Former Kings in the Fall/Winter Leagues

As we continue to move along with plans for the 2011 season here at Alliant Energy Field, many of our former players have yet to end their 2010 campaigns.  Below is my exhaustive search to find them all.

In the AFL…

Clinton has many alumni entrants in the Arizona Fall League, most notably Nate Tenbrink of the 18-8, first-place Peoria Javelinas.  Tenbrink, a corner infielder with the LumberKings in 2009 got a little publicity last week after a 3-for-4, 3-RBI game against Phoenix.  Taking a page out of Scott Savastano’s playbook, Tenbrink has been Mr. Utility for the Javelinas, getting starts at third base, in the outfield and even at shortstop.

Check out last week’s article here:  http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20101108&content_id=16036770&vkey=news_mlb&c_id=mlb

Tenbrink is hitting .299 with a pair of home runs and 16 RBI as of today, slightly overshadowed by the fantastic offensive showing from non-LumberKing Dustin Ackley.  Seattle’s first first-round pick (ahead of Nick Franklin) in 2009, Ackley is leading the AFL in hitting with a .456 average and is tied for the lead in home runs with four.

Pitching-wise, ’09 LumberKings right-hander Aaron Pribanic has had a nice showing with the Mesa Solar Sox, going 0-1 with the AFL’s fourth-lowest ERA of 2.25 in nine games, 16.0 innings.  Pribanic, now a Pittsburgh Pirates farmhand was one of the notable pitchers included in the deal that brought Jack Wilson to Seattle in the summer of 2009.  Right-hander Eric Hurley is pitching today for the Surprise Rafters, attempting to extend his three-game, 15.0-inning scoreless streak as he faces the Javelinas today. The ’05 LumberKing is 2-0 with a 2.29 ERA in five starts.

Elsewhere in the AFL…right-hander Josh Lueke (’07-’08) has been just about unhittable so far, posting a 0.87 ERA and two saves in nine relief appearances for the Javelinas…right-hander Tom Wilhelmsen (’10) has been pitching in relief as well, going 1-1 with a 4.09 ERA and one save in nine outings…Maikel Cleto (’09) has made five starts for Peoria and is 2-0 despite a 5.82 ERA…Matt Lawson (’08) is hitting .273 with a home run and seven RBI with the Javelinas…Fabio Castillo (0-1, 2.79, 2 saves) and Adalberto Flores (0-1, 7.71), both of the ’08 squad are also pitching with Surprise…fellow ’08-ers Jose Felix (.341, 4 RBI), Davis Stoneburner (.261, HR, 9 RBI) and Engel Beltre (.245, HR, 7 RBI) are also with the Rafters.

In the Venezuela Winter League…

John Tamargo’s Cardenales de Lara are 14-14 and in fifth place.  Mario Martinez (’09-’10) is hitting .429 (6-for-14) with two doubles, but has yet to drive in a run in eight games.  Yoervis Medina (’10) has been roughed up to the tune of a 9.28 ERA in his seven relief outings for the Cardenales.  Lefty Jose Jimenez (’09-’10) has pitched in just two-thirds of an inning across three games and has an ERA of 13.50.

In an interesting combination of former Kings from different affiliations, both Blake Ochoa (’09-’10) and Manny Pina (’07) are catching for the Bravos de Margarita.  Pina, now a member of the Kansas City Royals’ system, is just 1-for-14 at the plate so far.

Both Renny Osuna (’08) and David Paisano (’07-’08) are with the Tiburones de la Guaira.  Osuna is hitting .171 as of last check while Paisano has yet to register a hit in 16 at-bats.

In the Dominican Winter League… 

First-baseman Mauro Gomez (’07), who inexplicably slipped by my radar to hit .281 with 16 homers and 80 RBI with the double-A Missisippi Braves last year, is hitting .273 with a team-high three home runs and 13 RBI in 18 games for the Toros del Este. 

Ogui Diaz (’09), now a pitcher, has an ERA of 9.00 in one appearance with the Leones de Escogido.  Beltre, previously mentioned in the AFL portion of this post, played in 10 games with the Tigres del Licey.  He hit .368 (7-for-19) with no extra-base hits and three RBI.  Infielder Andres James (’08) is also on that Licey club, but has played sparingly.

In the Puerto Rican Winter League…

Blasts-from-the-pasts Freddie Thon (’06) and Mike Ballard (’07) are both playing with the Criollos de Cagua.  Thon, Clinton’s lone 2006 MWL All-Star and a Puerto Rico native is 2-for-10 so far and is playing first base.  Ballard, a near-call-up for the Texas Rangers back in 2008, is 2-1 with a 1.86 ERA over four games, three starts and has struck out 18 over 19.1 innings.  Ballard’s ’07 rotation-mate Kasey Kiker is 1-0 with a 2.63 ERA in four games, three starts with the Leones de Ponce. 

In the Mexican Winter League…

Catcher Israel Nunez (’09) has appeared in six games for the Algodoneros de Guasave.  He’s the only former King I’ve run across in the Mexican League. 

In the Australian Baseball League… 

That’s right, former LumberKings have spread as far as the newly-formed Australian Baseball League.  Catcher Brandon Bantz (’10) and right-hander Brandon Maurer (’10) have turned up on the roster for the Adelaide Bite.   Bantz is hitting .545 with two doubles and five RBI in three games thus far.  Maurer is in the starting rotation and is 0-0 with a 6.75 ERA in one start.

If you catch anyone I’ve missed, feel free to leave your comments below.

-DL 

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