Joe Torre didn’t wait too long to return to the dugout.
The former veteran manager and current Major League Baseball executive was introduced today by USA Baseball as manager for Team USA in the 2013 World Baseball Classic. Torre is in his second year serving as MLB’s executive vice president of baseball operations and will be making his debut in a Team USA uniform when the third installment of the WBC kicks off next spring.
“It was a privilege to be asked because this is a once-every-few-years situation and I really appreciate the confidence that the USA is showing in me,” Torre said.
The California and Carolina leagues released their respective all-star rosters on Monday. The annual exhibition will be played in Winston-Salem, N.C., at the Dash's BB&T Ballpark on Tuesday, June 19.
The Cal League holds an 8-7 series lead as the event heads into its 16th year. The rosters for each side were decided upon based on votes from each league’s front office, managers and media. Dash manager Tommy Thompson will guide the Carolina all-stars with Lake Elsinore skipper Shawn Wooten guiding the California squad.
Lake Elsinore righthander Donn Roach, a supplemental third-round pick in 2010, was voted as the starter for the Cal League. The Carolina League starter has yet to be named, but Thompson certainly has plenty of options. His options include Frederick’s Dylan Bundy, Myrtle Beach’s Cody Buckel and Wilmington’s Yordano Ventura.
The festivities kick off at 6 p.m. with the home run derby, followed by the game at 7:15.
Complete rosters are below with this year's participants, noting age, acquisition history and performance through June 11.
After the 2010 season, Phillies second baseman Cesar Hernandez looked like a potential breakout prospect.
Hernandez hit .325/.390/.392 for short-season Williamsport that year as a 20-year-old, but he struggled last year in an aggressive assignment to skip a level to high Class A Clearwater.
Now in Double-A Reading, Hernandez is showing the offensive signs of life he flashed earlier in his career. Hernandez, 22, went a combined 4-for-6 with a triple yesterday in a doubleheader, bringing him to .325/.358/.459 through 58 games. He's a switch-hitter who has a better swing from the left side, where he has more ability to put some sock into the ball, but he's always going to be more of a line-drive guy than a power hitter. There probably isn't huge upside with Hernandez, but he gets the most out of his tools, can play in the middle of the diamond and has good bat control, so there should be some type of role for him in the big leagues within the next few years, either as an everyday guy or someone coming off the bench.
When the Royals signed Yordano Ventura out of the Dominican Republic after the 2008 season, he was a short righthander who reached the high-80s with his fastball and had some issues with his delivery that needed to be addressed. Not exactly your classic projection, but for $28,000, the risk for the Royals was minimal.
Ventura, 21, has morphed into a different animal since then. After putting on weight and ironing out his mechanics, Ventura's fastball now regularly registers in the mid-90s and has flashed as high as 100 mph. He's been dominant for high Class A Wilmington, including yesterday (5 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 8 SO) to drop his ERA to 3.10 in 61 innings with 78 strikeouts, second in the Carolina League only to Rangers righthander Cody Buckel (91).
With Ventura's size, there may be a temptation for some scouts to label him as a bullpen arm, but he's more than just big numbers on the radar gun, as his fastball also has good life, he throws strikes and has a breaking ball that works as an out pitch for him at times. He probably could make for a terrific weapon as a reliever, but there are plenty of ingredients here for him to be even more valuable in a starting role.
Minor league pitching instructors spend their lives drilling the importance of fastball command into the heads of their young pitchers. For Athletics righthander A.J. Griffin, that's never been a problem.
Griffin, 24, used his strike-throwing ability yesterday to throw a rare nine-inning complete game for Triple-A Sacramento, allowing one run and six hits without issuing a walk and striking out six. He threw 72 strikes in 93 pitches and gathered 14 groundouts.
Given his polish, there's a reasonable chance Griffin could be looking at a major league promotion after the all-star break. He has a 2.78 ERA in 45 1/3 innings in Triple-A, with 38 strikeouts and six walks after posting a 2.49 ERA in 43 1/3 innings with Double-A Midland to start the year. The fastball is average, but he spots it well and has an out pitch in his above-average changeup, so he could slide into the back or eventually the middle of a big league rotation very soon.
Here we present official minor league transactions, conveyed to us by Major League Baseball, for the period June 5-11.
Any player listed with an asterisk (*) signed a minor league contract with the organization after being removed from the 40-man roster and clearing waivers.
Please see the Baseball America Draft Database for much more detailed information on draft picks, including scouting reports (for subscribers), select signing bonuses and a running tally of team spending.
Signed: RHP Donny Medlinger (NDFA—Cal State Monterey Bay), RHP Kyle Owings (NDFA—College of Charleston), LHP Harry Marino (NDFA—Williams (Mass.)), 3B Ryan Fuller (NDFA—Connecticut)
Draft picks signed: RHP Jake Barrett (3), RHP Jeff Gibbs (9), RHP Jonathan Pulley (33), RHP Derrick Stultz (14), LHP Daniel Watts (32), C Ronnie Freeman (5), C Phildrick Llewellyn (13), C Stryker Trahan (1), 1B Jacob House (20), OF Breland Almadova (37), OF Danny Poma (10), OF Charles Taylor (4)
Released: 1B Randy Ruiz
Recalled: OF A.J. Pollock
Optioned to Triple-A: OF A.J. Pollock
Placed on 7-day DL: RHP Mike Bolsinger, 3B Carter Bell
Reinstated from DL: OF Kyle Greene
College of Charleston senior righthander Kyle Owings is the older brother of Diamondbacks prospect Chris Owings, a 20-year-old shortstop for high Class A Visalia who's batting .326/.366/.551 with 11 homers in 227 at-bats.
Arizona released veteran minor league slugger (and ’09 Pacific Coast League MVP) Randy Ruiz so that he could pursue an opportunity to play in Japan, where he spent time with Rakuten in ’10 and ’11. This time around, Yokohama appeared to have the most interest in the 34-year-old Ruiz.
Draft picks signed: RHP Christian Barczykowski (27), RHP Jaden Dillon (29), RHP Jeremy Fitzgerald (21), RHP Michael Flores (24), RHP Nathan Hyatt (13), RHP David Peterson (8), RHP Steven Schils (9), RHP Shae Simmons (22), RHP Luke Sims (1), RHP Alex Wilson (15), LHP Brandon Rohde (25), LHP Alex Wood (2), C Bryan de la Rosa (3), C Tyler Tewell (14), 1B Casey Kalenkosky (30), 2B Ross Heffley (18), 2B Levi Hyams (19), 3B Mike Dodig (10), 3B Trenton Moses (26), SS Kraig Clabough (28), SS Eric Garcia (20), OF Chase Anselment (17), OF Justin Black (4), OF Blake Brown (5), OF Connor Lien (12)
Released: OF Kyle Rose
Recalled: RHP Cory Gearrin, RHP Julio Teheran
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Julio Teheran, C J.C. Boscan, OF Jose Constanza
Placed on 7-day DL: RHP Caleb Brewer, LHP Ryan Buchter, LHP Ronan Pacheco, OF Collin DeLome
Reinstated from DL: OF Matt Lipka [...] Continue Reading »
The 53rd annual South Atlantic League all-star game will be held at Joseph P. Riley Jr. Ballpark, home of low Class A Charleston RiverDogs. Festivities commence on June 18 with the first round of the home run derby taking place on the deck of the USS Yorktown, an inoperative World War II-vintage aircraft carrier. The derby will conclude before the all-star game begins at 7:30 p.m. Eastern on Tuesday, June 19.
Let's take a closer look at this year's participants, noting age, acquisition history and performance through June 11. Charleston outfielder Mason Williams has been added to the Southern Division roster as a replacement for Greenville's Keury de la Cruz. We'll keep you updated with changes to rosters brought about by injuries or by players being promoted.
Key to notations: *bats/throws lefthanded. #switch-hitter.
Probable starters in bold, with best guesses for starting pitchers and outfield alignment.
|SAL NORTHERN DIVISION ALL-STARS • STATS THROUGH JUNE 11
|Jose Fernandez||Greensboro||MIA||19||2011 (1)||71||1.27||88||17|
|Aaron Barrett||Hagerstown||WAS||24||2010 (9)||24||3.42||37||9|
|Matt Benedict||West Virginia||PIT||23||2010 (30)||71||3.66||42||20|
|*Adam Conley||Greensboro||MIA||22||2011 (2)||69||2.60||80||22|
|Kevin Cravey||Greensboro||MIA||24||NDFA (’10)||28||1.61||22||9|
|Phil Klein||Hickory||TEX||23||2011 (30)||25||2.49||22||11|
|Colin Kleven||Lakewood||PHI||21||2009 (33)||64||3.66||51||24|
|Nick Martinez||Hickory||TEX||21||2011 (18)||42||5.10||46||15|
|*Greg Nappo||Greensboro||MIA||23||2011 (18)||34||2.12||37||14|
|*Victor Payano||Hickory||TEX||19||Int'l FA (’10)||61||3.54||50||36|
|Blair Walters||Kannapolis||CWS||22||2010 (11)||66||2.58||64||17|
|Austin Barnes||Greensboro||MIA||22||2011 (9)||265||.289||.408||.384|
|Adrian Nieto||Hagerstown||WAS||22||2011 (5)||155||.259||.331||.403|
|Kevan Smith||Kannapolis||CWS||24||2011 (7)||235||.287||.355||.416|
|*Nicky Delmonico, 1b||Delmarva||BAL||19||2011 (6)||254||.270||.358||.428|
|Alen Hanson, 2b||West Virginia||PIT||19||Int'l FA (’10)||280||.324||.380||.567|
|Rangel Ravelo, 3b||Kannapolis||CWS||20||2010 (6)||253||.311||.361||.437|
|*Matt Skole, 3b||Hagerstown||WAS||22||2011 (5)||276||.290||.442||.555|
|Hanser Alberto, ss||Hickory||TEX||19||Int'l FA (’09)||227||.339||.386||.458|
|Josh Adams, ss||Greensboro||MIA||23||2011 (13)||263||.277||.327||.496|
|Matt Smith, 1b/dh||Greensboro||MIA||24||2009 (49)||179||.285||.363||.481|
|*Gregory Polanco, rf||West Virginia||PIT||20||Int'l FA (’09)||256||.303||.359||.481|
|*Caleb Ramey, lf||Hagerstown||WAS||23||2011 (11)||238||.290||.357||.429|
|*Brent Keys, cf||Greensboro||MIA||21||2009 (17)||262||.361||.439||.475|
|Chris Grayson, lf||Hickory||TEX||22||2011 (13)||251||.296||.390||.469|
|Mark Haddow, rf||Kannapolis||CWS||24||2011 (24)||267||.328||.399||.494|
Coaching Staff: David Berg, manager, Greensboro (Marlins); Blake McGinley, pitching coach, Greensboro; Chris Olson, trainer, Greensboro. [...] Continue Reading »
If everything had gone the way Kansas City has hoped, Danny Duffy, John Lamb and Mike Montgomery would be starting in Kansas City these days and the team would be tamping down speculation of when Chris Dwyer would join them.
Duffy and Lamb are both out with injured elbows, Montgomery has stagnated at Triple-A Omaha and Dwyer is stuck a level below that with a 6.26 ERA for Double-A Northwest Arkansas. The Royals rotation of the future hasn't yet worked out the way they had planned.
But the Royals do have Jake Odorizzi. And while the rest of the rotation of the future is either injured or struggling, Odorizzi once again on Tuesday night showed that he's close to ready for a big league job.
Odorizzi, one of the key players in the Royals-Brewers Zack Greinke trade, allowed two runs in 5 1/3 innings as he walked one and struck out seven. It was the fifth time in eight Triple-A starts that Odorizzi has struck out at least seven. His also solid control has remained impeccable as well–he's walking 2.7 batters per nine innings which is identical to his career walk rate.
Odorizzi generally doesn't throw as hard as Duffy, Montgomery or Dwyer, but his combination of command, stuff and feel for pitching has made him the Royals' pitching prospect most ready to help out if Kansas City looks for a callup in the second half of the season.
Add A.J. Cole to the list of pitchers chewed up and spit out by the California League.
Like Daniel Bard, Tyler Matzek and several others before him, Cole found his first taste of the hitter-friendly league to be a disaster. He was roughed up to the tune of an 0-7, 7.82 record with high Class A Stockton before the A's decided they'd seen enough. He was shipped back to low Class A after giving up 10 hits in back-to-back-to-back games.
Cole gave up 12 hits in his first start for Burlington, but since then he's shown a lot of signs of being the pitcher the A's thought they were getting in last offseason's Gio Gonzalez trade. Cole has not allowed more than one earned run in a start since. On Tuesday night, he held Cedar Rapids to three hits and one run while striking out six in six innings.
In Bard's case, the Red Sox's ended up skipping him over high Class A after he straightened himself out. Matzek is doing much better in his second try at the California League. It's way too soon to say that Cole is ready for a return trip, but the hue of his season looks a whole lot rosier now than it did a month ago.
Garrett Gould started his season in the high Class A California League by a having a of couple months to forget. He can take solace in the knowledge that that hardly makes him unique among pitchers to come through the minors’ most hitter-friendly league, and the better news for the Dodgers righthander is that his last two starts have been more encouraging.
Gould, 20, was just 1-5, 5.19 entering his June 6 start for Rancho Cucamonga, when he struck out seven over five innings, allowing two runs on five hits. He followed that up with one of his best outings of the year Monday, permitting just two hits and one run over six innings against Lancaster. He struck out six and handed out only one walk.
Gould didn’t figure in the decision and remains stuck on one win in 13 outings, but he’s lowered his ERA to 4.71. His strikeout rate has remained solid with 67 in 63 innings, but part of his problems can be traced to his groundout/airout ratio of 1.33, which is down from a career mark of 1.60e. But once again, he’s been more proficient over his last two outings, inducing eight groundouts Monday and a 12-4 groundout/fly out rate over his last two starts.
We often talk about players needing to show they’ve mastered a level before they’re ready to move up. It’s not exactly going out on a limb to say that Anthony Rizzo has mastered Triple-A, but his last two games have further underscored the point.
The Cubs prospect hit two home runs on Sunday for Triple-A Iowa then belted two more on Monday, part of a 3-for-4 night in which he also added a double and had four RBIs. The lefthanded-hitting Rizzo homered to center field in the second inning Monday—three of his last five homers have gone to center—and then hit a three-run shot to right in the fifth. The 22-year-old’s outburst has vaulted him to the top of the Pacific Coast League with 22 homers and put him in a tie with Wil Myers for second in the minors, trailing only Toledo slugger Brad Eldred’s 24.
Rizzo hit .331/.404/.652 in Triple-A with Tucson last season and has been even better this year despite moving to the less hitter-happy American Conference of the PCL as a result his being traded from the Padres to the Cubs in the offseason. He’s up to .363/.422/.721 through 215 at-bats with Iowa and has nearly matched his 2011 Triple-A homer total of 26. He’s not walking as frequently (10.4 percent of PAs last year, 8.4 percent this year) but has improved his strikeout rate (17.7 percent of PAs, down from 21.5 percent of PAs last year), and he’s hitting a combined .343/.411/678 at the Triple-A level between the 2011-12 seasons combined.
Don’t look for Edwar Cabrera to defend his 2011 minor league strike out crown, but the Rockies lefthander is still having a quality year with Double-A Tulsa. On Monday, he followed one of his worst outings of the season with one of his best, tossing seven one-hit, shutout innings against Northwest Arkansas, striking out five and walking two.
Five days earlier, on June 6, Cabrera was tagged for five earned runs on eight hits in 5 2/3 innings by Springfield, but he found a groove quickly on Monday. The 24-year-old retired the first 12 hitters he faced and didn’t yield his first hit until a one-out single by the Cardinals’ Yem Prades in the sixth. Prades’ hit was one of just two balls that left the infield against Cabrera, as he induced 11 groundouts to go with the five punchouts.
As we detailed in a recent Prospect Bulletin (BA subscription required), Cabrera has emphasized the development of his curveball. His strikeout numbers haven’t been as gaudy as last year, when he had 217 in 167 innings, but he does lead the Texas League in WHIP (0.94) and rank second in opponents’ average (.192) on the strength of his devastating changeup. He’s limited righthanded hitters to a paltry .186 average in 210 at-bats. He picked up the win Monday to move to 6-4, 3.25, putting him seventh in the TL in ERA. The downside? Cabrera’s been punished hard for his mistakes. Despite his otherwise strong numbers, Cabrera is tied for the minor league lead in the dubious category of home runs allowed with 14.
As Reds prospect Billy Hamilton races toward the minor league record for stolen bases in a season—he's gone 71-for-85 in 60 games for high Class A Bakersfield—it's a fitting time to acknowledge those players who hold the single-season records for thefts in each of the 16 extant minor leagues.
We chose to draw the cut-off line at 1962 because that's when the minor leagues as we know it took shape. That's the point at which baseball instituted the Player Development Plan with the minor leagues, guaranteeing the survival of 100 teams and making those clubs official cogs to the big league machine.
|LEAGUE RECORDS FOR STOLEN BASES IN A SEASON (1962-PRESENT)|
|American Assoc||AAA||101||Vince Coleman||Louisville||1984||22||137||73.7%|
|Pacific Coast||AAA||84||Kim Allen||Spokane||1980||27||107||78.5%|
|Eastern||AA||96||Larry Lintz||Quebec City||1972||22||107||89.7%|
|Florida State||HiA||116||Allan Lewis||Leesburg||1966||24||—||—|
|South Atlantic||LoA||145||Vince Coleman||Macon||1983||21||176||82.4%|
|New York-Penn||SS||66||Geoff Dogget||Geneva||1982||20||79||83.5%|
|Pioneer||R||60||Tom Goodwin||Great Falls||1989||20||68||88.2%|
|Gulf Coast||R||50||Alexis Marte||GCL Blue Jays||1981||18||54||92.6%|
The Cubs have signed 20-year-old Cuban outfielder Jorge Soler, according to multiple media reports.
The signing comes as no surprise to many in the industry, as the Cubs have long been the only team seriously mentioned in connection with Soler. The Chicago Tribune reported in February that the Cubs already had an agreement in place with Soler before Major League Baseball had declared him a free agent and before he had been cleared to sign by the United States government. Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer denied the deal six weeks later. Soler, who has been living and working out in the Dominican Republic, is claiming residence in Haiti.
Soler is a power hitter and considered one of the top young talents coming up through the ranks in Cuba before he left. Though he had minimal experience in Cuba's top league, Serie Nacional, he was the top player on Cuba's junior national circuit and excelled during international tournaments. He is represented by Praver Shapiro Sports Management, the group that is also involved representing Dominican outfielder Jairo Beras, whose $4.5 million contract with the Rangers is still pending a decision from the league.
Our January scouting report on Soler (for subscribers) explained that:
"Soler will take longer to get there, but he's also one of the better young players Cuba has produced in recent years with the offensive potential to be an above-average right fielder. Soler stands out for his thick, physical build and strength. Power is Soler's best tool, as he shows great bat speed, the ability to hit balls out to all fields and the potential to hit 25 home runs per year. While scouts like his power and some like his swing, he bars his front arm and the stiffness in his stroke is a concern for some scouts."
Most minor league records are fossils.
They're wonderful to look at, but thanks to the changes in the game, most minor league record feats can be considered untouchable.
Joe Bauman's 72 home runs in a season (in the 1954 Class C Longhorn League) isn't going to be threatened anytime soon–a 40-home run season in the minors now would be cause for celebration. Nolan Arenado led the minors in RBIs last year with 122, but Bob Crues and his record 254 RBIs in 1948 for Amarillo West didn't have much of a reason to feel threatened. And as impressive as Matt Moore's two minor league strikeout crowns and a second-place finish in a three-year stretch were, you'd have to add up all three of Moore's seasons to top the single-season strikeout record of Grover Lowdermilk's 465 Ks in 1907.
Gary Redus' record-setting .462 season with Billings in 1978 and Vince Coleman's 145 stolen bases with Macon in 1983 are the only two minor league single-season records of any significance that have been broken in the past 50 years.
Since Coleman and Donnell Nixon held a furious race to nab the stolen base record in 1983, not one significant minor league single-season record has even been threatened. In fact, not one single-season performance since then ranks in the Top 10 for all-time single-season leaders. The career records are equally untouchable.
All of that makes what Reds shortstop prospect Billy Hamilton is doing this year all the more special. For the first time in a long time, we may see a run at a record. Hamilton, who plays for high Class A Bakersfield, has 71 steals in 63 team games. At his current pace of 1.13 steals per team game, Hamilton is on pace to steal 157 bases, 12 more than Coleman's record. [...] Continue Reading »
Presented here are the top 10 pitcher game scores from weekend series, June 8-10, by pitchers who appear in the 2012 Baseball America Prospect Handbook.
|TOP 10 GAME SCORES BY PROSPECTS IN THE MINORS • JUNE 8-10
|Trevor Bauer||ARI||Reno||Pacific Coast||AAA||7||5||0||0||11||2||76|
|A.J. Griffin||OAK||Sacramento||Pacific Coast||AAA||7||3||2||0||8||0||75|
|Erasmo Ramirez||SEA||Tacoma||Pacific Coast||AAA||8||2||2||2||5||2||73|
|B.J. Hermsen||MIN||New Britain||Eastern||AA||7||5||0||0||5||1||71|
|*Lefthander. Chart considers only pitchers who appear in 2012 BA Prospect Handbook
• Twins righty Liam Hendriks came within one out of notching his second straight complete game for Triple-A Rochester, though the first came in an abbreviated seven-inning affair. He threw 124 pitches Saturday and came out of the game after allowing a two-out single to Indianapolis center fielder Starling Marte in the ninth inning. Hendriks has gone 5-0, 1.94 with a 0.91 WHIP in seven starts for the Red Wings, in sharp contrast to his 9.00 ERA in four starts for the Twins.
• Mariners Double-A lefty Danny Hultzen registered his first 80+ game score of the season on Friday, limiting Jacksonville to two hits in eight innings. His 1.28 ERA through 12 starts ranks fifth in the minors, while no qualified starter has allowed a lower opponent average (.145). [...] Continue Reading »
Presented here are the top 10 runs created tallies for position players from weekend series, June 8-10. Players must appear in the 2012 Baseball America Prospect Handbook.
|TOP 10 RUNS CREATED BY PROSPECTS IN THE MINORS • JUNE 8-10
|Logan Schafer*||MIL||Nashville||Pac Coast||AAA||10||7||0||1||0||2||0||2||5.8|
|Matt den Dekker*||NYM||Binghamton||Eastern||AA||14||9||3||0||0||0||3||1||5.4|
|Adam Eaton*||ARI||Reno||Pac Coast||AAA||13||6||4||1||0||3||1||2||5.0|
|Jonathan Villar#||HOU||Corp. Christi||Texas||AA||12||6||0||0||1||2||2||4||4.9|
|Ryan Fisher*||MIA||Jupiter||Fla State||HiA||13||7||2||0||1||0||0||0||4.8|
|Ryan Wheeler*||ARI||Reno||Pac Coast||AAA||14||8||3||0||0||1||3||0||4.8|
|Eric Sogard*||OAK||Sacramento||Pac Coast||AAA||10||4||1||1||0||6||3||2||4.6|
|*Bats lefthanded. #Switch-hitter.
Chart considers only players who appear in 2012 BA Prospect Handbook
• Logan Schafer carries a .417 on-base percentage (13-for-33 with two walks) through 10 June games with Triple-A Nashville (and a .344 mark on the season), a performance that the Brewers surely must be monitoring. Milwaukee center fielders have hit .243/.292/.350 this season.
• Mets Double-A center fielder Matt den Dekker is having one of the great under-the-radar seasons, batting .340/.397/.563 with eight homers in 238 at-bats for Binghamton. He leads the Eastern League in average, doubles (21), slugging, extra-base hits (33) and runs (47). He turns 25 in August and has no Triple-A experience, but he has tools that will play in the big leagues—namely defensive range, speed and more power than perhaps anyone realized. [...] Continue Reading »
High Class A Jupiter outfielder Marcell Ozuna enhanced his OPS by more than 200 points in May (.892) compared with his April output (.651). The needle continues trending up for the 21-year-old Marlins slugger so far in June. Ozuna went 3-for-4 Sunday versus Bradenton and connected for three home runs, a rare occurrence in Florida State League play.
|THREE-HOMER GAMES IN THE MINORS THIS SEASON
|A.J. Kirby Jones||OAK||Stockton||California||HiA||4/18|
|Steve Proscia||SEA||High Desert||California||HiA||4/19|
|Chris Carter||OAK||Sacramento||Pacific Coast||AAA||4/22|
|Ross Wilson||CWS||Kannapolis||South Atlantic||LoA||4/27|
|Moises Sierra||TOR||Las Vegas||Pacific Coast||AAA||6/1|
|Mike Hessman||HOU||Okla. City||Pacific Coast||AAA||6/3|
|Marcell Ozuna||FLA||Jupiter||Florida State||HiA||6/10|
Ozuna hit all three home runs to left field, smashing a three-run shot in the first inning against Marauders righthander Tyler Waldron, then victimizing Waldron for a solo shot in the third, then taking righty Hunter Strickland deep for a two-run shot in the seventh. Ozuna drove in six runs, and in his other two plate appearances he struck out and got hit by a pitch.
Ozuna's outburst thrust him into the FSL lead with 13 home runs. He won a home run title previously in the 2010 short-season New York-Penn League.
Of the 11 three-homer games in the minors this season, three occurred in the California League and three more happened in the Pacific Coast League. The International League has two entries and the Eastern and South Atlantic leagues make one appearance each.
Here we present the top 10 single-start pitching performances, as measured by game score, at each classification of the minors in May. To make up for late publication date of this piece, find a ranking of the top 10 game scores in the big leagues at the bottom of this post.
|TOP 10 GAME SCORES IN TRIPLE-A IN MAY
|3||Bruce Billings||OAK||Sacramento||Pacific Coast||5/26||8||3||0||0||8||0||84|
|4||Dave Bush||PHI||Lehigh Valley||International||5/22||9||5||0||0||6||0||83|
|5||Brandon Dickson||STL||Memphis||Pacific Coast||5/2||8||3||1||1||10||0||82|
|6||Jesse Chavez||TOR||Las Vegas||Pacific Coast||5/12||8||3||0||0||5||0||81|
|Casey Coleman||CHC||Iowa||Pacific Coast||5/7||7||2||0||0||9||1||81|
|10||Brad Hand*||MIA||New Orleans||Pacific Coast||5/29||7.3||1||1||1||10||2||81|
• Righty Chris Tillman hasn't done much with a full season's complement of starts for Baltimore the past three seasons (5.58 ERA, 1.58 WHIP in 181 innings), but the 24-year-old may be turning a corner in Triple-A this season. He went 2-5, 3.64 with a 38-14 K-BB ratio in 42 innings with Norfolk in May, topped off by the one-hit, nine-strikeout effort against Pawtucket shown above. Tillman's pitching so well that he may force his way into big league rotation conversation, where he could vie for starts with fellow Tides Zach Britton and (soon) Jamie Moyer. It's shocking to consider now, but Tillman was viewed as a similar talent to Adam Jones at the time the Orioles completed the Erik Bedard trade with the Mariners in February 2008. [...] Continue Reading »
Nationals Triple-A righthanded reliever Josh Wilkie received a 50-game suspension for twice testing positive for a "drug of abuse." Major League Baseball announced the penalty in a press release issued Thursday evening.
Signed as a nondrafted free agent from George Washington in June 2006, Wilkie appeared in 18 games with Syracuse this season, his fourth tour of duty with the Chiefs. The 27-year-old logged a 4.76 ERA and 1.59 WHIP in 17 innings this season, though he owns a solid 3-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio and 1.25 WHIP over the course of 169 career Triple-A innings.
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