Tag Archives: Hadlock Field

Yoan Moncada, Mauricio Dubon, and Aneury Tavarez shine in Portland win over Trenton

Yoan Moncada (left) and Aneury Tavaraz (right) in the Portland dugout

Yoan Moncada (left) and Aneury Tavaraz (right) in the Portland dugout

Yoan Moncada playing third

Yoan Moncada playing third

(Portland ME) Any win over the Yankees is a good win.  And Portland got one, 4-3, over Trenton on a nice Thursday evening at Hadlock Field.

I was surprised that Yoan Moncada was still with the Sea Dogs so I opted for one last look at Boston’s #1 prospect in action.

Yoan is playing third these days so I chose the edge of the Trenton dugout as the spot where I would take pictures from.  I saw him make a real nice fielding play from that location.

Ronald Herrara (21) started for The Thunder

Ronald Herrara (21) started for The Thunder

I had good feelings about the pitching matchup between Portland’s Mitch Atkins and Trenton’s Ronald Herrera.  Both pitchers are in the top four of the Eastern League in strikeouts so there were plenty of missed bats in this one.

Mitch ended up with ten K’s and the win.

I came to see Yoan Moncada, and I did, but the more I see of shortstop Mauricio Dubon the better I like him as a prospect.

Kevin Thomas (Portland Press Herald) had an interesting comparison between Mauricio and Mookie over a similar sampling of games at Portland.  The numbers put up by both players are very, very similar.

But we’re talking about a shortstop.  What are Mauricio’s chances of moving up with Xander and Marco Hernandez ahead of him?  Maybe Mauricio will start to work out at 3B??

Back to Yoan.  Having seen Andrew Benintendi at Portland I can tell you that their hitting styles are very different.  Andrew was patient.  Yoan is aggressive.  There are lots of strikeouts in his future unless he gets more selective.

Mauricio Dubon has dazzled at Portland

Mauricio Dubon has dazzled at Portland

The win was a sweet one for Portland because it sets Trenton’s playoff hopes back a bit.  The Thunder still have a very nice 81-50 record.

I noticed that Trenton has really gone with young players.  The four top prospects on their roster are 22-years-old and younger.

Portland has a few young players but many of the other starters are 25+.

I mentioned Mauricio Dubon and I also must mention Aneury Tavarez.  The Portland rightfielder is leading the Eastern League in batting average and looks to have a bright future.  Expect him at Pawtucket to start 2017.

The most fortunate person at Hadlock tonight was Mike Davis of Falmouth.  Mike bought a ticket and came through the gate as fan #9 million.  That got Mike a Sea Dogs’ jersey with a “9” on it plus nine years of season tickets.  His daughter, Wagner, threw out the first pitch of the game.

Slugger?  Of course he lost.  That’s what he always does.  Sometimes the big guy gets up against a little kid who isn’t sure what bases to run to.  Not tonight.  This kid was a dart and he knew exactly what was going on.  By the time Slugger reached second this kid was close to third.  It was no contest.  Slugger even tried some aerodynamics but it was futile.

horseback trouble

horseback trouble

The inflatable horse race was interesting.  One of the contestants was too short and her feet didn’t touch the ground.  There was no way she was going to be able to get that horse to go anywhere.  So one of the Sea Dogs’ staff members pulled her toward the finish line.

Thanks again to Chris Cameron for arranging tonight’s visit.  Hadlock continues to be a great spot to visit to seeing rising baseball stars as well as to get entertained.  Tickets are a bargain.

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

Mark Payton touches them all after a 2-run homer

Mark Payton touches them all after a 2-run homer

Yoan Moncada heads for third

Yoan Moncada heads for third

Yoan Moncada

Yoan Moncada

Yoan Moncada

Yoan Moncada

Billy McKinney

Billy McKinney

Pitcher Kevin Couch

Pitcher Kevin Couch

Wagner and Mike Davis

Wagner and Mike Davis

Slugger futilely tries to fly

Slugger futilely tries to fly

Miguel Andujar is the Yankees' #8 prospect

Miguel Andujar is the Yankees’ #8 prospect

Tyler Wade

Tyler Wade

Yoan Moncada

Yoan Moncada

Ryan Court

Ryan Court

Yoan Moncada

Yoan Moncada

Aneury Tavarez leads the EL in batting average

Aneury Tavarez leads the EL in batting average

 

Mauricio Dubon caught in a rundown after driving in a run

Mauricio Dubon caught in a rundown after driving in a run

 

 

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Filed under Portland Sea Dogs, Trenton Thunder

Top Colorado Rockies prospects found on Hartford Yard Goats roster

Hartford's Kyle Freeland (top Colorado pick in 2014) picked up a win versus Portland pitching seven solid innings

Hartford’s Kyle Freeland (top Colorado pick in 2014) picked up a win versus Portland pitching seven solid innings

Portland starter Aaron Wilkerson pitched a 2-hit shutout in his six innings of work

Portland starter Aaron Wilkerson pitched a 2-hit shutout in his six innings of work

(Portland ME) Nice matchup between Portland’s best pitcher (Aaron Wilkerson) and Hartford’s top pitching prospect (Kyle Freeland) on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.

The Sea Dogs (4-7) ended up losing this one, 8-1, because the Portland bullpen (Simon Mercedes & Mitch Atkins) gave up eight runs on eight hits in the final three innings.  That’s ugly!

Speaking of ugly, the defense on both teams was very weak with a total of nine errors.  It was a surprise to see throws to first, from the left side, be such an adventure.

I was a bit disappointed when the Portland roster was released a couple of weeks ago because none of the top prospects were there.  Almost all of them seem to be in Salem (A).  The top Red Sox prospect at Portland (second baseman Wendell Rijo) is rated 11th.

Meanwhile Hartford, which is the AA farm team of the Colorado Rockies, has #3 (David Dahl), #5 (Ryan McMahon), #8 Raimel Tapia, and #9 Kyle Freeland on their roster.

And as it turned out, all four of those top prospects were involved in today’s game.  Suspecting this I chose to spend this gorgeous April afternoon taking pictures of the prospects.

Derek Miller recorded his first AA hit today

Derek Miller recorded his first AA hit today

This is the Hartford Yard Goats first season after moving from New Britain.  I visited New Britain for a game a few years ago and got several good shots of Altoona’s young pitcher Gerrit Cole.  Boston’s Brock Holt was also on that Altoona team.

Hartford could easily be called the “Road” Goats.  Their stadium won’t be ready until the end of May so every game before then is a road game.  Nice planning!

The Goats (8-3) have plenty of highly regarded pitching and don’t appear to be intimidated by the non-stop road games.  It helps that AA crowds are very different from major league fans.  The players are a mystery to most minor-league attendees so they don’t react strongly to miscues and/or hits.  In other words, there is a lot less pressure.

One evidence of unknowing fans was a time I was at Portland in August for a Sea Dogs game versus Harrisburg.  The Senators had the #1 prospect in all of baseball on their roster………Bryce Harper.  He came across the field just before game time in a warmup jacket and hardly caused a stir in the crowd.  I had seen pictures of him so I knew what I was looking for and ended up with quite a few good shots of him in the Harrisburg dugout.

Jacquelyn Davis with David Dahl before the game

Jacquelyn Davis with David Dahl before the game

I had seen David Dahl (first round CR pick – #10 –  in 2012) last year in the New Britain dugout at Portland.  I knew what he looked like.  This time around he was in uniform and on the field early.  It wasn’t actually any baseball activity that got David on the field early.  It was Jacquelyn Davis.

Hartford’s Matt Carasiti, from Berlin CT and St. John’s, had family on hand.

Another reason why I drive up to Hadlock Field is to cheer Slugger on.  I know he’ll race a little kid and every time I’ve been there he has come in second.  That didn’t change today.  He always has a costly breakdown in the races I’ve seen.  This time he had the lead early but chose to engage his young opponent in a conversation as they both went over second base.  By the time the Big Guy got himself facing the right direction the young speedster had put him away.  Slugger was devastated and rolled in the first base coaching box sobbing.  It brought tears to my eyes too.  Maybe next time!

Aaron Wilkerson stays warm.

Aaron Wilkerson stays warm.

Aaron Wilkerson was one of those undrafted pitchers that had to make a name for himself in independent leagues to get the attention of major league teams.  I like his chances of getting to AAA Pawtucket this season.

Kyle Freeland pitched seven strong innings for Hartford giving up only five hits.  The Rockies selected Kyle in the first round (8th pick) of the 2014 draft.

This was a special day for the Sea Dogs’ Derek Miller because he got his first AA hit.

I liked the idea that the vehicle that transported Slugger around the field had a snowplow on the front of it.  It wasn’t that long ago that the white stuff was on Hadlock.  Today’s weather (60’s and sunny) was about as good as it gets this time of year.

Thanks to media relations director Chris Cameron for arranging my visit on short notice.  I flew back from Turks and Caicos on Saturday.  Now there’s a nice place!

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

Raimel Tapia (#8 prospect of CR)

Raimel Tapia (#8 prospect of CR)

Tzu-Wei Lin

Tzu-Wei Lin

Jason Witte

Jason Witte

Jose Vinicio dives back into first

Jose Vinicio dives back into first

Derek Miller slides in on Pat Valaika

Derek Miller slides in on Pat Valaika

Wendell Rijo

Wendell Rijo

David Dahl in Hartford dugout

David Dahl in Hartford dugout

Slugger devastated after yet another loss

Slugger devastated after yet another loss

Kyle Freeland between innings

Kyle Freeland between innings

Kyle Freeland and Ryan McMahon

Kyle Freeland and Ryan McMahon

Rosell Herrera and Hartford manager Darin Everson

Rosell Herrera and Hartford manager Darin Everson

Ryan McMahon

Ryan McMahon

Jacquelyn Davis

Jacquelyn Davis

Aaron Wilkerson

Aaron Wilkerson

Slugger plows past the fans

Slugger plows past the fans

David Dahl (first round CR pick in 2012)

David Dahl (first round CR pick in 2012)

Matt Carasiti

Matt Carasiti

Colorado's #5 prospect third baseman Ryan McMahon

Colorado’s #5 prospect third baseman Ryan McMahon

 

 

 

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Filed under Colorado Rockies, Hartford Yard Goats

Bryce Harper Sighting (Harrisburg Senators Defeat the Portland Sea Dogs)

Bryce Harper watches from the dugout.

(Portland ME)  I’ll admit that I looked at the Portland Sea Dogs schedule after Bryce Harper had been promoted to AA Harrisburg in July.

I found that the Harrisburg Senators (Washington Nationals farm team) were in Portland, August 22-24, with a noon game on the 24th.  Looking for daylight photo opportunities, I chose that noon game as my target date and made arrangements with Sea Dogs media relations director Chris Cameron.

I had been to Hadlock Field in June of 2009 to do a story on Newburyport’s Todd Jamison, who was on staff then.  Chris had set up the press credentials for me then as well.

The goal was to get some photos of baseball action and possibly a picture or two of 18-year-old phenom Bryce Harper.

Imagine my chagrin when I read on August 19th that Bryce was injured the night before in Akron, the series before the Sea Dog series.  He had pulled a hamstring and had to be helped off the field.  Say goodbye to seeing him in Portland on the 24th……….so I thought at the time.

I assumed Bryce would return to Harrisburg for treatment and sit out the rest of the season.  Imagine my delight to find out that he was with the team in Portland.  I learned that in the Portland Press Herald notes.  So at least there might be a chance to catch him.  However, I had every intention of attending the noon game whether Bryce was there or not.

I checked in with Chris Cameron after I took a walk around the perimeter of the field.  He helped me identify some pictures of Sea Dog players I had taken on my visit to the New Hampshire Fisher Cats in June.  I also asked him about Bryce and he said that Bryce had signed briefly before and after the Monday game and had been in the bullpen during the Tuesday game.

If this is starting to sound like a scavenger hunt you’re right, it was for me.  This was my version of “Where is Elmo!”

I was inside Hadlock Field before the players arrived and I was in a position to see any players coming and going on the field.  However, the players I started seeing had workout clothes on and I couldn’t identify any of them without a number.

So I decided to escape to the press box to get out of the sun – it was a beautiful day.  In a while I became aware of a group of autograph seekers gathering near the Harrisburg dugout.  My gut told me that they were looking for Bryce.  I figured that if he showed up I would go onto the field and get a picture or two of him signing.  He never showed up.

As time went on, the players working out departed, and the field became empty.  Then a few players, now in uniform trickled back onto the field as game-time approached.  That was when I made my move to get into the photographer’s spot in the Harrisburg dugout.

Let me tell you about being a photographer at Hadlock.  Chris gave me the specs on it.  Each dugout had a small space down the outfield end of the dugout where you stand.  You could also get out of the dugout into a small space further along.  Great view of the game in either spot BUT neither spot had any protection from a batted or thrown ball!  As Clint Eastwood said, “Are you feeling lucky??”

I decided to chance it.  My survival strategy was to not take any pictures of batters in case they ripped one my way while I was taking a picture.  My suspect reflexes were never tested.  I did, however, see a fast grounder put a camera man on the Portland dugout side into a duck-or-die situation.

Bryce Harper arrives just before game starts.

As the start of the game got closer, I wondered if Bryce was down the left field line in the bullpen or was not going to appear at all.  But then, just about five minutes before the game was to start a lone figure strolled across the field behind home plate……..my intended target had arrived!

The Harrisburg dugout area had long been cleared of autograph seekers by now and Bryce slipped into the dugout virtually unnoticed.  Without a number on his back and buried in a dugout, it would be tough for anyone to know he was there.  I had seen a few pictures of him so I knew.

Harrisburg (73-57) had several talented players, so I followed the action on the field and shot selected players on the field and as they came toward me at the end of an inning.

Erik Arnesen - Harrisburg pitcher graduated from Grove City College.

I wanted to get pitcher Erik Arnesen and I did.  Not only is he pitching well this season but he is a graduate of Grove City College – my nephew Stephen Hagberg’s alma mater.  I mentioned it to Erik and got him to pose for a picture.

I also wanted to be sure to get first baseman Tyler Moore.  Tyler helped matters by getting his Eastern League-leading 28th homer in this game and getting his league-leading 81st RBI as well.  Only 6-2/185, the 24-year-old generated some serious power in this game.

Another picture I sought to get was of Derek Norris. This catcher is the Washington Nationals 2nd ranked prospect according to Baseball America.  The 22-year-old didn’t play but he did warm up pitchers before most innings so I had that chance to get his picture.

Speaking of pitchers, the starter for Harrisburg was Oliver Perez.  Yes, that Oliver Perez!  10-7 with the NY Mets in 2008 and 15-10 the year before.  His career fell apart in 2009-10 and the Mets released him.  He signed with the Senators as a minor league free agent in March of this year.  In this game, he went 4 2/3 but a high pitch count (102) and runners on base put an end to his afternoon and kept him from getting the win.

Not surprisingly, based on my initial goal, I did get a number of shots of Bryce.  He spent most of the game down the other end of the dugout which made it easier to for me to take non-intrusive pictures.

Tyler Moore - Leads Eastern League in homers (28) and RBI (81)

Harrisburg won the game, 9-3, riding three homers (Tyler Moore, Tim Pahuta, Chris Rahl) and solid relief pitching.  The teams combined for 23 hits and both teams had applause-deserving plays in the field.

This has been a struggle of a year for the Portland Sea Dogs (53-77).  The loss today mathematically eliminated Portland from the Eastern League playoffs. The franchise started in 1994 with an inglorious 60-81 season that set the substandard until now.  The 2011 Sea Dogs will be fortunate to get to 60 wins the rest of the way.  In this one, the Sea Dogs were 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position and stranded thirteen runners.  Tough to win doing that!

One of the features at Hadlock Field, is a picturing of current Red Sox players who have played for Portland.  It’s quite a list with Ryan Lavarnway not yet added.

Jeff Morris homered for Portland.  The 28-year-old catcher was picked up from the Lincoln (NE) Saltdogs of the independent American Association a few days ago.  His long one had to make him feel good.

Jimmy Barthmaier - winning pitcher

Jimmy Barthmaier relieved Oliver Perez in the 5th with two runners on and two out.  He hit the first batter (Reynaldo Rodriguez) but got a ground out from Morris to end the threat.  Jimmy would eventually pitch three innings and get his fifth win.

Third baseman Tim Pahuta (6-4/225) hit the longest ball of the game.  The left-handed batter creamed a Jeremy Kehrt pitch into a US Cellular banner beyond the right field seats.  It’s 330 feet down the line.  Tim’s blast was heading for Fitzpatrick Stadium beyond right field until the banner interfered.

The best memory of the visit may have been the Sea Dog mascot chasing a 6-year-old boy around the bases.  Despite missing a few front teeth, the delighted young man got to the plate first.

My second visit to Hadlock was terrific – just like the first.  The arrangements to see the game were easily put together and the folks on hand at Hadlock couldn’t have been more helpful.  They even provided good weather!  A special thanks to Media Relations Director Chris Cameron.

(I take my own pictures and create my own captions.  Mistakes are unintentional.  If anyone wants to use any of these pictures in another place I agree to it as long as I get credit for the picture.  By the way, if any of the pictures are clicked on they become larger.  Enjoy.)

Bryce Harper

Bryce Harper

Tyler Moore into home run trot

Tim Pahuta in home run trot

Reynaldo Rodriguez

Jeff Howell in home run trot

#2 Nationals prospect Derek Norris

steal of second base

young boy outruns Sea Dog mascot

Oliver Perez

steal attempt - Jeremy Hazelbaker

Current Red Sox who have played at Portland

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Filed under Bryce Harper, Tyler Moore

My Visit to the Portland Sea Dogs

Boston Red Sox #1 prospect Lars Anderson

Boston Red Sox #1 prospect Lars Anderson

I have been coming to Maine (from Massachusetts) in the summer for many years.  I knew about the Portland Sea Dogs but never got to see a game until June 4th.  They are the Red Sox’s AA team.

I was there to do an interview with Todd Jamison for The Town Common. Todd fills numerous management roles with the Sea Dogs and his hometown is Newburyport.

The Sea Dogs media director, Chris Cameron, was extremely helpful.  He found for me the connection that Todd had with The Town Common readership and set up the interview.  He also gave me a press pass that enabled me to be out on Hadlock Field before the noon game with the Binghamton Mets and get some pictures. 

I suspect that I could have talked with players before and/or after the game but I wasn’t really prepared to do that.  Maybe another time.

In interviewing Todd I got tuned in to some of the prospects on the Portland roster and when I had my time on the field – I walked around the exterior of the park a couple of times – I took some pictures.

One player who had recently moved up to the Sea Dogs from Salem (A) was Ryan Kalish.  He’s a 21-year-old outfielder who is listed as the #8 Red Sox prospect.  Before the game it was announced that he would be sitting at a table signing autographs under the bleachers so, as I had done at Wilmington, I went and got his picture.

One player I watched work out a lot was Junichi Tazawa.  He is a 23-year-old starting pitcher who is Boston’s #5 prospect.  He has won seven games so far with a nice 2.67 ERA.  He isn’t that big – 5’11” – 180 pounds. 

The team trainer, also Japanese, translates for Junichi.  I asked the trainer how Junichi was doing with English and he said, “He is learning it very slowly.”

I was keenest on picturing #1 prospect, Lars Anderson.  Todd told me that he was the #1 first base prospect in the minors.  Lars is a 21-year-old first baseman.  He’s 6’4” – 215 pounds. 

I wasn’t sure which one he was before the game because the team had red shirts on with no names.  When they came out just before the game they wore whites with names on the back.  It was then that I figured out which one was Lars Anderson.  After that, I took a number of pictures of him. In one he’s hitting the ball.  In the other he’s wearing sunglasses.

I am very grateful to the Portland Sea Dogs for making things work for me.  I had a memorable time.

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Filed under Boston Red Sox, Lars Anderson, Portland Sea Dogs