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Browsing Posts tagged Eric Berger

By Scott Barancik/Jewish Baseball News

Team Israel defeated South Africa 7-3 on Wednesday night (9/19/2012) to take Game 1 of the World Baseball Classic qualifiers held in Jupiter, Fla. (see video recap and box score).

The greatest Jewish team in baseball history earned its victory both at the plate and on the mound, hitting a collective .278 while holding South Africa to just 3 hits and an .097 batting average. With the exception of a 9th-inning error, Team Israel dispatched grounders and fly balls with ease and worked well together despite its players’ relative unfamiliarity with one another.

San Diego Padres prospect Nate Freiman (1B) put Israel on the board with a solo HR in the 1st inning and followed up with another solo shot in the 9th (see video). Pittsburgh Pirates prospect Charlie Cutler (C) drove in three runs with a bases-loaded double down the right-field line in the 8th inning to break open the game (see video).

Strong pitching kept the score a close 1-0 through the sixth inning. South Africa starter Dylan Unsworth, a Seattle Mariners prospect, struck out 6 batters and walked none while scattering 5 hits across the six innings. Team Israel starter (and Cleveland Indians prospect) Eric Berger was lifted after three scoreless innings to avoid a 50-pitch threshold that, under WBC rules, would have kept him out of service for four days. Arizona Diamondbacks prospect Brett Lorin followed with two-and-a-third scoreless innings, and Houston Astros prospect Josh Zeid earned post-game kudos from manager Brad Ausmus for getting Team Israel out of a sixth-inning jam. Zeid entered the game with men on second and third and one out but retired the meat of South Africa’s order without giving up a run.

“A big momentum shift,” Ausmus said of Zeid’s stint.

Shlomo Lipetz, the only native Israeli to take the field Wednesday night, was charged with all three South African runs after giving up three walks in a shaky 9th-inning appearance. Teammates nevertheless greeted him with smiles and fist bumps after he was replaced by Israel’s sixth and final hurler of the 3-hour, 16-minute game, New York Mets prospect Jeff Kaplan.

Among the most anticipated appearances of the night was that of Team Israel player-coach Shawn Green (DH). The most accomplished person in uniform Wednesday — his 328 HRs over a 15-year MLB career are second only to Hank Greenberg‘s 331 among Jewish pros — Green also was the oldest, at 39, and hadn’t played baseball since retiring in 2007.

He looked overmatched in his first two trips at the plate, striking out on three pitches in the 2nd inning and grounding weakly into the evening’s only double play in the 4th. But Green’s baseball instincts seemed to take over afterward. After grounding-out sharply to shortstop in the 6th inning, he legged-out an infield single in the 8th inning, took second base on a passed ball, and scored on Cutler’s double. In the 9th inning, he added a bloop single to left field but proceeded to second base after South Africa’s Karl Weitz bobbled the ball, ending the night 2-for-5.

Team Israel’s second game will take place Friday (9/21) at 1:00pm EST against the winner of Thursday’s contest between Spain and France and will be streamed online at www.worldbaseballclassic.com. The eventual winner of the four-team, double-elimination qualifying tournament will advance to the main World Baseball Classic competition in March 2013.

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It’s here: Team Israel reveals its roster

By Scott Barancik/Jewish Baseball News

The long wait to see which players will represent Israel at World Baseball Classic qualifiers this week is over.

Team Israel’s 28-man roster (see below) includes two former Major Leaguers (player/coaches Shawn Green and Gabe Kapler), three Israelis, and 23 minor-leaguers. Because the MLB season is still underway, no current Major Leaguers are on the roster. Also missing are a number of Triple-A and even Double-A players whose teams wanted them around as potential call-ups later this month.

The double-elimination tournament takes place Sept. 19-23 in Jupiter, Fla., and pits Israel against teams from France, Spain, and South Africa. Whoever prevails will earn a spot in the main World Basic Classic competition, in November 2013. If Israel wins, the team it fields in 2013 likely will include a number of Major Leaguers (such as Kevin Youkilis, who already has committed to play) and Triple-A players.

Additional commentary on this week’s roster is shown below the table.

Team Israel: Roster for the WBC qualifying tourney
No.PlayerPos.AgeHometownMinor-league teamParent club
27COLVIN, DavidRHP23Mill Valley, CAClinton LumberKings (A)Seattle Mariners
34KAPLAN, JeffRHP27Dana Point, CABinghamton Mets (AA)New York Mets
36KOPP, DavidRHP26Coral Springs, FLErie SeaWolves (AA)Detroit Tigers
16LEICHMAN, AlonRHP23Kibbutz Gezer, IsraelN.A.N.A.
22LIPETZ, ShlomoRHP33Tel Aviv, IsraelN.A.N.A.
10LORIN, BrettRHP25Laguna Niguel, CAMobile Bay Bears (AA)Arizona Diamondbacks
21PERLMAN, MaxRHP24Jupiter, FLStockton Ports (A+)Oakland A's
(-)ROTHEM, DanRHP35Tel Aviv, IsraelN.A.N.A.
26SCHUMER, JustinRHP24Houston, TXSan Jose Giants (A+)San Francisco Giants
28ZEID, JoshRHP25New Haven, CTCorpus Christi Hooks (AA)Houston Astros
14BERGER, EricLHP26Goldsboro, NCColumbus Clippers (AAA)Cleveland Indians
35BLEIER, RichardLHP25Davie, FLFrisco Roughriders (AA)Texas Rangers
17GOULD, JeremyLHP24Buffalo Grove, ILSavannah Sand Gnats (A)New York Mets
29URLAUB, JeffLHP25Scottsdale, AZStockton Ports (A+)Oakland A's
37CUTLER, CharlieC26San Fransico, CAAltoona Curve (AA)Pittsburgh Pirates
3MARDER, JackC/IF22Calabasas, CAHigh Desert Mavericks (A+)Seattle Mariners
19RICKLES, NickC22Ft. Lauderdale, FLBurlington Bees (A+)Oakland A's
6DECKER, Cody1B25Santa Monica, CASan Antonio Missions (AA)San Diego Padres
25FREIMAN, Nate1B25Wellesley, MASan Antonio Missions (AA)San Diego Padres
9ORLOFF, Ben2B25Simi Valley, CACorpus Christi Hooks (AA)Houston Astros
2SATIN, Josh2B27Hidden Hills, CABuffalo Bisons (AAA)New York Mets
33HAERTHER, Casey3B24West Hills, CAArkansas Travelers (AA)Los Angeles Angels
7LEMMERMAN, JakeSS23Coronoa del Mar, CAChattanooga Lookouts (AA)Los Angeles Dodgers
15GREEN, ShawnOF39Des Plaines, ILN.A.N.A.
24GUEZ, BenOF25Houston, TXToledo Mud Hens (AAA)Detroit Tigers
18KAPLER, GabeOF37Hollywood, CAN.A.N.A.
31PEDERSON, JocOF20Palo Ato, CARancho Cucamonga Quakes (A+)Los Angeles Dodgers
23WIDLANSKY, RobbieOF/3B27Plantation, FLBowie Baysox (AA)Baltimore Orioles

Here are some other facts and observations on Team Israel’s roster for the qualifiers:

  • Of the 23 minor leaguers on the roster, three ended the 2012 season with a Triple-A team, 12 at the Double-A level, six at A-advanced, and two with a Single-A team.
  • Adam Greenberg, a former Major Leaguer who is trying to mount a comeback, was invited to Jupiter for tryouts but is not on the roster.
  • Josh Satin, who played briefly for the New York Mets in 2011 and 2012, is the only player with MLB experience.
  • The youngest player on the roster is 20-year-old outfielder Joc Pederson, who is ranked the Los Angeles Dodgers’ No. 3 prospect by MLB.com. The oldest player is 39-year-old Shawn Green, whose 15-year MLB career included five seasons with the Dodgers and ended with the New York Mets in 2007. Green’s 328 career HRs are second only to Hank Greenberg’s 331 among Jewish ballplayers.
  • Israeli player Alon Leichman plays for Cypress College, a community college in California.
  • During the qualifiers for the 2012 European Championship, Israeli pitcher Shlomo Lipetz was masterful, giving up just one earned run over 16-and-a-third innings while striking out 18 and walking three.
  • Three players on Team Israel are 6-foot-7-inches tall: pitchers Brett Lorin and Max Perlman, and 1B Nate Freiman. At 5-foot-8-inches, Alon Leichman is the shortest.
  • Nate Freiman and Cody Decker, teammates on the San Antonio Missions (AA), finished 2nd and 3rd in HRs this season among Texas League players.

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Eric Berger, Cleveland Indians prospect

By Zev Ben Avigdor/Jewish Baseball News

Like most professional athletes, Cleveland Indians prospect Eric Berger can be described as the sum of his stats.

In four minor-league seasons, the 25-year-old reliever has amassed a 19-16 record, a trim 3.49 ERA, and two stints with the Tribe’s AAA team. His 1.22-per-inning strikeout ratio last year was a career best. He throws an accurate fastball, a cutter and change, and a nasty 12-6 curve.

But Jewish Baseball News correspondent Zev Ben Avigdor recently unearthed some other things you should know about the University of Arizona alum. In an interview this month at the Indians’ player-development complex, Berger talked about Twitter, Team Israel, Sandy Koufax, a Bar Mitzvah surprise, and his signature handlebar mustache.

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Fact #1: Eric Berger thinks it’s cool to be a Jewish baseball player.

I’m just a passionate baseball player and athlete, and I think it’s cool and fun to be a minority in the sport when it comes to being Jewish. In the back of my head, I’m definitely trying the represent for our folks. It’s fun, and it’s fun to have that fan base, as well, and to come across other Jewish players, believing in the same things, who went through the same things growing up.

Have you come across other Jewish players?

I have. In the Arizona Fall League I played with the catcher for the Red Sox who’s coming up, Ryan Lavarnway, and I’ve heard about other players: [Ryan] Braun and [Kevin] Youkilis, as well as other players.

Do you ever say anything to them when you see them?

There are some guys I haven’t brushed shoulders with yet, but I’m sure when I do, definitely, I’ll give them a little ‘Shalom’ here and there. [laughs]

Fact #2: Berger would love to play for Team Israel in the World Baseball Classic.

I played winter ball in Venezuela, and another guy who happened not to be Jewish found out I was, and he asked me, “Hey, have you heard they’re putting a team together?” I hadn’t, so I shot my agent an email and said I had heard about this and asked him if he can get the word out there and find out if it’s true or not. He got back to me really quickly saying it’s true, that they’re interested. I just found out that the qualifier is in September, and he emailed me about a week ago saying the guy is trying to get in contact with me, so I told my agent to give him my number.

Fact #3: The former Woodcreek High School (Roseville, Calif.) standout appreciates his fans.

Do you know that on Jewish Baseball News they post your tweets, for fans to read?

Really? They post all of them? Some of them?

Well, here is the most recent tweet they posted. It’s about coffee.

[laughs] That’s pretty cool. I am actually following Jewish Baseball News on Twitter, so I guess that’s why they post them. Very cool.

Do you want fans to tweet you?

As much as they want. I think I’m pretty good at getting back at people. I can only imagine people who have tens of thousands of followers; that would probably be tough. I’m not there yet, obviously, but definitely, when I get on, I try to shoot a message back. I think it’s cool to kind of have that contact with fans. You can relate on a personal level. I enjoy that.

Retired Oakland A's reliever Rollie Fingers

Fact #4: Berger recently shaved off his Rollie Fingers ‘stache.

When you talked to me last year, I had really long hair, and I ended up cutting it. I had ten inches to donate, so I donated it to Locks of Love. My dad is stationed in Tucson – he’s in the military – and I just went to a place out there, and they cut it, and I sent it in.

Did you donate the mustache, too?

[laughs] I could have. People have asked me. It could have been long enough, I guess. Actually, I’m going to be posting a tweet in a couple of days to see if anyone is interested in growing a mustache with me. I’m about to start it up again. Everybody loved it. The fans loved it.

Same style? Rollie Fingers?

Probably, yeah. I’ll start with that and go from there. It’s fun.

People were impressed.

[laughs] They were. Everybody thinks it’s fake, especially when I’m out around town in my normal clothes, walking around the mall. It’s so thick that it kinda looks fake. I get a kick out of it.

Fact #5: Berger and younger brother Lucas share a special bar mitzvah connection.

My little brother is going to become bar mitzvah this off-season, in Northern California, in mid-December. He’s been studying. It’s been fun. It’ll be cool: Because of baseball, I’ve never really been able to attend [services], but now I will be able to, and it’ll be fun. The funny thing is, when I became bar mitzvah my mom was pregnant with him, and she announced to everybody that she was having a boy. I found out at my service I was going to have a brother. Pretty interesting. It was pretty cool. And he’s a ballplayer, too. He’s a lefty. He’s going to be good. He’s going to be a pitcher and outfielder. Speedy guy. Big, lean, tall. On the healthy diet. And he’s got some good hands on him, too. And my stepdad took me to all of my pitching and hitting lessons, and he sat down and he read a lot about baseball. He’s a genius. So now he passes that on to my brother, Lucas [Gather].

Fact #6: A minor-league pitching coach once told Berger that he throws like Koufax.

Favorite Jewish baseball player?

Probably [Sandy] Koufax.

Anybody ever say you pitch like Koufax?

Yes, actually. A guy in our organization named Kenny Rowe, who has been involved with baseball for over 55 years, said I kind of resemble [Koufax]. This was right when I signed from college, so that was pretty cool. [Reporter’s note: Ken Rowe is currently the pitching advisor for the Cleveland Indians’ minor-league system. When Eric met him, Ken was the pitching coach for the Mahoning Valley Scrappers (A-short season). Incidentally, Ken should know about Koufax: he made his Major-League debut with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1963, going 1-1 with a 2.93 ERA. Koufax went 25-5 that same year, and the Dodgers were world champs.]

Fact #7: Berger hopes to start the 2012 season with the Columbus Clippers (AAA).

It’s so tough, because [the Indians] have all the free-agent guys that they’ve signed to try to ensure [that there are enough arms for] the big league club. I should be in triple-A [to start the year]. That’s where I need to be to develop and then go from there, but if I’m not, then hopefully I’ll get there quickly, because that’s where I need to put in some work.

Anything else you would like the readers to know?

Just to understand that it’s a process to go through the system. Some things happen your way and some things don’t. I’m going to keep working my way up, so please keep wishing me luck and follow me, and I’ll keep doing the best that I can. I’ll have good days and bad days, so I’ll just take each day with a grain of salt and get better. I guess the average big-league age is around 26. I’ll be there next month, 26. I want to play till I’m at least 45. [laughs] I feel good. I’m staying in shape.

(Editor’s note: “Zev Ben Avigdor” is the pen name of a university scholar who writes for Jewish Baseball News.)

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AFL: End-of-season player stats

JEWISH BASEBALL NEWS — The Arizona Fall League’s 30-game regular season came to an end Thursday (11/17/2008). So how did its six Jewish players do?

Hitters

  • 2B Josh Satin, Mesa Solar Sox (New York Mets). In 41 at-bats, Satin hit a blistering .390 with 2 doubles, 1 HR, 6 RBIs, a .479 on-base percentage (OBP), and .512 slugging percentage (SLP). He saw limited play because the Mets, feeling he already had played a lot in 2010, put him on the AFL’s “taxi squad,” which restricted him to 2 games per week.
  • 2B Jason Kipnis, Peoria Javelinas (Cleveland Indians). In 78 at-bats, Kipnis hit .295 with 3 HRs, 11 doubles (tied for 1st in the league), 3 triples (3rd/tie), 3 HRs, 19 RBIs (4th/tie), .337 OBP, .628 SLG (5th), and 2 stolen bases. Great figures no doubt, but the real story is about mental toughness. Kipnis began the season uncharacteristically struggling at the plate, his batting average just .159 through October. But in November, he rebounded by batting .471 with 8 doubles and 9 RBIs. And he did it while enduring day-to-day uncertainty about where he would play: 2B, 3B, or DH.
  • C Ryan Lavarnway, Peoria Javelinas (Boston Red Sox). In 82 at-bats, Lavarnway hit .268 with 3 doubles, 3 HRs, 12 RBIs, .380 OBP and .415 SLG. His 16 walks tied for 3rd in the league.
  • OF Ben Guez, Surprise Rafters (Detroit Tigers). In 57 at-bats, Guez hit .228 with 2 doubles, 1 triple, 3 HRs, 6 RBIs, .302 OBP, and 4 stolen bases. Six of his 13 hits were for extra bases, leading to a healthy .456 SLG. But Guez’s power stroke came at the cost of a low batting average…and 21 strikeouts.

Pitchers

  • SP Josh Zeid, Mesa Solar Sox (Philadelphia Phillies). Zeid went 3-0 with a 3.86 ERA. In 14 innings, he struck out 12 and walked just one batter. He held opposing teams to a .204 batting average.
  • RP Eric Berger, Peoria Javelinas (Cleveland Indians). Playing in a middle-relief role, Berger went 0-0 with an .082 ERA. In 11 innings, Berger struck out 12, walked 8, and held opposing teams to a .171 batting average.

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Jews help drive Javs to win

JEWISH BASEBALL NEWS — The Peoria Javelinas beat the Peoria Saguaros 7-2 on Saturday (10/23/2010), and 2 of its 3 Jewish players were instrumental.

2B Jason Kipnis, a Cleveland Indians prospect, hit a two-run HR,, walked, and stole a base. Kipnis has been in a minor slump since driving in five runs on Oct. 15. Although he is tied for 3rd in the prestigious Arizona Fall League with 9 RBIs, the 2009 draft pick (2nd round, 63rd overall) is batting just .161 over 8 games (5/35).

C Ryan Lavarnway, who led all Boston Red Sox minor-leaguers with 102 RBIs in 2010, went 1/2, walked twice and scored a run while serving as DH. After 7 AFL games, the 2008 draft pick (6th round, 202nd overall) is batting .273 with 1 HR, 5 RBIs and a .452 on-base percentage.

RP Eric Berger, also an Indians prospect, did not play Saturday.

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AFL team features 3 Jews on field at once

JEWISH BASEBALL NEWS — The Peoria Javelinas of the prestigious Arizona Fall League have 3 Jews on their roster, and all 3 shared the field Monday (10/18/2010) in a 4-2, 10-inning victory over the Mesa Solar Sox.

C Ryan Lavarnway, a Boston Red Sox prospect, singled, hit a sacrifice fly, threw out 1 of 2 runners who tried to steal 2nd base on him, and scored the winning run in the 10th inning. 2B Jason Kipnis, a Cleveland Indians prospect, walked and scored in the 10th, as well. And RP Eric Berger pitched a scoreless 8th inning. Solar Sox P Josh Zeid didn’t play; he is scheduled to pitch Wednesday night (10/20/2010) against the Scottsdale Scorpions. (See Zeid’s interesting blog here.)

In other baseball news, 2B Ian Kinsler of the Texas Rangers went 0/4 in game 3 of the American League Championship Series, but his team didn’t suffer for it. The Rangers beat the New York Yankees 8-0 to take a 2-1 series lead.

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JEWISH BASEBALL NEWS — A little bit of history was made Thursday (10/15/2010) when Peoria Javelinas C Ryan Lavarnway squatted opposite RP Eric Berger, a fellow Jew, during the 4th inning of a game against the Peoria Saguaros.

Both players made the best of their opportunities. Lavarnway, a Boston Red Sox prospect, hit a two-out, three-run HR that put the Javelinas ahead 4-1, smacked a double, and drew a walk. The Saguaros caught up, however, and the game ended in an 11-inning, 4-4 tie.

Berger, who plays in the Arizona Diamondbacks’ farm system, pitched a scoreless (if not effortless) inning for the Javelinas, scattering 2 hits and a walk while striking out 2.

In another Arizona Fall League game, SP Josh Zeid, a Philadelphia Phillies prospect, earned the win for the Mesa Solar Sox in an 11-6 victory over the Surprise Rafters. Zeid gave up one run on 2 hits over 3 innings, striking out 3. Among his strikeout victims was Detroit Tigers prospect and Surprise OF Ben Guez, another of the 5 Jews playing in Jewish player.

Lavarnway, who hit 22 HRs with 102 RBIs in the minors this year, is playing in the AFL primarily to improve his catching skills (see article). Thursday’s game was mostly a good one on that front. Lavarnway threw-out 2 of 4 baserunners trying to steal but also had his first error of the season.

In an e-mail this morning, Martin Abramowitz — the brains behind the Jewish Major Leaguers baseball-card series — cited several examples of Jewish batterymates in Major League Baseball history:

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Peoria Javelinas’ roster to host 3 Jews

JEWISH BASEBALL NEWS — When the Peoria Javelinas of the Arizona Fall League open their 2010 season Oct. 12, the team’s roster will feature 3 Jewish minor leaguers:

  • C Ryan Lavarnway. The 23-year-old Yale University recruit hit a combined .288 and 22 HRS this year with two minor-league teams, and he led all Boston Red Sox farm hands with 102 RBIs. Baseball America recently placed Lavarnway on its list of Top 20 prospects from the Carolina League.
  • 2B Jason Kipnis. Like Lavarnway, Kipnis has been named a Top 20 prospect from the Carolina League. A member of the Cleveland Indians franchise, the 23-year-old Arizona State alum split the 2010 season between “A-advanced” and “AA” teams and had a combined batting average of .307, along with 8 triples, 16 HRs, 74 RBIs, and an OPS (on-base plus slugging) of .878. When the “AAA” Columbus Clippers called him up for the playoffs , Kipnis went 10/22, including hitting for the cycle in one game and falling a single short of a cycle in the next.
  • SP Eric Berger. The 24-year-old Cleveland Indians prospect played briefly in “AAA” ball this year before joining Kipnis on the “AA” Akron Aeros. Berger went a combined 5-6 with a 4.90 ERA.

At least one other Jew is playing in the AFL this season. P Josh Zeid, who went 8-4 with 8 saves and a 2.93 ERA this year for the “A” Lakewood BlueClaws (Philadelphia Phillies), will play for the Mesa Solar Sox. The 23-year-old Tulane University recruit struck out 111 batters in 107-and-1/3 innings while walking just 27.

Getting picked to play in the Arizona Fall League is no small honor.

According to MLB.com, Major League Baseball created the AFL so it could keep a closer eye on its “best” ballplayers, who might otherwise leave the country to play winter ball. All games are played in Spring Training stadiums, and each MLB team gets to send six top prospects to play, mostly from “AA” or “AAA”. The 2006 All-Star Game featured 25 AFL alums, says MLB.com.

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JEWISH BASEBALL NEWS — Here are your Players of the Day for Wednesday (8/25/2010):

In the Majors:

  • SP Jason Marquis of the Washington Nationals had the best outing of his injury-plagued season, pitching 7 2/3 innings of one-run ball in a 4-0 loss to the Chicago Cubs. The 32-year-old veteran gave up just 4 hits and 2 walks and received a modest ovation as he left the game. Marquis is 0-7 this season with an 8.79 ERA.
  • Rookie 3B Danny Valencia of the Minnesota Twins went 3/4 with an RBI groundout in a 4-3 loss to the Texas Rangers. A mid-season call-up from “AAA” ball, Valencia is batting .330, tops among AL rookies.
  • 1B Ike Davis of the New York Mets hit an RBI triple — his first three-bagger in the majors — in a 5-4 loss to the Florida Marlins. Davis is 2nd among N.L. rookies in RBIs (57) and 3rd in HRs (15) and runs scored (54).
  • LF Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers hit an RBI double and threw Manny Ramirez out at home plate in a 5-4 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers. The 2007 NL Rookie of the Year, Braun has hit .410 in his last 10 games and is batting .296 for the season.

In the minors, Jewish pitchers were unbeatable:

  • SP Eric Berger of the “AA” Akron Aeros (Cleveland Indians) gave up just one hit and 2 walks over 6 innings in an 8-1 win over the Bowie Baysox. Since being demoted from “AAA” ball earlier this season, the 24-year-old has a 5-5 record with a 5.68 ERA, 60 strikeouts and 43 walks.
  • SP Dylan Axelrod of the “A+” Winston-Salem Dash (Chicago White Sox) pitched 7 shutout innings in a 5-0 triumph over the Lynchburg Hillcats, striking out 8 batters and walking only one. Since being promoted to the Dash, Axelrod is 7-2 with a 2.03 ERA, 76 strikeouts and just 11 walks.
  • In his second game since being promoted to the “A” Lake County Captains (Cleveland Indians), SP Jason Knapp gave up one hit over 5 innings in a 3-1 victory over the Bowling Green Hot Rods. The 19-year-old phenom struck out 6 batters and walked none. He pitched 4 no-hit innings in his 8/20/2010 Captains debut.

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Mid-season minor-league leaders

JEWISH BASEBALL NEWS — Midway through the 2010 season, Jewish minor leaguers are performing well. The 20 Jewish pitchers have a collective won-loss record of 59-52, a 3.85 ERA and a 2.17 strikeout-to-walk ratio through games played July 14. The 28 position players have a combined batting average of .274 and a walk-to-strikeout ratio of .503, according to Jewish Baseball News calculations.

A list of category leaders and laggards is shown below. But first, a few clarifications:

  • Players marked with an asterisk have played in two or more leagues this season, and the statistics shown reflect their collective performance across all leagues. The team shown is the players’ current one.
  • Calling David Kopp the winningest pitcher is slightly misleading. Kopp assembled an 8-1 record and 3.08 ERA with the “AA” Springfield Cardinals before being called up to the “AAA” Memphis Redbirds. In his first four games in Memphis, Kopp went 0-4 with a 7.53 ERA.
  • Jake Lemmerman, a shortstop from Duke University and the top Jewish pick in the 2010 amateur draft, is tearing up the Rookie Pioneer League. Through 20 games with the Ogden Raptors, Lemmerman was batting .358 and had a .506 slugging percentage.

Now, your category leaders.

Position players

  • Highest batting average(100+ at-bats) : Casey Haerther, “A” Cedar Rapids Kernels (.319)
  • Lowest batting average (100+ at-bats) : Jake Wald, “AA”  Mobile BayBears (.175)
  • Most home runs: Ryan Lavarnway, “A+” Salem Red Sox (14)
  • Most triples: Sam Fuld, “AAA” Iowa Cubs (4)
  • Most doubles: Nathan Freiman, “A” Fort Wayne TinCaps (29)
  • Most RBIs: Ryan Lavarnway, “A+” Salem Red Sox (63)
  • Most walks: Ryan Lavarnway, “A+” Salem Red Sox (44)
  • Most strikeouts: Nathan Frieman, “A” Fort Wayne TinCaps (76)
  • Best walk/strikeout ratio: Sam Fuld, “AAA” Iowa Cubs (1.25)
  • Worst walk/strikeout ratio: David Rubinstein, “A” West Virginia Power (.31)
  • Highest on-base percentage: Joshua Satin, “AA” Binghamton Mets (.403)
  • Highest slugging percentage: Ryan Lavarnway, “A+” Salem Red Sox (.487)
  • Highest OPS (OBP+slugging): Ryan Lavarnway, “A+” Salem Red Sox (.879)
  • Most stolen bases: David Rubinstein, “A” West Virginia Power (13)

Pitchers

  • Most victories: David Kopp*, “AAA” Memphis Redbirds (8)
  • Most losses: Jason Hirsh, “AAA” Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees; Richard Bleier, “AA” Frisco RoughRiders (6)
  • Best win-loss record: Michael Schlact*, “A+” Bakersfield Blaze (3-0)
  • Best ERA (at least 25 innings): Dylan Axelrod*, “A+” Birmingham Barons (2.367); Daniel Rosenbaum, “A” Hagertown Suns (2.363)
  • Worst ERA (at least 25 innings): Scot Drucker, “AAA” Toledo Mud Hens (5.56)
  • Most strikeouts: Daniel Rosenbaum, “A” Hagertown Suns (85)
  • Most walks: Aaron Poreda*, “AAA” Portland Beavers; Eric Berger, “AA” Akron Aeros; David Kopp*, “AAA” Memphis Redbirds (39)
  • Best strikeout/walk ratio (20+ innings): Dylan Axelrod*, “A” Birmingham Barons (5.2)
  • Worst strikeout/walk ratio (20+ innings): Aaron Poreda*, “AAA” Portland Beavers (0.9)

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