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Morning start times across the board, and a 1-2 record for the affiliates. It's certainly an odd feeling when the Minor League Update is done at 3:16 PM the day before publication. I believe that's a new record.

Toledo 4, Syracuse 2
Box score, game stories one and two

It was the second straight Wednesday game where Toledo scored four runs in defeating the SkyChiefs, all thanks to Brandon League, who went five innings while allowing all the runs, raising his ERA to an even 6. Three of those runs came in the first inning, when League gave up two homeruns sandwiched around a walk. Some interesting thoughts on League can be found in yesterday's Minor League Update thread.

Anton French tripled and scored in the seventh after former Blue Jay and SkyChief Sean Douglass left the game. Douglass, incidentally, struck out 8 in 6 innings against six baserunners. Not bad. John-Ford Griffin walked twice, while Gabe Gross singled and walked. Not much to talk about regarding the Syracuse "offense" yesterday.

The beauty of the Toledo Mud Hens' streaming broadcast allowed me to watch the last inning of this game. Julius Matos grounded out, then promptly pushed away the camera following him into the dugout. Eric Crozier looked all kinds of overmatched on a strikeout -- his third of the night -- then Justin Singleton confused me into thinking he was Gross. Crozier also made two errors yesterday morning or afternoon, not quite sure of the timing.

Trenton 8, New Hampshire 7 (13)
Box score, game story

I tell you, this one took long enough to end. Tony LaRussa was in attendance. Maybe that's why the Thunder's Charlie Manning faced just two batters in the sixth.

The Fishers jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the third, but Trenton got 5 later on, and it was 7-7 going to extra frames. Trenton twice left the winning run on third, both times on leadoff doubles, but they did not bring either person home. Jordan De Jong kept going and going, with three scoreless innings (10th, 11th, 12th). Detailed play-by-play of the 13th and final inning can be found here and here. Short version: F-Cats lose on the most exciting play in baseball, the bases-loaded HBP.

Vito Chiaravalloti (almost had it right on the first try, but I had two T's and one L) hit a grand slam in the second inning. He didn't do anything else in the game, but Raul Tablado sure did. Six total bases for Tablado -- HR, single, single -- and he scored all three times he reached base.

New Hampshire still has only one player slugging above .400 -- by comparison, the punchless Oakland Athletics have two. It's not a good sign when the best hitter has a .254 GPA...and he's four years older than any other hitter on the team save for Jose Umbria.

Dunedin 11, Jupiter 1
Box score

Eleven runs? Without a homerun by the D-Jays? Impressive. Jupiter's offense has been more like Leda than Ganymede, with only nine runs in the last five games.

David Smith collected 3 RBI on 3 hits -- a single and 2-run double with a non-run-scoring triple thrown in for good measure. He came up in the 7th with a chance at the cycle, but lined out. In the top of the ninth, same deal -- a groundout. Good effort nonetheless, and we can't forget Sweet Tim Whittaker, Eric Arnold or Scott Dragicevich, all with two hits.

With eleven runs of support, Kurt Isenberg must have felt relaxed. He didn't get too relaxed, though, as he struck out 8 batters, walked nobody, and only allowed six hits in seven strong innings. It's not Gaudin-like, but I'll take it.

Yesson Berroa came on for the ninth in a far-from-a-save situation and loaded the bases. A scary situation, as Jupiter had the tying run standing in line just five spots behind the man on deck, but the crisis was averted when Patrick Arlis struck out. Robert Wuhl was not among the 4358 in attendance, if you're wondering.

Lansing did not play yesterday morning at 10:30, or anytime on May 18, 2005 for that matter.

Your Three-Star Selection:
3. Jordan De Jong
2. Raul Tablado
1. Kurt Isenberg

Today’s Games:
Syracuse (Matos) @ Toledo (Good), 10:30 AM ET. Live video of this game is available here.
New Hampshire (Marcum) @ Trenton, 7:05 ET.
Dunedin (Janssen) vs St. Lucie, 7:00 ET.
Lansing (Perez) @ Southwest Michigan Devil Rays of Battle Creek, 6:35 (DH).

One last note: The Dunedin Web site informs me that "Robert Jensson [sic] starts for the Jays" tonight. I can overlook the "Robert" part -- Casey is actually his middle name -- but spelling it "Jensson" is just lazy. Although that same page did have the following line, which made me laugh: "Weather: Hot."

Don't Be Kurt With Me, That's Just The Tip Of The Isenberg | 25 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
SparrowOD - Thursday, May 19 2005 @ 08:54 AM EDT (#117053) #
The D-Jays web site is poor. Now, I know that one guy or woman probably operates under two or three different titles down there, but often times the box score and information they have about games is different (by quite a bit) than that I find on

Hot? in Port St. Lucie? Get outta town!
Marc Hulet - Thursday, May 19 2005 @ 09:13 AM EDT (#117055) #
It's nice to see Jordan De Jong turning his season around after a very slow start.
Gerry - Thursday, May 19 2005 @ 09:50 AM EDT (#117058) #

Here is a log of Isenberg's starts this year

        IP      H       R       ER      BB      K
10-Apr	2	5	2	2	1	0
15-Apr	6	1	0	0	0	7
21-Apr	5	5	1	1	2	5
27-Apr	3.2	7	6	5	3	1
2-May	5.2	5	0	0	3	5
7-May	7	3	0	0	2	6
13-May	6	4	2	2	1	5
20-May	7	6	1	1	0	8

The first start was a bit shaky, and the third start was bad, but all other starts have been excellent, at least five innings pitched and never more than two runs.

Mick Doherty - Thursday, May 19 2005 @ 09:59 AM EDT (#117060) #
Here's the Toledo Blade story from yesterday: Hens clock two homers in first;Toledo jumps on Syracuse quickly. (Hey, it's my hometown newspaper and gave me my first job as a paperboy; any excuse to go there is fine by me!)
Mike Green - Thursday, May 19 2005 @ 10:35 AM EDT (#117062) #
Vermilyea obviously didn't have his usual superb control yesterday. He went 2 innings on Tuesday. I'd love to have his career numbers in back-to-back appearances; I suspect that he has done poorly in this situation.
Wildrose - Thursday, May 19 2005 @ 10:51 AM EDT (#117064) #
Mike is much too modest, for those who want to watch Syracuse live, right now ( and have a high-speed connection) click here. Thanks again Mike.
Mike Green - Thursday, May 19 2005 @ 11:32 AM EDT (#117067) #
Aaron Hill just hit a homer to left. He turned nicely on a pitch on the inside part of the plate. Chiefs down 2-1 in the fourth.
Wildrose - Thursday, May 19 2005 @ 12:09 PM EDT (#117075) #
The guy I've been trying to watch most closely is the afor-mentioned Aaron Hill. He certainly looked good on the homer, with a very quick compact swing.

He's a stocky, short muscular type fellow, not quite like Frankie Mini Me, much like as Coach notes, built like Jeff Kent. He's certainly is not your typical lithesome shortstop.

The big question is, does he have the requiste range to play as a shortstop? From what little I've seen he's looked pretty solid, making all the basic plays. You wonder if the relatively slow turf now at the Rogers centre would help protect him. If he can indeed play at shortstop, I think you may eventually have a premium bat at this position.
Smaj - Thursday, May 19 2005 @ 12:39 PM EDT (#117085) #
Nannini brought in the Gas Can & gave up two runs in the bottom of the 6th. Carlson relieved to end the 6th.
4-1 Mudhens.

Sidebar: Gabe Gross looks awful at the plate. No timing or "pop"...hopefully being a Southern Boy he will warm up with the weather
Sister - Thursday, May 19 2005 @ 12:40 PM EDT (#117086) #
A quick look at minor league team statistics at paints the disappointing picture of the Jays hitting in the upper minors.

Both Syracuse and New Hampshire are last in their respective leagues in team Avg, OBP, and SLUG, and near the bottom in AAA and AA respectively.

The same cannot be said for organizational pitching, in which Syracuse is #5 and New Hampshire is #1 in ERA.

While these aren't the most efficient statisics to look at they do tell us something about organizational strenghts in the upper minors.
Jordan - Thursday, May 19 2005 @ 12:47 PM EDT (#117087) #
JP said, many moons ago, that both Hill and Adams would have to play their way off shortstop, and neither has really done that yet. Adams has benefitted tremendously from Brian Butterfield's coaching, but you normally can't teach range.

Hill presents a bit of a dilemma: his range is ordinary for a shortstop (especially to his left), but he has a good arm, much stronger than Adams'. You could certainly live with him at short, but the Jays really do need premium defence there. Defensively, he might be ideally suited for third base, but although his bat is solid, I don't think he'll develop corner-infield power. Accordingly, I think he'll eventually end up at second base, which would be just fine. Jeff Kent is a good physical comp, but Hill will hit for a higher average and less power. I think he might end up more closely resembling someone like Jose Vidro.

What Hill needs to do now is rediscover the base on balls. Although he's hitting a solid .303 with 11 doubles and 4 homers (not counting today's jack), he's walked just 4 times in 152 AB. Considering he walked 63 times in 480 AB in Double-A last season, he has some work to do to show he's got a solid handle on the strike zone at higher levels. Considering he's only played 200 professional games before starting this season at Triple-A, however, I'm not worried at all. I think we'll see him in Toronto by September, earlier if there's an injury. And then the Blue Jays will have a big decision to make.
VGeras - Thursday, May 19 2005 @ 01:14 PM EDT (#117089) #
With Hill, Adams, Koskie and Hudson - How can they all fit in the Jays plans?
Pistol - Thursday, May 19 2005 @ 01:17 PM EDT (#117090) #
I've never seen Jeff Kent in person, but Hill didn't look that tall when I saw him last year (although he seemed 'solid'). If Kent is 6'1", as he's listed, he's got at least 3-4 inches on Hill.
Mick Doherty - Thursday, May 19 2005 @ 01:35 PM EDT (#117091) #
With Hill, Adams, Koskie and Hudson - How can they all fit in the Jays plans?

1B Hinske
2B Hudson
SS Adams
3B Koskie
DH Hillebrand

Swap Hill for Jahan Santana. (I kid about the return, of course, but that's the general notion, isn't it?)

Mark - Thursday, May 19 2005 @ 01:49 PM EDT (#117092) #
It would seem that Hill is the perfect replacement for Hillenbrand if they do not bring him back for 4 million + raise he would get next year. I am sure he could sub at 1st and 3rd a la Shea or even at all 4 infield positions if neccesary. He could do that for a year (2006) and by 2007 settle in at third as the often injured Koskie could DH more. Whatever the outcome, it is a good situation for the jays to be in. They have a very capable prospect who can fill in at any infield position.
Ron - Thursday, May 19 2005 @ 03:22 PM EDT (#117093) #
I don't think it's that easy to just say Hill can play 1B, 2B, 3B, and SS when he's spent most of his time at only one position.

Hill is currently blocked by Adams and I would hate to see one of these guys reduce to a utility player at such a young age. But at the same time, I don't want to see Hudson being dealt just to make room for Hill.

Whatever happens next season, hopefully JP makes the right move.

I haven't seen any SkyChief games this season, but what happened to Gross? He's starting to get old for a prospect and it looks like he has hit the wall so far this season.
MatO - Thursday, May 19 2005 @ 03:31 PM EDT (#117095) #
Dean has been pointing out that he's never seen any proof that college picks are better than highschool picks. Today at BP, Rany Jazayerli has produced a study of the first 3 rounds of the draft from 1984-1999 (subscribers only). The following are his conclusions:

College players are 50% more likely to reach the majors.
College players have 55% more value (WARP)than highschool players over the course of their careers
College picks have 42% more value in the 1st round, 50% more value in the 2nd and 184% more value in the 3rd than highschool picks (WARP)
If there is a clear superstar talent highschool player then it is acceptable to use the first overall pick on that player as this is the one pick where highschool players have been superior.
Mike Green - Thursday, May 19 2005 @ 03:50 PM EDT (#117099) #
Well, there have been roughly 450 3rd round draft picks during the 1984-99 period. Assuming that they have been split more or less down the middle between college and HS picks, a 184% higher WARP/pick for college choices would obviously be statistically significant.

Moral: the 3rd round is a great time to pick a college pitcher. Shaun Marcum, step right up.
Craig B - Thursday, May 19 2005 @ 03:53 PM EDT (#117102) #
I have a hard time believing that the advantage is as pronounced as the numbers have it, but the numbers don't lie. I guess.

I do wonder about the increased value of college picks lower down. It looks to me like most of the increased value of college picks is in the very top rounds.

At any rate, I'd like to see the college advantage vs. high schoolers mapped out versus the "good scouting" teams vs. "bad scouting" teams. I'm sure that the advantage of a good scouting dept. is higher than the college draftee advantage.

I need to do this myself, I know. One day...
Mike Green - Thursday, May 19 2005 @ 04:00 PM EDT (#117104) #
That's an excellent question, Craig. If I were studying the question, I'd look at the 4th round, then 5th and 6th, 7th and 8th, 9th and 10th, 11th-15th, 16th-20th and 21st on. The numbers thin out, and so you probably have to look at larger groups to see the pattern.

I'd bet that from the 21st on, the high schoolers would do better. It might also be true for 16th-20th. I actually casually looked at this last year.
MatO - Thursday, May 19 2005 @ 04:20 PM EDT (#117111) #
I think you'd find very few HS players signing if they are picked after the 20th round (maybe even the 10th). HS players taken then are usually going the JC route and teams may sign them as draft and follows, which might be another category to analyse.
Pistol - Thursday, May 19 2005 @ 04:37 PM EDT (#117115) #
"I do wonder about the increased value of college picks lower down. It looks to me like most of the increased value of college picks is in the very top rounds."

But what the BP study showed was that the advantage of college over HS was increasing as the rounds went from 1 to 2 to 3. I'd be surprised if it took a real sharp U-Turn in the earlier rounds (4-10).

Rnd HS Col
1st 14.31 20.32
2nd 4.37 6.59
3rd 1.88 5.34

Once you get to the later rounds (say, 11 and up) the production of those players is going to be so low that I'm not sure that it'll matter.

If a HS player is only getting you just under 2 WARP on average in the 3rd round (according to BP) it's going to be such a small number when college & HS cross that I'm not sure it'll be significant enough to matter.

Said another way, if the 15th round HS player gets you 0.6 WARP on average and the 15th round college player gets you 0.3 WARP on average, the HS player is worth twice the college player, but really isn't all that valuable.
MatO - Thursday, May 19 2005 @ 04:37 PM EDT (#117116) #
I had the impression that the number of HS players picked drops off rapidly and this seems to be correct. In last year's 10th round, out of 30 picks, 21 were college, 2 were JC and the rest HS. In the 11th round, there were 22 college and 5 JC. However, the 40th round was split almost evenly between college, JC and HS. I think the JC and HS are likely draft and follow picks. I think a proper analysis of later rounds would be particularly hard to do.
Gerry - Thursday, May 19 2005 @ 08:44 PM EDT (#117149) #
Shawn Marcum has allowed one hit, and no walks, through 5. The one hit was a jack though but New Hampshire are leading 4-1. Maikel Jova has all four RBI's.

Casey Janssen has allowed one run through six innings on seven hits, game tied 1-1.

Lansing rained out.
Mike Green - Thursday, May 19 2005 @ 09:11 PM EDT (#117152) #
Through 6 innings, New Hampshire leads 5-1. Marcum has allowed 1 hit and 2 walks, with 6 Ks (5 swinging). Interestingly, he seems to be getting stronger as the game goes on, with 4 Ks in the last 2 innings.
Don't Be Kurt With Me, That's Just The Tip Of The Isenberg | 25 comments | Create New Account
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