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Baseball America ranks Kelly, Calomeni

September 15, 2014

Happy Monday, everyone. Hope you all had a great weekend.

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Two Knights made Baseball America's list of the Top 10 West Coast League prospects for the 2014 season. UC Santa Barbara first baseman/outfielder Dalton Kelly was ranked No. 5 and Cal Poly pitcher Justin Calomeni was ranked No. 7.

Here's their evaluation:

5. Dalton Kelly, of/1b, Corvallis (Jr., UC Santa Barbara):

"Kelly has not been a regular in two years at school, getting 63 plate appearances, but he got the necessary reps to become one of the top performers in the league this summer, while also showing tools.

"The left-handed-hitting Kelly produced a .336/.446/.604 line to finish sixth in on-base percentage and second in isolated slugging (.268) after hitting seven home runs. He has average raw power that projects to be above-average once he adds strength to his lean 6-foot-3, 180-pound frame. Coaches praised his hitting aptitude although he does it unconventionally in the batter's box and tends to drift.

"The athletic Kelly is at least a plus runner with a chance in center field who reportedly ran a 6.5 in the 60-yard dash. He saw time in all three outfield spots with an arm that is at least average. Kelly is extremely young for the draft class and won't be 21 until two months after the draft."

7. Justin Calomeni, rhp, Corvallis (So., Cal Poly)

"Calomeni stepped into the rotation as a freshman and was a mainstay for a top-10 team. Despite pitching in the same rotation as Phillies second-rounder Matt Imhof, Calomeni tied for the best strikeout-walk ratio on the team (3.7 with Casey Bloomquist), besting Imhof's 2.9.

"He is a strike-thrower with a three-pitch mix. Calomeni's fastball sits 88-92, touching 93 with arm-side run and sink from a long, loose arm action that inverts significantly. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound Calomeni has a projectable build, and evaluators think he has a chance to throw harder.

"Calomeni lacks a consistently average secondary offering at present, as both his changeup and slider are below-average to fringe-average offerings. But his slider flashes late tilt and depth at its best. He projects to have at least average control and walked 2.2 per nine this spring and 2.4 this summer, which was the fifth-lowest walk rate in the league.

"The 18-year-old is very young for his draft class and won't be 21 until four months after the draft, making him more of a rising freshman by age."

Congrats to both players. Perfect Game should have its top prospects list sometime this week.

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Big day for our Knights alums with the San Francisco Giants on Sunday in their 4-2 loss to the Dodgers. Catcher Andrew Susac (2009) was 2-for-4 with a double and a run and shortstop Matt Duffy (2010) was 1-for-1 with an RBI.

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The minor league season is over, so no more Corvallis Knights Minor League Player of the Day honors.

Pitcher James Nygren (2009) and outfielder Alex Burg (2008) were members of the Southern League champion Jacksonville Suns. Pitcher Greg Peavey (2007) was a member of the Eastern League-champion Binghamton Mets.

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Here is a list of honors for the Falcons in the first season at Kelowna under former Knights' assistant coach and player Billy Clontz, from the team website.

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That is all for today. Have a great day and we will see you on Tuesday.


Lucarelli named 2014 MVP

September 12, 2014

Happy Friday, everyone.

The Knights announced our 2014 team awards on Thursday.

* Shortstop Michael Lucarelli of Portland was the Most Valuable Player.

* Starting pitcher Chris Haddeland of Linfield and closer Brandon Choate of the University of Washington shared Top Pitcher honors.

* First baseman/outfielder Dalton Kelly of UC Santa Barbara earned Top Prospect recognition.

* UCSB teammate outfielder Scott Quinlan earned the Joe Segel Hustle Award.

Here is more on that story, from our website. Congrats to all our award winners!

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Alum Cody Lenahan (2013) of Portland was named one of the top pro prospects in the California Collegiate League by Perfect Game. Unfortunately the story is behind a pay wall so we can't link it, but congrats to Cody, who will be a senior at UP this season.

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Durham (AAA International, Rays) pitcher Matt Andriese (2009) allowed two runs on five hits, had eight strikeouts in six innings and got the win as the Bulls defeated Pawtucket 4-3 in the International League playoffs on Thursday to earn Corvallis Knights Minor League Player of the Day honors.

Honorable mention went to:

* Jacksonville (AA Southern, Marlins) pitcher James Nygren threw two scoreless innings and had two strikeouts in a 12-3 win over Chattanooga in the Southern League playoffs.

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Here is a story from reporter Grant Lucas of the Bend Bulletin about the 2014 Bend Elks season (which we ended with Kevin Kline's dramatic walkoff homer, if you recall!).

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That is all for today. Have a great weekend and we will see you on Monday.


Knights sign Cal Poly OF Josh George

September 11, 2014

Happy Thursday, everyone.

The Knights have signed their first player for 2015, president Dan Segel announced Wednesday. The No. 1 Knight is outfielder Joshua George of Cal Poly, a 6-foot, 175-pound freshman from Hollister, Calif., who missed most of his senior season at San Benito High School.

As a junior, he hit .402 with 10 doubles, two triples, two homers and 24 RBIs and earned first-team All-Monterey Bay Gabilan Division honors, and was the team MVP, captain and top scholar-athlete.

He hit .370 as a sophomore and was a first-team All-Tri-County Athletic League all-star.

We have had lots of great players from Cal Poly and we are hopeful Josh can continue that legacy.

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Yakima Valley's Vince Fernandez, the WCL's 2014 MVP, continues to garner national honors. Here is more on that story, from the Our Sports Central website.

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Former Knights' intern Kaitlynn Phillips, one of the stars of our 2012 class, has been hired by the Hilton Garden Inn of Corvallis as a sales coordinator. She graduated from OSU this past June. Congrats to Kaitlynn!

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Binghamton (AA Eastern, Mets) pitcher Greg Peavey (2007) allowed one run on five hits and had nine strikeouts in seven innings and got the win as the Mets defeated Richmond 5-1 in the Eastern League playoffs on Wednesday to earn Corvallis Knights Minor League Player of the Day honors.

There were no honorable mentions.

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Have a great day and we will see you on Friday.


Scott Schultz wins title with Hillsboro

September 10, 2014

Happy Wednesday, everyone.

Baseball America and Perfect Game are compiling their top summer baseball prospect lists and should get around to the West Coast league shortly. When they do, we will let you know which Knights fared well in their ratings.

Yakima Valley's Vince Fernandez has already been named the WCL's top prospect by Perfect Game. However, Baseball America selected Medford pitcher David Peterson.

In the meantime, on with today's news.

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Alum Scott Schultz (2011) was a member of the Hillsboro Hops, who captured the Northwest League championship this past Sunday by defeating Vancouver. They are an Arizona affiliate. Scott was 5-5, 4.57 in 14 games, with 37 strikeouts in 69 innings, in his first professional season.

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Tri-City (A New York-Penn, Astros) catcher Jake Rodriguez (2010) went 1-for-2 with a run in an 11-2 loss to State College in the NY-P playoffs on Tuesday to earn Corvallis Knights Minor League Player of the Day honors.

There were no honorable mentions.

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The Klamath Falls Gems have signed a five-year lease agreement to use Kiger Stadium. Here is the more on that story, from the Our Sports Central website.

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Have a great day and we will see you on Thursday.


Good night for Brent Morel

September 9, 2014

Happy Tuesday, everyone.

Baseball America and Perfect Game are compiling their top summer baseball prospect lists and should get around to evaluating the West Coast league shortly. When they do, we will let you know which Knights fared well in their ratings.

In the meantime, on with today's news.

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Nice night for alum Brent Morel (2006-07) of the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday. The third baseman from Cal Poly doubled, singled and drove in a run in a 6-4 win over the Brewers. BeMo has been getting a lot of time in the lineup this month and hopefully his recent strong hitting (3-for-9 in his last two starts) can continue.

He bounced back and forth between Indianapolis and Pittsburgh all season and is hitting .171 (6-35) in 18 games with the Pirates, with two doubles and four RBIs. Another couple games with two knocks and he will be on his way.

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Chattanooga (AA Southern, Dodgers) pitcher Nick Struck (2009) allowed no earned runs and had four strikeouts in four innings and got a no-decision in a 7-6 playoff win over Huntsville to earn Corvallis Knights Minor League Player of the Day honors.

Honorable mention went to:

* Mobile (AA Southern, Diamondbacks) reliever Jimmie Sherfy pitched a scoreless inning in a 9-1 playoff loss to Jacksonville.

The minor-league playoffs are almost over but as long as we have alums still playing, we will keep giving out this high honor.

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Here is the latest installment of "Post from the Coast," a regular column on the WCL written by reporter Bruce Baskin of Our Sports Central. It covers a wide variety of WCL topics.

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Have a great day and we will see you on Wednesday.


Another save for Trevor Frank

September 8, 2014

Happy Monday, everyone. Hope you all had nice weekends.

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Lake County (A Midwest, Indians) reliever Trevor Frank had two strikeouts in a scoreless ninth to save a 5-4 win over Ft. Wayne on Sunday in the Midwest League playoffs to earn Corvallis Knights Minor League Player of the Day honors.

There were no honorable mentions.

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The Toronto Blue Jays have designed infielder Matt "Slider Guy" Hague (2005) for assignment. They signed him on waivers in August after he was designated for assignment by Pittsburgh and he spent the last part of the season at Buffalo in the triple-A International League.

Players who are designed for assignment are immediately removed from the team's 40-man roster, after which the team must either:

* Return the player to the 40-man roster within 10 days from the date of designation.

Place the player on waivers, which can only be done within the first seven days of the 10-day period).

* Trade the player.

* Release the player.

* Outright the player from the 40-man roster into the minor leagues.

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Here are the final regular-season stats of our minor-league pitching alums, in Part 2 of our weekly "Knights in the Pros" feature. Hitting stats appeared in last Friday's Blog.

TYLER ANDERSON (AA Tulsa, Rockies): The pitcher from Oregon (2009) was 7-4, 1.98 in 23 games, with 106 strikeouts in 118.1 innings.

MATT ANDRIESE (AAA Durham, Rays): The pitcher from UC Riverside (2009) was 11-8, 3.77 in 28 games, with 129 strikeouts in 162.1 innings.

MAX BEATTY (A Eugene, Padres) : The pitcher from Pacific Lutheran (2010-12) was 1-1, 4.50 in 18 games, with 25 strikeouts in 28 innings.

MATT BOYD (Blue Jays): The pitcher from Oregon State (2010) was a combined 6-7, 3.58 in 26 games with Class-A Dunedin and double-A New Hampshire, with 147 strikeouts in 133.1 innings.

A.J. BURKE (A Vermont, A's): The pitcher from Western Oregon (2012) was 6-4, 3.89 in 15 games, with 75 strikeouts in 71.2 innings.

TREVOR FRANK (A Lake County, Indians): The pitcher from UC Riverside (2012) was 5-4, 2.63 in 50 games, with 18 saves and 62 strikeouts in 54.2 innings.

JACE FRY (A Great Falls, White Sox): The pitcher from Oregon State (2011) was 1-0, 2.79 in seven games, with 10 strikeouts in 9.2 innings.

SAM GAVIGLIO (AA Springfield, Cardinals): The pitcher from Oregon State (2009) was 5-12, 4.21 in 25 games, with 126 strikeouts in 136.2 innings.

JUSTIN HEPNER (Gulf Coast League Marlins, Marlins): The pitcher from San Diego State (2011) was 0-0, 16.88 in two games, with no strikeouts in 2.2 innings.

CHASE JOHNSON (A Augusta, Giants): The pitcher from Cal Poly (2011) was 4-7, 4.57 in 23 games, with 94 strikeouts in 110.1 innings.

CHRIS JOHNSON (A Augusta, Giants): The pitcher from Portland (2011) was 0-1, 9.00 in one game, with no strikeouts in two innings.

KYLE KRAUS (Red Sox): The pitcher from Portland (2009-10) was 7-4, 4.76 in 28 games with double-A Portland and single-A Salem, with three saves and 59 strikeouts in 85 innings.

SCOTT LYMAN (Marlins): The pitcher from UC Davis (2010) was 5-12, 3.79 in 25 games with double-A Jacksonville and single-A Jupiter, with 99 strikeouts in 140 innings.

GREG MAHLE (Angels): The pitcher from UC Santa Barbara (2012) was 1-2, 2.65 in 23 games with single-A Burlington and Rookie League Orem, with two saves and 49 strikeouts in 37.1 innings.

JAMES NYGREN (Marlins): The pitcher from Oregon State (2009) was 4-2, 3.60 in 36 games with triple-A New Orleans and double-A Jacksonville, with two saves and 42 strikeouts in 70 innings.

JOSH OSICH (AA Richmond, Giants): The pitcher from Oregon State (2008) was 1-0, 3.78 in 28 games, with 27 strikeouts in 33.1 innings.

GREG PEAVEY (Mets): The pitcher from Oregon State (2007) was 12-8, 4.65 in 24 games with triple-A Las Vegas and double-A Binghamton, with 123 strikeouts in 143.2 innings.

SCOTT SCHULTZ (A Hillsboro, Diamondbacks): The pitcher from Oregon State (2011) was 5-5, 4.57 in 14 games, with 37 strikeouts in 69 innings.

JIMMIE SHERFY (Diamondbacks): The pitcher from Oregon (2011) was 5-1, 4.59 in 48 games with double-A Mobile and single-A Visalia, with seven saves and 68 strikeouts in 49 innings.

NICK STRUCK (Dodgers): The pitcher from Mt. Hood CC (2009) was 5-7, 5.48 in 23 games with triple-A Albuquerque and double-A Chattanooga, with 60 strikeouts in 108.1 innings.

BEN WETZLER (A Batavia, Marlins): The pitcher from Oregon State (2011) was 0-2, 2.95 in 11 games, with 31 strikeouts in 39.2 innings.

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Have a great day and we will see you on Tuesday.


Sherfy, Duffy on Arizona Fall League rosters

September 5, 2014

Happy Friday, everyone.

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The complete rosters aren't finalized yet but so far two alums could be headed for the Arizona Fall League, which begins on Oct. 7.

* Pitcher Jimmie Sherfy (2011) of the Diamondbacks will play for the Salt River Rafters. He finished the 2014 season at Mobile of the double-A Southern League. He played at Oregon.

* Middle infielder Matt Duffy (2010), now with San Francisco, was slated to play for the Scottsdale Scorpions. Since he is with the Giants right now, we are not sure if he will ever play in the AFL. He played at Long Beach State.

Here is a more information about the Arizona Fall League, from its website.

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Cowlitz has hired assistant Grady Twiet of Lower Columbia College as its new head coach. He succeeds Tim Matz, who resigned after the 2014 season. Here is more on that story, from the Our Sports Central website.

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Missoula (A Pioneer, Diamondbacks) first baseman Taylor Ard (2009) hit a two-run homer and was 2-for-4 with a run and two RBIs in a 4-0 win over Great Falls on Thursday in a Pioneer League playoff game to earn Corvallis Knights Minor League Player of the Day honors.

Honorable mention goes to:

* Burlington (A Midwest, Angels) reliever Greg Mahle pitched 2.1 scoreless innings and had four strikeouts in a 2-1 playoff loss to Cedar Rapids. He was not involved in the decision.

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Here are the final regular-season stats of our minor-league position-playing Corvallis Knights alums, as part of our weekly "Knights in the Pros" feature. Final pitching stats will appear on Monday.

DAYTON ALEXANDER (A Vermont, A's): The outfielder from Feather River JC (2011) hot .207 (23-111) in 36 games, with no homers and seven RBIs.

JIMMY ALLEN (A Ogden, Dodgers): The second baseman from Cal Poly (2011) hit .271 (52-192) in 53 games, with 20 RBIs.

BO ALTOBELLI (A Cedar Rapids, Twins): The catcher from Texas Tech hit .224 (32-143) in 44 games, with a homer and five RBIs, before being released.

DAVID ANDRIESE (A Jamestown, Pirates): The outfielder from UC Riverside (2010-11) hit .224 (30-134) in 44 games, with a homer and 13 RBIs.

TAYLOR ARD (A Missoula, Diamondbacks): The first baseman from Washington State (2009) hit .309 (34-110) in 34 games with Missoula, South Bend and Hillsboro, with four homers and 17 RBIs.

DAVID ARMENDARIZ (A Mahoning Valley, Indians): The outfielder from Cal Poly Pomona (2011) hit .206 (22-107) in 33 games with the ARL Indians and Mahoning Valley, with two homers and 13 RBIs.

ALEX BURG (AA Jacksonville, Marlins): The catcher/outfielder from Washington State (2008) hit .264 (60-227) in 76 games, with seven homers and 29 RBIs.

BLAKE DRAKE (R Johnson City, Cardinals): The outfielder from Concordia (2013) hit .281 (66-235) in 63 games, with six homers and 34 RBIs.

GRANT FINK (A Lake County, Indians): The third baseman from Missouri Western (2011) hit .225 (92-409) in 128 games, with 13 homers and 60 RBIs.

ROCKY GALE (AAA El Paso, Padres): The catcher from Portland (2007, 2009) hit .298 (68-228) in 77 games, with 35 RBIs.

DREW GARCIA (AAA Colorado Springs, Rockies): The second baseman from UC Riverside (2007) hit .237 (72-304) in 96 games, with four homers and 36 RBIs.

RYAN GORTON (A Stockton, A's): The catcher from Oregon State (2011) hit .198 (23-116) in 34 games, with no homers and eight RBIs.

CADE GOTTA (A Gulf Coast League Rays, Rays): The outfielder from San Diego Christian (2011) hit .245 (39-159) in 48 games, with two homers and 21 RBIs.

DEAN GREEN (AA Erie, Tigers): The first baseman from Oklahoma State/Barry University (2008) hit .311 (127-409) in 113 games, with 10 homers and 65 RBIs.

MITCH HANIGER (ARL Diamondbacks): The outfielder from Cal Poly (2010) hit .259 (73-282) in 79 games with Huntsville, the GCL Diamondbacks and Mobile, with 11 homers and 43 RBIs.

DANNY HAYES (A Kannapolis, White Sox): The first baseman from Oregon State (2010) hit .283 (134-423) in 130 games, with 11 homers and 75 RBIs.

KAVIN KEYES (R ARL Mariners, Mariners): The infielder from Oregon State (2013) hit .236 (21-89) in 25 games, with a homer and nine RBIs.

ADAM MELKER (AA Arkansas, Angels): The outfielder from Cal Poly hit .258 (71-275) in 83 games, with five homers and 32 RBIs.

JIM MURPHY (AAA Lehigh Valley, Phillies): The first baseman from Washington State (2007) hit .240 (95-396) in 116 games, with 11 homers and 47 RBIs.

CHRIS RABAGO (A Tri-Cities, Rockies): The shortstop from UC Irvine (2012-13) hit .225 (38-169) in 47 games, with 12 RBIs.

JAKE RODRIGUEZ (A Tri-City, Astros): The catcher from Oregon State (2010) hit .128 ( 20-156) in 51 games with Lancaster, Tri-City (N.Y.) and Quad City, with two homers and 15 RBIs.

NICK TORRES (A Eugene, Padres): The outfielder from Cal Poly (2012) hit .253 (43-170) in 44 games with the ARL Padres and Eugene, with three homers and 23 RBIs.

JUSTIN VIELE (A Aberdeen, Orioles): The shortstop from Santa Clara (2010) hit .160 (37-231) in 74 games with Delmarva and Aberdeen, with no homers and 23 RBIs.

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Have a great weekend. Go Beavs, and we will see you on Monday.


Yes, even more Andrew Susac news

September 4, 2014

Happy Thursday, everyone.

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Former Corvallis catcher Andrew Susac (2009) of the San Francisco Giants, the West Coast League's top pro prospect that year, continues to make news in his first major league season.

Here is a nice story on the former Oregon Stater from reporter Andrew Baggarly of Comcast Sports Net. Sounds as if Andrew has a nice future wth the team.

Alum Matt Duffy (2010) isn't mentioned but he's also made some big contributions as a rookie since being recalled from double-A Richmond, where he was the Eastern League's all-star shortstop.

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Alum Gabe Clark (2013) of Oregon State, who played with Victoria this past season, will return to the HarbourCats in 2015, according to this story from Our Sports Central.

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Lake County (A Midwest, Indians) reliever Trevor Frank (2012) pitched a scoreless inning to close the game and had one strikeout in a 6-2 victory over South Bend on Wednesday in the opening round of the Midwest League playoffs to earn Corvallis Knights Minor League Player of the Day honors.

Several other alums were involved in playoff games, but there were no notable accomplishments and therefore no honorable mentions.

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That is it for today. See you on Friday.


Another big night for Andrew Susac

September 3, 2014

Happy Wednesday, everyone.

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Former Corvallis catcher Andrew Susac (2009) of the San Francisco Giants, the West Coast League's top pro prospect that year, continues to impress in his first major league season.

He went 2-for-5 with a homer, a double and three RBIs on Tuesday in a 12-7 win over Colorado at Coors Field. Here is a video of his two-run shot into the left-field bleachers, his third homer of the season.

Andrew is now hitting .288 (15-52) in 20 games, with three homers and 15 RBIs. The other Corvallis alum with the Giants, shortstop Matt Duffy (2010), is hitting .200 (8-40) in 19 games, with two RBIs.

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Alum Peter Van Gansen (2013) of Cal Poly, an all-WCL selection for us in our 2013 championship season, was named the No. 40 prospect in the Northwoods League for the 2014 season. The junior shortstop played for Eau Claire.

The list was compiled by Bradley Smart from Smart on Sports after discussions with all 18 NWL coaches. Here is his evaluation:

"After drawing 40 walks in 58 games for the Mustangs and hitting .286, Van Gansen carried over his spring success to Eau Claire. One of the best defensive shortstops in the league, Van Gansen led all middle infielders with 42 double plays and committed just eight errors and finished with a .966 fielding percentage.

"He hit just .250 at the plate but drew 40 walks again while showcasing his speed with 18 stolen bases. Van Gansen hit just one home run, but made up for the lack of power by being proficient in many other categories, including his on-base percentage that finished just under .400. He also had one of the better infield arms as ranked by the managers."

Congrats to Peter. We had him first.

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The Medford Rogues announced the signing of eight players for the 2015 season on Tuesday. Here is more on that story, from the Our Sports Central website.

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Johnson City (R Appalachian, Cardinals) outfielder Blake Drake (2013) went 2-for-5 in a 5-4 win over Elizabethton on Tuesday to earn Corvallis Knights Minor League Player of the Day honors.

Most of the other leagues were idle, as they have not yet begun their league playoffs. We will keep this feature going as long as we still have alums playing in affiliated ball.

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That is it for today. See you on Thursday.


Brent Morel back with Pirates

September 2, 2014

Happy Tuesday, everyone.

Hope everyone had a great Labor Day weekend. News is sparse these days but we will do our best to keep you informed about what is happening with the Knights and with the West Coast League.

We also should start signing players soon, so we will have that to report as well.

And don't forget, you can keep up with the WCL through its website; we suggest you bookmark it.

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Some good news about two alums:

* The Pirates have recalled third baseman Brent Morel (2006-07) from triple-A Indianapolis of the International League for the fourth time this season. He hit .271 (91-336) in 92 games for the Indians, with four homers and 53 RBIs; he is hitting .136 (3-22) in 13 games with the Pirates, with no homers and three RBIs.

* Catcher Andrew Susac (2009) of the San Francisco Giants had a great game on Saturday in a 15-5 win over the Brewers, going 3-for-4 with two doubles and three RBIs. He was hitting .267 (12-45) in 17 games through Sunday, with two homers and 12 RBIs.

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Yakima Valley drew high marks from Yakima Herald columnist Roger Underwood in this story, from the newspaper. And here is another story from Underwood about the business side of the first year.

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Erie (AA Eastern, Tigers) first baseman Dean Green (2007) was 2-for-4 with a homer and three RBIs in a 4-2 win over Akron on Monday to earn Corvallis Knights Minor League Player of the Day honors.

Honorable mention goes to:

* El Paso (AAA Pacific Coast) catcher Rocky Gale (2007, 2009) was 1-for-4 with a double, a run and an RBI and finished the regular season with a .303 average.

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That is it for today. See you on Wednesday.