Results tagged ‘ Buster Posey ’

Friday Flight: A trip to Fresno

I’m still playing with the name of what I hope will be a semi-regular feature. While I tend to write about the prospect side of the Minors and leave the scene-setting to my esteemed colleague Benjamin Hill over on Ben’s Biz Blog, but one of the things I do like about this job is the ability to learn about and sometimes be lucky enough to go to some great minor league towns.

All the prospecting doesn’t always leave me time to travel to every city and ballpark I’d like to go to, so I figured we could do some virtual travelling together from time to time.  To kick things off, I thought we’d head to the Left Coast and the Fresno Grizzlies, Triple-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants (You can follow them on twitter @fresnogrizzlies).

Obviously, I can’t ignore the prospect side of things and as everyone knows, the Giants have actively promoted from within, with many of today’s Major Leaguers (injured and healthy) stopping in Fresno. Here’s a list of the current roster and when they at least stopped by in Fresno:

Tim Lincecum ’07
Brian Wilson ’05 ’06 ’07
Buster Posey ’09 ’10
Andres Torres ’09 ’11
Matt Cain ’05
Jonathan Sanchez ’06 ’07
Madison Bumgarner ’10
Sergio Romo ’08 ’09
Travis Ishikawa ’08 ’11
Nate Schierholtz ’07 ’08 ’09
Santiago Casilla ’10
Darren Ford ’10 ’11
Emmanuel Burriss ’08 ’09 ’10 ’11
Ryan Rohlinger ’09 ’10 ’11
Ryan Vogelsong ’01 ’11 (yes, you read that right)
Mark DeRosa ’10 ’11
Pat Burrell ’10
Alex Hinshaw ’08 ’09 ’10 ’11
Dan Runzler ’09 ’10
Freddy Sanchez ’09 ’10
Eli Whiteside ’08 ’09
Brandon Belt ’11

In terms of current prospects, Thomas Neal, No. 7 on the Giants’ Top 10, is currently hitting .319. Brett Pill may not be as big of a “prospect” but the guy is tied for eighth in the PCL in RBIs with 55. The Grizzlies have two pitchers — Shane Loux and Andrew Kown — in the Top 10 in ERA. Mark Kroon is second in saves.

Now, while most wouldn’t plan a trip west just to go to Fresno, the beauty of it is how centrally located it is. Head to a Grizzlies game, then fill up on raisins (yes, it’s the raisin capital of the world — I would love it if the city’s slogan was “There’s shrinkage!”). After that, you can head south and get to Los Angeles in three and a half hours. Head north to Yosemite National Park (an hour and a half) or all the way to San Francisco (three hours).

Chukchansi Park opened in 2002, an HOK-built stadium that seats 12,500 and is a terrific park in the Pacific Coast League. Great views of the skyline and the mountains can be had by all.

If you want me to focus on a minor league town near you, let me know and I’ll try to do so!

Player of the Year talk, anyone?

With the conclusion of Tuesday night’s Triple-A National Championship Game (previously the Bricktown Showdown), the 2009 Minor League season is now complete.

To me, that means it’s open season on discussing Player and Pitcher of the Year awards. We will be announcing our overall choices later on this fall, as well as make picks for each organization in our annual reviews, but I figured why not see what Minor League fans are thinking. In this post, we’ll talk about Player of the Year (hitters only). A subsequent post will deal with pitchers.

Here’s what I’ll do. I’m going to list some candidates. You can vote for one, or suggest someone I’ve forgotten, in the comments. Sound good? OK, here goes:

Chris Carter, 1B, A’s: .328, 28 HR, 115 RBIs, .422 OBP, .570 SLG
Led Minors in hits (179)
Tied for first in total bases (310)
2nd in RBIs (115)
Tied for 2nd in extra-base hits (73)
3rd in runs scored (115)

Koby Clemens, C, Astros: .341, 22 HR, 123 RBIs, .415 OBP, .620 SLG
4th in batting average (.341)
1st in RBIs (123)
Tied for 3rd in doubles (45)
Tied for 2nd in extra-base hits (73)
2nd in SLG (.620)

Grant Desme, OF, A’s: .288, 31 HR, 89 RBIs, 40 SB, .365 OBP, .568 SLG
Only player in Minor Leagues to have 30-30 season
Tied for 5th in HR (31)
Tied for 8th in extra-base hits (68)
Sixth in total bases (276)

Jonathan Gaston, OF, Astros: .278, 35 HR, 35 HR, 100 RBIs, 14 SB, .367 OBP, .598 SLG
Tied for 1st in HR (35)
14th in RBIs (100)
2nd in triples (15)
1st in extra-base hits (81)
1st in runs scored (119)
Tied for 1st in total bases (310)
4th in SLG (.598)

Keep in mind things like league (lots of California League guys — it’s nice to hit in Lancaster, Mr. Gaston!) and things of that nature. And if there’s someone you think belongs but isn’t here, go ahead and write him in. Let the voting begin!

Alex Liddi, 3B, Mariners: .345, 23 HR, 104 RBIs, .411 OBP, .594 SLG
Led Minors in average (.345)
Tied for 8th in RBIs (104)
Tied for 6th in doubles (44)
Tied for 4th in extra-base hits (72)
4th in total bases (293)
6th in SLG (.594)

Buster Posey, C, Giants: .325, 18 HR, 80 RBIs, .416 OBP, .531 SLG
14th in OBP
Threw out over 46% of would-be base-stealers

Scouting the Top 50: 19-15

First off, the latest MLBlogs rankings are out. From Jan. 29 – Feb. 4, B3 has risen up to No. 19 on the Pro Blogs list. So thanks for that. Keep reading, and tell your friends. Lets keep B3 moving up the charts!!!

For your efforts, I give you the next set of scouting reports:

19. Buster Posey, C, Giants
buster_posey.jpgSeen: October (Hawaiian Winter League)

Great instincts and makeup. Natural leader. A little mechanical, but does everything right. Outstanding hitting approach, makes good adjustments. Can go other way when needed. Power will come. Moves well behind plate, will catch strikes. Arm works, fringe plus. Combination of bat and defense should make him solid-average to plus Major League backstop.

17. Trevor Cahill, RHP, A’s

trevor_cahill.jpgSeen: May (California Leauge) and August (Team USA)

Fastball: 87-92 mph
Curve: 75-79 mph
Slider: 80-85 mph
Changeup: 78-81 mph

Some effort to delivery, but doesn’t hurt location. Stiff front leg, snaps head on delivery at times. Good late sinking movement. Gets groundballs. Stays down in zone. OK curve, good rotation. Slider is slurvy, throws for strikes, very effective vs. right-handed hitters. Flashes good changeup with sink. Aggressive, works fast. Solid Major League starter in future.

16. Chris Tillman, RHP, Orioles
chris_tillman.jpgSeen: April (Eastern League)

Fastball: 89-94 mph
Curve: 77-79 mph
Changeup: 79-81 mph

Tall and lanky. Power-style starting pitcher. A lot going on in delivery, arm action hooks and wraps at times. Command is spotty. When off, wildness streaks. When on, it’s pinpoint. Goes after hitters with cutting fastball. Three-quarter curve is plus at times. Future in big-league rotation.

15. Dexter Fowler, OF, Rockies
dexter_fowler.jpgSeen: June (Texas League) and August (Team USA)

Toolsy outfielder with a ton of athletic ability and a body to dream on. Plus defense now, glides with long strides. Good routes, outruns gaps and covers a lot of ground. Can turn and go. Good arm, accurate with carry. Good idea at plate from both sides. Stronger from right side, with some pull power. More power will come as he matures. Long swing at times from both sides, but cuts down with two strikes. Will make things happen. High ceiling.

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