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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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JEWISH BASEBALL NEWS — The New York Mets will host their annual Jewish Heritage Day at Citi Field on Sunday, Aug. 29, and they’re offering discounts to those in the know.

The Heritage Day festivities begin at 1:10 pm with a pre-game program of Jewish entertainment, a rendition of “God Bless America” by Jewish a capella singers Six13, and a regularly scheduled game against the Houston Astros. The Jewish Community Relations Council of New York is cosponsoring the event.

At least four ballplayers in the Mets’ franchise are Jewish. In addition to rookie 1B Ike Davis, who made his major-league debut on April 19, they include standout 2B Josh Satin of the “AA” Binghamton Mets and pitchers Jeremy Gould and Jeffrey Kaplan of the rookie-league GCL Mets.

To order tickets, go to mets.com/jcrc and click on the green button  that says “Click here to purchase tickets.” When you reach the Group Ticket Window, log in using the Jewish Heritage Day discount code for the sign-in I.D. (JCRC) and password (METS), all in CAPs.

Let’s support the Mets for supporting us.

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POTD: Valencia, Lemmerman, Gould

JEWISH BASEBALL NEWS — Here are your Players of the Day for Tuesday (8/17/2010):

  • 3B Danny Valencia of the Minnesota Twins went 2/4 with two doubles in a 7-6 win over Chicago White Sox. Valencia is 8/15 over his last four games and batting .333 for the season, tops among AL rookies.
  • SS Jake Lemmerman of the rookie-league Ogden Raptors (Los Angeles Dodgers) went 1/2 with a home run, walk and 2 RBIs in a 7-4 win over the Billings Mustangs. A 21-year-old recruit from Duke University, Lemmerman is ranked 1st in the Rookie Pioneer League in doubles (19), 3rd in on-base percentage (.418) and slugging percentage (.539), and 6th in batting average (.349). He is a teammate of RP (and fellow Hebe) Andrew Pevsner.
  • RP Jeremy Gould of the rookie-league GCL Mets (New York Mets) pitched 12/3 scoreless innings to earn the win in a 8-5 victory over the GCL Cardinals. A former teammate of Jake Lemmerman at Duke, Gould entered the game with the bases loaded and forced the first batter he faced into an inning-ending double play. He is 1-1 with a 2.92 ERA and 1 save.

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Tally of Jews in MLB draft reaches 11

JEWISH BASEBALL NEWS — The running count of Jews chosen in last month’s MLB amateur draft has reached 11.

Jewish Baseball News last reported that at least six of the 1,500 players selected in the three-day draft were Jewish. Since then, our friends at Jewish Sports Review have identified another five Jews, shown below in red. Where possible, we list the signing status of each player, and which minor-league squad they have been assigned to, if any:

  1. Jake Lemmerman, SS (Los Angeles Dodgers: 5th round, 172th overall pick). Background: Duke University. Status: Signed.  Playing for the Ogden Raptors (Rookie Pioneer League).
  2. Zach Weiss, P (Pittsburgh Pirates: 10th round, 297th overall pick). Background: Northwood High School, Irvine, Calif. Status: Not signed. May play at UCLA instead.
  3. Jason Markovitz, RP (Seattle Mariners: 13th round, 402nd overall pick): Background: Long Beach State. Status: Signed. Playing for the Everett AquaSox (Class A-short season).
  4. Andrew Pevsner, P (Los Angeles Dodgers: 16th round, 502nd overall pick). Background: Johns Hopkins University. Status: Signed. Playing for the Ogden Raptors (Rookie Pioneer League).
  5. Mike Schwartz, 1B (Chicago White Sox: 17th round, 518th overall pick). Background: University of Tampa. Status: Signed. Playing for the Bristol White Sox (Rookie Applachian League).
  6. Eric Jaffe, 1B/P (Boston Red Sox: 19th round, 593rd overall pick). Background: Bishop O’Dowd High School, Oakland, Calif. Status: Not signed.
  7. Jeremy Gould, P (New York Mets: 28th round, 842nd overall pick). Background: Duke University. Status: Signed. Playing for the GCL Mets (Rookie Gulf Coast League) .
  8. Jeff Urlaub, P (Oakland A’s: 30th round, 905th pick). Background: Grand Canyon University. Status: Signed. Playing for the AZL Athletics (Rookie Arizona League).
  9. Zach Kapstein, C (Boston Red Sox: 44th round, 1343th pick). Backgound: Tiverton High School, Little Compton, R.I. Status: Signed. Playing for the GCL Red Sox (Rookie Gulf Coast League).
  10. Michael Fagan, SP (San Diego Padres: 45th round, 1354th pick). Status: Not signed. According to his school’s web site, Fagan “has decided to delay his professional (baseball) career and attend Princeton University in the Fall.”
  11. Harris Fanaroff, P (Washington Nationals: 50th round, 1496th pick). Status: Not signed. Will likely attend Lehigh University in the Fall.

Although he was not selected in the 2010 amateur draft, Lehigh University SP Andrew Berger attended a couple of the post-draft MLB tryouts as a free agent and later signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Berger is playing for the Yakima Bears (Class A-short season).

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JEWISH BASEBALL NEWS — The running count of Jews chosen in this month’s MLB amateur draft has reached six.

Harrison Fanaroff, a high-school pitcher out of Potomac, Md., was selected by the Washington Nationals in the draft’s 50th and final round (1,496th overall). According to Washington Jewish Week, Fanaroff was thrilled to be picked but, as of last week, was leaning toward attending Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa. According to an earlier article by the same reporter, Jeff Seidel, Fanaroff and other Jewish players accounted for more than half the baseball team at Churchill High School this year.

The Nationals, of course, are home to starting pitcher Jason Marquis, who has been on the disabled list since April 19.

On 6/10/2010, Jewish Baseball News reported the names of five other Jews selected in this year’s amateur draft. Here is an update on their status:

  • Jake Lemmerman, SS (Los Angeles Dodgers: 5th round, 172th overall pick). Status: Signed.  Playing for the Ogden Raptors (Rookie Pioneer League).
  • Jason Markovitz (Seattle Mariners: 13th round, 402nd overall pick): Status: Signed. Playing for the Everett AquaSox (Class A-short season).
  • Mike Schwartz (Chicago White Sox: 17th round, 518th overall pick). Status: Signed. Playing for the Bristol White Sox (Rookie Applachian League).
  • Jeremy Gould (New York Mets: 28th round, 842nd overall pick). Status: Signed. Team placement unknown.
  • Michael Fagan (San Diego Padres: 45th round, 1354th pick). Status: Not signed. According to his school’s web site, Fagan “has decided to delay his professional (baseball) career and attend Princeton University in the fall.”

Thanks to Jewish Baseball News fan Dan Gordon for the tip on Harris Fanaroff.

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Jews in the MLB draft

JEWISH BASEBALL NEWS — At least five Jewish players were selected in this week’s MLB amateur draft, two of them out of Duke University.

They include:

  • Jake Lemmerman (Los Angeles Dodgers: 5th round, 172th overall pick). A 6’2″ shortstop who just completed his junior year at Duke (Div. I), Lemmerman led his team in eight offensive categories this season, including slugging percentage (.569) and on-base percentage (.418), and had the best fielding percentage of any ACC shortstop (.987).
  • Jason Markovitz (Seattle Mariners: 13th round, 402nd overall pick). A 6’3″ relief pitcher from Long Beach State (Div. I), Markovitz finished the 2010 season with a team-leading 2.93 ERA, held opposing batters to a second-best .220 batting average, and struck out an impressive 34 batters in 27.33 innings pitched.
  • Mike Schwartz (Chicago White Sox: 17th round, 518th overall pick). A 6’0″ first baseman from the University of Tampa (Div. II), Schwartz was the Sunshine State Conference 2010 Player of the Year, led the nation in walks (75), and led his team in batting average (.415), slugging percentage (.716) and on-base percentage (.596).
  • Jeremy Gould (New York Mets: 28th round, 842nd overall pick). A 6’4″ outfielder and relief pitcher from Duke (Div. I), Gould ranked 3rd on the team in home runs (7) and on-base percentage (.386), and 2nd in ERA (4.76).
  • Michael Fagan (San Diego Padres: 45th round, 1354th pick). A pitcher at the San Diego Jewish Academy (high school), Fagan led his team in ERA (0.78), struck out 103 batters in just 45 innings pitched, and led all batters in slugging percentage (.674). According to his school’s web site, Fagan “has decided to delay his professional (baseball) career and attend Princeton University in the fall.”

Ephraim Moxson of Jewish Sports Review says he and co-editor Shel Wallman are busily contacting other players drafted by the MLB in an attempt to identify additional Jews.

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