Hot and Cold: 4/28-5/4

Our first installment of Hot and Cold this season features the start of a
possible breakout season from Steven Upchurch, and some Jared Mitchell


Hot Hitter: Tyler Flowers, C, AAA

After a miserable 2010 season, expectations for Tyler Flowers coming
into this season were low, but a strong spring training showing where he hit
.476/.542/.857 gave us some reason for hope. He has slumped back to his usual level
of performance in the Minors, however, posting a .239/.352/.478 line in April,
displaying good patience and power, but absolutely no discipline, as he struck
out in a third of his plate appearances. He managed to control the strikeouts
much more successfully this week though, and finds himself as our hot hitter as
a result (though hitting a home run in three straight games also helped). His
line for the week was .333/.500/.933, 3 HR, 6 BB/4 SO. Honorable mentions:  Dan Black- .435/.435/.870, Dayan Viciedo-
.333/.333/.407 and Christian Marrero- .429/.467/.750.

Cold Hitter: Jared Mitchell, OF, A+

Even though he’s receiving our cold hitter of the week
acknowledgement, it’s just nice to have Jared Mitchell back in action, and I
look forward to writing about him a lot more this season. I predicted that
Mitchell would struggle this season due to the time he has missed, the rawness
of his game, and the aggressive affiliate placement that he received (I would
have started him in Kannapolis), and so far it’s proving to be an accurate
prediction. For the season Mitchell is hitting just .210/.262/.380 and for the
week he hit a meager .130/.200/.174. The overall power has been very good (.170
ISO), but everything else has been bad, particularly his discipline, with his
K% sitting at a rather staggering 32.7%. Honorable mentions: Kenny Williams
Jr.- .190/.261/.333, Jose Martinez- .200/.231/.320 and Josh Phegley-


Hot Pitcher: Steven Upchurch, SP/RP, A

We’ve always been fans of Steven Upchurch here at, but
even we were starting to lose faith in him after watching his SO% drop yet
again in his third season in rookie ball last year, but he has been terrific
this year with Kannapolis. In two appearances this week (7.1 IP), he struck out
9 batters while walking 0 and allowing just 1 run (1.23 ERA) on 4 hits (0.5454
WHIP). On the season Upchurch now has 22 SO/2 BB in his 19.2 innings of work. His
ERA sits at 1.83. He has been aided by a very low BABIP (.178), but his FIP is
still good at 3.33. It’s difficult to know what to expect from Upchurch going
forward due to his track record, but his stuff was highly thought of at one point,
so don’t be surprised if we’re watching the start of a breakout season from
him. Honorable mentions: Andre Rienzo- 7 IP, 1.29 ERA, 2 BB/9 SO, Ryan Buch- 6
IP, 1.50 ERA, 2 BB/6 SO and Matt Zaleski- 7 IP, 0.00 ERA, 2 BB/8 SO.

Cold Pitcher: Jacob Petricka, SP, A

After an electric start to the year Jacob Petricka has been scuffling
a little over his last two outings, particularly in his start this week, where
he gave up 4 ER in 5 IP, striking out 2 and walking 3. It was the first start
on the year in which he has finished with less than a strikeout per inning, and
his 3 walks are a season high. Overall this season Petricka has been excellent,
with 31 SO/9 BB in 27 IP. His ERA (3.00) has even been inflated by a high BABIP
(.377) and his FIP sits at an impressive 2.34. There’s a lot to like about
Petricka and hopefully we’ll see him challenged with a promotion to High-A
shortly. Honorable mentions: Matt Heidenreich- 3.1 IP, 13.50 ERA, 4 BB/2 SO,
Joe Serafin- 9 ERA, 8 IP, 2 BB/6 SO and Jhonny Nunez- 40.51 ERA, 2 BB/3 SO.

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