Baragar stringing together dominant starts

BOX SCORES: RIC / SJ / AUG (1) / AUG (2) / SK / AZL

All things considered, Caleb Baragar's 2017 campaign hasn't been eye-opening by any means. He owns an ERA above four, a FIP in the same ballpark, a strikeout rate below 20 percent, and an opposing batting average of .265.

But the left-hander from Jenison, Mich. can look back at the last three starts, especially Sunday afternoon's front end of the doubleheader, and foresee a strong finish to the season. In his last 21 innings, only 13 batters have recorded a hit off Baragar. Pair that with three walks and 17 strikeouts and it's clear he's been a force on the mound lately. 

On Sunday, Baragar pitched six scoreless frames and tied his career high of nine strikeouts thanks to a ridiculous 21 swinging strikes among 89 total pitches. At 23.6 percent, almost one out of every four pitches Baragar threw produced a swing-through.

Pat Ruotolo uncharacteristically allowed three baserunners in the last inning (the seventh) but struck out a couple and benefited from an Ashford Fulmer outfield assist for the final out. 

Ruotolo has been a lock-down arm out of the Augusta bullpen in 2017. Aside from his stellar 0.77 WHIP, the right-hander from Peabody, Mass. has struck out 34.8 percent of the batters he's faced and walked only 6.7 percent.

OTHER NOTES

Dylan Davis's struggle at the plate is on the upswing as six hits in his last five games have pushed his batting average above the Mendoza line from .194 to .210. Two of those six hits have cleared the fence, increasing his ISO from .105 to .130. Davis has thrived in the minors in the power department, posting .156 in the South Atlantic League and .266 with San Jose last season.

Bryan Reynolds is 31 games into a great run at the plate. In a stretch totaling 139 plate appearances, Reynolds is slashing .356/.377/.538 with eight doubles, five triples, and two home runs. In fact, Reynolds now leads the California League in triples with seven and is tied for 10th in all of the minor leagues.

— I have more things to say about Malique Ziegler, and I probably will just about every day so get used to it. He's the new Miguel Gomez, even though Miguel Gomez is still the Miguel Gomez. Ziegler doubled twice on Sunday, giving him a nice, yet probably slightly inflated and unsustainable .256 ISO through 51 plate appearances. He also has just seven strikeouts, which is a fantastic 13.7 K%, to go along with five walks (9.8 BB%). So, he's really nothing like Miguel Gomez in terms of baseball stuff, other than being good at hitting and striking out infrequently. I'm only comparing the two because I talk about Gomez, and now Ziegler, far too often.

— I am compiling footage from the Arizona League and will be rolling out posts about my viewings over the next few weeks. Uploading is taking longer than usual due to slow upload speeds at my temporary residence. Bear with me.

TOMORROW'S STARTERS

TOP-30 PROSPECTS ROUNDUP

  1. Tyler Beede: DNP
  2. Christian Arroyo: DNP
  3. Bryan Reynolds: 2-for-6, R, 3B, 2 SO, SB
  4. Steven Duggar: DNP
  5. Chris Shaw: 1-for-4, 2B, BB, 2 SO
  6. Sandro Fabian: 3-for-6, R, BB, SO
  7. Heath Quinn: DNP
  8. Joan Gregorio: DNP
  9. Jordan Johnson: DNP
  10. Andrew Suarez: DNP
  11. Sam Coonrod: DNP
  12. Matt Krook: DNP
  13. Aramis Garcia: DNP
  14. C.J. Hinojosa: DNP
  15. Reyes Moronta: DNP
  16. Rodolfo Martinez: DNP
  17. Austin Slater: 0-for-2, SO
  18. Kelvin Beltre: 1-for-6, R, BB
  19. Dan Slania: DNP
  20. Cory Taylor: DNP
  21. Chris Stratton: DNP
  22. Chase Johnson: DNP
  23. Jalen Miller: 1-for-3, R, 2B, BB, 2 SO
  24. Melvin Adon: DNP
  25. Garrett Williams: DNP
  26. Dylan Davis: 2-for-4, R, HR, SO
  27. Ryder Jones: 2-for-4, 2 R, 2B, BB
  28. Hunter Cole: DNP
  29. Miguel Gomez: 2-for-4
  30. Ryan Howard: DNP

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