NOTES FROM DOWN ON THE FARM…
- Five Rays minor leaguers have made the latest edition of Baseball America’s “Prospect Hot Sheet”. Evan Longoria (#6; He’s held his own in the International League), Wade Davis (#12; In many organizations, Davis would be the No. 1 prospect. In a system as rich as Tampa Bay’s, though, Davis has to fight for the spotlight), Ryan Royster (#20; tied for seventh in the minors with a .601 slugging percentage), Jason Pridie (Rising; grades out as average or above in every tool, with the hit tool being the biggest question mark because he doesn’t control the strike zone) Desmond Jennings (Rising; the No. 7 prospect in the Appalachian League in 2006, had a breakout year with Columbus of the South Atlantic League, hitting .315/.401/.465) [Baseball America]
- We rarely cite the Raleigh News & Observer in this column because quite frankly the News & Observer rarely mentions the Durham Bulls despite being the only (?) professional sports franchise in the area. Well, now that the Bulls have made the playoffs, the News & Observer has remembered the Bulls and ponied up some gas money to send Luke Decock over to Durham and do a nice feature on Durham’s first-year manager Charlie Montoya. [News & Observer]
At 43, Montoyo still has the wiry build of an infielder to go with the accent of his native Puerto Rico. He was a winner last season with Double-A Montgomery, and the parent Tampa Bay Devil Rays moved him up a notch last winter to help clean up last season’s wreckage in Durham.
- MiLB.com have broken down the bracket and give us the International League playoffs preview. They predict Toledo in 5. [MiLB]
As for the Bulls, who could have figured they’d have this kind of turnaround from a year ago? With Elijah Dukes and Co. causing all kinds of problems on Tobacco Road, this looked like a franchise destined to flounder. But Tampa Bay brought in Charlie Montoyo to manage, and he did a splendid job changing the atmosphere and culture in Durham.
- Jae Seo was named IL pitcher-of-the-week for the third time. [Durham Bulls]
- Evan Longoria won a title with Montgomery last season and has a chance to add two more rings to his collection this season. [Montgomery Advertiser]