Along the way as I’ve scouted and reported on players, and produced features, longform, interviews, photo/video content, and more, I’ve also reported a little bit of news — and done my fair share of analysis. Below are a few examples of each; email me with any questions, or for more information.
Source: High Desert, Bakersfield franchises to be contracted from Cal League — Today’s Knuckleball — August 21, 2016
After months of reporting and building relationships in the California League—amid the strong possibility that contraction was coming for High Desert and Bakersfield—I broke the contraction story the night before Minor League Baseball made things official, thanks to multiple sources and tips that I tracked down and confirmed. (And yes, I miss High Desert and Bakersfield already.)
Rockies LHP Chris Rusin on the mend after finger injury, getting close to return — Purple Row — March 19, 2016
I covered spring training with the Colorado Rockies for all of March, 2016, and produced more than 40 stories from my month-plus worth of time there for Purple Row. Here’s one such story—an interview with left-handed pitcher Chris Rusin about his mid-spring finger injury—though there are many, many more for those interested.
Three unlikely Mariners prospects twirl no-hitter for the Bakersfield Blaze — Today’s Knuckleball — June 25, 2016
My job in 2016 was not to do game recaps, but for very special occasions—like a no-hitter—well, I had to do one. The Bakersfield Blaze threw the first home no-hitter in their 75-year history in June, and I was there to cover the game, and the aftermath, in a tale detailing how the historic feat looked for the pitchers (Osmer Morales, pictured, Isaac Sanchez, and Jake Zokan) and the catcher (Daniel Torres) involved.
Minor league hitters’ parks a blessing for Rockies prospects ahead of Coors Field — Purple Row — April 15, 2016
Whether it’s sheer, unbridled optimism, knowing how to say the right things to the media, or a little bit of the organization pushing hard to get their players excited about pitching in hitters’ parks, Colorado Rockies minor league pitchers aren’t shying away from tough environments. Then again, they can’t; Coors Field forever looms. (FYI, the above picture is lefty reliever Yoely Bello, who spent 2016 with the Modesto Nuts, and outfielder Wes Rogers in the background. And yes, Bello totally caught me snapping this picture right in the moment!)
For Justin Seager, perspective reigns over two-homer night — Today’s Knuckleball — August 14, 2016
Justin Seager has been through his fair share of adversity across his amateur and professional careers, and yet sometimes, the stars align and the perfect moment comes together. In this game, the inspiration for this story, Seager had one of those moments after slugging a game-tying, bottom of the ninth inning grand slam in an eventual win for the Bakersfield Blaze. Let’s just say interviewing him after the game was, um, fun.
Adjustments showing in big way for Mariners prospect Tyler Marlette — Today’s Knuckleball — August 9, 2016
Seattle Mariners catching prospect Tyler Marlette was completely lost at the plate for the first six weeks of 2016, and then something happened, and all of a sudden he caught fire. He turned a bad year into a good year, and then a great year, and then he got promoted to Double-A, and then he was added to the Mariners’ contingent at the Arizona Fall League. Oh, and this story breaks down exactly what happened–with video proof—to get Marlette to that point.
D-backs MiLB manager J.R. House a worthy candidate to replace Walt Weiss — Purple Row — October 4, 2016
Of all the things I observed in the summer of 2016 in the California League, between players and coaches, few people impressed me more than Visalia Rawhide manager J.R. House. A former big league catcher, House managed the Rawhide to the Cal League Championship Series (where they unfortunately lost), and his style, attitude, and intensity will undoubtedly one day make him a legitimate candidate for a big league managerial role.
Speeding things up has turned Brett Graves’ season around — Today’s Knuckleball — August 13, 2016
In a way similar to what I did with the adjustment story for Mariners catcher Tyler Marlette (above), so too did Brett Graves make wholesale changes in 2016—and so too did I put together video proof of exactly how that happened. Here, the Oakland Athletics’ pitching prospect from the University of Missouri discusses his adjustments, and how he found success after starting the summer so badly.
Organizational observations halfway through Colorado Rockies spring training — Purple Row — March 18, 2016
The Colorado Rockies ran a tight ship during spring training in 2016, and while I produced a lot of pieces about some of the specific stories behind all of it, both news and analysis, here’s a decent overview of general observed trends from the club’s preparations at Salt River Fields in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Above picture is second base prospect Forrest Wall taking batting practice one afternoon.)
Finishing out minor league season a gritty task for young pitchers — Today’s Knuckleball — September 5, 2016
Get right down to the last couple weeks of a long, hot, arduous minor league season, and as you watch young pitchers break down and flame out from general fatigue, it sure makes you appreciate some of the big league horses who can start 33, 34, even 35 times in a summer and throw well north of 200 innings. Here, I talk to a few minor league hurlers about hitting those dog days of August.
On Yohan Flande, and hanging around until you get a chance — Purple Row — October 12, 2016
Every year, countless underdogs just like Yohan Flande hang around, and hang around, and hang around until they get a shot to play in the big leagues. Those guy are ultimately pretty inconsequential, but maybe they should be celebrated, even just a little bit.