Minor League Level Review (AA): Michael Choice Heating Up, Tony Cingrani Dominant

July 8, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; USA batter Billy Hamilton hits a two-run triple during the third inning of the 2012 All Star Futures Game at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-US PRESSWIRE

The AA leagues are getting into their stretch runs, and we are starting to see a number of players being rewarded for their excellent performance in the lower minor league levels to date. This week we saw Nationals' outfielder Brian Goodwin skipped past High-A Potomac (home of apparently some really, really bad field conditions), and moved to AA Hagerstown. All statistics are at this level, year to date through Friday night's games, and courtesy of MILB.com.

Pitchers

Player Team League W ERA IP H BB K
Tony Cingrani CIN SL 5 1.29 49 30 17 52
Taijuan Walker SEA SL 6 4.39 82 76 39 80
James Paxton SEA SL 4 3.26 60.2 52 34 68
Daniel Corcino CIN SL 7 3.25 105.1 85 47 98
Sean Gilmartin ATL SL 5 3.59 112.2 105 26 84
Simon Castro CHW SL 6 3.60 85 82 16 67
Zack Wheeler NYM EL 9 2.99 105.1 78 39 101
Trevor Rosenthal STL TL 8 2.78 94 67 37 83
Gerrit Cole PIT EL 2 4.71 21 25 5 21

  • Cingrani just keeps proving his doubters wrong, as the knock on him had been whether or not he could make the conversion from reliever to starter. The numbers definitely look excellent so far, and across two levels.
  • Castro has become a bit of a reclamation project for the White Sox, as he had worn out his welcome in San Diego by the end of last season. There's still a bit of upside there with him, and is definitely one of the top prospects in a depleted system.
  • Rosenthal actually was included because the Cardinals brought him up to the big club to work out of the bullpen. How long he stays remains to be seen, but the reports seem to indicate that his stuff would be filthy out of the bullpen.
  • Cole seems to be a bit of an enigma - he clearly has shown #1 potential at times during this season, but as the guys on the Up and In Podcast noted, he never seems to have one of those really dominant lines you'd expect from someone with his quality of stuff.
Read more about the hitters after the jump...

Player Team League G R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Michael Choice OAK TL 90 59 10 58 5 .287 .354 .423
Mike Olt TEX TL 83 59 25 70 4 .291 .404 .586
Jonathan Singleton HOU TL 91 62 13 54 3 .276 .394 .483
Oscar Taveras STL TL 89 55 18 70 6 .329 .382 .585
Jean Segura LAA TL 93 50 7 40 33 .291 .343 .396
Billy Hamilton CIN SL 9 6 1 3 8 .258 .410 .452
Hak-Ju Lee TAM SL 95 59 2 28 34 .275 .341 .354
Nick Castellanos DET EL 36 18 6 18 2 .295 .312 .479
Tommy Joseph SF EL 71 29 6 33 0 .261 .304 .386
Manny Machado BAL EL 93 46 8 52 12 .257 .343 .410

  • Choice is finally starting to heat up a bit, as he is hitting .435/.486/.710 with 4 home runs in the month of July. His full season numbers are actually not that far off, except for what was anticipated for the power production.
  • Segura might be the Angels' absolute best trade chip if they want to avoid moving any players on the Major League roster. Entirely speculation on my part, but the Angels seem like a decent fit for acquiring Zack Greinke. has been promoted to the Majors to fill in for the injured Erick Aybar. He'll likely get a bunch of playing time until Aybar returns from the broken foot.
  • Run Billy Run. 9 games in AA, 8 stolen bases so far. He's up to 112 on the season overall.
  • Machado had a very good month in June (.286/.336/.467, 4 HR), but has really cooled off again in July. I'm kind of wondering at this point if the Orioles will leave him in AA to start the 2013 season.
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