Friday, April 28, 2017

Tyrone Scott, Live Arm - 19

Originally published Jan. 13, 2016
Scouts had their eye on Leuzinger High School hurler Tyrone Scott in April 1989, according to The Los Angeles Times.

In fact, the California teen had everything scouts looked for in a pitcher, Orioles scout Paul Fryer told The Times.

"He's fluid, he's got a live arm and he's an athlete," Fryer told The Times. "I think somebody will draft him."

Scott did get drafted and that somebody turned out to be the Astros. He played four seasons, but never made AA.

Scott's career began that year, taken by Houston in the fourth round of the draft out of Leuzinger.

At Leuzinger, Scott helped his team to a March 1989 win, striking out 14 while giving up just two hits, The Times wrote. It was enough for his coach to see big things for Scott.

"I feel Tyrone Scott will be a No. 1 draft choice for someone in June," coach Derrel Thomas told The Times afterward. "There has been a lot of interest in him. I get calls from scouts asking when Tyrone is pitching. They speak very highly of him."

After running into an elbow injury in April, Scott made it back in time for the draft. Still, the injury and inconsistency led him to drop from the once-hope-for heights of the first round.

"I didn't really perform the way I wanted to this year," Scott told The Times after being drafted. "If I pitched the way I know I could, I think I would have been taken in the first round."

With the Astros, Scott started play in the rookie Gulf Coast League. In 12 games, six starts, there, Scott went 0-6, with a 6.23 ERA.

He moved to short-season Auburn for 1990, going 5-5 over 15 starts, with a 4.52 ERA. He spent his 1991 season at single-A Burlington, going 7-14, then played 1992 between Burlington and single-A Asheville. Overall, he had a 5.97 ERA that year, ending his career.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Fletcher Thompson, His Speed - 18

Originally published Jan. 4, 2016
Fletcher Thompson showed off his speed in college and in the pros.

In college, he stole 38 bases for Nicholls State in 1989, then swiped another 40 in 1990 before being drafted by the Astros.

In the pros, he stole 37 bases in his second season, then 47 in his fifth. He stole 118 bases over his six-season pro career.

None of Thompson's stolen bases, however, came in the majors. He made it as high as AA, but he never made the bigs.

Thompson's pro career began in 1990, taken by the Astros in the 11th round of the draft out of Nicholls State University in his native Louisiana.

At Nicholls, Thompson hit .338 in his 1989 campaign. He had team highs in stolen bases (40) and triples (4) in 1990.

With the Astros, Thompson started at short-season Auburn. He hit .286 in 59 games, stealing 17. He then moved to single-A Burlington for 1991. He stole his 37 bases there, while hitting .271 over 116 games.

Thompson isn't recorded as playing in 1992. He returned to the field in 1993 at AA Jackson. He hit .294 there over 98 games and stole 23 bases. He reached on an error and scored in an August game and reached on a single and got stranded in another.

He returned to Jackson for 1994, hitting a single in a playoff game. Overall, he hit .263 in 121 games and stole 28.

Thompson then moved to independent ball, playing 1995 with Alexandria. He stole a career-high 47 bases that year and hit .343. He also played 11 games at AA El Paso with the Brewers.

Thompson's final season came in 1996 with the Orioles at high-A High Desert and AA Bowie. He hit .266 over 84 games, ending his career.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Jeff Ingram, Big Hit - 5

Jeff Ingram's University of New Orleans Privateers needed a big hit in this March 1988 game and Ingram provided it.

In the bottom of the eighth, his team down by one, Ingram knocked a single to tie the game against South Carolina, according to The Greenwood Index-Journal.

Ingram went on from New Orleans to turn pro. His pro career, though, ended up brief. He played two seasons, making it to single-A, but no higher.

Ingram's pro career began in 1989, taken by the White Sox the previous year in the 43rd round of the draft out of New Orleans. He went to New Orleans out of Shawnee Mission High School in Kansas.

Ingram started with the White Sox at short-season Utica. The catcher got into 50 games and hit .292. He also hit two home runs, knocking in 20.

He then played 1990 between single-A South Bend and Utica. He hit .286 over 61 games at South Bend and .228 over 29 games at Utica, marking the extent of his career.
1990 Minor League Tally
Players/Coaches Featured: 2,610
Made the Majors:1,023-39.2%
Never Made Majors:1,587-60.8%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 424
10+ Seasons in the Minors:261

Dave Allen, Statewide Award - 16

Originally published Jan. 20, 2016
Dave Allen finished up his high school career at Rochester's Greece Athena with a statewide honor.

Allen pitched well enough in 1987 to be named the Gatorade New York State Player of the Year for his athletic and academic performance and for his character.

Allen went on from high school to turn pro. His pro career lasted five seasons. He couldn't translate his high school success to the pro ranks. He never made AA.

Allen's career began that year in 1987, signed by the Phillies as a amateur free agent out of the Greece Athena High School in Western New York.

Allen played his first year at short-season Utica. He got into five games, giving up one earned in 9.2 innings of work. He then moved to short-season Batavia for 1988, but got into only one disastrous game. He gave up eight earned, getting only two outs.

Allen then moved to the Astros system, playing 1989 in the rookie Gulf Coast League. Over 13 relief outings, he had a 5.13 ERA.

He returned to the New York-Penn League for 1990 at Auburn. He got into 14 games in relief, and had a 4.02 ERA. He also recorded three saves.

His final year in affiliated ball came in 1991 at single-A Burlington. Over 27 games, 18 starts, Allen went 5-7, with a 5.22 mark.

Allen's final pro time came in 1994 and 1995 in independent ball. He got into one game at Winnipeg in 1994 and five at Richmond, Ind., in 1995, ending his career.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Danny Matznick, About Him - 20

Danny Matznick played six seasons as a pro, his career shortened by shoulder, elbow and knee injuries, according to SaukValley.com.

Years later, though, Matznick found himself with another connection to the game, his son Quinton. And the high schooler was having success, the site wrote.

"It is all about him now," Matznick told SaukValley in August 2013. "I did a lot of good things in baseball, but I never got to win a state championship or go to a tournament like the Central Regional."

The father's career began in 1989, taken by the White Sox in the fourth round of the draft out of Sterling High School in Illinois.

At Sterling, Matznick also played football, serving as the school's quarterback. He suffered a knee injury prior to his junior year.

He started with the White Sox in the rookie Gulf Coast League. He went 2-3 over 12 outings, 11 starts, with a 3.12 ERA.

Matznick moved to single-A South Bend for 1990. He went 10-7 in 25 starts, with a 3.48 ERA. He went eight innings in a July game without giving up a run.

He played 1991 and 1992 at high-A Sarasota. He started 26 games there in 1991, going 5-12, with a 4.00 ERA. He got into just two games in 1992 and then started nine games in the GCL in 1993.

Matznick played his final professional season in 1994. He got seven starts between the GCL and South Bend, ending his career.
1990 Minor League Tally
Players/Coaches Featured: 2,609
Made the Majors:1,023-39.2%
Never Made Majors:1,586-60.8%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 424
10+ Seasons in the Minors:261

Jose Flores, Hit Streak - 6

Originally published Jan. 20, 2016
Jose Flores' late single in this May 1993 game didn't mean much in the outcome of the game. It knocked in Osceola's third run in a 10-3 loss.

The single, though, did do something else. It extended Flores' hitting streak to 18 games, according to The Orlando Sentinel, tying Flores for the franchise best mark.

Flores went on that streak in his fourth season as a pro. He came back for a fifth season in 1994, making AA, but he never made it higher.

Flores' career began in 1990, taken by the Astros in the 38th round of the draft out of his native Puerto Rico.

He played his first year at short-season Auburn. He hit .183 over 42 games there. He moved to single-A Asheville for 1991 and 1992. He also showed progress. He hit .220 his first year there and .267 his second.

Flores then made high-A Osceola for 1993. He hit .243 over 124 games there. He also knocked in 39 and stole 12 bases. He went 0 for 3 in a May win, but scored two runs. He then went 2 for 6 in a July extra-inning loss.

Flores made AA Jackson in 1994, but his stay was brief. He hit .192 over 47 games, ending his career.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Jeff Ball, Extra Time - 9

Originally published Jan. 12, 2016
Jeff Ball responded to his first major league hit in June 1998 by asking for a time out, according to The San Francisco Chronicle.

After a long career in the minors, Ball required a breather.

"I told my first-base coach I needed a little extra time to enjoy this," Ball told The Chronicle, "because it took me eight years to get it."

As it turned out, Ball needed to savor that hit. He ended up being his only hit in the majors. He picked up that one hit in four major league at bats.

He went on to return to the minors and play briefly in Japan, but he never returned to the majors.

Ball's career began in 1990, taken by the Astros in the 12th round of the draft out of San Jose State University.

Ball started with the Astros at short-season Auburn. He hit .289 over 70 games. He moved to high-A Osceola for 1991 and AA Jackson for 1992.

After playing 1993 at single-A Quad City and then Jackson again in 1994, Ball first made AAA in 1995 at Tucson. He hit .293 there with 56 RBI.

Beginning 1996, Ball became an unexpected starter at first base for Tucson. After a slow start at the plate, Ball picked up by mid-April.

"I've been working on stuff and I am starting to come around now," Ball told The Tucson Citizen. "I wanted to get off to a good start and I had a lot of stuff going on in my mind. I finally got back to the basics and I am doing my early work to get untracked."

Ball hit .324 that year for Tucson, but he never saw Houston. He then moved to the Giants system for 1997, playing at AAA Phoenix. He started 1998 back at AAA. Then, in June, he got his call to San Francisco.

Years later Ball explained the experience to The Lancaster Intelligencer Journal. "It was well worth it," Ball told the paper.

Ball played the rest of that year at Fresno, then the next at AAA Vancouver. In 2000, Ball went back to Fresno. He also went to Japan and got into three games with Hiroshima, getting two hits.

He went on to play in Mexico and in independent ball. His final time came in 2002 and 2003 at independent Atlantic City. He then took over the club as manager. He's credited as managing there from 2004 to 2006.

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