Wednesday Quick Hitters
Time to clean out the old Inbox and give you some news and notes around Auburn baseball.
Trent Mummey- Mummey officially signed with the Orioles and was assigned to short season Aberdeen Ironbirds. Mummey went 2 for 4 in his debut and is batting leadoff. The Orioles seem very pleased with Mummey as a prospect:
"He can run. He's a guy that can bat toward the top of the lineup, one or two hole. He's a high on base guy. He has some power and I'm just looking forward to watching him play.
"I think he will be an offensive guy. He can run and play center, he can do multiple things. A guy that can not only collect his hits, but he can drive the ball, not a slap-type guy. He's got some impact to his swing and he has a chance to be a good hitter and a factor on the bases."
While Mummey put up impressive power numbers at Auburn, some project his power to be average at higher levels.
"He has some home run power, but for me, I'm not one to forecast what he will be three or four years from now. He'll learn to hit for some power, but he needs to be a doubles and triples hit collector type guy for him to be the player we need him to be."
Jordan likes Mummey's makeup and competitive nature.
"We really tried to target some guys that had this type of makeup and approach to how they play. I like the personality that he will bring."
Ty Kelly- Probably one of the biggest surprises on the draft season was Ty Kelley who the Angels signed as an undrafted free agent. Kelley is a guy who never really saw the field a lot at Auburn but still managed to turn the heads of scouts:
Ty Kelley started his week in a wooden bat collegiate league in Amsterdam, N.Y., hoping to stretch his arm after a season of relative inactivity at Auburn.
He will finish it in Tempe, Ariz., after signing with the Anaheim Angels and being assigned to their rookie league affiliate in the Arizona Summer League.
"It's been really overwhelming," said Kelley, a former Columbus High standout. "It just kind of hit me yesterday when I was in the locker room and putting on the Angels jersey.
Auburn fans might not be too familiar with Kelley's name. After making 11 appearances and starting three non-conference games in 2009, the 6-foot-4, right-hander pitched only four times last season, posting a 9.64 ERA in 4 2-3 innings.
He would have been a fifth-year senior next season but opted instead to go pro.
"This year, it was real tough, especially as much success as our team had," Kelley said. "It was awesome. When you're winning, you're happy. But it was tough just not being able to throw as much as I'd like to and not getting as many opportunities as I wanted. But I guess you can't really complain about that."
I’d check out the Andy Bitter blog post above. A solid read on how a guy, who as stated earlier, wasn’t on many Auburn radars but remained on scouts radars his whole career.
Austin Hubbard- Hubs is doing VERY well for the short season Hudson Valley Renegades. 2 appearances/ and 2.2 IP and only 1 hit. He’s already got a save and win as well. However, it’s not all gravy in Hudson Valley:
The Renegades led 3-2 in the top of the ninth with a runner on third and Staten Island cleanup hitter Kyle Roller at bat on Monday night. The likely move, probably the smart move, was to pitch around Roller with first base empty.
Problem was, Roller was the "K-Man," one of the oldest and most popular Renegades promotions. If a designated visiting player strikes out three times, fans receive a sponsor perk, in this case free miniature golf at Fun Central on Route 9. And Roller already had struck out twice.
Alas, Hudson Valley right-handed reliever Austin Hubbard walked Roller on four pitches as boos rang out from the sold-out crowd of 4,785. They were soon cheering as Hubbard struck out the next batter, Carlos Urena, to end the game.
Pawlowski gets Connections Aplenty- A couple of Random Notes here. First I knew about the Auburn baseball team shaving their heads a while ago as a show of support for Joseph Sanders Mom. However, I forgot about this part:
On Feb. 1, the day Barbara Sanders received her first cocktail of potent drugs to fight the disease, she arrived at Plainsman Park and was presented with a large, framed photograph of the clean-shaven Tigers.
"It was just something to let her know that there were some guys behind her," Slater said. "Having been through the experience of it, you just want to do anything you can to show your support."
What began as a gesture of support for Sanders' mother has grown. Slater sent the photograph to College of Charleston baseball coach John Pawlowski, whose 13-year-old daughter, Mary Louise, is fighting cancer. Auburn is also selling the photograph on its athletic department Web site to raise money for the American Cancer Society.
Also, Clemson fans have officially lost their marbles. Less than 24 Hours after their hated rival wins the College World Series, at least one blogger is saying it’s time for a change:
Its time for Jack to leave.
The head coach is responsible for everything in the program. He is ultimately responsible for recruiting talent, gauging his team's psyche in clutch situations, the on-field performance (hitting, pitching, defense), hiring assistants, and the in-game decisions.
The question is, are you a person who is satisfied with 40-win seasons and a CWS appearance every 2-3 years, or are you someone who wants Clemson to be the best?
If you're the former, you were probably also happy with 8 wins a year and a bowl game, and that Bowden was "a good christian man" and graduated his players.
I'm not one of those people. While I don't expect Clemson football to be in contention for a national title every year, I do expect 10 wins a year to be achievable at the onset of every season (barring a early NFL draft loss or critical injury of course). I don't put up with just being in the NCAA basketball tournament either. I want to win A game when we get there.
Why does this matter to Auburn fans? Well, Pawlowski is closely tied with the Clemson program:
Our program is on the way down. We are not at the level we were in the 90s and early 2000s. The talent on campus is not what it was. Jack's very best seasons after taking over from Wilhelm were with his recruits, and the momentum from that carryover, and he brought in a very good staff of John Pawlowski (now at Auburn) and Tim Corbin (now at Vandy) during the 90s who could help coach players up and teach them how to pitch. We won 50 games in each of his first 3 years on the job, and only 3 times since. His staff has been a source of fortune and stress since he's been here.
Pawlowski is a Clemson grad and CU and Arizona State remain the only two jobs I could see Pawlowski leaving Auburn to take.
DAN GAMACHE- Great little read on Dan Gamache and his Summer Baseball Team:
Dan Gamache has worn a Newport Gulls uniform before.
Now he actually gets to swing the bats.
Gamache, a Bishop Hendricken grad who had a breakout sophomore season at Auburn University, is back in Rhode Island this summer, playing for the New England Collegiate Baseball League’s Gulls. It’s a dream come true for Gamache, who was a bat boy for the Gulls when he was 10. His family also hosted Gulls players, and he always hoped he’d get a chance to be one of them.
“I pretty much grew up here,” Gamache said on Friday. He was standing on the grass at Cardines Field after a 5-3 win over Lowell. He hasn’t hit his stride yet this summer – he’s hitting .147 and went 0-for-2 on Friday despite crushing two balls – but there’s nowhere else he’d rather be.
Gamache hopes to use his summer in Newport as a springboard to even bigger things. He’s playing third base for the defending NECBL champion Gulls. He’s played in 11 games and is still looking to catch fire.
“I’m just trying to improve on some stuff – fielding and my approach at the plate,” Gamache said. “I’m hoping to get noticed, too. People are always watching.”
Regardless of stats, when Gamache dons the Gulls uniform, it’s a reminder of how far he’s come.
“I always looked up to the guys that stayed with us,” Gamache said. “It really made me want to work hard and get to where I am now.”
You can bet Gamache will keep working.
“I can’t wait to get back to Auburn and do it up bigger,” he said.
I don’t know if this is common knowledge, but Gamache has never had a scholarship at Auburn. It’s time for that to change.
Chris Bootcheck- Sweet Mercy. Chris Bootcheck is STILL pitching. Now he’s managed to turn a relief role in Japanese baseball into a fulltime starting gig:
Chris Bootcheck might have turned his first start in Japan into a fulltime job.
The right-hander went 6.1 innings, holding the mighty Yomiuri Giants to two runs in his first start in at least four years.
The seven singles he scattered were harmless. The one double he surrendered cost him two runs, but three relievers and a two-inning save from closer Shun Yamaguchi preserved the victory.
Seiichi Uchikawa had three hits, including his fourth homer, and Kazuya Fujita drove in two runs with a clutch single in a three-run third to back Bootcheck.
The 31-year-old first-year import had a 6.00 ERA in 11 outings out of the bullpen, but he tossed six shutout innings against the Giants, fanning the Central League’s hottest hitter, Shinnosuke Abe, twice.
Speaking of Chris, here’s some Youtube of him at work:
As a Side note, I LOVE Japanese baseball, if only for the crazyness of the fans. Just like this:
I WANT THIS!