Results tagged ‘ California League ’

2012 All-Star Game alums in The Show

Yesterday, the Boston Red Sox called up infield prospect Xander Bogaerts from their Triple-A affiliate in Pawtucket, making him the fourth player that played in the 2012 California-Carolina League All-Star Game at BB&T Ballpark to make it to The Show. Here are the four who have made it to the majors so far:

INF Xander Bogaerts, Boston Red Sox

Xander Bogaerts is the most recent player from last year's ASG at BB&T Ballpark to make it to the majors (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash)/

Xander Bogaerts is the most recent player from last year’s All-Star Game at BB&T Ballpark to make it to the majors (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash)

Bogaerts had a very good first half of the season last year, posting a .293 average with nine home runs and 42 RBIs. Used primarily as a shortstop, he also shined on the defensive end to earn his spot as the starting shortstop for the Carolina League, one of three representatives of the Salem Red Sox to start for the CL. The Aruba native went 0-for-2 in the contest before he was replaced by Nick Ahmed, who is now in the Arizona Diamondbacks’ system.

This year, Bogaerts played for Team Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic before starting the season with Double-A Portland, where he ended 2012. The 20-year-old hit .311 in 56 games with the Sea Dogs of the Eastern League, proving he was ready to head to Pawtucket in mid-June.

At the big league level, Bogaerts is expected to add depth to the left side of Boston’s infield. Per MLB.com’s Ian Browne, he will play some at shortstop and some at third base, a position he has played a little bit in the minors and the World Baseball Classic.

OF Jackie Bradley, Jr., Boston Red Sox

Bradley, Jr., was one of the other two Salem Red Sox to start in last year’s All-Star Game for the Carolina League, playing the entire game in center field. He went hitless but did score a run and drive in another in the CL’s 9-1 mauling of the California League. Bradley, Jr., had a scorching first half for Salem, hitting .359 to earn his All-Star spot and then a call-up to Double-A after the break. We caught up with him right before the jump to Double-A.

The former University of South Carolina Gamecock finished his season there before impressing in spring training enough to begin this season as the Red Sox Opening Day left fielder. Bradley, Jr., struggled in his first taste of big league action and was sent to Triple-A Pawtucket after a few weeks. He has been back up to Boston a few times since, but has not stuck with the big club for a long period of time yet.

Dylan Bundy represented Frederick in last year's ASG and was pitching for Baltimore by September Game (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

Dylan Bundy represented Frederick in last year’s ASG and was pitching for Baltimore by September (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

RHP Dylan Bundy, Baltimore Orioles

A first-round pick in 2011, Bundy started last year with Low-A Delmarva in the Baltimore system before quickly earning the bump up the to Orioles’ Carolina League affiliate in Frederick. The righty made just four starts for the Keys prior to the All-Star Game but was still selected and pitched a scoreless sixth inning in the game. Bundy was on the fast track and only made eight starts in the second half for Frederick before he was promoted to Double-A Bowie.

From there, Bundy logged just three appearances for the Baysox before he was called up to the majors, becoming the first player from the 2012 California-Carolina League All-Star Game to make his big league debut when he pitched against the Boston Red Sox on September 23, 2012. Unfortunately, the top pitching prospect in the Orioles’ organization hasn’t pitched in the majors or the minors at all this year due to injury. Bundy underwent Tommy John Surgery in late June and will not return until sometime in 2014.

INF Brad Miller, Seattle Mariners

The lone California League All-Star from last year to have made it to The Show, Miller represented the High Desert Mavericks in last year’s game. A first-round pick in 2011 by the Mariners, Miller earned his way to Winston-Salem with a .326 first-half average to go with nine long balls and 34 RBIs. He came into the game as a substitute and had a double and a walk in his two plate appearances.

The former Clemson University product ended 2012 and began 2013 in Double-A Jackson, while he eventually jumped to Triple-A Tacoma. Miller lasted only 26 games in the Pacific Coast League, raking to the tune of .356 before the Mariners called him up in late June. Since his promotion, he has been playing just about everyday, with the majority of his time spent at shortstop. Of the four, he is the only one to have stuck in the big leagues so far and earn an everyday starting job. With all the talent that was in that game, he surely will not be the only one to do so.

After snapping their eight-game slide last night, the Dash will look to earn a split of their four-game set at Harry Grove Stadium against the Keys tonight. Check back later today for a preview of the final regular season meeting between the two clubs.

- Rob

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.
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“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

Dash Alumni Update

Matt Heidenreich will make his first professional start outside the White Sox system tonight (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash).

Over the last few weeks, the Dash’s roster has gone through drastic changes. Winston-Salem has endured 29 roster moves this month, with some of its bigger names leaving the Triad.

How have some of these former Dash players fared elsewhere? It’s time to find out.

Miguel Gonzalez (promoted to Double-A July 24): Gonzalez just joined the Barons after spending the entire season with the Dash. He started his first Southern League game last night and went 1-for-4 with a double during the Barons’ loss at Chattanooga.

Matt Heidenreich (promoted to Double-A July 4; traded to Houston July 21): After a starting spot in the All-Star Game and a team-leading eight wins in Winston-Salem, Heidenreich earned his first promotion to Double-A on our nation’s birthday. In three starts, the righty struggled a bit (1-2, 5.89 ERA). However, the White Sox saw a chance to improve their big league roster and shipped Heidenreich and Blair Walters to Houston for big league reliever Brett Myers. Heidenreich, now with Double-A Corpus Christi in the Texas League, makes his debut in the Astros’ system tonight against San Antonio.

Jake Petricka (promoted to Double-A July 21): The number five prospect in the White Sox minor league system according to Baseball America, Petricka was challenged with a promotion to Birmingham after having an up-and-down season in Winston-Salem. So far, so good for the right-hander, who recorded a quality start in his first appearance since the promotion. He held Montgomery to a pair of runs in six innings of action.

Carlos Sanchez has hit safely in all four games with Double-A Birmingham this season (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

Carlos Sanchez (promoted to Double-A July 21): Sanchez, who still leads the Carolina League with 115 hits, has begun his Double-A career tremendously. The 20-year-old infield prospect is hitting .500 (8-for-16) with two runs scored through four games. He has hit safely in all of those contests, including a pair of three-hit showings. Sanchez went 3-for-4 in his Double-A debut Saturday.

Brady Shoemaker (promoted to Double-A July 2): A triple crown candidate in the Carolina League, Shoemaker is hitting .288 with two homers and 10 RBI in 20 games with the Barons. His power numbers may be a bit down, but the Brazil, Ind., native is still hitting .303 with a 1.023 OPS with runners on base.

Blair Walters (traded to Houston July 21): The other prospect shipped to Houston for Brett Myers, Walters was assigned to High-A Lancaster in the California League. He has yet to pitch for the JetHawks, but he is close to his home town of Oak Park, Calif., which is just an hour and a half away from his new home.

It was fun watching these guys, and many other former Dash players, compete in the Carolina League. Good luck to them in Alabama, California, Texas and beyond.

- Brian

All-Star Countdown: Stockton Ports

The California League previews continue with a look at the Stockton Ports (Oakland A’s High-A). It has been a tough first half of the season for the Ports, a team that sits in dead last in the league and 14.5 games out of first place in the North Division. Stockton does have a pair of corner infielders that can slug the ball. These two players will likely be in Winston-Salem for the All-Star Game and are likely Home Run Derby participants as well.

1B/3B Miles Head- In a hitter-friendly California League, Head ranks among the best in the league this season. The corner infielder has the second best batting average in the league, hitting at a .353 clip. Head also has eight home runs, 30 RBI, 59 hits, and ranks second in the league in slugging percentage (.629) and third in extra-base hits (26).

Head is in his first season with the Athletics organization after four years in the Boston Red Sox system. He was part of a trade this past offseason that sent Andrew Bailey and Ryan Sweeney to Boston. Head spent part of last season in the Carolina League with High-A Salem. He played third for the Red Sox and hit .254 with seven home runs and 29 RBI in 63 games last year.

1B A.J. Kirby-Jones – Oakland’s ninth round draft pick in 2010 has been a fixture on the basepaths in his first season at the High-A level. Kirby-Jones is hitting .297 on the season with eight home runs and 26 RBI. He is second in the California League in on-base percentage (.415).  and walks (29).

Kirby-Jones played college baseball at Tennessee Tech where he starred for three seasons. The first basemen hit .388 his junior season with 71 RBI and is the school’s all-time leader in home runs (51), RBI (190),  total bases (409), runs (143), hits (207), and doubles (49).

Our California League All-Star capsules wrap up tomorrow with the Visalia Rawhide, the High-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Until then, make sure to join us on the broadcast tonight for the final game of the series in Salem. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05, with the Pregame Dash starting at 6:50.

-Mike

All-Star Countdown: San Jose Giants

Our preview of California League teams is nearly over, but with three teams left to preview we come to the San Jose Giants (High-A Affiliate of the San Francisco Giants). San Jose is in first place in the North Division and has a bevy of highly-touted prospects from the San Francisco organization. A few of the big names are not having All-Star caliber seasons though, so, with the help of San Jose broadcaster Joe Ritzo, here are three players who are very likely to be in Winston-Salem for the All-Star festivities.

LHP Jack Snodgrass - Snodgrass, a 27th round pick in 2011 out of Austin Peay, is the ace on a Giants team that is among the best pitching staffs in the California League. Through nine games, Snodgrass carries a 5-1 record and 2.44 ERA. That places in the top five in fewest runs allowed in the league this season.

Ritzo’s scouting report on Snodgrass is that he has excellent command, which allows him to maximize what isn’t necessarily an overpowering fastball. He has one of the best change-ups in the league and uses it on any count. “Pitching has been the strength of the Giants this year (leading league in ERA) and Jack stands out as the top starter on the club,” Ritzo said.

RHP Seth Rosin -The 6’6″, 250-pound right-hander cuts an imposing figure on the mound. Rosin transitioned from college starter to a lock down closer for San Jose. He leads the California League in saves with 10. Through 17.2 innings of work, Rosin has an ERA of 3.06 and 23 strikeouts. Rosin will certainly be in the bullpen for the California All-Stars and might be the one called on to retire the Carolina All-Stars in the final inning.

“Seth has thrived in the ninth inning all year,” Ritzo said. “Seth has emerged as San Jose’s closer thanks to a mid 90′s fastball and some of the best control on the team.”

OF Ryan Lollis – The versatile outfielder leads the team in batting average, and his .336 mark puts him in the top 10 of all California League batters. The University of Missouri product has played all three outfield positions this season, and his two home runs and 16 RBI shuffled him from batting first to now hitting in the three hole for the Giants.

“Ryan isn’t flashy out there, but seems to get the job done in whatever role the team needs him to fill,” Ritzo said.

Two more California League team previews still to go with the Stockton Ports (High-A Affiliate of the Oakland A’s) up next and the Visalia Rawhide on Friday.

The Dash continues a three-game series against Salem with an 11:00 a.m. game Wednesday. The Pregame Dash gets started at 10:45, and you can listen live here.

And remember to vote for Bolt in the MiLB Mascot Madness contest.

-Mike

All-Star Countdown: Lancaster JetHawks

The South Division of the California League continues to be profiled with a look at the Lancaster JetHawks. The High-A affiliate of the Astros is in first place in the division. Here is a look at the Lancaster players who are likely to be in Winston-Salem for the All-Star Game.

RHP Ruben Alaniz - Lancaster has the second worst team ERA in the league at 4.62, but Alaniz has been an exception. Alaniz, the Astros 15th best prospect, has compiled a respectable 3.75 ERA and a 4-1 record through nine starts. He was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2009.

SS Jiovanni Mier - The Astros top pick in 2009 has always flashed a strong glove, but now his bat is starting to catch up to his defense. Mier is batting .309 with 13 RBIs and two home runs. Mier has no chance of starting at shortstop for the California All-Stars (Bakersfield’s Billy Hamilton has that spot locked down), but he will be a suitable backup next month in Winston-Salem.

George Springer is hitting .331 in his first full season of pro ball. (Bob Levey/Getty Images North America)

1B Telvin Nash - Houston’s 10th best prospect has been feast or famine this season for Lancaster. He leads the California League with 12 home runs but also is well ahead of the pack with 62 strikeouts. Nash is batting a respectable .236 on the season. He is a lock to be in the Home Run Derby if he is an All-Star.

OF George Springer - The Astros #3 prospect in the organization is living up to his high expectations. Springer was selected out of the University of Connecticut as the 11th overall pick in the 2011 draft.

He has a slugging percentage just under .600 and is batting .331 on the season. Springer has 33 RBIs and nine home runs on the season. He also accomplished an incredibly rare feat on May 11th by hitting four home runs in one day. Barring a promotion, Springer will start in the outfield for the California League All-Stars.

Our California League All-Star Preview continues tomorrow with the Modesto Nuts (High-A Affiliate of the Colorado Rockies). Brian is back with you tomorrow for that one.

-Mike

All-Star Countdown: Inland Empire 66ers

Our All-Star preview continues today with the Angels’ High-A club. In a division where all five teams are separated by two games, the 66ers find themselves one game back of first place in the California League’s South. Here are a few Inland Empire products we may see in Winston-Salem next month.

RHP Manny Correa – The 66ers’ pitching staff is middle of the pack in the California League. The club owns a 4.23 earned run average, which is sixth in the league. However, Correa has been a consistent force within Inland Empire’s staff.

In 11 appearances, the Dominican Republic native is 2-2 with a 3.03 ERA, which is second on the 66ers and eighth in the league. He began the season in the bullpen but has since shifted to the rotation. Correa’s best start came at home against High Desert, the best offense in minor league baseball. He tossed his third career complete game and blanked the Mavericks over seven innings during a doubleheader.

2B Taylor Lindsey – Inland Empire’s offense is near the bottom in batting average (.258, 6th) and runs scored (8th, 171) in the California League, but Lindsey is arguably the league’s best second baseman. He paces second basemen and all fellow 66ers with a .286 batting average.

The seventh-best prospect in the Angels’ system according to Baseball America, Lindsey has gone yard twice and driven in 16 runs, numbers that are both among the top of the second basemen heap in the CL.

LHP Nick Maronde – The 10th-best farmhand in the Angels’ system per Baseball America has held his own inside a hitter-friendly California League. He leads all 66ers and is seventh among all CL pitchers with a 2.83 earned run average. In his six starts this season, he has averaged just shy of six innings per effort.

However, Maronde has been on the disabled list for most of the month of May. His last start was May 3, so his health may be the key to his All-Star Game spot here in 2012.

Mike Lefko will be on the blog tomorrow to bring you another countdown piece. The Lake Elsinore Storm take the stage. We’ll talk to you then.

- Brian

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