Results tagged ‘ pitching prospects ’

Oh what a night

And I’m not talking about the Lake County-West Virginia game I was at that took 3 hours and 35 minutes to complete, meaning I didn’t get home to B3 Headquarters in Pittsburgh until nearly 3 a.m. Just take a look around the playoff landscape and you’ll see what I mean…

On Wednesday night, four 2007 first-round picks (I’m talking pitchers) started playoff games for their respective clubs. The combined line of the four: 3-1, 1.42 ERA, 25 1/3 IP, 12 hits, 9 walks and 26 strikeouts. Not too shabby. Here’s the rundown:

No. 1 pick David Price only went five innings for Durham, but he danced in and out of trouble (three walks) to put up zeroes for the win. He struck out six as the Bulls took a 1-0 lead against the Louisville Bats.

No. 9 pick Jarrod Parker got the win for South Bend in a Midwest League playoff battle against West Michigan. Parker went six frames, allowing three runs (two earned) on four hits and one walk while striking out five.

No. 10 pick Madison Bumgarner continued his dominance of the South Atlantic League with a 1-0 victory against Asheville. The Minor League’s ERA champ (and thus, the Most Spectacular Pitcher) outdueled Asheville’s Connor Graham (a fifth round pick from a year ago, by the way). Graham gave up just one hit, but allowed a run. Bumgarner went eight shutout innings, gave up just three hits, walked no one and struck out 10.

No. 17 Blake Beavan is the only one who got an ‘L,’ though he pitched well enough to win. The Rangers prospect went 6 1/3 innings, allowing two earned runs (three total) on seven hits and one walk. He struck out four, but Clinton got beaten by Cedar Rapids, 3-0.

That doesn’t even include Rangers 2006 draft-and-follow Derek Holland, who’s certainly pitched like a first-rounder in his first full season. He pitched at three levels, finishing in the Texas League and he got the ball in Game 1 for Frisco against San Antonio. All he did was go 7 1/3 innings, yielding just two hits, one walk and one run, while striking out five and giving the RoughRiders a 1-0 lead.

I’m sure I’m missing some other stellar performances. Want to nominate one or more? Leave them in comments.

The Start of an era

Rick Porcello will make his professional debut Thursday night in Tampa
against the Yankees’ affiliate in the Class-A Florida State League. The Tigers’
top pick in last year’s draft and easily one of the most talked about Minor
Leaguers this spring doesn’t seem fazed at all about stepping onto the mound at
George Steinbrenner Field (formerly Legends Field). He might as well be back on
the hill for Seton Hall Prep up in the frigid temperatures of North Jersey based
on what he’s showing.
I got the chance to sit with Porcello for a few minutes yesterday afternoon out
in Lakeland – which by the way is even more of a ghost town now that Spring
Training has ended. When asked if he was nervous, he didn’t flinch.
“I’m more excited than nervous and I’m anxious to get the season started,”
Porcello said.
He admitted to being a tad star struck when he first arrived in the Detroit
clubhouse earlier this spring but that awe quickly disappeared as he began to
realize that Justin Verlander and Co. were now his co-workers and not just the
players he’d been watching on television.
“The first couple of days it was tough to focus,” he said. “You watch those
players for so long but you get used to it after a while. You adjust to it.
Big-league camp was a great experience. I learned a lot from being in the same
clubhouse with those guys. It was tough at the time to come back down.
“The days are long and you’re in the sun all day. But it’s good preparation
for the season and I’m ready to go.” 
Porcello’s dad, Fred, will be in Tampa Thursday night to watch his son’s
professional debut. 
I also got the chance to speak with Cale Iorg, the highly regarded
prospected Detroit grabbed in the sixth-round last season. He’s Garth Iorg’s son
and Dane Iorg’s nephew and his brother Eli is playing in the Astros farm system.
Cale is a bright, friendly kid who will start his first season in pro ball
Thursday night alongside Porcello. I’ll have a feature about him up on the
website next week.
Here, though, is a bit of info from my conversation. I like to ask players
oddball questions so
we don’t spend 20 minutes discussing only baseball. When I
asked Iorg which person from
George Washington 1782 painting.jpg history with whom he’d like to have dinner, his
answer surprised me. I get a lot of stock answers to that question and most
players usually just rattle off the names of former ballplayers but he said
George Washington.
“I’m a big fan of George Washington’s,” Iorg said. “He was an amazing man
to lead a new country into it’s biggest battles. Just the way he lived and
worked. All he wanted to do was help out. He didn’t want to lead. He just wanted
to serve.” 
Interesting, huh? Anyway, Iorg’s dad won’t be on hand for his pro debut
because he’s a roving instructor with the Brewers. But, he’ll be in Brevard
County in two weeks working with Milwaukee prospects and he’ll get to see his
son then. — Kevin C.
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