Does he have a major league future?
Probably not. Davis, a college teammate of Justin Turner, was drafted as a shortstop and played nowhere but shortstop from 2006-2009. He was on the verge of being a marginal prospect after the 2008 season (age 24, AA) but got injured and missed the first half of the 2009 season. With Robert Andino the Norfolk shortstop in 2010, Davis — now age 26 — began the transition to utility player.
Davis has only one positive — he bats left-handed. Offensively, he doesn’t get on base or hit with power. On defense, he just seems marginal — marginal range, marginal arm, marginal position-specific skills. He has no shot at becoming a regular, and I can’t see a team using a roster spot for a bench player who doesn’t hit at all and doesn’t field real well.
Is a major-league backup job in his future?
No. Donachie is a light-hitting catcher with a reputation as a good defensive catcher, a reputation that is not backed up by personal observation. He didn’t throw well at all, and didn’t seem to be a particularly good handler of pitchers. He has to have a reputation as a good defensive catcher, because the way he hits he’d have been released years ago if he didn’t.
I discovered something interesting while I was looking at Baseball America Online. They had a series of links that led to a Jim Callis chat from just before the 2002 draft. In that chat, Callis stated that Donachie was one of the top four catchers available, with Jeff Clement, Chris Snyder, and Tyler Parker (who?) — missing the boat on Brian McCann. Callis said that the top four hitters available were Clement, Jeremy Hermida, Jeff Baker, and Scott Moore. They ranked higher than Prince Fielder and B.J. Upton (as hitters).
Why would the Brewers select him in the Rule 5 Draft? Can he stick?
Egan, who is 6’8″ and a member of the Very Tall Pitchers Without Good Fastballs club, was terrible with the Tides after he was called up from Bowie. He didn’t strike anybody out (17 in 37 innings) and was generally hit hard (54 hits in those 37 innings.) The good news is (1) he pitched much better in lower levels from 2008 through the first half of 2010; (2) he didn’t give up home runs; and (3) he didn’t walk anybody (9). It seems clear that he’s a pitch-to-contact sinker/slider pitcher. The Brewers took him in the major-league phase of the Rule 5 draft.
I don’t get it. Egan turned 26 in October, so he has zero star potential. Based on what I saw in AAA, there’s no way he can help a major-league team right now. I’m guessing that the Brewers’ scouts saw something in him that they liked. The Orioles took a Brewers pitcher who’s equally unready in the Rule 5 draft; maybe they’ll just work out a deal.
Was he as bad as his numbers?
Erbe went 0-10 with a 5.73 ERA in fourteen starts, before undergoing surgery to repair a torn labrum. If you’re asking if he was as bad as his 0-10 record, the answer is no. He did have some games in which he pitched at least fairly well but got no run support.If you’re asking if he was as bad as his 5.73 ERA, the answer is probably yes. He had quite a few games in which he was pounded; he gave up 86 hits in just under 71 innings, with 11 home runs; and his strikeout rate fell to 6.4/9 IP.
Is he still a prospect?
Even though he’s only 22, at this point I’d say no. He suffered shoulder injuries in both 2009 and 2010. His strikeout rate is low. In two full seasons at high-A Frederick, he went 16-20 with a 5.17 ERA. He might make it as a relief pitcher, but the markers that cry out “prime closer prospect” aren’t there.
Daniel Figueroa is another player whom I did not see during his brief (2 games, 7 plate appearances) tenure with the Tides. He did hit a home run, which is pretty amazing considering that he’s hit only five others in his minor-league career.
Who is he?
A singles-hitting second baseman, age 27. For some reason, probably injuries, he’s only played 100 games in a season once. He doesn’t have any power (career .089 isolated power); he was starting to draw walks but regressed significantly last season. He doesn’t have a good-glove rep, and hasn’t played any shortstop or third base. He fits somewhere between Justin Turner and Jonathan Tucker, and is a longshot to have a major-league career.
Who IS this guy? Where did he come from?
Armando Gabino was signed by the Indians in 2001 out of the Dominican Republic. He spent three seasons in the Dominican Summer League, then came to the states at age 20 and pitched unimpressively in the Appalachian League. After the 2004 season, he was plucked by the Twins in the minor league portion of the Rule 5 draft, apparently as roster filler. He pitched terribly in the Appalachian League in 2005, but somehow avoided getting released. That was a good move by the Twins, for starting in 2006, he’s progressed to the major leagues by the simple means of getting batters out. Since 2006, his highest ERA has been 4.15, in 30 1/3 innings in the 2006 Midwest League and 4 1/3 innings in the 2010 Eastern League. After the 2009 season, in which Gabino was called up to the Twins, the Orioles claimed him on waivers. He pitched great as a swingman for Norfolk in 2010, a 7-0 record with a 2.37 ERA and good numbers all around.
It sure looks as though he could be a good major-league pitcher, but there must be some reason why organizations don’t think he can. He’s never had a key role on his pitching staff; he’s either pitched as a swingman or middle relief. He’s been terrible in two major-league trials, but that’s based on a total of 8 1/3 innings.
Here’s what I don’t understand. The Orioles claimed him on waivers from the Twins, presumably when the Twins were trying to get him off the 40-man roster. That meant, at a minimum, that the Orioles thought he was worth a 40-man roster spot at least for awhile. So, why claim a guy off waivers if you’re going to use him as a AAA swingman? Wouldn’t you want to save your roster spots for real prospects? And, if you think he’s a real prospect, why do you sentence to be a AAA swingman? Can someone tell me what’s up with that?