Post by actualfactual on Mar 20, 2018 14:42:49 GMT -5
It's early days but I'd love to hear about our baseball alums in the professional ranks. From what I know, Mike Ahmed, George Capen, Brendan King and Nick Lovullo are all active players in MLB organizations as of the opening of spring training. I believe Anthony Critelli will be returning to the independent Frontier League, joined by Justin Finan. Jon Escobar, Sean Gustin and Donnie Murray all played professionally last summer. It would be great to share updates on these young men as spring training breaks and their seasons get underway!
If you have an iPhone with the MiLB app, you can follow these players daily. Mike Ahmed started last year with the Tulsa Drillers (Dodgers’ AA farm club) and had a brief stint at AAA Albuquerque. Made the Texas League All Star team but injured his oblique and, except for a 2 game rehab stint in July (where he hit a HR in 8 PAs), missed the rest of the season. Probably will start this yr. at AA. Very versatile defender who plays all 4 infield positions. Hit 19 HRs in 2016 at High A Rancho Cucamonga
Post by actualfactual on Apr 3, 2018 23:15:17 GMT -5
Final rosters for MiLB full-season teams are due Thursday but some of our guys are set. After injuries in 2H last season, Mike Ahmed returns to AA Tulsa. This was expected. Congrats to Nick Lovullo on his promotion to the AA Portland Sea Dogs. Brendan King pitched four innings today in a Cubs scrimmage which was sort of a send-off game including all levels of minor leaguers. A blogger speculated this was to "stretch him out" in preparation for being a starter at short-season A Eugene, equivalent to the Lowell Spinners in MA. I couldn't find anything yet on George Capen. He was a late signee last year and one would think he would do extended spring training so the Mariners organization can get a better look at him. Assuming some success, perhaps we'll see George later in AZ Rookie ball or short season A Everett.
Anthony Critelli appears to be returning to the So. Ill. Miners of the Frontier League. Rumor has it he'll be squaring off against Justin Finan and Donnie Murray on other Frontier League clubs. Independent teams are more fluid than the affiliated minor leagues, so we'll see what actually happens when play starts in June.
Post by actualfactual on Apr 8, 2018 23:15:05 GMT -5
With no help from the weather in some areas, the full-season MiLB teams have gotten going. Mike Ahmed has started all three games for Tulsa (AA) with solid offensive production. Love to see that continue and earn him a promotion to AAA, which he reached briefly last season before getting hurt. Nick Lovullo saw action today with Portland in their third game of the season. He was unfortunately 0-3, with two of his outs against a strong Binghamton starter who threw six innings of one-hit ball. Nick has moved up through the Red Sox system quickly and will face a challenge earning playing time and hitting AA pitching this spring. All the best to him.
All of the other HC pros I am aware of are in extended spring training or waiting for the independent leagues to gear up after Memorial Day.
With no help from the weather in some areas, the full-season MiLB teams have gotten going. Mike Ahmed has started all three games for Tulsa (AA) with solid offensive production. Love to see that continue and earn him a promotion to AAA, which he reached briefly last season before getting hurt. Nick Lovullo saw action today with Portland in their third game of the season. He was unfortunately 0-3, with two of his outs against a strong Binghamton starter
Post by actualfactual on Apr 11, 2018 23:02:46 GMT -5
Brendan King was called up to the South Bend Cubs (A) today. Apparently he woke up in Mesa, AZ, flew to South Bend, and when the Cubs' starter struggled, Brendan was pressed into relief about four hours after his flight landed. In two innings, he gave up an unearned run on one hit, a walk and two K's. South Bend's bats woke up later and they won the game against Bowling Green, KY on a walk-off fielder's choice in the ninth. Congrats to Brendan on a cool way to start the regular season!
Post by actualfactual on Apr 20, 2018 19:42:16 GMT -5
Four recent baseball alums are on rosters of independent minor league teams. Jon Escobar (2017-P) is listed with the Birmingham - Bloomfield Beavers of the United Shore Professional Baseball League. This is a recently established league in suburban Detroit. Donnie Murray (2015-P) moves from the USPBL to the Lake Erie Crushers of the Frontier League. Donnie may square off against Justin Finan (2017-P) who has landed with the Traverse City Beach Bums and Anthony Critelli (2017-1B) who returns to the Southern Illinois Miners. The Frontier League is arguably the premier independent circuit for younger players hoping to sign with a MLB organization. Independent leagues get going just before or after Memorial Day. Good luck, guys!
As a result of Corey Seager’s season ending surgery, the Dodgers called up Breyvic Valera from AAA Oklahoma City. That call-up resulted in Mike Ahmed being called up from Tulsa to Oklahoma City where he has played 2 games (one at short and one at 3rd) and is 1 for 6.
Post by actualfactual on May 12, 2018 7:25:12 GMT -5
The Frontier League got going last night. The Southern Illinois Miners vs. Lake Erie Crushers featured two HC alums. Anthony Critelli had two hits with one RBI. Donnie Murray started and took the loss for the Crushers, though the worst damage occurred after he had left the game. Justin Finan did not pitch in the opener for the Traverse City Beach Bums, which is a good thing considering his team gave up eleven runs in a loss to the Normal Cornbelters.
Post by actualfactual on May 19, 2018 6:48:42 GMT -5
Jon Escobar's comeback is off to a great start in the USPBL. Three short relief appearances, 0.00 ERA, two wins. A talented pitcher who had issues with injury and inconsistency, he was definitely on the MLB radar while at HC. You never know. Hope this continues.
Post by actualfactual on May 25, 2018 5:48:05 GMT -5
Nick Lovullo may be starting to get the hang of it in AA. In his last ten games, he's hitting .256, with only three strikeouts and three walks. This is an important year in Nick's pursuit of the dream so it's good to see better stats. He's our only pro playing in New England that I know of. Hopefully someone gets to see him play and can report back to the group? If the Seadogs have a late-season homestand I may be able to do that.
Post by actualfactual on May 28, 2018 12:58:14 GMT -5
Justin Finan's first start yesterday for Traverse City (Frontier League) went well: six innings, one earned run. He had no decision but the Beach Bums won later, 2-1. Give Justin credit for perseverance. After some nagging injuries, he took last season off after college ended, worked hard on his pitching and fitness and got an opportunity to play in a good independent league. I can't wait to see if this pays off for him.
Post by KY Crusader 75 on Jun 6, 2018 8:53:31 GMT -5
Mike Ahmed batted .194 in his stint at AAA OK City and is hitting .244 for AA Tulsa. He's certainly show versatility in the field playing 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, RF and he even pitched 2/3rds of an inning for Tulsa.
Nick Lovullo is batting .210 for my hometown AA Portland Seadogs
Brendan King is 2-1 with a 3.28 ERA for A South Bend. He's been a reliever and his 26 K's vs 7 BB in 24.2 innings look good.
Last Edit: Jun 6, 2018 8:58:44 GMT -5 by KY Crusader 75: added Brendan
Post by actualfactual on Jun 10, 2018 0:07:53 GMT -5
Brendan King was named to the Eastern Division squad for the Midwest League All-star game nine days from now. His versatility seems to be one reason for the recognition. He has started one game, finished four and entered in "middle" relief as early as the second inning and as late as the eighth. His overall stats are just decent but two wins, one hold (no blown holds) and one save (no blown saves) in fourteen appearances may be the best way to view his contribution. I am not sure how the selection process worked but a lot of South Bend's opponents have faced him in different situations now, even though Brendan was called up after the season began.
Brendan King was named to the Eastern Division squad for the Midwest League All-star game nine days from now. His versatility seems to be one reason for the recognition. He has started one game, finished four and entered in "middle" relief as early as the second inning and as late as the eighth. His overall stats are just decent but two wins, one hold (no blown holds) and one save (no blown saves) in fourteen appearances may be the best way to view his contribution.
What really stands out about King so far is his strikeout-to-walk ratio, an outstanding 3.11 (Midwest League average is 2.38) - this is a stat that often augers well for success at higher levels. On the other hand, he has given up four homers in his last thirteen innings, 1.3 HR/9 for the season (almost twice the league average), and he turns 24 in a few weeks, which is old for Low-A. It would be a good sign if he gets promoted to the Carolina League for the second half of the season.
Lead me not into temptation. I can find the way myself.
Brendan King is now 3-4 with a 5.44 ERA for South Bend. He's started 4 games and relieved in 14.
In 19G, King's ERA is actually a little better at 4.60 (5.44 is an all-run average), but regardless, he has been getting absolutely raked lately. In his last four appearances (three starts), he's gone a total of 12 1/3 IP, giving up 16H, 7BB, and 11 ER. He turns 24 tomorrow - pitching in a league where the average batter is just 21 years old - and the Cubs' patience with him may be limited if he doesn't turn things around quickly. Might be best for all concerned to abandon the experiment of using him as a starter and put him back in the pen, where he has been significantly better.