Minor League Report...September 7, 2008

The season is over for everyone except the Miracle, who are in the championship round of the FSL playoffs.  The DSL Twins won game one of their first round playoff with the DSL Mariners, then lost two straight.  The GCL Twins lost their one game playoff and didn't continue in the GSL playoffs.

The Miracle faced arch nemesis Dunedin in the first round.  After not doing well against Dunedin all season, the Miracle won the first two games of the three game playoffs, 2-1 and 3-2.  Cole DeVries pitched like an ace in game one, pitching 6.2 shutout innings with 5 hits and 3K/2BB.  Carlos Gutierrez pitched 1.1 shutout inning of relief with 1 hit and 2K/0BB.  Anthony Slama closed the game out with 1.0 inning in which he allowed 3 hits and a run with 1K.  Rene Tosoni, who was in center field, hit a 2 run home run in the first inning (Juan Portes led off with a single) which is all the offense the Miracle would need with DeVries on the mound.  The Miracle closed out Dunedin the next night behind another great pitching performance by Alex Burnett, who pitched 6.0 shutout innings with 2 hits and 3K/3BB.  The Miracle got one hit from everyone in the lineup except Tosoni as they scratched out 3 runs for the win.

After waiting for Daytona and Palm Beach to determine their opponent in the championship round, the Miracle opened their best of five playoff last night against the Daytona Cubs.  Matt Fox was excellent, pitching 6.0 shutout innings with 3 hits and 10K/2BB.  Unfortunately, Carlos Gutierrez allowed 4 hits and 3 runs in 0.2 innings as the Miracle went down 5-1 in game one.  Rene Tosoni and Juan Portes were the hitting stars with 2 hits each, including Tosoni hitting his second home run.

There were two player moves this week.  Mike Lamb signed with the Brewers and it has been reported that the Twins traded Brian Bass to Baltimore for a PTBNL who will likely be a low level prospect.  The Twins will be on the hook for most of Lamb's $6+mm two year contract.

The Red Wings recoverd from their dismal start to finish in third place with a winning record of 74-70.  Their starting pitching didn't get it done the first couple months of the season as they dug a hole that was to deep to recover from.  Denard Span was their top hitter at .340/.434/.481.  Span had only 156 at bats, thus, didn't qualify for the league title which was won by teammate Randy Ruiz at .320/.366/.536.  Jason Pridie was voted the league's top defensive outfielder while also leading the league with 16 triples with a team high 25 stolen bases.  Ruiz and Garrett Jones tied for the team lead with 33 doubles while Jones led the team and organization with 23 home runs (8th in league) and 92 rbi (2nd in league).  Pridie hit .270/.305/.435 while leading the team with 151 hits and and amazing 152 strikeouts in 559 at bats.  Francisco Liriano and Philip Humber both had 10 wins (Liriano, 10-2 and Humber, 10-8) while Liriano led all starters with a 3.28 ERA (3rd in league).  Kevin Mulvey was the Red Wings most consistant starter, leading the staff with 148.0 innings while finishing with a 7-9 record and 3.77ERA and 121 strikeouts which both were ninth best in the league.  Bobby Korecky finished with a 2.91ERA and team high 26 saves.  Anthony Swarzak was perfect in his late season callup, picking up five wins in seven starts (5-0) with a team best 1.80ERA in 45.0 innings.    

It seems that every season the New Britain roster is loaded.  Yet again, the Rock Cats struggled most of the season as they finished with another losing record, 64-77, 22.5 games out of first.  The Cats had several hitting stars including team leader Luke Hughes who hit .319/.385/.551.  Hughes missed time on the DL and his late season promotion to Rochester, thus, with only 285 at bats didn't qualify for the league title.  Steven Tolleson had 343 at bats as he finished with the tenth best average in the league, .300/.382/.466.  Dustin Martin had a tremendous year, leading the team with 8 triples (4th best in EL), 148 hits (3rd best in league), and 22 stolen bases (8th best in league).  Martin also had the second most doubles on the Cats (34) which were second best in the league behind teammate Erik Lis who led the team and league with 36 doubles even though he missed nearly all of the last month of the season.  Although he hit .252/.319/.450, David Winfree led the team with 87 rbi (2nd best in the organization and 3rd best in the league) and 19 home runs which were second best in the organization and sixth best in the league.  As was the case in Rochester, the Cats starting staff didn't pitch as well as expected.  Anthony Swarzak was 3-8 with a 5.67ERA before moving up to Rochester.  Ryan Mullins led the staff with 148.1 innings and 99 strikeouts while Kyle Aselton had a staff best 4.24ERA in 38 games (14 starts).  Ben Julianel (2.37ERA with 78K/30BB in 68.1ip) led the pen with 26 saves which tied Korecky for the organization high and was fourth best in the league.  Robert Delaney moved up to New Britain at the all-star break and the move didn't effect him as he put up a team best 1.05ERA in 34.1 innings while having the best season of any pitcher in the organization. 

The Ft. Myers Miracle won the first half of the FSL which put them into the playoffs.  Danny Valencia was leading the league in hitting, .336/.402/.518, before moving up to New Britain...thus, he didn't qualify for the league title.  Catcher Wilson Ramos was the teams top hitter and twelfth best in the league at .288/.346/.434.  Ramos also led the team with 13 home runs (8th best in FSL), 130 hits, 23 doubles and 78 rbi (4th best in league).  Outfielder Edward Ovalle led the Miracle with 17 stolen bases and a team high and league second best 11 triples.  Juan Portes scored a team high 68 runs which were tenth most in the league.  Whit Robbins led the Miracle with 52 walks with only 284 at bats.  Alex Burnett led the staff with 143.2 innings while Tyler Robertson had a team best 2.72ERA before going on the DL with only 82.2 innings.  Cole DeVries finished with the fourth best ERA in the league, 2.93 while Jeff Manship had a 2.86ERA before moving up to New Britain.  Although pitching only 71.0 innings in short relief during the first half and as the closer after the break, Anthony Slama led the Miracle with with 110 strikeouts and a league fourth best 25 saves (Delaney had 13 saves in the first half of the season).  Deolis Guerra led the team with 11 wins (11-9).             

The Beloit Snappers season can best be described by looking at their disabled list...which had nine players on it at year end and that didn't include Ben Revere who led the Snappers, organization and league with a .379/.433/.497, but played in only 14 games in August.  Revere also led the team in runs scored (51), doubles (17), triples (10, fourth best in league) and stolen bases (44 in 57 attempts which were second best in the league) while getting only 340 at bats.  Chris Parmalee missed about half of the season, yet led the team with 14 home runs, 49 rbi and 52 walks.  Mark Dolenc hit a respectable .260/.338/347 in his first full season, however, struck out a team high 120 times.  David Bromberg pitched a team high 150.0 innings (5th best in league) while leading the Snappers, league and organization with 177 strikeouts.  Michael McCardell's 139 strikeouts (135.1 innings) were the second most in the organization and fourth best in the league compared to only 25 walks.  McCardell also had a 2.86ERA which was best amongst all starters.  Steven Hirschfield was a starter for only half the season, yet had a team high 10 wins versus 5 losses.  Michael Allen joined the team at mid-season following his suspension and proceded to have a team best 1.75ERA.  Charles Nolte had a 2.05ERA which was best amongst all pitchers who were with the team for the full season.  Spencer Steedley led the Snappers with 8 saves before moving to Ft. Myers with ten pitchers earning at least one save during the season.     

The Elizabethton Twins won the Appy League Championship for the third time in the past four years (they lost the championship series in 2006).  The Twins didn't have as many hitters with gaudy numbers as last year, however, hit for more power with five hitters on the leagues top ten home run list....Angel Morales led the league with 15, Evan Bigley was second with 14, Jon Waltenbury tied with Alexander Soto and two others for sixth (10), and Michael Harrington tied for tenth with 9.  Bigley, Waltenbury and Harrington were third through fifth best in the league with 47, 45 and 44 rbi, respectively.  Waltenbury led the team with 22 doubles, 84 hits and 49 runs scored, which all were second best in the league.  Waltenbury led the team in hitting at .319/.382/.540 with Morales (.301/.413/.623) and Bigley (.300/.360/.587) both hitting over .300 while Morales led the team with 72 strikeouts in 183 at bats.  Brad Tippett led the ETon Twins with 8 wins (8-3) which were the most in the league while Daniel Osterbrock's 7 wins (7-2) were second best.  Osterbrock led the team and league with 75.0 innings while teammate Bobby Lanigan had a league second most 74.1 innings with Tippett fourth at 74.0 innings.  Osterbrock led the team and league with 104 strikeouts with Tippett having a team best 2.55ERA amongst all starters.  Mark Hamburger led the team with 13 saves before being traded for Eddie Guardado with Shooter Hunt having a team best 0.47ERA before moving up to Beloit.        

The GCL Twins lost their battle for a division title with the Pirates the last week of the season and lost their single game playoff to the Nationals.  Top pick Aaron Hicks hit .318/.409/.491 (9th best in league) while leading the Twins with 4 home runs, 32 runs scored, 55 hits, 27 rbi and 12 stolen bases in 14 attempts.  Anderson Hidalgo led the Twins at .364/.448/.466, however, had only 88 at bats which was just short of the minimum required to qualify for a league title.  Daniel Ortiz was the team leader with 5 triples (second best in league) while Juan Sanchez led with 12 doubles.  Angelo Sanchez had a team high 54.2 innings (8th best in league) with Miguel Munoz second best (tenth best in league) with 53.1.  Munoz had a team high 5 wins (5-2) and a 3.04ERA which was best amongst all starters.  Sanchez had a team high and league third best 54 strikeouts with Martire Garcia having 53 strikeouts in 52.2 innings.  Kelvin Mota led the Twins and GCL with 12 saves with a team best 1.07ERA.       

The DSL Twins came on strong the last few weeks of the season to grab first place in their division before losing in the first round of the playoffs.  Jairo Perez (turned 20 during the season) led the Twins with a .338/.437/.525 (fifth best in league) with his 4 home runs tied with Oswaldo Arcia (17) and Felix Caro (18) for the team high.  Perez and Arcia led the Twins with 36 rbi.  Wilfy Gil (18) led the Twins with 18 stolen bases in 22 attempts, Perez and Eliel Sierra (20) each had 16 doubles while Daniel Santana (17) had a team high 10 triples.  Pedro Guerra (18) led the team with 84.1 innings (7th most in the league) while his 8 wins (8-2) were tied for the second most in the 37 team league.  Ramon Acosta (21) had a perfect 5-0 record and 0.00ERA in 54.2 innings before being shut down prior to the all-star break.  Eliecer Cardenas (20) had the best ERA (1.57) amongst all starters pitching the entire season while Adrian Salcedo (17) was the top rookie starter on the staff with a 4-4 record and 1.65ERA in 65.1 innings.  Guerra led the staff with 75 strikeouts with Edison Alvarez (20) leading with 15 saves (2.09ERA with 37K/7BB in 38.2 innings).

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