16, which shows that he is pitching more effectively as he puts his injury in the rear view mirror.
RP Justin Wright, Springfield Cardinals: Wright seemed to hit a wall upon his promotion to Double-A Springfield in 2012. His ERA was 4.45 in 2012, and was even higher at 5.34 in 2013. However, this season it is back down to 1.27. Wright is only 24, so he certainly still has a shot. However, it does seem as if his career has stalled a bit. Hopefully he continues to pitch well and gets a chance in Triple-A before the season is over.
3B Tim Smalling, Tulsa Drillers: Smalling is currently on the disabled list. He has hit .260 with no homers in 16 games. Unfortunately, Smalling doesn’t have the power to play third base in the majors (5 minor league homers since 2011), and he probably doesn’t have the glove to play shortstop or second base, and he’s already 26 years old. His minor league career will likely end at the Double-A level.
RP Ronnie Shaban, Springfield Cardinals: Shaban pitched very well Appalachian League (Rookie) and Florida State League (Advanced-A), but he has struggled mightily since being promoted to Double-A Springfield. He has posted an 11.12 ERA this year. However, he has been on the Disabled List since the middle of May, so his injury could have been affecting his pitching ability.
SS Chad Pinder, Stockton Ports: Pinder was a second round pick of the A’s, and he has put up some impressive numbers.
Pinder is a valuable asset because of his ability to play shortstop, second base or third base, and he is also hitting with more power than people projected at the Advanced-A level this year. However, the same problem he faced in college continues to plague Pinder in the minors: his walk-to-strikeout ratio is bad. In 37 games this year, he has drawn only six walks while striking out 39 times. He’ll have to improve that ratio before he’ll move up.
RP Matthew Price, Salem Red Sox: Price hasn’t pitched yet this season for the Red Sox. He is out with an undisclosed injury. That’s a concern, as he has had Tommy John surgery in the past.
SP Devin Burke, Modesto Nuts: Despite being undrafted by the Rockies in 2013, Devin Burke has moved up the ladder relatively quickly. He pitched in the Pioneer League (Rookie) last year, and has since moved up to the South Atlantic League (Single-A), and yet again to the California League (Advanced-A).
Here are Burke’s 2014 numbers thus far…
Single-A: 0-1, 3.09 ERA in three appearances (two starts)
Advanced-A: 4-1, 3.03 ERA in seven starts
Burke’s whip is a bit high at 1.430 in Modesto, which potentially means that his 3.03 ERA is somewhat of a fluke. However, on the whole he seems to be pitching well.
RP Joe Mantiply, West Michigan Whitecaps: After starting in Low-A ball for the second part of last summer, the 2013 27th round pick of the Tigers now finds himself as a reliever in Midwest League. He has done well in both roles…
2013, Low-A: 0-1, 2.04 ERA in 13 appearances (12 starts), 1.160 whip
2014, Single-A: 4-1, 2.14 ERA in 18 appearances, 0.950 whip
Mantiply just turned 23, and I could see him getting a shot in Advanced-A later this season.
SP Eddie Campbell, Clinton LumberKings: Campbell pitched well in the Appalachian League for Pulaski last season, but he has run into trouble in Single-A. He is 4-3 with a 5.13 ERA in 11 starts this season. He always had good stuff in college, but could never completely figure out how to pitch. He might be running into the same issue in the minors. Getting his walk totals down (6.5 walks per 9 innings) would be a big help.
OF Tyler Horan, Augusta Greenjackets: Horan was an 8th round pick of the Giants last June. He plays for Augusta in the South Atlantic League. He is hitting .276 with five homers and 23 RBIs so far this year. Considering the power numbers Horan put up in Blacksburg (29 homers in 144 career games), the Giants would probably like to see him go yard a bit more.