Results tagged ‘ Arizona Diamondbacks ’
Jeremy Farrell may be the new guy in the White Sox organization, but he is not new to the minor leagues. After five years and 402 minor league games with the Pirates organization, Farrell was signed as a free agent with the Chicago White Sox on Opening Day.
“It was exciting,” Farrell said about signing that closely to the season. “At the end of spring training, I didn’t know where I was going to go. I got the opportunity to sign with the White Sox, and as soon as I found out, my wife and I got in the car and drove up from Florida.”
Moving to a new organization is exciting and different for Farrell, who was drafted in the eighth round of the 2008 Draft by Pittsburgh.
“It was my first time coming over to a new team,” Farrell said. “Everyone’s been great and very welcoming, and baseball is baseball, so you have some common things you can bond over.”
The 26-year-old, who has three hits and three RBIs so far this season, believes that the greatest asset he could bring to the organization is his professionalism.
“I try to be the same guy everyday and bring a consist work ethic to the ballpark everyday and give myself a chance to succeed,” Farrell said.
Both Erben and Farrell will be in action for the Dash this afternoon at 2 against the Carolina Mudcats. Join Brian and Rob for the Pregame Dash at 1:45 here.
- Rob and Erika
The Dash’s season may be over, but there are a handful of Winston-Salem alumni who will be playing for the Salt River Rafters in the Arizona Fall League, and their season begins tonight at 9:35 p.m. EST against the Mesa Solar Sox.
The AFL features some of minor league baseball’s top prospects, and each of the six teams on the circuit consists of representatives from five different MLB organizations. The Rafters boast prospects from the White Sox, Astros, Diamondbacks, Rockies and Tigers.
The White Sox have sent seven players to Salt River for the 2012 AFL season, and all of them made a stop in Winston-Salem en route to this opportunity. Pitchers Andre Rienzo, Santos Rodriguez, Salvador Sanchez and Taylor Thompson are with the Rafters, along with infielders Carlos Sanchez and Andy Wilkins and outfielder Trayce Thompson.
The Rafters will play 32 games over the next few weeks, and fans can track all of the AFL action here.
And if you have never heard of the AFL before, check out this list of AFL Hall of Famers. What a group.
The Arizona Fall League rosters have been released for this autumn’s action, and the Dash are represented well. Current Winston-Salem closer Taylor Thompson, along with five former Dash stars and current White Sox farmhands, will suit up for the Salt River Rafters.
Thompson will join outfielder Trayce Thompson, hurlers Andre Rienzo and Santos Rodriguez and infielders Carlos Sanchez and Andy Wilkins in the AFL. Winston-Salem trainer Cory Barton will also head to Arizona in the same role with the Rafters.
All six White Sox representatives have played in Winston-Salem during their minor league careers. They will join highly-touted prospects from Arizona, Colorado, Toronto and Washington’s farm systems.
Taylor Thompson is 2-1 with a 2.59 earned run average in 30 relief appearances this season. After battling some injuries in the first half, the Montgomery, Ala., native has responded with a second-half ERA of 0.60 in 30 innings of work.
Three other soon-to-be AFL players donned the Dash purple in 2012. Rienzo made four starts and posted a 1.08 ERA in 25 innings before earning a promotion to Double-A Birmingham, where he is 4-3 with a 3.27 ERA. Sanchez is now with Triple-A Charlotte after hitting .315 with 42 RBI and 58 runs scored with Winston during the season’s first three months. Trayce Thompson is also in Triple-A Charlotte following a promotion today. He still leads the Carolina League with 90 RBI and is tied atop the circuit with 22 homers.
Rodriguez was with Winston-Salem throughout the 2010 and 2011 campaigns. In the CL, Rodriguez amassed a 4-3 record and a 3.69 ERA in 72 appearances largely out of the bullpen. He is now with Triple-A Charlotte after boasting a 2.81 ERA in Double-A Birmingham this season.
Finally, Wilkins is with Birmingham, where he is hitting .236 with 17 homers and 66 RBI. The former Arkansas slugger hit .278 with 23 long balls and 89 RBI for the Dash last season.
This season marks the 20th in AFL history. The season runs from October 9 until the annual championship game November 17.
The Carolina League All-Star break occurs at approximately the same time as multiple other leagues around the minors. Thus, it becomes a popular time for promotions. The Dash sent Spencer Arroyo, Daniel Wagner and Jake Oester up to Double-A Birmingham the day after the All-Star Break and received Blair Walters from Kannapolis. While the Dash did not lose any of their three All-Stars to promotion, the same wasn’t true for all representatives of the California-Carolina League All-Star Game. Here are a few of the big names who have recently departed the High-A level.
Cody Buckel- The Rangers called up the 20-year-old Buckel the day after he pitched a scoreless second inning for the Carolina League All-Stars. Their 2nd round pick in 2010 led the league in every major statistical category for a pitcher. He finished with a 5-3 record and a 1.31 ERA. Buckel also had 91 strikeouts and a WHIP of 0.98. He made his Double-A debut Sunday night but picked up the loss after allowing five hits and two runs in four innings.
Buckel is a good friend of Trevor Bauer, the Arizona Diamondbacks top pick in the 2011 draft. Bauer was called up to the big league club Sunday night and will be the first member of the 2011 class to make it to the majors when he makes his debut Thursday night against the Atlanta Braves.
Jackie Bradley, Jr.- To the relief of every Carolina League pitcher, Jackie Bradley, Jr., was called up to Double-A Portland. The Red Sox center fielder set the tone for Salem in the leadoff spot, going on to record league bests in batting average, doubles, on-base percentage and walks. In his first four games at the Double-A level Bradley Jr. is hitting .375 and has scored four runs. Outside of his offensive numbers, Bradley also has tremendous defensive range in center field.
Jeremie Tice- The Mudcats masher during the first-half of the season carried his big bat up to Double-A Akron. Tice was primarily a designated hitter for Carolina but spent a few games in left field and first base. In 52 games during the first half of the season, Tice hit .282 with 12 home runs, 47 RBI and a league-best slugging percentage of .580. In three games with Akron, Tice is hitting .417 with a homer and five RBI.
Sugar Ray Marimon- The former Wilmington right-hander punched his way into Double-A after compiling a 4-2 record and 2.12 ERA in nine starts. Marimon struck out 60 batters and walked 18 in 68 innings. He will make his debut for the Northwest Arkansas Naturals Monday afternoon.
A few players from the California League were selected as All-Stars but had already been promoted from their High-A clubs. Most notably, Tony Cingrani of the Cincinnati Reds organization was sent from Bakersfield to Double-A Pensacola after compiling a 5-1 record and 1.11 ERA in the notoriously hitter-friendly California League. Cingrani also struck out 71 batters in just 56 and two-thirds innings. Cingrani has made four starts with the Double-A Blue Wahoos, with his best coming against Birmingham on June 8 when he pitched six scoreless innings, striking out nine batters.
Mid-season promotions change the dynamic of a team but are a necessary part of minor league baseball. The Dash lost many pieces from a title-winning first-half team, but, for the moment their three All-Stars remain on the roster. With each of the Southern Division teams losing key members, the Dash could be in line to win the second half as well.
Who does not like players that make instant impacts on their team? Since arriving in Winston-Salem to play for the Dash June 8, Cyle Hankerd has played extremely well. The outfielder has been providing great offense in the lineup.
Through his first four games, he has eight hits, five RBIs, and three home runs to go with a .533 batting average.
Hankerd started his 2012 season with the Kannapolis Intimidators, the Low-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox. In just nine games with the Intimidators, he had 14 hits, 14 RBIs, five home runs and a .438 batting average.
A reason for Hankerd’s strong play might be because of his experience. The 27-year-old was first drafted and signed to play professional baseball in 2006 by the Arizona Diamondbacks. Hankerd reached Triple-A Reno with the D-Backs, but they let him go after the 2010 season.
In 2011, Hankerd played with the independent Amarillo Sox inside the American Association. He had 99 hits, 74 RBIs, 10 home runs and a .355 batting average in 70 games with the Sox.
This year, when the White Sox signed him less than a month ago, Hankerd had already missed almost half of the minor league season. He has had to use his time in Single-A as a de facto spring training.
Although Hankerd hopes to continue to move up in the White Sox system, he is pleased with how the organization is letting him take his time.
“The White Sox have been awesome about easing me in and not really throwing too much at me early,” Hankerd said. “I am very appreciative for that.”
In his brief time playing for the Dash, Hankerd has already seen the great support that the fans provide for the team.
“This is one of the nicest facilities and atmospheres I’ve ever played in,” he said. “And when you get put in an atmosphere like this, it’s fun to play and it just makes everything better.”
We do not know how long Hankerd will be in Winston-Salem, but he has certainly made quite an impact.
- Daniel Braswell
Our preview of potential California League All-Stars concludes today with a look at the Visalia Rawhide (High-A Affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks). The Rawhide is right in the middle of the North Division, but just a game over .500. Visalia did catch the attention of all of Minor League baseball back on May 15, when the team scored 26 runs in a win over the High Desert Mavericks. Outside of that eye-popping final score, the Rawhide are a team that has received solid contributions from its offense and pitching staff. With the help of Visalia broadcaster Donny Baarns, here are a few players likely to fill out the roster for the California League in Winston-Salem.
LHP Andrew Chafin - Arizona selected three pitchers in the first round of the 2011 draft and while Chafin might not yet get the hype of fellow arms Trevor Bauer and Archie Bradley, the 43rd overall pick has dominated the California League. Baseball America puts Chafin as the 13th best prospect in the system, and the left-hander has shown why in the first half of the year. He has a 3-0 record and 3.20 ERA in the hitter-friendly league. Chafin also ranks second in the league with 66 strikeouts.
“He utilizes his wipeout slider, which is the best in the Arizona system and possibly one of the deadliest in the minors,” Baarns said. “He can throw it with different tilts and locations in different situations and is particularly brutal against lefthanders.”
LHP David Holmberg - This is a familiar name for White Sox fans. Holmberg was selected by Chicago in the 2nd round of the 2009 draft and spent that season in rookie-level Great Falls, compiling a 2-2 record with a 4.73 ERA. He was included in the 2010 trade which sent Daniel Hudson to the Diamondbacks for Edwin Jackson.
This season, the left-hander has a 6-3 record with a 3.25 ERA and a strikeout to walk ratio of 5-to-1. He has recorded a win in each of his last five starts. Baseball America lists Holmberg as the sixth best prospect in the Diamondbacks organization.
“He has been steady and consistent as Visalia’s number one starter by keeping the ball low in the zone and inducing ground balls while also racking up strikeouts,” Baarns said. ”He has also shown the ability to make in-game adjustments when he does not have his best stuff.”
SS Chris Owings -The Diamondbacks first pick in the 2009 draft (41st overall) is hitting the ball well in his second season at the High-A level. The shortstop is batting .325 with 62 hits, nine home runs and 21 RBI. Baseball America ranks Owings as the seventh best prospect in the Arizona system.
The Diamondbacks have high expectations for Owings to be a mainstay at the big league level. “He has made great strides at the plate this year while showing great tools at shortstop,” Baarns said. “Arizona considers him a possible successor to Stephen Drew in the future.”
Any shortstop in the California League not named Billy Hamilton is unlikely to start in the All-Star Game, but Owings will certainly be a strong candidate to be in attendance.
Thanks for following along with our California League All-Star previews. The All-Star ballots will be out shortly and in a few weeks we will know the definitive list of players who will be in Winston-Salem for the 2012 All-Star Game festivities.
Meanwhile, the Dash begin a big series tonight in Zebulon against the Carolina Mudcats. First pitch is slated for 7:15. Join us on the Pre-Game Dash starting at 7:00.