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Minor-League Monday (August 22-28, 2016)


By Scott Barancik, Editor

Here are your minor-league highlights from the week of August 22-28, 2016.

New additions

Jewish Baseball News welcomes two more players to its list of professional ballplayers.

The first is P Joey Wagman (Athletics/High-A), a 25-year-old reliever out of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. The second is 3B Scotty Burcham, a 23-year-old Sacramento State alum. Both are on Team Israel’s roster for the upcoming World Baseball Classific qualifying tournament in Brooklyn. Welcome, gentlemen!

Jewish Baseball News Hitter of the Week

1B Nate Freiman (Red Sox/AA) hit .273 with a home run, 3 doubles, 6 walks, and 9 RBIs last week. The highlight came August 24, when the former Oakland Athletic went 2-for-3 with two walks, an RBI double, and a three-run, walk-off bomb in the 9th inning (see video above). Freiman leads the Portland Sea Dogs with 55 RBIs.

Jewish Baseball News Pitcher of the Week

P Raul Jacobson (Mets/A-short-season) was dominant on August 23. In only his fourth start of the season, the second-year pro allowed just 3 hits and one earned run over 6 innings, walking none and striking out 8. Jacobson is 2-1 at the short-season level, with a 2.09 ERA, 2 saves in 2 chances, 41 strikeouts, and only 7 walks in 38.2 innings.

Other highlights

After being selected by the Marlins in the sixth-round of the 2015 draft, Marlins prospect Justin Cohen got off to a quick start last year, hitting .321 with 2 HRs and 12 RBIs in 56 at-bats before landing on the disabled list. Last week, the 19-year-old DH returned to the lineup after a hiatus of more than 12 months, going 4-for-15 with an RBI and two walks.

C Garrett Stubbs (Astros/AA) hit .313 with a double, triple, stolen base, and a walk. In 28 games since being promoted to Double-A, the 2015 draftee is hitting .318 with 4 HRs, 15 RBIs, a .398 on-base percentage, and .514 slugging percentage.

1B Jeremy Wolf (Mets/rookie) hit .258 last week with 2 doubles, a home run, 2 walks, and 6 RBIs. A 2016 draftee, he is hitting .291, and he leads the Kingsport Mets in HRs (4/tied), RBIs (31), and slugging percentage (.448).

In two six-inning starts last week, P Max Fried (Braves/A), Fried won one and lost one, yielding a total of 10 hits, 4 walks, and 6 earned runs. He also struck out 16 batters, including 10 alone on August 28. The 22-year-old has 102 strikeouts in 98.1 innings this season.

P Brandon Gold (Rockies/A-short-season), a 2016 draftee, pitched 3 shutout innings on August 26, yieldings 2 hits and no walks while striking out one.

P Brad Goldberg (White Sox/AAA) held opponents scoreless in two relief appearances, stretching his streak to 5. In 3 combined innings, he yielded one hit and one walk while striking out 4.

In four games since being promoted to Single-A, P Dean Kremer (Dodgers) is 2-0 with a 0.96 ERA. He has given up just 2 hits and 4 walks over 9.1 innings while striking out 13.

P Jared Lakind (Pirates/AA) was nearly perfect in three relief appearances, yielding just one hit and no walks while striking out 2 in a combined 4 innings.

Transactions

  • The Mets promoted P Josh Zeid to Triple-A.
  • The Marlins activated second-year DH Justin Cohen (rookie) from the disabled list
  • The Brewers activated C Tim Remes (A) from the disabled list.

Disabled list

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Minor-League Monday (August 8-14, 2016)

By Scott Barancik, Editor

Here are your minor-league updates from the week of August 8-14, 2016.

Jewish Baseball News Hitter of the Week

1B Cody Decker (Red Sox/AA) hit .333 last week with 3 HRs, 5 RBIs, and 2 walks. The highlight came August 10, when Decker went 3-for-6 with 2 HRs and 3 RBIs.

Jewish Baseball News Pitcher of the Week

In his first game since being promoted, P Alex Katz (White Sox/High-A) pitched 2.1 no-hit innings, yielding one walk and striking out 2.

Other highlights

1B Nate Freiman (Red Sox/AA) hit .400 with an RBI and a walk.

OF Adam Walton (Diamondbacks/A-short season), a 2016 signee, hit .273 with 3 doubles, 3 RBIs, and a walk.

OF Jeremy Wolf (Mets/rookie), a 2016 draftee, hit .350 with 2 doubles, 4 RBIs, and a walk. He ranks third on the Kingsport Mets with a .304 average, second with a .452 slugging percentage, and fourth with 21 RBIs.

In a 2.1-inning relief appearance August 11, P Brandon Gold (Rockies/rookie) yielded 2 hits and struck out 6. Gold has fanned 16 and walked just 2 over a combined 11.1 innings this season.

In two appearances, P Henry Hirsch (Pirates/High-A) yielded 2 hits and 2 walks over 4.1 innings while fanning 5. He also improved his season record to 6-3.

P Rob Kaminsky (Indians/AA) continues to improve, anchoring an 18-2 win on August 12 after yielding 7 hits and 2 earned runs over 6 innings while striking out 5. After going 0-2 with a 5.40 ERA in April, Kaminsky has gone 0-0 with a 3.55 ERA in May, 1-3 with a 4.15 ERA in June, 3-2 with a 2.45 ERA in July, and 2-0 with a 1.64 ERA in August.

Since being reassigned from the rookie Appalachian League to the slightly less competitive rookie Gulf Coast League, 2016 draftee Kenny Rosenberg (Rays) has gone 1-0 with an 0.57 ERA, yielding 12 hits over 15.2 innings, walking just 3, and striking out 21, with a WHIP — walks and hits per innings — of just 0.89.

Transactions

  • P Dean Kremer (Dodgers) was promoted from rookie ball to Single-A.
  • P Alex Katz (White Sox) was promoted from Single-A to High-A.
  • P Max Fried (Braves/A) came off the disabled list.
  • P Josh Zeid (Mets) was reassigned from Triple-A to Double-A.
  • P Raul Jacobson (Mets) was reassigned from Single-A to A-short season.
  • 1B Ike Davis (Yankees/AAA) was released.
  • P Craig Breslow (Rangers/AAA) was released.

Disabled list

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Minor-League Monday (July 4-10, 2016)

By Scott Barancik, Editor

Here are your minor-league updates from the week of July 4-10, 2016.

Jewish Baseball News Player of the Week

LF Mike Meyers (Red Sox/High-A) had another strong week, hitting .409 with a HR, double, 3 RBIs, 2 stolen bases, and his sixth triple of the season. He ranks second on the Salem Red Sox in RBIs (44), and fourth in stolen bases (18).

Debuts

Two 2016 draftees made their pro debuts last week.

C Andy Yerzy (Diamondbacks/rookie) went 3-for-4 in his pro debut on July 6 and finished the week 6-for-15 (.400) with 5 strikeouts.

P Brandon Gold (Rockies/short season) had a rough go of it in his first pro game, yielding 3 hits, a walk, a wild pitch, a grand-slam HR, and 3 earned runs without retiring a batter on July 6. (One batter reached base on an error.) But Gold was golden in his second appearance, striking out 2 batters in a perfect inning on July 9.

Other highlights

The latest minor-league player to be identified as Jewish is P Gabe Cramer (Royals/A). A second-year pro out of Stanford, Cramer is 2-1 with one save, a 2.79 ERA, and 23 strikeouts in 19.1 innings against just 9 walks. Last week he was dominant, yielding one hit and 2 walks over a combined 3.1 innings while striking out 8 batters.

In his second week of Triple-A ball, SS Alex Bregman (Astros) hit .316 with 3 HRs and 6 RBIs while striking out just once. He also tripled, doubled, and singled in the All-Star Futures Games on Sunday while playing both shortstop and third base.

C Michael Barash (Angels/rookie), a 2016 draftee, went 4-for-5 on July 8 with 3 singles, a grand-slam HR, and 6 RBIs. The round-tripper was his first as a pro.

C Nick Rickles (Nationals/AA) hit just .231 last week, but two of his three hits were home runs, including a two-run, walk-off shot on July 10.

In his first week of Double-A ball, C Garrett Stubbs (Astros/AA) hit .357 with a HR, 4 RBIs, 3 walks, and one strikeout.

P Max Fried (Braves/A) earned his seventh win against five losses on July 4. Entering the game in the second inning, he yielded 4 hits and a walk over 4 shutout innings while striking out 6.

P Brad Goldberg (White Sox/AAA) earned two saves last week and was added to roster of the International League All-Star team, which will face the Pacific Coast League’s All-Stars on July 13.

P Kenny Koplove (Phillies/High-A) pitched a combined 5 scoreless innings in two relief appearances, yielding 3 hits and a walk while fanning 3.

P Jared Lakind (Pirates/AA) was named an Eastern League All-Star. He’s 3-0 this season with 6 saves, a 1.80 ERA, and 45 strikeouts in 45 innings.

P Ryan Sherriff (Cardinals/AAA) earned his first save of the season on July 9, pitching 1.2 perfect innings while striking out 3 batters.

Transactions

P Josh Zeid (Mets) was promoted to Triple-A.

C Garrett Stubbs (Astros), a 2015 draftee, was promoted to Double-A.

The Atlanta Braves traded pitching prospect Alec Grosser to the Los Angeles Dodgers, which assigned him to a rookie-league squad.

The White Sox released OF Kyle Ruchim, a Northwestern alum who signed as an undrafted free agent in May 2016.

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Minor-League Monday (June 20-26)

Mason Katz homers twice

Mason Katz homers twice (click for video)

By Scott Barancik, Editor

Here are your minor-league updates from the week of June 20-26, 2016.

Jewish Baseball News Player of the Week

P Corey Baker (Cardinals/AAA) earned a shutout win in his first-ever Triple-A game, scattering four singles and a walk over 6.2 innings while striking out 6. Baker had two 1-2-3 innings and threw 62 of 95 pitches for strikes.

Debuts

At least six draftees or undrafted free agents made their pro debuts last week.

Angels draftee Michael Barash (C/rookie league) hit .333.

Twins draftee Mitchell Kranson (C/rookie league) hit .286 with two RBIs.

White Sox prospect Steve Pollakov (C/rookie league), an undrafted free agent, hit a pinch-hit single in his first pro at-bat and went 2-for-4 with a three-run home run in his first start.

Diamondbacks prospect Adam Walton (IF/rookie league), an undrafted free agent, walked and drove in a run.

Mets draftee Jeremy Wolf (OF/rookie league) doubled and drew four walks.

Blue Jays draftee Jake Fishman (P/rookie league) earned a hold in his first appearance despite yielding 4 earned runs over 2.1 innings.

Other highlights

SS Alex Bregman (Astros/AA) didn’t hit for average last week (.227), but four of his five hits went for extra bases and he walked eight times. The bigger news is that the second-year player is being promoted to Triple-A after participating in the Texas League’s All-Star game and home run derby on June 28.

Playing in his first three games of the season, second-year pro C Dalton Blumenfeld (Angels/rookie league) went 4-for-7 with 2 walks and 2 RBIs.

LF Zach Borenstein (Diamondbacks/AAA) hit .294 last week with a home run, double, 3 walks, and 6 RBIs. He’s tied for fourth place on the Reno Aces with 34 RBIs.

Former major-league 1B Nate Freiman (Red Sox/AA) had a big week, hitting .417 with a home run, double, 2 walks, and 8 RBIs.

Former major-league C Ryan Lavarnway (Red Sox/AA) hit a pair of HRs on June 20 and .429 for the week.

2B Mason Katz (Cardinals/AA) went 3-for-3 on two solo HRs, a single and a walk. After hitting just .053 in 19 at-bats for the franchise’s High-A team, Katz is hitting .361 in Double-A, with 3 HRs and 7 RBIs in 36 at-bats.

C Garrett Stubbs (Astros/High-A) hit .400 last week, raising his average to .316, fifth best in the California League. The league’s next highest-ranked catcher is hitting .278. Behind the plate, Stubbs has nixed 16 of 26 stolen-base attempts and discouraged many more baserunners from even trying.

P Max Fried (Braves/A) pitched six innings on June 23 to earn his fifth win against five losses, yielding one earned run on six hits while striking out six and walking none.

Second-year pro Raul Jacobson (Mets/short season) made his 2016 debut last week. In two relief outings, he pitched 7 scoreless innings, earned a save, and yield 5 hits and 1 walk while striking out 7.

P Jared Lakind (Pittsburgh/AA) saw his 17-game scoreless streak end June 23, but he began another streak June 26 with a perfect inning of relief.

Transactions

SS Alex Bregman (Astros), a 2015 draftee, is being promoted to Triple-A.

P Corey Baker (Cardinals) was promoted to Triple-A for the first time in his career.

Yankees 1B Ike Davis was designated for assignment. He says he will report to the team’s Triple-A club if he isn’t signed by another MLB team.

C Nick Rickles (Nationals) was assigned to the team’s Double-A club after spending nearly the entire season in extended spring training. He doubled and had a ground-out RBI in his June 26 debut.

OF Kyle Ruchim (White Sox), an undrafted free agent, was sent from Single-A to the club’s rookie-league team.

After pitching one perfect inning in Triple-A, P Jeremy Bleich (Phillies) returned to the franchise’s Double-A club.

Draftee Brandon Gold (P/short-season) signed with the Rockies.

Draftee Matthew Gorst (P/rookie) signed with the Red Sox.

Draftee Ryan Gold (C/rookie) signed with the Blue Jays.

Draftee Kenny Rosenberg (P/rookie) signed with the Rays.

Draftee Andy Yerzy (C/rookie) signed with the Diamondbacks.

Update

Eagled-eyed readers may have noticed that Cardinals prospect Matt Fiedler has disappeared from our list of 2016 draftees. Although the U. of Minnesota alum has a Jewish parent and agreed to be identified as Jewish less than two years ago, he now identifies as Christian. We wish Matt the best and a great future in baseball.

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The Jews of the 2016 MLB draft

By Scott Barancik, Editor

At least 16 Jewish players were picked in the annual MLB draft that took place earlier this month. We’re going to tell you a little bit about each one.

First, the list:

  1. Andy Yerzy (C), D’backs (2nd round, #52 overall)
  2. Kenny Rosenberg (P), Rays (8th, #240)
  3. Jason Goldstein (C), Mariners (9th, #267)
  4. Mitchell Kranson (C), Twins (9th, #273)
  5. Michael Barash (C), Angels (9th rd, #276)
  6. Brandon Gold (P), Rockies (12th rd, #350)
  7. Matthew Gorst (P), Red Sox (12th rd, #358)
  8. Dean Kremer (P), Dodgers (14th rd, #431)
  9. Marc Huberman (P), Cubs (18th rd, #554)
  10. Ryan Gold (C), Blue Jays (27th rd, #822)
  11. Jordan Scheftz (P), Red Sox (28th rd, #838)
  12. Elliott Barzilli (3B), Astros (29th rd, #877)
  13. Jake Fishman (P), Blue Jays (30th rd, #912)
  14. Jeremy Wolf (LF), Mets (31st rd, #940)
  15. Matthew Popowitz (C), Marlins (36th rd, #1073)
  16. Leo Kaplan (OF), White Sox (37th rd, #1106)

The list might grow longer. After all, a number of today’s players — including Kevin Pillar and Danny Valencia — were unknown to the Jewish news media until well into their professional careers.

For only the second time in the past five years, no Jews were selected in the first round. Recent first-round picks have included SS Alex Bregman (2015, #2 overall pick, Astros), P Rob Kaminsky (2013, #28 overall pick, Cardinals), and P Max Fried (2012, #7 overall pick, Padres). There were none in 2014.

The most populous Jewish round in 2016 was the 9th. Among the 10 slots between pick numbers 267 and 276, three Jewish players were selected.

Two Georgia natives who pitched together at Georgia Tech, Brandon Gold and Matthew Gorst, were chosen eight picks apart from one another in the 12th round.

Four players (Andy Yerzy, Ryan Gold, Matthew Popowitz, Leo Kaplan) were drafted out of high school, one out of junior college (Jordan Scheftz), and the rest out after their junior or senior years of college.

Most of this year’s draftees either pitch (7) or catch (6). Three play outfield, and only one in the infield. This is not good news for Team Israel, which is preparing for the 2016 World Baseball Classic qualifiers and has few middle-infielders to choose from.

What do we know about them? Following are short bios largely drawn from MLB.comBaseballAmerica.com, and college baseball websites.

Andy Yerzy (C), Diamondbacks (2nd round, #52 overall)

  • Age: 17
  • Height/Weight: 6’3″, 215 pounds
  • Bats/Throws: L/R
  • Home: North York, Ontario
  • School: York Mills Collegiate Institute
  • Highlights: A power hitter, Yerzy tied for first place in 2016 High School Select home-run derby over All-Star Game weekend in Cincinnati. Homered in 2015 Under Armour All-American game at Wrigley Field. Played for Canada’s junior national team. Committed to Notre Dame before he signed with Diamondbacks.

Kenny Rosenberg (P), Rays (8th, #240)

  • Age: 20
  • Height/Weight: 6’1″, 195 pounds
  • Bats/Throws: L/L
  • Home: Mill Valley, CA
  • School: Cal State Northridge
  • Assigned team: Princeton Rays (rookie league)
  • Highlights: After missing sophomore season in 2015 with a back injury, ranked 14th in country with 118 strikeouts in 2016 (10.8 per nine innings). Was All-League goalkeeper on high school soccer team.

Jason Goldstein (C), Mariners (9th, #267)

  • Age: 22
  • Height/Weight: 6’0″, 210 pounds
  • Bats/Throws: R/R
  • Home: Highland Park, IL
  • School: University of Illinois
  • Highlights: Was picked by Angels in 17th round of 2015 draft but returned to school to finish degree. Senior year, led Illinis in average, OBP and RBIs, and threw out 15 of 39 attempted base-stealers.

Mitchell Kranson (C), Twins (9th, #273)

  • Age: 22
  • Height/Weight: 5’10”, 205 pounds
  • Bats/Throws: L/R
  • Home: Danville, CA
  • School: UC Berkeley
  • Highlights: Hit .333 with five HRs and 36 RBIs senior year while striking out just 26 times in 213 at-bats. Has played 1B, 3B, and LF in addition to catching.

Michael Barash (C), Angels (9th rd, #276)

  • Age: 21
  • Height/Weight: 6’1″, 200 pounds
  • Bats/Throws: R/R
  • Home: Boca Raton, FL
  • School: Texas A&M
  • Assigned team: Orem Owlz (rookie league)
  • Highlights: An “excellent defender,” according to Baseball America. Hit .324 his senior year with 5 HRs and 43 RBIs.

Brandon Gold (P), Rockies (12th rd, #350)

  • Age: 21
  • Height/Weight: 6’3″, 203 pounds
  • Bats/Throws: R/R
  • Home: Atlanta, GA
  • School: Georgia Tech
  • Assigned team: Boise Hawks (short season)
  • Highlights: A two-way player, went a team-best 9-3 with a 2.48 ERA as a junior. “He is a competitor with a strong track record in a power conference,” says Baseball America.

Matthew Gorst (P), Red Sox (12th rd, #358)

  • Age: 21
  • Height/Weight: 6’1″, 205  pounds
  • Bats/Throws: R/R
  • Home: Alpharetta, GA
  • School: Georgia Tech
  • Highlights: After posting ERAs of 7.59 and 4.81 in first two seasons, had one of best seasons in Georgia Tech history, going 2-1 with 12 saves and 0.55 ERA. Second-team All-ACC selection.

Dean Kremer (P), Dodgers (14th rd, #431)

  • Age: 20
  • Height/Weight: 6’2″, 185 pounds
  • Bats/Throws: R/R
  • Home: Stockton, CA
  • School: Las Vegas
  • Highlights: The first Israeli citizen to be drafted by an MLB team. Award-winning pitcher with Israel’s national team. In sole season at UNLV, went 4-5 with a 4.92 ERA.

Marc Huberman (P), Cubs (18th rd, #554)

  • Age: 22
  • Height/Weight: 6’2″, 190 pounds
  • Bats/Throws: L/L
  • Home: Los Angeles, CA
  • School: USC
  • Highlights: Went 2-1 with a 3 saves and a 1.94 ERA his senior year.

Ryan Gold (C), Blue Jays (27th rd, #822)

  • Age: 18
  • Height/Weight: 5’11”, 180 pounds
  • Bats/Throws: L/R
  • Home: Myrtle Beach, SC
  • School: Carolina Forest H.S.
  • Highlights: Signed with Toronto after committing to Coastal Carolina University. Moved from New Jersey the summer before senior year.

Jordan Scheftz (P), Red Sox (28th rd, #838)

  • Age: 20
  • Height/Weight: 6’3″, 190 pounds
  • Bats/Throws: R/R
  • Home: Irvine, CA
  • School: Saddleback Community College
  • Highlights: Went 4-3 with a 3.48 ERA as a sophomore.

Elliott Barzilli (3B), Astros (29th rd, #877)

  • Age: 21
  • Height/Weight: 6’0″, 175 pounds
  • Bats/Throws: R/R
  • Home: Los Angeles, CA
  • School: Texas Christian
  • Highlights: Hit .346 his junior year, with 7 HRs, 47 RBIs, and only one more strikeout (31) than walks (30). Younger brother of former Cardinals prospect Julian Barzilli.

Jake Fishman (P), Blue Jays (30th rd, #912)

  • Age: 21
  • Height/Weight: 6’3″, 195 pounds
  • Bats/Throws: L/L
  • Home: Sharon, MA
  • School: Union College (NY)
  • Highlights: Went 7-0 his junior year with 0.41 ERA. In 66 innings, fanned 85 while walking only 11. Had team’s second-best batting average (.361).

Jeremy Wolf (LF), Mets (31st rd, #940)

  • Age: 22
  • Height/Weight: 6’3″, 220 pounds
  • Bats/Throws: L/R
  • Home: Scottsdale, AZ
  • School: Trinity
  • Highlights: Hit .408 as a senior, leading team with 11 HRs and 70 RBIs in just 201 at-bats. Walked nearly twice as often as he struck out (35 vs. 19).

Matthew Popowitz (C), Marlins (36th rd, #1073)

  • Age: 18
  • Height/Weight: 5’11”, 160 pounds
  • Bats/Throws: R/R
  • School: Suffern H.S. (NY)

Leo Kaplan (OF), White Sox (37th rd, #1106)

  • Age: 18
  • Height/Weight: 6’1″, 180 pounds
  • Bats/Throws: R/R
  • Home: Santa Monica, CA
  • School: Harvard-Westlake H.S. (CA)
  • Highlights: Attended same high school as former 1st-round draft pick Max Fried.

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