Behind Enemy Lines: Birmingham Barons 7/4-8

The Lookouts begin a five game series at home against the Birmingham Barons today, so let’s go behind enemy lines and take a peek at Chattanooga’s next opponent.

Behind Enemy Lines

Team, Record (Affiliate): Birmingham, 5-5, 34-46 (Chicago White Sox)

Dates, Start Times and Pitching Match Ups:

Monday, July 4th 6:15 EST, David Hurlbut (L, 5-3, 3.61) vs Jordan Guerrero (L, 4-3, 4.07)

Tuesday, July 5th 7:15 EST Ryan Eades (R, 4-3, 4.36) vs TBD

Wednesday, July 6th 11:15 EST Stephen Gonsalves (L, 1-1, 8.31) vs Carson Fulmer (R, 4-8, 4.83)

Thursday, July 7th 7:15 EST Aaron Slegers (R, 7-4, 3.41) vs David Holmberg (L, 5-4, 3.71)

Friday, July 8th 7:15 EST Kohl Stewart (R, 1-3, 3.58) vs James Dykstra (R, 2-4, 5.35)                                                   

Barons Team Leaders:

BATTING NAME/# PITCHING NAME/#
AVG RF Eudy Pina (.250) W SP David Holmberg (5)
R 2B Joey DeMichele (49) SV RP Peter Tago (5)
HR 2B Joey DeMichele (7) SO SP Carson Fulmer (80)
RBI IF Eddy Alvarez (37) ERA SP David Holmberg(3.71)
SB CF Adam Engel (27) WHIP SP David Holmberg(1.27)

Top Performers, CHA vs BIR in 2016

CHA: Daniel Palka-.432, 16-for-37, 4-2B, 7HR, 11R, 17RBI, 1.108SLG, 1.619OPS in 10G

Travis Harrison – .342, 13-for-38, 4-2B, 2-3B, HR, 9R, 10RBI in 10G

Trevor Hildenberger – 0.00 ERA, 2/2 in save opportunities, 3 IP, 2 H, 2 K in 3G

Aaron Slegers – 3.75 ERA, 12 IP, 10 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 4 BB, 12 K in 2GS

Birmingham: Adam Engel-.316, 12-for-38, 4-2B, 3B, 7R, 4RBI, 4BB, 2SB in 9G

Eudy Pina- .297, 11-for-37, 2B, HR, 5R, 2RBI in 10G

Carson Fulmer- 1-1, 1.50 ERA, 12 IP, 10 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 14 K in 2 GS

David Holmberg- 1-0, 3.46 ERA, 13 IP, 14 H, 8 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 9 K in 2 GS

Top Prospects (per MLBPipeline):

RHP Carson Fulmer, Rank – #1 in system, #33 in Top 100

2016 stats – 4-8, 4.83 ERA, 82.0 IP (16GS), 77 H, 48 BB, 80 K, .248 BAA, 1.52 WHIP

Carson Fulmer turned a monster last year of NCAA baseball in which he led Division 1 with 14 wins and ranked second with 167 strikeouts into being drafted eighth overall in last year’s draft. After carving up high Class A batters with 25 strikeouts in 22 innings during the 2015 season, Fulmer will try to follow Chris Sale and Carlos Rodon’s example of rushing through the White Sox system and getting to the big leagues quickly. Scouts rated Fulmer’s fastball a 70-out-of-80 as he can ramp it up from 93-97 MPH and gave his power curveball a 60, giving Carson two above average major league offerings. Both pitches along with his at least-average rated changeup suggest a pitcher that can slot in to the top half of a rotation, though some believe Fulmer will ultimately end up in the bullpen. The Lookouts will face Fulmer for the third time this season Wednesday morning when he starts opposite Chattanooga’s Stephen Gonsalves. In his two previous starts against the Lookouts, Fulmer is 1-1 with a 1.50 ERA.

CF Adam Engel, Rank – #4 in system

2016 stats – .223 AVG, 55H-247AB, 41 R, 19 RBI, 11 2B, 6 3B, 4 HR, 35BB, 59K, .331OBP

Adam Engel proved a difficult player to place entering the 2013 draft, rating as one of the best all-around athletes, but coming in with just a .265 average and two home runs in three years at Louisville. This contradiction carried over into his pro career, particularly last season, when Engel led the Class A Advanced Carolina League in runs (90) and stolen bases (65) but also finished at the top in strikeouts (132) and had just a .704 OPS. The ceiling for Engel remains high though as demonstrated by his phenomenal work in the Arizona Fall League, where he won MVP honors after batting .403 with a .536 on-base percentage and .642 slugging percentage. That success continued at the start of 2016 with Winston-Salem where Engel hit .327 through the first fourteen games before getting called up to Birmingham. Engel has struggled since the call-up but given his stellar athleticism and speed (his run tool is rated a perfect 80-of-80 on the scouting scale), he will always be a useful weapon that should at least make it to the majors as a fourth outfielder.

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