BAPR Plus: Aug. 30

Brandon Waring is going to hate to see the season end as it will halt an impressive home run binge. Jeff Samardzija is still glad to be out of the Florida State League and the Gulf Coast League Yankees are one win away from winning their league title.


Luke Hochevar put together one of his best starts since being promoted to Triple-A, little did he know that his Omaha Royals still have seven innings to play when he left the game after eight innings. Omaha’s Mike Aviles‘ hit his 16th home run in the 15th inning to break the deadlock.

Collin Ballester deserved better. The Nationals prospect allowed one unearned run and two hits in six innings but was still charged with the loss as Marty McCleary combined with two relievers on a shutout.

Steven White’s seven shutout innings helped Scranton/Wikes-Barre beat Syracuse and lowered the Yankees magic number to clinch their division to one.

Brandon Wood hit his 22nd home run in Salt Lake’s 10-5 loss to Fresno.

Shane Komine and two relievers combined on a three-hit shutout of Colorado Springs as the RiverCats also edged within one game of a division title.


Josh Geer picked up his 16th win for San Antonio. It was Geer’s eight win in his past 10 starts.

Yoslan Herrera was mentioned as possible help to the big league rotation when the season began. As the season ends Herrera is still trying to figure out Double-A. Herrera gave up five runs in three innings to drop to 6-8. Herrera has given up 145 hits in 132 innings and has struck out only 65 batters.

Maybe Jeff Samardzija should have started the season in Double-A. After struggling in the Florida State League, Samardzija put together another quality start (seven innings, three runs, two earned) on Wednesday although he was outdone by Johnny Cueto. Cueto gave up two runs in six innings while striking out nine. Samardzija is holding Double-A hitters to a .221 average after getting torched to the tune of a .323 average in the Florida State League. Maybe just as surprisingly for a pitcher who’s known for getting good sink on his pitches, Double-A hitters have hit seven home runs against Samardzija in 30 innings, even though they have scored only 11 runs overall.
High Class A

Josh Butler threw a complete-game shutout for Vero Beach in a 10-0 win over Jupiter. Recently promoted Graham Taylor is finding the Florida State League to be tougher going than the South Atlantic League. Taylor gave up nine hits and seven runs in four innings. Jupiter came back to win the second game behind a strong start by Jarrett Santos.

St. Lucie’s Eric Santos is in a pretty good rhythm. In his last start, Santos allowed five hits, one walk and no earned runs in seven innings of work to beat Vero Beach. This time he allowed five hits, one walk and no earned runs in seven innings to beat Daytona.

Josh Rodriguez hit his 20th home run in Kinston’s 4-2 win over Winston-Salem. Micah Schnurstein hit his 25th for the Warthogs.

Zach Ward ensured he wouldn’t be stuck with the ignominy of 20 losses when he won three straight starts this month, but he did pick up his 17th loss in a 14-2 loss to Sarasota. Ben Jukich saw his 20 inning scoreless streak end, but he only allowed one earned run in five innings to pick up his eighth win.

Nate Culp allowed one unearned run in seven innings as Lake Elsinore clinched a playoff spot.

Chris Tillman struck out 13 Quakes in six shutout innings. Tillman’s ERA (5.16) is higher than you’d like for a prospect, but the 2006 Baseball America Preseason All-American is a 19-year-old in the California League, and he has started figuring things out this month. He’s 4-0, 1.82 this month with 41 strikeouts in 34 innings.

Low Class A

Ryan Royster homered in both games of the doubleheader and Heath Rollins picked up his minor league leading 17th win as Columbus swept Charleston.

Duane Below has won his last four starts and he hasn’t allowed an earned run in 20 innings. Below allowed three hits in West Michigan’s 6-1 win over Fort Wayne.

Bill Rowell hit a pair of doubles while David Cash doubled and tripled to embarrass Hagerstown 14-1.

Hopefully Matt Spade will get another outing before the South Atlantic League season ends, otherwise he’ll be stuck with an infinity ERA. After impressing in the Gulf Coast and Appalachian Leagues Spade was promoted to Quad Cities. But in his first outing, Spade gave up a run without recording an out.

Short-Season/Rookie Leagues

The Yankees are one game away from the Gulf Coast League title after beating the Dodgers 11-4 in the first game of the best of three Gulf Coast League championship series. Kelvin Castro, Gerardo Rodriguez and Wady Rufino all homered for the Yankees. The two teams will meet again today.

The Red Sox promoted Che Hsuan-Lee to Lowell to get him some more at-bats with the Gulf Coast League season over. He’s responded with three hits in his first eight at-bats. Lin had two hits in Oneonta’s 8-2 win over Lowell on Wednesday.

Daniel Moskos’ pro debut isn’t going that well. Moskos has given up 16 hits and four walks in 8 2/3 innings. He gave up two hits and one run in one inning of relief work last night. Justin Byler had three hits for the third straight game.

The numbers might not always show it, but Matt Latos has impressed Northwest League observers with plus stuff. Latos got results on Wednesday, striking out 10 Everett hitters in five innings. Latos allowed five hits and one run while picking up his first win.

The minors’ hottest hitter might be Brandon Waring. Waring had his third two home run game in four days and his eighth home run in the past seven games. Waring, the Reds seventh-round pick this year, actually leads all of baseball in home runs this year. He hit 27 for Wofford during the spring and another 18 for Billings, but he doesn’t have any way to explain his recent hot streak.

“I really don’™t know,” he said. “I’™m getting good pitches to hit and I’™m making solid contact. Things are happening. It’™s crazy.”