Results tagged ‘ Trevor Bauer ’
The team arrives in Winston-Salem two weeks from today. In 18 days, the Dash will square off with the Carolina Mudcats in the season opener.
In other words, the 2013 season is almost here. Like last year, we want to break down the rest of the circuit through our “Carolina Countdown” feature. Over the next few days, we will tell you about the other seven squads in the Carolina League. Today, we begin with the Dash’s Opening Night opponent.
CAROLINA COUNTDOWN: Carolina Mudcats
Introduction: The Carolina Mudcats enter their second year in the Carolina League. Located in Zebulon, N.C., the Muddies joined the league from the Double-A Southern League in 2012 to replace the Kinston Indians. Carolina is affiliated with the Cleveland Indians after the K-Tribe enjoyed that role for 24 years (1987-2011).
Last Season: The Mudcats’ first season in the Carolina League did not go so well. The Mudcats finished last in the Southern Division with a 63-77 mark. Despite the poor overall record, Carolina had a few notable prospects play well for the club in 2012. Infielder Tony Wolters recovered from an April batting average of .130 to finish the season with a .260 mark, and the 20-year-old flashed some of the best infield defense in the league throughout the campaign. First baseman Jesus Aguilar played with the Mudcats for most of last season until a promotion to Double-A Akron. While with the Mudcats, Aguilar posted a .277 average to go along with 12 homers and 58 RBI.
Manager: David Wallace (no, not that David Wallace) takes over the managerial duties for the Mudcats in 2012. Wallace was with the Indians’ organization as a player from 2002 to 2008 before becoming a coach/manager. Wallace guided Low-A Lake County to a 71-68 record and a second half division championship last season. Edwin Rodriguez, the Muddies’ 2012 skipper and the topic of our fun fact a bit later in the piece, earned a promotion and will lead Double-A Akron this year.
System: Most publications and experts have ranked the Tribe’s minor league system near the bottom over the last two seasons. However, the Indians did add scrutinized yet talented right-hander Trevor Bauer this offseason. Bauer is considered one of the top 10 pitching prospects in the minors by most experts, but he will be nowhere near Carolina. He will either be in Triple-A Columbus or The Show in 2013.
However, the Indians do feature some solid talent at the lower levels of the minors, including shortstops Francisco Lindor and Dorssys Paulino. Before the acquisition of Bauer, this infield duo was atop the Indians’ prospect rankings according to Baseball America. Cleveland does not boast many upper-level prospects, but there should be some good talent that goes through Zebulon.
Best Promotion: Last year, Scooby Doo made an appearance at Five County Stadium. This season’s best promotion takes place on May 10, when Ron, Amy, Krazy Dave and Johnny from the hit Tru TV show “Lizard Lick Towing and Recovery” will make a special appearance. Let’s hope Mudcats fans park where they are supposed to at this game!
Fun Fact: Before Edwin Rodriguez begins his first season with Double-A Akron, he will try to guide Puerto Rico to a World Baseball Classic title. So far, so good for the 2012 Carolina skipper, who led Puerto Rico to a victory over two-time defending champion Japan in the semifinals Sunday night. Rodriguez’s Puerto Rico squad will take on either The Netherlands or the Dominican Republic in the finals later this week.
Mudcats in Winston Salem: The Dash open up the 2013 home slate with a three-game set against the Muddies from April 12-14. Carolina will also invade BB&T Ballpark May 31-June 2 and July 24-27.
Tomorrow: The Frederick Keys, who have a new manager with quite a unique place in Orioles history.
The Carolina League All-Star break occurs at approximately the same time as multiple other leagues around the minors. Thus, it becomes a popular time for promotions. The Dash sent Spencer Arroyo, Daniel Wagner and Jake Oester up to Double-A Birmingham the day after the All-Star Break and received Blair Walters from Kannapolis. While the Dash did not lose any of their three All-Stars to promotion, the same wasn’t true for all representatives of the California-Carolina League All-Star Game. Here are a few of the big names who have recently departed the High-A level.
Cody Buckel- The Rangers called up the 20-year-old Buckel the day after he pitched a scoreless second inning for the Carolina League All-Stars. Their 2nd round pick in 2010 led the league in every major statistical category for a pitcher. He finished with a 5-3 record and a 1.31 ERA. Buckel also had 91 strikeouts and a WHIP of 0.98. He made his Double-A debut Sunday night but picked up the loss after allowing five hits and two runs in four innings.
Buckel is a good friend of Trevor Bauer, the Arizona Diamondbacks top pick in the 2011 draft. Bauer was called up to the big league club Sunday night and will be the first member of the 2011 class to make it to the majors when he makes his debut Thursday night against the Atlanta Braves.
Jackie Bradley, Jr.- To the relief of every Carolina League pitcher, Jackie Bradley, Jr., was called up to Double-A Portland. The Red Sox center fielder set the tone for Salem in the leadoff spot, going on to record league bests in batting average, doubles, on-base percentage and walks. In his first four games at the Double-A level Bradley Jr. is hitting .375 and has scored four runs. Outside of his offensive numbers, Bradley also has tremendous defensive range in center field.
Jeremie Tice- The Mudcats masher during the first-half of the season carried his big bat up to Double-A Akron. Tice was primarily a designated hitter for Carolina but spent a few games in left field and first base. In 52 games during the first half of the season, Tice hit .282 with 12 home runs, 47 RBI and a league-best slugging percentage of .580. In three games with Akron, Tice is hitting .417 with a homer and five RBI.
Sugar Ray Marimon- The former Wilmington right-hander punched his way into Double-A after compiling a 4-2 record and 2.12 ERA in nine starts. Marimon struck out 60 batters and walked 18 in 68 innings. He will make his debut for the Northwest Arkansas Naturals Monday afternoon.
A few players from the California League were selected as All-Stars but had already been promoted from their High-A clubs. Most notably, Tony Cingrani of the Cincinnati Reds organization was sent from Bakersfield to Double-A Pensacola after compiling a 5-1 record and 1.11 ERA in the notoriously hitter-friendly California League. Cingrani also struck out 71 batters in just 56 and two-thirds innings. Cingrani has made four starts with the Double-A Blue Wahoos, with his best coming against Birmingham on June 8 when he pitched six scoreless innings, striking out nine batters.
Mid-season promotions change the dynamic of a team but are a necessary part of minor league baseball. The Dash lost many pieces from a title-winning first-half team, but, for the moment their three All-Stars remain on the roster. With each of the Southern Division teams losing key members, the Dash could be in line to win the second half as well.
Our preview of potential California League All-Stars concludes today with a look at the Visalia Rawhide (High-A Affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks). The Rawhide is right in the middle of the North Division, but just a game over .500. Visalia did catch the attention of all of Minor League baseball back on May 15, when the team scored 26 runs in a win over the High Desert Mavericks. Outside of that eye-popping final score, the Rawhide are a team that has received solid contributions from its offense and pitching staff. With the help of Visalia broadcaster Donny Baarns, here are a few players likely to fill out the roster for the California League in Winston-Salem.
LHP Andrew Chafin - Arizona selected three pitchers in the first round of the 2011 draft and while Chafin might not yet get the hype of fellow arms Trevor Bauer and Archie Bradley, the 43rd overall pick has dominated the California League. Baseball America puts Chafin as the 13th best prospect in the system, and the left-hander has shown why in the first half of the year. He has a 3-0 record and 3.20 ERA in the hitter-friendly league. Chafin also ranks second in the league with 66 strikeouts.
“He utilizes his wipeout slider, which is the best in the Arizona system and possibly one of the deadliest in the minors,” Baarns said. “He can throw it with different tilts and locations in different situations and is particularly brutal against lefthanders.”
LHP David Holmberg - This is a familiar name for White Sox fans. Holmberg was selected by Chicago in the 2nd round of the 2009 draft and spent that season in rookie-level Great Falls, compiling a 2-2 record with a 4.73 ERA. He was included in the 2010 trade which sent Daniel Hudson to the Diamondbacks for Edwin Jackson.
This season, the left-hander has a 6-3 record with a 3.25 ERA and a strikeout to walk ratio of 5-to-1. He has recorded a win in each of his last five starts. Baseball America lists Holmberg as the sixth best prospect in the Diamondbacks organization.
“He has been steady and consistent as Visalia’s number one starter by keeping the ball low in the zone and inducing ground balls while also racking up strikeouts,” Baarns said. ”He has also shown the ability to make in-game adjustments when he does not have his best stuff.”
SS Chris Owings -The Diamondbacks first pick in the 2009 draft (41st overall) is hitting the ball well in his second season at the High-A level. The shortstop is batting .325 with 62 hits, nine home runs and 21 RBI. Baseball America ranks Owings as the seventh best prospect in the Arizona system.
The Diamondbacks have high expectations for Owings to be a mainstay at the big league level. “He has made great strides at the plate this year while showing great tools at shortstop,” Baarns said. “Arizona considers him a possible successor to Stephen Drew in the future.”
Any shortstop in the California League not named Billy Hamilton is unlikely to start in the All-Star Game, but Owings will certainly be a strong candidate to be in attendance.
Thanks for following along with our California League All-Star previews. The All-Star ballots will be out shortly and in a few weeks we will know the definitive list of players who will be in Winston-Salem for the 2012 All-Star Game festivities.
Meanwhile, the Dash begin a big series tonight in Zebulon against the Carolina Mudcats. First pitch is slated for 7:15. Join us on the Pre-Game Dash starting at 7:00.