It's funny to hear Rhoden called Robert... he went by Tyler at VU.
It's funny to hear Rhoden called Robert... he went by Tyler at VU.
When all is said and done more is said than done.
Looks like a good start with the signings. 24 have signed so far. Hopefully Devin Mesoraco,Todd Frazier, and Zack Cozart sign soon.
NOTES: Jake Kahaulelio, who injured a knee during a rundown drill Sunday afternoon, suffered a torn ACL and meniscus. The Cincinnati Reds' 20th-round draft pick from Oral Roberts is expected to undergo surgery and then go to the Cincinnati Reds' minor league facility in Sarasota, Fla., for rehabilitation.
Best of luck to Jake Kahaulelio as he rehabilitates his ACL and Meniscus. Get well soon.
41st rdr Kevin Hickey has left Billings to return home to NY, the article doesn't say if it's temporary or permanent....
Free agent pitcher no stranger to complete games
By MIKE SCHERTING
Of The Gazette Staff
No matter that the Little League chant - "Pitcher's got a rubber arm!" - is supposed to be a dig on the opposing guy on the mound, Dan Zeffiro may just have that rubber arm. In this case, that's a good thing.
Zeffiro, one of the Billings Mustangs' newest hopefuls, is a free agent right-hander from NCAA Division III Kean University (N.J.). He compiled a 9-1 record this season with a 1.66 ERA, helping his team to the D-III World Series championship in the school's first-ever trip.
But those aren't the numbers that make your eyes pop. These are: In the opening game of the World Series, Zeffiro threw a 12-inning complete game on 149 pitches, leading Kean over Cortland State in a game where he outdueled the d3baseball.com pitcher of the year, Dan Dougher, who also threw a complete game.
In all, Zeffiro threw seven complete games this season, logging 92 innings. "When we came (to Kean) our coach laid out a workout plan and I stuck to it, every single year," Zeffiro said. "I don't take my off-season or my exercises lightly, I do them relatively hard, so I'm prepared to do that stuff. You'll find me always in the weight room and it paid off. Maybe I have a rubber arm ... some people say it's mechanics, some people say it's long muscles ... but, it works. My arm works."
He finished that sentence with a laugh, but you can bet he's taking his chance with the Mustangs seriously. Despite the numbers he put up, Zeffiro knows it's a long road for an un-drafted free agent to get to the big leagues. But he also thinks he's up for the task.
"When you come to an organization like this, you're just trying to do the best you can," he said. "That's all you can do. I'm looking forward to it. I'm glad I got a chance. Now it's time to just go out there and play."
Zeffiro first got looks as a sophomore when he led DIII with a 0.90 ERA. Two years later scout Lee Seras signed the lanky pitcher to a contract with the Cincinnati Reds, just days after Kean teammate Joe Augustine signed with the Kansas City Royals.
"I'm playing Wiffle ball in my back yard (on Wednesday) and I get a phone call and the next thing I know I'm on a plane ride out here to Montana," said Zeffiro, who had a career record of 28-8 and career ERA of 2.43 at Kean. "What a trip, you know?"
Day takes a toll
In a span of about five minutes at Sunday's workout, two Mustangs sustained injuries, with one of them being potentially troublesome.
Infielder Jake Kahaulelio, a 20th-round selection from Oral Roberts, went down with a knee injury as the team practiced rundowns at Cobb Field.
Kahaulelio tried to stop as he was chasing a base runner to third base, but he slid and his knee buckled. Kahaulelio will be examined today.
"It's one of those injuries where you really can't get a good evaluation on it right away because there's so much swelling in there," Mustangs manager Joe Kruzel said.
Moments after Kahaulelio was helped off the field, outfielder Brandon Menchaca, a 13th-round pick from Delaware, was hit in the mouth with a throw during another rundown drill.
"I think the preliminary thought on that is he's got a busted up fat lip and they'll put a stitch or two in it," Kruzel said. "I think he'll be fine."
The injuries depleted an already thin Mustangs roster, which suffered the loss of 41st-round pick Kevin Hickey when the outfielder left the team to return home to New York. But Grant Griesser, the Reds' assistant director of player development, said three additional players were to arrive in Billings today: Free-agent pitcher Anthony Romero (Cal Poly), free agent second baseman Wayne Kendrick (Middle Tennessee State) and shortstop Justin Tordi. Tordi played catcher for the Mustangs last season, and he's been playing that position and shortstop for Class A Dayton this year. Griesser said Tordi's assignment to Billings is just for the short term.
Despite the tough day, Kruzel said he likes where the Mustangs are headed with Tuesday's season opener in Great Falls just around the corner.
"The best part I like so far in the four or five days that we've been here, is that every day they come out, they've worked hard, they've gotten better, so as long as we can keep that going for the entire season, I think people in Billings will be proud of the product we put on the field," Kruzel said.
NOTES: The team has its final workout today before heading to Great Falls on Tuesday. ... Pitcher Harris Honeycutt, a 10th-round pick out of South Carolina, arrived in Billings Sunday afternoon. ... The Chicago White Sox signed first-round pick Aaron Poreda on Saturday. The 6-foot-6 left-hander received a reported $1.2 million signing bonus and was assigned to Great Falls.
Scott Alexander still open to signing w/Reds...if the price is right.
Newman's Alexander draws lots of attention
If not signed, pitcher will attend Pepperdine on a four-year scholarship
By RICH RUPPRECHT
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Cardinal Newman senior lefthander, Scott Alexander, was drafted in the 37th round of Major League Baseball's first year player draft on Friday, the 1,122nd player chosen, but the pick doesn't really indicate how coveted a player he was.
Alexander, rated the 127th best prospect in the country by Baseball America, said he was contacted by nearly 20 major league teams before the draft, most trying to get an idea of how much money Alexander wanted to sign.
Because Alexander has a four-year baseball scholarship at Pepperdine locked up and said he'd be happy to play college ball, "signability" became the biggest issue with Alexander.
If a major league team felt it couldn't meet Alexander's price, that team wouldn't risk a high round draft pick on him. In the case of the Cincinnati Reds, who ultimately selected Alexander, they own negotiating rights with him until August 15th, the start of the college school year.
Alexander was considered a third-to-fifth round draft pick. Third round picks usually sign for between $300,000 and $500,000.
Asked if he would mind attending Pepperdine and then not being able to get drafted again until after his junior year, Alexander said, "No, not at all."
Alexander, whose fastball has been clocked as high as 93 mph, went 8-1 for Newman with a 1.25 ERA and 114 strikeouts in 67 innings.
Alexander plans on playing summer ball for the Sonoma County Rebels.
Alexander's former batterymate at Cardinal Newman, Cloverdale's Richie Rowland was also drafted, in the 40th round by the Rockies.
Rowland transferred to Cloverdale from Newman following his sophomore season.
He was the Press Democrat's small school basketball Player of the year, and Rockies scout Gary Wilson saw in the accompanying article that Rowland's dad had played in the major leagues.
Wilson then invited Rowland to a predraft workout in Vacaville and said the Rockies would probably draft him.
Rowland, a switch-hitting catcher, batted .425 at Cloverdale with six home runs, 25 runs scored and 36 RBIs.
Rowland said if he doesn't sign, he'll probably play JC ball. He also plans on playing summer ball in Santa Rosa.
Can't say how much I appreciate everyone's efforts to put this together and to RedLeader for taking charge of it.
Rob Neyer: "Any writer who says he'd be a better manager than the worst manager is either 1) lying (i.e. 'using poetic license') or 2) patently delusional. Which isn't to say managers don't do stupid things that you or I wouldn't."
Its official- D-Mes has signed.
Top pick signed; Bruce promoted
The Reds signed No. 1 draft pick Devin Mesaraco. Mesoraco, a catcher from Punxsutawney, Pa., was the 15th pick overall in the draft.
He will report to Sarasota tomorrow. He's expected to play with Gulf Coast League Reds.
"We had a lot of predraft discussions," scouting director Chris Buckley. "But he didn't graduate high school until Friday. So he wasn't eligible to sign until then."
Speaking of top picks, Jay Bruce is getting promoted to Double-A Chattanooga. Bruce was hitting .325 with 11 home runs, 49 RBI and 27 doubles for Single-A Sarasota. Right-hander Johnny Cueto is also going up to Chattanooga.
Dayton right-hander Sean Watson, the starter in the Midwest League All-Star game, is being moved from Dayton to Sarasota. Watson, the No. 2 pick in last year's draft, was 5-2 with 1.88 ERA and 85 strikeouts in 71 2/3 innings for the Dragons.
Mesoraco's Punxsutawney High team ended up winning the Pennsylvania state title.
Good to see Cueto, Bruce, and Watson getting promotions.
Great news to see D-Mes signed and ready to go. I have always held my breath in the past about the Reds signing their higher picks.
Great news to see that Mesoraco has signed already and should be ready to go for the GCL Reds this season.
Kevin Gregg and Jason Marquis will bring back memories of the Lost Decade.