Thursday, May 14, 2009

Fenst's Farm Report: Pacific Coast League

Welcome to another installment of Fenst's Farm Report. Two weeks ago I shared with you all a few players who are making a name for themselves in the International League. This week I am going to take a look at a few players who are turning heads in the other AAA leage, the Pacific Coast League. Let's get right into it with the unreal year that a 7 year minor leaguer is having.

Jake Fox (OF- Cubs)

Fox has had a tremendous start to his 2009 campaign. He already has belted 14 and knocked in 42 RBIs, which both lead the league. He is still hitting over .400 at .405 and his OPS is an astronomical 1.426. When I look at some of his numbers I still question if they are accurate because of how amazing they are. The next highest OPS in the Pacific Coast League is Hector Luna's 1.109. Fox has had 120 ABs so far in the PCL this year, which happens to be the same amount of ABs he had last year in the PCL. The comparisons are almost from one extreme to another. He was hitting .220 last year with just 6 home runs and had an OPS of .720. Talk about a guy figuring something out over the off-season. If Fox continues to put up these numbers people will have to take notice. He just got himself on my radar.

Chris Coghlan (2B- Marlins)

Coghlin's play has just earned him a call up to the major league squad. He is now seeing some time with the Florida Marlins after a very productive month and a half in New Orleans. Coghlan showed his versatility by doing a bit of everything with the bat including a couple of home runs and handful of steals at 9. He has shown versatility in the field as well. He has played left field and second base for the Marlins so far and is also listed as a third baseman. That kind of versatility is important to a young player looking to make an impact on his new team. Chris has shown great plate discipline in the minors so far this year (6:5 BB:K ratio). It will be important to see if that translates over to the big leagues.

Luke Hochevar (SP- Royals)

The highly touted prospect has been the Zach Greinke of the PCL thus far. His strong performance and the struggles of Sidney Ponson has resulted in Hochevar back up with the surprising Royals. If Hochevar can keep his confidence up and add another strong arm to that rotation the Royals could become the favorites in the tight AL Central. Hochevar struggled against Oakland in his first start and Ponson had to relieve him early in the game so keep an eye on that situation if you are in need of a pitcher for your fantasy squad. Hochevar has great upside. He isn't overpowering, but he can strike batters out at a solid clip. If he can come into his next start with some confidence and face the adversity ahead of him, he could be in for a quality season. The Royals are capable of run production for the first time in many seasons and since Alex Gordon (yes, I'm still on the band wagon) is still going to break out this year they will have even more firepower to their offense when he comes back. So far Hochevar's PCL ERA of 0.90 has translated over into an ERA of 36.00 in the MLB. I'll say if Hochevar locks down a rotation spot look for low to mid 4 ERA with an average to above average strikeout rate.

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