Today we focus on Binghamton, Bowie and Erie
Binghamton Mets -
Double-A affiliate of the New York Mets
The Mets have spent big lately, only to come up small. Free agents haven’t worked out at the major
league level, and the problems have filtered down the minors as well. There’s plenty of raw ability to be found,
but even the highest of New York’s prospects have flaws. Here’s a look at three of the more intriguing
Wilmer Flores, SS – The Venezuelan native has made a quick
ascent up the Mets’ system as a teenager, thanks to his hitting ability. A nightmare to strike out, Flores has a very
loose and easy swing. The problem is his
defense, which doesn’t project well as a major league shortstop. No word on whether a position switch will
come this year, but expect to see Flores somewhere on the field for the B-Mets
Reese Havens, 2B – Another up-the-middle defender known more
for his bat than his glove, Havens ended last year with Binghamton, hitting
.338 over 18 games. If he can stay
healthy (and it’s been a problem for him), Havens can be a threat in the middle
of the lineup, while providing enough defense not to necessitate a move. His main goal should be to get through a
season playing 100 games, something he’s yet to do.
Brad Holt, RHP – The 2008 first round pick is no stranger to
the Eastern League. Problem is, Holt’s
probably still having nightmares about his first two forays into Double-A
ball. In 2009, he had a 6.29 ERA over
eleven starts. Last year was even worse
with a 10.20 ERA over 30 innings with the B-Mets. He worked hard to re-adjust some mechanical
flaws and will hope to finally conquer his Double-A monster this season.
Bowie Baysox -
Double-A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles
The Orioles are another organization that has struggled for
the better part of the decade, never quite finding enough talent to compete
with the Red Sox, Yankees, and most recently the Rays. Not surprisingly, their farm system has some
solid pieces, ones that Baltimore management hopes will bring a winner back to
Camden Yards. Here’s three guys who
Xavier Avery, OF – Perhaps the best overall athlete in the
organization, Avery was persuaded to go straight into the system out of high
school, shunning a football scholarship to Georgia in the process. He made the jump to Bowie last year as a 20
year old. Now he’ll likely spend a full
season at Double-A as he could turn into one of the league’s top leadoff men
and base stealers.
L.J. Hoes, 2B – An interesting prospect, Hoes has a solid
bat, projecting as a .300 hitter.
However, his power numbers are very low (7 homers in 3 pro seasons) and
he sports only average speed. His
defensive tools are just as mystifying as he probably would be better suited at
third base or left field. The problem
there is that the team can probably find better offensive options at those
positions. The enigma that is Hoes will
get a full season with the Baysox, likely shining a brighter light on his
possible MLB future.
Wynn Pelzer, RHP – The Orioles picked up Pelzer from the
Padres when San Diego nabbed Miguel Tejada at the deadline last year. He’s been a starter for most of his career,
but had recently shifted into a reliever’s role before Baltimore picked him
up. He finished 2010 with the Baysox and
probably will start there this season.
The only question is whether or not he’ll be starting games, or
Erie SeaWolves -
Double-A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers
The Tigers shifted towards getting younger by moving Curtis
Granderson prior to last season. Though
some of that talent was able to help in the big leagues immediately, Detroit
management is counting on some of their top talent to step up and pitch in
their load soon. Here are some of the
players on their way to help:
Jacob Turner, RHP – Ranked by Baseball America as the Tigers’ top prospect, Turner has an easy
fastball that registers in the mid-90s without a problem. In fact, the fastball is so good, that his
secondary pitches still need more work, although his curveball shows amazing
potential. He’s coming off a solid first
season in pro ball, and likely won’t start in Erie, but should finish there. Oh, and he’s only turning 20 in May.
Francisco Martinez, 3B – Another youngster who turned 20 at
the end of last season, Martinez could be a staple at the hot corner for Erie
in 2011. He’s very solid with the glove,
although his footwork isn’t tremendous.
Plus, he’s got more than enough arm to make all the throws. Offensively, his power numbers should improve
as he develops, but he’s already a solid line drive hitter and has decent speed
Chance Ruffin, RHP – The former Texas Longhorn
has a chance (excuse the pun) to crack the Tigers bullpen this season despite
not having pitched a full pro season yet.
More likely, he’ll spend the majority of his time with the SeaWolves
using his low-90s fastball and wipeout slider to befuddle Eastern League hitters. Ruffin should
Akron Aeros -
Double-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians
Drew Pomeranz, LHP – Cleveland’s top pick (#5 overall) in
the 2010 draft, Pomeranz will get his first shot in the pros in 2011. He operates with a low 90s fastball
complemented by a 12-to-6 knuckle-curve that he can throw for strikes or swings
and misses. Though he won’t start the
year with Akron, a productive first few weeks could lead him there by
Nick Hagadone, LHP – One of the pieces the Red Sox sent to
the Indians in return for Victor Martinez, it’s been a slow climb for Hagadone
since his Tommy John surgery in 2008. He
struggled after his promotion to Double-A last season, finishing with a 4.50
ERA in 48 innings. However, he’ll get
another shot at the Eastern League, likely as a starter, in 2011.
While the Pirates MLB club has been one of the worst in
recent memory, their farm system is generally stocked with top players. Expect more of the same this season as
Altoona contends for its second straight Eastern League title. A couple names to keep an eye out for:
Tony Sanchez, C – Northeast fans might recognize Sanchez, a
former backstop for Boston College.
Though his skills are much better honed on the defensive end, Sanchez
has surprised some folks by hitting for a combined .312 in his first two
professional seasons. He doesn’t project
as a middle-of-the-order type of bat, but certainly has the capability to help
a team offensively. His next stage in
development is as a game-caller, one that should happen as the regular starter
Since the Sea Dogs created a radio assistant position in 2006, I’ve been very fortunate to work with some tremendous people, who have moved on to continue their career in sports and radio. I would like to introduce Ben Altsher as the new Radio Assistant for the Sea Dogs this season. Ben is going to be a great asset to the team, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy him on the broadcast. So to introduce Ben, here’s Ben!
First and foremost, let me just say that my first few weeks
with the team have been terrific. I love
working with everyone in the front office.
I remember back to one of the first conversations I had with Mike about
the possible opening, and he told me that the vibe would be a comfortable one
that’s very relaxed and still capable of handling any task. He couldn’t have been more right.
With that mind, I thought I’d introduce myself as the newest
member of the Sea Dogs by giving the fans a little inside info with regards to
our latest poll question at seadogs.com.
If you haven’t checked out the website lately (please do, lots of great
ticket deals) we’re wondering which high-level prospect fans are most excited
to see at Hadlock Field this summer. The
Jose Iglesias – Even those whose passion doesn’t run quite
as deep in Red Sox Nation have heard about this slick-gloved shortstop. The Cuban native turned 21 this past January
(damn, now I feel old) and depending which scouts you talk to, could be ready
by the end of this season. From our
point of view in Portland, we’re hoping Iglesias starts the season with the Sea
Dogs after his 2010 was cut short with a hand injury.
Anthony Ranaudo – If Iglesias might make his way out of
Portland early in 2011, Ranaudo is a guy who could find his way there later on
in the season. One of the top pitching
prospects of the 2010 draft, the tall (6-foot-7) righty saw his stock drop
after an injury during his senior season at LSU. After struggling upon his return, he slipped
all the way down to the Red Sox as the 39th overall pick. However, he showed his true potential in the
Cape Cod League, allowing exactly zero earned runs over 30 innings pitched,
Stolmy Pimentel – Another top pitching prospect, Pimentel is
another youngster (21 this past month) who has impressed at every level so
far. He led Advanced-A Salem last year
with 102 strikeouts and appears primed for a full season in Double-A with the
Sea Dogs. Hopes are he’ll stay on the
same path and mow down Eastern League hitters the way he’s done at the lower
levels the past few years.
Oscar Tejeda – An interesting player because second base
wouldn’t appear to be a major priority for the big club, yet Tejeda is
certainly high on the Red Sox radar as he was recently named to the team’s 40
man roster. His offense is what stands
out to most as that’s what made him a Carolina League midseason and postseason
all-star last year, as well as the all-star game MVP. A move to third or the outfield may be in the
cards down the line, but expect him to see some significant time at second with
the Sea Dogs this year, where hopefully he can keep up the offensive
Ryan Lavarnway - The only player in the poll to have already
made a splash with the Sea Dogs, Lavarnway was recently named the “Best Power
Hitter” in the organization by Baseball
America. He’s likely going to share
full-time catching duties with Tim Federowicz, but expect Lavarnway’s bat to be
in the lineup almost every game, one way or another. In just 44 games with Portland a year ago, he
blasted eight home runs and had a .395 on-base percentage. Better bring your gloves for the seats in the
That’s the group we’ve got for you. Some we’ll definitely see and some we may miss. Either way as Spring Training moves into
March, we can start to get more and more excited about the prospects for
With just a handful games left in the season, I want to take time for some very well deserved thanks. First and foremost, thank you Mike. You’ve given me an amazing opportunity, and one I’ll always be thankful for. I’d also like to thank Media Relations head Chris Cameron, Media Relations Assistant Greg Cavanaugh, and DJ Abisalih. I’ve worked with these three men on a daily basis, and I’ve learned from all of them.
I’d also like to thank the rest of the 2010 season interns, front office staff, ushers, and part-time staff members. There’s so much that goes on behind the scenes at Hadlock, and these people do an amazing job.
Mike told me that the season flies by, and it’s only know that I can really understand how quickly it goes. I can’t thank everyone enough for the chance to do this.
Pitching Match-Ups for the Final Series of the Season
The Sea Dogs start their last series of the season, going up against New England rivals the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. Here are the pitching match-ups for the final four.
Friday, September 3rd
Kyle Weiland (5-9, 4.60) v Zach Stewart (8-3, 3.71)
Weiland enters the game with a team-leading 115 strikeouts through 123.1 innings pitched. Stewart’s last appearance was against the Sea Dogs on August 29th, where he only lasted three innings.
Saturday, September 4th
Jeremy Khert (2-11, 5.27) v Randy Boone (5-9 3.81)
Khert lasted 4.2 innings in his last outing against Binghamton. He had gone six innings in his four previous starts. Boone won his last start, going seven innings and striking out six against Harrisburg.
Sunday, September 5th
Stephen Fife (7-6 4.50) v Clint Everts (1-0, 4.25)
Fife went six innings and struck out in his last start, a victory over Binghamton. Everts went six innings, allowing only four hits in his last start against Harrisburg.
Monday, September 6th
Alex Wilson (3-5, 6.63) v BJ LaMura (5-6, 3.72)
Wilson lost his last time out, going three innings and striking out three against Binghamton. LaMura went six innings and struck out five in his last start, a no decision versus Harrisburg. He has not had a win since July 31st.
As a team, the Sea Dogs aren’t where they want to be. Every team wants to be in contention for the Eastern League title, but unfortunately a playoff run isn’t in the cards for Portland this year. But that does not mean that this season has been a failure by any stretch. There have been many individual performances that have made this season a success.
-Three Sea Dogs have made their major league debuts with the Red Sox this year: Felix Doubront, Ryan Kalish, and Yamaico Navarro.
-Four Sea Dogs have got the call to Triple-A this season: Santo Luis, Tommy Hottovy, Lars Anderson, and Robert Coello.
-Three Sea Dogs, Ray Chang, Nate Spears, and Jason Rice, earned Eastern League mid-season All-Star honors. Chang earned a spot on the end of the season Eastern League All-Star team.
-Anthony Rizzo and Ryan Lavarnway each earned Eastern League Player of the Week honors
-In 10 games this season, Blake Maxwell is 6-0 with a 2.32 ERA.
While the overall record of the Sea Dogs is on the minus side of .500, there have been plenty of reasons to cheer on the 2010 ‘Dogs. With just seven games left in the season, be sure to take in a game before the season wraps up.
Odds and Ends by Matthew McLaughlin
On August 23, Anthony Rizzo laced a three-run double in the fourth inning of a game against the Harrisburg Senators. These three runs not only helped the Sea Dogs get a victory that night, but they put Rizzo in to the Sea Dogs record books.
Rizzo picked up his 29th RBI of the month on that three run double, giving him the Sea Dogs record for most RBI in a month. The former record, 28 RBI in a month, was held by Aaron Bates, Ross Gload, Kevin Millar, and Jon Still.
Rizzo has upped his total to 30 RBI this month, with six remaining games in the month.
Nate Spears also has a possibility to break the 28-RBI mark this month as well. Spears has 22 runs batted in this month.
A Walking Race
With 12 games left in the season, Nate Spears is closing in on the Eastern League lead for most walks this season. Spears, has the Best Strike Zone Judgement in the Eastern League (according to Baseball America) has drawn 73 walks this season, just two behind Darin Mastroianni of New Hampshire for the league lead.
Former Sea Dogs in the Show
You already know that Felix Doubront, Ryan Kalish, and Yamaico Navarro have made their big league debuts after being with the Sea Dogs this season, but there is another name to add to the list.
Former Sea Dog short stop Argenis Diaz made it to the Majors for the first time this season as a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Diaz was the first former Sea Dog to make his major league debut this season, making his Major League entry on April 21st.
Diaz, who played for the Sea Dogs in 2008 and 2009, was involved in the Adam LaRoche trade in July of 2009.
Who’s the New Guy?
With Che-Hsuan Lin on the DL, Portland filled the roster spot with outfielder Juan Carlos Linares. Linares, a native of Cuba, played in four games with the Gulf Coast League Red Sox before getting the call to the Sea Dogs
The Sea Dogs have dropped four of five on their current homestand, which ends this afternoon against the Trenton Thunder. This has been a tough week for the ‘Dogs, playing the two best teams in the Eastern League. Trenton enters Sunday’s contest with the best record in the Eastern League.
*Up next for the Sea Dogs: 7-game roadtrip in Harrsiburg and New Hampshire
*Happy Birthday to: Yaz, who is 71 years young today…I know this because my parents are celebrating their anniversary.
I must say this is has been one of the most enjoyable seasons I’ve had, despite the team not going to the postseason. This group of players, coaches and trainers have made my job so much fun. The team is like my second family, and they treat me so well, and make my job easy.
listen to today’s game online at http://www.seadogs.com
Six Sea Dogs Selected
to Baseball America’s “Best Tools” List
Arnie Beyeler Named “Best
Manager Prospect” in the Eastern League
America has published their annual “Best Tools” survey and six
Sea Dogs have been recognized as having the best tools in the Eastern
League. Sea Dogs’ Manager Arnie Beyeler was named the
league’s “Best Manager Prospect”, while Sea Dogs’
players Ray Chang, Jose Iglesias, Che-Hsuan Lin, Anthony Rizzo & Nate
Spears were also honored. Baseball America surveys Eastern League
managers to compile the list.
The Sea Dogs
topped the Eastern League list with six selections. Altoona was second
with four players named to the list.
was named the “Best Manager Prospect” in the Eastern League.
Beyeler has notched a franchise record 278 career wins in a Sea Dogs
uniform. In his record fourth season at the helm of the Sea Dogs, Beyeler
has the Sea Dogs at a 58-63 record. He led the Sea Dogs into the playoffs
in 2007 and 2008. In his career, Beyeler holds a winning percentage of
.503 (630-622) with stops in Portland, Short-Season Single-A Lowell, and
Single-A Augusta in the Boston organization and Single-A Stockton and Single-A
Bakersfield in the Texas organization.
25, was rated to have the “Best Strike Zone Judgment” in the
Eastern League. Spears, who was named an Eastern League All-Star earlier this
season is tied for the Eastern League lead in walks with 69 and has a .381
On-Base Percentage. The second baseman is also third in the league with 84 runs
One of three
Portland infielders to be recognized for their excellence in the field is Ray
Chang, who garnered “Best Defensive Third Baseman” honors.
Chang, also an Eastern League All-Star selection, has displayed safe hands at
the hot corner this season. He has a .985 fielding percentage in 80 games
at third base, committing just three errors in 197 chances. Chang also
leads the team with a .305 average.
Jose Iglesias was voted the “Best Defensive Shortstop” in the
league. Iglesias, 20, has played in just 40 games this season due to a
thumb injury suffered on May 29th. However, he has still
managed to record 98 assists and 46 putouts in 151 chances, for a .954 fielding
percentage. Entering the season Baseball America rated him as the
“Best Defensive Infielder” in the Red Sox farm system.
Rizzo, 21, was named “Best Defensive First Baseman” with a .982
fielding percentage at first base. Since his promotion from Single-A
Salem on May 10th, Rizzo has played in 88 games at first, he has
recorded 762 putouts, 69 assists, and 15 errors. Rizzo is hitting at a
.272 clip with a team high 16 home runs.
Che-Hsuan Lin was recognized as the “Best Defensive Outfielder” in
the poll. Lin, 21, has a strong arm and a knack for getting great jumps
on balls out to the outfield. The native of Hwa-Lian, Taiwan has made
just three errors in 107 games this season for a .990 fielding
percentage. He also has 13 assists. Entering the season Baseball
America rated him as the “Best Defensive Infielder” in the Red
Sox farm system.
The August 23rd
through September 5th issue of Baseball America with the
complete lists of “Best Tools” at all levels of Minor and Major
League Baseball is currently on sale at newsstands. For more information
log on to www.baseballamerica.com.
Wiz Kid Rizzo
At Just 21, The First Baseman is Making a Case for Team MVP
Anthony Rizzo entered the week of August 2nd as a 20-year-old
power hitting first baseman for the Sea Dogs. On August 8th, only one
thing had changed. He was a 21-year-old power hitting first baseman for
the Sea Dogs.
In the week of the 2nd through the 8th, Rizzo was named the
Eastern League Player of the Week, after hitting .444 (12-for-27), with
four doubles, three home runs, 12 RBI, seven runs scored, and a .926
slugging percentage. He spent his 21st birthday going 4-for-5 with a
home run that cleared the US Cellular Pavilion and four RBI.
Rizzo hasn’t been slowing down, either. In a three game series
against Bowie, Rizzo’s hit .333 (4-for-12) with two home runs and six
RBI. Rizzo leads the Sea Dogs with 16 home runs.
Before being called up to Portland on May 11th, Rizzo played in
29 games with Single-A Salem before getting the call. Combining his
totals between Salem and Portland, Rizzo’s got 21 home runs, leading the
Red Sox minor league system.
If Rizzo can keep these numbers up, the title of “Team MVP”
could go back home to Fort Lauderdale, Florida with him. That’s a pretty
good late birthday present.
Only 14 Left!
Portland’s got 14 home games left this season, six of which are
being played on the upcoming August 17th through August 22nd home stand.
Great promotions and giveaways are going on through the six game
‘stand, including the only Hadlock appearance by Christopher, made
possible by US Cellular. The August 21st game features a Back to School
Giveaway, presented by Servicemaster, and Shriners day on August 22nd.
Check Seadogs.com for more information on any of the promotions at
Jose Iglesias has been rehabbing from his hand injury in
short-season Lowell. Iglesias has played in 10 games (nine at the DH
spot), going .393 (11-for-28) with two doubles, a triple, and five RBI.