Archive for September 3rd, 2009

Carolina League All-Stars Announced

Only a day late on this one – the Carolina League announced its postseason All-Stars yesterday:

Catcher: Caleb Joseph, Frederick Keys
First Base: Brandon Waring, Frederick Keys
First Base: Chris Marrero, Potomac Nationals
Second Base: Cord Phelps, Kinston Indians
Third Base: Brent Morel, Winston-Salem Dash
Shortstop: Danny Espinosa, Potomac Nationals
Outfield: Matt Angle, Frederick Keys
Outfield: Che-Hsuan Lin, Salem Red Sox
Outfield: Derrick Robinson, Wilmington Blue Rocks
Utility Infield: Lonnie Chisenhall, Kinston Indians
Utility Outfield: Tim Fedroff, Kinston Indians
Designated Hitter: Cody Johnson, Myrtle Beach Pelicans

Starting Pitcher: Zach Britton, Frederick Keys
Relief Pitcher: R.J. Rodriguez, Lynchburg Hillcats

Manager of the Year: Joe McEwing, Winston-Salem Dash
Trainer of the Year: Chas Miller, Myrtle Beach Pelicans
Most Valuable Player: Brandon Waring, Frederick Keys
Pitcher of the Year: Zach Britton, Frederick Keys

Johnson and Waring were my two favorites for the award, so once again, I’m not totally off base.

Northwest League All-Stars Announced

Little better this time: the Northwest League announced its postseason All-Stars two days after the Appalachian League:

Catcher: Vincent DiFazio, Spokane Indians
First Base: Ryan Wheeler, Yakima Bears
Second Base: Vincent Belnome, Eugene Emeralds
Third Base: Drew Biery, Salem-Keizer Volcanoes
Shortstop: Hak-Ju Lee, Boise Hawks
Outfield: Ryan Royster, Everett AquaSox
Outfield: Miguel Velazquez, Spokane Indians
Outfield: Jose Valdez, Boise Hawks
Designated Hitter: Drew Biery, Salem-Keizer Volcanoes

Left-Handed Pitcher: Nicholas Greenwood, Eugene Emeralds
Left-Handed Pitcher: Robert Ross, Spokane
Right-Handed Pitcher: Jorge Bucardo, Salem-Keizer Volcanoes
Relief Pitcher: Craig Bennigson, Tri-City Dust Devils
Relief Pitcher: Charles Ruiz, Tri-City Dust Devils

Most Valuable Player: Drew Biery, Salem-Keizer
Pitcher of the Year: Jorge Bucardo, Salem Keizer Volcanoes
Manager of the Year: Freddie Ocasio, Tri-City

I had Belnome as my MVP. Shows what I know. Biery was apparently so dominant that he made the team twice, as a third baseman AND designated hitter.

Appalachian League All-Stars Announced

The Appalachian League announced its postseason All-Stars, oh, nine days ago.  That’s quite the lag, even for me:

Catcher: Robert Stock, Johnson City Cardinals
First Base: Riaan Spanjer-Furstenburg, Danville Braves
Second Base: Jose Altuve, Greeneville Astros
Third Base: Vinnie Catricala, Pulaski Mariners
Third Base: Rich Racobaldo, Johnson City Cardinals
Shortstop: Brian Dozier, Elizabethton Twins
Outfield: Cory Harrilchak, Danville Braves
Outfield: Brandon Haveman, Pulaski Mariners
Outfield: Brady Shoemaker, Bristol White Sox
Outfield: Cory Rogers, Princeton Rays
Designated Hitter: Josmil Pinto, Elizabethton Twins
Utility: Gabriel Noriega, Pulaski Mariners
Starting Pitcher: Vito Frabizio, Bluefield Orioles
Starting Pitcher: Matt Crim, Danville Braves
Relief Pitcher: David Kington, Johnson City Cardinals

Player of the Year: Riaan Spanjer-Furstenburg, Danville Braves
Pitcher of the Year: Matt Crim, Danville Braves
Manager of the Year: Paul Runge, Danville Braves
Trainer of the Year: Cory Barton, Bristol White Sox

Spanjer-Furstenburg, owner of the coolest name in minor league baseball, was one of my three favorites for MVP. Greeneville’s Altuve and Johnson City’s Richard Racobaldo were the others.

Now Batting For The San Francisco Giants…

Actually, “Now Batting For” might not be the best description for Buster Posey’s next few weeks with the Giants.  “Now Coming In As A Defensive Replacement And Occasionally Starting If Bengie Molina Can’t Play” is probably a more apt, though much wordier, option.

Posey was called up on Wednesday, capping off a remarkable season that started in the Class A Advanced California League and saw a promotion to Triple-A Fresno.  The 22-year-old catcher out of Florida State hit .325 with 18 homeruns and 80 RBI in 115 games between those two stops.

Chances are that Posey won’t get a lot of starts – the team didn’t even want to bring him up this season; Bengie Molina is still the top dog behind the plate, although he’s fighting an injury right now – but this will give him a chance to see the game from a major league dugout, which is important, I think.  Kinda like a young quarterback watching from the sidelines until he gets his bearings.

Giants fans are happy about the fact that Buster is coming to town.  And they’re doing a great job of keeping their expectations reasonable:

So welcome, Buster (nickname: Bustery Poseyey). No pressure. Just rescue the Giants’ offense while you’re up. Oh, and teach the rest of the team how to work the count. Also, dispel the myth that rookie catchers cause entire pitching staffs to implode. Also, I’d like a glass of iced tea.

That really doesn’t seem like too much to ask.

The Package of Pitching Prospects…

You’re a major league baseball team. Maybe you’re in the midst of spitting hot fire. Maybe you’re in the midst of crawling out from the wreckage of fail that an internet punster would deign to deem epic. But you have several highly touted young studs. And a source like Baseball America would deem that these kids are more than all right.

In fact, these kids are aces. 

And people who need something to hope for and something to hold on to? They get fired up. Because the future’s coming. And it’s going to be awesome.

Let me just tell you whippersnappers, not so fast.

Mention to a learned Oakland fan the four aces, and you will get a convulsion. You have David Zancaro, Kirk Dressendorfer, Don Peters, and the immortal douchebag that is Todd Van Poppel. And you have the best success being when Todd Van Poppel reinvented himself as a journeyman Chuck Crim among a set of broken dreams.

Nobody’s going to say that Jason Isringhausen has not culled himself a nice career. But he was the front man of Izzy, Pulse and Paul. They were a prog rocking power trio who were supposed to save the Mets. And while Izzy carved out a solid solo career as a closer? Paul Wilson was somebody who John Sickels called the perfect pitcher…before he started having shoulder troubles.

And we still don’t know whatever happened to Bill Pulsipher. I think he’s in Mexico. Or Alaska. He just wants me to leave him alone. Sorry.

And this is where we cross paths with today’s context. In the middle of the decade, the Rangers actually were filled with hope. Hope and Pitching. Pitching in the form of a very special DVD.

But John Danks had to go. They wanted to challenge the White Sox to a pitching prospect trade. Brandon McCarthy was what they got back. They immeadiately regretted that decision.

Edinson Volquez got fed to Dusty Baker. Josh Hamilton’s one spectacular half and moments of brilliance beyond the politics of his falling off the wagon was the return. But there was a third. The end of the DVD so to speak.

His name was Thomas Diamond. He was the 2004 1st round Pick. He fell off with shoulder injuries. Now, he’s off the Rangers 40-man roster. He deserves your sympathy. Expectations that most shoulders could not bear have fallen upon him.