Jun 152014
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 4-1 vs. Norfolk,
2:00 p.m.
Roenicke (1-3, 5.31) vs.
Additon (3-1, 3.33)
Harrisburg Won, 8-4 @ Bowie,
6:35 p.m.
Dupra (1-1, 4.50) vs.
Berry (3-3, 4.15)
Potomac Won, 7-6;
Lost, 5-4 (9 inn.)
vs. Winston-Salem,
1:05 p.m.
Bacus (2-2, 3.54) vs.
Wendelken (5-6, 3.77)
Hagerstown Lost, 3-1 vs. Greenville,
5:05 p.m.
Voth (4-3, 2.23) vs.
Ball (1-5, 7.12)
Auburn Lost, 7-2 vs. Batavia,
2:05 p.m.
Reyes (0-1, 6.75 @ GCL in ’13) vs.
Castellanos (3-4, 3.45 @ GCL in ’13)
DSL Nationals Lost, 9-0 OFF DAY N/A


Norfolk 4 Syracuse 1
• Hill 8IP, 5H, 1R, 0ER, 0BB, 8K
• Mattheus 2BF, 2H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 0K
• Madrigal 1IP, 1H, 1R, 1ER, 2BB, 1K, 2-2 IR-S
• Goodwin 2-4
• Laird 2-4, CS

The Tide tied it with an unearned run in the 8th and washed over Ryan Mattheus and Warner Madrigal for three in the 9th for a 4-1 victory. Destin Hood’s removal from the game was due to knee soreness, per Lyndsay Kramer of Syracuse.com.

Harrisburg 8 Bowie 4
• Brach (W, 1-0) 6IP, 7H, 0R, BB, 2K
• Demny 2IP, 3H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Taylor 3-5, 2R, 2B, BB, OF assist at 1B
• Skole 2-4, R, 2B, BB, 3RBI
• Dykstra 2-4, R, 2B, BB, 2RBI

The Senators won their seventh straight game and were on the verge of an 8-0 shutout before the wheels wobbled in the 9th as the BaySox got three walks and an error and scored four times in the 9th for the final 8-4 tally.

Potomac 7 Winston-Salem 6 — GAME ONE
• Spann 5⅓ IP, 6H, 5R, 4ER, BB, 2K
• Mendez (W, 4-3) 1⅔ IP, 1H, 1R, 1ER, BB, 4K, 1-0 IR-S
• Perez 2-3, BB, RBI, SB(18), E(16)
• Norfork 2-4, R, 2B
• Piwnica-Worms 2-4, 2B

Potomac took the opener by scoring twice in 5th and 6th innings and three in 7th, overcoming a four-run outburst by Winston-Salem in the 6th, to walk off with a 7-6 win.

Winston-Salem 5 Potomac 4 (9 inn.) — GAME TWO
• R. Pena ⅓ IP, 3H, 2R, 2ER, BB, 0K, 0HR
• Dickson 5⅔ IP, 2H, 0R, BB, 8K, 2-0 IR-S
• Benincasa (BS, 3; L, 4-2) 3IP, 4H, 3R, 3ER, 3BB, 4K
• Perez 2-4, 2B, BB, RBI
• Piwnica-Worms 1-3, R

The P-Nats rallied again in the 7th to force “extras” in the nightcap but lost on a two-out, two-strike wild pitch by closer Robert Benincasa for a 5-4 loss.

Greenville 3 Hagerstown 1
• Giolito (L, 2-1) 5IP, 2H, R, ER, BB, 3K, HR
• Ullmann 2IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 2K
• Kieboom 1-4, 2B
• Yezzo 1-4, RBI

The Suns lost the game, 3-1, and the division lead as the Grasshoppers took their 9th straight. With Greensboro taking the one and only series between them in the first half, Hagerstown must win today and the Grasshoppers must lose for the Suns to win the Sally League Northern Division. Roster moves: LHPs Cory Bafidis, David Napoli reassigned from Auburn.

Batavia 7 Auburn 2
• Ott 5IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 6K
• Mooneyham 2IP, 2H, 2R, 2ER, 3BB, 2K
• Yrizarri (BS, 1; L, 0-1) ⅔ IP, 3H, 5R, 0ER, BB, K
• Vettleson 1-2, R, 3B, BB, RBI
• Abreu 1-3, R, 3B, BB

The Muckdogs went to town in the bottom of the 8th, scoring all seven runs as they evened the home-and-home opening series with a 7-2 victory over the Doubledays. Roster moves: RHPs David Ramos, Jefry Rodriguez reassigned from Hagerstown.

DSL Mariners 9 DSL Nationals 0
• Pena (L, 1-1) 4IP, 4H, 2R, 2ER, BB, 4K
• Acevedo 1IP, 4H, 5R, 0ER, BB, K
• Pimentel 1-2, BB
• Perdomo 1-3

The D-Mariners erupted for five in the 5th while the D-Nats were held to just three hits and committed seven (7) errors in the 9-0 loss.

Jun 142014
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 10-1 vs. Norfolk,
7:00 p.m.
Hill (8-2, 1.92) vs.
Escalona (1-1, 4.91)
Harrisburg Won, 11-5 @ Bowie,
6:35 p.m.
Brach (1st AA start of ’14) vs.
E. Rodriguez (1-3, 5.50)
Potomac Lost, 4-2 vs. Winston-Salem,
6:35 p.m.
TBD and TBD vs.
Montas (3-0, 1.23) and
Goldberg (2-4, 5.17)
Hagerstown Lost, 8-2;
Lost, 2-0
vs. Greenville,
7:05 p.m.
Giolito (2-0, 2.06) vs.
Gunkel (2-0, 2.58)
Auburn Won, 2-1 @ Batavia,
7:05 p.m.
Ott (3-0, 4.03 @ GCL in ’13) vs.
Adames (0-0, 0.00 in NYPL in ’13)
DSL Nationals Lost, 6-5 @ DSL Mariners,
10:30 a.m.
W. Pena (1-0, 3.00) vs.
Manzueta (0-2, 1.50)


Syracuse 10 Norfolk 1
• Laffey (W, 8-3) 7IP, 5H, R, ER, BB, 4K
• Jackson 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Burriss 4-4, 4R, BB
• Laird 3-4, 3R

Steve Souza opened the scoring with a two-run blast in the 1st and Zach Walters ended it with a three-run shot in the 8th as the Chiefs rolled the Tide, 10-1. Aaron Laffey pitched seven strong innings to win his third straight start and 8th game overall, allowing the one Norfolk run on five hits and a walk while striking out four. Emmanuel Burriss reached base five times with four singles and a walk, and scored four times while Brandon Laird went 3-for-4 with three runs scored as Syracuse pounded out 15 hits total. Souza and Walters combined for nine of the 10 RBI.
Roster moves: LHP Xavier Cedeno recalled to Washington, RHP Blake Treinen optioned to Washington.

Harrisburg 11 Bowie 5
• Kroenke (W, 2-1) 5⅔ IP, 7H, 5R, 5ER, 2BB, 2K
• Espino (H, 2) 2⅓ IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 2K, 2-2 IR-S
• Keyes 3-4, 2R, HR(10), BB, 3RBI
• Ramsey 3-4, R, BB, SB

The Senators extended their win streak to six with an 11-5 beatdown of the BaySox. Harrisburg put up 14 hits and walked five times as every batter reached base. Kevin Keyes went deep for the third time this week with a three-run blast in the 1st for his 10th AA homer and 14th overall. He went 3-for-4 with a walk as did Caleb Ramsey to lead the barrage. Zach Kroenke didn’t pitch well, coughing up five runs on seven hits and two walks over five and 2/3rds, but got the win. Paolo Espino let in two inherited runners but kept Bowie off the board in the 7th and 8th innings. Derek Self worked around a walk to toss a scoreless inning in his AA debut.
Roster moves: RHPs Brett Brach, Derek Self promoted from Potomac.

Winston-Salem 4 Potomac 2 — GAME ONE
• Simms (L, 1-4) 5IP, 5H, 3R, 3ER, 3BB, 5K
• Suero 2IP, 4H, R, ER, 0BB, 0K
• McQuillan 2-2, R, 2B, BB
• Pleffner 2-4, 2B, RBI

It was supposed to be two, but they only got in one Last Night In Woodbridge.

Roster move: RHP Ronald Pena activated from the 7-Day DL.

Greenville 8 Hagerstown 2 — GAME ONE
• Silvestre (L, 2-4) 1IP, 3H, 2R, 2ER, BB, 0K, HR
• Cooper 2IP, 4H, 3R, 2ER, 2BB, K
• Middleton 2-2, 2RBI
• Lopez 1-3, R, 2B

Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, and sometimes it rains. In the opener, it was two out of three and it was bad as Hagerstown lost to Greenville, 8-2. Hector Silvestre struggled again, giving up two runs in the space of three batters with a triple and a home run and three hits total in his one and only inning pitched. The Drive motored through three relievers, scoring in five of seven innings. Brennan Middleton’s two-run single following a Drew Ward walk and a Carlos Lopez double basically summed up the offense, accounting for the two Suns runs scored in the 2nd.

Greenville 2 Hagerstown 0 — GAME TWO
• Pivetta (L, 8-3) 5IP, 3H, 2R, ER, 3BB, 6K
• Davis 2IP, 4H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Ballou 1-3
• Ward 1-3

Hagerstown’s scoring woes continued in the nightcap as they were shut out on two hits, 2-0. Nick Pivetta pitched well enough to win on most nights, giving up two runs (one earned) on three hits and three walks over five innings. He struck out six but took his third loss. Isaac Ballou and Drew Ward both singled one in three ABs while Craig Manuel walked once to account for the three (3) Suns baserunners. If you’re a DC sports fan, you didn’t need to look up how Greensboro did — you already knew they won again to cut the Hagerstown lead to a single game with two to go in the first half.

Auburn 2 Batavia 1
• Lopez 5IP, 2H, 1R, 0ER, BB, 5K, E
• Torres (W, 1-0) 2IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Sanchez (SV, 1) 2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Gunter 1-2, R, 2B, E
• J.C. Valdez 1-3, 2B, RBI

A defensive gem this game was not, but Auburn made one less mistake as they edged Batavia, 2-1 to take the season opener. Auburn got on the board in the first as the leadoff runner reached on a dropped third strike, took second on a missed pickoff, and scored on a two-out double by Jean Carlos Valdez. The Doubledays gave the run back in the 5th with two errors — one by Cody Gunter to allow the runner to reach, the other by starter Reynaldo Lopez who also threw it away trying to pick off a runner at first base. The gamewinner came in the 7th when Gunter doubled with one out, took third on a flyout to center and scored when the cutoff man muffed the throw in from the outfield. Lopez went the first five innings and gave up the lone Muckdog run on two hits and a walk while fanning five. Luis Torres got the win with two scoreless innings of relief while the save went to Mario Sanchez for a pair of 1-2-3 innings in the 8th and 9th. Roster move: LHP Brett Mooneyham activated from 7-Day DL and reassigned from Potomac.

DSL Nationals 5 DSL Mets1 6
• N. Ramirez (L, 1-1) 3⅓ IP, 6H, 4R, 4ER, 2BB, K, HBP
• Archibald 2IP, 0H, 0R, BB, K, HBP, PO at 1B
• Agustin 1-4, R, 3B, RBI
• Mota 1-3, R, BB

The D-Mets greeted Nector Ramirez with three in the 3rd and knocked him from the box while scoring another three in the 4th as they held off the D-Nats for 6-5 win. Ramirez was charged with four runs total on six hits and two walks over three and 1/3rd innings as he suffered his first loss. The D-Nats were held to just seven hits but scored five times with the help of two errors and a wild pitch. Israel Mota was the only batter to reach base twice, going 1-for-3 with a walk and a run scored.

Jun 132014
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 5-3 vs. Norfolk,
7:00 p.m.
Laffey (7-3, 3.60) vs.
Gamboa (4-5, 4.06)
Harrisburg Won, 9-6 @ Bowie,
7:05 p.m.
Kroenke (1-1, 4.09) vs.
Pettit (4-4, 6.03)
Potomac Won, 3-2 vs. Winston-Salem,
5:30 p.m. (DH)
Simms (1-3, 3.92) and Spann (4-1, 3.38)
vs. Montas (3-0, 1.23)
Jaye (2-0, 1.57) and Goldberg (2-4, 5.17)
Hagerstown Postponed vs. Greenville,
5:05 p.m.
Silvestre (2-3, 4.50) and Pivetta (8-2, 4.15)
vs. McGrath (1-3, 4.76) and Gunkel (2-0, 2.58)
Smith (2-4, 6.80)
Auburn N/A vs. Batavia,
7:05 p.m.
R. Lopez (0-1, 7.04 at Low-A)
vs. TBD
DSL Nationals Won, 8-5 @ DSL Mets1,
10:30 a.m.
N. Ramirez (1-0, 0.00) vs.
Rondon (0-1, 4.91)


Syracuse 5 Norfolk 3
• Tatusko (W, 5-5) 5⅓ IP, 8H, 3R, 3ER, 2BB, 3K, HR, 2WP
• Stange (H, 2) 1⅔ IP, 0H, 0R, BB, K, 2-0 IR-S
• Walters 2-4, R, HR, RBI
• Peterson 1-3, BB
• Souza 2-4, R

The Chiefs put up four in the first and rode out the Tide for a 5-3 win in the first of eight straight against Norfolk. Ryan Tatusko evened up his won-loss record at 5-5 with three runs allowed on eight hits and two walks over five and a third, though he did give up a home run for the third straight start. The Syracuse ‘pen combined for three and 2/3rds scoreless, with Daniel Stange and Manny Delcarmen earning hold and Warner Madrigal picking up the save. Eight of nine Chiefs hit safely, as Syracuse racked up 12 hits with Zach Walters, Tyler Moore, Steve Souza, and Jhonatan Solano each going 2-for-4. Roster move: LHP Mike Gonzalez activated from the TIL.

Harrisburg 9 Erie 6
• Cole (W, 6-2) 5IP, 7H, 5R, 3ER, 2BB, K
• Martin (H, 1) 3IP, 3H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
• Ramsey 3-4, 3R, 2B, BB
• Skole 2-4, HR, BB, 3RBI, E(7)
• Taylor 2-3, 2R, HR, BB, RBI

With a 9-6 win, the Senators extended their win streak to five and swept an opponent on the road for the first time this season. Staff ace A.J. Cole was knocked around for five runs (three earned) on seven hits and two walks over five innings but got the Jack Morris win, his 6th of the season. Matt Skole homered again, smacking a three-run bomb in the top of the 9th for his third big fly in the last eight games and sixth overall. Michael Taylor hit HR #16 while Caleb Ramsey notched another three-hit game and drew walk to lead the 14-hit attack. Roster move: RHP Brian Dupra reassigned from Syracuse.

Potomac 3 Winston-Salem 2
• G. Gonzalez 4IP, 2H, R, ER, 4BB, 7K
• Mendez (W, 3-3) 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 0K, 2-0 IR-S
• Benincasa (SV, 11) 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Tejeda 2-4, R, HR, RBI
• Oduber 2-3, R, 3B

With a 3-2 victory over Winston-Salem, Potomac clinched the Carolina League’s Northern Division first half title in back-to-back seasons for the first time as a Nationals affiliate. Gio Gonzalez made his second rehab outing, pitching four innings with one run allowed on two hits and four walks. He struck out seven, including the side in the 4th. Jeff Kobernus, also on rehab, walked with one out, stole 2nd and 3rd, and came in to score when the catcher overthrew third base. It would be prove to be the gamewinner when the P-Nats reloaded the bases on a walk and two singles only to have the insurance canceled with a 3-2-4 double play to end the inning. Gilberto Mendez got the win with three outs and two runners stranded in the 8th while Robert Benincasa mowed ‘em down in order with a pair of K’s and a flyout for his 11th save.

Greenville vs. Hagerstown — PPD
The afternoon rains were too much for the field to absorb, forcing a postponement and creating a doubleheader for Friday night against Greenville. The Suns’ magic number is stuck at two as the Grashoppers refuse to lose, taking their seventh straight decision with a 5-2 win over the Intimidators.

Auburn Doubledays — Opening Day
With more than a dozen players from the 2013 GCL Nationals, there will be high expectations for the 2014 Auburn Doubledays, writes Jeremy Houghtaling of the Auburn Citizen, who wrote a [ship]load of stories this week about the Doubledays; you can follow him on Twitter here. An official roster unveiling is unlikely this year, thanks to the NYPL starting up a week earlier than in years past.

DSL Nationals 8 DSL Mets1 5
• Baez 6IP, 2H, 1R, 0ER, BB, 4K
• Agustin 4-5, 2R, 2-2B, RBI
• Vilorio 3-4, R, 2B, RBI
• G. Ramirez 2-2, R, 3B, HR, BB, 2RBI

Joan Baez showed no rust on the diamond as he walked one and let up just two hits over six innings to earn his first win as the D-Nats outslugged the D-Mets1 squad, 8-5. Telmito Agustin continues to swing a hot bat, going 4-for-5 with two doubles and two runs scored. Luis Vilorio followed him in the hit column with a 3-for-4 game, including a double and an RBI. Gilberto Ramirez piled up the most total bases with a triple and a home run.

Jan 152014
 

The Harrisburg Senators and Washington Nationals have announced a four-year extension of their player development contract through the 2018 season. This is the second affiliate to extend during this offseason, both months in advance of the September deadline to renew before open negotiations (typically the last two weeks of September).

The Senators have been a Nationals affiliate the longest of the five teams located north of Florida, having been an Expos affiliate since 1991, and should effectively quash any idle talk of the Nationals switching to the Richmond Squirrels, which is usually an indication that such folks have never been to both places for a game.

The PDCs of the Nationals’ “A” teams — Auburn (SS), Hagerstown (Low-A), and Potomac (High-A) — expire after the 2014 season. Two years ago, the Nationals extended three* affiliates during spring training, and renewed with Hagerstown in October 2012.
* or four; there’s conflicting information regarding whether the 2010 extension for Potomac was for two or four years

As passed along yesterday, there is turmoil in Hagerstown (plans to relocate to Fredericksburg) and Auburn (five GMs since 2010) which makes their PDC renewals less-than-certain. Potomac, which has been planning to build a new ballpark for more than since last decade, seems a little safer given its proximity to DC and strong attendance despite playing in one of the worst facilities in affiliated baseball.

Oct 112013
 

After two successive division-winning teams in 2011 and 2012, the 2013 edition of the Auburn Doubledays hit rock bottom in 2013 with a league-worst 26-49 mark. Of course, to expect that kind of success year in and year out is foolish. But it’s also difficult as a fan to not be disappointed with a last-place finish.

Almost implicit in reviewing a cellar dweller is the hope (mission) of finding something (anything) positive amid the negative (and there was a lot). The trick is do it without looking specious, which seems to be okay in public relations.

Thanks to a small but noticeable shift towards drafting collegiate juniors and junior college players, along with some sizable movement to/from the GCL with pitchers, this edition wasn’t oldest in the league as they were a year ago (or second oldest, as they were in 2011). We can only hope that this trend (the drafting part) continues because, well, I’ve been advocating it in the past two season reviews.

Continuing with the format, gird yourself for the look at how Auburn compared to the rest of the N.Y. Penn League…

HITTING AB R H HR BB SO AVG OBP SLG GPA* SB
Auburn 2447 258 563 28 209 518 .230 .302 .315 .215 40
Lg. Avg. 2469 291 597 31 221 570 .242 .313 .338 .225 69

* GPA = Gross Production Average

PITCHING IP ERA R/G WHIP HR BB SO H/9IP BB/9IP K/9IP K/BB
Auburn 637⅔ 4.23 4.77 1.452 25 256 575 9.5 3.6 8.1 2.25
Lg. Avg. 654⅔ 3.19 3.90 1.249 31 221 570 8.2 3.0 7.8 2.58



The 2013 Auburn pitchers were (slightly) better than their 2012 counterparts. But as you might have already guessed, they were the NYPL trailers in virtually every statistical category but two rather important ones: HRs allowed and strikeouts. They were also a study in extremes — one SP had an ERA near 1.00, another more than 9.00. As a staff, they were bad, but there were some really standout individual performances, which will be discussed below.

The 2013 Auburn batters weren’t the worst in the league, but finished above 10th in just two categories — striking out (4th fewest) and getting hit by pitches (4th most). Kind of brings new meaning to contact hitter, no? Unfortunately, once you factor out the 23-y.o. players, it gets very difficult to find very much positive about this group.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at the Top 12 hitters in terms of usage. Full statistics for the team can be found here.
(# = 2012 Draft Pick or NDFA ** = DSL Graduate)

Name Age PA Position(s) G @ Pos Fld% Err GPA ISO
James Yezzo 21 263 1B 60 .993 4 .206 .071
Isaac Ballou 23 253 CF/LF 44/11 .982 2 .282 .104
Cody Gunter 19 245 3B 59 .885 20 .205 .081
Wilman Rodriguez** 22 171 SS/2B 19/9/9 .945 10 .208 .044
Jean Carlos Valdez** 20 191 3B/1B 15/9 .978 3 .224 .123
Bryan Lippincott# 23 187 LF/RF/1B 18/11/8 .978 2 .277 .181
Cody Dent 21 180 2B/SS/3B 29/21/2 .962 8 .195 .019
David Masters 20 170 SS/2B 19/18/1 .947 11 .175 .059
Matt Foat# 23 169 2B/LF/1B 21/4/1 .956 5 .195 .080
Greg Zebrack# 22 147 CF/RF/LF 28/6/4 1.000 0 .225 .056
Brenton Allen 21 140 LF/RF 33/1 .940 3 .219 .085
Wilmer Difo** 21 136 SS/2B 18/13 .961 5 .214 .116



As aforementioned, just two of these 12 were above the league average for GPA — and both guys (Isaac Ballou, Bryan Lippincott) were 23, which is old for the NYPL no matter how you slice it, dice it, or spice it. It gets a little better when you’re looking for raw power: the Dominican duo of Wilmer Difo and Diomedes Eusebio both showed above-average isolated power, which is not really that big of a surprise as one or both have been “watchlisters” since the beginning.

Defensively, the team was league-average, but a lot of that was dragged down by the team’s left-side infielders, who committed 41 of the team’s 88 errors. First baseman James Yezzo posted a below-average range factor but made just four errors, which is good because as previously reported, he’s a 1B-only project. Missing the cut in terms of usage (89PA), Matt Reistetter gets a mention here as he put up strong numbers defensively (.988FA, 8-for-16, CS-SB) and respectable offensive numbers (.254/.337/.354) — not bad for a NDFA that didn’t start playing until July 24.

On to the pitchers, the Top 12 listed in terms of innings pitched…

PLAYER AGE G/GS W-L, SV ERA IP H BB SO WHIP HR HBP WP
R.C. Orlan# 22 13/11 1-5, 0 3.65 56⅔ 54 22 47 1.341 2 4 2
L.J. Hollins# 21 23/0 1-4, 6 2.84 44⅓ 45 14 35 1.331 0 4 3
Jake Johansen 22 10/10 1-1, 0 1.06 42⅓ 22 18 44 0.945 1 1 5
Casey Selsor# 23 14/7 0-6, 0 4.29 42 56 14 30 1.667 1 1 2
Joel Barrientos** 19 11/8 1-5, 0 7.08 40⅔ 54 27 24 1.992 6 6 0
Ryan Ullmann 21 8/6 2-2, 0 5.30 37⅓ 52 10 23 1.241 4 2 0
Silvio Medina** 23 19/0 1-3, 0 4.08 35⅓ 33 25 48 1.642 2 5 8
Austin Voth 21 7/7 2-0, 0 1.47 30⅔ 21 4 42 0.815 0 1 2
Jake Joyce 21 20/0 1-3, 2 5.04 30⅓ 37 12 27 1.615 0 3 3
Mike Mudron# 23 19/0 1-3, 0 6.82 30⅓ 43 15 32 1.912 0 2 9
Deion Williams 20 8/8 0-6, 0 9.42 28⅔ 40 17 23 1.988 1 5 2
John Simms 21 11/2 0-3, 1 5.79 28 41 7 31 1.714 0 6 2



It’s not difficult to see the aforementioned standouts (I think Stevie Wonder could) when you look over this dozen. Jake Johansen and Austin Voth had ERAs that began with “1″ and WHIPs that began with 0.” As the “top pick in the 2013 Draft,” Johansen gets the press, but Voth had superior peripherals — 12.3 K/9 vs. 9.4, 1.2 BB/9 vs. 3.8, 0.95 FIP vs. 2.77. This, of course, it not to diminish the big Texan but to shine a light on the underrated U-Dub product.

A healthy R.C. Orlan led the staff in innings pitched, followed by L.J. Hollins. While both were 2012 picks, it was the first year in Auburn for them as Orlan missed all of last season with TJ surgery and Hollins was leapfrogged from the GCL to Hagerstown in July 2012 and dropped down after making a single appearance for the Suns in late May 2013. While not outstanding in the traditonal sense, both were better than league average and helped offset some of the woeful pitching that’s also pretty easy to spot.

Finally, two notables that missed the cut: the sole Auburn All-Star David Napoli, who posted a line of 1.14/2.48/1.099 in 23⅔ innings, and 20-y.o. Nick Pivetta, who went 3.38/3.90/1.406 in 21⅓ innings.

OBLIGATORY TOP 5 LISTS

It was tempting to cut down to a Top 4 or combine arms and bats into a single list (all things I’ve done before and will probably do again), but I’ll stick with the format and note that inclusion here may not necessarily mean 2014 Watchlist status, sample sizes are small, your mileage may vary, etc.

Top 5 Batters
1. Isaac Ballou
2. Bryan Lippincott
3. Jean Carlos Valdez
4. Wilmer Difo
5. Greg Zebrack
HM: Matt Reistetter

Top 5 Pitchers
1. Austin Voth
2. Jake Johansen
3. R.C. Orlan
4. L.J. Hollins
5. John Simms*
HM: Nick Pivetta

* I made a choice like this in 2011 with Christian Meza based on a similar disconnect between ERA (5.79) and FIP (2.38) as well as strong perhiperals (2.25 BB/9, 9.96 K/9) and an unusually high BABIP of .438. Robert Benincasa had a similar mark last year (.409) which normalized this year to roughly .313.

Oct 012013
 

Baseball America has issued its Top 20 prospects for the New York-Penn League and coming in at #13 is Jacob Johansen.

Thanks to the decision to sign a free-agent closer, which forfeited their 1st round pick, the Washington Nationals’ first pick in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft did not come until the 29th pick of the 2nd round, 68th overall. With it, the Nats chose Johansen out of Dallas Baptist — an under-the-radar pick who immediately begat comparisons to Nathan Karns, as both put up less-than-stellar numbers in college, pitched in high school and collegiately in Texas, and were power arms with control issues.

Obviously, the comparisons end with Johansen not suffering an injury and dominating the NYPL — holding opponents to a .147 BA, while hanging a 1.06/2.77/0.92 pitcher’s line (ERA/FIP/WHIP) over 10 starts. He finished the season in Hagerstown, where he was knocked around in his final two regular-season starts before tossing five shutout innings for the “W” in the Suns sole victory in the Sally League Finals against the league-champion Savannah Sand Gnats.

The knock on Johansen prior to the draft was on his mechanics and approach, which BA mentioned in the course of its writeup as such:

The Nationals got him to simplify his approach this summer, attacking hitters with power stuff rather than trying to trick them. Though his command and his secondary stuff remain works in progress, Johansen dominated this summer with a premium fastball that sat at 94-96 mph with heavy sink and topped out at 99.

The rest of his arsenal is described as CV, CH, and depending on whom you ask, a SL or CT. For a more detailed look at Johansen, check out Ryan Kelley’s take via District Sports Page from this past August.

Unlike Giolito, I don’t think Johansen will skip ahead to Potomac. With Giolito, repeating Auburn means waiting until June whereas Johansen can begin in Hagerstown and be moved up by mid-to-late May just like (aw, crap – sometimes comps just sneak up on you) Karns in 2012.

Next up: BA will be ranking the Top 20 Sally League prospects, then a look at the 2013 GCL Nationals.

Sep 052013
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Harrisburg Won, 5-4 @ Erie, 6:35 p.m. Hill (2-7, 2.71) vs.
Saupold (7-6, 3.28)
Potomac Won, 2-1 (14 inn.) vs. Lynchburg, 7:05 p.m. Schwartz (11-4, 2.65) vs.
Hinson (4-4, 2.48)
Hagerstown Won, 6-1 @ West Virginia, 7:05 p.m. Encarnacion (10-9, 3.58) vs.
Kuchno (9-5, 4.01)
Auburn Lost, 2-0 END OF SEASON N/A



Harrisburg 5 Erie 4
• Cole 6IP, 7H, 3R, 3ER, BB, 4K, HR
• Mirowkski (W, 1-0) 2IP, 1H, R, ER, 0BB, 2K
• Herron (SV, 1) 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
• Head 2-5, 2B, RBI
• Hague 2-5

Steven Souza only had one hit last night, but it cleared the fence for a 5-4 Harrisburg win over Erie in Game One of the E.L. West Divisonal series. It was the third big fly of the night, as Justin Bloxom went deep for two in the top of the 1st and Seawolves TomTyler Collins mixed up an A.J. Cole pitch for three runs in bottom of the 1st. That would be all the 21-y.o. would allow, as he finished with six innings pitched, seven hits and one walk allowed, and four strikeouts. Richie Mirowski got the win in relief, giving up a run on a controversial play at the plate that saw Erie score its fourth run and C Brian Jeroloman removed from the game. Tyler Herron struck out the side in the 9th to nail down the game and earn the save. Geoff Morrow of the Patriot-News reports via manager Matt LeCroy that Jeroloman was taken to the hospital with a gash under his chin, which may make the backtop unavailable for Game Two, if not the rest of the series.

Potomac 2 Lynchburg 1 (14 inn.)
• Solis 5IP, 3H, R, ER, BB, 5K
• Dupra (W, 1-0) 2IP, 2H, 0R, BB, 2K
• Oduber 3-5, 2B, BB, RBI
• Soriano 2-5, BB

It was the longest game of the year, both by time and innings Last Night In Woodbridge.
Roster moves: OF Caleb Ramsey placed on temporary inactive list; OF Will Piwinica-Worms reassigned from Hagerstown; RHP Christian Garcia added to roster for MLB rehab.

Hagerstown 6 West Virginia 1
• Voth (W, 1-0) 5IP, 3H, 0R, 2BB, 5K
• Pena 1⅔ IP, 0H, 0R, BB, K, 2-0 IR-S
• Severino 2-3, 2R, BB
• Perez 2-4, R, SB

“Help Me” might have been what West Virginia pitcher Tyle Glasnow was thinking after issuing two hits and two walks to the first five batters of the 3rd, but Wander Ramos did not comply, smacking a two-run double to complete a four-run inning for Hagerstown. The Suns went on to a 6-1 victory to take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series. Austin Voth pitched five shutout frames, walking two and letting up three hits while fanning five. Ian Dickson walked five in his his two and 1/3rd innings of work, giving up the Power run, but escaped major damage with the help of Ronald Pena, who stranded two in the 8th and pitched a scoreless 9th to preserve the win. The series shifts to Hagerstown for Game Two on Friday, the Suns having two chances to win once to make it to the Sally League Championship Finals. Roster moves: RHP Jake Johansen removed from the roster; LHP Jake Walsh reassigned from the GCL; 1B Bryan Lippincott reassigned from Auburn

Mahoning Valley 2 Auburn 0
• Pivetta 5IP, 2H, 0R, BB, 7K
• Selsor (L, 0-6) 1IP, 2H, 2R, ER, BB, 0K, HR
• W. Rodriguez 2-5, 2B
• Ramirez 2-4, 2B

The Scrappers struck for two in the 6th for the game’s only scoring as the Doubledays fell in their season finale, 2-0. Casey Selsor took the loss, giving up both Mahoning Valley Runs on two hits, including a solo HR in one inning of relief. Nick Pivetta tossed five scoreless innings in his final start, allowing just two hits and one walk while striking out seven. Wilman Rodriguez and Andruth Ramirez both singled and doubled as Auburn racked up eight hits in the loss. The Doubledays finished the season as the NYPL’s worst at 26-49.

Sep 042013
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Harrisburg OFF DAY @ Erie, 6:35 p.m. Cole (4-2, 2.18) vs. TBD
Potomac OFF DAY vs. Lynchburg, 7:05 p.m. Solis (2-1, 3.43) vs.
Ross (9-6, 3.27)
Hagerstown OFF DAY @ West Virginia, 7:05 p.m. Voth (1-0, 3.38) vs.
Glasnow (9-3, 2.18)
Auburn Lost, 2-0; Won, 3-1 vs. Mahoning Valley,
7:05 p.m.
Pivetta (0-1, 4.41) vs.
Hamrick (2-6, 3.42)



Harrisburg at Erie — Game One, Eastern League Divisional Series (Best-of-Five)
The Senators and Seawolves split their last two regular-season series in July and August, which is only fitting for the second-best road team (Harrisburg) vs. the second-best home team (Erie). Pitching has carried Harrisburg all season long, though the Sens have scored five or more runs six times in the last 10 games. A.J. Cole is the Game One starter and has faced Erie just once, losing a 4-1 decision on August 22 at Metro Bank Park. Erie has yet to announce its starters.

Lynchburg at Potomac — Game One, Carolina League Divisional Series (Best-of-Three)
On paper, this should be a warmup to the Finals. Potomac took six of eight games in their last two series and have dominated at home (47-23). If, however, the Hillcats can knock a P-Nats starter from the box, they’ll be getting into a bullpen that’s been worked hard (and hit hard) the past week. Best hope: Brian Rauh follows Sammy Solis tonight and finishes the game in a Potomac win, giving the other relievers another day of rest and Lynchburg the task of having to beat staff ace Blake Schwartz to avoid elimination tomorrow.

Hagerstown at West Virginia — Game One, Sally League Divisional Series (Best-of-Three)
The Power enter the first round on an 8-2 run and winners of the last four straight. The Suns have lost six of the last ten, including the last three in a row. Austin Voth gets the start for Hagerstown, just his third since being promoted from Auburn in late August. His previous two outings were against cellar-dwelling Lakewood. He’ll be opposed by Tyler Glasnow, West Virginia’s top pitcher. The Suns beat Glasnow in July, but the 20-y.o. pitched well in two earlier outings in June and April.

Mahoning Valley 2 Auburn 0 — GAME ONE
• Young 3IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 3K
• Garcia 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Bafidis (L, 2-1) 2IP, 4H, 2R, 1ER, BB, K
• W. Rodriguez 1-3

Wilman Rodriguez singled to lead off the bottom of the 7th, spoiling a perfect game bid by Mahoning Valley’s Cole Sulser. Alas, it was the sole Auburn hit in a 2-0 shutout by the Scrappers. Rehabbers Chris Young and Christian Garcia combined for four scoreless innings an five strikeouts. Cory Bafidis took the loss, giving up both Mahoning Valley runs on four hits in the 5th and 6th innings.

Auburn 3 Mahoning Valley 1 — GAME TWO
• Giolito 4IP, 3H, R, ER, 3BB, 5K, HR
• Mudron (W, 1-3) 1IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, K
• Hollins (SV, 6) 2IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
• W. Rodriguez 1-3, 2RBI
• Masters 1-1, R, BB, RBI

Lucas Giolito gave up a solo HR in his 4th and final inning, falling short of the requisite five innings to get the “W” as the Doubledays won 3-1 to, um, salvage the doubleheader versus the Scrappers. The 19-y.o. walked three and struck out five while allowing three hits total in his final start of the season. Auburn struck for all three runs in the 2nd on a one-run single by David Masters and a two-run safety by Wilman Rodriguez. Mike Mudron got the win in relief while L.J. Hollins closed out the game for his sixth save.

Sep 032013
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 4-2 END OF SEASON N/A
Harrisburg Won, 1-0 END OF SEASON N/A
Potomac Lost, 7-6; Lost, 16-5 END OF SEASON N/A
Hagerstown Lost, 4-3 END OF SEASON N/A
Auburn Postponed vs. Mahoning Valley,
7:05 p.m.
Selsor (0-5, 4.17) and Giolito (1-0, 0.00) vs.
Sulser (2-2, 2.06) and Mathews (0-2, 2.80)



Buffalo 4 Syracuse 2
• Rosenbaum (L, 7-11) 7IP, 9H, 4R, 4ER, 0BB, 6K, HR
• Cedeno 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Kobernus 2-4
• Van Ostrand 2-4, RBI

Syracuse fell behind 3-0 after three innings and couldn’t come up with the clutch hit, falling 4-2 to Buffalo in the season finale. Danny Rosenbaum lost for the 11th time, allowing all four Bison runs on nine hits, including a home run. The 25-y.o. southpaw struck out six and walked none. Jeff Kobernus and Jimmy Van Ostrand both went 2-for-4 to lead the Chiefs’ 10-hit attack, which included just one hit in eight chances with RISP.

Harrisburg 1 Richmond 0
• Gilliam 4⅔ IP, 2H, 0R, 4BB, 6K
• Mirowski (W, 2-0) 1⅓ IP, 0H, 1K, 3-0 IR-S
• Holland 1IP, 3H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 0K, HR, 2-2 IR-S
• Howell 3-4, RBI
• Souza 2-4, 2B

The Senators pitching has been its hallmark all season long and it showed in a 1-0 win over Richmond to secure the E.L. West Division title. Starter Rob Gilliam gave up both Squirrel hits over four and 2/3rds and walked four while striking out six. Richie Mirowski, Pat McCoy, Neil Holland, and Tyler Herron combined for four and a 1/3rd no-hit innings of relief, retiring 13 of 14 batters with no walks and six K’s. Jeff Howell plated the lone Harrisburg run with an RBI single in the 6th while going 3-for-4 overall. Harrisburg will travel to Erie for Games 1 & 2 on Wednesday with the remaining games in Harrisburg in the best-of-five playoff series. A.J. Cole, Taylor Hill, and Nathan Karns were announced as the starters for the first three games, respectively.

Frederick 7 Potomac 6 — COMP.
• Demny 5IP, 4H, 3R, 3ER, 3BB, 6K
• Martin (BS, 3) 1IP, 1H, 2R, 1ER, 2BB, K
• Rauh (BS, 2; L, 4-2) 2IP, 3H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, K, HR
• Ramsey 3-5, 2R, 2B
• Taylor 2-3, R, 2BB, 2SB (49, 50)
• Keyes 2-5 2RBI

The P-Nats couldn’t hold the 4-3 lead they took on Sunday night, giving up two in the bottom of the 6th and 7th innings as they fell in the completion, 7-6. Neither Rafael Martin nor Brian Rauh could hold a one-run lead, “earning” blown saves for both with Rauh taking the loss. Starter Paul Demny had gone five innings with three runs allowed on four hits and three walks with six strikeouts. Michael Taylor singled twice, walked twice, and swiped two bases to lead the Potomac offense.

Frederick 16 Potomac 5 — GAME TWO
• Mooneyham (L, 0-3) 3⅓ IP, 8H, 8R, 8ER, 4BB, 2K, HR
• Dupra 3IP, 0H, 0R, 2BB, 4K
• Miller 2-4, R, 2B, RBI
• Taylor 2-4, 2-2B, SB
• Dykstra 2-3, 2B

Brett Mooneyham got rocked for the third time in three starts since his promotion from Hagerstown, as Potomac fell 16-5 in the second game. The Keys struck for four in the 1st and seven in the 4th to knock out Mooneyham, who was charged with eight runs on eight hits and four walks over three and a 1/3rd innings. Middle relievers Colin Bates and Greg Holt were also touched for eight runs combined. The P-Nats registered 11 hits and five doubles in the loss. Like the Sens, the P-Nats also announced their playoff rotation, with Sammy Solis taking the hill on Wednesday, Blake Schwartz on Thursday, and Matt Purke (if necessary) on Friday. As a double-half winner, Potomac will host the entire first round of the divisional series.

Kannapolis 4 Hagerstown 3 (10 inn.)
• Turnbull 5IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 3K
• Bacus (H, 1) 2⅓ IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
• Meza (L, 3-1) ⅔ IP, H, R, ER, 0BB, 0K, HR
• Ramos 2-5, 2B
• McQuillan 2-5, R, 2B, RBI

Jacob May’s solo shot off Christian Meza with two outs in the 10th completed the Kannapolis comeback victory over Hagerstown, 4-3. The Suns had built a 3-0 lead with single runs in the 2nd, 4th, and 8th innings on an RBI double by Mike McQuillan, and RBI singles by Will Piwinica-Worms and Estarlin Martinez. Kylin Turnbull turned in five scoreless innings of one-hit ball, walking one and fanning three. Bryan Harper got the blown save, letting in the tying runs and failing to retire any of the four batters he faced. Game One of the Sally League Northern Division Series will be tomorrow night in Charleston, WV. Games Two and Three (if necessary) are scheduled for Friday and Saturday. Neither the Suns nor the Power have announced robable pitchers thus far.

Auburn vs. Mahoning Valley — PPD
Rain postponed last night’s game to tonight, forcing a doubleheader tonight to cram the final three games into two days.

Sep 022013
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 5-4 vs. Buffalo,
2:00 p.m.
Rosenbaum (7-10, 3.81) vs.
Weber (7-5, 2.71)
Harrisburg Lost, 7-3 @ Richmond,
12:05 p.m.
Gilliam (3-6, 4.64) vs.
Gloor (9-7, 3.87)
Potomac Winning, 4-3
(Susp., 6th)
@ Frederick,
12:30 p.m. (Comp. DH)
Mooneyham (0-2, 10.13) vs.
Berry (10-7, 3.82)
Hagerstown Lost, 5-3
(5½ inn.)
@ Kannapolis,
1:05 p.m.
Turnbull (6-5, 3.81) vs.
Bucciferro (3-5, 2.59)
Auburn Won, 10-0 vs. Mahoning Valley,
7:05 p.m.
Selsor (0-5, 4.17) vs.
Sulser (2-2, 2.06)
GCL Nationals Won, 7-2 END OF SEASON N/A



Buffalo 5 Syracuse 4
• Tatusko (L, 5-8) 5IP, 6H, 4R, 4ER, 2BB, 4K
• Lowe 2IP, 2H, 1R, 0ER, 0BB, 5K
• Brown 2-4, R
• Kobernus 1-2, R, 2BB, 3SB

The Bison scored twice on sacrifice flies in the 5th to take a 4-2 lead and held off the Chiefs for a 5-4 win. Ryan Tatusko took the loss with four runs allowed on six hits and two walks with four strikeouts over five innings. Every Syracuse batter hit safely for a total of 10 hits, with Corey Brown the sole Chief to have multiple safeties. Jeff Kobernus reached base three times on a single and two walks and stole three bases to break the 40-steal mark for the third consecutive season.
Roster moves: LHP Ian Krol, RHP Erik Davis recalled to Washington; C Sam Palace activated from the 7-Day DL.

Richmond 7 Harrisburg 3
• Treinen 5IP, 1H, R, ER, 0BB, 7K, HR
• Grace (L, 6-3) 3BF, 1H, 3R, 2ER, 2BB, 0K
• Holland 1IP, 3H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 0K, HR, 2-2 IR-S
• Souza 2-4, R, HR, 2RBI
• Rivero 1-3, R, HR, RBI

The Squirrels went nuts against the Sens ‘pen in the 6th, scoring five times to break a 1-1 tie as Richmond handed Harrisburg a 7-3 defeat. Matt Grace took the loss, unable to retire any of three three batters he faced while Neil Holland let in both inherited runners and two of his own in the innings. Billy Burns walked and stole two bases and came in on a groundout for the first Harrisburg run while Carlos Rivero and Steve Souza Jr. hit solo shots in the 8th and 9th innings to account for the Harrisburg runs. Blake Treinen pitched five innings of one-hit ball, giving up a leadoff homerun then setting down 15 of the next 16 batters (seven on strikes) but got the no-decision. Erie and Bowie were rained out, thus the Sens’ magic number to clinch the division remains at one.
Roster moves: C Sandy Leon recalled to Washington; C Jeff Howell reassigned from Syracuse

Potomac 4 Frederick 3 — SUSP.
• Demny 5IP, 4H, 3R, 3ER, 3BB, 6K

Play was called with the P-Nats leading the Keys 4-3 in the bottom of the 6th. The game will be resumed this afternoon followed by the regularly scheduled, nine-inning game. Roster moves: IF Cutter Dykstra activated from TIL; C Cole Leonida placed on the DL

Kannapolis 5 Hagerstown 3 (5½ inn., rain)
• Encarnacion (L, 10-9) 5IP, 10H, 5R, 4ER, 0BB, 8K
• Norfork 1-3, R, 2B, 2RBI
• Severino 2-2

Rain ended this one after five and a 1/2 with the Intimidators overtaking the Suns with a two-run fourth for a 5-3 win. Kannapolis struck first with three in the bottom of the 2nd while Hagerstown tied it in the 4th on a two-run double by Khayyan Norfork and an error. The Suns got sloppy in the bottom half of the frame, with a dropped third strike with two outs extending the inning and an error on a bunt single to the next batter setting up a two-run single. Pedro Encarnacion gave up all five runs (four earned) on ten hits for his ninth loss. He walked none and struck out eight. Hagerstown had four hits in six “ups” with Pedro Severino collecting two of them while going 2-for-2. The loss combined with a doubleheader sweep by West Virginia gave the Power the second half Sally North division title.

Auburn 10 State College 0
• Orlan 4IP, 1H, 0R, 3BB, 5K
• Cooper (W, 2-1) 2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 3K, HBP
• Lippincott 2-3, 2R, 2BB
• Yezzo 2-4, 2R, HR, 3RBI
• Foat 1-5, 2R, HR, 5RBI

Four Auburn pitchers combined on a three-hit shutout while the offense exploded twice for big innings for a 10-0 win. R.C. Orlan turned in four innings of one-hit ball, walking three and striking out five in his final start. Andrew Cooper got the win as the first man out of the ‘pen, retiring six of seven batters faced (hitting the other) with three strikeouts. Bryan Lippincott reached base four times with two singles and two walks to lead the 13-hit attack, which included a three-run shot by James Yezzo in the four-run 4th and a grand slam by Matt Foat in the six-run 8th.

GCL Nationals 7 GCL Red Sox 2
• Suero (W, 1-0) 5IP, 1H, R, ER, 3BB, 7K, HBP
• Sylvestri 2IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Marmolejos-Diaz 2-4, R, 2B, BB, 2RBI
• R. Encarnacion 1-3, 2R, 2BB, RBI
• Gordon 2-4, R, RBI

The G-Nats did precisely what you’d expect a team that went 49-9 in the regular season to do: Win the league championship.