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Minor Matters: Miguel Ferreras Making Progress

June 18, 2013 | By RotoRob | comment on this post
A.J. Schugel has been pitching better in the Los Angeles Angels organization.
Things have been looking up for Angels’ pitching prospect A.J. Schugel (right).

Pittsburgh Pirates pitching prospect Miguel Ferreras continues to get stretched out in this, first season as a full-time starter. And while the 21-year-old righty isn’t exactly dominating the Dominican Summer League, there have been some promising developments.

In his start Monday, Ferreras lasted five innings for the first time this season, and while he gave up five hits and three runs, he matched his season-high with six strikeouts while enjoying his first walk-free outing of the season.

Through three starts, opponents are batting just .205 against Ferreras, and that has to have the Pirates thinking this 6’5″ Dominican is nearly ready to go stateside after three seasons in the DSL.

Farm Seedlings

  • Heading into the season, A.J. Schugel was the No. 12 prospect on the Angels as ranked by Well, to say that he’s struggling to adjust to his first season in Triple-A is an understatement. Despite plenty of Ks, he went 0-1 with a 7.54 ERA in April and was battered in May to the tune of a .365 BAA and 8.36 ERA. However, Schugel has really turned things around this month – notwithstanding his outing Monday, that is. He had won his last three starts, each more impressive than the previous one, culminating in a six-inning shutout performance Wednesday. He’s a small (5’11”) righty that will be 23 later this month but doesn’t seem fazed by a heavy workload. Last year was Schugel’s first season starting full time and he logged over 140 IP and this season he’s tied for the PCL lead in starts (15) and has already pitched nearly 75 frames. The Angels’ 25th rounder from 2010 is still a tad raw on the mound as he was a two-way player in college. Schugel throws strikes (and gets lots of movement on his pitches which you can see in the video below), which is always a good thing, but it’s unclear if his stuff is good enough to translate into a major league rotation.
  • You may recall that when the Padres’ rotation was reduced to rubble last year, southpaw Andrew Werner was among the cast of thousands given a shot, and he made eight starts, more or less holding his own. San Diego dealt him to Oakland in the Tyson Ross deal in the offseason and given his work at Triple-A this year, Werner hasn’t exactly put himself in consideration for another look in the Show. In fairness, Werner also got off to an ugly start (8.78 in five April starts) before starting to roll in May and June. Like Schugel, he was ripped Monday to end a really nice run. In his eight previous outings, Werner had seven quality starts and had not given up more than three earned runs once. Through a PCL-leading 15 starts, the former Indy League star had worked 90 1/3 IP, putting him on pace to smash his previous organized ball high (136 1/3). Home runs have been a problem for Werner as his normally extreme groundball rate has dramatically neutralized. This soft tosser’s fastball only averaged 87.9 mph during his run with the Padres last year, so keeping the ball on the ground is vital for his chances. Werner, 26, could emerge as a long man/spot starter if the A’s have a need later this year.

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