Posts Tagged ‘Buffalo Bisons’

The Z-Meter: 5/20/2009

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.


Jordan Zimmermann: Syracuse Chiefs (AAA) to Washington Nationals (MLB)
Matt LaPorta: Columbus Clippers (AAA) to Cleveland Indians (MLB)
Daniel Bard: Pawtucket Red Sox (AAA) to Boston Red Sox (MLB)
Mat Gamel: Nashville Sounds (AAA) to Milwaukee Brewers (MLB)

Madison Bumgarner: San Jose Giants (A) to Connecticut Defenders (AA)

No movement so far this week. But some players have turned around slow starts in a big way this week. Omaha Royals slugger Kila Ka’aihue busted his slump big-time, going 8 for 15 and pushing his OPS over 1.000. Mets prospect Fernando Martinez hit .400 over his last five games and scored seven times.

Josh Vitters, at the Cubs’ A affiliate in Peoria, probably had the best week of all. He started off with a ridiculous showing in a double header against Quad Cities – he hit .333 in the top half, then 1.000 in the second. He blasted a home run in each of four games at Beloit to follow up, cobbling together a nice little .647 average over a six-day span, along with 9 runs and 8 RBIs.

That’s hot.

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

Andrew McCutchen, CF – Indianapolis Indians (Pirates): .292 AVG – 32 R – 1 HR – 13 RBI – 14 BB – 9 SB – .479 SLG – .838 OPS

Wade Davis, RHP – Durham Bulls (Rays): 8 Games – 4W – 1L – 3.10 ERA – 21 BB – 28 K

Kila Kaaihue, 1B – Omaha Royals – .285 – 30 R – 7 HR – 23 RBI – 38 BB – 0 SB – .561 SLG – 1.006 OPS

Alcides Escobar, SS – Nashville Sounds (Brewers): .273 – 29 R – 2 HR – 12 RBI – 11 BB – 18 SB – .360 SLG – .684 OPS

Carlos Carrasco, RHP – Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (Phillies): 8 Starts – 0 W – 5 L – 6.31 ERA – 11 BB – 44 K

Ramiro Pena, SS – Scranton-Wilkes Barre Yankees: .263 – 7 R – 0 HR – 4 RBI – 4 BB – 1 SB – .333 SLG – .645 OPS

Matt Wieters, C – Norfolk Tides (Orioles): .282 AVG – 22 R – 4 HR – 21 RBI – 17 BB – 0 SB – .479 SLG – .849 OPS

Fernando Martinez, CF – Buffalo Bisons (Mets): .287 AVG – 20 R – 7 HR – 23 RBI – 11 BB – 2 SB – .552 SLG – .892 OPS

Austin Jackson, OF – Scranton Wilkes-Barre (Yankees): .344 – 20 R – 0 HR – 14 RBI – 17 BB – 8 SB – .430 SLG – .855 OPS

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

Antonio Bastardo, LHP – Reading Phillies (Phillies): 9 Games – 5 Starts – 2 W – 2 L – 2 SV – 1.82 ERA – 7 BB – 39 K

Lars Anderson, 1B – Portland SeaDogs (Red Sox): .229 AVG – 17 R – 4 HR – 19 RBI – 17 BB – 0 SB – .382 SLG – .697 OPS

Jhoulys Chacin, RHP – Tulsa Drillers (Rockies): 8 Starts – 3 W – 4 L – 3.77 ERA – 16 BB – 36 K

Carlos Santana, C – Akron Aeros (Indians): .294 AVG – 24 R – 6 HR – 24 RBI – 25 BB – 0 SB – .539 SLG – .970 OPS

Justin Smoak, 1B – Frisco RoughRiders (Rangers): .338 AVG – 22 R – 6 HR – 24 RBI – 29 BB – 0 SB – .534 SLG – .994 OPS
Madison Bumgarner, LHP – Connecticut Defenders (Giants): 2 Start – 2 W – 0 L – .75 ERA – 3 BB – 11 K

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): .222 AVG – 8 R – 3 HR – 14 RBI – 8 BB – 0 SB – .378 SLG – .658 OPS

Mike Moustakas, SS – Wilmington Blue Rocks (Royals): .288 AVG – 25 R – 7 HR – 30 RBI – 7 BB – 2 SB – .496 SLG – .816 OPS

Pedro Alvarez, 3B – Lynchburg Hillcats (Pirates): .224 AVG – 20 R – 8 HR – 33 RBI – 24 BB – 0 SB – .433 SLG – .766 OPS

Che-Hsuan Lin, OF – Salem Red Sox: .195 AVG – 18 R – 1 HR – 12 RBI – 16 BB – 5 SB – .265 SLG – .571 OPS

Josh Vitters, 3B – Peoria Chiefs (Cubs): .371 AVG – 23 R – 7 HR – 21 RBI – 3 BB – 2 SB – .598 SLG – .998 OPS

Shooter Hunt, RHP – Beloit Snappers (Twins): 7 Games – 5 Starts – 0 W – 1 L – 10.70 ERA – 33 BB – 18 K

Collin Cowgill, OF – Visalia Rawhide (Diamondbacks): .299 AVG – 31 R – 5 HR – 26 RBI – 18 BB – 5 SB – .507 SLG – .897 OPS

Mauricio Robles, P – West Michigan Whitecaps (Tigers): 7 Starts – 3 W – 1 L – 2.63 ERA – 14 BB – 52 K

Tim Beckham, SS – Bowling Green Hot Rods (Rays): .277 AVG – 15 R – 2 HR – 23 RBI – 8 BB – 1 SB – .400 SLG – .717 OPS

Ezekiel Spruill, RHP – Rome Braves (Braves): 7 Games – 6 Starts – 6 W – 0 L – 1 SV – 1.91 ERA – 7 BB – 35 K

NCAA: Only used if a prospect in college shows really, truly, immensely, hugely inescapable potential.

Stephen Strasburg, RHP – San Diego State: 12 Starts – 12W – 0L – 1.34 ERA – 18 BB – 174 K

Visit SDSU’s Strasburg Central for more.

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


You Say Goodbye, I Say Hello

I’ve learned a lot about minor league baseball this season, but the most interesting might be something I just discovered about ten minutes ago: major league teams and their minor league affiliates are like the characters on Friends* – sooner or later, they all end up dating one another.

*Yeah, Friends.  My pop culture references are so timely.  The backup example was Beverly Hills 90210.

Almost immediately after the season ended, what I’m assuming is a yearly affiliate shift began to occur.  And the more I read, the more I began to understand the tectonic nature of these relationships.  For example…

  • Last Thursday, the Cleveland Indians announced that they had signed a four-year player development agreement with the International League’s Columbus Clippers .  The Clippers were Washington’s AAA affiliate for the past two seasons.
  • Two days later, the Nationals signed a two-year deal the Syracuse Chiefs, also of the International League.  (Washington also extended existing deals with Class A Hagerstown and Class A Short-Season Vermont; both extensions are for two years.)
  • Two days after THAT, the New York Mets signed on with Buffalo, the International League team that had been cut loose as Cleveland’s affiliate.
  • In order to make the move to Buffalo, the Mets pulled out of New Orleans, clearing the way for division rival Florida to slide in for a two-year deal with the Zephyrs.
  • Florida’s shift to New Orleans meant that the organization pulled out of Albuquerque, where nearly 600,000 fans passed through the gates last season.  Taking their place?  The Los Angeles Dodgers organization, which returns its AAA affiliate to the place it called home for nearly three decades.
  • At the AA level, Los Angeles is returning the favor, moving from Jacksonville to Chattanooga, which allows Florida to take over the Suns franchise.  The Dodgers’ shift displaces the Reds, who were the previous tenants in Chattanooga.

Those are the major crazy, circular moves that have been announced over the past week or so. has also reported on a number of other affiliate changes:

This is making my head hurt, and these aren’t even all the changes that were made.  I’m not sure if anyone noticed, but I just sort of stopped caring about decent sentence structure there after awhile; there are only so many ways you can say “shift” or “move”.  One thing is clear to me, however: we gots some work to do on our “MiLB Teams” page.

Scott Radinsky Will Rock & Roll All Night, Teach You the Splitter Every Day

Our friends over at Hugging Harold Reynolds have been known to turn up a great story now and again. Fortunately for us, they found one that plugs right into our governing ethos here at Bus Leagues, and they shared it.

Scott Radinsky is what I’d call a 21st-century renaissance man. He worked his way up to the majors as a relief pitcher, throwing his last pro pitch in 2001. During that time, he was burning the midnight oil as a member of the punk band Pulley.

After his playing career ended, Radinsky didn’t rest. He continued making music with Pulley. He started a skate park called Skatelab. And he is a pitching coach for the AAA Buffalo Bisons (Indians). Makes for a busy day.

For a look inside the mind of a man who refuses to be pigeonholed, read the interview at HHR.

[Hugging Harold Reynolds] [They Really Love Minor-League Baseball]

Spotlight on AAA Ball – 5/2/2008

Five games with the Nashville Sounds (Brewers). You’d think Mike Cameron had been sentenced to a decade of hard labor, the way he talks. []

Check this out: Wolf Blitzer loves AAA Ball. Especially the Buffalo Bisons (Indians). Interview courtesy of our old friend Ted Bauer, who wrote the late, great blog A Price Above Bip Roberts. [ESPN the]

Oh, I do love these kooky administrative bets. The GMs of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees and the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (Phillies) have wagered their professional services on the outcome of the season series, which spans 16 games this year. Of course, it’s not GM abilities that will be required from the losing exec, but bat boy duties. This just got a wholllle lot more interesting. [SWB Yankees]

Paul Janish, a shortstop for the Louisville Bats (Reds) broke out of a slump in a big way, going 4-4 with six RBIs and just missing the cycle on an official scorer’s decision that took away a triple. See, we CAN write about the Bats without mentioning Jay Bruce or Homer Bailey (oops). []

The Salt Lake Bees (Angels) have won 92% of their games to start this season. The subsequent callups of SS Brandon Wood and 3B Matt Brown might slow their roll, though. []

That’s it for AAA news. I’ll be attending a West Virginia Power (Brewers) vs. Delmarva Shorebirds (Orioles) game this weekend, so look for photos to grace the A-ball news on Monday.

Spotlight on AAA Ball – 4/11/2008

The new owners of the Tacoma Rainiers (Mariners) talk about the challenges of working in a 48-year-old stadium. And, Braves fans of both the Richmond and Atlanta varieties will probably be interested to hear what it’s like to operate a team’s AAA affiliate within driving distance of the parent club. [Tacoma Daily Index]

In case you don’t know what I was referencing in the above link, the Atlanta Braves have decided to move their AAA affiliate from Richmond, VA to the suburbs of… Atlanta. The good news is that even as the R-Braves play their final lame-duck season in the Virginia capital, local businessmen are looking to bring in something new. []

Good news in Indianapolis – the Pirates have extended their player development contract with the Indians until 2012. []

I can’t be the only one bothered by this. I read through this press release from the Buffalo Bisons (Indians), drooling all the while over the food specials on offer. Until I realized that wings were not mentioned even once. No wings in Buffalo? A travesty, sirs. You can expect to hear from my lawyer. [Bisons Homepage]

DUDE! Did you hear who will be playing at AT&T Bricktown Park?!? The Oklahoma Redhawks (Rangers)!!! Oh, and some dillweed named Dave Matthews will be there on August 13th, if you’re into that kind of thing. [RedHawks Homepage]

I hear the kids don’t go to the rave-parties any more. But if they did, wouldn’t you want all of them to be wearing this hat? [Las Vegas 51s Shop]

I can go on mining press releases and websites forever like this – there’s plenty going on. But if you have a tip we should check out, email us a busleagues at gmail dot com.