Thursday, December 31, 2009

Mexican Pacific League Recap from 12/30

Guasave 9, Mazatlan 1
Reid Brignac (Mazatlan); 1 for 3 with a walk.

Dominican Winter League Recap from 12/30

Escogido 3, Licey 0
Willy Aybar (Licey); 0 for 4.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Puerto Rico League Recap from 12/29

Caguas 8, Mayaguez 4
Eduardo Morlan (Caguas); 3 runs on 3 hits with 2 walks and a strikeout in 1/3 inning.

Mexican Pacific League Recap from 12/29

Guasave 2, Mazatlan 1 (Game One)
Reid Brignac (Mazatlan); 0 for 2 with a strikeout.

Dominican Winter League Recap from 12/29

Gigantes 6, Licey 5
Willy Aybar (Licey); 2 for 3 with a walk and a run scored.

Venezuelan Winter League Recap from 12/29

Caracas 5, Margarita 3
Jose Lobaton (Caracas): defensive substitution in the ninth inning, no plate appearance.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Dominican Winter League Recap from 12/28

Licey 8, Toros 1
Willy Aybar; 2 for 4 with an RBI and a run scored.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Top 15 Hitters: #9 Jeff Malm

Jeff Malm
6"3" 225 lbs DOB: 10/31/1990
First Baseman
Bats: Left | Throws: Left
2009: GCL Rays
Acquired: 2009 Draft, 5th Round, 169th Overall

Jeff Malm was perhaps the best pure hitter out of all of the Rays touted high-ceiling 2009 draft picks. Malm started over 2008 1st round pick Eric Hosmer on Team USA's junior squad and he led the state of Nevada in homeruns by a high schooler in 2009(no small feat given that probably 2010 #1 pick Bryce Harper was a Nevada high schooler).

He shows the ability to consistently drive the ball, but there's some question about whether his power can fully transfer from aluminum to wood bats. He has an ideal frame for a power hitter at 6'3" but needs to add strength. Malm has made his way around the circuits, from Team USA to the Cape Cod High School classic, and has had success wherever he's been.

Defensively, Malm has a plus throwing arm but is limited to first base. He could probably fill in at third base or a corner outfield spot in a pinch, but he would be well below-average. Malm's bat is his calling card and is going to determine how far and how quickly he advances through the system. He signed late and appeared in just 7 games for the Gulf Coast League Rays, but his bat is advanced enough and he has a good enough track record to skip him over Princeton to Hudson Valley(Bill Ballew speculated Malm could start at Bowling Green and, well, I disagree with that). If Malm can show the ability to hit homeruns with wood, he should emerge as one of the minors' premier first base prospects.

Mexican Pacific League Recap from 12/27

Mexicali 3, Mazatlan 1
Reid Brignac (Mazatlan): 1 for 4

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Winter League Statistics Update (through 12/27)

Both the Dominican and Venezuelan Winter Leagues have concluded regular season play and begun playoffs. The Rays have players in the postseason for both leagues with Caracas & Magallanes in the VWL and Licey in the DWL. The Mexican Pacific League ends regular season at the end of the month.

Here are the current statistics for the Winter Leagues:

BATTERS           LG   AVG  AB  H 2B 3B HR RBI   OBP   SLG   OPS
Nevin Ashley AFL .366 71 26 6 4 2 14 .405 .649 1.053*
Willie Aybar DWL .259 85 22 4 0 1 9 .354 .341 .695
Reid Brignac LMP .235 51 12 2 0 0 3 .328 .275 .602
Cody Cipriano AFL .250 4 1 1 0 0 1 .250 .500 .750*
Jose Lobaton VWL .300 40 12 3 0 2 6 .356 .525 .881
Dioner Navarro VWL .000 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Shawn O'Malley AFL .313 64 20 2 0 0 5 .470 .344 .814*
Elias Otero PWL .000 1 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Justin Ruggiano VWL .246 69 17 1 0 2 4 .329 .348 .677

Chris Andujar DWL 0 0 0.00 1 0 0 1.0 0 0 0 0 0.00 .000*
Joe Bateman VWL 2 2 3.41 25 0 1 37.0 39 3 35 11 1.35 .279
Jason Cromer VWL 0 0 3.86 6 0 0 18.2 16 4 14 6 1.18 .232
Richard De Los Santos DWL 0 0 12.00 3 0 0 3.0 7 0 2 1 2.67 .467*
Matt Gorgen AFL 0 1 10.38 10 0 1 8.2 18 1 12 6 2.77 .450*
Carlos Hernandez VWL 2 2 4.78 8 8 0 37.2 50 6 20 9 1.57 .327
Eduardo Morlan PWL 0 0 5.27 10 0 0 13.2 18 1 9 1 1.39 .316
Rayner Oliveros VWL 2 1 4.68 12 7 0 32.2 38 2 17 13 1.56 .290
Paul Phillips AFL 0 1 4.82 9 0 0 9.1 9 0 4 5 1.50 .250*
Heath Rollins AFL 0 0 8.03 10 0 0 12.1 21 2 9 5 2.11 .404*
Alexander Torres VWL 0 0 0.00 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0.00 .000

* indicates season completed

Mexican Pacific League Recap from 12/26

Mazatlan 2, Mexicali 0
Reid Brignac (Mazatlan): 0 for 3 with a walk.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Mexican Pacific League Recap from 12/25

Mazatlan 12, Mexicali 3
Reid Brignac (Mazatlan): 2 for 4

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Puerto Rico League Recap from 12/23

Carolina 7, Caguas 3
Eduardo Morlan (Caguas); no run, no hits and a strikeout in 1 inning pitched.

Venezuelan Winter League Update from 12/23

Lara 9, Caracas 2
Jason Cromer (Caracas); 1 run on 3 hits in an inning pitched.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Venezuelan Winter League Recap from 12/22

Caracas 10, Aragua 4
Jose Lobaton (Caracas); 3 for 4 with a double, home run, 2 RBI's and 2 runs scored.

Tampa Bay In Liga Paralela: Final Pitching Statistics

To complete our coverage of the Liga Paralela, here are the final pitching statistics:

Pitcher               ERA   G  GS     IP    H   BB   SO  HR   BAA 
Ali Crespo 0.00 8 1 13.1 12 3 8 1 .218
Wilking Rodriguez 0.00 3 0 3.2 2 0 2 0 .167
Evandert Diaz 0.00 1 0 2.0 0 2 0 0 .000
Ivanni Mayorga 0.00 1 1 1.0 0 0 0 0 .000
Engelbert Soto 0.00 1 0 1.0 1 0 1 0 .333
Guillermo Salinas 2.73 13 0 26.1 16 12 31 1 .172
Carlos Orasma 3.22 12 7 36.1 38 5 28 3 .255
Luis Wilches 3.33 10 2 24.1 25 4 16 4 .266
Reinaldo Lopez 3.35 11 4 37.2 39 5 22 1 .271
Eli Echarry 3.86 11 6 28.0 26 19 20 2 .252
Wilmer Sabala 4.18 10 2 23.2 24 6 10 1 .273
Felipe Rivero 4.24 8 2 17.0 17 10 15 2 .254
Joynerd Gonzalez 4.34 11 0 18.2 14 9 16 2 .206
Deivis Mavarez 4.95 12 0 20.0 17 13 16 0 .239
Yerwin Sanchez 4.97 9 1 12.2 13 5 7 2 .260
Joice Linares 5.09 11 5 40.2 42 7 24 2 .259
Orlando Cabrera 5.30 9 0 18.2 20 10 12 2 .278
Hector Aguilera 5.75 8 3 20.1 25 7 15 4 .305
Eduar Quinonez 6.12 12 8 32.1 42 7 18 2 .311
Luis Yendis 6.23 8 4 26.0 36 7 14 4 .330
Hugo Duarte 6.50 9 3 18.0 23 7 11 0 .307
Danmar Salazar 6.52 9 1 9.2 13 9 8 1 .333
Omar Bencomo 6.75 7 1 14.2 22 0 11 4 .349
Jhefferson Hurtado 7.94 11 1 17.0 11 18 14 0 .180
Daniel Sanchez 8.04 12 0 15.2 26 8 8 1 .361
Dennis Moya 8.38 6 2 9.2 13 7 5 1 .342
Jhosue Bermudez 9.00 1 1 1.0 2 0 1 1 .400
TAMPA BAY TOTALS 4.76 51 51 489.1 519 180 333 41 .271
OPPONENTS TOTALS 3.69 51 51 494.2 527 180 350 34 .274

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Dominican Winter League Recap from 12/21

Licey 11, Estrellas 0
Willy Aybar (Licey); 1 for 3 with a home run.

Tampa Bay In Liga Paralela: Final Batting Statistics

The Liga Paralela season is over in Venezuela. The Tampa Bay team finished 19-32, 16 games out of first. Here are the final batting stats for Tampa Bay players:

Player               AB   2B   3B   HR   BB   SO    AVG    OBP    SLG
Hector Guevara 137 6 1 4 19 13 .380 .463 .526
Alejandro Segovia 109 5 1 5 15 9 .349 .441 .550
Felix Gonzalez 133 14 2 1 12 22 .346 .412 .504
Jose Colmenarez 149 9 2 3 7 15 .329 .388 .477
Julio Cedeno 83 4 1 4 10 7 .313 .389 .530
Jhonatan Quinonez 100 7 1 2 2 11 .310 .372 .460
Nahum Hernandez 87 10 1 0 11 27 .299 .384 .437
Roan Salas 57 2 0 3 0 6 .298 .300 .491
Leonardo Reginatto 113 6 1 1 4 12 .292 .333 .389
Alejandro Torres 118 9 1 5 5 15 .280 .317 .500
Wester Silva 51 0 0 0 4 7 .275 .327 .275
Omar Narvaez 85 3 1 0 13 6 .271 .388 .329
Jose Paez 37 1 0 0 8 12 .270 .417 .297
Ronald Acosta 50 0 0 0 4 14 .240 .296 .240
Franklin Paz 129 5 3 2 9 32 .233 .296 .364
Ismel Antunez 109 4 0 0 9 31 .220 .286 .257
Cesar Perez 83 2 1 3 12 20 .193 .309 .349
Wilmer Dominguez 65 1 1 1 5 17 .185 .247 .277
Leopoldo Correa 52 0 0 0 15 12 .173 .358 .173
Oscar Hernandez 35 1 0 0 4 12 .171 .268 .200
Keinvenson Reyes 77 3 1 0 8 23 .169 .247 .234
Franklin Alcala 60 0 1 0 4 24 .117 .209 .150
Nestor Silva 4 0 0 0 0 3 .000 .000 .000
TAMPA BAY TOTALS 1923 92 19 34 180 350 .274 .350 .395
OPPONENTS TOTALS 1917 104 25 41 180 333 .271 .349 .415

Monday, December 21, 2009

Puerto Rico League Recap from 12/20

Ponce 5, Caguas 3
Eduardo Morlan (Caguas); 1 run on 2 hits with 2 strikeouts in 1 2/3 inning.

Mexican Pacific League Recap from 12/20

Mazatlan 4, Mochis 0
Reid Brignac (Mazatlan); 2 for 4 with a double, RBI and a run scored.

Dominican Winter League Recap from 12/20

Escogido 10, Licey 1
Willy Aybar (Licey); 0 for 2.

Estrellas 11, Toros 8
Chris Andujar (Estrellas); 1 no hit inning.

Venezuelan Winter League Recap from 12/20

Caracas 5, Zulia 4
Joe Bateman (Caracas); no runs, no hits with 1 strikeout in 1/3 inning.
Jose Lobaton (Caracas); 1 for 4 with a K.

AFL Pitch f/x: Gorgen, Phillips, and Rollins

This is going to be a shorter post than I wanted especially since Mitch Talbot got traded to the Indians. And also because only 93(!) pitches were recorded by pitch f/x from these three pitchers combined, which is somewhat disappointing considering over half of the pitchers who pitched in the Arizona Fall League had over 100 pitches recorded. However, the data is still useful namely the pitch movement and pitch types in pretty graphics.

I decided not to provide a table of the basic pitch f/x stats like O-Swing and Whiff considering the very small sample size of the data which only recorded an appearance or two. But the following table is important since it shows the average movement, spin, and the velocity.

afl numbers

Now for the player by player graphs:

Matt Gorgen- A short pitcher at 6-0, Gorgen can generate decent velocity on the fastball and features a change,slider, and a curve. With those pitches, he produces a lot of Ks in his short career in the Minors. Here are two graphs, the first is the basic horizontal and vertical movement, and the next is the spin direction versus the pitch speed (All classifications are Gameday’s):

gorgen pm 

 gorgen spin

Not sure if everyone who reads RaysProspect is efficient in pitch f/x so I will provides some links to help you with that at the end of the post. The first graph shows that Gorgen probably throws both a four and two seam fastball. Gorgen supposedly throws a plus slider but the two sliders classified(one mis-classified) are little slurvey which is evident in the velocity being less than 10 mph off the fastball. But that doesn’t mean it is bad. It is just is more like a Sabathia slider. The changeup is supposed to be a plus pitch as well, which is very likely as it has some nice tail off the fastball.

Heath Rollins- Rollins only had 21 pitches recorded in Arizona.

rollins pm

rollins spin

Pretty basic stuff. His fastball ranges anywhere from 88-92 mph. Hard to discern is Rollins what type of fastball Rollins throws, he could throw mainly two-seamers, or it could be his four-seam that is being thrown from a low arm angle. Only one change that had excellent tail, but one. Rollins’ curve is hard separated 8-12 mph from the fastball and with moderate break. Very similar to Wade Davis’s curveball.

Paul Phillips- The senior of the group.

phillips pm

phillips spin

Reminds me of Dale Thayer. A low arm angle, tailing fastball, and a slider that varies in break. And by watching this video, he looks to be a slinger so command of his slider might not be above average. Not a top prospect, but a possible Dale Thayer type pitcher several years down the road.

Arm angles- I have been tinkering with this over at my personal blog. Here are the approximate arm angles of these three pitchers using pitch f/x data.

afl arm angle

Remember that these release points are recorded 50 feet from the front of home plate so that there aren’t the exact release points. I usually like to see video to confirm these angles which we do have for these three pitchers and they show (to me anyway) that the above arm angles are pretty accurate.

Pitch f/x links-

Harry Pavlidis’s work on the Arizona Fall League (more links in the article).

Pitch f/x for dummies by Jonathan Hale.

Basic pitch f/x movement from BTB.

Some basics from FBAL.

A average pitch movement graphic form Sons of Samhorn.

Email me ( if you have any questions or place them in the comments.

BaseballAmerica Top 10 Prospects

Can be seen here. Rankings are free but the scouting reports are insider-only. Here's the top 10 with a snippet from each:

1. Desmond Jennings, of - "Jennings has a lethal combination of speed and power that, combined with an aggressive approach and impressive overall knowledge, makes him a true game-changer. He simply needs to continue to refine his skills against top-flight competition."

2. Jeremy Hellickson, rhp - "He works ahead in the count with impeccable command of his low-90s fastball, which touches 94 mph and has nice sink. His changeup has become a plus pitch as he has added late fade over the past two years."

3. Wade Davis, rhp - "He has the upside of a No. 2 starter, and the Rays also could be tempted to make him a closer down the road as they try to figure out how to get all of their talented young pitchers on the big league staff."

4. Matt Moore, lhp - "Moore's 90-92 mph fastball touches 94 and has impressive movement. His hard, late-breaking curveball generates awkward swings and misses. He does a great job of keeping his pitches, including a changeup with screwball-like action, down in the strike zone."

5. Reid Brignac, ss - "Brignac is an aggressive hitter who needs to show more plate discipline. He starts trying to pull the ball during slumps, which usually acerbates the problem."

6. Tim Beckham, ss - "Despite hitting only five homers in 2009, Beckham has the raw strength and hitting ability to be one of the better power hitters in the system. Several scouts believe Beckham's athleticism has started to decline because his lower half is getting bigger, which could necessitate a move to third base or an outfield corner."

7. Alexander Colome, lhp - "His fastball has been clocked as high as 97 mph and sits at 94-95. He also throws a hard curveball with 11-to-5 break and late bite."

8. Jake McGee, lhp - "McGee struggled with his control prior to the injury, and control is often the last thing to come back following Tommy John surgery. The consistency of his release point has fluctuated throughout his career. From a command standpoint, he needs to pound the bottom half of strike zone better."

9. Alex Torres, lhp - "Torres rarely throws the ball straight or employs the same arm angle on consecutive pitches, keeping hitters on edge. His 89-91 mph fastball has plus movement and he does a good job of using both sides of the plate."

10. Nick Barnese, rhp - "Barnese is a bulldog who will challenge any hitter at any time. He uses whip-like arm action to deliver fastballs that sit at 91-92 mph and touch 94. When he stays on top of his hard slurve, it's a two-plane pitch with a sharp break."

There's nothing new on McGee's stuff returning from Tommy John, which is disappointing. As it stands, I don't think he's a top-10 prospect. Other than that, the list is pretty straightforward. In fact, 9 of the same 10 players from our combined top 30 lists were on this one. The only difference was we didn't have McGee; Kyle Lobstein made ours.

Here's their list of Best Tools in the system, which is free to anyone:
Best Hitter for Average Desmond Jennings
Best Power Hitter Matt Sweeney
Best Strike-Zone Discipline Desmond Jennings
Fastest Baserunner Fernando Perez
Best Athlete Desmond Jennings
Best Fastball Jeremy Hellickson (Kevin: Over Davis, Moore, and Barnese? I don't know about that.)
Best Curveball Matt Moore
Best Slider Alex Torres
Best Changeup Jeremy Hellickson
Best Control Jeremy Hellickson
Best Defensive Catcher Nevin Ashley
Best Defensive Infielder Reid Brignac
Best Infield Arm Tim Beckham
Best Defensive Outfielder Desmond Jennings
Best Outfield Arm Todd Glaesmann

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Mexican Pacific League Recap from 12/19

Mazatlan 4, Mochis 2
Reid Brignac (Mazatlan); 0 for 4.

Dominican Winter League Recap from 12/19

Licey 5, Estrellas 4
Willy Aybar (Licey); 0 for 2.

Venezuelan Winter League Recap from 12/19

Caracas 5, Zulia 2
Justin Ruggiano (Caracas); 1 for 2 with a stolen base.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Mexican Pacific League Recap from 12/18

Mazatlan 6, Mochis 5
Reid Brignac (Mazatlan); 2 for 3 with 2 walks.

Dominican Winter League Recap from 12/18

Licey 7, Toros 5
Willy Aybar (Licey); 2 for 4 with a double and a run scored.

Venezuelan Winter League Recap from 12/18

Lara 7, Caracas 3
Rayner Oliveros (Caracas); 4 runs on 8 hits with a strikeout and 2 walks in 4 innings earning the loss.
Justin Ruggiano (Caracas); 0 for 4 with 3 K's.

Puerto Rico League Recap from 12/17

Caguas 7, Carolina 5
Eduardo Morlan (Caguas); no runs on 1 hit with 2 strikeouts in 2 2/3 innings.

The Running Game

Brady WilliamsIn light of the recent discussion of Manager Brady Williams' promotion to Bowling Green from Hudson Valley and his (over?) use of the running game, I thought we should take a look at some stats.

Here are the Rays US affiliates and their leagues stolen bases, caught stealings, attempts (SB+CS) per game, and stolen base success percentage. The team and league with the highest and lowest rates/percentages are in bold.

                           SB/G     CS/G     Att/G      SB%
Durham Bulls .819 .361 1.181 69.4%
International League .737 .291 1.028 71.7%
Montgomery Biscuits .935 .295 1.230 76.0%
Southern League .762 .368 1.130 67.4%
Charlotte Stone Crabs 1.066 .496 1.562 68.2%
Florida State League .926 .404 1.330 69.6%
Bowling Green Hot Rods .717 .420 1.138 63.1%
South Atlantic League .978 .434 1.412 69.3%
Hudson Valley Renegades 1.787 .747 2.533 70.5%
New York - Penn League .958 .400 1.359 70.5%
Princeton Rays 1.104 .448 1.552 71.1%
Appalachian League 1.067 .500 1.567 68.1%
GCL Rays .945 .454 1.400 67.5%
Gulf Coast League 1.062 .465 1.526 69.6%

A few things to keep in mind:

- 2009 was Williams first season as a Manager. Prior to that he was a coach at Vero Beach in 2008, Columbus in 2007, and Southwest Michigan in 2006.
- Managers evolve over time. Williams aggressive approach on the basepaths in 2009 may be totally different by the time he reaches the AA or AAA levels.
- Managers strategies are dependent on the skills of their players. If you have a Fernando Perez and a Desmond Jennings, you will tend to have a 'running team'.
- Minor league baseball is about player development, especially at the lower levels. Winning is great, but development is the goal. We don't know whether Hudson Valley's high numbers are a result of Williams' philosophy or the organization's directive.
- These numbers could be skewed a bit by botched hit-and-runs. Without going through the play-by-play of 10,000 games, I can't adjust for that. Just keep it in mind.


Stacy Long's Top 30 Prospects

Montgomery Biscuits beat writer Stacy Long has posted his top 30 prospects over at his place. Just three quick thoughts from me: I'm surprised Aneury Rodriguez is so high, but he really did rebound after a very weak first half. He'll probably be back at Montgomery in 2010 but he could turn some heads. Also, I'm sure it's close, but he lists Jeremy Hellickson over Wade Davis. You really can't go wrong with either; Davis had some major-league success while Hellickson was dominant all year between two levels of the minors. And lastly, three of my personal favorites, Shawn O'Malley, Alex Cobb, and Jason McEachern, are ranked 17, 18, and 21 respectively. O'Malley and Cobb will each play for the Biscuits in 2010.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Mexican Pacific League Recap from 12/17

Obregon, Mazatlan 3
Reid Brignac (Mazatlan); 0 for 3 with a K.

Venezuelan Winter League Recap from 12/17

La Guaira 7, Caracas 4
Joe Bateman (Caracas); no runs on 2 hits in 2/3 inning.
Jose Lobaton (Caracas); 1 for 4 with a double.
Justin Ruggiano (Caracas); 0 for 3 with a walk and a stolen base.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Appalachian League Playoffs To Change In 2010

Appalachian LeagueSTATESVILLE, NC - The Appalachian League has announced it has implemented a new format for the 2010 playoffs, which will begin on September 1, 2010.

For the first time, four teams will qualify for the 2010 Appalachian League postseason with the second place team in each division now joining the two division winners. At the conclusion of the 68-game regular season, those four teams will then compete in a two-round playoff.

While the structure of how the teams will play each other in the first round has not been determined, each match-up in the first round will be a best-of-three series. The two winners of the first round will then meet in a best-of-three series to determine the Appalachian League Champion.

"I feel that with this change to our playoff format we will create added enthusiasm for our cities, fans, and players alike," said Lee Landers, President of the Appalachian League. "This will also create added excitement for teams competing for playoff spots down the stretch."

- From league press release. Should add some excitement for P-Rays fans, surprised it took them this long to expand the format.

Mexican Pacific League from 12/16

Mazatlan 7, Obregon 3
Reid Brignac (Mazatlan); 0 for 4 with an RBI.

Dominican Winter League Recap from 12/16

Aguilas 13, Licey 1
Willy Aybar (Licey); 0 for 3.

Venezuelan Winter League Recap from 12/16

Caracas 11, Caribes 6
Jason Cromer (Caracas); 3 runs on 6 hits with 7 strikeouts and a walk in 4 innings on the mound.

Rays minor league coordinators announced

Here are the Rays' minor league coordinators for the 2010 season. These coaches travel throughout the organizational affiliates, helping out with instruction.

Field coordinators: Jim Hoff, Bill Evers
Pitching coordinators: Dick Bosman, Dewey Robinson
Hitting coordinators: Steve Livesey, Matt Quatraro
Outfield/baserunning coordinator: Skeeter Barnes
Catching coordinator: Jamie Nelson

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Gulf Coast League Rays 2010 Coaching Staff

GCL RaysThe Gulf Coast League Rays (Rookie) welcome back Manager Joe Alvarez for a second season and his third in the Rays system.

Pitching Coach Darwin Peguero returns for a second season with the GCL Rays and his sixth in the organization.

Coach Dan DeMent joins the GCL Rays after spending his first season as a coach with Princeton in 2009.

Coach Hector Torres, who spent last season with Bowling Green, joins the GCL Rays for his sixth year in the Rays system.

Trainer Jorge Vargas will return as he begins his second season in the organization.

Durham Bulls 2010 Coaching Staff

Durham BullsDurham, NC - The Durham Bulls today announced Charlie Montoyo will return as manager for a fourth season after leading the Bulls to their first National Championship in team history. For the first time since 2005, the Bulls entire coaching staff returns as Xavier Hernandez, Dave Myers and Rodger Fleming have all been retained as the Bulls look to defend their title.

“We couldn’t be happier,” Durham Bulls General Manager Mike Birling said, “All these guys have done since joining us is win, but more importantly they understand the importance of the Bulls efforts in the community and our incredible fans.”

Montoyo returns for his fourth year with Durham, tied for third longest tenure in the Bulls’ 108-year history. (Bill Evers is first with 8 seasons). In his first three seasons Montoyo’s teams won three division titles, earned three trips to the league finals and last year won the league championship (Bulls’ third) and first National Title in team history. His 243 wins is 5th all-time in team history (Bill Evers is first with 613). With 76 wins this season Montoyo would move into second place.

Montoyo received two awards this off-season, the Mike Coolbaugh Award presented by Minor League Baseball at the Winter Meetings and Baseball America’s Minor League Manager of the Year Award. As thankful as he is for those two honors, his greatest satisfaction is getting to return to the Bull City for a fourth season.

“It feels great to be coming back to one of the best franchises in minor league baseball. I’m very fortunate to get to work with such wonderful people and lead this team in front of these tremendous fans.”

Montoyo's return is his 14th year as a manager in the Rays organization and has a career winning percentage of .511 (863-827) with six postseason appearances (1998-Hudson Valley, 2001-Bakersfield, 2006-Montgomery, 2007,’08,’09-Durham). Montoyo spent 10 years as an infielder in the Milwaukee Brewers, Montreal Expos and Philadelphia Phillies organizations, reaching the major leagues for 27 games in 1993 with the Expos. He and his wife, Samantha, live in Arizona with their two children, Tyson and Alex.

Xavier Hernandez will mark his ninth season as a pitching coach in the Rays organization and his fourth season in Durham. Several of his pitchers went on to help the Tampa Bay Rays make their run to the World Series, including Andy Sonnanstine, J.P. Howell, Grant Balfour and David Price. He played 10 seasons in the major leagues for the Toronto Blue Jays, Houston Astros, New York Yankees, Cincinnati Reds and Texas Rangers compiling a career 40-35 record with a 3.90 ERA. Hernandez and his wife, Deborah reside in Sugar Land, Texas with their four children: Danielle, Michael, Sarah, and Stephen.

Bulls hitting coach Dave Myers returns for his second season after spending the 2007-08 seasons as hitting coach of the Buffalo Bisons (Cleveland Indians). Prior to joining the Bisons in 2007, Myers spent 18 seasons in the Seattle Mariners organization. As a minor league manager, he compiled an overall mark of 732-645 (.532) in 12 seasons, including four division titles and a league championship. He spent five seasons (1996-2000) as manager of the Triple-A Tacoma Rainers, one season with Double-A Port City (1995), two seasons with Class-A Riverside (1993-94), two with Class-A Bellingham (1991-1992) and two years with Tempe in the Arizona League (1989-90). He began his coaching career as a player/coach for the Mariners Double-A Vermont affiliate in 1988. Myers signed as the Mariners 13th round selection in the 1981 June Draft and spent eight seasons in their farm system. He graduated from Temple University in 1981 with a degree in physical education, is married (Christine) with two children (D.J. and Chelsea).

Fleming is in his third season in the Rays organization and second with the Bulls. Prior to 2008, he spent seven seasons in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization. In 2004, he was named Texas League Trainer of the Year and Minor League Trainer of the Year while serving with the El Paso Diablos (AA). He also served as head trainer for the Arizona Fall League champion Phoenix Desert Dogs in 2005 and the Venezuelan Winter League in 2006-07. Fleming graduated from the University of Toledo with a degree in interdisciplinary studies/athletic training. He lives in Kodak, Tennessee with his girlfriend, Amy, and son, Chandler.

Ticket packages for the 2009 season are available now by calling (919) 956-BULL or online at

- From the team press release.

Hudson Valley Renegades 2010 Coaching Staff

Hudson Valley RenegadesFISHKILL, NY (Dec. 16, 2009) - The Hudson Valley Renegades, short-season A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays, are excited to announce the coaching staff for the 2010 season. For the first time since the 1999 season the Renegades will see an entirely new coaching staff on the field. Ex-Renegade Jared Sandberg will take over as manager, followed by Pitching Coach Jack Giese, Bench Coach Reinaldo Ruiz and Trainer Andrew Hauser.

Sandberg takes over at the helm for the Renegades in just his second season of managerial duty. Before making the jump from player to coach, Sandberg enjoyed a 12-year playing career including three major league seasons, all with the Rays (2001-03). Sandberg currently holds the Rays all-time minor league records with 113 home runs, 473 RBI and 417 runs.

2010 will mark Sandberg's third stint in the Hudson Valley. His first stint came during the 1998 season as he helped lead the Renegades to the best finish in franchise history, 50-26. During that season Sandberg recorded a .288 batting average with 12 home runs and 54 RBI. He returned to the Renegades in 2008 in his first professional coaching position as the team's hitting coach. The team recorded a .264 batting average that season.

Taking over as pitching coach will be Jack Giese, his first professional coaching position. Giese spent the last two seasons as pitching coach and associate head coach at Howard College in Big Spring, Texas. Previously, he held scouting positions with the Milwaukee Brewers and Cincinnati Reds.

Reinaldo Ruiz will be joining the team as the bench coach this season after spending the 2009 season with the Gulf Coast League Rays. Prior to 2009 Ruiz spent time in Venezuela as the Rays catching instructor (2007-08) and as the hitting coach for Magallanes de Carabobo of the Venezuelan Winter League (2005-06). Prior to making the switch from player to coach Ruiz enjoyed an eight-year career as a catcher within the Houston Astros organization.

Andrew Hauser begins his second season with the Rays after spending 2009 on Sandberg's staff in Princeton. Hauser graduated from the University of Kansas with a bachelor's degree in athletic training and prior to graduating he interned with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Renegades season tickets, mini-packs and group outings are now available. Call the Renegades box office today at 845.838.0094 to reserve your spot. Don't forget to follow the Renegades on Twitter for special offers and team updates as they happen at

- From the team press release.

Puerto Rico League Recap from 12/15

Arecibo 6, Carolina 2
Shawn Riggans (Carolina); 1 for 3 with a walk and two runs scored.

Mexican Pacific League Recap from 12/15

Obregon 10, Mazatlan 1
Reid Brignac (Mazatlan); 1 for 4 with a K.

Dominican Winter League Recap from 12/15

Toros 6, Licey 3
Willy Aybar (Licey); 1 for 4

Venezuelan Winter League Recap from 12/15

Caracas 4, Caribes 3
Joe Bateman (Caracas); 2 runs on 1 hit in 2/3 inning.

Princeton Rays 2010 Coaching Staff

Princeton RaysMichael Johns will make his professional managerial debut by heading up the 2010 coaching staff of the Princeton Rays of the Appalachian League that was announced on December 16. He will be joined in Princeton by pitching coach Marty DeMerritt, coach Wuarnner Rincones, and athletic trainer Nick Medina.

Johns, a resident of Orange Park, FL will be entering his fifth year of professional baseball in 2010 and it will be his third as a coach. He has spent the previous two seasons on the coaching staff of the Hudson Valley (NY) Renegades, Tampa Bay's short-A affiliate in the New York-Penn League. He played two professional seasons as a middle infielder in the Colorado Rockies organization in Class-A ball at Portland (OR) and Asheville (NC) after being their 19th round selection in the June, 1997 draft. He graduated from Tulane University, where he was a two-time Conference USA all-conference shortstop for the Green Wave. Following his playing career, he was the assistant baseball coach at Fernandina Beach (FL) High School for four years and then spent four additional seasons as the head coach at Orange Park (FL) High School before joining the Rays organization on December 11, 2007.

DeMerritt begins his tenth year in the Rays organization (and 34th in professional baseball) by returning to Princeton for a fourth straight season. Last season, his 2009 P-Rays' pitching staff set Princeton single-season franchise records for lowest earned run average, least runs allowed, least earned runs allowed, least bases on balls issued, and least balks issued. He has previously worked with Rays pitching staffs at class-A Bakersfield (2001-03), Charleston, SC (2004), and Visalia (2005-06). In 2002, his Bakersfield Blaze staff led all of minor league baseball with 1,281 strikeouts. DeMerritt served four years as a major league pitching coach for the San Francisco Giants (1987, 1989, 1991) and the Chicago Cubs (1999) with his 1989 Giants' staff being a big reason the Giants advanced as National League champion to the World Series that year. He spent five years in the Cubs organization as a minor league pitching coach before his 1999 stint as their major league pitching coach. Among his many stops, he coached for Samsung in Korea in 1990 and three years (1992-94) in the Florida Marlins organization. He began his lengthy coaching career in 1983 with the Giants' single-A affiliate at Clinton, IA. As a player, he was selected by St. Louis in the June, 1971 draft and pitched for eight seasons in the minors with the Cardinals, Brewers, and Astros.

Rincones comes to Princeton on the heels of a very successful 2009 as manager of Tampa Bay's entry in the Venzuelan Summer League, where his team went 41-28 and captured the VSL Championship. He spent 2008 as the hitting coach and infield instructor for the VSL Rays and also spent the 2007 season in the same capacity when the VSL affiliate was shared between the Rays and the Reds. Prior to 2009, his only other prior managerial experience was in 2006 when he skippered the VSL Reds. He also worked ten years (1996-2005) at the Chicago White Sox Venezuelan Academy as a hitting coach, infield instructor, and scout. His professional playing career consisted of five seasons (1991-95) as an outfielder in the White Sox system, reaching as high as Class-A South Bend of the Midwest League in 1995.

The summer of 2010 will mark Medina's return to Princeton after a two-season absence since he also served as athletic trainer for the P-Rays in 2007. Since then he was the trainer for the Class-A Columbus (GA) Catfish in 2008 and the Class-A Bowling Green (KY) Hot Rods in 2009. Prior to joining the Rays organization, in 2006 he was the athletic trainer for the Vermont Lake Monsters, an affiliate of the Washington Nationals, in the New York-Penn League. He is a 2003 graduate of the University of New Mexico and following graduation, gained experience in outpatient physical therapy clinics (2004-06) and as an intern for one season (2003) with the AAA Albuquerque Isotopes of the Pacific Coast League.

In other Rays minor league coaching news, several former Princeton names are showing up on various coaching staffs throughout the Tampa Bay system. Princeton's inaugural 1997 skipper, the award-winning Charlie Montoyo, will return to AAA Durham, where his 2009 Bulls won the AAA National Championship. Joe Szekely, who managed the P-Rays in 2008, will return for a second consecutive season as the hitting coach for the Charlotte Stone Crabs and will also be joined there for a second straight season by trainer Chris Tomashoff (2000). At Bowling Green will be coach Manny Castillo (2003-05) and athletic trainer Scott Thurston (2008). Two of last year's 2009 P-Rays, manager Jared Sandberg and athletic trainer Andrew Hauser, will both be moving up to Hudson Valley in the same capacities following the great season (36-31) the Princeton squad enjoyed last season. Princeton's previous two infield coaches, Dan DeMent (2009) and Hector Torres (2008) will both be on the instructional crew of the Gulf Coast League Rays this coming summer. Finally, Jamie Nelson (2000, 2003-2007), the winningest manager in Princeton franchise history, will be visiting Hunnicutt Field periodically in 2010 during his third straight season as Tampa Bay's catching coordinator.

Reserved box seats and general admission ticket books are already on sale for the 2010 Princeton Rays' Appalachian League season. Persons needing more information are requested either to contact the P-Rays either by e-mail at or by telephone at (304) 487-2000.

- From the team press release.