Archive for the ‘Arizona League’ Category

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.

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One No-Hitter, Two No-Hitter, Three No-Hitter, Fo–No, Never Mind, Just Three

Friday was a wild day for pitching in the minors, with three no-hitters on the schedule.

The first no-no came in the Arizona League, a combined job by three members of the Angels staff.  Jose Perez started and was dominant for five innings, striking out nine and walking one.  Joshua Blanco came on for three innings and walked two more batters before C.J. Bressoud closed it out with a perfect ninth.

At 24, I thought Bressoud was a bit old to be playing in Rookie ball.  Baseball-Reference has him as a catcher in 2004, 2008, and parts of 2009, with his only pitching stats accumulating this season.  I’m guessing he’s in the middle of a conversion, and a good one: 2-0, 1.74, with 29 strikeouts in 20.2 innings.

No-hitter number two was also pitched by a player in Rookie ball, this time in the Gulf Coast League.  Dennis Tepera, a 21-year-old Texan, went seven for the Blue Jays in the first game of a doubleheader, walking one and striking out seven.  It was his second low-hit game in less than a month, following a July 25 outing against the Pirates that saw him allow no hits while striking out five.

Tepera was opposed by Rayni Guichardo who had a pretty good outing himself: one run on four hits and four walks, with eight strikeouts.  His undoing came in the bottom of the fifth, when Oliver Dominguez hit his second homerun for the game’s only score.

And finally, Oklahoma City’s Luis Mendoza pitched the Pacific Coast League’s third no-hitter this season, shutting down Salt Lake, 5-0.  Justin Smoak and Chris Davis supplied the offense, hitting two doubles each and driving in four runs between them.  It was Mendoza’s sixth win of the season and he struck out six, walked six, and threw 125 pitches to do it.

Update: John Sickels was on-hand for Mendoza’s no-hitter.

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)

Rymer Liriano Cannot Be Contained!

Usually, if something happens on a Sunday afternoon and I don’t get around to writing about it until the wee hours of Wednesday morning, it’s not worth mentioning at all.  In the case of the wonderfully named Rymer Liriano, however, it’s more than worth it; the delay is my fault.

Liriano, an eighteen-year-old outfielder for the Padres’ Rookie level affiliate in Arizona, played one of the best minor league baseball games of the season on Sunday, finishing 4-4 with three homeruns, six RBI, and six runs scored in a 19-8 win over the AZL Royals.  His at-bats went as follows:

1. (1st inning): Three-run homerun
2. (2nd inning): Two-run homerun
3. (4th inning): Single
4. (6th inning): Solo homerun
5. (8th inning): Hit by pitch
6. (9th inning): Walk

The key plate appearance was the final one, in the ninth inning. You’ll notice that Liriano had already hit a solo, two-run, and three-run homerun, leaving him a grand slam short of the cycle. As luck would have it, he came to bat for the final time with the bases full of Padres. That’s as far as luck went, however – the equally awesomely named Starling de la Rosa threw a wild pitch, allowing the runner on third to score and freeing up first base. (It doesn’t say that Liriano was walked intentionally, but come on – would YOU pitch to a guy who had already hit three homers?)

Still, it doesn’t get much better than the day Liriano had. He didn’t leave anybody on base and he scored every time he got on base himself. That’s a good day, folks.

(It must be noted that on Tuesday, the Royals exacted their revenge, coaxing an 0-4 and three strikeouts out of Liriano.)

The Homer Strikes…

Those of you that know me? They know that I’m a Brewers fan. My baseball team is struggling right now. They need to make a deal. Get themselves a starter.

Problem? Anyone willing to trade a starting pitcher usually want to get themselves a starter coming back. For the Brewers? This poses a problem.  See, arguably the best prospect they have currently is in the Pioneer League.

The delightful comedy of the name Jake Odorizzi notwithstanding, the Brewers are in-line to lose a shot at the playoffs for two bugaboos. One that has happened often. One not so much.

This effects the Brewers chances directly for two reasons.

An injured Brewer pitching prospect is four words that just fit together.

The lost post of mine from Bus Leagues Baseball is the story of the Milwaukee Brewers Top 100 Baseball America prospects. And there was a prevalent theme. Pitchers careers died out from injury. From Tyrone Hill to Nick Neuguebauer to Mike Jones, the road to Milwaukee is paved with the corpses of torn labrums and ligaments. It just is, you know.

This is what has sunk the prospectdom of Zach Braddock and Alexandre Periard. Zach has had to be shifted to the bullpen because his elbow cannot handle the rigors of rotational work. Alexandre, a.k.a. The Canadian Hiroki Kuroda, who had two months in Double-A last season, fell back down the hill and is currently back in Brevard County.

The Jeremy Jeffress conundrum

Everybody has a marijuana joke for when a player gets bounced for a certain amount of time due to the ol’ Shad Grimgravy. They’ve recycled them from the Ricky Williams incident. But when you have a pitcher who can hit triple digits with regularity, you have a pitcher with instant trade value, no matter how mixed the results.

But since Jeffress has a real problem with drugs? You can’t trade him. He won’t help you this year. He probably won’t help next year either. He may be more likely to get bounced for life than bounce his slider in Miller Park.

Now the divinity of Cliff Lee or Roy Halladay is not under this blogs purview, so we won’t bother. All we’re going to say is, you have to be lucky as well as smart when you build a farm system. If Periard was doing well in Double-A?

Who knows what would be happening.

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

Top Performers: Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Class AAA

International League
Erik Kratz, Indianapolis: 2-2, HR, 2 RBI, 2 RS

Pacific Coast League
Esteban German, Oklahoma City: 3-4, HR, 4 RBI

Class AA

Southern League
James Adduci, Tennessee: 3-5, HR, 2 RBI, 3 RS
J.D. Durbin, Chattanooga: 8 IP, 0 R, 5 H
Johan Limonta, West Tenn: 2-4, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 2 RS
Desmond Jennings, Montgomery: 2-2, HR, 3 RBI, 3 BB

Class A-Advanced

California League
Jacob Wild, High Desert: 6 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 8 SO
Efren Navarro, Rancho Cucamonga: 4-4, 3 RBI
Engel Beltre, Bakersfield: 4-5, 3B, 2 RS

Carolina League
Lastings Milledge, Lynchburg: 2-4, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 2 RS

Florida State League
Francisco Pena, St. Lucie: 3-5, HR, 4 RBI
Tim Stronach, St. Lucie: 8.1 IP, 1 H (lost no-hitter with one out in ninth)
Steven Hirschfeld, Fort Myers: 9 IP, 0 R, 3 H
Starlin Castro, Daytona: 4-4, 2 RS

Class A

Midwest League
A.J. Pollock, South Bend: 2-5, 3B, HR, 3 RBI, 2 RS
Taylor Sinclair, South Bend: 7 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 5 SO

South Atlantic League
Braeden Schlehuber, Rome: 2-6, HR, 4 RBI (walkoff two-run HR in 11th)
Scott Robinson, Asheville: 4-4, 2 2B, 2 RS
Kiel Roling, Asheville: 3-4, HR, 4 RBI

Class A-Short Season

New York-Penn League
Ryde Rodriguez, Batavia: 3-5, 2 2B, HR, 3 RBI
Brandon Moore, Brooklyn: 8 IP, 2 R, 4 H, 9 SO

Northwest League
Logan Watkins, Boise: 4-5, 2 RS

Rookie

Appalachian League
Vincent Catricala, Pulaski: 3-5, 2 HR, 6 RBI
Gabriel Noriega, Pulaski: 5-5, 2 2B, 2 RS
Cody Rogers, Princeton: 4-4, 2 RBI, 2 RS

Arizona League
Carlos Quintana, Giants: 4-4, 2 RS
Jonathan Hesketh, Mariners: 2.2 IP, 7 SO
Jesus Aguilar, Indians: 4-4, HR, 3 RBI, 3 RS

Pioneer League
Michael Wing, Orem: 4-5, 3B, RS, RBI
Nicholas Bucci, Helena: 7 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 9 SO