The only players with a lot of time with the Bulls last year are Leslie Anderson (121 games) and Brandon Guyer (107 games). Nevin Ashley got in 32 games last year as one of six different catchers who played with the Bulls in 2011. Top prospect Tim Beckham came up in August and got in 24 games at SS. He played some second base in spring training, so we might see him there. He was usually the leadoff hitter. Comments on their play last year is here.
That leaves eight guys new to a Durham Bulls roster. However, only Shawn O’Malley is new to AAA baseball. Brandon Guyer is the only position player on the 40-man.
The depth of major league experience is substantial. Nine of the 12 players on the Bulls has at least some major league time. Only Leslie Anderson, Shawn O’Malley, and Nevin Ashley do not.
Is there a concern? Well, yes. With the exception of Kyle Hudson (26 stolen bases in 2011), none of them has shown anything special in terms of base running speed, although Guyer did steal 16 over 107 games last year.
We also have to worry how many are on “opt-out” contracts. An opt-out contract allows a player to leave the team at a specified time if certain conditions haven’t been met (promotion to the active roster or at least the 40-man roster, for example).
On the other hand, I have to say that the defensive “diamond”, catcher, SS, 2B, CF looks very good with two solid catchers, three above average middle infielders (Beckham, Rhymes and O’Malley), and Guyer in CF.
For a change the infield corners look promising with Mangini and Miranda in place. That’s the first time in many years I’ve been able to say that.
Is there some bat pop missing? I’m not sure. Maybe.
For those who’d like to chase the stats on the new guys, here’s some links:
- Catcher Chris Gimenez (28): Majors, Minors
- Infielder Matt Mangini (25): Majors, Minors
- Infielder Juan Miranda (28): Majors, Minors
- Infielder Will Rhymes (29): Majors, Minors
- Outfielder Jesus Feliciano (31): Majors, Minors
- Outfielder Kyle Hudson (24): Majors, Minors
- Outfielder Jeff Salazar (29): Major, Minors