As we reach the halfway point of the Minor League season, it is easy to see that the Milwaukee Brewers organization as a whole has had incredible success. Throughout the system, including the Major League level, four of the six teams currently playing are at least tied for first place in their division. Even more impressive, all six teams are above the .500 mark at this moment. With that being said, let’s take a look at which former Manatees impressed this week!
Say Hey D’Vontrey!
After being out of baseball for the entire 2012 season, outfielder D’Vontrey Richardson (’11, ’13) has returned in a big way. The 25-year-old hit .325 with 13 stolen bases with the ‘Tees last year and made the jump to Double-A Huntsville for 2014.
The bat has not been as consistent at the next level (.218 AVG in 54 games), but his incredible athletic ability has not wavered.
On Tuesday night, in a matchup against the Chattanooga Lookouts (Dodgers affiliate), Richardson may have made the top Minor League defensive play of the year. With O’Koyea Dickson at the plate, the former ‘Tee made an absolutely stupendous catch.
The remarkable play robbed Dickson of a two-run home run. This proved to be huge as Huntsville went on to win by just one run, 7-6.
Home Run Haniger
With D’Vontrey Richardson making waves in the field, fellow Huntsville outfielder Mitch Haniger (’13) has been doing the same at the plate.
Over his last 10 games, the former Brevard star is hitting .333 (12-for-36) with nine runs scored, SIX home runs and 11 RBI. During this span, Haniger has four multi-hit games and THREE multi-home run games.
Even more incredible has been the California native’s last two outings. On Tuesday and Wednesday nights, Haniger combined to go 4-for-8 at the dish with multiple home runs in each game.
Here’s a look at the first multi-homer game of this 10-game stretch back on June 4 against Jackson:
Haniger hit .250 with six home runs and 43 RBI in 88 games with Brevard County last year.
Can’t Stop Lucroy
While Haniger and Richardson are starring in the minors, Jonathan Lucroy (’08) is mashing up in Milwaukee. The Brewers catcher is currently on a seven-game hitting streak, during which he is hitting .542 (13-for-24) with six runs scored, a home run and four RBI. Over the course of this stretch, Lucroy has bumped his average up by 17 points.
However, the former Ragin’ Cajun has been on a tear all season long. Lucroy enters today leading all Major League catchers in batting average (.341), runs scored (28), hits (79), doubles (25) and OPS (.912).
The Brew Crew backstop is well on his way to becoming the first catcher to represent Milwaukee in the All-Star Game since Dave Nilsson received the honor in the 1999 Mid-Summer Classic in Boston.
Lucroy hit .292 with 10 home runs and 44 RBI in 64 games with Brevard in 2008.
‘Tees Tidbits: RHP Damien Magnifico was named to the Florida State League All-Star Game on Wednesday afternoon…Magnifico will replace Dunedin LHP Daniel Norris, who is unable to pitch, on the North roster…Magnifico is 3-4 with a 3.05 ERA this year in 12 starts… Similarly, INF Josh Prince (’10, ’11) and C Shawn Zarraga (’10-’12) of the Huntsville Stars were named to the Southern League All-Star Game on Wednesday.
Brewers LHP Tom Gorzelanny is the latest Major Leaguer to make his way to the Manatees’ roster on a rehab assignment, following in the footsteps of OF Logan Schafer. Though the left-hander has made just two appearances for Brevard County, early indications are that Gorzelanny is recovering nicely from surgery on his throwing shoulder.
Gorzelanny has held his Florida State League opponents scoreless in four total innings. He has only surrendered two hits, walked one batter and struck out one.
The southpaw’s appearances have been nearly identical. Both times, Gorzelanny has come out of the bullpen to pitch the seventh and eighth innings. Both times, he has allowed just one hit. Unfortunately, the ‘Tees have also lost by one run in both of the games in which Gorzelanny has pitched. The lefty, however, did not factor in either decision.
As of now, there is no official word on when Gorzelanny will return to the Brew Crew or when he might move up to Double- or Triple-A. If he continues to baffle FSL hitters, though, you would imagine the left-hander should be back in Milwaukee before too long.
‘Tees Tidbits: RHP Damien Magnifico tossed a complete game, two-hit shutout this morning against the Jupiter Hammerheads. The ‘Tees held on for a 1-0 win thanks to Magnifico’s gem, which marked the first complete game of his professional career.
Stay tuned to the Manatees Blog for our next Throwback Thursday post, when we will take an in-depth look at Magnifico’s performance and look back at previous Manatees complete games.