Category: May 2016

Kane County Cougars Hump Day Jerseys

Tomorrow is Hump Day!
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So naturally there is a MiLB tomorrow sporting a Hump Day Camel Jersey, Presenting, the Kane County Cougars Hump Day Camel Jersey.

Those are some seriously cool jerseys if you ask me. Another pop culture phenomenon tied into MiLB, aptly enough giving major league fun in the minors.  WOO WOO WOOO

The Kane County Cougars are the Single-A Affiliate of the Diamondbacks playing in the Midwest League. Today’s featured prospects are Cody Reed and Ryan Burr.

Ryan Burr

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From MLB Pipeline: 

Scouting Grades: Fastball: 70 | Slider: 50 | Control: 45 | Overall: 45

Burr was virtually unhittable at two Minor League stops in 2015, holding hitters to a combined .160 batting average and striking out 13 per nine innings. There isn’t anything fancy about how Burr does it, using a power fastball-slider combination to miss bats. He touches 97 mph consistently with the fastball and throws it with a big-time downhill plane. He tightened up his slider during his pro debut, making it a more effective pitch, one that could end up being better-than-average if his command continues to improve.

Cody Reed

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From MLB Pipeline: 

Scouting grades: Fastball: 50 | Slider: 50 | Changeup: 45 | Control: 50 | Overall: 45

Still very young — he was drafted two days before his 18th birthday — Reed has a good feel for pitching for his age. His velocity has dipped a bit as he’s adjusted to the pro game, going from touching the mid-90s during his senior year of high school to touching 90-91 mph with his fastball. Reed’s slider shows glimpses of being a sharp out pitch, and his changeup has some fade, albeit inconsistently. He tends to throw a lot of strikes, sometimes to his detriment. Reed doesn’t have a true out pitch, and he needs to learn to get hitters to expand their zones rather than always challenging them over the plate. That said, some deception in his delivery makes it tough to pick the ball up.

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Norfolk Tides Minion Jerseys

In the latest cartoon/MiLB crossover, the Norfolk Tides are having a Minion Jersey Night, a fresh and fun theme for kids of all ages(and adults).

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Per the Norfolk Tides Facebook Page, the Tides will auction off the jerseys during the game via a silent auction with the proceeds benefiting the United Way of South Hampton. The winners of the auction will get the jerseys right off the players back. The Tides will also have a “lost” minion, as well as various other Despicable Me/Minion, themed things throughout the game. How cool!

There have been other cartoon themed crossovers by other MiLB teams but among the younger kids, the Minions (and Despicable Me) have been popular. So it’s neat to see a MiLB team trying to draw in fans of all ages. The Norfolk Tides are the Triple-A Affiliate for the Baltimore Orioles playing in the International League. I’ve previously written about them, which you can read the posts here. Today’s featured prospects are Pedro Beato and Corban Joseph.

Pedro Beato, RHP 

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From SoxProspects.com:

Dominican reliever with a solid pitcher’s frame. Fastball sits around 93 mph with decent movement. Also throws a subpar mid-80s slider. Has used a curveball and a changeup in the past, neither of which were terribly impressive. Has struggled with inconsistent control over periods of his career.

Corban Joseph, 2B 

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From FanGraphs: 

The selection here of Joseph as Cistulli’s Guy marks an instance of the former allergy. Following a successful campaign at Triple-A in 2012 as just a 23-year-old, a combination of injury and underperformance rendered his 2013 season less successful. Nor did his 2014 season represent a great improvement. After it, he was released by the Yankees and then spent the 2015 season with (first) Atlanta’s and (then) Baltimore’s Double-A affiliates.

That’s not an inpiring resume for a 26-year-old, but the basic collection of skills persist. Joseph makes contact. And possesses modest power. And plays second base.

 

Pensacola Blue Wahoos Mullet Jersey

This Thursday the Pensacola Blue Wahoos are making Kenny Powers happy with their What If Night and a Mullet Hall of Fame to compliment it.

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With summer practically here, the BlueWahoos are ringing in the beautiful weather with something truly unique. There are some many different MiLB themed nights. From bobbleheads to fireworks, to the different themed jerseys, the possibilities are endless.

Which means I’ll never fully see all the jerseys. Especially since some MiLB teams have been creating themed jerseys for ever ten years. However, there won’t ever be a time when I don’t think a jersey/logo is cool. The Blue Wahoos Mullet Jerseys are no different; they are awesome.

The Pensacola Blue Wahoos are the Double-A Affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds playing in the Southern League. Today’s featured prospects are Amir Garret and Alex Blandino.

Amir Garret

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Scouting grades: Fastball: 60 | Slider: 55 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 50 | Overall: 55

From MLB Pipeline:

When the Reds gave Garrett seven figures back in 2011 to play baseball in the summer while playing college basketball in the winter, the hope was the big southpaw would get hoops out of his system and turn to the diamond full-time. He did that in 2014, and he’s been steadily improving on the mound ever since.

Alex Blandino

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Scouting grades: Hit: 55 | Power: 45 | Run: 40 | Arm: 55 | Field: 50 | Overall: 50

From MLB Pipeline:

The 2014 Draft’s crop of college hitters already stands out, with Kyle Schwarber, Michael Conforto and Trea Turner reaching the big leagues during the 2015 season. Blandino, taken near the end of the first round, isn’t there yet, but he may not be far behind.

Blandino gets high marks for his makeup and leadership skills. Some of his Draft-mates may have beaten him to the big leagues, but once Blandino gets there, he’s going to be the type of player winning teams want to have in the lineup.

El Paso Chihuahuas Kiss Night

The hardest rocking jersey in all of the MiLB comes straight out of El Paso, Texas as the El Paso Chihuahuas will be wearing the Kiss Jersey below this weekend.

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Now that’s cool. Despite the recurrence of Star Wars Night (don’t get me wrong I think Star Wars Night is cool), it’s neat to see something like this. I can say I have yet to see a MiLB team sport a rock band on their jersey. That is until now.

Even the dog on the sleeve has the KISS facepaint going on; that’s cool. Regarding entertainment value, I’d rather see jerseys like this over a big name MLB star-No I’m not lying. These jerseys will be worn one time, whereas I can see Miggy at any Tigers game I wish to.

The El Paso Chihuahuas are the Triple-A Affiliate of the San Diego Padres, playing in the Pacific Coast League. The Chihuahuas history can be traced back to the creation of the PCL as the Los Angeles Angels in 1903. Today’s top prospects are Hunter Renfroe and Justin Hancock.

Hunter Renfroe, OF 

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Renfroe is the number three prospect in the Padres system. He was the Padres overall number one pick in the 2012 draft and number 13 overall. Renfroe has impressive raw batting and fielding power but still has skills he needs to hone before he can play in the show.

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Scouting grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 60 | Run: 50 | Arm: 60 | Field: 55 | Overall: 55

Justin Hancock, RHP

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The Padres drafted Hancock out of Junior College after he had an impressive junior year. He relies mostly on his fastball, although he has other pitches. He’s limited by his shaky control and has had trouble with his secondary pitches. Hancock has aspirations to be a starter, but as of now he is projected to be a middle reliever.

Scouting grades: Fastball: 60 | Curveball: 45 | Changeup: 55 | Control: 45 | Overall: 45

Bowling Green Hot Rods Memorial Day Jersey

Continuing with the honoring the Military theme is the jersey below that the Bowling Green Hot Rods will be wearing all memorial day weekend.

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They’ll be honoring first responders as well, which is cool.  Finally, a cool themed jersey within driving distance from where I live.  Well, there have been plenty of those, just ask the Mud Hens. But, it’s still cool to know that I can personally witness unique jersey right at home in my back yard.

It’s also cool that the Hot Rods are honoring first responders in addition to the military. After all, we skip over the first responders. It’s not true for everyone, but plenty of times when people mention the Military, they include police and firefighters but leave out the first responders (EMTs, etc.). So this is a refreshing change of honoring people.

The Bowling Green Hot Rods are the Class-A Affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays, having been so since September 29, 2006. They play in the Midwest League, playing their games at Bowling Green Ballpark. Today’s featured prospects are Kevin Padlo and Jose Mujica.

Kevin Padlo, 3B

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Padlo was drafted by the Rockies in the fifth round of the 2014 draft, and he didn’t disappoint in his Pioneer League debut. After that, he’s had ups and downs throughout the Rockies farm system before he was ultimately shipped to Tampa Bay in January. Padlo shows’s strong plate discipline as well as advanced plate approach. However, he still needs time to develop defensively before he can become an everyday third baseman.

Scouting grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 55 | Run: 50 | Arm: 55 | Field: 50 | Overall: 45

Jose Mujica

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Mujica was signed out of Venezuela in 2012 and barely played in 2014 due to a foot injury. He has a strong arm, but like most young pitchers he still has long ways to go, as his control is the weakest part of his game. When he’s finally developed he’ll have average command and will be able to make a solid middle rotation pitcher; he’s still a long way from that thought.

Scouting grades: Fastball: 60 | Curveball: 45 | Slider: 50 | Changeup: 55 | Control: 50 | Overall: 45

Frederick Keys Hey Arnold Jersey

Last year the Frederick Keys had a Rugrats Jersey for the 90s Nickelodeon Jersey, and they’re at it again, this time with Hey Arnold Jerseys, check them out below.

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For the Mid-Late twenty-somethings (myself included) this is an excellent throwback filled with nostalgia. It’s one of several Nickelodeon Jerseys I grew up watching, and it’s refreshing to see a MiLB team sporting a jersey from that time.  The more I see themed nights like this from MiLB teams, the more I wonder why MLB teams aren’t doing jerseys like this.

I know that there are MLB teams that pay homage to the Negro League and the Mexican fanbase (the Brewers are the only team I can think off of the top of my head), but jerseys like this go well beyond that. The Frederick Keys are the Class-A Advanced Affiliate for the Baltimore Orioles named for Star Spangled Banner poet Francis Scott Key.

Today’s featured prospects are Josh Hart and Tanner Scott.

Josh Hart, OF

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The Orioles picked up Hart in the 2013 Supplement Draft, where they gave him $1.45 million. They thought highly of his potential that he has yet to reach, but still has all the tools to do so. Harts best defensive skills lie in playing center-field. He was only 20 during the 2015 season, so there is still plenty of time for Hart to live up to his potential.

Scouting grades: Hit: 45 | Power: 30 | Run: 60 | Arm: 40 | Field: 55 | Overall: 40

Tanner Scott, LHP 

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Scott has hit 100 MPH on the gun before,  in 42 1/3 innings last season, the 21-year-old struck out 60 batters and posted a 3.83 ERA. His heater is currently the only useful pitch in his repertoire and he has work to do on his secondary pitches before he can be a reliable starter. If he relied solely on his heat, he could fast track as a late inning reliever, but it seems for now that Scott wants to be a starter.

Scouting Grades

Pitch Type Present Grade Future Grade Sitting Velocity Peak Velocity Report
FB 60 70 93-96 98 Velocity: 70/80
Movement: 50/50
Command: 30/40
SL 40 50 85-86 87 Movement: 50/50
Command: 30/40

Portland Sea Dogs Top Gun Night

Straight out of a Halloween party is the Top Gun Jersey’s from the Portland Sea Dogs.

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They’re cool enough for Maverick and Goose. The weird thing is that Top Gun is 30 years old, older than a lot of younger people who enjoy MiLB games and me, but these jerseys are still cool enough for us to like. I have seen Top Gun, but it feels like the experience is way different when you’re old enough to remember it coming out in Movie Theaters.

It’ll be akin to when Star Wars VII has its 3oth Anniversary; I’ll be able to remember when it came out in movie theaters and had a sort of different appreciation for the 3oth anniversary of it.

The Portland Sea Dogs are the current Double-A Affiliate of the Boston Red Sox, having been their affiliate since 2003 and play in the Eastern League.  Today’s featured prospects are Andrew Benintendi and Teddy Stankiewicz.

Andrew Benintendi, OF

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Benintendi has the potential to be a regular everyday center fielder for the Red Sox. He has the tools to play all outfield positions, but he lacks the raw power needed to play in the corners.  He also requires raw batting power and plate discipline  but has all the makings of a future major league centerfielder.

Teddy Stankiewicz, RHP 

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Stankiewicz projects to be a four or five starter for various reasons. Reasons which include that he has consistency issues, but throws strikes. He lacks the flash needed to be in the top-middle of the rotation, but throws strikes and gets outs with his four-pitch repertoire. Has pitching smarts that make up for his lack of flash and ability to get quick outs.