Tagged: Florida State League
‘Tees OF Contends for FSL Weekly Award
It’s too bad the Florida State League can only hand out one award for Player of the Week because the entire Manatees outfield could have been honored for its performance over the last seven days. Michael Reed ultimately took the prize, but Victor Roache and Tyrone Taylor made the decision tougher than it should have been for the league’s front office.
We’ll start with the winner. Reed seemingly reached base every time he stepped into the batter’s box this week. The ‘Tees right fielder compiled a .700 on base percentage (21-for-30) on the week with eight walks and one hit-by-pitch.
Reed, however, was not solely a free-pass machine. The FSL Player of the Week was 12-for-27 at the plate (.571 AVG) and doubled his career home run total with a pair of long balls over a six-game span.
Adding to his banner week, Reed registered four multi-hit games, legged out four doubles, stole three times out of five attempts, scored nine runs and drove in five. Just for good measure, the right fielder was nearly impossible to retire on strikes. Reed struck out just once in 30 plate appearances.
Tour De Taylor:
Taylor’s bid for Player of the Week came early when he hit for the first cycle in Manatees history last Tuesday in Clearwater:
After the cycle, Taylor remained hot. The center fielder added to his stunning doubles total with four over a six-game stretch to give him a Minor League Baseball-best 14 on the season.
In addition, Taylor hit a pair of home runs and tripled once. The center fielder hit for a .444 average on the week and only five of his 12 hits were singles.
Big Stick Vick:
Roache made a late charge for the FSL’s weekly award when he made history on Sunday night. The left fielder became the first player in the 21-year history of the Brevard County Manatees to homer three times in one game. Roache did not waste any time, either. He hit his bombs in each of his first three at-bats:
Roache’s power-driven Sunday was the highlight of a strong week for the left fielder. Roache drove home 10 runs and compiled four multi-RBI games. He also hit for a .375 average (9-for-24) with a double and a triple.
The collective efforts of Reed, Taylor and Roache have helped the Manatees win five of their six games this week. Brevard’s other outfielders also performed well during that stretch.
Jose Sermo scored the eventual game-winning run on Monday when he stole third and scampered home as the throw skipped into left field. Nathan Orf walked five times and was hit by a pitch to register a .421 on base percentage. Meanwhile, Major League rehabber Logan Schafer laced an RBI double in his second at-bat with the ‘Tees.
Throwback Thursday – May 1, 2014
In just three days, Brevard County Manatees alumni have given us a lot to reflect on. The ‘Tees welcomed back a familiar face for a Major League rehab assignment, watched one of their former outfielders propel the Brew Crew to victory and saw a well-remembered right-hander toss a gem for Triple-A Nashville.
Welcome Back Logan
A strained hamstring has landed Brewers OF Logan Schafer (’09) on the 15-day disabled list, but he is working his way back. As part of his rehab stint, the 2009 Manatees alum returned to the Florida State League to join Brevard County for a pair of games in Clearwater on Monday and Tuesday. Here’s what Schafer had to say about recovering from his injury and spending some time with this year’s crop of ‘Tees:
The Brew Crew got used to extra innings at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. Milwaukee won a pair of extra-innings contests against the Cardinals and LF Khris Davis (’11) delivered the big hit on Monday to help the Brewers win in 12:
RHP Mike Fiers (’09) has had a banner start to 2014. The former ‘Tee is 5-0 with a miniscule 0.80 ERA for the Triple-A Nashville Sounds. His start on Wednesday, in the opener of a doubleheader, however, was likely his best outing of the season. In a 1-0 win over the New Orleans Zephyrs. Fiers fanned 11 men in a complete game (seven innings) shutout. As you’ll hear, punch-outs have been pretty common for Fiers this year:
Happy Birthday to You!
Before we go, it’s time for a few TBT birthday wishes to some of our own. A very happy birthday to Brewers 2B Scooter Gennett (’11), who turns 24 today! Gennett will carry a .302 batting average into Cincinnati, as the Brew Crew gets set for a four-game series with the Reds.
Gennett wasn’t the only Manatee to celebrate a birthday this week. Current Brevard LHP Hobbs Johnson celebrated his 23rd birthday on Tuesday by tossing six shutout innings in a 20-0 win over the Clearwater Threshers. Meanwhile, on the same day, OF Tyrone Taylor hit for the first ever cycle in Manatees history on his mother’s birthday:
Bradley Continues to Baffle Opponents
As the 15th overall pick by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft, expectations have always been high for Jed Bradley. After a rocky couple of seasons, it seems as if Bradley has found his groove out on the mound.
In his first season with the Manatees back in 2012, Bradley did not allow an earned run through his initial three starts, but struggled from there on out. The left-hander finished the season with a 5-10 record and an ERA up over five and a half.
2013 was better for Jed, but there were still plenty of struggles. His ERA came down a full run, but was only able to compile a 4-4 record, surrendering 81 hits over 78.1 innings, in 16 starts before his season was cut short due to injury.
However, in his first five starts of 2014, Jed Bradley has been absolutely stellar. Since taking the loss in a rough outing against the Daytona Cubs in his first start of the season, Bradley has put together the best four-game stretch of his professional career.
Starting with his April 11 victory at Dunedin, Bradley has gone 3-0 with a 1.22 ERA. The Huntsville, Ala. native has surrendered just three runs, allowing no more than one run in each appearance. As well, Bradley has allowed a career-low fourteen hits over 22 innings of work.
Similarly, the former first-round pick has struck out 25 batters, also a career-best for four straight outings, including recording a career-high nine punch outs in a no-decision last night in Daytona.
His best night on the bump came on April 16, when he blanked the Lakeland Flying Tigers over six innings en route to the Manatees second 1-0 victory of the season. The performance resulted in being named the Florida State League Pitcher of Week, the first ‘Tee to receive the honor since Brent Suter won it in June of last year.
A big key to Bradley’s success during this time frame has been his ability to retire the lead-off man. Since his loss to Daytona on April 5, Bradley has allowed just three of 22 lead-off batters (.095 batting average) to reach base on two singles and a walk. Even more impressive, only one of those players have come across to score a run, with the other two being retired trying to steal.
With the Brewers Double-A affiliate, the Huntsville Stars, slated to move out of state to Biloxi, Miss. next season, Bradley looks determined to get a chance to make his home starts right where he grew up. If the left-hander continues to pitch the way he has over the first month of the season, he’ll get that opportunity sooner rather than later.
Keepin’ it Close: ‘Tees Excel in One-Run Games
Precious few games have come easy for the Brevard County Manatees in 2014. The Manatees are 10-6, but through the first 16 games of the season, Brevard County has played six one-run ballgames to tie for the Florida State League-lead. Fortunately for the ‘Tees, they have won four of those contests. Let’s take a look at how they’ve done it:
When the ‘Tees are in a tight game, it is usually not a shootout. Brevard County has not scored more than five runs in its one-run contests. While most of the ‘Tees struggle in these games, however, Tyrone Taylor excels. In one-run ballgames, Taylor is hitting .347, while the rest of the team has hit .185.
The center fielder has also hit six of his MiLB-leading 10 doubles in one-run ballgames, leading him to a .609 slugging percentage in those contests. On 4/7 at Daytona, Taylor tied a career-high with three doubles in a 5-4 win. He also had a pretty decent defensive play:
What’s more, Taylor has been the deciding factor in two of Brevard’s six one-run games. He has contributed one game-winning run and one game-winning RBI, plus the game-tying double, heard above.
Two weeks ago, we told you how good the Manatees bullpen had been at the start of the season. That certainly has not changed and the relievers appear to be even better in games decided by one run:
ERA: 0.86 (2 ER/21 IP)
WHIP: 0.95 (15 H & 5 BB/21 IP)
K/9: 7.71 (18 K/21 IP)
Whether you’re a starter or a reliever, though, it certainly doesn’t hurt when you get some defensive assistance like this to help win a one-run ballgame:
As the Manatees’ closers, Tanner Poppe and Tommy Toledo are at the center of Brevard’s bullpen success. Neither of them has given up an earned run and it has been a struggle for hitters to get on board against them:
ERA: 0.00 (0 ER/7.2 IP)
WHIP: 1.04 (7 H & 1 BB/7.2 IP)
K/9: 9.39 (8 K/7.2 IP)
Talk about unhittable, Poppe in particular has bore down when his team needs him. The right-hander has recorded three of his five saves in one-run games and has struck out seven of the 17 men he has faced. Does that sound like a lot? It should, because that mark gives Poppe a K/9 rate of 15.75 in games decided by one run.
‘Tees Tidbits: Brevard County has also faired well in three-run contests this season. The ‘Tees are 3-0 in games decided by three runs. They are 1-1 in games decided by two runs.
‘Tees Throwback Thursday – April 10, 2014
Hey there, Manatees fans! Time for another edition of our Throwback Thursday. Let’s take a look at which former ‘Tees have been making noise across the Major Leagues this week.
The Milwaukee Brewers are off to a torrid start in 2014. The Brew Crew currently have a record of 6-2 and sit atop the National League Central at the beginning of the day.
A large part of their success has come from 2011 NL MVP and five-time All-Star Ryan Braun. After only recording three hits through his first five games of the season, the former ‘Tee exploded for three home runs and seven RBI in the Brewers series opener in Philadelphia on Tuesday:
Braun continued his hot hitting last night with a two-run triple in Milwaukee’s 9-4 victory over the Phillies.
Former Brevard Brew Crew members have also been stellar on the bump. Fellow 2006 ‘Tee Yovani Gallardo has been nothing short of spectacular to start the season.
The Brewers ace has won his first two starts, throwing a combined 12.2 shutout innings. The former Florida State League All-Star threw 6.2 scoreless innings against Boston at Fenway Park on Sunday to help complete the Brewers sweep over the reigning World Series champions:
Thanks for checking out the Brevard County Manatees official blog. The ‘Tees will go for a sweep of their own tonight as they play the third and final game of their series against the Lakeland Flying Tigers. Be sure to tune in to the broadcast locally on AM 1300 WMEL with the first pitch at Joker Marchant Stadium scheduled for 6:30. Listen to the live broadcast HERE.
(Former) ‘Tees Tidbits: Royals center fielder Lorenzo Cain (’08) is off to a hot start…The former Brewers prospect is currently hitting .320 with 3 RBI in his first seven games…Cain has picked up at least one base-hit in six of those seven games…Indians closer John Axford (’09) is currently tied with Atlanta’s Craig Kimbrel for the Major League lead in saves with four…First baseman Nick Ramirez (’13) continues his rise through the Brewers system with a great start at Double-A Huntsville…A Florida State League All-Star a year ago, Ramirez is currently sixth in the Southern League in batting average (.364) and tied for fourth in RBI (five).
Despite a rocky performance on Saturday night, the Manatees bullpen has gotten off to a strong start so far in 2014.
After Tyler Wagner sparkled through the first five innings of the season opener on Thursday, the bullpen was stellar in shutting the door on the Cubs.
Right-hander Martin Viramontes and returning left-hander Stephen Peterson combined to allow just three base runners (two hits, one walk) in the sixth through eighth innings.
Tommy Toledo, who led the Manatees with 20 saves in 2013, picked up his first save of the season. The right-hander threw just 13 pitches to close out the 1-0 victory against Daytona.
A night later, the bullpen was arguably even stronger over the game’s final 4.1 innings in the team’s first road game at Radiology Associates Field at Jackie Robinson Ballpark.
After leading the team in wins and earned run average a year ago as a starter, right-hander Jacob Barnes faced the minimum amount of hitters over 2.1 innings of relief.
Left-hander Mike Strong, who struck out 98 batters over 87 innings in Class-A Wisconsin a year ago, retired the heart of the Cubs lineup in order, including a strike out of power-hitting left fielder Rock Shoulders.
Despite allowing three hits in the bottom of the tenth, Tanner Poppe got the job done for the ‘Tees as well and picked up his first save of the year.
With the tying run at second and the winning run at first, Poppe got Daytona’s center fielder Albert Almora to hit a weak grounder back to the mound to end the threat and give Brevard County their second straight win to start the season.
Over the opening two games of the Manatees season, six different relievers combined to allow just five hits and strike out six batters over 8.1 scoreless innings pitched.
Friday night’s starter Damien Magnifico had nothing but praise for the team’s relievers through the first two games.
“Our bullpen’s great,” said Magnifico. “As a starter, you know they’re going be behind and clean things up when you get into a mess. Having that comfort is everything.”
The Manatees finish their four game set with the Daytona Cubs tonight at the Jack. Be sure to tune into the broadcast with the pregame show slated to begin at 6:30 and first pitch scheduled for 7:05. Listen to the live broadcast HERE.
‘Tees Tidbits: Manatees infielder Orlando Arcia is off to a hot start to the 2014 campaign…Despite being the youngest player in the FSL, Arcia has picked up a base-hit in each of the first three games and currently leads the ‘Tees in batting average, on-base percentage, runs scored, hits, RBI, and extra-base hits…Strikeouts have been a problem for both Brevard County and Daytona through the first three games of the series…The two clubs have combined to strike out 41 times compared to just 19 walks over the season’s first 28 innings.
‘Tees Throwback Thursday – April 3, 2014
Hey there, Brevard Brew Crew fans. Remember when guys like Jonathan Lucroy (’08) and Ryan Braun (’11) played at Space Coast Stadium? Well, it’s okay if you don’t, because we’re here to jog your memory.
Welcome to our edition of Throwback Thursday, where we update you on the latest developments from former Manatees. Whether they’ve reached the Major Leagues or are still working their way through the system, we’ll keep you in the know. Easy enough? Alright then, let’s get started:
Today is opening day for all of the Brewers’ full-season Minor League affiliates, but that doesn’t mean this edition of Throwback Thursday has to be thin. Why, the very first day of the regular season, a former Manatee made history at Miller Park:
This was the first instance of an umpire’s call being overturned under Major League Baseball’s new expanded replay system. A bit of unfortunate history for Braun and the Brewers, but history nonetheless, I suppose.
Any good news from former ‘Tees this week? Of course: Scooter Gennett (’11) found himself in the Brewers’ Opening Day lineup and made the most of it. The second baseman went 2-for-3 with a pair of singles in Milwaukee’s 2-0 win over Atlanta.
We will see if Gennett can keep up that success and remain at the top of the Brewers’ second base depth chart. Take a look at what the former Manatee said this spring about his preparation for the 2014 season:
So, that’s what has happened so far at the big league level. Now, with the Minor League season starting today, let’s take a look at which 2013 Manatees alumni made jumps up to Double-A Huntsville for 2014:
Thanks for reading the Brevard County Manatees Official Blog. Tonight, the ‘Tees open their season against the defending Florida State League Champion Daytona Cubs. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. at Space Coast Stadium. Listen to the live broadcast HERE.
Dissecting the ‘Tees: An Inside Look at the 2014 Brevard County Manatees
When the Brevard County Manatees return to action on Thursday, April 3, they will carry a roster rich with high-ranking talent: Eight of the Milwaukee Brewers’ top 30 prospects will be coming to Space Coast Stadium at the start of the 2014 season. Now, rankings and numbers are all well and good, but we thought we would give you a little more in our first blog post. Why are these new ‘Tees so highly touted? Here you go…
CF Tyrone Taylor (#2 Brewers Prospect)
Scouting Report: Taylor’s background as a two-sport star in high school gives him a reputation as an elite athlete. The former prep running back has top-end speed that gives him excellent range in center field and the ability to be dangerous on the base paths. If there is any concern with Taylor, it is that his skills are “raw.” He has a lot of natural athletic ability, but is still refining his baseball skills, like taking efficient routes to balls in the outfield. Still, it hasn’t stopped him from being an above-average defender who can do things like this:
LF Victor Roache (#5 Brewers Prospect)
Scouting Report: Roache’s biggest asset is his raw power and he has a lot of it. Despite having a broken wrist in 2012 that delayed his professional debut until 2013, the left fielder still slugged 22 home runs in the Midwest League last season. He reportedly has some growing to do with pitch-recognition, which has led to higher swing-and-miss rates than the Brewers would like. However, Roache is still early in his development and his power is eye opening. Case in point:
SS Orlando Arcia (#7 Brewers Prospect)
Scouting Report: The book on Arcia starts with his defense. The 19-year old Venezuelan shortstop has impressed with soft hands, a strong arm and good instincts. Though his speed is perceived as average, Arcia’s quick breaks give him above average range at short. As for his bat, Arcia makes consistent contact and has a strong approach at the plate. He hit .251 in the Midwest League last year, but he was also 18 years old and coming off a broken ankle that kept him off the field in 2012.
SS Yadiel Rivera (#13 Brewers Prospect)
Scouting Report: Like Arcia, Rivera’s strength is on defense. The infielder made his Florida State League debut last season at the age of 20 and showed off his prowess at shortstop. Rivera’s profile shows good hands and smooth, fluid footwork. He also has good instincts in the field, which help improve his range and the value he can add to an infield. With two quality defensive shortstops on one team, we may see Rivera and Arcia split time between short and second. They did that during spring games and that may be the plan at the start of the season.
RHP Tyler Wagner (#16 Brewers Prospect)
Scouting Report: Wagner could be a “surprise prospect” in the Brewers’ system, given that he is not always ranked in the top 20 depending on what list you are looking at. Those who rank the right-hander high on Milwaukee’s prospect list see a three-pitch pitcher with good mechanics. Wagner throws from a three-quarters arm slot and has a quick, but jerky motion that he reportedly repeats well. The right-hander mostly works off his fastball, which sits in the low-90’s with some sink to it. He also throws a changeup and a power slider that has the looks of a quality out pitch:
LHP Jed Bradley (#18 Brewers Prospect)
Scouting Report: It must be imposing to stand 60 feet, six inches from Jed Bradley. The left-hander stands 6’4” and 225 lbs and comes at hitters with four quality pitches: fastball, changeup, curveball and slider. Coming out of Georgia Tech as a first round selection in 2011, scouts did not consider any of Bradley’s pitches to be “plus pitches,” but he has control and feel for all four. Bradley has also shown the wherewithal to mix all four pitches well. This will be Bradley’s third stint with the Manatees. So, while he has potential and has shown improvement, the southpaw will be looking to take the next step in 2014.
RHP Damien Magnifico (#23 Brewers Prospect)
Scouting Report: The former University of Oklahoma righty throws hard… Really hard. Magnifico has touched 100 mph both during his college career and as a professional, though he reportedly needs to work on his command. Still, the right-hander posted a 3.83 ERA in eight starts for Low-A Wisconsin last season, despite suffering through blister problems. Command issues and a fastball that can be straight at times means Magnifico might project as a hard-throwing reliever in the future, but expect him to start for the ‘Tees this season.
RHP Jorge Lopez (#24 Brewers Prospect)
Scouting Report: Lopez showed quality pitching tools in his first full Minor League season in 2013. The righty sports a low to mid-90’s fastball and a big, advanced curveball. Perhaps the most exciting part of Lopez’s makeup is that he has these tools in a 6’4”, 165 lbs frame. In other words, he projects to add velocity and durability if he can fill out a little more, physically. If Lopez can improve his command and develop a changeup, he could be imposing on the mound. The pitcher-friendly Florida State League could be just the place to help Lopez take the next step in his career.
To view the complete Brevard County Manatees roster, please click here.
**All rankings courtesy of Baseball America. All scouting reports were compiled with the help of Baseball Prospectus, MLB.com and Miller Park Prospects.
Thanks for reading the first edition of the Brevard County Manatees Official Blog. Stay tuned throughout the 2014 season for more exclusive, insider coverage of your Brevard County Manatees. Every Monday, we will bring you player features, interviews and unique stories and content you won’t find anywhere else. Then, stop by later in the week for our version of Throwback Thursday, when we take a look at what some former ‘Tees have been up to on the diamond over the previous week. Thanks again for reading and we’ll see you opening night!
If you have any questions or have an idea for a story you would like to see on the Brevard County Manatees Blog, email us at email@example.com.