The commissioner's office today announced 50-game suspensions for two minor league players following their violations of the game's drug prevention and treatment program.
Double-A Tennessee utilityman Matt Camp failed a second test for a "drug of abuse" to earn his suspension. A Cubs 13th-rounder from North Carolina State in 2006, he batted .169/.289/.246 in 65 at-bats for the Smokies. The 27-year-old Camp also appeared in 58 games for Triple-A Iowa, batting .209/.259/.262 in 187 at-bats. He plays center field, shortstop and second base.
Righthander Adam Osteen spent about two weeks under contract with the Diamondbacks this summer, but now he'll have to sit out 50 games before he can suit up for another organization. The 23-year-old tested positive for Methasterone and metabolites of Methandienone, according to an MLB press release. A product of Southeastern (Fla.), Osteen played in the independent Frontier and Pecos leagues this season prior to signing with Arizona. He appeared in five games for short-season Yakima, pitching 6 1/3 innings and allowing seven hits, two walks and six runs.
Julio Rodriguez doesn't overpower hitters, but the Phillies righthander still finds ways to get swings and misses thanks to his deception and feel for his craft.
One day after his 21st birthday, Rodriguez was at his best Tuesday night, throwing six shutout innings for high Class A Clearwater against Brevard County. Rodriguez limited the Manatees to one hit and two walks while striking out 10, his third double-digit strikeout game of the season. He didn't figure in the decision, keeping his record at 16-7, but he did drop his ERA down to 2.73.
An eighth-round pick in 2008, Rodriguez surpassed his previous career-high for innings pitched (90) long ago, as Tuesday's start brought his season total up to 152. We'll have to see what impact that has on him next year, but Rodriguez hasn't worn down at all as this year's gone on. In fact, he'd only gotten better. Rodriguez is riding a 22-inning shutout streak dating back to Aug. 12 and his 2.50 ERA since the midpoint of the season is the second best in the Florida State League.
[...] Continue Reading »
Triple-A baseball named Durham as host city for the 2012 Triple-A National Championship Game, the International League announced today at a press conference at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
The one-game, winner-take-all matchup of the champions of the International and Pacific Coast leagues called Oklahoma City home for its first five incarnations. But beginning with this year's game in Albuquerque, the event will have a new home each September.
Durham won the National Championship Game in 2009, with a team featuring Jeremy Hellickson (who started the game against Memphis' Jaime Garcia) and Desmond Jennings.
Triple-A has had fits and starts with a season-ending event. The most recent incarnations included the Triple-A World Series held annually in Las Vegas, a best-of-three series that was held from 1998-2000. The current one-game National Championship began in 2006 as the Bricktown Showdown, pointing at the importance of Oklahoma City in the event's rebirth. But the event will now shift between PCL and IL hosts.
It will be the first Triple-A championship played east of the Mississippi River since the 1983 Triple-A World Series was held in Louisville.
Results for the Triple-A National Championship Game (all held in Oklahoma City):
2006: Tucson 5, Toledo 2
2007: Sacramento 7, Richmond 1
2008: Sacramento 4, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 1
2009: Durham 5, Memphis 4
2010: Columbus 12, Tacoma 6
Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre will not make the International League playoffs for the first time in its five seasons as a Yankees affiliate. The club split a home doubleheader with Pawtucket yesterday, thus mathematically eliminating them from Northern Division contention. (A long-shot scenario exists: Scranton can win the wild card if it wins out and Lehigh Valley loses all its remaining games.)
Scranton didn't go down quietly. The Triple-A Yankees unleashed Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances, the organization's top two pitching prospects, one after the other in each end of the doubleheader. Each pitcher threw a seven-inning complete game. Together they combined for 14 strikeouts in 14 innings while allowing a mere three hits. Scranton won Game One by a 3-0 count, but Betances allowed a two-run homer to Ryan Lavarnway in Game Two to account for all the scoring.
"It's a shame," Yankees manager Dave Miley told The Scranton Times Tribune. "I think (hitting coach Butch Wynegar) said it best. Our two kids gave up two runs on three hits, and we split. But they were outstanding."
Making his fifth Triple-A start, Banuelos collected his first shutout as he limited Pawtucket to one hit and two walks over seven innings. He struck out six to give him 30 whiffs in 32 2/3 innings for Scranton. The 20-year-old Banuelos allowed his first hit in the sixth inning when Red Sox shortstop Jose Iglesias grounded a single up the middle. [...] Continue Reading »
The Blue Jays announced the signing of Mexican righthander Roberto Osuna, considered by many scouts to be one of the top 16-year-old international free agents on the market this summer.
Here is Baseball America's scouting report on Osuna from July 1:
"Osuna is the nephew of righthander Antonio Osuna, who pitched nearly 500 innings as a big league reliever from 1995-2005, mostly with the Dodgers. Roberto represented his country in Lagos de Moreno, Mexico at the 16-and-under COPABE Pan American championship last October, when he ran his fastball up to 93-94 mph. He pitched against Team USA in the final game on three days rest and allowed four runs and nine hits in six innings in an 11-4 loss, though he struck out seven and didn't issue a walk. He finished the tournament with a 3.79 ERA in 20 innings and a 20-2 K-BB mark. He then signed with Mexico City in the Mexican League, and was already pitching for the club in games, with a 5.49 ERA with 12 strikeouts and 11 walks in 20 innings, facing hitters who are 10-20 years older than he is.
Osuna has a quick arm, advanced feel for pitching and a fastball that ranges from 88-94 mph, and his velocity has been inconsistent. He has an advanced curveball for his age, though it can get slurvy, and he shows feel for a changeup. Due to his thick frame, he'll have to keep his conditioning in check. Any team that wants Osuna will have to purchase his rights from Mexico City, a transaction that typically results in the team keeping 75 percent of the signing bonus. Several teams figure to have interest in Osuna, but a frontrunner has not emerged."
BA subscribers can access scouting reports on more than 40 of the other top international free agents who became eligible to sign this year on July 2.
Corey Dickerson is having one of the best seasons in the low Class A South Atlantic League, and he ranks among the minor league home run leaders. And this weekend, Dickerson put on one of the best power performances of the season with his second three home run game of the season.
Dickerson's three home run game on Saturday gave the Rockies outfielder 30 homers for the season and helped Asheville to a 21-11 win over Lexington. He's slugging .633 this season, pretty impressive for a 2010 eighth-round pick.
But there is a pretty big asterisk, unfortunately for Dickerson. Dickerson plays in Asheville, one of the best home run parks in the SAL. And if you look at Dickerson's stats, it does appear that he's being helped by his home park.
At home, Dickerson is hitting .353/.415/.826 with 20 doubles, three triples and 24 home runs. Those 24 home runs would be tied for the SAL lead by themselves. But when he hits the road, Dickerson's power has disappeared. He's hitting .205/.291/.385 in road games with only six home runs and 15 total extra-base hits. [...] Continue Reading »
Removed from 40-man: RHP Kevin Mulvey (outrighted to Triple-A)
Placed on 7-day DL: RHP Jason Urquidez, C Robby Hammock
Reinstated from DL: RHP Charles Brewer, 2B Tony Abreu
Signed: RHP Juan Jaime, 3B Wes Helms
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Randall Delgado
Placed on 7-day DL: RHP Erik Cordier, 2B Phil Gosselin, OF Willie Cabrera
A hard thrower who had Tommy John surgery in April ’10 and has not yet returned to action, Juan Jaime could morph into a useful bullpen piece for Atlanta, assuming they can re-sign him to a minor league deal for next season. (The 24-year-old Jaime has just 32 innings of experience in full-season ball, however.) The Braves know a thing or two about acquiring relievers on the cheap. They snagged Eric O'Flaherty on waivers from the Mariners in November ’08, Cristhian Martinez from the Marlins in April ’10 and Anthony Varvaro from the Mariners (again) last January. Atlanta also signed Juan Abreu (whom they packaged to Houston in the Michael Bourn deal) and Jairo Asencio (who won Best Reliever honors in the International League) on the minor league free agent market. [...] Continue Reading »
Since Alex Anthopoulos took over as Blue Jays general manager in October 2009, Toronto has built one of baseball's elite farm systems.
With all the talent in the organization, it's possible to have days like yesterday, when several Blue Jays prospects stood out in the minors.
Righthander Drew Hutchison, 21, threw five shutout innings in his Double-A debut, holding Double-A Trenton to two hits and two walks while striking out seven. Hutchison's pure stuff grades out mostly around average, but he's athletic, throws strikes and has an advanced idea of how to pitch.
Lower in the system, 18-year-old righthander Noah Syndergaard made his first start for low Class A Lansing and struck out six with one walk, four hits and one run allowed in five innings against Bowling Green. Syndergaard's fastball has been a dominant pitch for him this year, sitting around 93-94 mph and running a couple ticks higher at times with good life.
Meanwhile, catcher Travis d'Arnaud and center fielder Anthony Gose were helping Hutchison in New Hampshire, with d'Arnaud going 2-for-5 with a home run (his 19th of the season) while Gose went 3-for-5 with a triple and stole a base, his 61st of the season and second-most in the minors behind only Reds shortstop Billy Hamilton.
The Phillies have signed Venezuelan center fielder Carlos Tocci for $759,000, one of the highest bonuses the organization has ever given an international amateur free agent.
Tocci, a righthanded hitter who turned 16 yesterday, has an extremely skinny build at around 6-foot-2, 150 pounds and stands out for his plus-plus speed and baseball instincts. Tocci's complete scouting report is available to Baseball America subscribers, who can also read scouting reports on other top international players who became free agents this summer.
Double-A Mobile's rotation is as talented as any you'll find in the minors. Tyler Skaggs joined the BayBears in July and Trevor Bauer followed suit in August, joining Jarrod Parker and Pat Corbin among the Diamondbacks' stable of pitching prospects. On Tuesday, it was the lefthanded Skaggs' turn to shine as he turned in a dominant outing against Jackson.
The 20-year-old Skaggs was hit hard in his Double-A debut on July 15, giving up eight hits and five runs (four earned) in four innings of work, but he's caught on to the Southern League quickly in subsequent starts. Coming into last night, Skaggs hadn't allowed more than two runs in five straight starts, and he extended that streak to six by limiting Jackson to one run on two hits over nine innings. He struck out seven and walked two.
The nine-inning outing was the longest of Skaggs' career, though he didn't get credit for what would have been his first career complete game since the contest went to extra innings tied 1-1 before his Mobile squad won in the 10th. Skaggs probably could have gone even deeper if the team had desired, as he finished his nine innings on just 86 pitches. Skaggs gave up his only run of the night on a solo home run by Nick Franklin in the fourth inning, after which he allowed only one more baserunner (the only other hit he allowed was an infield single in the second) and ended his night retiring the last 10 hitters he faced.
The Tigers traded six of their preseason Top 30 Prospects, including No. 4 Francisco Martinez and No. 7 Chance Ruffin, in a pair of summer deals for Doug Fister, David Pauley and Delmon Young.
With his recent the performance, Double-A lefty Drew Smyly has made a convincing case that Detroit's prospect cupboard is not yet bare. The 22-year-old struck out 10 Binghamton batters over seven innings yesterday, allowing two runs on three hits. He walked only one.
In five starts for Erie, Smyly has gone 3-2, 0.93 with a 36-to-13 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 29 innings. He has yet to allow a home run to an Eastern League batter. A 2010 second-round pick from Arkansas, Smyly dominated the high Class A Florida State League through the end of July, and his season ERA of 2.14 ranks fifth in the minors.
In other Tigers pitching prospect news . . . Triple-A Toledo lefty Andy Oliver has been hit hard in eight second-half starts (5.21 ERA, 1.63 WHIP), though he pitched effectively yesterday, striking out nine Louisville batters over seven innings. He allowed one run on five walks plus three hits and improved to 8-10, 4.73 on the year. [...] Continue Reading »
Blue Jays prospect Adeiny Hechavarria is one of the best defensive shortstops in the minors. The Cuban defector recently was named the best defensive shortstop in the Eastern League, and his glove is considered good enough to get him to the big leagues if he can be even an average hitter.
But a year and a half since he signed with the Blue Jays for a franchise-record $4 million bonus as part of a $10 million big league deal, Hechavarria's hitting ability is still a question mark. He was hitting .235/.275/.347 in a second try at Double-A New Hampshire before a surprising promotion to Triple-A Las Vegas this month.
Normally a hitter who is struggling in Double-A will be buried by the more advanced pitchers of Triple-A ball, but that hasn't been the case in the early going with Hechavarria, who is hitting .476/.532/.619 since his callup. And while Las Vegas is one of the best parks in the minors for hitters, Hechavarria's success can't be credited to a park where the ball carries—eight of his 10 Triple-A games have come on the road at Nashville and Memphis.
Hechavarria surely will cool off at the plate, but if he can just be adequate, his glove will handle the rest. [...] Continue Reading »
A total of 145 draft picks signed minor league deals in this period, including 96 players at the Aug. 15 deadline and another 11 the day before. That tally does not include the draft picks who signed major league deals, including the Mariners' Danny Hultzen (No. 2 overall), the Orioles' Dylan Bundy (No. 4) and the Nationals' duo of Anthony Rendon (No. 6) and Matt Purke (third round). Diamondbacks No. 3 overall pick Trevor Bauer signed a big league deal in late July and already has reached Double-A.
Players listed with an asterisk (*) signed minor league contracts after either being optioned or outrighted to the minors.
Draft picks signed: RHP Archie Bradley (1), RHP Anthony Meo (2), RHP Kyle Winkler (10), LHP Andrew Chafin (1.5), LHP Will Locante (11), C Michael Perez (5), OF Joe Loftus (46)
Released: RHP Josh Ellis, OF Breland Brown
Added to 40-man roster: LHP Wade Miley
Designated for assignment: RHP Juan Jaime, RHP Kevin Mulvey
Optioned to Triple-A: SS Tommy Manzella
Option transferred: RHP Trevor Bauer (High-A to Double-A)
Placed on 7-day DL: SS Tony Abreu
Reinstated from DL: RHP Jason Urquidez
The D-backs claimed glove-first 28-year-old shortstop Tommy Manzella on waivers from the Astros. A college teammate of Arizona righthander Micah Owings at Tulane in ’05, Manzella has spent much of the past four seasons in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League, batting .256/.319/.374 in 313 games for Round Rock, Oklahoma City and (after the claim) Reno. He has one option remaining for ’12.
Draft picks signed: 1B Jackson Laumann (31), OF Cody Livesay (42)
Recalled: RHP Randall Delgado
Added to 40-man roster: RHP Arodys Vizcaino
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Anthony Varvaro, C J.C. Boscan
Placed on 7-day DL: LHP Blaine Sims, SS Tyler Pastornicky
Reinstated from DL: RHP Kenshin Kawakami [...] Continue Reading »
Home runs were contagious in the Twins farm system yesterday.
Double-A New Britain center fielder Joe Benson led the way with two home runs, giving him 13 on the year and a .283/.379/.489 overall line through 92 games. High Class A right fielder Oswaldo Arcia doubled and hit his 11th home run in 63 games, reaching base in all four trips to the plate with three hits and a hit by pitch.
In Rookie-level Elizabethon, shortstop Miguel Sano and outfielder Eddie Rosario showed why they're the most potent offensive duo in the Appalchian League. Rosario hit his 12th home run of the season, tying him for third in the league. Sano hit his league-leading 15th homer, giving him nine home runs in his last 17 games and a .276/.335/.605 overall line through 53 games.
Mike Jacobs mashed 32 home runs for the 2008 Marlins, but now he may be best remembered one day as the first player to test positive for human growth hormone. His failed test is the first announced by Major League Baseball since it began conducting blood tests for HGH for minor league players. Jacobs, who plays first base for the Rockies' Triple-A Colorado Springs affiliate, will begin serving a 50-game suspension immediately.
The 30-year-old Jacobs signed a minor league deal with Colorado last December, and he batted .298/.376/.534 with 23 homers in 429 at-bats in Triple-A this season. His production had trended up after the all-star break (1.056 OPS since July 14, compared with .867 before) as Colorado Springs enjoyed two lengthy homestands in its hitter-friendly park.
Jacobs burst on the scene in 2005, slugging 11 homers in 30 games for the Mets after a late-August callup. That offseason, New York packaged the 25-year-old slugger in a deal for the Marlins' Carlos Delgado, and Jacobs enjoyed his best years with Florida, batting .258/.314/.483 (105 OPS+) over 1,499 plate appearances.
Jacobs qualified for arbitration following the 2008 season, so the Marlins hurriedly traded him to the Royals for Leo Nunez, Florida's current closer. Kansas City non-tendred Jacobs following the ’09 season, and since then he's bounced from the Mets to the Blue Jays to the Rockies on minor league deals.
Postscript: Just hours after MLB announced Jacobs' suspension, the Rockies released the veteran first baseman. (Hat tip to MLB Trade Rumors.) Jacobs must serve the entirety of his 50-game suspension if he latches on with another organization.
There's no tougher league for a young pitcher than the high Class A California League, and there's no tougher park in the minors than Lancaster. After last night, it's probably safe to say Chad Bettis has conquered both.
The Rockies righthander went into Lancaster last night and fired seven shutout innings for Modesto, allowing just three hits and two walks while striking out 11, matching his season high. Bettis struck out at least one hitter in each of his seven innings, and he didn't allow a runner to get into scoring position until the seventh. After giving up a walk and a single with two outs in the frame, Bettis finished his evening by striking out JetHawks left fielder Daniel Adamson.
Bettis' above-average fastball and ability to work down in the zone have helped make him one of the Cal League's most effective hurlers in the second half. After going a modest 4-4, 4.30 in 84 innings in the first half, the 2010 second-round pick has led the league in ERA in the second half, going 7-1, 2.28 in 71 innings. He's won five straight decisions and hasn't lost a start since July 8, running his record to 11-5, 3.37 for the season. [...] Continue Reading »
Cardinals top prospect Shelby Miller was left behind on Double-A Springfield's current road trip as he serves a team-imposed suspension.
While Cardinals officials said they would not discuss the specifics of the reasons for the suspension, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that it is tied to an altercation at an apartment complex that involved alcohol. Miller does not turn 21 until October.
The team had previously announced publicly that Miller was being skipped for one start to limit his number of innings.
Miller is 9-6, 2.93 between stops at high Class A Palm Beach and Springfield this season. The hard-throwing righthander was the Cardinals' first-round pick in 2009 out of Brownwood, Texas.
On the same day the Rays recalled Reid Brignac from the minors (Aug. 11), the organization also promoted its top two shortstop prospects to the upper reaches of the minors. Tim Beckham, the first overall pick in 2008 draft, headed from Double-A Montgomery to Triple-A Durham, while Hak-Ju Lee, the prize from last offseason's Matt Garza trade, replaced Beckham in Montgomery.
The 21-year-old Beckham went 3-for-5 with a double and his first Triple-A home run yesterday in the second game of a doubleheader at Buffalo. He went 1-for-4 in the first game, so in all he went 4-for-9 with five RBIs and two runs scored. Beckham has gone 7-for-22 (.318) with three extra-base hits, no walks and three strikeouts in the first five games of his Bulls career.
Lee hasn't gotten off to such a flying start with Montgomery, going 2-for-his-first-16, but he went 2-for-5 yesterday with his first two Double-A extra-base hits, a double and a homer. The 20-year-old has struck out once in each of his five games for the Biscuits, but his .190 average could be on the upswing with a few more good games. Lee batted .317/.389/.442 in 398 at-bats for high Class A Charlotte, and he still ranks among the Florida State League leaders for average, steals (28), hits (126), triples (11) and runs scored (81).
AROUND THE MINORS
• Rockies lefty Edwar Cabrera keeps rolling along. He pushed his minor league-leading strikeout tally to 192 with an eight-whiff game for high Class A Modesto. Remarkably, Cabrera allowed just thee runs on seven hits (one homer) while pitching 5 1/3 innings at Lancaster. His 3.66 ERA in the California League is impressive enough, but remove a six-run mugging on July 18 and Cabrera's ERA drops to 3.16 through 57 innings. [...] Continue Reading »
The Padres' top middle-infield prospect is pursuing a coaching job with the organization after a rare, complex, inner-ear condition put an end to his playing days.
Shortstop Drew Cumberland enjoyed a breakthrough 2010 season in which he appeared in the Futures Game and hit his way to Double-A San Antonio, but the 22-year-old has been diagnosed with bilateral vestibulopathy, which affects his balance and vision and renders him unable to play baseball at a high level. Bob Heist of the Pensacola News Journal has full details of Cumberland's ordeal in a must-read story.
"I just couldn't take it anymore—the dizziness, the blurred vision, the headaches," Cumberland told Heist. [...] Continue Reading »
Numbers in parentheses indicate draft round.
Released: RHP Cristian Beltre
Placed on 7-day DL: RHP Jason Urquidez, C Raywilly Gomez, C Zach Jones
Reinstated from DL: RHP Kevin Mulvey, C Raywilly Gomez, 2B Matt Jensen, SS Dan Kaczrowski, OF Jeremia Gomez
Signed: RHP Navery Moore (14), LHP Luis Merejo
Released: RHP Matt Lewis
Recalled: LHP Mike Minor
Signed: RHP Willie Eyre, OF John Ruettiger (8)
Released: RHP Josh Rupe
Recalled: RHP Jason Berken, RHP Chris Tillman
Designated for assignment: RHP Brandon Erbe
Optioned to Triple-A: LHP Mark Hendrickson
Placed on 7-day DL: RHP Jose Diaz, C Adam Donachie, C Joel Polanco
Reinstated from DL: LHP Matt Taylor, C Joel Polanco, 1B Rhyne Hughes
Brandon Erbe's time with the Orioles may be nearing an end. The 23-year-old will be eligible for free agency if he's not added back to the 40-man roster between now and early November. Baltimore born and bred, Erbe signed out of third round of the ’05 draft and put Class A ball behind him by the end of the ’08 season. However, he's pitched just 165 innings in the past three seasons (including 4 2/3 this year), and he's coming off labrum surgery in ’10. [...] Continue Reading »
About This Blog
Syndicate This Blog
Search This Blog