Results tagged ‘ Florida State League ’

Local players up for MiLBY Awards

TravisMVPIt’s that time of year, where Minor League Baseball lets the best fans in the world vote their best Minor League moments, plays, bloopers, players, and so one. It’s simply time for the MiLBY Awards. Up for two of these awards is former West Michigan Whitecaps second baseman Devon Travis, who was promoted to the Lakeland Flying Tigers in late June. The awards that he’s in the running for, are the Offensive Player of the Year and Breakout Prospect of the Year awards. Travis batted .352 during his time in West Michigan, and .350 in Lakeland. His combined .351 average was the best in Minor League baseball for anyone with at least 350 at-bats. Between the two leagues, he also contibuted 28 doubles, 16 home runs, 76 RBI’s, and 22 stolen bases. Travis was only one of five players in MiLB to hit .330 and steal over 20 bases.

Corey Seager is nominated for the Breakout Prospect of the Year Award with teammate Julio Urias, and rival Devon Travis

Corey Seager is nominated for the Breakout Prospect of the Year Award with teammate Julio Urias, and rival Devon Travis

Also up for the Breakout Prospect of the Year Award, are short stop Corey Seager and pitcher Julio Urias of the Great Lakes Loons. Seager lead the Loons with a .309 average, and was tied for home runs with 12, despite playing 27 games with the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes of the California League. He also hit 18 doubles and drove in 57 RBI’s with Great Lakes. Urias was one of the best rookie pitchers in the Midwest League, holding batters to a .206 average the second half of the season. The 16 year-old prospect struck out 11.9 batters per nine innings, a total of 67 on the year. Urias had a 2-0 record in 18 appearances for the Loons.

UPDATE: Travis won the Offensive Player of the Year and Breakout Prospect of the Year MiLBY awards, as voted by the fans.

Photos property of Minoring In Baseball

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Travis named Tigers’ top farmhand

Devon Travis: The Detroit Tigers Minor League Player of the Year

Devon Travis: The Detroit Tigers Minor League Player of the Year

Devon Travis, who has split time between the West Michigan Whitecaps and the Lakeland Flying Tigers, has been named the Detroit Tigers Minor League Player of the Year. He hit .351, with 16 home runs, 76 RBI’s, 28 doubles, four triples, and stole 22 bases between the Midwest and Florida State League. The 22-year-old second baseman was a 13th-round pick of Detroit in 2012, then playing collegiate ball for the Florida State Seminoles. Travis was also the MVP of the Midwest League All-Star Game in June, and was named a MWL post-season All-Star. He will suit up with six other Tigers’ prospects to play in the Arizona Fall League in October. It will be fun to track his progress, and see what level he starts out in next season.

Photo property of Minoring In Baseball

Whitecaps Update 7/13

Devon Travis leads the Midwest League in hits

Devon Travis leads the Midwest League in hits

Travis Promoted: The West Michigan Whitecaps second baseman, and the Midwest League All-Star game MVP,  Devon Travis has been promoted to the Single-A Advanced Lakeland Flying Tigers of the Florida State League. Travis was leading the league in hitting with a .352 average, and 102 hits. He also had a league high in games played with 77, was second in on-base percentage at .430 and runs scored with 55, and was fourth in total bases at 141. Travis was also slick with the glove, leading all MWL second baseman with a .982 fielding percentage. Playing his collegiate ball at Florida State, Travis was a 13th round pick by the Tigers last year. Replacing him on the Whitecaps rosters, is 19-yr-old Harold Castro. Castro is coming down from the Flying Tigers, where he was hitting .274.

Jeff Holm signs some autographs for Whitecaps fans

Jeff Holm signs some autographs for Whitecaps fans

Holm MWL PoW: The Whitecaps first baseman Jeff Holm has been named the Midwest League Player of the Week for the week ending 6/30. Holm has been pounding the ball in this seasons’ second half, batting .438 (.385 this past week), with a .484 on-base percentage, and .731 slugging percentage. He’s knocked two home runs, four extra-base hits, five RBI’s and six runs scored. For the season, the Michigan State product is now batting .308 and leads the ‘Caps with eight home runs and 54 RBI’s. He was selected the starting first baseman for the Eastern squad at the MWL All-Star game, and his .993 fielding percentage leads all the league’s first baseman.

Photos property of Minoring In Baseball

And Another Returns

Michael Hernandez with the Whitecaps back in 2006

Michael Hernandez with the Whitecaps back in 2006

The Detroit Tigers organization recently re-acquired Gustavo Nunez, now they have re-signed West Michigan Whitecaps alum Michael Hernandez to a minor league deal. An outfielder, Hernandez played for the ‘Caps in 2006, then split time in Lakeland and Erie in 2007. While in West Michigan, he hit a solid .278, with 13 home runs and 63 RBI’s. He was a two-time Midwest League Player of the Week, as well as being an All-Star in the Florida State League. He was traded to the Texas Rangers after the 2007 season, in the deal that brought Armando Galarraga to Detroit. He was released by Texas, spent a couple of years in the Mets system, and recently has been honing his skills in the Atlantic League. The Tigers have also signed right-handed pitcher Michael Dubee to a minor league deal. Pitching out of the bullpen the last few seasons, Dubee was 4-4 last season, with a 4.07 ERA. He also had 53 strike-outs between the Yankees and Blue Jays Double-A affiliates. Both players were signed simply to add depth the organization, but I hope they both have solid seasons.

Photo courtesy of MotownSports.com

Flying Tigers soar to FSL Championship

Despite the West Michigan Whitecaps barely missing out on the playoffs the last two seasons, a good handful of players from last years team are celebrating a Florida State League championship as members of the Lakeland Flying Tigers. The Flying Tigers beat out the Jupiter Hammerheads in five games for the title, with every game being decided by two or fewer runs. The Lakeland fans packing Joker Marchand Stadium were treated to a classic game five, as both teams were held scoreless for seven innings. Starting pitcher Warick Saupold and former Whitecaps reliever Melvin Mercedes combined for a four-hit shutout with their team scoring the only runs of the game in the eighth inning. Former ‘Caps players combined for some offense, as second baseman Hernan Perez singled and was sacrificed to second by Michael Rockett. Marcus Lemon, who started the season in West Michigan, drew a walk to put runners on first and second. With Dixon Machado at the plate, the Flying Tigers executed a double steal, but a throwing error by Jupiter’s catcher allowed Perez to score the first, and winning, run. Lemon would score on a single by Tyler Collins to make the score 2-0. Mercedes then entered the game on the mound, and retired three out of the four batters faced to seal the win and the championship. It was a great moment for Mercedes, and for Perez, who led the FSL in fielding this season.

“I’ve had something of an up and down season”, Perez told The Ledger(Lakeland). “Especially hitting, so getting on and scoring a run when we really needed it made my whole season special.

This is Lakeland’s sixth FSL championship overall, and the fourth for manager Dave Hupport. He also has more minor league victories than any other active manager.

“Of all the championship teams I have had the honor of managing, this one has been the most fun to work with because they’re disciplined, they play hard, they believe in each other, and they won and lost as a team not as a bunch of individuals looking out for themselves,” Hupport also told The Ledger.

In a strange twist of fate, the Flying Tigers were the only team not to have a playing on the Florida State League’s All-Star roster. I guess they’ll have to settle for a championship. This is one of the few bright spots for the Detroit Tigers farm system, as the Flying Tigers and the Whitecaps were the on two affiliates with winning records. We wish all these players luck next season, especially the ones who played in West Michigan also. I’m probably one of the few baseball fans already looking to 2013!

Former Whitecaps infielder Hernan Perez scored the winning run!

 

West Michigan alum Melvin Mercedes earned the save!

Photos courtesy of Michael Wilson/The Ledger

The Future is now for West Michigan Alumni

Two players from the Detroit Tigers organization have been chosen to play in the 14th Annual Sirius XM All-Star Futures Game this season, held at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City. Third-baseman Nick Castellanos and pitcher Bruce Rondon, both of whom also played for the West Michigan Whitecaps in 2011. Castellanos seemed to be an easy pick for the U.S. roster, as he’s currently one of the best hitters in Minor League baseball. With Class-A Lakeland, he was hitting .405 with 17 doubles, three triples, three homers, and has knocked in 32 RBI’s. Since being promoted to Double-A Erie on June 5, he was batting just .225 until he finally found his swing this week in a game against the Bowie Bay Sox. He went 3-4 in the game with three RBI’s, and was just a single away from hitting for the cycle.

“This season, this game is up there, definitely in the top five. It’s my first game with three extra-base hits. I drove some balls the opposite way pretty well and I got my swing back. I wasn’t being myself for a few games,” Castellanos told MiLB.com. For him, every level has been somewhat of an adjustment. “It’s still a transition. The pitchers are very consistent with what they do so you have to battle every at bat. I really don’t believe in mechanical changes. I believe in my swing and I think it works, so if things are not going well I watch video because it is almost always because of my timing.”

Castellanos, only 20 years old, was Detroit’s top draft pick in 2010. With the Whitecaps in ’11, he hit .312 with 36 doubles, seven home runs, and 76 RBI’s. He’s probably Detroit’s top hitting prospect right now, but as a third baseman, I’m not sure where they plan on putting him in a couple of years if he makes the Tigers’ roster.

In the opposite dugout of the Futures Game, will be Venezuelan born relief pitcher Bruce Rondon. This flame-thrower has hit 100+ mph on the radar gun a few times this season already. With Lakeland he picked up 15 saves in 22 appearances this season. He’s struck out 34 hitters in over 23 innings of work, while only allowing 12 hits. He was promoted to the Seawolves at the same time as Castellanos, and picked up his first Double-A save this week, also, hitting the 101 mark while striking out the side. Last season with the ‘Caps, Rondon went 2-2 with 19 saves, with an impressive 2.03 ERA. If he stays healthy, he’ll be a huge addition to the Tigers bullpen in a couple of years.

Photos property of Minoring In Baseball

MiLB Champions Crowned

milbplayoffs.jpgThe Minor League Baseball season has come to an end (sigh). Here are the list of champions from their respective leagues. Any I missed I’ll try to get updated when I can. Looked like some exciting playoffs all around. I hope some other fans got to witness any of these games.

TRIPLE A

International League

Durham Bulls(TB) defeated Scranton/WB Yankees(NYY)

Pacific Coast League

Memphis Red Birds(STL) defeated Sacramento River Cats(OAK)

Triple A National Championship

Durham Bulls defeated Memphis Red Birds in 11 innings 

DOUBLE A

Southern League

Jacksonville Suns(FLA) defeated Tennessee Smokies(CHC)

Eastern League

Akron Aeros defeated Connecticut Defenders(SF)

Texas League

Midland RockHounds(OAK) defeated NW Arkansas Naturals(KC)

CLASS A

Midwest League

Fort Wayne TinCaps(SD) defeated Burlington Bees(KC)

South Atlantic League

Lakewood Blue Claws(PHI) defeated Greenville Drive(BOS)

Florida State League

Tampa Yankees(NYY) defeated Charlotte Stone Crabs(TB)

CLASS A-SS

New York/Penn League

Sctanton Island Yankees(NYY) defeated Mahoning Valley Scrappers(CLE)

Northwest League

Salem Keizer Volcanoes defeated Tri-City Dust Devils(COL)

ROOKIE

Pioneer League

Orem Owlz(LAA) defeated Missoula Osprey(PHO)

 

MiLB First Round Playoffs

The Minor League playoffs have started, and it’s an exciting time. Bare with me as I’lmilbplayoffs.jpgl try to keep updated on all of the leagues and how the series are coming along. I’ll be adding new leagues and updating things as fast as I can.
If I missed your favorite league or team, let me know and I’ll get it posted.

TRIPLE A

International League

Gwinnett Braves(ATL) vs. Scranton/WB Yankees(NYY) Yanks advance 

Durham Bulls(TB) vs. Louisville Bats(CIN) Bulls advance 

Pacific Coast League

Albuquerque Isotopes(LAD) vs. Memphis Red Birds(STL) Red Birds advance                          Sacramento River Cats(OAK) vs. Tacoma Rainiers(SEA) Cats advance 

DOUBLE A

Southern League

Birmingham Barons(CHW) vs. Jacksonville Suns(FLA) Suns advance

Huntsville Stars(MIL) vs. Tennessee Smokies(CHC) Smokies advance 

 Eastern League

Akron Aeros vs. Reading Phillies(PHI) Aeros advance 

New Britain Rock Cats(MIN) vs. Connecticut Defenders(SF) Defenders advance

Texas League

NW Arkansas Naturals(KC) vs. Springfield Cardinals(STL) Nats advance

Midland Rockhounds(OAK) vs. San Antonio Mission(SD) Rockhounds advance

 

CLASS A

Midwest League

West Michigan Whitecaps(DET) vs. Great Lakes Loons(LAD) Loons advance

Fort Wayne TinCaps(SD) vs. South Bend Silver Hawks(ARZ) TinCaps advance

Cedar Rapids Kernels(LAA) vs. Peoria Chiefs(CHC) Kernels advance 

Kane County Cougars(OAK) vs. Burlington Bees(KC) Bees advance 

 South Atlantic League

Greenville Drive(BOS) vs. Asheville Tourists(COL) Drive advance

Lakewood Blue Claws(PHI) vs. Kannapolis Intimidators(CHW) Claws advance

Florida State League

Charlotte Stone Crabs(TB) vs. Fort Meyer Miracle(MIN) Crabs advance

Tampa Yankees(NYY) vs. Brevard Co. Manatees(MIL) Yanks advance 

CLASS A-SS

New York-Penn League

Lowell Spinners(BOS) vs. Stanten Island Yankees(NYY) Yankees advance                             Brooklyn Cyclones(NYM) vs. Mahoning Valley Scrappers(CLE) Scraps advance

Northwest League

Salem Keizer Volcanoes vs. Tri-City Dust Devils(COL) Volcanoes win Championship 3-1

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