Results tagged ‘ Reno Aces ’
Prospect Uniformed: Indians’ Trevor Bauer in His Every MiLB Jersey, Plus More on The Montero Kerfuffle
Like or dislike him, Trevor Bauer is his own man. He’s shown that with his pitches, his preparation and his preaching. Since being the third overall pick in the 2011 Draft, whether he’s been at Class A Advanced Visalia or Double-A Mobile or Triple-A Reno, Bauer has been, well, himself.
The 21-year-old right-hander (bio, stats here) was also authentic in his first try at the Majors — a four-start stint in Arizona last summer. Which explains why he didn’t exactly get along with everyone in the D-backs clubhouse. In case your Spring Training coverage hasn’t included the Bauer-Miguel Montero duel, this story ought to send you down the worm-hole.
I covered Montero on a near-daily basis in 2010 and found him to be a smart, genial interviewee as well as a fiery, not-always-aware competitor. (He also had a run-in with the even-keeled Ian Kennedy that season.) I’ve also interviewed Bauer nearly a dozen times and have found him to be highly intelligent and, yeah, ultra-competitive and perhaps a little stubborn.
So that’s what I chalk the former battery mates’ battle up to: two guys who both want to be the best at what they do but have different ideas about how to do it. Luckily, they’re now in opposite leagues and no longer teammates. With the offseason deal that sent Bauer from the D-backs to the Indians, the unique if not eccentric righty could begin the season in Cleveland. Triple-A Columbus is also a possibility. In case he’s gone from the Minors for good…
Here is a gallery of Bauer in every uni he’s donned to date. Click on any picture to begin the slideshow. For all past editions of Prospect Uniformed, head here.
Editor’s note: Lost and Found is an offseason series in which one underrated prospect from each of the 30 MLB clubs will be discussed in a short, snappy post.
Lost: A ninth-round pick out of the University of Oklahoma in 2009, Chase Anderson impressed in his first two pro seasons, splitting his time between the bullpen and the rotation. Then he struggled in three starts in 2011 before missing the remainder of the year to rest a strained flexor in his throwing elbow.
Found: Anderson avoided surgery on his pitching arm and, aside from another month of rest starting last May, put together the best campaign of his four-year career. (In his second start back, on April 23, he fanned 10 over seven four-hit, scoreless innings.)
2012: 2.86 ERA — 21 G — 21 GS — 104 IP — 97-to-25 K-BB — .238 OPP .AVG at Double-A Mobile
So Anderson was lost, now he is found. Now, about the D-backs’ returns: Anderson, who turns 25 on Friday, throws an outstanding changeup and a very good sinker — and those two pitches are enough to put him in the back end of a five-man rotation. If he develops his breaking pitches — and stays healthy, of course — we could be looking at a very solid No. 3 starter. Given his successful run through the AFL (3.47 ERA in six starts, 26 K in 23 1/3 IP), Anderson is likely to break big league camp with the Triple-A Reno Aces but will be at or near the top of the list to get the call to Arizona in 2013.
In some ways, it’s hard to envy Tyler Skaggs — yes, the 21-year-old strong-armed hurler entering the prime of his pitching life. In some ways, not all ways. Here is one: When Skaggs was traded from the Angels in Aug. 2010, he was a bright prospect to be sure, but he didn’t bring with him the sort of homegrown, battling-back-from-Tommy John surgery tale that attracted Arizona D-backs faithful to right-hander Jarrod Parker. This seemed to be fine by Skaggs who was still a lanky left-hander learning his craft on the Minors’ lower rungs.
Then, five months before Parker was traded to the Athletics in December, the D-backs went out and drafted another fire-balling righty in Trevor Bauer. And few ballplayers yield as much attention from the media and the fans because Bauer not only throws nine different pitches (he invented one of them), produces YouTube videos of his mound mechanics (and his musical performances) — he is also willing to discuss all of his zanier interests with any clubhouse visitor.
Skaggs, whom I have interviewed on five occasions for MiLB.com, is a very smart, at times thoughtful, interviewee, too. But it is obvious that he is less interested in what happens on the periphery, beyond the diamond’s white lines, or he is at least reticent to share his observations. As a result — fairly or unfairly –Skaggs has never been the No. 1 guy, and it was difficult to mention his name without comparing him to Parker and, nowadays, Bauer.
In this case, however, a juxtaposition might be justified: Bauer and Skaggs are Arizona’s top-ranked prospects and both excelled in the Minors in 2012 before finding little sweetness in their first cup of coffee in the Majors. So both need to make adjustments to be their best selves in ’13. They’re on no strict deadline, but Skaggs — and Bauer — might be overshadowed by this fellow farmhand soon enough.
Tyler Skaggs in the Minors: 9-6 — 2.87 ERA — 22 Gs — 122 1/3 IP — 37 BBs — 116 Ks
Skaggs in the Majors: 1-3 — 5.83 ERA — 6 Gs — 29 1/3 IP — 13 BBs — 21 Ks
Skaggs going forward: ”He’s gotten a little bit tired, which is understandable when you jump two levels. For him, it will be managing that. Each year, it gets easier. You pitch in the big leagues with fans, pressure, eyes on you — its different than pitching in Mobile.” – D-backs player development director Mike Bell
Trevor Bauer in the Minors: 12-2 — 2.42 ERA — 22 Gs — 130 1/3 IP — 61 BBs — 157 Ks
Bauer in the Majors: 1-2 — 6.06 ERA — 4 Gs — 16 1/3 IP — 13 BBs — 17 Ks
Bauer going forward: “I am anxious to see what changes he’s made next spring. I don’t think Trevor is ever going to make a ton of changes — he is always making subtle changes. In time, he’ll get more efficient, I think, possibly. But you can’t argue with his numbers.” – D-backs player development director Mike Bell