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Baseball America's Daily Dish
Complete Daily Dish Archive

Compiled by Kevin Goldstein, Chris Kline and Matt Meyers
June 9, 2005

ZEBULON, N.C.--Brandon Sings minor league career has had its up and downs. A 20th-round pick of the Cubs in 1999, Sing spent the better parts of three years in the lower levels of the system before starting to emerge last season.

He put up good but not spectacular numbers, never batting better than .248 or hitting more than 18 home runs. A bout with mononucleosis in 2003 all but wiped out his season, but a strong 2004 at high Class A Daytona got Sing back on track. He wound up making a run at the Florida State League home run record, finishing with 32.

So far this year at Double-A West Tenn, Sing is raking, hitting .305-12-34 in 174 at-bats, and is an integral part of a team that is one of the best in Double-A. Sing projects as a first baseman, but has played multiple infield and outfield positions. We had a chance to sit down with him last weekend:

On his favorite players growing up: "Ryne Sandberg and Cal Ripken Jr. Ryne Sandberg because growing up outside of Chicago I was always a big Cubs fan, and Cal Ripken because he played shortstop and I was always a tall guy. He was a good role model. He went out there every day and did his job."

On his bout with mono: "It affected me a lot. I was up here (West Tenn) for about a month and a half, and went down to Daytona for a month and a half and I got mono. I missed two months of the season and I couldnt do anything--for about three months I couldnt do anything. It was hard; I had to get back and I had to work my butt off. It was (like) going through hell. I lost about 25 pounds. The only thing that was kind of weird about it was that Id walk up the steps at my house and feel. It was pretty much hell.

On how his swing developed: "It came naturally. Im hitting home runs. Im making better contact, laying off pitches, walking a lot more and working this and that pitch. Thats one of the things this year--Im still hitting home runs but sort of missing pitches too. Its just one of the things (to work on), better recognition of the pitch.

On what position he needs to play in order to move up in the system: "Probably outfield, but anywhere I can go up there and help. I can go up there and play first base if (Derek Lee) wants to take a day off or go up there and play outfield if they want me to play outfield. Wherever they want to put me, Ill be happy to go up there and play."

--JOSH COOPER

DISH PIECES

He's no longer regarded as a top prospect, but Triple-A Indianapolis manager Trent Jewett says third baseman Yurendell De Caster may be his best player--and that includes first baseman Brad Eldred, outfielders Nate McLouth and Chris Duffy, as well as recently promoted catcher Ryan Doumit. "He gets better everyday, his defense is outstanding and he never gives away an at-bat," Jewett said. Last night, De Caster went 3-for-4 with a homer, two doubles and three RBIs in Indy's 10-3 win against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Lefthander Zach Duke allowed 10 hits, but both runs he gave up were unearned as he won his International League-leading 10th game. On the season, Duke is 10-3, 2.86 in 85 innings.

Reds outfielder Chris Denorfia has been holding his own at Triple-A Louisville since being promoted from Double-A Chattanooga at the end of last month. A 19th-round pick in 2002, Denorfia is hitting .351 in 12 games with the Bats and has six hits in his last nine at-bats. Denorfia batted .330/.398/.452 in 188 at-bats for the Lookouts prior to the callup.

As the Braves continue to plug holes in the big leagues, catcher Brian McCann was called up from Double-A Mississippi yesterday. McCann was hitting .265/.391/.562 in 166 at-bats. Brayan Pena started for Atlanta last night, but don't be surprised if McCann is reunited with close friend and former minor league teammate, righthander Kyle Davies, tomorrow night against the Athletics.

With his younger brother called up to the big leagues, Brad McCann might be using that as extra motivation. The Marlins first baseman went 2-for-4 with his 13th homer of the year last night for low Class A Greensboro. He is hitting .270/.333/.573 with three home runs in his last four games.

Nationals catcher Erick San Pedro hasn't had any luck this season. Last year's second-round pick out of Miami was held back in extended spring training to recover from surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left thumb and wasn't activated until May 14 at high Class A Potomac. "He was doing great defensively, but his bat was behind," farm director Adam Wogan said. "It took him a long time to get comfortable." Now San Pedro is out for the season with a broken leg after a collision at home plate against Salem. The injury required surgery, but Wogan said he expects San Pedro to make a complete recovery, possibly for instructional league.

Kendry Morales continues to run roughshod over the California League. The Cuban defector, who signed a major league deal with the Angels last December but was unable to play until late May due to a visa snafu, homered in his third straight game last night as high Class A Rancho Cucumonga topped High Desert 8-4. The 21-year-old switch-hitter, who has split time between first base, third base and right field, is batting .356-5-14 in 73 at-bats.

Cubs third baseman Scott Moore was a perfect 4-for-4 with a home run and five RBIs last night as high Class A Daytona crushed Jupiter 17-5. For Moore, the eighth overall pick in the 2002 draft, it was his 14th home run of the year, tying his career high in just 54 games. Overall, Moore is batting .299-14-43 in 201 at-bats, and is 18-for-39 (.462) with five home runs in his last 10 games.

Mariners infielder Michael Garciaparra, a surprise first-round selection in 2001, entered the season with a career average of .242 with three home runs in 250 pro games. Despite missing three weeks early in the season due to a minor knee injury, Garciaparra is batting .319-2-7 in 72 at-bats at high Class A Inland Empire, including a .406 mark (13-for-32) in his last eight games.

Low Class A Augusta has run out to a 33-24 record, thanks in part to the speedsters at the top of their lineup. Leadoff hitter Alex Requena stole two bases last night and now has 29 steals in 36 attempts, fourth-best in the minors. Of the three people ahead of him, one is Marcus Sanders, who bats second for Augusta. Sanders stole his 34th base last night, giving him the minor league lead, and has been caught just three times.

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