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prospect-update-rome-hitters | June | 2009 Articles

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Prospect Update - Rome Hitters

Written by Joe Lucia on .

This is going to be a rough one, because the Rome offense is worse than Mississippi's. There are 3 players with more than 100 at bats with an OPS above .700, and none with one hitting .800. No one has 20 walks either. So...I have no idea if I'm even going to get to 4 in this one. It might just be too painful. Luis Sumoza, OF: .272/.327/.370. Sumoza was a sally league all-star. Really? Seriously? I feel like its some sort of giant rib that someone with a .697 OPS can be an all-star. But hey, whatever floats your boat. Sumoza is best known as the guy the Braves got from Boston for Mark Kotsay last year. He was tearing things up for Lowell before the trade last season, but has been absolutely dreadful since coming to Rome. His power has completely, utterly vanished, and his walk rate has taken a steep decline (not that it was too great to begin with). But hey, his K rate has declined. Thats a plus. He's still young too at 21 Gerardo Rodriguez, OF: .270/.309/.487. Oh thank god, a prospect. Rodriguez is showing some pretty good pop this year with 10 homers, 5 triples, and 9 doubles, but has absolutely no eye, with a Francoeur-esque walk rate and a heavy K rate. His year peaked in April though, and he's been in a steady decline since then. On the bright side, he's murdering lefties to the tune of a .870 OPS. Just what we need, another platoon player! Braden Schlehuber, C: .228/.292/.360. Despite posting a .660 OPS last season in the GCL, Schlehuber was named the Braves 18th best prospect coming into the year. He, um, has gotten worse this year. I can't even really blame a low BABIP, as .272 is low, but not pathetically low like in the case of Kelly Johnson. He showed absolutely no power in the GCL last season, but has improved in that regard this year, with a team high 17 doubles. There may be something to build on here with Braeden, but who knows how much playing time he'll be getting with the demotion of Matt Kennelly to Rome. Jesus Sucre, C: .317/.346/.417 (2 levels) Sucre was just promoted to Myrtle Beach this week, which would correspond with the Kennelly demotion. Sucre has some positive attributes, like the fact that he DOES NOT STRIKE OUT (21 K in 180 AB). Unfortunately, he also doesn't walk (7 BB in that same time). How do you only walk SEVEN TIMES? I could walk more than 7 times in my 18 game little league season when I was 10, how can this not happen at a professional level? Unreal. Sucre has some decent power for a catcher, and the year he's having this year is a pleasant contrast from his frightening numbers in Danville last season. He's only 21, and is moving up the organizational ladder at a decent enough pace. So that does it for the Rome hitters. Thank GOD. Tomorrow, I'll throw down with the Phillies series preview, and I may possibly do the Rome pitchers. Taking a brief glance, I may need to do more than 4...Rome has some great young pitching. We'll see where things take us.

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