Baseball America unveiled their list of Top 20 Prospects in the Pioneer League on Thursday.
No Brewers prospects made the list.
Bubba Brown, who wrote the list, did handle a question about that in the Subscriber Only Chat:
Allan (Wi): Bubba, were there any prospects from the Helena Brewers worth a mention?
Bubba Brown: Really, the best prospect from Helena was Tyrone Taylor, who only played in 10 games. He’s a toolsy 2nd-rounder, who would have certainly made this list if he had qualified. Other Helena prospects who got serious consideration were Christopher McFarland, Michael Reed, Adam Giacalone and Damien Magnifico.
I would guess that there is a good opportunity that all of those players mentioned will be in a Timber Rattlers uniform at some point in 2013.
Click on the names for the MiLB.com pages of each player, but here are a few things about each:
Tyrone Taylor (2nd round, 2012, Torrance [CA] High School):
’12 stats: 18 games between Maryvale & Helena, .387/.434/.667 2HR, 11RBI 6 stolen bases
Taylor, the Daily Breeze Player of the Year in baseball last season as a junior, returned and had a big senior year in both football and baseball for Torrance.
Taylor, a speedy center fielder, hit .488 with four home runs, 29 RBIs and 28 runs scored this season while often being pitched around.
He also led the Torrance football team to a CIF Southern Section semifinal, rushing for 1,521 yards and 20 touchdowns and tallying 425 yards receiving with 11 additional scores.
The 6-foot, 185-pound two-sport star was on the radar of several professional teams, but the Brewers snatched him up.
2B Chris McFarland (18th round, 2011, Lufkin [TX] High School):
’12 stats: 72 games in Helena, .301/.358/.433 6HR, 42RBI, 15 stolen bases
OF Michael Reed (5th round, 2011, Leander [TX] High School):
’12 stats: 62 games between Helena, Huntsville, & Brevard County; .243/.341/.289, 1HR, 20RBI, 14SB
1B Adam Giacalone (16th round, 2012, Neosho County [KS] Community College):
’12 stats: 69 games in Helena; .317/.394/.425 3HR, 32RBI, 17 doubles
First baseman Adam Giacalone was selected in the 16th round of the Major League Baseball Draft by the Milwaukee Brewers with the 515 pick overall. As a freshman he hit .396 while leading the nation with 102 RBIs and finishing with 18 homeruns. During his sophomore campaign, he picked up where he left off once again hitting .396 with a team leading 12 homeruns, 25 doubles, and 59 RBIs. Giacalone also had an impressive career on the mound for the Panthers as his 18 wins and 179.0 innings pitched are also school records. Giacalone also threw two of the most dominant games in school history. As a freshman he set the single game record for strikeouts when he fanned 17 Fort Scott hitters in a win. He topped that performance as a sophomore when he threw the fifth no-hitter in school history facing only one over the minimum. Giacalone currently owns 12 single season or career records. He was twice named the Jayhawk Conference Player of the Year, First Team All-Conference First Baseman and Pitcher, First Team All-Region First Baseman, Second Team All-Region Pitcher. As a freshman he was also named the Freshman of the Year as well as being named a First Team All-American, an honor which he is expected to earn again this season. Giacalone signed a letter of intent in the fall with the University of Tennessee.
RHP Damien Magnifico (5th round, 2012, Oklahoma University):
’12 stats with Helena: 9 games, 1 start, 0-3, 5.82; 21.1IP, 15BBs, 25K, OPP AVG = .250
He throws 100 mph. But Magnifico’s greatest trick is the fact he has accomplished the feat over and over.
“My mentality is pitching, not just throwing,” Magnifico said.
Few things in baseball get people buzzing more than the home run, but throwing, pitching or speeding at triple digits does. It brings out scouts armed with the lie detector called a radar gun and creates self-inflicted, hand-to-the-side-of-the-face slaps when the numbers hit the scoreboard like it did in early April when Magnfico touched 100 or faster more 22 times in his start against Arkansas.
Can’t wait to see these guys in Wisconsin.
There are not a lot of opposing players fans may see at Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities stadium in 2013. Billings, the Reds Pioneer league affiliate, has six players on the list. However, Dayton, the Reds Midwest League affiliate, does not come to Wisconsin in the 2013 regular season.
There are two Dodgers players (#4 shortstop Corey Seager & #15 RHP Ross Stripling), two Angels players (#9 RHP Mark Sappington & #19 shortstop Wendell Soto), and one Diamondbacks player (#7 catcher Michael Perez) on the list. Great Lakes (Dodgers), Burlington (Angels), and South Bend (Diamondbacks) all visit the Timber Rattlers next year.
Here are some quotes and comments from The Hawkeye in Burlington, Iowa on the new affiliation between the Burlington Bees and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
The Angels were happy with the facilities during their visit, suggesting only small changes. One of those is improvements to the hitting tunnel, which at 10 years old needs a fresh coat of paint and new carpet.
The Bees will begin a field resurfacing next week.
Los Angeles will provide a clubhouse manager, training him through spring training before sending him to Community Field.
“That’s a big plus for us,” [Bees general manager Chuck] Brockett said.
Additionally, the Angels will pay for DirecTV in the clubhouse so players can watch the Major League club play after their own games, and send the Bees promotional items the team can give away to its fans.
“It’s a nice touch,” said Brockett.
Affiliated baseball has been around Burlington, Iowa for a long time. Here is their list since joining the Midwest League in 1962.
The Angels started their affiliation with the Cedar Rapids Kernels in 1993 before having it end after the 2012 season. The Angels had previously been in the Midwest League with Quad Cities (1962-1978), Danville (1982), Peoria (1983-1984), and Quad Cities again (1985-1992)
Next, reaction from the Beloit Daily News on the new affiliation between the Beloit Snappers and the Oakland Athletics.
I’m really excited about it,” said Snappers Chairman Dennis Conerton. “They are going to be a great organization to work with. I can feel that already. They are good people and experienced people which is what we are used to with the Twins. I think it’ll be a great relationship.”
The A’s are familiar with the Midwest League as they have been aligned with the Burlington Bees the past two seasons, the Kane County Cougars from 2003-2010 and Madison Muskies before that.
“They were familiar with our area and our league, obviously,” Conerton said. “They really wanted to play here and we are excited to be with them.”
The process of wooing a team is not a familiar one to the Snappers, who have had just two affiliates in their 31-year history.
This time, however, things went very smoothly.
“When we got the list of teams that had not signed a PDC, we sat down and sort of did an informal ranking of the teams in terms of what we knew,” Conerton said. “And I’m quite pleased to say that Oakland was right up there at the top of the list. They have a good farm system, and we liked that they are a relatively small market in the Major Leagues just like we are here.”
Oakland was affiliated with the Muskies from 1982-1993 and the West Michigan Whitecaps from 1994-1996. They had been with the Burlington Bees from 1963-1974, too.
Last…you would think they could make a bigger construction vest…or a smaller announcer.
We shot another video on Wednesday that will debut next week. Here are a few pictures to whet your appetite….Mmm, hungry…
It’s probably just me, but this is what I thought of when I saw the machines doing their thing on Wednesday.
The dance of the affiliation stopped about three hours after I posted yesterday.
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are the new parent club of the Burlington Bees.
“The Angels have long viewed scouting and player development as the backbone of our organization,” Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto said in a statement. “We maintain an organizational commitment to building excellence at both the Major and minor league levels, while placing a high value on strong communities and affiliations in the process. With this in mind we are excited to welcome the good people of Burlington to the Angels family, while looking forward to a long and successful partnership.”
The Oakland Athletics are the new parent club are the new parent club of the Beloit Snappers.
“We are delighted to welcome Beloit to our minor league system with today’s announcement,” said A’s Vice President and General Manager Billy Beane. “It is an established Single-A market with a strong baseball community and management team. We look forward to a very successful partnership.”
This is how the Midwest League/Parent Club alignment sets up for 2013:
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers – Milwaukee Brewers
Beloit Snappers – Oakland Athletics
Burlington Bees – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Cedar Rapids Kernels – Minnesota Twins
Clinton LumberKings – Seattle Mariners
Kane County Cougars – Chicago Cubs
Peoria Chiefs – St. Louis Cardinals
Quad Cities River Bandits – Houston Astros
Bowling Green Hot Rods – Tampa Bay Rays
Dayton Dragons – Cincinnati Reds
Fort Wayne TinCaps – San Diego Padres
Great Lakes Loons – Los Angeles Dodgers
Lake County Captains – Cleveland Indians
Lansing Lugnuts – Toronto Blue Jays
South Bend Silver Hawks – Arizona Diamondbacks
West Michigan Whitecaps – Detroit Tigers
The only teams the Rattlers do not face in at home next season are: Bowling Green, Dayton, Lansing, & Great Lakes.
To see the entire schedule for the 2013 season, head over to the PDF of the schedule on the Rattlers website.
One more step in the affiliation shuffle was taken Monday afternoon.
The Quad Cities River Bandits are now partners with the Houston Astros.
The deal not only renews a previous relationship — the River Bandits were a Houston affiliate from 1993-98 — but it also marks a return to the Midwest League for the Astros, whose low Class A affiliate for the past 10 seasons has been Lexington, Ky., in the South Atlantic League.
The Astros were last in the Midwest League as the parent club of the Michigan Battle Cats in 2002.
The Bandits may be tough next season.
In the past year, the Astros’ minor-league staff and players engineered a turnaround of 205 wins among its minor-league affiliates. The organization went from ranking last in win percentage among baseball’s 30 organizations in 2011 to ranking first this season with a .546 winning percentage.
Three Houston clubs reached postseason play, including the short-season Tri-City team which will feed the 2013 Quad-Cities roster with talent after finishing 51-25 and winning its division in the New York-Penn League.
“We’ve had not only an influx of talent, but a change of mindset,’’ Nelson said. “Jeff Luhnow has a proven track record of successful drafts, successful teams and there is an idea that winning and development go hand in hand.’’
Other moves that have been made:
The Cubs left Peoria for Kane County. (Game Changer apparently)
The Royals have left the Midwest League for Lexington in the South Atlantic League through at least 2016.
The Cardinals left Quad Cities for Peoria
The Twins left Beloit for Cedar Rapids
The Padres and TinCaps renewed for another two seasons
As of this morning the Oakland Athletics and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are still without affiliates. Beloit and Burlington as still without parent clubs.
Will the A’s wind up back in Burlington after letting the Bees know that they wanted to take a look around and see what else was out there?
Will the Angels head to Beloit?
TUNE IN TOMORROW! <organ music plays>
Beloit has had Midwest League baseball since 1982. This article from last Thursday after they lost the Twins to Cedar Rapids is filled with hope and realism.
The ever-optimistic [team chairman Dennis] Conerton sees the affiliation change as an opportunity for development, and something that could potentially spur activity down the road.
“One thing where this could be beneficial is that maybe now some people will see that what the Snappers have been trying to do for the last eight years or so is something that we need to pay a little more attention to,” he said. “But when you see an affiliate leave for facilities that are better, you do start to wonder when the Player Development Agreement is up in 2020 will the standards change at all, and if we were to continue with Minor League Baseball in the Beloit community.”
Jumping back to the Royals for a moment, former Rattler Jake Odorizzi made his MLB debut on Sunday in Kansas City’s 15-4 loss to the Indians. Jake allowed three of those runs in 5-1/3 innings.
Consider Jake Odorizzi’s Major League debut a success.
He didn’t win the game — the Cleveland Indians wound up with a 15-4 victory over Kansas City on a lovely Sunday afternoon — but the 22-year-old Royals right-hander pitched superbly for five innings before giving up three runs in the sixth.
“I think he did an outstanding job for his first start,” Royals manager Ned Yost said.
As the Royals’ top-ranked pitching prospect according to MLB.com, Odorizzi gave the 22,960 fans at Kauffman Stadium reason to anticipate the good that he might do for the club in the future. When he left the mound during the sixth inning, they gave him a standing ovation.
“It was pretty moving, just to hear the cheers,” Odorizzi said. “They were very accepting of me and it was great to get that on the way out. Especially on the first day, it made it just that much more special.”
Former Rattler Adam Moore (’06) hit a homer in that game. He caught Odorizzi in AAA at Omaha.
Odorizzi’s start on Sunday ran the total of former Rattlers to make their MLB debuts in 2012 to eight.
Phillippe Aumont – August 23
Juan Diaz – May 25
Jim Henderson – July 26
Erik Komatsu – April 6
Jake Odorizzi – September 23
Wily Peralta – April 22
Tyler Thornburg – June 19
Carlos Triunfel – September 7
In the Timber Rattlers Era – aka. Since 1995 – that would make 83 former Timber Rattlers who have made it to the major leagues.
A possible future Rattler is Clint Coulter. The Brewers took the high school catcher with the 27th pick of the 2012 draft. Baseball America has begun publishing their list of Top 20 prospects in each minor league. BA placed Coulter at #10 on their list of prospects in the Arizona League.
His scouting report is behind the subscriber wall. Long story short: Offense good. Defense needs work.
Want to work with me?
Well, that’s not completely true. Want to work where I do and not deal with me in any possible way?
Here are a few opportunities.
The Rattlers are taking applications for interns for the 2013 season. I am told that the ability to start in January would be much appreciated.
Also, construction is underway on the renovations to Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium. One of the pieces of that renovation is the club level with the banquet facility. The team is looking for a Banquet Facility Sales Manager and an Executive Chef. Follow this link for details on those positions.
Speaking of construction, I will leave you with a few photos from last Wednesday when I took a brief tour stadium.
We shot a video tour on the day I took those pictures. The video hould be up tomorrow – with a cool PROG ROCK SUPERGROUP soundtrack!! YES! The plan is to post a construction video every week.
It’s been busy since returning home from Fort Wayne on Monday evening. I’ll have a bit more on everything next week or throughout the offseason.
For now, here is the video of the final three outs from Game Four with my audio track. Plus, a bit of the celebration and the trophy presentation. For the record, I am positive that I said Jose Valentin and didn’t just leave it as The Fort Wayne Manager*
*I am pretty positive…In the words of Frank the Tank after the debate with James Carville, “What happened? I blacked out.”
Ten points after the tenth pennant in modern Appleton Professional Baseball History. The ten Championships are:
1966 (White Sox)
1967 (White Sox)
1969 (White Sox)
1978 (White Sox)
1982 (White Sox)
1983 (White Sox)
1984 (White Sox)
- Not really sure where to begin so here are some video highlights from the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette.
- Brandon Macias doubled on the first pitch of the game. Chadwin Stang followed with a single and the Rattlers were up 1-0. Macias had two doubles in the game and scored two runs. It was a great season for the undrafted free agent out of Kansas. Macias led the team in so many categories and was solid to spectacular at third base. What a season he had.
- Max Walla blasted a solo homer in the second. He pulled a fastball and crushed it. His previous home run was on August 22 and he was 3-for-23 in the playoffs before that home run. But,that home run showed the upside of Max Walla and made it 2-0 lead.
- Chad Thompson…Do you remember when he got shutdown for a month in mid-July? He came back off that rest and allowed six runs in 33-1/3 innings pitched. After he gave up the two runs in the third inning, it was shutdown mode. He retired ten of the last eleven batters he faced in the game.
- Nick Ramirez of the first half does not drive a double to the wall on the 0-2 pitch he got in the top of the seventh. The Nick Ramirez of the first half does not even see that 0-2 pitch in the seventh inning. Fortunately, the Nick Ramirez that improved over the season….oh, I’ll let him take it from here in the MiLB.com story: “He threw a fastball that I fouled off, and since he changed my eye level, I thought he would probably come with something off-speed. He came with a curveball and I got enough of the barrel on it.” The Ramirez of the first half missed either one of those 0-2 pitches. But, not this Nick Ramirez. Not this day. He drove in ten runs during the playoffs, including four RBI in the Championship Series. His two-run double in the seventh inning to put the Rattlers in front 4-2 were the biggest of the year.
- After they took the lead, Brent Suter took over. 9-up, 9-down over the last three innings for the Harvard pitcher. If you see the highlight shot by the Journal-Gazette, he froze Lee Orr on strike three to end the game. Then, it looked like he wasn’t sure what to do as the rest of the team charged the mound. (To tell you the truth, neither did I)
- There were so many hugs and handshakes and smiles after the game that I can’t relate all of them. Every player in Fort Wayne and every player on the roster that has moved on had something to do with bringing the a Midwest League pennant to Appleton for the first time since 1984. That is a long time. But, this team was so much fun they are definitely heirs to the Foxes of the 60’s and the 80’s. If old Goodland Field could react, I would like to think that it would be smiling and thinking about a Rattler Brau right now.
- I have been fortunate to have called four different championship teams before this season. The 1991 UW-Platteville Men’s Basketball team that won the NCAA Division III Title, the 1997 UW-Superior Men’s Hockey Team that won the Peters Cup, the 1997 Duluth Superior Dukes that won the Northern League Pennant, and the 2000 Green Bay Gamblers that won the Clark Cup Championship. People that followed those teams would ask me if there was a particular game that stands out and pointed to a championship for that particular team. I could probably pick out one or two for each of those teams. But, this Rattlers team had so many games where you could tell they were special that I couldn’t pick just one out. From win number one of the season – which happened to be their first of eleven walkoff wins of the year – the team stayed on point with the trophy up top as the lodestone. They didn’t finish the year with the best record. They didn’t bash teams into submission. They didn’t dazzle with flashy numbers. But, they won. They won and they were the last team standing.
- What a job by the Timber Rattlers coaching staff in 2o12. They worked with everyone every day and taught them how to get better as a professional baseball player. That is the key of player development. Winning is just a side benefit or in the case of this season a big perk with some jewelery that comes along with it. Kudos to Matt Erickson, David Chavarria, Dusty Rhodes, Jeff Paxson, Christian Polega, and Matt Virden.
- I wrote a little something for my facebook friends after so many of them had posted congratulations to me after the final out of the season and the pennant was won. I have changed a few things to take some of the wiseacre out of it:Thank you to everyone for posting congratulations to me on the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers winning the MWL Championship. Be clear about it, they won the championship. I was just fortunate to be along for the ride.At this moment, I feel….oh, what are those words…. Happy? and Blessed? Yes. My programming tells me that those are the the correct feelings. Happy and Blessed.
I have loved baseball since I was about 4 years old. I thank God every day I get to be around it and that I have met so many of you through this great and beautiful game.
Have an incredible off season.
I hope that you’ll forgive me if I pause to catch my breath and enjoy the moment.
This time it’s right – my time has come
Gonna give everything that I’ve got
Till it’s over and victory’s won
2012 Wisconsin Timber Rattlers…Midwest League Champions
Timber Rattlers Lineup:
Brandon Macias – 3B
Chadwin Stang – CF
Ben McMahan – LF
Nick Ramirez – 1B
Cameron Garfield – DH
Yadiel Rivera – SS
Rafael Neda – C
Max Walla – RF
Adrian Williams – 2B
Timber Rattlers Starting Pitcher:
Jace Peterson – SS
Tyler Stubblefield – 2B
Yeison Asencio – RF
Travis Whitmore – DH
Lee Orr – 1B
Austin Hedges – C
Jeremy Baltz – LF
Duanel Jones – 3B
Kyle Gaedele – CF
TinCaps Starting Pitcher:
Timber Rattlers Game Notes:
Follow today’s game (4:05pm CDT first pitch):
Radio: AM1280, WNAM
Internet Audio: WNAM Website (Click Listen Live Tab) (free)
Fort Wayne 8
Ten after ten for Ten Runs!
- During batting practice, Nick Ramirez hit some high towering home runs to right field that were impressive. He almost put one into a trashcan at the base of the building in right field. He said something along the lines of wanting to put one on those seats by the video board. Someone chimed in with, “Opposite field would be okay, too.” Nick responded with: “Opposite field homers are
mistakesaccidents. (Note: Corrected this because Nick mentioned the correct word to me in the hotel lobby. Accidents does make it sound funnier, too.) Nice mistakeaccident. His homer to left on a line drive gave him two in the MWLCS, four in the postseason, and – adding the regular season and the playoffs together – 20 on the season.
- Brandon Macias last hit a home run on August 6 in Beloit. He cleared the 376′ sign where the wall gets a bit taller. It was a laser and there was never a doubt.
- In Game One & Game Two, the top three hitters in the order: Macias, Chadwin Stang, & Ben McMahan were are combined 1-for-22. In Game Three, those three were 7-for-13 with eight RBI. McMahan in particular broke out. McMahan had been 0-for-16 with eight strikeouts. Then, he hit an RBI double to right-center in the seventh inning. It was awesome. Also, awesome: The Rattlers were 6-for-60 (.100) in the first two games of the Championship Series. They were 13-for-35 in Game Three to boost the series average to .200 and playoff average to .211. (Small Sample Size should go without saying, but I’ll say it anyways).
- Backtracking a bit. It’s 3-2 in the top of the fourth inning. Rafael Neda at second and Lance Roenicke at first. Adrian Williams singles to left and Matt Erickson didn’t bother with the stop sign for the Rattlers catcher. Neda, who was bowled over and hung of to the ball for a big out in the first inning, got a great jump on the hit by Williams and beat the throw to the plate to tie the game moments before the homer by Macias.
- To expand on that, the top of the order doesn’t get a chance to do what they did without contributions from the bottom of the order. Macias singles out Williams with a quote from the MiLB.com story that is linked at the top of this post: “[My home run] was a big part, but Adrian came up big with that hit with two outs, tied the game up,” said Macias, a non-drafted free agent who signed with the Brewers in June 2011. “Everything after that fell into place. It definitely changed the momentum.
- Williams went 2-for-4 with an RBI and scored three runs. If you remember back to the game against Clinton on Sunday, it was Williams who came through with a big two out hit in that put the Rattlers ahead of Clinton to stay in Game Two. Big hits!…Championship Hits! (Here endeth my Peter King riff)
- Ten runs wasn’t the only ten in the game. David Goforth scuffled a bit, but had ten strikeouts to set a new single game high as a professional. One stood out more than any other. Fort Wayne had just taken a 3-1 lead on the one-out triple by Yeison Asencio. Lee Orr was at the plate and Goforth struck him out to keep Asencio at third base. He got the final out of the inning on a grounder. The Rattlers scored five in the top of the fourth. In the bottom of the foruth, he struck out the side in order on eleven pitches – 10 strikes. Off to the races after that.
- Goforth’s playoff stats: 15 innings, 10 hits, 4 runs, five walks, 19 strikeouts….and 2-0, if you’re into that stat, too.
- The bullpen got extended action on Saturday. Mike Strong with a solid seventh inning, his first action since September 2. Stosh deserved a better fate, but two out walks and seeing-eye singles in the eighth and two errors in the ninth wrecked his line. Santo Manzanillo….Just keep bringing it, Manzo.
- The Rattlers quality start streak ended at seven tonight, but….big deal. Goforth speaks: “This team is one of the better teams that I’ve ever been a part of, the character is incredible,” he said. “The whole season — we get down in games or lose a game and we always bounce back. I would say we’ve been confident the whole time.”
One more win to get. Game time on Sunday is 4:05pm CDT. Let’s go, Rattlers!