- Ah, 2009. That was a good year for the Birmingham Barons. Gordon Beckham, Tyler Flowers, Dayan Viciedo, Jordan Danks, Brandon Allen, Daniel Hudson and Aaron Poreda gave fans something to dream on. The 2011 Barons, not so much. And maybe that's a good thing, considering how things have developed (or not) for most of that 2009 team.
- The position players are particularly weak. OF Brandon Short made himself kind of a prospect with a good 2010 for the Dash. The promotion to AA is traditionally considered the most difficult and Short has fulfilled his part in that stereotype with a .229/.289/.371 performance so far. Importantly, though, his strikeout (21%) and walk (5%) rates are in line with his minor league career averages. The noticeable difference is in BABIP, where he's got a .278, compared to a .372 last season and almost as high rates in prior seasons. Batted ball classifications are notoriously unreliable, particularly in the minors, but the data doesn't reveal a marked difference in those. Maybe it's luck, maybe it's weak contact, probably it's a mixture of both of those and other factors. He's at least an interesting guy to be watching as the season goes on.
- Josh Phegley is not a catcher. Our esteemed Managing Editor and noted wordsmith describes him behind the plate "as effective as a piece of propped-up plywood." And that may be charitable. So far, he has 7 passed balls, inflating his career totals to a prodigious 26 in just 102 games. I've never seen a rate like that and, if anyone has, I'd love to know a "catcher" who has. Phegley at least throws out baserunners (59% kill rate this season), which is the least he can do. Phegley is supposed to be one of those offense-first catchers. However, he's never shown that as a pro. His .228/.268/.402 this season is in line with his career line. Yes, he had a blood disorder and maybe his removed spleen is like Adam Dunn's removed appendix. He needs to start showing something soon.