Tuesday, May 21, 2013

2013 Phungo Cards #64 Darin Ruf

Phillies have a lot of questions marks on their roster right now.  One of those questions involves the gimpy Ryan Howard.

2013 Phungo #64 Darin Ruf

A year ago Darin Ruf spent about half of the season at AA Reading and the rest between, Lehigh Valley and the big club.  Unfortunately Ruf shares a position with Ryan Howard and in 2012 Ruf didn't arrive in Philadelphia until after Howard returned from injury.

The Phils did get to see Ruf play in the outfield and the defensive results were mixed. His batting was excellent, good BA and lots of pop.

Currently Darin Ruf is back at AAA and he has been ok, not as spectacular as a year ago. This weeks looming question of the availability of Ryan Howard raised the question of a Ruf callup, but apparently the Phils are more interested in AAAA 3B Josh Fields.

Hopefully if needed we will hear from Darin Ruf at some point this season, and he will produce the poser he die a year ago.  . 

Phungo Card

I like getting to the ballpark early for a lot of reasons.  I find it interesting and relaxing.  I enjoy BP sometimes you get a minor scoop - some injured player rehabbing, or a new callup.  It also affords one the opportunity to get some candid shots a bit closer up then you may get in the cheap seats. That is the case with the Ruf pix above.  He was shagging flies in the outfield, and I am sure I spent a good bit of time waiting for him to turn towards the camera enough to get a good shot. 

Rewind - Selected 2013 Phungo Card Postings
2013 Phungo #32 Matt Weiters
2013 Phungo #51 Carlos Ruiz2013 Phungo #68 Scott Hartnall
2013 Phungo #70 Ichiro



 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Ray Manzarek (1939 - 2013)

When I was a kid the Doors were my band.


 1991 ProSet Super Stars #6 The Doors

Everybody I ran with identified themselves with one of the Classic Rock titans, the Beattles, Stones, the Who, Zeppelin etc.  I initially took on the Doors because of their dark mysticism and Jim Morrison's crazy persona.

At some point I realized that it was also Ray Manzarek's keyboard work that attracted me. At some level this led me to other keyboardists - most notably the late Warren Zevon and more recently Tori Amos and Ben Folds.  I also discovered the Cowpunk beauty of X and John Doe via Manzarek.  


I was also introduced to 'Classical' music by Manzarek.  In 1983 he released a very accessible rendition of Carl Orff's Song Cycle "Carmina Burana".  It is a pretty fasicnating piece of music and a nice addition to nay music collection.


 Manzarek was also authored the short novel "A Poet in Exile" in 2001. I don't remember it well, but it was an enjoyable read - the story is a basically a fictionalization of Jim Morrison type rock star presumed dead, but his band mate "Roy" discovers him living in exile on a pacific island.

FTC 
There is a complete 260 card set of 1991 ProSet Superstars currently listed for $12 BIN/Shipped. If your willing to gamble you can get it for $9 if nobody else bids on it - I suspect it will go unclaimed.

The set has an uhm...interesting checklist that includes Rock Music Icons like John Lennon and the Who a good dose of classic rock, and some stars of the era (Vanilla Ice, Debbie Gibson, MC Hammer, Hoodoo Gurus)

The Doors have 5 cards in the set, of course I am missing the one that has the most info on Manzarek (collecting fail for team Phungo).  I do like the #6 card featured here, Ray Manzarek shares the shot with Morrison only.

30 Years ago - Steve Carlton passes the Big Train in Career Ks

On May 20th 1983, 30 years ago today, Steve Carlton passed Walter Johnson's mark for Career Strikeouts (3508).  Earlier in the 1983 Season Nolan Ryan had also passed the Big Train. Gaylord Perry would follow in August.

1984 Topps #4 1983 Highlights Ryan, Carlton and Perry Surpass Walter Johnson

Topps noted the accomplishment as part of their Highlights Series that opened 1984 Topps. Carlton at times passed Ryan as the career strikeout leader but his career ultimately ended much earlier then the Ryan Express and Ryan would retire as the all-time strike out king.  Nolan Ryan remains the career K leader today. 


1984 Topps #4 1983 Highlights Ryan, Carlton and Perry Surpass Walter Johnson (B-side)

The flip of the card has a short blurb on noting the date and venue where each of the future Hall of Famer's passed Johnson.

For The Collector
The first six cards of the 1984 Topps set are Highlight cards.  Three of them are shared cards similar to the Ks card above.  One of which features Gaylord Perry again as a noted retiree (with Carl Yastrzemski and Johnny Bench) the other is a 1983 No-Hitters Card (Dave Righetti, Bob Forsch, Mike Warren).  The first 3 cards are all solo highlights - Carlton 300 Wins, Rickey 100 SBs, Dan Quisenberry Record 39 saves in a season.

1983 NL Champions
I am adding this post to the 1983 Phillies series we are running this summer. Past 83 NL Champs posting have included:   
John Denny
Garry Maddox
Tony Perez
 

Sources & Links
Phungo Steve Carlton HoF Index
Phungo Nolan Ryan HoF Index
Phungo Gaylord Perry HoF Index

Baseball Card Database

Baseball-ref.com



Sunday, May 19, 2013

Sunday Night Baseball: 1976 Topps #62 Johnny Oates

The Texas Rangers have three retired numbers: #42 - Jackie Robinson of course, #34 Nolan Ryan Of Course, and #26 Johnny Oates.


1976 Topps #26 Johnny Oates

Oates, Of Course, having never played as a Ranger had his number retired as a manager. He led the Rangers to 3 division titles in the middle 90s. Unfortunately those Rangers teams all ran into the New York Yankees dynasty - losing 3 separate NLDS series.

The Rangers were Johnny Oates 2nd managerial assignment.  He also led the Orioles for the 4 seasons preceding his Texas tenure. Between the two clubs Oates tallied 797 wins v 746 losses.  

Like many managers Johnny Oates spent his playing career as a catcher, most of those years were as a backup - He only played in 100 games once (1974 - Braves).  He played two seasons with the Phillies which included the 1976 season when the they reached the post season for the first time in 26 years.    

For the Collector
1976 Topps commons can be found in dime boxes, and sometimes nickle bins. Like the shot of Oates in the card above. He has all the catcher gear but with the maks off you get a shot of his profile complete with eye black. Couple of bonuses as well, the reverse cap and the old school powder blue travel unis for the Phils.  

The Johnny Oates rookie card is 1972 Topps #474 which is shared with Don Baylor. As a player Oates showed up in 9 Topps issues through 1981 (#303 Yankees). His appearances with the Phillies included 1976 (above) and 1977 #619

ReWind - Past Sunday Nite Baseball Postings
Chicago White Sox / Kansas City A's - Ken "Hawk" #TWTW Harrelson
Detroit Tigers - Bill Freehan

The Rangers current manager Ron Washington was profiled in here as part of our Moneyball 2011 series.

Sources

Baseball-Ref.com
Baseball Card Database



Snapshots 2013 05 18 Reds 10 @ Phillies 0

Another brutal performance by the Phillies during a Team Phungo outing. Phils lost 10-0 on a day when they didn't have an AB with runner in scoring position until they were down by 8 in 8th inning.  The Phillies didn't have a potential lead changing AB after the first inning.


Hamels Heroes

Cole Hamels hosted a group of veterans "Hamels Heroes" for the game.  Veterans were also honored when three of them worked the 3rd inning base exchange. The Hamels Foundation (run by Cole with wife and Survivor Alum Heidi) partners with the Philadelphia VA to assist Veterans in the area.  The endeavor was noted on this weekends Fox telecast.


 SnapShots

 
Joey Votto

Votto batting in the first - He reached base six times on Saturday including a Home Run and two walks - His league leading OBP stands at .473. Despite the very good on base day, Votto only ranked 6th on the Baseball-ref Batting game score rankings.  He wasn't the only offensive contributor for the 2013 big red machine - Every Reds starting position player had either or run scored or an RBI.


Bronon Arroyo

The Reds didn't just excel at the plate. Bronson Arroyo (pictured here with his signature leg kick) demonstrated his veteran savvy taking a shutout 2 outs into the eighth. He only gave up 5 hits with a pair of walks, both in the final inning.    

 Jimmy Rollins Socks High

Not sure - J-Roll may be sporting the retro look for Day games, noticed it when the Phils were getting blown out my Ohio's other team on Wednesday.

Todd Frazier

1998 Little League World Series Hero (from nearby Toms River New Jersey) Todd Frazier always has friends in attendance.



 Michael Young



 One of the Phillies off-season acquisitions.  Young picked up a single to help maintain his .300 BA. 


Previous 2013 Snapshot Postings

May 15 - Cleveland Indians 10 @ Phillies 4
May 5 - Miami Marlins 14 @ Phillies 2
April 20 - St Louis Cardinals 5 @ Phillies 0

Yes so far this season in four games I have seen the Phillies get outscored 39-6





Thursday, May 16, 2013

Snapshots 2013 05 15 Indians 10 @ Phillies 4

Another garbage game from the Phils, may possibly come back and update this later.  Phils lost 10-4 in a dull game.  The last time they brought the tying run to the plate was with 2 out in the 5th. Chase Utley who had a bad day at the plate grounded out. 

Cole Hamels

Hamels really stuggled, a lot of 3 ball counts.  It is a small miracle he made it through 5 innings giving up "only" 5 runs. The scrub end of the Phillies bullpen didn't fare any better.

Jason Kipis

The only lefty in the Indians lineup was Kipnis.  This is from his first AB, when he flew out to pretty deep center.  It was the only time he didn't reach base all day. He had a Home Run and a pair of doubles plus a walk, good enough for the 4th best batting game score of the day accoring to baseball-ref.com
Corey Kluber

The young Indians starting pitcher put together a quality start as the Phillies hitters struggled once again.  The amazing thing is the Phillies punchless lineup managed to get 3 runs.  They didn't work a walk until Michael Young reached via BB in the 8th with the Indians up 10-3. 

2014 Topps 
A Photo from this game was used for several 2014 cards of Chase Utley. For more information on those cards click here.

Previous 2013 Snapshot Postings

May 5 - Miami Marlins 14 @ Phillies 2
April 20 - Cardinals 5 @ Phillies 0

Ticket 2015 05 15 Indians @ Phillies

Sources and Links
Baseball-ref

Updates
2016 0120: Added 2014 Topps section
2016 0121: Game Ticket Added

Monday, May 13, 2013

2013 Phungo Cards Domonic Brown

2013 Phungo #9 Domonic Brown

Day off for the Phillies today and we are going to post a Phungo Card.  Dom Brown had a game tying hit in the 9th inning of the Phils game yesterday.  Good to see as the Phils need to get more offense from their outfield.  Brown has a decent 6 homers and 18 RBIs as the Phillies near the quarter pole - but he is going to need to hit better than .250 with a .301 OBP for the Phils to succeed.

Phungo Card

This photo was taken on August 8 of last year when the Phillies hosted the Braves.  Phils had a bad 7th inning and some random fan bestowed tix to great seats behind the Braves dugout to us, so I ended up snapping a bunch of close up shots from in the final couple innings of the outing. At least team Phungo got something out of a night when the Phillies got crushed.

For more snapshots from this game click here




Sunday, May 12, 2013

Sunday Night Baseball and #TWTW 1966 Topps #55 Ken Hawk Harrelson

Tonight Sunday Night Baseball features a battle of struggling squads the Chicago White Sox host the LA Angels.

Rather than look at a player representing one of these squads, we have decided to profile a broadcaster for the White Sox.

1966 Topps #55 Ken Harrelson

I am sure that for many ChiSox fans "Hawk" Harrelson is fun to listen to, for the rest of us who get the Sox via WGN America on cable he is really tough to handle.  I think most local baseball broadcasts show some favoritism to the home squad, and I am fine with that - That is who most of the fans following their broadcast are following so why not? well Harrelson takes it to a whole new level

Recently Ken Harrelson created a buzz by how he handled a discussion of  SABRmetrics on an MLB Network program.  At one point during the clip Harrelson brings up his own SABR stat TWTW "The Will To Win". Almost instantly the hashtag #TWTW was trending. It was the talk of many a baseball nerd site.

On the Field

Harrelson's career lasted 9 seasons with four AL clubs A's, Senators(the pre-Rangers ones), BoSox, and Indians.  His best year was 1968 when he finished 3rd in the MVP voting behind 31 Game winner Denny McClain and his McClain's Tiger teammate Bill Freehan.   Harrelson banged out 35 Homer Runs and led the league with 109 RBIs in 1968.  The season is a true Anomaly for Harrelson who had career numbers in almost every offensive category and hit 35 points above his career average.  His OPS+ in 1968 was 155 no other season in his career exceeded 115. 

Ken Harrelson played on one World Series team, the 1967 Red Sox who lost to the Cardinals in 7 games. Hawk went 1-14 in the series and had a tough game 7 striking out twice.  He batted as the potential tying run in the bottom of the 9th and grounded into a double play. Apparently Harrelson's #TWTW was pretty low that day.

Cardboard 
I really like this card.  many of the 1966 Topps cards are head shots with the remainder posed "action" shots, most of which are batting.  There are a few fielding shots, but I can't think of any that are similar to Harrelson here.  His glove is right in the camera and takes up about a quarter of the shot.  The diagonal team banner works with the shot as well.  Here we have a player who is not one of my favorites married with a design that also isn't one of my favorites yet the two together make for a winning combo - largely due to a good pix.   

FTC
The above 1966 Topps Ken Harrelson card is a common - low number cards in that set can be found in the 3 for dollar bin.  Ken Harrelson's Rookie Card is 1964 #419  - commons from that middle series go for a dollar, since Hawk's card is a Rookie that would likely double that price.  His last card was 1971 Topps #510 (common lesst than a quarter)    





Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Game that Changed Everything - 1993 05 10 Pirates 1 @ Phillies 5

I had always been a baseball fan but in 1993 it reached another level. The 93 Phils is where my fascination with baseball as an adult began.

And if I was to point to a single game where this all happened it would have been the Pirates @ Phillies game on May 10th 1993.



1993 05 10 Game Ticket - Pirates 1 @ Phillies 5

The Phillies were coming off a big comeback win where Mariano Duncan had hit an 8th inning Grand Slam off of Lee Arther Smith.  Smith was one of the most dominating closers of the late 80s and The game completed a 3 game sweep of the St Louis Cardinals.

The next afternoon a colleague popped into my office and asked if I wanted to go down to the game.  It was the first time I had ever considered going to a Phils game on a whim - and I am glad I did.

The Pirates and Phils were knotted at 1 in the 7th inning, Lenny Dykstra reached with a one out single Mickey Morandini reached on a 2 base error and John Kruk was intentionally walked to load the basesDave Hollins grounded into a force at home setting up a bases loaded 2 out AB for team leader Darren Daulton.  And Daulton delivered - One day after Mariano Duncan hit a go-ahead slame Daulton had one of his own.  The Philllies had won 4 in a row and ran their record to 23-7 16 games over .500.  They would not look back going all the way to the World Series.


1994 Topps Black Gold #28 Darren Daulton

It was the first time I ever saw a Grand Slam in person and it was the first time I ever really understood what it was like to be watching a great baseball team. To this day it remains one of the greatest games I have ever been to.

Friday marks the 20th anniversary of that game - This year I plan on focussing on commemorating the 1983 Phillies NL Pennant but there will definitely be a few nods to the 1993 Clubs as well.

 Go Phightins!  





             




Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Jason Hammel (5-1) Reality Check

My Orioles contact alerted me to the fact that Jason Hammel has the 2nd most victories in the League and is off to a terrific 5-1 start overall. I started wondering if he could be in for one of those mid-career break out seasons (see John Denny 1983).   

Hammel is coming off a pretty good 2012 (8-6, 3.43 ERA, 1.237 WHIP, 123 ERA+ in 118 Innings - DL Stint July and August) - Perhaps Mr Hammel's good start is a sign of things to come the rest of the season.

Unfortunately for the Orioles that hypothesis appears to be false...


2012 06 10 - Jason Hammel v Hunter Pence @ Camden Yards

The first sign is Hammell's 4.10 ERA which translates to and ERA+ of 103. Both numbers pretty much summarize how pedestrian his season has been.  His WHIP, Hits Walks and HRs per 9 innings are all up over his 2012 numbers.  His K/9 and K/BB ratios are both down from last season.  The promise of 2012 isn't showing up in the auxiliary numbers just in the Win Loss column. 

Looking inside his game logs we see that Jason Hammel has been the beneficiary of tremendous run support.  He is getting 6.7 runs/game. The Orioles are averaging under 4.5 runs for the remaining starters - that is +difference of 2 runs/game in Hammel's favor.  In 6 of his 7 starts he has gotten 5 or more runs. His lone loss was 4-3 to the Twins over a month ago (4/7/2013).  Hammel has also faced a fairly soft schedule in 2013 - five of his 7 starts have been v teams that are currently below .500.

There are 6 MLB pitchers with 5 or more wins: Buchholz @ 6, Matt Moore, Darvish, Jordan Zimmermann, Lance Lynn, and Hammel all at 5. My guess is that none of this bunch reach 20.  Of the set I think Hammel is the least likely to hit 15.  Just guessing I would out Hammel at 13 Wins for the year if he stays healthy.    

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

1983 NL Champions: Garry Maddox 1978 Topps #610

Garry Maddox was edging into the twilight of his career in 1983. The "Secretary of Defense" played 97 games for the 1983 Phillies.


1978 Topps #610 Garry Maddox

Between 1975 and 1983 Maddox was the starting Center fielder for the Phladelphia Phillies. He was involved in 29 playoff games for 6 different Phillies squads over that time period. He won gold gloves each of his first eight seasons with the Phils - every eligible player with 9 or more outfield gold gloves is in the Hall of Fame.  Maddox's best year was likely 1976 when he hit .330 and finished 5th in the MVP voting behind 3 members of the Big Red Machine (Morgan, Rose, George Foster) and Mike Schmidt.   

1983 World Series
Maddox hit the deciding Home Run in the only game the Phillies won during the 83 Series.  By 1983 Maddox wasn't an everyday player for the Phillies and he only started 3 of the 5 games during the Series.

Garry Maddox 2013
Maddox, age 63,  remains involved with the Phillies and hosts an annual BBQ cookout for charity at the stadium.  He also worked as a Phils broadcaster for the now defunct PRISM network. His Son Garry Maddox II also played 7 years of professional baseball reaching as high as AAA for several organizations including the Philllies Scranton Wilkes-Barre affiliate in 2003.   

For the Collector

The Topps Rookie Card of Garry Maddox is 1973 #322.  His first Phillies card is 1976 #38 his last Card was issued in 1986 #585. The card above is from the 1978 set and is pretty rough.  That is likely an easy dime box upgrade.     

1983 NL Champions
John Denny
Tony Perez

References
Baseball-Reference.com
Wikipedia.com

Monday, May 6, 2013

1970 Topps #450 Willie McCovey All-Star

How many other baseball players have a body of water named for them?


1970 Topps #450 Willie McCovey

For me 1970 Topps ranks close to the bottom of the Topps canon.  I just can't deal with the grey border.  However I do like the All-Star cards.  I am a sucker for any newsprint related design and the bursting through the paper is always a bonus. I am really lazy or else I would have a checklist for this subset for my collecting needs - will add that to the never ending list of card tasks. 

I am not sure where I picked up the McCovey card above, It may be a legacy from my childhood collection, I am not sure.  I suspect this card can be found in reasonable condition for under $2

Hall of Fame Resume

Willie McCovey was a first ballot Hall of Famer in the 1986 voting, which is a curious ballot that also has candidates Ron Santo and Dick Allen with similar WAR numbers but not only were both not first ballot guys neiether was ever elected via the conventional BBWAA process.  Willie McCovey had one distinquishing number that those two players do not, 521 career Home Runs - back when 500 home runs meant something - He still ranks 18th all-time. Beyond that his numbers are also impressive but that is the one that jumps out. He was a unanimous Rookie of the Year selection in 1959 (.354 BA and 13 HR in 52 Games).  A decade later he was the 1969 MVP, leading the league in Home Runs and RBIS (45,126). From 1968-1970 he led the league Slugging PCT, OPS, and OPS+.

McCovey was a member of the 1962 Giants NL Pennant team who lost to the Yankees in 7 games - McCovey was the final out of the series, Hitting a smash liner to Bobby Richardsion with 2 men on in a 1-0 ball game.

Willie McCovey was also a four decade man (1959-1980) and homered in all four decades.            

Rookie Card
McCovey had two cards in the 1960 Topps Set #316 which is part of the All-Star Rookie Subset (first Topps set to feature the Rookie Cup Trophy).  Lo-Bay among recent auctions for the RC was $16. 2 other auctions finished near the $20 mark. Among graded slabs the card went for 26.50 (BVG 4 VG-EX), $27 PSA 3 VG. The card topped at $602 PSA 8 NM-MT.    

He also has #554 which is part of the Hi-Numbered All-Star Subset.  Which makes McCovey a bit of an oddity for the era as his first Base Card isn't until 1961 #517

Phillies
The Phillies are in a bit of a slump - hopefully they can change that out on the west coast.  Ryan Howard your assignment is to hit a few balls into McCovey Cove.

References
Baseball-Reference
Old Cardboard HoF RCs
Baseball-Card Database
Wikipedia
ebay

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Snapshots 2013 05 05 Marlins @ Phillies

Beautiful day for Baseball.

Too bad the Phillies didn't show up for a baseball game.

The biggest reason I went down to the game was to get one last glimpse at Roy Halladay before his career officially ends.  Unfortunately the only thing more epic then the Phillies 14-2 Loss was the EPIC traffic jam getting to the stadium.

Through a confluence of events the typically easy Sunday commute to the stadium was absolutely the worse I have ever suffered through. I had given myself 90 minutes to make the 25 mile trip.  Yet I ddin't get there till the 3rd inning - I completely missed Halladay's horrible outing.

And  the important part of Adeiny Hechavarria's big 7 RBI day.

But it was a nice enough day and I did get a few pix out of the day - which was a really nice except the crummy game.


Snapshots


Freddy Galvis

Jimmy Rollins got the day off, Galvis played short and batted leadoff.

Adeiny Hechavarria

The Offensive hero of the day, Hechavarria had 7 RBIs by the 3rd inning - of course Team Phungo missed all that excitement due to the stupid traffic jam.  

Kevin Slowey

Not only did the Miami Marlins score a bunch of runs, the got strong pitching. Kevin Slowey got his first Win since 2010, He completed 7 innings giving up only 2 hits and no runs.





Thursday, May 2, 2013

Sorting through some 2012 Allen Ginter Minis and this gave me a chuckle....

A couple of months ago I was at a card show and picked up about two dozen minis out of a dime box.  I finally got around to sorting them out and these two game up back to back. 


 



 2012 Topps Allen & Ginter #102 & #286 Street-Walker

 

Does 2013 Roy Halladay = 1986 Steve Carlton?

Through 6 starts Roy Hallday has had it pretty rough.  He isn't the only Phillies Star pitcher to get off to a bad start.  Roy Halladay's 2013 Numbers so far look an awful lot like the 1986 numbers for a different Phillies Ace from a generation ago. 


Steve CarltonRoy Halladay
19862013
IP31.132
H3929
R3124
ER2424
BB2513
SO2331
HR58
ERA6.896.75


1986 was the beginning of the end for Lefty - after those six games, Carlton only started 10 more games for the Phillies.  He was eventually released and muddled through mediocre starts with the Giants and White Sox going 9-14 for the season. Carlton struggled through 2 more years before retiring in 1988. 1988.

Obviously Carlton and Roy Halladay are very different pitchers. Carlton is a Hall of Famer and significantly more decorated. Roy Halladay is a Righty, Lefty is not. And most notably Steve Carlton was 41 in 1986, Halladay won't turn 36 for another couple of weeks.

But the six game numbers are there.  They have virtually the same innings and ERA.  Carlton's six starts were actually much worse when you factor in the 7 unearned runs, but Halladay has the three extra Home Runs leading to the 24 Runs he has given up.

I hope that Halladay's six starts are not history repeating Lefty's six starts from 1986. Every pitcher only has so many pitches in his arm, and maybe we have seen all of Doc Halladay's

Time waits for no one - Not Steve Carlton and Not Roy Halladay.


2013 Phungo #34 Roy Halladay
Source Baseball-Ref.com




































Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Prospect Eye Test #WhiteSox OF Courtney Hawkins 2013 04 28

I recently saw the player that Baseball America has projected as the starting Leftfielder for the 2016 Chicago White Sox and his day was a horrible failure. 

If you follow baseball prospects you likely remember Courtney Hawkins from the 2012 MLB entry draft. He is the guy that did a backflip on the podium after being drafted 13th overall


2013 04 28 - Courtney Hawkins Batting for Winston-Salem Dash v Wilmington Blue Rocks



This past Sunday Courtney Hawkins swung early and he swung often. He struck out and he popped out - for good measure he ran himself into an out on an agressive baserunning play off of an errant pickoff attempt.   

His game Sunday v the Blue Rocks and a Non-prospect Starter (Aaron Brooks) is apparently not an anomaly.  He has struck out 45 times in 77 AB for Hi-A Winston Salem. It isn't just the Ks. It is the way he strikes out.  He had several check swings early in the count, fouling off pitches for strikes. He appeared to be really jumpy at the plate - perhaps that is slump driven.

On the flipside Hawkins at 19 Years Old is the 3rd youngest player in the Carolina League on and he does have 7 Home Runs in April. The White Sox have him on an accelerarted trek. He is a big man with decent speed, he didn't appear to have issues playing centerfield.
Throughout the day It appeared Hawkins was working closely with Winston Salem's hitting coach Rob Sasser. Hopefully the two of them can work through his issues. I consulted BA columnst @BenBadler via Twitter regarding Hawkins struggles and he mentioned that  recognition is a concerrn for the prospect. 

Surprise
The two Dash players that had had great days were both non-BA prospects Starting RHP Chris Bassitt and Shortstop Chris Curley.  Bassitt took a no-hitter into the 6th inning, He pushed his record to 3-0 giving up 2 Hits and 2 walks over 7 inningsCurley's 4-4 day included a double and a Home Run - He is batting .304 for the season and has been moved from 3rd to short this season. 


The Home squad really didn't have any noteworthy performances.  2B Justin Trapp scored the sole Blue Rocks run and walked twiceRHSP Aaron Books settled down after a rough first inning to get through  4 2/3 IP allowing only a single run.



a thousand words

a thousand words
2008 World Champions