If you read the four classification stat wraps we unveiled over the past week, you may be wondering exactly what the averages were for the 10 full-season minor leagues. You need wonder no more:
• The walk, strikeout and extra-base hits percentages are figured per plate appearance.
• The offensive measures do not include pitchers batting at the Triple-A and Double-A levels. Pitchers do not bat at either Class A level.
• The Runs category is simply the number of runs scored by the average team in the league, providing another picture of offensive environment. [...] Continue Reading »
Best Run Differential: Dayton: +124 (finished third in Eastern Division at 78-62)
Fun Fact: 3B Juan Francisco led the league with 25 homers and OF Drew Stubbs led with 93 runs
Best Player: 2B Justin Turner, .311/.374/.446 with 10 HR, 25 2B and 12 SB
Best Pitcher: RHP Sean Watson, 5-2, 1.88 in 72 IP with 85-13 K-BB
Worst Run Differential: Great Lakes: -166 (finished fifth in Eastern Division at 57-82)
Dubious Distinction: The Loons’ offense was respectable—led by 1B Eduardo Perez, OF Matt Berezay and 3B Josh Bell—but pitching, with the exception of LHP Clayton Kershaw, was the club’s downfall. Great Lakes pitchers surrendered the most walks and runs in the league. [...] Continue Reading »
This week’s installment considers all transactions reported between Sept. 15-21. Last week’s transactions available here.
With the minor league season concluded, most of the transactions center on winter league assignments and players being reinstated from the DL. You’ve been warned.
Reinstated from disabled list: RHP Chris Kinsey, RHP Dallas Buck, RHP Derik Nippert, RHP Donald Julio, RHP Ivan Cedeno, RHP Jeff Bajenaru, RHP Matt Fowles, SS Blake Sharpe, SS Shea McFeely, OF Jereme Milons
Placed on restricted list: OF Matt Esquivel
Recalled: RHP Blaine Boyer, RHP Chad Paronto, RHP Joey Devine, RHP Phil Stockman, OF Brandon Jones, OF Gregor Blanco
Selected to 40-man roster: RHP David Bennett, OF Brandon Jones
Optioned to Triple-A: OF Brandon Jones
Designated for assignment: RHP Kevin Barry, OF T.J. Bohn
Reinstated from disabled list: RHP Barry Vines, RHP Chen-En Hung, RHP Cory Rasmus, RHP Erik Cordier, RHP Jairo Cuevas, RHP Joe Johnson, RHP Jonathan Johnson, RHP Jose Santiago, RHP Kyle Cofield, RHP Moises Hernandez, RHP Paul Bush, RHP Ryan Baerlocher, RHP Sergio Valenzuela, RHP Tim Gustafson, LHP Adam Stanley, LHP Carlos Rivas, LHP Gary Hyde, LHP Jon Venters, C Fernando Lunar, C Jose Camarena, 1B Greg Creek, SS Paul Bennett, OF Ivan Terrazas, OF Leonardo Ware
Reinstated from inactive list: RHP Jamie Richmond, 3B Eric Campbell, OF Matt Esquivel
Jones was called to the majors after his Richmond Braves won the International League title, only to be returned to Triple-A for the Bricktown Showdown, the winner-take-all game against the Pacific Coast League. The Braves lost that game, and Jones hasn’t gotten into a big league game since. He’s headed to the Mexican League, where he’ll face all sorts of breaking balls, in order to get him ready for the big leagues in 2008. [...] Continue Reading »
The Twins had a second prospect suspended this year for violating MLB’s drug of abuse program. Outfielder Eli Tintor was suspended Monday, effective for the first 50 games of the 2008 season. Tintor, who rated as having the best outfield arm in the Twins system entering the 2007 season, split his season between low Class A Beloit and high Class A Fort Myers, struggling at the higher classification. He posted a combined .636 OPS between the two levels.
Earlier in the season, Minnesota farmhand Anthony Swarzak, a righthander, was suspended for violating MLB’s drug-of-abuse policy.
Best Run Differential: Lancaster: +210 (finished first in Southern Division at 83-57)
Fun Fact: Where to begin? The JetHawks hit .329/.413/.583 at home and .263/.357/.442 on the road. Lancaster batters occupied the top five spots in the batting race (Bell, Bates, Daeges, Tony Granadillo and Wagner); the top four in the OBP race (the first four above); and the top three in the SLG race (the first three above).
Team’s Best Player: OF Zach Daeges, .330/.423/.579 with 21 HR, 55 2B and 113 RBIs
Team’s Best Pitcher: RHP Justin Masterson, 8-5, 4.33 in 95 2/3 IP with 56-22 K-BB
Worst Run Differential: High Desert: -283 (finished last in Southern Division at 54-86)
Dubious Distinction: The Mavericks slugged 59 more home runs than No. 2 Stockton, but High Desert pitchers gave up 214 more runs than No. 2 Lancaster. [...] Continue Reading »
Check out the Triple-A Stat Wrap for a detailed explanation of the methods used here.
Best Run Differential: Erie: +119 (won Southern Division at 81-59)
Fun Fact: 1B Jeff Larish won two legs of the league’s triple crown (home runs, RBIs), but ranked just fourth in slugging percentage, in part because of his .267 average.
Team’s Best Player: 1B Jeff Larish, .267/.390/.515 with 28 HR, 25 2B and 101 RBIs
Team’s Best Pitcher: RHP Jair Jurrjens, 7-5, 3.20 in 112 2/3 IP with 94-31 K-BB
Worst Run Differential: Harrisburg: -107 (finished last in Southern Division at 55-86)
Dubious Distinction: Senators pitchers allowed the most runs, baserunners and home runs in the league. [...] Continue Reading »
Gabe Kapler is putting the former-player-turned-manager title aside for the time being. The Greeneville Drive’s (Boston’s low Class A affiliate) manager has announced that he intends to try to return to the major leagues. A Red Sox press release stated that Kapler, 32, will be looking for playing opportunities during the offseason.
Kapler issued the following statement in the release:
“Managing was incredible for me this year. I learned so much about baseball, about the young men I had an opportunity to lead, and about myself. Ultimately, the experience reawakened the competitor in me. I miss the battle. I still need to be on the field as a player. My body is as healthy as it has ever been, and I must take advantage of that. Managing was an important component of my development, and I am eternally grateful to the Red Sox for having provided me the opportunity to tackle a new challenge.”
Kapler played in the majors from 1998-2006 for Detroit, Texas, Colorado and Boston. He was a member of the 2004 World Champion Red Sox and played in Japan. In nine major league seasons he hit .270/.331/.418
A few weeks ago, after Edward Salcedo burst upon the international scene as the ‘it’ guy, several media outlets reported the 16-year-old Dominican shortstop had signed with the Yankees. Then there were rumors he had signed with the Mariners. But in reality, Salcedo’s agent Scott Boras is still taking offers, and it appears the rumors of Salcedo signing were merely ploys to try to get other clubs to react with higher offers. So far, no one has met Boras’ asking price for Salcedo, rumored to be in the $3.5 million range. [...] Continue Reading »
The 2007 Arizona Fall League rosters usually take several hits at this time of year, but Team USA’s upcoming trip to participate in the World Cup in Taiwan on Nov. 6-18, has the AFL scrambling more than usual with just three weeks before the season is set to begin.
The AFL will lose Cardinals outfielder Colby Rasmus and first baseman Steven Pearce to the national team from the start, and will drop Devil Rays third baseman Evan Longoria, who will leave Scottsdale to play for Team USA on Oct. 22.
The complete Team USA roster will be available early next week, but sources from several clubs have indicated the American team–seen as a precursor to the ’08 Olympic roster–will have several top prospects in the lineup, including Longoria, Pearce, Rasmus, Minor League Player of the Year Jay Bruce (Reds), Tyler Colvin and Eric Patterson (Cubs), and Josh Outman (Phillies). [...] Continue Reading »
Lou Merloni has spent parts of nine seasons in the majors with four teams. He’s exactly the kind of player who often gets bitter at spending a season in Triple-A.
But instead of stewing over his fate in life, the infielder decided to become the veteran leader in the Sacramento clubhouse. And under his leadership, the Sacramento RiverCats are the top team in Triple-A.
Wearing a newly presented “C” on his uniform to signify his designation as the team captain, Merloni hit a three-run home run on Tuesday night to lead the Pacific Coast League champs to a 7-1 win over International League champion Richmond in the second Bricktown Showdown.
“Lou is a first-class act,” Cats manager Tony DeFrancesco told the Sacramento Bee. “We’ve had over 180 transactions with guys coming and going. He’s the one who’s kept this clubhouse together.”
Brant Colamarino added a two-run home run for Sacramento. The RiverCats starter Shane Komine worked 1 2/3 scoreless innings but was forced to leave the game with shoulder stiffness, but his replacement, Kazuhito Tadano, and two more relievers allowed only four hits in 7 1/3 innings.
Tucson beat Toledo last year as the Pacific Coast League has won the first two Bricktown Showdowns.
Perhaps as important as the win was for Sacramento, the crowd of 11,524 was equally important for Triple-A baseball. After seeing it’s attempts at a Triple-A championship series falter in the past, each of the first two Bricktown Showdowns have drawn over 10,000 fans.
Miami-based agent Jaime Torres, who has represented Cuban defectors such as Jose Contreras and recent signees Yohannis Perez (Brewers) and Yoslan Herrera (Pirates), has a new client available to meet with major league teams. Alexei Ramirez led Cuba’s Serie Nacional in home runs last season with 20 and was a member of Cuba’s top-level national team for the last three seasons, winning an Olympic gold medal in 2004 in Athens and playing for Cuba’s World Baseball Classic team, which placed second to Japan. His birthdate has been listed as being either April 25 or Sept. 22, 1981, depending on different international tournament records. Torres reported the Sept. 22 birthdate in a call to Baseball America. Ramirez, who went 6-for-16 (.375) in the WBC, has played shortstop for Pinar Del Rio but has played the outfield and second base for Cuba in international competition. He hit .335 with a .574 slugging percentage this season for Pinar del Rio. [...] Continue Reading »
Another season in the books means another season’s worth of data to work with. Ben Badler kicked things off last week with a look at catchers’ caught-stealing rates. Now on to batting and pitching.
We as fans understand that run-scoring environments vary from league to league in the minors, making it difficult to compare, for example, a player’s production in the International League with a Pacific Coast Leaguer’s production. To help level the playing field, we’ll examine how minor leaguers compare, in several core tools and abilities, with the averages. The abilities measured are power and speed for batters and strikeout rate and groundout-to-flyout ratio for pitchers. [...] Continue Reading »
DOUBLE-A SOUTHERN LEAGUE
Montgomery 4, Huntsville 3
(Montgomery wins series 3-2)
Montgomery designated hitter Sergio Pedroza hit a go-ahead three-run home run in the top of the ninth inning to stun Huntsville and lead the Biscuits to a 4-3 win against the Stars in the SL championship finale.
The Biscuits are the first SL club to win back-to-back SL championships since 1977, when the Montgomery Rebels won three straight titles.
HIGH CLASS A CAROLINA LEAGUE
San Jose 6, Lake Elsinore 1
(Series tied, 2-2)
San Jose tagged Lake Elsinore starter Cory Luebke for a five-run second inning and three Giants pitchers combined on a five-hitter to force a Game Five tonight at Lake Elsinore.
Pablo Sandoval hit a three-run home run to get the Giants on the board in the second and Kyle Haines followed with a two-out, two-run double. Lake Elsinore, one of the league’s best offenses during the regular season, has been limited to just 10 hits and one run in the past two games.
This weekâ€™s installment considers all transactions reported between Sept. 8-14. Last weekâ€™s transactions available here.
Released: RHP Giornale Sena
Selected to 40-man roster: C Clint Sammons
Placed on minor league disabled list: RHP Ryan Baerlocher
Acquired: RHP Victor Zambrano from Pirates for cash
Selected to 40-man roster: RHP Victor Zambrano
Outrighted off 40-man roster: OF Jon Knott
Reinstated from disabled list: RHP Brandon Erbe. RHP Josh Faiola, RHP Andy Schindling, RHP Kyle Touchatt, LHP Chris Salberg, LHP Jake Smith, SS Jedidiah Stephen, OF Jason Fransz, OF Arturo Rivas
Reinstated from inactive list: OF Daniel Figueroa
Jim Duquette infamously traded Scott Kazmir to the Devil Rays for Zambrano when he was general manager of the Mets in 2004. It was his only year at the helm. Now the Orioles’ VP of baseball operations, Duquette has been reunited with Zambrano at long last. [...] Continue Reading »
TRIPLE-A INTERNATIONAL LEAGUE
Richmond 6, Durham 2; Richmond 7, Durham 2
(Richmond wins series 3-2)
We thought this sort of scheduling in the postseason only happened in the Rookie-level Appalachian League, but Richmond swept both games of a playoff doubleheader against Durham to claim the International League title, its first since 1994.
Due to a rainout on Friday, the teams doubled up Saturday and the R-Braves jumped all over Durham starters Jae Kuk Ryu and Mitch Talbot in each nine-inning game to win the title and earn a berth in the Bricktown Showdown against Sacramento in Oklahoma on Sept. 19. [...] Continue Reading »
TRIPLE-A INTERNATIONAL LEAGUE
Durham at Richmond, postponed (rain)
(Durham leads series 2-1)
The Bulls and Braves couldnâ€™t get going in Richmond Friday due to inclement weather.
Game 3 is slated for Saturday at 7:00 at the Diamond, where the Braves will go with righthander Kevin Barry against Durham righthander Jae Kuk Ryu.
TRIPLE-A PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE
Sacramento 4, New Orleans 3
(Sacramento wins series 3-0)
River Cats righthander Brad Knox took a shutout into the eighth inning and the Sacramento bullpen hung on late to complete a three-game sweep of the Zephyrs and win the PCL championship.
Knox allowed all three of New Orleansâ€™ runs in the eighth, he struck out six and walked three over 7 2/3 innings.
The win also gives the River Cats a berth in the Bricktown Showdown, where they will face either Richmond or Durham, for the Triple-A title in a one-game championship. [...] Continue Reading »
This week’s installment considers all transactions reported between Sept. 1-7. Last week’s transactions available here.
Recalled: RHP Brandon Medders, RHP Jailen Peguero, LHP Dana Eveland, C Robby Hammock, 2B Emilio Bonifacio, 2B Alberto Callaspo
Selected to 40-man roster: LHP Bill Murphy
With 41 steals, speed merchant Bonifacio edged Mississippi’s Carl Loadenthal for the Double-A Southern League’s stolen base crown. Most of Bonifacio’s value is tied up in his legs, though, as he batted .285/.333/.352 with 21 doubles in 551 at-bats.
Recalled: LHP Royce Ring, C Brayan Pena, 1B Julio Franco, 2B Martin Prado
Placed on disabled list: SS Paul Bennett
Reinstated from disabled list: RHP Kevin Barry
Reinstated from inactive list: C Carlos Mendez [...] Continue Reading »
TRIPLE-A INTERNATIONAL LEAGUE
Durham 3, Richmond 2
(Durham leads series 2-1)
Durham inched to within a win of the Bricktown Showdown with a come-from-behind, one-run victory.
Richmond cruised through six innings, on the strength of Francisley Bueno left arm. The 5-foot-11, 200-pound southpaw held the Bulls hitless through six, striking out six, but came out at that point when he neared his 100-pitch limit. He had thrown 99.
The move proved serendipitous for the Bulls, who trailed 2-0 at that point, as they rallied for three runs off reliever Buddy Hernandez in the seventh. Catcher Michel Hernandez drove home two runs, including the go-ahead tally, with a single. [...] Continue Reading »
Jeff Niemann’s 2007 season can be viewed two ways. The half-full approach holds that Niemann entered the season with 108 career innings as a pro and had a successful year for Triple-A Durham because he made only one disabled list trip (for minor shoulder fatigue) and set all kinds of career highs, most importantly with 25 starts and 131 innings pitched. [...] Continue Reading »
TRIPLE-A INTERNATIONAL LEAGUE
Durham 5, Richmond 1
(Series tied 1-1)
Two of the Devil Rays’ top prospects led Durham to victory against Richmond, tying the division rivals and aspiring Governor’s Cup winners at one win apiece. Save for allowing a solo home run to Braves center fielder Gregor Blanco, righthander Jeff Niemann was nearly flawless in eight strong innings for the Bulls. He struck out nine, walked none and allowed six hits.
Durham third baseman Evan Longoria broke a 1-1 tie in the sixth inning with his two-run double down the left field line. The hit was part of a 2-for-4 night by the 2006 third overall pick. [...] Continue Reading »
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