Results tagged ‘ nashville sounds ’
The Brewers are off today, so with no action on the field at the Major League level, we look to the Brewers minor leagues for some good news. Nashville Sounds RHP Johnny Hellweg was today named to the 2013 All-Pacific Coast League Team. The team consists of three pitchers–a right-handed starter, a left-handed starter and a reliever.
The 24-year-old is 11-5 with a 3.16 ERA (42er/119.2ip) in 22 starts for the Sounds this season. He ranks 2nd in the PCL in ERA and is tied for 2nd in wins, while leading the circuit in winning percentage (.688) and opponents average (.226).
Hellweg has gone 10-1 in his last 15 starts for the Sounds after opening the campaign by recording only one victory in his first seven outings.
The fireballer also struck out 84 batters on the year while leading the league with 79 walks issued and 13 hit batters. The Missouri native — who was acquired by the Brewers along with Brewers All-Star shortstop Jean Segura in last season’s Zack Greinke trade with the Los Angeles Angels — has posted a team-best 11 quality starts, including eight victories in a row from May 31 through July 30, and worked 24.0 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run during a four-start stretch in June and July.
Hellweg made his Major League debut for Milwaukee during a four-game stint in late June and early July (0-3, 10.97) and was named the Brewers’ Minor League Pitcher of the Month in July. The All-PCL squad is selected annually through voting by the league’s managers and media representatives.
Hellweg is the first Sound to be recognized on the All-PCL team since 2011, when third baseman Taylor Green was elected, and the first Nashville hurler chosen since R.A. Dickey and Adam Pettyjohn were both honored in 2007.
Despite an early season injury, Khris Davis had a breakout year in 2012. The Brewers’ 7th round draft pick in the 2009 First Year Player Draft joined Double-A Huntsville after recovering from a calf injury. With the Stars, he hit .383 with eight home runs and 23 RBI in 44 games. The injury nagged him throughout the season, but he battled through and earned a promotion to Triple-A Nashville late in the year.
“My season had its ups and downs,” Davis said. “That is just baseball, it’s a roller coaster ride. You have to learn to get through it all and I think I did that and performed well.”
With the Sounds, the outfielder hit .310 with four home runs and 24 RBI. Over his last 45 games of the 2012 season between Huntsville and Nashville, Davis recorded hits in 37 of those games (.365, 60-for-164).
“He’s just gradually gotten better each year,” said Darnell Coles, manager of the Huntsville Stars and hitting coach for the Phoenix Desert Dogs in the Arizona Fall League. “He is one of the best players in the organization at hitting through the middle. He got hurt a little bit during the beginning of the year, but came back from that strong. He didn’t stop hitting in Double-A and moved up to Triple-A where he hit as well.”
Brewers President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Doug Melvin also had good things to say about Davis’ development.
“He is one of the most disciplined hitters in our organization,” Melvin said. “He has some good power, too. We haven’t really seen it during the Fall League, but we know it is there.”
Fortunately, Davis has the opportunity to continue to grow as a hitter here at the Arizona Fall League. Working every day with Coles and playing against top competition for six weeks will certainly benefit Davis’ development.
“I feel like there is always room for improvement when it comes to hitting,” Davis said. “No one is as good as they want to be. There is still a lot of work to be done as far as my work and study as a hitter.”
Currently in the Fall League, Davis is hitting .226 with six RBI.
“I wanted to work on cutting back on my strikeouts and being more aggressive earlier in the counts and not take as many pitches,” Davis said of his goals while at the Arizona Fall League. “I feel if I get ahead early, it works to my advantage as a hitter.”
Davis, who was drafted out of Cal State-Fullerton, is participating in his first Arizona Fall League, but makes his offseason residence in Phoenix and went to high school in the area at Deer Valley. He has previously participated in Brewers winter conditioning programs and plans on remaining in the area and working out at the Brewers Maryvale complex before Spring Training.
“The Brewers winter programs have been great for me,” Davis said. “There is always a lot of one-on-one attention there and that is always good. To be in front of their eyes working is beneficial to me as a player.”
He doesn’t plan on taking much of a break after the league wraps up next week.
“I want to get in the weight room and work on my strength,” Davis said. “I don’t want to take too much time off. We don’t have the luxury to do that as the sport is year-round. There isn’t much of a break; you need to have a special mindset in the offseason to prepare for the next season.”
Until then, Davis has another week in the Arizona Fall League and another week for some one-on-one coaching with Coles.
“He has got a chance to be a special hitter in the big leagues,” Coles said of Davis. “For him, it is now just a process of continuing to grow and understand himself as a hitter.”
Hopefully Hunter Morris has a nice trophy case at home because the list of awards he received in 2012 is quite long.
Southern League Most Valuable Player, Brewers Minor League Player of the Year, Topps Southern League Player of the Year, Rawlings Minor League Gold Glove Award–just to name a few.
It might sound cliché, but Morris credits his on field success this year to old-fashioned hard work.
“It was a long process and a lot of work went into what I accomplished this year,” Morris said. “I think it was a combination of things as far as success on the field. I have put in a lot of work defensively and that helped my all-around game, but l certainly didn’t take any days off from working on my offense and maintaining my swing.
The awards were a byproduct of hard work. There were certainly a lot of guys who were deserving of those awards I received. I consider myself lucky and fortunate to be on the receiving end of those awards.”
Morris nearly had a Triple Crown as he led the Southern League in home runs (28), RBI (113), hits (158), slugging percentage (.563), total bases (294) and extra-base hits (74). He finished fourth in the league with a .303 batting average.
“My consistency throughout the year was the biggest blessing I had,” Morris said. “If something went wrong, I was able to fix it within a few at bats or a game or two. Keeping those peaks and valleys to a minimum as far as the success and the struggles is important. I was able to go out and focus on playing hard, rather than over-thinking things. It was easy to relax and play.”
Not only did Morris turn in stellar numbers at the plate, but his fielding was an important part to his MVP season. He had a .995 fielding percentage and committed only six errors in 136 games played.
“Hunter has improved a lot defensively,” said Brewers President – Baseball Operations and General Manager, Doug Melvin. “He looks a lot more fluid out there at first base. His work with Bob Miscik, our roving infield instructor throughout the year was key and the repetitions he has received at the Fall League will continue to help. We debated sending Morris to the Fall League because of the season we had, but the competition is good for him and will help him cap off a great year.”
Morris also credits Huntsville Stars Manager Darnell Coles—who is in Arizona serving as Hitting Coach for the Phoenix Desert Dogs—with a lot of extra defensive work this month.
“Working with Darnell has been great,” Morris said. “He has really worked hard with me on getting better defensively, he has done everything I could have asked of him. He played some first base in his career, understands the position and helped me out a ton. My defense can always get better and I want to get better throughout my career.”
A unique part of Morris’ dream season was the fact that it took place in his hometown of Huntsville, Ala. often in front of family and friends.
“Having the season I had in front of my family and friends at home certainly made it a little more special,” Morris said. “Baseball is baseball, you have to go out and play no matter if you are 3,000 miles away from home or in your own backyard like I was, but it was certainly nice to be home with my wife and son every day.
That was a huge blessing for me, but at the same time, it kind of takes away from baseball. There were days when I was taking my son to doctor’s appointments at 8 a.m. on game day when my teammates were sleeping in. Fortunately, I was able to put my family first and still have that proper balance of performing well on the field and focusing on baseball. I loved every minute of being able to spend the season with my family, it was great.”
Entering today in Arizona, Morris was hitting .268 with one home run and six RBI, modest numbers compared to what he put up during the regular season, but Morris has played over 160 games since Spring Training and he is focusing on how to fight through the fatigue of a long season.
“I have struggled a bit at the plate out here, but that is probably a product of having played baseball since February 10th of this year,” Morris said. “That is also one of the learning curves I need to go through to train myself to get through 162 or 175 games instead of 140 games. I’m preparing myself to get through longer seasons. It’s not going to happen overnight, but being here helps me work through struggles. I’m just trying to build on the season I had, there is not a whole lot I am looking to change from the year.”
This is Morris’ second stint in the Arizona Fall League. The Brewers drafted him in 2010 and he received an invite from the club to play after his first professional season.
“Certainly a lot more twists and turns a few years ago, but this was my first truly long season that I have had. Last year and the 2010 season is nowhere near the length of time that I have been playing this year. It is a great situation for me to come out here and play with a lot of great guys, build relationships, make friends and work on fundamentals. The experience as a whole, you are getting something out of it no matter how you perform.”
It seems as though Morris will make the move up to Triple-A Nashville from his hometown Huntsville Stars in 2013, but he is not taking anything for granted at this point.
“A lot of that is out of my control,” Morris said. “I’m going to go home, take a week off, pick up right after Thanksgiving and get in the weight room to work on conditioning. It will be a short offseason, so I have a lot to accomplish in a short amount of time. I’d like to be in better shape come Spring Training, which can be a challenge, but I plan on going home, working hard and continuing to build on this season.”
Morris can be found on Twitter @HunterMorris15.
You’ll definitely want to make plans to come out to Miller Park on Sunday, May 26 as the Crew takes on the Pittsburgh Pirates for Ryan Braun bobblehead day presented by the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board!
This is the third Brewers bobblehead for Ryan Braun. Previously, we gave away a regular bobblehead (2008) and one honoring Ryan’s home run that helped us clinch the Wild Card in 2008 (2009). The 2012 Ryan Braun bobblehead will honor Ryan Braun’s 40/30 season in 2013.
This past season, Ryan followed up his 2011 MVP season by hitting 41 home runs and stealing 30 bases to become just the 9th member of MLB’s 40/30 club.
Ryan has also been honored with bobbleheads from the Helena Brewers (2008), the Huntsville Stars (2008) and the Nashville Sounds (2009).
Individual tickets will go on sale in February, but if you want to secure your tickets to this game early, the Ryan Braun 40/30 bobblehead is included in the following ticket packages:
2/15/13 Update: This just in! A photo of the Ryan Braun Bobblehead! What do you think?
The third bobblehead of the 2013 season will come on Sunday, May 5 as the Brewers take on the St. Louis Cardinals. The bobblehead will feature Brewers first baseman Corey Hart in a 1913 Brewers uniform and is presented by Kwik Trip.
Wait a minute, you say, the Brewers, formerly the Seattle Pilots, didn’t come to Milwaukee until 1970….
Yes, that’s correct, but there was a Minor League team called the Milwaukee Brewers who played in the American Association for 50 years, from 1902-1952, the team that became the eventual namesake for our beloved Crew!
The Brewers won their first American Association championship in 1913 and repeated the next year. All told the American Association Brewers won eight pennants in their fifty-one seasons.
Thus, we’ll honor the 100th anniversary American Association Brewers on May 5 with this Corey Hart bobblehead.
This is the second Brewers bobblehead for Corey Hart; the Nashville Sounds also honored Corey with a bobblehead this past season.
Individual tickets will go on sale in February, but if you want to secure your tickets early, Corey’s bobblehead is included in the following ticket packages:
Holiday 4-Pack Weekend Plus Plan [Holiday 4-Packs go on sale on Tuesday, November 13! Call (414) 902-HITS (4487) for details!]
1/30/13 Update: This just in! A photo of the Corey Hart Bobblehead! What do you think?
-John and Cait