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‘Minor League Baseball’ Articles

Dragons can’t hold back resilient Hot Rods in 10-5 loss; blew early 5-run lead



May 27, 2019


Click here for the box score


Dayton (R-H-E):  5-8-1

Bowling Green (R-H-E):  10-14-0


Win:  Matthew Liberatore (2-0)

Loss:  Andrew McDonald (0-1)

Save:  None

HRDayton:  None

HRBowling Green:  Chris Betts, 2 (9th, 1 on base in 3rd inning; 10th, 0 on base in 5th inning); Grant Witherspoon (5th, 0 on base in 2nd inning).


Bowling Green, Ky.—The Bowling Green Hot Rods erased an early 5-0 deficit as they battled back to defeat the Dayton Dragons 10-5 on Monday afternoon.  The Hot Rods completed a sweep of the four-game series and handed the Dragons their sixth straight loss.


Chris Betts hit two home runs for Bowling Green, giving him 10 on the year and three in the series.  In the four-game set, Bowling Green collected 57 hits and scored 31 runs on the way to the sweep.  The Hot Rods lead the Midwest League in team batting and improved their record to 31-20.


The Dragons jumped out to a quick lead with three runs in the top of the first inning.  Michael Siani hit the first pitch of the game down the right field line for a double, stole third, and scored on Brian Rey’s ground out to make it 1-0.  Pabel Manzanero reached on an infield single and Jay Schuyler walked.  Juan Martinez followed with a triple off the right-center field fence to drive in both runners and give the Dragons a 3-0 lead.


The Dragons added two more runs in the second inning.  Carlos Rivero reached on a bunt single and with one out, Michael Siani was hit by a pitch.  Reniel Ozuna followed with a looping single to right field and Rivero beat the tag at the plate for the Dragons fourth run as Siani went to third.  Rey followed with his second run-scoring ground out of the day to make it 5-0.


Bowling Green started back in the bottom of the second when Grant Witherspoon connected on a solo home run, his fifth of the year, to make it 5-1.  In the third, Betts smashed a two-run homer to make it 5-3, and the Hot Rods tied the game with two more runs in the fourth.


Betts connected on a lead-off homer against Dragons reliever Andrew McDonald to start the fifth inning to give Bowling Green a 6-5 lead.  Betts’ second homer of the day was his 10th of the season.  The Hot Rods added two more runs in the fifth and two in the seventh to close out the scoring.


Dragons starting pitcher Lyon Richardson worked the first four innings, allowing five runs on eight hits with one walk and two strikeouts.  The loss was charged to reliever Andrew McDonald (0-1), who pitched the fifth inning and allowed three runs on four hits. Matt Pidich followed McDonald and tossed two innings, allowing two unearned run on two hits with a walk and a strikeout.  Moises Nova tossed a perfect final inning, striking out two.


The Dragons finished the day with eight hits by eight different players.  The double by Siani and the triple by Martinez were the Dragons two extra base hits.


Up Next:  The Dragons (15-36) return home to Fifth Third Field to open a three-game series on Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. against the Lansing Lugnuts.  Connor Curlis (0-1, 3.86) will make his second start of the year for the Dragons while Lansing will counter with Cobi Johnson (1-3, 3.99).


Quad Cities River Bandits make roster moves



The Quad Cities River Bandits, in conjunction with the Houston Astros, have announced the following changes to their roster on Friday. Outfielder Ramiro Rodriguez has been transferred from extended spring training to Quad Cities.  Outfielder Alex McKenna has been activated from the 7-day injured list. Infielder Scott Schreiber has been transferred from Quad Cities to Fayetteville (Advanced-A). Pitcher Jonathan Bermudez transferred from Quad Cities to extended spring training.
OF Ramiro Rodriguez transferred from extended spring training to Quad Cities
OF Alex McKenna activated from the 7-day injured list
INF Scott Schreiber transferred from Quad Cities to Fayetteville
LHP Jonathan Bermudez transferred from Quad Cities to extended spring training
Rodriguez spent all of the 2018 season in Tri-City.  In 55 games he batted .216 with two home runs and 13 runs batted in.  The 21-year old was signed by the Astros as an international free agent out of Panama in 2015.
Schreiber, taken in the 9th round of the 2018 draft out of Nebraska, was batting .290 with 3 home runs and 18 runs batted in for the River Bandits this season.  He owned a .410 on-base percentage and walked 25 times against just 20 strikeouts over 29 games.  The first baseman and corner outfielder also played in 60 games in the Quad Cities last season following the draft.
Rodriguez has been assigned #18. McKenna will resume wearing #4. The active roster remains at the 25-player limit.

Dragons potential 2019 Second Basemen full of talent



Today, we look at the potential second basemen for the 2019 Dayton Dragons.

This is the third of an eight-part series previewing players who could play for the 2019 Dragons.  Players listed here are candidates for positions on the 25-man Dragons roster.


This preview is an unofficial projection of possible roster candidates.  Variables including performance, injuries, trades, and additional player acquisitions will impact the roster accordingly.

The Second Basemen


Click links on each name for career stats and player information.


Candidates:  Jonathan Willems, Dylan Harris, Cash Case.


Jonathan Willems is the next potential Dragons infielder in a growing group from an emerging baseball hotbed—the island of Curacao.  Didi Gregorius, the Dragons shortstop in 2010 who is now a star with the New York Yankees, was the first.  Shortstop Calten Daal and catcher Hendrik Clementina have been more recent Dragons players from Curacao, and Willems hopes to be the next.


Willems certainly has some supporters among those publications that rank prospects (typically, media outlets that rank prospects will select the top 30 in each organization from approximately 200 minor league players in the farm system). ranks Willems as the #26 prospect in the Reds system, and their #1 second base prospect with the departure by trade of former Dragon Shed Long.  Baseball America ranks him at #30. has Willems at #22, where the author of the site, Doug Gray, mentions that when he visited Greeneville, Tennessee and saw Willems play for the Greeneville Reds last summer, one professional scout told him that he thought Willems was the best prospect in the Appalachian League.  Fangraphs does not rank Willems in their top 30 but they list him in a group of honorable mention picks.


Willems is 20 years old and coming off a breakout season with Greeneville, though a late-season slump cut into his final batting average.  Through the first 39 of the 55 games that Willems played in at Greeneville in 2018, he was batting .301, though he finished at a more modest .263.  After hitting just one home run in his first two season of professional baseball, Willems connected on eight in 2018 in 217 at-bats at Greeneville.  He mostly hit in third in the batting order, where most managers put their best hitters. noted that Willems “has a good swing and can make the needed adjustments at the plate. He showed off more extra-base ability with his 13 doubles and four triples for Greeneville in 2018…then impressed in Fall Instructional League action.”


Dylan Harris is an interesting story and will also be a candidate for the Dragons second base job after a strong first professional season in 2018.  Harris is from Land O’ Lakes, Florida, about 20 miles north of Tampa, where he earned numerous prep honors before enrolling at NCAA Division II St. Leo University.  At St. Leo, he was the conference Freshman of the Year in 2014, led the conference in hits and batted .366 to earn 1st Team All-Conference honors as a third baseman.  As a sophomore in 2015, he was even better, batting .403 while leading the conference in both hits and runs.  He struck out only nine times all year in 49 games.


Harris redshirted in 2016, but then came back in 2017 to have an even better year.  He batted a phenomenal .448 to win the conference batting title, added four home runs, and stole 15 bases to earn 2nd Team All-American honors as a utility man. He then transferred within the conference from St. Leo to Nova Southeastern University for his senior season and earned 1st Team All-Conference as a first baseman, batting .403 with a career-high 10 home runs and 28 stolen bases.  In his only season at Nova Southeastern, he broke that school’s single-season record for base hits, and he closed out his career as the all-time hits leader in the history of the Sunshine State Conference.


Despite all of that, Harris was not drafted, but he did accept an offer to sign with the Reds as an undrafted free agent.  He was assigned to Billings and spent the summer of 2018 as the Mustangs primary second baseman, also see time at first base.  He began his pro career hitting much like he had in college.  He had four hits in his second game with Billings on June 28, and three more hits in the next game.  As late as August 11, he was still batting .340.  He finished the year at .314 with one home run in 61 games.  He was the fourth toughest hitter in the league to strikeout.


As a five-year college player, Harris is already 24 years old, but he can play all over the field and most importantly, he has been hugely successful in virtually every season as a baseball player at various places.  He has the résumé of a winner.

Cash Case was an extremely highly-regarded high school shortstop in Orlando, Florida who was drafted by the Reds in the fourth round in 2017.  As a high school player, Case won one award after another, including Perfect Game 2017 Pre-Season High School All-American, and he was invited to many of the same baseball showcase tournaments as former Dragon Hunter Greene.  He had planned to play at Notre Dame before deciding to sign with the Reds.

Through two seasons of professional baseball, Case, just 19 years old, is still making adjustments.  He batted just .180 in his debut season in 2017 with the Goodyear Reds in the Arizona League.  In 2018, he played for both Billings and Greeneville and batted .253 with one home run in 37 games.  Based on his background, Case could be the kind of player that improves quickly once he hits his stride.


Popular Todd Frazier named among 20 Greatest Dragons



Todd Frazier as a Dragon (courtesy Dayton media relations)

Dayton, Ohio—The Dayton Dragons recently announced the next name on their list of “20 Greatest Dragons.” The player recognition is part of the organization’s 20th Season Celebration.  Players selected on the list of 20 are being announced in random order.


Next on the list of the 20 Greatest Dragons is:


Todd Frazier


Frazier first joined the Dragons late in the 2007 season after being drafted that June out of Rutgers University.  He opened the 2008 season with the Dragons before receiving a mid-season promotion.  Frazier was drafted as a shortstop and that was his primary position with the Dragons, though he began to make the transition to other positions late in his Dragons tenure, playing first base, third base, and left field on a limited basis.  The Todd Frazier who played in Dayton had the same personality that later made him a huge fan favorite in Cincinnati.  He was a friendly, talkative, energetic individual who made everyone he encountered feel like he had been their longtime friend.  He also had a flair for the dramatic on the field.  In just the second home game of the 2008 season, Frazier blasted a “walk-off” home run, one of only 19 ever hit at Fifth Third Field.  Frazier hit .321 in 2008 with the Dragons, adding seven home runs and 20 RBI in 30 games.

Frazier made his debut with the Reds in 2011 and emerged as their third baseman in 2012 when he finished third in the National League Rookie of the Year voting.  He was a starter on back-to-back Reds playoff teams in 2012 and ’13.  In 2014, he made his first of two straight trips to the Major League All-Star Game.  His most memorable moment with the Reds may have come in 2015, when he won the Home Run Derby at the All-Star Game in Cincinnati, becoming the first Reds player since Dave Parker in 1985 to win the derby outright.  Frazier is also one of only three Reds third basemen in franchise history to hit at least 20 home runs and collect at least 20 stolen bases in a season, joining Aaron Boone and Chris Sabo with that distinction.

Frazier finished fourth in the National League in home runs in both 2014-15 before connecting on a career-high 40 homers in 2016 after being traded to the White Sox.  Frazier spent part of the 2017 season with the Yankees before signing a big free agent contract with the Mets prior to the 2018 season.  To date, he has hit 193 career home runs in the big leagues, the fifth highest total of any former Dragon.  Over a four-year period from 2014-17, Frazier averaged 33 home runs per season.


Frazier is the ninth former Dragon announced among the 20 Greatest Dragons.  Austin Kearns, Zack Cozart, Justin Turner, Homer Bailey, Samone Peters, Devin Mesoraco, Didi Gregorius, and Tucker Barnhart were previously announced.


The 20 Greatest Dragons were selected based on a media vote of Dragons television, newspaper, radio, and internet reporters.  Additionally, during the 2019 season, the Dragons will be conducting a fan vote featuring one player per position to announce their all-time greatest lineup.

Additional information on the Dragons 20th Season celebration including videos on the 20 Greatest Dragons, special 20th Season merchandise, and Dragons alumni listings is available here:


Dragons continue to be stymied by Hot Rods in 3-1 loss



May 26, 2019


Click here for the box score


Dayton (R-H-E):  1-3-1

Bowling Green (R-H-E):  3-11-0


Win:  Shane Baz (1-0)

Loss:  James Marinan (2-6)

Save:  Miller Hogan (1)

HRDayton:  Brian Rey (3rd, 0 on base in 9th inning).

HRBowling Green:  None


Bowling Green, Ky.—Bowling Green pitchers Shane Baz and Miller Hogan combined to allow only three hits as the Hot Rods topped the Dayton Dragons 3-1 on Sunday night.  The Hot Rods handed the Dragons their fifth straight loss in the third game of the series that concludes on Monday afternoon.


Dayton scored its only run on a home run by Brian Rey with two outs in the ninth inning.  Until Rey’s home run, the Dragons had not advanced a runner past first base in the game.  Their only other hits were a pair of singles, both by Morgan Lofstrom.  Bowling Green pitchers combined to walk only one batter and strikeout 13.  Baz, the first round draft pick of the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2017, was acquired by the Hot Rods parent club, Tampa Bay, in a deal that sent major league pitcher Chris Archer to the Pirates.


Dragons starting pitcher James Marinan (2-6) was charged with the loss.  He worked four innings, allowing two runs on six base hits with two walks and one strikeout.  Eduardo Salazar replaced Marinan to start the fifth inning and tossed two and two-thirds, allowing one run on five hits with no walks and two strikeouts.  Carlos Machorro worked the final one and one-third, retiring four of the five batters he faced with two strikeouts.


Bowling Green scored two runs in the fourth and one more in the fifth to take a 3-0 lead.  Rey’s home run in the ninth, his third in 12 games with the Dragons, made it 3-1, before Jay Schuyler flied out to deep left to end the game.


Notes: The game was delayed by rain for 36 minutes in the middle of the first inning.


Up Next:  The Dragons (15-35) and Hot Rods (30-20) close out the four-game series on Monday afternoon at 1:05 p.m. (EDT).  Lyon Richardson (0-4, 4.58) will start for Dayton against Bowling Green’s Matthew Liberatore (1-0, 0.90).  The next Dragons home game at Fifth Third Field is Tuesday, May 28 at 7:00 p.m. against the Lansing Lugnuts.



Individual Notes

  • Pabel Manzanero is batting .448 (13 for 29) over his last eight games.  Including the suspended game:  9 G, 14 for 32 (.438).
  • Jay Schuyler is batting .342 (13 for 38) over his last 10 games.  Including the suspended game:  11 G, 14 for 42 (.333).
  • Michael Siani in the current series at Bowling Green is 5 for 9 with a home run, double, triple, and two singles.
  • Reliever Connor Bennett in May:  2.13 ERA, 2 saves (12.2 IP, 3 ER, 19 SO).
  • Reliever Eddy Demurias over his last six games:  1-0, 2.51 ERA (14.1 IP, 4 ER).  
  • Reliever Matt Pidich over his last three games:  7 IP, 0 ER, 4 H, 3 BB, 8 SO.

Down on the Farm: Two former Dragons pitchers who made their debuts last night with new clubs:  Packy Naughton (Double-A Chattanooga):  Win, 5 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 SO; Jared Solomon (Advanced-A Daytona):  6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 SO…These former Dragons were picked to play in the Florida State League All-Star Game:  Naughton, Jonathan India, Hendrik Clementina, Alejo Lopez, Andy Sugilio, Ryan Nutof.


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