Results tagged ‘ Carolina League ’
The 2012 Carolina League Manager of the Year, Thompson is now with the Kannapolis Intimidators, and many of his current players will suit up for the Dash soon. Last week, I talked with Tommy about his current club and the thrill that was the 2012 season in the Triad.
Plus, Tommy is officially off the market! He’s getting married today, and his comments about this are fantastic (skip to the 2:45 mark if you’d like).
Congratulations to Tommy. It was great to catch up with one of baseball’s most fascinating people. And sorry ladies, he is off the market.
With the season starting tomorrow night, it’s time to see who could make an impact on the seven other teams in the Carolina League. The prospect rankings used for this post are from Baseball America.
Carolina Mudcats: For the second straight season, shortstop Francisco Lindor is the top prospect in the Indians’ organization. The 2011 first-round pick spent all of 2012 with Low-A Lake County, where he was the youngest everyday player in the league at 18.
Scouts say Lindor has an above-average arm and great instincts and rate him as one of the best defensive infielders in the minors. Lindor was given some spring training action for the Indians, hitting .292 while appearing in 10 games. He won’t turn 20 until after the season, meaning his best days are surely ahead of him.
Others to watch for: Outfielder Tyler Naquin (#3 prospect), infielder Tony Wolters (#17), right-handed pitcher Cody Anderson (#29) and outfielder Jordan Smith (#30).
Frederick Keys: After spending all of 2012 with Low-A Delmarva, left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez could be set to make an impact for the Keys this summer. In 2012, the southpaw pitched 107 innings for Delmarva and posted a 3.70 ERA.
Rodriguez, listed as Baltimore’s number five prospect, was signed as an international free agent out of Venezuela when he was 17. He will turn 20 during the Carolina League’s opening weekend, and the Orioles hope he will continue to climb toward his very ceiling in his age 20 season.
Others to watch for: Infielder Nick Delmonico (#4 prospect), left-handed pitcher Tim Berry (#11), outfielder Glynn Davis (#14), right-handed pitcher Devin Jones (#18), right-handed pitcher Zach Davies (#20), right-handed pitcher Tyler Wison (#26) and outfielder Brenden Webb (#27).
Lyncburg Hillcats: After his 2012 season was cut short by injuries, outfielder Matt Lipka will be back in Lynchburg to start 2013. The 14th-rated prospect in the Braves’ system, Lipka hit .271 in 51 games for the Hillcats before a hamstring injury sidelined him for the rest of the season.
A former shortstop, Lipka was playing center field for the first time as a professional last year, and scouts say he showed good instincts. With his above-average speed, Lipka could turn into a very good defensive center fielder, but the Braves want him to prove he is healthy and continue to improve before giving him a shot at Double-A.
Others to watch for: Right-handed pitcher Navery Moore (#15 prospect), right-handed pitcher Juan Jaime (#20), third baseman Kyle Kubitza (#25), right-handed pitcher Nate Hyatt (#26) and outfielder Robby Hefflinger (#29).
Myrtle Beach Pelicans: On July 2, 2009, the Rangers signed two 16-year old shortstops from Venezuela. The first one, Jurickson Profar, is one of the top prospects in all of baseball and is close to breaking into the big league lineup. The other signing that day, Luis Sardinas, will be a member of the 2013 Pelicans.
While injuries slowed his progress at the start of his minor league career, Sardinas was mostly healthy last year while playing for Low-A Hickory. He hit .291 and stole 32 bases in 2012 while also showing off a strong arm and overall plus skills in the field. He played mostly shortstop last season, but with Profar ahead of him, he could move permanently to second base, where he played 14 games in 2012.
Others to watch for: Right-handed pitcher Luke Jackson (#6 prospect), infielder Rougned Odor (#11), infielder Drew Robinson (#21), outfielder Zach Cone (#24) and right-handed pitcher Nick Martinez (#27).
Potomac Nationals: After 109 games with Potomac, outfielder Michael Taylor earned himself the number 11 slot on the Nationals’ prospect list. Taylor was drafted as a shortstop, but was quickly moved to center field after turning pro. He is a very good defensive outfielder, but his bat trails behind his defensive skills.
Taylor hit just .242 last year and struck out more than 100 times for the second straight year, two big reasons why scouts believe he will repeat High-A this year. With improvements in his offensive game, though, Double-A should be within his reach before too long.
Others to watch for: Right-handed pitcher A.J. Cole (#4), right-handed pitcher Taylor Jordan (#13), infielder Jason Martinson (#14), left-handed pitcher Robbie Ray (#18) and outfielder Billy Burns (#26).
Salem Red Sox: The Red Sox number five prospect, left-hander Henry Owens, won 12 games for Low-A Greenville in his first professional season last year. Armed with a fastball, changeup, and two different types of breaking ball, the 2011 first rounder led all Red Sox farmhands with those 12 wins and finished second in strikeouts with 130.
The southpaw’s walk numbers were high in 2012, but improved control could limit his time in Salem and quickly send him up to Double-A before all is said and done. If the Red Sox struggle again in 2013, a September call-up to the big leagues may not be out of the question to get Owens’ feet wet.
Others to watch for: Catcher Blake Swihart (#6 prospect), third baseman Garin Cecchini (#7), shortstop Deven Marrero (#10), outfielder Brandon Jacobs (#13), second baseman Sean Coyle (#24), outfielder Keury De La Cruz (#25) and left-handed pitcher Miguel Pena (#30).
Wilmington Blue Rocks: The top prospect in the Kansas City organization after the big Wil Myers-James Shields trade is right-handed pitcher Kyle Zimmer. Last year’s fifth overall pick, Zimmer has been confirmed as a member of the Blue Rocks’ 2013 staff.
After a giving up just one run in 10 innings for the AZL Royals after signing, Zimmer was promoted to Low-A Kane County and made six starts. He pitched 30 innings for the Cougars, posting a 2.43 ERA. With a fastball that reached 99 mph in college, Zimmer may be on the fast track to the big leagues if he can build upon his strong professional debut.
Others to watch for: Outfielder Jorge Bonifacio (#4 prospect), left-handed pitcher Sam Selman (#6), third baseman Cheslor Cuthbert (#9), left-handed pitcher John Lamb (#11), right-handed pitcher Kyle Smith (#12), right-handed pitcher Angel Baez (#18), shortstop Jack Lopez (#19) and right-handed pitcher Robinson Yambati (#28).
Make sure to keep your eyes peeled for these players and other top prospects as they make their way to BB&T Ballpark this summer. The Carolina League is loaded in 2013.
The Dash claimed the first-half and second-half division championships in the Carolina League’s Southern Division, and a few contributors to those crowns finished up another division title run last night.
The Salt River Rafters, a club that has featured seven former Winston-Salem stars, claimed the Arizona Fall League’s East Division title with a 6-4 win over Peoria yesterday.
As a result, the Rafters, who wrap up their regular season this afternoon, will play in the AFL Championship Game Saturday at 3 p.m. EST. The game will be televised on MLB Network, and live stats will be available here.
Congrats to Andre Rienzo, Santos Rodriguez, Carlos Sanchez, Salvador Sanchez, Taylor Thompson, Trayce Thompson and Andy Wilkins, all of whom contributed to the Rafters’ run. Every member of this group will be in uniform except for Rienzo, who left the team to pitch for Team Brazil in a World Baseball Classic qualifier.
We’ll have a full recap of all seven players’ efforts in the AFL on the blog in the coming days. Dash fans are Rafters fans this weekend!
Thanks to an 87-51-1 mark that was the best in full-season minor league baseball, the Dash are one of the 12 nominees for the 2012 MiLBY “Team of the Year” award.
The Dash finished with the second-best record in Winston-Salem history since the franchise joined the Carolina League as a charter member in 1945. Winston also finished with a 48-23 record at home, which was good for the best in full-season minor league baseball.
Winston-Salem featured more than 20 players who were promoted to Double-A or Triple-A by the end of the season. Slugger Dan Black earned the CL’s Most Valuable Player award, while skipper Tommy Thompson took home the Manager of the Year honor.
In addition to the Team of the Year nomination, Keenyn Walker’s home run against Dylan Bundy, a highly-touted pitching prospect who recently joined the Baltimore Orioles, has been nominated for the Home Run of the Year. The home run was Walker’s first in High-A, and it came during his first at-bat at BB&T Ballpark.
To vote, click the link above and navigate through the bar on the right-hand side. You do not have to vote for every category, but you do have to fill out the information at the bottom of the page.
Support the Dash in the MiLBY awards!
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.
This is the ninth installment of the “Dash Top 10,” where we rehash the top 10 moments from the Dash’s historic 2012 season. Stay tuned to the Dash Board Blog for the top moment tomorrow.
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
Moment #2 (September 2): The Dash clinch full-season minor league baseball’s best record on the regular season’s penultimate day.
When Winston-Salem kicked off a four-game series with Carolina July 23, the club was a league-best 59-40-1. The Dash had already clinched a playoff spot thanks to a first-half championship. In other words, the season was already highly successful.
The Dash then elevated their 2012 efforts to another level. From July 23 to August 17, Winston-Salem posted a mark of 20-4 to rocket toward the top of full-season minor league baseball’s standings.
A three-game losing streak in late August allowed Low-A Asheville to seize the top spot with five games remaining. The Dash responded with three straight victories to lower their magic number to one with two games to go in the regular season.
On a Sunday afternoon at LewisGale Field, Winston-Salem squared off with first-half rival Salem with a chance to finish atop the standings. The Dash cruised to victory.
Winston plated a pair of runs in the first frame and never trailed. Both Cyle Hankerd and Kevan Smith drove home two runs. Starter Chris Bassitt twirled five shutout innings en route to the victory.
It was an emphatic win to earn a distinguished honor. Sure, the Dash were not in Double-A or Triple-A, but no team was better than Winston-Salem in record. No team was better at beating opponents on an equal playing ground than Winston-Salem.
The Dash became the first American League affiliate to post the best record in full-season minor league baseball since 2005. Winston-Salem recorded its second-best record since joining the CL as a charter member in 1945.
Obviously, it did not lead to a Mills Cup that everyone in the Triad wanted; however, only three of the last eight teams to finish with the best regular season record have taken home a championship.
For five months, the Dash were the best team in the minors. Even though Lynchburg claimed the Cup, Winston-Salem was the main story of the 2012 campaign, and a Sunday afternoon in front of a small crowd in the Roanoke Valley guaranteed it.
We will have reached the end of our Top 10 countdown tomorrow when we unveil the top moment of Winston-Salem’s 2012 season. You won’t want to miss it.
This is the fifth installment of the “Dash Top 10,” where we rehash the top 10 moments from the Dash’s historic 2012 season. Stay tuned to the Dash Board Blog for the rest of the series over the next few days.
Moment #6 (August 30): Dan Black and Tommy Thompson take home top league honors, while five Dash swingers earn year-end All-Star spots.
This is the only Top 10 moment that did not take place on the field, but it probably embodies the Dash’s 2012 success better than any other moment this season.
On an otherwise typical Thursday morning, the Carolina League made an announcement that simply confirmed what everyone already knew: Winston-Salem was the circuit’s signature team this season.
First baseman Dan Black earned the CL’s Most Valuable Player award, and skipper Tommy Thompson took home the Manager of the Year honor. Black also joined four other Winston whackers on the year-end All-Star squad.
Carlos Sanchez was the All-Star second baseman, while Michael Earley, Brady Shoemaker and Trayce Thompson all made the squad as outfielders.
These five men, along with the other 52 who donned the Dash purple this season, helped Winston-Salem reach new heights in 2012. Winston posted the franchise’s second-best record since joining the CL 67 years ago. The Dash churned out a league-leading 21 double-digit run outputs. They led the Carolina League in almost every relevant offensive statistic, too.
Sure, a plethora of dangerous hitters helped the Dash to the Mills Cup Finals, but Tommy Thompson’s managing was critical, too. Tommy seemingly pushed the right button all the time, and his attitude rubbed off on every player in the dugout.
The Dash dominated the Carolina League, so it is no surprise they had the strongest presence when the league office announced these postseason awards. It was an incredible season for these six men and the Dash as a whole.
We will present the Dash’s fifth-best moment from the 2012 campaign tomorrow, and it involved some celebration. Have a good Friday night.
This is the first installment of the “Dash Top 10,” where we rehash the top 10 moments from the Dash’s historic 2012 season. Stay tuned to the Dash Board Blog for the rest of the series over the next two weeks.
Moment #10 (August 30): Keenyn Walker’s dazzling double play clinches the second-half Southern Division title for Winston-Salem.
The Dash put together one of the best seasons in Winston-Salem history, and they finished off a “clean sweep” in the regular season with a second-half championship.
The way Winston-Salem clinched that Southern Division crown was remarkable and worthy of inclusion on our year-end Top 10 list. It was the penultimate home game of the season, and the Dash held a 5-4 advantage over Lynchburg with one down in the top of the ninth. With Dan Brewer at first, Nick Ahmed crushed a ball to deep left-center. However, Keenyn Walker made one of the best defensive plays of 2012 for the final two outs of the game:
Winston-Salem skipper Tommy Thompson called it one of the best plays he has seen in person during his long baseball career, and it was an incredible way to end the chase for back-to-back division crowns.
Sure, the Dash already had a playoff spot locked up when Walker helped Winston track down the second-half Southern Division title, but Thompson and the rest of Winston’s clubhouse wanted to finish what they started. They certainly did it with a fantastic play to cap off the crown.
Stay tuned for our ninth-best moment from the regular season, which involves one of the most stunning comebacks in the Carolina League in 2012. Talk to you then.
After leading the Dash to the best overall and home record in full-season minor league baseball, skipper Tommy Thompson earned the Carolina League Manager of the Year honor. Today, Baseball America added another award to Thompson’s resume.
The well-known baseball magazine tabbed Thompson as the Manager of the Year among the 30 skippers in High-A baseball. In addition to the Dash’s spot atop minor league baseball, Thompson’s squad posted the second-best record in Winston-Salem’s 67-year Carolina League tenure.
Former Winston skipper Joe McEwing also completed the Carolina League-Baseball America sweep in 2010 when he led the Dash to the CL’s best regular season record and a spot in the Mills Cup Finals.
Thompson was the only White Sox representative who made the list among all levels of Baseball America’s classification All-Stars, which included Carolina League stars Matt Barnes (Salem), Cody Buckel (Myrtle Beach), Dylan Bundy (Frederick) and Travis Shaw (Salem).
Mills Cup Championship Series
Winston-Salem Dash at Lynchburg Hillcats
Wednesday, September 12 — 6:05 p.m.
Game 4 — Hillcats lead series 2-1
GAME 4 BACKGROUND:
After more than five months of baseball in the Carolina League, the Mills Cup could be awarded to Lynchburg tonight. However, the Dash are hoping to force a winner-take-all Game 5 Thursday after dropping Game 3 1-0 at Lynchburg City Stadium Tuesday night.
The Mills Cup Championship Series has not seen a Game 5 since 2005, when Frederick bested Kinston to claim the CL championship. The Hillcats last won it all in 2009, while Winston-Salem has not claimed the Cup since 2003.
Winston-Salem — LHP Scott Snodgress (4-0, 1.50 ERA): Snodgress takes to the mound for the second time this postseason, and he is in familiar territory. With the Dash trailing by a game in the best-of-three Southern Division Championship Series, Snodgress worked into the seventh inning for the first time in his Dash career and allowed three runs, only one of which was earned, on three hits. During the regular season, the former Stanford star surrendered just seven earned runs in eight starts. In his only effort against Lynchburg during the regular season, Snodgress blanked the ‘Cats over four innings August 21.
Lynchburg — RHP Aaron Northcraft (10-11, 3.98 ERA): With a chance at a championship, Lynchburg turns to Northcraft after he allowed just one run in six and two-thirds innings Friday in the NDCS-clinching win over Wilmington. Northcraft has twirled four straight quality starts dating back to August 22. The Tucson, Ariz., native has faced off with the Dash five times. He is 1-2 with a 3.77 ERA in those efforts.
- Winston-Salem has not played in a winner-take-all game in the championship set since 1973. Winston defeated Lynchburg in that series to claim the Mills Cup. Winston’s last MCCS win also came against Lynchburg back in 2003.
- Lynchburg handed the Dash their sixth shutout of the season Tuesday, but it was the first since June 24 (7-0 v. Salem at home), a span of 70 games.
- With last night’s shutout, the Dash have only mustered a run in 10 of their 51 offensive innings. Winston has been very dependent on the long ball, too. The Dash have needed the home run for 10 of their 21 postseason runs.
- Terance Marin’s two scoreless innings in Game 3 lowered the bullpen’s ERA to 0.49 during the postseason. Winston-Salem relievers have only surrendered one earned run in 18.1 frames in the playoffs.
- Lynchburg starters have befuddled the Dash thus far in the Mills Cup Finals. The trio of Michael Lee, Ryan Weber and Gus Schlosser combined to give up just two runs, one of which was earned, in 18.1 innings.
- The Dash have scored only six runs over the last three games, which is the lowest number of tallies over a three-game span since May 16-18. This three-game offensive output is tied for the second-lowest this season for Winston-Salem.
- Despite the loss, Chris Curley continued his hitting streak to begin his Dash career. Curley has hit safely in nine in a row (three regular season and six postseason games). While wearing the Dash purple, Curley is 14-for-29 (.483) with eight runs scored.
AN EYE ON THE WHITE SOX FARM:
The only other White Sox affiliate still alive lost last night, too. Triple-A Charlotte dropped Game 1 of the Governors’ Cup Finals at Pawtucket. Charlotte starter Charlie Leesman left in the first inning due to an undisclosed injury, and the PawSox took advantage by homering three times. Game 2 of this set is set for 7:05 p.m. from Rhode Island before shifting to Charlotte for the final three possible games.
Dash fans can catch the club’s quest for a 12th Mills Cup by tuning in here. Fans are encouraged to tweet @WSDashBaseball and use the Dash’s official playoff hashtag: #Dash12. The Pre-Game Dash begins at 5:45 p.m. and features a chat with manager Tommy Thompson and a look ahead to the biggest game of the season.