Pittsburgh Pirates rookie pitcher Jeff Locke will enter 2012 looking for his first big league win. He went 0-3 in four starts with the Pirates last season. Despite not yet getting a win, Locke reached the dream sought after by many when he made his major league debut. In the story link below, Locke provides an in depth look at his baseball journey from suiting up for the worst team in the Mount Washington Valley Little League, being highly scouted in high school, 2006 draft day when he was selected by the Atlanta Braves, his journey through the minor leagues and finally his debut last season with the Pirates. It’s an interesting timeline look at Locke’s path to the majors.
Jeff Locke’s journey to the Majors — ConwayDailySun.com
After a storied high school career at Lafayette High School outside of St. Louis, David Freese decided to call it quits. He enrolled at the University of Missouri but did not play baseball despite the pleas of the the Mizzou coaching staff. Following his freshman year at Mizzou, Freese returned to his home town and decided to give baseball another shot. He decided to play junior college ball at Meramec Community College and later at the University of South Alabama before being ninth round pick of the San Diego Padres in 2006 before being traded to the Cardinals in the Jim Edmonds deal. In the story link below, Freese talks about losing and then regaining his love for baseball, playing for his home town Cardinals, and enjoying the team’s playoff push. It’s a good read.
Freese has coming-out party — Columbia Tribune
This is one of the more candid interviews you will ever see a minor leaguer give. Billy Rowell, the ninth overall pick of the 2006 draft, who has only played 41 games above High-A during his six year career, spoke with MASN’s Steve Melewski: @masnSteve, and pulled no punches on the way he felt the Baltimore Orioles handled him this past season. It’s a wild read and one that is sure to raise the eyebrows of the Orioles front office.
After another tough season, Billy Rowell has a few things to say — MASNSports.com
They say you can’t teach speed. San Francisco Giants prospect Tyler Graham has more than most and is hoping that his wheels are his ticket to the major leagues. The 27 year old outfielder is leading the Triple-A Pacific Coast League and is second in all of baseball with his career high 55 stolen bases for the Fresno Grizzlies. Graham was a 19th round pick of the Giants out of Oregon State in the 2006 draft. Since turning pro, he has averaged 36 stolen bases a season as he has climbed the ranks in the Giants system. In the story, Graham talks about the art of base stealing and his hope for a September call up.
Tyler Graham stealing bases at record clip — Great Falls Tribune
The Oakland Athletics have trade Rich Harden to the Boston Red Sox for prospect Lars Anderson and a player to be named later. A former member of the U.S. Junior National Team, Anderson never quite lived up the the lofty expectations Boston had for him when the signed him out of high school in the 2006 draft. The 23 year old is currently batting .261 with 26 Doubles, 10 Home Runs and 57 RBI’s in his second year at Triple-A Pawtucket. Anderson’s best season in the minors when he hit a combined .317 with 32 Doubles, 18 Home Runs and 80 RBI’s between the Single-A Lancaster Jethawks and the Double-A Portland Sea Dogs. His lone big league experience came in 2010 with Boston where he hit .200 with a Double in 18 games with the Red Sox.
UPDATE: According to multiple online sources this trade has fallen through at the last minute. Was previously announces by many as being a done deal. Sean McAdam of the Comcast reports the Red Sox wanted to take away a player to be named later after looking at Harden’s medical reports and just trade them Anderson, and were denied by Oakland.
The Colorado Rockies have traded Ubaldo Jimenez to the Cleveland Indians for a package that includes Drew Pomeranz (who will be a player to be named later as he cannot be traded until August 15th, a year after he signed), Alex White, Joe Gardner, and Matt McBride. The 22 year old Pomeranz was the 5th overall pick out of Ole Miss in the 2010 draft and has been lights out since turning pro. This season he is a combined 3-3 with a 1.98ERA and has struck out 112 batters in 91 innings between the High-A Kinston Indians and the Double-A Akron Aeros. He was a participant in the 2011 Futures Game. The 6’5″ lefty has as high a ceiling as any pitcher in the minor leagues. White went 1-0 with a 3.60 in 3 starts with the Indians earlier this year before going on the DL with a finger injury. The 22 year old pitched a simulated game on Monday and was scheduled to start tonight for Akron before being scratched upon news of the pending trade. White went 10-10 with 2.45ERA in 25 starts between Kinston and Akron in 2010. He was the 15th overall pick of the 2009 draft out of North Carolina. Gardner is another product of the 2009 draft. The Indians took the 23 year old in the third round out of UC Santa Barbara. He is currently 7-8 with a 4.99ERA in 19 starts for Akron. Gardner was 12-6 with a 2.68ERA in 28 starts for Kinston in 2010. McBride is a 26 year old with a solid bat who has yet to play above the Triple-A level. He was second round pick by the Indians out of LeHigh University way back in 2006 and has been in the Indians organization since. After not hitting more than eight home runs in any of his previous minor league seasons, McBride broke out with a 44 Double, 18 Home Run, 99 RBI year between Kinston and Akron in 2009. He followed that up with a 31 Double, 21 Home Run, 79 RBI year between Akron and the Triple-A Columbus Clippers in 2010. This season McBride has once again split between Akron and Columbus and has posted a combined .279, 26 Double, 15 Home Run, 56 RBI year to this point.
It’s been a long road filled with the highest of highs and lowest of lows for 2006 1st round pick Andrew Miller. The 6’7″ lefty was one of the best pitchers in the country for the North Carolina Tar Heels when he was selected by the Detroit Tigers with the 6th overall pick. He was rushed to the major leagues after just three appearances at High-A Lakeland, and pitched out of the bullpen for Detroit during the final month of the 2006 season. In 2007 he was back to being a starter, made 13 starts in the minors before once again being rushed to the majors and seeing marginal success. Following the season Miller was traded to Florida as part of the Miguel Cabrera blockbuster deal and struggled in both the majors and minors for three years before being traded by the Marlins to Boston during the 2010 offseason. Boston then released Miller before resigning him to a minor league deal. The 2010 season was the worst statistical season of Miller’s career going 2-9 with a 5.35ERA in the minors and 1-5 with a 8.54ERA for the Marlins. Since joining the Red Sox organization in 2011 however he’s finally beginning to blossom into the pitcher he was expected to be back in 2006. Miller went 3-3 with a 2.47ERA for Triple-A Pawtucket before being promoted to Boston. Since hitting Fenway Park, Miller has given the Red Sox a shot in the arm going 4-1 for the big club. In the in depth story, Miller talks about his roller coaster career, making it to the majors so quickly, dealing with the struggles he’s faced throughout his career, and embracing the success he has found in Boston.
From Buchholz to Boston: Miller settling in as a pro — Gainesville.com