Results tagged ‘ Arizona Fall League ’

Day Three of AFL Aneurysm Awareness Week

We’re through three days of Brain Aneurysm Awareness Week in the Arizona Fall League …

As a reminder, the Joe Niekro Foundation
and the Arizona Fall League are working together again this year to
raise awareness and funds for research on brain aneurysms. As part of
that, we’re counting strikeouts from the pitchers in each of the seven
organizations Joe Niekro pitched for over the course of his Major League
career. Natalie Niekro, Joe’s daughter and founder of the foundation is
donating $36 per strikeout for all K’s from those organizations this
week. In addition, the Cubs, Tigers, Twins and Yankees have agreed to
make a similar donation for their pitchers’ strikeouts as well. And Linda Inglett (find out about her at BAHELP.com) is chipping in with $10 per K as well.

Here’s the update from Wednesday (it was a very good day):

Twins — 6
Astros — 4
Yankees — 2
Cubs — 2
Total: 14 K

Amount raised for the day: $504 (Niekro donation) + $288 (team donation) + $140 (Linda) = $932

Add that to the first two days and we’ve got a grand total of: $1808

David Bromberg probably wasn’t thrilled with his outing, but he deserves kudos for his 4-K contribution to this cause. The overall standings:

Twins — 9
Astros — 6
Tigers — 4
Cubs — 3
Yankees — 3
Padres — 1

As for Star of the Day, we have to stay on the mound for Wednesday. Eric Hurley was ahurley.JPG first-round pick of the Rangers back in 2004, taken 30th overall. He spent three-plus seasons in the Minors before making his big-league debut in 2008. That would also be the last time he would pitch competitively until now, in the Arizona Fall League, thanks to shoulder surgery (left wrist surgery to his left wrist didn’t help, but didn’t really keep him off the mound so much). Had things gone according to plan, he might be in the Rangers rotation during the World Series. Instead, he’s trying to get some innings under his belt with the Surprise Rafters. On Wednesday, he made them count, firing five shutout innings. The right-hander, now 25, allowed only two hits and walked none while striking out five.as the Rafters shut out the Saguaros, 7-0.

Day Two of AFL Aneurysm Awareness Week

First off, I have to give a big shout out to Linda Inglett (check out her story on BAHELP.com). If you didn’t see it on yesterday’s post, Linda announced that she would donate $10 for every strikeout for the week!!!

As a reminder, the Joe Niekro Foundation
and the Arizona Fall League are working together again this year to
raise awareness and funds for research on brain aneurysms. As part of
that, we’re counting strikeouts from the pitchers in each of the seven
organizations Joe Niekro pitched for over the course of his Major League
career. Natalie Niekro, Joe’s daughter and founder of the foundation is
donating $36 per strikeout for all K’s from those organizations this
week. In addition, the Cubs, Tigers, Twins and Yankees have agreed to
make a similar donation for their pitchers’ strikeouts as well.

And now we have Linda to add to the mix. So lets see how things went on Tuesday:

Twins — 2
Yankees — 1
Tigers — 1
Padres — 1
Total: 5 Ks

Total amount raised for the day: $180 (Niekro donation) + $144 (team donation) + $50 (Linda donation) = $374 for Tuesday

Add that to Monday’s total of $432, along with the $70 from Linda for Monday’s K’s and we’re up to $876. Not too bad… anyone else out there want to step up and make a per K donation? And remember, you can always text STRIKEOUT to 20222 to donate $10 to the Joe Niekro Foundation  any time you want.

The overall team standings:

Tigers — 4
Twins — 3
Astros — 2
Cubs — 1
Yankees — 1
Padres — 1

For Star of the Day, as tempting as it is to go with Mariners pitcher Maikel Cleto for hisThumbnail image for Harrison.JPG threeinnings of one-hit, four-strikeout ball, it’s hard to look past the offensive achievements of the folks in that 18-9 Mesa win. Mesa had 22 hits in that one, with the top two in the lineup with four hits apiece (Josh Harrison and Jeremy Moore). Two others had three hits and the Pirates’ Andrew Lambo had four RBIs to go along with his three knocks. Both Harrison and Moore homered and drove in three. But the edge goes to the Pirates’ Harrison, for also doubling twice and scoring five runs from the leadoff spot

Day One of AFL Aneurysm Awareness Week

Well, it wasn’t exactly a rip-roaring start to Brain Aneurysm Awareness Week in the Arizona Fall League on Monday, but every little bit helps.

As a reminder, the Joe Niekro Foundation and the Arizona Fall League are working together again this year to raise awareness and funds for research on brain aneurysms. As part of that, we’re counting strikeouts from the pitchers in each of the seven organizations Joe Niekro pitched for over the course of his Major League career. Natalie Niekro, Joe’s daughter and founder of the foundation is donating $36 per strikeout for all K’s from those organizations this week. In addition, the Cubs, Tigers, Twins and Yankees have agreed to make a similar donation for their pitchers’ strikeouts as well.

After Day 1, here’s where we stand:

Tigers — 3
Astros — 2
Cubs — 1
Twins — 1
Total: 7 Ks

Total amount raised: $252 (Niekro donation) + $180 (team donation) =  $432

Pat Urckfitz (Astros) and Brooks Brown (Tigers) are the early individual leaders, each with a pair of punchouts.

And hey, B3 fans… no comments or involvement from my post yesterday? Come on, pick a team to pull for this week. Get in on the act and tell me which team you think will strikeout the most batters and how many  they’ll whiff.
Thumbnail image for cory.JPG
Star of the Day is a slam dunk from Monday and it’s great because I get to plug our AFLbloggers at the same time. Braves prospect (and blogger) Cory Harrilchak went 4-for-4 on Monday for Phoenix in its 8-6 win against Mesa. The outfielder had three RBIs, two coming on a home run in the second inning. He also scored two runs and stole a base. Harrilchak has gone 13-for-28 (.464) in seven games so far. He’s third in batting average, third in OBP, fourth in SLG and third in OPS. Not a bad start. 

Aneurysm Awareness Week in the AFL

For the second straight year, the Arizona Fall League is teaming up with Natalie Niekro and the Joe Niekro Foundation for Brain Aneurysm Awareness Week in the AFL. Joe Niekro, the great knuckleballer (and Natalie’s father) died in October 2006 from an aneurysm and Natalie started the Foundation to raise funds and awareness about brain aneurysms.

All this week, there will be appearances and announcements and information regarding aneurysms at AFL ballparks all week long. In addition, pitchers for the seven organizations Niekro pitched for will be raising funds simply by striking out the opposition. For every strikeout recorded during the week, Natalie Niekro will donate $36 to her foundation (36 was her dad’s number).

But that’s not all. Four of the seven teams (so far) have committed to giving similar donations of $36 per strikeout from each of their organization’s pitchers. Last year’s effort raised a lot of awareness and several thousand dollars for a great cause.

You can get into the act in two ways. First, and most quickly, you can text

STRIKEOUT to 20222 to donate $10 to the Joe Niekro Foundation and its fight against brain aneurysms. Secondly, I’m listing each organization and the pitchers involved. Pick a team and tell me who you’re pulling for (or predicting will have the most) in comments below. Guess how many strikeouts your team will have (I believe the high for last year was 15). The winner will be the person who picks the leading team and is closest to the correct amount of strikeouts. You gotta be in it to win it.

Here’s the roster of pitchers. By the way, it’s the Yankees, Cubs, Tigers and Twins who have committed to making a donation based on the K totals:

Cubs: David Cales, Chris Carpenter, Jake Muyco, Kyle Smit
Padres: Brad Brach, Erik Davis, Colt Hynes, Alexis Lara
Tigers: Brooks Brown, Matt Hoffman, Chance Ruffin, Brendan Wise
Braves: Michael Broadway, Kyle Cofield, Erik Cordier, Cory Gearrin
Astros: David Carpenter, Kyle Greenwalt, Matt Nevarez, Pat Urckfitz
Yankees: Manuel Banuelos, Craig Heyer, George Kontos, Ryan Pope
Twins:   David Bromberg, Carlos Gutierrez, Tyler Robertson, Kyle Waldrop

Some are pitching today (Monday). Jake Muyco (Cubs) was starting for Mesa and he had one strikeout in his first two innings of work. Brooks Brown (Tigers) is starting tonight for Surprise. I’ll be updating daily on the strikeout totals, so stay tuned to keep up on your picks!

  .

AFL tidbits

Looks like Dustin Ackley’s finger is ok, huh? He returned to action yesterday and picked up three hits, including a double.

Freddie Freeman has what is being called a sprained thumb after diving into third with a triple recently. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that the Braves’ first baseman of the future (or now) had an MRI on Wednesday and it came back saying that there was not too much damage to the left thumb. Looks like he’ll be out at least a week as they wait for the swelling to go down.

For those of you only focusing on the big leagues, Bryce Harper made his unofficial pro debut yesterday and went 1-for-4 with a double and two RBIs.

Star of the Day has to go to Tony Cruz of the Cardinals after his two-homer, four-RBI game.tony_cruz.jpg The 26th-rounder from the 2007 Draft. Cruz has played all over the place, starting out as a third baseman, then moving behind the plate.

He’s also played some first base, a spot he’s played in the AFL in five out of his six games (he caught the other). This was Cruz’s first multi-hit game and he also scored three times.

Stay tuned… tomorrow, I’ll post my very first Top 10 prospects for the Draft Class of 2011.

AFL Star of the Day for Thursday, Oct. 14

Hey all —

Be sure to check out the AFL Interactive page to see who’s been blogging. Jordan Swagerty, Josh Zeid and Cory Harrilchak all have new posts within the past day.

Now on to the Star of the Day for Thursday.

There were a number of strong performances from around the league. Yankees prospect

revere.jpg

Austin
Romine went 3-for-5 with 2 RBIs, a double and even a stolen base. A
pair of Pirates prospects, Jordy Mercer and Tony Sanchez went a combined
6-for-9 with 5 RBIs (Mercer had 4). The Brewers’ Caleb Gindl went
3-for-4 with a pair of doubles. Ryan Lavarnway had a pair of hits,
including a homer, and three RBIs.

But the day’s star goes to Twins outfielder Ben Revere.
The speedy center fielder, the 2007 first-rounder who made his Major
League debut in September, went 4-for-6 with a pair of runs scored, an
RBI and two stolen bases while leading off for the Peoria Saguaros.

Off and running in the AFL

Gotta love this time of year, with the start of winter leagues, especially the Arizona Fall League. They are two games in — looks like Scottsdale’s running away with it, huh? — and high time I start blogging about what’s going on there. (The big news, of course, is that Bryce Harper will be there on Scottsdale’s taxi squad)

Every fall, I make the claim that I’m going to try and pick a Star of the Day each day (at least weekdas) of the AFL. It doesn’t always work out that way, but it’s worth at least giving it a shot, right?

Since two days have passed, we’ll just do one for the two games. While many hitters have

Michael_Taylor.JPG

gotten off to good starts — Ryan Adams went 3-for-3 yesterday to improve to 4-for-7 with a homer and five RBIs, as an example — but the first Star of the Day(s) has to go to Michael Taylor in the A’s organization. The outfielder who went from the Phillies to the Blue Jays to the A’s during the whole Roy Halladay trade extravaganza has shown the power he was known for, but was missing during the 2010 season, so far. He’s homered in both games and gone a combined 5-for-8 with the two homers, four RBIs and 12 total bases (for a 1.500 SLG). He’s even swiped a base.

Pitchers, obviously, have only gone one game, at best, but several have started out well in a league that is notoriously hitting-friendly. Casey Kelly (you can follow him on Twitter @caseykelly23) is the only one to go four innings, allowing just two unearned runs. Brad Holt, Carlos Hernandez, Alex Cobb and Josh Collmenter all went three scoreless in their debuts.

In case you haven’t checked them all out yet, we’ve got a number of prospects blogging from the AFL this year. Here’s the menu for your perusal (all have been pretty active, so check early and often for updates!):

Please read them and leave them comments. Interactivity is the name of the game!

Finally, before I go, there’s something important I want to promote. I did it last year, so for those of you who come to B3 often, they’ll know all about the Joe Niekro Foundation. Natalie Niekro, Joe’s daughter, started it to raise funds for research and to raise awareness about brain aneurysms. Part of that effort will be the second annual Aneurysm Awareness Week in the Arizona Fall League, Oct. 26-30. In addition to having lots of information and appearances in parks during the week to let AFL fans know about aneurysms and the work the foundation is trying to do, a number of pitchers will be doing their part to raise some funds. Here’s how it works:

Joe Niekro played for seven teams over the course of his illustrious career. For the week of Oct. 26, the strikeouts for the pitchers in the AFL from each of those seven organizations will be tallied. Not only has the foundation found a donor to donate $36 per strikeout for the week, but most (I’m working on getting them all) of the teams have committed to making similar donations (You can donate to the foundation by clicking here.).

I’ll be pushing this a lot, especially as we get closer, but if you want to have a rooting interest, here’s a list of the pitchers from each organization who’ll be helping to strikeout aneurysms. And I tell you what, lets get some fan interest going here — the organization who gets the most votes — leave your rooting interest in comments — will get a donation in their name by yours truly. So get behind your team and help raise funds for this worthy cause:

Cubs: David Cales, Chris Carpenter, Jake Muyco, Kyle Smit
Padres: Brad Brach, Erik Davis, Colt Hynes, Alexis Lara
Tigers: Brooks Brown, Matt Hoffman, Chance Ruffin, Brendan Wise
Braves: Michael Broadway, Kyle Cofield, Erik Cordier, Cory Gearrin
Astros: David Carpenter, Kyle Greenwalt, Matt Nevarez, Pat Urckfitz
Yankees: Manuel Banuelos, Craig Heyer, George Kontos, Ryan Pope
Twins:   David Bromberg, Carlos Gutierrez, Tyler Robertson, Kyle Waldrop

Final AFL Joe Niekro Foundation update

Hope everyone had a fun and safe Halloween weekend. While we were out picking up candy on Saturday, Arizona Fall League pitchers were collecting K’s for one last day as part of Aneurysm Awareness Week.

The Arizona Fall League was teaming up with the Joe Niekro Foundation for a great
fundraiser/awareness-raiser last week. Any pitcher from one of the
seven organizations Joe Niekro pitched for who strikes out a batter
this week helps raise money for aneurysm awareness and research. Four
sponsors agreed to donate $36 (Niekro’s number during his playing
days) per strikeout. That’s $144 per K.

The participating pitchers saved the best for last, racking up 17 K’s on Saturday, the most for any one day this week. Here’s how it broke down:

Steve Hirschfeld, Twins (Solar Sox) — 2 K
James Russell, Cubs (Solar Sox) — 1 K
Andrew Oliver, Tigers (Javelinas) — 1 K
Thad Weber, Tigers (Javelinas) — 1 K
Evan Englebrook, Astros (Saguaros) — 1 K
Brandon Gomes, Padres (Saguaros) — 2 K
Craig Kimbrel, Braves (Saguaros) — 2 K
Jeff Lyman, Braves (Saguaros) — 3 K
Zach Kroenke, Yankees (Rafters) — 4 K
Day total: 17 K x $144 per K = $2448
Grand total: 77 K= $11,088

Keep in mind, these are unofficial numbers and the league will be sure to confirm the amount. Whatever it is, it was a great week for a wonderful cause. If you watch MLB Network’s broadcast of the Rising Stars Showcase on Saturday, Nov. 7, you might be able to see Natalie Niekro on hand for the check ceremony.

And she might be able to celebrate more than just the $11,000+ from the fundraiser. Several teams, when they found out about the week’s events, agreed to step up and make a donation in honor of their pitchers performing in the Fall League. The Cubs, Astros and Yankees all said they would make a donation, particularly if their pitchers struck out the most batters this week. Details to come on just what’s being done — and if other teams agree to join in. Here’s how the standings finished:

Yankees — 15 K
Tigers — 15 K
Astros — 10 K
Braves — 10 K
Cubs — 9 K
Twins — 9 K
Padres — 9 K

And, in case you were curious. Here were the individual leaders:

Robbie Weinhardt, Tigers — 7 K
Zach Kroenke, Yankees — 6 K
Andrew Oliver, Tigers — 5 K
8 pitchers tied with 4

Astros join the Aneurysm Awareness Week effort

Got another exciting update on the Arizona Fall League and Joe Niekro Foundation front.

The Arizona Fall League is teaming up with the Joe Niekro Foundation for a great
fundraiser/awareness-raiser this week. Any pitcher from one of the
seven organizations Joe Niekro pitched for who strikes out a batter
this week helps raise money for aneurysm awareness and research. Four
sponsors have agreed to donate $36 (Niekro’s number during his playing
days) per strikeout. That’s $144 per K.

But it’s gotten more interesting the past couple of days. Earlier in the week, the Cubs stepped up and agreed to make a donation to the foundation if the Cubs pitchers in the AFL led the seven organizations in strikeouts for the week.

Now they are not alone. The Astros, with whom Joe Niekro spent 11 of his 22 years in the big leagues, have jumped in as well. If the group of Houston arms in Arizona end up with the most K’s for the week, the Astros will make a donation to the Joe Niekro Foundation as well.

So lets take a look at what happened on Thursday and where things stand:

Mike Minor, Braves (Saguaros) — 2 K
Wilton Lopez, Astros (Saguaros) — 2 K
Chia-Jen Lo, Astros (Saguaros) — 2 K
Mike DeMark, Padres (Saguaros) — 2 K
Evan Scribner, Padres (Saguaros) — 2 K
John Gaub, Cubs (Solar Sox) — 2 K
Day Total: 12 K x $144 per K = $1728
Grant Total: 44 K = $6336

Nice job by those Saguaros yesterday! Looks like the Yankees’ Ian Kennedy and the Tigers’ Scot Drucker are both starting today. Here’s the updated organizational standings (I’ve bolded the two teams who have officially told me they’re “putting their money where their arms are”):

Tigers — 7 K
Twins — 7 K
Cubs — 7 K
Astros — 7 K
Padres — 7 K
Braves — 5 K
Yankees — 4 K

parisi.jpgIt’s hard to pick a Star of the Day for hitters for a change. There were no home runs hit yesterday in the Fall League. That happens about as often as Fox News is Fair and Balanced. I guess we’ll give today’s nod to Carlos Rivero from the Indians, who went 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles and two RBIs in the Saguaros’ 4-0 blanking of the Desert Dogs.

There are more pitching choices from a day that saw two shutouts and a grand total of 12 runs scored. Lopez deserves a shout out for his four shutout innings (not to mention his 2 K’s for the Joe Niekro Foundation), but Mike Parisi has to be the guy. The Cardinal hurler coming back from Tommy John surgery went five scoreless, allowing just two hits and walking none while striking out four as his Surprise Rafters beat Scottsdale, 3-0.

Putting money where his arms are

I love it when someone is willing to stand behind his team. I’ll get to exactly what I mean in a minute.

As I’ve discussed the last couple of days, the Arizona Fall League is teaming up with the Joe Niekro Foundation for a great
fundraiser/awareness-raiser this week. Any pitcher from one of the
seven organizations Joe Niekro pitched for who strikes out a batter
this week helps raise money for aneurysm awareness and research. Four
sponsors have agreed to donate $36 (Niekro’s number during his playing
days) per strikeout. That’s $144 per K.

But now there’s more to make this interesting. Oneri Fleita is the VP of Player Personnel for the Chicago Cubs, one of the seven teams Niekro played for. When he heard about what was going on in the AFL involving his pitchers, he wanted to get involved. So he’s standing behind them and putting his money where his arms are. Should the Cubs pitchers strike out the most batters this week, he will make a donation to the Joe Niekro Foundation in his pitchers’ names.

I’m hoping the other six teams involved in this great effort will see how Fleita has stepped up and will follow suit. It would make for an exciting contest — as well as raise more money and awareness for the Foundation if every team got involved in this way. I’ll be sure to update here if and when others make the same fantastic pledge Fleita has made.

With that in mind, let’s see what the totals are after Day 2 of Aneurysm Awareness Week:

Andrew Oliver, Tigers (Javelinas) — 4 K
Daniel Meszaros, Astros (Saguaros) — 2 K
Day Total: 6 K x $144per K = $864
Grand Total: 17 K = $2448

OK, Tuesday was a little light, but there weren’t that many pitchers from those organizations going. Today, the Padres’ Steve Garrison gets the start for the Saguaros, as does the Cubs’ Andrew Cashner for the Solar Sox (a good chance for Fleita’s Flock to jump into the lead). And it sometimes works that the relievers coming in back of the starters are from the same organizations, so here’s hoping for a huge Wednesday. Here are the organizational standings through two days:

Tigers — 7 K
Twins — 5 K
Astros — 3 K
Cubs — 1 K
Yankees — 1 K

Some quick notes and Stars of the Day. Royals’ first round pick Aaron Crow, discussed in this brilliant article (OK, it was written by me) not long ago, makes his AFL debut today for the Rafters. As for stars, going to make them brief:

Hitter: Jose Tabata, OF, Pirates (Scorpions) — Hitting leadoff for Scottsdale, Tabata went 3-for-6 with a double, a homer and six RBIs. That’s no easy feat, driving in a half-dozen from the leadoff spot. His home run came in the second inning off of Nick Hill, a three-run shot with two outs to highlight a four-run second. Tabata, at age 21, seems to be prepping for the start of his big-league career. He’s hitting .326 and slugging .535 so far this fall and by all accounts simply punishing the baseball on a regular basis.

Pitcher: Stephen Strasburg, RHP, Nationals (Desert Dogs) — As much as I wanted to give it to Oliver for racking up 4 K’s for the Niekro Foundation, it’s hard to look past what Strasburg did in this bounce-back effort. The No. 1 overall pick went four innings without giving up a hit, allowing just a single base knock in the fifth before leaving the game. In 4 1/3 IP, he gave up just the one hit and one run, while walking two and striking out five. No Pitch FX from that game, so I’m not sure what he was throwing, but it seemed to be working for him on Tuesday.

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