Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Introducing the Minor League Daily Tap


Christian Colon will try to bring home another AA championship

The daily tap is going to be a new feature at the 14 for 77 blog each day I will be selecting a Royals Minor League Hitter of the day and Pitcher of the Day from the previous days games during the Minor league season as well as a preview for that days games. I'll also give any information I may have seen or heard from attending whichever minor league game I was at as well as the next days pitching matchup. It's going to be a great season and I'm going to try to get as much Royal minor league info out there as any Royal blog going !

Audio broadcast of all the games are always free on milb.com and for another great value MILB.tv is a terrific value at only $29.99 for tons of games. Quite a few AAA games are on milb.tv !

If you are going to checkout the audio broadcast this year I rank the Royals minor league announcers like this:
#1 Wilmington Blue Rocks John Sadak
#2 Omaha Storm Chasers Mark Nasser
#3 NW Arkansas Naturals Steven Davis
UR Kane County Cougars ?
Sadak has major league pipes and calls a terrific game if you get a chance to hear him.

Pitching Matchups Opening Day
AAA
Omaha Storm Chasers Mike Montgomery (3)
vs
Albuquerque Isotopes(Dodgers) Dana Evel
and
Game Notes:
Plenty of AAA debuts in this one for the Chasers as Montgomery, Hosmer, Clint Robinson, Giavotella and Paulo Orlando are all likely to make their level debuts. Montgomery has looked outstanding this spring but this will be a big test pitching in a tough run environment like Albuquerque that yielded nearly a quarter more runs(1.23 Park Factor) and over a quarter more home runs(1.27) in 2010. Look for good starts for the Storm Chasers offense.

Dana Eveland is your typical AAAA lefty starter and should prove to a nice test to the Chasers left hand heavy lineup. He's primarily a fastball/curveball guy but has four pitches in his repertoire and will likely work the youngsters backwards to see if they can adapt to the plus offspeed stuff. If he does get forced to come at them they should have the advantage as his fastball generally sits high 80s low 90s and that's not enough for the lefty threesome of Hos, Moose and Robinson.

The Isotopes feature three of the Dodgers top 10 prospects in Dee Gordon, Trayvon Robinson and Jerry Sands

AA
NW Arkansas Naturals Chris Dwyer(7) 6pm CST
vs
San Antonio Missions(Padres) Anthony Bass

Game Notes:
Chris Dwyer was looking pretty smooth at Double A last year until running into back problems forcing the Royals to play cautious and sit him for the rest of the year. First AA games for Colon, Myers and Salvador Perez all highly rated Royals prospects.

Anthony Bass is the 22nd rated Padres prospect according to Baseball America and features a 90-92 mph FB that can reach 96 at its peak. Along with that offering Bass comes at hitters from a 3/4 arm angle along with a sinking change up that flashes above average and a mid 80s slider. BA says Bass likes to work up in the zone which could be be a problem for him at the AA level.

Players of Note Jaff Decker and Drew Cumberland Top 10 Padres Prospects

Low A
Kane County Cougars Leonel Santiago
vs
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (Brewers) Austin Ross

Game Notes:
This game features a couple older pitchers for this level as both Santiago and Ross are 21 or older. Santiago had a good season last year at the Rookie level for the Burlington club. Santiago's 7.3/1.9 K/BB ratio should help him early in the Midwest league as it generally features a colder low scoring run environment for the first month of the season.

Ross is a 2010 8th Rd draftee from LSU who is ranked at #30 according to Baseball America. Ross pitched 10 games in the Pioneer League last year with a 2.70 ERA in 47 innings while carrying an impressive 52/6 K/BB ratio. According to BA he has a low 90s fastball, consistent slider and below average change up. At the A ball level his above average control (1.61 BB/9 in college) and two pitch control should serve him well but he'll need a third pitch and more juice at the next levels.

Wisconsin features only one prospect in the Brewers Top 20 Cody Hawn 1b from University of Tennessee

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