Results tagged ‘ Salem Red Sox ’
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!
In Winston-Salem’s 10-1 victory over Salem Friday night, Mark Tracy was the star of the show. The Dash’s designated hitter went yard twice and drove in six runs. Here are some notes on Tracy’s stellar Friday:
- Tracy matched the single-game high in home runs and RBIs in Dash history (2009-present). This was the Dash’s 30th two-homer effort, and Tracy became the 22nd different player to accomplish the feat. The Presto, Penn., native is also the sixth Dash swinger to drive in six runs in a game. Reigning Carolina League MVP Dan Black mustered Winston-Salem’s last six-RBI day, which was also against Salem on August 15, 2012.
- The former Colorado farmhand also equaled career highs in homers and RBIs in a single game. Tracy also went yard twice and drove in six runs for High-A Modesto in a 19-6 win at Visalia on June 12, 2012.
- Five of Tracy’s last six hits have been home runs, and all 12 of his RBIs have come home thanks to home runs.
- Both of Tracy’s dingers came on the first pitch of his at-bat. The right-handed swinger followed those homers up with an RBI single in the fifth and a full-count strikeout in the eighth.
- We can’t forget about Chris Bassitt’s fourth consecutive gem. Bassitt held the Red Sox to one run in seven strong innings for his fourth straight win and quality start. The Curtice, Ohio, native has allowed just three earned runs in his last 27 innings, lowering his ERA to 1.95.
The Dash’s blowout victory pulls the club within a game of first-place Myrtle Beach in the Southern Division standings. We’ll talk to you tomorrow.
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 2013 preview continues today with a look at the Salem Red Sox, who had a great first half and a rough second half last season.
Introduction: The Salem Red Sox are a (surprise!) Boston Red Sox affiliate located in Salem, Va. Before the Red Sox brought Salem aboard in 2009, the franchise was known as the Salem Avalanche and was affiliated with the Houston Astros.
Last season: The Salem Red Sox finished in third in the Southern Division of the Carolina League at 68-69-1, but they were very much a contender in the first half. Led by the likes of Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley, Jr., and Travis Shaw, Salem finished the first half with the league’s second-best record. However, the Dash outlasted the Sox by three games for the first-half crown.
Manager: Billy McMillon returns for a second season as Salem’s manager. McMillon was a professional baseball player from 1996-2004, debuting with the Florida Marlins as an outfielder. He would go on from there to play with the Philadelphia Phillies, Oakland Athletics and Detroit Tigers. He spent 2010-2011 as a skipper for the Greenville Drive in the Low-A South Atlantic League.
System: The Boston Red Sox had a losing season last year, their first one since 1997. However, the club’s minor league system could provide some help soon. Baseball America pegs the Sox system as the sixth-best in baseball, which is second to the Rangers (third) among organizations with an affiliate in the Carolina League. Plus, much of the Red Sox high-end talent is only a step or two away from Fenway Park.
Best Promotion: The Salem Red Sox are hosting a slew of themed nights, including a Super Hero night, Star Wars night and an 80s night where they encourage patrons to come dressed up in costume. On paper, Salem’s promotional schedule is among the best in the CL.
Fun fact: Their current mascot is Mugsy, a St. Bernard.
Red Sox in Winston Salem: The Salem Red Sox and the Winston-Salem Dash don’t meet up until the Salem Red Sox travel to BB&T Ballpark for a weekend series May 3-5. The Sox will be in the Triad from June 24-27 and August 14-16.
Tomorrow: We will wrap up the Carolina Countdown with the Wilmington Blue Rocks.
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 sixth 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 #5 (June 16): Winston-Salem clinches the first-half Southern Division crown in Wilmington.
Powered by a 10-game winning streak and a star-studded lineup, the Dash were contenders throughout the season’s first half. Winston-Salem fought with the Salem Red Sox for the Southern Division crown, and the half’s final 10 games proved to be a thrilling ride.
After the Dash and Red Sox battled to a bizarre tie June 7, Winston-Salem owned a narrow half-game lead in the division race with 10 contests to play before the All-Star break.
In their final 12 games of the season, the Sox posted an 8-4 record, which certainly was a strong finish. However, the Dash were flat out better in the final charge for a playoff spot.
To start its final 10-game run of the first half, Winston posted a perfect 6-0 homestand at BB&T Ballpark with sweeps of Wilmington and Potomac. The Dash also earned a victory in what was a suspended game from mid-April.
All of that success set up a half-ending trip to Wilmington for a crucial four-game set. The Blue Rocks edged the Dash in the series opener, but Winston-Salem would not lose again in the first half.
Following a 2-1 win to trim their magic number to one, the Dash had a chance to clinch its 26th Carolina League playoff berth all-time June 16.
League MVP Dan Black came up with his signature hit, a first-inning three-run blast down the right field line. Winston scored the first five runs of the game before the Blue Crew battled back to tie the game.
Brady Shoemaker made sure the Dash never trailed en route to a Southern Division title. Shoemaker’s go-ahead two-run double in the sixth was the game-winning hit, and his RBI double two frames later all but put the Rocks away. Chris Bassitt shut the door in the ninth to secure a 9-5 win.
The Dash played one of their best games of the season to finish up one of the best 70-game runs in franchise history. This contest, which had plenty of highlights, validated many players’ claim that this was the “best team I’ve ever been on.” There is no question that this group was special, and every player in that clubhouse deserved the postgame celebration.
Stay tuned for the fourth-best moment of the season tomorrow. Moment number four involved one of the best pictures of the year mere seconds after one of the hits of the year. You won’t want to miss it.
This is the fourth 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 #7 (August 14): Winston-Salem scores five in the ninth to walk off with a 10-9 win over Salem.
In the first half of the season, the Dash and Salem Red Sox waged quite a battle for the Southern Division championship. Winston-Salem outlasted the Sox despite struggling against Salem in head-to-head matchups.
The second half was a much different story even though both teams endured many promotions to Double-A. Winston remained atop the circuit, while Salem sunk to the Southern Division’s basement.
With the playoffs three weeks away, these two teams played in a game that meant very little in the grand scheme of the playoff chase. Salem was mere days away from official elimination, while the Dash could only add one home game to their postseason schedule with a division crown.
Still, baseball has a way of making the ordinary extraordinary, and game 121 for the Dash proved to be special.
For eight and a half innings, Salem controlled the contest. The Red Sox led 6-0 through six innings and 9-5 entering the home half of the ninth, which is when the magic happened.
After a Juan Silverio leadoff home run, Daniel Wagner followed with a bunt single, and Keenyn Walker drew a free pass. Two batters later, Brandon Short pulled the Dash within a run thanks to a two-run double.
Following Dan Black’s well-struck fly out, Cyle Hankerd delivered a two-out double off the wall in center to push across the tying run.
On the next pitch, Michael Earley laced a single to right-center, and Hankerd rumbled around third to beat Shannon Wilkerson’s throw and complete the Dash’s most improbable comeback of 2012.
The Dash’s season featured 90 total victories, but this one was among the best. It continued Winston’s push for the minors’ top record, while Salem suffered one of its most deflating losses during a terrible second half.
We will present the Dash’s sixth-best moment from the 2012 campaign tomorrow. This is the only moment that did not technically take place on the field. Talk to you then.
Two weeks from today, the Dash will likely be on the bus back to Winston-Salem following their regular season finale at Salem. From now until then, Winston will fight with Myrtle Beach for the Southern Division’s second-half championship.
Barring a crazy comeback from Carolina, who dropped six games out of the playoff race by losing three of four to the Pelicans this weekend, the Southern Division Championship Series will be Winston v. Myrtle. The second-half standings will determine who hosts Game 1 of that series.
The Dash will host Game 2 and, if necessary, Game 3 of the S.D.C.S., but Game 1 is up in the air. That series opener is so crucial because if you lose that game, you are facing elimination the very next day. So, let’s take a look at the final stretch for both teams:
Winston-Salem at Lynchburg (6-6 against Hillcats this season)
Myrtle Beach vs. Salem (8-8 against Red Sox this season)
Winston-Salem v. Myrtle Beach (Dash own 9-8 season series edge)
Winston-Salem v. Lynchburg (Tuesday-Friday)
Myrtle Beach at Wilmington (11-5 against Blue Rocks this season, Monday-Thursday)
Winston-Salem at Salem (9-7-1 against Red Sox this season)
Myrtle Beach v. Lynchburg (7-10 against Hillcats this season)
With the slate fairly even the rest of the way, the Dash’s series with the Pelicans looms large in this race. Dash fans can have a big effect on the proceedings by showing their support this weekend at BB&T Ballpark.
If you asked 10 different people about the theme of Winston-Salem’s victorious first half, you would probably get 10 different answers. However, if there is one thing I will remember about the first half, it’s this line:
“This is the best team I’ve ever been on.”
Matt Heidenreich told me this during the season’s first week, and many others have echoed it. The Dash knew they were good. Despite a sluggish two weeks to start the season, Winston-Salem went on a Dash-high 10-game winning streak to pull away from the pack.
Salem made a charge and even seized first place for a handful of days, but this was the Dash’s half. The Red Sox may have the “high-profile” prospects, but Winston-Salem was the better 25-man team.
Not even a seven-game winning streak from Salem could derail the Dash. All Winston did was win eight of nine to close down the first half and claim one of minor league baseball’s best races.
With the way minor league baseball works, the group of men that celebrated in the clubhouse last night will not be the group that fights for a Mills Cup in September. Many players deserve a promotion to Double-A, and some will get that opportunity before September baseball.
However, Saturday night’s roller-coaster victory was the embodiment of the first half. At times, the Dash looked like the runaway favorite in the Carolina League, and they battled for a win that proved to be out of hand by its end.
At this time, this team believes that it is the best in the Carolina League.
Now, the “best team I’ve ever been on” is a division champion.
If Winston-Salem wins two games in Wilmington, the Dash go to the playoffs.
If Winston-Salem wins one game and Salem loses one game this weekend, the Dash go to the playoffs.
If Salem loses two games at home against Carolina, the Dash go to the playoffs.
There are other combinations that push the Dash into postseason play, but these three represent the bare minimum. Winston-Salem is in a great spot, but the squad wants to clinch the championship as soon as possible.
From now until Sunday or until they clinch a division title, the Dash will go the yard with an opportunity to celebrate after the game. This includes today, where a win and a Salem loss would guarantee Winston-Salem its 25th playoff appearance inside the Carolina League.
Join me at 6:50 for the Pre-Game Dash. It could be a historic night.