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Good news Monday (6/11/2012)

By Scott Barancik/Jewish Baseball News

Dry your Monday-morning tears with these updates:

  • Talk about turnarounds. By the time the Philadelphia Phillies sent Michael Schwimer down to the minors last month, the 6’8″ reliever had lost a game, blown a save, and was nursing a 8.53 ERA. But since returning to the City of Brotherly love this month, the 6’8″ reliever has held opposing batters to a paltry.118 batting average and reduced his bloated ERA to a more respectable 5.56.
  • If the Boston Red Sox don’t recall Ryan Kalish soon, International League pitchers may buy him a ticket to Beantown anyway. After missing the better part of a year due to shoulder and neck surgery, the left fielder is sprinting his way through a rehab stint that began with Salem Red Sox (High-A) and most recently brought him to the Pawtucket Red Sox (AAA). His performance there has been nothing short of remarkable. In just 20 at-bats with Pawtucket, the 24-year-old is hitting .500 with 2 doubles, 3 HRs, 8 RBIs, a .600 on-base percentage, and a 1.050 slugging percentage. Can you hear us, Bobby Valentine?
  • Our hearts go out to Washington Nationals prospect Cameron Selik. The 6’2″ reliever was the picture of control with the Potomac Nationals (High-A) this season, striking out 33 batters in 22 innings while walking only 2, one of them intentional. Duly impressed, the Nats promoted him to the Harrisburg Senators (AA). But the magic didn’t last. In his first relief appearance as a Senator on Tuesday (6/5/2012), Selik retired the only batter he faced and then was removed with a lat injury. According to this blog, he may be out for the season, although that is unconfirmed.
  • St. Louis Cardinals prospect Garrett Wittels is making the most of an unlikely (and probably short-lived) promotion to the club’s AAA team. Promotion was hardly in the cards for the shortstop, who was hitting just .208 with 6 RBIs for the Quad Cities Bandits (A) when he was called up to the Springfield Cardinals (AA). Wittels saw only one plate appearance there before the Memphis Redbirds (AAA) called. Chances are the Cards are just using Wittels to fill temporary roster gaps — and may not take him particularly seriously at this point. But Wittels is 2-for-2 since joining Memphis, with a pinch-hit triple, pinch-hit single, and two RBIs.
  • The Gateway Grizzlies of the independent Frontier League couldn’t be much happier with Alex Kaminsky. The former Cleveland Indians prospect is a perfect 4-0 since joining the team this summer and has held opposing batters to a .213 average. And he’s no longer alone. Ex-Chicago White Sox prospect Mike Schwartz recently joined the Grizzlies. In his first two games, the DH/IF went a combined 4-for-9.

Have any good news about Jewish athletes? Share it with sbarancik@jewishbaseballnews.com.

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JEWISH BASEBALL NEWS — Here are your Players of the Day for Saturday (8/28/2010):

  • LF Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers went 2/4 with two doubles and scored the winning run in an 11-inning, 8-7 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates. The 2007 NL Rookie of the Year is hitting .395 in August after batting just .200 in July. For the season, Braun is batting .295 with 18 HRs and 77 RBIs.
  • Just off the disabled list, SP Jason Hirsh of the “AAA” Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees pitched two scoreless innings in a 2-1 victory over the Buffalo Bisons. The 6’8″ right-hander removed himself from the game after feeling shoulder pain resume.
  • C Charlie Cutler of the “AA” Springfield Cardinals (St. Louis Cardinals) went 3/4 with an RBI single and scored a run in a 10-5 victory over the Arkansas Travelers. The 24-year-old San Francisco native hit .292 with the “A-advanced” Palm Beach Cardinals earlier this season but has struggled in “AA” ball, where he is hitting .214.
  • 1B Nate Freiman of the “A” Fort Wayne TinCaps (San Diego Padres) hit an RBI double and drew a walk in a 3-2 win over the Bowling Green Hot Rods. The victory clinched the TinCaps’ second consecutive trip to the playoffs. A 6’7″ native of Wellesley, Mass., Freiman leads the TinCaps in doubles (36), HRs (14/tie) and RBIs (74/tie).
  • RF David Rubinstein of the “A” West Virginia Power (Pittsburgh Pirates) went 2/4 with an RBI single in a 7-4 loss to the Augusta GreenJackets. An 11th-round pick in the 2008 amateur draft, Rubinstein ranks 2nd among Power players in batting average (.286), doubles (34) and stolen bases (21), and is 4th in on-base percentage (.346) and slugging percentage (.406).
  • Playing in the DH slot, 1B Mike Schwartz of the rookie-league Bristol White Sox (Chicago White Sox) went 1/4 with a two-run single in a 9-6 win over the Pulaski Mariners. A 2010 draftee with an uncanny ability to draw walks — he leads the Sox with 26 in just 105 at-bats — Schwartz is batting .248 with an on-base percentage of .423.

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POTD: Fuld, Schwartz

JEWISH BASEBALL NEWS — Here are your Players of the Day for Monday (8/16/2010):

  • OF Sam Fuld of the “AAA” Iowa Cubs (Chicago Cubs) went 2/3 with a double, triple and two walks in a 5-3 victory over the Fresno Grizzlies. His triple came off the second pitch of the game. A 29-year-old Stanford recruit with brief stints in the majors in 2007 and 2009, Fuld is batting .271 and and has 8 triples, third most in the “AAA” Pacific Coast League.
  • Playing DH, 1B Mike Schwartz of the rookie-league Bristol White Sox (Chicago White Sox) went 3/4 with 2 doubles and a walk in a 7-2 win over the Kingsport Mets. A 17th-round pick in the 2010 amateur draft, Schwartz is batting .272 with 1 HR and 16 RBIs in 92 at-bats. He leads the Sox with a .432 on-base percentage.

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POTD: Fuld, Satin, Rubinstein, Schwartz

JEWISH BASEBALL NEWS — Here are your Players of the Day for Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2010:

  • OF Sam Fuld of the “AAA” Iowa Cubs (Chicago Cubs) hit two triples and scored one run in a 13-3 loss to the Portland Beavers. A 29-year-old Stanford recruit with brief stints in the majors in 2007 and 2009, Fuld is batting .271 and is tied for third in the “AAA” Pacific Coast League with 7 triples. Despite Mondays loss, the Cubs are 67-50 and have a 3.5-game lead in their division.
  • 2B Joshua Satin of the Binghamton Mets (AA) hit a 3-run HR in a 7-1 victory over the  Harrisburg Senators. In a season split between Binghamton and “A-advanced” St. Lucie Mets, Satin is batting a combined .312 with 7 HRs, 33 doubles, 62 RBIs and a .403 on-base percentage.
  • RF David Rubinstein of the “A” West Virginia Power (Pittsburgh Pirates) went 3/4 with a walk and a stolen base in a 17-3 loss to the Lakewood BlueClaws. A 23-year-old Appalachian State recruit who was a 2010 Mid-Season All-Star is batting .291 with 1 HR, 39 RBIs and 18 stolen bases.
  • 1B Mike Schwartz of the rookie-league Bristol White Sox (Chicago White Sox) went 3/5 with three RBIs in an 8-3 win over the Danville Braves. A 2010 recruit out of the University of Tampa, Schwartz is 6/11 with 4 RBIs over his last 3 games.

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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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JEWISH BASEBALL NEWS — University of Tampa 1B Mike Schwartz has signed with the Chicago White Sox and will play for the team’s Appalachian Rookie League squad this summer.

A 23-year-old power hitter, Schwartz  had a breakout season during his senior year at the University of Tampa, where he was named 2010 Sunshine State Conference Player of the Year. He led the nation in walks (75) and topped the Spartans in batting average (.415), slugging percentage (.716) and on-base percentage (.596).

The Bristol (Va.) White Sox will open their season Tuesday (6/22/2010) against the Elizabethton Twins.

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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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