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PostHeaderIcon Whiting Starts with a Boom: Minors Update 14 April 2014

BooneWhitingIts easy to get excited with the statistics in the initial weeks of the season, when extreme performances haven’t yet been tempered by the passage of time. Still, several Mormon players, such as Memphis Redbirds’ pitcher Boone Whiting, already are turning in great statistics. Whiting currently leads the AAA Pacific Coast League with 20 strike outs. He also has a 1.98 era in 13.2 innings over 3 starts.

And Whiting isn’t the only outstanding Mormon pitcher in the first couple weeks of the season. Taylor Cole, of the Dunedin Blue Jays in the Florida State League (A+) is also leading his league in strike outs (with 16), and sports a 0.51 whip and 2.31 era in 11.2 innings. Both Whiting and Cole could end up advancing if they keep up this performance—to AA in Cole’s case, and to the majors in Whiting’s case.

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PostHeaderIcon Veteran Farnsworth Finds Groove: Majors Update 13 April 2014

kyle_farnsworthIts often hard to know what to expect from veterans near the end of their careers. In the case of Kyle Farnsworth, the Mets were ready to relegate him to the minors, given a poor performance in spring training, but the injury of closer Bobby Parnell brought him up to the majors and gave him the setup role for Parnell’s replacement. And Farnsworth has blossomed, his fastball is up 10 mph to the mid 90s, and his performance has been excellent—1.59 ERA and 1.06 WHIP in 5 2/3rds innings—inline with the best years of his career. At 37, the question is whether or not he can keep up this level.

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PostHeaderIcon Ellsbury Leads in Threes: Majors Update 6 April 2014

JacobyEllsbury-YankeesIts amazing how different the regular season can be from spring training. Last week, Elliot Johnson was on top of the Mormon players in spring training, and this week, in the regular season, he is on the bottom, while Jacoby Ellsbury, mediocre in most of spring training, has transformed into the best performer among the Mormon players.

Ellsbury started the season in 3s — hitting .333 (7 for 21), scoring 3 runs, stealing 3 bases and walking three times. All this he managed while his team (the Yankees) managed a mediocre performance.

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PostHeaderIcon Elliot Johnson Wins Mormon Spring Training: Spring Training Update 30 March 2014

Elliot JohnsonIf it is possible to “win” spring training, then Elliot Johnson has pulled it off this year. Johnson, who has built a career as a utility infielder, did what he needed to. He was .345/.387/.586 during the spring—numbers that would attract the attention of any manager. But Johnson has managed similar numbers in previous years in spring training—in 2008 and 2011—but his performance during the year has fallen far short. His best year in the majors was 2012, when he hit .242/.304/.350. Still, his performance has won him a spot in the opening day roster. Without doubt, he will be trying to do still better this year.

Johnson was particularly strong during the last week of spring training, when he led all the other Mormon players except the Rangers’ Adam Rosales. Rosales was 5 for 11 last week (.455) with a run scored. But Rosales hasn’t done nearly as well as Johnson, recording a weak .191 spring batting average. And also unlike Johnson, Rosales has been designated for assignment to AAA.

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PostHeaderIcon Fister Starting Strong: Spring Training Update 23 March 2014

Doug FisterThe Washington National’s Doug Fister has been very strong in his few innings of work this Spring Training, despite working through elbow inflammation that delayed his work. Fister has thrown for 5.2 innings and given up just 1 earned run and 1 walk while striking out 6. This past week he worked for 3.2 scoreless innings. So far he has the best record among Mormon pitchers albeit with some of the fewest innings of work.

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PostHeaderIcon Barney Shows His Bat: Spring Training Update 16 March 2014

DarwinBarney-GoldGlove-20121030As pundits wondered whether the Cubs would keep Darwin Barney at second this year, because of his poor performance at the plate last year, Barney’s bat woke up in a big way, as he was 4 for 9 last week (.444) and raised his spring training average to .308. Of course, Barney will need to keep up a high level at the plate for the final weeks of spring training to show that last year’s average was an aberration. We’ll keep an eye on him.

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PostHeaderIcon Elliot Johnson Makes Case for the Majors: Spring Training Update 9 March 2014

Elliot Johnson at batFor some players, spring training has to be stressful. If your status reads “NRI” (non-roster invitee) or if you are at the bottom of your team’s depth chart (or you think you are), then how well you do in spring training makes all the difference.

The Indian’s Elliot Johnson, in spring training as a non-roster invitee,  must be struggling with that now. And so far he seems to be making a strong case. Johnson was 5 for 13 last week (.385) with 3 rbis, bringing his total so-far to 5 rbis in just 16 at bats. Can he keep this level of performance up for most of spring training? If he does, will it mean he makes the roster?

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PostHeaderIcon Barney Starts Hot: Spring Training Update 2 March 2014

darwin-barneyIts too early to read much into the first week’s performance in Spring Training games, but its hard not to notice that Darwin Barney has started hot. Barney went 3 for 5 in the first handful of games, with a home run, 2 RBIs and a run scored.

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PostHeaderIcon Where are the Mormons in Baseball?? — Minors & Foreign Leagues

Figuring out where all those who played in the major leagues last year (as I detailed in yesterday’s post) have moved is relatively easy compared to figuring out what has happened to those who passed through the minors last year. This is true for several reasons:

  • There are more places where they could have gone — including both foreign and independent leagues
  • The minor league records online aren’t as accurate as the major league records
  • Its early, and not all the decisions have been made about where players will be, and the final decisions depend on the results of spring training.

There are probably other reasons as well. I must admit that I’m not that experienced in pulling together this information — I’ve only been at this for a few years.

But, despite these problems, I have produced a list of Mormons in the minors, foreign leagues and independent leagues:

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PostHeaderIcon Where are the Mormons in Baseball??

Spring Training, Vero Beach, Florida, 1994, by...We are a week away from the first Spring Training baseball games, and most players have already reported. And as always happens during the off-season, many players have moved from one team to another as managers search for just the right combination of players, and players look for more money or better opportunities.

Of course, the Mormons in professional are no exception. Here is a rundown of the Mormons who played at least one game in the majors last year and where they are at the moment. Tomorrow I’ll give a rundown of those who only played in the minors last year.

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