Position Player--Jay Garthwaite
Perhaps the most impressive month of any position player in the system came
out of Lancaster. Jay Garthwaite has always had the power, he's always had
the clutch sense of hitting, his only drawback has been the strikeout.
None of that changed in August, but when the ball hit the bat, it traveled for
Garthwaite. He hit .333 on the month, with 8 homers and a whopping 36 RBI.
Garthwaite was simply on fire. He had 40 hits on the month, and 20 went
for extra bases, he scored 20 runs despite hitting sixth for the majority of the
month, and he played four positions in the field as well as DH-ing.
Garthwaite's problem has been inconsistency and strikeouts, simple as that.
He made 80 outs during the month of August, and 35 were via the strikeout, and
while he hit .333 in August, it follows the up and down pattern he's fleshed out
for himself this season. April: .361. May: .236. June: .329.
July: .213. If Garthwaite, who turns 25 this November, wants a chance to
move up, he'll have to string together several good months, and cut down on the
We make no bones about it, here at FutureBacks we are partial to catchers and
middle relievers. We love the guys who don't get the credit, but
ultimately decide the game. That's why we really wanted to give pitcher of
the month to Micah Owings. Owings had a stellar month, making 10
appearances, going 1-1 and striking out 19 in 14.1 innings pitched, but
ultimately the award, for the second month in a row, had to go to Matt Chico.
Well, Owings is going to be a starter anyway.
Chico on the other hand is a starter right now, and one of the top three left
handed starting prospects in the system. Though he was knocked back during
his time in Double-A, he's been better than advertised in Lancaster this year.
Perhaps the most intriguing thing about Chico has been his ability to succeed
even when he hasn't had his best stuff. A prime example came in his second
start of August. Without his best control Chico walked five, but still
managed to come away with the victory, allowing just two earned runs in five
innings pitched. It was a testament to the maturity getting beat up in
has helped instill in the youngster.
Expect Chico to start 2006 in the same place he finished '05, Lancaster.
Though he was stellar in his time in Hi-A, conventional wisdom says that you
start the kid where he had success, let him build his arm strength and (more
importantly) his confidence, and then move him up, so as to not be put in a
position where you are (once again) demoting him. He's only 22 years old,
which mean you've got some time, and depending on what happens with Javier Vazquez, Dustin Nippert, and Brad Halsey, the Diamondbacks rotation looks to be
set for a little while anyway, so moving him too fast carries few rewards, and
you don't want to risk a left arm this talented.