Player of the Month: Chad Tracy, 1B, Frisco
Chad Tracy has been one of the top hitters in the Texas League—if not all of Double-A baseball—ever since the All-Star break, and August was his best month yet.
|Tracy has 56 extra-base hits on the season. b>|
On the year, Tracy has slugged 30 doubles and a league-leading 25 home runs.
Early in the season, Tracy looked to be a shell of his former self. The Pepperdine alumnus was key for Frisco down the stretch in 2008, batting .344 in 24 games with the Double-A club.
But Tracy hit just .241 in the first half with the ‘Riders this season, showing just average power.
That power has returned in the second half. The 24-year-old batted .333 [39-for-117] with 10 doubles, eight home runs, and 27 RBI's in 29 August contests. Those impressive statistics led to a 1.004 OPS.
With 40 doubles and 17 home runs last season, Tracy was known as more of a gap-to-gap power guy, though he could also hit his share of home runs. This season, the ball has been jumping off the bat in a different way for Tracy, and his home run power appears to be developing.
The 6-foot-3, 205-pound first baseman is beginning to look like he could develop into a useful big-league hitter, but questions remain about his defense. Tracy is in his first full season at first base, and while there is still plenty of work to be done, he has shown steady improvement as the season has progressed.
|August 2009||Frisco (AA)||.333||117||10||8||27||20||1/1||9||23||.380||.624|
Honorable Mention: Chris Davis (Oklahoma City), Mauro Gomez (Bakersfield), Tom Mendonca (Spokane/Bakersfield), Cristian Santana (Hickory), Jason Ogata (Spokane), Tomas Telis (AZL Rangers/Spokane)
Pitcher of the Month: Carlos Pimentel, RHP, Hickory
Even after his outstanding month of August, right-hander Carlos Pimentel continues to fly under the radar this season.
On the season as a whole, the 19-year-old Pimentel has a 2.96 earned-run average in the Single-A South Atlantic League. He has allowed less than a hit per inning [114 in 115.2] while walking only 34 and striking out 96.
|Pimentel possesses three solid pitches. b>|
The Dominican Republic native has just as good a chance to pitch in the Majors as any pitcher currently on the Crawdads' pitching staff, and he proved that in August.
The 6-foot-3, 180-pound hurler had the best month of his professional career in August. He yielded only one earned run in 25 innings, good for a 0.36 ERA. He gave up 19 hits while walking seven and striking out 23.
Pimentel's fastball usually sits between 88-90 mph, although he can range anywhere from 86-91. The pitcher has never been very hittable this season, but he has shown a tendency to leave his fastball up in the zone at times, leading to home runs. However, after giving up five round-trippers in July, he surrendered only one in August.
For the most part, Pimentel does a good job of commanding his fastball. The most impressive aspect of his game is that he can throw all three of his pitches for strikes at just 19 years of age.
Pimentel works with an upper-70s curveball that shows definite plus potential, and he has more than just a good feel for his changeup. The prospect isn't afraid to throw his 82-83 mph change in any count, and he consistently attacks the strike zone with it.
Throwing strikes hasn't been a problem for Pimentel this season, but at times, commanding the ball down in the strike zone has. In August, Pimentel was able work down, and it led to a 0.36 ERA.
|August 2009||Hickory (A)||1-0||25.0||19||7||23||0.36|
Honorable Mention: Guillermo Moscoso (Oklahoma City), Blake Beavan (Frisco), Richard Bleier (Bakersfield), Matt Thompson (Spokane), Ezequiel Rijo (AZL Rangers)
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