The Southpaw
south·paw (southpô) n. Slang A left-handed person, especially a left-handed baseball pitcher.

Wednesday, June 25, 2003  

The Trade That Wasn't

It's looking like Juan ain't gone . . . yet.

Same link as before, just different information.

Here's some details of what the deal is rumored to have been, thanks to David Pinto.

Editor's Note: I tried registering at The Dallas Morning News' website last night when I first heard of the story, but had problems. Thanks again to David for posting the information about the prospects so no one else had to go through that.

8:54 AM

5 Straight

The Giants have now beaten the LA dodgers 5 consecutive games in San Francisco by 1 run.

Jason Schmidt has allowed 7 hits over his last 18 innings against the hated rivals.

The Giants are 2 games up in the NL West and have a chance to sweep in Game 3.

Magic Number: 84

In other NL West news, the D-backs have won 7 straight and are "only" 6 games back of the G-men. And this is without Johnson and Schilling.

8:38 AM

Tuesday, June 24, 2003  

Expos Deal

In what I would call a surprise move, the Montreal Expos have traded for Juan "Gone"-zalez, according to

Gonzalez has a no trade clause, but a friend of his has said to Jayson Stark that he'd waive it for Expos General Manager Omar Minaya. has a bit of a different tale, however:

Details of the proposed trade were not released, but a source close to the negotiations said Gonzalez does not want to be traded multiple times this season and is seeking a guaranteed contract extension of at least three years or he will veto the deal.

A three-year extension in Montreal?

Details to come.

5:11 PM

You can breathe now

The Giants pulled off a close one last night, and Barry Bonds stole his 500th bag to help them.

There were some great defensive plays (Cruz Jr. diving in foul territory, Feliz backhanding a ball on the third base line and throwing a frozen rope to first) and some not-so-great plays (Durham trying to force a double play that ended up scoring the first run and putting the second on third), but overall I thought that the Giants played well.

Giants' Magic Number: 86.

10:23 AM

It's Randy Time!

Thanks to Stephen Shelby for sending me this link that says "The Big Unit", Randy Johnson, will be pitching in Sacramento on July 7 for his second rehab start.

Johnson would throw 55-60 pitches in his second start, scheduled for July 7. The Sidewinders are in Sacramento that night.

I'll be in Section 112 (behind home plate) in case anyone's wondering.

10:02 AM

Friday, June 20, 2003  

Rivalries Revived

Also in my absence, the Giants and Dodgers faced off in some very meaning full games this week.

Priorities and Frivolties intro'd the series here, and now that the smoke has cleared, the Giants are still in first (barely).

LA took Games 1 & 2, causing a tie for the division lead. Luckily, Jason Schmidt threw a gem in Game 3 (giving him a league leading 3rd shutout in his 3-hit performance) and the Giants pulled back into sole position as leaders in the NL West. This game also ended Paul Lo Duca's 25-game hit streak, as well as the dodgers' 8-game win streak. Ending anything good in LA is always good news for Giants fans (and I'm sure the reverse it true as well).

After the series, the Giants magic number is now 90.

Now the Giants move on to the less-rivaled Oakland A's.

A World Series preview perhaps? One can only hope.

12:09 PM

Moneyball Update

Aaron Gleeman has a great post updating us on the status of the players drafted by the Oakland A's in the 2002 draft (as presented in "Moneyball").

Check it out!

Editor's Note: I should have put this up the day I read it, but I've dropped the ball lately. Sorry to anyone who's come to the site only to find nothing (new, that is).

11:52 AM

Monday, June 16, 2003  

"Giant" Trade News

In Peter Gammons' latest column he mentions the San Francisco Giants a few times. The first mention is regarding the opening for a NY Mets GM saying, "Brian Sabean has long wanted to return to the East Coast". Personally, I don't see this happening . . . at least not now.

He also has the Giants listed second - among five teams - in the running for Ugueth Urbina, right after the Yankees (whether or not these are in any order, however, is unknown).

Here's my favorite tidbit:

The Marlins are telling teams that they will wait until July, then make their trade decisions on Castillo, Mike Lowell, Derrek Lee, et al. The Cubs still believe they will in the end get Lowell, but there are rumblings that if the Mariners could swallow the $14 million Jeff Cirillo has coming in 2004-2005, they could get in on Florida's All-Star third baseman. Meanwhile, Chicago is looking for a stopgap infielder like Neifi Perez.


I'd take Hill or any prospect "problem" that they think they have. Can we get a bag of chips, too?

9:31 AM

Friday, June 13, 2003  

Guess Who's Back

John Perricone over at Only Baseball Matters appears to have licked his computer/internet problems, and is back with a vengence.

Dan Lewis is back to frequent posting as well.

And on the topic of blogs: I got an e-mail from David Lee, and he's got a new Braves blog up called BravesBuzz. He's even got a Forum up!

Check them out!

2:00 PM

He Who Hesitates...

Slate's got a "Moneyball" followup, an interview with Bill James.

Speaking of which, here's an older interview with Bill James by David Pinto.

And also from Pinto's Baseball Musings, Robert Saunders talks about "Moneyball".

Editor's Note: The change-in-strategy for the Playoffs was one of my thoughts for my "Moneyball" review. I'd better get to writing it soon, or else I may have nothing original to write about!

1:53 PM

Wednesday, June 11, 2003  

Speaking of Good Books

ESPN's SportsNation has a great page set up which is basically a free preview of Rob Neyer's new book, "Rob Neyer's Big Book of Baseball Lineups" (which is also in The Southpaw's library).

This is a great - and unconventional - baseball book. It's not so much a book you'll read front to back, but more jumping around from team to team.

Editor's Note: Review to come after I get my "Moneyball" review done.

8:53 AM

More Moneyball

Slate has a great back-and-forth review of "Moneyball" with James Surowieki and Rob Neyer. It's a very good read as they break down a lot of the meanings/misconceptions about the book.

Editor's Note: Having only read "Moneyball" once, I don't feel as though I'm ready to write up a review, so hopefully I'll have a free day this weekend to read it again. I think that I may have some new insights/opinions about the book, although I guess if I wait too long that may not be so true.

8:39 AM

Monday, June 09, 2003  

As Simple (or Complicated) as That

I heard back from Peter Schilling (from Mudville Magazine) regarding the Chapter Numbering Issue, and here was his response.

I asked Elizabeth Riley, a publicist for W. W. Norton who's been working closely with Moneyball, and she responded "editing quirk".

And the mystery (appearantly) is solved. If any new information changes that, I'll let you all know.

2:46 PM

Interesting Find

I'm in the middle of reading "Moneyball", and I noticed something interesting. I don't know if I'm the first to mention this, or if there's an underlying reason, but there's some inconsistancy with the chapter numbering of the book.

All of the chapters (save two) are listed as Chapter One, Chapter Two, etc. The two exceptions are Chapter 5 and Chapter 9 (listed with numbers rather than spelled out like every other chapter).

If anyone knows why this is (or if it's just some odd editing error/quirk), please e-mail me. It's been on my mind all weekend. Likewise, I'll let you all know if I find the answer.

Editor's Note: You can now find "Moneyball" at Costco for your discount ($14.95, I believe) purchasing pleasure.

11:18 AM

Thursday, June 05, 2003  

Extended Draft Coverage (VERY LONG POST)

After working diligently for 2-3 hours straight, I lost my entire post breaking down the San Francisco Giants Draft Class of 2003. So now I start again from scratch. If this doesn't turn out as detailed as it might have been, sorry.

I've been scouring the Giants Blogs in the hopes that someone would do a great review of the 2003 SF Draft Selections, but it looks like I won't be let off the hook so easily.

Let me forwarn you that I do not know much about ANY of these players, and that I am pulling information from pretty much wherever I can (knowing that all sources are free as I don't have any great "premium" draft subcriptions).

So without further ado, welcome the San Francisco Giants' Draft Class of Two-Thousand and Three:

Round 1 (22nd Overall) David Aardsma, RHP - Rice COMMENT: Large frame, tall, long lean. Throws with three-quarters delivery. Quick, easy arm. Late hop to fastball. Throws 92-94, with ability for more. Works fast, throws strikes. (Draft Tracker)

An erratic season looked like it might knock him to the second round, but Aardsma held his slot to the surprise of some. Has a very live arm, and pitched extremely well against wooden bats in the Cape Cod League last summer. (John Sickels: Picks 1-30)

The Giants were especially impressed with the righthander in the Cape Cod League last summer, when he went 3-0, 0.68 with seven saves for Falmouth. He held opponents to an .084 average and struck out 45. It's rare for college closers to become closers in the majors, but Tidrow didn't feel the selection was a gamble.

"Russ Ortiz was a reliever in college," he said. "I think Russ has done fine. We took the biggest body guy with the best arm who can make pitches and had good stuff against wood in the Cape. He dominated the Cape. That's why we like him. We really won't make a decision on whether he's a starter or a reliever until later. For now, he's going to start. Unlike Russ--we had him in the bullpen and then made him a starter--we'll start (Aardsma) as a starter. If he becomes a reliever, so be it."

Aardsma is a college teammate of Enrique Cruz, the younger brother of Giants right fielder Jose Cruz Jr. After a recent trip to see his older brother, Enrique came back to Texas raving about the Giants organization. Aardsma was thrilled to get drafted by them. He took over the closing role midway through last season for Rice and loves it.

"It's so exciting to come out in the ninth inning and be that last knife in the back," Aardsma said. "You go for one inning, throw your best stuff and get hitters out. Whatever the organization wants me to do is what I'm going to do. If they want me to start, I've done that before and I'll do that again. If they want me to close, I'm doing that right now. I don't want to be too anxious to take Robb Nen's job. He's an unbelievable closer and one of the best of all-time. I want to be that guy down the line." (Baseball America: Giants Draft Review)

"I don't want to say I'm surprised, but I am very relieved, especially it being the San Francisco Giants with their tradition," said Aardsma. "They're first class and develop pitchers great. Hopefully, I'll be a part of their goal of winning a world championship." Aardsma, a hard thrower with a mid-90s fastball, was 5-3 with a 3.38 ERA this season for the highly ranked Owls and recorded 10 saves. Although the junior failed to earn All-Western Athletic Conference postseason honors -- as did nine of his teammates -- Aardsma is an Academic All-WAC. But the 6-5, 200-pound pitcher is considered one of the nation's best closers.

Aardsma came on strong in the Cape Cod League last summer as a top closer for the Falmouth Commodores, where he honed a 3-0 record with seven saves. He held opponents to a .084 batting average. Blessed with a darting fastball, the hurler during one stretch allowed only seven earned runs in 41 2/3 inning for a 1.51 ERA. (

Aardsma, if he stays healthy, should grow into a monster pitcher. He's only 21 and is 6-5, 200 pounds and owns a lively fastball, hence his reputation as one of the nation's best closers. The right-hander will be a starter initially, however, easing him into the minor leagues at a slower pace then the fearsome moments of the later innings. (Rich Draper: Giants Luck Out)

Editor's Note: On Baseball Tonight, Peter Gammons said that the Giants drafted Aardsma with the hope that he'd be ready for a September call up to help during the stretch run. We'll have to keep an eye on that, if it is indeed true.

Editor's Note II: If David Aardsma makes it to the majors, he'll be on the top of the all-time players list, surpassing Henry "Hammerin' Hank" Aaron . . . alphabetically of course.

Round 1 (34th Overall) Roger/Chris/Craig Whitaker, RHP - Lufkin (Texas) HS
[Listed as Roger] COMMENT: Tall, lanky and thin. Projectable frame with future physical gains. Quick arm. Live fastball. Tight snapping curve and feel for change. Signed with Texas A&M. (Draft Tracker)

[Listed as Chris Whitaker] Every year, there's a hot prep right-hander from Texas who makes scouts drool. This year it is Whitaker, owner of a low-to-mid-90s fastball, a very good curve, and a projectable body. Whether he is Kerry Wood, Todd Ritchie, or something else remains to be seen. (John Sickels: Top 2003 Prospects)

[Listed as Craig Whitaker] The Giants also took--and won--a gamble during the draft. The organization had targeted Lufkin (Texas) High righthander Craig Whitaker with their first pick, but thought they could nab Aardsma and still grab Whitaker with their supplemental first-round choice, No. 34 overall. The gambit paid off and San Francisco added a 6-foot-4, 180-pound athlete whose fastball has been clocked as high as 96 mph. (Baseball America: Giants Draft Review)

[Craig] Whitaker is also all angles and leanness at 6-4, 185, like a Great Dane puppy. But the kid can throw, regularly blowing those prepsters away with fastballs and fasterballs. Ninety-eight mph at a mere 18 years old. Fudging on the radar gun? Tell it to those K victims. "He does have a power arm," said Tidrow, "and he has good location." (Rich Draper: Giants Luck Out)

[Craig] the Giants used their sandwich pick to choose high schooler Craig Whitaker, a pure power pitcher who can theoretically throw in the high 90s. At 6-4 and 180 pounds, the Lufkin (Texas) High School product has a lot of room to grow, but he was a preseason prep All-American in 2003. The Giants, however, have a superb reputation in building their pitchers and the staff. Whitaker threw very well as the draft approached and was listed as the 12th best prepster in the draft by Baseball America. ( Unexpected Picks)

Editor's Note: How many names does this guy have? Are there triplets playing on this high school team? I hope the Giants drafted the right one!

Round 2 (55th Overall) Jeffery/Todd Jennings, C - Long Beach State COMMENT: Athletic body. Built like John Valentin. Balanced, open stance. Major League arm with good carry. Loose, live arm. Sure-handed. Line-drive hitter with occasional power. Generates good bat speed. Aggressive player with good instincts. Steady, reliable player. Good athlete, competitor. Can play anywhere. Splits time behind plate, caught most of last year. (Draft Tracker)

Jennings could be a coup, for he's one of those "best athlete available" types who can play a variety of spots, not just at catcher. He's a solid 6-foot, 190-pounder who caught most of the time with the Dirtbags and has a great arm. A line-drive hitter with occasional power, he hit at a .293 clip this season for Long Beach State. Versatile and steady. (Rich Draper: Giants Luck Out)

Round 2 (63rd Overall) Nathan Schierholtz, 3B - Chabot (CA) JC
The Giants also made one of the more obscure selections in the first two rounds, popping third baseman Nate Schierholtz from nearby Chabot (Calif.) Junior College in the East Bay. The 6-foot-2, 215-pound lefthanded batter hit .400-18-60 with 48 runs scored and 20 doubles in 42 games. (Baseball America: Giants Draft Review)

Schierholtz, the Giants pick in the second round may have been one of the bigger surprises of the first two rounds. The Giants opted to draft a guy from the area, as Schierholtz is product of San Ramon High in Danville, Calif, a suburb of San Francisco. Schierholtz spent the last year playing for Chabot Community College, and he had signed with Long Beach State for the upcoming year. He's a 6-2, 200 third baseman who bats left and throws right. (Baseball America: 2003 Draft Blog)

Schierholtz is the power guy at 6-2, 200 pounds. He now holds the Chabot school record with 18 homers and was a 2003 JUCO All-American. OK, it's junior college, but he was the Coast Conference's Player of the Year with a .400 average and 60 RBIs -- kind of a man-among-boys scenario. ( Giants Luck Out)

Schierholtz set a school record with 18 homers this season and was a 2003 JUCO All-American, leading Chabot to a 26-16 record. He was also the Player of the Year in the Coast Conference, batting .400 with 60 RBIs and a .460 on-base percentage and .850 slugging mark. ( Unexpected Picks)

Round 3 (93rd Overall) Brian Buscher, 3B - South Carolina
Buscher led the SEC with a .386 average heading into the regionals and also had 12 homers and 57 RBIs. ( Giants Luck Out)

Buscher, named a third-team All-American, was leading the Southeastern Conference with a .386 average entering the NCAA Super Regionals and had slammed 12 homers with 57 RBIs. ( Unexpected Picks)

Buscher, an All-American and All-SEC standout this season at third base, was drafted in the third round of the draft by the San Francisco Giants. Buscher leads the SEC in hitting with a .384 batting average and leads Carolina in HR (12) and RBI (58). Buscher has collected 31 multi-hit games this year for the Gamecocks and owned a 14-game hitting streak as well as a 11-game hitting streak this season. (

Round 4 (123rd Overall) Brooks McNiven, RHP - British Columbia University COMMENT: Very lean, angular build. Long arc, loose arm. Lots of K's. Poised, competes well. Shows 2 ML pitches now. Lacks overall body strength. (Draft Tracker)

McNiven is another lean, angular guy at 6-5 and 180 pounds, who is a K-man with two Major League pitches, but he needs to add bulk and strength. He had a 8-2 record and 1.62 ERA in 12 games. ( Unexpected Picks)

Round 5 (153rd Overall) Mike Wagner, LF - Washington
For their seventh pick, the Giants chose left-fielder Mike Wagner from the University of Washington, who was hitting .308 with 48 RBIs and 15 homers. Wagner earned Baseball America Summer League All-America Team honors after being named the MVP of the New England Collegiate Baseball League in 2002. ( Unexpected Picks)

Round 6 (183rd Overall) William Sadler, RHP - LSU
Sadler, a native of Pensacola, Fla., came to LSU this year after two seasons at Pensacola Junior College. Sadler has appeared in a team-high 25 games this year, 24 in relief, posting a 1-1 record with four saves and a 3.92 ERA.

The Giants have had previous success with LSU pitchers, as the club took All-American Kurt Ainsworth in the first round of the 1999 draft, and Ainsworth is now a part of San Francisco's starting rotation. (

Round 7 (213rd Overall) Patrick Misch, LHP - Western Michigan COMMENT: Similar build to Tom Glavine. 3/4 stretch windup. Effortless motion. Sneaky fastball, locates well, tail movement, occasionally turns over for sink. Curveball 3/4, tight rotation. Good deceptive circle change, tails and sinks away from right-handers. Knack for changing speeds with all pitches. Knows how to set up hitters. (Draft Tracker)

[S]ports a sneaky fastball and great changeup. ( Unexpected Picks)

Round 8 (243rd Overall) Timothy Hutting, SS - Long Beach State COMMENT: Trim, athletic body. Major League defensive skills. Smooth, fluid actions. Quick, sure hands. Major Leauge arm with good on-line carry. Quick bat. Hits to all fields. Good bat extentension, good instincts. Gamer. Solid, steady player both on offense and defense. Base stealing threat. (Draft Tracker)

Round 9 (273rd Overall) Kellen Ludwig, RHP - Chipola (FL) JC
2002 at Chipola Junior College: lead the team in saves with 5.....1-1 record with a 3.18 ERA in 28 innings of work....drafted in the 12th round by the San Francisco Giants. (Chipola Profile)

Editor's Note: The G-men must be really high on Ludwig, as this is the second time in as many years that they have drafted him.

Round 10 (303rd Overall) Jesse Schmidt, OF - Sacramento (CA) State
Schmidt, a transfer from Palomar JC in San Marcos, Calif., made an immediate impact with the program after batting .389 with 81 hits, 53 runs, nine doubles, 16 home runs, 55 RBIs, 138 total bases, 16 stolen bases, 138 total bases, a .663 slugging percentage and a .463 on-base percentage.

Schmidt also established a new Div. I era (1990-present) record by hitting safely in 24-consecutive games from March 11 to April 24. The previous record of 22 games was set during the 1992 season by Casey Simpson. During his streak, the switch hitter batted .443 (39-for-88) with 26 runs, five doubles, nine home runs, 16 walks, 22 RBI, 10 stolen bases and only 10 strikeouts. In the record-setting game, Schmidt finished 5-for-5 with three home runs, three runs and five RBI on April 18 at Centenary. For his efforts, Schmidt was named Louisville Slugger’s National Player of the Week by Collegiate Baseball News on April 21. He became the second Hornet (Kinsey) to record three home runs in a contest and is also tied for fourth in the single-season record book with 16 homers. In addition, Schmidt tied for the team lead with three multi-homer games (two from each side of the plate).

As a right fielder, Schmidt set a new program record with 12 outfield assists while committing only one error and finishing with a .993 fielding percentage. The previous record of 11 was set by Mario Celillo during the 2002 season. (

Schmidt, who had a 24-game hitting streak this season, was a 10th-round selection of the Giants. He said he also hopes to sign a contract soon. ()

Editor's Note: Local boy makes good . . . but he needs to take the rookie seminar for "How to wear a baseball hat"

Round 11 (333rd Overall) Jeffery Peterson, RHP - Washington COMMENT: Extra-tall frame. Athletic build. Built like Roy Halladay. Major league strength. Fastball velocity 88-90 with running action. Slider has good velocity, hard sweep and effective inside. Infrequent circle change that fades. agile for size. Durable. Lacks useable change. Has command and mixes pitches well. (Draft Tracker)

Round 12 (363rd Overall) Ryan Sadowski, RHP - Florida
Sadowski appeared in just one game for the Gators in 2003 but was drafted out of high school in 2000. Following his prep career he was taken in the 29th round by the Los Angeles Dodgers. (

A 2000 graduate of Western High School in Davie, Fla. … Listed as the nation's No. 34 high school prospect by Baseball America in its rankings of the top-100 high school recruits … Named All County and team Most Valuable Pitcher as a senior … Went 6-3 with 1.50 ERA in 14 appearances as a senior … Finished 7-3 with 1.59 ERA and struck out 60 batters with only 20 walks in 44 innings as a junior … Finished 3-1 with 1.91 ERA as a sophomore … Pitched a two-hitter against No. 1 nationally ranked Columbus H.S. (Gator Baseball Bio)

Round 13 (393rd Overall) Nick Conte, C - St. Mary's (CA) University
Three years ago, the Giants used their 49th-round pick as a courtesy to Nick Conte, the son of their head athletic trainer, Stan Conte. They drafted him again Tuesday, and this time it was legit. The Giants didn't have to go far to scout him. Nick is a regular around Pacific Bell Park and accompanied the Giants on road trips last summer, where he was the bullpen catcher, proving himself as Robb Nen and Felix Rodriguez fired fastballs and nasty sliders at him.

"I don't want to brag about my kid, but I might as well," the father said. "This guy can catch and throw. He has a tremendous arm. It's a rocket. He can catch and he can call a game. He's been in major league clubhouse his whole life. He knows what it's all about. He's not intimidated by anything. He loves to catch." The 5-foot-10, 210-pound Conte hit .331-3-36 in 167 at-bats and was an honorable mention West Coast Conference choice. (Baseball America: Giants Draft Review)

Round 14 (423rd Overall) Sean "Spider" Martin, RHP - Cal State Fullerton
[2002] Was a very steady long reliever for the Titans • Struck out 29 and walked just five in 36.0 innings • Did not walk a batter in his first 23-plus innings of work • Allowed just two homers and six doubles and opponents batted .239 • Hurled a career-high 5.2 scoreless innings, allowing just three hits, in the extra-innings portion of Fullerton’s 16-inning loss to Long Beach State on May 25 • Take out his first appearance of the season (when he allowed four runs at Stanford without retiring a batter) and Martin’s ERA was 2.00 • Had a sizzling 1.65 ERA in Big West play (16.1 innings) • His wins came vs. Loyola Marymount (Mar. 13) and Long Beach State (Mar. 25) • Also picked up his first save with two scoreless innings against UC Riverside on May 10 • Suffered his only loss in the NCAA Regional, when Stanford’s Scott Dragicevich singled in the winning run in the bottom of the 13th. ( Bio)

Round 15 (453rd Overall) J. "Ben" Thurmond, RHP - Arizona State
A senior transfer from Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C… one of the highest profile transfers during the college baseball offseason… compiled a career 22-9 record in his three years at Winthrop… throws three pitches for strikes, including a fastball in the high 80’s, low 90’s, a big-league changeup and a plus curveball… two years removed from an All-American sophomore season… played for Team USA in summer of 2001 with former Sun Devil pitcher Mike Esposito… listed as the No. 79 prospect for the 2003 MLB draft by Baseball America. (Sun Devils Bio)

Round 16 (483rd Overall) Michael Mooney, OF - JC of San Mateo (CA)
Outfielder Mike Mooney, California's community college leader in home runs and runs batted in, is being pulled between a scholarship pledge to Oregon State and what may be offered by the San Francisco Giants, who chose him on the 16th round of this week's free-agent draft.

Pending what the draft and the summer might bring, [Mooney] had agreed to play for the semipro San Mateo Bulldogs, but [was] excused from appearing Wednesday (San Meteo County Times)

Round 17 (513rd Overall) Marcus Sanders, SS - Sarasota (FL) HS
no information found yet. ()

Round 18 (543rd Overall) Patrick Dobson, OF - UNLV COMMENT: Extra large frame, lean throughout. Long arms, loose. Sturdy. Excellent strength potential. Similar to Chipper Jones. Excellent make-up and work ethic. Solid, average arm, flashes plus, on-line and accurate. Good range, lays out. Average bat speed through zone, level. Opposite field power, occasional moon shots. (Draft Tracker)

Round 19 (573rd Overall) Jonathan Coutlangus, CF - South Carolina
Coutlangus was also selected [along with Round 3 selection Brian Buscher] by the San Francisco Giants and was drafted in the 18th round. Coutlangus has started 60 games this year in center field, is batting .332 on the year and leads the team in stolen bases with 14. (

[2002] One varsity letter ... Enrolled at Carolina in the fall of 2001 and opened the 2002 season as the starter in center field ... Was batting above .300 when he broke the index finger on his left (throwing) hand attempting to lay down a bunt in the 31st game ... Was sidelined for 22 games and saw average drop to .260 after return ... Played in 51 games with one homer, 11 RBI and stole eight bases in 10 attempts ... Regained stroke during fall practice and batted .324 (11-34) with four doubles and four stolen bases ... Counted on to patrol center field again in 2003 and could bad leadoff ... Played two seasons at Indian River CC under coach Mike Easom with career .311 average ... Selected by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 33rd round of the 2000 draft. (Gamecocks Bio)

Round 20 (603rd Overall) Raul Rodriguez, C - Florida Christian HS, Miami COMMENT: Medium build. Strong frame throughout. Body similar to Ivan Rodriguez. Balanced approach, feet shoulder width. Strong arm. Soft hands. Block balls, keeps them in front. Handles pitchers well. Gap to gap hitter now. Hardworking. Durable. Goes all-out. Handles pitchers well. (Draft Tracker)

Round 21 (633rd Overall) Sean Watson, RHP - Florida Christian HS, Miami COMMENT: Body type resembles Darren Dreifort. Smooth delivery, clean mechanics. Live arm. Solid stuff. Throws everything for strikes. Uses knuckleball as out pitch. (Draft Tracker)

Round 22 (663rd Overall) Nathan Fogle, RHP - Mt. Hood (OR) CC COMMENT: Lean, rangy build. Low 3/4 to sub delivery. Exaggerated motion, all elbows and knees. Arm slot promotes both tail and sink, makes fastball better. Hard, sweeping slider. Gets ground ball outs. Minor delivery faults correctable. (Draft Tracker)

Round 23 (693rd Overall) Michael Kunes, LHP - UCLA
A 2003 co-captain, Kunes finished the season with a 5-2 mark on the mound and a 6.81 ERA. The Chatsworth native finished second on the team with 62 strikeouts and ranked seventh in the Pac-10 in strikeouts looking.

Over the course of his four-year career at UCLA, Kunes appeared in 88 games, which ranks third among Bruins. He posted a 18-10 record while in Westwood with 194 strikeouts. (

Round 24 (723rd Overall) Brian Wilson, RHP - LSU COMMENT: Medium to large frame. Tightly wound build. Similar to Jeff Zimmerman. Plus mechanics. Throws very hard. Improved slider. Goes right at hitters. (Draft Tracker)

Wilson last pitched on March 28 at Alabama, where he reported soreness in his elbow after working 7.2 innings in a 4-2 loss. He underwent Tommy John (shoulder) surgery on April 17. Wilson, who fired a five-hit shutout versus Florida on March 14, posted a 5-3 mark this season with a 3.38 ERA in 50.2 innings, recording 13 walks and 35 strikeouts. In 2001 and 2002 at LSU, Wilson appeared in 43 games, starting 14, with a 13-7 record and a 4.17 ERA. He had two complete games, one shutout and five saves in 133 2/3 innings. (

Round 25 (753rd Overall) Nolan Mulligan, RHP - Chaminade-Madonna Prep, Hollywood, FL COMMENT: Medium build. Long and lanky. Similar build to young Orel Hershiser. High leg kick. Heavy fastball. Curveball sharp with a 12 to 6 break. Good mound presence. Goes after hitters. Improves every year. (Draft Tracker)

Round 26 (783rd Overall) Douglas Coon, LHP - CC of Southern Nevada
I found a Tylor Coon listed at the CCSN website, but I'm not sure if it's the same person. If so, he was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in 2002. (

Round 27 (813rd Overall) Omar Aguilar, RHP - Livingston (CA) HS
no information found yet. ()

Round 28 (843rd Overall) Roberto Gonzalez, CF - Sunny Hills HS, Fullerton, CA
no information found yet. ()

Round 29 (873rd Overall) Daniel Desouza, CF - Connors State (OK) JC
no information found yet. ()

Editor's Note: I found the Connors State Baseball page, but no sign if Daniel Desouza anywhere (2002-03 Roster Coming Soon).

Round 30 (903rd Overall) Derek Barrow, 3B - Campbell
An Atlantic Sun Preseason All-Conference selection in 2003, Barrows finished the this season with a .309 average, seven home runs and a team leading 40 RBI. A 6-foot-1, right-handed hitter, Barrows played in 96 career games for CU with 99 hits, finishing his career with a .299 average, 10 home runs and 64 RBI. During the summer of 2002, Barrows was a member of the Coastal Plain League’s Gastonia Grizzlies, where he batted .246 with 17 RBI in 38 games. "We are very excited for Derek," said Campbell Head Coach Chip Smith. "I feel Derek has not reached his full potential as of yet. Being able to focus one-hundred percent on baseball is going to make a significant difference in his development." A graduate of Cardinal Mooney High School, Barrows will most likely be sent to Scottsdale, Ariz., to take play in the Arizona Rookie League. (

Round 31 (933rd Overall) Eduardo Baeza, RHP - Mission (CA) JC
44. Eduardo Baeza RHP 6'0/170 Sun Valley Sun Valley, CA
Baeza makes this list because on the last day with many scouts gone, he was touching 93. (2001 Prospect List)

Editor's Note: He was also the Round 33 Draft pick of the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2002.

Round 32 (963rd Overall) Oscar Gonzalez, CF - American HS, Miami COMMENT: Medium build. Athletic. Solid defensive OF. Soft hands, good instincts, covers gap to gap well. Strong arm with carry and acceleration. Runs well. Smart baserunner. Bat speed with line drive, gap power. Good, young player with three solid tools right now. Bat will need to be more consistent. Needs innings and at-bats. Solid makeup, works hard. (Draft Tracker)

Round 33 (993rd Overall) Travis Nesmith, LHP - Florida Atlantic COMMENT: Large build. Strong, durable frame. Solid fastball. Good movement. Sharp curveball. Sweeps through zone. Mound presence. Quality lefty. Gets better every year. (Draft Tracker)

Round 34 (1023rd Overall) Cody McAllister, RHP - Edmonds (WA) CC
no information found yet. ()

Editor's Note: He was the Round 34 Draft pick of the Cincinnati Reds in 2002. I found the Edmonds Community College Baseball page, but they only have a roster and schedule.

Round 35 (1053rd Overall) Tyson Brummett, RHP - Spanish Fork (UT) HS
Tyson Brummett struck out 10 batters in five innings of the Dons' tournament victory ()

Dons pitcher Tyson Brummett had 12 strikeouts and faced two batters over the minimum. ()

Editor's Note: All I could find were a couple of box scores and a mention that he was drafted (not listed). He won both of the above mentioned games.

Round 36 (1083rd Overall) Timothy Alvarez, LHP - Southeast Missouri State
recently selected as a third team All-American by the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper and TPX. He was 14-3 this season and was named the Ohio Valley Conference's Pitcher of the Year. He was twice named the Pitcher of the Week in the league, and was named the National Pitcher of the Week by Collegiate Baseball after throwing the first-ever no-hitter in OVC Tournament history last week. His 14 wins is a Southeast record and tie an OVC mark. He is tied for the national lead in that category. He had the league's best ERA for the second-straight season at 2.74 and led the OVC in wins, ERA, opponent's batting average, innings pitched, complete games and shutouts, while being second in strikeouts and runners picked off. (SE Baseball)

Editor's Note: My favorite part of this story was his quote, "The scout told me I'd be going there and it blew my mind. My parents can literally drive down and watch each game and turn around and go back home. This is a dream come true." I hope to see you soon Tim.

Round 37 (1113rd Overall) Shannon Wirth, RHP - Mt. Hood (OR) CC
no information found yet. ()

Editor's Note: He's on the (roster), but no bio, no draft news, nothing.

Round 38 (1143rd Overall) Jordan Hafer, 1B - Deerfield Beach (Fla.) HS COMMENT: Strong frame. Similar to a stronger J. T. Snow. Switch hitter, stonger from left side. Soft hands. Solid range. Quick feet. Strong arm. Good Instincts. Smart, hard player. Hustles all the time. Smart base runner. Has tools to improve. Signed with Florida Atlantic U. (Draft Tracker)

Round 39 (1173rd Overall) Michael Price, C - Fresno CC
no information found yet. ()

Editor's Note: He's on the (team roster), but listed as Mike Pierce. They've even got a picture, but no other info.

Round 40 (1203rd Overall) Dylan Gonzalez, RHP - American Heritage HS, Plantation, FL COMMENT: Long and lanky frame, good pitchers body. High 3/4 arm, no windup. Explosive action on heavy fastball. Sharp curveball. Solid change with deception, good action, late tumble in zone. Smart. Solid stuff to improve on. Good kid. Best games ahead of him. Needs innings. (Draft Tracker)

The Giants snagged high school righthander Dylan Gonzalez in the 40th round. His father, Charlie, is a Giants area scout based in Davie, Fla. Gonzalez is a good student and headed to the U. of Florida. (Baseball America: 2003 Draft Blog)

Round 41 (1233rd Overall) Michael Johnston, LHP - Ball State
Johnston concluded the 2003 season with a 3-3 record and a 5.30 ERA. In 13 appearances, Johnston recorded 12 starts and a career-high 32 strikeouts. His 71.1 innings pitched were also a career-best total. Johnston recorded at least one strikeout in all 13 outings, including a season and career-high six in his victory at Western Michigan (May 17).

In three seasons with the Cardinals, Johnston produced a 3-3 record with a 5.68 ERA. He threw 82.1 innings, striking out 41 batters. (Ball State Athletics)

Round 42 (1263rd Overall) Luis Martinez, C - Coral Park HS, Miami
no information found yet. ()

Round 43 (1293rd Overall) Mike Bell, C - Red Bluff (CA) HS
no information found yet. ()

Round 44 (1323rd Overall) John Odom, RHP - Tallahassee (FL) CC
no information found yet. ()

Round 45 (1353rd Overall) James Braden, RHP - Manatee (FL) JC
no information found yet. ()

Round 46 (1383rd Overall) Brandon Federici, LHP - Polk (FL) CC
no information found yet. ()

Editor's Note: Found the Polk CC (Athletics page), but no baseball info.

Round 47 (1413rd Overall) Thomas Correa, SS - Florin HS, Sacramento, CA
no information found yet. ()

Editor's Note: I can't believe that I cannot find a local story about him.

Round 48 (1443rd Overall) Matthew Berezay, OF - Modesto (CA) JC
no information found yet. ()

Round 49 (1473rd Overall) Douglas Fister, RHP - Merced (CA) JC
[He played Pitcher & Outfielder at Merced] (Merced College Baseball Roster)

Round 50 (1503rd Overall) James Popp, RHP - Duquesne
Jim Popp, the Dukes' senior pitcher from Brashear High School in Pittsburgh, PA, was selected in the 50th round by the San Francisco Giants on the second day of Major League Baseball's 2003 Draft. Popp had previously been picked in the 48th round by the Colorado Rockies following his junior season last June.

Popp, who battled some injury problems in his final collegiate campaign, still tied for the team lead in wins with a 6-4 record and 4.89 ERA in 53.1 innings pitched. Last season Popp had a 3-3 record with a 3.54 ERA, again in 53.1 innings. Popp pitched four complete games in nine starts, striking out 38 batters while allowing 19 walks. (

Editor's Note: This seems to be a recurring theme. It looks like the Giants drafted a lot of players who have had injury problems recently. I hope this doesn't come back to bite them.

5:05 PM

Tuesday, June 03, 2003  

Draft Time!

Jayson Stark has an interesting piece on how Major League Baseball should revamp the draft (#1: Put it on TV - even though Jim Caple disagrees). also has an article titled: The "Moneyball" Effect: Who fits the Profile?, which is simply a list of the best college OBP guys available in the draft (Oakland took 3B Bryan Snyder, from Stetson U. with their first pick - 26th Overall - proving it's not as simple as best OBP), but I digress.

Back to the Draft. Here's a few ideas I've come up with that are a little more radical then those suggested by Mr. Stark:

[1] Set Base Salary Standards
It's time that signability is removed from the glossary of MLB Draft terminology. You don't hear about signability in the NBA, or the NFL (although I guess that could be debatable). There is no logical reason why the worst team should pass on the best available player in an amateur draft due to financial restraints. Isn't the ENTIRE PURPOSE of a draft to help out the worst teams by giving them first shot at the best players? Here's a hypothetical: If the NBA draft was like the MLB draft, and the L.A. Clippers had the #1 pick, Donald Sterling (notoriously cheap, refusing to re-sign great players if they want high dollar contracts) would probably pass on LeBron James because he would want too much money to sign. Now, obviously, this is a bit of an exageration, because he still would be getting Shaq dollars (not to mention there's a Salary Cap in the NBA if you're not Mark Cuban), and he'd be playing immediately (no farm systems in the NBA, I don't care about the NBDL), but I think I've made my point.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, Mark Prior should be on the Twins. To this day I still can't believe they passed on him.

[2] Hammer Out the International Draft
Alfonso Soriano shouldn't be a Yankee. He should be helping to revitalize the Tigers/Devil Rays/Brewers/Orioles/etc. Alfonso Soriano is a Yankee because he came into the Majors as a Free Agent. Why couldn't Mark Prior have entered as a Free Agent, because he was born in the USA? This makes absolutely no little sense. The Dodgers have beefed up their pitching staff a couple of times (Nomo & Ishii) because they're in a large market, and even Ichiro made Seattle an instant contender (even though A-Rod skipped town and some thought he was overrated) when they won the right to sign him. Either disband the draft and allow all players to be Free Agents (which is rediculous) or make EVERY player go through the draft to get into the MLB.

As for "undrafted players", make them sign on at the MLB minor-league minimum to sign on with a team. If a player isn't picked in 50 rounds, then they aren't really in a position to demand high dollars. This also helps the "signability" issue, because players are going to get more money for being drafted then not. This also leads into my next suggestion...

[3] Make Players "Locked-In" to their Drafted Team for 3-4 Years
The actual number of years is debatable, but if a player knows that they're not playing anywhere for 3-5 years if they don't sign makes them look at their career path and evaluate things. If Player A enters the draft as a High School Senior, they can afford to go to college if they feel that they weren't drafted high enough. Then, when they graduate from college they can enter the draft again. On the flip-side, if Player B is a Junior in college and enters the draft, they cannot so easily pass on a team that drafts them, because they will be locked to that team for more then a single year.

If this was already in affect, then J.D. Drew wouldn't have wasted the Phillies 1997 first round pick (2nd Overall) when he refused to sign for $2 million (demanding "Travis Lee Dollars", A.K.A. $10-11 million) and then signed on with the Northern League in an attempt to become a Free Agent in 1998 (he failed - only then to be drafted in the first round in 1998 by St. Louis, 5th Overall). The Orioles also wouldn't have had to make a midnight signing of their 2002 first rounder (LHP Adam Loewen, 4th Overall) to make sure that they didn't lose his rights when he would have been re-entered into the 2003 draft pool.

These ideas alone aren't great ones, but when you combine them you can fix a lot of problems (although I imagine a whole new set of problems would arise). Regardless of what happens, the Major League Baseball Amateur Draft needs to be overhauled and fixed to help the balance of power in the majors. Small market teams can better compete if the draft will actually help them . . . even the small market teams that don't otherwise spend their money wisely!

What do you think? Let me know!

Editor's Note: The San Francisco Giants drafted Rice closer David Aardsma in the first round of the 2003 Amateur Draft with the 22nd Overall pick. For a complete look at the Giants' 2003 draft selections, click here.

3:20 PM

New Features

Well, I've finally got my "friend & enemies" box (on the right) looking the way I want it to, and I'll be updating that as frequently as possible (but maybe not daily like the Johan Santana Liberation watch). A good rule of thumb, if I'm around and posting, it'll be updated.

A quick explanation for those who need it:

All stats are for batters against left-handed pitchers only (i.e. "friends and enemies" of Southpaws everywhere). The low OPS guys are friends of Southpaws because they don't do well against lefties, while the high OPS guys are the ones that Southpaws should be looking over their shoulders for (enemies).

By the way, "OPS" is On Base Percentage plus Slugging Percentage (here's some more definitions from

All stats are from's website (with the links provided), and I'll list when the last time I updated them was, to avoid any confusion if there are any changes in the top or bottom 5.


Editor's Note: Einar Diaz only had 29 plate appearances at the time of update, so I added him with an asterix (and italics).

10:13 AM

Monday, June 02, 2003  

America's Pastime, especially in 1885

Thanks to the Library of Congress for submitting this 1885 children's poem (to help in learning the alphabet) to the Internet Archive.

Base-Ball A.B.C.

A stands for ARTHUR, a boy fond of fun,
When Base-Ball he plays, none like him can run.
B stands for BALL, for BAT, and for BASE.
C stands for CATCHER, with mask on his face.
D stnads for DIAMOND drawn flat on the ground.
E stands for EDWARD, who marks out the bound.
F stands for FOUL on which Arthur goes out.
G stands for "GO" - How the merry boys shout!
H stands for HIGH-BALL, knocked up to the sky.
I stands for INNINGS, for which we all try.
J stands for "JUDGEMENT," the Base-Keeper's shout.
K stands for KARL who so quickly gets out.
L stands for LEFT-FIELD, who catches FLY-BALLS.
M stands for MUFF, who cannot catch at all.
N stands for NORMAN, who knocks the ball high.
O stands for OUT, when it's caught on the fly.
P stands for PITCHER, a smart boy you see.
Q stands for QUICK, which this pitcher must be.
R stands for RUNNER, who runs to each base.
S stands for SHORT-STOP, the ball he must chase.
T stands for THIRD-BASE, looked after by James.
U stands for UMPIRE, who judges these games.
V stands for VICTOR, the best of the nine.
W stands for WILLIAM, who tells us the time.
X stands for SCORE-MARK, which errors point out.
Y stands for YOUTH, who's been injured no doubt.
Z stands for ZENO, this boy rather tall,
Who think there's no fun like a game of Base-Ball.

Just some good natured fun that I thought I'd share. This is a great reminder of how long baseball has been a part of our lives.

4:44 PM

No Posts, New Blogs

Sorry about the lack of new content lately. Been going through a dry spell for things to talk about.

On the bright side, I've got two new blogs for you to check out.

#1 is Bryball - Where Opinions Round the Bases. Check out his post on David Cone & Mo Vaughn.

Editor's Note: GREAT layout, by the way. :-)

#2 is (which isn't quite live yet). Looks like a great sports site, and I'm looking forward to seeing it grow even more in the future.

Editor's Note: Thanks to Tailgate Tom for giving me the inside scoop in his site before it's fully live.


9:33 AM
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