It is hard to keep track of all the free agent signings in major league baseball, much less minor league baseball. So here is a look at some of the current, former, and possibly future Jackson players and where they have landed this year. Obviously, I could have missed a few, so if I leave someone out, it was not intentional.
You can find a full list of 2011-12 Major League Free Agents and where they have gone by checking out this LINK
Minor League Free Agents Re-Signed by Mariners:
C Chris Gimenez, 29 – split year between AAA Tacoma and Seattle
RHP Moises Hernandez, 27 – played with the Generals last year
LHP Jose Jiminez, 24 – played with A+ High Desert last year
1B Luis Jimenez, 29 – split season between Generals and AAA Tacoma
RHP Scott Patterson, 32 – split season between Generals and AAA Tacoma
SS Luis Rodriguez, 31 – split seasons between AAA Tacoma and Seattle
Moises Hernandez is the older brother of Felix Hernandez. Became valuable out of the Generals pen last year and made some spot starts. Luis Jimenez will most likely head to Tacoma to smash baseballs 500 feet. Scott Patterson is just a great clubhouse guy. Keeps everyone loose and provides great veteran leadership.
Minor League Free Agents Signing with Mariners:
3B Eric Campbell, 26 – finished last season with AA Carolina for the Cincinnati Reds
RHP Matt Fox, 29 – finished last season with AAA Pawtucket for the Boston Red Sox
LHP Steve Garrison, 25 – spent most of the season with AA Trenton for the New York Yankees. (did pitch 1 game for Yanks)
LHP Sean Henn, 30 – spent last season with AAA Las Vegas with the Toronto Blue Jays
RHP Josh Kinney, 32 – battled injuries but pitched in 13 games for the Chicago White Sox
RHP Jeff Marquez, 27 – pitched at every level of the Yankees organization including the major league club
Lastly but not leastly…
C Guillermo Quiroz, 30 – in his year away from the M’s he spent year with AAA Tuscon for the San Diego Padres
Very excited that “Q” has come back to the Mariners organization. The M’s have gone from no catchers to now an influx of catchers. Will imagine he will be getting a chance in spring training, but end up in Tacoma. Excellent clubhouse guy. Eric Campbell has faced the Generals several times over the last few years with both Mississippi (ATL) and Carolina (CIN). Not a top prospect, but could very well end up on the Jackson roster. He is a career .271 hitter with decent power.
Former Jackson Players in New Places:
C Jose Yepez, 30 declared free agency and has signed a minor league deal with the Atlanta Braves.
RHP Dan Cortes, 24 was non-tendered by Mariners and signed with the Washington Nationals
SS Jeff Dominguez, 25 declared free agency but re-signed with the Miami Marlins
C Rene Rivera, 28 elected free agency but re-signed with the Minnesota Twins
RHP Chris Jakubauskas, 33 declared free agency with the Baltimore and has signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks
C Jake Fox, 29 elected free agency with the Baltimore Orioles and has signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates
OF Felix Pie, 26 elected free agency with the Baltimore Orioles and has signed with the Cleveland Indians
RHP Mark Prior, 31 declared free agency with the New York Yankees and remains a free agent
2B Callix Crabbe, 28 declared free agency with the Toronto Blue Jays and remains a free agent
SS Oswaldo Navarro, 27 declared free agency with the Houston Astros and remains a free agent
RHP Joe Newby, 29 declared free agency with the Los Angeles Dodgers and remains a free agent
C Travis Scott, 26 has declared free agency with the Pittsburgh Pirates and remains a free agent
RHP Steven Shell, 28 declared free agency with the Atlanta Braves and remains a free agent
SS Ryan Theriot, 32 was non-tendered by the St. Louis Cardinals and remains a free agent
Obviously this is a mix of former Cubs and Mariner farmhands. Jackson was with the Cubs from 98-2006. Then Mariners, 2007-present. Amazing to see a couple of biggest prospects that the Cubs have had (Mark Prior/Felix Pie) scrambling for jobs. Pie ironically will be behind former Jackson CF Ezequiel Carrera in Cleveland who continues to shine.
On Tuesday, the Generals owners made the announcement official that Jason Compton is the new General Manager of the franchise. Jason began his time with the Diamond Jaxx in 2000 as an intern. Now, 12 years later he is in the corner office. Hard work pays off folks.
As great of a day that it was for Jason, it was an even better day for the the franchise. After sending a press release out last week announcing a press conference, I was asked how many to expect to attend. My answer – “around 15 to 20”. Which would be great for a market the size of Jackson. At 9:59 AM on Tuesday, there was no place to even stand. An estimated 75 media members and supporters packed the home clubhouse for the announcement, and Jason and I were running from one radio interview to the other until 6 pm. Let’s hope we have that problem on opening night.
News and Notes:
- I was enjoying a nice Friday night this past weekend before my phone began blowing up with rumors of a trade involving Michael Pineda to the Yankees for Jesus Montero. The super swap of talented 22-year-olds shocked everybody. My first reaction was, “how in the world could Seattle trade a rookie All-Star in Pineda.” But, then you think about James Paxton, Danny Hultzen, Taijuan Walker and Erasmo Ramirez. That cushions the blow considerably. Montero gives the Mariners a great bat in the heart of the order for years to come.
- Granted Hultzen has not pitched once in the minors, he was ranked as the third best left-handed prospect in baseball by MLB.com. Oh by the way, #1 was Matt Moore of the Rays, and #2, Manny Banuelos of the Yankees. Paxton was #8 on that list. Walker was ranked as the #8 right-handed pitching prospect in baseball. Of course, I am on record of saying that I think both Walker and Hultzen will start the year in Jackson. Will this trade change that? Right now, I don’t think so, but things can change in spring training.
- Nick Franklin was named the #6 shortstop prospect in baseball as well. Franklin was the #2 SS prospect leading into the 2011 season. The four-spot drop should not scare Mariners fans. Last year Nick had one of the most unlucky seasons a player could have. After jumping from High Desert to Jackson in June, he was plunked in the head by Joe Dunigan’s bat in the batting cage, then diagnosed with mono. When he came back in August, he looked like the Nick Franklin of old. I expect him to have a breakout season in 2012, and it more than likely will start in Jackson.
When thinking about Michael Pineda and his time in Jackson. The first thing that came to mind was his infamous performance in bus karaoke 2010. Michael could not think of a song to sing. So, he just pelted out the Dominican Anthem. To this day, no onereally knows if that indeed is what it was. It has been a tradition over the last three years for Double-A rookies to sing using the bus microphone on a road trip. So, I thought I would share a few pictures from some of great performances (or lack there of) over the years.
Every year it seems to sneak up on you. We are 90 days away from the Generals home opener on April 5th, against the Birmingham Barons, and right around 43 days until pitchers and catchers report. In a way that is scary, and it in another way it is exciting. When September hits, you are ready for that break. But, as February and March arrives, in this business you get restless and ready the marathon that is a 140 game Southern League season.
Hopefully everyone had a nice Christmas and New Year. It seems like every year when coming back from the holiday break you begin the “push to the season”. The new interns show up and it is just a fresh start. Sort of feels like that first day of second semester classes…
- The Mariners signed a familiar face this week in lefty George Sherrill. He is a 1995 graduate of Evangelical Christian School (ECS) in Memphis and started his college baseball career at Jackson State Community College in 1996 and 1997. As a freshman, Sherrill was the No. 3 starter and helped Jackson State to its first Junior College World Series. By the end of his sophomore year, he had earned a scholarship to Austin Peay State University. Sherrill was a closer in 1998, then was moved into the starting rotation the next season as a senior.
Former Jackson pitcher Dan Cortes, who spent time with the Diamond Jaxx in 2009 and 2010 has signed with the Washington Nationals. I would be willing to say that Cortes has had the most prolific arm to come through Jackson in my three seasons. In a game during the 2010 season at Chattanooga, Cortes pitched three straight innings averaging 100.7 MPH per pitch. It was the most fascinating pitching performance most players and coaches had ever seen. Current Mariner Trayvon Robinson was struck out on three pitches and the third being a 12 to 6 curve ball that veteran catcher Guillermo Quiroz could barely even catch . Robinson shook his head and tipped his cap. I hate Cortes could not harness his gift as a Mariner, but here is hoping he can with Washington.
- On Tuesday of this week the Jackson City Council approved a couple of improvements to Pringles Park. The one thing people complained most that needed improving was the video board. If you take a look at the photo of the current video board structure below, the plan is to eliminate the side panels where the Coke and JEA signs are and fill in all of that area with LED panels. Thus it would make those ads electronic and allow much more flexibility. Plus as you see in the picture on sunny days you could not read much of anything. With LED, the screen will be just as visible during the day time. Take a look at the other photo and you will get a general idea of what the new LED screen would look like.
- As the season gets closer, promotions will be released for the season. The promotional schedule is usually released in March. A few promotions that have been added for 2012 is a bobblehead doll of the Diamond Jaxx all-time wins leader and appearance leader, Doug Fister. No date has been assigned yet. Also, on July 27th, Midget Wrestling will be coming to Pringles Park. Check out the Half Pint Brawlers web page to see what to expect or view videos. They have a show on SPIKE TV. You cannot tell me that will not be fun.
- Some other events leading up to the season that fans will want to look forward to are on Wednesday, April 4th, the night before the home opener, will be Generals Fan Fest. 2012 will mark the second year that Fan Fest has been at Pringles Park. Also, several high school are scheduled to be at Pringles Park prior to the season. Those include…
- March 19 – Charleston, MO vs. Portageville, MO
- March 22 – JCS vs. South Side
- March 23 – Milan vs. Madison Academic
- March 24 – Riverside vs. Memphis Houston
- March 27 – South Side vs. Scotts Hill
- March 29 – Dyersburg vs. Collierville
Always check jacksongeneralsbaseball.com for the latest information on the Generals.