Sunday, January 23, 2011

Carlos Carrasco & The Home Run Ball

In 2003, Carlos Carrasco was signed by the Philadelphia Phillies as a 16 year old amatuer free agent.     By 2005, he would make it to A ball (Lakeland) where he would  struggle, putting up a 1-7 record with a 7.04 ERA.  2006 would be a breakout season where he'd post a 12-6 record with an ERA of 2.26.  According to data acquired at, Carrasco would see his K% jump from 15.9% to 24.7%, his BB rate would increase slightly, but his groundball % would increase from 42% to 50% which helped lower his HR rate from 1.58 to 0.34.  Carrasco would finish 2007 in AA Reading and finish the 2008 season in AAA Lehigh Valley where he'd finish the season with a 2-2 record and 1.72 ERA.  Carrasco would struggle in his first full season in AAA.  He would make 20 starts for Lehigh Valley and posted a 6-9 record with a very unflattering ERA of 5.18.  He would also have a problem catching too much of the plate as he gave up 14 HR in 114.2 innings pitched (1.0 HR/9).  I highly recommend checking out the baseball-intellect link.

On July 29, 2009, Carlos Carrasco was part of a six player deal that saw the Philadelphia Phillies aquire Tribe Ace Cliff Lee and outfielder Ben Francisco in exchange for himself and right handed pitcher Jason Knapp, shortstop Jason Donald, and catcher Lou Marson.  Carrasco would report to AAA Columbus and where he'd find more success than he did in Lehigh Valley going 5-1 with a 3.19 ERA and was successful in lowering his HR/9 to a more reasonable 0.6.  Carrasco would receive a September callup by the Indians and major league hitters weren't kind to him.  Carrasco would get battered by major league hitters and finished the year 0-4 with a 8.87 ERA giving up 6 HR in 22.1 innings (2.4 HR/9!!!).    Carrasco would spend the majority of 2010 in AAA Columbus where he'd make 25 starts, pitch 150.1 innings, with a record of 10-6 and an ERA of 3.65.  Carrasco's big problem was again the HR ball as he'd give up 16 HR in 150.1 IP (1 HR/9).  Carassco would receive a callup to the Indians on September 1st and finish the year 2-2 with an ERA of 3.83.  He'd give up 6 HR in 44.2 IP (1.2 HR/9).

Carlos Carrasco will be 24 years old come opening day 2011 and barring an injury will be a member of the rotation.  He has made 57 starts at the AAA level going 23-18 with a 3.90 ERA  over a total of 344 innings.  What Cleveland fans are going to have to get used to is Carrasco's tendency to give up the HR ball.  Through his three AAA minor league seasons his HR/9 rate was a 0.9 and in his brief stints in the majors it was 2.4 in 2009 and 1.2 in 2010.  Carrasco is going to have to limit the walks which he had a 2.7 BB/9 through his three AAA seasons and a 4.4 in the majors in 2009 and a 2.8 in 2010.  Carassco will have to improve his K/9 rates which over his three AAA seasons was 8.6 but slipped to 4.4 in 2009 and 7.7 in 2010.  It should be noted that the 2009 and 2010 ML data is a very small sample size.    Since the HR is Carrasco's primary challenge, I put together a look at all of Carrasco's gopher balls.  From the slide show below you can see who hit the home run, what park it was in, what the count was, whether the batter was lefty/right, what type of pitch it was, etc.  Additionally, if you click on the Game Recap picture you shoulld be able to see video of each home run.

2005183 Teams3 LgsA-A--RkPHI1107.921.7352.
2007202 Teams2 LgsAA-A+PHI1263.861.3001.
2008212 Teams2 LgsAA-AAAPHI993.691.3480.
200821Lehigh ValleyILAAAPHI221.721.3640.
2009222 Teams1 LgAAAPHI,CLE11104.641.2361.
200922Lehigh ValleyILAAAPHI695.181.3601.
7 Seasons60514.011.2880.
AAA (3 seasons)23183.901.2470.
A (2 seasons)13133.611.2340.
AA (2 seasons)13114.521.4321.
Rk (2 seasons)543.401.3580.
A- (1 season)0313.502.2174.
A+ (1 season)622.841.0191.
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 1/23/2011.

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