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Learning the Rockies Affiliates – Grand Junction Rockies

GJRoxNow an affiliate of the Colorado Rockies, fans of the Boise Hawks will have a learning curve when it comes to where players will be arriving from and going throughout the long baseball season.

Players will spend Spring Training at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick – the first MLB Spring Training facility to be built on Indian land in the nation.  The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community partner with both the Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks to build the facility that features an 11,000 seat stadium, 12 practice field and office buildings that house both Major and Minor League clubhouses.

The Rockies do not have a team in the Arizona Rookie League, instead having a team in the Pioneer League – the Grand Junction Rockies.  The rookie ball Rockies began play in 2012 after being relocated after playing in Casper, Wyo. (as the Casper Rockies and Casper Ghosts) from 2000-11.  The team plays in Suplizio Field, where they averaged 2,200 fans last season, as the club finished with the best record in the Pioneer League (43-33), but failed to qualify for the postseason as they did not have the best record in either the first or second half of the South Division season.

Position players who could be candidates to become Boise Hawks include outfielders Yonathan Daza (.370 4 HR 35 RBI, 19 SB), catcher Hamlet Marte (.329 4 HR 33 RBI), and 3B Kevin Padlo (.300 8 HR 44 RBI), along with pitchers Javier Palacios (6-5 6.21 ERA) and Carlos Polanco (6-5, 5.62 ERA).

Former Hawks Headed to the Postseason

091114-mlb-2014postseason-pi-mpThe MLB Baseball Postseason starts on Tuesday, as the Royals and A’s meet in Kansas City in one of the wild card match-ups, while Wednesday, the Giants and Pirates meet in Pittsburgh.

In all, eight of the 10 teams in the postseason have at least one former Boise Hawk on the roster to end the 2014 regular-season (Dodgers and Giants do not).

In the American League, the A’s have a trio of former Boise Hawks in Josh Donaldson, Geovany Soto and Jeff Samardzija.  Donaldson finished the regular season hitting .255 with 29 home runs and 98 RBI, helping Oakland secure the second AL wild card in the 162nd game of the season.  Samardzija will be a key in the playoffs after going a combined 7-13 with a 2.99 ERA with 202 strikeouts this season.

In Baltimore, Ryan Flaherty will play in his second postseason after his third season in MLB.  The ’08 Hawk hit .221 with seven homers and 32 RBI in 102 games for the O’s.  Another former Hawk, Steve Clevenger, who hit .225 with eight RBI this season, is on the bubble for a postseason roster spot in Baltimore.

Another postseason veteran, Al Alburquerque, will be a key member of the Detroit bullpen.  The Opening Day starter for the Hawks in 2007was 3-1 with a 2.57 ERA in 72 appearances this season, striking out 63 men.  In Los Angeles, it is unlikely that former Hawks OF Tony Campana makes the Angels 25-man postseason roster, but the speedster, who hit .199 in stops between L.A. and Arizona this season, could make the roster as a late-inning runner/defensive replacement,, same goes for Casey Coleman for the Royals.

In the National League, two key players highlight the list.  In Pittsburgh, Josh Harrison missed out on the N.L. batting crown on the final day of the regular season, with his .315 batting average (Justin Morneau of the Rockies won the title with a .319 average), but added 13 homers, 38 doubles, and 52 RBI on the season.

Last season’s postseason MVP, John Lackey, will be key in the St. Louis rotation.  The right-hander was 14-10 with a 3.60 ERA in 31 starts this season, striking out 164 men.

Also in the postseason is left-handed specialist, Jerry Blevins, of the Washington Nationals.  The 2004 and 2006 Boise Hawks hurler was 2-3 with a 4.86 ERA in 64 appearances for the Nats.

 

Pictures from Rockies Press Conference

Tons of big news over the past week from the Boise Hawks camp – the Cubs decided not to renew their affiliation (moved to Eugene), the Rockies signed a PDC with Boise for four years, and there will be new owners for the club beginning in 2015.

A lot to get to over the next few weeks – as we will look at what the Rockies farm system looks like, look back at the top memories during the 14-year run with the Cubs, and look ahead.

But first, we will look at some photos from today’s press conference at the Boise Chamber of Commerce – as Rockies farm director Jeff Bridish, GM Dan O’Dowd, and the new ownership group of the Hawks all celebrated the new partnership between the Hawks and Rox.

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Humphrey with the ladies of the Boise Chamber of Commerce

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Rockies GM Dan O’Dowd with the Hawks Host Families

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Rockies VP of Player Development Jeff Bridish

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New Hawks Owner Jeff Eiseman

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Commemorative Jersey Exchange

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General Manager Todd Rahr Addressing the Crowd

1 2 3 4 5 6 Humphrey2 JeffE2 Todd Todd2 ToddRox

Inside the Northwest League – Nat Bailey Stadium

My final look at the Northwest League ball parks takes us to Nat Bailey Stadium in Vancouver, B.C., the home of the Vancouver Canadians

Jake Stinnett Makes Debut, Fans Vancouver’s Barreto

Cubs’ second round pick Jake Stinnett strikes out Franklin Barreto to end his first inning with the Boise Hawks

I Accepted the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Three different people in the last 24 hours tweeted me, letting me know that I was the person they challenged for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

I am always up for a challenge – but an entire cooler filled with water and ice…let me tell you, it was cold

To Jeff Caves and Mike Prater, hosts of Idaho Sports Talk on 93.1 KTIK-FM and Will Hoenike, Voice of the Idaho Steelheads, I challenge you (and if my son PJ wants to try it – that would be awesome too)!!!

Second Round Pick to Join Boise Hawks

Stinnett

Jake Stinnett (courtesy of UMTerps.com)

The Boise Hawks, in conjunction with the Chicago Cubs, have announced that 2014 second-round draft pick, Jake Stinnett, will join the team prior to the series finale in Hillsboro.

The right-hander, who was a teammate of current Hawks’ outfielder, Charlie White, at the University of Maryland, has made three appearances at rookie-level Mesa after a near two-month layoff.

Stinnett was 7-6 with a 2.65 ERA in 15 starts with the Terrapins this spring, leading Maryland to the NCAA Super Regionals – where he defeated Virginia in Game 1.  He struck out 130 men in 112 innings of work, walking just 27, with opponents’ hitting just .192.

Inside the Northwest League – Ron Tonkin Field

The sixth edition of Inside the Northwest League features the newest ballpark in the league, Ron Tonkin Field in Hillsboro – built in 2013.

Mark Zagunis Promoted to Kane County

ZagunisAThe Boise Hawks, in conjunction with the Chicago Cubs, have announced that third-round pick Mark Zagunis has been promoted to the Class-A Kane County Cougars.  

No corresponding move has been made.

Zagunis played in 41 games with the Hawks, hitting .299 with two home runs and 27 RBI.  The catcher/outfielder also had nine doubles and two triples in Boise, while stealing 11 bases in 13 attempts.

The Northwest League South Division All-Star had a banner month of July, hitting .324 – along with hit streaks of seven and eight games.

Jesse Hodges with a three-run double vs. Eugene

Jesse Hodges clears the bases with a three-run double vs. Eugene on 8/10

High Heels {and} Highlights

from a woman in BASEBALL . . .

The Cougars Den

Sunshine, Baseball and Fireworks since 1991. The official blog of the Kane County Cougars.

Smokies Radio Network

The Official Broadcast Home of the Chicago Cubs Double-A Affiliate

Muskat Ramblings

MLB.com's Carrie Muskat has been covering Major League Baseball since 1981 and is the author of "Banks to Sandberg to Grace: Five Decades of Love and Frustration with the Cubs." You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. Here, she blogs about the Cubs.

Ben's Biz Blog

The Greatest Minor League Baseball Blog of All Time

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