April 2010

Early Opening Day pics

I asked, and you replied. Over on Twitter (@JonathanMayoB3), I told people to send me some pictures if they were at Opening Day games. Got some good ones so far. Keep them coming!

This one comes from Mike Ashmore (follow him @mashmore98) at the Hunterdon County Democrat. He blogs about the Trenton Thunder as well. Here’s Yankees prospect Austin Romine during infield practice pre-game.

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Another Trenton shot, this one from the Thunder’s official Twitter feed (@TrentonThunder), of pre-game festivities.

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And finally (for now), from Bowie, the debut of the Richmind Flying Squirrels, courtesy of Kevin Wilson (@KWBaseball).

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Alvarez and Santana do what they do

You have to love when top prospects are in the same game and deliver what people want to see.

Such is the case in the Indianapolis-Columbus game. Indians catching prospect Carlos Santana has hit one of three Clippers homers to give a 4-3 lead. For his part, top Pirates prospect Pedro Alvarez has hit a two-run shot for Indy. Carlos Carrasco on the mound for Columbus in that one, btw.

More power in the International League

Tyler Flowers and Jordan Danks go yard for Charlotte
Jacque Jones and Brock Peterson deep for Rochester
Tug Hulett for Pawtucket

More pop, pitching… and pictures to come!

Power for Louisville

Daniel Dorn and Corky Miller have gone yard for the Bats in Toledo. Meanwhile, Sam LeCure has thrown up five shutout innings and Louisville has a 5-0 lead.

More to come…

Bernadina goes deep! Chiefs win it in bottom of 9th. More on tap…

Lehigh Valley had taken a 7-6 lead in the top of the ninth, but Roger Bernadina hit one out in the bottom of the frame to tie it back up. Pete Orr drove in Kevin Mench to win it for Syracuse and pick up the first walk-off of the Minor League season.

This game will eventually come to an end, so I’m sure you’re wondering where else to turn for MiLB entertainment tonight. You really can’t go wrong, but I have to say the matchup of the day has to be…

Durham at Nofolk

Not only is this game on MiLB Gameday Audio, it’s got a great pitching matchup. You’ve got No. 20 prospect Jeremy Hellickson for Durham against fine  young right-hander (and one-time top prospect)  Chris Tillman. That game starts at 7:15 p.m.

There are some other fantastic International League games. How about:

  • No. 8 Pedro Alvarez and No. 11 Carlos Santana in the same game? Indianapolis at Columbus starts at 7:05 p.m. and you can watch it if you get MiLB.TV (which you should).
  • Buffalo at Scranton, 7 p.m. It’s also on MiLB.TV, where you can watch No. 19 Jesus Montero swing the stick.
  • Louisville at Toledo. That game’s on right now. No “huge” names today, but still, minors on TV, folks.

Speaking of pitching (I did up above, stay with me), how about this sampling for fine 2010 debuts (all times ET):

  • No. 17 Kyle Drabek making his Jays debut for Double-A New Hampshire at New Britain. Start time is 6:05 p.m. and can be heard on Gameday Audio
  • No. 42 Jacob Turner, a 2009 first-rounder, makes his professional debut for the Tigers with West Michigan in Lake County. 6:30 start time.
  • No. 41 Aaron Crow, also a 2009 first-rounder, makes his official debut for the Royals in Double-A as NW Arkansas hosts San Antonio. 7 p.m. on Gameday Audio
  • No. 34 Julio Teheran hits full-season ball and starts for Rome in the South Atlantic League in Kannapolis. 7 p.m. Gameday Audio
  • No. 43 Mike Montgomery starts for Wilmington in the Carolina League in Myrtle Beach. Added bonus: Alex Gordon rehab assignment. 7 p.m. start time. Gameday Audio
  • Finally (for now), when Tulsa hosts Corpus Christi at 8 p.m., No. 23 Christrian Friedrich will be on the hill. Gameday Audio

This, of course, doesn’t cover the half of it. So check back here frequently for updates.

If you see anything going on, pass it along in comments or email me at jonathan.mayo@mlb.com. Even better, if you’re at or going to a Minor League opener today, let me know, take pictures and pass them along. I’ll post them here as the night goes on.

First round-tripper goes to…

Syracuse shortstop Seth Bynum, a two-run shot off of Brian Mazone in the bottom of the second. Pitcher J.D. Martin tripled in a run in the inning  as well to give the Chiefs a 3-1 lead. 

Let the live blogging commence

We’re now less than two hours from the official start of the Minor League season. It seems like Syracuse has become the Cincinnati of the Minors (you know, before the ESPN Sunday night game became the opener). It feels like the season starts in Chiefs country every year. This time, the Nationals’ Triple-A affiliate hosts Lehigh Valley, the Phillies’ farm club.

Some things for your reading pleasure as we prepare for an exciting day and night of baseball and blogging. First, here’s my update on where the Top 50 prospects are starting the season. Since the International League is kicking things off, here’s a look at what’s in store for that highest level in 2010. Or you can check out our overall coverage of MiLB Opening Day.

As for this IronPigs-Chiefs contest, it’s Brian Mazone vs. J.D. Martin. Prospect-wise, the best guys to watch in this game are probably Syracuse OF Justin Maxwell. They also have Josh Whitesell, who’s always hit well in the Minors. For Lehigh Valley, John Mayberry Jr. is still worth tracking. You can listen to the game (and many, many others) via MiLB.com’s free Gameday Audio service.

Enjoy the day everyone. I’ll be back once things get underway

Back in the saddle with some draft stuff

I’m not going to even bother apologizing. My bad entirely for not hopping on here earlier. Draft season is moving along quickly now. Be sure to check out our 2010 Draft section frequently. We’re over 50 Draft Reports and counting (9 more coming on Friday) and a bunch of features on top guys.

As the season warms up, we’re starting to get a better feel of what this class is looking like. I’m going to make an effort to get on here more and start providing more updates. For now, here’s what I promised a while back, a look at how the guys I had on my super-early, talent-based Nos. 11-20 are doing so far.

11. James Paxton, LHP, Kentucky — After a dispute with the NCAA, Paxton left Kentucky and has signed with the Grand Prairie AirHogs in the indy American Association. Their season starts on May 14. He had returned to Kentucky after not signing with the Blue Jays as their supplemental irst-round pick. Now he’ll go the indy route that worked for guys like Tanner Scheppers, Aaron Crow and Max Scherzer in the past.

12. Deck McGuire, RHP, Georgia Tech — He’s continued to cement himself as one of the more solid college pitchers out there this year. He’s gone 5-1 with a 1.53 ERA over seven starts. He’s allowed just 40 hits (for a .215 BAA) and 12 walks while striking out 54. Check out his Draft Report.

13. A.J. Cole, RHP, Oviedo HS, Fla
— You can check out his Draft Report. Cole continues to be mentioned among the top high school arms in the class.
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14. Kevin Gausman, RHP, Grandview HS, Col. — The last time I spoke about him with a scout, I did not get that glowing of a report. I’ll be sure to follow-up on this one as we get closer to June.
 
15. Brandon Workman, RHP, Texas — Read the Draft Report. He won’t be the top college arm taken — maybe he’s near the top of the “second tier” — but he certainly has a track record at a major program. He’s gone 5-1 with a 3.09 ERA over seven starts. In 46 2/3 IP, he’s given up 46 hits (.251 BAA) and nine walks while striking out 44.

16. LeVon Washington, 2B, Chipola JC, Fla. — The stock is definitely falling for the Rays’ first-round pick from a year ago. There’s been some concern about a lack of energy and he’s played in just 11 of his team’s 22 games. Over 39 at-bats, he’s hit just .231/.333/.308.

17. Micah Gibbs, C, LSU — Solid college catchers are always in demand. Ones that can hit are even better. Gibbs has helped himself Draft-wise by hitting .396 over his first 27 games.  He’s got a .461 OBP and .604 SLG. He’s even stolen six bases in six tries. Defensively, he’s only thrown out 6 in 26 tries.

18. Stetson Allie, RHP, Olmstead Falls HS, Ohio — I don’t have much info on him yet as I was waiting for things to warm up in Ohio first.

19. Christian Colon, SS, Cal State Fullerton — Read his Draft Report. One of the more dependable college bats who had a huge summer with Team USA, he got off to an awful start to the season, but has really come on of late. Through 26 games, he’s now up to .330/.430/.615. He’s got eight homers and eight steals and continues to be the type who impresses with his baseball know-how and leadership.

20. Yordy Cabrera, SS, Lakeland HS, Fla. — Check out the Draft Report. Cabrera is one of those toolsy, dream on the potential high school bat types. The question is: Will he make consistent enough contact? 

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