Results tagged ‘ Wilmington Blue Rocks ’
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!
The Dash recorded their fourth shutout victory last night in Wilmington, which puts them in a six-way tie for the most blankings among the 120 full-season minor league clubs. Among High-A units, Winston-Salem and St. Lucie (New York Mets) are the only two squads with a quartet of shutout wins.
Since the 2012 season, Winston has posted 19 regular season shutouts, which is the most in the Carolina League. This is one of many notes on this Sunday afternoon, so let’s take a look at a weekend edition of the Dash Dots.
- With two swipes Saturday, new Dash outfielder Adam Heisler has stolen 12 bases between Kannapolis (9) and Winston-Salem (3). He is tied for sixth in the minor leagues in stolen bases. Fellow White Sox farmhand Micah Johnson leads the minors with 20, all with the Intimidators.
- With his two shutout frames Saturday, Dash reliever Daniel Webb has not allowed an earned run in 13 innings of work, the most frames for a Carolina League pitcher with an ERA of 0.00. In fact, only three other pitchers who have made at least one appearance in the CL in 2013 have yet to allow an earned run, and that trio has combined to work only 15.2 innings.
- Before Saturday, Bryan Blough was 0-6 with a 6.47 earned run average in his first 10 minor league starts. In seven scoreless innings less than 24 hours ago, Blough only allowed two hits, both of which came in the sixth frame.
- Dating back to 2011, Winston-Salem has won 12 of its last 14 games against the Blue Rocks at Frawley Stadium. The Dash went 15-5 against Wilmington a year ago, while Winston is off to a 5-1 start against the Blue Crew thus far in 2013.
- Joey DeMichele, who is receiving his second day off this season today, is just 1-for-22 in his last six games dating back to Monday. The former third-round pick’s average has dipped to .163 after an impressive professional debut a year ago between rookie-level Bristol and Low-A Kannapolis.
The Dash and Blue Rocks meet at 1:35 p.m. before the club heads to Lynchburg for a four-game series beginning tomorrow. Join me for the Pregame Dash at 1:20 p.m here. You will hear from yesterday’s winner Bryan Blough. 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.
Today we round out the Carolina Countdown with the northernmost team in the Carolina League, the Wilmington Blue Rocks.
Introduction: The Blue Rocks are the High-A affiliate for the Kansas City Royals, a relationship that began in 2007. The Blue Rocks make their home in Daniel S. Frawley Stadium in Wilmington, Delaware.
Last season: The Blue Rocks got off to a slow start in 2012, posting just a 29-41 mark in the first half of the season. They rebounded in the second half to win the Northern Division crown with a 37-33 record. Fans may forget this, but the Dash almost played Wilmington in the Mills Cup Finals. The Blue Rocks took Lynchburg to a deciding third game in the NDCS. Braeden Schlehuber’s solo shot in the bottom of the eighth was the difference in the Hillcats’ 2-1 win in Game 3.
Manager: Former big league catcher Vance Wilson will be back in the Blue Rocks’ dugout for his second campaign with the team. The playoff appearance made it two playoff appearances in two seasons during Wilson’s managerial career. He led Low-A Kane County to the Midwest League playoffs in his only season there in 2011. The former Mets and Tigers’ catcher will try to make it three for three in 2013.
System: Two years ago, Baseball America claimed that the Royals’ farm system, as it stood, was one of the best of all time, injecting hope to a franchise that hasn’t made the playoffs in 27 years. However, the big league team has yet to make a big push in the American League Central. The pitchers have taken longer to mature than the position players, and last year provided several set backs for the Royals as four members of their staff went under the knife to receive Tommy John surgery.
This season, the Royals check in at 18th in Baseball America’s system rankings two years after totaling a record nine top 100 prospects. However, the organization does boast a few high-profile prospects, including top prospect Kyle Zimmer, who will most likely be in the Carolina League for Opening Day.
Best promotion: The Blue Rocks will welcome the Cowboy Monkeys to Frawley Stadium for a two-night performance on Friday, July 12 and Saturday, July 13. The Cowboy Monkeys are just what they sound like…monkeys doing cowboy things while dressed up like cowboys. The monkeys ride around on dogs while attempting to herd rams. I hope it looks as funny as it sounds.
Fun fact: The Blue Rocks’ front office has been pretty creative this offseason. The club has put out a few videos of mascots Rocky Bluewinkle and Mr. Celery re-enacting scenes from movies. They have already re-enacted a scene from Rocky as well as a scene from Miracle. The question is simple: what movie will they do next?
Blue Rocks in Winston-Salem: The Blue Rocks will make their first of three trips to BB&T Ballpark April 18-21. The Blue Crew makes its way back to town June 7-9 and August 1-3.
That wraps up the Carolina Countdown. We’ll have plenty more about the Dash and the Carolina League as the week continues. The Dash’s season opener is only 10 days away!
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.
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.
With four days remaining in the second half, the Carolina League playoffs are set. The Dash will take on the Myrtle Beach Pelicans in the Southern Division Championship Series, while Lynchburg and Wilmington will tangle in the Northern Division Championship Series. Here is the game-by-game breakdown:
SOUTHERN DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES:
Myrtle Beach v. Winston-Salem (Dash won season series 11-9)
Game 1 – Myrtle Beach at Winston-Salem – 7:00 p.m.
Game 2 – Myrtle Beach at Winston-Salem – 7:00 p.m.
Game 3* – Myrtle Beach at Winston-Salem – 7:00 p.m.
NORTHERN DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES:
Wilmington v. Lynchburg (Blue Rocks won season series 11-9)
Game 1 – Lynchburg at Wilmington – 6:35 p.m.
Game 2 – Wilmington at Lynchburg – 6:05 p.m.
Game 3* – Wilmington at Lynchburg – 6:05 p.m.
* = if necessary
For what it is worth, here are the season series results of the four possible Mills Cup Championship matchups:
- Winston-Salem won season series over Wilmington 15-5
- Lynchburg leads Winston-Salem 10-9 (one game remaining)
- Myrtle Beach won season series over Wilmington 11-9
- Lynchburg leads Myrtle Beach 10-7 (three games remaining)
If the Dash were to make it to the Mills Cup Championship Series, they would host Game 1 and Game 2 next Saturday and Sunday before heading to the N.D.C.S. champion’s home September 11-13.
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.
The Dash kick off their final regular season series with Potomac tonight at 7:05, and Winston-Salem has a chance to continue an extremely impressive trend. From 2005-2011, Winston-Salem had won 14 or more games in one season against a single team only twice, yet the Dash have already done it two times this season.
Winston can make it three against the Nationals. Take a look at Winston-Salem’s top four season series showings, including the potential for a fifth with the P-Nats.
1. 16-4 vs. Lynchburg in 2010
2. 15-5 vs. Wilmington in 2012
3. 14-6 vs. Kinston in 2009
3. 14-6 vs. Carolina in 2012
5. 13-4 vs. Potomac in 2012
The Dash have a chance to register a regular season for the record books (more on that as we get closer to season’s end), but few statistics prove that more than this one. At least one win in Woodbridge would equal a top-five season series, and a sweep over Potomac would match Winston’s best mark against a single team since 2005.
Join me at 6:50 for the Pre-Game Dash here. Talk to you then.