Fresh Batch of Osprey
MISSOULA, Mont. – The Arizona Diamondbacks have announced the addition of seven new Osprey to Missoula’s roster to bolster Missoula’s quest for a Second-Half title in the Pioneer League. Catcher Tyler Baker and first baseman Taylor Ard have been transferred from Short Season Hillsboro to Missoula. Relievers Anthony Bazzani and Cody Clark, starter Yefrey Ramirez, infielder Henry Castillo, and outfielder Stewart Ijames have been transferred from the AZL D-Backs to Missoula.
Taylor Ard joins the Osprey to give Missoula an Apple Cup combo at first base as the former Washington State Cougar joins recent University of Washington draft pick Trevor Mitsui. Ard was a seventh round pick by the Mariners in 2012 and began his career with twelve homeruns for Everett in the Northwest League. After a hot start with River City in the Frontier League this summer, Ard was signed by Arizona and joins the Osprey after playing ten games with the Hops.
Tyler Baker was Arizona’s fifteenth round selection in June’s draft out of Wichita State. Baker batted .250 and picked up ten RBI through 23 games with Hillsboro to begin his professional career. This spring for the Shockers, Baker collected 18 RBI but was an anchor behind with plate with just four errors on the season and supported a strong pitching staff that finished with a 3.43 ERA.
Yefrey Ramirez has been the standout in the AZL D-Backs’ rotation with a strong 1.93 ERA in seven appearances. Ramirez tallied an incredible 48 strikeouts to just four walks in 37.1 innings in his dominance over the AZL.
Cody Clark and Anthony Bazzani shared the closer role with the AZL D-Backs with much success. Clark carried a 2.00 ERA through nine games, with both runs coming in only one appearance, with eight punch outs in nine innings. Opponents mustered just a .212 clip off the right-handed pitcher who earned four saves. Bazzani was signed as a free agent out of Eastern Kentucky where he registered a team-best six saves. He held his opposition scoreless in all but five appearances on the hill. In the AZL, the righty tallied three saves with a 2.35 ERA in eight games.
Stewart Ijames is a former Louisville Cardinal standout that was signed this summer from the Washington Wild Things out of the Frontier League. Ijames drove in three runs in just five AZL contests after blasting a total of 31 homers for Washington over less than two seasons. Through forty less games than 2013, the outfielder matched his RBI total of 45 this summer. The two-time draft pick ended his career as a Cardinal ranked second in RBI (212) and at-bats (828), third in games played (239), fifth in hits (256), sixth in home runs (45) and seventh in doubles (52).
Henry Castillo has been a leader in the AZL with a .331 average in 28 contests with six doubles and nine triples. The switch-hitting infielder totaled 22 RBI and a .900 OPS.
In corresponding moves, Arizona announced that catcher Tyler Clark has been transferred to Triple A Reno. First baseman Kevin Cron and reliever Tyler Toyfair have been transferred to Short Season Hillsboro. Starter Brad Keller, infielder Michael Abreu, and reliever Holden Helmink have been transferred to the AZL D-Backs, while Wagner Mateo has been released.
The Osprey are in action tonight at Ogren Park Allegiance Field at 7:05 p.m. against the Great Falls Voyagers in the second contest of a six-game homestand. Tickets for all Osprey games are available at the MSO Hub Box Office, by phone at (406) 543-3300 and online at MissoulaOsprey.com.
- Audo Vicente’s Thoughts On First Half
- Justin Williams’ 20 Game Streak
- Last Night’s Handling Of Helena
1. Audo Vicente On First Half
Before yesterday’s 22-5 thrashing of Helena, I had a chance to catchup with Audo Vicente and gather his thoughts on the O’s last win, Brad Keller going into last night’s start (He picked up his 1st win of the year) and his thoughts on the team through the first half
2. Williams Goes Streaking
Well not that kind. The kind you like to talk about, as in a 20-gamer that dates back to the 4th of July.
During that period, the Missoula left fielder is hitting .481 (I don’t know how else to make sure that you don’t miss that!), with 39 hits (5 for XBH), 13 RBI, .522 OBP, and a 1.090 OPS.
3. Last Night’s Handling Of Helena
Winning a baseball game 22-5 on 22 hits (later changed to 21 but we’re sticking with 22 on this blog…) is quite the feat. It was a season-high in runs and hits. Missoula went an astounding 16-26 with RISP.
With all the good for Missoula, Helena saw season-highs in categories it looked to stay away from. The Brewers surrendered season highs last night in XBH, runs, hits, walks, runs for an inning, largest margin of defeat and runners LOB.
- Mitsui Cycle
- D-Backs Announce International Signings
1- Mitsui Cycles
Missoula rookie Trevor Mitsui hit for the cycle last night in the O’s 12-9 win over Grand Junction.
Here’s what hitting a cycle sounds like: https://soundcloud.com/nolan-ryan-alexander/trevor-mitsui-cycle
MiLB story on Mitsui here
2- D-Backs Announce International Signings
From the Arizona Release, here are the most recent signees in this year’s International Signing Period
The Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) have signed five international free agents, including the organization’s first amateur signing out of Taiwan, pitcher Wei-Chieh (“Way-Jay”) Huang, since the start of the 2014-15 international signing period on July 2, according to according to D-backs’ Executive Vice President & General Manager Kevin Towers.
Huang, 20, was born in Taitung and attended Kao Yuan Tech High School in Kaohsiung followed by the National Taiwan University of Physical Education and Sports (NTUPES), the top ranked college baseball program in the country. Huang went 2-0 with a 1.42 ERA in 4 games during the 2012 Taiwan High School National Tournament, and later reached 95 mph during the preliminary round of the 2013 All-Taiwan Games.
ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS’ 2014 INTERNATIONAL SIGNINGS
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Salcedo Domingo, Dominican Republic
San Pedro, Dominican Republic
- PDC Contract Extended Through 2020
- MLB Vet at OPAF
- Get To Know Justin Williams
Good morning Osprey fans, the O’s are back in town and opened up a seven-game homestand with a loss last night to Grand Junction 5-3.
1. PDC Contract Extended Through 2020
The Missoula Osprey and Arizona Diamondbacks have announced that the two have agreed upon a four-year extension of their current Player Development Contract (PDC), which will keep the two teams affiliated until at least through the 2020 season. The current agreement is set to expire at the end of the 2016 season.
This affiliation relationship is the second longest current consecutive tenure in the Pioneer League behind only the Billings Mustangs (#BeatBillings) and Cincinnati Reds affiliation agreement. The Osprey franchise, which moved to Missoula from Lethbridge, Alberta in 1999, has been affiliated with the D-backs since the 1996 season – one year before Arizona began to play Major League Baseball as an expansion franchise.
“The Osprey and Diamondbacks have a very strong partnership. We share philosophies of developing quality players on and off the field and the importance of community involvement through our players and franchises,” explained Matt Ellis, Osprey Executive Vice President. “We feel that given the entirety of the relationship, that we have the best Major League affiliate partner in baseball for our franchise, our fans, and our community. Knowing and believing that fact makes extending early not only ideal but a priority for our franchise. We are proud of our long-standing relationship with the Diamondbacks and look forward to continuing this relationship through the rest of the decade.”
From a personal standpoint, I was told by so many people around baseball before I came to Missoula of how quality an organization the Diamondbacks are. There has been nothing I’ve experienced or heard this summer to sway that opinion. So good news Osprey fans, we’ll be sending future Snakes to the Desert for another handful of years.
2. Rafael Betancourt In Missoula
In last night’s loss, the Osprey were unable to score off the typical foe, a series of young pitchers at the start of their professional careers. However, a 10-yr MLB vet gave up three runs with large thanks to the Peanut Inning. Betancourt became the first player with MLB service to appear at Ogren Park Allegiance Field and gave up three runs with only one earned in his rehab appearance. Betancourt first appeared in The Show in 2003 with Cleveland and has been with Colorado since 2009.
3. Get To Know Justin Williams
I had a fun time speaking with Justin a few days ago at Orem. Take a short break and listen in to get to know more of Justin’s approach, background, and gator hunting in the Bayou.
- Float To The Ballpark
- Get To Know Former O Jake Mayers
Float To The Ballpark
I can’t wait for this in August, and I know it’s always one of the most highly anticipated events of the summer in Zoo Town. If you’re lucky you might even see a Mitsui or Cron homer floating in the river…
Float to the Ballpark, one of the most popular promotions in professional baseball, is back for 2014. The Missoula Osprey announced today that in conjunction with Lewis and Clark Trail Adventures, Osprey fans have the opportunity to float to the ballpark Aug. 17.
Floaters will be shuttled from the stadium to waiting rafts that will take them on a guided two and a half hour float back to the stadium along the Clark Fork River, which will begin at 1 p.m. Upon arrival at the stadium, the lucky fans will be fed a BBQ meal with all-you-can-eat hamburgers, hot dogs, chips, salads and sodas. Fans will then take their seats to watch the Osprey take on the Idaho Falls Chukars.
All participants must be at least 5 years of age or older. No flip flops, or personal tubes, rafts or floatation devices will be allowed. The Osprey do advise fans who participate to bring sunscreen and sunglasses, wear comfortable clothes, and keep in mind that their clothes and shoes may get wet during the float.
Fans will need to pre-purchase a package for the float, limited space is available. Packages cost $60 per person. To reserve your spot for yourself, family, or business call 543-3300 or visit the Missoula Osprey Box Office located in the MSO HUB at 140 N. Higgins Ave.
Get To Know Jake Mayers
On his last day as a member of the Osprey, I had the chance to catch up with Jake Mayers before his promotion to Hillsboro. Jake talks about his
- O’s Fly South
- Mitsui and Hernandez Honored
- Get To Know Carlos
O’s Fly South
After the longest continuous bus ride of the year, the Osprey regained their talons with a well deserved day of rest yesterday. Missoula begins a four-game set with Grand Junction tonight and all games can be heard online at missoulaosprey.com and in the area on 102.9 FM ESPN for Missoula.
Mitsui and Hernandez Honored
The Arizona Diamondbacks have announced that Trevor Mitsui and Carlos Hernandez have been named the Missoula Player- and Pitcher-of-the-Month for June, respectively.
In 13 games, Mitsui blasted a pair of home runs and picked up eight RBI. By going 17-51, the rookie out of the University of Washington hit for a .333 average. He also slugged .549 for the month and began his professional career with an eleven-game hit streak. In five July games, Mitsui has already added another pair of homers and six more RBI.
Carlos Hernandez did not allow an earned run until his third start of the season at Great Falls. He began his 2014 campaign with eight strikeouts in a shutout effort of the Helena Brewers. The right-handed pitcher went 1-0 with a 2.93 ERA for the month in three starts. He totaled nineteen strikeouts to just four walks as a starter for the Osprey.
Get To Know Carlos
If you have been tuning in during our Bitterroot Motors Pregame Show, then you’ve had the opportunity to get to know the Osprey behind the scenes. I’ve been trying to show more of each player’s background on and off the field. Today I have linked yesterday’s interview with Carlos Hernandez.
- Highlights from Opening Day
- O’s Alumni in Midwest League All-Star Game
Just a quick post with highlights from yesterday’s 8-5 win that was bookend by rain delays. Hopefully the rain will stay far away from the park today or I’m heading to the store to prepare my ark.
Highlights from last night include the Ozuna 2R HR, Williams HR, and McFarland 2R 1B
First pitch is scheduled once again for 7:05 p.m. today.
Congrats to these Osprey alumni in the Midwest League All-Star game representing South Bend
1B Daniel Palka
SS Andrew Velazquez
P Adam Miller
Jose Munoz was named but will not participate
- Broadcast Email
The lineups are set. The weather is not.
A pitter patter of rain continues to annoy Helena on Opening Night of the Pioneer League as the Osprey are scheduled to face the Helena Brewers at 7:05
Here’s today’s lineups
1. Matt Railey CF
2. Fernery Ozuna 2B
3. Justin Williams LF
4. Tyler Humphreys 3B
5. Jacob Mayers 1B
6. Maik Ehmcke DH
7. Grant Nelson C
8. Dane McFarland RF
9. Sergio Alcantara SS
Gabriel Moya LHP
1. Brandon Diaz CF
2. Tucker Neuhaus 3B
3. Elvis Rubio RF
4. Greg McCall DH
5. Jack Cleary C
6. Alan Sharkey 1B
7. Luis Aviles SS
8. Edgardo Rivera LF
9. Gregory Munoz 2B
Chad Thompson RHP
Umpires- Ryan Powers (HP), Aaron Higgins
Remember that the best way to visit the booth is through firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to know where everyone is listening in from and take a few questions about the team on air.
Virtual Chat Room for Games
Back by popular demand, it’s chatzy! Thanks to John Griffin for leading the charge!
This season’s room link–http://www.chatzy.com/89168801242834 (Bookmark it!)
Welcome to the Missoula Osprey Box Suite, online chat. This virtual room is operated in support of the players, their family, friends and Osprey FANS throughout the country. Listen to the live broadcasts on radio at ESPN Montana 102.9 or online by clicking the link on the Osprey website http://www.milb.com/index.jsp?sid=t518. Then join us for a chat during the game. Think of this site as your virtual box seat for the season. You will meet players family members and other fans and discuss the game and root on your Osprey players here, just as if you were able to do so if you lived in Missoula. We hope you will find this as a fun way to support your players and be part of the team family.
I’ll do my best to monitor it as the season goes on but I will have a closer eye on the email account.
Happy Opening Day my friends!
- Notes from Day 1 of Draft
- Host family applications open
- Dinner on the Diamond
Notes from Day 1 of Draft
Good morning Osprey fans, yesterday was a big day here at Osprey headquarters with the first day of the 2014 MLB First-Year Player draft. The Diamondbacks slithered into the fountain of youth with four draftees that have never enrolled in a college class.
Striaght from Phoenix-The Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) selected right-handed pitcher Touki Toussaint (@_YoSoy_Touki) out of Coral Springs (Fla.) Christian Academy with their first selection (16th overall) in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.
Toussaint, 17, went 8-2 with a 1.22 ERA in 63.1 innings pitched while striking out 104 batters for the Crusaders. The Vanderbilt commit led Coral Springs to the Florida State Final Four en route to being named the Miami Herald 2014 5A-2A Pitcher of the Year. In Toussaint’s junior campaign, he garnered invitations to the Perfect Game (PETCO Park) and Under Amour (Wrigley Field) All-American games, and as a sophomore, struck out 18 batters over 6.0 innings pitched in the PG World Wood Bat Championships. Toussaint earned a gold medal with the USA Baseball 16U National Team in 2011.
“We’re really excited to add this type of arm, athlete and talent to our system,” said Ray Montgomery, the Arizona Diamondbacks Director of Scouting. “Touki has an electric fastball, a plus curveball and a combination of two or three pitches that are starter quality. He’s very advanced, very worldly and the type of person that Touki is off the field, still outweighs the talent he has on the field.”
The 6-for-2, 198-pound right-handed pitcher was rated by Baseball America as the nation’s third-best high school pitcher and MLB.com as the No. 8 Prospect, overall, in today’s draft. Toussaint is the 20th first-round selection for the D-backs and 11th taken from the high school ranks. The D-backs had two first-round selections in 2003, 2009 and 2011.
Toussaint spent a handful of his childhood years in Haiti after his birth in Pembroke Pines. His family later returned to Florida in 2004 and attended Coral Springs Christian Academy starting his sophomore year. Baseball is a recent love for Toussaint,with most of his success coming over the past couple of years. Baseball America stated that, “Toussaint might have the least baseball experience of any top draft prospect, yet arguable the highest ceiling of any high school pitcher.”
Ray Montgomery said, “I think the person may outweigh the talent. He’s a very good athlete that can handle the bat. He plays shortstop when he doesn’t pitch. I do like the overall athleticism and I like that he played other sports. I really like that he wasn’t involved in one sport his whole life. He’s a really worldly kid.”
Toussaint initially committed to the University of Miami but later rescinded his commitment to the Hurricanes and currently holds a verbal pledge to Vanderbilt University.
Reed about Cody
The D-backs selected left-handed pitcher Cody Reed with the 54th pick in the second round of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.
Reed, a native of Ardmore, Alabama, went 10-2 with a 0.46 ERA this spring. The 6′ 3″, 250-pounder was recently named the Gatorade Alabama Baseball Player of the Year. In leading the Ardmore High School Tigers to the ASHAA Class 4A state championship round, Reed racked up the second-highest strikeout total in state history by totaling 226 strikeouts. Equally impressive, he only walked 17 batters in 92 innings. His 0.46 ERA was also put him in the record books for the single-season seventh lowest for pitchers with at least 50 innings. Reed also boats a 20-strikeout career game.
Reed also put on a show at the plate with a .494 average, 6 homeruns, 33 RBI, and an .800 slugging percentage. The lefty features a fastball that has reportedly reached as high as 95 mph to showcase his four-pitch mix.
Baseball America ranked the 17-year old Reed the 44th prospect in the nation, and MLB.com placed him at 61st.
Similar to Toussaint, Reed is also a Vanderbilt University commit. That brings our Vandy commit total to 2 from Day 1.
Position Players show up in Comp. Balance Round B
The D-backs selected with the 69th pick of the draft in Competitive Balance Round B outfielder Marcus Wilson from Junipero Serra High School in Gardena, California. Arizona also picked at 70th and took another high school prospect in shortstop Isan Diaz from Springfield Central High School in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Wilson, who checks in at 6′ 3″, 175 pounds, has a very projectable frame with his young age. He hit .359 with 5 homeruns and 17 RBI as a senior. The outfielder made one error his entire senior campaign and was perfect in stolen base attempts. The 17-year old also pitched to a 1.34 ERA on the mound but figures to develop in the outfield in Arizona’s system. Wilson jumped out to scouts at the Major League Scouting Bureau Southern California Invitational Showcase at the Urban Youth Academy in Compton.
Isan Diaz, 5’10”, 180 pounds, is a high school shortstop that projects at second base in the Arizona farm system. The senior led Springfield Central to the Valley Wheel League championship as a junior.
As a senior, he posted a .509 average, .651 on-base percentage, .930 slugging percentage, 4 homeruns, and 8 doubles. The lefty bat was tabbed as Baseball America’s 55th best prospect in the nation.
Diaz was born in Puerto Rico and moved to the United States at a young age. Similar to first round pick Touki Toussaint, Diaz moved into the country around the start of elementary school and transferred high schools before his sophomore year.
Out of the four draft picks Thursday, three are Vanderbilt University commits as Isan Diaz joins Touki Toussaint and Cody Reed. Marcus Wilson is committed to Arizona State University.
So the D-Backs choose four high schoolers, and Tom Corbin of Vanderbilt isn’t the happiest of campers to see three potential anchors in Nashville slither their way to the Desert.
Host Family Applications Open
The Missoula Osprey are in the process of accepting applications from interested people who wish to be host families for the upcoming 2014 season.
The host family program is a way for players to have a home away from home, as they play in Missoula over the summer. Players pay a minimum of $200 to the host family for rent, and are responsible for their own transportation and food. The players will arrive on June 13, with opening day scheduled for June 19, and stay until early September.
People who are interested in serving as a host family may call the Osprey at (406) 543-3300 and request an application, or stop by the MSO Hub Box Office at 140 N. Higgins to pick up an application.
For more information, please contact Grant Warner at (406) 541-9314.
Dinner on the Diamond
The Missoula Osprey in conjunction with the Hospice Care Foundation, Missoula Aging Services and Aspen Hospice of Montana announced their partnership on the second annual Dinner on the Diamond that will take place Thursday, July 24 at Ogren Park Allegiance Field.
The unique evening will allow event-goers to have dinner on the Blackfoot Party Deck at Ogren Park Allegiance Field. A buffet-style traditional ballpark menu with sides, soda, water and dessert is on tap. Beer and wine will be available for purchase.
Tickets for the event are $25 per person. Tickets for a family of four to five may be purchased for $100. Call the Hospice Care Foundation for other ticket options.
The gates will open at 5:30 p.m. for a social time, with dinner and games scheduled from 6-8 and music by DJ Aaron Traylor as well as dancing and other activities from 8 – 10 p.m.
The event will also feature a reverse raffle, silent auction and 50-50 raffle.
Tickets for the event are on sale at the MSO Hub Box Office and from the Hospice Care Foundation, Aspen Hospice of Montana and Missoula Aging Services.
Happy Day 3 of the Draft, check back this weekend for more info on who Arizona chooses today!
- O’s on the Road to the Show
- O’s in The Show- Chase Anderson
- Draft Eve
Good morning Osprey fans!
Today #BirdDroppings brings you swoop of good news on the success of former O’s.
O’s on the Road to the Show
-The Diamondbacks have named Bradin Hagens (09) their Pitcher-of-the-Month for May. Per the Arizona release:
Hagens, 25, went 3-0 with a 2.48 ERA (8 ER in 29.0 IP) and 19 strikeouts in 5 starts in May for the BayBears. He enters June with a 4-game win streak (from May 5-present) after beginning the season without allowing an earned run in 4 games as a reliever (9.1 IP). Hagens limited the opposition to a .186 batting average (19-for-102) in May, and did not allow more than 3 earned runs in any of his 5 starts. The 2013 Southern League midseason All-Star and Mobile Player of the Month for April was drafted in the sixth round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft from Merced Community College.
You can give him a follow on Twitter, too- @Bradin_Hagens16.
-Andrew Velazquez (12), a 7th round pick in the 2012 D-Back’s draft, has been streaky. But in a good way.
On May 31, Andrew Velazquez snapped a 22-game hit streak (May 5—May 30). Over that stretch, he batted .366 with a .431 on-base percentage, 34 hits and 13 extra-base hits. Velazquez entered June with an active 36-game on-base streak, dating back to April 22. He carried a .304 batting average and .387 on-base percentage over that span. He had recorded 11 triples on the season—three more than any hitter at any level of professional baseball. Velazquez ranked among Midwest League leaders in triples (1st, 11), total bases (1st, 107), runs (2nd, 42), extra-base hits (T-3rd, 24) and hits (4th, 64).
-Alex Glenn (12) owns the third-highest homerun rate in the California League with a dinger once every 15.58 at-bats.
I’ve linked his Twitter account.
-Jake Lamb (12) and teammate David Peralta had tied for the Southern League lead with 17 doubles for the Mobile BayBears.
Here’s Lamb’s tweet machine.
-21 year-old Silvino Bracho (13), Enrique Burgos, and Matt Stites and combined for 23 saves in May—each finishing in the top-8 among Minor League relievers.
It was not until May 30 that Bracho suffered his first career blown save that broke up a string of 26-straight saves to begin his minor league career.
O’s in The Show
Chase Anderson (09) pitched Arizona past Colorado last night in Denver and tallied another W to his name. In the process he became one of five MLB pitchers since 1998 to win at least his first four starts. Minus a 5th inning DJ LeMahieu homerun, the righty dazzled to move to 4-0 on the year.
6 IP 4H 1R 1ER 2BB 3K 1HR 3.32ERA
We’re just a little more than 30 hours away from another annual rite of passage in professional baseball with this year’s draft quickly approaching.
Zach Buchanan of AZcentral.com wrote a preview with thoughts from the Arizona front office on the draft and current farm system.
Read it here.
For those that want to preview what Arizona’s picks on the first day might look like compared to current and former Major Leaguers, here’s a nifty tool from baseball-reference.com
Thanks for cleaning up these #BirdDroppings with me, and be sure to visit http://www.missoulaosprey.com and check back here for draft coverage beginning tomorrow!