- Here is one blogger’s grades for the top prospects in the Devil Rays’ farm system. Must have given Delmon Young bonus points for bat throwing skills. [Minor League Ball].
- Josh Hamilton. On Monday night we trekked over to Keyspan Park in Brooklyn, NY for Josh Hamilton’s first game in a professional uniform since the 2003 spring training. Josh wore #18 and played…the bench. Apparently our crack research staff missed the part that said Josh would be in uniform but that he would not play until Tuesday night when the Hudson Valley Renegades return to their home ballpark. A couple of quick observations. We immediately noticed that Hamilton looked bigger and in fact he says that he is up to 230 pounds. Take it from us. He is rock solid and appears to be in great shape. He also looked genuinely happy to back in baseball. He could be seen joking and talking to his teammates throughout the game and even interacting with children behind the dugout. Welcome back Josh…It was our pleasure just to see you in a uniform. Tuesday night marked Josh’s official return to the baseball field as he was in the lineup for the Renegades. In Hudson Valley’s 7-2 loss to the Brooklyn Cyclones, Hamilton batted 3rd as the team’s DH. In his first at bat in the bottom of the 1st, Josh flied out to left field following a standing ovation from the home crowd. In his second at bat Hamilton hit a double between the left fielder and the center fielder, for his first hit in four years. He would later come around to score the team’s first run. He finished the game 1-3. Last night Hamilton was not in the lineup. Wednesday night, Hamilton was not in the lineup. Thursday night Hamilton went 0-2 with a walk and an RBI ground out.
- Evan Longoria. Longoria appeared to be struggling a bit since his promotion to the Visalia Oaks. He was 5-20 (.250) in his first 5 games with 2 doubles and 3 RBI. Then last night Longoria hit his first two home runs with his new team. He went 2-4 with 3 RBI. We are starting to get giddy. This interview is a little stale, but here is a one-on-one session with Longoria after he had started his professional career.
- Delmon Young. Well…Delmon may not yet have matured since his suspension, but he sure knows how to take his frustration out on a baseball. In his first 15 games back from a 50-game suspension, Young is batting .418 (23-55) with 8 runs scored and 17 RBI. He has also hit 5 doubles and his first 2 home runs of the season. He is now hitting .370 on the season in 36 games. If Young had enough at bats he would be leading the International League in hitting by 20 points. Maybe we will see Delmon in the Trop this fall after all.
- B. J. Upton. Melvin has his average up to .274 and continues to lead the IL in stolen bases with 35. He has 6 home runs and 35 RBI.
- Elijah Dukes. Dukes was back in the lineup after a 15 game suspension for fighting with a teammate. By the way…that teammate (Ryan Knox) was given a 3 game suspension and ordered to perform community service…as an outfielder for the AA Montgomery Biscuits. Dukes is 3-14 in his four games back and is now hitting .290.
- Juan Salas. You didn’t think we could do a minor league report without mentioning our favorite minor leaguer did you? That would be silly. In 9 appearances with the Bulls, Salas has pitched 12.2 innings and given up 6 hits and 4 walks with 15 strikeouts and he STILL HAS NOT SURRENDERED AN EARNED RUN IN 2006. Mr. Friedman…please…please call him up…pretty please?
- Seth McClung. McClung has had mixed results since his demotion to the Durham and his new role as closer-in-training. In 4 appearances he has pitched 8 innings an given up 78hits, 1 walk and 3 runs. He has struck out 13.
- Doug Waechter. Waechter hasn’t been so good. In 4 starts he is 1-3 with a 6.93 ERA.