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They call it short-season ball, but the previews are just as long.

The Auburn Doubledays have averaged 51 wins over their last three years. In other words, going year-by-year and adjusting for a full 162-game season, they have won the equivalent of 100, 123 and 110 games from 2002 to 2004.

Alas, in every one of those years, they lost in the first round of the playoffs. Let's see how the Atlanta Braves of the NY-Penn League fare this year with the following players:

All ages as of June 21, 2005

Josh Bell, C
Age: 20
Recent Numbers: Hit .338/.401/.546 with another Auburn, the NCAA Tigers and showed significantly improved plate discipline in his third college year
Behind The Stats: Good game-caller, though below-average defensively...nonetheless, the Jays project him as a catcher...his major at Auburn was criminology, of all things...2004 Cape Cod League participant
What Needs Answering: Will he handle he tools of ignorance well enough to stick behind the plate? Will he suffer from Kevin Cash Disease?
Drafted: 8th round, 2005

Marshall Bernhard, SS
Age: 22
Recent Numbers: Hit .324/.390/.434 with U. of Central Florida, stole 25 of 30 bases
Behind The Stats: Moved midseason to shortstop and "solidified the defense" for UCF
What Needs Answering: Will his pro debut be more similar to Ryan Klosterman or Juan Peralta?
Drafted: 26th round, 2005

Jarad Mangioni, 3B
Age: 21
Recent Numbers: Already in his fourth pro season, last year's .262/.348/.410 is the best mark of this Aussie's career
What Needs Answering: Will his third time through the league be any better?
Signed: as an amateur free agent in 2001

Joey Metropolous, 1B/DH
Age: 21
Recent Numbers: .257/.362/.480 with the Doubledays last year...the Three True Outcomes leader of the team
Behind The Stats: Better defensively than expected, given his 6-foot-1, 230 frame...fell to the 9th round last year after an off 2004 season at USC
What Needs Answering: How long will he last with a short-season team this summer?
Drafted: 9th round, 2004

Ryan Patterson, CF
Age: 22
Recent Numbers: .369/.448/.719 with LSU...20 HR in just 61 games (53 over a full season)...more walks than strikeouts
Behind The Stats: Won the 2004 Thurman Munson Award as the Cape Cod League's top hitter...Scouting Director Jon Lalonde compared his "reckless abandon" to that of Reed Johnson...scouts say he'll end up as a corner outfielder
What Needs Answering: Will his experience with wooden bats in the Cape league translate to advanced power in Auburn?
Drafted: 4th round, 2005

Brian Pettway, OF
Age: 21
Recent Numbers: .383/.453/.692 with Mississippi
Behind The Stats: 2005's improvement due to weight loss and enhanced approach and pitch selection at plate...BA: "perhaps the best hitter in the Southeastern Conference"...seems a natural fit for right field with a plus arm
What Needs Answering: Just his offense, really -- will he hit like he is capable of hitting?
Drafted: 3th round, 2005

The only surprise here is the omission of Jacob Butler (Pulaski) and the addition of Marshall Bernhard. I figured it would be the other way around. Also, Pettway has not yet signed, but he will eventually, so don't panic.

All ages as of June 21, 2005

Eric Fowler, LHP
Age: 22
Recent Numbers: Great peripheral numbers with Mississippi in 67 innings
Behind The Stats: Does not prefer bullpen, though it seems a likely destination
What Needs Answering: Can Fowler stick as a starter or will he end up as a "a LH reliever with an out pitch"?
Drafted: 5th round, 2005

Adrian Martin, RHP
Age: 20
Recent Numbers: Swing man for Pulaski in 2004 with good K/BB ratio...did everything expected of him in the Appy league...cameo appearances in Dunedin and Lansing so far this year, but he will start in Auburn
Behind The Stats: For some reason, he was the only player listed at Auburn's roster page on Tuesday.
What Needs Answering: What will his role be on this pitching-rich Auburn club?
Drafted: 19th round, 2003

Casey McKenzie, RHP
Age: 22
Recent Numbers: Good but not great with Auburn in 2004: in 15 starts with 69 innings (the most on the team) he had a 1.39 WHIP and a 3.78 ERA.
Behind The Stats: The SSC Pitcher of the Week on February 29, 2004 and April 18, 2004. Yeah, it's hard to find anything non-stat-like on him, okay?
What Needs Answering: Can he grab a rotation spot in Dunedin for 2006?
Drafted: 27th round, 2004

Paul Phillips, RHP
Age: 21
Behind The Stats: A power pitcher, "PW" missed 2004 with shoulder injury...nephew of former minor-leaguer...possible candidate for tandem-starter system in 2005
What Needs Answering: Is that shoulder going to be okay?
Drafted: 9th round, 2005

Robert Ray, RHP
Age: 21
Recent Numbers: Swing man for Texas A&M with terrific strikeout numbers and little else...past two years, has struggled in the rotation then thrived in the bullpen
Behind The Stats: Another Cape "graduate" where he was great as a reliever...expected to go before round 7...four good pitches, but none outstanding...another tandem possibility
What Needs Answering: Does he look like a harder-throwing Jamie Vermilyea or is it just me?
Drafted: 7th round, 2005

Ricky Romero, LHP
Age: 20
Recent Numbers: 2.85 baserunner per inning...more than 9 K/9 in 18 starts for Cal State Fullerton
Behind The Stats: Three ML-ready pitches...excellent student of the game...Lalonde: "He's very advanced...he can use [his curve and change] for strikes"
What Needs Answering: Like David Purcey and Zach Jackson, he seems likely to start at Dunedin next year, so...wait until next year for his Spring Training invite to see what he's like. He'll be given some time off before joining Auburn and there's not much one can conclude based on a handful of innings.
Drafted: 1st round, 2005

Josh Sowers, RHP
Age: 22
Recent Numbers: Just 11 walks in 9 starts for Yale...held opponents powerless all year
Behind The Stats: Remarkably similar to twin brother Jeremy, but the Cleveland draft pick is a lefty...hides slider very well...Greg Maddux-like on the mound...fictional fact: was drafted one spot behind "Roy Galladay"
What Needs Answering: How fast will he move through the system?
Drafted: 10th round, 2005

Jordan Timm, RHP
Age: 24
Recent Numbers: Great season for Pulaski last year with a 1.17 WHIP in 61 innings...pitched briefly (2 starts) in Auburn
Behind The Stats: Opening Day starter in 2004 and 2005 for Auburn...big guy at 6-foot-6 and 230 pounds
What Needs Answering: Will he have a chance to end up as a prospect after this year at such an advanced age?
Drafted: 14th round, 2004

The rotation figures to be Timm-Sowers-Fowler-Phillips-Ray, in no particular order; though Timm was the Opening Day starter last night. Note the lack of Romero's name, as he will take some time off like Purcey and Jackson did last year. So, the D-Days might be short a fifth starter, and they need a possible tandem partner for Robert Ray and/or Paul Phillips, if they go that innovative route.

If Phillips and Ray combine for a rotation spot, that means one full-time rotation spot is open. However the rotation shakes down, I'd figure McKenzie gets at least a half-dozen starts on this team.

While there will certainly be more players suiting up for the Doubledays this year, it would not be efficient for me, nor enjoyable for you to read about all of them. What we have here is a short summary of the impact 2005 draftees and notable "leftovers" from 2004. For the entire roster, you can go to

The first game of the Auburn season was last night at against Batavia. It was not available on Internet radio since it was a home game, but the away games of Wednesday (tonight) and Thursday night can be heard (or should be heard) through WDWN, as will all away games in the Doubledays season.

Special thanks to the Batter's Box Minor League crew, Pistol for his draft coverage and Toronto Blue Jays scouting director Jon Lalonde.

2005 Auburn Doubledays Preview | 12 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Mike Green - Wednesday, June 22 2005 @ 10:15 AM EDT (#120271) #
Ryan Patterson started last night's game in right field. Jon Lalonde told us that he would be given a chance in center, so we'll see if this is a temporary thing, or indicative of a change of heart.

With the off-seasons of Miguel Negron and Yuber Rodriguez, centerfield again looks like a potential area of organizational need.

Nice, Rob.
Pistol - Wednesday, June 22 2005 @ 10:43 AM EDT (#120276) #
When he signs I imagine Pettway will be the RF in Auburn, so it'll be interesting to see if Patterson goes to CF or LF when that happens.

I'm a little surprised Pettway isn't signed yet. He was picked in the 3rd round as a junior. I would think it's a relatively straight forward signing, but there's probably other factors involved that we aren't aware of.
Some call me Tim - Wednesday, June 22 2005 @ 11:07 AM EDT (#120281) #
Good preview, Rob. Thanks. One minor typo - Eric Fowler was drafted in the 5th round, not the 1st as it's written.
Marc Hulet - Wednesday, June 22 2005 @ 11:11 AM EDT (#120282) #
I don't think Mangioni is still in the Jays' system. He was not listed on the Jays' official extended spring training roster and is not on the Auburn or Pulaski roster.
Rob - Wednesday, June 22 2005 @ 11:19 AM EDT (#120284) #
It would appear that Mangioni is not with the team. Well, in his place (seeing as how I have him listed at 3B), here's a look at the Opening Day third baseman:

Anthony Garibaldi, 3B
Age: 24
Recent Numbers: At an advanced age with Pulaski last year, put up an OPS of 846...decent walk rate
What Needs Answering: Will there be a reason to consider him a prospect after this year?
Drafted: 37th round, 2004

And the Fowler typo is fixed.

Maldoff - Wednesday, June 22 2005 @ 12:26 PM EDT (#120290) #
Speaking of Ryan Klosterman.....what happened to him this season? He looked great last year at Auburn, but seems to REALLY be scuffling at Lansing this year.
Lugnut Fan - Wednesday, June 22 2005 @ 12:30 PM EDT (#120291) #
He started off really strong with the bat, but he is scuffling as of late. I'm not sure why. It could be something in his swing, or there could be some info. out on him in his scouting reports. I will say that defensively, he is one of the stronger shortstops I have seen at this level.
Lugnut Fan - Wednesday, June 22 2005 @ 12:31 PM EDT (#120292) #
Sorry, previous post was in regards to Klosterman.
Pistol - Wednesday, June 22 2005 @ 12:56 PM EDT (#120294) #
Speaking of Ryan Klosterman.....what happened to him this season? He looked great last year at Auburn

My rule of thumb with drafted college players is that if they struggle in Auburn or Pulaski it's a bad sign. If they do well, it doesn't mean much - they should do well.

I don't think you can really tell much until their first full season of pro ball.

JC - Wednesday, June 22 2005 @ 02:34 PM EDT (#120313) #
Am I the only one who is absolutely freaked out by this picture?
Mike Green - Wednesday, June 22 2005 @ 03:05 PM EDT (#120316) #
It is weird, but he's been the "mascot" for years.
2005 Auburn Doubledays Preview | 12 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.