The name of this blog is dedicated to my mother. Back in little league, my mother used to stand back behind home plate and give me that one, simple batting instruction: "get the bat off of your shoulder!"

Monday, February 6, 2012

Texas League

Waiting patiently for baseball to start, I look back at some of the high points of last summer's Texas League season. Watched a lot of great baseball and looking forward to driving up to Little Rock again to catch a Travelers game. Unfortunately (for me, not them) it's unlikely that Mike Trout or Garrett Richards will be at AA level again this year, but that's OK. I'm looking forward to the next batch of young players coming up through the AA system.

Shelby Miller threw for the Springfield Cardinals, St. Louis' AA affiliate, late last summer. He is probably close to being major league ready, and if a spot opens up in the Cardinal rotation, he'll likely be given a chance to take it. I plan to keep my eye out for him. I thought he had great poise pitching out jams when we watched him pitch. The MiLB sites aren't quite as up to the minute in off-season as MLB sites are, and I can't tell what roster he's on. If he's still on the Springfield team, hopefully I can get another look at him this upcoming summer. I may have better luck catching him pitch against the Astros in Minute Maid!

Ethan Hollingsworth was playing for Midland last summer, well at least the early half. I watched him throw against the Hooks in May and he looked great for the first few innings and then the world just kind of caved in on him. The Oakland A's moved him up to the AAA club at some point, and I lost track of him. I did a little research and learned that he was traded by the A's to the Kansas City Royals for Kila Ka'aihue. I wouldn't be surprised to see him throwing for the Royals when rosters expand to 40 in September, maybe earlier if needed.

Watching Mike Trout play last spring and summer for the Travs was one of the highlights of the year. Twice I watched him pound out triples to the gap that looked like he planned exactly where it would go. On the Travelers he was hitting lead off both times I saw him. At a pro level, I can see him as a #2, with his bat control and speed. I hope for his sake that 2012 sees him starting at AAA getting every day playing. The Angels are backed up right now, and unless Scioscia has plans to put Trout at 3rd, I don't see him getting every day playing time. Will be exciting to see how he develops.

Garrett Richards, like Miller, could use another full season in the minors. Fortunately for the Angels, they have a very strong starting rotation, which means no need to rush Richards. When Richards came up to the big club in September last year, it was a good test for him to get a feel for the bigs.


  1. I hadn't seen that card series, especially that Trout. What are these from?

  2. I bought them at Whataburger Park in Corpus.

    The Travs site has it for sale,

    My scans are not good, for some reason. The cards look much better in person.

  3. Can't wait for Texas League baseball too! We are right down the road from the Naturals of NW Arkansas, and get to see the Travs a few times a year.

  4. I haven't made it up to see the Naturals yet. We stayed up at Lake Ouachita last year, and looking at the map, it seemed like a simple enough drive, but I underestimated the windy roads going through the Ozarks, and decided not to subject the kids to a 4 hour drive. I hope this summer to hit Wichita and the Naturals.