Coming off a ridiculous 30-0 loss to Lake Elsinore on Friday, Lancasterâ€™s offense was looking for some wayâ€”any way, reallyâ€”to rebound.
Enter Aaron Bates, who hit his way into history with four home runs in the JetHawksâ€™ 14-12 win against the Storm on Saturday.
â€˜It was definitely embarrassing the night before,â€ the 2006 third-round pick out of N.C. State said. â€œYou never want to be on the losing end of anything like that. We were all just looking to expand our at-bats, make them better and get good swings on balls.â€
No player had hit four homers in a game in the 66-year history of the California Leagueâ€”a list of players that includes Reggie Jackson (Modesto, 1966), George Brett (San Jose, 1972), Kirby Puckett (Visalia, 1983) and Ken Griffey, Jr. (San Bernadino, 1988). [...] Continue Reading »
In our final installment of our seven-week statistical update, we travel to the mound to look at leaders in essential categoriesâ€”wins included.
A lot of analysts rant about how minor league wins mean nothing, and while thatâ€™s true to an extent, wins at the minor league level do give some sense of a pitcherâ€™s ability to get through at least five innings–especially on those occasions when he doesn’t have his best stuff. Some things in this game canâ€™t be quantified no matter how hard people try, and a pitcher finding a way to win is one of them.
â€œGood players are often easy to find,â€ Royals general manager Dayton Moore says, â€œbut players who are winnersâ€”players who find a way to winâ€”those kinds of players are sometimes a lot tougher to identify.â€
Yovani Gallardo, rhp, Triple-A Nashville (Brewers) 66
Gio Gonzalez, lhp, Double-A Birmingham (White Sox) 62
Chris Cody, lhp, low Class A West Michigan (Tigers) 60
Zach Braddock, lhp, low Class A West Virginia (Brewers) 59
Alan Horne, rhp, Double-A Trenton (Yankees) 59
STRIKEOUTS PER NINE
Zach Braddock, lhp, low Class A West Virginia (Brewers) 13.03
Clayton Kershaw, lhp, low Class A Great Lakes (Dodgers) 12.79
Yovani Gallardo, rhp, Triple-A Nashville (Brewers) 12.21
Ramon Ramirez, rhp, high Class A Sarasota (Reds) 12.03
Taylor Buchholz, rhp, Double-A Portland (Red Sox) 12.03 [...] Continue Reading »
In Part Two of our update, we look at hitters specificallyâ€”including running down the top hitters in the minors by position.
1. Nathan Haynes, of, Triple-A Salt Lake (Angels) .399
2. Brandon Tripp, of, low Class A Delmarva (Orioles) .394
3. Michael Paulk, 1b, low Class A Asheville (Rockies) .375
4. Jesus Merchan, ss, Double-A Reading (Phillies) .374
5. Larry Bigbie, of, Triple-A Las Vegas (Dodgers) .371
1. Tony Granadillo, 2b, high Class A Lancaster (Red Sox) .496
2. Jared Goedert, 3b, low Class A Lake County (Indians) .494
3. Luke Appert, 3b/of, high Class A Stockton (Athletics) .479
4. Nathan Haynes, of, Triple-A Salt Lake (Angels) .476
5. Brandon Tripp, of, low Class A Delmarva (Orioles) .474 [...] Continue Reading »
With a full seven weeks gone in the season, we figured itâ€™d be a fun time to highlight several categories of individual leaders. And thereâ€™s no better place to begin than a couple dubious onesâ€”strikeouts leaders for hitters and walk leaders for pitchers.
Keeping with the lowlights, weâ€™ll then head into the top three errors leaders at each infield position as well as outfielders as a whole.
So here we go:
1. Tim Battle, of, high Class A Tampa (Yankees) 60
2. Jordan Renz, of, high Class A Rancho Cucamonga (Angels) 57
3. Brendan Katin, of, Double-A Jacksonville (Dodgers) 56
4. Chip Cannon, 1b, Double-A New Hampshire (Blue Jays) 55
5. Mike Costanzo, 3b, Double-A Reading (Phillies) 55 [...] Continue Reading »
HIGHS: Yankees righthander Tyler Clippardâ€™s cell phone was the latest in the system to ring to fill a need in the Bronx. Clippard, who went 3-2, 2.72 with 41 strikeouts in 40 innings at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this season, will start tonight against the Mets . . . Brewers third baseman Ryan Braun returned from wrist and groin injuries that hampered him over the last two weeks. Braun went 0-for-3 with a pair of runs scored in Nashvilleâ€™s 5-3 win against Albuquerque . . . Pawtucket pitchers combined to toss a one-hit shutout in the Paw Soxâ€™ 4-0 win against Ottawa. Lefthander Jon Lester allowed the only Lynx hit, a double by second baseman Joe Thurston . . . Pirates lefthander Sean Burnett allowed just three hits over six shutout innings in Indianapolisâ€™ 6-0 win against Buffalo. Burnett walked five and struck out three . . . White Sox third baseman Josh Fields is showing signs of life offensively. Fields hit his seventh homer of the season and drove in five in Charlotteâ€™s 8-2 win against Toledo.
LOWS: Buffalo lefthander Rafael Perez wasnâ€™t particularly impressive in the spring, and while he was good in his only major league appearance this season, heâ€™s been extremely hittable in Triple-A. Perez allowed six runs on nine hits over six innings of the Bisonsâ€™ loss to Indy, and has allowed 46 hits in 42 innings . . . Rockies first baseman Joe Koshansky is hitting for average, but doesnâ€™t look at all like the player who hit 69 homers over the last two seasons. Koshansky, who went 2-for-4 with an RBI in Colorado Springsâ€™ 5-3 win against Sacramento, is hitting .326/.400/.452 with just four homers, five doubles and 27 RBIs. [...] Continue Reading »
HIGHS: It was like taking a step back in time in Triple-A Salt Lakeâ€™s 12-5 win against Fresno. There, for the first time in two years, Brandon Wood and Howie Kendrick hooked up as a middle-infield tandemâ€”two levels ahead from where they were in high Class A Rancho Cucamonga in 2005. Both players have been shuttled back and forth from Los Angeles to Salt Lake since then, but with Wood playing on the corner and Kendrick at his natural position at second base. But Friday, Wood played short. And both wound up homering in the Bees win . . . Diamondbacks utilityman Jamie Dâ€™Antona might have been passed over by Mark Reynolds for a big league spot with Alberto Callaspo going through his recent troubles, but Dâ€™Antona again led Tucsonâ€™s offensive attack in the Sidewindersâ€™ 12-0 shutout against Tacoma. Dâ€™Antona went 3-for-6 with a homer and six RBIs, while Tucson rattled out 23 hits in the victory . . . Marlins outfielder Brett Carroll stayed red-hot since being called up to Albuquerque. Carroll, who batted .270/.359/.490 at Double-A Carolina, went 2-for-5 with a triple and two RBIs in the Isotopesâ€™ 6-4 win against Nashville. In just 37 Triple-A at-bats, Carroll is hitting .378 with four homers.
LOWS: Tigers righthander Virgil Vasquez still looked a little shell-shocked after giving up six earned runs on nine hits over 2 2/3 innings against the Twins in his major league debut last week. Vasquez, who had been solid in Toledo prior to the callup, allowed seven earned runs on 10 hitsâ€”including two homersâ€”in the Mud Hensâ€™ 8-7 win against Louisville . . . Yankees righthander Steven Jackson got hammered in Scranton/Wilkes-Barreâ€™s 8-5 loss to Norfolk. Jackson allowed six runs on 10 hits over 5 2/3 innings. [...] Continue Reading »
We at Baseball America enjoy following the progress of big league rookies just as much as you do. Maybe more. But because BAâ€™s coverage is focused through the prism of player development, we often lose touch with young players once they reach the majors, i.e. the public domain.
The Athletics are taking it one step at a time with low Class A Kane County righthander Craig Italianoâ€™s recovery.
The 2005 second-round pick was struck by a line drive in the forehead off the bat of Wisconsin shortstop Carlos Triunfel in the top of the third inning on Monday, and spent three days in a Chicago hospital before being released Thursday evening.
The Cleveland native sustained a slight fracture to his skull, and is expected to miss at least two months, but likely will be out for the remainder of the season.
“There are still decisions to be made by our medical personnel as to the length of time he will miss and the exact protocol for his rehab,” Athletics farm director Keith Lieppmann said. “He will probably stay in the Chicago area until there is a final recommendation on the proper care and rehab for his injury.”
It was the ugliest such event to happen in the minors since 2004, when Pirates lefthander Paul Maholm was hit in the face with a line drive while pitching at low Class A Hickory. [...] Continue Reading »
Indians righthander Adam Miller missed his scheduled start Thursday for Triple-A Buffalo with a finger injury, and while the Tribe doesnâ€™t have a hard timetable for a return, they are optimistic the 22-year-old will be back on the mound quickly.
â€œAdam had some soreness in the top joint of his middle finger the day following his last start,â€ assistant general manager Chris Antonetti said. â€œWe expect that he will be back in the Buffalo rotation soon.â€
When the injury came to light prior to Millerâ€™s start, a source from the Bisons described the finger problem as similar to an injury associated with rock climbing, which certainly made Indians fans wary. [...] Continue Reading »
Brandon Erbe is coming off his worst back-to-back starts in his young career with the Orioles.
The 6-foot-4, 180-pound righty recorded just two outs during his May 11th start at Myrtle Beach. He issued three walks on his way to exceeding the organization’s minor league single-inning pitch limit of 30. Erbe took the mound again last Wednesday (May 16th) and gave up 12 runs on 11 hits in three innings.
“He was just trying to throw too hard…just overdoing it and his ball straightened out a little bit,” Orioles’ farm director David Stockstill said. “But there weren’t any mechanical or physical problems. He’s just fine.
After coming into spring training with an injured oblique muscle, Billy Rowell is finally close to making his 2007 debut.
“Billy is participating in games and getting his innings built up right now,” Orioles farm director Davis Stockstill said. “We’re getting him built up to play nine innings (in extended spring training) and looking at getting him back-to-back days this weekend, and then we’ll be able to make a better evaluation of where he’s at. But he’s coming along really well, swinging the bat well, and we’re very optimistic that he’ll be up north here in the very near future.” [...] Continue Reading »
In Today’s BAPR, Justin Upton is human; he only doubled on Thursday to halt his home run streak. Jake Fox continued to punish Southern League hitters, and Brian Bogusevic seems to be figuring things out.
Charlie Zink was promoted to Pawtucket to make a fill-in start. It didn’t go well. Zink allowed nine runs in three innings as Wes Bankston and Elliot Johnson hit two of Durham’s five home runs. The Pawtucket Times also notes that Jon Lester is rejoining the PawSox, although he won’t be allowed to throw his cutter as a precaution as he returns from forearm cramps. [...] Continue Reading »
To say Justin Upton is hot would be the understatement of the season so far.
The first overall pick in 2005, who was at times criticized by scouts in the low Class A Midwest League for not playing to his full capacity last year, spent just five weeks at high Class A Visalia before being promoted to Double-A.
And nobodyâ€™s criticizing the 19-year-old these days.
Since landing in Mobile, Upton has destroyed Southern League pitching, going 5-for-10 with four home runs and driving in 10. Thatâ€™s been good news for the BayBears, who had won just five games in May prior to Uptonâ€™s arrival.
â€œNothing fazes this kid,â€ Mobile manager Brett Butler said. â€œAbsolutely nothing. Heâ€™s on a mission.â€ [...] Continue Reading »
Over his first four years in the Cubsâ€™ system, Jake Fox steadily climbed the ladder while continuing to learn the nuances of life behind the plate.
A third-round pick out of Michigan in 2003, Foxâ€™s career path took a turn during instructional league last fall, when the Cubs started trying to implement some defensive versatility with the 24-year-old catcher.
Fox played left field throughout instructs in anticipation for spring training, but now thereâ€™s even more on his plate. These days, Fox brings four gloves with him wherever he goes.
â€œHeâ€™s played some first base and weâ€™re starting working some ground balls to him at third base as well now,â€ Double-A Tennessee manager Pat Listach said. â€œHeâ€™s definitely increased his versatility by working his tail off.
â€œHeâ€™s a good left fielder right now and with his background as a catcher . . . it just makes him an extremely valuable commodity. He still needs work on his reactions (on both corner infield spots), but heâ€™s been a joy to watch. He works very hard every day and thatâ€™s really all you can ask for from a guy whoâ€™s learning so much on the fly.â€ [...] Continue Reading »
If you follow prospects at all you know that Justin Upton is on an amazing hot streak, but Heath Rollins amazing first full pro season, which includes a 38-inning stretch without giving up an earned run, might have gone unnoticed. Today’s BAPR Plus tries to rectify that oversight a little bit.
Jason Hammel is living proof that bad records happen to good pitchers. Hammel lost his fifth straight decision on Wednesday to drop to 1-5, which makes it sound like he’s been pretty brutal. The reality is that his teammates have been brutal for him. He picked up no decisions in his first two starts, as Durham lost 2-1 both times despite the fact that Hammel left one game with a no-hitter and another after giving up one run in five innings. Things have gotten worse since, the Bulls were shut out in four straight Hammel starts coming into last night. They finally scored him some runs against Pawtucket, but Hammel had his worst outing of the season in a 7-4 loss. Chad Spann and Kevin Cash homered for the PawSox. [...] Continue Reading »
Wednesday marked one month since Dodgers lefthander Scott Elbert took the mound, and the club’s 2004 first-rounder isn’t expected to be back anytime soon.
Elbert, who is 0-1, 3.86 with 24 strikeouts in 14 innings at Double-A Jacksonville this season, has been sidelined with shoulder tendinitis that flared up in his last start on April 16. In that outing, Elbert walked seven over three innings.
“He’s still working on his shoulder, trying to work through it,” Dodgers farm director De Jon Watson said. “There is tendinitis in the shoulder area and we are not going to rush this. There is no timetable for his return right now.”
Tiger lefthander Andrew Miller will make his first major league start Friday against the Cardinals. He takes the turn of righthander Jeremy Bonderman, who was placed on the disabled list with blister problems on the middle finger of his right hand.
The 21-year-old Miller, the sixth overall pick from North Carolina last year, was promoted to Double-A Erie just last week and had pitched eight shutout innings in his only start there Saturday. He appeared in eight big league games for the Tigers in 2006, all in relief.
“He’s ready–otherwise he wouldn’t be here,” Tigers assistant general manager Al Avila said. “All the stuff is there. As far as we’re concerned, all systems are go with him.” [...] Continue Reading »
Everyone in the Phillies organization refers to reliever Mike Zagurski as ‘Mini-Me.’ Not that this is meant to be flattering, as the 2005 12th-round pick’s body–thick through the middle like a barrel–reminds assistant general manager Mike Arbuckle of his current frame.
“We kid him about it, but the bottom line is this kid gets the job done,” Arbuckle said. “He’s got pretty good stuff.” [...] Continue Reading »
Righthander Bobby Parnell is back to being Bobby Parnell, and the 22-year-old Mets righthander might even be more than that.
The 2005 ninth-round pick out of Charleston Southern burst on the prospect scene right after the draft, leading the short-season New York-Penn League with a 1.73 ERA in his first exposure to pro ball. But Parnell took a step back in his first full season in 2006, first putting up 5-10, 4.04 numbers in 94 innings at low Class A Hagerstown and then was pummeled in three starts in St. Lucie.
And even though Parnell allowed a season-high four earned runs on seven hits over 3 2/3 innings in St. Lucie’s 4-3 loss to Palm Beach on Tuesday, there are plenty of reasons to believe he’s for real. [...] Continue Reading »
Reds righthander Homer Bailey was placed on the minor league disabled list Monday with a strained right groin.
The Reds described the move as cautionary and did not expect Bailey to miss more than his scheduled start on Thursday for Triple-A Louisville. Because minor league teams can disable players for as few as seven days, Bailey will be eligible to return Sunday.
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