The International League is a developmental league. What you end up with is a mix of top-tier prospects and veterans trying to make their way back to the show. Some teams are heavy on one or the other, but as the Chiefs take on the IronPigs and RailRiders this week, there will be a lot of top prospects on the field.
According to Baseball America’s top-10 prospect rankings, the Chiefs boast #2, #7, and #9 in the Nats system, while the IronPigs hold #2, #3, #4, and #7 in the Phillies organization. The RailRiders will pencil in the Yanks’ #2, #3 and #7 in the middle of their lineup most days.
Today we’ll see competing prospects as the Nationals #9 prospect Austin Voth takes on the Phillies #7 prospect Mark Appel. Appel came over as part of the Phillies deal that sent Ken Giles to the Astros in the off season. The former first-overall pick posted okay numbers through the minors in the Astros system, but a fresh start in the Phillies system may be a blessing for Appel.
For the Chiefs, Voth was outstanding in his debut with Syracuse last Wednesday. The Nationals minor-league pitcher of the year did not allow a run in six three-hit innings. Voth struck out six and did not walk a batter.
We’ll also see Nats #7 A.J. Cole start Thursday and Phillies #3 Jake Thompson start game one Wednesday back in Syracuse.
We’ll save the Yankees prospect guide for later this week, but for now here’s a Nats/Phillies prospect-themed Stuff You’ll Like to get this series started (including a Chief who received special recognition this week):
- Nats #2 prospect Trea Turner was named I.L. Batter of the Week for April 11-17 (SyracuseChiefs.com)
- Austin Voth experienced his first big-league camp this offseason (Washington Post)
- A smooth debut for Voth with the Chiefs on Wednesday (syracuse.com)
- Is there still hope for former #1 pick Mark Appel? Yes, but its complicated (USA Today)
- Appel is finally at peace with the burden of being pick #1 (Bleacher Report)
- For the IronPigs, top prospects are a part of this year’s story (The Morning Call)
We’ll dive into more on this week’s prospects facing Syracuse on the next episode of the Chiefs Inside Pitch Podcast (Check out last week’s podcast). Over the next week, we’ll see six of the top 100 prospects in Baseball America’s rankings on the field. Hope you’ll join us on The Score 1260 all week.
Game #10 – Syracuse Chiefs (5-4) vs. Lehigh Valley IronPigs (4-5)
Coca-Cola Park, Allentown, Pennsylvania
Pregame 6:50 p.m. // First Pitch 7:05 p.m.
RHP Austin Voth (0-0, 0.00) vs. RHP Mark Appel (1-0, 0.00)
ICYMI – Sunday Conversation with Billy Gardner, Jr.
Batter of the Week: IF Trea Turner – Baseball America’s #9 MLB prospect – was named the I.L. Batter of the Week for the period of April 11-17 today. Turner led the International League with 13 hits this week, going 13 for 30 with three games of at least three hits. For the season, Turner is near the top of the I.L. in several offensive categories. Turner is second in hits (14), on-base percentage (.525), stolen bases (4), and runs scored (9), while he’s fourth in average (.424) and slugging percentage (.606).
Multi-Hit Caleb: Not to be outdone, Caleb Ramsey put together his third-straight multi-hit game yesterday afternoon. Ramsey is eight for his last 12 in his last three games with two three-hit affairs, raising his season average to .480. Ramsey was second on the Chiefs last year with 26 multi-hit games, including 4 three-hit games and a team high three four-hit games.
Off to a Fast Start: The Chiefs’ offense has gotten off to fast starts this season. First-inning singles by Scott Sizemore and Matt Skole yesterday gave the Chiefs 19 base runners in the first inning so far this year. Syracuse has posted a team .415 on-base percentage in the first inning.
LOB City: Syracuse left 11 runners on base yesterday, its sixth straight game with at least seven runners left on base. The Chiefs have left 65 on base in those six games. Syracuse is 15 for its last 73 (.204) with runners in scoring position.
Take a Walk: Despite having played two fewer games, Syracuse is tied with Durham for the league lead in walks. The Chiefs have tallied 41 walks through the first nine games of the season. Syracuse’s .345 team on- base percentage is third best in the league.
Hit Patrol: Despite scoring just one run yesterday, the Chiefs tallied 12 hits, one short of their season high. Syracuse has combined for 25 hits the last two days, raising its season average from 11th to sixth in the I.L.
Welcome to Triple-A: Austin Voth was outstanding in his first Triple-A outing last Wednesday. The 23-year old right-hander did not walk a batter in six scoreless innings, allowing just three hits and striking out six. Voth entered 2016 as the Nationals 9th-ranked prospect by Baseball America.
By Eric Gallanty (@ericgallanty)
Despite the snow outside, we are just four days away from the Opening Day when the Chiefs will host the IronPigs to kick off the 2016 season. The Chiefs will look a bit different, with a return to their traditional red white and blue color scheme. That won’t be the only change around the International League this year. Here’s a what’s new to the I.L. in 2016 Stuff You’ll Like:
- New logos, and colors in Syracuse, Louisville, and Norfolk.
- The IronPigs will have a new uniforms set in 2016. They’ll even have a new name for one day this summer. (I vote witout)
- New managers in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Charlotte, and Toledo
- 13-game winner with Toronto last year Drew Hutchinson is set to start the season with Buffalo.
- Former Chief and National Tyler Moore will suit up for the G-Braves this summer. He joins a stockpile of Atlanta prospects in Gwinnett.
- The Twins #3 prospect will see time in Rochester. The Reds top pitching prospect will also start in the I.L.
You can check out the full 2016 International League Preview here.
Plenty more to come
We are almost there. This time next Thursday, the Syracuse Chiefs will suit up in their new uniforms for the first time and host the Lehigh Valley IronPigs to open the 2016 season. Its been a successful Spring Training for all things Nationals, as Washington held the best Grapefruit League record (for what that’s worth). Some of the key contributors from this successful spring, last year’s magnificent Chiefs finish, and even the 2014 Chiefs Division Championship winner should be joining Syracuse this year. Here’s a twitter-themed Stuff You’ll Like of what we know so far about the potential makeup of the 2016 Chiefs…
Everyone mentioned here won’t necessarily be a Chief, and some not mentioned here will be in the clubhouse next week. These tweets will turn in to a clean, 25-man roster, which we will have for you as soon as it is released. Plenty more to come in the next few days. We’ll wrap up 2015: A Chiefs Odyssey tomorrow (check out Kevin’s #1 moment from earlier today), and start to break down some of these potential Chiefs next week. For now, enjoy your last weekend without Chiefs baseball. It’s right around the corner.
By Eric Gallanty (@ericgallanty)
Before I get to my #9 moment of the 2015 season, first lets go through some more offseason Chiefs, Nats, and all things baseball news in this week’s Today in Chiefsville Update.
First of all, I want to take a moment to recognize the life and career of Joel Mareiniss, who passed away Saturday at 87. Joel served as the Voice of the Chiefs for seven seasons, the Voice of the Orange for 20+ years, along other responsibilities across Central New York. I never got the pleasure of hearing Joel call a game, but for those who did his memory will live on, as it will with his pictures scattered across the press box at NBT Bank Stadium. Our thoughts and prayers are with Joel’s family. The Post Standard’s Bud Poliquin wrote this in memory of Joel. And if there was any doubt as to Joel’s impact on Chiefs and Orange fans, just read the comments on Bud’s post. Joel’s old Chiefs broadcast partner, Cincinnati Bengals and Bearcats announcer Dan Hoard, paid tribute to Joel during UC’s win over SMU. Hear it at the :31 second mark.
Now, onto some more links of note to get your baseball juices flowing.
Stuff You’ll Like – More offseason news
- Rich Hill has a chance to revive his career in the A’s rotation, something that did not seem possible when he geared up for the Chiefs this time last year…Kevin talked with Rich about his turnaround last August.
- One of our favorite Chiefs, Josh Johnson, is transitioning into a new role in the Nationals organization.
- Former Chiefs’ and Nationals’ SS Ian Desmond may have made a 99 millon dollar mistake, but his offseason journey speaks to a larger issue in baseball.
- Blake Treinen traveled a unique 3,200 miles to get to spring training. Blake has spent time this Spring Training working on getting lefties out
- Lucas Giolito first spring training outing was a success
And finally, a few links related to some potential 2016 Chiefs opponents
- Former #1 Pick Mark Appel could be among the multiple new Phillies prospects that may help Lehigh Valley this year (IronPigs at Chiefs April 7th)
- PawSox manger Kevin Boles spent his offseason 10,000 miles from the Ocean State.
Now, onto #9…
9. Trea Turns the Corner
2015 was a year that could be separated into distinct halves, with the Chiefs holding the best record in the I.L. over their final 82 games. But where was the ultimate turning point. It’s hard to say. The season-low water mark came July 3rd, but the Chiefs best record in the I.L. stretch can be traced all the way back to June 14th. So what date to pick. I’ll spend my #9 and #8 selections discussing two possibilities.
The Chiefs entered the month of July having dropped six of seven games, including four of five to start the annual Indianapolis/Louisville road trip. The trip was suppose to be something of the ushering in of the next Chiefs star, as Trea Turner was promoted to Triple-A at the beginning of the trip.
Turner’s start did not turn out as one might script. The prized Nats’ prospect went 0 for his first 18 at the Triple-A level, reaching base just once on an error. That all began to change though in the final game of the Chiefs four-game series in Louisville on July 1st. Turner came to the plate with one out in the third.
The home run was Turner’s lone hit of the game, but it started an incredible stretch. Turner went 13 for his next 35 (.371) over a nine game hitting streak. Just 17 games after his first Triple-A hit in Louisville, Turner had raised his season average from .000 to .313. Turner finished with a .314 average in 48 games with the Chiefs before his promotion to Washington on August 20th.
Trea’s homer was part of an impressive 10-1 win for the Chiefs over the Bats. Kevin Keyes capped off a successful first month in Triple-A with two big flies.
It was also a great day on the mound as Nats prospect Joe Ross allowed just a run in five innings in his first Chiefs win. Ross would start three more games for Syracuse before he rejoined the Nats.
Was July 1st the turning point of the Chiefs season? Maybe. Maybe not. Syracuse did end up losing the next two days in Buffalo to hit its season-low water mark on July 3rd. But it was that Louisville evening when the phenomenon that was Trea Turner really began to take off. And Turner was undoubtably a huge part of Syraucse’s second half success.
Another option for the turning point of the season comes in my #8 moment of 2015. But first, back to Kevin…
By Eric Gallanty (@ericgallanty)
It’s been 178 days since Emmanuel Burriss drove in the game-winning run of the 2015 season finale last September, a season defined by Syracuse’s ability to seemingly never be out of a game, no matter how bleak things might have looked. Despite a slow start overall, the 2015 Chiefs completely changed the course of their season. Syracuse finished with the IL’s best record after June 14th, posting a 47-35 mark (.573) in that 82-game span, and an even more impressive .613 win percentage after July 3rd. 2015 proved to be a memorable year in Chiefsville, even if it didn’t end in a division title like the 2014 counterparts.
Now as we sit just 35 days from Opening Day, Kevin and I are so excited to get you set for the 2016 season. We’re looking forward to expanding our Chiefs coverage from our radio booth to you in a few new ways.
- Leading up to and during the season, we’ll post a Today in Chiefsville Update. This will feature some links we think are worth looking at, similar to our Stuff You’ll Like section we’ve featured in the past. We will also include daily headlines from our game notes and more news from the 2016 Chiefs.
- Starting next Monday, Kevin and I will go through our top 10 moments from the 2015 season. Kevin’s #10 will be featured Monday, I will go Tuesday, and we’ll each count down to our #1 moment (I have a feeling a certain Father’s Day walk-off may be prominently featured).
- Throughout the year, we’ll continue to bring you features we’ve gotten good feedback on in the past, including Triple-A Trickledown, Road Trip Report, Inside the Clubhouse, and more.
- We are excited to announce the return of the weekly Inside Pitch podcast. Each week during the season, we’ll go around the International League and the Nats’ farm system, and discuss top baseball news with people around the Chiefs and the I.L.
There’s a lot to talk about with the 2016 Chiefs. This year marks the 20th season the Chiefs will call NBT Bank Stadium home, and the 40th Anniversary of the last Chiefs Governor’s Cup Championship team in 1976. We’ll dive into that and plenty more as we get closer to the season.
For now, lets start with our first edition of the 2016 Stuff You’ll Like. Here’s what you might have missed this off season in Chiefs and I.L. news.
- Year one of the pitch clock in the I.L. was a success.
- Chiefs groundskeeper John Stewart was named Triple-A groundskeeper of the year!
- Former Chiefs broadcaster Jason Benetti was added to the Chicago White Sox broadcast team, joining a long lineage of former Chiefs announcers in the majors.
- The Chiefs have a new look, returning to their traditional red, white and blue color scheme. Syracuse will not be the only IL team with a new look this year, with Louisville also returning to its roots, and Norfolk moving to…a giant green sea horse.
- Syracuse will have a new hitting coach this year, after former coach Joe Dillon left for a new gig.
- Chiefs manager Billy Gardner, Jr. is back for his third year after gaining some valuable experience with the big club.
Plenty more to come in the coming weeks as we approach opening day. And don’t forget, single-game tickets are on sale starting Saturday.
2015’s been a long, often arduous season for the Chiefs’ players. But yesterday provided an amazing moment when Tony Gwynn, Jr. – the son of late Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn – picked up a walkoff single on Father’s Day, nearly one year after his father’s passing.
– Here’s the video and call of the winning hit.
– Tony talked to MiLB.com about the hit and the emotional week he’s had.
A few non-Gwynn pieces of note today…
– Norfolk Tides beat writer David Hall spent some time on the road with the team, presenting an accurate representation of Triple-A travel.
– Jonah Keri discusses the Nationals’ problems and possible solutions in his weekly Grantland power rankings.
– NY Magazine reviews the brilliant, beautiful, instant-classic Inside Out from Pixar – my favorite movie of 2015 to date.
The Chiefs and Charlotte Knights begin a four-game series tonight at 7:05. Coverage begins on The Score 1260 at 6:50. Talk to you then.
Good morning. The Chiefs are one game away for their second three-game sweep of the season, with a 1:05 start vs. Toledo today. Some things to see beforehand…
– Chiefs outfielder Tony Gwynn, Jr., reflective on the anniversary of his father’s passing.
– Some thoughts and notes from a wacky 16-run, 23-hit attack for the Nationals last night.
– Hitting for the cycle is overrated. This is not blasphemy.
– ESPN’s Dave McMenamin (an S.U. alum!) on the mentality of LeBron James’ crushing Finals defeat.
– Stephen Colbert’s Late Show cannot come soon enough.
Coverage begins today at 12:50 on The Score 1260. Hope to see you there.
Welcome to Columbus, Ohio, where the Chiefs begin a four-game series against the Clippers tonight at 7:05. Some things to know beforehand:
– A recap of yesterday’s sloppy Chiefs/Mud Hens game.
– Dwight Gooden and Lenny Dykstra are headed to Syracuse next week.
– The Clippers got a boost from a brand-new player last night.
– With the Chiefs set to play in the inaugural Wiffle Ball Classic…
– …a look at the history behind the ball.
– Hey, you! You might have been picked in the MLB Draft!
Coverage tonight begins at 6:50 on The Score 1260. Hope to see you there.
First of all, you’ll like the weather – there’s no rain in the forecast today. The Chiefs and Louisville Bats (Triple-A Reds) will play a pair of games today at 5:05. Before then, some things to know…
– One of our interns, Josh Hess, talked to the Chiefs’ Emmanuel Burriss on how he got his start in baseball.
– Syracuse’s roster is getting a bit of a makeover, with some changes to the pitching staff.
– How the Nationals fell victim to a three-ball walk.
– For my fellow Game of Thrones fans: who that guy from that last episode was and why he matters.
– Grantland’s Steven Hyden dives inside U2’s new, ambitious arena tour.
We’re on the air today after Mike Lindsley’s show from 3-5. Talk to you then.
Good morning from sunny and post-rainy Norfolk, where a shower sprinkled down this morning before giving way to the glowing giant yellow orb of the moment. The Chiefs are hoping to avoid a sweep at the hands of the Tides today. Some things to know before that:
– The Virginian Pilot recaps yesterday’s 3-0 Norfolk win.
– Max Scherzer and Bryce Harper, the NL’s Cy Young and MVP front-runners, led the Nationals past the Cubs.
– Charles Pierce, writing for Grantland, on the money-based marriage of the military and the NFL.
– NPR asks, simply: where are the aliens?
And, finally, some Courtney Barnett for your lazy morning…
Chiefs and Tides today at 12:05. Hope you can join us after Bud & the Manchild.