Dedicated to fans of Long Beach State Dirtbags baseball (well, okay, officially the 49ers).

Dirtbag's 2006 Rankings

15th in ESPN/Sports Weekly
15th in NCBWA
16th in Collegiate Baseball
16th in Baseball America
1st in Non-Conference "Intended" SOS -
21st in Overall "Intended" SOS -

Posted Articles [View Selected Article Only]

Get Your Bobby Crosby Bobblehead Doll...

More On Hughes And Longoria...

First Hand Account Of Jered Weaver's Last Start

Cesar Ramos Makes Pro Debut

Non-Conference 2006 Schedule Looks Strong

Dirtbags 18th...

Evan Longoria And Jared Hughes Are Cape Cod League Player and Pitcher Of The Week...

McAnulty Proves You Can Go Home Again

Must Have Had An Extra Helping Of Wheaties

When Will Liefer Get The Call?

Nice Set Of Jered Weaver Photos...

Dirtbags 19th In Final Baseball America Rankings For 2005

Jered Weaver Video

Dirtbags' Summer League Stats

Former Dirtbag Brian Anderson...

Former Dirtbag Jeff Liefer Is Featured...

Dirtbags Recruit Top Position Player In Hawaii, Catcher Kip Masuda

Thomas Wolfe Was Wrong...

Jared Hughes And Evan Longoria Amaze On The Cape

Paul McAnulty Drives 1st MLB Hit

Evan Longoria Has Hot Wood Bat

Cody Evans Pro Debut

Interesting Job Opening At LBSU...

Steve Hammond's Pro Debut Even Better Than First Reported

Brian Anderson Makes Pro Debut

Jason Vargas Moves Up To AA

Two Former Dirtbags Move Down

Paul McAnulty Debuts With Padres

Hometown Feature On Steve Hammond

Paul McAnulty Called Up To The Big League

More On Jered Weaver's Debut

Former Dirtbags Bobby Crosby And Jeremy Reed Are Reunited

5 Former Dirtbags Make Professional Debuts

Chris Wright Retires

Casey Grzecka Released By GBL Chico Outlaws

Cesar Ramos Update

Jered Hughes, Evan Longoria, Start Strong For Chatham A's

Greg Dobbs Optioned To AAA Tacoma

Drafted Dirtbags Join New Teams

Long Beach State Sports: A Year In Photos

Danny Mocny And Cole Jacobsen Named To All-Academic Team

Neil Jamison Selected Baseball America 3rd Team All American

Jered Weaver To Make 1st Pro Start

Marco Estrada Signs With Washington Nationals

Jamison, Ramos, Named NCBWA All-Americans

Former Dirtbag Abe Alvarez...

Stat Standings

Dirtbags In The Minor Leagues: Daily Breeze Update


Links To Dirtbags In Summer Leagues

Interesting, But...

Matt Fitts Brilliant In Debut With Alaska Goldpanners

Cody Evans Signs With Diamondbacks

Dan Eisentrager Moves Up To AA

Chris Jones Signs With Pirates

Neil Jamison, Brian Anderson, Sign

Steve Hammond Signs With Brewers

Cesar Ramos Agrees To Terms With Padres

Former Dirtbag Chad Bentz...

Former Dirtbag Catcher Kirk Pierce...

Not Wasting Any Time...

Buckley On Ramos And Jamison

Major League Draft Day 2

Day 1 Draft Quotes and Links

Major League Draft Day 1

Baseball America's Final Draft Projections's Streaming Video/Audio Of Draft...

Todd Jennings Gets Hot

Can't You Just Feel The Love? Draft Tracker Reports On Draft Eligible Dirtbags

That's Baseball!

Here's A Nice Hometown Article On The Rhode Island Rams...

It's Official...Pitching Wins Championships

Cody Evans To Start Tonight - USC Will Not Start Kennedy Against Pepperdine

Jamison, Ramos and Tulowitzki Named Collegiate Baseball All-Americans

Talkin' Baseball...

Baseball America Previews The Long Beach Regional


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Take a Virtual Tour of Blair Field - Home of the Dirtbags - Courtesy


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Welcome to Dirtbags Baseball blog! I was introduced to Long Beach State baseball in 2002 when my nephew, Neil Jamison, joined the team (and university) as a freshman. I started the blog in March of 2004, and generally discuss the team, current players and those that have moved on to professional baseball - as Neil has done in the San Diego Padres organization. Living in San Diego County, and with Neil moving to the next level, I won't be attending as many Dirtbags games. But, mostly from a distance, I'll remain a Dirtbags fan. I welcome tips on stories and information concerning the Dirtbags (current, past and future). I can be contacted at


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Thursday, June 30, 2005

Get Your Bobby Crosby Bobblehead Doll...

...All you have to do is be one of the 1st 1,500 to arrive at the Stockton Ports (Advanced A California League) game on September 2. Gametime is 7:05 p.m., gates open at 5:30.

More On Hughes And Longoria... the Long Beach Press-Telegram.

First Hand Account Of Jered Weaver's Last Start

Rich Lederer (Baseball Analysts) has this account of former Dirtbag Jered Weaver's start at Rancho Cucamonga last Saturday:
Rob McMillin (6-4-2) and I went to the Stockton Ports @ Rancho Cucamonga Quakes game Saturday night. The primary attraction was watching Jered Weaver of the Quakes make his first home start, but I was also interested in checking out teammates Brandon Wood and Howie Kendrick for a second time in less than a week as well as seeing Daric Barton, Danny Putnam, and Kurt Suzuki of the Ports.

I had witnessed Weaver's professional debut the Monday before and was anxious to see if he could improve upon his three-inning, three-hit, one-run effort against the Lake Elsinore Storm. It turned out that there were 5,797 curious fans in attendance--or nearly triple the number that braved the Southern California freeways five days earlier--who found out that Weaver (2.1-5-4-4-0-5, L) may not be as "major-league ready" as his agent Scott Boras once thought. (I may be guilty of being overly optimistic as well, although I think it remains a distinct possibility that Weaver could make the jump to the Angels as early as next summer.)...
Rich interviewed former Fullerton Titan Kurt Suzuki, and had this:
Suzuki, who hit a two-run homer off Weaver in the second inning later that evening, was 3-for-9 with no extra base hits and two strikeouts vs. the Long Beach State right-hander in 2003-2004. "He was pretty unbelievable in college. He's a competitor. He throws a fastball on both sides of the plate and a decent slider to keep you off balance."

Cesar Ramos Makes Pro Debut

Former Dirtbag Cesar Ramos made his professional debut last night, pitching the 6th inning in a 7-3 victory for his Eugene Emeralds (the Class A Short Season Northwest League affiliate of the San Diego Padres). Going 1.0 innings, Cesar did not allow a baserunner, struck out 1 (called), and retired the other 2 batters he faced on infield popups. [Box Score] [Play-by-Play].

Here's the account from
Cesar Ramos, the Padres' sandwich pick chosen 35th overall in the 2005 Draft, made his debut with the Ems and tossed one inning of scoreless ball, retiring the side in order and whiffing one. The Padres would like to save Ramos' arm this year considering his amount of work with Long Beach State this past season. The left-hander worked 126 innings, going 10-7 with a 2.64 ERA for the Dirtbags. He tossed four complete games and held the opposition to a .227 average against.
Cesar's Long Beach State, and now Emeralds teammate, Neil Jamison, pitched the 9th in the game. Neil also retired the side in order.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Non-Conference 2006 Schedule Looks Strong

The Tentative 2006 Dirtbags schedule is out, and it looks to be fairly strong, at least based upon outcomes this season. (I've also added the link to the sidebar). At this point, the schedule has 54 games on it, so I assume 2 more will be added to bring the total to the maximum permitted. The Big West Conference schedule is out of the control of LBSU (including the series with UC Davis, a provisional member). So it's important to schedule strong non-conference opponents. Take a look at how Coach Mike Weathers and his staff have done:
Date    Opponent           2005 RPI*
2-3 USC 11
2-4 @USC 11
2-5 USC 11
2-10 @Cal 61
2-11 @Cal 61
2-12 @Cal 61
2-14 @Pepperdine 32
2-17 v. Lamar# 69
2-18 v. Oklahoma# 37
2-19 @ Rice# 14
2-24 Illinois-Chicago 149
2-25 Illinois-Chicago 149
2-26 Illinois-Chicago 149
3-3 Baylor 3
3-4 Baylor 3
3-5 Baylor 3
3-10 @Texas 1
3-11 @Texas 1
3-12 @Texas 1
3-14 San Diego State 170
3-17 Wichita State 35
3-18 Wichita State 35
3-19 Wichita State 35
3-24 @CS Fullerton% 10
3-25 @CS Fullerton% 10
3-26 @CS Fullerton% 10
4-5 @San Diego State 170
4-18 @UCLA 181
5-2 Pepperdine 32
5-9 @Loyola Marymount 102

* As calculated by Boyd'
# Tournament at Rice University, Houston, TX.
% Non-conference series.
On a weighted basis, this works out to an average opponent's RPI of 53.9, including 12 games against teams in the top 11 in RPI this season. Only 3 games against schools over 150 are included (though Illinois-Chicago is close at 149), and a total of 7 over 100 (though Loyola Marymount just missed that cut at 102). Here's how it breaks out:
Opponent's RPI 1-10       9
Opponent's RPI 11-25 4
Opponent's RPI 26-50 6
Opponent's RPI 51-100 4
Opponent's RPI 101-150 4
Opponent's RPI 151-200 3
Opponent's RPI 201-up 0
How does that compare with last season? The weighted average RPI of 2005 opponents came in at 63.5, so the 2006 intended strength looks much better at 53.9. There were 7 games against opponents with RPI's over 150 (3 against St. Mary's [169], 3 against San Diego State [170], and 1 against UCLA [181]), and there were another 2 to add in for the over 100 total (2 against Loyola Marymount [102]). The top end was somewhat similar, if not quite as top 10 heavy, with 3 against Baylor [3], 3 against CS Fullerton [10], 3 against USC [11] and 3 against ASU [13]. On the last, I must say I'm a bit disappointed that Arizona State is not coming to Blair to reciprocate for the Dirtbag's trip to Tempe (maybe the Devils didn't like the outcome?).

Update: I meant to add this. Here are the teams the Beach played in 2005 that are not on the schedule for 2006:
Arizona State
St. Mary's
The 49ers will also play 1 fewer in 2006 against San Diego State, and also against Loyola Marymount. New to the schedule for 2006 are:

Dirtbags 18th... the final Collegiate Baseball ranking.

Evan Longoria And Jared Hughes Are Cape Cod League Player and Pitcher Of The Week...

...for the week ending June 26. The awards are made by the Coca-Cola Bottling Co. of Cape Cod. Here's how the honors are described:
Each week, the Coca Cola Bottling Company of Cape Cod singles out one player and pitcher from the Cape Cod Baseball League who has performed above and beyond the call of duty. While there are certainly many players who perform well each week in the Cape League, the Coca Cola award recognizes an individual player and pitcher whose feats on the playing field in some way stand above all others. Selections are made by SportsTicker, a division of ESPN.
Update: Here's the story at

McAnulty Proves You Can Go Home Again

Former Dirtbag Paul McAnulty was excited about playing for the Padres in Dodger Stadium yesterday. He got his wish when he was inserted in left field late in the game. In the 9th he got a hit, and scored a run. [Box Score]. Paul's batting .286 since being called up.

Must Have Had An Extra Helping Of Wheaties

Former Dirtbag Brian Anderson made his 3rd appearance for the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes in the Northwest League last night. [Box Score] [Play-by-Play]. Pitching 1.0 innings, he earned his 2nd save. Allowing 1 hit (his first of the season), he recorded 3 outs on strikeouts (all swinging). In 3 appearances (3.0 innings) Brian's faced 10 batters, giving up 1 single, no walks, recording an out on a grounder, and striking out 8!

When Will Liefer Get The Call?

This from on former Dirtbag, and current AAA Buffalo Bison (International League) Jeff Liefer:
AMAZING PRODUCTION: Bisons' slugger Jeff Liefer is the latest Bison to join the 50RBI-club this year. With his 50th and 51st RBI last night, he joins Ernie Young (62), Andy Abad (54) and Mike Kinkade (50) in the group. In the entire International League, there are only seven batters with 50+ RBI and four are Buffalo Bisons.
Here's Jeff's current line:
68 246 44 78 18 0 15 51 141 23 51 2 1 .375 .573 .317
Jeff spent all or part of each season between 1999 and 2004 at the Major League level, most recently with the Milwaukee Brewers. He's now in the Cleveland Indians organization. Putting up these numbers, he may be back in The Show in 2005.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Nice Set Of Jered Weaver Photos...

...may be found here at

Monday, June 27, 2005

Dirtbags 19th In Final Baseball America Rankings For 2005

...say so here.

Jered Weaver Video

FutureAngels Blog has a video up of former Dirtbag Jered Weaver pitching on Saturday. Jered was not sharp, allowing 4 runs on 5 hits (including an HR) in 2.1 innings, striking out 5. You can view the video with RealPlayer here (if you have a broadband connection). Hat tip to Rob at 6-4-2 Angels/Dodgers Blog, who posted on the video here.

Dirtbags' Summer League Stats

Chuck Sindlinger, playing with the Danville Dans in the Central Illinois Collegiate League is hitting .333 (9 for 27), slugging .407 (2 doubles), and has a .526 on base percentage (he's drawn 10 walks, while striking out just 5 times). He's also scored 10 runs, and has 7 RBI. [Stats].

Brandon Godfrey is batting .265 (9 for 34) for the Alaska Goldpanners in the Alaska Summer Baseball League. He's slugging at a .282 clip (2 doubles), and his OB% is .297 (1 walk). He's scored 5 runs, and has 2 RBI. [Stats].

Brett Andrade is also with the Goldpanners. Brett is 0-0 with 2 saves in 3 appearances (all in relief) over 7.0 innings. He's allowed 3 earned runs, for a 3.86 ERA. He's struck out 6 while walking just 1, and opponents are batting .310 against him. [Stats].

A third Dirtbag with the Goldpanners, Matt Fitts is 2-1 in 3 appearances (all starts) over 17.1 innings. His ERA is 2.60 (5 ERs allowed). His K/BB ratio is 3.6:1 (18 strikeouts, 5 walks). Opponents are batting .238 against him. [Stats].

I discussed current stats for Jared Hughes and Evan Longoria here.

Current stats are not available at this time for Jordan Struble and Sean Boatright, who are playing for the Southern California Fire in the Western Baseball Association. Nor for Andrew Liebel (California Glory) or Donnie Hume (Solano Thunderbirds in the California Coastal League), though Donnie made a start on June 17, going 5 innings, allowing no runs, with 2 strikeouts and 3 walks.

Former Dirtbag Brian Anderson...

...has made 2 appearances for the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes, going 2.0 innings. He's yet to allow a baserunner, striking out 5 and retiring the other on a grounder. Not a bad start at all.

Former Dirtbag Jeff Liefer Is Featured... this piece in the Buffalo News. He's got a hot bat, hitting .391 since May 2.

Dirtbags Recruit Top Position Player In Hawaii, Catcher Kip Masuda

Kip Masuda, a catcher out of Mid-Pacific Institute (a HS) in Kaneohe, Hawaii, has signed to play with the Dirtbags. Selected in the 47th round (2nd pick) of the June MLB draft, he seems likely to enroll. Kip has been selected Hawaii's top high school position player of 2005 (from the Honolulu Star-Bulletin):
...Star-Bulletin panelists selected Pate as pitcher of the year. The panel also selected Mid-Pacific catcher Kip Masuda as position player of the year...

Masuda was among several players nominated for top position player honors. He got the nod over a posse that included Moanalua's Andrew Blomberg and Saint Louis' Chester Wilson.

The 5-10 1/2, 185-pound senior impressed at the plate, hitting a league-high five home runs. He also had 14 doubles and 38 RBIs while hitting .389.

It was defense, however, that separated Masuda from the pack. The Owl threw out 17 of 20 baserunners. Much of the time, opposing coaches refused to run on Masuda.

"Hands down, he's the best catcher in the state," Saint Louis coach Scot Paiva said. "Automatically, you don't want to run on him."

Masuda credited his coaches with fine-tuning his accuracy behind the plate.

"It's just repetition in practice. Our coaches emphasized the release point, being compact and throwing to the same spot every time," he said. "That made a lot of difference."

Getting serious about conditioning also was a plus.

"The honor is kinda important to me because all the offseason workouts by myself, going to the weight room extra paid off," Masuda said. He reps in the bench press anywhere from five to 10 times at 225 pounds. On the squat, he does five to 10 reps at 315.

"When you're stronger, to me, it's a boost to everything, a lot easier to compete. You can swing the bat a little faster, come around on the inside pitch a little more," said Masuda, who accepted an early offer from Long Beach State.

Having an outstanding role model didn't hurt, either.

"When I was younger I used to copy everything after Matt Inouye, all my catching and everything," Masuda said of the current UH catcher/outfielder...

Thomas Wolfe Was Wrong...

...You can go home again. Just ask former Dirtbag, now San Diego Padre, Paul McAnulty (from the North County Times):
Welcome home

Padres rookie first baseman/outfielder Paul McAnulty can't wait for tonight's game at Dodger Stadium.

"I grew up in the left-field bleachers there," said McAnulty, who went to Oxnard High and Long Beach State. "I was one of those guys who sat in the front row and yelled at the opposing left fielder. We especially got on Bobby Bonilla. It would be a hoot if I got to play left up there and the fans got on me."

Since it will be a three-game series and the Padres will return to San Diego afterwards, Bochy will allow his players to drive to Dodger Stadium.

"He said we can report to the park as early as we want," McAnulty said. "I wonder if 9 a.m. is too early?"

Jared Hughes And Evan Longoria Amaze On The Cape

From the Cape Cod Times (hat tip to reader Barbara):
Chatham's Hughes not perfect, but close

CHATHAM - Long Beach State's Jared Hughes flirted with perfection last night and settled for a two-hitter and Chatham also belted four homers in a 9-1 defeat of Falmouth.

The 6-foot-7 right-hander, who allowed only three hits in his six-inning first start, took a perfect game into the ninth last night. The big Veterans Field crowd stood and cheered as he took the mound for the top of the ninth, and gave him another standing ovation after Aaron Garza hit a grounder onto the right field grass for Falmouth's (3-6-1) first hit to lead off the inning.

Pinch-hitter David Preziosi followed with a line-drive base hit, sending Garza to second. Garza eventually scored from second on a wild pitch for the Commodores' only run.

Hughes struck out 12 in his sterling performance. He had no walks last night and has walked only one while fanning 17 in 15 innings this season.

Jacob Dempsey and Evan Longoria hit two-run homers for the A's (6-4-0) while Anthony Smith and Todd Frazier hits solo shots. They were the first homers of the season for all but Longoria, also from Long Beach State, who hit his third of the year.

Chris Coghlan was 3-for-4 with three RBIs and two runs scored for the A's, while Alex Presley had three infield hits. Baron Frost had a pair of singles while Smith went 2-for-4 with a double to go with his homer.
Jared is tied for the league lead in victories at 2. Evan is 1st in the league in homeruns at 3, 2nd in slugging percentage at .650, 3rd in RBI at 8, and 4th in batting average at .350. Over 2 starts, Jared has a complete game, and has pitched 15.0 innings, while allowing only 1 walk and 5 hits (just one for extra bases, a double) against 17 strikeouts. His ERA is 1.20, and opponents are batting .104 against him.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Paul McAnulty Drives 1st MLB Hit

Former Dirtbag Paul McAnulty had his 1st big league hit on Friday. Here's a little leg pulling over it on Saturday (from the Padres website):
Little Mac attack: Paul McAnulty hadn't yet received the ball he stroked for his first Major League hit by Saturday morning, but he did get a substitute for the time being, with a personal inscription from Padres batting coach Dave Magadan.

"Check this out," McAnulty said, handing the ball over. It carried the message: My first Major League hit -- a 12-hopper through the infield." A 5-foot-10, 220-pound outfielder/first baseman from Oxnard with an uncanny resemblance to former Major League star John Kruk, McAnulty stroked his sharp single to left in the ninth inning against southpaw Ron Villone.

McAnulty had been pressed immediately into service Wednesday night against the Dodgers after getting recalled from Double-A Mobile. With the bases loaded and one away, he lined to second base against reliever Duaner Sanchez.

Having struck out earlier, his single against Villone made him a .333 Major League hitter after two games.

"I was looking for the first fastball I saw," McAnulty said. "Late in the game, we're down, tough lefty out there. It felt good. I thought it hit it well.

"I just wish the first one had come with the bases loaded. I guess it just wasn't my time the other night. But I'm glad to get it out of the way. I hope there are many more to follow."

An old-school, throwback type whom Bochy refers to as "a ballplayer," McAnulty looked right in the Padres' vintage uniforms Saturday as the organization honored players from the old Pacific Coast League. The classic jersey he wore to the ballpark was Oscar Robertson's No. 1 from his days with the Milwaukee Bucks.

"I didn't think anyone would have that one," McAnulty said.
Old school throwback, huh? We just call 'em Dirtbags.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Evan Longoria Has Hot Wood Bat

Evan Longoria, playing for the Chatham A's in the elite wood bat Cape Cod Baseball League, is off to an excellent start. In 8 games, he's 12 for 32 (.375) with 2 doubles and 2 homers (a .625 slugging percentage). He currently leads the league in batting average, and is 2nd on the Cape in homeruns and slugging.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Cody Evans Pro Debut

Cody Evans had a tough outing in his professional debut, going 1.1 innings, giving up 4 runs on 5 hits and 2 walks. [Box Score] [Play-by-Play]. All 4 outs were recorded on fly balls. He wasn't alone, as his Missoula Osprey lost to the Helena Brewers 17-5. Starter Donald Julio, who Cody followed on the mound, went 4.0 innings and gave up 9 run (6 earned) on 9 hits.

Interesting Job Opening At LBSU...

...for assistant baseball coach.

Steve Hammond's Pro Debut Even Better Than First Reported

Hat tip to reader Barbara for pointing out that there was a correction to the box score for Steve Hammond's debut with the Helena Brewers. As first reported, they had Steve going 1.1 innings, allowing 2 hits and no runs, striking out 1 and recording the other 3 outs on grounders. In actuality, he went 2.2 innings, struck out 6, recorded 2 outs on grounders, and walked 2....oh, and gave up no runs. Very impressive, indeed!

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Brian Anderson Makes Pro Debut

Hey, BA, are you kidding me? 1 pro appearance (last night for Salem-Keizer in the Northwest League). 1.0 innings pitched. No hits. No runs. No baserunners. 3 strikeouts. 1 save. [Box Score] [Play-by-Play]

Jason Vargas Moves Up To AA

Former Dirtbag Jason Vargas has been promoted to the Carolina Mudcats of the AA Southern League.

Two Former Dirtbags Move Down

After 4 games with the Florida Marlins, Chad Bentz has been optioned to the Albuquerque Isotopes of the AAA Pacific Coast League. Jeremy Ward has been moved from the AAA Richmond Braves to the Mississippi Braves of the AA Southern League.

Paul McAnulty Debuts With Padres

Here's a feature in the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Hometown Feature On Steve Hammond

From the Contra Costa Times:
Ex-Bulldog launches pro career

By Chace Bryson


It's been a long, adversity-filled road, and the next stop for Steve Hammond is Helena, Montana.

Hammond, a 2000 graduate of Alhambra High School who just completed his senior season at Long Beach State, saw his goal of playing professional baseball realized when the Milwaukee Brewers selected the left-handed pitcher in the sixth round of the Major League Baseball amateur draft on June 7.

"(Playing professionally) was the plan all along," Hammond said in a phone interview on Friday. "I just had deal with a lot of adversity along the way."

After his first season of pitching for Sacramento City College in 2001, Hammond was forced to have surgery on his pitching elbow to remove bone spurs.

"After I came back from that surgery the following season, I started pitching again and continued to have problems with (the elbow)," Hammond said. "(At that point) I almost quit."

Thanks to the constant support of friends and family, Hammond didn't give in. He improved his arm strength and had a solid 2004 season out of the bullpen for Sacramento. The southpaw then followed that up with a summer league season in the Central Illinois League where he posted a 2.30 ERA and struck out 46 in 45 innings of work as a starter.

Hammond attended Long Beach in the fall and returned to the bullpen where he ranked third on the team with 25 relief appearances. He pitched 24-1/3 innings for the 49ers, compiling a 1-3 record with a 4.07 ERA. Hammond finished the season with 28 strikeouts against only nine walks and caught the eye of several pro scouts.

"I had talked to several people, so I knew I was going to be selected," Hammond said. "I was pretty surprised it was (as early as) the sixth round, though."

Hammond signed a contract and was sent to Helena where he arrived on June 12.

"It's kind of tough to get used to," Hammond said of his Montana surroundings. "I like the (Brewers) organization, and I like all the coaches I've met. Everything has been pretty good so far."

The Helena Brewers are part of the rookie-level Pioneer League and began their season on Tuesday.

Though he was used as a reliever for Long Beach, Hammond may be asked to start at Helena.

"I didn't throw that many innings this (college) season, and a lot of these guys did, so I may be a starter for a little while," Hammond said. "I've done both, and I like it either way."

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Paul McAnulty Called Up To The Big League

This except from a piece at sums it up:
Outfielder Paul McAnulty, in the midst of a 16-game hitting streak that has seen him go 21-for-64 with ten extra base hits, 11 RBI's and nine runs scored, was called up to the San Diego Padres.
Congrats to Paul...the latest Dirtbag to make it to The Show.

More On Jered Weaver's Debut

Rich Lederer ( made the trip to Lake Elsinore for former Dirtbag Jered Weaver's pro debut on Monday. Here's his impressions. It wasn't the only splash Jered made this week. From the dugout last night, he was toss from the game. Hat tip to Rich.

Former Dirtbags Bobby Crosby And Jeremy Reed Are Reunited

A hat tip to reader Anne for passing this one from the Seattle Post-Intelligenser along:
DIRTBAGS UNITED: Bobby Crosby and Jeremy Reed had lunch together yesterday, a Dirtbag reunion.

The A's shortstop and the Mariners center fielder played together at Long Beach State, a school that so prides itself on the tough hard-nosed style of baseball it plays that the team calls itself the Dirtbags while every other Long Beach team is the 49ers.

Crosby and Reed were roommates in college, so the intensity is a little bit different when they're on opposite sides.

"It's a fun part of the game when we face each other," Reed said. "Especially at this level. Bobby has a fantastic career ahead of him. He's a great shortstop.

"It's fun to play against him."

5 Former Dirtbags Make Professional Debuts

It started off Monday night at Lake Elsinore when Jered Weaver made his first start for the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, going 3.0 innings, allowing 1 run on 3 hits, striking out 4 while walking 2. [Long Beach Press-Telegram story] [Box Score] [Play-by-Play].

Last night, 4 Dirtbags drafted this month made their debuts. Troy Tulowitzki played error free shortstop and went 0 for 4 for the Modesto Nuts. [Box Score ][Play-by-Play]. Steve Hammond closed out a 16-3 victory for his Helena Brewers, pitching 1.1 innings, allowing 2 hits and no runs, striking out 1 and recording the other 3 outs on grounders. [Box Score] [Play-by-Play]. Neil Jamison pitched the 8th inning (1.0) in the Eugene Emeralds 3-2 victory over Spokane, giving up 1 hit and no runs, while striking out 2. [Box Score] [Play-by-Play]. And Chris Jones caught his first game for the Williamsport CrossCutters, going 0 for 4, but knocking in a run. [Box Score] [Play-by-Play].

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Chris Wright Retires

Former Dirtbag Chris Wright has retired from the Fullerton Flyers of the Golden Baseball League. has this:
The Wright Choice

The Golden Baseball League, an independent minor league in its first year of operation, lost two 1998 Hart graduates Thursday. Outfielder Chris Wright retired after a six-week comeback to baseball and pitcher Andy Davidson was released. Wright, who is the all-time hits leader at Hart and Long Beach State, resumed his baseball career after he decided not to play after his senior season with the 49ers, 2002. He spent six weeks with the Fullerton Flyers before retiring Thursday.

The 24-year-old was in the starting lineup in the Flyers' first game, but misjudged a fly ball in the outfield and was removed by manager and former San Diego Padre Garry Templeton. Wright was thereafter relegated to pinch hitting. "I didn't get a fair chance to play," Wright said. "In a nutshell, that's what it came down to. I think it was more about some of the other players because they had professional experience and I was a rookie." Wright was 2-for-13 with an RBI in nine games.

Nonetheless, Wright was thankful for the opportunity and plans to resume his pursuit of a teaching credential and future career in baseball coaching. "The reality is that 99 percent of people who play organized sports will not play at the professional level and I feel like I defeated the odds," Wright said. "I'm very thankful to Garry Templeton for giving me the opportunity and I feel blessed I went this far."

Casey Grzecka Released By GBL Chico Outlaws

The Oroville Mercury Register reports that former Dirtbag Casey Grzecka came off the disabled list (sprained ankle) for the Chico Outlaws of the independent Golden Baseball League last Friday, and then was released by the team.

Cesar Ramos Update

From the North County Times:
Short hops

LHP Cesar Ramos, whom the Padres drafted with the 35th overall pick two weeks ago, attended Monday's game and will pitch in the Petco Park bullpen this afternoon. Ramos, who turns 21 on Wednesday, is scheduled to report to short-season Single-A Eugene next Monday. It wasn't his first time at Petco -- he pitched Long Beach State to a win over San Diego State in a college tournament game at the ballpark in March 2004.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Jered Hughes, Evan Longoria, Start Strong For Chatham A's

In Jered Hughes' first start for the Chatham A's in the Cape Cod League, Jered and Evan Longoria made their presence a big way. Jered got the win Sunday as Chatham beat Bourne 5-1. His line: 6 innings, 1 earned run, 3 hits (all singles), 5 strikeouts, and 1 walk allowed. Evan provides much of the offense as he went 2 for 5, including a 3 run homerun in the 5th inning. Hat tip to Bill and Barbara for the update.

Greg Dobbs Optioned To AAA Tacoma

The Seattle Mariners sent former Dirtbag Greg Dobbs down to Tacoma in the AAA Pacific Coast League. This from
Dobber not down: Greg Dobbs became the odd man out, as manager Mike Hargrove called him, when the Mariners called up Jose Lopez on Friday.

The team sent Dobbs down to Class AAA Tacoma, a move that surprised him but didn't leave him downcast.

"It's a decision they felt they had to make," he said. "It's a decision you've got to roll with."

Dobbs, who started just three games, batted .176 in 34 at-bats.

"I'm trying to take the positives from my experience in the big leagues," he said. "I understood my role. It was extremely limited, but it didn't mean that I would stop working hard and not have a good attitude. That's genuinely who I am. I'm not going to hang my head."

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Drafted Dirtbags Join New Teams

Now that all eight of the Dirtbags selected on the 1st day of the 2005 MLB Draft have signed, they're making their way to their new teams. Below are articles on their assignments (I'll add to this post as more pieces appear online):

...Here's one in the Eugene Register-Guard on Cesar Ramos and Neil Jamison joining the Eugene Emeralds of the Class A Short Season Northwest League.
...From the Yakima Bears website, Cody Evans is on their roster. The Bears are also in the Northwest League. Correction: At least for now, it appears that Cody is on the roster of the Missouola Osprey of the Rookie level Pioneer League.
...In the Helena Indepedent Record, Steve Hammond is set to join the Helena Brewers in the Rookie Class Pioneer League.
...The Modesto Bee reported June 11 that Troy Tulowitzki would begin his professional career with the Modesto Nuts of the Advanced Class A California League.
...The Williamsport CrossCutter's online roster includes Chris Jones. The CrossCutters are in the Class A Short Season New York Penn League.
Update...Brian Anderson is on the roster of the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes in the Northwest League.
Update...Marco Estrada is with the Vermont Expos of the New York Penn League. They held their first practice Saturday, June 18.

Long Beach State Sports: A Year In Photos

There's a great slideshow of Matt Brown photos (the above shot of Steve Velazco is one of Matt's) from the year in sports at Long Beach State at the LBSU Athletics website here. You can also see, and purchase, more photos at

Danny Mocny And Cole Jacobsen Named To All-Academic Team

We should never forget that college baseball players are student-athletes. Two of the Dirtbags' own have been recognized for outstanding achievement in the classroom. Long Beach State seniors Danny Mocny and Cole Jacobsen have been named to the All-Big West Conference Academic Team [read the Big West Conference release in pdf here]. Danny's major is Criminal Justice, and Cole's is Kinesiology.

According to the BWC release, the qualifications for inclusion on the All-Academic Team are: "To be eligible for the All-Academic team, student-athletes have to maintain a 3.2 cumulative grade point average, complete one full academic year at the member institution prior to the season for which the award is being received (at least a sophomore academically) and competed in at least 50 percent of their team's contests."

Neil Jamison Selected Baseball America 3rd Team All American

Baseball America is out with their All-American selections, and Neil Jamison has been named the 3rd Team relief pitcher.

Jered Weaver To Make 1st Pro Start

This from Baseball America on former Dirtbag Jered Weaver:
The Angels announced that 2004 first-round pick Jered Weaver will make his pro debut at high Class A Rancho Cucamonga on Monday against Lake Elsinore. Weaver, who signed just before he would have gone back into this year's draft, hasn't pitched since he led Long Beach State to super-regionals last year.
That game is at Lake Elsinore, with a 7:05 p.m. start time. Tickets may be purchased here through the Lake Elsinore Storm website. The Rancho Cucamonga broadcast is live on KWRM 1370, for those in it's broadcast area, and repeated on the internet here at 11:50 p.m. The Storm broadcast is on KTMQ 103.3 FM, and is also over the internet live here.

Marco Estrada Signs With Washington Nationals

According to Baseball America, Marco Estrada has signed with the Washington Nationals. The only drafted Dirtbag who has not signed is Sean Boatright, who was drafted in the 36th round by the Florida Marlins. It seems likely, and I have read elsewhere, that Sean will return to Long Beach State for his final year of NCAA eligibility.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Jamison, Ramos, Named NCBWA All-Americans

Righthanded closer Neil Jamison and southpaw starter Cesar Ramos, who were teammates at Long Beach State and begin their professional careers together in the San Diego Padres organization, have made another team together. Both have been named 2nd Team All-Americans by the National Collegiate Baseball Writer's Assn. Neil was previously named 1st Team All-American by Sports Weekly and Collegiate Baseball Newspaper, and Cesar was named to the Collegiate Baseball 3rd Team.

Former Dirtbag Abe Alvarez...

...had the best outing as a pro last week, pitching 7 innings, no runs, 1 hit and no walks. Read about it here. Abe pitches for the Pawtuckett Red Sox (aka the PawSox) of the AAA Eastern League.

Stat Standings

The NCAA continues to update stats until the last game in the College World Series is played. Here's how the Dirtbags compare following the Super-Regional round:

...The Beach remains 1st in earned run average at 2.53, ahead of #2 Nebraska at 2.61. More team stat standings below.
...Neil Jamison is 23rd in saves, at 11. J. Brent Cox (Texas) and Steven Kleen (Pepperdine) are 1st at 17.
...Cesar Ramos is 26th in victories at 10. Lance Broadway (Texas Christian) and Luke Hochevar (Tenn.) are tops at 15.
...Chuck Sindlinger is 34th in sacrifice hits at 0.21 per game. Matt Einspahr (Cal.) is 1st at 0.36.
...Marco Estrada is 46th in ERA (2.43), Cesar Ramos 69th (2.64) and Jared Hughes 97th (2.83). Matt Torra (UMass) leads the nation at 1.14.

Now a few other key stats. Long Beach State is:
...28th in fielding percentage (.971).
...63rd in win-loss percentage (.627).
...165th in batting average (.284), but 231st in slugging percentage (.375) and 263rd in runs scored per game (4.5). Most of the Dirtbags extra base hits were doubles (164th at 1.71 per game). The Beach ranked 270th in triples per game (0.08) and 236th in home runs per game (0.41).

Dirtbags In The Minor Leagues: Daily Breeze Update

Here's bits and pieces from Chris Jackson's minor league report in the Daily Breeze:
The minor league baseball season has been underway for more than two months now, and plenty of former South Bay high school and junior college athletes, as well as area college standouts, have gotten off to solid starts.

South Bay standouts: Right-hander Carlos Muniz (Banning High/Harbor College/Long Beach State) has held down the closer's job at single-A Hagerstown (Mets), racking up 11 saves with a 4.40 ERA in 24 appearances.

Another reliever posting solid numbers so far is right-hander Chris Demaria (North Torrance/El Camino/Long Beach State), who was taken by the Royals in the minor league portion of the Rule 5 Draft and sent to single-A High Desert, where he's 4-2 with a 2.93 ERA and four saves in 23 games....

Area college players: One of the hottest pitchers in the minors is former Long Beach State left-hander Jason Vargas. A second-round pick by the Marlins last year, Vargas dominated low-single-A Greensboro to the tune of a 4-1 record and a 0.80 ERA in five starts. He was promoted to high-single-A Jupiter last month and hasn't slowed down, going 2-1 with a 2.64 ERA in seven starts.

Among former 49er hitters, outfielder Paul McAnulty has been swinging a big stick at double-A Mobile (Padres), batting .288 with 10 home runs and 33 RBIs....

Draft update: Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki (Long Beach State) quickly signed with the Rockies organization just one day after he was taken with the No. 7 overall pick in Tuesday's major league draft. Tulowitzki got a $2.3 million bonus.

Another former 49er, left-hander Steve Hammond, signed with the Brewers on Saturday after they took him in the sixth round.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005


This Q&A from the Baseball America College Baseball chat today sounds awfully familiar:
Q: Robert from Nebraska asks:
It appears that the strongest conference in the country this year was the Big 12. Getting three teams in the CWS is great for the conference and well deserved in my opinion. The SEC deserves consideration for getting 9 teams into the tourney obviously, but what do you think ended up being the toughest conference this year?

A: Will Kimmey:
Two of the nine SEC tournament entries advanced to Omaha, two of the five Pac-10 teams did (and Oregon State beat league foe USC in supers) while the Big 12 went three for five. The Big West was 0-2 and the ACC went 0-7. For me that looks like the top end teams resided in the Pac-10 and Big 12, while the SEC offered the most top-to-bottom depth but not as many great teams. Maybe, and my West Coast friends and e-mailers will eat this up, if some Pac-10 and Big West schools got shipped east as No. 2 seeds and not packaged in deep, strong regionals like the ones at Long Beach and Fullerton this year, we'd see even more representation from the West. Basically, all the West Coasters played in 4 regionals, with two head to head supers, while the rest of the country got the other 12 regionals and six supers.
Ugh...ya think?!

Links To Dirtbags In Summer Leagues

Brett Andrade
Alaska Goldpanners (Alaska Summer League)

Sean Boatright
Southern California Fire (Western Baseball Assn)

Matt Fitts
Alaska Goldpanners (Alaska Summer League)

Brandon Godfrey
Alaska Goldpanners (Alaska Summer League)

Jose Hernandez
Not yet determined

Jered Hughes
Chatham A's (Cape Cod Baseball League)

Donnie Hume
Solano Thunderbirds (California Coastal League)

Andrew Liebel
California Glory

Evan Longoria
Chatham A's (Cape Cod Baseball League)

Chuck Sindlinger
Danville Dans (Central Illinois Collegiate League)

Jordan Struble
Southern California Fire (Western Baseball Assn)

Interesting, But...

...meaning absolutely nothing: The Dirtbags were 4-2 (all on the road) against teams that have qualified for the College World Series (2-1 against Arizona State at Tempe, and 2-1 against Baylor in Waco).

Matt Fitts Brilliant In Debut With Alaska Goldpanners

Dirtbags freshman Matt Fitts made his debut outing with the Alaska Goldpanners of the Alaska Summer League a good one, as described in this story in the Fairbanks Daily News:
Matt Fitts had a long day of travel, but he helped make Sunday a long night for the Southern California Running Birds.

In his first appearance for the Alaska Goldpanners, the right-handed junior pitcher from Long Beach State hurled six scoreless innings to aid a 10-1 rout and a 2-0 start for his new team this Alaska Baseball League season.
Matt is, of course, a freshman.
"I felt a little tired, but I was ready to go,'' said Fitts, who was on an airplane at 5 a.m. and arrived in Fairbanks at 3 p.m., four hours before the start of the Goldpanners' second non-league game against the Running Birds in as many nights at Growden Memorial Park. Alaska won 11-8 on Saturday night.

Goldpanners manager Ed Cheff, before the game, was concerned if Fitts would make it on time because not all of Alaska's players have arrived, and a few are involved with teams in the NCAA Division I Super Regionals.

"We were hoping he'd make his connections and get here on time,'' Cheff said.

After making connections in airports, Fitts connected well with his pitches in a new ballpark with a new team and against an unfamiliar opponent. He scattered three hits, struck out seven and retired the side in order in the top of the first, third, fourth and sixth innings to secure a 10-0 lead before Brett Andrade, a fellow righthander from Long Beach State and returning Goldpanner, took over in the seventh....

Cody Evans Signs With Diamondbacks

According to the Arizona Diamondbacks website, Cody Evans has signed with the team, and has been assigned to the Missoula Osprey in the Rookie level Pioneer League.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Dan Eisentrager Moves Up To AA

Former Dirtbags RHP Dan Eisentrager has been promoted from the Kinston Indians in the Advanced Class A Carolina League to the Akron Aeros in the Class AA Eastern League. Dan posted an 0-1 record, with a 6.07 ERA in 29 2/3 innings at Kinston.

Update: June 17, 2005. The move was apparently temporary. Dan's back with the Kinston Indians.

Chris Jones Signs With Pirates

Chris Jones has signed with the Pittsburg Pirates, according to this story.

Neil Jamison, Brian Anderson, Sign

Neil Jamison has agreed to terms with the San Diego Padres, and will be assigned to the Eugene Emeralds in the Class A (Short Season) Northwest League. Brian Anderson has signed with the San Francisco Giants, and will begin his professional career with the Arizona Giants of the Rookie level Arizona Summer League Salem-Keizer Volcanoes in the Class A (Short Season) Northwest League.

Steve Hammond Signs With Brewers

Steve Hammond has signed with the Milwaukee Brewers, and has been assigned to the Helena Brewers in the Rookie level Pioneer League. [Helena Brewers website].

Cesar Ramos Agrees To Terms With Padres

From the San Diego Union-Tribune:
Ramos in fold

The Padres and their second draft pick, left-handed pitcher Cesar Ramos, have agreed to terms, pending a physical exam early next week. Drafted 35th overall with a first-round supplemental pick the Padres got as compensation for losing David Wells in free agency, Ramos agreed to a signing bonus of about $950,000, which is in line with his slot position last year.

Ramos was advised in negotiations by Lenny Strelitz, a former scout who has ties with several Padres scouts. After Ramos was drafted on Tuesday, General Manager Kevin Towers said the left-hander could rise to high Single-A Lake Elsinore later this summer.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Former Dirtbag Chad Bentz... back in the show, called up to the Florida Marlins.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Former Dirtbag Catcher Kirk Pierce...

...has signed with the Sioux Falls Canaries of the independent Northern League.

Not Wasting Any Time...

Troy Tulowitzki and the Colorado Rockies have agreed to terms on a contract. The agreement calls for a $2.3M signing bonus.

Addendum: Tulo may have been a quick sign, but the bonus certainly seems fair. The 7th pick overall last year, RHP Homer Bailey, signed for the same amount. But Bailey was a high school player, which probably gave him slightly more leverage than Tulo.

Buckley On Ramos And Jamison

From The Mad Friars:
LBSU Coach Buckley on Ramos, Jamison
Padres Prospects

By Denis Savage
Date: Jun 9, 2005

Nobody knows the arms of Padres draft picks Cesar Ramos and Neil Jamison the way Troy Buckley knows them. For the past few years Buckley has been right in the middle of their development as Pitching Coach for the Long Beach State Dirtbags. MadFriars caught up with Buckley to find out exactly what we got with with our supplemental first, and sixth, round picks.

On Cesar Ramos:

Troy Buckley: You are getting a really polished left-hander who is going to feed off location more than just pure stuff.

He has four pitches, a fastball, a curveball which is more of an early count pitch. He has added a slider which has been more effective as an out pitch for him, and then a changeup.

Above average fastball command. That is his bread and butter. Be able to put the ball down in the zone. He is going to feed more off location than he is as far as missing up in the middle of the plate.

Athletic - I still think he has some body projection as far as strength is concerned. Left-handed who is a very good competitor and understands the game pretty well. I think you have a guy who has a chance to be a potential starter in the big leagues, three-four-five, probably the 4-5 range. I think this guy has a chance to be pitch efficient and get early contact and let his defense play for him. With that park it is spacious and that will bode well. Those are his strengths and being left-handed is a huge plus.

As a left-hander who does not have electric stuff, how important is his mechanics?

Troy Buckley: He understands his mechanics fairly well. He understands what he has to do. He does have some leverage, long arms and their is some lankiness to his arms. He has learned his delivery over the course of his three years here and he understands what works for him. He doesn't falter from it. He takes a lot of pride in studying and breaking things down, sometimes to a fault. He learned here that when you compete it is not about your delivery, it is about making pitches and execution and then during the week trying to get that delivery back to put less stress on your arm or to be more efficient downhill.

Will Ramos have to adjust to his reliance on video now that he will enter the minors and video may not be as prevalent?

Troy Buckley: I think maybe a little bit for him. I think in the end - I coached in the minors and we did some video. You want to see a guy when he is going well and players change over the course of their career. When you get fundamental good stuff of where they were at, you always want to archive that. There will be some of that going on no matter what level he is at. I don't think it will be as accessible possibly as it is here. He learned enough here, during that maturation process of being in this program, that he shouldn't need the video as much as he may think he needs the video.

That is going to be the test. Have you figured things out with your body? Have you figured things out with making adjustments without running to the Tivo or the tape or the computer to look at each pitch that you threw? That is what I think they will have to understand in order to survive out there in the middle of a game, in the middle of a week in a 140-game schedule because it is not about mechanics every time out. Those guys in the Big Leagues either repeat their bad mechanics or repeat their good mechanics and they repeat what they want to do. That is where I have been trying to get our guys to do that consistently in order to execute pitches when they need weapons.

On Neil Jamison:

Troy Buckley: He was our closer the last two years. He came in as a mid-range setup guy. He lacked true fastball command for us, for his whole entire career here. It has gotten progressively better but we primarily pitch with the fastball here - it is about 65-to-70 percent of the pitches are fastballs for starters. If you can't command it and put it where you want it - that is our system. Neil struggled with that and was a setup guy his freshman and sophomore year and then closed last year and this year was a first team All-American.

You are getting a very mature young man. A San Diego guy who is as good an evaluator - knowing the game better than any pitcher I have ever had. Tremendous makeup. Tremendous competitor. Very athletic. Has gained some strength and he needs to still try to somehow, some way put on more weight and hold it. That will be very important for him over the course of a half season and a full season.

Where do you see Jamison ending up as a pitcher?

Troy Buckley: I think he has a chance to pitch a long time. He is 88-to-93 with his fastball. He has our best breaking ball which is more of a slider and he has the feel for a changeup. In the end he is going to have to figure out how to get left-handed hitters out if he is going to close in a minor league system or even a chance to get to the Big Leagues. I think in the end he will be a right-handed situational guy. If I had to envision him, that is where I would see him. Middle relief, short relief and I think he has a chance to do this a long time.

What was his season like this past year?

Troy Buckley: Had 14 saves and didn't give up a run this whole year here. It is ridiculous and I probably should have used him more. We were fortunate. We had a really good pitching staff. We led the nation in ERA and shortened the game up a lot. He is a reliever there is no question about it.

Did the Padres get two players who can pay dividends down the road?

Troy Buckley: You are getting two good local guys. I think Ramos is a little farther along and he is just going to have to learn how to pitch every fifth day. They both have a chance to contribute in the organization and even at the Big League level.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Major League Draft Day 2

Sean Boatright has been selected by the Florida Marlins with the #1,086 pick overall, 16th in the 36th round.

Day 1 Draft Quotes and Links

Eight Dirtbags selected on the 1st day of the MLB Draft (tied for the most selections on Day 1 with the Univ. of Arizona):
Long Beach Press-Telegram
Daily Breeze
Troy Tulowitzki:
Rockies Website
Denver Post
Cesar Ramos:
Quote from Padres scouting director Bill "Chief" Gayton:
1A. (35) LHP Cesar Ramos, Long Beach State: "He has four pitches he can throw for strikes. ... His stuff really fits PETCO Park. He gets fly balls and keeps guys off balance."

San Diego Union-Tribune
North County Times
Marco Estrada:
Quotes from Nationals Scouting Director Dana Brown:
"When Estrada gets to the big leagues, he will be an innings eater and a fifth starter-type guy. He has value because of his pitch ability. He really throws a lot of strikes."

Washington Times
Steve Hammond:
Quotes from Brewers scouting director Jack Zduriencik:
Round 6: Steven Hammond, LHP, Long Beach State
"He's playing at one of the best programs in the country," Zduriencik said. "I watched him play right at the beginning of the season in late January against Arizona State and our guys continued to follow up with him. As the year went on we saw great progression. He's a little bit older, but in a lot of ways that wasn't bad. He was used primarily in a relief role, as a set-up man, closer. We'll turn him over to Reid [Nichols, the farm director] and see what happens."
Neil Jamison:
Quote from Padres scouting director Bill "Chief" Gayton:
6. (188) RHP Neil Jamison, Long Beach State: "He's a kid who's just had a great year. He hasn't had a lot of innings, but people had trouble scoring against him."

North County Times
Cody Evans:
Quotes from Arizona scouting director Mike Rizzo:
291. Cody Evans, RHP, Cal St. Long Beach:
"Another big, 6-foot-5, 200-pound college right-handed pitcher. Has a good arm, throws hard and has the chance to have three solid pitches."
Chris Jones:
Quotes from Pirates scouting director Ed Creech:
11. Christopher Jones, C, Cal State Long Beach
"Jones is a smooth-fielding catcher with a good arm, but he's not going to be an out at the plate. He's got some bat but we got him mostly for his defensive ability."
Brian Anderson:
Giants Website

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Major League Draft Day 1

Troy Tulowitzki has been selected by the Colorado Rockies with the #7 pick overall.

Cesar Ramos has been selected by the San Diego Padres with the #35 pick overall, 5th in the Supplement 1st round.

Marco Estrada has been selected by the Washington Nationals with the #174 pick overall, 4th in the 6th round.

Steven Hammond has been selected by the Milwaukee Brewers with the #175 pick overall, 5th in the 6th round.

Neil Jamison has been selected by the San Diego Padres with the #188 pick overall, 18th in the 6th round.

Cody Evans has been selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks with the #291 pick overall, 1st in the 10th round.

Chris Jones has been selected by the Pittsburg Pirates with the #331 pick overall, 11th in the 11th round.

Brian Anderson has been selected by the San Francisco Giants with the #432 pick overall, 22nd in the 14th round.

Baseball America's Final Draft Projections

Baseball America is out with their final draft projections for the 1st, and suppplemental 1st, rounds. Here are the Dirtbags included:
7. Rockies: Troy Tulowitzki, ss, Long Beach State
The Rockies preferred to take Tennessee righthander Luke Hochevar, a Colorado native. But after two days of discussions, Colorado couldn't get any assurance that it wouldn't be in for a lengthy negotiation with Hochevar's adviser, Scott Boras. On Monday afternoon, the Rockies decided to pass on Hochevar, who is thought to desire a major league contract in the neighborhood of $5 million. Getting Tulowitzki is a nice consolation, especially after it looked like he would go third overall, and he gets the nod over Bruce and Maybin.

31. Diamondbacks: Cesar Ramos, lhp, Long Beach State U.'s Streaming Video/Audio Of Draft... here. Coverage begins at 9:30 a.m. (Pacific) today, with the first pick scheduled for 10:00 a.m. Rounds 1 through 20 proceed today, and rounds 21 through 50 (the last round) go forward tomorrow.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Todd Jennings Gets Hot

Former Dirtbag Todd Jennings is on a roll. Thanks to reader Kurt for passing this piece along from Baseball America (no link, in the paid subscription area):
San Francisco Giants

Catching On At Third

SAN FRANCISCO--Todd Jennings is built like Craig Biggio and plays with the same hustle, intensity and intelligence. The 23-year-old even bears some facial resemblance to the Astros' franchise icon.

So it's no great shock that Jennings has moved from behind the plate to the infield. Drafted as a catcher, Jennings is starting at third base this season for high Class A San Jose.

Jennings' versatility and athleticism were among the reasons that the Giants took him with their second-round pick in the 2003 draft.

"Craig Biggio is an awfully nice guy to be compared to," said Joe Amalfitano, who joined the Giants as a roving infield coach this year. "Watching Biggio and watching this kid, they do seem to have a few things in common. This kid really wants it and that helps a lot. He's not going to shortchange himself, that's for sure."

The timing of the conversion was a little surprising if only because the Giants aren't stocked with catching prospects. But the organization decided Jennings could use a change after batting .186 in 45 games at San Jose last year. Shoulder problems and a concussion sustained in a homeplate collision made it a miserable year, but Jennings finished better during brief stints in the Rookie-level Arizona League and at short-season Salem-Keizer.

His shoulder is completely recovered now and catching remains an option in the future according to Bobby Evans, the Giants director of minor league operations. Jennings played both third base and catcher at Long Beach State, where he holds a share of the school record with a 28-game hitting streak.

Jennings isn't short on aptitude or desire, which was evident as he worked this spring with special assistant Jim Davenport and Amalfitano.

"From what I've seen, the time he put in is paying off," Amalfitano said. "He has the attributes to play third base. He has an accurate arm. He's really improved his footwork. He caught onto that quickly."

Jennings is still a work in progress. He had a team-high six errors through 31 games and was hitting .257-4-16.
BA also has this in the Daily Dish today:
It seems we are noting a hot bat almost daily from the Giants' affiliate at high Class A San Jose, and today it's Todd Jennings. The 2003 second-round pick hit just .186 for San Jose last year, but has put together a 16-game hitting streak to up his season totals to .298-4-32.
The 1st article is from May 20, so Todd's average has gone up 41 points in 17 days.

Can't You Just Feel The Love?

This from the Randy Youngman column in the Orange County Register today:
Partisan crowd: One of the loudest cheers of the day at Goodwin Field on Sunday - before the ninth-inning heroics by Pedroza - came when the public-address announcer informed the crowd that CSF arch-rival Long Beach State had been eliminated from its regional by Pepperdine. Draft Tracker Reports On Draft Eligible Dirtbags

Here's's Draft Tracker reports on Dirtbags eligible for the draft (you'll find them on this page, and this one. For all but Steve Hammond and Troy Tulowitzki, there are links to video):
Sean Boatright, Cal St Long Beach, CF R/R 6'0" 190 1983-06-10
COMMENT: Very muscular. Compact physique. Quick bat, makes hard contact. Line drive hitter w/ power. Aggressive hitter. Solid defensively. ML arm and ML speed.

Marco Estrada, Cal St Long Beach, RHP R/R 6'0" 180 1983-07-05
COMMENT: Short, compact, well proportioned physique. Avg ML velocity w/tailing action on two-seam FB. Loose, live arm. Hides ball well. Mixes pitches and changes speeds well. Tight rotation on CB and slider. Big league arm on small frame.

Cody Evans, Cal St Long Beach, RHP R/R 6'5" 190 1983-09-03
COMMENT: Tall, lean, projectable body. Room to carry more weight. ML FB w/ occasional plus velocity, 89-92. Hides ball well. Solid mechanics. Good motion on tailing, sinking change. Around plate w/ all pitches.

Steven Hammond, Cal St Long Beach, LHP R/L 6'2" 205 1982-04-30
COMMENT: Strong, compact body. Broad back, shoulders. Strong legs. Not afraid to challenge hitters. Shows ML FB, good tailing action. Loose, easy, live arm. Hides ball well. FB 89 mph. Hard, sweeping, 3/4 plane sliders. Arm strength, movement.

Neil Jamison, Cal St Long Beach, RHP R/R 6'3" 185 1983-08-04
COMMENT: Tall, slender, well-proportioned body. Tailing, sinking action on FB. Slider has good 3/4 plane. Good job hitting spots w/ both FB and slider. Competitor, not afraid to challenge and pitch inside.

Christopher Jones, Cal St Long Beach, C R/R 6'1" 205 1983-02-27
COMMENT: Strong, well proportioned body. Strong lower half. Good body for a catcher. Strength to generate good bat speed. Good bat control. Drives the ball to all fields. Major League arm w/ good carry and quick release. Steady, consistent performer.

Cesar Ramos, Cal St Long Beach, LHP L/L 6'2" 190 1984-06-22
COMMENT: Loose, easy arm action. Good mechanics. Sneaky quick. ML control. Excellent feel for pitching. Changes speeds, mixes pitches and hits spots. Hides ball well. Good competitor.

Troy Tulowitzki, Cal St Long Beach, SS R/R 6'3" 205 1984-10-10
COMMENT: Big, strong, well proportioned physique. Similar to Bobby Crosby. Excellent bat speed. Aggressive hitter w/ good extension. Soft, quick hands, average runner. Solid ML defensive tools w/ a chance to hit with power. Shows no glaring weakness.

That's Baseball!

Sadly, the Dirtbags' 2005 season ended yesterday as the Pepperdine Waves defeated them 6-3, eliminating them from the Long Beach Regional. I'm not going to do a post-mortem on their defeat. I'm sure you can find that elsewhere if you are interested.

I'm very proud of what the team accomplished this year. After losing so many key players after last season - Jered Weaver, Jason Vargas, John Bowker and Mike Hofius, to name a few - it looked like this season might be more of a rebuilding year. Then during the season, the 'Bags lost Troy Tulowitzki for 20 games, and Sean Boatright and Danny Mocny for extended periods of time. It was a real recipe for a down year.

But some new faces, and some old, really stepped up. And this team truly was a team. Some of the new kids (I'm old enough I get to call these young men kids) really produced. On offense, JC transfer Evan Longoria and redshirt freshman Brandon Godfrey stood out among the new. Chris Jones, from the returning players, seemed to burst from the back of the room and make his presence known. Sean Boatright's powerful punch was back with a vengence. It would be tough to count the number of times Steve Velazco made game saving catches in the gap or corner. And Troy Tulowitzki. Great player. Greater leader. What a pleasure and privilege it's been to watch him play.

There are not enough superlatives to describe the pitching performance. This staff finishes with the lowest team ERA in all of NCAA Division I baseball, at 2.53. That's an outstanding ERA for an individual pitcher. It's mind boggling for a college staff pitching to aluminum bats. JC transfers Cody Evans and Marco Estrada, and freshmen Jared Hughes and Donnie Hume, together with junior Cesar Ramos, gave the Dirtbags a lineup of starting pitchers that would be the envy of any college, anywhere. You just don't see this kind of depth on one college pitching staff. And if this team made it to the 5th or 6th inning with a lead, they were virtually unbeatable. Senior Brian Anderson set 'em up, and senior Neil Jamison closed 'em down. Over and over and over. Division I baseball may never have seen a 1-2 punch like Brian and Neil before.

For the seniors, and other draft eligible players, Tuesday and Wednesday this week will be nail biting time as Major League Baseball conducts the 2005 First Year Player draft. I wish each and every one of them the very best. They have big dreams. I hope they all come true.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Here's A Nice Hometown Article On The Rhode Island Rams... the East Greenwich Pendulum. Nice comment about we Dirtbag fans too:
...When the Rams play Long Beach State on Friday night at Blair Field, the place will be packed with people who love the Dirtbags. Blair Field is Long Beach's home field, the home of the Dirtbags....

It's Official...Pitching Wins Championships

At least that's what Staff Writer Amy Farnum thinks:
Notebook: Regional Preview

June 2, 2005

By Amy Farnum Staff Writer

PITCHING WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS: If you need one thing to have a strong showing in the NCAA Tournament, it's certainly a solid and deep pitching staff.

For several teams, pitching has been a key reason why they're in the tournament. Thirteen of the top 14 teams in the NCAA earned run average statistics received a bid to an NCAA Regional, with only San Francisco (6th - 2.88 ERA) not continuing in the postseason.

Long Beach State leads the NCAA with a 2.44 ERA, and has posted a 32-3 record when holding opponents to three runs or less. The Dirtbags are 27-1 when leading after six innings as starters have pitched into the seventh inning 26 times this season, while closer Neil Jamison and setup man Brian Anderson have combined for a 7-0 record and 13 saves.

Cody Evans To Start Tonight - USC Will Not Start Kennedy Against Pepperdine

This from the Daily Breeze:
Rotations take turn in regional

Long Beach State, USC will hold their aces out of today's first-round baseball games at Blair Field.

By Chris Jackson
Daily Breeze

Long Beach State will turn to an unfamiliar face to pitch in tonight's NCAA regional at Blair Field.

The 49ers (36-20) have elected to go with little-used junior right-hander Cody Evans (0-2, 3.55 ERA) against fourth-seeded Rhode Island at 7 p.m.

Evans was originally part of Long Beach's weekend rotation, but he was bumped out by sophomore Jared Hughes. For the season, Evans has made just seven starts plus five relief appearances.

"It's been our philosophy here at Long Beach State for a long time to win the weekend, not the first game," 49ers coach Mike Weathers said. "You look at the opponents coming into this regional and we've got to figure out the guys that match up best.

"It could be a long weekend. We just feel that Cody, after his outing against USC last week that was very impressive, hopefully he can go out there for four or five innings and then turn it over to the bullpen."

With Evans pitching tonight, that frees up the 49ers' top three starters, junior left-hander Cesar Ramos (10-6, 2.27), junior right-hander Marco Estrada (8-2, 2.27) and Hughes (8-3, 2.83) to go later in the double-elimination, four-team regional, Weathers explained.

The Atlantic-10 champion Rams (34-19) are sticking with what got them to their first regional, going with senior right-hander Daniel Frederick (5-5, 4.54).

"Danny's kind of a humble guy," Rhode Island coach Frank Leoni said. "Two years ago as a sophomore he beat Alabama at their place. He's pitched in every big game for us. One thing I'm sure of is he's going to take the mound and you're not going to know it's a regional game when you see him out there."

Second-seeded USC will also flip around its usual rotation, turning to junior left-hander Jack Spradlin (5-3, 4.22) for today's 3 p.m. opener against Pepperdine rather than Pacific-10 Conference Pitcher of the Year Ian Kennedy (11-2, 2.44, 144 strikeouts).

The Waves, on the other hand, will go with their No. 1 starter, junior left-hander Paul Coleman (9-2, 2.99), the WCC Pitcher of the Year. Senior Kea Kometani and freshman Barry Enright will follow, though Coach Steve Rodriguez said he reserves the right to change things based on matchups.

"Our pitching rotation right now is anything goes," Rodriguez said. "Right now we're going with Coleman, Kometani and Enright. But who knows what could happen?"

No. 1 seed Long Beach State (36-20)

How they got here: at-large bid

Pitcher on the spot: Junior RH Cody Evans, a JC transfer, got bumped from the weekend rotation early in the year, but now he's being called upon to start tonight's opener despite being 0-2 with a 3.55 ERA in 12 games (seven starts).

Hitter on the spot: Junior RF Jordan Struble has swung one of the hottest bats on the team of late, stealing a starting spot from senior Steve Velazco.

No. 2 seed USC (37-19)

How they got here: at-large bid

Pitcher on the spot: Junior LH Jack Spradlin, a JC transfer, has been solid for the Trojans most of the season, and he'll need to be as he's starting against Pepperdine today so he can come back, if needed, on Sunday or Monday.

Hitter on the spot: Freshman 1B Matt Cusick -- The youngster has performed above expectations with the bat, but he's facing the biggest test of his career against some stellar pitching staffs.

No. 3 seed Pepperdine (38-21)

How they got here: automatic bid as WCC champion

Pitcher on the spot: Freshman RH Barry Enright, the WCC Freshman of the Year, lasted only three innings against Loyola Marymount in Game 3 of the conference championship series.

Hitter on the spot: Sophomore LF Luke Salas, batting second between David Uribes and WCC Player of the Year Chad Tracy, needs to hit like he did against LMU (9-for-14).

No. 4 seed Rhode Island (34-19)

How they got here: automatic bid as Atlantic-10 Tournament champions

Pitcher on the spot: Senior RH Daniel Frederick gets the nod against the 49ers based on the fact he's pitched a lot of big games in the past.

Hitter on the spot: Junior LF Daryl Holcomb, the Rams' leadoff hitter, has to get on base against the 49ers, whose team ERA (2.44) leads the nation.

Jamison, Ramos and Tulowitzki Named Collegiate Baseball All-Americans

Collegiate Baseball Newspaper released their All-American selections yesterday, naming Neil Jamison as the 1st Team All-American relief pitcher. Cesar Ramos and Troy Tulowitzki were named to the 3rd Team - despite Tulo having missed over a third of the season to injury. Here's their comments on Neil:
Relief pitcher Neil Jamison of Long Beach St. led the pitching staff with a 0.00 ERA in 26 appearances this season as he posted 11 saves.

Talkin' Baseball...

The Baseball Analysts, Rich Lederer and Bryan Smith, discuss the Regionals. Here's their back and forth on the Long Beach Regional:
Rich: The surprises out West might be who doesn't go. The Long Beach Regional pits the host Dirtbags along with USC and Pepperdine, arguably the best second and third seeds in the entire country. Long Beach has the advantage as the number one seed there. But the Trojans (#5) and Waves (#10) both rank in the top ten in ISR. Forget the ISR, these three teams are among the top 34 in RPI. C'mon now. That's just not right.

Bryan: Assuming USC takes care of Pepperdine -- no easy task I know -- the SC-LBSU battle could be one of the best second round matchups in the country. Two very solid, if undertalked about, Friday night pitchers in Ian Kennedy and Cesar Ramos. Two top ten hitting talents in Troy Tulowitzki and Jeff Clement. Unfortunately this is a matchup we should see in the Super Regional, not the second round.

Rich: You said it, not me. You're talking about my alma mater (USC) and hometown (LB) teams. I've got my weekend tickets right here on my desk. I'll be there for each and every game. The question I have is whether Mike Gillespie feels as if he is forced to start Kennedy today or if he will take a chance and hold him back in anticipation of facing the 49ers tomorrow?

Bryan: Well, Gillespie doesn't have the luxury of a team like North Carolina -- a two seed that I think ends up in the Super Regional -- of having a ton of pitching depth. My advice would be to focus on Pepperdine first, and then worry about LBSU. . .though Cal State Fullerton showed last year all you need to win a championship is one ace and some serviceable pitchers behind him. The Titans rode Jason Windsor hard last year, and I expect the winner of the Dirtbags/Trojans matchup to do the same with their ace.

Rich: Although Ramos is the headliner, Long Beach has three other capable starters, including Jared Hughes (8-3, 2.83 ERA, second-team all-Big West) and Marco Estrada (8-2, 2.27 ERA, third team)--both of whom struck out nearly a batter an inning--plus one of the best bullpens in the country, led by senior closer Neil Jamison (4-0, 0.00 ERA, 11 saves). Despite the loss of Jered Weaver, the Niners led the nation in team ERA (2.44).

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Baseball America Previews The Long Beach Regional

This from Baseball America:
NCAA Regional Preview: Long Beach

By Will Kimmey
June 2, 2005

1. Long Beach State 36-20, at-large, tied for second in Big West, 16th NCAA tournament, fifth consecutive appearance
2. Southern California 37-19, at-large, tied for third in Pacific-10, 36th NCAA tournament
3. Pepperdine 38-21, automatic, won West Coast Conference regular season and tournament, 22nd NCAA tournament, third consecutive appearance
4. Rhode Island 34-19, won Atlantic 10 regular season and tournament, first NCAA tournament

Player To Watch: Three juniors in this regional will be first-round picks Tuesday: Long Beach State shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and lefthander Cesar Ramos and Southern California catcher Jeff Clement. But the pivotal player is one that will be a first-rounder next year, USC sophomore righthander Ian Kennedy (11-2, 2.44). He's averaged 12.12 strikeouts per nine innings for his career; a former Trojans All-American named Mark Prior averaged 11.52.

The Favorite: The records and strength of schedule are pretty much a wash for the top two seeds, but Southern California gets the edge on the road after winning all three games it played against Long Beach State this season, even if the wins came by a total of four runs. Kennedy beat Ramos head-to-head at Long Beach State in February, and he'll need to do so again. Clement (.353/.482/.632) serves as the fulcrum in a young but opportunistic offense. He hit 13 of the team's 41 home runs.
Wins are wins, and losses are losses. But I think it would be a mistake to place too much store in the 3 losses Long Beach State suffered at the hands of the Trojans. The 1st 2, coming at the low point in the season for the Dirtbags (the Cal. sweep followed immediately thereafter), had Troy Tulowitzki and Sean Boatright both out with injuries. They also came when the 49ers were playing their worst defense. The 1st game was lost 4-3, and the difference was an unearned run [ Story. Box Score]. In the 2nd game, lost 7-5, the Beach gave up 4 unearned runs [ Story. Box Score]. The defense has since risen to 30th best in D-I (at .970).
On The Other Hand: Long Beach State really could be dubbed the co-favorite. It's playing at home a year after going on the road and toppling No. 1 seed Stanford, so there's no adversity it can't overcome. Its 2.44 ERA led the nation because of the weekend rotation of Ramos (2.27) and righthanders Marco Estrada (2.27) and Jared Hughes (2.83) and a senior bullpen of righthanders Neil Jamison (0.00) and Brian Anderson (0.88). Tulowitzki (.355/.431/.603) leads the offense in those three categories despite missing 20 games with a broken hamate bone.

Bracket Buster: Pepperdine's resume would have resulted in at least a No. 2 seed if Malibu was on the East Coast. The Waves beat Cal State Fullerton, Long Beach State, Oregon State, South Carolina, Tulane and Winthrop during the regular season. Sophomore catcher Chad Tracy (son of Dodgers manager Jim Tracy) batted .363/.419/.617 and led the WCC in slugging and homers (12). Senior first baseman Steve Kleen batted .353 and recorded 15 saves as the closer for a weekend rotation that combined for 28 wins, led by junior lefty Paul Coleman (9-2, 2.99 with a .212 average against).

Don't Forget About: Rhode Island won its first conference title after pacing the A10 in batting (.318) and ERA (3.69), ranking among the top 25 nationally in those categories as well. Six regulars posted on-base percentages better than .400, and senior right fielder Matt Sullivan hit 13 homers. Junior lefthander Zack Zuercher ranked third in the conference with 99 strikeouts in 83 innings, and should pose an interesting opening starter for Long Beach State to face.