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Festa Is Full of Trick or Treating Zac Veen

Phillies RHP George Klassen (22, A) was particularly unsuccessful as a college pitcher, posting ERAs of 5.72 and 14.09 in his two seasons as a Golden Gopher in Minnesota. Still, he showed enough upside for the Phillies to select him in the sixth round of the 2023 draft. When he started generating hype this spring as a way to get a lab in Philadelphia, I was skeptical because it’s hard to just wave off those kinds of results. Also, 22-year-old college pitchers should perform well against Low-A hitters. Anyway, Klassen is out of Pickle Rick this year. His 0.33 ERA, 0.67 WHIP and 34.3 percent strikeout-minus-walk rate are impressive numbers that suggest he’s already graduated at that level, skill-wise. He could be in High-A right now if not on a short trip to the injured list. His three-pitch mix now includes a four-seam fastball around 98, a cutter at ~90 and a curveball at ~86; all three play in combination.

Twins RHP David Festa (25, AAA) has the highest strikeout rate in Triple-A. Listed at 6’6” 185 lbs, he has room to continue adding power, a scary proposition considering he’s already hitting in the upper 90s. He uses his height well on the mound in the sense that he gets a lot of extension in his release zone (6.9 feet), and his three-quarter angle helps his fastball play well in the zone. Control has been an issue over the past few years (13% BB) as he’s rattled and added velo, but he’ll have every opportunity to refine his feel and settle into his approach. He will use a slider and changeup against lefties and lean on his slider against righties. While fastball command hasn’t been his strength this year, off-speed command has been there for him from the jump. When right-handed bats get behind the infield, Festa sends the batter down and outside until he has to sneak in with a heater. Lefties have to deal with back foot slides, back slides and fade changes down and out. It’s an approach that should work well against big leaguers if the fastball is on him.

After two injury-limited seasons, The Rockies BY Zac Veen (22, AA) is having the type of season the Kings have expected since Colorado took him with the ninth pick in the 2020 draft. He is hitting .326/.418/.568 with five home runs and nine stolen bases in 28 games. It’s his third season in Double-A, but he’s only played 108 games at the level. I wouldn’t pick him as an option to restructure the season, but I think he’ll be in Triple-A soon, and the team doesn’t seem interested in playing Sean Bouchard, so Veen might be next on the phone. a sheet. The Rockies are difficult to predict in the realm of hope, which is a sentence I write even though I suspect everyone knows this about the Rockies.

Part of the trade return for RHP Gregory Santos, White Sox BY Zach DeLoach (25) has been hot for the past few weeks and today he was rewarded with a promotion to the senior team. In 138 games with Seattle’s Triple-A team last year, DeLoach slashed .286/.387/.481 with 23 home runs and eight stolen bases. He didn’t hit well at first but he had eight steals in just 38 games. The White Sox are unpredictable right now, so DeLoach could be benched for an extended period of time while Eloy Jimenez is injured, or he could be a regular starter for the rest of the season.

Cardinals LHP Quinn Mathews (23, A+) made a smooth transition to the new league this week, striking out 11 High-A batters and allowing one run over seven innings pitched. At 6’5” 188 lbs, Mathews was a fourth round pick out of Stanford in the 2023 draft and has been a hit so far. In 37.2 innings at two levels, he has 63 strikeouts with a 1.43 ERA and 0.77 WHIP. Also, college pitchers it should he’s been ahead of the low-A hitters, but it’s noticeable when someone goes that far and jumps a league and produces similar results.

Another 6′ 5” lefty, Royals LHP Chandler Champlain (24, AA) is on a roll, recording back-to-back outings spanning six or more innings, lowering his ERA to 1.27 last month. Over that five-start stretch, he has 38 strikeouts in 28.1 innings with a 0.71 WHIP. Should be in Triple-A by June.

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