Tag Archives: Austin Martin

Top Toronto Blue Jays prospects in action in New Hampshire

Top Toronto Blue Jays prospects (Jordan Groshans & Austin Martin) celebrate homer
Jordan Groshans signs autographs

(Manchester NH) The final was 9-6 and it felt like 96 in the sun/heat this afternoon.

The Binghamton Rumble Ponies defeated the New Hampshire Fisher Cats on a very warm Sunday afternoon.

Even the seats were hot!  I moved into an open seat closer to the Binghamton dugout and realized quickly that it was too hot for long-term use.

I enjoy going to Portland (Sea Dogs) and Manchester (Fisher Cats) to see Double A baseball.  They’re close to home (Amesbury MA) and there is plenty to see.

Austin Martin takes a cut

The biggest of the AA stars are friendly to fans and seem happy to be where they are.

It is certain that some of the players will advance to the major leagues in a few years.  Others reach AA and get no further.  You never know as you watch them.

There is a little more certainty regarding the future of the players that were drafted in the early rounds and signed to large bonuses.

Two of the Toronto Blue Jays top three prospects are with the Fisher Cats.

I saw Austin Martin (#2 prospect – 1st round in 2020) last time but missed Jordan Groshans (#3 prospect – 1st round in 2018). 

3B Mark Vientos

This time I caught them both.

I did, however, miss out on Gabriel Moreno (#7 prospect).  He has statistically been NH’s best player so far this season.

The top Mets’ prospect with Binghamton is 3B Mark Vientos (#8). 

Many of the Mets’ best young players are at the level below Binghamton.  When Binghamton comes back to either Portland or New Hampshire later in the season, some of them may have been promoted to the Rumble Ponies.  I might want to be there.

Everything today was shot with my 600mm lens.  The length of that thing minimizes the danger I face when foul balls head my way. 

That lens also gives me a chance for good on-field shots.  In this game, there was an outfield collision that I was able to pick up in focus.

A good piece of successful sports photography is luck.  Most of the time you don’t know where the special shot will come from.  You wait….and hope.

Austin Martin (16) celebrates homer

I seldom stay long is the same location.  In high school softball/baseball games, I usually switch sides, if it’s possible, about halfway through.  At today’s stadium (Northeast Delta Dental) there were plenty of good, available vantage points.  Even behind the backstop was available because no fans were dining there.

By moving around, I lucked into two early-in-the-game home run celebrations.  Austin Martin had one and Manny Rodriguez had the other. 

In the Austin Martin homer (to left) celebration, I got Austin and Jordan Groshans (next batter) doing the home-run bump.

When a #9 batter hits a home run that’s likely to be special and that was the case with the one Manny clouted to rightfield.

Manny was very excited and his teammates were as well.  I was at an angle where the dugout celebrating came my way.  I even got one of his teammates in the process of pouring water on Manny.

Manny Rodriguez celebrates
More of the Manny Rodriguez celebration

I like pictures with several players in them.  I had some today with Austin Martin and Jordan Groshans together.  Those two could very well be playing together in Toronto in a few years.

Jordan Groshans

I continue to recommend that you take in a minor league game.  The price is right and the games are easy to get to.  Both times I’ve been to Manchester I’ve seen parents there with little kids getting an early taste of professional baseball.

I advise doing some homework on the two teams playing.  Know who each team’s best prospects are and try to get autographs and/or pictures of them.  Consider it a challenge.  I got Bryce Harper and Mookie Betts that way. Who knows who you might get?

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerable if you click on them.)

Jordan Groshans, Austin Martin, Chavez Young
Jordan Groshans batting
Austin Martin
Austin Martin bats
Will Toffey had a two-run homer
Mark Vientos takes a cut
Hayden Senger had a two-run homer

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Filed under Binghamton Mets, Binghamton Rumble Ponies, New Hampshire, New Hampshire Fisher Cats

Prospect picturing in Manchester NH

Triston Casas is Boston’s top prospect
Austin Martin was chosen 5th in last year’s draft

(Manchester NH) Minor league baseball is back!

And I’m glad.

I enjoy going.

What do I like about minor league ball? 

Maybe it’s the nonstop whiffs of food that I shouldn’t be eating but crave.

More likely, it’s how hard the stadium staff and the players work to make it enjoyable. 

I’m walking along at today’s Fisher Cats’ game and a staff member cautions me about an untied shoelace. 

Players were warming up near the stands in rightfield.  A throw went into the stands. It didn’t come close to anyone, but it startled several of them.  The players involved rushed over to apologize and gave a baseball to one of the spectators.

Gabriel Moreno is Toronto’s 7th prospect

These are little things, but they make you glad you’re there and you want to come back.

I go to minor league games as a photographer.  I never plan to cover the games the way I do with high school sports.  There won’t be interviews with anyone post-game.

I did interview Tyler Murray pre-game today.  He’s the radio voice of the New Hampshire Fisher Cats.

I have only interviewed one minor league player.  I wanted to try it.  I got Mike Antonellis (then radio voice of the Portland Sea Dogs) to set me up to interview Bobby Dalbec.

Ronoldo Hernandez is Boston’s 11th prospect

I admit I was a bit nervous going into it because I hardly knew Bobby.  I don’t recall what I asked him but I do know that I got him to pose for a picture when the interview was over.  The picture IMO was a good one.

The only problem with the Bobby Dalbec interview was that I had forgotten to turn my digital recorder on!  Embarrassing, to say the least.  Maybe that’s why I stick to pictures when I go to minor league games.

When I saw that the Portland Sea Dogs (Red Sox farm team) were the opponent for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats this afternoon, I made the arrangements to attend.

I NEVER go to a minor league game without knowing the names (numbers) of the top prospects on both teams.  I certainly want Red Sox prospects but often the other team has future stars as well.

My prospect chasing actually started in Portland when 19-year-old Bryce Harper was a late-in-the-season addition to the Harrisburg Senators.  When the Senators came to Portland I was able to find, and picture Bryce, even though he wasn’t playing. 

Triston Casas had a 3-run homer

I was after Triston Casas today.  The 20-year-old is Boston’s top prospect.  The first baseman is tall and powerful.  He had a three-run homer this afternoon. 

The Fisher Cats had numerous prospects on their roster.

“According to MLB.com, the Fisher Cats have the third-most, loaded roster in minor league baseball,” Tyler Murray told me.

Simon Woods Richardson is the second-best pitcher in the Toronto minor league system.  He pitched last night.

Triston Casas heads for the dugout after signing a lot of autographs
Ball loose on a play at second base

Austin Martin and Jordan Groshans are former first-round picks.  Austin was chosen 5th last year while Jordan was chosen 12th in 2018.

Jordan was injured but I did get to see Austin.  He was in center this afternoon.  He is listed as the 22nd best prospect in the minors.  Jordan is a shortstop and he’s the 46th best prospect. 

Austin didn’t get any hits today, but he did have two outfield assists.

Gabriel Moreno is a catcher (He was the DH today) and is #7 on the Blue Jays prospect list.  He had a hit and an RBI today.

I saw two other Top Thirty prospects for Boston; Ronaldo Hernandez (11th) and Jeisson Rosario (21st).

The Sea Dogs won today’s game, 7-2, getting six runs off two relievers in the 8th and 9th innings.  Triston and Joey Menesses homered during the six-run rally.

Triston Casas takes a practice swing

Josh Winckowski started for the Sea Dogs.  He came from the New York Mets as part of the three-team trade that sent Andrew Benintendi to Kansas City last year.

The Fisher Cats starter (Elvis Luciano) went out with an injury unable to finish the first inning.

Minor League Baseball has been keeping the media away from the teams.  “It’s been difficult to get to know the players personally because we’ve been separated from them,” said Tyler.

Those restrictions impact how close photographers can get too.  I now own a 600m lens and it came in handy today.

Tyler on how things are going: “Last night we had an awesome crowd.  We’ll be near to 100% capacity on June 1st.  Vaccinated fans don’t need to wear masks anymore.”

Jeisson Rosario in the Portland dugout

Tyler on how the stadium was used with no baseball last season: “We didn’t have baseball so we ended up hosting twenty special events, mostly high school and college graduations.  We have the room.  People had such a good time that we now have more graduations booked than last year.”

The scheduling is different.  The teams now play Tuesday-Sunday in the same city.  Monday is a travel day.

“I love the scheduling,” said Tyler.  “It saves travel.  We’d have a game end in New Jersey at 11PM and then have to drive to Maine.  We’d get in about 5AM.  It was tough with no days off. One city with consistent days off has been great so far.”

Austin Martin stretches pre-game

Tyler was excited about the future.  “It’s good to have the whole staff back.  Many staff members were furloughed during last season.”

More than 134 former Fisher Cats have appeared in the big leagues.  There are plenty of good players going through here.

Two years ago, I trekked to Manchester (NH) numerous times to see Vladi Guerrero, Bo Bichette, and Caven Biggio.

I would encourage folks to check out the Fisher Cats.  The stadium is a 42-minute ride from Amesbury via 495, 93, and 293. 

Being close to the action is guaranteed. Book a date, do your homework, and bring a camera.

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Pitcher Willy Gaston
Vinny Capra (3 hits) leads off first base
Triston Casas returns to Portland dugout
Triston Casas at first base
Shortstop Ryan Fitzgerald
Roldani Baldwin being checked out after being hit by a pitch
1B Nick Podkul
LJ Talley 3B
SS Kevin Vicuna
Portland starter Josh Winckowski
Players interact
Jeisson Rosario batting
2B Grant Williams
Gabriel Moreno batting
Fisher Cats starter Elvis Luciano
Catcher Chris Bec
Austin Martin
Pitcher Andrew McInvale

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Filed under New Hampshire Fisher Cats, Portland Sea Dogs