Yesterday, Orioles’ top position prospect Manny Machado received a surprise call up to the major leagues. The shortstop was drafted third overall in 2010, and ranked 14th and 11th on Baseball America’s top 100 list over the last two years. For as much praise as he’s seen, Machado only recently put together a .266/.352/.438 triple slash in Double-A. At 20 years old, and at a premium defensive position, the big-time prospect is surely advanced for his age, but is he ready to skip Triple-A and head to the major leagues?
The initial reaction has been mixed, but obviously the Orioles think he can help the major league team reach their first playoff appearance in fifteen years. Dave Cameron of Fan Graphs agrees with the aggressive promotion, and argues that the numbers that Machado produced in Bowie are being underrated when considering the League and ballpark he played in.
The first thing to note is that the Eastern League isn’t exactly an offensive haven. The average hitter in the EL this year is hitting .260/.331/.392, and the run environment for the league is just 4.31 runs per game. This isn’t the PCL or the Cal League, where you need to hit .350 just to call it a respectable season. Machado’s line might not look all that sexy, but it is good for a 122 wRC+, and ties him for the 18th best offensive season of any qualified player down there. He’s not tearing up the league, but relative to his peers, his overall line is still pretty good.
What does this have to do with the Yankees? The organization also has a team in the Eastern League, they also have a pitcher’s ball park, and they also have a middle infield prospect in the offensive leaderboard. In fact, the 22 year old Jose Pirela has the third highest wRC+ (143) in the EL, only trailing Darin Ruf (164) and Eric Campbell (146). What makes Pirela different from these two players is his age and position, both Ruf and Campbell are 25 year olds playing firstbase. With so much offense coming out of a young second base prospect, Pirela’s prospect status has risen sharply this year.
When discussing Machado, Cameron also brought up the point that, according to Dan Szymborski’s 2011 Minor League Park Multipliers at Baseball Think Factory, the shortstop was able to produce those numbers in the most pitcher friendly park in the EL. It just so happens that Prince George’s Stadium in Bowie, the home ballpark of the O’s Double-A affiliate, was tied with Trenton’s ballpark in runs created. This means Pirela has now hit .353/.439/.579 in a ballpark that was tied for the most pitcher friendly park in 2011.
It’s been a breakout year for Pirela, and it’s time to start wondering when he’ll receive his call up. Unlike the Orioles though, the Yankees don’t need to risk developmental issues that would result from rushing him to the majors, but may consider Triple-A. With two seasons in Trenton, Pirela has spent plenty of time in Double-A, but with Corban Jospeh in Scranton and Robinson Cano in the majors, it’s fair to question if he’s being held back by his position. While Machado was held back by JJ Hardy in Baltimore, the Orioles made a decision to get his bat in the lineup by putting him at thirdbase, the Yankees could certainly do the same.
Pirela had a better offensive year than Machado, and has much more experience at Double-A, yet he’s now two levels below. This speaks well for the Yankees’ patience with prospects, but also exhibits antagonism between their organization philosophy and the Orioles’. In the broad sense of prospects, I could see a case for aggression or patience, but with 842 plate appearances in Double-A, and the type of offensive numbers he’s producing at 22, it’s time Pirela receives his own promotion to Triple-A.
LIKE TYA ON FACEBOOK
- TYA To Merge With It’s About The Money, Stupid
- What about Kevin Youkilis?
- Teix Now Front And Center On The “Needs To Produce” Radar
- Cashman: Heathcott A Dark Horse Candidate
- A Dog Chasing Cars
- Outfield Trade Targets
- The Problem With Brett Gardner
- A Look At Relief Prospect Branden Pinder
- The Yankees Should Be Realistic, Put Team on Short Leash in 2013
- Briefly discussing the internal options to replace Curtis Granderson
- essentialtexting.com on Open Thread | Game 3 | Detroit Tigers vs. New York Yankees | Sunday, April 3, 2011
- www25.tok2.com on Sabermetrics Doesn’t Have A Monopoly on Not-Stupid: Mike Trout is the AL MVP
- グッチ 財布 on Sunday Links-Joba’s Timetable, Comparing eras, Pineda
- raspberry ketone diet 1200 on Sabermetrics Doesn’t Have A Monopoly on Not-Stupid: Mike Trout is the AL MVP
- Free riot codes on Off-Topic
- Fran on The Great Subway Race
- sleeping bag hand Orientation on What about Austin Romine?
- camping stove heat diffuser on What about Austin Romine?
- 手機殼 on The Yankees’ Standing In The AL East Right Now
- 手機外殼 on The Yankees’ Standing In The AL East Right Now
TagsA.J. Burnett Alex Rodriguez Andy Pettitte Austin Romine Baltimore Orioles Bartolo Colon Boston Red Sox Brett Gardner Brian Cashman Bullpen CC Sabathia Chien-Ming Wang Cliff Lee Curtis Granderson David Robertson Dellin Betances Derek Jeter Francisco Cervelli Freddy Garcia Game Recap Hiroki Kuroda Ivan Nova Javier Vazquez Jesus Montero Joba Chamberlain Joe Girardi Johnny Damon Jorge Posada Manny Banuelos Mariano Rivera Mark Teixeira Melky Cabrera Michael Pineda New York New York Yankees Nick Johnson Nick Swisher Phil Hughes Prospects Rafael Soriano Red Sox Robinson Cano Russell Martin Tampa Bay Rays Yankees