Tag Archives: Kevin Pillar

Franklin Morales and Dave Ross rehab at Portland

Portland infield - Michael Almanzar, Xander Bogaerts, Derrik Gibson, Matt Spring

Portland infield – Michael Almanzar, Xander Bogaerts, Derrik Gibson, Matt Spring

(Portland)  Third straight win for the Sea Dogs as they defeated New Hampshire, 8-4, on a Thursday morning/afternoon Eastern League game.

The treat for the 4,622 attending was that two Boston Red Sox players (Franklin Morales and David Ross) were rehabbing with the Sea Dogs.

Dave Ross

Dave Ross

Franklin Morales

Franklin Morales

Portland (27-18) is currently at the top of the Eastern League East with a two-game lead over the Binghamton Mets.  The Sea Dogs have gone to Binghamton (NY) for a weekend series.

The announcement that Morales and Ross would be playing came late.  I was geared to take a look at Portland pitcher Anthony Ranaudo.  Anthony has pitched well enough in 2013 (5-1/1.67 ERA/0.91 WHIP) to deserve a promotion to Pawtucket before too long.

I anticipated a small turnout at Hadlock Field.  An 11AM start on a Thursday with overcast conditions drove that point of view.  I realized the error of my thinking when I saw 30 (?) school buses lined up outside the stadium.

The students were entertained and talked to for about an hour before the game.

As part of the education segment, a lady involved with science launched a rocket.  Something about that activity always gets me a bit nervous when I think of something like that being tried by one of these school kids when they get home.

Franklin Morales

Franklin Morales

Dave Ross

Dave Ross

Franklin Morales

Franklin Morales

Catcher Dave Ross told the Press Herald that he had to borrow a glove from Jason Varitek for the game.  There were two other former Red Sox catchers on the scene – Rich Gedman (Portland hitting coach) and Gary Allenson (New Hampshire manager).

Ross (36-years-old) has been on the DL since May 11th after he took a couple of pitches off his mask against Toronto and suffered a concussion.

Ross headed back to Boston after five innings were over expecting to be checked out the Boston team physicians.

Franklin Morales got the win for Portland.  He went five innings and gave up six hits and one run.

Franklin (27-years-old) has been on the DL since opening day with a back strain.   This was his fifth rehab start.  I don’t know if he’ll have anymore or not.

I did not see Matt Barnes, the Red Sox’s first round pick in 2011.

Ryan Schimpf had a big game for the Fisher Cats going 4-for-5.

Xander Bogaerts

Xander Bogaerts

Xander Bogaerts

Xander Bogaerts

Xander Bogaerts

Xander Bogaerts

The top player at Portland, in my opinion, is Xander Bogaerts.  Young (20) and at the top of his game.  Good fielder (shortstop) and an improving bat.  Xander had a triple in today’s game.

This was my second time seeing New Hampshire.  Their top player (again, in my opinion) is Kevin Pillar.  This 24-year-old outfielder plays quality defense and is currently 7th in the Eastern League in batting at .316.

I am again grateful to Chris Cameron (media relations director) for setting up my visit to Hadlock Field today.  Chris also puts in time with the Sea Dogs grounds crew.

The dugout view that I was allowed to have is the best picture-taking spot at Hadlock.  It also can be a bit dangerous.  During this visit I had a one-hop grounder come toward me, bounce over my head, carom off the brick behind me, and back onto the field.

I hope to get back to Hadlock in July.  I notice that there is one of those “getaway” games on July 8th.

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

Ryan Schimpf

Ryan Schimpf

Dave Ross and Amadeo Zazueta

Dave Ross and Amadeo Zazueta

play at second

play at second

mascot

mascot

Rich Gedman

Rich Gedman

Matt Spring

Matt Spring

youngster outruns mascot to get prize

youngster outruns mascot to get prize

lady contestant

lady contestant

Kevin Pillar

Kevin Pillar

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Filed under New Hampshire Fisher Cats, Portland Sea Dogs

Third annual visit to the New Hampshire Fisher Cats

Antoan Richardson dives back as Clint Robinson waits for a throw during the New Hampshire/New Britain game on April 25th.

Antoan Richardson dives back as Clint Robinson waits for a throw during the New Hampshire/New Britain game on April 25th.

Plenty of fun at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium.

Plenty of fun at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium.

(Manchester NH) I made my third annual visit today to see the New Hampshire Fisher Cats at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium.

Anyone who follows this blog knows that I usually collect stats and then try to describe a game.  No need to do that at the AA level of the minor leagues because their websites have all that taken care of.

So instead, I go strictly to take pictures.  Action shots always have an interest to me but the big attraction is getting photos of prospects.

Ever since I got Bryce Harper two years ago when Harrisburg visited Portland I have assumed that the next phenom may turn up at an AA game.

I chose the New Hampshire/New Britain game because of the 10:35AM start.  The reason for the early game time is because NH is playing at Reading (PA) tomorrow night.  That’s a long bus ride!

Manchester is less than an hour away from the readership in the weekly newspaper (The Town Common) that I take pictures for.  Minor league baseball is an affordable, entertaining activity that the whole family can enjoy.

The weather was terrific for an April 25th morning – sunny with temps close to 60 degrees.

The two best players in this game were Alex Meyer and Kevin Pillar.  As is usually the case, I had never seen these players before so there is some mental scrambling needed to prepare.

Kevin Pillar

Kevin Pillar

Alex Meyer

Alex Meyer

Fortunately, Alex was the starting pitcher for New Britain.  Kevin was in the starting lineup as the leftfielder for New Hampshire.

I also wanted to get Danny Ortiz and Danny Santana of New Britain.

Alex Meyer is a 6-9, 23-year-old.  The Red Sox drafted him in 2008 but he wouldn’t sign even though they offered him a $2 million bonus.  He signed for that same number in 2011 when the Washington Nationals drafted him in the first round at #23.  Last November Alex was traded to Minnesota for Denard Span.

Alex Meyer

Alex Meyer

Kevin Pillar

Kevin Pillar

Alex pitched six innings today to get the 4-1 win (his second) against the Rock Cats.  He gave up eight hits, one earned run, and had seven strikeouts.

When I first got onto the field I learned that the Twins had just moved from New Britain up to Rochester (AAA).  My Murphy’s Law mentality imagined that it was Alex……..but it wasn’t.

Kevin Pillar came from a Division 2 college background in California.  He had a 54-game hitting streak but the D2 level of competition minimized that achievement in the minds of major league scouts.

Kevin Pillar

Kevin Pillar

Kevin was drafted in the 32nd round by the Twins in 2011.  He did very well (.347 batting average in sixty games) in the Rookie League in 2011.

In 2012 he played at Single A and high Single A and had a monster year – .323 average/6 homers/91 RBI/ and 51 stolen bases.

The 24-year-old is also an excellent outfielder.

I would strongly suspect that both players will be at Triple A before the 2013 season is over.

Special thanks to Tom Gauthier (media relations director) for arranging my visit.

Here’s a look at some of the things I saw today at the New Britain/New Hampshire game.

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

Danny Santana

Danny Santana

Danny Ortiz

Danny Ortiz

Danny Santana

Danny Ortiz

Bruce Pugh

Bruce Pugh

Austin Bibens-Dirkx

Austin Bibens-Dirkx

New Britain pitching coach Stu Cliburn

New Britain pitching coach Stu Cliburn

pre-game rocket launch

pre-game rocket launch

Fisher Cats coach Richie Hebner

Fisher Cats coach Richie Hebner

Reynaldo Rodriguez

Reynaldo Rodriguez

Mark Sobolewski

Mark Sobolewski

New Britain manager Jeff Smith

New Britain manager Jeff Smith

Josmil Pinto

Josmil Pinto

James Beresford

James Beresford

James Beresford

James Beresford

Fisher Cats manager Gary Allenson

Fisher Cats manager Gary Allenson

Danny Santana

Danny Santana

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Filed under New Hampshire Fisher Cats