I just wanted to quickly introduce myself as a guest contributor to River Ave Blues. I’ve been a longtime reader of the guys at RAB since the days of ‘In George We Trust’ and ‘Off the Façade’ so I’m really looking forward to providing some write ups during the AzFL season. I’m a techie by trade, but I’m a huge fan of the Yankee minor league teams and hopefully I can bring you first hand recaps and photos from the games. Hope you enjoy…
HWB Honolulu (8-3 win over Waikiki)
Bradley Suttle: 0 for 3, 1 K – 1 for 11 with 2 BB & 3 K as a pro
Austin Jackson: 0 for 1 – subbed in in the bottom of the 6th
No other Yankee farmshands played; I personally can’t wait to see Mark Melancon back on the bump.
HWB Honolulu (7-0 loss to Waikiki)
Austin Jackson: 0 for 4, 2 K – one too many Mai Tai’s I see
Bradley Suttle: 0 for 0, 1 BB – came in as a defensive sub in the 6th
George Kontos: 2.1 IP, 0 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 3 K, 0-4 GB/FB – wasn’t helped out by a throwing error & 2 passed balls by his catcher
Anthony Claggett: 1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 WP – didn’t even know he was heading to Hawaii
These games are almost like Spring Training games, with mass substitutions in the middle innings, and pitching changes every other inning or so. Somehow, someway, the 6th overall pick, and the consensus top position player talent in the 2007 draft, Matt Weiters, batted 9th in the starting lineup. Oi.
Not too much going on with the farm system these days, but here’s some random tidbits:
- Chad Jennings is counting down the 10 prospects who improved their stock the most this year. It’s a great list, which I’m sure you’ve come to expect from Chad. If you aren’t reading his Triple-A Scranton Yankees blog everyday, you really should be.
Baseball America has learned that UC Irvine will hire former Southern California coach Mike Gillespie as its new head baseball coach, replacing Dave Serrano, who left for Cal State Fullerton.
Obviously this news adds a little more spice to Southern California’s baseball dynamics. Gillespie retired in 2006–perhaps not entirely of his own choosing–after 20 seasons at USC, where he coached 28 future major leaguers, led the Trojans to four College World Series and the 1998 national championship. He was replaced by his son-in-law, Chad Kreuter, but Gillespie wasn’t finished with baseball, so he took a job as the manager of the short-season Staten Island Yankees in the New York-Penn League.
I loved the idea of having Gillespie at SI; he’s got a long and successful history of dealing with young guys in crucial phases of their life, and he’s also dealt with his fair share of uber-talented phenoms on their way to stardom. Oh well, life goes on.
Just as a quick recap, Cal State Fullerton coach George Horton took the job at Oregon, which is resurrecting it’s baseball program after a 15+ year hiatus. Fullerton hired Horton’s former assistant, Dave Serrano, to replace him after Serrano took Irvine to it’s first ever College World Series in 2007. Gillespie completes the coaching carousel chairs and takes over at Irvine.
If you aren’t familar with college ball, the moves are basically equivalent to Joe Torre leaving the Yanks for an expansion team (Horton to Fullerton), Bud Black leaving the Padres for the Yanks (Serrano to Fullerton), and Bobby Valentine coming back to coach the Padres.
Ryan Pope | RHP
Born in Bradenton, FL, Pope was raised about 400 miles north in Savannah, GA. As you can probably guess, Pope grew up rooting for the Braves during the Maddux-Glavine-Smoltz Era, and surely cursed the Bombers in 1996 & 1999. Pope wasn’t much of a prospect in high school, barely topping out at 82, and receiving nothing more than a quick glance from Division I recruiters. Pope took his act to the Savannah College of Art & Design, a school better known for producing Grammy Award winner Indie Arie & various items for The Real World than baseball players.
BA’s got the scoop. The Yanks are sending Brad Suttle, Austin Jackson, George Kontos and a rehabbing Mark Melancon to play for the Honolulu Sharks. Melancon, as you may recall, left Hawaii early last year to finally have his long anticipated Tommy John surgery.
That Honolulu squad looks pretty stacked based on a quick glance, as Matt Weiters, Brandon Snyder and Ryan Harvey will be joining the Yanks foursome. Let’s just hope none of Dan Bard’s “success” rubs off on any of the Yankee guys.
(hat tip to Keith Law)