Results tagged ‘ Frederick Keys ’
After 4,487 attended last night’s Dash game against Myrtle Beach, BB&T Ballpark surpassed the one millionth fan mark in it’s young history, making it the fastest a High-A ballpark has never reached that milestone. The ballpark has now hosted 1,004,042 fans in its three plus seasons.
Those aren’t the only impressive numbers this ballpark boasts. Since the ballpark opened, no team in High-A baseball has had more fans come through its gates. Here’s the top five:
1. Winston-Salem Dash: 1,004,042
2. Frederick Keys: 970,988
3. Wilmington Blue Rocks: 936,405
4. Lake Elsinore Storm: 737,971
5. Myrtle Beach Pelicans: 708,164
The Dash have also posted the best home record among all full season minor league teams since BB&T Ballpark opened. Here’s the top five:
1. Winston-Salem Dash (High-A, Chicago White Sox): 143-87
2. Savannah Sand Gnats (Low-A, New York Mets): 138-88 3.0 GB
3. Columbus Clippers (Triple-A, Cleveland Indians): 141-92 3.5 GB
4. Durham Bulls (Triple-A, Tampa Bay Rays): 142-96 5.0 GB
5. Tennessee Smokies (Double-A, Chicago Cubs): 137-92 5.5 GB
The Dash will try and improve that minor league-leading record even more tonight as the Potomac Nationals roll in to BB&T Ballpark for the first of a three-game series. Join me here at 6:45 for the Pregame Dash. First pitch is scheduled for 7. Talk to you then!
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: 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: 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.
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!
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.
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.
CAROLINA COUNTDOWN: Frederick Keys
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.
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.
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.
The Dash released their 2013 schedule today, which is one of the first signs of baseball’s return during the long offseason. You can check out the entire schedule here.
There are many marquee matchups throughout the season, and I highlight five parts of the first half schedule below.
- April 5 at Carolina: The Dash kick off their 2013 campaign in Zebulon against a Mudcats squad that didn’t like Winston-Salem. The feeling was mutual. These two teams had some memorable battles (and a few fights) a year ago, and both teams figure to have a strong squad, especially in the first half. These two teams could be the cream of the crop in the Southern Division in 2013.
- April 12 v. Carolina: Once again, the Mudcats will be the opponent when the Dash kick off their home slate one week after opening their season at Five County Stadium. Winston-Salem went 48-23 at BB&T Ballpark, which was good for the best home mark in the minors in 2012. Last season, the Dash claimed their home opener over the Muddies 1-0.
- April 22-25 v. Lynchburg: Winston-Salem finished two wins shy of what would’ve been a perfect season. The Dash won both the first- and second-half division titles, hosted the All-Star Game, posted minor league baseball’s best record and went to the Mills Cup Championship Series. The Lynchburg Hillcats prevented the Dash from finishing off the clean sweep in 2012. The ‘Cats bested Winston three games to one in the Mills Cup Finals. Both teams will look much different when they square off for the first time in 2013, but there will be plenty of carryovers from that thrilling Mills Cup Finals to make this late-April clash one of the season’s most intriguing sets.
- May 27 v. Frederick: Memorial Day is always a great holiday during the baseball season, and the Dash will celebrate it at BB&T Ballpark for a third straight year. Winston entertains the Mills Cup champs from 2011 this time around, and the Keys always tend to have a highly-touted prospect in the fold.
- June 13-16 at Wilmington: Once again, the Dash conclude the first half in Wilmington, the site of the club’s first-half clinch last season. If the Dash are in contention for a first-half crown in ’13, it will likely come down to this final set in the First State. Here’s hoping a new crop of White Sox prospects will be celebrating in the visiting clubhouse at Frawley Stadium in seven-and-a-half months.
Stay tuned for our breakdown of the second half tomorrow! Only 154 more days until the season opener in Zebulon. Since we now know the schedule, the countdown can officially begin.
The Dash say goodbye to another stadium this afternoon when Winston-Salem and Frederick square off for the final time in the regular season. Today, we take a look at Harry Grove Stadium, the home of the Keys.
Harry Grove Stadium is one of the smaller parks in the Carolina League, yet the Keys somehow lead the circuit in attendance.
Most of the seats are between first base and third base.
Advertisements are all over the place in the outfield.
Fittingly, a “Key” to the city of Frederick is located in the concourse.
There is also a carousel at Harry Grove Stadium for fans to enjoy during games.
And finally, my view from the booth, which is a pretty good spot.
The Dash look for the series victory today at 2:00 p.m. against Frederick. Pre-game begins at 1:45 here. Talk to you then.
The White Sox announced three more roster moves today, bringing the Dash’s 2012 total to 102 transactions. Today, the Dash welcome back outfielders Nick Ciolli and Ross Wilson from long stints on the disabled list. Winston-Salem also placed catcher Jeremy Dowdy on the seven-day disabled list.
Ciolli suffered a right wrist injury after hitting a home run June 1 against Carolina, his final game before heading to the disabled list. Before the injury, Ciolli was hitting .269 with four homers and 25 RBI in 43 games. After struggling in April with a .212 mark, Ciolli hit .309 in 25 games after May 1.
Wilson was also finding his stride before hitting the DL with an abdominal injury July 19. During his final four games before the four-week stint on the bench, Wilson went 6-for-15 (.400). In his 21 contests with the Dash, Wilson is hitting .212 with nine runs and five RBI. The former 10th-round pick also played with Low-A Kannapolis for 65 games and hit .279 with seven homers and 33 RBI.
Dowdy heads to the disabled list for the first time in his minor league career. The Raleigh native and former Appalachian State star is hitting .222 (6-for-27) with four runs scored and a pair of RBI. Before joining the Dash July 3, Dowdy was 7-for-17 (.412) in five games with rookie-level Bristol.
The Dash now have a league-maximum 25 players on their active roster. Winston-Salem, a winner in 19 of its last 23 games, faces off with Frederick tonight at 7:00. Pre-game coverage begins at 6:45 here.
Winston-Salem boasts the best offense in the Carolina League, with league-leading figures in batting average (.279) and runs per game (5.6). Tomorrow night at BB&T Ballpark, the Dash will have quite an assignment. Frederick right-hander Dylan Bundy, the fourth-overall pick in last year’s MLB Draft, is scheduled to start.
Bundy is 3-2 with a 3.42 earned run average in five High-A starts this season. The Tulsa, Okla., native began his minor league career in Low-A Delmarva, where he did not allow an earned run in 30 innings of work.
This will not be Bundy’s first appearance inside BB&T Ballpark. He tossed a scoreless sixth inning during the California-Carolina League All-Star Game eight days ago.
Winston has a highly-touted prospect taking to the mound, too. Righty Jake Petricka will start for the Dash.
Mike had a chance to chat with Bundy prior to the game Tuesday, and you can listen to that interview below. Also, tickets can be purchased for tomorrow’s game here.
The Carolina League boasts many talented prospects, and Frederick right-hander Dylan Bundy is one of its most well-known farmhands. The fourth-overall pick in the 2011 MLB Draft, Bundy blew through Low-A Delmarva without allowing an earned run in 30 innings.
The Dash did not get a chance to square off against Bundy this week. He made his High-A debut in front of a sold-out Harry Grove Stadium Saturday night, and the Orioles want the Tulsa, Okla., native to pitch every sixth day. As a result, Bundy is set to start tonight at Wilmington.
I had a chance to sit down with Bundy earlier this week, and the interview is available below. We discuss the transition from high school to professional baseball, the focus required to dismiss the attention he has received and even the thrill of making a seven-hour trip to Delaware the night before a start.
Bundy, who will not turn 20 until after the season, impressed me with his maturity during and after the interview. Here’s hoping we see him in Winston-Salem for the All-Star Game later this month.
If today’s game begins on time at 11 a.m., the Dash will have had a gap of 90 hours and 24 minutes between the end of their last game and the start of this contest. This is because of the off day Monday and consecutive postponements Tuesday and Wednesday.
As a result, the Dash’s rotation gets a bit of a makeover. Spencer Arroyo will start in this morning’s double dip opener, with Jon Bachanov taking to the mound in the second game. In essence, the Dash will use a “Johnny Wholestaff” approach for the second game, but it will be Bachanov starting the game for Winston.
This weekend, three right-handers will go against the best club in the Northern Division–the Lynchburg Hillcats. Ryan Buch toes the rubber in the opener. Matt Heidenreich follows suit Saturday evening. Finally, Jake Petricka, who made his Double-A debut in a spot start Monday, will pitch the finale Sunday.
Once Monday rolls around, Winston-Salem will likely feature another bullpen games with Bachanov to get the call as of now. By Tuesday, we are back in the typical rotation with Arroyo starting for the Dash.
Bachanov takes the spot of Steve McCray, who will head to the bullpen for at least the next week.
The Dash and Keys square off at 11 a.m. I greet you on the air at 10:45 with the “Pre-Game Dash.” Hear from Dash skipper Tommy Thompson and Frederick play-by-play man Adam Pohl (who has a GREAT Tommy story) during our day-long coverage. Talk to you then.