Results tagged ‘ Brady Shoemaker ’

Dash Top 10 – #9: DeMichele dominates Salem

The 2014 season is in the books, and there were many great moments throughout the summer. Over the next few weeks, we will count down the Dash Top 10 of 2014.

Previous moments:
#10 – Shortest MiLB game in 2014

Moment #9 – April 27
DeMichele dazzles in blowout win at Salem

Joey DeMichele became the first player in Dash history to score five runs in one game (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash).

Joey DeMichele became the first player in Dash history to score five runs in one game (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash).

With one of its youngest rosters in recent memory, Winston-Salem stumbled out of the gates in 2014. Through the season’s first three weeks, the Dash were 7-14.

One of the 2013 returnees, Joey DeMichele, also had a rough start in his second go-around in the Carolina League. In those aforementioned 21 games, DeMichele was hitting 10-for-60 (.167), a strange decline after a very solid showing in the Dash purple a year prior.

However, both DeMichele and the Dash broke out on a Sunday matinee in the Roanoke Valley. Winston-Salem blew out the Red Sox 15-9 in a game that was not as close as the six-run margin would indicate.

DeMichele led the charge in a record-setting day. He recorded a career-high five hits to become the ninth hitter in the Dash era (2009-present) to reach that mark in a single game. It had not happened since May of 2012, when All-Star Brady Shoemaker accomplished the feat at Lynchburg.

The former Arizona State star also scored five times, which had never happened since the nickname change in 2009. In fact, DeMichele was the first Winston-Salem hitter to score at least four runs in a game since 2011.

Thanks to this game alone, DeMichele raised his batting average 64 points to .231, and that mark steadily climbed throughout the rest of his time in the Triad. Ultimately, he made his first jump to Double-A in early August, and his huge game in Salem jump-started his season.

Winston-Salem also played better baseball following this 15-run output, the club’s highest of 2014. The Dash did not parlay this into a playoff spot, but this victory was a stepping stone to more sustained success.

After a break over the weekend, the Dash Top 10 rolls along with the eighth-best moment of the season, which also involved a returnee from 2013. Have a great weekend.

– Brian

Dash alumni start All Pro Lessons

Jason Van Skike created All Pro Lessons, and 10 other Dash alumni participate (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

Jason Van Skike created All Pro Lessons, and 10 other Dash alumni participate in the unique program (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

Minor League Baseball players are tremendous resources for young players, but it is difficult for them to work with these youngsters during the spring and summer. As a result, a group of Minor Leaguers started All Pro Lessons, which connects them with the youth who desire some baseball tutoring.

All Pro Lessons currently boasts 13 Minor Leagues, all of whom accept video from players around the world. Within 72 hours, these players respond back with their feedback on what they see.

Of those 13 men, 10 of them have played in Winston-Salem at some point. Current Dash players Tony Bucciferro, Grant Buckner, Adam Heisler and Michael Johnson are available for instruction, while alumni Stew Brase, Jarrett Casey, Chris Curley, Michael Earley, Brady Shoemaker and Kevin Vance also participate.

Another former Winston-Salem product, right-hander Jason Van Skike, was the one who came up with the unique idea. A native of Terre Haute, Ind., Van Skike received many requests from players in that area, but he could not be there very often due to his baseball schedule.

He tried a trial run with one of his former students, and the player made notable improvements over the next few weeks.

“I wondered how I could continue giving these lessons,” Van Skike said. “There are a lot of people who do lessons online, but not in the format that we have.”

Van Skike, who now plays for the independent Wichita Wingnuts, originally looked for a simple way for him to make a little extra money, but now it has grown to a program that is active on Facebook and Twitter. He is also hoping to add video tutorials to spark interest.

“The response has been very positive,” Van Skike said. “It is something that actually can work, and it acts as a release for the guys who help out. We have participated in camps before, and this gives us a chance on get-away day or while we’re hanging out in the hotel to help out young players.”

All Pro Lessons has a wide array of tutorials and programs that can help any young player. Plus, every position and every type of player is represented.

Be sure to check out their website here. Maybe, your child can one day return the favor after these lessons help them reach professional baseball.

– Brian

DeMichele leads offensive barrage

Joey DeMichele scored a remarkable five times in Sunday's win (Erik Weasenforth/W-S Dash).

Joey DeMichele scored a remarkable five times in Sunday’s win (Erik Weasenforth/W-S Dash).

Over the course of three-and-a-half hours, the Dash flexed their offensive muscles on Sunday in Salem. It was a coming-out party for Winston-Salem’s lineup, which produced season highs in runs (15) and hits (17).

The star of the show was Joey DeMichele, who made some history in the six-run victory:

– DeMichele became the first player in the Dash era (2009-present) to score five runs in one game. He fell one run short of the Carolina League record.
– He was the first player with four or more runs in a game since Nick Ciolli scored five times at Salem on August 25, 2011.
– The former Arizona State star collected a career-high five hits, which matches a Dash record. Brady Shoemaker was the last Winston-Salem hitter to accomplish this feat (May 13, 2012 at Lynchburg).

DeMichele is the latest example of the problem with overreacting to early returns in a baseball season. He raised his batting average 64 points from .167 to .231 with his 5-for-5 effort. One game in the month of April can drastically change things, and DeMichele proved exactly that.

In addition to DeMichele’s dominance, Courtney Hawkins clubbed his seventh home run of the season in Sunday’s triumph. That two-run blast pushed his RBI total to 27, which leads Minor League Baseball. Here is the pecking order entering Monday’s action:

1. Winston-Salem’s Courtney Hawkins – 27
T-2. High Desert’s Patrick Kivlehan (High-A, Seattle) – 26
T-2. Oklahoma City’s Jon Singleton (Triple-A, Houston) – 26
4. St. Lucie’s Aderlin Rodriguez (High-A, New York Mets) – 25
5. Six players tied – 24

Hawkins is also tied for seventh in the Minors with those seven long balls. And how about this stat: Hawkins’ RBI total against Salem (19) is greater than the overall RBI mark for all but 38 Minor Leaguers.

In our game preview, we will have more on the tremendous offensive showing on Sunday in the Roanoke Valley. We’ll see if the bats can continue their surge tonight at 7:05.

– Brian

Shoemaker heads to Marlins organization


Brady Shoemaker won the 2012 Home Run Derby at BB&T Ballpark with his dad (left) throwing to him (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

The Miami Marlins selected former Dash outfielder and Carolina League All-Star Brady Shoemaker in the Triple-A phase of the Rule 5 Draft, which took place Thursday morning.

After a late promotion to Winston-Salem in 2011, Shoemaker shined for the Dash during the first half of the 2012 season. He hit .331 with 13 homers and 59 RBIs in 78 games, during which Shoemaker led the Dash to a first-half Southern Division title.

Shoemaker was one of three players who represented the Dash in the 2012 California-Carolina League All-Star Game, which was held at BB&T Ballpark in Winston-Salem. With his father throwing to him, Shoemaker won the 2012 Home Run Derby.

However, Shoemaker missed the entire 2013 season with a torn labrum, and he is now heading to the Marlins organization. The former Indiana State star is likely to spend much of the 2014 season on Miami’s Triple-A roster in New Orleans.

Last season, Boston selected 2012 Dash reliever Jon Bachanov in the Triple-A phase, while 2010-11 Winston-Salem hurler Terry Doyle was chosen by Minnesota in the Major League phase of the 2011 Rule 5 Draft before being returned to the White Sox before that season began.

The White Sox did add a player via this year’s event. Catcher Adrian Nieto, who played for Potomac here in the Carolina League, joins Chicago’s organization from the Nationals. Nieto, 24, hit .285 with 11 home runs, 53 RBIs, and 68 runs scored over 110 games with the P-Nats in 2013.

Nieto becomes a member of the White Sox 40-man roster, which is now one shy of its maximum number of players.

One other notable tidbit from this year’s Rule 5 Draft. The Rangers selected Russell Wilson in the Triple-A phase of the process. Yes, that Russell Wilson. The former NC State signal caller who now leads the 11-2 Seattle Seahawks of the NFL.

Why would they do this? Here are some thoughts via baseball writers on Twitter.

It was certainly an interesting decision, but one that makes a lot of sense when you think about it. The Rangers’ farm system is regarded as one of baseball’s best, so why not have a young role model athlete swing by and talk with some of its prospects.

Believe it or not, but the season starts in 112 days. Look for our countdown of the top 10 blog posts from 2013 early next week.

– Brian

Curley selected to 2013 Home Run Derby

Chris Curley is third in the Carolina League with 12 homers (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

Chris Curley is third in the Carolina League with 12 homers (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

Winston-Salem infielder Chris Curley will participate in the 2013 Home Run Derby in advance of the California-Carolina League All-Star Game in San Jose, Calif, on Tuesday night.

Curley sits in sole possession of third place in the Carolina League with 12 home runs. He and the rest of the Dash have combined for a league-leading 60 home runs. Before this season, Curley had mustered 14 home runs in the minor leagues.

This will be the Fort Mitchell, Ky., native’s second derby in his professional career. He represented the Florence Freedom in the 2011 Frontier League Home Run Derby and failed to advance past the first round despite three home runs.

Curley will aim to make it back-to-back Home Run Derby titles for Winston-Salem. A year ago, Brady Shoemaker bested former Warthog C.J. Retherford in the finals to take the crown in front of the hometown crowd BB&T Ballpark.

Six sluggers will participate in the event, which will precede the Midsummer Classic. Curley joins Lynchburg’s Robby Hefflinger and Carolina’s Tyler Naquin from the Carolina League, while the California League’s trio consists of High Desert’s Jabari Blash, Inland Empire’s Zach Borenstein and San Jose’s Angel Villalona.

– Brian

One day away

If you follow the Dash on Twitter and Instagram (and if you don’t…what are you waiting for?), you already know that we have been counting down the days until Opening Day at BB&T Ballpark. Finally, that countdown has reached one, with Opening Day tomorrow night at 7 against Carolina. Here are some of the notable numbers from the countdown.

100: The countdown began with this picture on a fairly nice day in early January, 100 days from Opening Day.


88: At the 88 day mark, we highlighted last year’s Carolina League MVP Dan Black, who posted 88 RBIs for the Dash in 2012.

Dash fans set a single-game attendance record for BB&T Ballpark on July 4, 2012.

Dash fans set a single-game attendance record for BB&T Ballpark on July 4, 2012.

72: On July 4th, 2012, the Dash welcomed a single-game record 7,285 fans into BB&T Ballpark for their game against the Myrtle Beach Pelicans.

55: Coming into this season, the Dash have posted a winning percentage of .554 (317-255) in the regular season and playoffs since they became the Dash prior to the 2009 season.

38: Dash outfielder Courtney Hawkins played 38 games for the Bristol White Sox before earning a promotion to Kannapolis and later to Winston-Salem for the end of the regular season and Carolina League playoffs.

25: Twice in the last two seasons, the Dash have been 25 games above .500 at BB&T Ballpark. In 2010, they were 47-22, and last season the club went 48-23.

Kevan Smith hit two huge home runs in the 2012 CL playoffs (Dan Barber/W-S Dash).

Kevan Smith hit two huge home runs in the 2012 CL playoffs (Dan Barber/W-S Dash).

21: Last year, the Dash’s #21, Kevan Smith, hit two home runs in the Carolina League playoffs, including a grand slam in the deciding game of the SDCS against Myrtle Beach.

9: BB&T Ballpark has hosted nine playoff games since it opened in 2010. The Dash have a record of 6-3 in those games.

5: The Dash had five postseason Carolina League All-Stars last season; Dan Black, Michael Earley, Carlos Sanchez, Brady Shoemaker and Trayce Thompson.

1: We have the number one fans in Minor League Baseball. Since opening BB&T Ballpark, almost one million fans have seen a Dash game in the Triad. Our total attendance since 2010 is the tops in High-A baseball. Our final countdown went out to all of you.

Tomorrow night, BB&T Ballpark opens it gates for the first time in 2013 as the Dash take on the Carolina Mudcats at 7! But before we get to that, the Dash have one more in Frederick tonight. Join Brian for the Pregame Dash at 6:45 here.

– 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

More Countdown Fun

I’ve had a blast coming up with the daily countdown to the 2013 season. Every number from 100 to 53 has been represented, and we went through some of them a few weeks back.

If you have missed any, 100-86 can be found here, and 85-53 is available below:

85 – In ’85, Winston-Salem won the CL title despite a regular season record of just 58-81. (Still counts!)

Keenyn Walker is a speedster with some gaudy stolen base numbers.

Keenyn Walker is a speedster with some gaudy stolen base numbers.

84 – This past season, right-handed pitching prospect Jake Petricka struck out 84 men while with the Dash.

83 – 1983 was the final year of the Winston-Salem Red Sox, the team with the most wins (1635) & Carolina League titles (5) in Winston-Salem history.

82 – Five years after playing in Winston-Salem, Hall of Famer Wade Boggs made his MLB debut in 1982.

81 – Mike Blanke, who earned a non-roster invite to spring training, had 81 hits a year ago in Winston.

80 – In the Dash’s 80th PA of the game, Chase Blackwood’s RBI single gave the Dash a 4-3, 20-inning win on May 19, 2010, against Myrtle Beach.

79 – Bill Slack, the winningest manager in W-S and CL history, was the 1979 Manager of the Year.

78 – Winston-Salem hit a league-best .278 in 2012.

77 – 2011 first rounder Keenyn Walker has 77 stolen bases in just 165 minor league games.

The Dash played 76 games on this beautiful field last year.

The Dash played 76 games on this beautiful field last year.

76 – The Dash played 76 total games at beautiful BB&T Ballpark last season.

75 – Chris Bassitt struck out 75 in his 91 innings last season in Winston-Salem.

74 – Fan-favorite Dan Black led the Dash with 74 hits at BB&T Ballpark in his MVP season.

73 – All-Star Michael Earley drove in 73 runs with the Dash in 2012 (T-4th in the CL).

72 – On July 4th, 2012, a single-game record 7,285 fans enjoyed a Dash game at BB&T Ballpark.

71 – MLB Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson started 71 games in 1956, the final season of his amazing 10-year career (this was the fact on January 31, Robinson’s birthday).

BB&T Ballpark hosted a record crowd on July 4 of last season.

BB&T Ballpark hosted a record crowd on July 4 of last season.

70 – In 70 innings pitched with the White Sox last year, rookie Hector Santiago posted a 3.33 ERA.

69 – In game 69 of 2012, the Dash clinched the 1st-half title with a 9-5 win at Wilmington June 16.

68 – On July 17, 1968, Ed Phillips tossed the first perfect game in CL history. It is still Winston-Salem’s only perfecto in franchise history.

67 – In 67 innings in Winston-Salem last season, Terance Marin recorded an impressive 2.42 earned run average.

66 – Reliever Kevin Vance boasted a 1.66 ERA in 11 outings with Winston-Salem in 2012.

65 – Winston-Salem was 65-23 when hitting at least one home run in 2012. This record was the best on the circuit.

64 – If you attended every regular season game at BB&T Ballpark in 2012, you watched an even 640 innings of baseball!

63 – Winston-Salem’s single-season batting average record is .363, set by 8-year MLB vet Ray Jablonski in 1951.

62 – All-Star Matt Heidenreich whiffed 62 batters with the Dash before a July trade to the Houston organization.

The Dash's offense did plenty of this in 2012.

The Dash’s offense did plenty of this in 2012.

61 – Winston led the Carolina League with a 61-22 mark when scoring first in 2012.

60 – In 1960, Ed Olivares hit 35 home runs for Winston-Salem, which still remains a single-season franchise record

59 – Both Marcus Semien and Brady Shoemaker drove in 59 runs for Winston-Salem last season.

58 – Carlos Sanchez, who is currently in big league camp with the White Sox, scored 58 times for the Dash in ’12.

57 – 57 different players suited up for the Dash in 2012, and they posted full-season Minor League Baseball’s best mark (87-51)!

56 – Outfielder Keenyn Walker led all White Sox farmhands with a combined 56 stolen bases between Low-A Kannapolis and Winston-Salem last year.

55 – Since becoming the Dash prior to the ’09 season, Winston boasts a .554 winning percentage (317-255). This includes regular season and postseason games.

54 – Trayce Thompson hit .254 with CL-bests in homers (22) and RBI (90) with the Dash a year ago.

53 – The Dash boasted 5 year-end All-Stars (Dan Black, Michael Earley, Carlos Sanchez, Brady Shoemaker and Trayce Thompson) and 3 midseason All-Stars (Earley, Shoemaker and Matt Heidenreich).

That’s another installment of “Countdown Catch-Up.” Stay tuned to our social media sites (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) for the rest of our daily countdowns. The home opener is only 52 days away!

– Brian

Spring Training Updates

Andre Rienzo and a few other former Dash hurlers are getting a longer look in spring training (Kevin Hartley/W-S Dash).

Andre Rienzo and a few other former Dash hurlers are getting a longer look in spring training (Kevin Hartley/W-S Dash).

Baseball is certainly in the air. Single-game tickets for the Dash’s 2013 season went on sale today, and White Sox pitchers and catchers have made their way to spring training, with position players slowly trickling in each day.

Here are a few stories of interest for White Sox and Dash fans coming out of Glendale, Ariz.:

Extended look for Dash pitching alums: Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune wrote about White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper’s plan to space out the work of the club’s rotation early on in spring training. Former Winston-Salem southpaw Chris Sale will make his first spring start March 1, which is six days after the Sox first exhibition affair. As a result, a few Winston-Salem alums will benefit, per Gonzales:

The planned delay allows Cooper and the Sox staff to take a longer look at prospects Erik Johnson, Scott Snodgress, Andre Rienzo and Simon Castro, as well as left-hander Hector Santiago, who currently is being viewed as more of a reliever but could start if Danks isn’t ready.

Gonzales also tweeted this about Johnson and Snodgress Tuesday:

It certainly is great to see a handful of former Winston-Salem arms receive some praise and attention in big league camp.

Mitchell likely ticketed for Triple-A: According to Scott Merkin of, former Dash outfielder Jared Mitchell will probably begin the season in Triple-A Charlotte. However, the former first-round pick has improved with the offensive side of his game, and White Sox officials have noticed. Still, it looks like a return to the International League is in store for Mitchell:

“Stranger things have happened, but I don’t see us taking him come the end of spring,” said White Sox general manager Rick Hahn, who agreed with Mitchell in that simple repetition at the plate has helped him improve. “Instead, he’ll be playing on an everyday basis at [Triple-A] Charlotte, pushing us to hopefully bring him up based on his performance as the season goes on.”

Mitchell’s batting average climbed a bit over the last two seasons. He hit .222 in 129 games with Winston-Salem in 2011, while the LSU product mustered a .237 mark in 130 games between Double-A Birmingham and Triple-A Charlotte in 2012.

Gearing up for Arizona: A few other familiar faces to Dash fans are ready for their trip to spring training.

The season opens in exactly 50 days in Zebulon, with the home opener seven days later. Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! Enjoy your time with that special someone.

– Brian

Counting Down To The Home Opener

If you follow our social media accounts (especially our new Instagram feed), you have probably noticed that we have begun a countdown in advance of the Dash’s home opener Friday, April 12. We are now 86 days away from the first game at BB&T Ballpark in 2013.

We have spun each day in the countdown to something in Winston-Salem baseball history. Occasionally on the blog, we will rehash the recent numbers, and here is our first look back at the countdown.

100 – Instead of a stat, we provided the picture below (and here on Instagram).


99 – After missing the 2011 campaign due to injury, Kyle Bellamy returned to Winston-Salem at the beginning of 2012. Opponents hit just .182 against Bellamy in 99 at bats.

98 – Scott Snodgress dominated the Carolina League after a July promotion from Low-A Kannapolis. He posted a 4-0 record and a 1.50 ERA to go along with a 0.98 WHIP.

97 – Carlos Lee is one of two Winston-Salem alums who is both currently in the big leagues and has made an All-Star Game (Chris Sale is the other). Lee played with the Warthogs in 1997.

96 – In his MVP season of 2011, Ian Gac drove in 96 runs for the Dash.

The Spirits won the CL crown in 1993.

The Spirits won the CL crown in 1993.

95 – In 1995, the Winston-Salem franchise became the “Warthogs,” a nickname that stuck until the team became the Dash in 2009.

94 – All-Star Brady Shoemaker notched 94 hits in Winston-Salem before his midseason promotion to Double-A Birmingham.

93 – The Winston-Salem Spirits won the Carolina League title in 1993.

92 – From last season’s team, the only player who was born in 1992 was Carlos Sanchez, who proved to be one of the CL’s top prospects.

91 – The Carolina League rolled the Carolina California League 91 in the 2012 Midsummer Classic at BB&T Ballpark.

90 – Speaking of scores, the Dash took the deciding Game 3 of the Southern Division Championship Series 90 against Myrtle Beach.

89 – Brent Morel, who returned to Winston-Salem for a rehab assignment this season, wore number 8 while with the Dash in 2009.

88 – The CL’s MVP this season, Dash first baseman Dan Black, drove in 88 runs.

87 – Winston-Salem posted the best record in full-season minor league baseball last year (87-51).

86 – Cyle Hankerd mustered 86 hits in just 71 games with the Dash this past season.

Those are 15 of our Dash-themed numbers. Do you have any ideas for numbers 85 to 1? Let us know in the comments or via Twitter. Baseball will be back before you know it!

– Brian