Archive for the ‘Northwest League’ Category

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.

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Early Progression Of 2009 First Round Draft Picks

Now that the deadline has passed for 2009 draft picks to sign with their teams, I thought it might be fun to take a look at the first round selections, where they landed, and how they’re doing.

1. Stephen Strasburg, 21, RHP (Washington Nationals) – Expected to make his debut with the Phoenix Desert Dogs in the Arizona Fall League.

2. Dustin Ackley, 21, 1B (Seattle Mariners) – Expected to make his debut with the Peoria Javelinas in the Arizona Fall League

3. Donavan Tate, 18, OF (San Diego Padres) – Expected to make his debut in 2010 due to injury.

4. Tony Sanchez, 21, C (Pittsburgh Pirates) – Hitting .331 with 6 homeruns and 42 RBI in 40 games between State College (A-, New York-Penn League) and West Virginia (A, South Atlantic League); he was named the South Atlantic League’s Player of the Week on August 17.

5. Matt Hobgood, 19, RHP (Baltimore Orioles) – Has compiled a 1-1 record, 5.40 ERA, and 13 strikeouts in 21.2 innings over seven starts for the Bluefield Orioles (R, Appalachian League).

6. Zack Wheeler, 19, RHP (San Francisco Giants) Expected to make his debut in 2010.

7. Mike Minor, 21, LHP (Atlanta Braves) – Has started two games for the Rome Braves (A, South Atlantic League), allowing no runs on two hits with no walks and four strikeouts.  He will play for the Peoria Saguaros in the Arizona Fall League.

8. Mike Leake, 21, RHP (Cincinnati Reds) – Expected to make his debut in the Arizona Fall League; he was not on the original roster because he signed after rosters were submitted, but the Reds are petitioning to add him.

9. Jacob Turner, 18, RHP (Detroit Tigers) – Appears to be looking at instructional leagues this fall and winter, leading into a 2010 debut.

10. Drew Storen, 22, RHP (Washington Nationals) – Has made stops at Hagerstown (A, South Atlantic League), Potomac (A+, Carolina League), and Harrisburg (AA, Eastern League), compiling a 1-1 record, 2.14 ERA and nine saves in 25 games.  He has struck out 44 batters in 33.2 innings and will pitch for Phoenix in the Arizona Fall League.

11. Tyler Matzek, 18, LHP (Colorado Rockies) – Indicated soon after signing that he was headed to the Pioneer League, but has compiled no stats and does not appear to be slated for the AFL.

12. Aaron Crow, 22, RHP (Kansas City Royals) – One of three first rounders who did not sign prior to the deadline, Crow’s lack of college eligibility actually gives the Royals until just before next year’s draft to sign him.

13. Grant Green, 21, SS (Oakland Athletics) – Doesn’t have any stats yet and I can’t find anything that says where he might be headed.

14. Matt Purke, 19, LHP (Texas Rangers) – Did not sign; will attend Texas Christian University.

15. Alex White, 21, RHP (Cleveland Indians) – Will not pitch this season due to a heavy workload in college; he may make his debut in the AFL.

16. Bobby Borchering, 18, 3B (Arizona Diamondbacks) – Hitting .167 with one homerun and four RBI in eight games for the Missoula Osprey (R, Pioneer League).

17. A.J. Pollock, 21, OF (Arizona Diamondbacks) – Hitting .269 with three homeruns and 22 RBI in 54 games for the South Bend Silver Hawks (A, Midwest League).

18. Chad James, 18, LHP (Florida Marlins) – Doesn’t have any stats yet and I can’t find anything that says where he might be headed.

19. Shelby Miller, 18, RHP (St. Louis Cardinals) – Reportedly assigned to the Quad Cities River Bandits (A, Midwest League), but has not appeared in a game yet.

20. Chad Jenkins, 21, RHP (Toronto Blue Jays) – There’s a Chad Jenkins pitching in the Nationals system, but it’s not the same one, which is weird because Washington was looking at this Chad Jenkins prior to the draft.  I’m not sure where the Blue Jays’ Jenkins has landed.

21. Jiovanni Mier, 19, SS (Houston Astros) – Hitting .277 with six homeruns, 27 RBI, and ten stolen bases for the Greeneville Astros (R, Appalachian League).

22. Kyle Gibson, 21, RHP (Minnesota Twins) – Not sure where he will land; had a stress fracture in his arm that caused him to drop in the first round, not sure how that’s still affecting him.

23. Jared Mitchell, 20, OF (Chicago White Sox) – Hitting .296 with no homeruns and ten RBI in 34 games for the Kannapolis Intimidators (A, South Atlantic League).

24. Randal Grichuk, 18, OF (Los Angeles Angels) – Hitting .329 with seven homeruns (five in the last nine games), 53 RBI, and ten triples in 52 games for the AZL Angels (R, Arizona Summer League).

25. Mike Trout, 18, OF (Los Angeles Angels) – Hitting .369 with one homerun, 25 RBI, and seven triples in 38 games for the AZL Angels (R, Arizona Summer League).

26. Eric Arnett, 21, RHP (Milwaukee Brewers) – Has compiled an 0-3 record with a 4.57 ERA in 11 games (six starts) for the Helena Brewers (R, Pioneer League).

27. Nick Franklin, 18, SS (Seattle Mariners) – Hitting .282 with one homerun and four RBI in nine games for the AZL Mariners (R, Arizona Summer League).

28. Reymond Fuentes, 18, OF (Boston Red Sox) – Hitting .296 with one homerun and 14 RBI in 39 games for the GCL Red Sox (R, Gulf Coast League).

29. Zachary Heathcott, 18, OF (New York Yankees) – Hitting .100 with no homeruns and no RBI in three games for the GCL Yankees (R, Gulf Coast League).

30. LeVon Washington, 18, OF (Tampa Bay Rays) – Did not sign; will attend Chipola College.

31. Brett Jackson, 21, OF (Chicago Cubs) – Hitting .325 with seven homeruns and 35 RBI between stops with the AZL Cubs (R, Arizona Summer League), Boise (A-, Northwest League), and Peoria (A, Midwest League).

32. Tim Wheeler, 21, OF (Colorado Rockies) – Hitting .256 with four homeruns and 31 RBI in 60 games for the Tri-City Dust Devils (A-, Northwest League).

The No-Hitters Keep Coming

August has been a good month for minor league no-hitters – there have been approximately 412 so far (that might be a slight exaggeration), with three more added to the list on Saturday.

In the Arizona League, three Athletics pitchers combined to hold the Angels hitless – payback, perhaps, for August 14, when the Angels did the same to the A’s.  There was only one problem: the Angels won both games.

Hector Garcia started and went five innings, striking out five and walking two.  One of those walks came in the fifth, to the leadoff batter, who advanced to second on a passed ball, to third on a groundout, and to home on another groundout.

After Christopher Mederos pitched two perfect innings, Daniel Tenholder got the call.  He pitched a perfect eighth, but in the ninth, two consecutive errors and an intentional walk loaded the bases with nobody out.  The end was anticlimactic: a walk-off walk to Randal Grichuk.  So I guess, technically, it was an eight inning no-hitter.

The outcome of the Northwest League game between Salem-Keizer and Everett was a bit more traditional.  Three Volcanoes pitchers combined for the no-hitter, but these guys managed to win the game, 8-0.  Craig Westcott went the first five, striking out six and walking two to run his overall record to 6-0 between two levels (he also has 51 strikeouts in 33.1 innings), before turning things over to Brandon Graves and Wilber Bucardo for the last twelve outs.

The finest performance of the day was turned in by Erie’s Thad Weber.  Weber went the full nine innings against Akron, striking out ten without walking a batter.  Only a third inning error and an eighth inning hit batsman stood in the way of a perfect game.  His teammates made it easy for him, scoring seven runs in the fourth en route to a 16-0 drubbing of the visiting Aeros.

Minor League MVP Candidates, League-By-League

Just for the heck of it, I decided tonight to look at the stats for every league in the minors and see if I could come up with a candidate or two (no more than three) for the Most Valuable Player award.  (I’ll try to do the same for pitchers later this week.)

Some of these are no-brainers (*cough*Chris CarterTexasLeague*cough*), but most had at least a couple guys that should find themselves in the running for some awards.  In most cases, I tried to limit a player’s eligibility to the league they currently play in – Brian Dopirak and Michael Taylor, for example, are still in good shape in the Eastern League, but shouldn’t win any awards there after spending more than a month of the season in Triple A.

If I missed anyone obvious, or if you have a personal favorite, throw it out there. We’ll see how many of these (if any) we actually get right.

Triple A
International League
Andy Marte, Columbus: .963 OPS (1st), 18 HR (t-4th), 66 RBI (4th)
Shelley Duncan, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre: 25 HR (1st), 76 RBI (1st), 54 BB (t-1st), .899 OPS (5th)

Mexican League
Ruben Rivera, Campeche: 32 HR (1st), 90 RBI (t-4th), 1.130 OPS (2nd), 96 R (2nd)
Saul Soto, Monterrey: 28 HR (2nd), 93 RBI (2nd), 1.095 OPS (3rd)
Dionys Cesar, Vaqueros: .380 BA (1st), 40 SB (1st), 92 R (3rd)

Pacific Coast League
Randy Ruiz, Las Vegas: 25 HR (2nd), 106 RBI (1st), .320 BA (10th), .976 OPS (3rd), 81 R (5th), 148 H (1st), 43 2B (1st)

Double A
Eastern League
Carlos Santana, Akron: 20 HR (4th), 82 RBI (2nd), 71 BB (2nd), .943 OPS (4th), 73 R (2nd)
Ryan Strieby, Erie: .982 OPS (1st), 17 HR (4th), .305 BA (6th)

Southern League
Juan Francisco, Carolina: 22 HR (1st), 74 RBI (1st), .822 OPS (10th), 63 R (8th)
Todd Frazier, Carolina: 124 H (1st), 37 2B (1st), 13 HR (t-6th), 63 RBI (t-5th), .852 OPS (8th)

Texas League
Chris Carter, Midland: .336 BA (1st), 21 HR (1st), 90 RBI (2nd), 101 R (1st), 148 H (1st), 38 2B (1st), 73 BB (t-1st), .433 OBP (1st), .574 SLG (1st), 1.006 OPS (1st)

*Carter has to be a frontrunner not only for Texas League MVP, but Minor League Baseball’s Player of the Year. What an outstanding season thus far.

Class A Advanced
California League
Alex Liddi, High Desert: .356 BA (1st), 1.044 OPS (1st), 21 HR (t-4th), 86 RBI (4th), 85 R (t-2nd)
Jon Gaston, Lancaster: 30 HR (1st), 81 RBI (6th), 1.015 OPS (4th), 15 3B (1st), 100 R (1st)
Koby Clemens, Lancaster: 96 RBI (1st), .343 BA (3rd), 1.023 OPS (2nd)

Carolina League
Cody Johnson, Myrtle Beach: 26 HR (1st), 76 RBI (2nd), .886 OPS (2nd)
Brandon Waring, Frederick: 20 HR (2nd), 74 RBI (3rd), .870 OPS (3rd)

Florida State League
Chris Parmelee, Fort Myers: 14 HR (1st), 64 RBI (1st), .814 OPS (4th)
Ben Revere, Fort Myers: .307 BA (3rd), 36 SB (4th), 60 R (3rd), .368 OBP (t-8th)

Class A
Midwest League
Kyle Russell, Great Lakes: 24 HR (1st), 79 RBI (t-1st), .915 OPS (2nd), 74 R (4th)

South Atlantic League
Derek Norris, Hagerstown: 23 HR (1st), 75 RBI (2nd), 69 R (3rd), .296 BA (10th), .955 OPS (3rd)

Class A Short-Season
New York-Penn League
Leandro Castro, Williamsport: .353 BA (1st), .973 OPS (1st), 37 R (t-1st),
Neil Medchill, Staten Island: 10 HR (1st), 30 RBI (t-5th), .925 OPS (5th), 33 R (4th)

Northwest League
Vincent Belnome, Eugene: 39 R (1st), 8 HR (t-2nd), 37 RBI (2nd), 37 BB (2nd), .952 OPS (4th)

Rookie
Appalachian League
Jose Altuve, Greeneville: 45 R (1st), 21 SB (1st), .324 BA (7th), .916 OPS (8th), 26 BB (1st)
Richard Racobaldo, Johnson City: 1.077 OPS (1st), 26 RBI (t-9th), .415 BA (1st)
Riaan Spanjer-Furstenburg, Danville: .383 BA (2nd), 1.032 OPS (2nd), 7 HR (t-3rd), 39 RBI (2nd)

Arizona League
Cody Decker, Padres: 1.127 OPS (1st), .357 BA (3rd), 11 HR (1st), 46 RBI (1st)

Dominican Summer League
Reymond Nunez, Yankees 2: 10 HR (2nd), 57 RBI (1st), .947 OPS (4th)
Alexander Sanchez, Mets: .391 BA (1st), .982 OPS (2nd)

Gulf Coast League
Brett Newsome, Nationals: 1.020 OPS (1st), .304 BA (9th), 25 R (1st), 13 2B (t-3rd)
Layton Hiller, Braves: 6 HR (1st), 34 RBI (1st), .846 OPS (8th)
Marcell Ozuna, Marlins: .928 OPS (2nd), .344 BA (3rd), 24 R (t-2nd), 18 2B (1st), 4 HR (t-7th), 31 RBI (2nd)

Pioneer League
Jerry Sands, Ogden: 14 HR (1st), 39 RBI (4th), .350 BA (4th), 1.114 OPS (1st), 41 R (1st)

Venezuelan Summer League
Roan Salas, Rays: 15 HR (1st), 59 RBI (1st), 49 R (t-3rd), 75 H (t-5th), .338 BA (2nd), 1.063 OPS (1st)

A Mendonca Among Boys

Spokane’s Tommy Mendonca has been on a bit of a hot streak lately, hitting .395 in his last ten games.  He has had multiple hits in half of those and exactly three in four.

Last night against Salem-Keizer, the 21-year-old out of Fresno State enjoyed the best game of his young career, belting three solo homeruns to lead the Indians to a 6-2 win.

Mendonca was the Most Outstanding Player at the 2008 College World Series while playing for the Bulldogs team that won the national championship.  He was selected in the second round of the 2009 draft.  He hasn’t hit for a ton of power early in his professional career, with only four homeruns in 114 at-bats prior to yesterday’s outburst, but he had 29 in two seasons of college ball, so maybe those three were the rule rather than the exception.

Top Performers: Thursday, July 16, 2009

Class AAA
Yurendell de Caster, Pawtucket (International): 2-4, walk-off HR
Brian Barden, Memphis (Pacific Coast): 4-5, 4 RBI
Kevin Richardson, Oklahoma City (Pacific Coast): 3-6, 2 HR, 3 RBI

Class AA
Dave Krynzel, Bowie (Eastern): 4-6, 2 3B, 2 RS, 2 RBI
Joseph Nowicki, Bowie (Eastern): 4-5, 4 RBI
Jared Goedert, Akron (Eastern): 3-6, HR, 6 RBI
Madison Bumgarner, Connecticut (Eastern): 5.1 IP, 1 H

Class A-Advanced
Bryan Shaw, Visalia (California): 5 IP, 3 H, 8 SO
Paolo Espino, Kinston (Carolina): 8 IP, R, 3 H, 8 SO
Yamaico Navarro, Salem (Carolina): 2-5, HR, 5 RBI, walk-off grand slam

Class A
Kenny Smalley, Kane County (Midwest): 6 IP, 0 R, 3 H
Ethan Hollingsworth, Asheville (South Atlantic): 5.2 IP, 10 SO
Dexter Carter, Kannapolis (South Atlantic): 8 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 9 SO
Isaias Velasquez, Bowling Green (South Atlantic): 4-4, 4 RS
Ryan Lavarnway, Greenville (South Atlantic): 2-5, 2 HR, 6 RBI

Class A-Short Season
Robert Taylor, Jamestown (New York-Penn): 2-4, walk-off HR
Logan Watkins, Boise (Northwest): 5-6, 3 RS
Ryan Ortiz, Vancouver (Northwest): 2-4, 2 HR, 3 RBI

Class Rookie
Audry Perez, Johnson City (Appalachian): 1-1, pinch-hit walk-off HR
Geoffrey Baldwin, Royals (Arizona): 3-4, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 4 RS
Pedro Pena, Cardinals (Dominican): 8.1 IP, 10 SO
Cesar Ciurcina, Twins (Dominican): 7 IP, R, 3 H, 8 SO
Adan Velazquez, Padres (Dominican): 2-5, 2 HR
Brent Weaver, Marlins (Gulf Coast): 2-5, HR, 5 RBI
Michael Tonkin, Twins (Gulf Coast): 7 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 15 SO
Matt Kramer, Braves (Gulf Coast): 2-2, 2 HR, 6 RBI
Eliezer Mesa, Casper (Pioneer): 4-5, 4 RBI

Minor League Morning Recap: A-Levels

Class A-Advanced
California League
Scores
Rancho Cucamonga 2, Lake Elsinore 1
Lancaster 15, Inland Empire 1
Stockton 9, Bakersfield 7
Modesto 8, High Desert 3
San Jose 17, Visalia 1

Top Performers
Jack Shuck, Lancaster: 4-5, 2B, 3B, 2 RS, RBI
Koby Clemens, Lancaster: 4-5, 2B, 3B, 2 HR, 7 RBI
Steve Kleen, Stockton: 4-5, HR, 3 RBI, 2 RS
Thomas Neal: 3-5, 2B, 3B, HR, 4 RBI, 2 RS

Carolina League
Scores
Kinston 4, Frederick 3 (10 innings)
Potomac 7, Lynchburg 3
Myrtle Beach 5, Wilmington 2 (13 innings)

Top Performers
Mike Moustakas, Wilmington: 2-6, HR, 2 RBI

Florida State League
Scores
Charlotte 7, Sarasota 4
Dunedin 5, Tampa 2
Brevard County 7, Lakeland 0
Palm Beach 2, Fort Myers 0
Jupiter 5, St. Lucie 1

Top Performers
Bradley McElroy, Dunedin: 3-3, 3 RBI
Robert Bell, Dunedin: 4 IP, 0 H, 6 SO
Evan Anundsen, Brevard County: 6 IP, 1 H, 5 SO

Class A
Midwest League
Scores
Peoria 5, Fort Wayne 2
Great Lakes 8, Kane County 0
Cedar Rapids 6, Dayton 2
Wisconsin 5, South Bend 2
Quad Cities 5, Clinton 4 (12 innings)
Burlington 7, Lansing 4
West Michigan 7, Beloit 3

Top Performers
Nick Bus, Great Lakes: 3-4, 3 RBI, 2 RS
Scott Savastano, Clinton: 4-5
Kris Sanchez, Clinton: 4-6, RS

South Atlantic League
Scores
Asheville 1, Lake County 0
Greensboro 2, Rome 1
Kannapolis 3, Savannah 2
Lakewood 9, Bowling Green 4
Greenville 5, Hagerstown 4
Charleston 7, Hickory 3
Delmarva 19, Lexington 0
Augusta 3, West Virginia 2

Top Performers
Parker Frazier, Asheville: 8 IP, 2 H
Greg Miclat, Delmarva: 5-6, 3 RS
Kyle Hudson, Delmarva: 4-4, 5 RS
Rodolfo Cardona, 2-6, 6 RBI

Class A-Short Season
Northwest League
Scores
Eugene 7, Spokane 5 (Game 1)
Eugene 5, Spokane 0 (Game 2)
Boise 6, Vancouver 3
Yakima 8, Salem-Keizer 2
Tri-City 2, Everett 1