Sep 092011
 
Player Pos. Age 2011 Team(s) 2010 Invite Notes
Gregory Baez LHSP 19 DSL, GCL Y Repeated GCL with much better success, lowering ERA from 5.92 to 3.30
A.J. Cole RHSP 19 HAG Y First full season as a pro, thus his second-half fade is understandable
Paul Demny RHSP 22 POT Y Prone to longball, but throws hard. Predicted move to ‘pen for ’11 last Sept, but his age and stamina say he’s a candidate for the HBG rotation in ’12
Brian Dupra RHSP 22 HAG N 7th Rd. Pick in ’11 draft with a low-to-mid-90s FB and improving secondary pitches that scouts like.
Pedro Encarnacion RHSP 20 AUB, GCL Y Challenged with SS-A but dropped back to GCL where like Baez, he put up better numbers
Wirkin Estevez RHSP 19 AUB Y Accepted the challenge to skip GCL and put up decent numbers for a 19-y.o.
Christian Garcia RHRP 26 AUB, SYR N Former Yankee farmhand that’s undergone TJ surgery twice. A project, a la Ryan Mattheus.
Matt Grace LHSP 22 HAG Y Threw a lot of innings, gave up more hits. Decent peripheral numbers and respectable FIP. And then there’s that lefthanded thing.
Taylor Hill RHSP 22 AUB N 6th-rd pick in ’11 Draft with SI/SL/CU arsenal that scouts feel might be refined with a pro coach
Greg Holt RHRP 22 AUB, HAG N 8th Rd Pick in ’11 Draft. Average FB, but good CV — projects as a middle reliever
Taylor Jordan RHSP 22 HAG Y Didn’t pitch after July 9, so the presumption is he was shut down due to injury.
Nathan Karns RHSP 23 GCL, AUB N ’09 Draft Pick that finally surfaced in pro ball in ’11
Jack McGeary LHSP 22 GCL N Recovering from mid-2010 TJ surgery, put up decent numbers in five late-season GCL appearances
Chris McKenzie RHSP 21 HAG, POT N 13th Rd. Juco Pick in ’10 Draft. Spent two-plus mos. on DL with much better results upon return
Alex Meyer RHSP 21 N/A N Deadline-sign 1st Rd. ’11 Draft pick. Live arm, poor control likely due to 6’9″ frame that’s reportedly not finished filling out.
Blake Monar LHRP 22 GCL, AUB N 12th Rd Pick in ’11 Draft. Had just five appearances, but likely limited due to his injury history
Ivan Pineyro RHSP 19 DSL N Led DSL club in games started, innings pitched, and strikeouts.
Matt Purke LHSP 21 N/A N Another 1st Rd ’11 Draft deadline sign. Fell to the 3rd round due injury concerns, sophomore leverage but considered a great value play by stock jocks risk-reward pick by draft gurus.
Elvin Ramirez RHRP 23 N/A N Dec. ’10 Rule 5 Draft Pick that was alleged to have amped up his fastball in winter ball then never pitched in ’11
Robbie Ray LHSP 19 HAG Y Stronger results than Cole, but similar late-season fade
Manny Rodriguez RHRP 22 AUB N 10th Rd. Pick in ’11 Draft. Small-college convert from 3B that throws 90-95 and is still learning to pitch.
Cameron Selik RHSP 24 HAG, POT N Started with a bang at HAG, but faded in second half in POT of first full season as a pro.
Matt Swynenberg RHSP 21 HAG N Lean, long-limbed and a slow riser in the Nats system, having been drafted in ’09 and repeating SS-A in ’11
Kylin Turnbull LHRP 21 N/A N 4th Rd Pick in ’11 and another deadline sign. A hard-throwing lefty with a projectable frame that the Nats talked out of going to UOregon
Sep 092011
 

[Ed. Note: The fourth guest column from frequent commenter BinM]
A 2011 regular-season wrapup from another voice…

Syracuse Chiefs, 66-74; 4th in Northern Division, International League
The Chiefs and their fans suffered on many levels this year. Between a spotty offense, and an ever-changing pitching staff (31 total pitchers for the year), the team never really mounted a challenge for the playoffs, despite plenty of MLB experience (25 players appearing with prior MLB time over the course of the year). The 10-game drop in the standings from 2010 with what looked like a better team was disapointing, to say the least.
Hitter of the year
Chris Marrero, 1B — With a slash of .300/.375/.449, 114 runs produced and a .281GPA, he squeaks past Steve Lombardozzi, who compiled a .310/.354/.408 slash, with 71 runs produced, 16SB and a .261GPA over 69GP.
Pitcher of the year
Tom Milone, LHSP — More silly numbers from a guy most people overlook: 3.22ERA, 1.03WHIP, 9.1:1K-BB over 148⅓ IP over 24GS. Hands down, the best pitcher on the staff.
Biggest disappointment
Yunesky Maya, RHSP — 5.00ERA, 1.24WHIP, 2.96:1K-BB, and 14HR allowed over 129⅔ IP ove 22GS.

Harrisburg Senators, 80-62; 1st in Western Division, Eastern League

Despite losing two of their top hitters (Lombardozzi and Bill Rhinehart), and their #1SP (Brad Peacock) near midseason, this team managed to stay together & won their division. The additions of the OF’s Bryce Harper (promotion) & Erik Komatsu (trade), and LHSP Danny Rosenbaum (promotion) to the starting staff certainly didn’t hurt the team. Simply by making the playoffs, I have to call this a good year.
Hitter of the year
Tyler Moore, 1B — Despite how well Steve Lombardozzi played earlier this year, I’m giving the nod to Moore for the Senators. His overall compilation of a .270/.314/.532 slash, with 70 XBH, 129 runs produced, and a .274GPA over 137GP was enough to sway me.
Pitcher of the year
Brad Peacock, RSHP — With numbers like a 2.01ERA, 1.29WHIP, 5.2:1K-BB, and a 10-2 W-L prior to his promotion to Syracuse, he gets the nod over Erik Arnesen, and Shairon Martis for the season, who each had good seasons as well.
Biggest disappointment
Oliver Perez, LHSP — From a former MLB pitcher: a 3.09ERA, 1.39WHIP, 1.9:1K-BB, and 10HRA over only 75⅔ IP and 16GP at AA fails to impress on a lot of levels.

Potomac Nationals, 29-40, 1st half; 39-31 2nd half, 68-71 overall;
2nd Half Champ, North Division Carolina League

An up and down year, with ongoing field/venue problems and a poor 1st half record, the team managed a surprisingly steady 2nd half to make the Carolina League playoffs once again. The team suffered some key losses to the pitching staff, with callups for RHRP Pat Lehman and Rosenbaum, and an injury to RHSP Trevor Holder. The callups of LHSP Sammy Solis and RHRP Neil Holland helped cover those losses. A decent year overall, salvaged by another playoff appearance, but slightly off last years’ pace.
Hitter of the year
Destin Hood, OF — Could be considered the core of the team this season, contributing across the board offensively. Posted a .276/.364/.445 slash, 131 runs produced and 21SB with a .278GPA.
Pitcher of the year
Daniel Rosenbaum — Promoted to AA in late July, he managed a 2.59ERA, 1.17WHIP, and a 2.3:1K-BB over 20GP and 132.0IP for the P-Nats.
Biggest disappointment
J.P. Ramirez, LF-DH — This one is hard for me because I wanted him to succeed, but I can’t ignore the numbers: .223/.275/.342 slash, no speed and limited range defensively, all of which appear to be signs that he’s topped out at High-A.

Hagerstown Suns — 75-64, 35-34 2nd half; 4th place, Northern Division, South Atlantic League
With a fading finish in the 1st half, and some indifferent play in the 2nd half, the Suns missed out on both chances at a playoff spot this year. This was a huge disappointment, given the hitting (Harper, Blake Kelso, and David Freitas) and pitching (Cameron Selik, Solis, Taylor Jordan, Holland and Chris Manno) the team received in the 1st half of the season. The 2nd half was more a “grind-it-out and hope for the best” kind of year. All in all, a better record than 2010, but it still must be a bittersweet finish to the Hagerstown faithful.
Hitter of the year
David Freitas, C-DH — He gets my hat-tip over Harper the younger here. With a slash of .288/.409/.450, 127 runs produced, a .297GPA, and the fact that he catches earns him the honors.
Pitcher of the year
Christopher Manno, LHRP — With a 1.04ERA, a 0.81WHIP, a 4.0:1K-BB and 12Sv / 25GF in 34GP prior
to his trade, he beats out LHP Paul Applebee who compiled a nice 3.35ERA, 1.01WHIP, and a 6.5:1K-BB over 96.2IP and 31GP.
Biggest disappointment
The trade of Christoper Manno to the Reds for Jonny Gomes. Seriously.

Auburn Doubledays – 45-30; 1st place, Pinckney Division, NY-Penn.
With a steady season, the Doubledays reach the playoffs in 2011, only to face last years’ Nats affiliate (now the Oakland A’s), the Vermont Lake Monsters in the 1st round. The team received timely hitting from a number of players (Bryce Ortega, Matt Skole, Hendry Jimenez, Caleb Ramsey, Russell Moldenhauer, Justin Miller; even ‘Bowden’s folly’), and pitching to match (Wirkin “For The Weekend” Estevez, Taylor Hill, Brian Dupra, Nathan Karns, Richie Mirowski, Tyler Hanks, Manny Rivera and Ben Grisz). A good year, with a 9½ game improvement over the 2010 record.
Hitter of the year
Bryce Ortega, SS-3B — With a .314/.410/.392 slash and a .283 GPA over 56GP at SS, he beats out Matt Skole (.290/.382/.438 slash and a .281GPA at 3B) by the slightest of margins.
Pitcher of the year
Benjamin Grisz, RHRP — I’m going against the grain with this one, but regardless of his alleged off-field behavior, this kid was a solid reliever for the Doubledays coming out of college, posting a 1.35ERA, an 0.85WHIP and 4SV / 8GF in just 11GP.
Biggest disappointment
Benjamin Grisz (see above). If the allegations are true — that he made no further appearances after July 27, despite being named to the NYPL All-Star Team is telling — the lack of personal restraint could ruin a budding career.

Gulf Coast Nationals – 20-33, 4th place Eastern Division
An overall lack of offense couldn’t support spotty pitching, and the G-Nats post their worst record in three years as a result. The team’s most interesting hitters were all out of the DSL — OFs Wander Ramos, Narciso Mesa, Estarlin Martinez; IFs Jean-Carlos Valdez and Wilmer Difo. The pitching carried a few possibles as well, with LHSPs Jack McGeary (recovering from TJ surgery) and Gregory Baez showing promise, and RHRP Scott Williams and LHRP Bobby Lucas out of the bullpen. Not a lot in terms of the record, but some players to keep an eye on going forward.
Hitter of the year
Wander Ramos, RF-LF — A 21-y.o. corner OF up from the DSL, he compiled a .313/.401/.653 slash, with a .344GPA this year.
Pitcher of the year
Gregory Baez — Only 19-y.o., Baez moved up from the DSL to compile a 3.72ERA, a 1.59WHIP and a 1.28K-BB over 48⅓ IP.
Biggest disappointment
Hector Taveras, C — Released without a single 2011 appearance, another career possibly wasted by a lack of restraint.

Dominican League Nationals – 33-36, 5th place, BCS division
Another up-and-down season with little consistency and some questionable starting choices led to a bad overall record. There are some youngsters on this team whose numbers look promising, with Adderling Ruiz (20-y.o. C), Yermin Mercedes (18-y.o. C-DH), Diomedes Eusebio (18-y.o. 3B) all showing promise at the plate, and Ivan Pineyro (19-y.o. RHSP), Gilberto Mendez (18yo RHSP), and Joel Barrientos (18-y.o. LHRP) from the pitching staff. With a regression of 3½ games from 2010, not the best overall result.
Hitter of the year
Adderling Ruiz — Still a little sketchy defensively (5E), he produced at the plate with a .343/.417/.476 slash, and a
.307 GPA.
Pitcher of the year
Ivan Pineyro — Overall solid numbers for a SP (65.7IP, 1.64ERA, 1.08WHIP, 3.14K-BB).
Biggest disappointment
Brian Escolastico, LHRP — Great last name but horrid results, with a 17.72ERA, 3.84WHIP, and a 0.78:1K-BB over 11GP.

Sep 092011
 

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Harrisburg Postponed @ Richmond,
7:05 p.m.
Erik Arnesen (8-4, 2.43) vs.
Daryl Maday (4-10, 4.47)
Potomac Postponed @ Frederick,
7:00 p.m.
Sammy Solis (6-2, 2.72) vs.
Richard Zagone (4-2, 2.97)
Auburn Won, 3-2 vs. Vermont,
7:05 p.m.
Brian Dupra (4-4, 3.46) vs.
Seth Frankoff (6-3, 2.34)

Well, if you haven’t seen Tim Pahuta’s twitpic of Metro Bank Park (above) by now… According to CBSSPorts.com’s C. Trent Rosecrans, Eastern League officials will meet tomorrow to determine if MBP will be playable. If not, Rosencrans reports that the rest of the series will be played in Richmond with a doubleheader on Saturday followed by games on Sunday and Monday (if necessary).

Meanwhile, Game Two of the Carolina League’s Divisional Series was postponed to tonight. You have to wonder if the series might just stay at Harry Grove in Frederick if officials decide that the Pfitz is unplayable tomorrow. And that’s presuming that a game gets played tonight in Frederick. There is, after all, more rain in the forecast.

Finally, the Doubledays won 3-2 to force a deciding game in Auburn tonight against the Vermont Lake Monsters. Wilfri Pena made good on his shot at redemption, hitting a solo home run in the 7th, just a half-inning after giving up two passed balls that enabled Vermont to tie the score at 2-2. Pena doubled earlier as part of his 2-for-3 night while Billy Burns drove in the first two runs with a double in the bottom of the 2nd. Manny Rivera got the win in relief of Taylor Hill, who struck out eight and allowed just one hit over the first five innings. Aaron Barrett weathered a hit and a walk in the 9th but got the three outs he needed for the save.

Sep 082011
 

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Harrisburg Postponed Postponed N/A
Potomac Lost, 5-1
(6 inn.)
@ Frederick,
7:00 p.m.
Sammy Solis (6-2, 2.72) vs.
Richard Zagone (4-2, 2.97)
Auburn Postponed vs. Vermont,
7:05 p.m.
Taylor Hill (0-2, 3.16) vs.
Brent Powers (4-2, 3.84)

Rain forced a postponement in Auburn and complete series shift in Richmond yesterday, while the Potomac Nationals might have wished for more with a 5-1 loss to Frederick in six innings.

Both Auburn and Frederick have more rain forecast for today. The Doubledays and P-Nats both trail their series 1-0, with Auburn facing elimination tonight and Potomac staring at a possible 2-0 deficit.

Meanwhile, the tenor of the E.L. West Divisional series has changed dramatically with the two-day postponement and series shift to Richmond for Games One and Two. Simply put: The Squirrels have owned the Sens at the Diamond, winning 10 of 15 games played there this season. Ironically, Richmond was one of the few that Harrisburg couldn’t handle on the road, with a 38-19 record against the rest of the Eastern League.

Thus, instead of the chance to go up 2-0 and hit the road needing to win just one, it’s the opposite: They have to take at least one on the road and hope to come home with the series tied. Statistically, the chances are the same; psychologically, the game has changed.

Back to Frederick… Paul Demny’s season-long bugaboo — the big fly, he led the Carolina League with 18 surrendered — came back to bite him in the [prosterior] with two given up in the four-run 4th that overcame an early 1-0 deficit, courtesy of a Steve Souza home run in the top of the 2nd.

Much like Auburn in its Game One, the woulda-coulda-shoulda game that fans like to play doesn’t apply. The P-Nats were stifled by Jacob Petit (again, he beat them twice in two regular-season starts) with just three hits and two walks given up over six innings and only two reaching second base — Souza and Sandy Leon on a double two batters later. That kind of offensive production might win a game in soccer, but in baseball, it’s too much to ask for a 1-0 win in the playoffs. Particularly against a lineup with nearly 300 games of AA experience.

Sep 072011
 

Wait, haven’t I done this before?

For the second straight year, it’s Potomac vs. Frederick in the Divisional Series, and the “Battle of The Beltways” misnomer is back. As of 3 p.m., “The Game Is Still On” according to the Keys website.

Similar to 2008 for Potomac, the Frederick Keys have basically led wire-to-wire, winning 41 games in the first half and 39 in the second. [Insert snarky comparison about overaged team and only a couple of true prospects here]. Yes, Potomac did manage to catch them (*ahem*) to win the paper title of second-half champion, but because Potomac did not win the Northern Division outright (the two teams tied with 39 wins), Frederick gets the advantage of hosting a Game Five if one is necessary.

With a season series that went 10-10, that’s kind of a big deal. Or is it?

Frederick actually had a losing record vs. Potomac at home, going 5-8, the uneven split made possible by the series shift in April. Potomac actually won the last two series played there (July 6-8, August 26-28) two games to one.

What should have P-Nats fans worried is the lack of one Mr. Rosenbaum, who beat the Keys three times out four starts, including his final start for Potomac. What should have Keys fans worried is how they staggered to the finish line, winning just twice over the last 10 games, and three in a row to the last-place Wilmington Blue Rocks.

On paper, this shouldn’t even be close. Looking at the team stats in the aggregate, Frederick has the league’s best pitching, Potomac has the worst. The problem with that approach is that it ignores what everybody knows: It’s how the current roster is playing right now that matters most, not how the collective team has done over the past five months.

Unlike last year, I would not be surprised by a couple of 1-0, 2-1, or 3-2 scores in this series — even in the hittng-friendly confines of Harry Grove Stadium.

Without further ado, here’s the schedule, starting with the schedule…
Game 1 at Frederick, Sept. 7 at 7 p.m.
Game 2 at Frederick, Sept. 8 at 7 p.m.
Game 3 at Potomac, Sept. 9 at 7:05 p.m.
Game 4 at Potomac (if necessary), Sept. 10 at 6:35 p.m.
Game 5 at Frederick (if necessary), Sept. 11 at 2 p.m.

And here are the announced matchups, per MiLB.com…

Game 1 Paul Demny (10-10, 4.32) vs. Jacob Petit (7-0, 1.62)
Game 2 Sammy Solis (6-2, 2.72) vs. Richard Zagone (4-2, 2.97)
Game 3 Evan Bronson (5-5, 3.64) vs. Scott Copeland (3-2, 2.14)
Game 4 Adam Olbrychowski (5-7, 4.16) vs. TBD
Game 5 Mitchell Clegg vs. Nicholas Haughian (8-7, 3.67)

Projected Starting Lineups
POTOMAC
LF Francisco Soriano
2B Jeff Kobernus
DH Justin Bloxom
RF Destin Hood
1B Steve Souza
SS Zach Walters
C Sandy Leon
3B Jose Lozada
CF Eury Perez

FREDERICK
3B Dale Mollenhauer
2B Jonathan Schoop
SS Manny Machado
1B Aaron Baker
DH Michael Flacco
RF Jacob Julius
CF Miguel Abreu
C Brian Ward
LF Bobby Stevens

Obligatory Prediction:
Head: Frederick in Four
Heart: Potomac in Five

Sep 072011
 


As you might have guessed by the image, rain is going to be an underlying theme during the playoffs.
Last night, Harrisburg beat writer Geoff Morrow reported a story about how the the forecast of heavy rain, coupled with the the proximity of the Susquehannah River and the location of Metrobank Park (i.e. on an island in said river) could force the rearrangement* of the Eastern League Divisional Series.
*Could be worse. The Pittsfield Colonials, Hagerstown manager Brian Daubach’s previous ballclub, will be playing ALL its games on the road.

UPDATE: As predicted/feared, the Harrisburg Senators and Richmond Squirrels have postponed their series until Friday, shifting Games One & Two to Friday and Saturday, with Games Three, Four and Five (if necessary). H/T to Max Power to bringing this to our attention, and I strong encourage folks to read his Senators vs. Flying Squirrels Series Preview.

The forecast for Frederick isn’t any better: 1-2″ of heavy rain today with a chance of rain in the hourly forecast that won’t fall below 50% until 11. On Friday night. Rearranging the series simply isn’t an option given the forecast for Woodbridge is nearly identical. It’s also my understanding that the Potomac field there doesn’t drain very well.

Finally, the Auburn Doubledays took on the Vermont Lake Monsters in Burlington, VT last night — located on higher ground than the folks in the Winooski River Valley to the east — but were stifled by 32nd-round pick Drew Garnier, who allowed just one run on two hits and three walks while fanning nine over five innings to lead the Lake Monsters to a 7-1 win.

Auburn starter Nathan Karns was hit hard early, giving up four runs in the bottom of the first, lowlighted when Angel Montilla lost the ball in the, well, low lights at Centennial Field to let in three runs. He would give up six runs total over four innings on seven hits and two walks to take the loss.

Of course, the defensive gaffes aside, the Vermont ‘pen struck out seven and gave up just one hit and one walk after Garnier’s exit. That’s just three hits, four walks on offense for the Doubledays while striking out 16 times. They left on eight and went just 1-for-13 with RISP.

The series shifts to Auburn for today and tomorrow. But wouldn’t you know? There’s also a forecast for heavy rain over the next two days, and a strong chance of rain on Friday. Stay tuned and stay dry.

Sep 062011
 

It’s a baker’s dozen of weekly honors for the Nats farm system, with Auburn’s Justin Miller picking up the hardware for hitting .500 last week (12-for-24).

Miller also homered and drove in six last week. Since the All-Star game in mid-August, he has batted .371/.444/.613, a stretch of 18 games.

The 22-year-old was drafted in the 18th round of the 2010 First Year Player Draft from Middle Tennessee State University.

Sep 062011
 

Basically, it’s the callups from Syracuse and the tweaks to the Potomac roster for the playoffs. As always, if more moves are spotted in the next 24-36 hours, this page will be updated.

SYRACUSE
• RHP Brad Peacock recalled to Washington
• RHP Yunesky Maya recalled to Washington
• RHP Craig Stammmen recalled to Washington
• LHP Atahualpa Severino recalled to Washington
• OF Corey Brown recalled to Washington
• 2B Steve Lombardozzi recalled to Washington
• RHP Garrett Mock designated for assignment
• RHP Adam Carr released

POTOMAC
• RHP Erik Davis placed on 7-Day DL
• IF Sean Nicol assigned from Potomac
• RHP Trevor Holder activated from 7-Day DL

Sep 062011
 

Our final 2011 look at the leaders, trailers, and outliers in the Washington Nationals minor leagues, with a focus on the level where the prospects shone the brightest. Repeats from 2010 are in italics.

SYRACUSE
66-74, 4th place IL North, 14 games back

Good Bat: Chris Marrero .300/.375/.449 in 127G
Arm: Tom Milone 12-6, 3.22 ERA, 155K in 148⅓ IP
Bad Bat: Chris McConnell .175/.250/.257 in 57G
Arm: Yunesky Maya 4-9, 5.00 ERA
Interesting Bat: Jesus Valdez .271/.318/.397 in 102G
Arm: None

HARRISBURG
80-62, 1st place, 4 games ahead, E.L. West Division winner

Good Bat: Steve Lombardozzi .309/.366/.454 in 65G
Arm: Brad Peacock 10-2, 2.01 ERA, 0.86 WHIP in 98⅔ IP
Bad Bat: Stephen King .191/.277/.300, 15E in 95G
Arm: Matt Chico 10.93 ERA, 2.29 WHIP in 10G
Interesting Bat: Tyler Moore 31HR, 90RBI in ’11; 31HR, 111RBI in ’10
Arm: Pat Lehman 34K in 34IP

POTOMAC
39-31 in 2nd Half, 68-71 overall — 2nd-Half CrL North Division winner (tied)

Good Bat: Destin Hood .276/.364/.445 in 128G
Arm: Danny Rosenbaum 6-5, 2.59 ERA, 2CG, 1.17 WHIP
Bad Bat: Cutter Dykstra .212/.265/.265 in 94G
Arm: Erik Davis 0-5, 6.75 ERA after dropping *down* from AA
Interesting Bat: Jeff Kobernus 53SB, 124GP (21/74 in ’10)
Arm: Joe Testa 6-0, 1.42 ERA, new delivery, still lefthanded

HAGERSTOWN
35-34 in 2nd Half, 75-64 overall

Good Bat: Bryce Harper .318/.423/.554 in 72G as 18 y.o.
Arm: Chris Manno 1.04 ERA, 0.81 WHIP, 69K in 43⅓ IP/td>
Bad Bat: Mills Rogers .215/.288/.266 in 77G
Arm: Matt Grace .314OBA, 1.56WHIP in 132⅓ IP
Interesting Bat: Kevin Keyes .263/.336/.510; .175/.321/.278 in ’10 at VMT
Arm: Matt Swynenberg 1.22 WHIP, 3.68 ERA in 102⅔ IP

AUBURN
45-30, 1st Place Pinckney Division of NY-Penn League, 2½ games ahead

Good Bat: Matt Skole .290/.382/.438 in 72G
Arm: Wirkin Estevez 55K, 4.01 ERA in 14G (13GS) as an 18-y.o.
Bad Bat: Rick Hughes .125/.205/.175 in 22G
Arm: Travis Henke .298 OBA, 1.52 WHIP in 16G
Interesting Bat: Hendry Jimenez .846 OPS in 54G
Arm: Taylor Hill 2.38 ERA, 1.02 WHIP as a starter

GCL NATIONALS
20-33, 4th place GCL East Division, 17½ games back

Good Bat: Estarlin Martinez .289/.379/.471 (18 y.o. DSL grad)
Arm: Gregory Baez 3.72 ERA in 48⅓ IP (18 y.o. DSL grad)
Bad Bat: Deion Williams .157/.216/.157 in 30G
Arm: Inocencia Heredia 6.75ERA, 1.83 WHIP in 17G
Interesting Bat: Wander Ramos .313/.401/.653 in 43G (21 y.o. DSL grad)
Arm: Brandon King 13HBP, 12BB, 26K in 35⅔ IP

DSL NATIONALS
33-36, 5th Place, Boca Chica East, 12½ games back

Good Bat: 19 y.o. Wilmer Difo 26SB, .831 OPS in 39G
Arm: 19 y.o. Ivan Pineyro 2.20 ERA, 73K in 69⅔ IP
Bad Bat: 17 y.o. Bryan Mejia 35K, .331 SLG in 52G
Arm: 18 y.o. Miguel Navarro 2.75 WHIP, 15.75 ERA in 10G
Interesting Bat: 18 y.o. Junior Geraldo .542SLG in 18G
Arm: 18 y.o. Gilberto Mendez 7-0, 2.06 ERA, 66K in 65⅔ IP
Sep 062011
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitcher
Syracuse Lost, 4-1
(5½ inn.)
END OF SEASON N/A
Harrisburg Won, 5-2 END OF SEASON N/A
Potomac Won, 8-4 END OF SEASON N/A
Hagerstown Won, 9-1 END OF SEASON N/A
Auburn N/A Game 1, NYPL
Divisional Round
@ Vermont, 7:05 p.m.
Nathan Karns (3-2, 3.44) vs.
Drew Granier (1-1, 1.91)

Lehigh Valley 4 Syracuse 1 — 5½ inn.
• Meyers (L, 6-5) 4⅔ IP, 9H, 3R, 2ER, BB, K
• Mock ⅔ IP, 2H, 1R, 1ER, 3BB, 0K
• Curran 1-3, RBI
• Brown 1-2, R, 2B
• Nicol 1-2

Syracuse finished the season on a down note with a rain-shortened 4-1 loss to Lehigh Valley. Brad Meyers took the loss with three runs given up over four and 2/3rds innings on nine hits and a walk. The Chiefs were held to just five hits, with Chris Curran’s RBI single scoring Corey Brown for the lone Syracuse run. Garrett Mock continued his reversion to the mean with three walks given up over 2/3rds of an inning. Syracuse finished the season in 4th place with a 66-74 mark, 14 games behind Pawtucket in the I.L. North.

Harrisburg 5 Akron 2
• O Perez 4IP, 3H, 0R, BB, 3K
• C Martinez (W, 3-4) 3IP, 5H, 1R, 1ER, 0BB, 1K
• Norris 3-4, 2R, HR (20), RBI
• Pahuta 2-3, R, 2B, RBI

The Sens got off the schneid with a 5-2 win over Akron, stopping a three-game losing streak. Derek Norris started the scoring with a solo shot in the bottom of the 1st, his 20th of the year while Chris McConnell’s RBI double and Erik Komatsu’s two-run single in the 2nd extended the lead to 4-0. Oliver Perez got the start and went four scoreless innings on 49 pitches before giving way to Carlos Martinez, who earned the win with one run given up over three innings. Harrisburg finished the season at 80-62, best in the Eastern League and will host Richmond in the first round of the playoffs, which begin tomorrow.

Potomac 8 Kinston 4
• Olbrychowski 5⅔ IP, 10H, 4R, 4ER, 0BB, 3K
• Holder 1⅓ IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
• Peacock 2-4, R, 2B, 3RBI
• Kobernus 2-3, 2R, SB

Brian Peacock’s two-out, two-run double started a six-run scoring binge in the eighth that secured a 2nd-half title on a Monday Afternoon In Woodbridge

Hagerstown 9 Lakewood 1
• Swynenberg 2⅓ IP, 3H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Applebee (S, 2) 4IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Cuevas 2-4, R, 2RBI
• Kelso 2-4, 2R, 3B, RBI

A five-run 4th combined with a solid “bullpen outing” sent Hagerstown on its way to a 9-1 win over Lakewood. Matt Swynenberg, Sam Brown, and Paul Applebee divvied up the pitching duties, with Brown getting the win and Applebee getting a four-inning save. Kevin Keyes was the sole Sun to go hitless, but did his part with a sac fly while Blake Kelso, Justino Cuevas and Brett Newsom each went 2-for-4 as part of the 11-hit attack. The win gave the Suns a tie for fourth place with Lakewood at 35-34 in the second half and 75 wins overall, the best season total since the Nats affiliation began in 2007.

Auburn Doubledays
The New York-Penn League Playoffs begin today with the Auburn Doubledays visiting the Vermont Lake Monsters in Game One of the best-of-three divisional series. Nathan Karns faces off against Drew Garnier in what will be just the fourth meeting between the two teams this year, but the first in Burlington. Click here to read the official MiLB.com preview on the NYPL playoffs.