Time to find out who it will be

We’re just two weeks away from Osprey baseball. The Osprey will play at Helena in their season opener on June 20, as they face off with the defending Pioneer League champion Brewers. It’s on the air at 6:40, with the first pitch at 7:05, on AM 930, KMPT, and MissoulaOsprey.com.

And were 16 days away from the Home Opener, also with the Brewers. Get your tickets now at the MSO Hub Box Office at 140 N. Higgins or online at MissoulaOsprey.com.

Read here for more on the three former Osprey selected to play in the Midwest League All-Star game in two weeks.

– The 2011 MLB First-Year Player Draft begins tonight at the MLB Network Studios, with the First Round and Compensation Round A taking place in the first of what will be a three-day event. Rounds 2-30 will happen on Tuesday, and the final rounds, 31-50, will be held on Wednesday.

The Arizona Diamondbacks will have the No. 3, No. 7 and No. 43 picks in the draft, and there has been a lot of debate as to where the D-backs will go with those picks. The top two picks also seem to change with the breeze, so who will even be available when the D-backs make their first pick is up in the air.

We will be posting each pick (and what info we can gather about each pick) as soon as possible all three days. More than likely, the picks on Tuesday and Wednesday will be posted in groups of several at a time, since the rounds will begin to tick by as fast as fish try to swim away from Ollie. The key word there is try.

-While the D-backs lost on Sunday, the team has put together an amazing 60 games so far this season, anchored by a pair of former Osprey in the lineup and one on the mound:
*Miguel Montero (2002-03) is hitting .271 with 14 doubles, six homers, 27 RBI and an .807 OPS.
*Gerardo Parra (2006) has been solid with the glove, plus is batting .267, with five doubles, a triple, four home runs and 16 RBIs.
*Right-handed reliever Esmerling Vasquez (2004) has an 0-1 mark with a 3.63 ERA, walking just nine while striking out 18 in 22 1/3 innings pitched. Vasquez was ejected during yesterday’s festivities after hitting a Washington batter with a pitch. This followed Justin Upton getting hit for the fourth time in the series (and the Nationals’ Jason Marquis getting the heave-ho), which was proceeded by Washington’s Jayson Werth getting plunked by a pitch, and warnings going to both sides. And here we thought the next potential bout of testiness would be between Florida and San Francisco.

Goldy Watch: On Sunday, Paul Goldschmidt (2009) went 2-for-3 with an intentional walk and a strikeout. Goldy’s now hitting .341 for the season, with 19 home runs and 53 RBIs.

– Former Osprey pitcher Greg Smith (2005) is making the best of his opportunity with the Grand Prairie Air Hogs of the American Association (Independent). In five starts, the left-hander is 2-1 with a 2.53 ERA. Smith, who is a Louisiana native, signed with the Air Hogs after being released by the Colorado Rockies in April.

– Former Osprey infielder-turned-utilityman Emilio Bonifacio (2003) has become very valuable to the Florida Marlins these days. In fact, Bonni is getting an extended time starting at shortstop with Hanley Ramirez nursing a back problem. Of course, there is still work to be done.

Minor League Update:

– Triple-A Reno: The Aces lost a slim lead late, and fell to Salt Lake City on Sunday, 3-2. Daniel Stange (2006) pitched a scoreless ninth inning, but the Aces were unable to rally late.

– Double-A Mobile: Jarrod Parker (2007) and Bryan Henry (2007) combined to allow four hits while striking out 10 batters in seven innings of work to help the BayBears’ pitching collect their second straight shutout, a  4-0 blanking of Huntsville on Sunday. Parker fanned six batters in his five innings of work, while Henry added four punch-outs in two innings pitched.  Jake Elmore (2008) had a double and 2 RBI from the leadoff spot, plus scored a run for Mobile, who has won seven straight games to take sole possession of first place in the Southern League’s Southern Division. The BayBears have outscored the Stars, 9-0, in the first two games of their 5-game series.

– Class A Advanced Visalia: One night after being rained out, the Rawhide were two-hit by Modesto, falling 5-0 on Sunday. Trevor Harden (2008) allowed all five runs on four hits and a walk in seven innings of work, including two home runs, and struck out seven batters. Christian Beltre and Yonata Ortega, 2007 Osprey teammates, both pitched a scoreless inning of relief behind Harden.

– Class A South Bend: Patrick Schuster (2009-10) allowed just a run on four hits in seven innings of work, while South Bend had a pair of four-run uprisings late in the game to beat Quad Cities on Sunday, 9-1. The Silver Hawks scored four times in both the sixth and eighth innings to take the win. Schuster walked one and fanned four to help lower his ERA to 3.14 for the season, while picking up his fifth win in seven decisions. Ender Inciarte (2009) doubled, Roberto Rodriguez (2010) singled, walked twice, drove in a run and stole a base; Matt Helm (2009-10) singled, scored twice and drove in a run, and Raul Navarro (2010) added a base hit and two RBIs.

– DSL D-backs: Did not play on Sunday. In four games so far this season, former Osprey outfielder Alan Santiago (2009) is 4-for-12 with a pair of doubles and three RBIs.

Today’s Games and former Osprey Probables:
AAA Reno (34-24) vs. Salt Lake City
AA Mobile (33-24) vs. Huntsville
A Adv. Visalia (25-31) vs. Modesto
A South Bend (30-27) has an off-day on Monday
DSL D-backs (2-4) at DSL Padres

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