Time: Things change as it moves

We’ve vanquished another minor-league All-Star Break, which means we’ve officially made it past the halfway mark of the season. In week one, we took a ridiculous look at small-sample size performances and how they’d look if the players kept them up all year. Now that we’re almost 100 games in, we take to the equally ridiculous task of measuring current performances to those absurd early ones.

CHARLOTTE

Danny Hayes on the bases in Spring Training back field action (Daniel Shapiro / Future Sox)

Danny Hayes on the bases in Spring Training back field action (Daniel Shapiro / Future Sox)

As the first week of April drew to a close, Yoan Moncada was on pace for 243 hits, with a .387 average, 47 SB, 20 CS, and 202 strikeouts.

Now, with 54 games remaining in the season, he’s on target for 129 hits, a .282 average, 26 SB, 8 CS, and 150 strikeouts – definitely an improvement there. He spent some time on the disabled list – something our highly scientific original column could not have foreseen – and also missed a couple of games in order to strike out against Michael Kopech in the Futures Game, which was delightful.

Moncada will almost certainly be called up before long, but the Sox may want to keep him down to see if he can chase those 129 hits, that magical number.

Danny Hayes, as it turned out, did not hit two grand slams a week so far this season. It looks like he may fall shy of setting the International League doubles record (that’s what’s projected to happen when you hit three doubles in the first week of play, apparently), but he’s still close to the team lead in Total Bases with 128 and could finish the season with over 200.

Willy Garcia deviated from his week-one projection perhaps the most; in fact, he was promoted to the Sox the same day the original column was published, rendering the sentence “Everyone is very surprised when he is not called up” both obsolete and half-true. Willy has had two stays with the Sox this year, a brief stint in April and a lengthier one from May 2nd until July 10th. He hasn’t appeared for Charlotte since April 30th.

Following a similar path was Kevan Smith. Initially predicted to finish the Triple-A season with a decent 319 runs knocked in while allowing 106 runners to steal, Smith has exceeded all expectations by largely taking over backstop duties for the Sox. Smith has been in the bigs since May 10th, and although he’s fulfilled less than 10% of his prophesied RBI, he has allowed 27 stolen bases in 39 games. There’s still time.

As opposed to the first week of the season, by this point there have, shockingly, been some roster changes, none of which will be covered here.

Meanwhile, pitcher Reynaldo Lopez seems to be halving the number of projected home runs given up, dropping from a predicted 41 all the way to 20. Breaking 200 strikeouts seems like a long shot as he currently owns 89, but a projected 147 isn’t bad.

Tyler Danish rolls, giving up just 27 runs in 135 IP all year, good for a 1.80 ERA. His record is 27-0.” Let’s rewrite and update this. “Tyler Danish occasionally crumbly as he gives up 75 earned runs in 148 IP for a 4.57 ERA. His record is 3-12.” It’s a little unfair as Danish’s poor starts tend to be extremely poor, overshadowing more frequent decent performances, and it doesn’t include his scoreless spot start with the Sox in May.

Lucas Giolito has, by now, received a decision in a game. He has received 11, to the tune of a 3-8 record, lending itself to a potential 5-13 year-end record. This is perhaps because Chris Beck and David Holmberg have both been called up and can no longer vulture away his victories.

At 63-79, the Knights do not make the playoffs.

BIRMINGHAM

Michael Kopech pitches for the Barons (Ron Vesely)

Michael Kopech pitches for the Barons (Ron Vesely)

Cleuluis Rondon did not hit .545 on the season, shocking and amazing all. Rondon was released in June after his average fell close to .200, and is now in Miami and out of this projection.

Trey Michalczewski’s doubles have pulled ahead of his triples, and he’s made it to five home runs, exceeding the first-week projection of zero.

The good news is that Courtney Hawkins is over-performing the strikeout stat projected to him after week one (314; now projected for 118). The bad news is he is underperforming everywhere else. Maybe next year we’ll talk about how Hawkins is on pace for a 250+ strikeout season, only as a pitcher.

A couple rough games have slowed Kopech, but only as far as you can slow down any Asgardian. 280 strikeouts, as originally projected after that first great start he had in Birmingham, may not be feasible, but he’s on pace to end up with 177, which is more amazing because it’s realistic.

The Barons finish 53-90.

WINSTON-SALEM

Zack Collins was selected to play for the U.S. squad in the Futures Game (Photo by Jody Stewart/Winston-Salem Dash).

Zack Collins was selected to play for the U.S. squad in the Futures Game (Photo by Jody Stewart/Winston-Salem Dash).

Our original and, we cannot emphasize this enough, extremely scientific projection for Zack Collins had him throwing out 112 would-be stealers and allowing only 28 to succeed (80% success from his perspective). This is… not as far off as it could have been. As it stands, Collins has thrown 35 out on the basepaths and has allowed 51 steals. It’s no 80%, but it is 41% with a relatively large sample, and if he can keep up anywhere close to that (not to mention maintain the OBP), he could very well force the Sox to keep him catching.

Louie Lechich gave up a run. Actually, he gave up nine earned runs. But he’s spread them across 34.1 IP, good for a 2.36 ERA, so the Lechich train is going full speed ahead.

The Dash are on pace to end up with a 52-88 record.

KANNAPOLIS

From AZL 2016 (Kim Contreras / FutureSox)

From AZL 2016 (Kim Contreras / FutureSox)

Micker Adolfo has made a truly remarkable recovery and did not, as projected, spend the entire season after the first two days on the disabled list. He was only out of action for about a week, and has been healthy ever since. The 20-year-old outfielder is finally having a solid breakout year, hitting .274 with 12 home runs and 24 doubles.

The Fearsome Foursome of Kyle Kubat, Luis Ledo, Mike Morrison, and Chris Comito did end up giving up more than one run this season. Ledo and Comito are both doing well with Great Falls, while Kubat and Morrison are both outstanding with Winston-Salem.

The Intimidators finish 75-65, and have in fact already clinched a playoff spot. The future is way down there, but it’s bright.

TAKEAWAYS

It turns out that first week success is often unsustainable throughout a regular season; this news surely to shake the foundations of baseball.

All silliness aside, the whole system is a lot more fun to look through, top to bottom, than it has been in years past. The youth is coming from inside the farm, and it should be a fun next couple seasons.

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