Results tagged ‘ James Paxton ’

Walker Named Top MWL Prospect by Baseball America

It’s been a while since I’ve had anything to post on here except predictions that turn out to be wrong.  Clinton LumberKings’ right-hander Taijuan Walker has been named the Midwest League’s top prospect by Baseball America editor Jim Callis on his annual Top 20 list.

Walker and left-hander James Paxton (#8) both show up on the list.  Walker edged out Dayton shortstop Billy Hamilton (#2) and Midwest League MVP/Prospect of the Year Rymer Liriano (#5) of Fort Wayne.  Check out the full list here:  http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospects/rankings/league-top-20-prospects/2012/2612401.html.

For bonus content, here’s my interviews with Walker and Paxton from the 2011 season:

Things have been extra-quiet here at The LumberBlog as I’ve been wrapping up the 2011 Final Report and Bios.  I should have that out for viewing both here and on LumberKings.com in the next few days.

-DL

Monday Notes (7/11)

The LumberKings lost 5-0 to Beloit yesterday afternoon despite 2-for-4 efforts from both Mickey Wiswall and Stefen Romero and a near-quality outing from right-hander George Mieses (6.0 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 2 K).  The Snappers scored four of their five runs in one quick burst in the fourth against Mieses, and the Kings couldn’t touch right-hander Manuel Soliman over 7.0 innings.  As a result, both teams are now tied for second in the West with 10-7 records heading into tonight’s rubber match.

Also found in today’s notes, a brief recap of former LumberKings LHP James Paxton’s performance in yesterday’s Futures Game.  Chances are you’ve seen this already, but K-Pax retired the U.S. side in order in the third inning, including getting Washington’s Bryce Harper to ground out to first .  Unfortunately, he’s still going back to double-A Jackson, so I won’t be able to do the Futures follow-up interview as I had hoped.

Tonight’s Game Notes:  7.11.11 kingsnotes

LumberKings (10-7):  Robbie Anston/LF, Carlos Ramirez/3B, Mickey Wiswall/DH, Stefen Romero/2B, Tim Morris/1B, Kalian Sams/RF, Mike McGee/CF, Anthony Phillips/SS, Carlton Tanabe/C, Anthony Fernandez/LHP

Beloit Snappers (10-7):  Daniel Santana/SS, Wang-Wei Lin/CF, Jairo Perez/DH, Michael Gonzales/1B, Daniel Ortiz/RF, Adam Bryant/2B, Andrew Leer/3B, Tobias Streich/C, Derek McCallum/LF, A.J. Achter/RHP

Lefty Anthony Fernandez is 1-0 with a 1.98 ERA over his last four starts for the LumberKings, he’ll look for his third win in the finale of this three-game series in Beloit.  First pitch is at 7:00 PM here at Pohlman Field, listen to the game on 1390kcln.com.

-DL

Friday Notes (7/1)

It’s a “show-and-go” day here in the Quad Cities for your LumberKings, so please excuse the lateness and briefness of this post.  The Kings earned their first win in the QC this season by scoring at least a run in six-straight innings and pitching well in relief last night, defeating the River Bandits 8-5.  Stefen Romero’s 2-for-3, three-RBI performance included a much-debated two-run homer down the left-field line in the third inning (from the press box angle it appeared to be foul, but home plate umpire Garrett Patterson indicated it had hooked fair) that gave the Kings a lead they would not relinquish.  Seven runs backed 5.0 decent innings from right-hander George Mieses (4 runs, 3 earned on 8  hits), who won for the first time since April 30 at Wisconsin.  Right-hander Tyler Blandford yielded a run over 2.0 innings, lefty Nate Reed turned in a scoreless eighth and righty Jonathan Arias worked out of a bases-loaded jam for his second save in the ninth.

Highlights:  Romero Debated 2-R HR (#5) 6.30.11  |  Arias Strikes Out Klein for 2nd Save 6.30.11

Obviously, the huge news today is the promotion of James Paxton to double-A Jackson.  I’ll likely be talking with pitching coach Rich Dorman on this subject and others in an upcoming interview segment, but as for tonight, no new interview for you. 

Tonight’s Game Notes:  7.1.11 kingsnotes

Ground ball artist Anthony Fernandez (2-2, 4.22) starts against Rock Falls native Seth Blair (4-3, 4.65) in the middle game of this series tonight, first pitch scheduled for 7:00 PM at Modern Woodmen Park.  Listen to the broadcast online at 1390kcln.com.

-DL

Paxton Jumps to Jackson, Kings Receive Butler

All-Star left-hander James Paxton sent to double-A Jackson as Futures Game nears

Clinton, IA – The Clinton LumberKings, in conjunction with the Seattle Mariners have announced the following transactions to the Clinton 25-man roster, effective today: left-hander James Paxton has been promoted to double-A Jackson and is replaced by left-hander Tony Butler, called up from short-A Everett.

Paxton, 22, dominated the Midwest League for 10 starts with Clinton, his first stint in affiliated baseball after the Mariners chose him in the fourth round of the 2010 draft out of the independent American Association. The Ladner, BC, Canada native went 3-3 with a 2.73 ERA (17 ER in 56.0 IP), struck out 80 while walking 30 and limiting opponents to a .225 average. Paxton struck out 10-plus batters on a team-best three separate occasions, including a 13-strikeout game against Quad Cities on June 16 leading up to the Midwest League All-Star Game.

Paxton was Clinton’s lone All-Star representative at the June 21 game at Modern Woodmen Park in Davenport, IA. He struck out West Michigan’s Hernan Perez and South Bend’s Ender Inciarte over a scoreless third inning of relief in the West Division’s 8-3 victory. Shortly afterwards, he was named to the World squad for the 2011 XM Satellite Radio All-Star Futures Game, taking place at Chase Field in Phoenix, AZ on Sunday, July 10. He was set to be just the second active LumberKing to appear in the prospect showcase, joining third-baseman John Whittleman who went 1-for-1 with a home run in the 2007 game in San Francisco.

 Butler, 24, arrives in Clinton after a three-start stint at short-A Everett where he went 0-2 with a 2.57 ERA (4 ER in 14.0 IP). He walked seven, struck out 18 and limited Northwest League opponents to a .196 average while with the AquaSox.

The 6’7” left-handed Butler was originally drafted by the Mariners in the third round of the 2006 June draft. He went 4-7 with a 4.75 ERA with Wisconsin of the Midwest League in 2007 and was included in the trade with Baltimore that brought in left-hander Erik Bedard. After an injury-plagued three seasons in the Orioles system in which he combined to go 4-9 with a 5.91 ERA, Baltimore released Butler in 2010 and he was signed by Milwaukee. He went 1-1 with an 8.62 ERA in three stops within the Brewers’ chain including another trip back to Wisconsin. Following a release by Milwaukee last year, Butler worked out for the Mariners this spring and was signed as a free agent.

Butler attended the same high school as LumberKings’ broadcaster Dave Lezotte, Oak Creek High School in Oak Creek, Wisconsin.

With the move, the active Clinton roster stands at 24 players with two on the disabled list. Butler is expected to join the LumberKings (4-3, 28-49) as they take on the Quad Cities River Bandits (3-4, 43-33) tonight at Modern Woodmen Park, first pitch scheduled for 7:00 PM. Listen to the game on AM 1390 KCLN in Clinton or live on the web at 1390kcln.com.

-DL

Today’s Interview: James Paxton (Vol. 3)

I recorded this interview with LumberKings’ left-hander James Paxton two days ago, covering his stellar one-inning performance in this year’s Midwest League All-Star Game and his reaction to being named to the XM Satellite Radio 2011 All-Star Futures Game.  I saved it for today as Sundays are usually tight on time to get interviews.

Enjoy my third interview installment with K-Pax:  Paxton ASG, Futures Game Interview 6.24.11

As for last night’s game, the LumberKings dropped the middle game of the series with Burlington by a 5-1 score.  Kevin Rivers singled home Julio Morban to cut the deficit to 2-1 in the sixth inning, but the Bees scored three times against the pen combo of Jonathan Arias and Keli’i Zablan to put the game out of reach.  Right-hander George Mieses looked sharp, limiting the Bees to two runs — both unearned — on four hits over 5.1 innings, but he received no help from the offense while on the mound for the third-straight start (no runs for El Toro over his last 17.2 innings) and fell for the Midwest League-high tying ninth time.

More on Mieses and the rest of the Kings in today’s Game Notes:  6.26.11 kingsnotes

Here’s a different look at the Starting Lineups:  6.26.11 lineup

Ground ball artist, left-hander Anthony Fernandez looks to build upon his tremendous first-half finale (7.0 IP, 4 hits, no runs in 1-0 win at Kane County) in his first second-half start today.  First pitch is at 2:00 PM, listen to the broadcast on 1390kcln.com.

-DL

Tonight’s Interview: Eddie Menchaca (Vol. 5)

After a four-day hiatus for the Midwest League All-Star Break, your LumberKings are back at it tonight as they open the second half at home against the Burlington Bees.  With the second half beginning, it’s back to a 0-0 record and an eight-way tie for first in the West Division, although the Kings no longer have to worry about both Burlington and Wild Card winner Quad Cities as far as the standings are concerned.

Eddie Menchaca’s LumberKings might get treated like the underdogs as the second half begins, but a 9-8 record so far in the month of June indicates a club ready to turn things around with the fresh start.  My first interview of the second half is with the Clinton skipper, and we’ll talk about the team’s refocused attitude, the strong starting rotation including tonight’s starter Jandy Sena and Futures Game representative James Paxton, an offense now featuring a healthy Julio Morban and a new second-baseman in Jetsy Extrano, setting the tone against the first-half champion Bees and more.

Listen Here:  Menchaca Interview 6.24.11

Tonight’s Game Notes:  6.24.11 kingsnotes

Roster Moves:  Yesterday, the LumberKings swapped second-basemen as Shaver Hansen was promoted to high-A High Desert and Jetsy Extrano was received from short-A Everett.  Today, catcher Billy Marcoe was sent to the AZL to make room for Steven Baron, who has been reinstated from the disabled list.  Extrano and Baron are both in tonight’s lineup.

Starting Lineups:

Burlington Bees (0-0, 45-25):  Royce Consigli/RF, Nino Leyja/2B, Tony Thompson/3B, A.J. Kirby-Jones/1B, Josh Whitaker/DH, Douglas Landaeta/LF, Yordy Cabrera/SS, John Nester/C, Tyreace House/CF, Sean Murphy/RHP

LumberKings (0-0, 24-46):  Stefen Romero/DH, Julio Morban/CF, Matt Browning/3B, Mickey Wiswall/LF, Tim Morris/1B, Steven Baron/C, Kalian Sams/RF, Jetsy Extrano/2B, Anthony Phillips/SS, Jandy Sena/RHP

The quest for the 10th playoff spot in the last 14 seasons starts tonight at 7:00 PM.  Listen to the broadcast on 1390kcln.com.

-DL

Pax to the Future

Not even two full days since his 2011 Midwest League All-Star appearance and already another big honor for left-hander James Paxton.  MLB announced the 2011 XM Satellite Radio All-Star Futures Games rosters today, and K-Pax is on the World team.  He’s just the second active LumberKings’ player to ever be named to a Futures Game, joining third-baseman John Whittleman (’07 in San Francisco).

Read the official press release on LumberKings.com here:  http://clinton.lumberkings.milb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20110623&content_id=20914806&vkey=news_t500&fext=.jsp&sid=t500

I’ll attempt to get a Paxton reaction in interview form within the next few days.

-DL

K-Pax, All-Star

In case, like me, you weren’t there to see it first-hand last night, LumberKings’ left-hander and lone West Division All-Star James Paxton did his thing on the mound in the third inning of last night’s Midwest League All-Star Game in Davenport, IA.  K-Pax struck out West Michigan’s Hernan Perez on a fastball, struck out South Bend’s Ender Inciarte on a curveball and induced West Michigan’s Rob Brantly into an inning-ending line-out to left.  The West went on to beat the East 8-3 thanks to unlikely hero Nino Leyja of Burlington, who mashed a two-run homer to give the West the separation they’d need.

Read more on last night’s ASG and get a quote from Paxton as well in the MidwestLeague.com feature article:  http://midwest.league.milb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20110622&content_id=20848206&vkey=news_l118&fext=.jsp&sid=l118

Special thanks to Official Scorer Ben Schlesselman for sending me the text updates from his seat at Modern Woodmen Park last night.  This is the first All-Star Game I’ve missed since joining the LumberKings, but it’s been good to get away for the last few days.

See you all on Friday.

-DL

2011 First Half Highlight Reel

James Paxton's All-Star-worthy performance (3-3, 2.70 ERA, 73 K in 50.0 IP) was one of the bright spots for Clinton in the first half.

Sometimes, first halves go by in the blink of an eye.  Sometimes, they drag on.  The 2011 first half falls somewhere in the in-between for me.  I’ve seen some impressive things so far out of these LumberKings (a red-hot week by Kalian Sams, the dominant outings of James Paxton and Taijuan Walker, the resurgence of Mickey Wiswall in June, the impressive range at short for Anthony Phillips, the emergence of Keli’i Zablan and Jonathan Arias out of the pen, etc.), yet also a lot of struggles as evidenced by a current 23-46 record.

But, as hitting coach Terry Pollreisz reminded me on our way into Elfstrom Stadium today, anything can happen in the second half.  Polls cited his 2002 San Antonio club that finished 25-45 and 17 games out of first place in the Texas League West Division in the first half.  That club (including for just six games a 21-year-old Eddie Menchaca) rebounded to win the division with a 43-27 second-half record and went on to win the Texas League title in seven games over Tulsa.  Something to keep in mind as we head to the second half of 2011 on Friday.

While looking forward here on the half’s last day, it’s also time to look back at some of the high points of the season so far (unfortunately last night’s game-winning homer by Matt Browning just missed the cut).  With that, I present the third-annual “First Half Highlight Reel”.

Listen Here:  2011 First Half Highlight Reel

Today’s Game Notes:  6.19.11 kingsnotes

Starting Lineups:

LumberKings (23-46):  Julio Morban/CF, Mickey Wiswall/DH, Matt Browning/1B, Kevin Rivers/LF, Kalian Sams/RF, Shaver Hansen/2B, Carlos Ramirez/3B, Anthony Phillips/SS, Carlton Tanabe/C, Anthony Fernandez/LHP.

Kane County Cougars (28-40):  Angel Franco/2B, Geulin Beltre/CF, Cheslor Cuthbert/3B, Brian Fletcher/LF, Brett Eibner/DH, Jake Kuebler/1B, Orlando Calixte/SS, Travis Jones/C, Julio Aparicio/RF, Jason Adam/RHP.

Happy Father’s Day as well to you regular readers.  After today’s 1 PM game at Kane County, I’ll be heading home to Oak Creek, Wisconsin to spend my All-Star Break with family.  I won’t be covering James Paxton’s All-Star appearance in the Quad Cities on Tuesday, but you can follow along at with the MiLB Gameday Feature on MiLB.com.

I’ll be back on Friday to start with a clean slate.  Can’t wait.

-DL

Tonight’s Interview: Rick Waits

After allowing a career-high five earned runs in his previous start, it’s clear that left-hander James Paxton had a rebound outing last night against Quad Cities.  He set a new career high with 13 strikeouts and yielded just one run on four hits over 6.1 innings as the LumberKings beat the River Bandits, 5-1 at Alliant Energy Field.  Paxton struck out six-straight batters at one point in the game (listen:  Paxton 11th Strikeout 6.16.11), but left in the seventh with the bases loaded and one out.  Right-hander Tyler Burgoon came on and left them loaded as he induced a highlight-reel double play started by second-baseman Jorge Agudelo (listen: Agudelo Flip to Ramirez for DP 6.16.11).  Burgoon did not allow a run over 2.2 innings to secure his seventh save, making Paxton a winner for the third time.  Mickey Wiswall had the clutch hit of the night, singling home two runs to open up a 4-1 lead in the fourth (listen:  Wiswall 2-R single 6.16.11).

The efforts for K-Pax and Burgoon were well-timed as they took place in front of Mariners’ Minor League Pitching Coordinator Rick Waits.  After coaching for 15 seasons with the New York Mets (including 2003 as their Major League Bullpen Coach), Waits has inherited a minor league system chock full of potential impact arms.  Waits is my pregame guest tonight, and he shares plenty of his own insight into Paxton, tonight’s starter Taijuan Walker, Burgoon and the Clinton bullpen, former LumberKing and current Tacoma Rainier right-hander Blake Beavan and how close he is to a Seattle call-up, the outstanding arms in double-A Jackson including Andrew Carraway, Erasmo Ramirez, Anthony Vasquez, Kenn Kasparek and Tom Wilhelmsen and more.  It’s definitely a worthy listen.

Listen Here: Rick Waits (Minor League Pitching Coord) Interview 6.17.11

Tonight’s Game Notes:  6.17.11 kingsnotes

Today’s Roster Move:  Despite the potential game-saving play last night, Agudelo has been sent to short-A Everett to clear space for infielder Shaver Hansen, who has been reinstated from the DL and will play tonight in Kane County.

Starting Lineups:

LumberKings (22-45):  Julio Morban/CF, Mickey Wiswall/1B, Tim Morris/D, Matt Browning/3B, Kalian Sams/RF, Shaver Hansen/2B, Robbie Anston/LF, Billy Marcoe/C, Anthony Phillips/SS, Taijuan Walker/RHP

Kane County Cougars (27-39):  Angel Franco/2B, Ryan Stovall/3B, Brett Eibner/CF, Brian Fletcher/LF, Jake Kuebler/1B, Geulin Beltre/DH, Orlando Calixte/SS, Travis Jones/C, Julio Aparicio/RF, Leonel Santiago/RHP

First pitch is at 7:00 PM here at Elfstrom Stadium, listen to the broadcast on 1390kcln.com.

-DL

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.