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Baseball America's Daily Dish
Complete Daily Dish Archive
Compiled by Kevin Goldstein, Chris Kline and Matt Meyers
LAKEWOOD, N.J.--Philip Hughes is one of the youngest players in the South Atlantic League, but there hasn't been much of a transition from high school to pro ball for the 18-year-old righthander.
Hughes, the Yankees' first-round pick last year out of Foothill High in Santa Ana, Calif., is 5-1, 1.66 with 55 strikeouts in 49 innings at low Class A Charleston. The 6-foot-5, 220-pounder features a power 90-94 mph fastball with good late life, hard slider and a changeup that is much improved since he started three games in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League last year.
We caught up with Hughes to talk about the pressures of being a first-rounder, missing time in the GCL last year after kicking a door and his favorite team growing up--the Red Sox.
On being drafted in the first round by the Yankees: It’s really cool. It’s always an honor to be drafted in the first round, but by the Yankees, they have a reputation that makes it really an honor. There is always is a lot of pressure on you, but it’s good and I think I can compete with anyone in the system.
On his transition from high school to pro ball: It was a little hard at first getting used to all of the long bus trips, but now I feel like I am settling down and getting used to it. Just getting innings and competing at this level takes some getting used to and the repetition and stuff. It’s working out well.
On the toe-breaking incident: I just stubbed it on the door while I was running across the hall. I shouldn’t have missed any time, but they were really precautionary about it because they didn’t want me to change anything in my windup that would cause me to have any arm problems. It wasn’t really that big of a deal, but they made it out to be a little bit more than it was. I was probably out for three or four weeks, something like that.
On growing up a Red Sox fan: My dad is from the New England area and my grandma used to live in Rhode Island. I always used to go there every summer and go to Red Sox games and stuff, so it’s kind of how it happened. (Fenway Park) is probably the nicest stadium with probably the most history. I have never pitched at Fenway, but that would be really cool to do someday.
On his favorite Red Sox: Well, I always liked the guys (they) never really kept around all that long. So I always kind of liked them when they went through. My first favorite player was Mo Vaughn and then he left. I liked Nomar after that, then he left, but I really just liked Red Sox players, not any individual guys.
• Indians first baseman Michael Aubrey hopes to return to action soon after sitting out since May 9 due to lower back problems. Aubrey, a first-rounder in 2003 out of Tulane, had a CAT scan last week and it came up clean, though he still has pain and is on anti-inflammatory drugs. "We're basically waiting for the swelling to subside," Indians assistant farm director Mike Hazen said. "There's nothing structurally wrong with him, and he should be back soon." In 104 at-bats, Aubrey is hitting .288/.345/.471 with four homers and 19 RBIs.
• He didn't hit a homer in his first 10 games in Triple-A this season, and he floundered in his big league opportunity, but first baseman Ryan Howard is warming up with the weather since being sent down from Philadelphia. Howard hit two homers last night in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre's 6-3 win against Charlotte, and has six in his last four games. Overall, Howard is hitting .327/.426/.701 with 10 home runs and 27 RBIs in 107 at-bats.
• Speaking of heating up, Double-A Portland outfielder Brandon Moss broke out in May and has eight hits in his last 13 at-bats. Moss, an eighth-round pick in 2002 out of a Georgia high school, batted just .209 in April, but closed out May hitting .297 and upping his overall numbers to .255/.333/.404 with four homers and 20 RBIs in 141 at-bats.
• High Class A Frederick second baseman Nate Spears is riding a 13-game hit streak after going 3-for-5 in a 2-0 win against Salem yesterday. Spears, the Orioles' fifth-round pick in 2003 out of high school in Florida, has four multi-hit games in his last seven, and six during his streak. Lefthander Adam Loewen also had his best outing of the year, whiffing 10 in seven innings.
• Devil Rays lefthander Chris Seddon was promoted to Triple-A Durham after going 6-1, 4.82 in 52 innings at Double-A Montgomery and made his first start for the Bulls last night. Seddon, a fifth-rounder in 2001, allowed two earned runs on six hits and struck out six in four innings.
• After seeing his average dip to .226 on May 21, Ian Kinsler has been on a tear at Triple-A Oklahoma. The Rangers second baseman is on an eight-game hitting streak and now has a season line of .259/.322/.476.
• Righthander Enrique Gonzalez shocked the Diamondbacks with his breakout last season, and he is continuing the run this year. He allowed three runs over seven innings last night to get the win for Triple-A Tucson. He is now 6-1, 3.04 with 54 strikeouts and 12 walks in 71 innings.
• Rockies first baseman Joe Koshanky had a weak pro debut in the short-season Northwest League in 2004, but the Virginia alum is looking fine in the South Atlantic League this season. He went 3-for-4 with a homer and three RBIs for Asheville last night to raise his line to .311/.388/.567.
• High Class A San Jose has won seven straight games, thanks in most part to an offense that has scored 71 runs during the streak. First baseman Travis Ishikawa was the big star last night, going 3-for-3 with his sixth home run, three runs and five RBIs in game one of a doubleheader sweep of Bakersfield.
• We mentioned Mariners shortstop Adam Jones' hot streak yesterday, and his teammate, outfielder Wladimir Balentien, is doing his best to keep pace. Jones went 3-for-4 with his eighth home run in high Class A Inland Empire’s 12-4 win against Rancho Cucamonga yesterday, his fourth straight game with two RBIs. Balentien has also been driving in runs in bunches, hitting his 13th home run and driving in two, giving him 21 RBIs in his last 20 games. On the season, the 20-year-old is batting .298/.357/.597 in 45 games.
• Rick Ankiel’s career as an outfielder started with a 1-for-20 run at Double-A Springfield, and a reassignment to low Class A Quad Cities. The 25-year-old has found his power stroke with the Swing, hitting his fourth home run in the last five games in yesterday’s 11-4 loss to Wisconsin.