Archive for July 14th, 2008

The Z-Meter: Futures Game Special

I tried to do a more complete posting on the Futures Game this weekend. I really did. But there were kids’ birthday parties and errands and all that stuff, and I petered out after five innings worth of writing. Suffice to say, it was great to put faces with the names we’ve been profiling all season long, and it will make it all the more enjoyable when these guys get called up in September.

Here’s the box score

The World team won this matchup 3-0, but the scoring was widely spaced out, with one run on the board in the first, and two more appearing in the seventh. It was a nine-inning game and each pitcher only got one inning to ply his craft, so hitters probably never got comfortable.

Just a handful of Z-Meter guys played, but let’s look at their stats below:

World:

Elvis Andrus, SS, Frisco RoughRiders (Rangers): 1AB – .000 – 1R – 1BB – 1SB – 1CS (also picked off once)

Fernando Martinez, CF, Binghamton Mets (Mets): 2AB – .500 – 0R – 0BB – 0SB

U.S.:

Andrew McCutchen, CF, Indianapolis Indians (Pirates): 2AB – .000 – 0R – 0SB

Mat Gamel, 3B, Huntsville Stars (Brewers): 2″AB” – .000 – 0R – 2BB

Matt LaPorta, 1B, Akron Aeros (Indians): 3AB – .333 – 0R – 1BB – 0SB

Clearly, without much scoring going on, it’s tough to judge how these guys fared. I recall seeing some decent defense from McCutchen and Gamel, but that’s all that jumped out at me. Andrus is clearly very fast, and managed to steal one base, but he was also picked off at first and caught stealing, so he may have been pressing in front of the scouts.

The two World players who put runs on the board are not part of my Z-Meter. Which just goes to show that I am (1) Lazy, because I don’t want to type up lines for more than 25 guys, and (2) Perhaps more interested in current stats rather than potential, as many of the Futures Game players have not spent time on my tracking system.

In the interests of rectifying that, I will note a few tidbits I picked up about these other players during the game. One is that 1B Pablo Sandoval, who toils for the Connecticut Defenders (Giants), is sort of a Venezuelan Big Papi, both in his intimidating plate presence, and in his less-than-fleet base running. But he can crack ’em. He put 59 ribbies on the board for the San Jose Giants before getting the call up to AA, where he’s still hitting .310 over his first eighteen games.

I admit complete ignorance of Che-Hsuan Lin (pictured above), who bashed the game’s only home run, went 2-for-2, and basically made the absolute most of his day in the sun. The Taiwanese CF has logged only 80 games in the minors, all for the Class A Greenville Drive (Red Sox). Suffice to say we should be seeing him move up the ladder at some point this season. Maybe today.

I was also intrigued by the story of Eduardo Morlan, yet another fantastic pitcher from the Rays organization. While Morlan is Cuban, his parents escaped the island by fleeing to Spain and then emigrating to the U.S., where Morlan actually played several years of high school ball. Like all of the other pitchers, he got one inning of work, so that’s about all I know about the guy.

One of the defensive standouts that caught my eye was Dexter Fowler, a tall, thin CF who made the U.S. roster based on his work with the AA Tulsa Drillers (Rockies). The switch-hitter didn’t make much noise on offense, but flashed some serious speed and glove while roaming the grass of Yankee Stadium.

We heard several times during the broadcast that this game was the last chance for U.S. Olympic team hopefuls to make an impression, so we’ll have another post looking at who will make the trip to Beijing. In addition, I’ll try to do a little investigation and see how many of the World players will be there for their respective nations.

This Week In Bobbleheads, Part 8

Got bobblehead questions? Want to see if your favorite player has been immortalized in bobbly form within the past few years? You know where to go – The Only Accurate Bobblehead Collector’s Board, which was recently featured in an article that appeared on ESPN The Magazine’s web site.  Every Sunday night, TOABCB creator Eric Marinbach takes us through the upcoming week in The Land of Bobble.

Monday, July 14
Brooklyn Cyclones – Boomer Esiason/Craig Carton Double (first 2500) – The former QB along with a former NJ radio DJ comprise this double bobble, and the duo will be there to broadcast the game that night.

Tuesday, July 15
Everett Aquasox – Paul Silvi – Sports Anchor for Fox local TV.

Worcester Tornadoes – Kevin Shea – Local sports anchor bobble

Wednesday, July 16
Madison Mallards – Millie (Mini) (Mascot) – Maynard’s new partner gets her first bobble.

Thursday, July 17
None

Friday, July 18
Daytona Cubs – Jeff Samardzija – This two-sport star continues to progress his way to The Show and through levels of bobbles.

Lowell Spinners – Wade Boggs – Probably will darn Sox attire in this bobble since he never played here.

New Hampshire Fishercats – Chris Carpenter – He went to HS here so he’s more of a local hero since he never pitched here.
 
San Antonio Missions – Chase Headley – Padres rising star in his AA jersey.

San Francisco Giants – Crazy Crab (Mascot) – There are actually two versions of the bobble: one for a theme night and a separate one for the regular fans.

Seattle Mariners – Felix Hernandez – King Felix continues the 2008 series.

Stockton Ports – Kurt Suzuki – A short journey on his way to Oakland in bobble land.

Saturday, July 19
Arizona Diamondbacks – Bob Melvin – Isn’t it amazing how below-average players become great managers and bobbles?
 
Billings Mustangs – Joey Votto – This was the Cincinnati Reds first baseman’s first stop on the road to stardom.

Casper Ghost – Tim Ray – Popular announcer in belly form.

Fresno Grizzlies – Tim Lincecum – Does the SI jinx apply in bobble land?

Gastonia Grizzlies – Chizzle (Mascot) – I guess they got this mascot’s name because it rhymes?

Minnesota Twins – Delmon Young – At least this doesn’t come with a throwable bat!!
 
Oklahoma Redhawks – Johnny Bench Statuette – Still the best in the HOF class of catchers, now ensconsed in bronze.

Omaha Royals – Carlos Beltran Figurine – The winner of the fans vote for the 90’s figurine.

Orange County Flyers – Darrell Evans – Former manager still popular enough to be given as a bobblehead.

Rockford Riverhawks – Ferguson Jenkins – Another in the Rockford Cubbies HOF series.

Salem Avalanche – Hunter Pence – This was the Carolina League stop for this budding Astros stud OFer.

Sunday, July 20
Beloit Snappers – Brian Duensing – At least the Brewers have been able to escape trading him in order to bolster their roster.

Columbus Clippers – Derek Jeter – Clippers 90s decade all-time great and certain Hall of Famer for the Yankees.

Washington WildThings – Aaron Ledbetter – Ledbetter holds Frontier League career records in Wins, Games Started, Innings Pitched and Strikeouts.