Results tagged ‘ Visalia Rawhide ’
Prospect Flashback: Athletics’ Opening Day Starter Brett Anderson in Silver Hawks, Ports, RockHounds and River Cats Unis
Here is a gallery of Anderson in every uni he wore aside from Class A Advanced Visalia’s. Click on any picture to begin the slideshow. For all past editions of Prospect Flashback, head here.
PHOENIX — A’s manager Bob Melvin came with news Thursday morning, and he didn’t waste any time delivering it.
“Let’s go ahead and say Brett Anderson is our Opening Day starter,” Melvin said, smiling.
The news isn’t so much surprising as it is rewarding for the 25-year-old Anderson, who is entering his fifth season with the A’s. He’ll face the visiting Mariners at the Oakland Coliseum come April 1.
Thrust into a playoff run upon his August return from Tommy John rehab last year, the southpaw responded beautifully, winning his first four starts while posting a miniscule 0.69 ERA while walking just three in 26 innings.
Anderson lost his next two starts and suffered an ill-timed oblique strain, before making a seemingly miraculous comeback in short time to pitch Game 3 of the American League Division Series. He allowed two hits in six scoreless innings in Oakland’s 2-0 win over the Tigers, saving the team from elimination.
“Based on the guys that we have and how successfully he came back for us last year, we really feel like he’s the man to lead the staff,” Melvin said. “He worked hard to get back and put himself in a position to compete with us at a time of the season where there’s no easing into things. You got to be good right away, and he was. Then he gets hurt and we think he’s done, and he works just as hard to get back and pitch in a playoff game.”
To continue reading MLB.com’s story, head here.
Prospect Uniformed: Indians’ Trevor Bauer in His Every MiLB Jersey, Plus More on The Montero Kerfuffle
Like or dislike him, Trevor Bauer is his own man. He’s shown that with his pitches, his preparation and his preaching. Since being the third overall pick in the 2011 Draft, whether he’s been at Class A Advanced Visalia or Double-A Mobile or Triple-A Reno, Bauer has been, well, himself.
The 21-year-old right-hander (bio, stats here) was also authentic in his first try at the Majors — a four-start stint in Arizona last summer. Which explains why he didn’t exactly get along with everyone in the D-backs clubhouse. In case your Spring Training coverage hasn’t included the Bauer-Miguel Montero duel, this story ought to send you down the worm-hole.
I covered Montero on a near-daily basis in 2010 and found him to be a smart, genial interviewee as well as a fiery, not-always-aware competitor. (He also had a run-in with the even-keeled Ian Kennedy that season.) I’ve also interviewed Bauer nearly a dozen times and have found him to be highly intelligent and, yeah, ultra-competitive and perhaps a little stubborn.
So that’s what I chalk the former battery mates’ battle up to: two guys who both want to be the best at what they do but have different ideas about how to do it. Luckily, they’re now in opposite leagues and no longer teammates. With the offseason deal that sent Bauer from the D-backs to the Indians, the unique if not eccentric righty could begin the season in Cleveland. Triple-A Columbus is also a possibility. In case he’s gone from the Minors for good…
Here is a gallery of Bauer in every uni he’s donned to date. Click on any picture to begin the slideshow. For all past editions of Prospect Uniformed, head here.
If Anthony Meo was upset last week, he wasn’t going to tell me about it.
I couldn’t blame him, however, if he would have been partly perturbed. Thursday’s D-backs-Braves deal, which sent Justin Upton to Atlanta for five players including pitching prospect Zeke Spruill and infielder prospect Nick Ahmed, bumped Meo from 10th to 12 among his organization’s top-ranked farmhands. In addition to Spruill, Arizona received another Atlanta pitcher in Randall Delgado. (Once a top prospect, Delgado has pitched enough MLB games to remove himself from such rankings).
So here’s the list of starting pitching prospects in front of or just behind Meo:
Trevor Bauer, Tyler Skaggs, Archie Bradley, David Holmberg, Spruill, Evan Marshall, Andrew Chafin and Chase Anderson.
For the record, Meo — a 2011 second-round draftee and now 22 coming off his first pro season — was all smiles when I caught up with him over the phone. He was in Myrtle Beach, working out with a group of fellow Coastal Carolina alums and D-backs farmhands Cody Wheeler and Tyler Bortnick, and in approximately his third week of throwing the baseball around. Meo has been long-tossing and anticipates sneaking in a couple bullpen sessions before Spring Training.
Me: How would you evaluate your 2012 season? (Stats here)
Meo: I was happy with it. The biggest thing was staying healthy throughout the year. That league, the California League, is not that pitcher-friendly, but it was a good year learning how the hitters work compared to the college hitters and basically just getting my feet wet. I feel like I prepared myself for another season coming up.
Me: Did anything surprise you last season?
Meo: The biggest thing was I had some command issues early on. That is one thing I really plan to improve on this season. I know that being a starting pitcher you can’t give out free people on base all the time. Over a long period of time, it’s not going to be good.
Me: How do you improve command?
Meo: I think it’s just always trying to improve on it. We always mess around with little things, but I wouldn’t say it’s one thing.
Me: On the positive side, what encourages you about last season?
Meo: The strikeout numbers were there, which is a good thing. I felt like I had a lot of times where I ran myself into some trouble with some walks and was able to luckily get a lot of strikeouts, which helps me out a bunch.
Me: Tell us about your repertoire of pitches, and what you like’d to improve upon in 2013… Fastball, slider and cutter, correct?
Meo: I’ve got a two-seam fastball that I throw for the majority of my fastballs, but I also have a four-seam as well. I like to work both sides of the plate. I feel like throwing inside is very important, especially to good hitters. I throw a slider and a knuckle-curve, and also I’m working on a changeup. It has been improving. Every time I work on it, it gets better, so that’s the one big pitch for me this year that I’m trying to develop and throw when I’m behind in the count.
Editor’s note: Lost and Found is an offseason series in which one underrated prospect from each of the 30 MLB clubs will be discussed in a short, snappy post.
Lost: A first-round draftee of the Arizona D-backs in 2009, Mike Belfiore enjoyed a solid, if underwhelming, first full season in 2010. By 2011, however, it had become clear to Arizona’s brass that his struggles as a starter could be alleviated with a shift to the bullpen.
2011: 35 G — 8 GS — 5.92 ERA — .278 OPP .AVG — 17 HR – 79-to-57 K-to-BB – 79 IP at Class A Advanced Visalia
Found: Belfiore began 2012 back in the Cal League and in a relief role. He was then traded to Baltimore to complete a trade for infielder Josh Bell.
2012: 40 G — 0 GS — 2.71 ERA — .228 OPP .AVG – 4 HR – 78-to-26 K-to-BB – 66 1/3 IP at Visalia/Double-A Bowie
So Belfiore was lost, now he is found. Now, about the Orioles’ returns: Belfiore, who also relieved at Boston College, everyone can now agree is best suited for that role going forward. A dramatic dip in homers allowed and a significant rise in K/IP demonstrate this fact. The 24-year-old lefty, now the O’s 14th-ranked prospect, has the ability to command a plus heater-slider combo (and the opportunity to refine his changeup and curveball on the side) without worrying about going through an opposing lineup a second and third time. Does he have the stuff and mentality to close games in the Majors? Maybe, maybe not. This much is more certain: He will pitch in the big leagues and be useful there.