August 2008

South Atlantic League All-Stars

The South Atlantic League just announced their 2008 All-Star Team. This isn’t to be confused with the midseason team. According to the release, “The All-Star Team was voted on by the 16 South Atlantic League Teams’ Field
Managers, General Managers, Sportswriters and Broadcasters for a total of 64
votes.

One interesting thing the SAL does is name a  top pitcher, an MVP and a top MLB  Prospect. Here’s who got chosen for what, along with the entire team:

Most Outstanding Pitcher

Madison Bumgarner

Augusta GreenJackets

Most Outstanding MLB Prospect

Jason Heyward

Rome Braves

Most Valuable Player

Darin Holcomb

Asheville Tourists

Manager

Joe Mikulik

Asheville Tourists

Coach

Ross Grimsley

Augusta GreenJackets

RH Pitcher

Jhoulys Chacin

Asheville Tourists

LH Pitcher

Madison Bumgarner

Augusta GreenJackets

Catcher

Jesus Montero

Charleston RiverDogs

First Baseman

Frederick Freeman

Rome Braves

Second Baseman

Everth Cabrera

Asheville Tourists

Shortstop

Freddy Galvis

Lakewood BlueClaws

Third Baseman

Darin Holcomb

Asheville Tourists

Utility Infielder

Steffan Wilson

West Virginia Power

Outfielder

Jason Heyward

Rome Braves

Outfielder

Michael Stanton

Greensboro Grasshoppers

Outfielder

Michael Mitchell

Asheville Tourists

Utility Outfielder

Caleb Gindl

West Virginia Power

Designated Hitter

Eric Fryer

West Virginia Power

Post-deadline trades

It hasn’t been fast and furious, but there have been a few along the way here as teams make final adjustments for playoff pushes. Greg Maddux goes to LA for a pair of prospects to be named. I’m efforting to find out who they are, but chances we won’t know until after the season, when teams make their 40-man roster decisions and the like.

The other trade was Eddie Guardado heading back to Minnesota for a Minor Leaguer. That Minor Leaguer turned out to be Mark Hamburger, leading to the perfect line:  We’ll gladly pay you for Every Day with a Hamburger today. Can’t take credit for it — MiLB.com’s Jason Ratliff is the comedic genius behind the phrase…

I was all set to find out about Hamburger and what he’s about, but then I saw that Jamey Newberg did a better job then I ever could over on The Newberg Report. In a nutshell, he’s non-drafted free agent with a good arm out of the bullpen in the  lower level of the minors.  Read Jamey’s report for all the details, though…

Finally, I need to pat myself on the back a bit now. Ever since he made his big-league debut with the Mets in 2006, I’ve told anyone asking and willing to listen that if the Mets just let him pitch and left him alone, Mike Pelfrey would be just fine. Lo and behold, look at him now. Obviously, some coaching has helped as well, but he made adjustments and how his plus stuff is taking over. He’s got 13 wins and a 3.70 ERA with a month left in the season. It’s been under 3.00 over the past two months He’s not a rookie officially, but for me this is really his first full year and he’s turning into the top-of-the-rotation guy I thought he’d be. After back-to-back CG wins, it’s clear he’s the No. 2 on that staff behind Johan Santana. So to all you who doubted that (ahem, Casey Stern), I’m here to say I told you so…

Catching up…

Back from vacay now and wanted to pass along a few things, now that I’ve settled back into reality and recovered from the draft signing deadline.

The main thing was my experience at the third annual Futures at Fenway. I attended the first one, but not the 2007 version, and I was happy to go back. Much like the first Road to Wrigley game (read Lisa Winston’s post about her trip there), it taps into a crazy fan base that will watch anything that has anything to do with the parent club. Fenway was packed again to watch Lowell and Pawtucket play in a doubleheader. No great prospects, but 36,000 or so people didn’t seem to mind. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — every team that has the geographic ability to do this sort of thing really should. It’s great for the fans, great for the Minor Leaguers, really a win-win for everyone involved. Working on getting the video posted here, but for now, you can go to MiLB.com, click on the Multimedia tab under the top story area, and click on the link for the Futures at Fenway feature.

We’ve got some serious playoff races going on around the Minors. We’ll have previews for every league in due time. There are five possible clinchings today:

International League: Louisville clinches the West division with a win or Toledo loss.  Watch the Bats game on MiLB.TV.

Pacific Coast League: Sacramento clinches Pacific South with a win and a Las Vegas loss. Listen to the River Cats game on MiLB.com Gameday Audio.

Florida State League: Dunedin clinches West with win.

Appalachian League: Pulaski clinches East with win or Danville loss; Elizabethton clinches West with win or Johnson City loss. You can hear Pulaski go for the clinch at home tonight on MiLB.com Gameday Audio.

Flood Relief Auction complete

Well done, folks. There was a bit of a late surge, mostly on that 2003 Futures Game ball. When all was said and done, it looks like the auction raised (after operational fees, etc. are taken out) right around $1,600, which will go to MiLB Charities. Not quite the $2,000 I was hoping for, but not a bad chunk of change, either. Congrats to all the winners — enjoy your new pieces of memorabilia and remember that by getting them, you’ve helped some folks out who really need it right now.

Auction clock is ticking…

There’s just over two hours left in our MiLB.com Charity Auction,
folks, plenty of time to get in on the action. There’s been some
activity, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get into the bidding.
We’re just under $1600 as of this post — I really want to get to 2K,
so get in there and bid! 

Flood Relief Charity Auction

Folks, I need your help. We’ve got this great charity auction going over on MiLB.com. The money raised will go to MiLB Charities, which will help cities and towns that were hit hard by the recent flooding. There’s some great stuff worth bidding on. Each player involved played in one of the Minor League towns that was hit particularly hard. I’ll list them below for easy perusal. As of this writing, the grand total was just over $1100. We can do a lot better than that, can’t we? Spread the word any way you can before the deadline (Wednesday, 4 p.m. ET)

Futures2006.jpgTeam Autographed Baseball from the 2006 Futures Game

The ball is signed by Jaime Garcia (Quad Cities, 2006) and Howie Kendrick (Cedar Rapids, 2004) among many others.

morneauball.jpgJustin Morneau Autographed Baseball

A ball signed by 2008 HR Derby champion and Twins All-Star Justin Morneau, who played in Quad Cities in 2001.

Futures2003.jpgTeam Autographed Baseball from the 2003 Futures Game

The ball is signed by Joe Mauer (Quad Cities, 2002) and Ervin Santana (Cedar Rapids, 2002) among many others.

pieball.jpgFelix Pie Autographed Baseball

A ball signed by Cubs outfielder Felix Pie, who has played for Iowa (in Des Moines) from 2006-2008.

mauerbat.jpgJoe Mauer Autographed Bat

A bat signed by Twins All-Star catcher and batting title winner Joe Mauer, who played in Quad Cities in 2002.

wagnerjersey.jpgBilly Wagner Game-Worn Jersey from 2008 Civil Rights Game

The Mets closer wore this jersey at the 2008 Civil Rights Game in Memphis. Wagner played in Quad Cities in 1994.

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