The Triple-A All-Star Game is scheduled for July 15 in Portland, Ore. The host Pacific Coast League announced its roster Wednesday, and the International League followed suit Thursday, with some intriguing prospects as well as Triple-A veterans.
The biggest names among the prospects include the shortstops, with Brandon Wood (Angels) and Alcides Escobar (Brewers) on the PCL roster while Reid Brignac (Rays) will start at short for the IL. Wood, who also plays third base, is listed as the starter at third base for the PCL with Escobar starting at short. The IL roster also includes two of the minors’ best arms in righthanders Clay Buchholz (Red Sox) and the Orioles’ Chris Tillman, as well as Yankees No. 1 prospect Austin Jackson in the outfield. [...] Continue Reading »
The low Class A South Atlantic Leauge announced its midseason all-star teams Tuesday. Teams representing the Northern and Southern Divisions will meet June 23 at Appalachian Power Park in Charleston, W.Va., home of the West Virginia Power. [...] Continue Reading »
The Arizona League announced its all-star team yesterday and Padres outfielder Jaff Decker was chosen as the league Most Valuable Player. It’s not a surprising selection as Decker’s been a hitting machine since being a supplemental first-rounder out of Sunrise Mountain High in Peoria, Ariz. this spring. Decker is the league leader in on-base percentage with a ridiculous 55 walks in 47 games and is near the top in batting average and slugging.
Aside from Decker, the rest of the list is highlighted by Mariners third baseman Jharmidy DeJesus who hit .339/.417/.591 through 127 Arizona League at-bats. The 18-year-old DeJesus was then promoted to short-season Everett in the Northwest League. . . Athletics shortstop Nino Leyja hit really well with a .313/.383/.456 line over 160 at-bats. The numbers are even more impressive for the 15th-round draft pick when you consider he posted them as a 17-year-old playing a premium defensive position. . . Alexi Amarista is a small outfielder out of Venezuela playing for the AZL Angels. Listed at just 5-foot-8, 150 pounds, the switch-hitter posted a line of .335/.420/.428 over 194 at-bats. The 19-year-old also stole 20 bases, but was caught 13 times. [...] Continue Reading »
The Florida State League all-star team was announced today and Jupiter first baseman Logan Morrison (Marlins) earned the league’s most valuable player honors. The 6-foot-2, 215 pound lefty slugger is hitting .332/.402/.497 on the season, leading the league in average and on-base percentage and ranking fourth in slugging.
The Tigers’ top prospect, Lakeland righthander Rick Porcello, heads the group of starting pitchers on the team. With 75 strikeouts over 125 innings, Porcello’s strikeout rate wasn’t jaw dropping, but he gets a lot of groundballs, helping him maintain a 2.66 ERA.
Despite pitching out of the bullpen, Fort Myers righthander Anthony Slama (Twins) ranked among the league’s top 10 in strikeouts, fanning 109 batters over 69 frames. St. Lucie catcher Josh Thole (Mets) put up good numbers for St. Lucie, hitting .301/.384/.430 over 342 at-bats . . . Sarasota third baseman Juan Francisco (Reds) puts up impressive power numbers but strikes out nearly once a game. . . Dunedin skipper Omar Malave was named manager of the year after leading the Jays to a league-best 45-20 record.
[...] Continue Reading »
The Northwest League announced its all-star team yesterday and the Boise Hawks (Cubs) filled out the roster at four different positions including the unanimous selection of Josh Vitters at third base. There could have been more too, as outfielder Drew Rundle, who led the league in slugging, didn’t make the cut. Eugene Emeralds outfielder Dan Robertson (Padres) was chosen as the league’s MVP and Tim Hulett, who had a 12-year big league career with the White Sox, Orioles and Cardinals, was the manager of the year for the Spokane Indians (Rangers).
[...] Continue Reading »
Third base David Flores’ (Astros) two-run double with two outs in the bottom of the ninth helped the National League All-Stars walk off with three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning on Tuesday to win the New York-Penn League All-Star Game 4-3.
After the American League used a three-run seventh to take a 3-1 lead, righthander Tyler Stohr (Tigers) came in to close things out. But shortstop Chase D’Arnaud (Pirates) led off with a double and advanced to third on a ground out. D’Arnaud scored on a single by outfielder Jack Shuck (Astros). After a walk and a strikeout, Flores doubled home Shuck and catcher Charles Cutler (Cardinals). [...] Continue Reading »
This year’s New York-Penn League All-Star Game will feature a pair of brothers reunited, a player who was in Indy ball before the last season, an ambidextrous pitcher, and remarkably, just one first-round draft pick from this year’s draft–and even then, it’s a supplemental first-rounder.
Tri-City will host this year’s game, which is at Joe Bruno Stadium in Troy, New York on Tuesday, August 19.
It has been a whirlwind of a season for this league. While first-round picks Reese Havens (Mets), Ike Davis (Mets) and Tri-City’s Jason Castro (Astros) did not make an All-Star team, Brad Holt represents the highest pick from 2008 participating in the game. Holt was selected 33rd overall by the Mets in the supplemental first round. First-round pick Lonnie Chisenhall (Indians) made the team after swinging a hot bat over the last couple of weeks, but he will not play in the game after being hit on the hand by a pitch on Monday. [...] Continue Reading »
MANCHESTER, N.H.–Travis Snider was the main attraction at the Double-A Eastern League All-Star game, and he didn’t disappoint the hometown fans.
The New Hampshire (Blue Jays) outfielder cleared the second fence in right field routinely in batting practice, then won the home run derby with 12 home runs (you can watch the video here). The lefthanded-hitting Snider, a heavy-bodied slugger at 5-foot-11, 245 pounds, showed well-above-average power for a 20-year-old with his bat speed and sweet swing from the left side.
"I started off slow, but we were able to find a spot, and (hitting coach Ken Joyce) was putting them there, and finally I was able to relax and let it fly," said Snider, who wore No. 99 during the game. "Good things happen when you just don’t think and hit, and I was able to fortunately go out and do that today."
New Hampshire manager Gary Cathcart, the North Division manager and Snider’s manager last year with low Class A Lansing, was among those impressed.
"He understood that whole scenario today of how it was going to unfold being the hometown guy in the home run derby," Cathcart said. "It kind of took him a couple rounds to get going, but it almost looked like he started doing it because he knew he was going to do it in those last couple rounds. When he came in, I just said to Kenny Joyce and (pitching coach) Dave LaRoche, ‘The young legend just keeps growing.’ He’s just one of those guys. You know, think about it: three years from now he’s going to have five years of pro ball and he’ll be in the big leagues and he’ll only be 23. It’s just a pleasure to be able to watch him for two years now."
In batting practice, Akron third baseman Wes Hodges (Indians) showed a smooth swing that generated power to all fields, particularly pull power to left field. Hodges easily lifted several balls over the fence in left-center field, a pitcher-friendly 380 feet away from home.
Reading catcher Lou Marson (Phillies) hasn’t hit for great power this year–his .422 slugging average is just 101 points higher than his .321 batting average–but he showed solid power potential in BP. Just as he did on Sunday at the Futures Game, Marson put on an impressive showing, launching some balls over the fence and showing the ability to drive the ball deep to every part of the field.
The Pacific Coast League scored six times in the top of the ninth inning, turning a 2-0 deficit into a 6-5 win against the International League in Wednesday’s Triple-A all-star game in Louisville. All six runs were charged to Toledo righthander Blaine Neal (Tigers), the IL saves leader, who retired only one of the seven batters he faced, despite touching 98 mph several times on ESPN’s radar gun.
Memphis right fielder Nick Stavinoha (Cardinals), while serving as a pinch-hitter, led off the ninth for the PCL with a single and moved to second on a wild pitch. Neal then retired Las Vegas left fielder Terry Tiffee (Dodgers) on a swinging strikeout before walking Oklahoma center fielder Nelson Cruz (Rangers) on five pitches.
Three consecutive singles by Tucson DH Jamie D’Antona (Diamondbacks), Salt Lake third baseman Matt Brown (Angels) and Round Rock first baseman Mark Saccomanno (Astros) plated three runs and gave the PCL its first lead of the game. All three batters played the entire game, and Brown, Tiffee and Neal all were named to the U.S. Olympic team earlier in the day.
The fourth PCL run scored when Richmond first baseman Barbaro Canizares (Braves) failed to field a groundball by Tacoma shortstop Oswaldo Navarro (Mariners). He was charged with the IL’s lone error on the play. Las Vegas catcher A.J. Ellis (Dodgers) then drove in the final two runs when he doubled—on an 0-2 count—off Columbus righthander Garrett Mock (Nationals), who relieved Neal after just a third of an inning. [...] Continue Reading »
The Northern Division squad was in control from start to finish in Monday’s Southern League all-star game in Zebulon, N.C., home of the Carolina Mudcats. Led by a solid pitching performance and home runs by Carolina second baseman Chris Coghlan (Marlins) and Tennessee right fielder Doug Deeds (Cubs), the Northerners cruised to a 6-1 victory.
Coghlan, arguably the top second-base prospect in the minors, broke the 2-1 game open in the fifth inning by cranking a three-run home run to right field. The one-two punch of Huntsville batters—center fielder Michael Brantley and shortstop Alcides Escobar—hit back-to-back singles, setting the stage for Coghlan’s blast.
The 23-year-old Coghlan, the Marlins’ supplemental first-round pick from Mississippi in 2006, garnered Star of Stars honors for going 1-for-4 with a homer and three RBIs. He was one of three Mudcats starting the game in front of the hometown crowd. John Raynor led off and played center field, while first baseman Gaby Sanchez batted sixth. [...] Continue Reading »
NEW YORK—I’ve never been to a Super Bowl, and don’t really have any interest in ever going to one, but baseball does have one event that reminds me of the Super Bowl: All-Star Game media availability.
The Super Bowl is so big that the giant media scrum where reporters interview players has become an event unto itself: Super Bowl Media Day. Baseball’s isn’t that big but does feature many of the same elements: a horde of reporters, bored-looking athletes sitting behind tables, and a wave of media that covers baseball approximately one day a year.
So among the many baseball reporters who are looking for quotes for various stories they’re working on, you have talking heads asking insightful questions such as this one for the Mets’ David Wright: "Are you aware that Madonna is not a Mets fan?"
The media availability started at midday on Monday with the American League all-stars. and you won’t be surprised to find that the largest crowds were around the Yankees and Red Sox players. Ichiro Suzuki had his usual 10-deep swarm of Japanese media, and hot story du jour Josh Hamilton also drew steady crowds. (Imagine if reporters had known what he would do in the Home Run Derby later in the day.) Orioles reliever George Sherrill, on the other hand, had a lot less demands on his time.
Among the National League stars, Wright of course drew a huge crowd, as did Chipper Jones and Lance Berkman. Most of the Japanese media stayed around for Kosuke Fukudome, though the throng around him was not nearly as large as the one around Ichiro.
Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum was there, and he honestly looked like he was about 12 years old. His small frame and baby face make him look younger than he already is, and when asked his impressions of his first All-Star Game, he said: "I didn’t realize there were this many media in the whole world."
Dodgers catcher Russell Martin drew a steady stream of Canadian media, and he even did an entire interview in French with Quebec’s French-language sports network. Reflecting the Canadian pride of having Martin, the Twins’ Justin Morneau and the Cubs’ Ryan Dempster, one Canadian reporter asked Martin: "Do you guys represent a Canadian invasion of the All-Star Game?"
Martin had fun with the question, and at least that broke with the usual repetitive pattern of questions, which followed one of these forms: How do you feel about playing the All-Star Game in Yankee Stadium? How do you feel about being an all-star? How is your team doing and why? What other all-star are you looking forward to seeing/playing against?
You see the number of questions they have to answer, particularly the same questions over and over, and you understand why players often fall back into rote answer mode many times.
But we were able to get some good information from a lot of the players for future Baseball America features, which you’ll see in the coming weeks.
With the Eastern League All-Star game this year in Manchester, N.H. on July 16—three days after the Futures Game—there will be some interesting travel schedules for eight of the EL’s top prospects.
Six of the players who will be at Yankee Stadium in New York for the Futures Game and then New Hampshire for the EL All-Star event will play for the Southern Division, and four of those come from the Reading Phillies: catcher Lou Marson, shortstop Jason Donald, outfielder Greg Golson and righthanded pitcher Carlos Carrasco. Carrasco was a late scratch from his last start due to shoulder tightness, but he is expected to appear at both the Futures Game and the EL All-Star game.
Joining those players on the South roster will be Akron third baseman (Indians) Wes Hodges, who leads the league in RBIs, and Erie left fielder Wilkin Ramirez (Tigers), who having arguably his best season as a pro.
On the North Division roster, New Hampshire second baseman Scott Campbell (Blue Jays) and New Britain third baseman Luke Hughes (Twins) will be showcased in both the EL All-Star game and the Futures Game.
The rest of the All-Star rosters are as follows after the jump:
The rosters were announced for the Southern League All-Star Game, which will be played Monday in Zebulon, N.C. and will feature several prominent middle-of-the-diamond prospects.
The North Division will be led at the plate by shortstop Alcides Escobar (Brewers) and second baseman Chris Coghlan (Marlins). Escobar, 21, has been on fire for Huntsville in the first half and entered the season ranked as the third best prospect in the system, although that was before the trade that sent Matt LaPorta to Cleveland. Coghlan, known for his plate discipline, makes up the other half of the double-play tandem.
The North also boasts pitcher Donald Veal, the best lefthander in the Cubs system.
The South Division boasts the Rays’ 2007 minor league pitcher of the year, righthander Wade Davis, and Dodgers righthander James McDonald, who has a loose arm and an improved changeup from a year ago.
Both teams also feature two-deep talent at the catcher position. The North has Adam Moore (Mariners) and Angel Salome (Brewers), while the South will play John Jaso (Rays) and Lucas May (Dodgers).
The rest of the teams’ rosters are after the jump:
Dallas McPherson and his minor league-leading 29 home runs will represent the Pacific Coast League at the Triple-A all-star game on July 16 in Louisville. Likewise with Joe Koshansky and his minor league-leading 78 RBIs.
Whereas the International League squad featured just six homegrown all-stars, the PCL can boast nine players who will represent the organizations that drafted them: Matt Brown, Christian Colonel, Jamie D’Antona, Geno Espineli, Joe Koshansky, J.R. Mathes, Josh Muecke, Seth Smith and Nick Stavinoha.
Colonel, Koshansky and Smith all are Rockies draft picks, and while D’Antona and Smith were second-round picks, Espineli (14th round) and Mathes (16th round) were 2004 draft-day finds. [...] Continue Reading »
The International League’s top four home run hitters will travel to Louisville to take part in the Triple-A all-star game on July 16. Brad Eldred and Mike Hessman share the league lead with 26, with Jeff Bailey (22) and Jonathan Van Every (21) not far behind.
But while sluggers are well represented, prospects are not. Just six of the IL squad’s 28 players were drafted by the organization they’ll be representing in the game: Reid Brignac, Brent Clevlen, Chris Getz, Jason Jaramillo, Andrew McCutchen and David Purcey.
Two all-stars were signed out of independent leagues, two more were signed as amateur free agents and three others were acquired in trades, meaning a full 15 were signed as minor league free agents. [...] Continue Reading »
The overall talent at the California-Carolina League All Star game, played in Myrtle Beach, S.C., was overwhelming on paper, but on the field it was anything but. Potomac outfielder Edgardo Baez (Nationals) was named the MVP after breaking a 1-1 tie in the eighth inning with a home run to right-center field. The Carolina League would go on to win 3-1, but if anything, the story of the game was about defense, good and bad.
The Carolina League scoring got started with two runners on and none out in the first inning. Frederick catcher Matt Wieters (Orioles) delivered a base hit to left field that plated Wilmington outfielder Joe Dickerson (Royals) to make the score 1-0. There was a threat for more, but San Jose lefthander Ben Snyder (Giants) struck out the Myrtle Beach tandem of DH Ernesto Mejia and shortstop Brandon Hicks (Braves) and then got Winston-Salem first baseman Brandon Allen (White Sox) to ground out harmlessly to second to end the first frame.
The Cal League started a threat in the fifth inning with runners on first and second and one out. Rancho Cucamonga outfielder Peter Bourjos (Angels) hit a single to right field and Lake Elsinore second baseman Eric Sogard (Padres) rounded third, beating the throw home, but missed the plate and Wieters applied the late tag to get the second out. Stockton outfielder Archie Gilbert (Athletics) came through in the next at-bat, however, with a single to right field scoring Visalia shortstop Pedro Ciriaco (Diamondbacks). [...] Continue Reading »
Fans in the crowd at Hammons Field in Springfield, Mo. on Wednesday may have had flashbacks to the 2002 Major League All-Star Game that ended in a tie. Nine innings weren’t enough to settle the Texas League All-Star Game. Steven Murphy’s (Rangers) home run in the 10th inning broke a 3-3 tie and propelled the South to victory.
Up until the 10th, the crowd of 8,459 was treated to a low-scoring affair between the North and South squads. North starter Jess Todd (Cardinals) worked around a lead-off double in the first to throw two scoreless innings. Todd, the Cardinals second round pick in 2007, struck out five in his brief appearance.
Jon Jay’s (Cardinals) fourth inning double led to the North’s first run of the game. Jay went 2-for-3 on the night and also drew a walk. The South would answer quickly in the top of the fifth with a pair of runs to take the lead. Tommy Everidge (A’s) drove in the first run for the South, part of his 3-for-5 evening. Everidge would score later in the inning, one of his two runs scored in the game. [...] Continue Reading »
Frisco was in line to have three starters in the South lineup at the Texas League All-Star Game on Wednesday night in Springfield, but two of them have since been called up.
The Rangers promoted Max Ramirez from Frisco after the catcher hit .363/.459/.662 with 17 home runs. First baseman Chris Davis (Rangers), 22, was originally penciled in to draw the start at first for the South team, but has been promoted to Triple-A Oklahoma after ripping through the TL, batting .333/.376/.618 with 13 home runs and 14 doubles. Davis has continued his torrid pace in Oklahoma, batting .359/.424/.738 with 10 home runs in just 103 at-bats.
The only RoughRiders remaining in the starting lineup are outfielders Steven Murphy and Ben Harrison (Rangers). Shortstop Elvis Andrus, who entered the season as the organization’s top prospect, will be on the bench as a reserve. The 19-year-old is batting .270/.324/.329 in 237 at-bats.
Corpus Christi shortstop Tommy Manzella (Astros) is one of two Hooks in the starting lineup, along with second baseman Drew Sutton (Astros). Chris Johnson (Astros) will be a reserve infielder in the game. Johnson, the son of former big leaguer and Red Sox Triple-A manager Ron Johnson has had a breakout year, batting .327/.370/.504 with 19 doubles for the Hooks.
Andrew Carignan (Athletics) will be coming out of the bullpen for the Southern team. A fifth-round pick last year, Carignan has posted a 1.77 ERA in 20 innings for Midland.
Kyle Blanks (Padres) will get the start at first base for the Southern team after posting a .314/.405/.447 line in 255 at-bats for San Antonio.
The Northern pitching staff is led by Northwest Arkansas (Royals) righthander Daniel Cortes. Cortes, who came to the Royals via a 2006 trade with the White Sox. Cortes, the top pitching prospect int the Royals system, has a 3.58 ERA with a 53 strikeouts and to 21 walks in 50 1/3 innings.
There was drama aplenty in Tuesday night’s Midwest League All-Star Game at Dow Diamond in Midland, Mich., home of the Great Lakes Loons, as the Western Division pulled out a thrilling 5-4, 10-inning win over the East.
The West struck first, scoring two runs in the top of the first on East starter Steven Johnson, a Great Lakes righthander. Johnson retired the first two hitters to start the game before giving up a walk, a single, and another walk to load the bases for Kane County’s Corey Brown (Athletics). Brown lined a two-run single to right to put the West on top before Johnson retired Wisconsin’s Edilio Colina (Mariners) to end the inning.
West starter Craig Italiano, who leads the minor leagues with a 1.09 ERA, had a 1-2-3 bottom of the first, retiring Evan Frey (Diamondbacks), Pete Kozma (Cardinals), and Andrew Lambo (Dodgers) all on fly balls. [...] Continue Reading »
GREENSBORO, N.C.—There were plenty of big name prospects populating the rosters for the South Atlantic League’s All-Star Game last night at Greensboro’s NewBridge Bank Park, and they didn’t disappoint when it was their turn to strut their stuff as the best the league has to offer.
The night began with the first two rounds of the Home Run Derby, which started before the game and culminated with the final round after the second inning. Among the competitors were Hagerstown’s Michael Burgess (Nationals), Rome’s Freddie Freeman (Braves), Charleston’s Jesus Montero (Yankees) and Greensboro’s Mike Stanton (Marlins), who was entered in the derby as a "wild card" despite not being chosen for the North Division’s All-Star Team. Stanton leads the Sally League with 15 home runs at the break.
"It should be fun, but I ain’t gonna try to do a lot," Burgess said before the derby.
Whether he really wanted to or not, Burgess did indeed put on the best show of the contest. He hit five home runs in the first round, including one that cleared the big scoreboard in right-center field, but the best was yet to come. The powerful, lefty-swinging 19-year-old cranked nine long balls in the second round, including several tape-measure shots that looked like they threatened the buildings across the street beyond the right field fence. [...] Continue Reading »
About This Blog
Syndicate This Blog
Search This Blog