Bryce Brentz lands with High Point
The High Point Rockers announced a valuable signing on Friday, adding former first-round pick, Bryce Brentz, to their outfield. Brentz played 10 MiLB seasons, mostly in the Red Sox’ system, while appearing 34 times at the major league level. Despite a frustrating 2019 with the triple-A Pawtucket Red Sox (.216/.314/.445), there are some positive indicators that Bryce will perform well in a Rockers uniform.
Brentz’s BABIP dropped significantly between a solid 2018 season and his 2019 struggles. The cause of that drop-off is not immediately apparent. Worst-case scenario, the change stems from Bryce (who is entering his age-31 season) no longer being able to consistently catch-up and make solid contact. On the other hand, the drop may stem from minor injuries and even some bad luck. What bodes well for both High Point and Bryce is the limited defensive shifting allowed in the Atlantic League. Bryce’s pull-rate ballooned from 43.3% in 2018 to 56.5% in 2019. Most good defenses would take advantage of this fact with defensive positioning, but since that strategy is no longer an option in the ALPB, we could see Bryce’s OPS jump 60 points on this difference alone.
High-end Projection: 375 PA, 56 Runs Created, .840 OPS, 22 HR, 2.8 WAR
Low-end Projection: 290 PA, 34 Runs Created, .760 OPS, 15 HR, 1.3 WAR
Kengor Returns to Patriots for 2020
The Patriots have re-signed 2019 Team MVP and All-Star, Will Kengor, for 2020. Kengor came to the ALPB after 3 seasons in the Frontier League ready to show what he had in 2019, and he made the most of the opportunity. Ending the season with a .321/.399/.492 slash and 5.5 WAR, Kengor was a silver lining in Somerset’s last-place finish in the Liberty Division. The 27-year-old infielder is projected to continue his pace in 2020 and may even receive some affiliated attention if he can sustain last season’s success into mid-summer.
Projection: 445 PA, 77 Runs Created, .890 OPS, 14 HR, 4.4 WAR (MLB Equiv. Freddie Freeman)
High-end Projection: 493 PA, 86 Runs Created, .900 OPS, 16 HR, 5.0 WAR
Low-end Projection: 405 PA, 66 Runs Created, .865 OPS, 11 HR, 3.6 WAR
Blue Crabs pick-up Austin Glorius for bullpen
Right-handed reliever, Austin Glorius, has been assigned to the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs. 2019 was Austin’s 1st season of independent ball after 4 seasons in the Red Sox organization. Pitching for the Can-Am League’s Ottawa Champions, Glorius posted a 4.25 ERA and 1.556 WHIP, with 10.3 K/9, and 11 Saves.
We have bad news and good news. The bad news is that Austin Glorius has control problems. Like serious control problems. Somehow, Austin has pitched himself to a 5.7 BB/9 rate since leaving Valdosta State. It’s bad, but we aren’t here to bruise up what we already know.
Here’s the good news. Walks may kill, but they aren’t a death sentence. Mechanics can be fixed and lessons can be learned. The even better news is that Daryl Thompson is quite the teacher. If Austin Glorius makes the most of his opportunity with Southern Maryland and cuts his walk rate in half, things could look very different. With the cut in walks, Glorius’ WHIP would drop from the 1.581 he posted since leaving college to 1.216. His ERA could drop 2 full runs if those walks start turning into outs. Presently, this isn’t something that the projection models are predicting. But if an under-control Austin Glorius is coming out of the Blue Crabs pen, there are going to be some very smart looking people in the team’s offices.
Projection: 46 IP, 1.625 WHIP, 4.60 ERA, 7.2 BB/9, 10.0 K/9
High-end Projection: 47 IP, 1.672 WHIP, 4.32 ERA, 6.7 BB/9, 10.2 K/9
Low-end Projection: 41 IP, 1.736 WHIP, 5.02 ERA, 6.7 BB/9, 9.9 K/9