From spring training to the first pitch of opening day to the final out of the season, Tom Reisenweber chronicles the Erie SeaWolves with in-depth coverage you won't find anywhere else. Read more about this blog.
The Detroit Tigers locked up first-round pick Johnathon Crawford today among 19 total signings. Crawford was taken 20th overall by Detroit and will report to Lakeland for a few weeks before his placement in the minor league system is decided. He could be in Erie as early as this season after developing as a polished pitcher at Florida.
Crawford, a 6-2 205-pound right-handed starting pitcher, went 3-6 with a 3.84 ERA with the Gators this season. He also earned the Team USA International Performance of the Year honor after going 3-0 with a 2.10 ERA with Team USA in the summer of 2012.
The other 18 signings are mostly from the later rounds. Fifth-round selection Buck Farmer was selected along with Calvin Drummond (sixth round), Zach Reininger (eighth) and Kasey Coffman (10th). A notable signing is 14th-round pick Ben Verlander, the younger brother of Tigers star Justin Verlander.
Postgame: The hitting frustrations continued Friday as the SeaWolves have five hits and no runs in the past 18 innings. Erie finished 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position and a lot of those 10 outs were by strikeout. … Erie manager Chris Cron said he “had to defend my player” when he was ejected in the fifth inning. His ejection followed Daniel Fields’ ejection after Fields argued a called third strike. … Erie has not lost a series at Jerry Uht Park this season but will have to win Saturday and Sunday to keep that streak alive. … The SeaWolves are 1-8 in their past nine games. .. Richmond was postponed on Friday, meaning Erie is still in first place despite the loss. … Erie has dropped to fifth in the Eastern League with a .261 batting average. … The SeaWolves were in first for most of the season when it came to fewest team strikeouts, but Erie is down to fourth in the league with 445 strikeouts. Bowie leads the way with 418. … Erie is third in the Eastern League with a 3.89 ERA. … Several Erie SeaWolves will clean up the baseball field on 24th and Cascade Saturday morning between 10 a.m. and noon.
New Hampshire Fisher Cats (28-33) at Erie SeaWolves (32-25) 7:05 p.m., Jerry Uht Park
Ryan Robowski works a scoreless inning. He allows a one-out single to Clint Robinson and walks Brian Van Kirk but both runners are stranded.
Wade Gaynor starts the bottom of the ninth inning by striking out but reaching on a wild pitch. The SeaWolves bring the tying run to the plate three times and cannot score. 2-0 New Hampshire final
Amadeo Zazueta crushes a homer to left to give the Fisher Cats a 2-0 lead. Not much offense going for either team but two swings and New Hampshire has a two-run cushion. Clinard settles down to get Kevin Pillar and Ryan Schimpf to ground out and Kevin Nolan to fly out.
Dustin Antolin in to pitch for New Hampshire after two perfect innings by Randy Boone. Despite two one-out walks to Hernan Perez and Marcus Lemon, Tyler Collins and James McCann strike out. The SeaWolves haven’t scored in 17 innings.
Clinard rolls to a 1-2-3 inning and New Hampshire leads 1-0 though the top of the 7th. He is one mistake from this game being scoreless.
Randy Boone retires 6 in a row and New Hampshire leads 1-0.
Matt Crouse is done after five scoreless innings of two-hit ball. Will Clinard comes in and gets two quick outs, but Brad Glenn follows with a deep shot over the left-center wall to give New Hampshire a 1-0 lead.
Ryan Tepera departs after five shutout innings. He allows three hits and is relieved by Randy Boone. Boone works a 1-2-3 innings and New Hampshire leads 1-0.
Matt Crouse walks the first two hitters he faces before getting three fly balls to end the threat. He has allowed just two hits in five shutout innings.
Eventful bottom of the fifth inning as Daniel Fields and manager Chris Cron are ejected. Jamie Johnson got the inning going with a one-out walk before going to second on a two-out single from Hernan Perez. Johnson eventually took third on a wild pitch to give Fields a big scoring opportunity. Fields took a borderline strike three, OK maybe a little more borderline than usual, and he was livid. The home plate umpire let Fields say his piece but as Fields was heading to the outfield, he was ejected. Cron immediately came out to talk to the umpire and he was then ejected. As a result, Marcus Lemon is in left field, Tyler Collins moves to right and Luis Castillo to center.
New Hampshire RH Ryan Tepera (5-4, 4.50) vs. Erie LH Matt Crouse (4-4, 4.83)
Starting lineups New Hampshire – CF Kevin Pillar (.318), 3B Ryan Schimpf (.221), SS Kevin Nolan (.261), RF Brad Glenn (.255), 1B Clint Robinson (.262), LF Brian Van Kirk (.255), DH Kevin Ahrens (.241), C Jack Murphy (.224), 2B Amadeo Zazueta (.212) Erie – SS Eugenio Suarez (.252), 2B Hernan Perez (.308), CF Daniel Fields (.284), LF Tyler Collins (.229), C James McCann (.311), 3B Wade Gaynor (.220), 1B James Robbins (.231), RF Luis Castillo (.248), DH Jamie Johnson (.262)
The Fisher Cats had some baserunners but couldn’t do much with them. Ryan Schimpf led off with a walk but was erased at second on a great throw by James McCann. Brad Glenn then singled with two outs but Clint Robinson grounded out weakly to second to end the inning.
Ryan Tepera strikes out the side and has retired 7 SeaWolves in a row.
Both pitchers are cruising along. Ryan Tepera retires the SeaWolves 1-2-3 and Matt Crouse returns the favor right away.
Matt Crouse gets the first two hitters before Brian Van Kirk singles to right-center to end his string of five retired in a row. Kevin Ahrens strikes out swinging to end the inning. We are still scoreless.
Erie has stranded four runners on base. James Robbins singles to center with one out before Luis Castillo draws a walk. Jamie Johnson’s grounder erases Castillo at second but Johnson beats the throw to first. Johnson then steals second but Eugenio Suarez struck out with runners on second and third to end the inning.
New Hampshire goes down quickly as Matt Crouse dominates the first inning. He gets one shallow fly ball to right and two quick grounders to start the game.
Hernan Perez carries over some impressive hitting during batting practice in his first at-bat with a double down the left field line. Perez, however, is stranded at third base. Daniel Fields struck out looking and Tyler Collins walked before James McCann struck out swinging. Perez did steal third base during the inning for his league-leading 19th stolen base.
Pregame: The Erie SeaWolves received some bullpen help this morning as Will Startup was activated from the disabled list. Startup missed time with shoulder soreness and returns to a bullpen that just lost David Kopp to a back injury. … Erie will lose a home game after Thursday’s rainout against Portland will have to be made up on the road. The two teams are set to play three games in Portland beginning Tuesday. Instead, the two teams will play a doubleheader Tuesday at 6:05 p.m. to turn the series into a four-game series in three days. The game can’t be made up in Erie as the Sea Dogs do not return to Jerry Uht Park this season. … After tonight’s game, the SeaWolves will have played every team in the Eastern League except one. Erie won’t play New Britain until the Rock Cats come to the Uht for a three-game set June 18-20. Erie will travel to New Britain, which is located in Connecticut, for a three-game series August 2-4. … Erie is 14-9 when not committing an error this season and 17-17 with at least one error. … Erie is 18-10 at the Uht this season. The 18 wins ranks second in the Eastern League for home wins behind Richmond, which has 20. … In case you missed it, clickherefor our MLB Draft coverage from Day 1, including video highlights of every Detroit Tigers selection. … The Tigers made four picks so far on Day 2, all four are right-handed pitchers. They started with Louisville’ Jeffrey Thompson at 94 followed by Rice produce Austin Kubitza at 126 and Georgia Tech’s Buck Farmer at 156. Arizona Christian righty Calvin Drummond went at 186.
Check back throughout the night as information and stats will be posted about the draft picks by the Pittsburgh Pirates, Detroit Tigers and Cleveland Indians. Cleveland will pick at No. 5, Pittsburgh at No. 9 and No. 14 and Detroit at No. 20 and No. 39. The entire first round will also be posted as a list. The draft will begin at 7 p.m.
At No. 58, the Detroit Tigers take pitcher Kevin Ziomek, a 6-3, 200-pound left-handed starting pitcher out of Vanderbilt. He isn’t an overpowering pitcher but mixes his pitches well. He was drafted by Arizona in 2010 but elected to go to college instead. He performed well in the Cape Cod League after a tough sophomore season to see his draft stock rise.
At No. 51, the Pittsburgh Pirates take high school pitcher Blake Taylor, 6-3, 220-pound lefty from Dana Hills High School in California. He created plenty of buzz around the draft as a tall lefty that can touch the mid-90s with his fastball. Scouts say that his curveball is above average and he has the chance to develop a third pitch with a change-up.
At No. 39, the Detroit Tigers take closer Cory Knebel, a 6-3, 210-pound right-handed pitcher from Texas. He could rise through the system quickly with his power arm that can hit 98 mph. There are some off the field issues with Knebel as he was suspended twice with the Longhorns but there is plenty of upside as well.
At No. 20, the Detroit Tigers take Johnathon Crawford, a 6-2, 205-pound right-handed starting pitcher from Florida. Crawford can hit up to 96 mph late into games but needs to develop his offspeed pitches according to scouts. His changeup is solid and Crawford could develop into at least a No. 2 starter down the line.
At No. 14, the Pittsburgh Pirates take Reese McGuire, a 6-1, 190-pound catcher from Kentwood High School in California. McGuire is considered the best catcher on the board because of his defense. He has outstanding arm strength according to scouts with a “smooth, left-handed stroke despite being a righty behind the plate.” He is the highest-drafted catcher since 2008.
At No. 9, the Pittsburgh Pirates take Austin Meadows, a 6-3, 210-pound outfielder from Grayson High School in Georgia. Ironically, he played travel ball with Clint Frazier, the Indians’ pick. He is a left-handed hitter that has a “smooth swing and good power” according to scouts. He hit .535 as a senior and could stay in centerfield or move to a corner outfield position.
At No. 5, the Cleveland Indians take Clint Frazier, a 6-1, 180-pound outfielder from Loganville High School in Georgia. He has been referred to as a smaller Mike Trout by scouts. Frazier is the Gatorade National Player of the Year and is a power hitter. He hit .485 with 17 home runs, 56 runs scored and 45 RBIs as a centerfielder with good speed. He has signed a letter of intent to play at Georgia but is expected to sign with the Indians.
1. Houston Astros – RHP Mark Appel, Stanford
2. Chicago Cubs – 3B/OF Kris Bryant, San Diego
3. Colorado Rockies – RHP Jonathan Gray, Oklahoma
4. Minnesota Twins – RHP Kohl Stewart, St. Pius X High School (Texas) 5. Cleveland Indians – OF Clint Frazier, Loganville High School (Georgia)
6. Miami Marlins – 3B Colin Moran, North Carolina
7. Boston Red Sox – LHP Trey Ball, New Castle High School (Indiana)
8. Kansas City Royals – SS Hunter Dozier, Stephen F. Austin 9. Pittsburgh Pirates – OF Austin Meadows, Grayson High School (Georgia)
10. Toronto Blue Jays – RHP Phillip Bickford, Oaks Christian High School (California)
11. New York Mets – 1B/OF Dominic Smith, Serra High School (California)
12. Seattle – 3B D.J. Peterson, New Mexico
13. San Diego – OF Hunter Renfroe, Mississippi State 14. Pittsburgh – C Reese McGuire, Kentwood High School (California)
15. Arizona – RHP Braden Shipley, Nevada
16. Philadelphia – SS J.P. Crawford, Lakewood High School (California)
17. Chicago White Sox – SS Tim Anderson, East Central C.C.
18. Los Angeles Dodgers – RHP Chris Anderson, Jacksonville
19. St. Louis – LHP Marco Gonzales, Gonzaga 20. Detroit – RHP Johnathon Crawford, Florida
21. Tampa Bay – C Nick Ciuffo, Lexington High School (South Carolina)
22. Baltimore – RHP Hunter Harvey, Bandys High School (North Carolina)
23. Texas – RHP Alex Gonzalez, Oral Roberts
24. Oakland – OF Billy McKinney, Plano West High School (Texas)
25. San Francisco – SS Christian Arroyo, Hernando High School (Florida)
26. New York Yankees – 3B Eric Jagielo, Notre Dame
27. Cincinnati – OF Phillip Ervin, Samford
28. St. Louis – LHP Rob Kaminsky, St. Joseph Regional (New Jersey)
29. Tampa Bay – RHP Ryne Stanek, Arkansas
30. Texas – SS Travis Demeritte, Winder Barrow High School (Georgia)
31. Atlanta – RHP Jason Hursh, Oklahoma State
32. New York Yankees – OF Aaron Judge, Fresno State
33. New York Yankees – LHP Ian Clarkin, James Madison High School (Florida) Competitive Balance Round A
34. Kansas City – LHP Sean Manaea, Indiana State
35. Miami – LHP Matt Krook, St. Ignatius College Prep (California)
36. Arizona – RHP Aaron Blair, Marshall
37. Baltimore – OF Josh Hart, Parkview High School (Georgia)
38. Cincinnati – RHP Michael Lorenzen, Cal State-Fullerton 39. Detroit – RHP Corey Knebel, Texas Round 2
40. Houston – RHP Andrew Thurman, California-Irvine
41. Chicago Cubs – LHP Rob Zastryzny, Missouri
42. Colorado – 3B Ryan McMahon, Mater Dei High School (California)
43. Minnesota – RHP Ryan Eades, LSU
44. Miami – RHP Trevor Williams, Arizona State
45. Boston – RHP Teddy Stankiewicz, Seminole State
46. Kansas City – LHP Cody Reed, Northwester Mississippi C.C.
47. Toronto – RHP Clinton Hollon, Woodford County High School (Kentucky)
48. New York Mets – RHP Andrew Church, Basic High School (Nevada)
49. Seattle – OF Austin Wilson, Stanford
50. San Diego – SS Dustin Peterson, Gilbert High School (Arizona) 51. Pittsburgh – LHP Blake Taylor, Dana Hills High School (California)
52. Arizona – SS Justin Williams, Terrebonne High School (Arizona)
53. Philadelphia – C Andrew Knapp, California
54. Milwaukee – RHP Devin Williams, Hazelwood West High School (Missouri)
55. Chicago White Sox – RHP Tyler Danish, Durant High School (Florida)
56. Los Angeles Dodgers – LHP Tom Windle, Minnesota
57. St. Louis – SS Oscar Mercado, Vivian Gaither High School (Florida) 58. Detroit – LHP Kevin Ziomek, Vanderbilt
59. Los Angeles Angels – LHP Hunter Green, Warren East High School (Kentucky)
60. Tampa Bay – SS Riley Unroe, Desert Ridge High School (Arizona)
61. Baltimore – C Chance Sisco, Santiago High School (California)
62. Texas – RHP Akeem Bostwick, West Florence High School (South Carolina)
63. Oakland – LHP Dillon Overton, Oklahoma
64. San Francisco – 3B Ryder Jones, Watauga High School (North Carolina)
65. Atlanta – C Victor Caratini, Miami Dade C.C. South
66. New York Yankees – 2B Gosuke Katoh, Rancho Bernardo High School (California)
67. Cincinnati – 3B Kevin Franklin, Gahr High School (California)
68. Washington – RHP Jake Johansen, Dallas Baptist Competitive Balance Round B
69. San Diego – OF Jordan Paroubeck, Serra High School (California)
70. Colorado – RHP Alex Balog, San Francisco
71. Oakland – SS Chad Pinder, Virginia Tech
72. Milwaukee – SS Tucker Neuhaus, Wharton High School (Florida)
73. Miami – RHP Colby Suggs, Arkansas
The Detroit Tigers have two first-round picks in the MLB First-year player draft that begins tonight at 7 p.m. Detroit will pick at No. 20 and a competitive balance pick at No. 39. The Tigers have not fared well in developing first-round picks lately as only three in the past decade are still with the organization. Here is a look at the last 10 drafts and where the Tigers’ picks have gone.
2012 – No first-round pick. Detroit lost its first-round pick to the Milwaukee Brewers after picking up Type A free agent Prince Fielder. Milwaukee drafted high school catcher Clint Coulter, who is with Class A Wisconsin in the Midwest League. 2011 – No first-round pick. Detroit lost its first-round pick to the Boston Red Sox after signing Type A free agent Victor Martinez. Boston drafted pitcher Matt Barnes out of Connecticut. Barnes is currently with the Portland Sea Dogs. 2010 – Detroit lost its No. 19 pick to the Houston Astros after signing Type A free agent Jose Valverde. The Tigers did receive two compensation picks in the first round after losing Type B free agents Brandon Lyon and Fernando Rodney. With the No. 44 pick, Detroit selected Nick Castellanos, who is in Triple-A Toledo and well on his way to contributing in Detroit. The Tigers then selected Chance Ruffin with the No. 48 pick in the first round. Ruffin was sent to Seattle as the player to be named later in the Doug Fister trade. Seattle sent Detroit Doug Fister and David Pauley for Casper Wells, Francisco Martinez, Charlie Furbush and a player to be named later right before the 2011 trade deadline. Ruffin was sent to Seattle in August of that year. 2009 – No. 9 Jacob Turner. Turner spent one season in Erie and was on the fast track to helping out in Detroit. He made six spot starts with the Tigers but was traded to the then-Florida Marlins in 2012 for Anibal Sanchez. Detroit also received Omar Infante in the deal and shipped out Rob Brantley and Brian Flynn. 2008 – No. 21 Ryan Perry. Perry skipped over Erie after an impressive start to his career in Lakeland. He even made 34 appearances with the Detroit Tigers over three seasons, but was traded to the Washington Nationals after the 2011 season for Collin Balester. 2007 – No. 27 Rick Porcello. Porcello was another pitcher to go right from Lakeland to Toledo to Detroit. He has spent the past five years with Detroit, going 50-45 with a 4.60 ERA in 130 starts. Detroit also took Brandon Hamilton at No. 60 as a compensation pick for losing free agent Jamie Walker. Hamilton ended up retiring before the 2011 season after three rough years on the Class A level. 2006 – No. 6 Andrew Miller. Miller looked like a future contributor for the Tigers but he couldn’t figure it out as a starter. He made four starts with the Erie SeaWolves in 2007 and started 13 games with the Tigers going 5-5 with a 5.63 ERA. In December of 2007, Miller was part of the nine-player trade to the Florida Marlins. He struggled with the Marlins and shifted back and forth between the rotation and the bullpen. After the 2010 season, he was traded to the Boston Red Sox for Dustin Richardson. In three seasons with Boston, he has made 96 appearances, including 12 starts. 2005 – No. 10 Cameron Maybin. Maybin had a quick 20-game stop in Erie during 2007 and was quickly climbing the minor-league ladder. He played in 24 games in Detroit in 2007 and was part of the nine-player trade to Florida. Maybin spent three seasons with the Marlins before being traded to San Diego after the 2010 season for Ryan Webb and Edward Mujica. 2004 – No. 2 Justin Verlander. Obviously, this has been one of Detroit’s best draft picks in recent history. Verlander was in the minor leagues for all of 20 games before being called up. He did make seven starts with the Erie SeaWolves, going 2-0 with a 0.28 ERA. Hard to believe Matt Bush was drafted ahead of him at No. 1. 2003 – No. 3 Kyle Sleeth. Sleeth made it to Erie in 2007 and made eight appearances. Tommy John surgery pretty much derailed his career early on, and he tried to come back for three seasons but ended up retiring before the 2008 season.
Francisco Martinez, who the Detroit Tigers sent to the Seattle Mariners in the Doug Fister trade in 2011, has been reacquired by the Tigers. Martinez, 22, is an outfielder/third baseman that was acquired for either a player to be named later or cash considerations.The Venezuelan was originally signed by Detroit as a non-drafted free agent in 2007. He played 91 games with Erie before being traded in 2011. Martinez hit .282 with 14 doubles, 46 RBIs and seven home runs with the SeaWolves. He will report to Lakeland but could be in Erie by the end of the season.
Martinez was listed as the No. 16 overall prospect with the Seattle Mariners and will likely change over to the top 20 for the Tigers. In 34 games with Double-A Jackson, Martinez is hitting .206 with six doubles and five RBIs.
In order to make room on the roster for Martinez, Quintin Berry has been designated for assignment. Berry, 28, is hitting .168 in 49 games with Triple-A Toledo, including eight doubles and 15 RBIs. Berry broke out in 2012 in 94 games with the Tigers. He had a .258 batting average, including 10 doubles, six triples, two home runs and 29 RBIs.