By Danny Wild / MiLB.com
Life becomes decidedly less exciting once the offseason comes around. That’s probably not good news for this blog, since we’re less than a week into the offseason and Minor Leaguers seem to be dragging themselves through an empty reality of nothingness, at least on Twitter anyway. How sad is this:
I’m like a little kid on Christmas day waiting for my Nutribullet to come today. I keep checking the door and the tracking number haha
— Willie Argo (@WillieArgo42) September 17, 2014
Where once we were getting inning-ending strikeouts and double-play balls, now we’re flipping through HGTV Magazine in a dentist’s waiting room:
Tell me how my appointment was at 12:15 and I’m still waiting. #dentistprobs
— Keyvius Sampson (@K_Samp2) September 17, 2014
Wade Wass, a catcher with the Angels at Rookie-level Orem, built his day around shaving:
It had a good run… But she gone. pic.twitter.com/HL3BSwr8re
— Wade Wass (@WadeWass_10) September 18, 2014
Mets pitcher Greg Peavey, who I spoke to just last week after a big win, is now on daddy duty:
— Greg Peavey (@GregPeavey) September 17, 2014
Babysitting sleeping dogs and a tiny stuffed raccoon:
— Brandon Sisk (@sisk_brandon51) September 17, 2014
Bragging, to no one in particular, about your video game skills:
If I’m playing you in Madden I’m doing the shmurda dance every time I get a first down
— Micah Johnson (@Micah_Johnson3) September 17, 2014
Memphis’ John Gast is cooking dinner with a Home Depot box and a PVC pipe. What could go wrong?
— John Gast (@Jwgast) September 18, 2014
And we’ve all been here, huh? SVU binge on USA/TNT. You’ll never go jogging through Central Park again:
I’m setting a new record for most consecutive watched episodes of law and order svu today #PRODUCTIVETHURSDAY
— Joey Pankake (@jpankake) September 18, 2014
Some are just mindlessly watching SportsCenter…
ESPN is making me wish Brett Favre and Tim Tebow would tryout for the Dallas Cowboys right now.
— Brian Flynn (@BFlynn277) September 17, 2014
This was not tweeted by a Minor Leaguer, but I think it’s relevant enough to show here: Julian Edelman, noted New England Patriots wide receiver and friend of the dreamy and noted Yankees fan Tom Brady, wearing a Richmond Flying Squirrels cap:
— Brad (@bwilli71) September 17, 2014
So why, you ask, was Julian Edelman wearing an Eastern League team’s hat? Fair question. Edelmen grew up in Redwood City, California, and went to Kent State in Ohio, but he claims his favorite nickname given to him by teammates is “The Squirrel.” “Guys call me ‘Squirrel’ because one time on the sideline I was yelling, ‘Don’t let me get squirrely out there,'” Edelman said.
Good story, right?
I think we all want more details on this — what happens when you work out after eating spicy Mexican cuisine?
Note to self: Never go to Moe’s before leg day. You will regret it
— Alex Tomasovich (@alex_tomasovich) September 18, 2014
Justin Johnson wants you to know, he’s at PF Chang’s. Fun Fact: PF Chang’s also owns Pei Wei.
A lil PF changs for lunch I think yesssss
— Justin⚾⚾Jackson (@JaxChillinONE) September 18, 2014
Old Chinese food, as opposed to fresh Chinese food from PF Chang’s:
Good old Chinese takeout and Netflix..
— Tyson Gillies (@TysonGillies21) September 18, 2014
Gatorade’s new commercial/tribute/short film on Derek Jeter’s totally unscripted (wink, wink) but still genuinely awesome goodbye to Yankees fans is making the rounds on the Internet this week, and since 74 percent of Minor Leaguers list Jeter as their favorite player growing up (I made that up, but it’s probably not that far off), it’s been big on Twitter:
As good as Jeter is on the field he makes a hell of a commercial. — Tony Sanchez (@Tony26Montana) September 18, 2014
Steve Brault plays in the Orioles system but has remained a Padres fan:
— Steven Brault (@BraultSteven) September 17, 2014
Giants prospect Mac Williamson with a new haircut:
— Mac Williamson (@mwilliamson7) September 17, 2014
California League champion right here:
— Brian Holmes (@BHolmes130) September 17, 2014
Cody Decker, sources say, is actually the guy who writes all those facts under Snapple caps:
Do they give out degrees for snapple facts?…. Cause I would have my masters by now….. — Cody Decker (@Decker6) September 18, 2014
Why would anyone ever create pants or shorts without pockets…I just don’t understand — Jordan Carter (@JordanCarter32) September 18, 2014
Baltimore’s Christian Walker doubled in his Major League debut on Sept. 17, and if he keeps it up, he’ll find himself ineligible to be featured in Minoring in Twitter:
Last night was an amazing experience. I am so grateful for all of the support of family and friends while I chase this dream. Thank you — Christian Walker (@CWalk013) September 18, 2014
Also Boston’s Bryce Brentz, who survived a rough offseason last year, made his big league debut after helping Pawtucket claim the Governors’ Cup:
I am humbled by all the kind words and support through this exciting time. Thank you to everyone who reached out. You know who you are. — bryce brentz (@Bbrentz7) September 18, 2014
I thought the same thing when I saw the trailer for Liam Neeson’s new movie — although it seems like most of the new suspense/action movies now have identical plots (November Man, The Equalizer):
And yet another movie coming out about an angry Liam neeson making a phone call — Hunter Cole (@hcole6) September 18, 2014
Ian Kendall is on to you, Prison Break:
Prison Break ends in a cliff hanger every single episode… Getting a little old
— Ian Kendall (@Ian_RK91) September 18, 2014
Does anyone else’s twitter randomly follow people for them?
— Trea Turner (@treavturner) September 16, 2014
Smoking is bad for you:
If you’re standing in a designated smoking area, outside, alone, under an umbrella, in a thunderstorm, ripping a heater… You are an addict
— John Simms (@Schlimms13) September 18, 2014
NFL drama continues:
Good lord. My mind is blown how the nfl players are putting up with all this shananagans. Figure it out nfl……again..it’s getting old
— matthew hague (@mdhague) September 18, 2014
Clayton Blackburn could just be obnoxious like the people on my train and play loud music straight out of their phones, no headphones necessary:
Pretty sure I’m keeping the airport headphone vendors in business with how often I forget to bring headphones to the airport
— Clayton Blackburn (@C_Blackburn16) September 18, 2014
I think he’s talking to you, beloved Minor League umpires:
When will MLB the Show make the zones bigger for the minor league umpires? #realism
— Ty Kelly (@tykelly11) September 18, 2014
In the world of first-world problems, Minor Leaguers were forced to decide whether they want iOS 8 for their iPhones this week. You don’t want to have the phone updating while you could be en route to/at Chipotle, though:
iOS 8 is taking foreverrrrr better be worth it
— Austin Urban (@UrbanLegend_13) September 18, 2014
One person favorited this:
This update is amazing.
— Tyler Danish⚾️ (@danish_Tyler7) September 18, 2014
Anyone having trouble receiving and sending texts?! I’m about to throw my phone against the wall
— John Mincone (@JMincone) September 18, 2014
Or just the pain of waiting for your iPhone 6 to arrive:
Excited for my phone to get here tmm 📲 #6
— Brian Gonzalez (@Bigb_Gonzalez) September 18, 2014
Here’s Cubs top prospect Kris Bryant at Wrigley, where he is not yet allowed to play:
— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) September 17, 2014
Twins prospect Nick Gordon looks like he’s dressed for __________________:
— Nick Gordon (@NickyG_IV) September 18, 2014
One of our very own MiLB.com writers would probably be down for this:
— Todd Van Steensel (@toddvs35) September 18, 2014
Chipotle Tweets of the Week
It’s no secret that statistics say most Minor Leaguers won’t ever reach the Majors, and so with that in mind, players need to plan ahead. Like, maybe they open a fresh Mexican fast food establishment?
Who wants to go halfsies on a chipotle franchise?
— Trevor Williams ن (@MeLlamoTrevor) September 18, 2014
“@ggreiner21: Disney is not the happiest place on Earth. Moe’s on Free Queso Day is the happiest place on Earth.” CHIPOTLE
— Adam Ravenelle (@Adamrav12) September 18, 2014
By Kelsie Heneghan / MiLB.com
Predicting how a season will turn out is a difficult task, but back in April, the MiLB.com staff decided to make a few bold predictions and choose a player from each league whom we thought would have a breakout campaign. Some players flourished and reached the next level, while some fell victim to the injury bug and others just didn’t have a great year.
The players received a progress report in June, but here is a look at just how well they did after the completion of the Minor League season with a grade on each prediction.
Stats are updated through games of Sept. 14.
International League: Christian Vazquez, Pawtucket
After a strong Spring, the catcher continued his hot hitting into start Summer. As the Red Sox No. 10 prospect at the time, he was named to the International League All-Star team, hitting .342 over his last 10 games before he was called up to Boston on July 9. Since making his Major League debut, Vazquez is hitting .207 with 15 RBIs over 45 games and has thrown out 10 of 23 would-be basestealers from behind the plate. Grade: A
— Boston Red Sox (@RedSox) July 12, 2014
By Danny Wild / MiLB.com
People really, really like Cubs top prospect Kris Bryant, especially (we assume) his girlfriend, who snapped this gem of him pushing a shopping cart through the Halloween aisle of a grocery store. Yes, the offseason has arrived for many Minor Leaguers, and no, Kris Bryant, for reasons we’ll never understand, didn’t get called up to Chicago, so he’s stuck stocking up on Fritos, corn nuts, sunflower seeds and posing with a real estate agent’s ad:
— Jessica Delp (@jessicadelp3) September 11, 2014
According to the caption, he was donating the food. How can baseball fans fall even further in love with the slugging third baseman? Cats. People love cats on the Internet, and they also love Kris Bryant, and — awwww, he named it Wrigley! And it lives in a box!
The newest addition to the Bryant family! Everyone meet Wrigley! pic.twitter.com/NqV1lCIxc8
— Kris Bryant (@KrisBryant_23) September 7, 2014
Important questions to think about now that the Minor League season is in its final hours:
How the hell did U2 make it on my phone — dillon haupt (@hauptimusprime) September 11, 2014
Mariners third-round pick Tyler Pike has left behind Double-A Jackson to live the life of Larry the Cable Guy:
Salem-Keizer catcher Hunter Cole needs to jam out in front of his TV. Please help:
Does anyone in Athens have a guitar hero guitar for 360?
— Hunter Cole (@hcole6) September 11, 2014
Yes, we can confirm, some people do indeed work at Walmart:
Anybody work at target or Walmart ? — D.HENRY (@_dhenry554) September 11, 2014
Erie’s Will Startup, best known in these parts for his 2008 Moniker Madness win and literal baseball artistry, has moved on from baseball to “trenching,” whatever that is. And whatever that is, it appears to be dangerous:
Active hornets nest, Ringneck snake, and a possible Copperhead😬 All in a days work of trenching. pic.twitter.com/LypiRCKVoH
— Will Startup (@will_startup) September 11, 2014
El Paso’s Rico Noel needs a scratch:
— Rico Noel (@SuaveCF1) September 11, 2014
Minor Leaguers reacted to the ongoing drama unfolding in the NFL surrounding former Ravens running back Ray Rice and commissioner Roger Goodell. It’s an ugly story, and it’s spawned plenty of opinions:
I feel sick after watching that Ray Rice video.. — Ian Clarkin (@iClarkin) September 8, 2014
Can we make ray rice and roger Goodell a package deal??? — Ethan Mildren (@EMildren4040) September 8, 2014
See you never Ray Rice ✌️ — David Lyon (@DLyonKSU36) September 8, 2014
LOL @ Roger Goodell in this whole Ray Rice situation… Just come clean dude… — Erik Schoenrock (@ESchoenrock13) September 11, 2014
Like most of us, players recognized the 13th anniversary of September 11 on Thursday:
Cubs prospect Corey Black (traded by the Yankees for Alfonso Soriano) is hanging on to summer:
Beach all weekend it’s about to be super hot 👌 — Corey Black (@CblackCHC) September 11, 2014
OK, we get it, just go already:
Off season equals beach in sunny San Diego — Corey Black (@CblackCHC) September 11, 2014
Are you guilty of ignoring Rangers catcher Jose Trevino?
If your on your phone when I’m around and don’t answer when I call……weird homie — Jose Trevino (@JoseTrevino5) September 11, 2014
OK, Jack, thanks for letting us all know:
Great have to take my computer in cause the speakers blew out — Jack Flaherty (@Jack9Flaherty) September 11, 2014
The offseason is all planned out for Salem Red Sox right-hander Joe Gunkel:
Offseason shawshank redemption count is already at 2. Setting the over under at 19.5 — Joe Gunkel (@Joe_Gunkel) September 11, 2014
Xavier Scruggs looking sharp, looking at himself in his iPhone screen instead of the mirror. Whatever works man:
Do not skip the leg press if you see Josh Banuelos near you at Planet Fitness:
Guys who looked like they skipped leg day at the gym should be embarrassed — Joshua banuelos (@joshhbee) September 11, 2014
Yeah, take that, Paris:
Sorry, at the weight room & Taken is on. How can I possibly focus on my lift when Liam Neeson is destroying Paris with zero consequences?… — Cody Decker (@Decker6) September 11, 2014
Earlier this week we found out about two new iPhones and an Apple Watch. An improved iPhone 6 camera only means improved Minor Leaguer selfies, which means better Minoring in Twitter content. First, players need to decide which model to get:
Hmm what new iPhone should I scoop up?? Big or bigger?!?
— Chris Berset (@CBerset10) September 11, 2014
iPhone 6 better be able to get a beverage out of the fridge when I ask #💰
— Kevin Keyes (@KevinJKeyes) September 12, 2014
Ah yes, the iPhone 6 Plus Chipotle Edition:
I just want a iPhone that doesn’t crack has wireless charging and a chipotle drive through that serves arizona ice tea
— Tanner murphy (@tmurphy20) September 10, 2014
Read this in a Stewie Griffin voice:
The new iphone 6 will be mine as soon as it goes on sell! #stoked
— Landon Beck (@lbeck9) September 9, 2014
Either way man. Upgrade:
Iphone 6 or iphone 6 plus?…
— Brian Gonzalez (@Bigb_Gonzalez) September 9, 2014
Watching the live stream and unveiling of the iPhone 6. Yes I’m that bored in class
— Joshua banuelos (@joshhbee) September 9, 2014
Brewers first-round pick Jake Gatewood driving around like a first-round pick:
Bae lookin good as always😍 pic.twitter.com/HtLz8Fn0lc
— Jake Gatewood (@Jake_Gatewood2) September 12, 2014
Something about clans:
Daytona catcher Ben Carhart is a big fan of Emilio Estevez:
If you ever want to be in a great mood..Go ahead and put in a Mighty Ducks movie…My goodness do I love these movies. #DucksFlyTogether
— Ben Carhart (@BCarhart22) September 11, 2014
It feels really strange to still be playing this late into September. — Jeremy Barfield (@BarfieldRage) September 11, 2014
Look, a bed:
One of the biggest beds I ever have seen!!! pic.twitter.com/uYxjBJIJXb
— Chris Berset (@CBerset10) September 11, 2014
Gotta say I miss home, but the places I’ve been to so far this summer are beautiful pic.twitter.com/eUMRuVIEDi
— Joe Gatto (@JGatt33) September 9, 2014
Chipotle Tweets of the Week
Let’s all keep Todd Van Steensel in our thoughts as he embarks on this next stage of life (in Australia) without burritos:
Enjoying Chipotle just one last time before I don’t see it for six months pic.twitter.com/OGoMDRCg3O
— Todd Van Steensel (@toddvs35) September 9, 2014
No matter what state your in the chipotle line is always out the door!
— Ryan Dent (@RDdeucess) September 11, 2014
Wouldn’t mind if someone decided to bring me chipotle right now
— Jake Gatewood (@Jake_Gatewood2) September 9, 2014
Things to do before I go home: 1. Eat lots of Jimmy Johns and Chipotle 2. Pack
— Todd Van Steensel (@toddvs35) September 9, 2014
By Sam Dykstra / MiLB.com
As it does before every season, MLB.com released its 2014 ranking of the top 100 prospects in the game in March. As the season progressed, some of these players “graduated” from the ranking upon acquiring 130 at-bats, 50 innings pitched or 45 days in the Majors. This is a look back at which prospects graduated from MLB.com’s top 50 and how they’ve done in their first collective tastes of the Majors. If nothing else, it should serve as a reminder that Major League Baseball is incredibly hard.
2. Xander Bogaerts (Red Sox): It’s been a rough first full season in the Majors for the talented shortstop, who had a career .862 OPS in the Minors. He’s slashed only .235/.300/.356 with 10 homers and 36 RBIs in 129 games while being moved between shortstop (his life-long position) and third base for the Red Sox. To drive the point home, his OPS+ is 84 and is bWAR was 0.1, indicating that he did little to play above replacement level as a rookie. The good news: he’s still only 21. There’s plenty of time for him to develop, and that could happen once he’s settled on a position. One more quick note: Bogaerts’ OPS+ in 83 games as a shortstop was 116; in 44 games at the hot corner, it was just 43. (more…)
By Danny Wild / MiLB.com
Happy days have arrived for those Minor Leaguers who weren’t fortunate enough to a) make the playoffs or b) get a September big league callup. They’re free of long bus rides, sharing hotel rooms, being away from Chipotles and the general grind and life of a Minor Leaguer. Based on my research, which you’re about to see, most players have run off to beaches with dogs and fried food. Enjoy:
All I wanna do is just have a good time! All of my days is a holiday!!!
— Tony Thomas (@GoldGlover2B) September 3, 2014
First order of business for the offseason… Movies with my beSt friend..He grew up on me too fast… http://t.co/cCdhsktMS5
— Jiovanni Mier (@JioMier) September 3, 2014
Jacksonville’s Austin Barnes reveals that, away from baseball, he’s a dirty mess:
— Austin Barnes (@austinbarnes23) September 4, 2014
Deck McGuire playing video games with his dog:
Some have gathered around fires:
Some are already on the beach:
Some, like Mike Yastrzemski, have moved on to other sports:
Joe Gatto, the Angels’ second-round pick in June, finally gets to play with his gigantic toy:
Oakland’s Billy Burns gets a head start on Halloween:
When ponchos aren’t available.. pic.twitter.com/aRypHsI40P
— Billy Burns (@BillyBurns45) September 4, 2014
Modesto’s Mike Piazza is focused on fishing:
— Anthony Giansanti (@GianSanity) September 3, 2014
Wow, Warwick Saupold flew 28 hours back to Australia for his offseason:
— Warwick Saupold (@Wazr30) September 4, 2014
Lansing’s Brad Allen … had a baby? Knows someone else’s baby? Found a baby and posed for a photo?
— Bradley Allen (@BradleyAllen25) September 3, 2014
Not sure what this is, but Rays No. 15 prospect Riley Unroe, now away from clubhouse pre-game meals, was hungry:
I went 7 months without you… God our reunion was so tasty 😍 pic.twitter.com/RHrHNptepZ
— Riley Unroe (@riley_unroe) September 3, 2014
First workout of the off season in the books! 👊
— Matt Hobgood (@MattHobgood) September 3, 2014
Spending my bday in Texas
— Cj Edwards (@CEdwardsSBS) September 3, 2014
But for those in the playoffs? It’s go time:
— Bryan Radziewski (@BryanRadziewski) September 3, 2014
Minor League Bus Drama Tweets of the Week
As the season ends, we’ll be running out of good content for bus stories. So, appreciate it while it lasts. Corey Black isn’t holding back, either:
So glad I won’t be on a bus with baseball players for awhile. Very inconsiderate players around
— Corey Black (@CblackCHC) September 1, 2014
— Boise Hawks Radio (@BoiseHawksRadio) September 3, 2014
My neck is going to be all types of messed up after this bus ride
— Joe Gatto (@JGatt33) September 3, 2014
Most miserable bus ride ever. It crazy hot on the bus! 🔥 #milbprobz
— Will-I-Am Skinner (@WillSkinner12) September 2, 2014
What a feeling:
What a feeling to wake up in your own bed after 7 months of hotel beds, air mattresses, rental furniture and bus floors. What a feeling..
— Adam Engel (@ManOfSteal_10) September 2, 2014
Moving on, Alabama in late summer has to be pretty humid:
I never thought I would be in Mobile, Alabama on purpose…. — Trevor Williams ن (@MeLlamoTrevor) September 3, 2014
Pirates prospect Jameson Taillon has begun increasing his throwing program in his comeback from Tommy John surgery. Here he shares a video throwing from 75 feet inside a local gym:
I usually try to tie in current events and notable news items to this blog — the World Cup excitement, Johnny Manziel being drafted, etc — and I can report that, this week, I could not find a single Minor Leaguer tweeting about Joan Rivers or ISIS. But fungus-covered flip-flops? Yep:
You’ll never make it to the bigs with fungus on your shower shoes — Cole Tucker (@cotuck) September 3, 2014
Grab your shower shoes!
I see this in Manhattan every single day during the season:
Chipotle Tweets of the Week
Of course he was:
Ryan Kalish was packing up his apartment and eating at Chipotle when agent called, telling him #Cubs wanted him at Wrigley
— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) September 4, 2014
By Sam Dykstra/MiLB.com
As we did yesterday with MVP choices, today we discuss which hurlers were deserving of the Most Outstanding Pitcher of the Year Awards in their respective full-season leagues.
International League: Anthony Ranaudo, Pawtucket – I hemmed. I hawed. I hemmed again over this pick. (And it’s only the first one!) That can’t be true, you might be saying — this should be easy. Ranaudo led the league in wins (14) and ERA (2.61) and was third in WHIP (1.20). In the words of Dirk Nowitzki, “Shut it down, let’s go home.”
Dig a little deeper though, and the shine of his season starts to come off a little bit. His 7.2 K/9 isn’t spectacular, his 3.5 BB/9 is rather average and his 3.86 FIP is about average. But here’s the deal – in terms of overall resume, Ranaudo’s still looks like the best when you weigh everything point by point. Syracuse’s Taylor Hill, who was second with a 2.81 ERA and first with a 1.12 WHIP, might be his closest his competition, but even the Nationals prospect’s faults (4.23 FIP, 5.3 K/9) drag his candidacy to below that of Ranaudo. Trevor May (2.84 ERA, 3.16 FIP, 8.6 K/9, 1.16 WHIP) would be another good option, if only he hadn’t been limited to 71 percent of Ranaudo’s innings (98 1/3 vs. 138). Same goes for Liam Hendriks (108 1/3 IP, 2.33 ERA, 2.67 FIP) before he moved to the Royals and the PCL in late July. Also, Joey Gallo’s sheer dominance of the Carolina and Texas Leagues, those are not. So in light of other options, Ranaudo it is. (Actual POY: Ranaudo) (more…)
By Sam Dykstra / MiLB.com
For about the last week or so, league after league in the Minors has announced their postseason All-Star teams and end-of-season awards. So now that the individual circuits have had their collective says — aided by coaches, front-office people and local media — it’s time for the PROSPECTive blog to weigh in on who should have won the MVP awards in each of the 10 full-season leagues.
International League: Steven Souza Jr., Syracuse – This is about as easy a pick as you’ll find on this post. Souza was the best player in the league from beginning to end in what was the 25-year-old outfielder’s best season by far in the Minors since he was a third-round pick back in 2007. Souza won the IL’s slash-line Triple Crown with an impressive .350/.432/.590 showing, and that alone would be good enough to give him the nod in this space. But for good measure, he tacked on 18 homers, 75 RBIs and 26 steals in 96 games with the Chiefs as a means of showing off his all-around offensive profile, besides helping Syracuse make the playoffs for the first time since 1998. The Nationals called up their No. 5 prospect on two different occasions, and he’s back up with the big club after recovering from a left shoulder contusion suffered at the beginning of last month. Souza hasn’t been able to get his feet under him in the Majors yet (1-for-12, four strikeouts) but has built up a resume worthy of a Major League outfield spot, either in Washington or elsewhere, in 2015. (Actual MVP: Souza) (more…)
By Kelsie Heneghan/MiLB.com
On Monday, Major League rosters expanded from 25 players to 40, meaning plenty of opportunities for Minor Leaguers to prove themselves at the highest level. Some players need just one September to earn a Major League roster spot, for others, it takes a couple tries to prove themselves in the final month of the season.
Here is a look at a few of the best September callups over the past five years.
Madison Bumgarner, SF (2009)
Baseball’s second-ranked prospect at the time, Madison Bumgarner led the Double-A Connecticut rotation with a 1.93 ERA over 19 starts and subsequently made his Major League debut on Sept. 8. The southpaw allowed two runs on five hits over 5 1/3 innings in his first start and then tossed 4 2/3 scoreless frames over three appearances from the bullpen. Bumgarner returned to the Minors for the start of the 2010 season, but it wasn’t long before he was in the Majors for good and picking up World Series wins.
Dillon Gee, NYM (2010)
Though recovering from a torn labrum, Dillon Gee racked up a franchise-record 165 strikeouts with Triple-A Buffalo, earning his first trip to the Majors. In his debut on Sept. 7, the right-hander carried a no-hitter into the sixth against the Nationals and picked up the win. Over five September starts, Gee notched a 2.18 ERA with 17 punchouts for the Mets. The following April, he made two starts with Buffalo before returning to New York’s rotation.
Jesus Montero, NYY (2011)
The catcher began the season as MLB.com’s No. 9 overall prospect with the Yankees and ended it as baseball’s sixth-ranked with the Mariners. Jesus Montero led International League backstops with a .289 average and 21 homers with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre before getting the call to New York on Sept. 1. There, he hit .328 with four homers and 12 RBIs over 18 games. The following offseason, Montero was traded to Seattle where he remained for the 2012 campaign.
Shelby Miller, STL (2012)
After ranking second in the Pacific Coast League with 160 strikeouts for Triple-A Memphis, Shelby Miller was promoted to St. Louis. The right-hander allowed two runs on eight hits while striking out nine over 7 2/3 innings from the bullpen before tossing six one-hit frames with seven strikeouts in his first Major League start. Miller stayed with the Cardinals during their postseason run and yielded two runs on four hits over two relief appearances in the NLCS.
Billy Hamilton, CIN (2013)
The speedster ranked second in the Minors with 75 stolen bases as the Reds’ top prospect, and when he got the call to Cincinnati, he didn’t skip a beat. It only took 13 games for Billy Hamilton to tie the Major League lead for September swipes with 13. During that first stint with the Reds, the center fielder posted a .368/.429/.474 slash line, earning a spot in the starting lineup for 2014.
By Mark Emery / MiLB.com
The Phillies’ No. 2 prospect made his final start on Friday, throwing five four-hit innings in Double-A Reading’s 3-0 win over Trenton. In 12 games (11 starts) between Class A Advanced Clearwater and Reading, the right-hander went 4-3 with a 2.93 ERA.
“I finished out on a good note,” Nola said Saturday. “It was all fun, man, but it flew by, it really did. I thought it was going to be a really long one after the college season but it honestly flew by — and I think that’s all because I was having fun.”
Less than a week after his final start at LSU, the right-hander was picked by Philadelphia with the seventh overall pick of the Draft on June 5. Just five days later, he signed with the organization, which started him out in the Florida State League.
“I feel like I made the right decision, when my college season ended and right after the Draft came, to sign early, because I wanted to get back on the mound as quick as I can and follow my college innings up,” Nola said. “I did and it all worked out for the best and I’m here in Double-A now. But who knows? If I would have signed late, like some of the guys, I would have to had to lead back up slowly throwing-wise and pitching-wise, and who knows where I would be?”
The 21-year-old made his professional debut on June 23, and in seven games (six starts) in Clearwater, he fashioned a 2-3 record and 3.16 ERA, with 30 strikeouts against five walks over 31 1/3 innings. His Reading career began on Aug. 6, and in five Eastern League starts, he assembled a 2-0 record and 2.63 ERA with 15 strikeouts against five walks across 24 frames.
“I wanted to get to Double-A. I wanted to get here, experience it in my first half-season,” Nola said. “[Next year], I’m going to go wherever they send me, but I’m just going to do like I did this time — go out and try to have my best start each time and leave everything out on the field like I usually did.”
By Danny Wild / MiLB.com
The Minor League season is winding down, which means the playoffs (along with college football, autumn weather, artificially flavored pumpkin drinks) are on the way. It’s also a chance to celebrate reaching the playoffs, if you’re a Minor Leaguer. Maybe like this:
We dem boyz pic.twitter.com/kOKsDXFJ0V
— Kohl Stewart (@KohlStewart1) August 28, 2014
Second half champs!!!! http://t.co/433gsGTv9K
— Garv Sauce (@MitchGarver) August 28, 2014
— Oliver Marmol (@OliMarmol) August 24, 2014
Arkansas manager Phillip Wellman (perhaps best known for his incredible ejection tirade several years ago) shared this gem:
You know it’s a serious celebration when you’re wearing a helmet:
— Dorssys Paulino (@dorssys) August 28, 2014
Minor Leaguers (this being the Potomac Nationals) celebrating a division crown:
And down to the Gulf Coast League:
Cubs prospect C.J. Edwards can throw hard, but he’s a bit skinny, which makes it hard to decompress an air mattress:
Frisco’s Jake Thompson admits it: he pitched with his fly down, and he’s OK with it:
Everyone informing me my zipper was down, yes I know I broke it in the bullpen and had to throw 6 innings with my fly undone — Jake Thompson (@jthomp15) August 27, 2014
A Cal Ripken sighting:
Yankees first-round pick Ian Clarkin may not need to shop at Walmart, but he still finds it entertaining:
It’s called MiLB.com, and it’s on every night:
I don’t know why they don’t make season long documentaries involving minor league baseball teams. That would be real entertainment — Todd Van Steensel (@toddvs35) August 27, 2014
What is a Murray State?
What is a weber state? — Daniel Palka (@Danielbpalka) August 28, 2014
Not from a player, but entertaining nonetheless, there were some ejections in Lowell when an umpire wasn’t happy about equipment in the bullpen: (more…)