Posts Tagged ‘Nashville Sounds’

Manny is Radioactive!!!

24manny_600

Remember those old Bugs Bunny cartoons, where Bugs would get lost, and then scratch his head and say “I must have made a wrong turn at Albequerque”?

Imagine how Manny Ramirez feels right now.

Man Ram began his comeback from suspension last night by joining the AAA Albuquerque Isotopes in a home game against the Nashville Sounds. Manny, like any recovering drug abuser, is taking life one day at a time:

Ramirez said his goals for his time in the Minor Leagues were pretty basic: “Get a feel for my legs, how my legs are going to respond.”

[mlb.com]

Manny being Minor League meant going 0-2 in limited action, so we won’t be seeing him on the Z-Meter any time soon.

The Z-Meter: 5/15/2009

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.

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)

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

Just a quickie update in the wake of Mat Gamel’s callup to Milwaukee. Gamel and Matt LaPorta were teammates before LaPorta got traded. It always seemed like they’d both be in the majors this year, and it sure worked out that way. Good luck to the Wonder Mat(t)s!

Replacing Mr. Gamel will be Ezekiel Spruill, who makes it on merit (6-0 start with a 1.91 ERA), and on name quality. That’s right, double threat.


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): .276 AVG – 29 R – 1 HR – 12 RBI – 13 BB – 7 SB – .488 SLG – .833 OPS

Wade Davis, RHP – Durham Bulls (Rays): 7 Games – 3W – 1L – 3.71 ERA – 20 BB – 25 K

Kila Kaaihue, 1B – Omaha Royals – .240 – 24 R – 5 HR – 18 RBI – 33 BB – 0 SB – .470 SLG – .880 OPS

Alcides Escobar, SS – Nashville Sounds (Brewers): .265 – 23 R – 2 HR – 10 RBI – 10 BB – 18 SB – .346 SLG – .665 OPS

Carlos Carrasco, RHP – Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (Phillies): 7 Starts – 0 W – 4 L – 6.62 ERA – 8 BB – 37 K

Ramiro Pena, SS – Scranton-Wilkes Barre Yankees: .280 – 5 R – 0 HR – 4 RBI – 4 BB – 1 SB – .360 SLG – .693 OPS

Matt Wieters, C – Norfolk Tides (Orioles): .270 AVG – 18 R – 3 HR – 16 RBI – 16 BB – 0 SB – .430 SLG – .798 OPS

Fernando Martinez, CF – Buffalo Bisons (Mets): .273 AVG – 12 R – 3 HR – 17 RBI – 7 BB – 0 SB – .479 SLG – .795 OPS

Austin Jackson, OF – Scranton Wilkes-Barre (Yankees): .360 – 17 R – 0 HR – 13 RBI – 12 BB – 7 SB – .441 SLG – .870 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): 8 Games – 4 Starts – 2 W – 1 L – 2 SV – 1.63 ERA – 6 BB – 32 K

Lars Anderson, 1B – Portland SeaDogs (Red Sox): .232 AVG – 14 R – 2 HR – 15 RBI – 12 BB – 0 SB – .357 SLG – .661 OPS

Jhoulys Chacin, RHP – Tulsa Drillers (Rockies): 7 Starts – 3 W – 3 L – 3.23 ERA – 13 BB – 28 K

Carlos Santana, C – Akron Aeros (Indians): .270 AVG – 21 R – 6 HR – 22 RBI – 23 BB – 0 SB – .528 SLG – .945 OPS

Justin Smoak, 1B – Frisco RoughRiders (Rangers): .345 AVG – 20 R – 5 HR – 20 RBI – 26 BB – 0 SB – .534 SLG – 1.003 OPS

Madison Bumgarner, LHP – Connecticut Defenders (Giants): 1 Start – 1 W – 0 L – 1.50 ERA – 0 BB – 2 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): .217 AVG – 7 R – 2 HR – 13 RBI – 7 BB – 0 SB – .349 SLG – .621 OPS

Mike Moustakas, SS – Wilmington Blue Rocks (Royals): .275 AVG – 23 R – 5 HR – 25 RBI – 7 BB – 2 SB – .467 SLG – .779 OPS

Pedro Alvarez, 3B – Lynchburg Hillcats (Pirates): .200 AVG – 16 R – 6 HR – 26 RBI – 20 BB – 0 SB – .383 SLG – .694 OPS

Che-Hsuan Lin, OF – Salem Red Sox: .175 AVG – 15 R – 0 HR – 5 RBI – 12 BB – 4 SB – .216 SLG – .491 OPS

Josh Vitters, 3B – Peoria Chiefs (Cubs): .309 AVG – 15 R – 3 HR – 13 RBI – 3 BB – 1 SB – .445 SLG – .793 OPS

Shooter Hunt, RHP – Beloit Snappers (Twins): 6 Games – 0 W – 1 L – 10.34 ERA – 30 BB – 15 K

Collin Cowgill, OF – Visalia Rawhide (Diamondbacks): .298 AVG – 26 R – 5 HR – 25 RBI – 14 BB – 5 SB – .529 SLG – .912 OPS

Mauricio Robles, P – West Michigan Whitecaps (Tigers): 6 Starts – 2 W – 1 L – 2.56 ERA – 13 BB – 47 K

Tim Beckham, SS – Bowling Green Hot Rods (Rays): .298 AVG – 13 R – 2 HR – 23 RBI – 4 BB – 1 SB – .439 SLG – .758 OPS

Ezekiel Spruill, RHP – Rome Braves (Braves): 7 Games – 6 W – 0 L – 1 SV – 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: 11 Starts – 11W – 0L – 1.24 ERA – 17 BB – 164 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.

Doesn’t Matter What Leagues You Played In: 330 Is A Big Number

A few weeks ago, after Russell Branyan hit three homeruns in one game for the Nashville Sounds, I looked up his minor league stats at Baseball-Reference.com.  The results were a little surprising: Branyan had more than 200 homeruns in his minor league career, highlighted by back-to-back seasons of 40 and 39 in 1996-97. 

By the time Branyan got the call from Milwaukee on Sunday, he had run that total to 210 homeruns.  Add in the 121 he has hit so far at the major league level, and we’re talking about a fairly impressive career tally, more than 330 roundtrippers in fifteen seasons as a professional (and a good chance of reaching 350, probably in 2009).

“I play for a love of the game, and the game’s not fun if you don’t produce and you’re not performing,” Branyan said. “I’m going to keep playing this game as long as I can, as long as I’m having fun and playing well.”

At Bus Leagues, we tend to focus on the prospects, the young guys striving to make the leap to The Show, and there’s nothing wrong with that.  Some of the stories and players there are quite remarkable.  Sometimes, however, it’s pretty cool to take the time to reflect on a guy like Branyan, who has proven himself at every level, yet remains as hungry as ever to play – and be successful at – Major 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. [ESPN.com]

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 Mag.com]

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). [Milb.com]

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. [Milb.com]

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.

AAA Spotlight: Rehab Start Edition 4/25/2008

We started this blog right at the end of the season last year, so we didn’t have a lot of posts before we went into hibernation. But one that did attract attention was a post about the new Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (Phillies), who opened play this season. The nickname alone is noteworthy, but as I perused the roster, I found something even better – it turns out Kris Benson is an Iron Pig. My favorite part of his official bio is this offhand remark: “Married, wife’s name is Anna”. I wonder if the offer to sleep with all of his teammates if/when Kris cheats still applies in triple-A? [Iron Pigs Baseball]

And, speaking of washed up, Mike Hampton will be coming to Richmond (Braves) soon, trying to make his way back to the parent club. [MiLb.com]

And, the Red Sox hope Bartolo Colon will be ready to play for the Pawtucket club on Cinco de Mayo. I can’t decide if that’s racist or not. [MiLB.com]

Tony Gwynn, Jr. just got back from Nashville, and he’s not havin’ it. “You get a taste of this, and then you go back down there and realize why you don’t want to go back down there,” Gwynn said. “It’s the big leagues! It’s kind of self explanatory.” Hey! Some of us like it down here. [MiLB.com]

And, you’ve already read OMDQ’s ode to Curtis Granderson, and his advice for Scott Kazmir, who both spent some time slumming it with the rest of us this past week.

That’s it! See you next week!

Spotlight on AAA Ball – 4/17/2008

The International League is celebrating 125 years of baseball this season. The 2008 class of the IL Hall of Fame will be the first to receive a statuette called “Curtain Call”, meant to honor the contributions made by HOF-worthy players. I think it’s kind of cool – like the baseball version of an Oscar. [MiLB.com]

Hey, Look! Jeff Weaver’s back! And he’s going to be a Nashville Sound (Brewers)! I don’t know if you remember the guy who tried to sell Weaver on ebay. I am not shitting you when I say that guy was in my fantasy baseball league at work. Oh, how we laughed. Weaver Returns [MLB.com] Weaver sold on eBay [SmartMarks]

As we track prospects, we hear a lot about the Louisville Bats (Reds), with their dynamic duo of Jay Bruce and Homer Bailey lighting up the minors and waiting for their turn in the bigs. Those guys are interesting enough, but I also like to hear about the strivers who hang on for years and do anything to keep playing. Here’s one such story, about a Kentucky native who left the U.S. to play ball in Japan, and now he’s back home. [Louisville Courier-Journal]

Take in a Columbus Clippers (Nationals) game on April 25th, and you’ll get a free baby tree in celebration of Arbor Day. That’s pretty cool. [Clippersbaseball.com]

Things might not ever be like they used to be in New Orleans, but this photo spread from the N.O. Zephyrs definitely gives a ray of hope that there are still good times to be had in the Big Easy [Zephyrs Photo Gallery]

That’ll close out another week of updates from around the minors. We’ll be back with A-ball on Monday.

From Minor to Major

On my other blog I have been tracking rookie hitters all season long, and I finally got a chance to do my statistical analysis. Since most of these guys spent at least part of this season in the minors, it’s fair game.

NAME TEAM G AB R HITS 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO AVG SLG
R. Braun MIL 113 451 91 146 26 6 34 97 15 29 112 .324 .634
A. Gordon KC 151 543 60 134 36 4 15 60 14 41 137 .247 .411
J. Hamilton CIN 90 298 52 87 17 2 19 47 3 33 65 .292 .554
A. Iwamura TB 123 491 82 140 21 10 7 34 12 58 114 .285 .411
K. Kouzmanoff SD 145 484 57 133 30 2 18 74 1 32 94 .275 .457
D. Pedroia BOS 139 520 86 165 39 1 8 50 7 47 42 .317 .442
H. Pence HOU 108 456 57 147 30 9 17 69 11 26 95 .322 .539
T. Tulowitzki COL 155 609 104 177 33 5 24 99 7 57 130 .291 .479
C.B. Young AZ 148 569 85 135 29 3 32 68 27 43 141 .237 .467
D. Young TB 162 645 65 186 38 0 13 93 10 26 127 .288 .408
R. Willits LAA 136 430 74 126 20 1 0 34 27 69 83 .293 .344

Those who spent time in the minors in 2007 are:

Ryan J. Braun – 34 games with the Nashville Sounds
Josh Hamilton – 11 games with the Louisville Bats
Hunter Pence – 25 games with the Round Rock Express

Those just happen to be three of the top hitters in the National League.

The rest were in AAA last year, so the memory is still fresh for player and fan alike. Good luck to these stellar players!