Results tagged ‘ Dylan Bundy ’

Carolina Countdown – Frederick Keys

It’s day two of our Carolina Countdown, and the Frederick Keys are up. For yesterday’s entry about the Carolina Mudcats, click here.

INTRODUCTION: The Frederick Keys have been members of the Carolina League since the franchise’s inception in 1989. An affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles, the Keys play their home games just 50 miles away from the parent club. Frederick has won the Carolina League championship four times, most recently in 2011.

LAST SEASON: The Keys lagged behind the rest of the Northern Division in 2013, finishing in last place with a 61-78 overall record. They hovered around .500 during the first half of the season, going 34-35 before fading after the All-Star Break.

Catcher Michael Ohlman was the Keys’ offensive standout last season, leading the league in batting average (.313), while pacing the team in doubles (29), triples (4) and RBIs (53). He also tied for the Keys’ home run lead (13). On the mound, Zach Davies went 7-9 with a 3.69 ERA in 26 starts, striking out a team-leading 132 batters in 148.2 innings.

Albert Pujols' cousin Luis will guide the Keys in 2014 (photo via the AP).

Albert Pujols’ cousin Luis will guide the Keys in 2014 (photo via the AP).

MANAGER: Luis Pujols joins the Keys to manage the 2014 squad. The 58-year-old joined the Orioles’ organization in 2013, guiding the Low-A Delmarva Shorebirds to a 54-82 record. During his playing career, Pujols spent nine years in the Major Leagues as a catcher with Astros, Royals and Rangers from 1977-85. He replaces Ryan Minor, who spent one season at the helm. He will be joined in Frederick by pitching coach Kennie Steenstra and field coach Torre Tyson, both of whom were members of the Keys’ staff last season.

SYSTEM: The Orioles posted a second straight winning season in 2013, going 85-77, but trades helped thin what many experts and publications say is a rather shallow minor league system. However, the Orioles do boast some high-end pitching prospects.

One of those pitchers who could someday spend time in a Keys uniform is 19-year-old Hunter Harvey, the Orioles’ 2013 first-round draft pick out of Bandys High School in Catawba, N.C. Harvey made a combined eight appearances in the rookie Gulf Coast League and with the Short-A Aberdeen IronBirds, compiling a 1.78 ERA with 33 strikeouts in 25.1 innings.

Among position players, shortstop Adrian Marin is rated by Baseball America as the best defensive infielder in the Orioles’ farm system. The 20-year-old batted .265 with 4 home runs and 45 RBI in 108 games with Low-A Delmarva in 2013.

The O’s also boast two of the best pitching prospects in the minors–righties Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman. Both stormed through Frederick en route to the higher levels. Unfortunately, Bundy may need to make a quick stop back in Frederick after Tommy John Surgery, according to this article from

Finding diamonds on the diamond in Frederick...

Finding diamonds on the diamond in Frederick…

BEST PROMOTION: On Friday, May 30, the Keys will host a “Diamond Dig,” where 30 lucky ladies will have a chance to dig for a diamond following their game against the Wilmington Blue Rocks.

FUN FACT: If Luis Pujols’ last name seems familiar to you, there’s a good reason for that. He is the cousin of Albert Pujols, the perennial All-Star first baseman. Luis’ cousin Albert will begin the 2014 season just eight home runs shy of 500 for his career.

KEYS IN WINSTON-SALEM: The Keys make their initial trek to BB&T Ballpark for a three-game series on April 15-17. The Dash will also host Frederick from May 15-18 and July 29-31.

– Dave

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’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 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

Carolina Countdown: Frederick Keys

Our look around the Carolina League continues with the Frederick Keys, who have won three championships since 2005. Let’s break down the future Orioles.


Introduction: The Frederick Keys are affiliated with the Baltimore Orioles, and Camden Yards is only 50 miles away from Frederick’s Harry Grove Stadium.  The Keys have won the Carolina League title four times, most recently in 2011.

Last season: Frederick did not parlay their 2011 title into success in the standings a year ago. The Keys tumbled to a 27-43 first-half record and a last-place finish in the Northern Division.  Buoyed by the presence of top prospect Dylan Bundy, the Keys bounced back in the second half to record a 35-34 mark, falling just a game and a half shy of the top spot in the Northern Division’s second-half chase.

Minor was drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers, but chose baseball over basketball.

Minor was drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers but chose baseball over basketball.

Manager: Ryan Minor will be at the helm for Frederick this year, his first as the Keys’ manager.  Minor comes to Frederick after spending three seasons managing the Orioles’ Low-A affiliate, the Delmarva Shorebirds. With the Shorebirds, Minor collected a record of 166-252. A basketball and baseball star at Oklahoma University, Minor was drafted by the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers with the 32nd pick of the 1996 NBA Draft. However, when the Orioles drafted him the same year in the 33rd round of the MLB Draft, he chose baseball over basketball.  While a member of the Orioles’ organization, Minor played in two games for the Keys back in 2000.  He would go on to play in parts of four seasons in the majors, including three with Baltimore.

System: Baseball America ranks the Orioles’ farm system 17th in baseball, but the duo of Bundy, a consensus top three prospect in all the minors, and fellow right-hander Kevin Gausman is one of the best in the minors. Bundy climbed all the way to Baltimore in his first professional season in 2012, while Gausman is projected to be a quick riser, too. Beyond the Bundy-Gausman connection, the Orioles are without many high-end prospects, per Baseball America. However, young players like Manny Machado and Matt Wieters have put the Orioles in a great spot at the big league level.

Best promotion: While bobblehead nights for Bundy and Machado may bring the most fans to Harry Grove Stadium this year, the Keys’ annual “Fredneck Night” on June 21st takes the best promotion award.  Fredneck Night, named for the nickname for Frederick locals, will feature WWE legend Sgt. Slaughter, who will be running a Fredneck Boot Camp throughout the game.

Minor was the man who ended Cal Ripken Jr.'s Ironman streak.

Minor was the man who ended Cal Ripken Jr.’s Ironman streak (Chicago Tribune).

Fun fact: While Keys’ Manager Ryan Minor didn’t have a very lengthy big league career, he will always be known for what he did on September 20, 1998.  On that day, Minor replaced Cal Ripken Jr. in the lineup, ending Ripken’s streak of 2,632 games played.  When Minor found out that he was replacing Ripken Jr. in the lineup, he asked, “Does he know?”

Keys in Winston-Salem: Frederick will makes three trips to BB&T Ballpark this season, two of which come in May.  The Keys will be here from May 6-8 and May 27-30, with their final visit from July 21-23.

Tomorrow: Check back tomorrow as the countdown continues with the reigning Mills Cup Champions–the Lynchburg Hillcats.

– Rob

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

MiLBY Voting Is In

The Dash finished sixth in voting for the 2012 “Team of the Year” MiLBY award, Minor League Baseball announced this morning.

Winston-Salem received eight percent of the votes and finished ahead of Elizabethton, Vancouver, St. Lucie, Wisconsin, Akron and Springfield. All of these teams except for St. Lucie won their league’s championship in September.

The Hudson Valley Renegades, Tampa Bay’s short-season A affiliate and the New York-Penn League’s champion, won the Fans’ Choice MiLBY by mustering an impressive 29 percent of the votes. The Asheville Tourists, Colorado’s Low-A unit, finished second in the voting but claimed the Staff’s Choice MiLBY after winning the South Atlantic League crown and finishing behind only Winston-Salem for the top regular season mark in full-season minor league baseball.

The Dash also fell just short of besting three Triple-A clubs–Reno, Pawtucket and Indianapolis–in the vote. That trio finished third, fourth and fifth, respectively.

Winston’s 87-51 record was the best in full-season baseball, and the Dash also finished with a minor league-best 48 victories at home. The Dash’s playoff run fell short in the Mills Cup Finals, though, when Lynchburg won the best-of-five set in four games.

Thanks to all the fans who supported the Dash by voting online! Winston-Salem could still take home a MiLBY when the “Home Run of the Year” is announced Friday. Keenyn Walker’s homer against highly-touted prospect Dylan Bundy from July 20 is one of 12 nominees.

Here is a full list of the nominees and winners.

– Brian

Three Winston-Salem Stars Honored

Erik Johnson became the Dash’s ace after his promotion in July (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash).

Baseball America released its Top 20 Prospects ranking for the Carolina League, and three men who donned the Dash purple this season made the list.

Infielder Carlos Sanchez placed sixth, which was the highest ranking for a Winston-Salem player. Righty Erik Johnson is 11th on the list, while outfielder Trayce Thompson checks in at 18th.

The 20-year-old Sanchez led all Carolina League qualifiers with a .315 batting average. In 92 games with the Dash, Sanchez scored 58 times and drove in another 42 runs. A member of the World Team in the 2012 MLB Futures Game, Sanchez earned promotions to Double-A Birmingham and Triple-A Charlotte before the season ended.

Johnson joined the Dash July 21 and went 4-3 with a 2.74 earned run average in eight starts. He was the club’s Game 1 starter in their playoff run last month. Before his stint in Winston-Salem, the former California Golden Bear boasted a 2.30 ERA in nine efforts with Low-A Kannapolis.

Finally, Thompson slugged his way to a spot on this prestigious list. The former second-round pick finished tied for the league lead with 22 home runs, and he paced the circuit with 90 RBI. Like Sanchez, Thompson also made a stop in Double-A Birmingham before finishing the season with Triple-A Charlotte during its playoff run in the International League.

Only Salem and Myrtle Beach (four apiece) had more players on this list. Frederick’s Dylan Bundy finished atop the rankings, followed by a Salem triumvirate of Xander Bogaerts, Matt Barnes and Jackie Bradley, Jr. Myrtle’s Cody Buckel finished in fifth.

Interestingly enough, the only player on this list who never appeared in a game at BB&T Ballpark was Potomac’s Nathan Karns, who finished 15th overall.

Congrats to Carlos, Erik and Trayce!

– Brian

Vote For the Dash As MiLB’s Best Team


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!

– Brian

Thompson Honored By Baseball America

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).

– Brian

One All-Star Ballot

Dan Black could finish the season atop the CL in many categories (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

PLEASE NOTE: These selections do NOT represent the award winners in the Carolina League. This is merely my opinion on the end-of-season awards.

The Carolina League’s end-of-season All-Star Team should be announced sometime this week, and it is a vote involving media members, general managers and skippers. Here are my best guesses, along with a few others who deserve mention (in alphabetical order).

CATCHER: Braeden Schlehuber (Lynchburg)
The All-Star reserve earns this spot, but it was one of the toughest ones to pick. Winston-Salem’s Mike Blanke made a late surge and certainly could get this spot.
Close calls: Mike Blanke (Winston-Salem), David Freitas (Potomac), Evan Gattis (Lynchburg)

FIRST BASE: Dan Black (Winston-Salem)
He won’t win the triple crown in the CL, but he will come closer than anyone else. The Big Black Bear has been one of the circuit’s most consistent hitters all season long.
Close calls: Chris Garcia (Lynchburg), Travis Shaw (Salem)

Carlos Sanchez finally gets his All-Star selection (Dan Barber/W-S Dash).

SECOND BASE: Carlos Sanchez (Winston-Salem)
It was embarrassing that Sanchez did not make the All-Star team, but this should be a nice consolation. That, and being in Triple-A Charlotte now.
Close call: Tommy La Stella (Lynchburg)

SHORTSTOP: Xander Bogaerts (Salem)
Boston’s second-best prospect is now a Portland SeaDog, but he was a force offensively in the Carolina League.
Close calls: Nick Ahmed (Lynchburg), Marcus Semien (Winston-Salem)

THIRD BASE: Michael Almanzar (Salem)
Almanzar needed a second season in High-A ball, but he improved greatly from year one.
Close calls: Giovanni Urshela (Carolina), Christian Villanueva (Myrtle Beach)

OUTFIELDERS: Jackie Bradley, Jr. (Salem), Brady Shoemaker (Winston-Salem) and Trayce Thompson (Winston-Salem)
Bradley, Jr., and Shoemaker were the CL’s two best players in the first half, and Thompson boasted the most gaudy numbers on the circuit.
Close calls: Michael Earley (Winston-Salem), Jeremy Nowak (Frederick)

UTILITY INFIELDER: Travis Shaw (Salem)
It was tough to pick among many great players for this final spot, but Shaw was a key cog in Salem’s huge first half.
Close calls: Jesus Aguilar (Carolina), Ronny Rodriguez (Carolina), Semien

Michael Earley has had a huge first season in full-season ball (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

UTILITY OUTFIELDER: Michael Earley (Winston-Salem)
Earley had a career year, and he definitely belongs somewhere on this list. He fits in well here.
Close calls: Kevin Keyes (Potomac), Nowak

DESIGNATED HITTER: Aaron Baker (Frederick)
With all of the great first basemen in the CL, Baker had to fight to get on this roster despite his big power numbers.
Close call: Jeremie Tice (Carolina)

STARTING PITCHER: Cody Buckel (Myrtle Beach)
Buckel’s 1.31 ERA in 13 starts was ridiculous, and he still places 14th in the CL in strikeouts despite playing in Double-A Frisco for much of the second half.
Close calls: Matt Barnes (Salem), Dylan Bundy (Frederick), J.R. Graham (Lynchburg), Gus Schlosser (Lynchburg)

RELIEF PITCHER: Ben Rowen (Myrtle Beach)
This was one of the tougher selections, but Rowen has been electric as a submarine specialist.
Close calls: Juan Jaime (Lynchburg), Mike Olmsted (Salem), Taylor Thompson (Winston-Salem)

Brady Shoemaker’s first half was enough to earn my MVP vote (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash).

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Brady Shoemaker (Winston-Salem)
Shoemaker carried the Dash past a loaded Salem squad in the first half. If he had been in the CL throughout the season, the Indiana State product could have posted some ridiculous numbers.

PITCHER OF THE YEAR: Cody Buckel (Myrtle Beach)
The numbers were just too good.

MANAGER OF THE YEAR: Tommy Thompson (Winston-Salem)
This isn’t even a conversation. If he isn’t the unanimous choice, voters don’t know what they are doing. Thompson has taken the Dash to the brink of minor league baseball’s best record despite significant turnover.

Agree? Disagree? Let me know.

But you have to like the fact that Winston-Salem paces the All-Star team with five representatives, plus the MVP and Manager of the Year.

– Brian


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