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...and his manager sees fit to bench him for the second game of the day. Some people are hard to please! Four wins for the Blue Jay farm in six scheduled matches and the continuation of a suspended game. Encouraging efforts from two players on rehab.

Syracuse 3 @ Indianapolis 4

Game Over Gronk had a rare off night as the Indians rallied past the SkyChiefs. Gronkiewicz came on in relief of Jamie Vermilyea in the bottom of the 8th with a runner on first and two out, Syracuse up 3 – 2. A stolen base and a wild pitch put the runner on 3rd, and Lee then walked two to load ‘em up. The next batter grounded a single up the middle to score two. The Chiefs managed two singles as a comeback effort in the 9th, but could not score.

It was Chris Baker who made the start for Syracuse, allowing 2 runs on 4 hits of 5-1/3, 3-2 K-BB. Vermilyea came on to strand two runners and tossed 2-1/3 total, with two hits and two whiffs. John-Ford Griffin led the offence, driving in all 3 runs as he hit his 20th homer, a single, and drew a bases-loaded walk. Gabe Gross was in the leadoff spot and reached twice on walks. Some guy by the name of Koskie played 3rd base and went 1-for-3 with a double and a strikeout.


Akron 0 @ New Hampshire 6

Vince Perkins, Bubbie Buzachero, and Brad Mumma teamed up to shut out the Aeros with authority. Only 3 Akronites even reached base (2 singles and a walk off Perkins) as Perkins and Buzachero pitched 4 innings each and the troika struck out 15 for the game.

The offence did its thing in the 3rd inning, scoring 4. Curtis Thigpen got the rally started with a double, the first of two hits for him. He also walked, and Raul Tablado joined him in the 2-hit 1-walk column. Tablado stole his 4th base for good measure.


Dunedin 5 @ Vero Beach 11

The D-Jays banged out 12 hits, but unfortunately they gave up 17 and took it on the chin. Starter Kurt Isenberg could have been advised to be a little more wild, as he walked none but was peppered for 11 hits over his 5-1/3, good for 5 runs (4 earned). He struck out 5 along the way. Danny Hill came on to post the curious line of 1-1/3 innings, 4 unearned runs on 1 hit and 2 walks.

It was doubles night at V-Beach, as the Dodgers smack 5 two-baggers to the Blue Jays 4 (Mayorson, Lind, Smith, Dragicevich). Catcher Guillermo Quiroz went yard as part of a two-hit night. Smith and Dragicevich also registered multi-hit lines.


Fort Wayne 4 @ Lansing 5

A Chuck Anderson homer highlighted a Lugnut win in a see-saw battle. Walks were in vogue, as the ‘Nuts drew 11 free passes, including two each for Anderson, Christian Snavely and Luke Hetherington, and 3 for leadoff hitter Jason Armstrong. Yuber Rodriquez didn’t get in on the walking, but he did hit a double and single.

Russ Savickas started and allowed 2 runs over 5 frames (5 hits, 1-3 K-BB) and was followed by Juan Perez, who was labeled BS for allowing 2 runs over the next two innings. Derek Roy got the W for his spotless 8th inning, and Joey McLaughlin was awarded his 6th save after a nervous ninth which saw him surrender two hits and a walk but no runs.


Auburn 5 @ Brooklyn 4 (Completion of suspended game – 10 innings)
Auburn 4 @ Brooklyn 2 (7 innings)

The Doubledays sailed into first place by completing a come-from-behind win in the continuation of Sunday’s game and then beating the Cyclones in a 7-inning affair.

Down 3-0 after 4 innings when Sunday’s game was suspended due to fog, the Doubledays got the bats going on Monday to score 5 in 6 innings. 2B Sean Shoffit smacked 3 doubles and a single, RF Ryan Patterson collected three base knocks, and CF Matt Cooksey contributed two singles and the game-winning RBI. LF Brian Pettway walked, singled to lead off the 10th-inning rally, and threw out a baserunner at home plate. Eddie Rodriguez picked up Sunday starter Eric Fowler and tossed 3 shutout frames, allowing just two hits and a walk while striking out one. Gabriel Alfaro followed with two more shutout innings to collect the win, and Adrian Martin collected his first save with a one-run 10th inning.

In the 7-inning contest, the Doubledays got 8 hits, 1 each from hitters 2 through 9. Leadoff hitter Manny Sena contributed as well, drawing a walk and driving in a run. 1B Big City Metropoulos, DH Kyle Bohm, and 2B Marshall Bernhard all hit doubles.

Kristian Bell had himself a fine outing, striking out 6 over 6 innings while allowing 2 runs on 5 hits and a walk. He was capably relieved by Billy Carnline, who notched his first pro save.

Boxscores: Continuation game, 7-inning game.

Danville 10 @ Pulaski 5

The Braves came to town and did a convincing job of showing the Jays why they’re in first place. Francisco Mateo kept things in order over the first six, giving up 8 hits but just 3 runs, but Ben Harrison and Scott Byrnes came out in the 7th throwing BP, tonged to the tune of 5 earned, plus two more off Byrnes in the 8th.

The exclamation point in the12-hit Pulaski attack was a 2-homer night for RF Jake Butler. CF Zach Kalter, 2B Wesley Stone, 1B Paul Franko, and DH Al Quintana also had 2-hit nights.


Three-Star Selection!

With honourable mentions to John-Ford Griffin and Vince Perkins:

The Third Star: Jake Butler, Pulaski. 2 round-trippers.

The Second Star: Bubbie Buzachero, New Hampshire. 4 perfect innings featuring 6 Ks.

The First Star: Sean Shoffit, Auburn. 3 doubles, a single, and a walk in 6 PA.

Sean Shoffit Sees Fit To Reach Five Times | 36 comments | Create New Account
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Mike Green - Tuesday, July 19 2005 @ 09:28 AM EDT (#123167) #
The Fisher Cats are now tied with the Trenton Thunder for first place in the Northern Division of the Eastern League (the NE division?). Portland is 1/2 game behind. Tonight the Cats send Zach Jackson to face Bear Bay of Akron.
Maldoff - Tuesday, July 19 2005 @ 09:39 AM EDT (#123168) #
Has anyone noticed that for a pitcher with supposedly dominating stuff, Francisco Rosario does not really dominate hitters? He has a VERY good WHIP of 1.185, but a very low KBF of 15.36%. By comparison, even Chad Gaudin has a KBF of 19.66%

Any thoughts?
MatO - Tuesday, July 19 2005 @ 10:13 AM EDT (#123171) #
Rosario has always had good but not great K rates. I think the main problem is the lack of an outstanding breaking pitch. He's always been known for his outstanding fastball and changeup but those aren't pitches that generate K's on their own particularly at higher levels.
Mike Green - Tuesday, July 19 2005 @ 10:51 AM EDT (#123172) #
A highlight of the Lugnuts' win last night was a fine defensive play by Ryan Klosterman, described here.
Marc Hulet - Tuesday, July 19 2005 @ 11:00 AM EDT (#123173) #
1B Charlie Anderson is quietly putting together a nice run after starting the season in extended spring training and collecting dust on the Lansing bench for about a month.

After 20 games he is hitting .295 .463 .639 with 18 BB and 13 K in five homers and 20 RBI in 61 AB.

He's 23, so he should be doing well in low-A but he hit more than .300 in Pulaski last season. He has shown good power, an ability to drive in runs and an excellent understanding of the strike zone. Hopefully he will get a little more playing time over David Hicks who is lacking in all those areas.
Mike Green - Tuesday, July 19 2005 @ 11:12 AM EDT (#123175) #
Incidentally, it was NH Manager Mike Basso's 41st birthday yesterday. The win will do as a fine present from the players to their spring chicken manager.
Nigel - Tuesday, July 19 2005 @ 11:17 AM EDT (#123176) #
I think the strangest stat line of the year so far is Luke Hetherington's line in Lansing - .269/.424/.338 (no the OBP and SLG are not reversed). He's walked 48 times in 201 official AB's. No power though.
Sister - Tuesday, July 19 2005 @ 11:21 AM EDT (#123177) #
This may be an odd request, nonetheless:

As someone who knows very little about the low minors (Auburn and Pulaski specifically), I would appreciate it if someone more in the know could list a few of the pitchers and hitters playing for each team that I "should" have high expectations for -- you know, guys to keep an eye on. While the names from Lansing on up resonate well in my brain, the players on the short season teams do not (outside of Romero and Petteway).
Mike Green - Tuesday, July 19 2005 @ 11:43 AM EDT (#123180) #
There will be reports on Auburn and Pulaski from Rob and Jonny at the end of the month. The names to watch essentially are the high draft picks from 2005- Ryan Patterson, outfielder in Auburn, Josh Bell, catcher in Auburn, Robert Ray, Paul Phillips, Eric Fowler and Josh Sowers, pitchers in Auburn, and Jacob Butler, outfielder and Wes Stone, middle infielder in Pulaski. Watch for the reports of Jonny and Rob, as well as interviews with some of the Auburn players, coming soon.
Pistol - Tuesday, July 19 2005 @ 11:43 AM EDT (#123181) #

Try out the previews for each of those teams from a few weeks back:


MatO - Tuesday, July 19 2005 @ 11:52 AM EDT (#123182) #
The only player we should have high expectations for is Ricky Romero. The players in Pulaski and Auburn for the most part are one month into their professional careers and were not high draft picks. Pulaski has had an infusion of Latin American players this year so they are probably just getting over their culture shock. History would suggest you shouldn't expect much from these players but history also suggests that there will be surprises.
Marc Hulet - Tuesday, July 19 2005 @ 12:02 PM EDT (#123183) #
I would also keep an eye on Pulaski catcher Jonathan Jaspe and Auburn pitcher Orlando Trias.

OF Zach Kalter has an awesome BB/K ratio of 18-10 in Pulaski with good speed (8 SB) and athleticism (He was a two-way player in college) and should only get better as he focuses on hitting full-time.

As well, in Pulaski, RHP Jesse Litsch has looked good and Baseball America likes 18-year-old Wil Aguirre, who has good stuff for a lefty but has struggled while adjusting to North American life as a teenager.
Mick Doherty - Tuesday, July 19 2005 @ 12:24 PM EDT (#123184) #
Did anyone else see the SportsCenter feature on the FIsher Cats? Part of the "50 stats in 50 Days" tour and the F-Cats were the centerpiece to New Hampshire.

Zach Jackson, on camera, in defense of the Fisher Cat mascot, said -- yes, he was kidding, but still -- that he was unsure if the Blue Jay was a tough enough mascot for a team to have.

They did about 60 seconds on the Fisher Cats and closed by cutting back to the anchor -- Stuart Scott? I forget -- who gave the score of last night's game.
MatO - Tuesday, July 19 2005 @ 02:59 PM EDT (#123198) #
Lansing played an afternoon game losing 2-1 to Fort Wayne with all the runs coming in the first. Cheng started and gave up 3 hits and a walk in the first and then only a walk in the 6th and a single leading off the 7th after that. He was pulled after that leadoff single with 5 K's in the six plus innings.
Mike Forbes - Tuesday, July 19 2005 @ 04:47 PM EDT (#123206) #
Cheng's numbers are very impressive for a 20 year old in the Midwest League.. I think he's a very underrated prospect. His strikeout numbers are great. I'm not sure his about his control but I think he could manage a call up to Dunedin very well.
smcs - Tuesday, July 19 2005 @ 04:58 PM EDT (#123207) #
I also saw the spotscenter feature. Stuart Scott was in Hew Hampshire and I think that it was John Anderson who gave the score after the feature was over, does that sound right?
and now i know what a fisher cat is
Pistol - Tuesday, July 19 2005 @ 05:21 PM EDT (#123208) #
"Cheng's numbers are very impressive for a 20 year old in the Midwest League.. I think he's a very underrated prospect."

If I remember correctly John Sickels wrote in his prospect book that Cheng could make a big leap forward.

It looks like control will be Cheng's issue. He's walking 4 per 9 and has also hit 5 batters and has 6 wild pitches. Sounds a bit like Purcey's control.
Marc Hulet - Tuesday, July 19 2005 @ 06:25 PM EDT (#123222) #
But Cheng doesn't throw nearly as hard as Purcey.
Mike Green - Tuesday, July 19 2005 @ 06:32 PM EDT (#123224) #
There are 2 issues with Cheng: control and adding a couple of miles per hour on his fastball as he matures. From reports, he seems to have already added a couple from last year, and he's throwing it with pretty good control A 90-92 mph fastball and an outstanding hook from a lefty has been the stuff of major league success.

Cheng will start in Dunedin in 2006. We may see him at some point late in 2007, but more likely it'll be in 2008 if everything goes well.
JC - Tuesday, July 19 2005 @ 07:55 PM EDT (#123233) #
Justin Miller cleared waivers and is assigned to Syracuse.

Surprising he was not claimed. Good news for us, I suppose.
Gerry - Tuesday, July 19 2005 @ 09:06 PM EDT (#123238) #
Sean Shoffit is 3-3 tonight, and Cory Patton has 2 home runs. Zach Jackson has pitched 7 strong innings for New Hampshire so far.
Rich - Tuesday, July 19 2005 @ 10:04 PM EDT (#123240) #
I would add Ryan Patterson to the list of first-year players to watch: .377 / .425 / .642 in his first 103 professional at-bats. He leads the NY-Penn league in home runs, hits, doubles, and slugging percentage and is in the top 10 in average, OBP, and RBI. In short, the kid is ripping it up; wouldn't be surprised to see him bumped to Dunedin if he keeps this up.
Lugnut Fan - Wednesday, July 20 2005 @ 07:52 AM EDT (#123256) #
Just to add on the Cheng discussion, I think at some point he is going to be moved out to the bullpen and used in a middle relief to long relief situation. He does struggle with the command. As far as his success in the MWL, most of the kids in this league are 18-20. Lansing has a team that is very old for the league and you can see that with how many transactions have been made to move players out of Lansing over the year. I have seen more transactions with the Lugnuts this year alone than I saw in all of the previous six with the Cubs organization.
Jonny German - Wednesday, July 20 2005 @ 08:55 AM EDT (#123263) #
As far as his success in the MWL, most of the kids in this league are 18-20.

Robert Dudek calculated league-average ages in the 2003 season (with age being the standard baseball age - as of July 1), and he found the following:

Appalachian League (Pulaski) - 20.8
New York - Penn League (Auburn) - 21.9
South Atlantic League (where the Charleston Alley Cats played, same level as the MWL) - 22.2

He didn't post the numbers for the Midwest League, but I know it has a reputation for being a fairly young league. Younger than the rookie-level Appalachian League? I've got my doubts.

Cheng turned 20 on June 20th.

Lugnut Fan - Wednesday, July 20 2005 @ 09:14 AM EDT (#123265) #
Thanks Jonny,

I was just posting on my glances over the rosters. I will say that Lansing's roster would skew the number a bit. I don't know what the average age is for sure, but like I said in review of the rosters, a lot of the top prospects seem to come through in the 18 to 20 y/o range. We get the occasional 17 year old through here as well which was the case with Carlos Zambrano and Felix Pie when they played in Lansing.
NDG - Wednesday, July 20 2005 @ 09:53 AM EDT (#123269) #
I think using average league age when talking about prospects is a little disingeuous, as most prospects are young for the league and the "non-prospects" are the ones that drive up the average age.

It would probably be more useful to determine the average age that players first enter a league to compare whether a 'prospect' is young or not. At the very lowest level, this age and average age would be similar, but as you get higher up the ladder, the ages would digress.

Even at the NY-Penn level you get a lot of players repeating the league, which increases the average age. However as Pistol pointed out earlier, anyone who repeats short-season, is likely never going to reach the majors.
Jonny German - Wednesday, July 20 2005 @ 10:50 AM EDT (#123275) #
I think using average league age when talking about prospects is a little disingeuous, as most prospects are young for the league and the "non-prospects" are the ones that drive up the average age.

Yes and no. It's true that a player who is 23 years old in Low-A is much less likely to pan out as a prospect than a 20-year-old player in the same league with similar stats. But the "non-prospects" who drive up the league average age are generally not lousy players. They may be skewing the average age, but they're also raising the level of competition.

To help illustrate my point: Last year, 19-year-old Emannuel Sena hit .241/.367/.309 in 162 Appalachian League at-bats. 22-year-old Charles Anderson hit .311/.429/.523 in 151 AB. Chuck is a long-shot prospect and we'd expect him to play well in the Appy due to his age; Manny we're more excited about despite the inferior stats because he's young and is showing some positive signs. But now let's consider a 21-year-old pitcher in the same league - He's a little old to be a prospect, but his age looks okay due to the presence of guys like Anderson. But as much as he can feast on "prospects" like Sena, it's "non-prospects" like Anderson that help keep his stats honest.

I like to work backwards from the Majors. I figure if a player is going to have any real impact in the Majors, his first full year will probably be no later than age 25. If he's currently 23 years old in Low-A, he's got to get through 4 levels of the minors in the next two years. Can it happen? Absolutely - Chip Cannon fit this profile exactly to start this season, and right now it looks very likely that he'll be a 24-year-old in AAA next year.

NDG - Wednesday, July 20 2005 @ 11:54 AM EDT (#123283) #
I agree Jonny that the older guys provide better competition, but all prospects face the same competition so that is a moot point (the stats can be directly compared). The point I'm making is if you truly want to determine whether a prospect is young for his league he needs to be compared to other prospects, not the general population. How do you in general determine a prospects age? I'd say the best simple way is to use the entrance age into a league rather than the average age. It still has limitations (especially in terms of really hurting college guys), but it's better than comparing to guys with no shot at an ML career (but only in terms of projecting prospect status).
Mike Green - Wednesday, July 20 2005 @ 12:21 PM EDT (#123286) #
New Hampshire has an early game with Akron today. They're scoreless through 4, as Dustin McGowan has allowed only 1 hit and struck out 6.
Jonny German - Wednesday, July 20 2005 @ 12:38 PM EDT (#123292) #
I guess it's a matter of what you're using the age to gauge. I think you'll agree that it would be far too simplistic to say "The entrance age in this league is 19.6 and this guy got there at age 18, therefore he's a prospect". I'd rather look at how the individual player is doing, and my expectations are going to be higher the older the player is compared to the league average. Then the "working back from the Majors" - How steep is his growth curve going to be if he's going to make it? Chip Cannon needed to blast through several levels in one year, and so far he's doing that nicely.

Back to the player that brought this up, there's nothing in Chi Cheng's stat line to cast reasonable doubt on his prospect status. He's dominating Low-A hitters at the age of 20. The growth curve ahead of him to be a successful big leaguer is a basic one-level-per-year. That's not to say it'll be easy or that he's any kind of sure thing, but he's definitely a solid prospect by the numbers.
Lugnut Fan - Wednesday, July 20 2005 @ 12:54 PM EDT (#123297) #

I agree with your analysis on Cheng. He needs a little bit of work, but he is a prospect. I just don't think he is a starter......That isn't up to me to decide however.
MatO - Wednesday, July 20 2005 @ 01:02 PM EDT (#123299) #
Another way to look at it is if Cheng was a college pitcher he wouldn't be draft eligible until at least next year when he's 21 and he'll very likely be pitching in Dunedin then. Only the top college draft picks make high A in their draft years and Cheng would be equivalent to them. The thing to like so far about Cheng is that he went from Pulaski to Lansing and maintained his H/IP, SO/IP and HR/IP rates while lowering his BB/IP rate substantially.
Joe - Wednesday, July 20 2005 @ 01:21 PM EDT (#123303) #
The NH game is now tied 1-1; Cannon hit a solo home run in the bottom of the fifth after Akron scored one in the top.

Chip has finally had a stretch where he hasn't been totally dominant: .257/.257/.486, with 0 BB and 12 SO through yesterday's game. He struck out once today, too.
Mike Green - Wednesday, July 20 2005 @ 01:51 PM EDT (#123310) #
They're in the bottom of the ninth in New Hampshire with the score tied at 1. The Syracuse-Indianopolis game starts at 3, with video available through
Maldoff - Wednesday, July 20 2005 @ 01:59 PM EDT (#123314) #
Game is now into the bottom of the 10th in New Hampshire, still tied at 1's.

Shome quick highlights....Chip Cannon is 1 for 3 with a walk and a homer. Curtis Thigpen (who is catching) is 2 for 3 on 2 singles. And finally, and most importantly, McGowan went 5.1 innings, with 4 hits, 0 ER, 3 BB, 7 K. I'm just trying to figure out why they took him out so early.
NDG - Wednesday, July 20 2005 @ 02:25 PM EDT (#123319) #
I figure if a player is going to have any real impact in the Majors, his first full year will probably be no later than age 25.

I've got an even simpler system now. After Craig's little study earlier this year and some research on my own, I've determined nearly all above-average major leaguers reached the show in three years or less (including high schoolers). This is now my 'prospect rating system'. While simplistic I guess it makes some sense. A prospect that can reach the majors that quickly must possess 1) raw ability and 2) enough smarts, to overcome the rapid advancement in opponent talent he faces. This must be similar to being in the Majors with the amount of scouting available where you must be able to adjust quickly.

With my new system, I'm far higher on say, Russ Adams than I was in the past, and not really all that sure of the future of Rios.

BTW, I wasn't really arguing against Cheng's prospect status, more I just don't like the "young for his league" statement.

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