Results tagged ‘ Billy Hamilton ’

Micah Johnson sprints to Double-A

Micah Johnson is taking his minor league-leading steal total up to Double-A Birmingham (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

Micah Johnson is taking his minor league-leading steal total up to Double-A Birmingham (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

Two days after earning a spot in the prestigious Arizona Fall League, infielder Micah Johnson was promoted to Double-A Birmingham for the first time in his minor league career, the White Sox announced this afternoon. This will be the third different level that he has played at this season, continuing his quick rise through the system.

Johnson has had a phenomenal first full season in the minors. He paces all of Minor League Baseball with 83 stolen bases, 10 more than Cincinnati Reds’ prospect Billy Hamilton. Hamilton stole a single-season minor league record with 155 swipes a year ago, but he has only mustered 73 in Triple-A this season.

A ninth round pick in the 2012 draft, Johnson has also been among the minor league leaders in runs scored throughout the season. Currently, he is in a tie for fourth-most in that category, having scored 104 times between Low-A Kannapolis and Winston-Salem this season.

The former Indiana University Hoosier has had a great season at the plate, boasting a .315 average in 126 games this year with the Intimidators and the Dash, giving himself plenty of opportunities to collect all those stolen bases and runs.

In his time here in Winston, we learned a lot about Johnson, including the reason he is so fast. With the Barons, Johnson will be joining a team that has already clinched a spot in the Southern League playoffs after they took the Northern Division’s first half title.

Winston-Salem will look to continue their nine-game winning streak tonight against the Potomac Nationals at BB&T Ballpark. A win would tie the Dash era (2009-present) for the longest winning streak, set by last year’s incarnation of the Dash. Check back later this afternoon for a preview of tonight’s contest.

– Rob

Curley continues to lead the CL’s top offense

Chris Curley leads the CL in home runs and RBIs, leading a Dash lineup that leads the league in runs (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

Chris Curley leads the CL in home runs and RBIs this season, helping pace a Dash lineup that leads the league in runs (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

With his three RBIs in the Dash’s 5-4, 10-inning loss to the Salem Red Sox last night, Winston-Salem infielder Chris Curley boosted his total to 88 runs batted in this season. He is nine RBIs ahead of Salem outfielder Keury De La Cruz, who has the second-most on the circuit with 79. Not only has Curley’s total put him atop the CL leaderboard, but it has him ranking highly in all of Class A baseball:

1. Adam Brett Walker II- 103 (Cedar Rapids, Low-A for Minnesota)
T-2. Andrew Aplin- 98 (Lancaster, High-A for Houston)
T-2.  Dalton Hicks- 98 (Fort Myers, High-A for Minnesota)
4. Dustin Lawley- 89 (St. Lucie, High-A for NY Mets)
5. Chris Curley- 88

The Dash lead the CL with 103 home runs this season, 22 of which have come from Curley. His 22 bombs also rank him atop the CL and in the top five in all of High-A baseball:

T-1. Dustin Lawley- 25 (St. Lucie, NY Mets)
T-1. Scott Schebler- 25 (Rancho Cucamonga, LA Dodgers)
T-3. Zach Borenstein- 23 (Inland Empire, LA Angels)
T-3. Michael Snyder- 23 (Inland Empire)
5. Chris Curley- 22

Micah Johnson has swiped more bags and scored more runs than any other minor leaguer in 2013 (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

Micah Johnson has swiped more bags and scored more runs than any other minor leaguer in 2013 (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

Dash leadoff man Micah Johnson has had himself a terrific season both with Low-A Kannapolis and since he was promoted to Winston-Salem on July 3. The speedy second baseman leads all of Minor League Baseball in runs scored and steals this season, edging out Dash alum and current Charlotte Knight Marcus Semien in runs:

1. Micah Johnson- 102
2. Marcus Semien- 100 (Charlotte, Triple-A for Chicago White Sox)

Johnson also leads the minors in steals, and has a healthy lead in that category, including on Louisville’s Billy Hamilton, who set a single-season record for stolen bases in 2012:

1. Micah Johnson- 79
2. Travis Jankowski- 71 (Lake Elsinore, High-A for San Diego)
3. Billy Hamilton- 69 (Louisville, Triple-A for Cincinnati)

The Dash lead the Carolina League in total runs (624) and runs per game (5.2). Despite the lofty numbers of Curley and Johnson, those two have not done it by themselves. Winston-Salem has 6 players with more than 50 RBI this season, more than any other team on the circuit.

All of them rank in the top 16 of the CL in RBIs: Curley (88, 1st), Jeremy Farrell (66, T-5th), Courtney Hawkins (62, 7th), Kevan Smith (60, 8th), Rangel Ravelo (53, T-13th) and Grant Buckner (51, T-16th).

Although the offense has sputtered a little bit as of late, it seems like only a matter of time before this offense begins clicking again. They will try to turn their recent struggles around tonight against Salem in game two of a three-game series at BB&T Ballpark. Check back later for a preview of tonight’s contest.

– Rob

Twin Bill Preview – Winston-Salem v. Myrtle Beach

Games #86 & 87 – Home Games #43 & 44
Winston-Salem Dash (8-7, 46-39) vs. Myrtle Beach Pelicans (8-5, 48-34)
Sunday, July 7 – 1 p.m. (doubleheader)
BB&T Ballpark (Winston-Salem, N.C.)


After last night’s postponement, the Dash and Pelicans will play a pair today at BB&T Ballpark. Thanks to Salem’s loss to Carolina last night, the Dash, who are 5-2 in doubleheader games this season, are in sole possession of second place in the Southern Division’s second-half standings. With a sweep today, the Dash would jump into first place.

Rangel Ravelo is hitting third for the first time in his High-A Career (Laura Marshall/W-S Dash).

Rangel Ravelo is hitting third for the first time in his High-A career (Laura Marshall/W-S Dash).

GAME 1 STARTING LINEUP: (Same as Saturday’s scheduled order)

Micah Johnson – 2B
Joey DeMichele – SS
Rangel Ravelo – 1B
Kevan Smith – C
Courtney Hawkins – CF
Jeremy Farrell – 3B
Grant Buckner – RF
Joe De Pinto – LF
Adam Heisler – DH
Jake Cose – RHP


  • The White Sox announced that Winston-Salem outfielder Josh Richmond, who had multiple blisters on his left foot, has been activated off the disabled list. Richmond, who spent exactly one week on the shelf, is hitting hitting .214 with three homers and seven RBIs in 16 games with Winston-Salem. He will take on his former club, the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, in Sunday’s doubleheader.
  • Jason Van Skike is scheduled to start game two of Sunday’s double dip. The right-hander is 1-1 with a 2.76 earned run average in his five starts, four of which have come in the finale of a doubleheader.
  • The Dash avoided their first four-game losing streak since August 15-20, 2011, with Friday’s three-run victory. Over this span, the Dash have suffered only six skids of three games, including three thus far in 2013. Over this 239-game run without a four-game losing streak, Winston-Salem has strung together 12 runs of four or more victories in a row.
  • On Friday night, Winston-Salem starter Chris Beck continued his streak of starts with a decision to begin the season. Beck is one of two minor league pitchers who has started at least 16 games and not collected a no decision.
  • Right-hander Andrew Werner of the Sacramento River Cats (Triple-A, Oakland) suffered a loss Friday to drop to 7-11 in 18 starts. In 13 of Beck’s 16 outings, including his winning effort last night, the team that has scored first in the game has not trailed at any point in the contest.
  • Dash first baseman Rangel Ravelo drove in two more runs Friday when he improved to 6-for-6 with the bases loaded by doubling home a pair of runs in the sixth frame. Despite only playing in 47 games with Winston, Ravelo is tied for 13th in the CL with 41 RBIs.
  • Since May 18, when Ravelo was activated off the disabled list, he has driven home 40 runs, which is tied for sixth in the minors over that span. Among players who have played 55 games or less in Advanced Class-A, Ravelo leads the way with his 41 RBIs.
  • Infielder Micah Johnson stole third base in the first inning Friday for his first career High-A swipe. Here in 2013, Johnson now has 62 stolen bases, which is the most in the minors. Lake Elsinore’s Travis Jankowski is second with 52 swipes, while Louisville’s Billy Hamilton, who set the all-time minor league single-season mark with 155 swipes in 2012, is third with 49.
  • Winston and Myrtle have waited for two hours and 42 minutes worth of rain delays during the first half of this four-game series. In their previous 84 games this year, the Dash had only been involved in six rain delays that collectively lasted three hours and 19 minutes.


Fans can catch both games of the doubleheader on or

– Brian

MiLB’s stolen base, runs leader joins Dash

Micah Johnson, who leads MiLB with 61 stolen bases, has been promoted to Winston-Salem (photo via Kannapolis Intimidators).

Micah Johnson, who leads MiLB with 61 stolen bases, has been promoted to Winston-Salem (photo via Kannapolis Intimidators).

In addition to the postgame fireworks display, the Fourth of July will bring about some fireworks on the bases at BB&T Ballpark. Infielder Micah Johnson, who leads Minor League Baseball with 61 stolen bases and 76 runs scored, has been promoted to Winston-Salem from Low-A Kannapolis, the White Sox announced Wednesday afternoon.

Entering Wednesday’s action, Johnson has 12 more stolen bases than any other player in the minor leagues. Both Louisville’s Billy Hamilton and Lake Elsinore’s Travis Jankowski have swiped 49 bases. A year ago, Hamilton set the single-season minor league record with 155 stolen bases, a total that does not include his two swipes during the 2012 California-Carolina League All-Star Game at BB&T Ballpark.

His run total is four better than Byron Buxton, a highly-touted Minnesota farmhand who recently jumped to High-A Fort Myers in the Florida State League.

In addition to his stolen base exploits, Johnson boasts the third-best batting average in the South Atlantic League (.342) to go along with six homers and 42 RBIs. Chicago’s ninth-round pick in 2012, Johnson was a midseason All-Star in the SAL.

Johnson, who primarily plays second base, will join the Dash in advance of Thursday’s series opener against the Myrtle Beach Pelicans. He takes the roster spot of outfielder Josh Richmond, who was placed on the disabled list late last night with a blister on his left foot.

– Brian

Dash to a million: Notable players

Since it opened in April of 2010, there have been numerous great players to play on BB&T Ballpark’s field. Here we have compiled a list of the some of the greatest players to play here in the park’s short history:

Jackie Bradley, Jr.: A member of the 2012 Salem Red Sox and the 2012 Carolina League All-Star team, Bradley was the Opening Day left fielder for the Boston Red Sox this year.

Dylan Bundy represented the Frederick Keys at last year's All-Star Game (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

Dylan Bundy represented the Frederick Keys at last year’s All-Star Game (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

Dylan Bundy: The right-hander made 12 starts for the Frederick Keys last year, and tossed a scoreless inning for the Carolina League in last year’s All-Star Game. He came into 2013 as the number two rated prospect in all of baseball by Baseball America.

Adam Dunn: The slugger came with the White Sox when they played the Dash at BB&T Ballpark in an exhibition game prior to the 2011 season. Mostly a designated hitter the last several years, Dunn had a string of five consecutive seasons with 40 or more home runs from 2004-2008 and is fifth among active players with 413 career home runs.

Billy Hamilton: The speedster represented the Bakersfield Blaze on the California League All-Star team last season and stole two bases in the first inning of the All-Star Game. Hamilton set a record for stolen bases in a minor league season in 2012 with 147 swipes.

Eric Hosmer: Now in his third season as the everyday first baseman for the Kansas City Royals, Hosmer played in the Carolina League with the Wilmington Blue Rocks in 2009 and 2010. In 2010, he won the league’s batting title after posting a .354 average.


Paul Konerko, who played against the Dash here in 2011, is one of the best hitters of his generation.

Paul Konerko: Now in his 17th season in the big leagues, Konerko was another member of that 2011 White Sox squad that played at BB&T Ballpark in March of that year. The first baseman has 1,352 RBIs in his career, ranking him fifth among all active players.

Manny Machado: A shortstop while coming through the Baltimore Orioles’ system, the 2011 Key alum made the big leagues late last season where he played down the stretch and in the playoffs at third base. Now in his first full season with the Orioles, Machado is the team’s regular third baseman.

Wil Myers: The 2012 Minor League Player of the Year, Myers applied his trade for a long time in the Kansas City system before being traded to the Tampa Bay Rays this past off-season. Considered one of the best hitting prospects in the game, Myers hit .346 in 58 games for the Blue Rocks in 2010.

Addison Reed: Now the closer for the White Sox, the hard-throwing righty had a brief stint with the Dash during the 2011 season. Reed appeared in 15 games out of the Winston-Salem bullpen, posting a 1.59 ERA in 28.1 IP.

Anthony Rizzo: Now the proud owner of a new contract extension that will keep him with the Chicago Cubs through at least 2019, Rizzo was once a Red Sox farmhand. The first baseman played for Salem in 2009 and 2010 before being traded to San Diego in the Adrian Gonzalez deal, and eventually to the Cubs prior to 2012.

A record-setting crowd watched Chris Sale make his professional debut on July 2, 2010.

A record-setting crowd watched Chris Sale make his professional debut on July 2, 2010.

Chris Sale: On July 2, 2010 the southpaw made his professional debut here at BB&T Ballpark in front of what was then the highest attendance in the park’s history at 7,268. Sale would reach the big leagues later in the 2010 season, and is now the ace of the White Sox rotation. In his most recent outing, he nearly threw a perfect game against the Angels.

Andrelton Simmons: The shortstop hit .311 during the 2011 campaign as a Lynchburg Hillcat, and also did some damage as a Hillcat in the 2012 Carolina League Playoffs while on a rehab assignment. Simmons hit two home runs in the playoffs including one against the Dash in the Mills Cup Finals. He is now the regular starting shortstop for the Atlanta Braves.

Come join us tonight as we celebrate the one millionth fan in BB&T Ballpark’s history! One lucky fan will be randomly selected to play a game of chance to win either one million dollars, a two-year lease on a vehicle from Flow Auto, or two Dash tickets for life!

If you can’t make it to the park, join me here at 6:45 for the Pregame Dash with first pitch to follow at 7. Tonight’s game will also be broadcast on 600-AM WSJS in the Winston-Salem area. Talk to you then!

– Rob

Roster moves, parity, All-Star update

The Dash and Mudcats are back at it tonight after Carolina cruised to a 10-1 victory last night in the season opener. Before the middle match of this weekend series, there are plenty of news, notes and stats to discuss.


On the eve of the Final Four, the White Sox made four moves affecting the Dash yesterday. The most relevant transaction was the addition of newly-signed corner infielder Jeremy Farrell. Farrell spent the last five years with Pittsburgh’s organization, where he climbed as far as Triple-A Indianapolis for eight games last April. Farrell joined the club yesterday, but he did not play last night and is not in the lineup tonight.

Also, the White Sox released infielder Nick Giarraputo and placed righty Andrew Brackman and outfielder Brady Shoemaker on the Dash’s disabled list. Shoemaker was a CL All-Star last year, and he is currently out in extended spring training.


It’s only one game, but Opening Night’s results brought about an interesting statistic: last season’s trio of bottom feeders (Carolina, Frederick and Potomac) collectively outscored its opposition 33-3 en route to emphatic season-opening victories. The only playoff team from 2012 to win last night was Myrtle Beach, and the Pelicans defeated fellow postseason qualifier Wilmington in extra innings.

Billy Hamilton swiped two bases in last year's All-Star Game at BB&T Ballpark (Mike Stewart).

Billy Hamilton swiped two bases in last year’s All-Star Game at BB&T Ballpark (Mike Stewart).


It’s hard to believe that the All-Star Game took place at BB&T Ballpark more than nine months ago. Many players from that night have continued to shine, and a few have posted notable performances already in 2013:

  • Salem alum Jackie Bradley, Jr., has reached in his first four games with Boston. The outfielder dazzled this spring to earn a spot on the big league roster. He has yet to play in Triple-A.
  • The minors’ single-season stolen base king, Cincinnati farmhand Billy Hamilton, stole the first three bases of his Triple-A career Friday night for Louisville. Hamilton, who shined with High-A Bakersfield en route to Winston-Salem for last year’s Midsummer Classic, swiped an all-time record 155 bases a year ago.
  • Southpaw Jack Snodgrass, who was San Jose’s lone All-Star representative last season, threw six of the seven innings of a no-hitter for Double-A Richmond Friday night. It was the first no-no in Flying Squirrels history.


The Dash lost last season’s opener by nine runs, too, and things ended up working out fairly well. Skipper Ryan Newman and company return to Five County Stadium tonight at 6:15 for game two of 140 in 2013, and the club will go with the same starting nine as last night (that lineup is here) along with righty Chris Bassitt on the hill.

Join me at 6 p.m. for the Pregame Dash here. I’ll talk to you then.

– Brian

30 Days…

Camelback Ranch is almost open for business (Photo via

Camelback Ranch is almost open for business (Photo via

The Dash’s home opener countdown, which is available on Twitter and Instagram, has reached 78 days. If you want a smaller number for your baseball waiting game, try 30.

The White Sox first spring training game is in 30 days. Robin Ventura’s crew will suit up for the first time Saturday, February 23, at 3:05 p.m. EST against the Dodgers, their stadium-mates at Camelback Ranch.

As Winston-Salem prepares for another winter storm tomorrow, it is nice to know that baseball is within grasp, even if the first true taste will be more than 2,000 miles away from the Triad.

Here are a few more notes to appease your baseball craving:

  • BB&T Ballpark is the home of Winston-Salem State University baseball in 2013, so the first game at the stadium this season will be February 8. The Rams will play all 26 home games at BB&T Ballpark.
  • Winston-Salem will not have a chance to watch a former five-star football recruit play for the Dash in 2013. Mitch Mustain, who played college football for Arkansas and USC before trying out pitching, was released by the White Sox, that according to Baseball America. Mustain climbed as high as Low-A Kannapolis after Chicago inked him to a deal last February. Between his time with the Intimidators and rookie-level Bristol, the righty was 2-2 with a 4.63 earned run average in 19 relief appearances.
  • We all saw speedster Billy Hamilton in last year’s All-Star Game at BB&T Ballpark. Hamilton, who set the single-season stolen base record in minor league baseball, will start 2013 with Triple-A Louisville. If he is still in the International League, Hamilton will be in Charlotte to take on the White Sox Triple-A affiliate May 14-17.
  • The Braves traded for Arizona outfielder Justin Upton earlier today, and the Diamondbacks received 2012 Lynchburg shortstop Nick Ahmed. A midseason All-Star, Ahmed paced the Carolina League with 40 stolen bases.
  • Finally, some CL flavor is officially reaching the NBA. New Orleans will unveil its new Pelicans nickname, along with the logo and color scheme, at a press conference later today. How will Myrtle Beach respond?

The home opener is getting closer and closer! Can’t wait for baseball.

– Brian

Why The Dash Are Thankful

Thanksgiving week is here, and the Dash wish you and yours a tremendous holiday weekend. We are thankful for so much, so we wanted to share some of these things with you, our loyal readers.

The Dash are thankful for…

  • all 305,515 fans who visited BB&T Ballpark for the 2012 season.
  • an All-Star season, capped by a 9-1 victory in the Midsummer Classic.
  • having the MVP (Dan Black) and the Manager of the Year (Tommy Thompson) in Winston-Salem.
  • the decimal .630. It was the Dash’s 2012 winning percentage, good for the best in full-season minor league baseball.
  • large windows in the control room so that they can see T-Rock bust a move to “Tricky” and “Call Me Maybe.”
  • Brady Shoemaker’s first-half dominance.
  • Kevan Smith’s playoff prowess.
  • having the opportunity to see highly-touted prospects Jackie Bradley, Dylan Bundy, Billy Hamilton and George Springer, among others, play at BB&T Ballpark.
  • the potential of the 2013 squad, with players like Courtney Hawkins, Erik Johnson, Scott Snodgress and Keenyn Walker candidates to begin the season in the Triad.
  • the fact that things like Bolt, Lemonheads, ZOOperstars mean something to folks in Winston-Salem.
  • a beautiful ballpark that features family-friendly entertainment all summer long.
  • the 2013 season, which is just 136 days away.

Have a tremendous Thanksgiving, and thank you so much for reading this blog all season long. Enjoy your turkey.

– Brian

Most Exciting Team In The Land?

Michael Earley adds another honor to his great 2012 season (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

The Dash had an exciting season in 2012, and a handful of players earned recognition for that in a player poll regarding the minors’ most exciting player.

Minor League Baseball polled 382 players, and five men who donned the Dash purple in 2012 earned at least one vote.  Michael Earley, Marcus Semien, Scott Snodgress, Kevin Vance and Blair Walters found their way onto this list.

Only 15 players earned more than two votes, with Billy Hamilton receiving more votes than anyone else with 40. Mike Trout finished second with 26, while fellow big leaguer Bryce Harper placed third with 13.

Former Winston-Salem star Ian Gac, who won the Carolina League’s Most Valuable Player award last year, made the list, too. He played with Double-A Mississippi in the Braves’ system this season.

Who was the Dash’s most exciting player in your opinion? There are plenty to choose from, whether he is in this quintet or outside of it.

– Brian

Dash Top 10: #1 – BB&T Ballpark Hosts All-Star Game

The scene moments before the 2012 All-Star Game inside BB&T Ballpark (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash).

This is the 10th and final installment of the “Dash Top 10,” where we rehash the top 10 moments from the Dash’s historic 2012 season.

Previous Top 10 Moments:
#10: Second-half clinch
#9: Hankerd’s walk-off

#8: 10-game win streak
#7: 5-run 9th sinks Salem
#6: Postseason awards
#5: First-half clinch
#4: MCCS Game 2 win
#3: SDCS-clinching victory
#2: Dash earn MiLB’s top mark

Moment #1 (June 19): The Dash and BB&T Ballpark host the 2012 California-Carolina League All-Star Game.

“This has been a fabulous experience for me and a great experience for minor league baseball,” said Minor League President Pat O’Conner.

“It’s hard to imagine the event doing any better, and I knew that would be the case,” Carolina League President John Hopkins said. “I just knew it was going to come together beautifully, and it did.”

For the first time in BB&T Ballpark history, the Midsummer Classic came to Winston-Salem, and it was a tremendous success.

A simple nine-inning game transformed into a three-day spectacle during which the Dash hosted eight events. The All-Star Game and surrounding festivities wowed owners, executives, players and coaches from both the Carolina League and the California League.

The Dash put together a FanFest on Fourth the night before the game, which included live music, autograph sessions and much more. The day of the game, every All-Star and many members of the Winston-Salem community enjoyed an All-Star Luncheon headlined by Hall of Famer Johnny Bench.

Gates opened at 3:30 p.m., and fans enjoyed batting practice by both teams, a home run derby with a hometown winner and plenty of pregame ceremonies.

Once the game began at 7:29 p.m., almost 7,000 fans settled in for the Carolina League’s first win since 2008. The California League scored in the opening frame thanks to Billy Hamilton’s ridiculous speed, but the home squad, with three Dash players on the roster, followed with the game’s final nine runs en route to a 9-1 blowout victory.

After the game, fans experienced a postgame fireworks show, followed by a party at Ziggy’s. In all, Winston-Salem and the Dash were well-represented due to an All-Star Game that brought plenty of business and coverage to the area and franchise.

The best way to recap this wonderful event is through you, the fans. We compiled these tweets and photos from the fans in Winston-Salem less than 24 hours after the Midsummer Classic’s first pitch. The Dash could not be more thankful for the loyal support the area and its citizens showed before, during and after the All-Star Game.

Winston-Salem most certainly shined in mid-June, and the minor league world was here to watch it.

Thanks for following along with the Dash’s Top 10. We’ll be back on the blog Monday for much more coverage. Talk to you then.

– Brian