Results tagged ‘ Wisconsin Timber Rattlers ’
Prospect Flashback: Picturing The Mariners’ Felix Hernandez In San Antonio, Before He Got to Seattle
Felix Hernandez hasn’t pitched in the Minors since he was 19 years old. And he only started pitching in the Minors when he was 17. That’s something, isn’t it? Makes you remember that this recent trend of teenage Harpers and Profars and others reaching the Majors isn’t all that new. Wildly impressive, yes, but, no, not all that new.
Hernandez, now 26, has been in the news lately, of course, in the wake of his new record-breaking contract (see story below). But before he got to Seattle, he was just a Minor League prospect, making stops with the following clubs: Everett, Wisconsin, Inland Empire, San Antonio and Tacoma.
Here is Hernandez as a Texas League hurler in 2004. He is 18, finishing up a season in which he went 14-4 (his overall MiLB record stands at 30-10 in 58 games, 48 of them starts). Click on any photo to begin the slideshow. For all past editions of Prospect Flashback, click here.
SEATTLE — It was a reception fit for a King.
When Felix Hernandez arrived in Seattle on Wednesday afternoon to put official ink to his much-talked-about seven-year, $175 million contract extension, the Mariners ace stepped out of the field-level elevator at Safeco Field and was greeted with raucous cheers and a sea of about 100 team employees wearing yellow “King Felix” T-shirts. They held signs of his likeness and that of his comedic alter-ego, Larry Bernandez. They chanted his name until he covered his eyes, overcome with emotion.
Happy Felix Day, indeed.
“To all the people in Seattle that trust me and believe in me. I will say this: I will not disappoint you,” said Hernandez, who shed tears at various points during a news conference that also included general manager Jack Zduriencik and was attended by chairman and CEO Howard Lincoln, team president Chuck Armstrong and Hernandez’s agents, Wil Polidor and Scotty Pucino. “I’m doing this because I love this city, because I want to stay here. I don’t want to go anywhere else. I love this place. This has been my life. This has been my family.”
To continue reading MLB.com’s story, head here.
You probably don’t know who Cameron Garfield is. And it would be hard to blame you. Garfield, the Milwaukee Brewers’ second round draftee in 2009 has seen his star as a prospect dim thanks to 2011 and ’12 campaigns interrupted by injury. He is not among the Crew’s Top 20 prospects presently, and he was surpassed in status by the club’s June drafting of Clint Coulter — like Garfield was four years ago, a high school catcher with a potential impact bat.
“For me, it’s not really where I am ranked or anything like that. I want to be a prospect in the organization’s eyes,” Garfield told me over the phone this afternoon from his training hub in California. “I want to impose the decision on them, you know, ‘We have to move this kid up, he’s playing really well.’”
So here is why you should start to get to know Garfield (@CAMgGARFIELD): In 66 games at Class A Wisconsin last year, the now-21-year-old posted a .298/.385/.524 slash line (or in OPS-speak, .910). I thought he might be worth chatting with in advance of 2013, or potentially his first healthy season in three years.
Me: How has the offseason been?
Garfield: Good, really good. My main focus was getting my leg back into shape from my surgery [in 2011]. Taking time to cover and rehab. I’m now at the point where everything is healed up and just getting the strength back to get it equal to my right leg.
Me: Take us through if you would how it happened…
Garfield: The injury happened early in the 2011 season. I originally dislocate the kneecap and it didn’t require surgery. Went through the whole rehab process and at six months — with catchers, it takes a little longer — and the rehab went good. One of my last rehab games, it was just a freak accident where I walked on a ball and re-injured it. It took me halfway into the 2012 season and recovered fine. Now I’m still building that strength.
Me: What’s your workout routine like now?
Garfield: In years past, I was more worried about getting stronger, building more muscle mass. Even though that plan went great, I don’t think my body was used to carrying the extra muscle mass. This offseason, I am trying to stay leaner a little more quality, a little lighter so it’s not as taxing on my knees. I’m doing agilities, sprints and a lot of plyometrics.
Me: With some time to reflect now, how do you evaluate your 2012 campaign?
Garfield: I’m really happy about how the 2012 season went. I think it was just a couple more years of maturity. I approached the game a little different. I wasn’t trying to do too much at the plate and really just taking each game by game and giving full effort. It paid in my favor.