Showing posts with label Austin Gallagher. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Austin Gallagher. Show all posts

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Dodgers promote Yasiel Puig to Rancho Cucamonga

The Dodgers just might have promoted Yasiel Puig to Rancho Cucamonga. Here's a tweet from sp11ke (former minor-leaguer):
"#Dodgers Yasiel Puig is in the stands here at Rancho Cucamonga. I guess his 1.500 OPS in 9 AZL games was enough."
It makes sense. The Dodgers wouldn't just randomly have Puig attend a game in Rancho from Arizona, so it's a safe assumption.

Update (Aug. 13, 10:07 a.m.): Now it's official, per Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times.

With the addition, the Quakes are going to be absolutely stacked. Even after trading Leon Landry, the lineup could have the likes of Puig, Joc Pederson, Bobby Coyle, Angelo Songco, Jonathan Garcia, Austin Gallagher and Christopher O'Brien in it.

It's obvious Puig hasn't faced much of a challenge in the Arizona League, so I like the aggressive promotion. Remember, he's 21 years old and played at the highest level of ball in Cuba as a teenager. It's an appropriate level for him.

A 2-3-4 of Pederson-Coyle-Puig is going to look awfully nice. I just wish the Dodgers had made this move (if it's actually happening) a week earlier. The Quakes were just in Modesto and that's only about a 90-minute drive from my place. I would have been nice to see Puig in person this earlier in his professional career. But I digress.

This also means someone could soon be on his way to Chattanooga to join the Lookouts. While Songco hasn't fared particularly well at either level of A-ball this season, I'd be on him going to Double-A. He was supposed to begin 2012 there anyway. This season has almost been a lost one for him. I'm hoping he can bounce back in 2013.

Photo credits
Puig: YouTube screen cap
Songco: Dustin Nosler, Feelin' Kinda Blue

Friday, June 29, 2012

Faith the key for Dodgers' slugging prospect O'Koyea Dickson

Faith is a big part of many professional athletes lives and success. Dodgers' prospect O'Koyea Dickson is no exception.

Dickson, 22, was drafted in the 12th round out of baseball powerhouse Sonoma State University near the San Francisco Bay Area. Seriously, Sonoma State has seen 40 players drafted since 1974 -- not bad for a Division II school. The "hitterish" prospect had a great debut with the Ogden Raptors of the Pioneer League: .333/.402/.603 with 13 home runs, 38 RBI and 10 doubles in 48 games.

Though he isn't as physically imposing as one would expect a slugging first baseman to be (5'11, 215 pounds), he's more than held his own in his first two seasons.

This is the video from 49th State Hardball I embedded from the last time I wrote about Dickson.

His debut performance put him on the prospect map for many. This season, Dickson started off on fire despite not starting the season when everyone else.

He suffered a hand injury in Spring Training -- an injury that kept him out of action until May 4. But Dickson said the hand is doing well.

His performance this season with the Great Lakes Loons earned him a spot in the Midwest League All-Star Game. This is particularly impressive because he missed 30 games and had to absolutely rake to get the nod. He hit .331/.442/.564 with six home runs, 22 RBI, 13 doubles and a good 24:22 BB:K ratio before the All-Star break.

"It meant a lot making it to the Midwest League All-Star Game," Dickson said. "Didn't think I was gonna make it due to my number of at-bats, but I'm blessed I got a chance to be an All-Star."

Dickson showed spectators what he's made of in the All-Star game, going 2-for-3 with a home run, which earned him MVP honors.

"It was pretty sweet going yard at the game," Dickson said. "Just wasn't trying to do to much and I got a good pitch to hit."

Dickson has made the transition from Pioneer League pitching to Midwest League pitching, and that's a big transition to make. The environments in the Pioneer League are much most hitter-friendly, so the fact he's hitting well in the Midwest League is encouraging.

Dickson said he's noticed the difference in the pitching at both levels.

"I thought last year in the Pioneer League guys threw a little harder," Dickson said. "On a daily basis, and this year, guys still throw hard, but they tend to throw a lot more off-speed pitches in hitter's counts."

Like a lot of athletes, Dickson puts his faith in, well, faith.

He said God is a big part of his life.

"Faith is the biggest factor because even when you're struggling, you have to keep the faith because good things have yet to come," Dickson said. "No matter what, God controls everything."

In fact, he said one of his favorite things about playing baseball is tied to faith.

"My favorite thing about playing baseball is showing that if you put your trust in God and be faithful to him, he will bless you with whatever your heart desires," Dickson said. "I just want to show people with God by your side, anything is possible.

Dickson said he doesn't set specific goals for himself, but looks at what he needs to improve and lets God do his thing.

"I put a little more focus on a particular part of my game I need to work on," Dickson said. "So, like (runners in scoring position), I want to be able to drive them in more frequently. I kinda just go day-by-day and let God control the outcome of my day."

Dickson said he's a student of the game and considers that his biggest strength.

"I don't try to put any pressure on myself. I try to make baseball as simple as it needs to be," Dickson said. "See ball, hit ball.

But Dickson also acknowledges his shortcomings.

"I think my weakest part of my game is defense," Dickson said. "I'm not bad at first baseman, but I'm trying my best to get better everyday. (It's) just all about being comfortable and trusting in your abilities."

Dickson first caught people's attention in high school when he hit a ball out of AT&T Park. He said that was his most memorable moment as a high schooler. He also said hitting a home run in the Division II World Series in the ninth inning and two home runs in the Pioneer League playoffs last year were also memorable for him.

He's hit a bit of a cold since the All-Star Break (2-for-22), but he has the ability to turn it around. With a lot of potential moving parts in the levels above Low-A, he should see time in Rancho Cucamonga later this summer. Despite the cold streak, he doesn't have a whole lot left to prove in the Midwest League. He needs to be tested against advanced pitching (even if the California League is a hitter's haven).

These are the players manning first base ahead of Dickson:
Other than Sands and Van Slyke, not much to be impressed with. Dickson has even been splitting time at first base with the rehabbing Angelo Songco in Great Lakes.

But in the end, Dickson has one ultimate goal.

"(Getting) a chance to play in the big leagues," Dickson said.

If he plays as well in the upper levels of the minors as he has in his brief career in the lower levels, it's bound to happen.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Dodgers make a slew of transactions in the past week

We're getting to that time of the season when players get hurt and roster moves a plenty are made. Most of the time, minor-leaguers are caught in the crosshairs -- and they aren't always promoted to the majors.

In the past week week, the Dodgers have made the following moves:

Juan Rivera to DL, Scott Van Slyke recalled (May 9)
Jerry Hairston to DL, Justin Sellers recalled (May 11)
Mike MacDougal released (May 11)
Aaron Miles signed to minor-league deal (May 11)
Juan Uribe to DL, Elian Herrera recalled (May 14)
Matt Kemp to DL, Jerry Sands recalled (May 14)
Trent Oeltjen designated for assignment (May 14)

Mike Parisi to DL (May 8)
Joe Becker promoted from Rookie League Ogden (May 10)
Tyler Henson promted from High-A Rancho Cucamonga (May 11)
Shawn Tolleson promoted from Double-A Chattanooga (May 11)
Ryan Tucker to DL (May 11)
Fernando Nieve activated from DL (May 12)
Brian Cavazos-Galvez promoted from High-A Rancho Cucamonga (May 15)
JJ Ethel activated from DL (May 15)
Kyle Russell promoted from Double-A Chattanooga (May 15)

Logan Bawcom promoted from High-A Rancho Cucamonga (May 11)
Brahiam Maldonado demoted from, well, it says "Los Angeles Dodgers," but I've never heard of the fella (May 15)
- According to the transactions page, the team signed him on May 14. He's a former Mets' farmhand and is strictly organizational depth.

Eric Eadington promoted from Low-A Great Lakes (May 11)
Alexis Aguilar promoted from Rookie League Ogden
Jarrad Page promoted from Rookie League Ogden

(Not a great week for Mr. Page, noted Laker hater)

Joel Lima promoted from Rookie League Ogden (May 11)
James Baldwin activated from DL (May 13)
Juan Noriega to DL (May 13)

It's been a busy week -- one of the busiest the Dodgers will have until September (I'd assume).


My latest piece is up at Chad Moriyama on Austin Gallagher:
 "So how about in 2012? Well, he’s been up and down, but he’s showing power like he never has before: eight home runs in 123 at-bats, good for a 15.3 AB/HR rate. His career AB/HR rate coming into the season was 49.7. It could just be that his fourth season in the Cal League is the charm, or it could be that he’s actually improving his power stroke. Worth noting is that his batting average has dipped from the previous two seasons (.291 to .292 to .260), so he may be sacrificing average for more power, as his slugging percentage is a career-best .484 right now."

Mike Petriello has a great post on the A.J. Ellis All-Star campaign (originally started by Jon Weisman). As you'll see in the right sidebar, I'm on board. #AJ2KC!