Romy González: .294/.333/.529 — 1 HR, 1 BB, 7 K, 2 R, 2 RBI,
Micker Adolfo: .250/.250/.500 — 1 HR, 0 BB, 4 K, 2 R, 4 RBI,
Yolbert Sánchez: .316/.409/.368 — 3 BB, 4 K, 3 R, 1 RBI,
Adam Haseley: .346/.393/.654 — 2 HR, 2 BB, 6 K, 7 R, 11 RBI, 3 SB **Weekly MVP**
Carlos Pérez: .118/.250/.118 — 2 BB, 1 K, 3 R, 1 RBI
Kade McClure: 3 2⁄3 IP, 14.73 ERA, 2 BB, 4 K
It's a two-homer, 8-RBI game for Adam Haseley, who just launched a GRAND SLAM!— Charlotte Knights (@KnightsBaseball) June 1, 2022
We lead 14-5! pic.twitter.com/d6FVSazehL
Adam Haseley was last week’s MVP, and he wins it again off the back of a grand slam on the last day of May. He has had a wonderful last three weeks, but we have talked about him plenty. Let’s look at Romy González.
González is finally back healthy and playing every day. Before this week, he had not played since May 15, and he was pretty close to normal Romy in his first stint back. With all the talk of Yolbert Sánchez coming up and replacing Josh Harrison (including from me), the guy who might be a better option is back and actually on the 40-man roster. It is going to be awhile to see where Romy is at, because this great week did come with a near 40% K-rate. Think of the next few weeks basically as a rehab assignment for González. If the strikeouts come down while the walks move up, with similar power production, González could very well be an answer at second or in the outfield if AJ Pollock does not improve.
José Rodríguez: .208/.231/.333 — 1 BB, 5 K, 2 R, 5 RBI, 1 SB
Lenyn Sosa: .292/.292/.500 — 1 HR, 0 BB, 4 K, 4 R, 5 RBI
Yoelqui Céspedes: .381/.391/.857 — 2 HR, 0 BB, 5 K, 5 R, 7 RBI, 1 SB **Weekly MVP**
Jason Bilous: 5 IP, 1.80 ERA, 2 BB, 5 K
Sean Burke: 11 1⁄3 IP, 0.00, 5 BB, 7 K
Caleb Freeman: (Did not pitch last week)
The start to a run of top prospects getting MVPs last week starts right here in Birmingham with Yoelqui Céspedes. His stellar week, packed with power, has pushed his yearly production right to average with a 99 wRC+. He has a .273/.295/.503 slash line this year and you can see the glaring reason why, with a .230 ISO (!), he is having such an average start to the season: his OBP. Céspedes’ already low BB-rate from last year has currently fallen to a miniscule 1.7%. That’s three walks out of 165 plate appearances. Céspedes is no Tim Anderson, with just a .324 BABIP and a 27.2% K-rate, so he will need to take his pitches more often if he wants to be successful in the majors, let alone even get there. Maybe Céspedes is a new Micker Adolfo, with clear potential but some very key shortcomings — he already is 24, after all. Céspedes needs to get back to that 6.5% BB-rate he had in Winston-Salem last year. It will make everything better.
Oscar Colás: .350/.350/.550 — 0 BB, 8 K, 4 R, 3 RBI
Bryan Ramos: .333/.368/.889 — 3 HR, 1 BB, 4 K, 5 R, 6 RBI **Weekly MVP**
Luis Míeses: .278/.316/.556 — 1 HR, 1 BB, 3 K, 4 R, 5 RBI
Terrell Tatum: .286/.286/.286 — 2 HR, 1 BB, 5 K, 4 R, 7 RBI, 1 SB
Duke Ellis: .188/.333/.250 — 4 BB, 6 K, 3 R, 1 RBI, 1 SB
Adam Hackenberg: .273/.467/.364 — 4 BB, 0 K, 3 R, 2 RBI, 1 SB
Drew Dalquist: 6 IP, 0.00 ERA, 1 BB, 4 K
Matthew Thompson: 5 2⁄3 IP, 0.00 ERA, 3 BB, 2 K
Bryan Ramos has had a very up-and-down start to this season, to say the least. In April, he had a 196 wRC+ with a batting average just over .400 and a .250 ISO. In May, it all came crashing down: A 59 wRC+, and the power fell down to a .146 ISO as the BABIP went from .455 to .181. Yeah, a tale of two months, but the overall stat line remained good. Now, Ramos is already off to a productive June. Overall, he is not walking as much as he did last season in Kannapolis, but the strikeouts are actually down more than the walks, so, net good. Ramos is showing more power and though it was down in May, that .146 ISO would be better than his time in rookie ball.
Ramos is somehow still being overlooked. Well, it is pretty easy to understand with Lenyn Sosa crushing it one level above Ramos and Colson Montgomery doing first round pick things one level below him. But still, Ramos is having a good season and is showing progress, with an improved approach at the plate and better power.
Kannapolis Cannon Ballers
Misael González: .091/.167/.091 — 1 BB, 6 K
Colson Montgomery: .353/.400/.588 - 4 BB, 4 K, 4 R, 2 RBI
Wes Kath: .389/.455/.412 — 2 HR, 6 BB, 8 K, 5 R **Weekly MVP**
Wilfred Veras: .111/.200/.111 — 2 BB, 5 K, 2 R, 1 RBI
Jared Kelley: 4 IP, 0.00 ERA, 0 BB, 2 K
Cristian Mena: 4 1⁄3 IP, 6.23 ERA, 3 BB, 4 K
Kohl Simas: 3 IP, 0.00 ERA, 1 BB, 3 K
Wes Kath gets his first venture in to MVPdom with a fantastic week. He had a .389 ISO over five games, with two homers. He still struck out a lot, as a third of his plate appearances ended in a punch out, but everything else was good. Kath was much better in May compared to April, and has got his wRC+ above 100, to 111 right now. That RC+ is off of an increasing ISO, BABIP, and healthy 13.4% walk rate. He has not been as good has the guy picked one round ahead of him, Colson Montgomery, but these are different players, and Kath is the second round pick. Kath needs time to find his swing and approach, something that Montgomery does not seem to need. Frankly, Montgomery just needs to find some pop and prove he can be a shortstop.
Kath, on the other hand, needs to get his K-rate down, and it is going to take time. It is 3% lower than his ACL stint last year, for what it is worth. He does need to improve his defense at third as well, given he has 43 starts there and 10 errors. (Again, errors do not mean everything, but that is a lot in just 43 games.) This is his age-19 season, and Kath is providing more production at this age in Low-A than José Rodríguez did, although the production is coming in a much different fashion. There are a lot of unknowns about Kath, but he is already showing improvement from last year and even from the beginning of this year; that is a positive.