Results tagged ‘ Logan Schafer ’
If you’ll recall, this summer, we launched the new Brewers Baseball Academy presented by Kwik Trip, eight separate week-long baseball/softball camps open to youth (ages 6-14) which were held in various cities across Wisconsin this summer.
All summer long, in addition to putting on the camps, executive director Tim Rappe provided some baseball tips here on John and Cait…Plus 9 as well. Read on for his summer wrap-up.
WRAPPING UP THE INAUGURAL YEAR OF BREWERS BASEBALL ACADEMY
Well, it’s over. We just wrapped up the first season of the Milwaukee Brewers Baseball Academy and what an exciting summer it was! The only downside is that it kept me from writing. It’s difficult to explain just how time consuming and exhausting it can be bouncing from town to town and hotel to hotel…especially at my advanced age. Sounds like I’m whining, but the fact is that I love it and can’t wait to start next season.
Normally, my objective in these posts is to explore baseball and softball from an instructional perspective. But, there are a couple observations from the summer that deserve to be shared.
By a large margin, the winning observation is that the people of Wisconsin LOVE their Brewers. Whether we were at the Notre Dame Academy in Green Bay or Sun Prairie High School or Carthage College, the passion for this team was amazing to see. Let’s face it; we’ve had a headline-grabbing summer and much of the news was not good. But Brewers fans continue to support the team and believe that the future is bright. Our staff witnessed that time and again and it sure made our jobs a bunch more fun working with kids who came ready to learn and ready to learn the “Brewers” way.
My second big observation is that there are some crazy good instructors in Wisconsin who also love the Brewers and poured their hearts and considerable talent into making the Brewers Baseball Academy a critical success. While we have a ways to go in terms of reaching our enrollment potential, from the perspective of a 20+ year camp veteran, what these guys did throughout the state was remarkable. We set out to create the best baseball and softball camp in America and I’ll be darned if that didn’t happen.
A special thanks to Field Director and “Chief Entertainment Officer,” Scott Staude. And a big thanks to Station Leaders Dean Haase, Brian Gillogly, Dan O’Brien, Jason Jacome and Ronnie Nedset. Just outstanding.
I also want to thank Scooter Gennett, Jim Henderson, Caleb Gindl, Martin Maldonado, Khris Davis, Sean Halton, Logan Schafer and of course, Coach John “T-Bone” Shelby for making our trips to Miller park unforgettable.
We will be putting an exclamation point on our first season on 9/29 as 80 campers compete in the first Milwaukee Brewers Baseball Academy Skills Championship at Miller Park. If you want to check out the finalists, click here.
Until next time, “If you’re gonna swing, might as well swing hard.”
Today was the Brewers Season Seat Holder luncheon, the second of two such events this season where Season Seat Holders with packages of 20+ games have the opportunity to attend.
The event, which takes place in the Johnson Controls Stadium Club, includes a plated lunch (which was delicious as all food in there is!), a Q &A with Brewers players, and the opportunity to win prizes.
Today, Season Seat Holders were treated to a Q & A with Brewers pitcher John Axford and second baseman Rickie Weeks, emceed by Brewers radio broadcaster Joe Block.
Questions ranged from dealing with adversity and footwork drills to avoid being taken out by the runner advancing to second to favorite baseball movies and clubhouse pranks.
Some quotes and highlights:
Q: If you were stuck on an island, which three players from the current roster would you want to take with you?
Weeks: “Logan Schafer–because he won’t eat all the food; Martin Maldonado because he can cook the food; and…”
Axford: ”I’d agree, and add Jim Henderson because he looks a little wilderness-y right now. He would probably be a good forager/hunter.”
Q: You have both faced adversity at times during your careers. How do you deal with it?
Weeks: “I see it as a time to get better. It’s definitely a character builder.”
Axford: ”I agree. With social media and increased media attention in this day and age, you just have to try to block it out, realize the person you are and you know what you’re capable of.”
Q: What’s your favorite baseball movie?
Axford: ”My favorite from nostalgic point of view is The Sandlot; from a film standpoint, it is The Natural. The lighting and the cinematography is amazing.”
Q: Rickie, how do you feel about having family in MLB? (Referring to his brother, Jemile, who plays for the Oakland A’s.)
Weeks: You don’t often get to share the same sport with a sibling at the highest level. Very blessed.
Sitting at the head table with Rickie and John were some special guests–Mindy and Nathan Skewes from Union Grove, Wisconsin. Earlier this year, Mindy and Nathan were selected as prize winners in our Fan-tastic 40 promotion, 40 Days, 40 drawings, and 40 unique prizes and experiences, all for our Season Seat Holders.
I had a chance to chat briefly with the couple during the event.
“It was great getting to interact with the guys. They were very personable and easy to talk to,” Mindy said.
The couple has a the 20-game Business Plan in the first row of the Club Level and frequently attend games with their 7-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son. They’ve been Season Seat Holders for a number of years.
“They were each just 5 weeks old when we took them to their first games,” she noted.
At the conclusion of the event, drawings were held for prizes which included baseballs signed by John Axford and Rickie Weeks as well as Brewers watches.
Thanks to those who came out today; it was great to see some old friends and meet some new ones.
The Annual John and Cait Clubhouse Sale Preview is one of our favorite blog post to write each year. With the Christmas shopping season beginning a little early this year, the Clubhouse Sale comes early as well. It is the perfect opportunity to stock up on all of your favorite Brewers gear. The sale is Friday (Brewers Black Friday, or “Blue Friday,” if you will) and Saturday, from 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. and fans can expect savings of up to 75%! Shoppers can access the Clubhouse Sale by entering Miller Park at the Hot Corner entrance near the Brewers Team Store by Majestic and following the posted directions to the visiting clubhouse. Cash and credit cards will be accepted (no personal checks). Admission and parking is free.
Also,this year, we have a special opportunity for our blog readers at the bottom of the page, so read on!
As promised, here are a few of our favorite items available at the sale…
This Nike Track jacket was the most popular jacket sold at the store this year and is certainly a steal at just $60. The royal blue jacket is lightweight and great for late Spring and early Summer tailgates at Miller Park.
As always, there is a great selection of game-used items. Jerseys, hats, bats and balls are all available. Jerseys start at $150. Game-worn jerseys from current Brewers like Chris Narveson and Mike Fiers, former Brewers like Zack Greinke and Mike Cameron, Brewers coaches like Rick Kranitz and Ed Sedar and, one of the most coveted jerseys, the world famous #99 “BAT BOY” jersey! (Cait’s Note: My dad was a recipient of Bat Boy jersey one year and boy was that a hit!)
Game-used bats in the basket that are available for purchase include Carlos Gomez, Aramis Ramirez, George Kottaras, Mike Cameron, Logan Schafer, Taylor Green, Randy Wolf and even Ed Sedar’s fungo bat! All were authenticated.
The locker name plates included plates from the Brewers 40th Anniversary season and from the 2011 NLDS and NLCS.
This St. Patrick’s Day jersey would be great for your trip to Spring Training in 2013!
There were a number of Brewers Italian Heritage Day caps available for sale. Perfect for John, or any fan who wants to appropriately fit in at Milwaukee Bucks games with the proper colors!
Speaking of some Wisconsin Sports Pride, this jersey is perfect for a Brewers fan who wants to support their favorite football team and ball team at the same time. No need to choose between your Brewers jersey or Packers jersey when you come out to Miller Park on a Sunday in September or October. Wear this instead, people will know you’re rooting for both teams!
This great t-shirt features one of John and Cait’s favorite Brewers logos. The shirt has a soft feel and a great price.
These hats allow fans to show pride for their team and pride for America. A great addition to the hat collection of any Brewers fan.
This Nike t-shirt is features one of John’s favorite Brewers logos, the Milwaukee script. At only $15, it cannot be beat for value.
This Brewers grill cover and Fan Brands Grilling Iron are perfect special gifts for your favorite grillmaster in your tailgate group!
For the female fan who has everything, these Brewers purses will help her travel to the game in style!
Cait was on the lookout for the perfect gifts for her goddaughter, Makena. There were many children’s items to choose from, including this adorable tracksuit that she had to snap up!
Another option for the female fan, this Cutter & Buck sweatshirt dress is comfy, cozy and stylish!
Serious sports memorabilia and jersey collectors will want to check out this Rising Stars jersey!
There are also a lot of specials going on during the sale to make things even more fun!
Every 25th customer to make a purchase during the Clubhouse Sale will receive a free authenticated champagne bottle from a 2011 Brewers Postseason celebration (one per customer while supplies last). Additionally, a more-you-spend-the-more-you-save coupon will be offered. Coupons of 10/20/30% off will be offered to the Brewers Team Store by Majestic for those spending $100/$200/$300 at the Clubhouse Sale.
In addition to the merchandise, you can also purchase Brewers Kids Club packages at the sale (or online here) for just $25; sales reps will also be on hand to take your order for Brewers Holiday 4-Packs–the Brewers Clubhouse Sale truly is your one-stop shop!
The Brewers Team Store by Majestic will also feature a variety of activities during both days of the Clubhouse Sale. Eight prize drawings will be held at the team store on both days. Prizes will include shopping sprees and special Authentic Collection packages at the Brewers Team Store by Majestic. Children can have their photo taken with the Klement’s Famous Racing Sausages™ on November 30 from 10 a.m. – noon and with Santa on December 1 from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. at the Brewers Team Store by Majestic. Fans should bring their own cameras and the photos will be free of charge. Note: The Brewers Team Store by Majestic at Miller Park is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. For more information, contact the team store at (414) 902-4750.
And last but certainly not least….we mentioned earlier in this post that we had a special opportunity for our readers. Here it is: We are offering a special opportunity to gain early entry into the sale!
That’s right, the first 100 readers to e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org will have the opportunity to come to Miller Park on Thursday from 6 p.m. – 7 p.m. We know how a lot of these items are limited and the line is pretty long on Friday morning, so we wanted to show our readers how much we appreciate their support by extending this offer to them. Send your e-mail to us and we will have your name on a list at the Brewers Team Store by Majestic at Miller Park and you and one guest will then be able to visit the Clubhouse Sale on Thursday night. Update: Sorry, friends, this opportunity received overwhelming response and entries are now closed! If you were selected, you’ll receive an email containing instructions by NOON CT today. If you didn’t email us in time, no sweat, you still have all day tomorrow, Friday, November 30 and Saturday, December 1 to shop to your heart’s content!
Thanks for reading and happy shopping!
–JOHN AND CAIT
On Tuesday, Logan Schafer told me that he would be leaving the Arizona Fall League two days early to undergo a precautionary MRI on his right wrist. Today, Brewers Executive Vice President – General Manager Gord Ash reported that the MRI did not show any damage and the need for follow-up and further testing is not necessary. Dr. Don Sheridan reviewed the MRI here in Phoenix.
The outfielder played in 21 games this Fall and hit .302 (29-for-96) with two home runs and 16 RBI. He also led the team with five stolen bases. Schafer said he continues to feel good and not have any issues. He also said he will take around three weeks off before beginning his preparation for 2012 and is looking forward to Spring Training.
I talked to Logan Schafer today and I reminded him that we talked about a year ago while he was here playing at the Arizona Fall League. He had a number of frustrating injuries during the 2010 season, injuries that only allowed him to play seven games that year. It was extremely frustrating especially coming off a 2009 season that saw him earn Brewers Minor League Player of the Year honors and named a Florida State League All-Star.
He used the 2010 Fall League as a stepping stone for what the Brewers outfield prospect hoped would be a promising 2011.
“It was definitely a year of ups and downs for me personally,” said Schafer.
He was extended an invitation to Major League Spring Training only to have another freak injury. On March 15 at Scottsdale Stadium, Schafer was on first base and broke his thumb trying to break up a double play. It was another injury and another setback for Schafer.
“It was tough getting hurt again at Spring Training, breaking my thumb on another freak injury,” Schafer said. “It was something I couldn’t really avoid, trying to break up a double play. That put me on the DL for a good month and a half and I came back in the middle of May and after rehab started in Double-A and then worked my way up to Triple-A.”
Schafer’s stat line from the 2011 season reads like a tour around the entire Brewers system, nine games at Class-A Brevard County, 50 games at Double-A Huntsville, 40 games at Triple-A Nashville and, a September call-up to the Big League Club and two games with the Brewers. He made his Major League debut on September 2 as a pinch runner and scored the first run of a three-run seventh inning that started a Brewers comeback win in Houston.
“I was very lucky to have the opportunity to get called up in September and join a championship caliber team for that month,” Schafer said. “I really enjoyed seeing them work; it was a great first taste of the Big Leagues.”
After a year of battling back and getting his swing to where he knew it could be, Schafer hit .302 in Double-A and .331 in Triple-A. In September he found himself in the middle of the Brewers chase for a National League Pennant.
“It was exactly what I had dreamed about,” said the 25-year-old lefty. “Every game, every inning, every at bat, every pitch mattered. It really was special to be a part of that. Those guys really knew how to keep it loose, that clubhouse was unbelievable and very open. Everyone could talk to each other freely. It was a lot of great personalities on that Brewers team that meshed together well and it was really interesting to see how they handled their business every day, how they focused and prepared for games every single day while at the same time staying loose.”
It was reported today that one of those personalities, free agent outfielder Mark Kotsay, would be signing with the San Diego Padres. When told of the news, and a possible opportunity with an open roster spot, Schafer was excited.
“I had a lot of fun with Kotsay, he really taught me a lot and was really good to me. I’m very happy for him,” Schafer said. “As for me, I’m just playing the game, I’m ready to go and hopefully make the most of the opportunities that are given to me.
If I go in to Spring Training with the mindset of just playing hard and staying focused, I know good things will happen. I have had a couple of ups and down with injuries, but when I’m healthy and ready to play, I’m focused and ready to come to work.”
Tomorrow, Schafer will leave the Arizona Fall League to undergo a precautionary MRI on his wrist to make sure everything is healed properly as he closes out his 2011 season.
“Really, I feel great. My body feels great. I missed a week out here with some inflammation and I was just letting that calm down a bit and got back to playing again and now I feel great. Coming to the end of November here, it is good to know that my body has held up pretty well. It has been a pretty long year for me, but I feel great.”
Today, Schafer went 3-for-5 with a double and RBI and is hitting .302 with two home runs and 16 RBI this Fall.
“Obviously, I didn’t get to play every day in September and that is why it was great to come out here again,” Schafer said. “Every game mattered in September and I understood that I couldn’t play all the time, but it is great to be here and get some more at bats before the year ends. I feel like I have my swing back and I have been hitting well, it is good to have that back.”
Schafer said following his time here in Arizona, he will take about two weeks off to rest before getting back to his regular weight routine and agility workouts.
“You can just go in there and let things happen and play the game and play hard. I don’t make decisions; I just play and play hard. Come Spring Training, I’ll be excited to go out there, get hits and make pitchers want me out there in the outfield.”
TUESDAY WRAP UP
Score: Peoria 11, Mesa 9
Weather: Sunny, 71 degrees
Tomorrow: Peoria at Scottsdale, 7:35 p.m. CT
Brewers In the Box Score: Scooter Gennett led off the game with a double, he finished the day 3-for-5….. Logan Schafer had a fantastic bunt for a hit in the third inning but was later called out on a close call attempting to steal second base, Schafer added a double in the 6th and finished the day 3-for-5…..Zelous Wheeler played first base for just the second time during the Fall League and had a RBI triple in the 6th that scored Schafer, he finished 1-4…..Casey Medlen came in to pitch a perfect 7th inning and recorded one strikeout.
On the Other Team: A prospect in the Twins organization, outfielder Aaron Hicks went 4-for-5 for Mesa.
Arizona Fall League Brewers History Note: Former Brewers C Mike Matheny, who was recently named manager of the St. Louis Cardinals, played in the Fall League as a Brewers Prospect in 1993.
- Gennett entered the day with a .432 batting average, good for second in the AFL, after today’s game, his average is .434, just .003 points below his fellow Peoria teammate and Padres prospect Jedd Gyorko (.437).
- It was announced today that Wheeler was named one of six nominees for the AFL Stenson Sportsmanship Award. The manager and coaching staff from each team were asked to nominate one player for the award and the winner will be announced prior to the start of Saturday’s AFL Championship Game (2 p.m. CT on MLB.com and MLB Network). The award was named in memory of Dernell Stenson, the late Cinicnnati Reds prospect who was killed in 2003 in Arizona during the AFL season. The award is presented annually to the Fall League player who best exemplifies unselfishness, hard work and leadership.
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The other day, I wrote about Brewers RHP Brandon Kintzler’s “dream season.” While there are plenty of those stories here at the Arizona Fall League of players finally making their dreams come true, there are also some stories of frustration and broken dreams. Such is the case with Brewers outfield prospect Logan Schafer.
“I had the most frustrating year of my life this year,” Schafer said. “It was definitely tough on me physically and also mentally. Physical pain is something everyone can go through, but the mental pain is really tough. There were times during the year when I asked myself if I would ever be completely healthy again.”
Schafer started with a groin injury that sidelined him for much of Spring Training. In extended Spring Training in Arizona, he fouled a ball off his right foot, but still reported to Brevard County and played seven games on what turned out to be a fractured foot. At that same time, he found out his groin problem turned out to be a hernia that would require surgery.
“It was tough especially since I had three different injuries and they occurred at different times,” Schafer said. “They just kind of piled on to each other. I had a couple of times where I thought I would get on the field and, boom, something else happened.”
For the rest of the summer following his June surgery and right into the Fall League, Schafer reported to Maryvale Baseball Park to rehab with Brewers Minor League physical therapist Kenny Patterson and Brewers Minor League strength and conditioning coordinator Jeff Mester.
“When I came to terms of missing a year,” Schafer said. “I redirected my focus to getting healthy for the Fall League and then winter ball and hopefully being ready to go for next Spring Training. I want to be ready to prove I am worth of making it to the Big Leagues next year.”
Schafer was coming off a stellar 2009 season where he was named the Brewers Minor League player of the year. That season, he won the Florida State League batting title with a .313 batting average. That earned him an invite to Major League Spring Training in 2010, however, the groin injury was suffered just days prior to reporting to Major League camp.
Although Schafer has played in only three games (he is also in today’s starting lineup, playing in centerfield) during the fall, he is trying to work himself back into game shape after months of rehab.
“Being able to get back to playing actual games and get healthy is unbelievable,” Schafer said. “I felt like I was coming to the field everyday (for rehab) and something was missing. Coming out here and seeing this talent is something that I can take different things away from everyday. It is a lot of fun being here in the clubhouse and dugout with them. It is great to be on the field again.”
Schafer and Guerrero talk at third base during a recent Arizona Fall League game.
Entering today’s game, Schafer is hitting .500 (6-for-12) with one RBI. Huntsville Stars and Surprise Rafters manager Mike Guerrero said the key for him at this point is getting healthy and getting some at bats against the solid pitching in the Arizona Fall Leauge.
“For Logan, we are looking to get him back in a routine and back on a track that he was on,” said Guerrero. “When he is completely healthy, we know what he can do. Our prime thing is to get him at bats and when his opportunity comes, we want him to make the best of that opportunity. He is a talented guy and has great ability. It is too bad that he missed so much of the season because of his injuries, but I think he is on the way back and is going to have another great year next season.”
Schafer, a California-native, said that he has been in Arizona for nearly the entire year. He spent two weeks with Brevard County and two weeks home in Los Gatos, Calif. following his surgery. He mentioned the possibility of playing winter ball to continue his recovery and ensure he reports to camp in tip top shape.
“Hopefully I find out about winter ball in the next week or two,” Schafer said. “If I don’t end up going, I don’t think it would be a bad thing to get back to 100% healthy and continue to get my legs stronger. I’m still a little sore, but it is nice to play, I wish I could play a little more to get back into it, but I’m enjoying my time and feel like I’m getting healthier and healthier every day.”
A 2008 third round selection by the Brewers in the First-Year Player Draft, Schafer had early success in his professional career and is not going to let the frustrations of 2010 hinder his development.
”I’m going to just do my best to work at getting to where I need to be and I feel like that is in the Big Leagues sometime in 2011,” Schafer said. “Everything I do and all the work I put in is all for the goal of getting there and winning games. I really want to get and stay healthy and prove that I can do what I can do. I feel that as long as I stay healthy and get there, people will know what kind of player I am and that I’m able to compete on that level.”