Results tagged ‘ minor league baseball ’
The first month of the season is in the books, and Winston-Salem is very much in the thick of the Southern Division race. The Dash are 13-12, two games behind first-place Myrtle Beach.
To put the finishing touches on April, how about a dose of some crazy, interesting stats about the Dash. Some of these stats could end up in “Crooked Numbers,” Benjamin Hill’s tremendous creation on MiLB.com.
- We may have jinxed this a few days ago, but Winston-Salem was the last team to lose a game during which the Dash plated the first run. The Dash finished the month with a 10-1 record in games they scored first, with the lone loss on Monday in Lynchburg.
- Most minor league teams average between four and five runs per game, so reaching six runs in a game is considered “above average.” Last season, Winston-Salem scored six or more runs in 67 of its 139 regular season games. This number was easily the best in the Carolina League. In 2013, however…
- Winston has surpassed the five-run mark only four times this season, which is tied for the third-worst mark in the minor leagues. Toledo (Triple-A, Detroit) and Burlington (Low-A, Los Angeles Angels) have posted only three such offensive outputs.
- Ah, but the Dash took this statistic to a new level from this standpoint: Winston- Salem was the only squad among the 120 full-season teams in Minor League Baseball that did not win multiple games when scoring six or more runs. The Dash are 1-3 in these situations, with the lone win coming on April 14 (15-2 vs. Carolina). Only three minor league squads have won just two games with six-plus runs: Bradenton (High-A, Pittsburgh), Jupiter (High-A, Miami) and Toledo (Triple-A, Detroit).
- A few round numbers for the Dash in April: Dash relievers struck out 80 batters in 80 innings of work, and Winston-Salem allowed an even 100 runs in 25 games.
Finally, let’s look ahead to May and maybe the strangest scheduling in the minor leagues this year. This quirk is not directly related to Winston-Salem, but many former Dash players will go through it. Double-A Birmingham will play a five-game, four-day series at Jacksonville from May 17-20 before enjoying back-to-back off days. Then, from May 23-27, the Barons will play five more games against the Suns…IN JACKSONVILLE AGAIN! According to Google Maps, a drive from Birmingham to Jacksonville takes seven hours, so I’m guessing the team will remain in Florida during their off days.Thanks to Lisa for pointing this out. The team goes from Jacksonville to Jackson. I did not read the schedule correctly. My apologies.
The Dash begin yet another month tonight at 6:05 against Lynchburg. What quirks will we uncover in May? Hope you’ll stay tuned to find out.
The Pregame Dash begins at 5:50 tonight, and you can listen here. Talk to you then!
Throughout the course of a 140-game season, teams are bound to go through plenty of ups and downs. With the season only 21 days old, the Dash have experienced many successes and failures. For instance:
- A road sweep after getting swept on the road.
- Being on both sides of a 15-run offensive showing.
- A 1-4 double play on a ground ball.
- A snow shower and a tornado watch.
- Giving up the cycle.
- Giving up just one hit in a game.
However, the last few days have truly encapsulated what it means to be a player in the minors. Here is a brief look back:
Thursday at 6:59 p.m.: Terance Marin throws the first pitch of the Dash’s homestand finale against the Lynchburg Hillcats.
Thursday at 8:31 p.m.: Winston-Salem takes a 4-1 lead into the fifth inning.
Thursday at 8:51 p.m.: The top of the fifth frame finally ends, but not before the Hillcats take a 6-4 lead. Winston would not take another lead in the contest.
Thursday at 10:36 p.m.: Lynchburg’s Matt Lipka singles in the ninth to complete the first cycle in BB&T Ballpark’s history.
Thursday at 10:53 p.m.: The Dash finish the homestand 4-4 by falling to the Hillcats 15-8 in the longest game (3:54) of the season thus far.
Friday at 12:17 a.m.: After packing up the bus, the Dash depart for an overnight trip to Wilmington, Del., in advance of a seven-day road swing.
Friday at 7:23 a.m.: More than seven hours later, the bus pulls into the team hotel in the First State. Many of the players grab a quick breakfast before heading to their rooms.
Friday at 4:15 p.m.: The team climbs onto the bus once again, with Frawley Stadium the destination for the opener of this three-game series with the Blue Rocks.
Friday at 7:07 p.m.: Less than 12 hours after arriving in Wilmington, the Dash begin their game with the Blue Crew.
Friday at 9:26 p.m.: Courtney Hawkins’ sacrifice fly in the top of the ninth inning knots the score at 4-4.
Friday at 9:47 p.m.: A few minutes after Jason Van Skike stranded the possible winning run at third base in the bottom of the ninth, a pair of Wilmington errors give Winston-Salem a 5-4 lead in the top of the 10th.
Friday at 10:02 p.m.: Max Peterson retires Geulin Beltre with the bases loaded to preserve the Dash’s 11th win of the season.
Friday at 11:07 p.m.: The Dash return to the hotel after improving to 11-2 in their last 13 games at Frawley Stadium.
Saturday at 9:15 a.m.: Dash pitchers took off on the bus to the gym for another workout, with the position players following about an hour later.
What a day. What a win. Who knows what tonight will bring. Join me at 5:50 for the Pregame Dash here. Talk to you then.
If you follow our social media accounts (especially our new Instagram feed), you have probably noticed that we have begun a countdown in advance of the Dash’s home opener Friday, April 12. We are now 86 days away from the first game at BB&T Ballpark in 2013.
We have spun each day in the countdown to something in Winston-Salem baseball history. Occasionally on the blog, we will rehash the recent numbers, and here is our first look back at the countdown.
100 – Instead of a stat, we provided the picture below (and here on Instagram).
99 – After missing the 2011 campaign due to injury, Kyle Bellamy returned to Winston-Salem at the beginning of 2012. Opponents hit just .182 against Bellamy in 99 at bats.
98 – Scott Snodgress dominated the Carolina League after a July promotion from Low-A Kannapolis. He posted a 4-0 record and a 1.50 ERA to go along with a 0.98 WHIP.
97 – Carlos Lee is one of two Winston-Salem alums who is both currently in the big leagues and has made an All-Star Game (Chris Sale is the other). Lee played with the Warthogs in 1997.
96 – In his MVP season of 2011, Ian Gac drove in 96 runs for the Dash.
95 – In 1995, the Winston-Salem franchise became the “Warthogs,” a nickname that stuck until the team became the Dash in 2009.
94 – All-Star Brady Shoemaker notched 94 hits in Winston-Salem before his midseason promotion to Double-A Birmingham.
93 – The Winston-Salem Spirits won the Carolina League title in 1993.
92 – From last season’s team, the only player who was born in 1992 was Carlos Sanchez, who proved to be one of the CL’s top prospects.
91 – The Carolina League rolled the
Carolina California League 9-1 in the 2012 Midsummer Classic at BB&T Ballpark.
90 – Speaking of scores, the Dash took the deciding Game 3 of the Southern Division Championship Series 9-0 against Myrtle Beach.
89 – Brent Morel, who returned to Winston-Salem for a rehab assignment this season, wore number 8 while with the Dash in 2009.
88 – The CL’s MVP this season, Dash first baseman Dan Black, drove in 88 runs.
87 – Winston-Salem posted the best record in full-season minor league baseball last year (87-51).
86 – Cyle Hankerd mustered 86 hits in just 71 games with the Dash this past season.
Those are 15 of our Dash-themed numbers. Do you have any ideas for numbers 85 to 1? Let us know in the comments or via Twitter. Baseball will be back before you know it!
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.
The offseason brings with it a chance to reflect on the Dash’s season and recent history. With that as the motivation, I explored Winston-Salem’s successes both at home and overall, and some tremendous facts came from this research.
First off, the Dash boast the best home record in full-season minor league baseball since 2010, the debut season at BB&T Ballpark.
In other words, BB&T Ballpark is the toughest place to play in the minor leagues since its opening April 13, 2010.
Winston posted a 48-23 mark at home this season, which was tops among the 120 full-season clubs. The Dash also thrived at home in their debut season at BB&T Ballpark in 2010 (47-22) before following up with a solid 2011 showing in the Triad (39-32).
Also, the Dash’s drive to the top mark in the minors this season propelled Winston-Salem into the conversation for best minor league team since 2010.
The franchise is 237-180-1 (.568) over the last three seasons, which is the third-best overall record in the minors during that span.
Only the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees (244-177; .580) and San Jose Giants (241-179; .574) have been better than the Dash in the last three seasons.
The Dash have had some great players come through Winston-Salem, but fan support helps a ton, too. You, the fans, have brought almost one million fans to BB&T Ballpark since its opening, and this support, the best in the Carolina League, has aided the Dash’s incredible three-year run.
It’s still early, but the Dash are tied for an almost-unbeatable record.
Minor League Baseball is in the process of releasing its 2012 Organization All-Stars, and today was the White Sox turn. This All-Star team features 12 players (one player at each position in the lineup plus a right-handed starter, a southpaw starter and a reliever). Of those 12 players, 11 of them played in Winston-Salem during the 2012 campaign.
Only the Bowie Baysox, Baltimore’s Double-A affiliate, has also placed 11 players on their organization’s All-Star team. There are still 24 teams to go in the countdown, but it will be tough for a team to finish with a perfect 12-for-12. Quite frankly, I’m surprised there was another team with 11 already.
You can read about all 11 Dash representatives here. We won’t highlight all of them because Minor League Baseball does a great job of that in the article, but a few quotes from Nick Capra, the organization’s Director of Player Development, are worth noting.
On Carlos Sanchez, who shined with Winston-Salem during the season’s first half and held his own with Triple-A Charlotte during their run to the Governors’ Cup Finals:
“He’s going to be a special player. He has great instincts, can play both second and short and is a solid switch-hitter, with maybe a little more power from the right side.”
On Brady Shoemaker, who was the Dash’s MVP during the first half Southern Division title run and had some tough luck while with Double-A Birmingham in the second half:
“He really hit the ball on the nose there but had some bad luck with balls going right at people. He was one of the most consistent hitters we had in the organization this season.”
On Trayce Thompson, who led the Carolina League with 90 RBI before making his way to Triple-A Charlotte in the final few weeks of the season:
“He has a chance to be a superstar if everything clicks. He covers a lot of ground in the outfield and has an above-average arm. The strikeouts are a concern, but he’s still young and still making adjustments — and anyone in baseball will take a guy with that kind of talent and 25 homers and 90 RBIs.”
On Keenyn Walker, who showed some tremendous potential during his two-month stint in Winston at the end of the season:
“He’s another young guy who’s still making adjustments. He hasn’t played a ton of baseball and needs to learn to make contact and hit with two strikes, but honestly, he made about as much progress as anyone in the system this season.”
This system did not receive a ton of respect at the start of the season, but they earned plenty of it after a highly successful 2012 season. Much of that success either started or continued in Winston-Salem, which resulted in minor league baseball’s best record.
It was quite a season at BB&T Ballpark, and this All-Star team is yet another example.
The Dash had an exciting season in 2012, and a handful of players earned recognition for that in a player poll regarding the minors’ most exciting player.
Minor League Baseball polled 382 players, and five men who donned the Dash purple in 2012 earned at least one vote. Michael Earley, Marcus Semien, Scott Snodgress, Kevin Vance and Blair Walters found their way onto this list.
Only 15 players earned more than two votes, with Billy Hamilton receiving more votes than anyone else with 40. Mike Trout finished second with 26, while fellow big leaguer Bryce Harper placed third with 13.
Former Winston-Salem star Ian Gac, who won the Carolina League’s Most Valuable Player award last year, made the list, too. He played with Double-A Mississippi in the Braves’ system this season.
Who was the Dash’s most exciting player in your opinion? There are plenty to choose from, whether he is in this quintet or outside of it.
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 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 eighth 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 #3 (September 7): Winston-Salem blasts Myrtle Beach in a winner-take-all Game 3 of the SDCS.
The first 15 innings of the Southern Division Championship Series were frustrating. The Dash’s offense did not muster much against Myrtle Beach’s solid pitching staff. A four-run sixth propelled the Pelicans to a Game 1 victory, and Myrtle enjoyed a 3-2 lead heading to the home half of Game 2′s seventh inning.
The Pelicans did not score again in 2012.
Courtney Hawkins’ leadoff homer in the seventh knotted the score, and Marcus Semien’s two-run double later in the frame proved to be the difference in a 5-3 victory that kept Winston’s season alive.
This comeback set the tone for arguably the Dash’s most complete game of 2012. In the deciding Game 3 of the Southern Division Championship Series, Winston-Salem came up with two big hits that grounded the Birds.
With the bases loaded and a run already in during the second inning, Keenyn Walker laced a three-run triple to right-center to lift Winston-Salem to a 4-0 advantage.
While the Dash’s lineup was quiet the rest of the evening, Chris Bassitt, Steven Upchurch and J.R. Ballinger combined for a five-hit shutout that felt even more lopsided than the 9-0 final score.
You can relive all of the highlights, postgame interviews and analysis from Game 3 here. It was an incredibly fun night to cap off a tremendous series, and the Dash proved to be the Southern Division’s best team in 2012.
Stay tuned for the second-best moment of 2012, which will be on the blog tomorrow. The Dash made history with this moment on a Sunday in Salem. Talk to you then.