Posts Tagged ‘Jamie McOwen’

The Bus Leagues Baseball 2009 Player of the Year

Shortly after the minor league season ended, I began to consider the idea of awarding a Bus Leagues Player of the Year. We are not, and never will be, well-versed in the art of baseball prospecting. What we do have, however, is “our trademark irrational sense of whimsy,” as Eric writes at the end of every Z-Meter, and it seemed we ought to be able to use that to use that to give somebody a meaningless fictional award.

I combed through a bunch of stats and narrowed it down to a highly subjective Top Ten.  At that point, five Bus Leagues contributors – Eric A., Eric M., Chris, Andrew, and myself – cast votes for our top three, with five points for a first place vote, three points for a second place vote, and one point for a third place vote.

From those votes came the results you see below.  Enjoy.

jonathan gastonJonathan Gaston, LF
Lancaster JetHawks (Houston)
California League
Class A-Advanced
Total Points: 0 (10th)

Gaston led the California League in games played, runs scored, triples, homeruns, and total bases. His 35 homeruns tied Albuquerque’s Mitch Jones for the highest total in all of minor league baseball.  These facts did not impress any of the Bus Leagues voters enough to reward him with a vote.

jamie mcowenJamie McOwen, RF
High Desert Mavericks (Seattle)
California League
Class A-Advanced
Total Points: 2 (9th)

McOwen made national headlines (and won the collective heart of the Bus Leagues audience) with a 45-game midseason hitting streak, the eighth longest in minor league history.  He picked up a base hit in every game he played for nearly two months (May 10-July 8).

What The Voters Said
“The hitting streak earned him official Bus Leagues man-crush status. I always feel that a guy who can dominate the tag cloud despite relative obscurity deserves an all-star vote.” – Eric A.

ruben riveraRuben Rivera, C
Piratas de Campeche
Mexican League
Class AAA
Total Points: 3 (t-6th)

Even in an offense-oriented circuit like the Mexican League, Rivera’s 32 homeruns, 90 runs batted in, and .344/.461/.669 line stood out.

mitch jonesMitch Jones, RF
Albuquerque Isotopes (LA Dodgers)
Pacific Coast League
Class AAA
Total Points: 3 (t-6th)

While Jones and Jonathan Gaston tied for the minor league lead with 35 homeruns, Jones won the Baumann Award because he topped Gaston in runs batted in, 103-100.

What The Voters Said
“Mitch Jones, although basically past his prime, was a former Yankee prospect turned career minor leaguer (even though his power numbers prove otherwise).” – Eric M.

grant desmeGrant Desme, CF
Kane County/Stockton (Oakland)
Midwest/California League
Class A/A+
Total Points: 3 (t-6th)

Minor League Baseball’s only 30-30 man this season, Desme posted the majority of his stolen bases with Kane County and the majority of his homeruns with Stockton.

What The Voters Said
“It doesn’t matter that he did it while playing in two high offense leagues – a 30/40 season deserves our respect.” – Brian

carlos santanaCarlos Santana, C
Akron Aeros (Cleveland)
Eastern League
Class AA
Total Points: 4 (5th)

Santana has earned a mid-season All-Star selection, postseason All-Star selection, and Most Valuable Player honors in the past two years in the California and Eastern Leagues. Alas, in the Bus Leagues vote, he could do no better than fifth.

What The Voters Said
“I’m actually not picking him just because he shares a name with the guitarist (yes, I am capable of ignoring this). I’m impressed by Carlos’ consistency at Akron, where he had 90+ runs and ribbies on the season, kept his OPS near 1.000 from start to finish, and showed some power with 23 home runs. He’s a switch-hitter, which is also pretty cool. I also really like the idea of a guy named Carlos Santana playing in Cleveland, near the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame (OK, I lied.)” – Eric A.

Koby ClemensKoby Clemens, C
Corpus Christi/Lancaster (Houston)
Texas/California League
Class AA/A+
Total Points: 5 (t-3rd)

Again, the California League – it’s a seriously offensive league – and again, the Lancaster JetHawks – one could argue that High Desert’s Alex Liddi is getting seriously shortchanged by being left out of our top ten. But it’s hard to argue with the counting stats Clemens posted this season.

What The Voters Said
“It’s about time there was a Clemens that doesn’t have a needle attached to his butt…and because he had a great year.” – Chris

brian dopirakBrian Dopirak, 1B
New Hampshire/Las Vegas (Toronto)
Eastern/Pacific Coast League
Class AA/AAA
Total Points: 5 (t-3rd)

2009 was Dopirak’s second consecutive season with 25 homeruns, 100 RBI, a .300 batting average, and .900 OPS. He might have given Carlos Santana a run for his money in the Eastern League MVP race if he hadn’t been called up to Triple-A (clear across the country) after just 87 games.

What The Voters Said
“This guy has to be good, because I signed up to receive news updates from the Fisher Cats, and his name was in my inbox damn near every day he played there. Seriously, though. The guy can hit, and his average actually went UP, from .308 to .330 when he jumped up to Triple-A. It’ll be interesting to see if he can do it at the next level.” – Eric A.

pedro alvarezPedro Alvarez, 3B
Lynchburg/Altoona (Pittsburgh)
Carolina/Eastern League
Class A+/AA
Total Points: 8 (2nd)

Alvarez is 22-years-old and just hit .288 with 27 homeruns and 95 RBI in his very first professional season. It will be interesting to see how much time he spends in western Pennsylvania next season.

What The Voters Said
“Pedro Alvarez was bored in Lynchburg. He was all, “Screw it, I’m only going to hit .247.” So the Pirates decided to call his bluff. And they said, “Go to Double-A and let’s see if you can manage that.” And he destroyed 12 cars and the mayor is on the Altoona Curve’s ass. Why? Because Pedro Alverez tore Double-A up, Lethal Weapon style.” – Andrew

chris carterChris Carter, 1B
Midland/Sacramento (Oakland)
Texas/Pacific Coast League
Class AA/AAA
Total Points: 12 (1st)

Carter earned the Texas League’s Player of the Year award by dominating the competition to the tune of 24 homeruns, 101 RBI, a .337 batting average, and 1.011 OPS. He celebrated the news of his honor by hitting three homeruns and driving in seven for Sacramento on August 31. Of course, Carter is no stranger to postseason accolades: he has earned a spot on the postseason All-Star teams in four different leagues in the past four years.  And now, he is the first ever Bus Leagues Player of the Year.

What The Voters Said
“They say that Robert Greene knows all about the 48 Rules of Power. These people are fools. The Oakland Athletics have the 36 chambers of the Wu-tang Clan, the 48 Laws of Power, the Alpha and the Omega in Chris Carter. He has a mighty bat. A great eye. Solid athleticism. Quite frankly, he will be Fantasy Baseball’s Answer to Adrian Peterson. He is…Green and Gold Jesus.” – Andrew

The Z-Meter: 7/14/2009 All-Star Edition

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.

Promoted:

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)
Fernando Martinez: Buffalo Bisons (AAA) to New York Mets (MLB)
Matt Wieters: Norfolk Tides (AAA) to Baltimore Orioles (MLB)
Antonio Bastardo: Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (AAA) to Philadelphia Phillies (MLB)
Andrew McCutchen: Indianapolis Indians (AAA) to Pittsburgh Pirates (MLB)
 
 
Antonio Bastardo: Reading Phillies (AA) to Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (AAA)
Justin Smoak: Frisco Rough Riders (AA) to Oklahoma City RedHawks (AAA)

Madison Bumgarner: San Jose Giants (A) to Connecticut Defenders (AA)
Yonder Alonso: Sarasota Reds (A) to Carolina Mudcats (AA)
Pedro Alvarez: Lynchburg Hillcats (A) to Altoona Curve (AA)

Mauricio Robles: West Michigan Whitecaps (A) to Lakeland Flying Tigers (A+)
Josh Vitters: Peoria Chiefs (A) to Daytona Cubs (A+)

OK, this is exactly why I put Jamie McOwen on the Z-meter. The Natinal media are off his case now that his hit streak is over, but HE’S STILL HAVING AN INCREDIBLE YEAR! So he’s staying.


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

Wade Davis, RHP – Durham Bulls (Rays): 18 Games – 8 W – 5 L – 3.12 ERA – 39 BB – 89 K

Kila Kaaihue, 1B – Omaha Royals – .259 – 53 R – 13 HR – 36 RBI – 64 BB – 0 SB – .474 SLG – .865 OPS

Alcides Escobar, SS – Nashville Sounds (Brewers): .296 – 61 R – 3 HR – 28 RBI – 24 BB – 30 SB – .417 SLG – .765 OPS

Carlos Carrasco, RHP – Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (Phillies): 18 Starts – 5 W – 8 L – 5.00 ERA – 34 BB – 99 K

Austin Jackson, OF – Scranton Wilkes-Barre (Yankees): .324 – 46 R – 4 HR – 34 RBI – 30 BB – 15 SB – .452 SLG – .840 OPS

Justin Smoak, 1B – Oklahoma City RedHawks (Rangers): .103 AVG – 5 R – 1 HR – 2 RBI – 7 BB – 0 SB – .207 SLG – .485 OPS


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

 

Lars Anderson, 1B – Portland SeaDogs (Red Sox): .272 AVG – 40 R – 8 HR – 42 RBI – 44 BB – 1 SB – .413 SLG – .779 OPS

*Jhoulys Chacin, RHP – Tulsa Drillers (Rockies): 16 Starts – 7 W – 6 L – 3.43 ERA – 32 BB – 80 K

Carlos Santana, C – Akron Aeros (Indians): .266 AVG – 56 R – 14 HR – 58 RBI – 59 BB – 0 SB – .494 SLG – .888 OPS

 
Andrew Locke, OF – Corpus Christi Hooks (Astros): .311 AVG – 47 R – 11 HR – 79 RBI – 29 BB – 0 SB – .470 SLG – .830 OPS
 
Madison Bumgarner, LHP – Connecticut Defenders (Giants): 10 Games – 9 Starts – 7 W – 1 L – 1.74 ERA – 16 BB – 45 K
 Jeanmar Gomez, RHP – Akron Aeros (Indians): 13 Starts – 6 W – 3 L – 3.21 ERA – 22 BB – 62 K
 
 
Yonder Alonso, 1B (injured) – Carolina Mudcats (Reds): .246 AVG – 4 R – 1 HR – 8 RBI – 6 BB – 1 SB – .377 SLG – .686 OPS
 
Kyle Drabek, RHP (inactive) – Reading Phillies (Phillies): 7 Games – 6 Starts – 5 W – 0 L – 2.70 ERA – 17 BB – 36 K
 
Pedro Alvarez, 3B – Altoona Curve (Pirates): .228 AVG – 12 R – 4 HR – 9 RBI – 3 BB – 0 SB – .509 SLG – .767 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): .239 AVG – 37 R – 15 HR – 40 RBI – 21 BB – 1 SB – .466 SLG – .762 OPS

Mike Moustakas, SS – Wilmington Blue Rocks (Royals): .266 AVG – 48 R – 10 HR – 52 RBI – 18 BB – 8 SB – .431 SLG – .734 OPS

Che-Hsuan Lin, OF – Salem Red Sox: .257 AVG – 49 R – 5 HR – 35 RBI – 45 BB – 18 SB – .355 SLG – .712 OPS

Josh Vitters, 3B – Daytona Cubs (Cubs): .189 AVG – 3 R – 0 HR – 4 RBI – 1 BB – 0 SB – .270 SLG – .481 OPS

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

Collin Cowgill, OF (injured) – Visalia Rawhide (Diamondbacks): .277 AVG – 39 R – 6 HR – 36 RBI – 29 BB – 11 SB – .445 SLG – .819 OPS

Mauricio Robles, P – Lakeland Flying Tigers (Tigers): 4 Starts – 3 W – 1 L – 3.80 ERA – 8 BB – 21 K

Tim Beckham, SS – Bowling Green Hot Rods (Rays): .279 AVG – 38 R – 4 HR – 47 RBI – 22 BB – 7 SB – .409 SLG – .743 OPS

Ezekiel Spruill, RHP – Rome Braves (Braves): 16 Games – 7 W – 5 L – 1 SV – 3.06 ERA – 19 BB – 71 K

Brad Brach, RHP – Fort Wayne TinCaps (Padres): 39 Games – 1.35 ERA – 3 W – 2 L – 21 SV – 7 BB – 56 K

Jamie McOwen, RF – High Desert Mavericks (Mariners): .346 AVG – 46 R – 6 HR – 54 RBI – 28 BB – 5 SB – .498 SLG – .904 OPS


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

Stephen Strasburg, RHP – San Diego State: 14 Starts – 13 W – 1 L – 1.32 ERA – 19 BB – 195 K

Strasburg was the #1 pick in the college draft this season, and will join the Washington Nationals system any old day now. He remains here as an honorary member.


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

Jamie McOwen Goes For #46

That’s right, I’m taking this up a notch.  Jamie McOwen, who joins Jay Bruce on the list of historical Bus Leagues mancrushes, is attempting to extend his hitting streak to 46 games tonight in Modesto.  Because I have nothing better to do on a Friday night, I will be listening in to the team’s radio feed and updating the situation after each of McOwen’s at-bats until he gets a hit.

We’ll see how long this lasts.  (Please don’t wait until the ninth inning.)

1st at-bat, 1st inning: With one out and Tyson Gillies on first, McOwen popped out to first. Just kidding – I have no idea what I was looking at. McOwen bunted into a force out with one out and Kuo Hui Lo on first base.

10:56 PM – McOwen is scheduled to lead off the top of the third for High Desert. The Mavericks trail Modesto, 2-0.

10:59 PM – McOwen walks on four pitches to lead off the inning.  With the count at 3-and-0, High Desert’s announcer remarked that one of the amazing things about the streak is McOwen’s refusal to chase bad pitches just to preserve the streak.

11:11 PM – McOwen is now leading the league in hitting – his average stands at .354 after tonight’s 0-for-1.  Alex Liddi has gone 0-for-2 with two strikeouts to lower his mark to .353.  What does this mean in the grand scheme of things?  Ab-solutely nothing.

11:14 PM – Modesto pitcher Connor Graham has eight strikeouts through four innings.  He has allowed just two hits, both first inning singles.

11:28 PM – Graham comes out early.  I was only half-listening, but I believe they said he was coming back from an injury and being held to a strict pitch count.  He went five scoreless, allowed two hits, walked one, and struck out nine.  High Desert’s Tyson Gillies led off the sixth with a single.

11:33 PM – McOwen grounds into a 6-4-3 double play.  He is now 0-for-3 with a walk.  He will have at least one more chance to extend the streak.

12:21 PM – McOwen is due up second in the ninth against Craig Baker and his 21 saves.

12:23 PM – McOwen goes down on strikes.  Unless High Desert ties it up (Kuo Hui Lo is on first with one out in a 2-0 ballgame) the hit streak is all done.

12:25 PM – Alex Liddi strikes out for the third time in four at-bats and it’s official: Jamie McOwen’s 45-game hitting streak is done, finished.  The little * that denotes an active streak can be removed.

Andrew says I jinxed him.  I say nay.  With the media attention that dude was getting over the last week or two, there’s no way Karma looked at the hero worship being laid on him by a small minor league blog and said,  “We can’t have that.”  Karma isn’t that petty…I don’t think.  If she is, well, sorry Jamie.

Oh well, we’ll just have to find something else interesting to latch onto.  Hey, Baker has 22 straight saves for Modesto.  Hmm…

Jamie McOwen’s 45-Game Hit Streak, Day-By-Day

I’m sure minor league day-by-day stats exist somewhere online, but I can never seem to find them. So when I wanted to know more about the ins and outs of Jamie McOwen’s 45-game hitting streak, I hit the box scores and put together some information on my own.

A few points of interest:

  • McOwen has hit .398 during the streak to raise his season average from .270 to .355.
  • He has gone nearly two calendar months without failing to get a hit in a game.
  • He has hit more triples (5) than homeruns (3) during the streak, and nearly has as many triples as he does doubles (6).
  • The streak has been extended by a single base hit twenty-five games, including the first six games.  On the other hand, McOwen has multiple hits in eight of his last eleven games.
  • During McOwen’s streak, High Desert has won a 21-inning game that lasted 7 hours and 34 minutes over two days (longest in league history) and lost a 33-18 game that featured 58 hits and six errors.  He did not play in the first game and broke the California League record for longest hitting streak in the second.

McOwen’s monster streak shouldn’t be surprising.  His bio at MiLB.com notes that in 2008, he had five hitting streaks of at least seven games, so he has periods of time where he appears to lock in and see the ball well.  He has extended his current record-breaking streak with broken bat hits and infield singles, elements of luck that didn’t materialize to tie everything together last season.

1. May 10 @ Lake Elsinore – 1-5, 3B, RBI (.270)
2. May 12 @ Rancho Cucamonga – 1-4, RS, RBI, 2 SO (.269)
3. May 13 @ Rancho Cucamonga – 1-4, RS, SO (.269)
4. May 15 vs. Stockton – 1-2, 2 BB (.273)
5. May 16 vs. Stockton – 1-5, RBI, SO (.270)
6. May 18 vs. Stockton – 1-2, RS, 2B, RBI, BB (.274)
7. May 19 vs. Rancho Cucamonga – 3-6, 2 RS, 2B, 3B, 2 RBI, SO (.285)
8. May 20 vs. Rancho Cucamonga – 2-4, 2 RBI (.291)
9. May 21 vs. Rancho Cucamonga – 1-5, RBI (.288)
10. May 22 @ Lancaster – 2-5, RS, SO (.292)
11. May 27 vs. Lake Elsinore – 2-3, RS, BB, SO (.300)
12. May 28 vs. Lake Elsinore – 2-4, SO (.306)
13. May 29 vs. Lake Elsinore – 1-4 (.304)
14. May 30 vs. Lake Elsinore – 1-4 (.303)
15. June 1 vs. Inland Empire – 1-3, RS, BB, SO (.303)
16. June 2 vs. Inland Empire – 1-4, RS, SO (.302)
17. June 3 vs. Inland Empire – 2-4, SO (.307)
18. June 5 @ Stockton – 1-5, RS, RBI (.302)
19. June 6 @ Stockton – 1-3, 2 RS, BB (.304)
20. June 7 @ Stockton – 3-3, RS, 2 RBI, BB (.316)
21. June 8 @ Visalia – 1-3, RBI (.316)
22. June 9 @ Visalia – 1-5, RBI, 2 SO (.313)
23. June 10 @ Visalia – 1-4, RBI (.312)
24. June 12 vs. Lancaster – 2-5, SO (.314)
25. June 13 vs. Lancaster – 1-4, RBI (.313)
26. June 15 vs. Rancho Cucamonga – 1-4, SO (.312)
27. June 16 vs. Rancho Cucamonga – 2-2 (.318)
28. June 17 vs. Rancho Cucamonga –1-4 (.317)
29. June 18 @ Inland Empire – 3-5, RS, 3B, SO (.324)
30. June 19 @ Inland Empire – 1-4, RS, SO (.322)
31. June 20 @ Inland Empire – 1-4, 2 RS, 2 RBI, BB (.321)
32. June 21 @ Inland Empire – 2-4 (.324)
33. June 25 vs. Bakersfield – 3-5, RS, 2B, SO (.330)
34. June 26 vs. Bakersfield – 1-4 (.329)
35. June 27 vs. Bakersfield – 3-5, 2 RS, 2B, 2 RBI, BB (.335)
36. June 28 vs. Lake Elsinore – 2-6, 2 RS, HR, 4 RBI (.335)
37. June 30 vs. Lake Elsinore – 2-5, 2 RS, 2B, HR, 2 RBI (.336)
38. July 1 @ Rancho Cucamonga – 2-3, 2B, 3 RBI (.340)
39. July 2 @ Rancho Cucamonga – 3-4, RS, 3B (.346)
40. July 3 @ Rancho Cucamonga – 1-3, RBI, BB, SO (.346)
41. July 4 vs. Visalia – 3-4, RS (.352)
42. July 5 vs. Visalia – 1-3, RBI, BB, SO (.352)
43. July 6 vs. Visalia – 2-4, 2 RS, 3B, HR, 3 RBI, BB (.354)
44. July 7 @ San Jose – 1-4, 2 SO (.353)
45. July 8 @ San Jose – 2-4, BB, 2 SO (.355)
Totals: 72-181 (.398), 6 2B, 5 3B, 3 HR, 34 RBI, 28 RS, 12 BB, 24 SO

Blah Blah Blah McOwen Has A Hit In 45 Straight Games Blah Blah Blah

It’s official: I have run out of ways to say that Jamie McOwen is really good. He wasted no time extending his hitting streak to 45 games tonight, singling off San Jose’s Oliver Odle in the first inning. A hit in tomorrow’s series finale against the Giants (game time: 7 PM, Pacific Time) would tie him with Johnny Bates for the seventh longest in the history of the world (or, minor league baseball).

McOwen’s Hit Streak Reaches 44 Games

One of these days, I’ll write about something or somebody other than Jamie McOwen. It’s not completely my fault, though – HE’S the one who keeps getting hits every day.

McOwen was 0-for-3 against San Jose on Tuesday before singling with one out in the eighth inning to extend his hitting streak to 44 games. It is the seventh eighth* longest minor league streak of all-time; the first six were all compiled prior to 1954.

High Desert plays San Jose again tomorrow at 7:05 PDT.

*(The Baseball-Reference Bullpen link does not, for whatever reason, include Johnny Bates’ 46-game hitting streak for Nashville in 1925.)

Also, a fun tidbit that I just read at MiLB.com – McOwen’s streak-extending hit was a broken bat single. It never hurts to have a little luck.

Jamie McOwen Is A Machine; Hitting Streak At 43 Games

Jamie McOwen started tonight’s game against Visalia 0-for-2 before hammering a homerun to right field leading off the fifth inning. The roundtripper extended his hitting streak to 43 games, tying Brandon Watson for the longest streak since 1961.

One more game will tie him with Pete Rose for the tenth longest professional hitting streak all-time and the longest minor league streak since 1954. McOwen should beware, however, the dangers of the number 43: four streaks, including Watson’s 2007 mark and Howie Bedell’s 1961 run, ended at 43 games.

High Desert third baseman Alex Liddi homered the inning before McOwen, his twentieth of the year.