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The 2007 Arizona Fall League Thread -- LaPorta # 4 AFL propect

Yeah, it's early, but here's your first update:




MESA SOLAR SOX: Manager: Dave Clark (Astros). Hitting coach: Sandy Guerrero (Brewers). Pitching coach: Mark Riggans (Cardinals). Trainers: Justin Sharpe (Cubs), Brad Pearson (Red Sox).


Teams: Boston, Chicago Cubs, Houston, Milwaukee, St. Louis.

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Also noticed a former Brewer and a former Brewer farmhand:


SCOTTSDALE SCORPIONS: Pitching coach: Mike Caldwell (Giants).

SURPRISE RAFTERS: Hitting coach: Jon Nunnally (Indians).

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I think I was pretty good with predictions last year, so here goes (note that last year, each organization sent 7 players, not 6/7). Keep in mind that the rule is that you can only send one player that is below AA on August 1st. Typically the Brewers like to send one rehab guy or journeyman to find out what they've got before the 40-man roster deadline (eg, Bausher, Wolfe, Narron).


priority LF: LaPorta

C: Lou Palmisano

IF: Yohannis Perez, Adam Heether, or Callix Crabbe (Perez may go to a Latin country, so I think Heether is the primary option at IF if Perez is in a Latin country).

SP: Derek Miller, Steve Hammond

RP: Tim Dillard


I'd think the 7th will be a pitcher, but it also depends on who the other organizations are sending. Likely candidates include Stetter, Perkins, David Johnson, Brad Nelson, Katin, and Sollman. Given that the Brewers have some guys like Crabbe and Sollman that could profile as Utility guys, they could make sense. It could also be a last chance with the organization for Brad Nelson. It could be a recently injured guy like Stetter and Perkins trying to make up for lost time. And it could just be Katin to DH and add some thump to the lineup.

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  • 4 weeks later...
Isn't this Stetter's 3rd time being in the Arizona Fall League? When will he get his shot at the big league team. They must be high on this kid to send him there three times.


Yea, what gives? 3 trips to the Fall League, but none to the big leagues? That just doesn't add up. I think Stetter will get called up in September, end up pitching a lot for the Brew Crew, and then not going to the Fall League because he got overused by Ned.
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Anyone know how LaPorta has faired at West Virginia? I think that is where he is.

Matt LaPorta's 2007 Campaign


The Website for Minor League Baseball is your friend when looking for stats from this year.

The Link Reports by Mass, Colby, Pogo, and some others have the box scores for the games, which also list the current stats.

"You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation."

- Plato

"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something."

- Plato

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  • 1 month later...

LHP Steve Hammond will be writing a weekly Fall League journal for MiLB.com:


Brewers pitching prospect Steve Hammond of the Mesa Solar Sox kicks things off on Monday the 8th. The lefty out of Long Beach State helped Double-A Huntsville reach the Southern League championship series for the second straight year. He's got a career 3.40 ERA in his three seasons with the organization.



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Link, text follows:




A 2005 sixth-round pick by Milwaukee out of Long Beach State, Steve Hammond posted sub-3.00 ERAs in five different stops over his first two seasons in the Brewers farm system. The 25-year-old southpaw went 7-9 with a 4.69 at Double-A Huntsville in 2007, helping the Stars reach the Southern League Championship Series. Hammond is a member of the Mesa Solar Sox.

Send Steve an email

Baseball is a funny game. Sometimes the ball just seems to bounce your way and sometimes you feel like you can't do anything right. The best part about it is that it can all happen in the same game.

And that's why we play. Anything can happen at any given time. You can score 13 runs in one inning and you can go without a single hit in an entire game. Both of those things happened at different times to my team this year and no one could have guessed it on the way to the field that day. You never know how things will turn out.


The team I played for this year was the Huntsville Stars, the Double-A affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers. I'm a left-handed pitcher from Martinez, California, and I was drafted out of Long Beach State in 2005 as the Brewers' sixth-round pick. I've just concluded my second full Minor League season, one with more than its share of ups and downs, and I am looking forward to putting myself in position to have the opportunity to play in the Major Leagues.

Now that's no small task. With the amount of talent and competition in this game, I have to be prepared every chance I get. My team had one of those chances this year; just a couple weeks ago, actually.

I was the starting pitcher of the deciding Game 5 of the Southern League Championship Series. I pitched one of my best games of the year and was taken out after seven innings with a 3-1 lead. What looked like a sure thing soon turned into a lost cause. My mood went from an indescribable joy after striking out the side in the seventh inning to complete disbelief after the ball cleared the fence to put us down, 4-3, in a matter of minutes.

That's the game, though. I can only give my best effort to do everything I can and learn from every mistake I make. That's what I try to do every time I step onto that mound, and what I'll be trying to do for the next five weeks in the Arizona Fall League.

It's a new beginning now. I see a bunch of unfamiliar faces in an unfamiliar clubhouse. A few workouts and practices have passed and I'm slowly trying to figure out who's who. I hope we'll all be pretty good friends by the time we leave, but for now I'll just keep trying to match the name on the top of the lockers to the face of the person sitting below it.

As I get to know them, I hope you'll get to know me through this journal. With that in mind, please email any questions to me at shammondafl@gmail.com. I'll try to answer some of your questions in future journal entries.

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Matt LaPorta (1-for-5) homers on a fly to left, Lou Palmisano is 2-for-2 with an RBI and a run scored (on LaPorta's home run), Adam Heether has an RBI groundout, and Steve Hammond allows one run in two innings in his Opening Day start as Mesa wins, 7-3.



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Steve Sollmann debuts at second base (0-for-2); Adam Heether walks in his lone plate appearance; Lou Palmisano 1-for-2; Matt Laporta 0-for-3; pitching ruled the day in Mesa's 1-0 loss.


Tim Dillard's 9th inning was hectic, but scoreless:


Phoenix Top 9th

  • - Pitcher Change: Tim Dillard replaces Rocky Roquet.
  • - Nyjer Morgan grounds out, second baseman Steve Sollmann to first baseman Jon Still.
  • - Nolan Reimold walks.
  • - Blake Davis singles on a ground ball to left fielder Matt LaPorta. Nolan Reimold to 2nd.
  • - Jeffrey Baisley hit by pitch. Nolan Reimold to 3rd. Blake Davis to 2nd.
  • - Offensive Substitution: Pinch hitter Ryan Sweeney replaces Andrew McCutchen.
  • - Ryan Sweeney strikes out on foul tip.
  • - Jeff Fiorentino grounds out softly, pitcher Tim Dillard to first baseman Jon Still.

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Mesa loses Thursday, 9-3


Adam Heether 0-for-4, sees some time at second base as well as third; Matt LaPorta two singles, now 3-for-12, no walks but only one K; Dave Johnson and Mitch Stetter see action, detailed below. Both were effective, Johnson gets charged with a run only because he exits with two outs and a man on first base, subsequent batter triples.


Surprise Bottom 1st

  • - Pitcher Change: Dave Johnson replaces Daniel Haigwood (two outs, five runs in, runners on 2nd and 3rd)
  • - Trevor Crowe strikes out swinging, catcher Dusty Brown to first baseman Jon Still.

Surprise Bottom 2nd

  • - Chris Pettit strikes out swinging.
  • - Dropped foul pop error by catcher Dusty Brown.
  • - German Duran strikes out swinging.
  • - John Mayberry flies out to center fielder Sam Fuld.

Surprise Bottom 3rd

  • - Kila Kaaihue walks.
  • - Chris Gimenez strikes out swinging.
  • - Ben Johnson grounds into a force out, shortstop Tom Manzella to second baseman Jarrett Hoffpauir. Kila Kaaihue out at 2nd. Ben Johnson to 1st.
  • - Coaching visit to mound.
  • - Pitcher Change: Jose Vaquedano replaces Dave Johnson.
  • - Marc Maddox triples (1) on a sharp line drive to center fielder Sam Fuld. Ben Johnson scores.
  • - Adam Rosales pops out to second baseman Jarrett Hoffpauir.

Surprise Bottom 6th

  • - Pitcher Change: Mitch Stetter replaces Hunter Jones.
  • - German Duran strikes out swinging.
  • - John Mayberry singles on a ground ball to left fielder Matt LaPorta.
  • - Kila Kaaihue strikes out swinging.
  • - Chris Gimenez flies out to left fielder Matt LaPorta.

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Lou Palmisano (1-for-2) off to a nice AFL start (now 4-for-6); Matt LaPorta smacked a two-run triple and walked twice, nice; Adam Heether gets his first AFL hit in his lone at-bat and finishes up in right field of all places; Mesa loses, 6-4, to fall to 1-3:



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Mesa wins Saturday, 4-0


Mitch Stetter closes it out striking out the side in the 9th (one walk) -- he struck out two LH bats; in August '05, Stetter topped out at # 31 on the Power 50, he'll be 27 in January and would have graduated off the list via age this winter (he's currently not on the P50), but he's obviously got a chance to contribute for quite some time at the big league level.


Matt LaPorta homers to left-center field; his 2nd of the season -- it's a tiny five-game sample, but his .294/.400/.765 (1.165 OPS) line is just a tad better than his awesome West Virginia numbers (1.142 OPS in 88 AB's).


Steve Sollmann (second base) was 0-for-3 (now 0-for-5).



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I would be thrilled with a midseason AAA promotion followed by a September callup for LaPorta. That would be awesome. The Brewers led the league in HR, and that's with Weeks and Hall with down seasons, Braun a partial season as a rookie, and Prince at age 23. If LaPorta pans out like we all hope he does, this offense is going to have an amazing little window. Its just crazy to think what we had this season is only the beginning.


I had no idea Stetter was already 27. Seemed younger, like 24/25. I still like him and Bray as internal guys that could be a big help next season.

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