This time: Sept. 20-26
Most of the players recalled in this installment did not play in the big leagues, of course, but the time for organizations to station them in the minors on optional assignment has come to an end this season.
Recalled: RHP Trevor Bauer, RHP Barry Enright, RHP Kam Mickolio, RHP Yonata Ortega, RHP Esmerling Vasquez, LHP Zach Kroenke, C Konrad Schmidt
Removed from 40-man: SS Tommy Manzella (outrighted to Triple-A)
Reinstated from DL: RHP Chase Anderson, RHP Armando Galarraga, RHP Matt Gorgen, RHP Trevor Harden, RHP Reid Mahon, RHP Miguel Pena, RHP Daniel Stange, RHP Casey Upperman, RHP Jason Urquidez, RHP Andrew Wolcott, LHP Cody Wheeler, C Zach Jones, 2B Mike Freeman, 3B Michael Weber, SS Eddie Rogers, OF Michael Restovich, OF Bobby Stone, OF David Winfree
Assigned to Arizona Fall League: RHP Charles Brewer, RHP Kevin Munson, RHP Eric Smith, RHP Bryan Woodall, 2B David Nick, 3B Ryan Wheeler, OF Adam Eaton
Signed: LHP Yohan Flande (re-signed), OF Trent Baker
Traded: RHP Eliecer Cardenas to Pirates to complete deal in which Pirates traded OF Matt Diaz to Braves for a player to be named
Designated for assignment: OF Matt Young
Reinstated from DL: RHP Mike Broadway, RHP Reidy Escobar, RHP Tyler Hess, RHP Juan Jaime, RHP Jason Lowey, RHP Stephen Marek, RHP Ian Marshall, RHP Kyle Mertins, RHP Angelo Paulino, RHP Cory Rasmus, RHP James Weber, LHP Chad Rodgers, C Cory Brownsten, C Ramon de los Santos, C Evan Gattis, 1B Jakob Dalfonso, 2B Phil Gosselin, OF Willie Cabrera, OF Chris Carter, OF Adam Milligan
A native of Brisbane, Australia, Trent Baker got cut by the Indians at the end of spring training this year. The Australian Baseball Digest indicates that the Braves will try the lefthanded Baker on the mound. [...] Continue Reading »
An efficient amateur scouting department begets a strong minor league system which in turn begets a successful major league team.
Teams navigate choppy waters to get from point A to point B to point C, losing many prospects to burnout or injury along the way. A relative few will make it through unscathed this season to make their big league debuts.
Behind each of those debuts stands a scout and/or a scouting director who at one point put his job on the line to recommend that player. To give credit where credit is due, we’ll track those scouts and those directors for each player to make the big leagues for the first time in 2011.
Players are sorted in alphabetical order by debut date. Included with each listing is signing organization, year and draft round in parentheses, where applicable. Source indicates the high school, college or country from which each player signed his contract with a major league organization. The BA Executive Database supplies the names of scouting directors.
Players listed with an asterisk (*) were major league Rule 5 draft selections in December 2010, while a cross (†) indicates players who were drafted one year and signed the next as part of baseball’s defunct draft-and-follow process.
|Player, Pos, Team||Date||Age||Signed||Source|
|*Nathan Adcock, rhp, Royals||3/31||23||Mariners ’06 (5)||HS—Radcliff, Ky.|
|Signed By: Brian Williams||Director: Bob Fontaine|
|Brandon Belt, 1b, Giants||3/31||22||Giants ’09 (5)||Texas|
|Signed By: Todd Thomas||Director: John Barr|
|Tim Collins, lhp, Royals||3/31||21||Blue Jays ’07||HS—Worcester, Mass.|
|Signed By: J.P. Ricciardi||Director: Jon Lalonde|
|Aaron Crow, rhp, Royals||3/31||24||Royals ’09 (1)||American Assoc.|
|Signed By: Scott Melvin||Director: J.J. Picollo|
|Cedric Hunter, cf, Padres||3/31||23||Padres ’06 (3)||HS—Lithonia, Ga.|
|Signed By: Pete DeYoung||Director: Bill Gayton|
USA Baseball finalized its roster for the 2011 World Cup, which begins next week in Panama, while Italy has released its final roster.
Team USA substituted veteran lefthander Royce Ring (Red Sox) to replace Joe Savery (Phillies), as well as adding first baseman Chad Tracy (Rangers), the former Pepperdine catcher (not the former Diamondbacks corner infielder).
The Mariners are expected to sign the youngest member of Germany's World Cup roster to a professional contract.
Daniel Thieben, an 18-year-old righthander, will sign when Mariners international scouting director Bob Engle comes to Germany on Nov. 2, according to a press release on the website of his German team, Buchbinder Legionaere Regensburg.
Thieben is a 6-foot-4, 190-pound righty who should have some projection left on a fastball that usually sits in the mid-to-upper 80s. His best pitch is his curveball, and he's shown a changeup, though it has a long way to go.
Thieben is expected to be one of Germany's starting pitchers in the upcoming World Cup after posting a 2.01 ERA in 22 innings for Regensburg in six appearances. He played for Germany's junior national team over the summer, giving up seven runs in 10 innings of the European championships and taking a loss against Italy.
This installment of Minor League Transactions finds organizations making post-Triple-A playoff callups, reinstating players from the disabled list, and beginning to re-sign their own players so that they don't bolt via minor league free agency following the World Series.
Signed: RHP Kaleb Fleck (NDFA—Pittsburgh-Johnstown)
Recalled: OF Cole Gillespie
Added to 40-man roster: RHP Jarrod Parker
Designated for assignment: SS Tommy Manzella
Kaleb Fleck sat out the ’11 season at Pittsburgh-Johnstown as he recovered from Tommy John surgery. He pitched for Cotuit in the Cape Cod League this summer, notching six strikeouts, five walks and 14 hits allowed in 9 1/3 innings.
Assigned to Arizona Fall League: RHP Billy Bullock, RHP Erik Cordier, RHP J.J. Hoover, LHP Sean Gilmartin, C Christian Bethancourt, 1B Joey Terdoslavich, OF Todd Cunningham
Reinstated from DL: RHP Jesse Beal, RHP Matt Hobgood, RHP Dan Klein, RHP Kevin Landry, RHP Clay Schrader, LHP James Houser, LHP Casey Lambert, LHP Nate Nery, LHP Luis Ramirez, LHP Will Startup, LHP Aaron Wirsch, C Joel Polanco, C Jason Stifler, 1B Bill Rowell, 1B Tyler Townsend, 2B Greg Miclat, 2B Sammie Starr, 3B Adam Gaylord, 3B Tyler Kolodny, SS Vinny Zazueta, OF Steve Bumbry, OF Chris Clinton, OF Trent Mummey, OF Felix Pie, OF Kieron Pope [...] Continue Reading »
Cuba will look to a roster filled with veterans of international play to try to win the World Cup for the first time since 2005.
As expected, Cuba will send an offensive-minded lineup to the World Cup in Panama and to the Pan Am Games that follow in Mexico, led by a powerful lineup featuring third baseman Yulieski Gourriel, outfielders Alexei Bell and Alfredo Despaigne, and second baseman Hector Olivera. Bell, Despaigne and Gourriel each have set or approached Serie Nacional's single-season home run record in recent years, while Olivera brings a game comparable to that of a young Placido Polanco to the Cuban lineup. The switch-hitting Cepeda, 31, has been a stalwart in Cuba's national team lineups for nearly a decade. [...] Continue Reading »
By Chris Jackson
Special to Baseball America
ALBUQUERQUE—The Omaha Storm Chasers and Columbus Clippers began the 2011 season as two of the more prospect-laden squads in the minor leagues.
By the end of the year, though, most of those prospects were up with their big league affiliates. Omaha lost first baseman Eric Hosmer, second baseman Johnny Giavotella, third baseman Mike Moustakas, catcher Salvador Perez and lefthander Danny Duffy, who all ranked among the Royals’ top 20 prospects.
Columbus lost second baseman Jason Kipnis, third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall, lefthander Nick Hagadone and righthanders Alex White (via the Ubaldo Jimenez trade) and Zach Putnam, who all ranked in the Indians’ top 20 prospects
Through all those transactions, however, both Omaha and Columbus kept right on winning, eventually claiming the Pacific Coast League and International League titles, respectively. That pitted the two teams against each other in Tuesday night’s Triple-A National Championship Game in front of 9,569 fans at Isotopes Park, who saw the Clippers roll out to an 8-3 victory and their second straight title. [...] Continue Reading »
The Dominican Republic and Venezuela have announced their World Cup rosters.
The Dominican team features ex-big leaguers all over the field, including 2003 American League rookie of the year Angel Berroa (Diamondbacks); two-time all-star Tony Batista, 37; 38-year-old Mexican League veteran Willis Otanez, who last played in the majors in 1999; and speedster Bernie Castro. Another speedster, Mexican Leaguer Freddy Guzman, and Alexis Gomez (formerly of the Royals and Tigers), will be in the Dominican outfield.
The pitching staff included Bartolo Colon last year, when the Dominican beat the U.S. and Cuba in consecutive days to win the Pan Am qualifying tournament, but has less star power this time around. Among the ex-big leaguers are Runelvys Hernandez, who most recently pitched in Korea and Mexico; Bartolome Fortunato, who was involved in the Mets' trade of Scott Kazmir in 2004; and fellow righthander Francisco Cruceta. [...] Continue Reading »
The Netherlands and Germany announced their World Cup rosters over the weekend, and if everyone shows up, these should be the most talented Eurorpean lineups scouts would see in international competition in years.
That's especially true of the Dutch roster, which includes two of the most exciting prospects in the entire event in its infield. Jonathan Schoop (Orioles) and Xander Bogaerts (Red Sox) will play on the left side of the Netherlands' infield, two of the nine affiliated minor leaguers on the Dutch club.
Bogaerts and Schoop may not play shortstop for the Netherlands, not with DiDi Gregorius (Reds) on board, and the pitching staff has plenty of international experience in J.C. Sulbaran (Reds) and fellow righthanders Tim Stuifbergen (Twins) and big league veteran Shairon Martis (Nationals). Other affiliated Dutch players include outfielder Kalian Sams (Twins), catcher Shawn Zarraga (Brewers) and infielder Sharlon Schoop (Giants). Indy leaguer Curt Smith (Lincoln Salt Dogs) is also on board; he reached Double-A with the Cardinals in 2010. [...] Continue Reading »
Mets righthander Brandon Moore was suspended 50 games by the commissioner's office for a second violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.
Moore, 25, tested positive for a drug of abuse. He went 10-8, 4.47 at Double-A Binghamton, leading the team in innings pitched (133), strikeouts (105) and wins.
Released: 1B Daryle Ward
Removed from 40-man: SS Blake Davis (outrighted to Triple-A)
Boston Red Sox
Recalled: RHP Scott Atchison
Removed from 40-man: 2B Drew Sutton (outrighted to Triple-A)
Reinstated from DL: RHP Brandon Duckworth, 2B Tony Thomas
Reinstated from DL: RHP Justin Berg, RHP Manolin de Leon, RHP Dylan Johnston, RHP Tarlandas Mitchell, RHP Jose Tineo, RHP Scott Weismann, LHP Graham Hicks, LHP Zach Rosscup, LHP Luis Villalba, OF John Andreoli [...] Continue Reading »
On a day when Elizer Alfonzo was suspended 100 games for a second violation of Major League Baseball's drug program, three minor leaguers also were suspended by the commissioner's office for drug offenses, including ex-big leaguer Rhyne Hughes.
A first baseman who got 47 at-bats last year for the Orioles, Hughes received a 50-game suspension after testing positive for an amphetamine. He played at Triple-A Norfolk this season, batting .249/.321/.465 with 15 home runs. His suspension will begin next season. [...] Continue Reading »
Phillies 2008 supplemental first-round pick Zach Collier was suspended Thursday by Major League Baseball for 50 games after testing positive for an amphetamine.
A pair of minor league free agents, pitcher Alejandro Montas and catcher Gustavo Parra, also were suspended.
Collier struggled with injuries and his own lack of power in his first two full pro seasons, falling out of the Phillies' Top 30 prospects. But he had a decent season in 2011, hitting .255/.328/.349 with 35 stolen bases in 48 attempts, and he'd finished on a strong note, going 8-for-19 in September (.421). He'll serve his suspension in the first 50 games of 2012.
Montas and Parra previously were in the Orioles organization in the Rookie-level Dominican Summer League. Montas posted a 12.00 ERA there this summer, while Parra had hit .186.
This time: Aug. 31-Sept. 6
September is here and vast callups upon us. Visit our Big League Debuts chart for draft/signing status and signing scouts for all first-time big league callups.
Released: RHP Wes Roemer
Recalled: RHP Ryan Cook, RHP Sam Demel
Added to 40-man roster: C Robby Hammock
Placed on 7-day DL: RHP Jason Urquidez
Reinstated from DL: RHP Jason Urquidez, 1B Juan Miranda
Released: 3B Wes Helms
Recalled: RHP Randall Delgado, RHP Julio Teheran, RHP Anthony Varvaro, C J.C. Boscan
Added to 40-man roster: OF Antoan Richardson
Removed from 40-man: LHP Dustin Richardson (outrighted to Triple-A)
Placed on 7-day DL: RHP Juan Jaime, C Evan Gattis
Reinstated from DL: LHP Blaine Sims, SS Tyler Pastornicky [...] Continue Reading »
All four of the Rangers' full-season affiliates made the playoffs this season, which is something no other organization can say. (They can go 5-for-5 if the big league club hangs on to its advantage in the American League West.) Texas' excellence goes beyond that, though, because its minor league clubs all finished at or near the top of the standings.
Low Class A Hickory sported the best record in the South Atlantic League; Triple-A Round Rock (one game back) and Double-A Frisco finished second in the Pacific Coast and Texas leagues, respectively; and high Class A Myrtle Beach placed third in the Carolina League.
Five other organizations had three full-season affiliates qualify for the playoffs: the Athletics, Blue Jays, Giants, Royals and Padres. The liberal playoff structures of two leagues—the California (six of 10 teams qualify) and Midwest (eight of 16 qualify)—helped the Royals and Padres meet the threshold. They each had at least one playoff-bound affiliate hovering near or below .500 for the season.
International League (AAA)
Playoffs begin Sept. 7
Pawtucket (Red Sox) won Northern Division at 81-61
vs. Lehigh Valley (Phillies) won wild card at 80-64
Pawtucket won season series 10-6
Columbus (Indians) won Western Division at 88-56
vs. Durham (Rays) won Southern Division at 80-62
Columbus won season series 5-3
• Prospects To Watch: Durham enters the IL playoffs with the most prospect firepower. LHP Matt Moore (1.37 ERA, 13.5 SO/9 in 53 IP) and RHP Chris Archer (0.69 ERA, 8.3 SO/9 in 13 IP) front a strong rotation that also includes LHP Alex Torres. SS Tim Beckham, the first overall pick in the 2008 draft, batted .255/.282/.462 with five homers in 24 games for the Bulls . . . Banished to Triple-A after the Phillies' acquisition of Hunter Pence, RF Domonic Brown had a down year, batting .261/.391/.370 with three homers in 41 games for Lehigh Valley. He hit just .217 in 92 August at-bats. Brown broke his hamate bone in spring training, so look for a power rebound next season.
• Recent Champs: Columbus won the IL last year, while Durham won it in 2009 (as well as 2002-03). [...] Continue Reading »
A man who was about to be the subject of a media expose in the Dominican Republic is now being investigated in connection with the killing of the journalist who was writing it, according to media reports from the Dominican. As part of the investigation, authorities are also talking to former major leaguer Jose Rijo, who was one of the man's business associates.
The Associated Press reported on Friday that Dominican journalist Jose Agustin Silvestre was kidnapped and shot to death in La Romana on Aug. 2, shortly before he planned to publish an investigative report about Matias Avelino Castro. Silvestre's story would have included allegations that Avelino is a drug trafficker and engaged in corruption with local officials.
The AP reported that police had arrested five people in the case, but not Avelino, whom the report referred to as the "alleged mastermind" behind the kidnapping and murder.
In a separate report, the Dominican Today English-language Website reported that Dominican authorities had raided and searched a hotel owned by Avelino and Jose Rijo, a former major league pitcher and former Nationals special assistant. According to both Dominican Today and the AP, Rijo and Avelino have investments together, and Rijo has been questioned several times by Dominican authorities, though he hasn't been detained.
Rijo served as a special assistant to former Nationals general manager Jim Bowden from 2005-2009. Rijo was a pivotal figure in the Nationals' July 2, 2006, signing of Dominican shortstop Esmailyn Gonzalez for $1.4 million. An investigation later revealed that Gonzalez's real name was Carlos Alvarez and that he was 20, not 16 as he had claimed. The Nationals fired Rijo in 2009 and moved out of his Dominican academy, which the club was renting as its Dominican facility.
To give a better look at just how exceptional 2011 Minor League Player of the Year Mike Trout's 2011 season was, here's a look back at modern-era players who have posted 300+ at-bats in Double-A or above during the season where they turned 20.
|'02||Wily Mo Pena||1/23/1982||388||36||436||99||23||1||11||157||.255||.330||.405||.735|
Minor league baseball has changed dramatically through the years, so it's important to acknowledge that fact when considering the single-season home run champions for the 16 extant minor leagues.
Baseball as we know it today began to take shape in the 1960s. The Angels, Astros, Mets and Senators/Rangers franchises began play in the early part of the decade, and by the the time the ’70s dawned the game had grown half again as large, expanding from 16 to 24 teams.
Jackie Robinson and Larry Doby, baseball pioneers, retired in the late ’50s. Against that backdrop, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Frank Robinson and Roberto Clemente began to establish themselves as the greatest position players of the ’60s, and Bob Gibson and Juan Marichal as the best pitchers.
Baseball instituted the amateur draft in 1965, forever changing the ways in which organizations scout and evaluate domestic talent. Nowhere is that more apparent than in the terrific book "Dollar Sign On The Muscle."
As important as expansion, integration and the draft were to shaping the future of the game, baseball also codified its minor league structure in the early ’60s. Minor league teams played largely on their own in the first half of the 20th century, and teams and leagues boomed in post-World War II prosperity. The peak in 1948 saw 59 minor leagues operating in 438 cities, and the minors set overall attendance records that endured until the early 2000s.
The boom quickly crashed, however, and by 1959 there were just 21 minor leagues. Some worried that the minors would fail altogether, so major league teams started subsidizing their minor league brethren. The Player Development Plan went into effect in May 1962, assuring the survival of 100 minor league teams and creating the farm system as we know it today.
With major league organizations footing the bill for minor league salaries, player turnover intensified in the search for prospects with big league potential. Development, and not winning, took precedence in the minors. The flawed slugging first baseman/corner outfielder whose power doesn't play in the high minors is no longer guaranteed steady employment.
Let's first acknowledge the home run champs of the modern, post-1962 era, because we know what the classifications signify.
|LEAGUE RECORDS FOR HOME RUNS IN A SEASON (1962-PRESENT)|
|Amer. Assoc.||AAA||46||Ken Phelps
|Pacific Coast||AAA||50||Ron Kittle*||Edmonton||1982||24||472||9.4|
|Texas||AA||41||Arlo Engel||El Paso||1963||21||485||11.8|
|Carolina||HiA||49||Tony Solaita||High Pt-Thomasville||1968||21||467||9.5|
|Florida State||HiA||33||Jim Fuller||Miami||1971||20||488||14.8|
|Midwest||LoA||42||Jeff Jones||Cedar Rapids||1982||24||432||10.3|
|South Atlantic||LoA||40||Russell Branyan||Columbus||1996||20||482||12.1|
|Northwest||SS||25||Willie Darkis||Central Oregon||1980||20||252||10.1|
|Pioneer||R||23||Greg Morrison||Medicine Hat||1997||21||241||10.5|
|Gulf Coast||R||14||Eric Arce||Blue Jays||2011||19||153||10.9|
* Sacramento's Bill McNulty hit 55 home runs in 1974, but according to the Pacific Coast League media guide: "Left field at Hughes Stadium, Sacramento, was less than the 250 feet prescribed in Official Baseball Rule 1.04," and the league places an asterisk next to his record. [...] Continue Reading »
ZEBULON, N.C.–The final day of a minor league season feels a whole lot like the last day of the year at a college.
Bags are packed, some parents are milling around to help load up cars. Goodbyes are given along with promises to keep in touch.
And the reality is that some of the players heading home may never be back. For six months, a baseball team is a large family. They travel together, eat together and spend hours wiling away the dead time before games or during rain delays. Then at the end of the season, everyone heads to their respective homes. Some will be back together again next year. But others will be traded, or sign elsewhere as minor league free agents, or get released.
It makes for one of the stranger days of the season. Players who have been grinding their way through a 140-game season and more than six months away from friends and family understandably are excited about the idea of heading home. [...] Continue Reading »
Dominican righthander Juan Carlos Paniagua's $1.1 million deal with the Yankees hit a snag due to "falsified documents," though the case is still ongoing, according to Major League Baseball vice president Kim Ng.
Baseball America reported on Thursday that MLB suspended Paniagua for one year, which Yankees vice president Mark Newman confirmed, though the reason for the disciplinary action was not known. Ng declined to provide further details about what documents were falsified, though she confirmed that Paniagua's representatives were asking MLB to reconsider its decision. As of now, MLB is still listening and hasn't made a final verdict, according to Ng.
"Right now we're still investigating," Ng said. "The process is not finished."
Ng also added that Paniagua is not technically suspended, but that he is currently "not eligible to sign" for a year. The term suspension, Ng said, is reserved for players who are under an official contract with a major league team.
Whatever phrase the league decides to use, Paniagua will have to sit out a year for a second time unless MLB changes its ruling. In other words: stay tuned.
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