Archive for the 'South Atlantic League' Category

Cozens Named SAL Player of the Week

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014


LAKEWOOD, NJ – BlueClaws OF Dylan Cozens was named South Atlantic League Player of the Week for the week ending May 4th, it was announced Monday by league president Eric Krupa.

Cozens, who turns 20 on May 31st, went 10-23 with four doubles, a triple, a home run, and scored four runs in helping the BlueClaws go 5-2 on their week-long road trip.

He had four multi-hit games last week, and his home run came in Lakewood’s 14-11 win at Asheville on Sunday. Cozens was a 2nd round pick of the Phillies in 2012 from Scottsdale, Arizona.

Cozens is the first BlueClaw to win SAL Player of the Week since first baseman Art Charles for the week of July 22-28, 2013. BlueClaws 3B Maikel Franco was named SAL Player of the Week for the final week of the 2012 season.

On the season, Cozens is hitting .267 with three home runs and 16 RBIs. He is also perfect in four stolen base attempts. He has 17 professional home runs, including nine last year with Williamsport.

The BlueClaws return home for a three-game series beginning Wednesday night against Kannapolis. Tickets for this week, and all remaining BlueClaws games, are available by calling 732-901-7000 option 2.

– BlueClaws –

Get to Know: West Virginia

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

The BlueClaws welcome in West Virginia to start a four-game series tonight at FirstEnergy Park. This is a prospect-laden Power team, and John Dreker of gives BlueClaws Blog readers an overview of who you can expect to see this weekend in Lakewood.

The West Virginia Power come into this series with a 28-25 record, losers of three straight. Prior to that they won seven straight, including a four game sweep over the Lakewood BlueClaws at home last week.

The team is loaded with prospects, with even more scheduled to join the team soon, possibly during this series. Here is a look at the starting pitchers for the series, followed by some hitters to watch.

SAL Announces 2013 Hall of Fame Class

Friday, May 3rd, 2013

The South Atlantic League and President Eric Krupa announced the 2013 South Atlantic League Hall of Fame class, which will be inducted at the SAL All-Star Game at FirstEnergy Park on June 18th.

From the release –

This year’s class certainly has a New Jersey flavor, and includes an elected official and the supplier of a very specialized product used in every professional baseball game. New Jersey State Senator Robert Singer will be inducted along with Lena Blackburne, whose famous baseball rubbing mud is taken from a riverbank somewhere in New Jersey.

Senator Robert W. Singer has served in the New Jersey State Legislature for over 20 years as well as on the Lakewood Township Committee for over 30 years. His leadership helped lure the Lakewood BlueClaws to New Jersey in 2001, and the success of the franchise would not have been possible without his steadfast support. His vision of a successful franchise has been fulfilled as the BlueClaws have led the South Atlantic League in average attendance in each of its 12 years in Lakewood.

Lena Blackburne’s solution to preparing baseballs for a game by rubbing them with mud to dull the shine without softening the cover has been used by Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball teams for nearly 75 years. Located somewhere in New Jersey, the actual source of the mud has been a well-guarded secret. Blackburne, a coach for the Philadelphia Athletics at the time, came up with the idea to use the mud in 1938. The mud did not scratch the baseballs, and it had no odor. Soon thereafter, every MLB team was using it. Its use then spread throughout the Minor Leagues, and has been used in every Minor League Baseball game for many years. Jim Bintliff, President of Lena Blackburne Baseball, will accept the honor on behalf of Lena Blackburne.

Ozzie on Rings

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

The Greensboro Grasshoppers took home the 2011 South Atlantic League title in a five-game series over Savannah. Greensboro was actually down to their final strike in game four, but managed to get a hit and push the game to extra innings forcing what was a comfortable game five win.

As the BlueClaws have done in 2007, 20010, and 2011, the years following their championships, the players received rings prior to a major league spring training game. This meant that new Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen was on hand. We’ll let Guillen take it from here, courtesy of the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

“Shock,” Guillen said. “What I can say is like, ‘Wow.’ I congratulate the owner of the ball club and the general manager. When you play at that level and have a ring like that, I hope those guys don’t get comfortable and say, ‘I got one.’ They don’t have the real one, but this is nice to see. I won a couple of championships in the minor leagues, and [the rings] weren’t close to looking like the way these are…Those kids should be proud. You don’t see many minor league rings looking that way. Even the major league rings.

“I told [Greensboro’s] Venezuelan guys, ‘Just be careful. Don’t take that back home.’”

As a side note, we were tipped to this story on Twitter via a new list created by the WV Power that you should all follow as fans of the Sally League.

Eric Krupa From the League Meetings

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

Greetings from Savannah, Georgia where we are enjoying the 2011 South Atlantic League Fall Meetings. Yesterday, we had a chance to sit down with league president Eric Krupa for a quick interview, which you can read below.

I know you handle a lot of the administrative stuff for the league as the president, but you’re a baseball fan too. How nice was it to see what was really a tremendous championship series? This year with Greensboro and Savannah every game was a close game, even the games that weren’t “close” became close or were close until late. Game four, Greensboro was down to their last strike. They prolonged it, and game five was interesting too. It was a well played series. It was fun baseball.

With Greensboro down to their last strike, you must have been all ready to go with the trophy and the banner? I was tucked back on the side. I left the trophy and the banner on the side and it was a matter of if they won, I’d go get the trophy and go back out there. Obviously we waited. The next night, I knew I was giving it away.

(Background: the majority of the Tuesday session were social media discussions with four different guest speakers and representatives from the teams)

What are really the goals of these meetings? Idea sharing, this part being social media. Last year we talked about game production, this year social media. So hopefully teams with the four speakers have some useful information that they can bring back and incorporate or consider incorporating into their 2012 campaigns.

Did anyone really stand out to you? The second speaker, Adam Moore, he was discussing specific examples of monetizing sponsorships through social media, utilizing the different platforms, and tying everything together. It wasn’t theory, it was case studies.

Do you build on this before the Winter Meetings in December? They’re two separate events. Here, I set the agenda. At the Winter Meetings we’re at the mercy of what they have planned for us. There are always topics to go to, but we just don’t have control over it.

Also at these meetings the 2011 league award winners were recognized and the GMs get to see their counterparts around the league, gentlemen that they talk to and do business with all year long but really only get to see each other at these meetings, the Winter Meetings, and the league All-Star Game, which this year was in Delmarva and next year will be in Charleston (SC).

Sally League Top 20 With Two BlueClaws

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

biddlesantanafullBaseball America released their annual look at the top 20 prospects in the South Atlantic League and two BlueClaws are featured: #6 Jesse Biddle and #18 Domingo Santana (traded to Houston).

Click here for the full list from Baseball America.

Biddle, who we interviewed here last week, went 7-8, 2.98 but had the best ERA in the league (1.97) during the second half of the season. Biddle, a first round pick in 2010, was relatively happy with his year.

“I think it went alright. It didn’t start out too well but I guess I am moderately happy with my second half…There are a lot of things I need to work on like command of the fastball and change-up, picking off runners, fielding and other things that will make you a better pitcher. I got a lot better but I know I need to keep getting better and I’m excited for that chance.”

Santana split the year between Lakewood and Lexington, where he went in August after the July 29th trade that brought the Phillies Hunter Pence (Santana was the player-to-be-named-later). He hit .287-12-53 on the season, but .382-5-21 in just 17 games with Lexington.

He opened 2010 with Lakewood as a 17 year old, the youngest player, by more than a full year, in BlueClaws history and returned to Lakewood for 2011.

Bryce Harper – Manny Machado – Jurickson Profar – Jameson Taillon – Christian Yelich went 1-2-3-4-5, which seems about right, though the BlueClaws never saw Machado (injured).

There are two players on this list who were drafted out of college (#12 Kyle Parker of Asheville, a 1st round pick from Clemson and #16 Bryce Brentz of Greenville, a supplemental first-round pick from Middle Tennessee State).

Here are last year’s rankings when the BlueClaws had 6 out of 20 and 4 out of 8.

Matt Moore in Lakewood

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

We talk all the time here about the former BlueClaws and their games here with Lakewood but sometimes it’s fun to look back at someone who the BlueClaws played against. Last night at Yankee Stadium, Rays LHP Matt Moore had a tremendous first start, striking out 11 Yankees over five shutout innings.

In 2009, Moore (drafted in the 8th round of the 2008 draft) played for Bowling Green. Tampa’s Sally League affiliate had been Columbus (GA), but they moved to Bowling Green (KY), spending 2009 in the Sally League and they are now (with Lake County) a member of the Midwest League.

That year, Bowling Green made one stop in Lakewood and Moore pitched the second game on July 14th, allowing three runs over five innings.

All three runs came in the third with two outs. Harold Garcia and Anthony Gose singled. Travis d’Arnaud doubled both of them in and then Jim Murphy doubled in d’Arnaud. Moore struck out eight in the game.

Moore that year led the league with 176 strikeouts and went 8-5, 3.15 on the year. He spent 2009 with Port Charlotte and split this year between AA Montgomery and AAA Durham, going 12-3, 1.92 before his call-up.

Mike Pagliarulo Can Sleep Well

Friday, September 2nd, 2011

Hagerstown scored four runs in the bottom of the 8th inning tonight and beat the BlueClaws 6-5, officially eliminating the BlueClaws from post-season contention.

The reference above is to Pagliarulo, a member of the 1982 Greensboro Hornets, the last team (1980-82) to win three consecutive South Atlantic League titles.

If you were curious about those guys for whatever the reason, here is a blog post from March.

Murphy, Biddle on SAL All-Star Team

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

LAKEWOOD, NJ – Two BlueClaws, left-handed pitcher Jesse Biddle and first baseman Jim Murphy, were named to the South Atlantic League All-Star team, it was announced Tuesday by league president Eric Krupa.

This marks the sixth straight year the BlueClaws have been represented after not having a representative on the post-season All-Star team for their first five years.

(Please note: stats through Monday)

Biddle, 19, is the league’s All-Star left-handed pitcher and is 7-8 with a 2.94 ERA, which ranks 4th best in the league this year. He also ranks 3rd in the league in strikeouts with 123. In the second half, Biddle is 4-2 with a 1.75 ERA, the best ERA in the league over that time period.

He was the Phillies first round pick (27th overall) last year, from Philadelphia and is the sixth Phillies first round pick to play for the BlueClaws.

Murphy, 25, was recognized as the league’s All-Star designated hitter. He played in the SAL All-Star Game in June and leads the BlueClaws with 22 home runs and 75 RBIs. His 22 home runs tie him with Juan Richardson for the most home runs in a season by a BlueClaw. In May, Murphy became the franchise all-time home run leader (passing Richardson) and has 36 home runs in a Lakewood uniform. He is also the franchise all-time RBI record holder with 143.

He was an 18th round pick of the Phillies in 2008 from Washington State University.

Among those recognized by the South Atlantic League: Hagerstown’s Bryce Harper (Most Outstanding Prospect), Augusta’s Shawn Sanford (Most Outstanding Pitcher), and Hickory’s Jurickson Profar (Most Valuable Player).

BlueClaws SAL Post-Season All-Stars
2006: RHP Carlos Carrasco, LHP Matt Maloney
2007: OF Quintin Berry
2008: SS Freddy Galvis
2009: OF Anthony Gose, Manager Dusty Wathan
2010: 1B Jonathan Singleton, C Sebastian Valle, SS Jonathan Villar, Manager Mark Parent

The BlueClaws, the Jersey Shore’s top stop for affordable family entertainment, conclude the home portion of the regular season with a double-header on Tuesday night that begins at 5:05 pm.

For ticket information, please call 732-901-7000 or log on to

– BlueClaws –

Two First Rounders Face Off Thursday

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

biddletaillonfullThis time last year, BlueClaws LHP Jesse Biddle had just been drafted by the Phillies 27th overall and his friend Jameson Taillon was just drafted by the Pirates 2nd overall.

Two pitchers, one from the northeast in Philadelphia (Biddle), and another (Taillon) from The Woodlands, Texas, a product of the same local high school that produced Kyle Drabek in the 2006 draft.

Their paths had crossed a year earlier when the two pitchers were teammates at the 2009 “Tournament of Stars” showcase at the USA Baseball facility in Cary, North Carolina (with Marlins first rounder and Greensboro OF Christian Yelich). Biddle and Taillon roomed together that week and still text regularly.

The two faced off in Charleston, WV on May 23rd, with each pitcher allowing three runs in five innings and neither factoring in the decision.

Now, they meet for a second time, Thursday night at FirstEnergy Park.

Biddle (3-5, 3.99) has allowed just five ER in his last 24 innings covering his most recent four starts including seven innings and one unearned run in his most recent home start on May 29th.

Taillon (2-1, 3.71) has made eight starts after being held back in extended spring training by the Pirates while the weather was cold in April. He’s fanned 27 and walked just four in 34 innings pitched this year. He joins top pick Bryce Harper of Hagerstown and third pick Manny Machado of Delmarva as SAL All-Stars.

Five to the All-Star Game

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

Five BlueClaws will head to the South Atlantic League All-Star Game on June 21st at Delmarva: RHP David Buchanan, RHP Garett Claypool, RHP Lisalberto Bonilla, OF Anthony Hewitt, and 1B Jim Murphy.

Buchanan will be the starting pitcher for the North while Murphy will start at 1B and Hewitt will be the DH.

Murphy presumably will also be in the HR Derby, though that hasn’t been announced yet.

Here is the full BlueClaws release.

Congrats to these five!

Claypool SAL Pitcher of the Week

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

claypoolblog2BlueClaws RHP Garett Claypool was named South Atlantic League Pitcher of the Week for the week ending Sunday, the first BlueClaw to win a Sally League weekly award in 2011.

Claypool, an 11th round pick in 2010 from UCLA, threw six shutout innings on four hits to win his first game of the year on Thursday at Delmarva. Even though it didn’t count for this week, Claypool’s previous start was May 14th where he allowed one run over seven innings, a solo HR to Bryce Harper that was the only run in a 1-0 Lakewood loss.

Claypool is 1-2, 2.48 this year and has allowed just 30 hits and struck out 48 in 40 innings pitched. He’s 3rd in the league in ERA and opponents batting average (.205) and leads the league in WHIP (1.03).

He is next slated to throw on Wednesday in the 11:05 homestand opener against Greensboro.

TG’s BlueClaws Notebook

Sunday, May 22nd, 2011

Tony Graham emptys the notebook in today’s Asbury Park Press and talks to BlueClaws LHP Jesse Biddle about facing top overall pick Bryce Harper.

“I love pitching against him,” Biddle said. “I feel like I focus a little better and it helps me concentrate because I know if I make a mistake pitch he’s capable of hitting it out.

“But he’s a human being just like the rest of us,” Biddle said. “It’s like some people forget that and it’s possible to get him out.”

Biddle tomorrow will face the second pick in last year’s draft, RHP Jameson Taillon. Obviously, since Taillon won’t be standing in the box like Harper did, this is a different dynamic, but it will be a fun game to watch with two first round pick pitchers facing off against each other. Biddle enters off his best outing of the year, six scoreless innings against Delmarva on Wednesday and has allowed just seven runs in 22 innings this month.

Taillon, who opened the year in extended spring training because of the cold weather, is 1-1, 2.84 in 19 innings so far this season. He went to the same high school (The Woodlands HS in The Woodlands, TX) as Kyle Drabek.

Sunday Preview

Sunday, May 22nd, 2011

Good morning from Charleston, WV, where the BlueClaws and West Virginia Power are set for a 2:05 start in game three of their four-game series. Lakewood has taken the first two after an 11-6 win last night.

Click here for today’s game notes.

Going for Five…The BlueClaws have won four games in a row for the first time this year and today look for their first five-game winning streak…Their last five- game win streak was July 2 – July 6 of 2010 against Hagerstown and Greensboro…Prior to this four-game win streak, the BlueClaws lost five games in a row (previous five-game losing streak was 2008), four vs Hagerstown and the first game of this road trip at Delmarva on Tuesday.

On Buchanan…David Buchanan (5-2, 2.29), who turned 22 on May 11th, makes his ninth start of the year and comes off his shortest outing, lasting just 3.1 innings and allowing five runs on nine hits on Tuesday at Delmarva…Buchanan had allowed just one run in his previous 16 innings pitched including seven shutout on one hit at Greensboro on 5/12 and a complete game at Charleston on 5/7…That was Lakewood’s first nine-inning complete game since 7/20/20077 (Carlos Monasterios)…Buchanan leads the league in ERA and is 3rd in innings (5 behind Asheville’s Edwar Cabrera)… Buchanan played at Chipola Junior College in Florida for two seasons (was drafted in the 6th round of the 2009 draft) and then played one year at Georgia State University…Favorite pitcher to watch is Tim Hudson.

Spark Plug…Miguel Alvarez is 15-38 in May and is a perfect 7-7 stealing bases this year…He had three hits on Thursday at Delmarva and three more Saturday at West Virginia, his second and third three-hit games of the season…Alvarez, who has raised his average from .178 in April, hit .325 with Williamsport last year.

Two league notes…Greensboro scored seven runs in the 8th inning to beat Hagerstown 9-6 and cut the Suns lead in the division to 2 games (ahead of Kannapolis and Greensboro)…OF Bryce Brentz, who was hitting .359-11-36 with Greenville (36th pick in the draft last year) was promoted to Hi-A Salem.