Prospect Of The Day
Phoenix righthander Max Scherzer (Diamondbacks) is one of the few AFL players with Major League experience … and it shows.
Scherzer made 16 appearances for Arizona this season, including seven starts. He went 0-4, 3.05 over 56 innings, giving up 48 hits, walking 21 and striking out 66 in the process.
Yesterday, Mad Max started for the Desert Dogs and gave up just one run on three hits over seven innings of work, lowering his ERA to 3.38. He walked one and struck out six for the win, as Phoenix manhandled the Peoria Javelinas, 13-1. [...] Continue Reading »
Prospect Of The Day
Sean Henry has spent most of his minor league career in the outfield.
Drafted by the Mets out of high school in 2004, Henry was sent to Cincinnati in 2007 in the Jeff Conine trade. Henry has always hit well, but proved himself last year at Double-A Chattanooga when he hit .285/.361/.455 with 22 doubles and 11 home runs.
This fall, the Reds are trying him out at third base, but the position change doesn’t seem to be affecting his bat.
Yesterday with the Peoria Javelinas, Henry went 4-for-6 with a home run and five RBIs, helping his team defeat the Phoenix Desert Dogs, 16-5. Over 20 AFL at-bats, Henry is now hitting .350/.409/.500. [...] Continue Reading »
The Arizona Fall League’s third-annual Rising Stars game will take place tomorrow night (Friday Oct. 24). The players were split into two teams, as chosen by scouting and minor-league directors for all MLB organizations.
Although this is only the third year, the Rising Stars game has already served as a sneak preview for MLB’s future stars. The inaugural game featured players like Ryan Braun (Brewers), Troy Tulowitzki (Rockies), Yunel Escobar (Braves), Jacoby Ellsbury (Red Sox), Kevin Kouzmanoff (Padres) and Hunter Pence (Astros). Last year, the game featured Max Scherzer (Diamondbacks), Travis Snider (Blue Jays), Jed Lowrie (Red Sox), Jeff Clement (Mariners) and Dexter Fowler (Rockies).
The starting pitchers scheduled for the game are righthanders Tommy Hanson (Braves) and Phil Hughes (Yankees). The rosters are available below. [...] Continue Reading »
After a dismal 2008 season, it’s a safe bet that the Mariners are going to have to rebuild their team at least partially through player development. If that’s the case, they found a man with an impressive resume when they hired former Brewers scouting director Jack Zduriencik as the team’s new general manager.
Zdurencik’s record as the Brewers scouting director is extremely impressive. The team has drafted Prince Fielder, J.J. Hardy, Ryan Braun, Yovani Gallardo, Corey Hart and others during his tenure. They formed the nucleus of the team that make the Brewers first playoff appearance since 1982.
If you want to read more on the new Mariners general manager, check out this story from last December when we picked Zdurencik as our Major League Executive of the Year. It was the first time a non-general manager has ever won the award.
Waikiki 9, West Oahu 8
West Oahu left fielder Cyle Hankerd (Diamondbacks) had a huge night on Wednesday. Hankerd went 3-for-5 with two runs scored, a double, two home runs and five RBIs. The homers were the first two Hankerd has hit the HWB league after he hit just five in 436 at-bats this season for Double-A Mobile. Hankerd had a good bit of support in the game as the BeachBoys scored eight runs in the losing effort, but the other big blow came from fellow Diamondback prospect second baseman Mark Hallberg who added a solo shot in the fifth. The offense for Waikiki was a bit more spread out. Canefires first baseman Yonder Alonso (Reds) delivered their biggest blow with a two-run homer in the fifth to give Waikiki the lead for good. Alonso is now tied for second in the HWB league with three home runs. CaneFires designated hitter Buster Posey (Giants) had another good night, his second back in the HWB, going 1-for-2 with two runs scored. Waikiki got good production from Dodgers outfield prospect Alfredo Silverio who went 2-for-4 with two runs and an RBI, as well as third baseman Marquez Smith (Cubs) who went 1-for-2 with a couple runs scored, a double and two RBIs.
North Shore 7, Honolulu 0
North Shore had four pitchers combine to shut out Honolulu on Wednesday night 7-0. Honu right hander Jason Godin (Royals) led the way going five innings scattering seven hits and three walks while striking out six. North Shore’s offense cam from Astros top prospect catcher Jason Castro who went 2-for-4 with two runs, a double, and a solo homer. Honu left fielder Matt Mcbride (Indians) also got into the act with a 3-for-4 night including two runs and a solo homer. The other big offensive night for North Shore came from right fielder Kenji Sato (Chiba Lotte Marines) who went 2-for4 with a run, a double, and two RBIs. Honolulu right hander Satoshi Nagai (Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles) turned in another solid outing despite getting the loss. Nagai went five allowing five hits, two runs, one walk, and striking out six. Nagai’s HWB league ERA now stands at an outstanding 1.50, tops among starters in the league.
Prospect Of The Day
For the fourth time in his professional career, Tyler Flowers had a multi-homer game yesterday.
Flowers was the Braves’ 33rd-round draft pick in 2005 and signed as a draft-and-follow out of Chipola (Fla.) Junior College. Because of some knee problems, he’s played both catcher and first base in the minors, but he’s hit well at every level. This season, playing for High A Myrtle Beach, Flowers hit .288/.427/.494 with 32 doubles, 17 home runs and nearly as many walks (98) as strikeouts (102).
Yesterday, Flowers was behind the plate for Mesa and went 4-for-5 with two home runs to help the Solar Sox knock off the Surprise Rafters, 8-3.
Flowers is now hitting .458/.500/.958 over his first 24 AFL at-bats. [...] Continue Reading »
Waikiki 8, West Oahu 5
Waikiki righthander Andrew Brackman (Yankees) bounced back from several rough outings in a row to pick up a second win. Brackman went five innings allowing one earned run and striking out four. The biggest difference between his last two rough outings was his control. Brackman walked only one batter in five innings compared to four in his last two starts. Brackman got a lot of offensive support, mainly from two former Florida State stars. Second baseman Tony Thomas (Cubs) went 2-for-4 with two runs and a triple. Catcher Buster Posey returned to the HWB league with a bang, going 3-for-5 with two runs scored, a double, and four RBIs. Posey has been sent back to Arizona to work on his catching after problems with passed balls. Giants outfielder Roger Kieschnick added three RBIs of his own in the contest. West Oahu’s offense got a solid night from outfielder Gregory Burns (Marlins) who went 2-for-4 with a run, a double, and two RBIs in the losing effort.
Prospect Of The Day
Anything Jason Donald does in the AFL is just icing on the cake on what has already been a successful season for the Phillies’ farmhand.
Donald was Philadelphia’s third-round draft pick in 2006 out of Arizona. This season, he hit .307/.391/.497 over 362 at-bats as a shortstop for Double A Redding in the Eastern League and in July he was one of only three U.S. players to muster a hit in the Futures Game.
But yesterday, the icing was extra sweet.
Playing third base for the Mesa, Donald went 4-for-7 with a double and a home run as the Solar Sox annihilated the Surprise Rafters, 28-1. [...] Continue Reading »
This week’s installment considers all transactions reported by MLB between Oct. 11 to Oct. 17. The previous installment is available here.
Assigned to Arizona Fall League: RHP Hector Ambriz, RHP Tony Barnette, RHP Brooks Brown, RHP Reid Mahon, RHP Max Scherzer, C John Hester, OF Evan Frey
Assigned to Hawaii Winter Baseball: SS Mark Hallberg, OF Cyle Hankerd
Released: RHP Miguel Achil, RHP Adolfito Garcia, LHP Leonardo Madrigal
Boston Red Sox
Granted free agency: SS Josh Wilson
[...] Continue Reading »
Honolulu 2, Waikiki 0
Braves left handed prospect Jonathan Venters shut down Waikiki with five innings of three hit ball, striking out five. Venters picked up his second win in Hawaii Winter Baseball and lowered his ERA to 3.00 for the campaign. The Sharks bullpen then combined to throw four innings of one hit ball, led by Braves prospect Michael Broadway, who threw two perfect innings striking out two. Rockies prospect Andy Graham picked up the save with a one hit ninth. Graham now leads HWB with three saves. Sharks catcher Tony Cruz (Cardinals) led the offense with a 3-for-4 day driving in one and stealing a base. The BeachBoys started Japanese left hander Mitsuo Yoshikawa (Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters) had another solid outing throwing five innings of two-run ball (one earned) and striking out five in the loss. Yoshikawa is now second in the HWB league in ERA at 2.41. Waikiki relievers, right handers Javy Guerra (Dodgers) and Steve Edlefsen (Giants) combined to throw four innings of one hit ball. [...] Continue Reading »
Prospect of the Day
Hours before the Red Sox rallied for an improbable win in Game 5 of the ALCS, Boston’s Clay Buchholz was in the process of authoring his own comeback story.
Buchholz, as you may recall, suffered through a disappointing 2008 season as the righthander opened in Boston, was demoted to Triple-A Pawtucket, got another shot in the majors but finished the year at Double-A Portland.
On Thursday afternoon, Buchholz fired five scoreless innings in the Scottsdale Scorpions’ 13-1 win against Surprise in the Arizona Fall League.
Buchholz now has eight scoreless innings in two starts. That includes seven strikeouts and only two walks, clearly a refreshing turnaround. While he had better results in Pawtucket and Portland, the righthander was 2-9, 6.75 in Boston this year.
Scottsdale shortstop Emmanuel Burris (Giants) finished with four hits and three runs scored, raising his numbers to .400/.471/.467 (12-for-30) through nine games. … Third baseman Shawn Bowman (Mets) was one of four Saguaros that had four hits in an 8-2 win against the Phoenix Desert Dogs. … Javelinas infielder Rhyne Hughes (Rays) enjoyed his fifth multi-hit game in eight tries in a wild, come-from-behind, 9-8 win against Mesa. He is now hitting .406/.472/.469.
In other news, the AFL will induct Indians manager Eric Wedge into its Hall of Fame in a 7 p.m. ceremony at Scottsdale Stadium. Wedge, who is in his sixth season in Cleveland, played for the Tucson Javelinas in 1993 as a member of the Rockies. The former Wichita State catcher helped the Javelinas to the AFL’s best record that season before falling to the Tempe Rafters in the championship.
Prospect of the Day
Austin Jackson can do it all.
The 6-foot-1, 185-pound outfielder in the Yankees organization ranked as their second-best prospect in the 2008 handbook. Jackson was the Yankees’ eighth-round pick in 2005 and turned down a Georgia Tech basketball scholarship to play baseball. While none of Jackson’s tools are outstanding, he can do a little bit of everything—hit for average, has some power, he can field, he can run and he has an above-average arm.
The tools were on display yesterday in the Arizona Fall League, where Jackson was playing left field for the Peoria Javelinas.
Jackson’s bat came alive as he snapped an 0-for-13 streak to go 3-for-5 with a double, a triple and a stolen base, helping the Javelinas defeat the Mesa Solar Sox, 6-4.
He’s in Arizona after spending the entire year with Double-A Trenton, where he hit .285/.354/.419 with 33 doubles, five triples and nine home runs. He stole 19 bases in 25 attempts, walked 56 times and struck out 113 times. [...] Continue Reading »
A couple of weeks ago, Orioles righthander Tim Bascom probably wasn’t exactly looking to go hang out on the beach and do some surfing or snorkling or anything fun for that matter. And who could blame him? In his second outing in Hawaii Winter Baseball, he turned in a stinker, allowing eight runs, seven earned, and managed to get only four outs before getting pulled.
Fortunately for him, he’s back on track. Bascom ran his scoreless innings streak to nine on Wednesday as he fired five scoreless frames, striking out two, in a 7-2 West Oahu win against Honolulu.
Bascom, as you may recall, was originally drafted by the Padres in the sixth round in 2006 and actually agreed to a $140,000 bonus before the Padres rescinded the offer following a medical evaluation (it was discovered he had a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee). He tried to return to Central Florida but was declared ineligible because of his negotiations with a pro club. But the Orioles signed him after he pitched in the independent South Coast League. He was 6-5, 5.78 in 97 innings this year at high Class A Frederick, striking out 74 and issuing 46 walks.
Another Orioles prospect, Wally Crancer, and Pirates infielder Miles Durham each had two hits and three RBIs in the game.
Meanwhile, rain continues to hamper the HWB schedule. North Shore and Waikiki game was rained out Wednesday and has yet to be rescheduled.
West Oahu 7, Honolulu 2
West Oahu righthander Timothy Bascom (Orioles) threw five perfect innings to snap the CaneFires’ four-game losing streak with a 7-2 win over Honlulu. Bascom picked up his first Hawaii Winter Baseball win, striking out two in the outing. Bascom, 23, had a 5.78 ERA in 95 innings this year with high Class A Frederick.
West Oahu’s offense was led by first baseman Miles Durham (Pirates) who went 2-for-4 with a double and three RBIs. CaneFire DHr Wally Crancer (Orioles) added a triple and three RBIs in the game. Also contributing for West Oahu were second baseman Mark Hallberg (Diamondbacks) and short stop Brian Friday (Pirates), who added two hits apiece. The only significant offense for the Sharks came from right fielder Ryo Hijirisawa (Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles), who went 1-for-2 with a triple and an RBI.
North Shore at Waikiki (Postponed: Power)
Prospect of the Day
Surprise righthander Josh Tomlin (Indians) turns 24 on Sunday, and there’s no reason he can’t celebrate early. Might we suggest a pool party in the Arizona desert? Just make sure to send us invitations.
It’s not a bad idea—not after Tomlin continued on his season-long trek on Tuesday and dominated once again in the Arizona Fall League. He started and threw four innings, giving up one run on four hits while not walking a batter and striking out four. Tomlin got the win for the effort, as the Rafters defeated the Peoria Saguaros, 8-6.
His AFL ERA is now 1.29 over his first two starts, with Tomlin having struck out nine of 28 batters and allowed only one earned run on six hits over seven innings.
The 6-foot-1, 195-pound Tomlin was the Indians’ 19th-round draft pick in 2006 out of Texas Tech. This season, Tomlin mostly pitched for high Class A Kinston in the Carolina League and made one start in Triple-A Buffalo. On the year, he threw 109 2/3 innings, giving up just 88 hits, striking out 112 and walking only 17. He went 10-5 with a 3.04 ERA.
Other Notable Performances
Surprise third baseman Tyler Greene (Cardinals) went 2-for-4 with a home run in the Rafters’ losing effort. Greene was a first-round pick for the Cardinals in 2005 (30th overall) out of Georgia Tech. Coming up the Cardinals’ minor-league ladder, he’s hit for some power, but strikes out a lot and, as a result, hasn’t posted encouraging on-base percentages. This year, he spent time between Springfield and Memphis and hit a combined .254/.311/.414. . . Surprise catcher Matt Wieters (Orioles) has been a man among boys this fall. With a 1-for-3 performance yesterday, Wieters is now hitting .500/.619/.750 over his first 16 AFL at-bats. He has a hit in every game so far this year. . . Rafters first baseman Beau Mills (Indians) also had a good day at the plate. Mills went 2-for-2 and scored three runs. During the regular season, Mills hit a solid .293/.373/.506 with 34 doubles and 21 home runs for Kinston. . . Javelinas infielder Carlos Triunfel (Mariners) continues to hit. Playing third base yesterday, the 18-year-oldTriunfel went 2-for-4 and is now hitting .360/.429/.600 over his first 25 AFL at-bats. . . Phoenix first baseman Josh Donaldson (Athletics) went 2-for-4 with a double as the Desert Dogs topped the Javelinas, 5-4, by putting up three runs in the top of the ninth inning. Donaldson, who came over from the Cubs in the Rich Harden trade, is normally a catcher, but the A’s have been trying him out at third base and first base.
North Shore 14, Waikiki 5
North Shore ended a three-game skid with a bullet defeating Waikiki 14-5. Waikiki righthander Andrew Brackman (Yankees) was knocked around again, going four innings and allowing three runs. His control escaped him as he walked four in four innings. North Shore was led by Athletics center fielder Corey Brown, who reached base five times, going 2-for-3 and walking three times. Brown added a three-run homer and three runs scored.
Honu shortstop Kyle Martin took over the Hawaii Winter Baseball home run lead with his two-run homer in the ninth, his fourth of the winter campaign. The Honu offense also got excellent games from left fielder Matt McBride (Indians) and second baseman Kurt Mertins (Royals), who added two RBIs apiece. Honu right fielder Kenji Sato (Chiba Lotte Marines) contributed a 2-for-3 game driving in three and walking twice. Honu lefthander Yasutaka Hattori (Chiba Lotte Marines) got the win, throwing five innings allowing only two runs and striking out eight. Waikiki got solid offensive nights from left fielder Roger Kieschnick (Giants) and second baseman Damon Sublett (Yankees), who each drove in two runs.
Honolulu at West Oahu was postponed due to rain.
The eighth overall pick in the 2007 draft will miss the entire 2009 season.
Rockies righthander Casey Weathers will likely undergo Tommy John surgery after getting a second medical opinion, according to Baseball America columnist Tracy Ringolsby.
Weathers, 23, worked in the mid- to high-90s with his fastball and mixed in a high-80s slider this season for Double-A Tulsa, though he often struggled with his command. After posting a 3.05 ERA with 28 walks and 54 strikeouts in 44 1/3 innings out of the Drillers’ bullpen, Weathers joined the U.S. Olympic team in Beijing. Weathers had been pitching in the Arizona Fall League as well.
Prospect of the Day
Surprise shortstop Ivan De Jesus (Dodgers) had a great day at the plate yesterday, going 4-for-5 with two doubles and two RBIs, but he couldn’t do it all and the Rafters fell to the Peoria Saguaros, 11-6.
De Jesus is now hitting .333/.368/.444 over 18 at-bats in Arizona and the experience caps a very successful season for the 21-year-old. In Double-A Jacksonville this year, De Jesus hit .324/.419/.423 with 21 doubles, two triples and seven home runs. He walked 76 times, struck out 81 and stole 16 bases in 18 attempts. The son of a former big leaguer (also named Ivan De Jesus) also played in the Futures Game and went 2-for-3.
Other Notable Performances
Rockies righthander Casey Weathers was removed seven pitches into his outing for the Phoenix Desert Dogs and was flown to Denver for an MRI. Results will be known Tuesday, but initial media reports indicate the Rockies are optimistic that it’s not Weathers’ elbow but flexor tendon that caused pain. … Rafters first baseman Brandon Snyder (Orioles) went deep yesterday as part of a 2-for-3 day at the plate. The former catcher hit .315/.358/.490 for high Class A Frederick this season. . . Peoria Saguaros second baseman Daniel Murphy (Mets) was perfect at the plate yesterday, going 4-for-4 with a double, two RBIs and three runs scored. Murphy, a 13th-round pick in 2006 out of Jacksonville, got 131 at-bats with the big league club at the end of the season and was impressive, hitting .313/.397/.473. . . Peoria Javelinas second baseman Carlos Triunfel (Mariners) continued to pound the ball, going 1-for-4 with his first AFL home run. . . Phoenix third baseman Rusty Ryal (Diamondbacks) went 2-for-3 with two home runs to help the Desert Dogs knock off the Javelinas, 3-2. Ryal’s teammate, second baseman Chris Nelson (Rockies) hit a solo home run and also went 2-for-3 yesterday. The game also featured a nice pitching matchup. Righthander Phil Hughes (Yankees) took the hill for the Javelinas and gave up one run on four hits over five innings, while walking one and striking out three. The run allowed was his first this fall, raising his ERA to 0.90. Opposing him was righthander Max Scherzer (Diamondbacks). Scherzer also threw five innings, but gave up two runs on four hits while walking two and striking out nine. . . Over in Scottsdale, another big arm was on the bump. Mesa righthander Tommy Hanson (Braves) started for the Solar Sox and didn’t allow a hit over 2 2/3 innings. He did, however, walk three, but also struck out four as Mesa shut out the Scottsdale Scorpions, 7-0. Solar Sox catcher Tyler Flowers (Braves) went 2-for-3, shortstop Jason Donald (Phillies) went 2-for-4 with a triple and DH Tyler Colvin (Cubs) went 1-for-4 with a solo home run.
This week’s installment considers all transactions reported by MLB between Oct. 4 to Oct. 10. The previous installment is available here.
Granted free agency: RHP Vladimir Nunez, C Corky Miller, 2B Ruben Gotay
Reinstated from inactive list: RHP Gonzalo Lopez, 2B Jonathan Schuerholz
Assigned to Arizona Fall League: C Tyler Flowers, OF Brandon Jones, OF Matt Young
Assigned to Hawaii Winter Baseball: RHP Mike Broadway
Boston Red Sox
Granted free agency: RHP Lincoln Holdzkom
Assigned to Arizona Fall League: RHP Clay Buchholz, RHP T.J. Large, RHP Ryne Lawson, RHP Beau Vaughan, C Mark Wagner, 1B Aaron Bates, OF Josh Reddick
Buchholz struck out three and walked one in three AFL innings his first time out. He’s working on fastball command after a schizophrenic regular season that included success in the minors (2.30 ERA and 3.4 K/BB in 11 starts) and something less than that in the majors (6.75 ERA and 1.8 K/BB in 15 starts). [...] Continue Reading »
While the Arizona Fall League and Hawaii Winter Baseball are brimming with prospects, there are other prospects who will appear in the 2009 Prospect Handbook playing key roles in the major league postseason.
James McDonald, rhp, Dodgers: I saw McDonald pitch twice this season for Double-A Jacksonville—I never saw him throwing 94 mph, nor did any other evaluators who saw him in the Southern League. In Double-A, McDonald’s fastball sat at 88-91 mph, touching 92 at times. On Friday against the Phillies, he worked out of the bullpen, sitting at 90-93 mph and touching 94.
While the fastball velocity plays up a tick or two in the bullpen, his three-pitch mix makes him best-suited for the starting rotation, as his fastball might be only his third-best pitch. He throws a fastball, a curveball and a changeup, although his curveball acts as two different pitches that he can add and subtract from, as it ranged from 71-76 mph against the Phillies. His curveball looked good on Friday, as did his changeup, which can be devastating when it’s on. [...] Continue Reading »
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