** UPDATE ** I added the slash line through 8/15/11 for the players which includes AVG/OBP/SLG
It was exciting when I realized Casper plays in my own backyard and I would get a chance to see them over the weekend. There are at least 13 former Casper players who have played for Colorado this year, not including Todd Helton’s rehab assignment. Players who are sent to Casper tend to be rookies fresh out of the draft who are often standout High School or stars from the Dominican Republic.
There are some exciting players to watch in Casper and there are some tough guys that you just can’t help but root for. Here’s a list of the players who stood out to me:
First the Good
7th Round draft pick out of North Carolina State
1B, R/R age 21 6’2" 240 lbs
Slash line - .310/.445/.503
Andrew Fisher recently wrote about the Rockies lack of 1B prospects, but this kid has talent. He’s big, and he can hit bombs. He won the 2009 Northwoods HR Derby and set the HR record for NC State. He was named the ACC Tournament MVP after hitting an opposite field tapemeasure blast over the 65 foot-high scoreboard in Greensboro.
Watching him I was impressed with his ability to wait on pitches and be selective. Harold isn’t a free swinger indicated by his .441 OBP this year and when he finds a pitch he likes, he takes it yard just like this:
1st Round Supplemental pick out of Irving HS, TX
SS, R/R, age 18, 6’1" 175 lbs
Slash line - .300/.390/.480
Another good SS in the fold with a cannon for an arm. He was clocked throwing 96mph while pitching in HS. Story made good contact and was very smooth defensively. There's a nice interview with Story by David Martin at Rockies Review if you want more back-Story on the young man.
Story started a double play in the game charging the ball and quickly shoveling it to second on a fast runner. The second atbat in this clip is cutoff and only shows the flight of the ball as he drills a sacfly to deep right-center, it would’ve been extra bases if not for an amazing play by the Owlz CF.
15th Round out of La Costa Canyon HS, CA
C, R/R, age 19, 6’2" 185 lbs
Slash line - .267/.349/.567
Will was the DH in this game so I wasn’t able to see him defensively although he at one point he did come out to warmup a pitcher in his catching gear. He looked good and his swing and stance reminds me of Garrett Atkins. Here’s a video of him hitting a HR, flying out to RF and being thrown out on a failed hit-and-run.
2nd Round out of East Brunswick HS, NJ
RF, R/R, Age 18, 6’2" 215 lbs
Slash line - .194/.307/.276
This kid is tough and knows how to overcome adversity. He snapped his ankle playing in an all-star game last summer and had to have the bone reset on the field or risk losing his foot.
"I knew it was bad when I saw the other team praying for me," Thomore said.
"The pain with that, with no medication or anything—just a cloth in my mouth, laying on third base—was probably the most pain I've ever felt," Thomore said.
Carl is still raw and it shows in his plate discipline. He was reaching for pitches and looked a little rusty sometimes, but like a surfer waiting for that perfect wave he found his pitch in the 9th inning lacing it over the shortstop where it skipped to the wall for a double. Carl has size and a good arm, view for yourself if his ankle has healed when he races into second on this double:
31st Round out of USF
3B, R/R, Age 21, 6’1" 166 lbs
Slash line - .302/.385/.690
Another tough kid who played 11 games with his jaw wired shut in 2010 after suffering a broken jaw from being hit in the face. Sam only missed 6 games from that injury and returned to finish the season. He had homered in the game and ended up with 6 more HRs in the 2010 season.
Sam put the Ghosts on the board with this 2nd inning HR:
I wasn’t able to see much of Rosell Herrera because he was pulled after his first AB. Here are some more pics from the game. Later this week I will post a couple more player bios in the commentary below.
Carl Thomore, Trevor Story and Sam Mende with Rosell Herrera's head in the bottom right corner.
Herrera, Thomore, Story, and Jim Tracy's clone (actually it's Sam Mende)
This was the cutest dog helping setup the infield. Reminded me of the puppy from Marley and Me.