Dodgers prospect Darnell Sweeney, who fell a triple short of the cycle Wednesday in the Arizona Fall League, hit a game-winning single to beat the Angels in a Freeway Series game in March. (John McCoy / Staff photographer)
hit two doubles, a home run and a single in five at-bats Wednesday for the Glendale Desert Dogs of the Arizona Fall League.
The Dodgers prospect needed a triple in his final at-bat in the eighth inning to complete a rare cycle. Instead he doubled off Braves prospect Ryne Harper, settling for a 4-for-5, four-RBI performance in the Desert Dogs’ 10-1 win over Peoria.
Sweeney, a 13th-round draft pick by the Dodgers in 2012, spent all of 2014 at Double-A Chattanooga. The versatile 23-year-old posted a .288/.387/.463 slash line and went 15 for 31 in stolen-base attempts. His batting average was above .300 before a late tailspin, and he led the Southern League in walks.
A switch hitter, Sweeney is batting .387 in 10 AFL games. He’s played second base, shortstop and center field.
“He has a chance to be a good player,” Sweeney’s Double-A manager, Razor Shines, said in a September interview. “The strong suit is that he can play all over and he can hit. He hits the ball hard.”
Dodgers prospect Julio Urias, who was named the club’s Branch Rickey Minor League Pitcher of the Year, visited Dodger Stadium for the first time on Friday.
“It’s the nicest stadium I’ve ever been to, aside from Minnesota where I played (in the Futures Game),” he said. “It’s truly incredible and I hope to make it my home from here on out.”
Here, Urias talks about his historic season with Rancho Cucamonga, when he pitched a 2.36 ERA as an 18-year-old in the Single-A California League:
Dodgers prospect Corey Seager, who was named the club’s Branch Rickey co-Minor League Player of the Year on Friday, visited Dodger Stadium and discussed some of the ups and downs of his 2014 season:
Seager added that he won’t be playing Winter League Baseball once his time in the Arizona Fall League is up.
More on the 20-year-old shortstop in tomorrow’s editions.
Joc Pederson hit 33 home runs and stole 30 bases for Triple-A Albuquerque this season. (Getty Images)
The Dodgers chose Julio Urias, 18, as their Branch Rickey Minor League Pitcher of the Year on Friday. Infielder Corey Seager and outfielder Joc Pederson were chosen as co-Minor League Players of the Year.
The three players, widely regarded as the top three prospects in the organization, will all be at Dodger Stadium to be honored in a pregame ceremony tonight. Pederson will be in uniform because he was promoted to the Dodgers’ 40-man roster on Sept. 1.
Urias had been taking part in the Arizona Instructional League. The 18-year-old left-hander spent the entire season with Single-A Rancho Cucamonga and went 2-2 with a 2.36 ERA in 25 games (20 starts), and a 1.20 ERA (6 ER/45.0 IP) in 12 games (10 starts) after the All-Star break.
Seager, who turned 20 on April 27, was selected to Baseball America’s Minor League All-Star Team, batting a combined .349 with a minor league-best 50 doubles, five triples, 20 homers, the second-most extra-base hits in the minors (75) and 97 RBI in 118 games with Single-A Rancho Cucamonga and Double-A Chattanooga in his third professional season.
Pederson, 22, was also the Dodgers’ minor league player of the year in 2012. In his first full season at Triple-A, he produced the fourth 30-home run/30-stolen base campaign in Pacific Coast League history.
The 19-year-old Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark is home to the Oklahoma City RedHawks.
Making formal a poorly kept secret, the Dodgers announced an agreement today with Mandalay Baseball Properties, LLC to purchase the Triple-A Oklahoma City RedHawks, which will become the team’s new Triple-A affiliate.
The Dodgers had been affiliated with the Albuquerque Isotopes since 2009.
Dodgers co-owner Peter Guber will be the Executive Chairman and Managing Director of the RedHawks. Partners Paul Schaeffer and Larry Freedman (who are not directly involved with the Dodgers) will manage the operations of the company.
According to multiple reports, the ownership structure is a 50/50 arrangement in which Guber owns half of the RedHawks, and the other Dodgers owners control the other half.
The purchase agreement is subject to customary closing conditions, including the approvals of the Pacific Coast League and Minor League Baseball and the review of the Office of the Commissioner of Major League Baseball.
“We enjoyed a great relationship with the Albuquerque organization and its fans,” Dodgers president Stan Kasten said, “but the opportunity of franchise ownership was one we couldn’t pass up.”
“Where were you when you got called up to the major leagues?”
There are always a few interesting responses to the question; usually it involves getting called into a manager’s office at a minor-league ballpark somewhere.
Daniel Coulombe‘s season was over, so he was at home in Arizona watching “Walking Dead” with his fiancee when Dodgers farm director De Jon Watson called to deliver the news Monday night.
“At first it was definitely shocking,” he said. “It took a little while to set in. Man, it’s exciting.”
Dodgers prospect Corey Seager was promoted to Double-A by the Dodgers after his apperance in the Futures Game. (Jennifer Cappuccio Maher/Staff photographer)
This one’s a bit esoteric, but try to follow along.
BaseballAmerica.com, which pays closer attention to minor-league prospects than just about any website on the planet, ranked the MVPs of each minor league, as chosen by the voters in each league. The criterion for ranking: long-term potential.
Corey Seager topped the list. The 20-year-old shortstop was chosen MVP of the California League, despite not playing in the California League for half the season. (He was promoted to Double-A after the Futures Game.)
From author Matt Eddy:
Today could be the day the Dodgers formally switch Triple-A affiliates from Albuquerque to Oklahoma City. The Oklahoman reported the move in August. Yesterday, BaseballAmerica.com reported that 23 minor-league teams have a two-week window to secure new affiliations beginning today, and that Albuquerque and Oklahoma City are two of those teams.
When the move was first reported, I mentioned that former Albuquerque Isotopes manager Lorenzo Bundy (now the Dodgers’ third base coach) offered his scouting report on exactly what playing at 5,200 feet does to a developing baseball player.
Here is that scouting report. This isn’t to presume that elevation was the primary reason for the Dodgers moving their Triple-A affiliate — far from it. Rather, Bundy’s experience adds some nuance to our understanding of why playing at elevation might be more or less desirable from a player development standpoint. This might be a business move first and foremost; here’s the baseball end of it:
Carlos Frias shut out the Washington Nationals for six innings in his first major-league start on Sept. 3. (Michael Owen Baker/Staff photographer)
SAN FRANCISCO >> Glenn Dishman
, the pitching coach at Triple-A Albuquerque, is with the big-league club this week. I caught up with him for his thoughts about Carlos Frias
‘ evolution, and I’ll share what he said in a bit.
It’s not fair to compare Frias directly to Zach Lee, the former first-round draft pick who just finished the season at Albuquerque. They’re two different pitchers with two different repertoires. Lee turned 23 on Saturday. Frias is 24, but he’s been pitching in the Dodgers’ system since he was 17. Lee was a blue-chip high school quarterback recruit in Texas at the same age.
That said, only one of the two pitchers is here now. At the beginning of the season it wouldn’t have shocked anyone (at least, anyone who pays too much attention to the Dodgers’ farm system) if Lee were getting September starts. As it happened, Frias will probably start Wednesday at Coors Field — and maybe twice more, a lofty assignment for a rookie on a team chasing a playoff spot.
So what happened to Zach Lee?
The Chattanooga Lookouts, the Dodgers’ Double-A affiliate, lost game three of the Southern League Championship Series to the Jacksonville Suns, ending their season.
Shortstop prospect Corey Seager went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts.
Left-handed pitcher Onelki Garcia, who’s on the major-league 60-day disabled list, was charged with two runs in a relief appearance. He allowed two hits and walked a batter while recording two outs.