Tag Archives: 2008 MLB Draft

White Sox Prospect Terry Doyle Passes On Teaching Job To Instead Dominate Batters In Arizona Fall League

Chicago White Sox prospect Terry Doyle has been the breakout pitching star of the Arizona Fall League. The soon to be 26 year old is currently 4-0 with a 0.92ERA in five starts for the Mesa Solar Sox. He’s walked three batters and struck out fifteen in 19.2 innings of work. Doyle played for both the Winston Salem Dash and Birmingham Barons during the regular season, posting a 3.07ERA in 173 innings of work. He was a 37th round pick of the White Sox in the 2008 draft. In the story link below, Doyle talks about passing on his regular offseason job as substitute math teacher in Rhode Island in order to take the opportunity to play in the Arizona Fall League, his love of high level mass, and being excited to be noticed for his work on the mound.

Doyle’s career starting to add up — Chicago Tribune

Eric Surkamp To Start For San Francisco Giants On Saturday

Multiple sources are reporting that the San Francisco Giants top pitching prospect Eric Surkamp will make his major league debut on Saturday against the Houston Astros. The 24 year old lefty went 10-4 with a 2.02ERA in 142.1 innings for the Double-A Richmond Flying Squirrels. He waled 44 and struck out 165 batters and opposing hitters batted just .213 off him this season. Surkamp is a USA Baseball alum and was a 6th round pick of the Giants out of NC State in the 2008 draft. He owns a career 25-13 record in four minor league seasons.

Yale Grad And Red Sox Prospect Ryan Lavarnway Talks About Overcoming The Ivy League Stigma

Perhaps the biggest breakout prospect of 2011 has been Red Sox catching prospect Ryan Lavarnway. Combined between the Double-A Portland Seadogs and Triple-A Pawtucket, Lavarnway is batting a combined .294, with 21 Doubles, 30 Home Runs, and 85 RBI’s. His previous career high in home runs had come in 2009 when he hit 21 long balls with the Low-A Greenville Drive. He was orginally a sixth round pick of the Red Sox in the 2008 draft out of Yale. In the story, Lavarnway talks about finally being noticed as a mainstream prospect, overcoming the stigma of the Ivy League baseball, and working hard every day to prove the doubters wrong.

Ryan Lavarnway is used to beating the doubters ProJo.com

Our Interview With San Francisco Giants Pitching Prospect Justin Fitzgerald

Since being selected in the 11th round of the 2008 draft out of UC Davis by his hometown San Francisco Giants, pitching prospect Justin Fitzgerald has climbed a level each season on the road to the big leagues. This year for the Double-A Richmond Flying Squirrels, the 6’5″ right hander is 8-6 with a 3.38ERA in 114.1 innings covering 22 starts. We hope you enjoy our Q&A with Justin Fitzgerald.

TPA: Growing up an hour north of the Bay Area in Santa Rosa were you a Giants fan or an A’s fan when you were younger? How often did you get to games? What were some of your best memories?
Justin Fitzgerald Growing up I was a huge Giants fan, going to games as early as the Candlestick Park days and watching the likes of Will Clark, Bill Swift, Rod Beck and Barry Bonds. One of the best memories I have was when JT Snow hit his walk off Home Run against the Mets in the playoffs at AT&T park. The crowd was so electric and louder than you could ever imagine. The only other time I have heard a place that loud was for Bonds 700th HR.

TPA: Tell us about your draft day experience. Where were you when you got the call?
Justin Fitzgerald I was making breakfast and my roommate was watching the computer. He yelled hey Fitz you just got drafted. I said by who? And he yelled back the Giants in the 11th Round. A very humbling and honoring experience.

TPA: What was it like getting to play a couple of hours from home last year in San Jose?
Justin Fitzgerald Playing in San Jose was like a dream, being able to play so close to home. My dad saw 17 of my 27 starts. I had constant friends and family coming to games. My sister went to San Jose State so I was able to grab lunch with her at times before heading to the field. It was by far the most fun I have ever had playing baseball. I was surrounded by family, we won a championship, and it happened right in my back yard of Northern California.

TPA: You’ve figured out a way to get better at each level despite facing more advanced hitters each step of the way. What adjustments have you made from Low-A to High-A to Double-A to keep a step ahead of the hitters.
Justin Fitzgerald It isn’t that I have made drastic adjustments, I have just figured out how to pitch my game better. I have Improved what I do well. My conditioning, repeatable mechanics, and making quality pitches down in the zone. Double-A hitters do lay off more pitches and they do take that off speed pitch in the dirt more often. Getting better depth on a pitch that finishes at the ankles than in the dirt becomes a better quality pitch. Pitching inside is the biggest thing when you move up. You have to establish the inner part of the plate for your sake and for the relievers sake when they come into the game late.

TPA: Talk about your mental preparation for taking the mound. What routine do you go through and what pitch thoughts do you have on the mound? How has your mental preparation evolved throughout your career?
Justin Fitzgerald Mental Preparation starts taking place the night before when I look over the hitters online see who is hot, where guys are hitting, etc. I go through my normal routine of 20 mins on the bike, hot tub and a stretch followed by going over hitters with the catchers and our pitching coach. Then on to the pre game routine of catch and bullpen session. Pitch thoughts are so fast on the mound. I usually have the next pitch that I want to throw in my head before the pitch I just threw gets back to me from the catcher. I always tell myself to control what I can control and just have fun. Baseball is a game and lots of guys get lost in that. My mental preparation has taken leeps and bounds over my career, always was stubborn in my younger age in college. To be where I am at now I have come a long way and still can improve.

TPA: You had a chance to pitch against Bryce Harper when Harrisburg came to town a couple weeks ago. What did you think of the kid?
Justin Fitzgerald Harper is an impressive talent. He has a good eye at the plate and good pitch recognition skills. The most impressive thing you see out of him is his poise dealing with all the taunting from fans and the media scrutiny. I know at 18 I wouldn’t of been able to go through what he is going through at such a high level.

TPA: Who has been the most influential person to you thus far in the Giants organization? What’s been the best guidance or advice they have given you?
Justin Fitzgerald There are a lot of influential people in Giants organization. They are tremendous when it comes to bringing around players from the past and having them share their knowledge. You never forget Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Gaylord Perry, Lon Simmons, Will Clark all sitting on a panel and just talking baseball. But, the most influential that stands out is Lee Smith by simply saying “someone is always watching you, whether it be the Giants personnel or another team” That really stuck with me because it made me want to go out every time on the mound and compete my tail off for my teammates, for my career, and for my advancement.

TPA: What’s been your best memory so far as a pro, both from something on the field, as well as something crazy you have had happen while in the minor leagues.
Justin Fitzgerald Best memory as a Pro was winning the California League Championship last year. The craziest thing that’s happened to me on the field was throwing ball 4 of an intentional BB halfway up the back screen when I was at Short-A Salem Keizer.

TPA: What led you to join the world of Twitter? What’s the experience been like so far? You can follow Justin on Twitter @JFitzgerald31.
Justin Fitzgerald Twitter gives me a wealth of knowledge from countless places at the touch of my iphone. It’s nice to not have to open up a newspaper to find out whats going on in the world. I have enjoyed my experience so far. It’s been cool to follow your buddies on here and interact with others.

James Darnell To Make His Major League Debut With The San Diego Padres Monday

The San Diego Padres have called up top third base prospect James Darnell after Chase Headley was placed on the 15 day DL with a fractured finger. The 24 year old was a second round pick of the Padres in the 2008 draft out of the University of South Carolina. 2011 has been a breakout season for Darnell. He started the year with the Double-A San Antonio Missions where he hit .333 with 25 Doubles, 17 Home Runs, and 62 RBI’s in 76 games. Since being promoted to Tucson, Darnell has hit .272 with 4 Doubles, 6 Home Runs, and 13 RBI’s. Darnell hit over .300 in each of his four seasons in the minors with the exception of 2010 when he hit .271 during an injury plagued season. Look for Darnell to get a number of at-bats for the foreseeable future.

Prospect Breakdown: Dodgers Trade Trayvon Robinson To Mariners For Tim Federowicz, Stephen Fife, and Juan Rodriguez and Seattle Also Gets Chih Hsien Chiang From Boston

The Seattle Mariners have traded Erik Bedard and pitching prospect Josh Fields to the Boston Red Sox in a 3 way deal that sends Tim Federowicz, Juan Rodriguez, Stephen Fife, and Chih-Hsien Chiang to the Mariners who then flipped Federowicz, Fife, and Rodriguez to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Trayvon Robinson. The 23 year old Robinson has been one of baseball’s breakout prospects in 2011. He’s hit .293 with 9 Doubles, 6 Triples, 26 Home Runs, and 71 RBI’s for the Triple-A Albuquerque Isatopes. In 2010 the 5’10” centerfielder hit .300 with 23 Doubles, 5 Triples, 9 Home Runs, and 57 RBI’s for the Double-A Chattanooga Lookouts. Robinson was a 10th round pick of the Dodgers in the 2005 draft. In the deal, Los Angeles gets the soon to be 24 year old catcher Federowicz who is currently batting .275 with 20 Doubles, 7 Home Runs, and 50 RBI’s for the Double-A Portland Sea Dogs. Last season for the High-A Salem Red Sox he hit .253 with 34 Doubles and 4 Home Runs. Federowicz is a U.S. National team alum. The Red Sox drafted him the seventh round of the 2008 draft out of the University of North Carolina. The 22 year old Rodriguez is currently 2-4 with a 5.19ERA in 32 appearances for High-A Salem. He has 88 strikeouts in 59 innings. He pitched in the Gulf Coast League in 2010 going 5-1 with a 3.51ERA. Rodriguez was signed by the Red Sox as a non drafted free agent out of the Dominican Republic in 2008. The 24 year old Fife is 11-4 with a 3.66ERA in 18 starts for Portland. He’s repeating Double-A this season after going 8-6 with a 4.75ERA for the Sea Dogs in 2010. Fife was a third round pick of the Red Sox in the 2008 draft out of the University of Utah. Additionally in the deal, the Mariners received and are keeping Chih-Hsien Chiang from Boston. The 23 year old Chiang is currently hitting .338 with 36 Doubles, 4 Triples, 18 Home Runs, and 76 RBI’s at Portland. The native of Taiwan is repeating Double-A and has vastly improved upon the .260, 35 Double, 11 Home Run, 65 RBI season he had with the Seadogs in 2010. Chiang was signed by the Red Sox as a non drafted free agent in 2005. Boston acquires Fields who is 1-2 with a 3.92ERA and 3 saves in a combined 39 innings out of the bullpen for the Double-A Jackson Generals and Triple-A Tacoma Rainiers. Fields was the 20th overall pick of the 2008 draft out of the University of Georgia.

Prospect Breakdown: Padres Trade Mike Adams To Rangers For Robbie Erlin and Joe Wieland

The San Diego Padres have traded Mike Adams to the Texas Rangers for pitching prospects Robbie Erlin and Joe Wieland. The 20 year old Erlin is the number two ranked pitching prospect in the Rangers organization. This season between the High-A Myrtle Beach Pelicans and the Double-A Frisco Roughriders, Erlin has posted an 8-4 record with a 3.34 ERA. He has struck out 123 batters in 121 innings pitched while walking just 12 batters. Opposing hitters are batting .219 off him. In 2010 Erlin went 6-3 with a 2.12ERA for the Low-A Hickory Crawdads where he struck out 125 batters in 114 innings while walking just 17 batters. The 6’0″ lefty was a third round pick of the Rangers in the 2009 draft. Wieland, who threw a No Hitter this past Friday has had a breakout 2011 season between Myrtle Beach and Frisco going a combined 10-3 with a 1.80ERA while striking out 132 batters and walking just 15 in 129 innings of work. Opposing hitters are batting just .233. In 2010 between Hickory and the High-A Bakersfield Blaze, Wieland went 11-7 with a 4.07ERA. The 21 year old right hander was a fourth round pick by the Rangers in the 2008 draft.

Prospect Breakdown: Los Angeles Dodgers Trade Rafael Furcal To Cardinals For Alex Castellanos

The Los Angeles Dodgers have traded Rafael Furcal to the St. Louis Cardinals for prospect Alex Castellanos. The 24 year old Castellanos is in the middle of a career year for Double-A Springfield where he is hitting .319 with 21 Doubles, 4 Triples, 19 Home Runs, and 62 RBI’s to go along with 10 stolen bases. The 5’11” outfielder hit .270 with 35 Doubles, 7 Triples, 13 Home Runs, 58 RBI’s and had 19 stolen bases for High-A Palm Beach in 2010. Castellanos was a 10th Round pick of the Cardinals out of Belmont Abbey College back in 2008.

Prospect Breakdown: Astros Trade Michael Bourn To Braves For Brett Oberholtzer, Paul Clemens, Juan Abreu & Jordan Schafer

The Houston Astros have traded outfielder Michael Bourn to the Atlanta Braves for a package of four prospects which includes pitchers Brett Oberholtzer, Paul Clemens and Juan Abreu as well as outfielder Jordan Schafer. Oberholtzer is the best of the Braves second tier pitching prospects. He is currently 9-9 with a 3.74 ERA with 92 strikeouts in 127.2 Innings for Double-A Mississippi. The 6’2″ lefty went 6-8 with a 3.72ERA combined between Low-A Rome and High-A Myrtle Beach in 2010. The 22 year old Oberholtzer was an 8th round pick of the Braves in the 2008 draft. Clemens is 6’4″ right hander who’s posted a 6-5 record with a 3.73ERA and 93 strikeouts in 108.2 innings for Mississippi this season. The 22 year old went a combined 2-4 with a 3.23ERA between Rome and Myrtle Beach in 2010. Clemens was a 7th Round pick of the Braves back in 2008. Abreu is a 6’0″ right handed reliever who is currently 4-2 with a 2.25ERA at Triple-A Gwinnett. He’s struck out 68 batters in 48 innings and International League hitters are batting just .193 against him. The 26 year old went a combined 4-2 with a 4.35ERA and 12 Saves between Myrtle Beach and Mississippi last season. He was originally signed as a non drafted free agent by the Kansas City Royals back in 2003, and has yet to make his major league debut. Schafer was at one time a top organizational prospect before running into a string of bad luck including a 50 game suspension from major league baseball in 2008 and a wrist injury in 2009. His best season in the Minors came back in 2007 when he hit a combined .312 with 15 Home Runs and 63 RBI’s between Rome and Myrtle Beach. Schafer has not had more than 4 Home Runs in a season since hitting 10 in his suspension shortened 2008 season. Since a call up from Gwinnett in May of this year, Schafer hit .240 with 6 Doubles, 3 Triples, 1 Home Run, and 7 RBI’s in 52 Games with the Braves. The 24 year old Schafer was a third round selection of the Braves back in 2005.

Prospect Breakdown: Washington Nationals Trade Jerry Hairston Jr To Milwaukee For Erik Komatsu

The Washington Nationals have traded journeyman infielder Jerry Hairston Jr to the Milwaukee Brewers for outfield prospect Erik Komatsu. The 23 year old Komatsu is currently batting .294 with 19 Doubles, 6 Home Runs, 40 RBI’s, and has 13 stolen bases for the Double-A Huntsville Stars. Last season for the High-A Brevard County Manatees the 5’10” left handed hitter had a breakout season batting .323 with 31 Doubles, 6 Triples, 5 Home Runs, 63 RBI’s, and stole 28 bases in the normally pitchers friendly Florida State League. Komatsu was an 8th round pick of Milwaukee in the 2008 draft out of Cal State Fullerton.