Results tagged ‘ Lists ’
MiLB.com is….well….I will let them explain.
This offseason, MiLB.com will be honoring the players — regardless of age or prospect status — who had the best seasons in their organizations. We’re taking a look at each team to determine the outstanding seasons in Minor League baseball
The link at the top of the post leads to their All-Stars in the Brewers organization.
The biggest moves for the organization came off the field when the Brewers hired 30-year-old David Stearns as their new general manager, succeeding Doug Melvin. Stearns had been assistant GM for the Astros and helped their rebuild, which began, of course, with the farm system. Stearns dismissed former farm director Reid Nichols, replacing him with Tom Flanagan, who started as a Brewers batboy in 1990 and had spent the last decade as the club’s director of baseball operations. He takes over a system on the way up.
Spoiler Alert: No one on the list played for the Timber Rattlers in 2015. However, there are several Rattlers from past seasons who made the list….Like Orlando Arcia:
This year Arcia showed why he is the Brewers top prospect with a breakout season — and he has the MiLBY to prove it. The 21-year-old led the system with 157 hits while posting career highs in homers (eight), RBIs (69) and average (.307).
“He is a natural leader, not necessarily a kid that has to be loud, but just the way he goes about the game. It speaks for itself, all players look up to him,” Subero said. “If it’s a tight ballgame in the seventh, you want Orlando up. He wants to be up there and he’ll deliver. So that’s the type of player he is, he’s a kid that, with help and God-willing, he’ll definitely be an impact at the Major League level soon.”
After repeating the Midwest League, McFarland found success at the next level. The 22-year-old hit .274 with a career-high 46 RBIs and 28 walks. McFarland ranks second in the organization with 150 hits, while topping second basemen with 183 total bases.
A shortstop in high school, the Texas native continued to work on his defense as he transitioned to the pitcher-friendly Florida State League this past season. McFarland will look to cut the errors down as he enters his fifth campaign as a second baseman in 2016.
Lopez turned his Double-A introduction into an eventual Major League debut with an organization-leading 137 strikeouts and 12 wins. The 22-year-old posted a 2.26 ERA and finished the year with three straight Brewers Pitcher of the Month honors en route to being named the Southern League’s Most Outstanding Pitcher.
“I was able to see him turn from a kid into a man in terms of baseball savvy and on the mound, working with his pitches,” Subero said. “Just a kid who’s hard-working, great competitor with three pitches — all three are plus pitches — and he would even show plus command at times during the game. That’s what got him over edge and definitely made him one of our top guys in the whole system.”
Along with the promotion to Double-A, Magnifico was sent to the bullpen. The right-hander started out as a middle reliever, but after rebounding from a tough outing, Subero saw a closer in Magnifico. The University of Oklahoma product allowed three inherited runs without registering an out against Mississippi on May 10. Instead of letting him fester over it, the manager threw Magnifico back in the fire the following day.
“He performed and saved the game, and ever since, we called him our closer,” Subero said. “It’s just really electric stuff with good sink on it, mid-90s to upper-90s and is developing a slider, which has been very impressive, in the Fall League.”
Click the link up top for the whole list.
I count 17 former Timber Rattlers on that Top 30 List.
#1 is Orlando Arcia
#2 is Tyrone Taylor
Click the link up top to see the whole list.
Of note for fans of the Timber Rattlers, I count three players in the top ten who will most likely be in the Fox Cities this season and two other players in the top ten who COULD be with the Rattlers in the future…if not in 2015.
[I]f you’re looking for high-risk, high-reward players, the types of lottery tickets the Brewers hadn’t purchased in the past, the 2014 Draft took care of you. Scouting director Bruce Seid, in what proved to be his final Draft as he tragically passed away last September, had one of the most daring first nights of the Draft in recent memory. High schoolers Monte Harrison, Jake Gatewood and Kodi Medeiros are all in the Top 10, and they bring some added excitement about what they can become in the future. Add in international signee Gilbert Lara and Milwaukee has four teenagers in the Top 10 now.
At the top of the list are two longer-standing Brewers prospects, both with considerable upside themselves. Shortstop Orlando Arcia is the lone representative in the Top 100, but it wouldn’t surprise many to see outfielder Tyrone Taylor join him at some point in the future.
Alumni Birthdays for March 12:
Wick Udy (’03) – 36
Victor Martinez (’99) – 37
Jesus Marquez (’93, ’94) – 42
Donald Young (’90) – 48
Doug Bock (’88) – 49
Gary Keeton (’83) – 54
Steve Noworyta (’82, ’83) – 55
Tommy Toman (’75, ’76) – 59
Johnny Ellen (’61) – 75
Former Timber Rattlers shortstop Orlando Arcia checks in at #88:
Arcia’s advanced defensive skills are ready for higher levels now. He has outstanding range and soft hands to go along with a very strong arm. There is no question he will stay at the premium position long-term. Arcia continues to improve at the plate to the point where he’s no longer a glove-only type of middle infielder. He makes consistent contact, to all fields, rarely striking out. He even has a little extra-base pop coming from his very quick swing, which was on display particularly during his winter ball stint. He uses his speed to be a basestealing threat as well.
Good to see!
Alumni Birthdays for February 3:
Luis Figueroa (’98) – 38
Mike Marchiano (’98) – 40
Whitey Gluchoski (Manager, ’46 & ’47) – Would have been 92
The Royals and Orioles completed sweeps in the ALDS setting up an ALCS matchup that is interesting. Imagine, if you will, it’s 1976 to 1983. Imagine how much fun an Orioles-Royals ALCS would have been in that timeframe. But, they were never opponents. The Royals won the AL West from 1976-1978 (losing to the Yankees each time), again in 1980 (Beating the Yankees), and in 1984 (Losing to the Tigers). The Orioles won the AL East in 1979 (Beating the Angels) and 1983 (Beating the White Sox).
Lorenzo Cain (’09) had a some great catches – again – to help the Royals move on with their Game Three win over the Angels:
Meanwhile, the Orioles beat the Tigers 2-1 to gain the ALCS. Adam Jones (’04) loves it! BUT, he also realizes that they aren’t done yet.
In news involving more recent Timber Rattlers, The Baseball America Chat about their Top 20 Prospect for the MWL was held on Friday (Link is behind subscriber wall). There was only one question involving a 2014 Timber Rattler and it was about pitcher Taylor Williams, who did not make the list:
Curious (Wisconsin): What did evaluators see that kept Taylor Williams off this list?
J.J. Cooper: He might have made the list in a thinner league. Just the depth of the league. He’s a future power reliever in a league where relievers have a real tough time making the list.
In instructional league this fall, the Brewers have begun a long-discussed position change for Coulter. Director of player development Reid Nichols said Coulter has settled into right field and has also seen time at first base and third base.
One of Coulter’s best tools has always been his strong arm, which Nichols said is one of the reasons a switch to right field can work.
“He’s picked it up well,” Nichols said. “He gets good jumps on balls off the bat, which is unique for a guy going out there for the first time.
“He fits the best there of everywhere we’ve seen him.”
There is more at that link on some possible future Timber Rattlers players.
Here’s a look at Timber Rattlers Alumni who played in the NL West this year:
Adam Moore (’06): 9 games, 2-for-10, 2B, 0HR, RBI
Rene Rivera (’03): 103 games, .252/.319/.432, 11HR, 44RBI
Carlos Triunfel (’07): 12 games, 2-for-15, HR, RBI
JJ Putz (’00): 18 games, 1-1, 6.59ERA, 13.2IP, 6BB, 14K
Ryan Rowland-Smith (’03): 6 games, 0-0, 4.91ERA, 7.1IP, 4BB, 9K
The Baseball America chats about their Top 20 lists for the Pioneer League and Arizona League happened earlier. The Q & A of the Brewers farmhands:
Jacob Gatewood (Nearby): It’s my 19th birthday today. A spot on your top 20 list would have made for a nice present. Just sayin’. Anyway, do you see me being able to improve my plate discipline next year as Joey Gallo did this year?
Bill Mitchell: Jacob Gatewood, the Brewers compensation round pick, shows plus raw power at the plate and the potential to stay at shortstop. He’s got some swing mechanics to work on and needs to make better contact in order to get to his power potential. Definitely a work in progress. But I wouldn’t want to compare Gatewood to Joey Gallo at this point.
Ben (Leland Grove): Medeiros and Touki had their struggles in the AZL, from what I’ve read. Who would have ranked higher for you, and who will climb through the minors faster?
Bill Mitchell: Both first-round picks (Arizona’s Touki Toussaint and Milwaukee’s Kodi Medeiros) struggled at times in their pro debuts, mostly with commanding their pitches and trying to do too much out of the gate. I probably would have ranked Touki the highest of the two. While Medeiros will be given every chance to start, there are still a significant number of scouts that believe his future will be in the back end of the bullpen.
Dave (Appleton, Wi): How close were the Brewers other top picks Medeiros and Gatewood from making the list?
Bill Mitchell: I’ve already addressed Medeiros and Gatewood in previous questions. To clarify, Medeiros came up just a fraction of an inning short of having enough playing time to qualify for the list but likely would have ranked in the 11-20 range. Gatewood was on my 21-30 group of prospects this year.
Steve (Madtown): I’d love to hear your thoughts on the Brewers that you got a good look at not on the list. Medeiros, Gatewood, Denson (if you saw him on rehab), Lara? Thanks
Bill Mitchell: I’ll briefly divert from AZL discussion to address one name you mention— Gilbert Lara — primarily because I think he could be a player that we’ll be talking about on next year’s chat. Lara is a 16-year-old shortstop who signed with the Brewers for just over $3 million in July. He’s playing with the Brewers instructional league team right now and has been the talk of Arizona so far. Still very raw approach at the plate and the swing needs lots of work, but this kid has some serious pop.
Warren (New London): I liked Brandon Diaz last year in the Arizona League. He got off to an excellent start here and then tailed off quite a bit, and I’m wondering what Pioneer League observers think of him.
Bill Mitchell: Brandon Diaz just missed the list. The 2013 8th round pick is a nice centerfielder with twitchy athleticism who barrels up the ball. He has above-average speed with good instincts on the basepaths. Diaz projects as a fourth or fifth outfielder, and I like his chances to getting there.
Dave (Appleton): What were the differences for Devin Williams this year as opposed to last year?
Bill Mitchell: Williams, the Brewers 2nd round pick in 2013, improved his slider this year, but the biggest change came with maturity and understanding the professional game. It was a real up and down season for the right-hander, but results improved significantly in the second half of the Pioneer League season. He still has a lot of work to do, especially in improving the fastball command, but his performance in August is a positive sign.
Dave (Appleton): Better pitching prospect for the Brewers, Devin Williams or Kodi Medeiros?
Bill Mitchell: Definitely Medeiros. His stuff is better, although like many young pitchers he’s got to get better command. I said in my recent AZL chat that many scouts still believe he will wind up in the back end of the bullpen, but he’s a starter for now.
Dave (Appleton, WI): What happened to Tucker Neuhaus this year? From just looking at his stats this year, it looks like he really struggled.
Bill Mitchell: I didn’t get favorable comments from scouts on Neuhaus’ performance at the plate and his name didn’t come up in prospect discussions with the managers. He’s gotten too big to handle shortstop, so there will be much more pressure on his bat to develop as a third baseman.
How about these catches by former Rattler Lorenzo Cain?
Former Rattler Chris Tillman (’07) was the winning pitcher for the Orioles and talks with the media after the game.
Here’s Tillman striking out the side first inning:
Looking at today’s playoff pitching matchups. There are a few of today’s starters who pitched against the Rattlers.
Yordano Ventura, who gets the start for the Royals tonight, pitched for Kane County in 2011. In two starts against the Rattlers, he did not allow a run on four hits and two walks over nine innings with 15 strikeouts. He did not have a decision in either game.
Clayton Kershaw starts for the Dodgers tonight. He was a member of the Great Lakes Loons in 2007 and made one start against the Rattlers on May 8 at Great Lakes. Kershaw got the win as he allowed two runs on five hits with two walks and eight strikeouts over 5-2/3 innings. The Rattlers scored two runs off Kershaw in the second inning, but the Loons scored five – two earned – in the fourth off Steve Richard.
Time to take a look at Rattler Alumni in the AL East:
Adam Jones (’04): 159 games, .281/.311/.469, 29HR, 96RBI
Brett Lawrie (’09): 70 games, .247/.301/.421, 12HR, 38RBI
David Ortiz (’96): 142 games, .263/.355/.517, 35HR, 104RBI
Jeremy Jeffress (’10): 3 games, 0-0, 10.80ERA, 3.1IP, 3BB, 4K
Shawn Kelley (’07, ’08): 59 games, 3-6, 4 saves, 4.53ERA, 51.2IP, 20BB, 67K
Jake Odorizzi (’10): 31 games, 31 starts, 11-13, 4.13ERA, 168.0IP, 59BB, 174K
Oh, an Odorizzi pitching highlight?
Michael Pineda (’08): 13 games, 13 starts, 5-5, 1.89ERA, 76.1IP, 7BB, 59K
Matt Thornton (’99, ’00): 46 games, 0-3, 2.55ERA, 24.2IP, 6BB, 20K
Chris Tillman (’07): 34 games, 34 starts, 13-6, 3.34ERA, 207.1IP, 66BB, 150K
Gotta share these other Shawn Kelley videos:
Alumni Birthdays for October 3:
Peanut Williams (’98, ’99) – 37
Brent Matheny (’03, ’04) – 35
Alumni Birthdays for October 4:
Bill O’Donnell (’58) – 80
Delwyn Young, Sr (Hitting Coach, ’93) – 51
Francisco Laureano (’67) – 47
Emmerson Bello (’98) – 37
Brock Griffin (’03) – 35
Jose Sanchez (’10) – 26
Alumni Birthdays for October 5:
Frank Henderson (’88, ’89) – 46
Chad Weisner (’95) – 43
Russ Koehler (’97, ’98) – 40
Keep your eyes on this link to Baseball America. They should be announcing the Top 20 Prospects in the Midwest League soon. Since the team has a subscription to the print magazine, I can see the list before it’s on the web…which is so….odd.
Only one Timber Rattler made the list:
#7 Clint Coulter. The partial scouting report from the magazine.
While Coulter does have a great batting-eye, his swing isn’t picture-perfect, as it involves a large load and a powerful cut that makes it hard to always control the barrel. That leads to swings and misses on pitches in the zone, but when he does connect, Coulter drives the ball.
Peoria pitcher Alex Reyes was #1 in the MWL. The full list and capsules on each of the players on the list should be at the link later.
I would have thought that Taylor Williams might have made the list, but it’s tough in a 16-team league.
In last night’s AL Wild Card game, the Kansas City Royals defeated the Oakland Athletics 9-8 in 12 innings. Former Timber Rattler Lorenzo Cain drove in a pair of runs last night, including the first run of Kansas City’s comeback in the eighth inning:
Today is the first day of the season review of Timber Rattlers in MLB during the 2014 season. Here’s a quick look at the former Rattlers….and one former Fox who spent time in the AL West this year:
Raul Ibanez (’94): 57 games, .157/.258/.265, 3HR, 21RBI
That was hit number 2,000 for Ibanez in his MLB career.
Michael Saunders (’06): 78 games, .273/.341/.450, 8HR, 34RBI
Shin-Soo Choo (’01, ’02): 123 games, .242/.340/.374, 13HR, 40RBI
One of his hits this season was #1,000 in his career:
Nate Adcock (’07, ’08): 7 games, 0-0, 4.50ERA, 10.0IP, 5BB, 9K
Ryan Feierabend (’02): 6 games, 0-0, 6.14ERA, 7.1IP, 2BB, 4K
Eric O’Flaherty (’04, ’05): 21 games, 1-0, 1 save, 2.25ERA, 20IP, 4BB, 15K
The save was the first of his MLB career.
Felix Hernandez (’03): 34 games, 34 starts, 15-6, 2.14ERA, 236IP, 46BB, 248K.
Take a bow, King Felix!
Baseball America released their list of the Top 20 Prospects in the Midwest League earlier this week. That list contained no Timber Rattlers.
There are 16 teams in the MWL and there is no guarantee that every team is going to have at least one player in that Top 20 list…Especially in a year where some teams are loaded – from a prospect standpoint. For example: Cedar Rapids (4), Quad Cities (3), and Kane County (3) took up half of the 20 spots on the 2013 MWL list.
JJ Cooper handled the “Why no Rattlers?” question in his chat (No link. Subscribers only) content:
Mike (Milwaukee, WI): I’m a bit surprised not to see a single TimberRattler make your list, specifically Tyrone Taylor, Orlando Arcia or Victor Roache. Was it simply a matter of not having room for them, or are their ceilings just not as high as those who did make it?
J.J. Cooper: Promised on Twitter that I would answer this one. All three were among prospects considered for the list. Taylor came the closest to making it. I’d say he was in the 21-30 range. Pretty universally scouts liked Taylor more than Roache because of a better hitting approach, better defense, plays a premium position and is more athletic. In Taylor you have a solid center fielder while Roache was considered adequate in LF. Taylor was probably the third best CF prospect in the league behind Toles but ahead of Mallex Smith. Arcia often looked overmatched this year at the plate, but scouts think he’ll improve as he matures. He has a solid swing but he’s just not strong enough to do anything with that swing yet.
The Toles that Cooper mentions is Bowling Green’s Andrew Toles, who won the MWL batting title at .326. Toles was placed at #19 on BA’s list.
Also from earlier this week, Adam McCalvy had this surprise in his twitter timeline:
#Brewers also re-signed RHP Arcenio Leon, who won’t be in big league camp, and announced RHP Austin Blaski (21st rd in 2012) has retired.
— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) October 1, 2013
The surprise part is that last note about 2013 Timber Rattlers All-Star Pitcher Austin Blaski retiring.
Blaski’s last game with the Timber Rattlers was on June 13 in the second game of a doubleheader against the Beloit Snappers at Pohlman Field. Blaski allowed one run on four hits with four walks and four strikeouts to pick up the win in a 2-1 defeat of the Snappers. He was a late addition to the 2013 MWL All-Star squad and was scheduled to pitch in the game at Dayton. But, he was scratched from making an appearance. That game was on June 18. Blaski had surgery one month later – July 18.
Bout to get this surgery over with so I can get on this road to recovery
— Austin Blaski (@ABlaski7) July 18, 2013
Now, he’s retired.
Good luck, Austin.
Three items for the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.
A fan of a Milwaukee Brewers minor-league affiliate and some pals walked out of Ohio Stadium last week with flat-screen televisions, signed memorabilia and other items.
All they left behind was a purple hat with the logo for the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, Ohio State University Deputy Police Chief Richard Morman said yesterday.
The theft took place after the Illinois game on Nov. 3 — between 11:20 p.m. on Nov. 4 and 8 the next morning, police said.
The thieves apparently scaled the fence that surrounds the stadium, then used a trash can to climb onto the suites’ patio, Morman said. The doors to the suites were unlocked.
Six suites were entered, he said, and four flat-screen TVs, valued at $2,000 total, were taken. Eleven autographed photographs valued at $200 were taken after the glass of the frames was smashed. The memorabilia was owned by the companies or families who lease the suites, Morman said. A kiosk on the Huntington level was broken into, and $1,800 worth of merchandise was taken.
Police are working on getting video to identify the thieves, but they’re also relying on the hat left behind. It’s a purple hat with the Timber Rattlers’ logo: a snake wrapped around a W.
“It’s not something that’s real common in central Ohio, to see someone wearing a Wisconsin Timber Rattlers hat,” Morman said. “If this person is a student, staff or faculty member, (someone) might recognize him.”
The Timber Rattlers — 2012 Midwest League Champions — play in Appleton, Wis.
Break-ins at the stadium are unusual, Morman said.
Story from The Columbus Dispatch. Bold for emphasis.
The following list has twelve spots. Six belong to Timber Rattlers from 2012. Five belong to Timber Rattlers of past seasons. One spot on the list is a possible Rattler for the 2013 season. I have pulled a few notes on each player, but make sure to click the link above for the complete notes on them.
C – Cameron Garfield: “He missed some time with injuries, but he jumped into the Midwest League and did a great job at the plate with his bat,” special assistant to the general manager and director of player development Reid Nichols said. “I think his offense was nice to see; he responded with the bat. He still has some work to do defensively, but he’s a more offensive type of guy at this point.”
1B – Hunter Morris: Led the Southern League in a number of categories, including homers, RBIs, hits (158), extra-base hits (74) and slugging percentage (.563). Defensively, his .995 fielding percentage was the most among all Southern League first basemen. Morris made six errors in 1,259 chances, had a league-best 1,198 putouts and teamed up on 112 double plays.
2B – Scooter Gennett: “I think that was a good choice. He’s a young guy that responded to being pushed to Double-A,” Nichols said. “He will be a good big league hitter. He improved defensively which was what we were pleased most with. The main issue used to be that if he made an error, he would let it get him down and he would maybe make another one. But he overcame that and became a good defensive second baseman this year. He expects so much of himself that when he doesn’t perform he gets down.”
SS – Yadiel Rivera: While Rivera has not displayed the ability to consistently hit for average in his brief Minor League career, his other stats are trending upward. His 12 homers and 49 RBIs ranked first among Milwaukee shortstops, and his .247 average, while not spectacular, was still a career best for the 20-year-old native of Puerto Rico who was selected in the ninth round of the 2010 Draft. Defensively, Rivera posted a .962 fielding percentage, having committed 22 errors in 586 chances.
3B – Brandon Macias: While his home runs tally fell behind the likes of Andy Gonzalez and T.J. Mittelstaedt (both 13) and Mike Walker (12), his 35 doubles meant he finished with more extra-base hits (45) and total bases (198) than any of them. Not afraid to crowd the inside half of the plate, Macias was hit by 21 pitches this season. No other player on the Milwaukee farm was hit more than 12 times, and only two other batters racked up double-digit HBPs.
OF – Ben McMahan
Despite playing as many as 28 games fewer than some of the other outfielders in the organization, McMahan led all Brewers outfielders in homers (15), triples (11), RBIs (68) and slugging percentage (.500).
The University of Florida alum, selected in the 23rd round of the 2011 Draft, made the jump from the short-season Pioneer League seamlessly. While he struggled with plate discipline at times (29 walks to 129 strikeouts in 414 at-bats), his raw power and plus speed impressed coaches who hope to see his growth continue in 2013.
OF – Josh Prince: What third-rounder Prince lacks in power, he makes up for in speed and aggressiveness, according to Nichols. The 24-year-old, a Louisville Slugger All-American in his freshman year at Tulane University, ranked second in the organization with 41 stolen bases this year. His 74 walks and 28 doubles were the most of any outfielder in the system, while his 55 RBIs and 74 runs scored were both career highs.
OF – Chadwin Stang: “Chadwin is a little older player who is Canadian,” Nichols observed. “He has a lack of playing experience, but it’s always up to the individual. He accepted that he had to catch up with some of the other players. I saw him have a more consistent approach at the plate this year, and he stayed on the field even though he had minor injuries. He played a good, full season.”
UT – Jason Rogers: At his fourth level in three years, the 24-year-old adjusted well to the jump, posting a .300/.416/.412 slash line. With five more longballs and an additional 23 RBIs, Rogers set career highs in virtually every offensive category. His 35 doubles were tied for the second-most in the system, while his 83 runs were second only to Stang.
RHSP – Hiram Burgos: “He will start for a Major League club. He didn’t miss a beat going through the levels; he was right in sync. He stayed within himself. He’s a command pitcher, but because his command is so good, it makes his fastball look even faster when he throws it inside.”
LHSP – Taylor Wall: Selected in the 22nd round of the 2012 Draft out of Rice University, Wall went 3-1 with a 3.98 ERA in 14 games, including 10 starts, in his rookie year with Helena in the Pioneer League. He struck out twice as many batters (40) as he walked (20), and he allowed three homers over 54 1/3 innings.
RP – Jim Henderson: He held hitters to a .214 average, and he yielded two homers in 48 innings pitched. A Pacific Coast League midseason All-Star, Henderson struck out more than a batter an inning (56) and recorded a 1.21 WHIP before earning a promotion to Milwaukee.
#3. Brewers add five former Timber Rattlers to their 40-man roster.
This note arrived in an email from the Brewers so no link yet.
Milwaukee added the following former Timber Rattlers to their 40-man roster:
Nick Bucci (’10)
Hiram Burgos (’10)
Khris Davis (’10)
Scooter Gennett (’10)
Josh Prince (’09)
Congratulations to all five!
This post is to provide reasons why the MWL list turned out the way that it did. Not to howl at the moon and go, “WE WUZ ROBBED!” I plan to provide a little context and make at least one argument in favor of the inclusion of at least ONE Rattler.
What list? Oh, read on!
The last paragraph of the article by Jim Callis that accompanies Baseball America’s Top 20 list of Midwest League Prospects that had no Timber Rattlers:
Wisconsin captured the championship with the oldest roster in the league and nary a prospect who received strong consideration for this list. The Timber Rattlers won the finals in four games over Fort Wayne, which led all clubs with five prospects among the Top 20.
I’m going to do some math….back in a second…an hour…head over to this page at Baseball Reference and let’s do math together! Add a the average age of the hitters for a team to the average age of the pitchers for a team and divide by two. Right?
The average age of the 2012 Timber Rattlers was 22.4. Take out the Major League rehabs to appear with the Rattlers this past season – Shaun Marcum (30), Jonathan Lucroy (26), and Carlos Gomez (26) – and the average drops to 22.3. They are still the oldest team in the league…BUT by just over a month.
Five oldest teams in the Midwest League (2012):
- Wisconsin – 22.4 (adjusted at 22.3)
- Burlington – 22.2
- Beloit – 22.1
- Quad Cities – 22.0
- South Bend 21.9
Average age of a player in the Midwest League in 2012: 21.8 years.
Five Youngest teams in the Midwest League (2012):
- Lake County – 20.8
- Bowling Green – 21.3
- Peoria – 21.3
- Dayton – 21.5
- Fort Wayne – 21.6
It should be noted that I am not getting Dayton’s average age to figure correctly. Their hitters have an average age of 21.3 even with rehab appearances by Drew Stubbs (27), Joey Votto (28), and Miguel Cairo (38). Take those players out of the equation and … I get an average age for the hitters of 21.6. That can’t be right. So….number with a grain of salt please.
I am not going to argue that a Timber Rattlers player should have been included in the Top 5 prospects on the list.
- Javier Baez – ss, Peoria
- Miguel Sano – 3b, Beloit
- Francisco Lindor – ss, Lake County
- Archie Bradley – rhp, South Bend
- Noah Syndergaard – rhp, Lansing
The only thing to quibble with the Top 5 ton hat list is the order. Instead, let’s take a look at the 16-20:
16. Kyle Smith – rhp, Kane County
17. Travis Jankowski – of, Fort Wayne
18. Adys Portillo – rhp, Fort Wayne
19. Jace Peterson – ss, Fort Wayne
20. Stephen Piscotty – 3b, Quad Cities
Here are five 2012 Timber Rattlers who were placed on Baseball America’s Top 30 list of Brewers Prospects in the 2012 Prospect Handbook: RHP Santo Manzanillo, RHP David Goforth, RHP Drew Gagnon, SS Yadiel Rivera, and 1B Nick Ramirez.
Manzanillo wasn’t going to make the MWL List. He’s been in the league before, was still working his way back from his car accident, and didn’t have enough games with the Rattlers in 2012 to be eligible.
Rankings are not entirely based on stats in a particular year. How a particular observer projects that player will do in the future is a big part of it
The point that Yadiel Rivera hit .247 with 12 homers, seven stolen bases and 22 errors while Peterson hit .286 and stole 51 bases with 28 errors may mean less than the data points that Rivera is 20 and was a 9th round pick in 2010 while Peterson is 22 and a 1st round pick in 2011.
Also, where a player was drafted – if he was drafted at all may have a lot to do with it. Brandon Macias had an incredible 2012. He was at or near the top of the list in a lot of offensive categories – OBP, runs, average, doubles, hits, hit by pitch. By any standard an outstanding season. Except with the list makers. Macias an non-drafted free agent in 2011 is not going to get consideration for a list like this while Stephen Piscotty, a supplemental first round pick in 2012, makes the list. Piscotty played well in 55 games for Quad Cities in 2012. Project his numbers out over a full season and the numbers may be a bit similar with maybe a slight edge to Macias.
But the list makers will give the edge to Piscotty every time. It’s just the way the lists work. After watching and getting to know Macias all of the 2012 season, he doesn’t care about lists and whether he makes them or not. He’s just going to go out there are play hard and to the best of his ability every day.
Player vs. player comparisons may not be as big of a factor as some of the other criteria used to slot players on the list. BUT, here is a player-to-player comparison:
Drew Gagnon was 6-1 in 14 starts with a 2.83ERA and 65 strikeouts in 82-2/3 innings with the Rattlers before being promoted to Brevard County in the Florida State League. Gagnon is 22 and was a 3rd round pick in 2011.
Adys Portillo was 6-6 in 18 starts with a 1.87ERA and 81 strikeouts in 91-2/3 innings with Fort Wayne before being promoted to San Antonio in the Texas League. Portillo is 20 and was signed out of Venezuela on July 2, 2008 when he was 16.
I’m not saying that Portillo should be taken off the list and Gagnon belongs in his spot. But, to say that Gagnon – or any of the Rattlers who were eligible for the list that Baseball America considers prospects – didn’t receive strong consideration for the list is a little ridiculous.
Just for fun, Baseball America’s Top 20 list of Midwest League Prospects after the 2009 season.
1. Aaron Hicks, of, Beloit (Twins)
2. Dee Gordon, ss, Great Lakes (Dodgers)
3. Josh Vitters, 3b, Peoria (Cubs)
4. Brett Lawrie, 2b, Wisconsin (Brewers)
5. Mike Montgomery, lhp, Burlington (Royals)
6. Casey Crosby, lhp, West Michigan (Tigers)
7. Simon Castro, rhp, Fort Wayne (Padres)
8. Jaff Decker, of, Fort Wayne (Padres)
9. Cody Scarpetta, rhp, Wisconsin (Brewers)
10. Ethan Martin, rhp, Great Lakes (Dodgers)
11. Tim Melville, rhp, Burlington (Royals)
12. Eric Hosmer, 1b, Burlington (Royals)
13. A.J. Pollock, of, South Bend (Diamondbacks)
14. Wily Peralta, rhp, Wisconsin (Brewers)
15. James Darnell, 3b, Fort Wayne (Padres)
16. Chris Archer, rhp, Peoria (Cubs)
17. Kyle Russell, of, Great Lakes (Dodgers)
18. Grant Desme, of, Kane County (Athletics)
19. Pedro Figueroa, lhp, Kane County (Athletics)
20. Chris Carpenter, rhp, Peoria (Cubs)
Also for fun, here is what Jim wrote about the MWL Champions that year:
Decker and third baseman James Darnell, a 2008 second-rounder, were part of a TinCaps team that won a minor league-high 94 games and both half-season titles in the MWL East, then swept Burlington in the playoff finals.
Great Lakes led all minor league teams with 90 regular-season victories, but the Loons came up short of a championship. They dropped the last two games of their semifinal series to Lake County, which didn’t place a single player on this Top 20 Prospects list.
Another righthander, Carlos Martinez, drew comparisons to Pedro Martinez (no relation) and would have given Walker a run for the top spot had he not been promoted after just eight starts for eventual champion Quad Cities.
At the end of the day, the 2012 list has done its job. It gave us a starting point for the 2013 season and got us talking about Baseball America – and baseball – two weeks after our season ended.
List of games the 2012 Rattlers have allowed 10 or more runs:
April 24 @South Bend – 10-4 (L)
May 15 @Kane County – 11-5 (L)
June 1@Cedar Rapids 14-9 (L)
July 6 @Cedar Rapids 12-11 (L)
August 7 @Beloit 10-4 (L)
August 8 v. Cedar Rapids 15-1 (L)
August 15 @Beloit 13-10 (L)
August 26 @Peoria 10-3 (L)
The Day in pictures:
Final thoughts: Great job by the Chiefs front office and grounds crew in a difficult spot. They held off the start of the game because of a weather system that could have dumped a lot of rain on the field a lot earlier than it did. Nobody wanted to burn a starting pitcher and nobody wanted a doubleheader. Also, I am about 92.4% positive that the umpires almost called for the tarp in the top of the ninth inning. That would have been a mistake.
Right now, It’s raining all over the world: