October 2008

And One More Thing … Giants

You can check out my thoughts on the Giants organization here.

The Giants have been getting a lot of attention for their good young pitchers, and it’s well-deserved. The amazing thing is there’s more than most even realize, with young phenoms like Madison Bumgarner and Tim Alderson getting most of the attention (again, rightfully so).

That leaves a guy like lefty Jesse English in the shadows… and not even getting a mention in my review. Instead of explaining who he is, I suggest you read Lisa Winston’s terrific feature on him. In a nutshell: a 2002 draftee taken out of high school, has a litany of injury problems that keep him on the shelf a lot, cost him nearly two years of playing and had limited him to relief work in the past. Fast-forward to 2008, he joins the San Jose star-studded rotation, his first full-time gig in a full-season league, and promptly finished fourth in the California League in ERA (3.19 — Alderson and fellow Giant Kevin Pucetas finished 1-2), tied with Alderson for third in wins with 13 and third with 135 K’s (in 135 1/3 IP). He might get overlooked now, but if he keeps performing like this, he won’t be forgotten in the future.

And One More Thing … Orioles

Be sure to check out my review of the Orioles organization. We can’t cover everyone in that story, so we’re blogging just “one more thing” on a daily basis…

Back in 2006, the O’s took New Orleans-area infielder Ryan Adams in the second round of the draft. Not that he was forgotten, but he did start slowly, spending his first two seasons as a pro in short-season ball. A year ago, he hit just .236 in the NY-Penn League, so it’s not like the second baseman was forcing the organization’s hand at all.

Something clicked in this season, though. Making his full-season debut with Delmarva while turning 21 in April, Adams finished sixth in the South Atlantic League with a .308 average. He also slugged .462 and while that may not be Wieters-esque, it’s not bad for a young middle infielder. Adams finished the year with 11 homers, 26 doubles and five triples while also swiping a dozen bases. It should be interesting to see how he builds on that when he moves up to Frederick in 2009.

AFL Day 1: Star of the Day

Hey all —

I’m going to try and do this as frequently as I can (tomorrow, I won’t be able to due to Yom Kippur). But I didn’t want to miss out on awarding a B3 AFL Star of the Day after the first day of games.

After polling an esteemed panel, there seemed to be two good choices, both from the Peoriaaustin_jackson.jpg Javelinas and New York Yankees organization: Phil Hughes and Austin Jackson. The Javs beat up on the Rafters, 10-3. Hughes pitched very well (5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 5 BB, 7 K) and it certainly is rare to see a pitcher in the AFL go five innings right off the bat. But in the end, the five walks made us tip the scale to Jackson, the outfielder who went 2-for-4 with a triple and four RBIs as the No. 3 hitter in the Javs lineup. So congrats, Austin, you’re our first Star of the Day for the 2008 AFL season.

We also had another slew of AFL blogs go up, with the NL Central representing well:

Cubs: Steve Clevenger
Reds: Drew Stubbs
Astros: Brian Bogusevic
Brewers: Taylor Green
Pirates: Jeff Sues
Cardinals: Jeff Fiske

The organizational reviews keep coming as well. Today, it’s the Padres system under review. Kevin C’s got “One More Thing” on the Padres over on his terrific blog.

AFL blog-o-rama and more cool stuff

Hey, folks, sorry I’ve not been on here in a while — been a crazy several weeks. Not a good excuse, but I’m back and hope to be more active now that exciting AFL action is about to begin.

With that in mind, I wanted to let you all know about a new wrinkle to our coverage: AFL blogs. The days of journals are gone with the dinosaurs (you know, those things Sarah Palin claims ran the earth in the 1920s…). Not only did we go out and try to find a few bloggers to discuss their experiences in the Arizona Fall League, we decided to try to find one for every MLB organization! That’s right 30 blogs for your reading pleasure (still working on securing all of them, but we will). We’ve got lead bloggers for each organization and we’ll work to get guest bloggers from each team to chip in as well to give you as robust a look at life in the AFL as anyone has ever seen.

Today, we kicked things off with the NL West and I’m happy and proud to link you up:

Diamondbacks: Lead blogger — Hector Ambriz
Dodgers: Lead blogger — Lucas May
Giants: Lead blogger — Kevin Pucetas
Padres: Lead blogger — Chad Huffman
Rockies: Lead blogger — Mike McKenry (We had some technical issues with this one, so look for his first post later on today)

Games kick off tomorrow (Tuesday, Oct. 7), so keep an eye out for all our great coverage at our AFL site.

In addition to the AFL stuff, we’ve also kicked off our annual organizational reviews and I must say that this year they look better than ever, from both an aesthetic and content perspective. Kevin Czerwinski kicks things off with our look at the Washington Nationals. One of the cooler things we’re doing this year is name MiLB.com organizational hitters and pitchers of the year in each review. For the Nats, it was Roger Bernadina and Jordan Zimmerman being so honored. To cap it off, Kevin C.’s has added “One More Thing” about the Nats on his excellent blog: Minor Leagues, Major Thoughts.

Tomorrow, we’ve got Kevin’s Mariners review. And I promise to have a lot more to say about the AFL and other things as we move forward from here. So welcome back, and if you’re a first-timer, thanks for checking this out… 

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