The Red Sox announced the winners of their 2008 Minor League awards on Thursday, with the recipients being honored during a pre-game on-field ceremony as Boston finishes up a four-game set with the Cleveland Indians at Fenway Park.
Here’s a list of the recipients:
of the Year: RHP Daniel Bard, Greenville/Portland: Combined to go 5-1 with a 1.51 ERA and
107 strikeouts in 77.2 innings in 46 relief appearances at Greenville and
Portland…Was 1-0, 0.64 with 43 strikeouts in 28.0 innings over 15 games
at Greenville and 4-1, 1.99 with 7 saves and 64 strikeouts in 49.2 innings in
31 outings with Portland…Was Boston’s April Minor League Pitcher of
the Month…Was the 28th overall pick in the 1st
round of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft
Player of the Year: 1B Lars Anderson, Lancaster/Portland: Combined to bat .317 with 85 runs, 32
doubles, 18 homers, and 80 RBI in 118 games for Lancaster and
Portland…Had a .317 average with 13 homers and 50 RBI in 77 games with
the JetHawks and a .316 mark with 5 homers and 30 RBI in 41 games with the Sea Dogs…Had
the 3rd highest average and finished 2nd in runs among Boston minor
leaguers…Reached base in 36 of 41 games after promotion to Portland on
July 17…Was the Eastern League Player of the Week for period ending
August 17…Was Boston’s 22nd round selection in the 2006
First-Year Player Draft.
Player of the Year: OF Che-Hsuan Lin, Greenville: Had a .961 fielding percentage in 207
total chances in 88 games in the outfield for Greenville…Batted .249 with
5 homers and 37 RBI in 91 games for the Drive…Ranked 2nd among
Boston minor leaguers with 33 stolen bases…Was the Most Valuable Player
of the 2008 XM Satellite Radio All-Star Futures Game at Yankee Stadium, going
2-for-2 with a home run…Was signed by the Red Sox as a non-drafted free
agent in June 2007.
Runner of the Year: OF Wilfred Pichardo, GCL Red Sox/Lowell: Led the Red Sox organization with 43
stolen bases…Topped the Gulf Coast League with 42 stolen bases in 51
attempts, the most steals in the GCL since 1991…Batted .297 in 52 games
for the GCL Red Sox, finishing 3rd in the league in runs (36) and 5th
in hits (60)…Played in 3 games at Lowell at the end of the
season…Was signed by the Red Sox as a non-drafted free agent in July
League Latin Program Pitcher of the Year: LHP Manuel Rivera, DSL Red Sox: Was 4-3 with a 2.24 ERA and 58 strikeouts
in 52.1 innings in 13 starts…Is participating in the Florida
League Latin Program Player of the Year: 1B Eddie Lora, DSL Red Sox/GCL Red Sox: Hit .300 with 6 doubles, 5 homers, 26
RBI, 21 runs, 34 walks, and a .455 on-base percentage in 35 games for the DSL
Advanced Single-A Salem will officially be a member of the Boston Red Sox farm system in 2009, when the Avalanche begin their 42nd season of play in the Carolina League. That’s because the Sox signed a two-year Player Development Contract with Salem on Friday, effectively ending the Avalanche’s six-year affiliation with the Houston Astros.
“Salem in an ideal fit for the Boston Red Sox,” said Red Sox director of player development Mike Hazen in a team news release. “The playing surface is one of hte best in the Minor Leagues, and the area’s commitment to baseball has created a great environment for top-notch players — both on and off the field.”
Salem made two postseason appearances as part of the Astros’ organization — in 2006 an 2007 — and were 416-418 overall.
The Sox are no stranger to the Carolona League, having fielded a team there in 43 of the league’s 63-year history. Boston has been part of six Carolina League teams during that span, including the Winston-Salem Red Sox from 1961 to 1984.
“We look forward to bringing Red Sox baseball back to the Roanoke Valley,” said Salem general manager John Katz, “and continueing the proud tradition of professional baseball in Salem.”
After two years on the west coast, the Red Sox’s top Single-A affiliate moved from Lancaster, Calif., where it took a 76-64 regular season record into the postseason, falling from teh California League Championship Series to the Stockton Ports.
MIAMI — It’s official. The Dodgers are headed back to Albuquerque to play at Isotopes Park, meaning the Marlins will need to find a new place to field its Triple-A affiliate. Nothing has been set yet, but the Marlins are expected to place their Triple-A team in New Orleans, where the Mets previously were — before they moved to Buffalo.
As for the Marlins’ Double A affiliate, it was announced on Thursday that they signed a two-year agreement to move to Jacksonville, Fla. — making it a lot easier to transport players. The new affiliate is the Jacksonville Suns who have been the home of the Dodgers since 2001.
With so many players being arbritration eligible for next season, the Marlins could field several new faces in Spring Training next year. We’ve already seen a little bit from Dallas McPherson, Gaby Sanchez and Cameron Maybin, but Chris Coghlan (.298, 74 RBIs and 34 stolen bases in 132 games for Double-A Carolina) figures to be a factor to start at second base if Dan Uggla isn’t brought back, and Mike Stanton (.293 with 39 home runs and 97 RBIs in 125 games for Class A Greensboro) has definitely opened up some eyes. Matt Dominguez (.296 with 18 home runs and 70 RBIs in 88 games for Class A Greensboro) is still a little young, but he had a great year, too.
– Alden Gonzalez, associate reporter/MLB.com
The Dodgers played Triple-A baseball in Albuquerque from 1972-2000 — with Ron Cey, Pedro Guerrero, Orel Hershiser, Davey Lopes, Mike Marshall, Pedro Martinez, Mike Piazza, and Bill Russell all making stops — and the city hosted the Dodgers’ Double-A affiliate from 1963-71.
“We’re very excited to be returning to Albuquerque,” player development director De Jon Watson said in a release. “Their top-notch facility will undoubtedly help us develop future Dodgers, and their fans have been following this franchise for many years.”
Albuquerque has built a new stadium, Isotopes Park, since the Dodgers were last affiliated with the city, and it is considered one of the finest facilities in Minor League Baseball. A franchise-record 593,606 fans visited the ballpark in 2008 to see the Marlins’ Triple-A affiliate.
“It’s a lot more modern facility, clubhouses, weight room, amenities for us from a player-development standpoint,” Watson said in an interview with MLB.com. “It’s more of a unique ballpark that’s conducive to doing the things we need to do with our players from a development standpoint to get them ready to play up here.”
Albuquerque won eight Pacific Coast League championships as the Dodgers’ Triple-A affiliate and three Texas League titles while a Double-A affiliate of the Dodgers.
Watson added the Dodgers enjoyed their time in Las Vegas working with the 51s’ staff, but he looks forward to returning to the city Los Angeles Minor Leaguers called home for 38 years.
“It’s nice to be able to go back into the market,” Watson said. “I think we do have a strong fan base there. The fans in Albuquerque have some familiarity there and have had quite a few Major League players move on from that place. The fan base will be familiar with our brand of baseball and style of players.”
The Dodgers will also move their Double-A home to Chattanooga, Tenn., after an eight-year run with Jacksonville. The Lookouts, who play at AT&T Field, had previously been a part of the Reds’ organization.
“Our move to Chattanooga will continue to help bring all of our affiliates closer to home,” Watson said in a release. “We look forward to making an impact throughout the city as our Minor League players continue to hone their skills en route to the big leagues.”
The Dodgers signed two-year deals with both Albuquerque and Chattanooga.
The Dodgers’ final move also involves distance, switching their entry in the Gulf Coast League to the Arizona Rookie League. They will be called the “Arizona League Dodgers.”
Class A Advanced Inland Empire and Class A Great Lakes will remain Dodgers affiliates for a third straight season, and Rookie-level Class A Ogden will stay for a seventh consecutive year.
The Dodgers will also continue to field a Dominican Summer League team.
— Michael Schwartz
The Major League club may not be headed for the postseason, but the Yankees have to be impressed with the success and talent in their farm system. The Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees dominated in a 20-2 win against the Durham Bulls on Friday to take home the Governors’ Cup title. It marked the most runs of the season for the club. Phil Hughes said the cup itself is much like the Stanley Cup and is passed around throughout the year, though people don’t drink out of it as it’s old and “falling apart.” After taking the championship, the Yankees fell to the Sacramento River Cats in the Bricktown Showdown, an exhibition game that decides the winner of the Pacific Coast League. Ian Kennedy got the start, and while he was disappointed in himself (thought he only gave up three runs), his club remains one of the top Triple-A clubs in the country.
Following his impressive 12-strikeout performance in the Governors’ Cup title game Friday night, Phil Hughes was recalled by the big league club. He will start Wednesday’s matchup against the White Sox, his first appearance in the Major Leagues since April 29. Hughes said his mechanics and location have improved during his time with the Yankees affiliates, and he is confident in his pitching.
Double-A Trenton also took home a championship, defending its Eastern League title in front of a home crowd with a 5-1 win over the Akron Aeros.
MIAMI — The Jamestown Jammers, short-season A ball affiliate of the Marlins, saw their quest for a New York-Penn League title come to an end on Sunday, when the Batavia Muckdogs (pictured) defeated them, 9-3, to sweep the best-of-three championship series and win it all.
Going into the series, the Jammers had won seven in a row — outscoring their opponents by a combined 61-24. But in Game 1 on Friday, Jamestown saw Jermaine Curtis hit a two-run homer with two outs in the top of the ninth to put Batavia up by one in the top of the ninth. In the bottom half, the Jammers had the tying run in scoring position with one out, but Brandon Turner struck out, and Justin Bass grounded out to end it.
After Saturday’s game was postponed, Sunday’s affair was never even close. The Muckdogs jumped out to a 4-0 lead, with all of those runs coming in the bottom of the third, and, after the Jammers made it a one-run game, Batavia had a five-run eighth inning to pull away.
While no Jammers are expected to be called up to the Marlins, four Mudcats were officially brought to the big club on Monday. Cameron Maybin, Ryan Tucker, Gaby Sanchez and Jesus Delgado will sport teal for the rest of this season. Because Sanchez isn’t on the 40-man roster, his contract had to be selected, and the Marlins will have to make a corresponding roster move on Tuesday. Read the full story here.
– Alden Gonzalez, associate reporter/MLB.com
Triple-A Columbus said goodbye to Cooper Stadium in grand style, as 16,777 were in attendance for its final game. Double-A Harrisburg finished off the season four games over .500 to accomplish its first winning season since 2002. Class A Potomac, of course, won it all by beating the Myrtle Beach Pelicans to take home the Carolina League title (pictured) — here’s a link to a story about how that title relates to what Nationals manager Manny Acta went through in 1999. Class A Hagerstown improved by six games compared to last year’s record. And the entire farm system has been stocked, reshelved and completely redone over and over again this year, as players went up the ladder at an incredible rate. The result: The Nationals have 16 players on their roster 25 years old or younger.
Ever since roster expasions beginning Sept. 1, Washington has called up 10 players. Here’s a look at how they’ve done since that point:
Roger Bernadina (OF): .214 BA (3-for-14), 1 RBI, 3 R in seven games
Kory Casto (INF): .318 BA (7-for-22), 3 RBIs, 1 R in nine games
Tyler Clippard (RHP): hasn’t played
Mike Hinckley (LHP): 0 R, 3 H, 1 BB, 6 Ks in 7 2/3 innings (eight appearances)
Shairon Martis (RHP): 0-2, 2.70 ERA in two starts
Luke Montz (C): 1-for-12, RBI, 2 BB
Mike O’Connor (LHP): hasn’t played
Levale Speigner (RHP): 2 R, 5 H, 2 BB in 3 1/3 innings (four appearances)
Ryan Wagner (RHP): hasn’t played
Lastly, let’s take a look at those really young guys — as if those weren’t young enough. Here’s a look at how the Nationals’ top nine Draft picks — first-round pick Aaron Crow went unsigned — performed in their first Minor League season:
LF Destin Hood (GCL): .256 BA, 14 RBIs in 25 games
SS Daniel Espinosa (A-): .328 BA, 4 RBIs in 19 games
LHP Graham Hicks (GCL): 0 R, 1 H, 2 Ks in 2 IP
C Adrian Nieto (GCL): .217 BA, 3 RBIs in eight games
RHP Paul Demny (GCL): 4-0, 2.50 ERA in 11 games (six starts)
C Daniel Killian (GCL): .189 BA, 1 HR, 28 RBIs in 40 games
LHP Ricardo Pecina (A-): 1-5, 3.78 ERA in 12 games (eight starts)
LF John Higley (GCL): .346 BA, 16 RBIs in 35 games
LHP Tom Milone (A-/A): 1-6, 3.51 ERA in 13 games (10 starts)
Double A player in trouble
Garrett Guzman, an outfielder for the Harrisburg Senators, is being charged with a misdemeanor count of corruption of minors, according to The Associated Press. Guzman allegedly had sex with a 15-year-old girl in late July. The 25-year-old lefty was originally drafted in the 10th round by the Twins in the 2001 Draft. In Double A this season, Guzman hit .274 with nine home runs and 54 RBIs. Read the full story here.
– Alden Gonzalez, associate reporter/MLB.com