MSTI Special Feature: Monday’s With Torgy

As my partner in crime, MSTI, is off touring and having lots of sex, drugs, and rock and roll, I, the one who actually DOES music for a living, sit here typing on a baseball blog with my dog on the couch.

Thanks, life.

But, as he is living the high life, we did say we might have a special guest during his time off, and now we will. Welcome to our new feature:

Monday’s With Torgy!

Every Monday until MSTI comes back (or maybe permanently, if it sticks) we will have weekly updates on the Dodgers’ farm system, brought to you by our very own farm authority, Torgy, also known as Grabarkewitz at The Big Blue Wrecking Crew.  With all the talk that we spend on the major league club, we felt it might be a good idea to give you a nice weekly briefing on what goes down on the farm and how these kids play a part, especially when their names might come up in trade rumors.

So I present to you this week’s first edition:

Morning, all. Some of you know me and some don’t, my tag is Grabarkewitz and this is my payback to Mike for not rescuing me from the insanity of planning a wedding and taking me and my keyboards on tour with him. Those that do know me know what I love – the farm. Logan White, DeJon Watson and the Jacksonville Five are my holy trinity. That being said, we will start with the standings and where each of our teams are in the respective leagues. You will note that I have my favorites (mancrush in bloom) and they are the Heir Apparent, Carlos Santana, who I feel is the best player in the Dodger farm system, right now – The Minotaur, that mythical beast known as Clayton Kershaw, I think we all know about him – The Natural, Andrew Lambo, who I feel will be our starting left fielder in three years and Steve Johnson, , as I feel he is gonna be our Greg Maddux. Some of the nicknames I haven’t used much, because they are like me, lame, but when I put pen to paper on the farm, that is my names for these four.

As of Sunday, Las Vegas is second in the PCL Pacific South Division, 8.5 games behind Sacramento, with a record of 52-50. The fact that the 51′s are second is more a testament to the great seasons by retreads like Terry Tiffee, John Lindsey, Jason Johnson, Matt Riley and John-Ford Griffin. The only real prospects on the team, who are playing well, are Xavier Paul and Jonathan Meloan, although I think that making Meloan a starter is a bad move. The 51′s went 2-2 for the week, but the did open up the can of proverbial whipass on the Rainiers from Tacoma, crushing them 13-3, on Monday. Angel Chavez went off huge, getting four hits in five at bats with a homer(7), double(21) and two ribs(54). John-Ford Griffin added a perfect day with three hits in three at bats and he homered(14), doubled(17) and drove home three runs, but I take great joy in Mitch Jones, who just came back from Japan, and has picked up where he left off when he was moved from the 51′s, last year. Jones went two for five with a homer(7), four ribs(20) and a run. The remainder of the 51′s nineteen hit attack was led by Jason Repko, Paul, Lindsey and Kevin Howard with two hits each. Jon Meloan really didn’t have to do much, but he put up his best game in a month by going seven innings and only giving up eight hits and three runs. Meloan’s record sits at 5-9 with a not awful 5.18 ERA (well not awful in the PCL)

Not a great week for the Suns, they went two and three for the week and only great pitching by Jesus Castillo and Clayton Kershaw got those wins for the Suns. The Suns are 13-17, some 4.5 games back in the Southern League South Divison(?). The Suns have more prospect strength, but nothing like the quantity of talent at Inland Empire or at Ogden, but it is still well worth talking about. Of course, the biggest name is Clayton Kershaw, but there are also some well regarded players in Jamie Hoffman, Ivan DeJesus, Jesus Castillo and Scott Elbert. While I know some folks love Lucas May, but I am not a huge fan. That is just me.

The Suns have actually been playing better behind Clayton Kershaw, as his last win shows. The Suns dropped eight runs on the West Tenn Diamond Jaxx as Kershaw tossed five, one-hit innings (if you want to read a first person report on the game – check out dodgers.cc and CeyHeyJay’s perfect game report.). Kershaw only struck out three, but he only walked one while upping his record to 2-3 and putting his ERA at 1.91. The Suns made their fifteen hits count, with Russell Mitchell leading the offense with three hits and a run. Jamie Hoffman, Ivan DeJesus, Shane Justis and Lucas May all had two hits. Juan Gonzalez belted a solo homer, his eleventh. A little love for Jesus Castillo as he picked up his seventh win against four losses with his five inning effort today. Castillo’s ERA is now down to 2.85 A nice week for Scott Elbert, also. Scott tossed four shutout innings with four strikeouts and only one hit.

Not a great week for the Inland Empire Sixty Sixers as they went 1-5 for the week and dropped their second half record in the Cal League South Division to 16-14, a game and a half back off of the pace. Again, I think this team is the most loaded on the farm. But, any team with Carlos Santana is loaded from the get-go. But, I see big futures for Tommy Giles, Austin Gallagher, Jaime Pedroza, Trayvon Robinson, Steve Johnson, Andrew Locke, Matthew Sartor and Paul Koss. Matter of fact, I think that Gallagher could be our rightfielder, come the 2012 season, with him and Andrew Lambo surrounding Matt Kemp. But, that is just me.

For our one win, we have to turn to Steve Johnson, who after his initial start in the Cal League (hugely bad – the numbers are just scary) has won his last two games, allowing only one run in thirteen innings to move his Cal League record to 2-1 with a 5.87 ERA and is overall record to 11-3 and a 2.95 ERA. Johnson held the Stockton Ports to three hits and one run over six innings with six strikeouts. The Sixers took the game 8-3 as the big hits were by Carlos Santana, bases loaded double and three more ribs, giving him 92 for the season. 92?….in less than four hundred plate appearances – that is nearly Nintendo like. Plus he is a catcher. And a switch hitter. Please pray with me that Colletti doesn’t even think about dealing him. Matt Berezay added a two run homer and Jaime Pedroza was the only Sixer with two hits.

A pretty good week for the Great Lakes Loons. They went 4-2 for the week and upped their record to 12-18, but they are in last place in the Midwest League Eastern Division, some seven games back. This team is less prospect rich through injuries (Josh Bell, Eduardo Perez), less than spectacular seasons (Preston Mattingly, Erik Kanaby and Jovanny Rosario) and some suspects (Victor Garate – age, Kenley Jansen – bat and Jaime Ortiz – great power, but can’t hit for diddly). But, it isn’t like the team is bereft of prospects, both Bell and Perez are top flight players, along with Miguel Ramirez, Miguel Sanfler, Bryan Morris and, of course, the Natural, Andrew Lambo.

Their biggest win of the week had to be, lefty, Victor Garate’s excellent pitching effort as he shut out Kane County over seven innings, allowing only four hits with eight strikeouts. Garate, a Rule V acquistion, two winters ago from the Astros, is starting to put it together as he upped his record to 6-3 with an ERA even better than Kershaw’s 1.91 with a 1.85. The Loons took the game 7-3, as Andrew Lambo and Brendan Taylor each notched three hits with Lambo rocking a pair of doubles and Taylor adding a double and two ribs. Preston Mattingly, Eduardo Perez and Parker Dalton each had two hits. For our Jekyll and Hyde performer of the week, we have Bryan Morris with his five innings of four hit ball with eight strikeouts on Monday and his five run, eight hit outing today.

Now, my favorite team in the Dodger system, the Ogden Raptors. Yeah, the Raptors had a rough start, but things are beginning to turn around as they went 3-3 for the week to make their record 13-18 and 8.5 games back of the leaders in the Pioneer League South Division, which is good enough for third place in a four team division. I feel this team is nearly as loaded as the Sixers in talent with sticks like Kyle Russell, Tony Delmonico, Devaris Gordon (albeit his sixteen errors give one pause), Pedro Baez, Austin Yount and pitchers like Robert Boothe, Geison Aguasviva, Michael Watt and the newly signed Cole St. Clair.

The Raptors’ biggest win was today’s 5-0 shutout of the Great Falls White Sox as we all know a shutout in the hitter friendly Pioneer League is as rare as a good Ned Colletti trade. Michael Watt tossed five innings, giving up six hits, but striking out nine. We also had a Cole St. Clair sighting as he went one shutout inning, striking out two and giving up one hit. Tony Delmonico has opened up his career in fine fashion as he already has three doubles in two games and has driven in three runs in the same time frame. Of course, like all of the rest of the Raptors, he is averaging an error a game. Nick Buss notched his first homer of his professional career and drove home two runs also.

Lastly, we have the GCL Dodgers who went a rainout hindered 2-2 for the week, but still lead the GCL East Division with a 16-7 record. Again, this team has some serious potential with guys like Jerry Sands, Rafael Ynoa, Johan Garcia, Matt Magill, Roberto Feliciano, Edwin Contreras, Luis Ferraras and Beyker Fructuoso. Their best win was against the Mets on Monday, picking up a 6-3 victory, picking up Fructuoso after his rare bad start with great pitching from Luis Ferraras, Roberto Feliciano and Fredy Quintero (who picked up the win with 2.2 innings, giving up one unearned run on one hit striking out one). Johan Garcia and Jake New each had three hits for the Dodgers, both driving home a run and New ripping a double. Rafael Ynoa added a pair of hits, a rib and a stolen base to pace the team from the leadoff spot.

I hope you all enjoyed this and I will be back, next Monday.

Indeed, we did, Torgy.  Thanks, again!

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