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Browsing Posts tagged Michael Schlact

JEWISH BASEBALL NEWS — Michael Schlact, a 6’7″ pitcher who played in the Texas Rangers’ farm system from 2005-10, has signed a contract with the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs.

“I’m very blessed and excited for the opportunity to play ball in the (independent) Atlantic League,” Schlact wrote on his popular Twitter feed. The Atlantic League is not affiliated with MLB.

Drafted out of high school in the 3rd round of the 2004 amateur draft, Schlact started strong, going 10-7 with a 4.17 ERA, 90 strikeouts, and 37 walks with the “A” Clinton LumberKings in 2005.

But he hasn’t had a winning season since then (see stats), and in 2009, Schlact had shoulder surgery that he says hurt his 2010 performance. Here’s what he told MLB.com last month:

I had shoulder surgery in July of 2009, and that required a 12-14-month healing process. So it wasn’t really until the end of last season that I was feeling like myself again. I didn’t feel like I had the time to really prove myself. So now my main focus is convincing teams that the surgery was a success and that there are no [injury] worries with me.

In a recent entry on his blog, Schlact said he understood why MLB teams would be hesitant to sign him, predicted that he would be recruited by an independent-league team, and said he would happily sign:

As I’ve said throughout this entire free agency process, I love the game too much to just give up. I have more to offer, and more to prove. My ultimate goal is to play in the Major Leagues, and this could be the stepping stone I’ll need to get there. Throughout the indy ball season, MLB scouts frequent the games. They are looking for guys to sign, and knowing that the independent leagues are home to mostly former affiliated ball guys with good experience, that’s where they’ll look to find it.

We’ll keep tabs on Michael as the season progresses.

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Kinsler is not really alone

JEWISH BASEBALL NEWS — Texas Rangers 2B Ian Kinsler may be the only Jew playing in the 2010 World Series, but he’s got some company in the Minor Leagues.

Both World Series teams have Jewish players in their farm systems. And while none is likely to make the Majors in 2011, a couple show some promise.

The San Francisco Giants employ at least three tribe members:

  • C Aaron Lowenstein, 25, of the “AA” Richmond Flying Squirrels. Selected in the 44th round (1,137th overall) of the 2008 amateur draft. Split the 2010 season between the Squirrels and the “A-advanced” San Jose Giants. Hit a combined .194 with 0 HRs, 4 RBIs and 5 doubles over 93 at-bats.
  • SP Ari Ronick, 24, of the “A” Augusta GreenJackets. Selected in the 12th round (357th overall) of the 2008 amateur draft. In three 2010 starts, Ronick went 0-2 with a 10.80 ERA.
  • SP Justin Schumer, 22,  “A-short season” Salem-Keizer Volcanoes. Not drafted. Split the 2010 season between the Volcanoes and the “rookie-league” AZL Giants. In 5 starts and 4 relief appearances, went a combined 2-0 with a 1.00 ERA and held opposing batters to a .196 average.

As for the Rangers, Kinsler teammate and SP Scott Feldman didn’t make the post-season roster, but at least 2 Jews play for the franchise’s “AA” squad:

  • SP Richard Bleier, 23, of the “AA” Frisco RoughRiders. Selected in the 6th round (183rd overall) of the 2008 amateur draft. In 2010, went 7-11 with a 5.04 ERA but had a strikeout/walk ratio of 82/28.
  • SP Michael Schlact, 24, of the “AA” Frisco RoughRiders. Selected in the 3rd round (81st overall) of the 2004 amateur draft. Split the 2010 between Frisco and the “A-advanced” Bakersfield Blaze. Went a combined 4-5 with a 6.08 ERA.

Schlact, a 6’7″ right-hander, is the only player among those mentioned to skip college. He was drafted out of Wheeler High School in Marietta, Ga.

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Rehab, promotions and more

JEWISH BASEBALL NEWS — Los Angeles Dodgers C Brad Ausmus and Washington Nationals SP Jason Marquis have spent much of the 2010 season on the disabled list. But both made decent showings in minor-league rehab games the past week and may be nearing a return to the Show.

Ausmus, 41, went 6-for-12 in four games for the “A+” Inland Empire 66ers before moving up to the Dodgers’ “AAA” squad, the Albuquerque Isotopes. He’s batting a less impressive 1-for-8 with the Isotopes.

Marquis, a 31-year-old right hander,  pitched three innings of scoreless ball for the Nats’ rookie-league squad on Sunday, giving up just two hits while striking out four batters and walking none.

In other news:

  • The Boston Red Sox promoted C Ryan Lavarnway to the franchise’s “AA” team, the Portland Sea Dogs. Through the All-Star break, Lavarnway — then with the Salem Red Sox — led all minor-league Jews with 14 home runs, 63 RBIs, 44 walks, a .487 slugging percentage, and an OPS of .879. Since arriving in Portland, Lavarnway has gone 4-for-11 with two walks and two RBIs.
  • The Philadelphia Phillies promoted RP Michael Schwimer to the “AAA” Lehigh Valley IronPigs. While playing for the “AA” Reading Phillies, the 6’8″ right-hander assembled a 5-3 record with an ERA of 3.60 and an impressive 58 strikeouts in 40 innings, while walking only 14.
  • SP Michael Schlact wasted no time making an impact on the “AA” Frisco RoughRiders after the Texas Rangers promoted him. On Sunday, the 6’7″ right-hander gave up just one hit and one walk in six innings of play while striking out four.

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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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