Ka-Blam!!!

Saturday, August 06 2005 @ 07:00 AM EDT

Contributed by: Jordan

That's the sound of offensive explosions reverberating all the way through the Blue Jays' system, including an incredible 9th inning for New Hampshire, an amazing 10th inning for Auburn, and yet another stupendous performance by Adam Lind. All this, and Josh Banks pitches his best game of the year. Could anything ruin this night? Only some spoilsports in Pulaski.

Inspired by my colleague Rob, who turned in an unconventional Minor-League Update earlier this week, I'm going to try something a little different myself.

Syracuse 3 Pawtucket 2

Jamie Vermilyea is not particularly lighting up the International League, although he emerged with the victory in relief last night. Against a Pawtucket lineup that featured the likes of Mark Bellhorn, Kelly Shoppach, Kevin Youkilis and (shudder) leadoff hitter Dave Berg, Vermilyea allowed 6 hits and 2 walks in just 3 2/2 innings, but remarkably, yielded not a single run. That performance pushed his Triple-A ERA all the way down to 6.53. He has allowed 37 baserunners in his first 20 Syracuse innings. All of which to say, heís still adjusting to the highest level of the minor leagues.

Prospect Watch:

- Gabe Gross: 2/4, 1 run scored, .290 BA
- Guillermo Quiroz: 0/2, 1 BB, .256 BA
- John Hattig: 2/4, double, RBI, .333 BA
- Justin Miller: 2 2/3 IP, 2 ER, 1 H, 2 BB, 5 K: no idea why he left early

Box score


New Hampshire 9 Reading 2

Curtis Thigpen, meanwhile, is doing his best to acclimatize himself to the Eastern League. Still adjusting to the difficult two-level jump from Low-A Lansing, Thigpen cracked his second Double-A homer last night, giving him a total of 7 on the year between the two leagues. Thigpen hit 7 homers in his short-season debut at Auburn last season, but that power surge was slightly illusory: his single-season college HR high was also 7. So far, Thigpen has shown an excellent batting eye and doubles power, but little else to justify a second-round selection; the Blue Jays hope for more. The Fisher Cats actually trailed this game 2-0 heading to the top of the 9th, but incredibly, scored 9 runs in the 9th inning: Thigpen homered to tie the game and, later in the same inning, singled to drive in the final run (he plated Clint Johnston both times). In addition, the Cats got a triple and 6 singles in the inning, plus two throwing errors by Phillies third baseman Nate Grindell.

Prospect Watch:

- Josh Banks: 7 IP, 2 R, 0 ER, 4 H, 0 BB, 11 K: thatís more like it
- Steve Andrade: 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 BB, 5 K: W
- Ryan Roberts: 2/4, triple, BB, .271 BA
- Miguel Negron: 2/4, RBI, K, .245 BA
- Chip Cannon: 0/4, 1 BB, 3 K, .205 BA: still adjusting to AA

Box score

Dunedin 11 St. Lucie 2

You know what, I think Adam Lind is ready for Double-A. Fresh off being named the Florida State Leagueís Player of the Week, Lind collected his second two-homer game in seven days, going 4-for-4 with 5 RBIs and 3 runs scored. In his pro debut with Auburn last summer, he posted a .308/.367/.474 line in 266 AB. This year, after a hot April and a steaming July/August, Lind sits at .314/.375/.475 in 398 AB. I think Lind is going to have Russ Adamsí propensity to produce the same line no matter what level he plays at. Chip Cannon might be the Jaysí best hitting prospect, but if he isnít, itís certainly Lind. This guy is going places.

Prospect Watch:

- Davis Romero: 5 1/3 IP, 2 R, 1 ER, 5 H, 3 BB, 4 K: 3.44 ERA
- Carlo Cota: 3/4, 3 R, RBI: .357 BA
- Eric Arnold : 2/4, 2B, R: .286 BA

Box score

Lansing 12 Burlington 4

It seems safe to say that Danny Core does not much care for the Midwest League, even after throwing 7 innings last night and picking up his 5th win of the year (against 7 losses). Core pitched pretty decently for Charleston last season: 9-8, 3.43, 157 IP, 137 H, 52 BB, 132 K, 15 HR (remember that last stat). This year, repeating Low-A, Coreís ERA has ballooned to 7.19, and he has allowed 93 H and 33 BB in just 77 innings. More starkly, 20 of those hits have gone for home runs. Thatís right Ė extrapolate that over a 200-inning season, and Core would surrender a Blylevenesque 52 long balls. Core has not been considered a major prospect for the Jays, but this kind of implosion is shocking nonetheless. Lansing scored 3 runs in the 5th, 4 in the 6th and 5 in the 8th last night: thatís a lot of crooked numbers.

Prospect Watch:

- Christian Snavely: 2/5, 2B, 2 RBI, .288 BA
- Brian Patrick:3/4, 2B, 3 R, 3 RBI, .292 BA

Box score


Auburn 7 Oneonta 6 (10 innings)

Cory Patton started the season in Lansing and found himself pretty overmatched, struggling to a .200/.259/.350 line in 180 ABs. Demoted back to Auburn, heís been ripping it up ever since, posting a .305/.379/.610 line in 122 ABs heading into last nightís game, in which he launched his 9th home run, a two-run, extra-inning blast that set the stage for a remarkable Lugnut comeback. With the game tied at 3 in the top of the 10th, Doubledays reliever Yesson Berroa allowed a 2-out, 3-run homer to visiting Oneonta. In the bottom of the inning, though, Auburn drew close on Pattonís 2-run shot (his 2nd hit of the night) and won it on a walk-off 2-run homer by Nick Thomas (his 3rd hit).

Prospect Watch:

- Randy Dicken: 5 IP, 2 ER. 3 H, 2 BB, 5 K, 3.74 ERA
- Jermy Acey: 2/5, R, .304 BA
- Ryan Patterson: 1/2, 3B, R, .326 BA, but left the game halfway through

Box score


Burlington 2 Pulaski 1 (10 innings)

Sorry, nothing of interest really happened here, and Iím annoyed at the P-Jays for spoiling an otherwise perfect night for the farm system.

Box score


Your Three-Star Selection: Lots of great candidates, but there can be only three winners:


3. Nick Thomas, Auburn: Three hits, including a walk-off, extra-inning home run, and heís only the 3rd star.

2. Josh Banks, New Hampshire: No earned runs in 7 innings on 4 hits and 11 strikeouts.

1. Adam Lind, Dunedin: 4/4, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 3 R: give that young man a ticket to Manchester.

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