Archive for the ‘ Players ’ Category

Brewers “Go” Ahead, Add “Forth” Player to 40-Man

(Because sometimes, puns can’t be helped.)

Following this morning’s announcement of three additions to the Brewers’ 40-man roster, there remained one open spot. I opined to one of my followers on Twitter that I was surprised David Goforth was not among those chosen.

Tom Haudricourt first told us that David Goforth was being considered for a the last remaining open slot on the 40-man roster, and the Rule 5 draft protection that comes along with it. Adam McCalvy then tweeted that Goforth was going to be added to the 40-man roster, according to a source. Naturally, I think it’s a wise move.

Goforth is a right-handed pitcher who seems to have found a home in the back of the bullpen after serving for the majority of 2014 as the closer as Double-A Huntsville. He recorded 27 saves in 44 games finished across 54 appearances. He posted a 3.78 ERA as he was prone to the occasional blow up outing (six games of multiple runs allowed), but far more often than not, Goforth was nails (39 scoreless outings of his 54). He struck out 46 in 64.2 innings, leading one to understand that his forte is generating ground balls. While not elite, Goforth posted a 1.76 ground-ball-to-fly-ball ratio. He throws a heavy ball though that stays in the park though, with a 2014 HR/9 of just 0.28 and a HR-to-fly ball ratio of 4.3%.

The other major calling card that brings Goforth attention as a prospect is that his heavy fastball also sits in the mid-90s and touches 98 MPH. But heat isn’t all he brings. Goforth features a strong cut fastball and is developing potentially above average offerings in a curveball and changeup. As is often cited on prospect reports, and backed up in the numbers, Goforth’s biggest obstacle to a full-time back-end bullpen job in Milwaukee is himself. He needs to improve his command. Many bullpen guys breakthrough “late” according to standard progression, but Goforth just having turned 26 shouldn’t worry anybody from projecting his possible ceiling, in my opinion.

Brewers Add Three to 40-Man Roster

Today the Brewers announced the additions of three players to the 40-man roster, a move that comes ahead of today’s deadline to protect those players from the Rule 5 Draft. The Rule 5 Draft takes places each December on the last day of baseball’s annual Winter Meetings.

Last year the Brewers protected four players: infielders Hunter Morris and Jason Rogers, and pitchers Kevin Shackelford (since removed) and Brooks Hall.

Morris and Hall were hurt for a stretch of time in 2014, though Hall pitched well making up time in the Arizona Fall League following surgery. Jason Rogers was among Milwaukee’s September call-ups in 2014.

The Brewers had nearly a full 40-man roster of players to consider for protection (38), including 22 who were eligible for the Rule 5 Draft for the first time.

Here are the three prospects who were protected with a little bit more information about each of them.

JungmannTaylor Jungmann is a big (6’6″) right-handed pitcher who was the team’s top overall draft pick (12th overall) in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Texas. He split time this season between Double-A Huntsville and, after an earned promotion, Triple-A Nashville. He posted a combined 12-10 record in 27 starts and one appearance out of the bullpen right after his promotion to Triple-A. Jungmann, who turns 25 next month, posted a composite 3.57 ERA in 153.2 innings. He struck out 147 hitters overall, 101 of which came in his 101.2 innings at Nashville.

MikeStrongMike Strong, who turned 26 three days ago, earned protection after a long and successful 2014. The southpaw pitcher played for three different teams this year, making all but one regular season appearance with High-A Brevard County before a one-game season-ender with Huntsville (where he pitched 4.0 scoreless in relief) and then participating in the Arizona Fall League as a member of the Glendale Desert Dogs. In the Florida State League, Strong was 2-2 with a 2.50 ERA in 75.2 innings pitched across 30 games (six starts). He struck out 78 batters as a Manatee, saved four games, and posted a 1.044 WHIP. In Arizona, his 1.98 ERA in 11 games, two saves, and 14 punchies in 13.2 innings were a cherry on top of his case to make the 40-man roster.

 

YadielRiveraYadiel Rivera is the third player protected this year and is considered to be nearly ready defensively for the Major Leagues. Before 2014, however, Rivera’s bat was lagging significantly behind. Still just 22 years old, Rivera slashed .258/.309/.374 combined in 2014, with a line of .262/.304/.410 at Double-A following his late-June promotion from High-A. He still needs development at the plate, and Orlando Arcia will be nipping at his heels at shortstop in the system, but with his defensive profile and step forward as a hitter, Rivera deserved protection.

With these three additions, the Brewers 40-man roster currently stands at 39 players.

Of note is that the Brewers are still considering the addition of a fourth player to the 40-man roster in advance of today’s 11pm CT deadline. That report came via a tweet from beat writer Tom Haudricourt who called GM Doug Melvin for comments on Jungmann, Strong, and Rivera.

David Goforth was the surprise to me this morning as having been left off of the 40-man roster, but to hear that the Brewers are still considering him is encouraging.

Winter League Update: Final Arizona Fall League Statistics

wpid-afl_logo_0.jpg

Here are how the Brewers prospects fared who were participating in the now-completed Arizona Fall League season.

Hitters:

  • Shawn Zarraga – Catcher – 9 G, .355/.444/.355, 31 AB, 3 R, 11 H (all singles), 5 RBI, 5 BB, 5 K, 0 errors
  • Tyrone Taylor – CF – 21 G, .271/.315/.306, 85 AB, 12 R, 23 H, 1 2B, 1 3B, 7 RBI, 5 BB, 7 K, 3 SB, 1 CS, 0 errors
  • Nick Ramirez – 1B – 19 G, .214/.286/.371, 70 AB, 7 R, 15 H, 2 2B, 3 HR, 8 RBI, 7 BB, 20 K, 1 CS, 4 errors
  • Hector Gomez – IF – 13 G, .255/.308/.404, 47 AB, 7 R, 12 H, 4 2B, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 3 BB, 10 K, 1 SB, 2 errors
  • Clint Coulter – OF – 7 G, .174/.269/.304, 23 AB, 4 R, 4 H, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 5 K, 2 CS, 1 error
  • Kyle Wren* – CF – 12 G, .238/.273/.286, 42 AB, 2 R, 10 H, 2 2B, 2 BB, 11 K, 4 SB, 1 error

Pitchers:

  • Wei-Chung Wang – 6 GS, 2-0 W-L, 23.0 IP, 2.74 ERA, 22 H, 8 R, 7 ER, 1 HR, 1 HB, 2 BB, 12 K, 1.04 WHIP, .253 BAA
  • Brooks Hall – 8 G (2 GS), 1-0 W-L, 18.2 IP, 3.38 ERA, 11 H, 7 ER, 1 HR, 2 HB, 3 BB, 13 K, 0.75 WHIP, 2 holds, .175 BAA
  • Michael Strong – 11 G, 1-0 W-L, 13.2 IP, 1.98 ERA, 8 H, 3 ER, 1 HR, 3 BB, 14 K, 0.80 WHIP, 2 saves, 1 hold, .178 BAA
  • Tyler Wagner – 9 G, 0-1 W-L, 13.1 IP, 7.43 ERA**, 13 H, 14 R, 11 ER, 1 HB, 7 BB, 7 K, 1.50 WHIP, 3 holds, .245 BAA

*Kyle Wren was just acquired by the Brewers via trade. He did not play for the Glendale Desert Dogs during this AFL season, but as he is now a Brewers farmhand, I’ve included what he accomplished there this fall.

**It should be noted that Tyler Wagner had one blow up appearance that skewed his ERA, BAA, WHIP, etc. For the most part, Wagner pitched well. Without his October 28th appearance (0.1 IP, 8 ER) on the fall Wagner would have posted a 2.08 ERA.

 

 

Trade News: Brewers Trade Marco Estrada

Lindhomer091314

Multiple reports and confirmations (including one by the Brewers) have come out this early Sunday afternoon which have the Milwaukee Brewers trading RHP Marco Estrada away.

Estrada, 31, gave up a league high 29 home runs in 2014 splitting time between the starting rotation and bullpen. He was much more effective as a relief pitcher in 2014, something that’s a bit of a disconnect from earlier in his career. Estrada was originally acquired by the Brewers off of waivers from the Washington Nationals after the 2009 season. Estrada made $3.325 million in 2014 and in his upcoming third time being arbitration eligible, he was set to receive a significant enough raise that he may have ended up as a non-tender candidate. That’s because the Brewers didn’t have a spot for him in the starting rotation where he’s a bargain. He’s quite pricey as a long-reliever.

He will finish his Brewers career with a 23-25 record in 139 games (70 starts). He’s amassed a 4.11 ERA in 521.0 innings pitched.

Doug Melvin struck a deal with the Toronto Blue Jays, who he has dealt with in the past. In return, the Brewers have acquired 1B Adam Lind.

Lind, also 31, has had an up-and-down career in Toronto, the only organization he’s known as a professional since being drafted in the 3rd round of 2004. Lind debuted as a 22-year-old in 2006.

In 2014, Lind spent some time in the  minor leagues to get his groove back, more or less. In his 96 games on Toronto’s roster, Lind slashed .321/.381/.479 in 318 plate appearances. That includes an incredibly hefty platoon split though. In 2014 he his .354/.409/.533 against right-handed pitching (which is the majority as we all know) but an incredibly different .061/.161/.061 in 37 plate appearances. That’s four walks, just two hits (both singles), and 11 strikeouts.

The Brewers are hardly strangers to platooning. They carried season-long platoon at both first and second base last season and due to some injury concerns, they basically played with one in left field down the stretch as well. They might be committing to Scooter Gennett full-time at the keystone in 2015 (though I think they’ll wind up in a soft platoon at best), so it would allow them room to have another first base platoon next season. Looking at the numbers, they almost have to. New hitting coach Darnell Coles can only do so much, after all.

Lind will makes $7.5 million in 2015. His contract carries a 2016 option as well valued at $8 million with a $500 thousand buyout.

Roster News Roundup

If you’re otherwise unable to keep up on news as it happens throughout the day (via social media, or however), allow me to catch you up on the all the roster news coming out of One Brewers Way over the past several days.

(I’ve tweeted all of this as it happened, but this is a quick summary so it’s all in one place.)

  • October 27th
    • 3B Luis Jiménez claimed off waivers from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
  • October 30th
    • Five players filed for, and were granted, free agency
      • Zach Duke
      • Tom Gorzelanny
      • Lyle Overbay
      • Mark Reynolds
      • Francisco Rodriguez
    • A report came out that the 2015 contract option on Yovani Gallardo had been exercised
  • October 31st
    • Brewers confirm picking up Gallardo’s option
    • Rickie Weeks officially became a free agent when the team declined the 2015 option on his contract
    • Brewers officially exercised their half of the mutual 2015 option on the contract of Aramis Ramirez
      • Ramirez officially has three (3) days — read Monday — to decide whether he will opt in as well or decline the option to become a free agent
    • C Juan Centeno claimed off waivers from the New York Mets

Quick thoughts (because you can get a list anywhere):

Jiménez sounds like a great glove with some power who carries a higher average than Reynolds. Truly feels like Doug Melvin found a player worth replacing the veteran with.

Speaking of the free agents, the Brewers could look to bring back either Duke or Gorzelanny (though likely not both) but there’s certainly a tenable position that with Duke’s performance and Gorzelanny’s recent health concerns that they choose to let both sign contracts elsewhere. I’d lean toward them re-signing Duke of the two, though Gorzelanny could be cheaper. Overbay has said publicly that he’s leaning toward retirement. As for Reynolds, when he was simply passed over down the stretch last season, it felt like he dropped out of favor. He was streakier at the plate than I think the Brewers anticipated.

Gallardo’s option getting picked up makes all the sense in the world. I covered that move specifically here before it was confirmed Friday morning.

Rickie Weeks leaving Milwaukee is truly a notable moment. He’s been in the franchise for a long time, and was really the first of the high draft picks which ultimately led to winning seasons and playoff runs. While he never did realize the level of a #2 overall draft pick due mainly to injuries, he was the consummate professional in his time in Milwaukee. I wish him consistent success wherever his career takes him next.

Wanting to bring Ramirez back makes sense to a degree as the Brewers haven’t yet developed an internal replacement at third base. Should he decline his option to seek a multi-year deal elsewhere, the Brewers could turn to Jiménez or another internal option like Jason Rogers who played there in 2014 for the first time since college, or even, assuming he stays as has been rumored, Taylor Green? (Yes, that’s how thin the hot corner has been for the Brewers.)

Finally, as for Centeno, I haven’t had much of a chance to read up on him but I did see that he was a tremendous defensive season in 2013 in the minors though he reportedly regressed this past season. He hit pretty well in the minors in 2014 though. Without another catcher on the 40-man roster outside of the MLB level duo of Jonathan Lucroy and Martin Maldonado, it’s nice to have someone readily available who also has minor league options remaining.

Anyway, there’s your end of October round up of the Brewers roster moves over the past few days. Also noteworthy in roster news is that the Washington Nationals declined their option on 1B Adam LaRoche, making him a free agent. He could be a top target in free agency for Doug Melvin

Ryan Braun Cleared to Swing

RyanBraunSwing

In a late Tuesday post, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel confirmed that Ryan Braun had a good follow-up visit with Dr. Vernon Williams on Monday, October 6.

Here is the link to Haudricourt’s original post: http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/sports/278468981.html

Here are the pertinent points:

  • Ryan Braun had his follow-up visit with Vernon Williams, the doctor who performed a cryotherapy procedure on Braun’s injured thumb.
  • “He was given the go-ahead to swing but I don’t think he is scheduled to hit until later in the week,” according to Brewers assistant general manager Gord Ash.
  • When Braun does swing a bat again, he hopes the pain will have lessened a significant amount.

Haudricourt’s post goes on to provide additional detail about the procedure itself as well as the goal of what Braun and everyone involved are hoping will be the results.

This is a major step on the road to what Braun himself hoped to be at least an 80%-to-90% recovery. His activity will, of course, be closely monitored and detailed as he works to return to his pre-injury levels of production.

With all of the other storylines that will fire up in earnest following the completion of the World Series, not to mention the pending decision regarding the team’s field manager Ron Roenicke within the next few days, this procedure and resultant impact on Ryan Braun may carry with it the most weight of them all.

Milwaukee BBWAA Chapter Team Awards

PRESS RELEASE

The Milwaukee Brewers announced their postseason award winners today as voted by members of the Milwaukee Chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA). A total of seven ballots were cast for each award, assigning five points for first place, three for second and one for third.

Catcher Jonathan Lucroy earned Brewers Most Valuable Player with all seven first-place votes (35 points).  Lucroy was followed by center fielder Carlos Gomez, who received all of the second-place votes (21 points). Also receiving consideration was pitcher Francisco Rodriguez (3 points), pitcher Wily Peralta (2 points), right fielder Ryan Braun (1 point) and third baseman Aramis Ramirez (1 point).

Lucroy, a first-time All-Star selection this season, batted .301 with 13 HR and 69 RBI in 153 games. He led the team in games played (153), at-bats (585), batting average (.301), hits (176), extra-base hits (68), doubles (53), walks (66), on-base percentage (.373) and OPS (.837). With his franchise-record-tying 53 doubles, he became the first primary catcher to lead his league in that category. His 46 doubles as a catcher set a Major League record.

Jonathan Lucroy (28 points) also earned the Good Guy Award for the second straight season. He received five first-place votes. The other first-place votes went to pitcher Kyle Lohse (13 points). A total of seven players received votes.

Wily Peralta was voted Brewers Most Valuable Pitcher as he received six first-place votes (33 points). He was followed by Francisco Rodriguez (17 points). The other first-place vote went to Mike Fiers (5 points). Also receiving votes were Kyle Lohse (7 points), Will Smith (2 points) and Zach Duke (1 point).

Peralta went 17-11 with a 3.53 ERA in 32 starts. He led the team in wins (17), innings pitched (198.2), quality starts (22) and strikeouts (154). His 17 wins tied for fifth in the National League. Peralta had a pair of career-high five-game winning streaks this season, coming from June 5-26 and July 13 to August 7.

Pitcher Zach Duke (17 points) earned Brewers Top Newcomer ahead of Francisco Rodriguez (15 points). Duke received just one first-place vote, but was named on every ballot. Rodriguez received three first-place votes. The remaining first-place votes went to pitchers Matt Garza (14 points), Will Smith (9 points) and Jeremy Jeffress (6 points).

Duke went 5-1 with a 2.45 ERA in 74 relief appearances. He recorded 74 strikeouts in just 58.2 innings pitched.  Duke was the only non-roster pitcher to make the Opening Day roster. From April 12 to May 10, he made 14 consecutive scoreless appearances (13.1ip). From June 22 to July 30, he had 16 consecutive scoreless appearances (14.2ip).

Zach Duke also earned Brewers Unsung Hero honors with four first-place votes (25 points). Also receiving first-place votes were pitchers Mike Fiers (17 points) and Will Smith (11 points)  and second baseman Scooter Gennett (6 points). Also named on ballots were pitchers Jeremy Jeffress (3 points) and Yovani Gallardo (1 point).

Breaking Brewers News: Braun Update, Roster Moves

Braunwalkoff

The Milwaukee Brewers announced today via press release and on Twitter that Ryan Braun underwent his thumb procedure today as scheduled.

OFFICIAL RELEASE:

Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun underwent a cryotherapy procedure today on his right thumb. The procedure was performed by Dr. Vernon Williams at the Kerlan Jobe Clinic in Los Angeles. Braun will meet again with Dr. Williams on Monday, October 6. If there is no adverse reaction to the treatment, Braun will begin swinging a bat to determine the effect of the procedure on his swing along with this pain tolerance.

Braun batted .266 with 19 HR, 81 RBI and 11 stolen bases in 135 games this season.

The other breaking news of the mid-afternoon comes in the form of a pair of roster moves.

Relief pitcher Alfredo Figaro was claimed off waivers by the Texas Rangers. Figaro, 30, spent parts of the past two seasons in the Brewers organization, compiling a 3-4 record and 4.46 ERA, in 82.2 innings pitched across 39 games, five of which were starts.

Catcher Matt Pagnozzi cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Colorado Springs. Pagnozzi, who turns 32 in November, joined the Brewers organization as a minor league free agent in December of 2013. Pagnozzi was added to the 40-man roster as a September call-up in 2014, appearing defensively in just one game without recording a plate appearance.

As a result of the two roster moves, the Brewers’ 40-man roster stands at 38. This number looks to fluctuate quite a bit this off-season as some pending free agents aren’t resigned and as the injured players currently on the 60-day disabled list are activated from the same.

Lucroy Nominated For Hank Aaron Award

Fans Can Vote Through October 5th at MLB.com

Award Recognizes Most Outstanding Offensive Performers in Each League

Hall of Fame Panel Led by Hank Aaron Includes Roberto Alomar, Johnny Bench, Paul Molitor, Eddie Murray, Frank Thomas and Robin Yount

Major League Baseball and MLB Advanced Media announced that Jonathan Lucroy was named the Brewers nominee for the 2014 Hank Aaron Award.

Fans can vote exclusively online at MLB.com and the 30 Club sites. For the fifth straight year, a special panel of Hall of Fame players led by Hank Aaron will join fans in voting for the award, which is officially sanctioned by Major League Baseball and has recognized the most outstanding offensive performer in each League since it was established in 1999.

Lucroy is coming off the best year in his career as he batted .301 with 13 home runs and 69 RBI. The five-year veteran set career-highs in games played (153), hits (176), runs (73), doubles (53) and walks (66). He appeared in his first All-Star Game, becoming just the second Brewer in franchise history to start behind the plate in the game. Lucroy went 2-for-2 with two RBI doubles in the Midsummer Classic. The Brewers’ backstop collected 53 doubles to become the first primary catcher in modern MLB history (since 1900) to lead the Major Leagues in doubles. Lucroy’s 53 doubles also tied Lyle Overbay (2004) for the franchise single-season record. In addition, the Florida native ranked among the National League leaders in multi-hit games (3rd, 53), extra-base hits (T3rd, 68), hits (T5th, 176), batting average (7th, .301) and on-base percentage (8th, .373).

The Hall of Fame panel led by Aaron includes some of the greatest offensive players of all-time –Roberto Alomar, Johnny Bench, Paul Molitor, Eddie Murray, Frank Thomas and Robin Yount.  These Hall of Famers – who combined for 16,956 hits, 8,844 RBI and 2,109 home runs – have all been personally selected by Aaron to lend their expertise to select the best offensive performer in each League.

Through October 5, fans will have the opportunity to select one American League and one National League winner from a list comprising of one finalist per Club. The winners of the 2014 Hank Aaron Award will be announced during the 2014 World Series.

The finalists for the 2014 Hank Aaron Award are:

American League

Baltimore Orioles – Nelson Cruz

Boston Red Sox – David Ortiz

Chicago White Sox – Jose Abreu

Cleveland Indians – Michael Brantley

Detroit Tigers – Victor Martinez

Houston Astros – Jose Altuve

Kansas City Royals – Alex Gordon

LA Angels of Anaheim – Mike Trout

Minnesota Twins – Trevor Plouffe

New York Yankees – Brett Gardner

Oakland Athletics – Josh Donaldson

Seattle Mariners – Robinson Cano

Tampa Bay Rays – Evan Longoria

Texas Rangers – Adrian Beltre

Toronto Blue Jays – Jose Bautista

 

National League

Arizona Diamondbacks – Paul Goldschmidt

Atlanta Braves – Justin Upton

Chicago Cubs – Anthony Rizzo

Cincinnati Reds – Devin Mesoraco

Colorado Rockies – Justin Morneau

Los Angeles Dodgers – Adrian Gonzalez

Miami Marlins – Giancarlo Stanton

Milwaukee Brewers – Jonathan Lucroy

New York Mets – Daniel Murphy

Philadelphia Phillies – Marlon Byrd

Pittsburgh Pirates – Andrew McCutchen

St. Louis Cardinals – Matt Carpenter

San Diego Padres – Seth Smith

San Francisco Giants – Hunter Pence

Washington Nationals – Anthony Rendon

Past winners of the Hank Aaron Award include: Miguel Cabrera  and Paul Goldschmidt (2013); Cabrera and Buster Posey (2012); Jose Bautista and Matt Kemp (2011); Bautista and Joey Votto (2010); Derek Jeter and Albert Pujols (2009); Aramis Ramirez and Kevin Youkilis (2008); Alex Rodriguez and Prince Fielder (2007); Jeter and Ryan Howard (2006); David Ortiz and Andruw Jones (2005); Manny Ramirez and Barry Bonds (2004); Rodriguez and Pujols (2003); Rodriguez and Bonds (2001-02); Carlos Delgado and Todd Helton (2000) and Manny Ramirez and Sammy Sosa (1999).

The Hank Aaron Award was introduced in 1999 to honor the 25th Anniversary of Aaron breaking Babe Ruth’s all-time home run record, and, at that time, was the first major award introduced by Major League Baseball in more than 25 years.

Official Release: Ratterree Awarded Gold Glove

image courtesy TimberRattlers.com

image courtesy TimberRattlers.com

You might remember me mentioning Michael Ratterree as a name to remember following his tremendous first professional season when he won the 2013 Pioneer League Most Valuable Player Award as a member of the rookie-level affiliate Helena Brewers.

Well, Ratterree was at it again in 2014. And by “it” I mean winning a major individual award in recognition of his play on the baseball field. He won the Gold Glove Award, presented by Rawlings.

The Rice University product played the majority of the 2014 season with the Class-A affiliate Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, seeing some time with the Class-AA Huntsville Stars as an injury fill-in. The Timber Rattlers play in the Midwest League’s Western Division whereas the Stars are members of the Southern League’s North Division.

“So where did Ratterree earn his accolade?”, you may be asking.

Well, that’s just it. There isn’t a Gold Glove for each division, or for each league, or even for each level in the minor leagues. There are nine. One for each defensive position.

Michael Ratterree was awarded the 2014 Rawlings Gold Glove for Minor League Baseball right fielders. All of them. That’s certainly worth trumpeting.

Following is the official press release.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Minor League Baseball and Rawlings Sporting Goods Company, Inc., announced today Minor League Baseball’s recipients of the 2014 Rawlings Gold Glove Award® for defensive excellence at their positions. The honorees were selected among qualifying players from the 10 domestic-based, full-season Minor Leagues. Each player will receive his own Rawlings Gold Glove Award, modeled after the iconic award given to Major League Baseball’s top defensive players, during the 2015 season.

“Congratulations to the nine outstanding Minor League Baseball players who deservedly won the 2014 Rawlings Gold Glove Award,” said Mike Thompson, executive vice president and general manager of baseball for St. Louis-based Rawlings. “Minor League Baseball is and will always continue to be a great partner of Rawlings, and we knew the Rawlings Gold Glove Award would be a popular goal for many young players when we decided to rekindle this award platform in 2011.”

“Each year, it is a privilege to join in the announcement of the Rawlings Gold Glove Award® and help recognize the top defensive players in Minor League Baseball,” said Pat O’Conner, President & CEO of Minor League Baseball. “All nine of these players displayed extraordinary skills at their positions this season, and on behalf of Minor League Baseball, I congratulate them on this outstanding accomplishment.”

The 2014 Minor League Baseball recipients of the Rawlings Gold Glove Award® are as follows:

2014 Minor League Rawlings Gold Glove Award Winners
POS PLAYER TEAM(S) MLB ORG
1B Jordan Lennerton Toledo DET
2B Tony Kemp Lancaster/Corpus Christi HOU
SS Hanser Alberto Myrtle Beach/Frisco TEX
3B Jason Esposito Frederick BAL
LF Chad Wright Lakeland DET
CF Breland Almadova South Bend/Visalia ARI
RF Michael Ratterree Wisconsin/Huntsville MIL
C Roberto Pena Lancaster HOU
P Josh Geer San Antonio SD

First baseman Jordan Lennerton earned this honor for a second time with his perfect 1.000 fielding percentage through 121 games. He posted 1,058 putouts with 69 assists in 1,127 total chances and turned 107 double plays. Lennerton was also named a Rawlings Gold Glove Award® winner for his defensive excellence in 2013.

Tony Kemp put up a .987 fielding percentage through 120 games split between Corpus Christi and Lancaster. The second baseman had 225 putouts with 292 assists and 67 double plays.

Frisco RoughRiders shortstop Hanser Alberto posted a .980 fielding percentage over a 114-game span, with 190 putouts and 346 assists. Alberto began the 2014 season with Class A Advanced Myrtle Beach where he split time between shortstop and third base.

Third baseman Jason Esposito of the Frederick Keys had a .960 fielding percentage with 83 putouts and 257 assists through 118 games. The Connecticut native turned a league-leading 19 double plays.

Chad Wright put up a .990 fielding percentage over 102 games as a left fielder for the Lakeland Flying Tigers. He had 191 put outs with nine assists and turned three double plays.

Center fielder Breland Almadova posted a .995 fielding percentage over 131 games while splitting the season between South Bend and Visalia. He had 345 putouts while only committing two errors.

Wisconsin Timber Rattlers right fielder Michael Ratterree put up a .992 fielding percentage with 252 putouts and 10 assists over 126 games. Ratterree completed two double plays and committed only two errors on the season.

Roberto Pena, catcher for the Lancaster JetHawks, posted a .996 fielding percentage in 93 games. He had a league-leading 755 putouts with 84 assists and allowed only seven passed balls. Pena also topped the league in double plays (9) and runners caught stealing (52).

Right handed pitcher Josh Geer of the San Antonio Missions posted a perfect fielding percentage with six putouts and a league-leading 36 assists. With a quick delivery to the plate, Geer combined with his catchers to throw out 12 of 25 runners attempting to steal.

To be eligible to receive the Rawlings Gold Glove Award, players must have participated in one of the 10 domestic-based, full-season leagues, and show outstanding defensive skills. The Rawlings Gold Glove Award® was re-introduced to Minor League Baseball in 2011 after an almost 50-year hiatus.

About Minor League Baseball
Minor League Baseball, headquartered in St. Petersburg, Florida, is the governing body for all professional baseball teams in the United States, Canada, Venezuela and the Dominican Republic that are affiliated with Major League Baseball clubs through their farm systems. Fans are coming out in unprecedented numbers to this one-of-a-kind experience that can only be found at Minor League Baseball ballparks. In 2014, Minor League Baseball attracted 42.4 million fans to its ballparks to see the future stars of the sport hone their skills. From the electricity in the stands to the excitement on the field, Minor League Baseball has provided affordable family-friendly entertainment to people of all ages since its founding in 1901. For more information about Minor League Baseball, visit http://www.MiLB.com.

About Rawlings
Rawlings Sporting Goods Company, Inc. is an innovative manufacturer and marketer of sporting goods worldwide. Founded in 1887, Rawlings is an authentic global sports brand, trusted by generations of athletes of all skill levels. Rawlings’ unparalleled quality and expert craftsmanship are the fundamental reasons why more professional athletes, national governing bodies and sports leagues choose Rawlings. Rawlings is the Official Ball Supplier and Batting Helmet of Major League Baseball®, the official baseball of Minor League Baseball™ and the NCAA®, and the approved baseball, basketball, football and softball of the National High School Federation®. For more information, please visit Rawlings.com or by phone at (314) 819-2800.

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