June 25, 2010: Game Notes

LAST ACTION: The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers defeated the Kane County Cougars 3-1 on Sunday, June 20 at Elfstrom Stadium. The Cougars scored a run in the third inning off Nick Bucci. The Rattlers came back in the fourth inning and took a 2-1 lead on a two-run double by Cameron Garfield. An RBI single by Cutter Dykstra in the seventh made the score 3-1. Maverick Lasker won his third straight decision with four innings of scoreless relief. Caleb Thielbar got the final out with the tying runs in scoring position to pick up his second save.

ALL-STAR REPORT: Wisconsin has two starters and two pitchers on the West Division team in the 2010 Midwest League All-Star Game on June 22 at Parkview Field in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Scooter Gennett went 1-for-2 as the starting second baseman. Khris Davis was 0-for-2 as the starting left fielder. Nick Bucci retired the only batter he faced in the game. Jake Odorizzi struck out the only batter he faced in the game. The West lost the game to the East by a score of 6-2.

HEY, CHAMP: Davis participated in the Midwest League Home Run Derby on June 21. Davis made it through the first two rounds and reached the Finals. In the Championship round, Davis outhomered Fort Wayne’s Nate Freiman 11-6 to claim the Home Run Derby Championship.

FINISHING KICK: The Rattlers went 4-1 in the five-game road trip that ended their first half.

SYMETRY: Wisconsin won 13 home games and 13 road games in the first half of the season.

LOOKING AHEAD: Cedar Rapids and Quad Cities claimed the first half Western Division spots in the 2010 Midwest League Playoffs. Cedar Rapids won the division and Quad Cities finished as the wild card. Wisconsin, Beloit, Burlington, Peoria, Clinton, and Kane County will fight it out for the two second half Western Division playoff spots.

THEY WILL BE FAMILIAR: Nine of the first 18 games Wisconsin plays in the second half will be against Burlington.

WELCOME: Kentrail Davis, Hunter Morris, and Matt Costello joined the Timber Rattlers on the first half ending road trip. When they step on Time Warner Cable Field in a game during this series, it will be their home debut.

PROSPECTING: There are eight members of the active Timber Rattler roster who are rated as top 30 prospects in the Milwaukee system by Baseball America in their 2010 Prospect Handbook. Pitchers Jake Odorizzi (#9) and Kyle Heckathorn (#10) and outfielder Kentrail Davis (#6) are all rated in the top 10. Outfielder D’Vontrey Richardson (#18) is the only position player to make the list. Pitchers Jeremy Jeffress (#21), Del Howell (#22), Nick Bucci (#29), and Maverick Lasker (#30) are the other four players on the top 30 list.

ABOUT THE OPPONENTS: The Burlington Bees are the Midwest League affiliate of the Kansas City Royals. They finished the first half with a record of 22-47and in eighth place in the Midwest League’s Western Division. The Bees were 2-8 in their last 10 games of the first half. In 2009, the Bees went 29-41 in the first half, but qualified for the playoffs with a 35-34 second half record to win the wild card. Burlington advanced to the Midwest League Championship Series, but lost in three games to Fort Wayne. The Bees have won two straight Western Division titles. They were the Midwest League Champions in 2008.

2010 SEASON SERIES: The Rattlers lead the season series with the Bees 4-3. Burlington won two out of three from the Timber Rattlers at Community Field April 14-16. Burlington won 8-6 and 11-4 in the first two games of the series. Wisconsin won 9-0 in the series finale. The Rattlers went 3-1 against the Bees in a four game series at Time Warner Cable Field from May 21-24.

COMPARE AND CONTRAST: The Timber Rattlers are hitting .246 as a team. They have scored 315 runs (4.6/game) and hit 31 home runs. The Bees are hitting .237 as a team. They have scored 291 runs (4.2/game) and hit 35 homers. Wisconsin pitchers have a team ERA of 4.36 while allowing a total of 334 runs (4.9/game) this season. Burlington pitchers have a team ERA of 5.17 while allowing 407 runs (5.9/game). The Timber Rattler defense has committed 107 errors. The Bees defense has committed 92 errors. Wisconsin is 13-22 at home this season. Burlington is 12-23 away from home this season.

PROSPECTING: Baseball America’s Prospect Handbook listed six members of the active Burlington roster as Top 30 Prospects in the Kansas City Royals organization. Catcher Wil Myers (#3) is the top-rated prospect on with the Bees. Pitchers Tyler Sample (#14), catcher Jose Bonilla (#21), pitchers Keaton Hayenga (#23) and Matt Mitchell (#28), and outfielder Hilton Richardson (#30) are all on BA’s list of Royals prospects. Pitcher Kelvin Herrera (#18) is also on the list, but he in on the disabled list.

BURLINGTON STARTING PITCHER: RHP Tyler Sample was the 3rd round pick of the Royals in the 2008 draft out of Mullen High School in Denver, Colorado. In the two seasons prior to 2010, Sample is 4-8 with a save, and a 5.07ERA in 24 games (19 starts). He pitched in the Arizona League in 2008 and briefly in 2009. He spent most of last year with Burlington (NC) in the Appalachian League. In his start prior to this evening, Sample pitched two shutout innings at Cedar Rapids on June 18. He did not allow a hit, walked one and struck out one. Sample pitched to a pair of batters in the 2010 Midwest League All-Star Game on Tuesday. Sample gave up a hit and retired the other batter he faced. He has made two appearances against the Rattlers this season. On April 15, he started at Community Field and went 4-2/3 innings allowed two runs on two hits with six walks and four strikeouts. He was not involved in the decision. On May 24 at Time Warner Cable Field, Sample pitched one scoreless and hitless inning, walked one and struck out one. Baseball America lists him as the #14 prospect in the Kansas City organization and notes that he throws a knuckle-curve to accompany a fastball of over 90mph.

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