Thursday, August 16, 2007

Minor League Report

AAA Durham

Jeff Niemann threw in a simulated game on Wednesday and is slated to come off of the DL on Tuesday. Niemann has been sidelined for over 2 weeks with shoulder problems. He has been up and down on the season, but was on pace to get a September call up. Hopefully he will make some solid starts in the next two weeks and get called up when Rosters are expanded. He is 11-5 with a 3.90 ERA with a 108/45 K/BB ratio.

Evan Longoria has continued his hot hitting in the minors since being called up to Durham. At the beginning of the year it looked like he would be in the minors all year, but with the way he is hitting he may force the Rays to call him up in September to get him some experience. Evan will most likely be the everyday third baseman for the Rays next year with Aki sliding to second, so why not get him the experience now?

Joel Guzman has shown the power that he was predicted to have, but has not shown the plate discipline needed to make it in the big leagues. His .244 average and .284 OBP are not good and this is only AAA. Guzman was a candidate to come up in September, but it may not be the time for him right now. It looks like he is going to need some more time down in the minors before he comes up to the big club. The Rays also need to decide what position he will play and keep him there; all the moving around cannot be good for Guzman.

AA Montgomery

Chris Mason has been dominant all season for the biscuists and should start in Durham next year. Mason has a 118/35 strikeout to walk ratio and has a 2.50 ERA in 24 games this season. Mason who was a second round pick in 2005 and has looked great in his minor league career. He is just one of the many stable of arms the Rays have accumulated.

The Biscuits started the season with the best left side in the minors with Longoria and shortstop Reid Brignac. Brignac struggled after having a good start to the season, but has had a better season lately. He still has shown the power numbers that he is projected to posses, but his average and on base has struggled this year. Brignac has also still struggled in the field where he has committed 20 errors. He will most likely start the year in Durham next year and hope to get a September call-up. He will represent the Rays in the AFL with Evan Longoria and catcher John Jaso.

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