US PRO PLAYERS
OF THE WEEK

Welcome to our another of our features that is designed as an additional enhancement to our updated statistical information about Australian players who fly our flag in the US Professional Leagues. Time permitting, we hope to track the performances of players for the previous week (or five or six days) and to make our assessment for 'Flintoff & Dunn's US PRO PLAYER OF THE WEEK'. We may then be able to expand this into a 'PRO PLAYER OF THE MONTH' to add to our 'PRO PLAYERS OF THE YEAR' that we have published at the end of previous seasons... Stand by!
Like everything we do, we certainly don't expect that everyone will agree with our assessments from week to week and we don't pretend to know every intimate event or situation that might affect a given player from time to time. Our assessment will be based purely on the statistics produced from the past week with no particular emphasis on at what level the performance has been achieved. 
In any case, we will be happy if this effort sparks interest and debate for Australia's baseball community and we will always be happy to hear what you think!

*** MANY Thanks to our statistical auditor PETER WOOD for supplying the reference data ***

  To view the latest Statistics for Australian Players in the US Professional Leagues

2006: To view 'Flintoff & Dunn's' PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
from the 2006 season,
click here

   

Flintoff & Dunn's MLB PLAYERS OF THE YEAR 2007

Congratulations to the following player(s) selected as our F&D Pro Players of the Year.

Starting with our own Australians of course, let us begin by saying what an extraordinary achievement it is for Australia, as a baseball nation, to have no less than SEVEN of our boys deemed good enough to play in the pinnacle league of world baseball this season. When you stop to think about this, and the growing number of our lads either signed or playing in the minor professional leagues, it is a most remarkable effort for a country in which baseball remains very much a “minority sport”. There is no doubt about it folks, our guys are good!

As far as our major league players are concerned there will be no prizes awarded for guessing that Victoria’s PETER MOYLAN stands head and shoulders above all of our performers for 2007 as, not only a star among the Aussies, but also a genuine star among ALL major league relief pitchers for 2007. Pete was unfortunate to start the season in ‘AAA’ after the Atlanta Braves had re-tooled its bullpen in the off season, but it didn’t take him long to force his way back onto the active roster and into the favour of venerable Atlanta manager Bobby Cox. Pete was to become the Braves key right-hander for the most difficult situations and very rarely did he fail to extract his team out of a jam. His ability to keep the ball in the infield with his wicked sinking pitches produced countless big outs and pressure releasing double-plays. To emerge from this with a sub-2.00ERA from 80 appearances requires little further explanation. There can be no doubt that he helped to keep his team in playoff contention for a lot longer than they would have if he hadn’t been so effective. He was HUGE! Moylan is in line to make some serious money next time he negotiates a contract... and it couldn’t happen to a nicer or more deserving guy!

Maybe next in line this year was one of our new majors, No.24, RYAN ROWLAND-SMITH whose performances lacked a little consistency, but the big league rookie was good enough, often enough to impress the Seattle Mariners. His 1-0, 3.96ERA record from 38.2 innings with a 15/42 walk versus strikeout ratio is far from shabby. We fully expect to see Ryan back in the major leagues to start 2008 and he may have a long career ahead at that level.

CHRIS SNELLING may have been on track for more recognition had he not finished the season exactly as he has finished most during his frustrating career… on the DISABLED LIST! There are two facts about Snelling that are hardly in dispute… one, he is a bona fide major league standard outfielder / hitter… two, his injury record has never allowed him to reach his maximum potential for any sustained length of time. In fact, each time he gets hurt the chances of him climbing back to the big leagues become more and more problematical. After a moderate start to the season with the struggling Washington Nationals, he seemed on the verge of really establishing himself with the Oakland A’s until… well, there is no need to repeat it, is there? We won’t try to guess what 2008 holds for him.

It was great to see both GRANT BALFOUR and TRAVIS BLACKLEY returning to the major leagues after extended periods re-establishing themselves after injury and also changing clubs. ‘Balf’ showed glimpses of returning to his brilliant best, especially after moving from the Milwaukee Brewers to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Travis earned a late season call-up with the San Francisco Giants and he performed well enough to expect more opportunities in 2008. For these guys it was more important simply to see them back and healthy during 2007.

RICHARD THOMPSON, or as the Yanks like to call him RICH, became our 25th major league player when he pitched in relief for the Los Angeles Angels after the September roster expansions. He didn’t get a lot of opportunity to show his stuff, but he did enough to keep his profile under the noses of the Angels management. In any case, he made it to ‘The Show’ and he should again at some stage during 2008.

The lowly Kansas City Royals seemed to prefer a rag-tag bunch of modestly performed veterans than to give Aussie JUSTIN HUBER much opportunity in the big leagues this year. To be fair, Justin didn’t strike anywhere near his best batting form until the latter part of the season and this didn’t help his claims for promotion. However, after a long season at ‘AAA’ Omaha he was added to their expanded roster in September. With the Royals light-years out of playoff contention, we just can’t imagine why Huber was not given more opportunities to hit, instead of pinch-running and bench-warming… it probably says a lot about why the Royals have been little better than a laughing stock for many years. We still think that Justin has something to offer.
AUSTRALIAN MLB PLAYER OF THE YEAR for 2007:

 Peter MOYLAN  (MLB - Atlanta Braves)
 

Congratulations to the following player(s) selected as our F&D Pro Players of the Year.

To complement the record SEVEN Australians who appeared in the US major leagues this season is the also remarkable fact that 18 of our former AMLB import players were also still “kicking around” in the big leagues this season. And, at the unavoidable risk of endlessly repeating ourselves, it was a most difficult task to select our AMLB IMPORT - MAJOR LEAGUE PLAYER OF THE YEAR. There was simply no standout performer, like Vernon Wells last season, among either the pitchers or the position players. After some consideration we leaned towards the New York Mets feisty catcher PAUL LoDUCA who owned the best batting average among all of our former imports despite the rigours of catching nearly every day for a contending team. ‘Paulie’s’ .272/54/9 from 119 appearances won him our award this season.

Maybe next in line was the Los Angeles Angels big pre-season signing GARY MATTHEWS JNR. who batted .252/72/18 with 18 stolen bases to compliment his stellar defence at centre field… he was a close second. Mainly because of his power numbers, Toronto Blue Jays former All-Star slugger VERNON WELLS was next with his .245/80/16 plus ten swiped bags, but the consistency of his output was a disappointment after his recent seasons. We really admired the contributions of GEOFF BLUM who continues to define the role of a versatile backup player by making the most of his rare starting opportunities and whenever he is inserted off the bench. Blum’s .252/33/5 was a solid return from 122 disjointed appearances for the San Diego Padres. Another guy who always intrigues us is Cincinnati Reds platoon catcher DAVID ROSS who never seems to bat much better than his .203 average this year, yet he always seems to break out for the occasional “lightning strike” with another 17 long balls this season.

Yes, yes, we know, you are sick of hearing about our difficulties in comparing starting pitchers with relievers, but it wasn’t such a big issue with our former import pitchers this season. The only genuine starter among these was the perennial “horse” KEVIN MILLWOOD who made 31 starts for the Texas Rangers this season, but he never seemed to find his best form after early season injuries this year and his 10-14, 5.16ERA record was not too flattering. Maybe the best of our former import pitchers was MATT HERGES who looked to be on the outer at the start of the season but he eventually earned a regular bullpen job with the contending Colorado Rockies. Herges managed to cover a few rough outings with many more good ones to own a neat 5-1, 2.96ERA record from 35 appearances. Toss a coin between lefty reliever RON MAHAY and the versatile GARY GLOVER who made a few starts among many relief appearances. Mahay owned a combined 3-0, 2.55ERA record pitching for the Texas Rangers and Atlanta Braves, while Glover finished the season with a 6-5, 4.89ERA record from 67 appearances for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. The only other pitcher worthy of mention was Washington Nationals MICAH BOWIE who didn’t appear much after the All-Star break to build upon his 4-3, 4.55ERA record from 30 games.
Former AMLB IMPORT MLB PLAYER OF THE YEAR for 2007:

 Paul LoDUCA  (New York Mets)
Flintoff & Dunn's 'AAA' LEVEL PLAYER OF THE YEAR 2007

Congratulations to the following player(s) selected as our F&D Pro Players of the Year.

This time we have been fortunate enough to side-step those incredibly difficult comparisons between starting and relief pitchers by preferring a hitter for our 'AAA' Player of the Year for 2007.

To start with the pitchers and to explain how hard it can be to separate their performances, maybe the best record among them was owned by Grant BALFOUR whose 1-1, 1.69ERA with five saves and a 4/1 strike out versus walk ratio was quite outstanding, but he pitched a total of only 32.0 innings at 'AAA' level. Regular starter Travis BLACKLEY was the undoubted workhorse with 162.1 innings from 28 starts, but his 10-8, 4.66ERA record was not quite as flattering on the face of it. The other two regular starters who impressed this season were Craig ANDERSON with 7-3, 2.98ERA from 15 starts and Chris OXSPRING with his 7-5, 3.56ERA record from 18 starts. Ryan ROWLAND-SMITH is also worthy of mention as a player who virtually split the season between 'AAA' and in the majors and his final season stats may have been more impressive had he spent the entire season in 'AAA' baseball. And, we can only wonder what Phil STOCKMAN may have done if he had been healthier for the entire season? Veteran Brad THOMAS also owned a decent record with his 8-6, 4.87ERA. 

On the offensive side we will start by paying a special tribute to Glenn WILLIAMS whose .235 average was not indicative of his talent, but he did demonstrate that his durability had returned after a sorry run with injuries by appearing in 116 games and showing occasional indications that he could return to his major league best form next season. Trent OELTJEN also made good progress by playing at 'AAA' level this season and his .238 from 97 games is something that he can build upon as a potential Aussie major league player of the near future. We continue to admire the persistence of Aussie veteran Trent DURRINGTON who also started to find some good form towards the end of the long season.

However, our nomination for 'Flintoff & Dunn's 'AAA' PLAYER OF THE YEAR' is Justin HUBER who overcame a very slow start to his season offensively to compile a very decent .276/68/18 record from his 77 games. Significantly, his .517 slugging percentage will be keeping him on the major league radar screens and he did earn a late season recall to the big leagues with the Kansas City Royals. While he was by no means miles ahead of the pitchers in our calculations, we gave him the nod for our award this year.

We congratulate all of our 'AAA' LEVEL players for continuing their progress in the unforgiving world of US professional baseball. ‘Flintoff & Dunn’ will pay tribute to the following player as our
'AAA' LEVEL PLAYER OF THE YEAR for 2007:

 Justin HUBER  (Kansas City Royals 'AAA' Omaha Royals)
77G  286AB  .276AVG  13D  1T  18HR  .517SLG

HONOURABLE 'AAA' LEVEL MENTIONS:

Grant BALFOUR (Nashville Sounds) 24G    0GS  1-1, 1.69ERA  11BB  47K  5SV
Travis BLACKLEY (Fresno Grizzlies) 28G  28GS 10-8, 4.66ERA  68BB  121K  162.1IP
Craig ANDERSON (Norfolk Tides) 15G  15GS  7-3, 2.98ERA  16BB  57K  96.2IP
Glenn WILLIAMS (Rochester Red Wings) 116G  405AB  .235AVG  19D  2T  9HR  57RBI
  Flintoff & Dunn's 'AA' LEVEL PLAYER OF THE YEAR 2007

Congratulations to the following player(s) selected as our F&D Pro Players of the Year.

Let us start by explaining that we have deliberately overlooked players like Craig ANDERSON, Grant BALFOUR, Adrian BURNSIDE, Phil STOCKMAN and Richard THOMPSON who were promoted to higher levels during the season and who subsequently spent more time in those. Obviously they were each pretty good at ‘AA’ level to earn promotion.

So, leaving them aside, we found it quite impossible and certainly unfair to separate the pitching of Tristan CRAWFORD from the batting of Luke HUGHES who we have voted as joint winners of ‘Flintoff & Dunn’s ‘AA’ PRO PLAYERS OF THE YEAR’ for 2007. Crawford’s 8-5, 5.16ERA from 82.0 innings, we felt, was matched by Hughes’ .283/43/9 from 92 games. Had Luke’s average been just a bit higher or Tristan’s ERA just a bit lower, either one of them could have claimed the award alone. Significantly, the Minnesota Twins' New Britain team mates Hughes (.323) and Crawford (2-0, 3.79ERA) both finished the season strongly over their last ten games.

Other ‘AA’ players worthy of mention were pitcher Josh HILL who owned a winning record with his 3-2, 4.36ERA and the seasoned Adam MORRISSEY whose offence compiled .263/50/9. Another player who rates a mention is our perennial star Brett RONEBERG who may not be overjoyed with his season of .248/35/8, but his .348 average over the last ten games is a more worthy representation of what he can do when healthy. While he owned a losing record, Adam BRIGHT also sneaks in for a mention with his 1-3, 3.72ERA from 52 appearances out of the bullpen.

We congratulate all of our 'AA' LEVEL players for continuing their progress in the unforgiving world of US professional baseball. ‘Flintoff & Dunn’ will pay tribute to the following player(s) as our
'AA' LEVEL PLAYER(s) OF THE YEAR for 2007:

 Luke HUGHES  (Minnesota Twins 'AA' New Britain Rock Cats)
92G   315AB  .283AVG  29EXBH  .438SLG  .356OBP
 Tristan CRAWFORD  (Minnesota Twins 'AA' New Britain Rock Cats)
27G  11GS  8-5, 5.16ERA  82.0IP  29BB  66K

HONOURABLE 'AA' LEVEL MENTIONS:

Adam MORRISSEY (Arkansas Travellers) 134G  486AB  .263AVG  38EHBH  .396OBP
Josh HILL (New Britain Rock Cats) 16G  11GS  3-2, 4.36ERA  27BB  46K
Brett RONEBERG (Altoona Curve) 77G    238AB  .248AVG  .416SLG  .342OBP
Adam BRIGHT (Tulsa Drillers) 52G    0GS  1-3, 3.72ERA  46.0IP  26BB  41K
  Flintoff & Dunn's 'A' LEVEL PLAYER OF THE YEAR 2007

Congratulations to the following player(s) selected as our F&D Pro Players of the Year.

Much like our review of the ROOKIE leagues, it was also evident from our ‘A’ level statistics that life was difficult for our hitters. As far as we were concerned the standout player and winner of our ‘A’ LEVEL PRO PLAYER OF THE YEAR was Victorian short stop Bradley HARMAN whose strong finish to the season reaped a .281 average, including 26 doubles, five triples and 13 home runs… Harman’s .449 slugging percentage in Advanced ‘A’ level stood out like a beacon among all of our hitters and made him a clear winner of our award this year.

Next in line offensively was young NSW catcher Trent D’ANTONIO who batted .285 with much less power, but a very good .390 on base percentage. Another young Queensland catcher Joel NAUGHTON was a fairly distant third with his .259 that included 13 extra base hits.

While our pitchers were far more consistent across the board, there were none that were quite impressive enough to challenge Harman in our view. Top of the bill was Drew NAYLOR who started the season on fire and his 8-6, 3.28ERA record was still excellent at the end of the year… he would be our second overall place getter. Behind him among the pitchers, probably in this order, were Dushan RUZIC, David WELCH, Josh HILL and Brendan WISE. In terms of this award Ruzic may have been "unfortunate" to spend the latter part of the season promoted to ‘AA’ level baseball.

Adam BLACKLEY and Tom ELLIS each had winning seasons at ‘A’ level but Blackley’s ERA was a little too high, while promising rookie Ellis did not pitch enough innings to enter our calculations.

While we congratulate all of our 'A' LEVEL players for continuing their progress in the unforgiving world of US professional baseball, ‘Flintoff & Dunn’ will pay tribute to the following player as our
'A' LEVEL PLAYER OF THE YEAR for 2007:

 BRAD HARMAN  (Philadelphia Phillies A+ Clearwater Threshers)
122G   448AB  .281AVG  44EXBH  .449SLG

HONOURABLE 'A' LEVEL MENTIONS:

Drew NAYLOR (A-ss Williamsport Crosscutters) 14G  14GS  8-6, 3.28ERA  93.1IP  28BB  97K
Trent D'ANTONIO (A+ Jupiter Hammerheads) 57G  151AB  .285AVG  .390OBP
Dushan RUZIC (A+ Sarasota Reds) 30G   2-1, 2.82ERA  44.2IP  14BB  44K
David WELCH (A+ Brevard County Manatees) 29G  20GS  6-7, 3.40ERA  121.2IP  21BB  88K
Josh HILL (A+ Fort Myers Miracle) 17G    4GS  3-2, 3.00ERA    39.0IP  13BB  36K
Brendan WISE (A+ Lakeland Flying Tigers) 31G   1-2, 3.12ERA  34.2IP  10BB  18K
  Flintoff & Dunn's ROOKIE LEAGUE PLAYER OF THE YEAR 2007

Congratulations to the following player(s) selected as our F&D Pro Players of the Year.

This is where it gets REALLY tough subscribers, here we are faced with those age old baseball quandaries surrounding comparisons between the statistics of starting and relief pitchers… and likewise for the offensive expectations of an outfielder versus a short stop?

Well folks, we at ‘Flintoff & Dunn’ are not too proud or egotistical to admit that the job was far too difficult for us on this occasion and we have sought the “easy way out” by refusing to separate FOUR of our young Rookie League stars and by naming joint winners of our ROOKIE LEAGUE PLAYER OF THE YEAR. Besides, under the circumstances, why shouldn’t we recognise more of our young stars, rather than fewer?

Let’s start with the guy who, if we had to separate them, would most likely have got the nod this year in NSW pitching star Bradley TIPPETT whose numbers were quite outstanding for the Elizabethton Twins… the only VERY minor detractions for Tippett were the facts that he pitched exclusively in relief and he was in his second professional season. The other pitcher who we thought was deserving of special attention was GCL Twins’ Liam HENDRIKS who also produced terrific numbers but, in his case, he started all ten of his appearances and hitters got to see more of him in games.

We found it equally testing to compare the splendid performances of two rookie league hitters James BERESFORD (GCL Twins) and Mitch DENING (GCL Red Sox). Outfielder Dening owned slightly the better batting numbers with .301 from 47 games, while Beresford spiced his .288 from 45 games with his spectacular defence at short stop that produced 26 eye catching double-plays for the 2007 season. Just behind those among our everyday players was Stefan WELCH of the GCL Mets who batted .288 from 36 games as a third baseman. One thing we could not help but notice was how hard it was to produce good hitting stats for our rookies this year, which may be an indication of the pitching strength in those leagues?

Behind Tippett and Hendriks among the pitchers, we felt, were Gavin DLOUHY, Jarrod EACOTT and Steve KENT who all pitched superbly and who each have plenty to look forward to in their professional futures.

While we congratulate all of our ROOKIE LEVEL players for starting to establish themselves in the unforgiving world of US professional baseball, ‘Flintoff & Dunn’ will pay tribute to the following players as our
ROOKIE LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE YEAR for 2007:

 Bradley TIPPETT (R  Elizabethton Twins) 
21G   0GS  7-1, 0.93ERA  3SV  4BB  51K  
 Liam HENDRIKS (Minnesota Twins 'R' GCL Twins) 
10G  10GS  4-2, 2.05ERA  44.0ip  11BB  52K  
 James BERESFORD (Minnesota Twins 'R' GCL Twins) 
45G  2D  14RBI  .288AVG  26DP's  
 Mitchell DENING  (Boston Red Sox 'R' GCL Red Sox)
47G  8D  1T  1HR  18RBI  .301AVG  

HONOURABLE ROOKIE MENTIONS:

Stefan WELCH (GCL Mets) 36G  139AB  9D  .288AVG
Gavin DLOUHY (GCL Mets) 8G    4GS  1-1, 2.49ERA    6BB  34K
Jarrad EACOTT (GCL Twins) 15G   1GS  3-0, 2.28ERA  10BB  19K
Steve KENT (GCL Braves)  13G  10GS  3-2, 3.86ERA  12BB  44K
  'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 3 SEPT 2007

Congratulations to this weeks selection of our F&D Pro Player of the Week.

OK, we know, you get sick of hearing what a difficult task it can be to adjudicate on our PRO PLAYER OF THE WEEK awards, but it is a statement of fact and this week provides another classic example. With the lower minor leagues grinding to an end, it is still great to see some of Australia’s brightest baseball talents finishing their respective seasons strongly. No doubt this will be important to them in terms of making sure that they get to have another shot in 2008.

It doesn’t sound quite right that we should award our Pro Player of the Week to anyone other than the man who, this week, became the 25th Australian to reach the US major leagues… Richard THOMPSON. Thompson made an impressive debut with the Los Angeles Angels this past week and we have already recognised this mighty achievement elsewhere… well done again Rich! Our other big league pitchers Peter MOYLAN, Grant BALFOUR and Ryan ROWLAND-SMITH are also continuing to impress and each of them now looks highly likely to establish longer-term careers in major league baseball… GREAT effort again fellas!

For the second week in succession we have given the edge to our hitters over our pitchers, even though we try to make allowances for their often small samples of evidence. Among those who caught our eye on the mounds this week were Craig ANDERSON and Drew NAYLOR who each posted winning starts, while Tristan CRAWFORD supplied two tremendous relief efforts. 2007 “Strikeout King” Drew Naylor once again dazzled with ELEVEN big strikeouts over 7.0 innings… WOW!

So what did it take to beat those performances, you are entitled to ask? Let’s start with Brett RONEBERG who posted a .333AVG with two homers and five runs scored. Next, and very close to taking the award again, was the streaking Brad HARMAN with .364AVG and .652SLG%.

For the second week in succession we were unable to split two players with compelling numbers. Short-season ‘A’ catcher Tim KENNELLY (.400, .733SLG%) and our ‘AAA’ star Justin HUBER who is powering home this season after some frustrating times with .391AVG and .696SLG% from quite a few more at bats than Tim. Top effort by all those mentioned!
This week's nominations are:

 Justin HUBER  (AAA - Omaha Royals)
6G  23AB  9H  1D  2HR  6RBI  .391AVG  .696SLG%

Season:  .280AVG

 Tim KENNELLY  (Philadelphia Phillies 'A-ss' Williamsport Crosscutters)
5G  15AB  6H  2D  1HR  3RBI  .400AVG  .733SLG%

Season:  .225AVG

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

Brad HARMAN (A+ Clearwater Threshers) 6G  22AB  8H  1D  1T  1HR  4RBI  .364AVG 
Brett RONEBERG (AA Altoona Curve) 4G  12AB  4H  5R  2HR  4RBI  .333AVG
Craig ANDERSON (AAA Norfolk Tides) 8.0ip 0er 2bb  3k  1-0, 0.00ERA
Tristan CRAWFORD (AA New Britain Rock Cats)  2G  6.0ip 1er 1bb 9k  1-0, 1.50ERA
Drew NAYLOR (A-ss Williamsport Crosscutters) 7.0ip  3h 0er 2bb 11k 1-0, 1.29ERA
  'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 27 AUG 2007

Congratulations to this weeks selection of our F&D Pro Player of the Week.

PHEW! What a brain teasing job it was this week to compare some very good statistics for Australian players in the US professional leagues in order to award our PRO PLAYER OF THE WEEK.

The BLACKLEY brothers came under notice with impressive winning starts this week, with youngster Adam BLACKLEY securing EIGHT strikeouts from his 4.0 innings victory. Craig ANDERSON also struck out eight from 7.0 innings and Brad THOMAS also collected a win from his two games. We continue to marvel at the efforts of rookie Brad TIPPETT who had another tremendous week to slightly improve his marvellous record to 7-1, 0.96ERA with two saves. Former major leaguer Phil STOCKMAN continues his climb back towards the ‘bigs’ with a couple more neat performances at ‘AA’ and ‘AAA’ level with the Atlanta Braves.

However, while there were plenty of legitimate candidates for the award among those pitchers, it was our young hitters who stole the show and who were quite difficult to separate this week. There were several batting well above the .300 plateau this week, but we will reserve special mention for Adam MORRISSEY (.381), Luke HUGHES (.412) and Brad HARMAN (.435). Harman was very close to sharing the award again with the addition of his seven big RBI’s.

Most of those who were in our calculations are previous winners of the award and/or regulars among our “Honourable Mentions”.

Standing just above those, we felt, and unable to be separated were previous winner James BERESFORD of the Gulf Coast Rookie League Twins (.500) and Michael COLLINS of the LA Angels ‘AA’ Arkansas Travellers (.471, including a double and a home run). Young Beresford, who is also a standout defensive short stop, continues to thrive in his rookie season with his second Pro Player of the Week award, while Collins has been mentioned regularly and he richly deserves his first nomination… well done to both players and to all those others who also fly the Australian flag so proudly in the USA. 
This week's nominations are:

 James BERESFORD (Minnesota Twins 'R' GCL TWINS) 
4G  14AB  3R  7H  2RBI  1SB  .500AVG

Season:  .293AVG

 Michael COLLINS  (Los Angeles Angels 'AA' Arkansas Travellers)
6G  17AB  8H  1D  1HR  2RBI  .471AVG

Season:  .246AVG

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

Brad HARMAN (A+ Clearwater Threshers) 6G  23AB  10H  2D  7RBI  .435AVG 
Luke HUGHES (AA New Britain RockCats) 5G  17AB  7H  1HR  2RBI  .412AVG
Adam BLACKLEY (A-ss Lowell Spinners) 4.0ip 1h 0er 2bb 8k  1-0, 0.00ERA
Travis BLACKLEY (AAA Fresno Grizzlies)  7.0ip 5h 1er 2bb 3k  1-0, 1.29ERA
Craig ANDERSON (AAA Norfolk Tides)  7.0ip 7h 3er 1bb 8k  1-0, 3.86ERA
Bradley TIPPETT (R Elizabethton Twins) 2G  4.0ip 3h 0er 0bb 5k (0.00ERA)
  'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 20 AUG 2007

Congratulations to this weeks selection of our F&D Pro Player of the Week.

Before nominating this weeks winner, we want to once again highlight the outstanding form of our Major League star pitcher Peter MOYLAN (Atlanta Braves). During the last month Peter appeared in 15 games, pitched 17 innings, allowed only 10 hits and 1 run, with an ERA of 0.53. To emphasise the magnitude of this performance, in the same period, renowned Yankees' closer Mariano RIVERA appeared in 12 games, pitched 13.1 innings, allowed 12 hits and five runs, with an ERA of 3.65. However in the week under discussion Pete only pitched 1.2 innings and he has not been considered.

This weeks award goes to another of our favourite former major leaguers, Trent DURRINGTON (Cleveland Indians 'AAA' Buffalo Bisons). His five game average of .455 and slugging percentage of .663 edged out Rookie League hitter Mitch DENING (GCL Red Sox) who averaged .500 in four games. It is great to see Trent once again proving that persistence pays and quality players who keep working hard will eventually reap the rewards. Trent Durrington has certainly done everything he could to make the most of what has been a most impressive baseball career... he will have no regrets when his time in the game is over.

Our best pitching performance came from Rookie hurler Steve KENT (GCL Braves). He pitched 7 innings, while allowing only seven scattered hits and NO runs and he also recorded a win.

This week's nomination is:

 Trent DURRINGTON  (Cleveland Indians 'AAA' Buffalo Bisons)
5G  11AB  1R  5H  1T  .455AVG  .633SLG

Season:  .220AVG

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

Mitch DENING (R GCL Red Sox) 5G  14AB  7H   .500AVG 
Justin HUBER (AAA Omaha Royals) 5G  22AB  4R  8H  1D  1HR   .364AVG  .591SLG
Clint NAYLOR (R AZL Padres) 2G    7AB  2R  3H  1D  .429AVG 
Steve KENT (R GCL Braves)  1G  1W  7.0IP 7H  1K  0.00ERA
Bradley TIPPETT (R Elizabethton Twins) 2G  1W  1S  3.0IP  2H  4K  0.00ERA
  'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 13 AUG 2007

Congratulations to this weeks selection of our F&D Pro Player of the Week.

We are always delighted to see one of Australia's elite players displaying their true talents and this week we had Brad HARMAN, from the Phillies A+ Affiliate Clearwater Threshers, returning to his best form. His five game average of .364 earned him our Pro Player of the Week award. Harman just shaded Braves' Rookie Matt KENNELLY's five game average of .385, mainly due to his superior slugging percentage of .545. Brad contributed two doubles and a triple from his eight hits, while his four runs also influenced to the result. It was also great to see another of our elite baseballers Brett RONEBERG (Pittsburgh Pirates 'AA' Altoona Curve) back approaching his best after sorting out some recent injury concerns.

Our Major League pitchers were to the fore again with Atlanta's Peter MOYLAN continuing on his merry way after another four games of 0.00ERA. Grant BALFOUR, in his new home at Tampa Bay, continues to improve with his two outings this week yielding no runs while he struck out seven in 2.2 innings of power pitching.

Brad DUTTON was the top performer in the Independent Leagues with an impressive 16 hits from his 38ABs for a .425 batting average over the period. 

This week's nomination is:

 BRAD HARMAN  (Philadelphia Phillies A+ Clearwater Threshers)
5G   22AB  4R  8H  2D  1T  .364AVG  .545SLG

Season:  .258AVG

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

Matt KENNELLY (R GCL Braves) 5G  13AB  5H  .385AVG
Brett RONEBERG (AA Pirates Altoona Curve) 4G  12AB  3R  4H  2D  .333AVG  .500SLG 
Matthew LAWMAN (R Elizabethton Twins) 3G   9AB   4R  3H   .333AVG 
Craig ANDERSON (AAA Orioles Norfolk Tides)  1G   7.0IP  1W  7H   5K  0.00ERA
Grant BALFOUR (MAJ Tampa Bay Devil Rays) 2G   2.2IP  1H  1BB  7K  0.00ERA
Peter MOYLAN (MAJ Atlanta Braves) 4G   3.1 IP  2H   0.00ERA
  'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 6 AUG 2007

Congratulations to this weeks selection of our F&D Pro Player of the Week.

We are pleased to award this week's Player of the Week to a young fellow who we have been admiring for some time,  Minnesota Twins Rookie pitcher Bradley TIPPETT (Elizabethton Twins), in recognition of his continuing outstanding form. In his three games this week Brad produced two WINS and a SAVE, while allowing only one run from his 7.0 innings. 
This meant that his ERA for the season rose from 0.48 to a still remarkable 0.73. Keep up the good work Brad!

Our regular readers will recognise some consistent performers in the Honourable Mentions below, and will be pleased to see the return to form after injury of Phil STOCKMAN (AA Mississippi Braves), while also noting that Grant BALFOUR has enjoyed some much better form since his trade from the Milwaukee Brewers to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Our other major league pitchers Peter MOYLAN and Ryan ROWLAND-SMITH also continue to fly the Australian flag proudly in the USA.

This week's nomination is:

 Bradley TIPPETT (R  Elizabethton Twins) 
3G   2W  1SV   7.0IP  3H   1BB   6K  1.29ERA

Season:  0.73ERA

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

Michael COLLINS (AA Arkansas Travellers) 5G  18AB  3R  7H  2D  .389AVG  .500SLG
James BERESFORD (R GCL Twins) 3G   8AB  1R  3H  .375AVG 
Justin HUBER (AAA Omaha Royals) 7G  28AB  8R  9H  4HR   .321AVG  .750SLG
Adrian BURNSIDE (AAA Portland Beavers)  3G   3.2IP  3H  0.00ERA
Grant BALFOUR (MLB Tampa Bay Devil Rays) 2G   2.2IP  2H  4K  3.38ERA
Phil STOCKMAN (AA Mississippi Braves) 2G  1S  3.2IP  1H   5K  0.00ERA
  'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 30 JULY 2007

Congratulations to this weeks selection of our F&D Pro Player of the Week.

Among some outstanding performers this week it is once again difficult to go past our Atlanta Braves' Major League reliever Peter MOYLAN. Continuing his magnificent season, Peter appeared in another four games with one win, while allowing only two hits in his 5.1 innings of relieving with a 0.00ERA. There can be no argument about Pete's worthiness to win our award for the fourth time this year. 

However, this time, we are also dazzled by the performance of our Kansas City Royals AAA hitter Justin HUBER. It is just great to see Justin rebounding so strongly after a recent injury setback. In his three games he recorded the impressive figures of two runs, seven hits, a double and a home run from his 13 at bats. His batting average of .538 and slugging percentage of .846 should also be good enough to win our award in any week. 

'Flintoff & Dunn' do not subscribe to the theory that we should separate these guys, just because Moylan has already won the award three times this season. This would be a simple solution but one that we refuse to take. No folks, you will never find us taking the easy way out, we have no hesitation in nominating both Peter and Justin as shared winners this week.

In our normal manner we will use this space to also mention a couple of Independent League Aussies who have enjoyed great recent success. Brad DUTTON (Rockford River Hawks) has batted .429 over the past six games, while the ever consistent pitcher Greg WILTSHIRE (El Paso Diablos) has earned another two wins from his last two starts.

You will also note that it required an average higher than .400 for our hitters to rate an HONOURABLE MENTION this week as some of our boys are starting to set a hot standard lately. 

This week's nominations are:

 Peter MOYLAN  (MLB - Atlanta Braves)
4G  1W   5.1IP  2H  1BB  3K   0.00ERA

Season:  2.04ERA

 Justin HUBER  (AAA - Omaha Royals)
3G   13ABs  2R  7H  1D  1HR  .538AVG  .846SLG

Season:  2.63AVG

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

Brad HARMAN (A+ Clearwater Threshers) 5G  18AB  4R  8H  1D  1HR  .444AVG  .889SLG
Trent D'ANTONIO (A+ Jupiter Hammerheads) 3G  7AB  1R  3H  .429AVG
Joel NAUGHTON (A Lakewood Blueclaws)  2G  7AB  2R  3H  .429AVG
Josh HILL (AA New Britain Rockcats) 2G  1W  10.0IP  7H  4BB  11K  0.90ERA
  'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 23 JULY 2007

Congratulations to this weeks selection of our F&D Pro Player of the Week.

This week we revert to our weekly format, from 16-22 JULY. There were several outstanding offensive performances this week and it is pleasing that some of our emerging young hitters were able to outshine our pitchers. Regular contender Luke HUGHES .400AVG (at AA level) from four games, would normally be hard to beat, but not this week.

Two rookies absolutely smashed the pitching. WA's Chris HOUSE (AZL Blue Jays) will be disappointed to learn that his fine  .750AVG with 3-4 from two games was not quite good enough. He will have no doubt have competed many times at junior level with this week's winner, Victorian short stop James BERESFORD.

WE congratulate James (GCL Twins) whose three games produced a .778AVG and .889SLG%, on being this week's Pro Player of the Week. He managed to lift his season average from .273 to .310 during this period, while producing his usual spectacular defence.

This week's nomination is:

 James BERESFORD (Minnesota Twins 'R' GCL TWINS) 
3G    9AB  7H  1D  .778AVG  .889SLG%

Season:  .310 AVG

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

Chris HOUSE (R AZL Blue Jays) 2G   4AB  3H  .750AVG
Luke HUGHES (AA New Britain RockCats) 4G  10AB  4H  .400AVG 
Brad HARMAN (A+ Clearwater Threshers)  3G   6AB  3H  1HR  .500AVG
Adam BLACKLEY (A+ Lowell Spinners)  3G   3.0IP  6K   0.00ERA
Stefan WELCH (R  GCL Mets)  3G   13AB  5H  3D  .385AVG
  'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 16 JULY 2007

Congratulations to this weeks selection of our F&D Pro Player of the Week.

Due to the various league All-Star Games being played this past week, we have decided to expand our statistics samples this time to compare the last ten games of all players and relief pitchers, and the last five games of starting pitchers. 

Three relievers, a starter and three batters were the standout performers this time and each will be acknowledged. 

It was hard to go past Trent D'ANTONIO with .414AVG, or Drew NAYLOR with 4 Wins and 7/38 walk to strikeout ratio, but the Player of the Week Award has to go to our major league ace PETER MOYLAN once again.

Pete's pitching for the Atlanta Braves has him right up there amongst the best of all Major League relievers and his efforts in the past week have been outstanding. Some subscribers would probably prefer that these awards were "spread around" a little more than they have been this season, but we simply cannot overlook the compelling statistics.

So, Congratulations to Peter Moylan on your third nomination so far this season. This week's nomination is:

 Peter MOYLAN  (MLB - Atlanta Braves)
10G   10.0IP  1W  9H  1ER  5BB  7K  0.90ERA

Season:  2.08ERA

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

Grant BALFOUR (AAA Nashville Sounds) 10G   1W 4S  14.0IP 4H  1ER  4BB  24K  0.60ERA
Brendan WISE (A+ Lakeland Flying Tigers) 10G   1W  10.1IP  6H  1ER  3BB  5K  0.86ERA
Drew NAYLOR (A-ss Williamsport Crosscutters) 5G   4W   34.2IP  23H  10ER  7BB  3K   2.60ERA
Trent D'ANTONIO (A+ Jupiter Hammerheads) 10G   9AB  6R  12H   2D   .414AVG
Joel NAUGHTON (A Lakewood Blue Claws) 10G  38AB  4R 13H   3D  1HR   .342AVG
Trent OELTJEN (AAA Rochester RedWings) 10G  19AB  4R  6H   1D   1T  .316AVG
  'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 9 JULY 2007

Congratulations to this weeks selection of our F&D Pro Player of the Week.

That most familiar Australian baseball name NILSSON hits our headlines this week. Father Bob has long since retired from playing, as have uncles Ron and Gary... and even his most illustrious uncle David is unlikely to appear again... so of course the mantle now falls to Jay NILSSON (GCL Indians). Young Jay continued his great season so far with 6-15 including three doubles and two home runs in his five games, producing a .400AVG and 1.000 slugging percentage. Congratulations to Jay!

Jay just beat out Trent DURRINGTON's magnificent .429AVG as this was achieved in only two games.

We could not simply enter rookie James BERESFORD's .368AVG in the "Honourable Mentions" section without highlighting his outstanding performance on 6 July against the GCL Reds. Apart from hitting .750 with 3-4, he scored four runs, and  participated in four double plays while putting on one of his clinical defensive displays at short stop. 

The fact that we often base our Pro Player of the Week on such small samples sometimes means that we fail to give adequate recognition to players who have been more consistent in professional ranks. For this reason we will now give a SPECIAL MENTION to the following Australian players who have earned glowing mid-term reports (excluding Rookies):

SPECIAL MID-TERM REPORTS:

Peter MOYLAN (MLB Atlanta Braves) 3-1, 2.22ERA from 44.2 innings pitched
Grant BALFOUR (AAA Nashville Sounds) 1.80ERA from 30.0 innings pitched
Luke HUGHES (AA New Britain RockCats) .302AVG from 179 at bats
Brendan WISE (A+ Lakeland Flying Tigers) 0.92ERA from 19.2 innings pitched 
Trent D'ANTONIO (A+ Jupiter Hammerheads) .315AVG from 92 at bats
Drew NAYLOR (A-ss Williamsport Crosscutters) 4-0, 0.62ERA  29.0ip  3BB  32K  -  WOW!!

This week's nomination for Pro Player of the Week is:

 Jay NILSSON (GCL Indians)
5G   15AB   4R   6H   3D  2HR  .400AVG   1.000SLG

Season:  .333 AVG

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

James BERESFORD (R GCL Twins) 3G   11AB  4R  3H  .368AVG .
Trent DURRINGTON (AAA Buffalo Bisons) 2G     7AB  2R  3H   1D  .429AVG  .571SLG 
Peter MOYLAN (MLB Atlanta Braves) 5G   5.1IP  5H  4BB  3K   0.00ERA
Luke HUGHES (AA New Britain RockCats) 3G    9AB   2R   3H  .333AVG
  'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 2 JULY 2007

Congratulations to this weeks selection of our F&D Pro Player of the Week.

It is pleasing to report that F&D's selection for Rookie League of the Year for 2006, Daniel BERG (Minnesota Twins - 'A' Benoit Snappers) has found some of his form from last season and he is this week's Pro Player of the Week. In his six games he has the excellent figures of batting .389 and he has his season average rising rapidly from a slow start with an impressive .346 for the month of June.

Daniel had to be good to beat Mitch DENING (R GCL Red Sox) whose five games produced seven hits along with a great slugging percentage of .579. Congratulations to both Dan and Mitch.

Paul WEICHARD (American Association - St Joe Blacksnakes) also deserves a mention this week for his outstanding  season performance that sees him currently batting .368.

This week's nomination is:

 Daniel BERG (A  Beloit Snappers)
6G   18AB  4R  7H  1D  .389AVG  .400SLG

Season:  .214 AVG

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

Mitchell DENING (R GCL Red Sox) 5G   19AB  4R  7H  1D  1HR .368 AVG .579 SLG
Bradley TIPPETT (R  Elizabethton Twins) 3G   2W  1S  3.0IP  3H  1ER 4K  3.00ERA
Brad THOMAS (AAA Tacoma Rainiers) 1G   1W  6.2IP  5H  1ER  2BB  7K  1.95ERA 
Adrian BURNSIDE (AAA Portland Beavers) 3G   4.2IP  2H  1R  2K  1.93ERA
  'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 25 JUNE 2007

Congratulations to this weeks selection of our F&D Pro Player of the Week.

The first order of business this week is to mention again that Aussie pitcher RYAN ROWLAND-SMITH became the 24th Australian to reach the US major leagues when he made his debut with the Seattle Mariners. Congratulations RYAN!

Our selection this week rests between three Rookies and three more established professionals. Regular selections Adam MORRISSEY (.364AVG) and Michael COLLINS (.307AVG), both with the AA Arkansas Travellers, and Josh DAVIES ( A+ Rancho Cucamonga Quakes) all performed well.

However we have decided this week to feature one of our rising stars from the rookie leagues that have just commenced.
There were three leading contenders: James BERESFORD GCL Twins ( .317) and Jay NILSSON GCL Indians (.333) each performed admirably in their early outings, but this week's Pro Player of the Week selection goes to  Elizabethton Twins player Matthew LAWMAN for his .357 batting average and .429 slugging percentage over four games.

This week's nomination is:

 MATTHEW LAWMAN (R  Elizabethton Twins) 
4G    14 AB  2R  5H  1 D  .357 AVG  .429 SLG

Season:  .357 AVG

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

Adam MORRISSEY (AA  Arkansas Travellers) 3G   11 AB  4H  HR  .364 AVG  .636 SLG
Josh DAVIES  (A+ Ranch Cucamonga Quakes) 3G   10AB  4H   D   .400 AVG  .500SLG
Michael COLLINS (AA  Arkansas Travellers) 3G   13 AB  4H  2D  .308 AVG  .500 SLG
James BERESFORD (R  GCL Twins) 4G   16 AB  5H  .317 AVG 
Jay NILSSON (R  GCL Indians) 2G     6 AB  2H  .333 AVG 
  'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 18 JUNE 2007

Congratulations to this weeks selection of our F&D Pro Player of the Week.

We did say last week that we would concentrate on a two-week span for pitchers this time with too few statistics for them last week and this proved coincidentally valuable as none of our hitters did anything really remarkable in the US professional leagues over the last seven days. That is apart from a few of our Independent League players who continue to put up very good batting numbers like Paul WEICHARD (.358), Paul RUTGERS (.322), Mitch EVANS (.314), Mathew KENT (.298) and Tim AUTY (.284). 

For the second time this season we could not look past the OUTSTANDING major league performances of Peter MOYLAN as an 'all-purpose' reliever for the Atlanta Braves. Pete has allowed just one earned run from his last six relief appearances, that have included some quite difficult situations. Once again, we try not to favour the 'big league' guys, but we hope that you agree with us that Pete's performances have been truly worthy of these awards this year.

Grant BALFOUR, Ryan ROWLAND-SMITH and Richard THOMPSON each maintained 0.00ERA's from four appearances, while Chris OXSPRING earned two wins over the past fortnight. 

While we will give honourable mentions to each of them, this week's nomination is:

 Peter MOYLAN  (MLB - Atlanta Braves)
6G    9.2ip  1W  3H  1ER  11K    0.91ERA

Season:  2.25ERA

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

Richard THOMPSON (AA  Arkansas Travellers) 4G   12.0IP  8H  3BB  12K  0.00ERA
Ryan ROWLAND-SMITH (AAA Tacoma Rainiers) 4G     9.0IP  4H  3BB  13K  0.00ERA
Grant BALFOUR (AAA Nashville Sounds) 4G     4.0IP  3H  0BB    4K  0.00ERA
Chris OXSPRING (AAA Nashville Sounds) 3G   19.0IP  2W  6BB  27K  4.50ERA
  'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 11 JUNE 2007

Congratulations to this weeks selection of our F&D Pro Player of the Week.

A feature of last week's games was the continued improvement by many of our batters.

Shining like a beacon and showing the way to all others, was the six game performance by Luke HUGHES, playing for the Minnesota Twin's 'AA' affiliate New Britain Rock Cats. From 23 ABs he scored 7 Runs, from 15 Hits (5D, 2HR), .652 average and Slugging % of 1.087.

Brad HARMAN with his 7G  24AB 10 hits (5D HR) .417AVG .750SLG, led a group of other top batting performances detailed in the "Honourable Mentions" below.

As a many of our pitchers had similar 0.00ERA statistics it was impossible to separate them, so we will look at the performances of the pitchers over the two week period, for possible mention next week.

It was also pleasing to see Chris SNELLING back in action after his latest injury, with the A's 'AAA' Sacramento River Cats.

This week's nomination is:

 Luke HUGHES  (AA New Britain Rock Cats)
6G   23AB  7R  15H  5D  2HR  .652AVG   1.087SLG

Season:  .349AVG

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

Brad HARMAN (A+ Clearwater Threshers) 7G   15AB   3R  10H  5D  1 HR  .417 AVG .750SLG
Glen WILLIAMS (AAA Rochester Red Wings) 8G   31AB  4R 10H  2D  2HR   .323AVG 
Adam MORRISSEY (AA Arkansas Travellers) 5G   25AB  3R  8H  2D  1HR  .320AVG  .520SLG
Justin HUBER (AAA Omaha Royals) 6G   25AB  5R  8H  1D  4HR  .320AVG  .720SLG  
  'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 4 JUNE 2007

Congratulations to this weeks selection of our F&D Pro Player of the Week.

After recently having his solid claims for selection as our Pro Player of the Week just overtaken by other player(s) with slightly more outstanding performances, it is fitting that Trent D'ANTONIO, of the Florida Marlins' Advanced-'A' affiliate the Jupiter Hammerheads, finally takes this week's nomination. Trent has lifted his season average to .300 with his his .800 average over two games spanning this past week... well done Trent!
Brad HARMAN (Phillies A+) Clearwater Threshers, who batted .429 from four games, was the unlucky batter this week, but it was good to see him returning to something like his best form. 
Among some good performances by pitchers were the 7.0 Innings winning games by 'AAA' level pitchers Chris OXSPRING (Brewers) Nashville Sounds and Travis BLACKLEY (Giants) Fresno Grizzlies.


This week's nomination is:

 Trent D'ANTONIO  (A+ - Jupiter Hammerheads)
2G   5AB  4H  1D  .800AVG   1.000SLG

Season:  .300AVG

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

Grant BALFOUR (AAA Nashville Sounds) 2G   3.0ip  2H  1BB   5K  0.00ERA
Tristan CRAWFORD (AA  New Britain Rock Cats) 1G   W   7.0IP  1H  1BB  9K  0.00ERA
Brad HARMAN (A+ Clearwater Threshers) 4G   14AB   2R  6H  1T  .429AVG
Chris OXSPRING (AAA Nashville Sounds) 1G   W   7.0IP  2H  2BB  9K  0.00ERA
Travis BLACKLEY (AAA Fresno Grizzlies) 1G   W   7.0IP  2H  3BB  5K  0.00ERA 
  'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 28 MAY 2007

Congratulations to this weeks selection of our F&D Pro Player of the Week.

It was not so easy to pick the outstanding player this week. As can be seen by the "Honourable Mentions", there were some good batting performances, and it was pleasing to see that Grant BALFOUR continued his good form after his injury problems. Some players started the week very strongly but, unfortunately, tapered over this past weekend.

We have decided to reward our former major leaguer and veteran pitcher Brad THOMAS for his good start for the Mariners 'AAA' Tacoma Rainiers. He was the only pitcher to pitch more than 5 innings during the period and he was unfortunate that his team mates were unable to contribute enough offensively to give him a win. 

Most Independent Leagues have now started but the statistics are limited. Expect the occasional mentions in future weeks.

This week's nomination is:

 Brad THOMAS  (AAA - Tacoma Rainiers)
1G    6.0ip    3H    2BB   5K   0.00ERA

Season:  4.38ERA

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

Grant BALFOUR (AAA Nashville Sounds) 2G   2.0ip  0.00ERA
Adam MORRISSEY (AA  Arkansas Travellers) 5G   18AB   2R  6H  .333AVG
Daniel BERG (A  Beloit Snappers) 3G   10AB   2R  3H  2D  .300AVG  .500SLG
Michael COLLINS (AA Arkansas Travellers) 5G   17AB   1R  5H  2D  .294AVG
  'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 21 MAY 2007

Congratulations to this weeks selection of our F&D Pro Player of the Week.

Once again we have a situation where a player, Trent D'ANTONIO, had statistics of .375AVG from three games that would very often justify Player of the Week status, but Peter MOYLAN's recent form in the Major Leagues is simply too good to be overlooked. It's not that we seek to favour the guys in the higher leagues, but it can be a "tie breaker". 

Peter MOYLAN continues his excellent form with the Atlanta Braves. He has had one inning of relief in each of his last three games, allowing only one hit and owning a 0.00ERA. HOW DO YOU BEAT THAT? Not very easily, and he earns our Pro Player of the Week nomination for his efforts.

Also a SPECIAL MENTION for two Aussies playing with the El Paso Diablos in the American Association (IND League);
Matt KENT whose 4-4 (3R 2D HR) and winning pitcher Greg WILTSHIRE (1r 6H 4K) who between them were responsible for the Diablo’s most recent win. Wiltshire improved his record to 2-0, 0.60ERA. Matt WILKINSON wasted no time after being picked up by the Coastal Bend Aviators in the same American Association, with 2G 1S  0.00ERA.

This week's nomination is:

 Peter MOYLAN  (MLB - Atlanta Braves)
3G    3.0ip    1H    0.00ERA

Season:  1.98ERA

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

Grant BALFOUR (AAA Nashville Sounds) 1G   2.0ip  0.00ERA
Tristan CRAWFORD (AA  New Britain Rock Cats) 1G   1W   5.2IP  5H  3BB  4K  1.59ERA
Trent D'ANTONIO (A+ Jupiter Hammerheads) 3G   7AB   2R  3H  1D  .429AVG
Brendan WISE (A+ Lakeland Flying Tigers) 2G   1SV   2.0IP  1H   0.00ERA
Andrew GRAHAM (AAA Toledo Mud Hens) 2G   6AB   1H  1HR
  'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 14 MAY 2007

Congratulations to this weeks selection of our F&D Pro Player of the Week.

While we will not formally include Independent League players in these awards, we may recognise those Aussie players from time to time. As the American Association has just started, we can already report the splendid opening game win for Greg WILTSHIRE who pitched 8.0 innings of shutout baseball for his El Paso Diablos.

Once again we saw some outstanding performances from Aussies in 'AAA', including Justin HUBER who averaged .600 and in 'AA' with Craig ANDERSON who collected a win, along with other good performances at lower levels. However, we could not overlook the continued fine form of Chris SNELLING since his transfer to Oakland in the Majors. His three games in the past week have produced a batting average of .333 at the highest level in baseball. 

WELL DONE Chris, who we sincerely hope returns quickly from a knee injury... and to all of those mentioned this week.

This week's nomination is:

 Chris SNELLING  (MLB - Oakland Athletics)
3G    9AB    3H    .333AVG

Season:  .246AVG

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

Justin HUBER (AAA Omaha Royals) 1G   5AB  1HR  4RBI  SLG 1.000  .600AVG
Luke HUGHES (AA  New Britain Rock Cats) 1G   4AB  2R  4H  1D  2RBI  1.000AVG   SLG 1.250
Trent D'ANTONIO (A+ Jupiter Hammerheads) 2G   8AB  2R  3H  .375AVG
Craig ANDERSON (AA Bowie Baysox) 1G   1W   5.0IP  4H   2BB  4K  1.80ERA
  'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 7 MAY 2007

Congratulations to this weeks selection of our F&D Pro Player of the Week.

This week we will include a brief mention about the solid form of CHRIS SNELLING since his trade from the Washington Nationals to the Oakland Athletics. We are hoping that it continues to bring an upswing to his 2007 statistics. 

It wasn't too hard to select our Pro Player of the Week on this occasion with one of our elite position players hammering out a huge batting performance, so without further ado this week's nomination is:

 Trent OELTJEN  (AAA - Rochester Redwings)
3G   8AB   2R   5H   3D      .625AVG    1.000SLG

Season:  .333AVG

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

Justin HUBER (AAA Omaha Royals) 6G   21AB  3R  8H  (.381AVG)
Travis BLACKLEY (AAA  Fresno Grizzlies) 1G   6.0IP  4H  4K   (1-0, 0.00ERA)
Ryan ROWLAND-SMITH (AAA Tacoma Rainiers) 2G   2.1ip  2H  0K   (1-0, 0.00ERA)
David WELCH (A+ Brevard County Manatees) 1G   1.1IP  0H  0K   (0.00ERA)
  'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 30 APRIL 2007

Congratulations to this weeks selection of our F&D Pro Player of the Week.

A VERY honourable mention to PETER MOYLAN who has enjoyed outstanding recent success with the Atlanta Braves in the major leagues with a win, a save and a hold among some of his scoreless high pressure relief efforts. 

While we have given other honourable mentions to a handful of Aussie pitchers who have kept a "clean sheet" in professional baseball over the past week, we could not go past another Aussie who has played in the major leagues and who we sincerely hope can get back there this season.

For his high batting average of .364 with a massive .909 slugging percentage (which has included a double a triple and a home run) across the four game span, this week's nomination is:

 Glenn WILLIAMS  (AAA - Rochester Redwings)
4G   11AB   1R   4H   1D  1T  1HR   .364AVG

Season:  .256AVG

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

Phil STOCKMAN (AAA Richmond Braves) 1G   2.0ip  0H  2K   (1-0, 0.00ERA)
Tim COX (A+ Lancaster Jethawks) 1G   2.0ip  2H  0K   (1-0, 0.00ERA)
Josh HILL (A+ Fort Myers Miracle) 3G   5.2ip  2H  6K   (0-0, 0.00ERA)
David WELCH (A+ Brevard County Manatees) 2G   7.0IP  0H  6K   (0-0, 0.00ERA)
Adam BLACKLEY (A  Greenville Drive) 1G   2.1IP  2H  4K   (0-0, 0.00ERA)
  'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 23 APRIL 2007

Congratulations to this weeks selection of our F&D Pro Player of the Week.

We have enjoyed reporting the adventures of both CHRIS SNELLING and PETER MOYLAN during the first few weeks of the new major league season and, as you will see, there are quite a few other Aussies making moves in the minor leagues. 

We did mention that we couldn't consider him last week because of his few at bats to that stage, but we will not pass up an opportunity to highlight the continued good form of this week's nomination:

 Luke HUGHES  (AA - New Britain Rock Cats)
4G   13AB   5R   5H   .385AVG

Season:  .375AVG

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

Trent OELTJEN (AAA Rochester Redwings) 4G   9AB  3H  .333AVG
Phil STOCKMAN (AAA Richmond Braves) 2G   4.0ip  1H  1-0, 0.00ERA
Craig ANDERSON (AA Bowie Baysox) 1G   6.0ip  5H  0-0, 0.00ERA
Adam MORRISSEY (AA Arkansas Travellers) 4G   15AB  5H  .559SLG  .333AVG
Adam BRIGHT (AA Tulsa Drillers) 2G   2.0IP  2H  0.00ERA
  'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 13 APRIL 2007

Congratulations to this weeks selection of our F&D Pro Player of the Week.

Although we face small samples of evidence, the first week of of professional baseball in the USA has just passed and it is time for 'Flintoff & Dunn' to anoint our first PRO PLAYER OF THE WEEK for this season. 

We couldn't really consider the .600 average of WA's Luke Hughes after just 5AB's with Minnesota's 'AA' New Britain Rock Cats and there were others with too few at bats or innings pitched to be considered just yet.

In the end we just couldn't go past the flying start of:

 Adam MORRISSEY  (AA - Arkansas Travellers)
6G   24AB   5R   9H   .375AVG

Season:  .375AVG

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

Peter MOYLAN (AAA Richmond Braves) 2G   2.0ip  3K  0.00ERA
Adam BRIGHT (AA Tulsa Drillers) 2G   2.2ip  0.00ERA
Craig ANDERSON (AA Bowie Baysox) 1G   5.0ip  1-0, 1.80ERA
David SUTHERLAND (A Great Lakes Loons) 4G   13AB  4H  2RBI  .308AVG