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Jacksonville Suns vs. Birmingham Barons

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Jacksonville Suns vs. Birmingham Barons

Postby hybrid » Wed Apr 06, 2005 2:52 am

For those not to up on the minor league team names, it's the Dodgers vs. White Sox Double A teams.

Anyways I will be going to their opener on April 7th Thursday, so I wanted to let everyone know who is interested to check back the day after or so. I should have some good feedback on first hand views of some very good prospects. I'd say there will be 5 good prospects that people should know of:

Barons:
- Josh Fields - 3B
- Ryan Sweeney - OF

Suns:
- Joel Guzman - SS
- Chad Billingsley - SP
- James Loney - 1B

I'm thinking I will try to do something like this every week or so, maybe try and catch Verlander next. Will have to find out when he starts though.
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Postby Mustangs989 » Wed Apr 06, 2005 8:35 am

Sounds good Hybrid, interested in seeing what you have to say about Sweeney. As he went to HS very close to where I live ;-D
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Postby ensanimal » Wed Apr 06, 2005 10:16 am

can't wait to see your report, wish i lived closer to a minor league team. ;-D
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Postby 2k4cubs » Thu Apr 07, 2005 1:47 pm

Very nice of you hybrid. I'm excited to hear your report. I plan on going to a good handful of Peoria Chiefs (Cubs Low-A Midwest League Affiliate) and will try to report back on here as well.

The Cubs will have some decent prospects such as Ryan Harvey (Cubs '03 1st Rd pick), Eric Patterson (Corey's brother), and Jeremy Reed's little brother, Mark, who plays catcher. There should be a good amount of prospects that come through too...the Twins roster in particular, should be pretty loaded.
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Postby hybrid » Thu Apr 07, 2005 1:55 pm

Very good, I'm excited to see what Harvey can do this year. They have taken their time with him, especially cause of his leg ... but that kid has some massive power.
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Postby Jivedude » Sun Apr 10, 2005 4:07 am

So how was Billingsley?
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Postby hybrid » Sun Apr 10, 2005 3:15 pm

Jivedude wrote:So how was Billingsley?


Yeah sorry for the delay, been busy between work and baseball ... it will be up tonight though!

Also should be posting some breakout/sleeper prospects, so that should be fun as well.
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Postby hybrid » Mon Apr 11, 2005 12:34 am

Ok, finally got some time to do a write up.

Billingsley - If you has seen the box scores or his stats you know he only went two innings. This was due in part to a nasty rain storm that came over and delayed the game for about an hour. So that was a bit depressing since he is one of the fav prospects.

So what I did see was in limited time looked real good. I'm not sure if the gun at the stadium was slow or not (it also didn't work at all after the rain delay, so that was annoying too) but Billingsley was sitting low 90's in the couple innings he pitched. The reasons why I'm not sure if the gun was slow or not is cause Billingsley from all the reports I've read say usually mid 90's. The other reason being that his fastball really popped and came quick at the hitters. None of the hitters made good contact against the fastball either, quite a few swings and misses.

The only hit Billingsley gave up was a blopper down the line, where you could tell the hitter was waiting on it and didn't want to get behind in the count. The only other balls put in play were a grounder and shallow fly out, all of which were on fastballs. All the other 4 outs were strike outs, just over powering the hitters.

His secondary pitches, slider & curve, looked very good. Nobody could hit them at all, maybe a few foul balls but nothing else. His out pitch (besides FB) is obviously his slider, it would start out like a mid to low fastball and just dive down and in. The curveball was only used a few times and just as a show me or get over pitch for a cheap strike, though did it good break as a couple were swinged and missed on.

Oh yeah one more thing on his fastball, his control. If you look at the box score you will see 3 walks in 2 innings (all came in the 1st). The first batter he walked (3rd batter in the 1st, after K'ing the first 2) he was pretty wild and missing, not sure how much of that was due to it raining a little bit. The next two walks though, against Fields and Sweeney, didn't look as though it was a control issue. He was around the plate with every pitch, trying to hit inside and outside. It looked like what I have heard about him, he won't give you a pitch to hit and he doesn't like to give in to hitters. So I'd expect once he hones his control more he won't be walking as many and will be hitting those edges.

Billingsley had very good composure on the mound, even after walking guys he stayed in there and K'd the next guy to get out of the inning. His body type is somewhat like Bonderman, but Billingsley has a stronger lower half. His calves and legs were bigger then I thought they would be for a 6'2" or so pitcher. I've read BA say this but I didn't really think much of it before seeing him in person.

I guess the one thing I haven't talked about is his change up, and for goood reason. He didn't throw it at all and from everything I've heard and read he doesn't need to as his other stuff is already over powering. The higher he goes and especially in the majors, he will have to develope that. Since he didn't get a chance to go through the line up a 2nd time, I have no way of knowing if he has worked on it more.

Ok well that's it on Billingsley, if there isanything mispelled or something ... well I didn't read over it cause I'm kind of tired. :-°

Once I find my notebook with info on the other guys I will post it, I may have left it at someones place though :-/
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Postby 2k4cubs » Mon Apr 11, 2005 11:30 am

Thanks Hybrib! Great recap for only 2 innings of work.
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Postby ensanimal » Mon Apr 11, 2005 11:44 am

great job hybrid, as always ;-D

nice to get a point of view from someone other than these magazine writers and such ;-D
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