Archive for August 26th, 2008

Minor League Merchandise at ESPN: the Magazine

As you may know, one of your intrepid Bus Leaguers has the good fortune to write a little for the ESPN: the Magazine website. This week, minor league merchandise managed to sneak onto the pages for the mouthpiece of the Worldwide Leader, and we wanted to share it with you:

Tina Gust is the Director of Licensing for Minor League Baseball. She has seen merchandise sales grow along with record-setting ballpark attendance over the past four years, as teams and retailers have paid close attention to what customers want. “Baseball fans and card collectors enjoy following young stars, hoping to catch a game or pick up the card of the next all-star shortstop or Cy Young award-winner.” she says

“Team operators are becoming more attuned to their fans’ merchandise needs—expanding the product selection to satisfy both casual and die-hard fans.” Minor league gear has shown up in on film, in music videos, and even on high-end retail shelves at Bloomingdales and Saks Fifth Avenue.

[ESPN: the Magazine]

Also quoted in the article is Bus Leagues contributor Will, who waxes nostalgic about the Brooklyn baseball scene.

Hope you enjoy!

In addition, Rick Reilly wrote a piece about minor leaguers who missed their shot because they refused to take steroids. Read it here.

The Z-Meter: 8/26/2008

The Z-meter tracks the story arcs of 25 top prospects (or players we just like) on their way to the bigs. It is named after current Washington Nationals star Ryan Zimmerman, who made the transition from anchoring the University of Virginia to starring in MLB in one year.


Evan Longoria, 3B, Durham (AAA) to Tampa Bay Rays (MLB)
Luke Hochevar, RHP, Omaha (AAA) to Kansas City Royals (MLB)

Max Scherzer, RHP, Tucson (AAA) to Arizona Diamondbacks (MLB)

Clayton Kershaw, LHP, Jacksonville (AA) to Los Angeles Dodgers (MLB)
Jay Bruce, OF, Louisville (AAA) to Cincinnati Reds (MLB)
Homer Bailey, RHP, Louisville (AAA) to Cincinnati Reds (MLB)
Ian Stewart, 3B, Colorado Springs (AAA) to Colorado Rockies (MLB)
Carlos Gonzalez, OF, Sacramento (AAA) to Oakland (MLB)
Chase Headley, 3B, Portland (AAA) to San Diego (MLB)
Eulogio De La Cruz, RHP, Albuquerque (AAA) to Marlins (MLB)
Joe Koshansky, 1B, Colorado Springs (AAA) to Rockies (MLB)
Jeff Samardzija, RHP, Iowa (AAA) to Chicago Cubs (MLB)
Nelson Cruz, CF, Oklahoma (AAA) to Rangers (MLB)

Justin Masterson, RHP, Portland (AA) to Boston (MLB)

Jeff Samardzija, RHP, Tennessee (AA) to Iowa (AAA)
Luke Montz, C, Harrisburg (AA) to Columbus (AAA)
Wade Davis, RHP, Montgomery (AA) to Durham (AAA)
Kila Kaaihue, 1B, Northwest Arkansas (AA) to Omaha (AAA)
Travis Snider, DH, New Hampshire (AA) to Syracuse (AAA)
David Price, LHP, Montgomery Biscuits (AA) to Durham Bulls (AAA)
Mat Gamel, 3B, Huntsville Stars (AA) to Nashville Sounds (AAA)

Antonio Bastardo, LHP, Clearwater (A) to Reading Phillies (AA)
David Price, LHP, Vero Beach (A) to Montgomery (AA)
Matt Weiters, C, Frederick Keys (A) to Bowie Baysox (AA)
Lars Anderson, 1B, Lancaster JetHawks (A) to Portland SeaDogs (AA)

Travis Snider, OF, Dunedin (A-Advanced) to New Hampshire (AA)

Ian Gac, 1B, Clinton (A) to Bakersfield (Advanced A)
Jhoulys Chacin, RHP, Asheville (A) to Modesto (Advanced A)

Josh Vitters, 3B, Boise (Short A) to Peoria (A)

Huzzah! Over-the-hill power hitters rejoice! Our very own Crash Davis, Oklahoma slugger Nelson Cruz, has been called up to The Show. Let’s hope it’s the best damn 21 days of his life. I hear the ballparks are like cathedrals, you never handle your own luggage, and the women all have long legs and brains.

In his place, welcome 18-year-old Madison Bumgarner. He’s 14-3 for the Augusta Greenjackets. Which is nice. Oh, and one hundred and fifty five strikeouts. Which is bleedin’ phenomenal.

Mat Gamel got the bump up to the triple-A Nashville Sounds, so he’s technically advancing faster than the traded Matt, LaPorta. Then again, LaPorta was in the Olympics, so that’s a whole different kettle of fish heads.

Let’s see who else is hot this week:

The top level. These prospects are in AAA in the prime of their youth, and ready for the call that will change their lives.

Andrew McCutchen, CF – Indianapolis Indians (Pirates): .280 – 72R – 9HR – 46RBI – 31SB – 66BB – .391 SLG – .763 OPS

Matt Tuiasosopo, 3B – Tacoma Rainiers (Mariners): .266 – 78R – 12HR – 67RBI – 47BB – 2SB – .434 SLG – .788 OPS

Colby Rasmus, LF (rehab assignment) – Memphis Redbirds (Cardinals): .249 – 56R – 11HR – 36RBI – 15SB – 49BB – .395 SLG – .741 OPS

Luke Montz, C – Columbus Clippers (Nationals): .242 – 15R – 2HR – 18RBI – 10BB – 0SB – .349 SLG – .638 OPS

Wade Davis, RHP – Durham Bulls (Rays): 7GS – 3W – 2L – 3.07 ERA – 19BB – 40K

Kila Kaaihue, 1B – Omaha Royals: .341 – 22R – 9HR – 17RBI – 16BB – 0SB – .671 SLG – 1.122 OPS

Travis Snyder, DH – Syracuse Chiefs (Blue Jays): .333 – 6R – 1HR – 14RBI – 3BB – 1SB – .463 SLG – .836 OPS

David Price, LHP – Durham Bulls: 3GS – 0W – 1L – 4.85 ERA – 6BB – 12K

Mat Gamel, 3B – Nashville Sounds (Brewers): .000 – 0R – 0HR – 0RBI – 0BB – 0SB – .000 SLG – .000 OPS

These guys also have the potential to skip straight to the majors, but may get promoted to AAA first.

Austin Jackson, OF – Trenton Thunder (Yankees): .287 – 74R – 9HR – 68RBI – 55BB – 19SB – .425 SLG – .782 OPS

Dexter Fowler, OF (Olympics) – Tulsa Drillers (Rockies): .337 – 86R – 9HR – 61RBI – 61BB – 20SB – .514 SLG – .944 OPS

Cameron Maybin, CF – Carolina Mudcats (Marlins): .278 – 68R – 13HR – 46RBI – 56BB – 20SB – .465 SLG – .838 OPS

Elvis Andrus, SS – Frisco RoughRiders (Rangers): .295 – 78R – 4HR – 63RBI – 35BB – 50SB – .374 SLG – .724 OPS

Trevor Cahill, RHP (Olympics) – Midland RockHounds (Oakland): 7GS – 6W – 1L – 2.19 ERA – 19BB – 33K

Antonio Bastardo, LHP – Reading Phillies (Phillies): 12GS – 2W – 4L – 3.43 ERA – 32BB – 49K

Matt Wieters, C – Bowie Baysox (Orioles): .357 – 35R – 11HR – 48RBI – 35BB – 0SB – .626 SLG – 1.081 OPS

Lars Anderson, 1B – Portland SeaDogs (Red Sox): .307 – 25R – 5HR – 25RBI – 20BB – 1SB – .535 SLG – .942 OPS

Matt LaPorta, CF (Olympics) – Akron Aeros (Indians): .277 – 60R – 21HR – 73RBI – 48BB – 2SB – .534 SLG – .915 OPS

Fernando Martinez, CF – Binghamton Mets (Mets): .279 – 45R – 7HR – 37RBI – 23BB – 6SB – .412 SLG – .741 OPS

Alcides Escobar, SS – Huntsville Stars (Brewers): .332 – 92R – 8HR – 74RBI – 30BB – 32SB – .440 SLG – .807 OPS

These guys have vast potential but need to work out some kinks in A-ball before they can advance.

Ian Gac, 1B – Bakersfield Blaze (Rangers): .264 – 26R – 11HR – 42RBI – 16BB – 0SB – .450 SLG – .770 OPS

Jhoulys Chacin, RHP – Modesto Nuts (Rockies): 11GS – 8W – 2L – 2.35 ERA – 11BB – 57K

Rick Porcello, RHP – Lakeland Flying Tigers (Detroit): 23GS – 7W – 6L – 2.80 ERA – 32BB – 68K

Mike Moustakas, SS – Burlington Bees (Royals): .269 – 71R – 21HR – 67RBI – 38BB – 6SB – .466 SLG – .796 OPS

Madison Bumgarner, LHP – Augusta Greenjackets (Giants): 23GS – 14W – 3L – 20BB – 155 K

Prospects chosen from Diamond Cutter’s Top 25, Baseball America, and my own irrational sense of whimsy.