LambeauLeap1250 WSSP


Test
  
Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4  Next  [ 67 posts ]  New Topic   Add Reply

Your 2012 Helena / Maryvale Brewers -- Latest: LHP Anthony Banda

Author Message
Offline  Re: Your 2012 Helena / Maryvale Brewers
#21

Posted: June 15, 2012, 10:57 AM Post
User avatar

Minor League Minutia Master
Global Moderator
Posts: 38574
Here are former Dominican Summer League Brewers currently working out in Helena. While one imagines there's always a possibility one or more could be transferred back to Maryvale at the last minute, that seems unlikely. It's also possible that others could arrive this weekend prior to Monday's opener.

Players scheduled to make their stateside debut in Helena (career stats at link):

RHP Leonard Lorenzo, 20
OF Yonki Hernandez, 21
OF Raul Mondesi, Jr., 19

Other former DSL'ers in Helena currently, who had previously seen action state-side, are:

LHP Manuel Ruiz, 23
Of Ruben Ozuna, 20


 Top
 
Offline  Re: Your 2012 Helena / Maryvale Brewers -- Latest: LHP Anthony Banda
#22

Posted: June 15, 2012, 12:09 PM Post
User avatar

Brewerfan Jedi
Global Moderator
Posts: 19205
Hmm, I guess I wasn't expecting to see Mondesi, Jr. pushed after a very mediocre (stats-wise) 2011 in the DSL. Interesting to see how high the Brewers apparently are on him.

Hernandez (via his stats) appears to be a real speed merchant, but hasn't really yet shown a strong ability to hit. Also, I don't recall him playing much OF last season while covering the DSL link reports -- Mass, is that a typo on your part (his position on his player page is listed as 2B, which is where I remember him playing regularly last season), or have the Brewers moved Yonki?


 Top
 
Offline  Re: Your 2012 Helena / Maryvale Brewers
#23

Posted: June 15, 2012, 12:11 PM Post
User avatar

Minor League Minutia Master
Global Moderator
Posts: 38574
Yonki was strictly a CF in 2011

Gotta love Baseball Reference...


 Top
 
Offline  Re: Your 2012 Helena / Maryvale Brewers -- Latest: LHP Anthony Banda
#24

Posted: June 15, 2012, 12:33 PM Post
User avatar

Brewerfan Jedi
Global Moderator
Posts: 19205
Clearly B-Ref & actual facts are no match for my infallible human memory


 Top
 
Offline  Re: Your 2012 Helena / Maryvale Brewers
#25

Posted: June 15, 2012, 12:41 PM Post
User avatar

Minor League Minutia Master
Global Moderator
Posts: 38574
Following up on the DSL - Helena connection (see post above), here is a list of additional players currently at workouts in Montana. Expect these names, barring unforeseen late adjustments, to begin the season with the H-Crew. Several others will likely formally be added this weekend. Career stats at links.

Pitchers:

RHP Rodolfo Fernandez, a Cuban signing brought to your attention in our Transaction Thread today

LHP Mike Francisco, 48th round pick out of Villanova in 2011

RHP Ryan Gibbard, 14th round 2012 pick out of Lynn (FL) University

LHP Elliott Glynn, 39th round pick out of UConn in 2011

LHP David Otterman, 7th round 2012 pick out of the University of British Columbia

RHP Joel Pierce, 7th round high school pick in 2010 out of Ontario, Canada

RHP Mike Schaub, 38th round high school pick in 2010 out of Anaheim, California

RHP Eric Semmelhack, 12th round 2012 pick out of UW-Milwaukee

LHP Connor Whalen, a 2011 non-drafted free agent out of UC-Santa Barbara; saw action with Brevard County earlier this season

RHP Mike White, 13th round 2010 pick out of Walters State (TN) Community College

Catchers:

Emmanuel Quiles, former Padres farmhand

Mike Turay, 24th round 2012 pick out of Cal State-Stanislaus

Infielders:

Kevin Berard, 22nd round high school pick in 2010 out of Louisiana

Michael Garza, 20th round 2012 pick out of Georgetown

Adam Giacalone, 16th round 2012 pick out of Neosho (KS) Community College

Chris McFarland, 18th round high school pick in 2011 out of Texas

Mike Nemeth, 21st round pick out of UConn in 2011

Alfredo Rodriguez, 17th round 2012 pick out of the University of Maryland

Outfielder:

Lance Roenicke, 25th round 2012 pick out of UC-Santa Barbara


 Top
 
Offline  Re: Your 2012 Helena / Maryvale Brewers -- Latest: LHP Anthony Banda
#26

Posted: June 15, 2012, 4:29 PM Post
Posts: 6378
we need more OF there again (remember the year we had 4 or 5 C's in the lineup in Helena??? Also, frustrating to note that we have no position players listed that have been drafted in the top 15 rounds of any recent draft. too many years of neglecting hitters!


 Top
 
Offline  Re: Your 2012 Helena / Maryvale Brewers -- latest: Most, but not all, of H-Crew roster identified
#27

Posted: June 15, 2012, 5:18 PM Post
User avatar

Minor League Minutia Master
Global Moderator
Posts: 38574
Remember when you combine the OF's from the DSL that are up (Hernandez, Mondesi, Ozuna), as noted a few posts above in this thread, you don't just have Lance Roenicke out there.


 Top
 
Offline  Re: Your 2012 Helena / Maryvale Brewers -- Latest: LHP Anthony Banda
#28

Posted: June 15, 2012, 6:50 PM Post
User avatar
Posts: 1448
The pitching has a chance to be good. I see some confidence in Joel Pierce's progression with this assignment. There likely will be some piggybacking going on on this staff.

The hitters should be the consistent portion of this team. Why not send Tyler Roberts down there? Garfield is looking good at WI.


 Top
 
Offline  Re: Your 2012 Helena / Maryvale Brewers -- Latest: LHP Anthony Banda
#29

Posted: June 16, 2012, 9:12 AM Post
Posts: 48
Anybody else on board with bringing Gian Rizzo to the states to see what he can do?


 Top
 
Offline  Re: Your 2012 Helena / Maryvale Brewers -- latest: Most, but not all, of H-Crew roster identified
#30

Posted: June 17, 2012, 5:32 AM Post
User avatar

Minor League Minutia Master
Global Moderator
Posts: 38574
We're ridiculously fortunate to have the coverage at the lower levels of the system that is provided in Appleton and Helena.

Once again, Amber Kuehn and the Helena Independent Record grace us with another fine Opening Day preview for Monday.

BREW CREW REDO: Manager Isom 'can't wait' to open 2nd stint in Helena
Fantastic read on Jeff Isom, one small correction -- while former farmhand Eric Fryer did reach the major leagues with Pittsburgh in 2011, he has been in AAA (and struggling) all of 2012

***

Eclectic clubhouse aims to put Brewers back atop league
Quotes from several players, another excellent must-read...

***

Small photo gallery (expect many more this season)

***

PDF Web Page: Meet the 2012 Helena Brewers
We haven't seen anything like this since the Charleston days with the West Virginia Power -- bravo, Helena IR!

(Well, the Sounds place their entire media guide online, unreal -- so don't want to short-change them...)

***

By the way, couldn't remember if this was the first we've learned that Raul Mondesi Jr.'s signing bonus was $800,000.


 Top
 
Offline  Re: Your 2012 Helena / Maryvale Brewers -- Latest: Must-See Opening Day Preview Features
#31

Posted: June 17, 2012, 10:23 PM Post
User avatar

Minor League Minutia Master
Global Moderator
Posts: 38574
VIDEO: Mike Nemeth with advice for his new teammates


 Top
 
Offline  Re: Your 2012 Helena / Maryvale Brewers -- Latest: Must-See Opening Day Preview Features
#32

Posted: June 18, 2012, 6:23 AM Post
User avatar

Minor League Minutia Master
Global Moderator
Posts: 38574
LHP West to start for Brewers in season opener
By Amber Kuehn, Helena Independent Record

Helena Brewers pitcher Will West will get the nod tonight when the 2012 season gets under way at Kindrick Legion Field.

First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM (8:05 Central).

West, a 6-foot-4, 177-pound southpaw from Tallahassee, Fla., will be making his Helena debut. The 19-year-old signed a free agent contract last year and spent the 2011 season in the Arizona League, where he was 1-3 with a 3.99 ERA. As is common in the Arizona League, West split time between the bullpen and the starting rotation in his rookie season. But he started all five games he played in earlier this spring for Class-A Wisconsin, and said he’s happy to be back in that role. His most recent outing was a no-decision on June 12, when he allowed six hits and one earned run through five innings of work. His go-to pitches are fastball and changeup.

“It’s pretty awesome – I’ve never been an opening day starter before,” said West, who carries a 1-1 mark and 6.20 ERA over from the Midwest League.

Great Falls will send right-hander Keegan Linza to the mound for tonight’s opener. The defending Pioneer League champion Voyagers are aiming to build on last season’s success, when they won nine of their last 11 regular-season games and then swept Ogden in the best-of-three finals. Manager Ryan Newman returns for his second season after leading Great Falls from worst to first.

Helena’s new skipper, Jeff Isom, noted Friday that he wasn’t all too familiar with the Voyagers’ roster. Isom said at this level, it’s far more important to focus on getting your own team prepared rather than worrying about what the opponent is going to try to do.

“We’ve just got to focus on what we’re capable of doing,” he said.

The Brewers opened last season in dramatic fashion, beating Missoula with a walk-off home run in the 12th inning. Helena overcame an early 4-0 deficit to win its third straight season opener.

Can the Brewers make it four in a row? West might have something to say about that.

“I’m excited to take on the challenge and give it my best shot,” he said.

Right-hander Mike Schaub is the tentative starter for Tuesday night’s contest.

Amber Kuehn: follow her on Twitter @IR_AmberKuehn.


 Top
 
Offline  Re: Your 2012 Helena / Maryvale Brewers -- Latest: Must-See Opening Day Preview Features
#33

Posted: June 18, 2012, 10:24 AM Post
User avatar

Minor League Minutia Master
Global Moderator
Posts: 38574
According to MiLB.com, 31st round LHP Brent Suter out of Harvard is an addition to the Helena staff, not the Maryvale staff.


 Top
 
Offline  Re: Your 2012 Helena / Maryvale Brewers -- Latest: Must-See Opening Day Preview Features
#34

Posted: June 19, 2012, 7:33 AM Post
User avatar
Posts: 1448
By the way, couldn't remember if this was the first we've learned that Raul Mondesi Jr.'s signing bonus was $800,000.

Jim Breen looked it up, and Baseball America has it at $80,000 and that is how I kind of remember it. His younger brother signed last season with the Royals for 1M or more iirc. Brewers were in on him but were out bid.


 Top
 
Offline  Re: Your 2012 Helena / Maryvale Brewers -- Latest: Must-See Opening Day Preview Features
#35

Posted: June 25, 2012, 5:54 AM Post
User avatar
Posts: 1448
BREWIN' WITH KUEHN: Father shares in Wagner’s pro debut

By AMBER KUEHN Independent Record | Posted: Monday, June 25, 2012 12:05 am

An unfamiliar ballpark, a new uniform, butterflies in the stomach — there can be plenty of nerve-wracking things that factor into a professional debut.

Thankfully for Tyler Wagner, he had a familiar face in the stands at Kindrick Legion Field on Friday to make him just a tad more comfortable on the mound. His father, Tom, came in from Las Vegas and surprised him just before the game. Wagner said he started the 14-hour trek at 3 in the morning and arrived an hour-and-a-half before first pitch.

“He’s always been supportive my whole baseball career, so it was nice to have him here,” said the 21-year-old Helena reliever, who gave up three hits and two earned runs through 2 2/3 innings Friday. It was his first appearance out of the Brewers’ bullpen.

“I obviously wanted to impress my dad but I just did what I could,” said Wagner, who holds the career record for saves at the University of Utah.

Tom Wagner has been with his son every step of the way, coaching Tyler from T-ball at age 5 until he was 16. One of the highlights was when Tyler was 11, and the father-son duo were part of a team that won a Cooperstown tournament. Tyler’s American Legion team also won a national championship in 2008.

Wagner was drafted in the fourth round of this month’s draft after a sterling college career. He was named first team All-Mountain West relief pitcher his sophomore season in 2011 after recording a conference-best dozen saves that year. He was just 2-6 in 2012, partly due to a Utes team that struggled this past season.

Tom was in the stands for every one of Tyler’s games this year, made possible since he retired from a 25-year career as detective sergeant on Jan. 1. Tom said Tyler being drafted is a dream come true for both father and son.

“As a dad, when you’ve walked with him every step and seen him work so hard, it’s a dream come true (to see him drafted),” said Tom, who also coached both of his boys’ football teams briefly.

Wagner has a mid-90s fastball and an above-average slider, and Utah coach Bill Kinneberg told the Daily Utah Chronicle he has the stuff to be in the big leagues one day.

Helena pitching coach Elvin Nina likes what he’s seen from Wagner so far. Wagner knows he made a couple of mistakes Friday that need to be cleaned up: he issued a lead-off walk, which eventually came in for a run, and gave up a two-run homer — after allowing just three long balls in his entire three-year career at Utah.

“It’s definitely a humbling thing to know I’m not the big man on campus anymore,” Tyler said. “I’m just another guy whose gonna go out there and throw his innings. I know I’ve gotta keep working hard.

“I need to work on my fastball command, that’s my biggest thing right now.”

Tom Wagner, who was in Helena for the entire Billings series and enjoying his first-ever trip to Montana, thought Tyler pitched well through the first couple of innings in his debut.

“Traditionally as a closer he’s only been called on to pitch two innings at a time, so it concerned me when he went out for a third,” said Tom, 47. “He left the ball up and got dinged up a little bit, but he’s gonna get better.”

Tom plans to get back to as many games in Helena as possible, and also plans to attend games in Ogden and Orem, Utah.

NINA KNOWS

It’s difficult for most of us to put ourselves in these players’ shoes, hard to imagine the pressure a pitcher faces when he takes the mound at this level.

While we see the struggles — the Brewers pitching staff had a 6.06 ERA and just one win entering Sunday’s contest — we fail to see what’s going on in their mind. But Nina knows from personal experience what it’s like.

“Sometimes we tend to forget they’re still kids,” he said. “I have to remember when I was 20, 21 — a long time ago — when I was in this situation I was pretty nervous. I questioned myself. I didn’t know anything about the hitters I was facing ... I’m a good example of it. My first year was horrendous. I wasn’t quite prepared to be a professional slugger, and it didn’t sink in until halfway through my second year that this was a job for me, it wasn’t a hobby anymore. Some of them are still in that mode.”

Helena pitchers have given up 83 hits this season, more than any other staff in the Pioneer League. While they are struggling with their command at the moment, Nina said it’s just a matter of time before they get hot.

“You go from rookie ball in Arizona or the Dominican Republic to the big leagues, command is everything,” he said. “The guys in their first year, it just still hasn’t sunk in that they’re professional ball players.”

Nina said the young pitchers have become accustomed to pitching for scouts and now must transition to pitching for outs.

“They’re still trying to get velocity and they forget about getting people out and throwing the ball in the zone,” he said. “They’ve just got a little excitement at the moment.”

Nina said the best way to help these young men get better is establishing a relationship with them.

“Trust is everything,” he said. “As long as he can trust you, he’s more willing to believe the things you say to him and he’ll carry those things onto the field.”

DOMINANT DEFENSE

Helena led the Pioneer League in assists (86) and double plays (11) heading into Sunday’s matinee affair with Billings. Brewers manager Jeff Isom noted defense as a bright spot thus far.

“Double plays are a pitcher’s best friend, and that’s one thing we have done a good job of,” Isom said. “We’re deep in the infield.”

Shortstop Alfredo Rodriguez has been solid, taking part in seven of the Brewers’ 11 double-play efforts. Both catchers — Emmanuel Quiles and Michael Turay — have been exceptional at throwing out base runners. But the solid defense doesn’t stop at the infield, as outfielder Raul Mondesi Jr. has made several highlight-reel plays in right field — drawing comparisons to his father.

NEWER BREWER

Michael Reed arrived Thursday from High-A Brevard County in the Florida State League following Lance Roenicke’s promotion. The 5-foot-10, 192-pound center fielder graduated from Leander High in Texas in 2011, after hitting .386 with five homers and 39 RBIs his senior season. Last year he hit .232 with the AZL Brewers, and was hitting .225 through 40 at-bats earlier this year with Brevard County and AA Huntsville. The 19-year-old was ranked as Milwaukee’s 24th-best prospect after last season by Baseball America.

Athleticism runs in Reed’s genes, as his father, Benton, was a defensive end in the NFL for the New England Patriots.

Amber has Michael Reed listed at 5'10". MiLB.com as him at 6'0". These are things prospectors care about


 Top
 
Offline  Re: Your 2012 Helena / Maryvale Brewers -- Latest: Must-See Opening Day Preview Features
#36

Posted: June 29, 2012, 1:55 PM Post
User avatar

Minor League Minutia Master
Global Moderator
Posts: 38574
Text -- British Columbia To The Brewers- Interview With 2012 7th Round Pick LHP David Otterman


 Top
 
Offline  Re: Your 2012 Helena / Maryvale Brewers
#37

Posted: July 04, 2012, 6:26 AM Post
User avatar

Minor League Minutia Master
Global Moderator
Posts: 38574
Helena broadcaster Steve Wendt has always been an excellent interviewer, we've enjoyed his work for years, but the interviews weren't archived until now (thanks to our prodding [smile]!).

There were some technical difficulties archiving them since the start of this season, but Steve and staff held on to much of the audio and have now posted thirteen of the interviews from the season thus far.

So it may take you a while to catch up, but bookmark and keep coming back to this post until you've done so, and we'll begin linking the new interviews in each day's Link Report going forward.

No newspaper feature article, not even a detailed Q&A, can introduce us to the new young men in the system as much as these rookie-level interviews, so if you're a diehard, I strongly suggest you invest your audio time here over the next few days.

Thanks again to Steve!

***

LHP Taylor Wall (2012 22nd round, Rice)

LHP Connor Whalen (2011 undrafted free agent)

Head Athletic Trainer Jimmy Gentry

1B Mike Nemeth (2011 21st round, UConn)

2B Chris McFarland (2011 18th round, Texas high schooler)

RHP Mike Schaub (2010 38th round, California high schooler)

Helena Brewers President and GM Paul Fetz

Roving Outfield and Baserunning Instructor Reggie Williams -- the day after Raul Mondesi Jr.'s "teachable moment"

RHP Martin Viramontes (2012 28th round, USC)

Roving Hitting Instructor Sandy Guerrero

3B Mike Garza (2012 20th round, Georgetown)

Helena Pitching Coach Elvin Nina

Minor League Business Manager (one title among many) Scott Martens


 Top
 
Offline  Re: Your 2012 Helena / Maryvale Brewers -- Latest: LHP Anthony Banda
#38

Posted: July 04, 2012, 11:56 AM Post
User avatar
Posts: 9922
This is wonderful, only 2 affiliates left to go!

"You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation."
- Plato
"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something."
- Plato


 Top
 
Offline  Re: Your 2012 Helena / Maryvale Brewers -- Latest: Audio Pre-Game Interviews!
#39

Posted: July 09, 2012, 7:02 AM Post
User avatar

Minor League Minutia Master
Global Moderator
Posts: 38574
BREWIN' WITH KUEHN: Gainey opts to forgo Navy for baseball
By Amber Kuehn, Helena Independent Record

Choosing between school and a professional baseball career was no easy task for Helena Brewers pitcher Preston Gainey.

That’s because the 21-year-old right-hander had to leave the prestigious Naval Academy and military life in order to pursue his lifelong dream. It was one of the toughest decisions he has had to make, but after praying and talking it over with his family, Gainey said he feels he is right where he belongs.

“I was lucky to be able to go there and have the opportunity to serve my country, but I just felt like I can always go back into the military if baseball doesn’t end up working out,” said the Pompano Beach, Fla., native, who was selected in the 11th round by Milwaukee. “I only get one shot at chasing my dream, which is baseball.”

While some players opt to return to college for another year and put baseball on the backburner only to play later, it wasn’t exactly an option for Gainey. Had Gainey gone back to Navy, he would have most likely had to give up the sport he’d played all his life for good. Since Gainey was just a sophomore this last season, though, he hadn’t yet locked into a contract with the Academy. When students return for a third year, they sign a 2 for 7 agreement that essentially means committing to two more years of school and then a minimum of five years of military service.

“That’s a contract you can’t really get out of,” said Gainey, who yielded just nine extra base hits through more than 50 innings last year for the Midshipmen. “Ever since I’ve been here (Helena) I’ve felt like this is where I am supposed to be ... it took a lot of thought to decide to leave the Academy, but you can’t really look back and I know God has me here for a reason.”

Gainey’s life has taken several unexpected twists and turns. He moved around a lot after his father, James, was diagnosed with a heart valve problem that led him to quit practicing law, forcing the family to relocate for a new job.

“Being a lawyer just became too stressful,” Preston Gainey said.

James, who was born with the condition and never knew about it until a routine checkup, was also an athlete. He played college football for the University of Florida before a professional career as a kicker in the now-defunct USFL prior to his diagnosis, and it took three open-heart surgeries to fix the abnormal aortic valve.

Gainey attended high school in Jacksonville, Fla., from his freshman through junior season, and said the move to south Florida his senior year was a blessing in disguise. It was at Calvary Christian Academy where he had a breakout season and caught the eye of Naval Academy scouts.

Although both of Gainey’s grandfathers and a great uncle were in the service, a life in the military had never occurred to him before being recruited.

“Everything the Naval Academy offered — a great education, a chance to serve your country and have a job — especially in today’s economy, it was just kind of a good deal,” he said.

The Academy’s extensive application process — which requires a nomination from a Congressman or Senator, among other things — meant Gainey, a 2009 high school graduate, wouldn’t be able to enroll until the following school year since he had committed late. He spent the year away from the game helping out with his local high school and said he matured during that time. Now, he’s grateful he hadn’t gotten in immediately, as he likely wouldn’t be playing professional baseball today since he would be a junior.

“Everything has worked out,” said Gainey, who throws a fastball in the mid-90s, a slider and changeup. Since arriving in Helena on June 26, Gainey has given up two hits and two unearned runs in three innings of relief, with a 2:1 strikeouts-to-walks ratio.

***

Helena lost a huge chunk of its offense Saturday when third baseman Michael Garza was promoted to Class-A (low) Wisconsin. In 19 games with the Brewers, Garza was batting .407 — second in the Pioneer League — with 33 hits, 13 RBIs (17 percent of the team’s total), two homers, two triples and four doubles. He had seven runs and five stolen bases while playing in every game, and hit safely in 11 straight games prior to his promotion. Taking Garza out of the equation, the Brewers batting average drops to .245 from .265.

Brewers hitting coach Don Money said Garza is a workhorse whose production will be tough to replace.

“We’ll miss him big time. He was our offense, he was our fourth hitter,” said Money, who played for the Philadelphia Phillies and the Milwaukee Brewers from 1968-1983. “You look at a spray chart, he uses all parts of the field, he hits early in the count ... he’s just a good hitter.”

Garza said via a Twitter message Sunday that he was thrilled to be called up.

“The Timber Rattlers have been a very welcoming community and the atmosphere surrounding the team is great,” he wrote. “The whole process is about learning and progressing as a player. I learned a lot from the coaching staff in Helena.”

While it’s a much-deserved promotion for the Georgetown product, it leaves a dent in a lineup that has struggled some this season. The Brewers were batting .270 heading into Sunday’s game and ranked last in the Pioneer League in runs (97), doubles (29), home runs (7) and RBIs (84). Prior to Saturday night’s game, Money had expressed disappointment with the situational hitting, or lack thereof, and high number of runners stranded on second and third. In the previous series against Billings, Helena had left 32 men on base and hit 6 for 47 with runners in scoring position.

“We were 1 for 4 getting men in from third with less than two outs on Friday,” Money noted. “I don’t know what the hitters are thinking about in the batter’s box with a man on third base and one out. Are you thinking about hitting a home run? Thinking about hitting a double? They just need to put it in play, see what happens ... get a ground ball. We just talk to them, that’s all you can do. Young hitters have to have a plan at the plate.”

Whatever he said to them, it seems to have worked. After loading the bases with one out in the second inning Saturday and failing to score, the Brewers settled in, getting big-time base knocks in an 8-1 win over Missoula. Four of their RBIs came with two outs, and just three of their 13 hits were for extra-bases — proof that small ball works just fine for a team not exactly known for its power.

***

Former Helena Brewer Jake Odorizzi started for the United States in Sunday’s Futures Game and went one inning, giving up a home run. Odorizzi, who went to Kansas City in Milwaukee’s trade for Zack Greinke in 2010, is 5-0 this season for Triple-A Omaha. He was 1-4 with a 4.40 ERA in a Helena uniform. Another former Pioneer League player, shortstop Billy Hamilton (Billings), also started in the Futures Game, driving in two runs in the 17-5 rout. Hamilton already has an astounding 108 stolen bases this season in the California League.


 Top
 
Offline  Re: Your 2012 Helena / Maryvale Brewers -- Latest: Audio Pre-Game Interviews!
#40

Posted: July 29, 2012, 5:41 AM Post
User avatar

Minor League Minutia Master
Global Moderator
Posts: 38574
Mondesi brothers in same league as famous father dominated
Scott Mansch, Great Falls Tribune

Loyal readers of Down On The Farm realize that we often trek down memory lane in this space.

It's not so difficult to do these days in the Pioneer League, what with two Mondesi men in the loop.

While it seems like yesterday, it was actually 1990 when we recall covering a truly great Pioneer club from Great Falls. One fine summer afternoon is especially memorable, for two teenagers from the Dominican Republic had been instrumental in a victory for the Dodger farm club. We remember them sitting side by side in the clubhouse, and when we asked young Raul Mondesi a question, he shook his head and pointed to his buddy to interpret.

It was Pedro Martinez.

Mondesi, who went on to a tremendous big-league career that included 271 homers, 1,589 hits and the National League Rookie of the Year Award in 1994, is one of the finest players the Pioneer League has ever produced.

And Martinez is regarded as perhaps the best pitcher in league history. The three-time Cy Young Award winner pitched 18 years in the big leagues and collected 219 victories to go along with a fantastic 2.93 earned-run average.

Raul spoke very little English 22 summers ago, but Pedro got by OK. We remember they were both gracious kids. And, of course, great players.

Mondesi batted .303 with 10 doubles, 4 triples, 8 homers, 31 RBI and a team-high 30 stolen bases for Great Falls in 1990. He made the Pioneer League All-Star team and led Great Falls to the league championship.

Those numbers are outstanding in any league, and difficult for any player to match. But imagine the burden for a son or two now trying to make a name for himself in the same league?

Raul Mondesi Jr. is a 19-year-old outfielder for the Helena Brewers. His little brother, Idaho Falls shortstop Adelberto Mondesi, is a 16-year-old who last week displayed considerable skill at Centene Stadium.

"Every day I talk with (his father)," said Adelberto in a brief interview last week. "And every day I talk to my brother, to find out how he played."

Adelberto was born in Los Angeles when his father was playing for the Dodgers. But he's grown up in the Dominican Republic and is still learning the language here.

But that's OK. Because his skills speak loudly.

"He's a great guy," said Idaho Falls manager Omar Ramirez. He's young and still learning, but he's a guy who can play the shortstop position. And he's gonna be a star one day. He can run, he can steal bases — he's a very exciting player. He has made some unbelievable plays this year. Plays that make us go 'Wow.' "

Adelberto, who signed for signed with the Kansas City organization for a reported $2 million bonus, was hitting .313 entering Saturday's action.

"Being a 16-year-old in this league and competing like he's competing, that's pretty special," Great Falls manager Ryan Newman said. "The tools that he's shown us defensively and offensively, obviously he's grown up around the game. It's pretty cool to have two boys like that in this league and playing at the level they're playing at."

Raul Jr., who signed with the Milwaukee organization in 2010 for a reported $800,000 bonus, has three homers this summer. But it's not his bat that impresses so much.

"Great outfielder," said Ramirez, who played 17 seasons or organized ball in the minors. "Raul's probably the best outfielder that I've seen so far in this league. Like most of the hitters in this league, he's still learning.

"They both are very good runners, and they both have good arms."

Their father, you might recall, could run, throw and hit. In fact, he was truly considered a five-tool player. And now maybe, just maybe, the two young brothers will add to the Mondesi big-league legacy.

"Those boys have a ton of talent," Newman said. "The apple doesn't fall too far from the tree, that's for sure."

If you think Down On The Farmis living in the past today, you should talk to Shelley Haffner.

For 10 years, Shelley and her husband John housed professional ballplayers for the summer. In 1990, the Haffner household included both Pedro Martinez and Raul Mondesi.

"We had so much fun that year," Shelley said. "It was our best year. Those boys called me Mom."

And, she said, they were not shy about helping with the chores.

"Really good kids," Shelley said. "They helped around the house and they helped me with the yardwork. If I needed them to take out the garbage they did. Just very polite and nice."

Shelley took time to visit with Raul Jr. when the Helena Brewers were at Centene earlier this summer. And this week, she sought out Adelberto to talk a bit and reminisce about days gone by.

"I told those boys they're like my grandkids," Shelley said. "And they just laughed".

Have there ever been brothers playing in the Pioneer League at the same time?

Well, we remember one particular set of slugging siblings.

In 1987 and 1988, the Helena Brewers were powered by the Marrero boys, twin brothers from Puerto Rico.

Oreste Marrero batted .325 as a 17-year-old for Helena in 1987, with seven homers in 51 games. The next summer, Oreste hit .354 with 16 homers for the team.

In 1987, Vilato Marrero batted .288 with 14 doubles, 3 triples and six homers. Then in 1988, Vilato hit .270 with 14 doubles and three homers.

Vilato played only five seasons of organized ball, while Oresto's career spanned 19 years and included 32 big-league games for the Montreal Expos in 1993 and 10 games in the majors for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1996.

There's one more memory of Mr. Mondesi we'd like to share.

About 14 years ago we were at Coors Field in Denver when the Dodgers were playing the Rockies. Here's what Raul Mondesi had to say about his days in Great Falls:

"I appreciate all the things people did for me there," he said. "Everybody treated me real fine. Sometime, I'm going to go back to visit."

A few weeks ago, Raul Mondesi Sr. was in Helena to watch his oldest son. While he hasn't been to Centene Stadium this summer, that could still happen. The Great Falls Voyagers play host to Helena for a four-game series starting Aug. 30.

"It would be so great to see him again," Shelley said. "He and Pedro meant a lot to me. It was great to meet Raul's sons."


 Top
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4  Next  [ 67 posts ]  New Topic   Add Reply
Test
  


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search this forum (phpBB search):
Jump to:  
Search entire board (Google search):
Google
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group
Test