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 will add this to our 'PRO PLAYERS OF THE YEAR' that we have published at the end of previous seasons...
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!

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

To view 'Flintoff & Dunn's' PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK, click the Year below:
2006 2007 2008 2009        

 

  'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 13 SEPTEMBER 2010

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

All good things come to an end and, with the US minor leagues winding down for the 2010 season, we will make this the last of our ‘Flintoff & Dunn’ PRO PLAYER OF THE WEEK Awards for this year. Even this past week most of the lower leagues had concluded so it was a small number of pitchers playing at the upper levels that we had to consider for this last award. Before we get into that, wasn’t it great to see TRENT OELTJEN back in the major leagues where he belongs to become the seventh Aussie to appear in “The Show” during 2010.

Way out in front for our last PPOW Award was Philadelphia’s ‘AA’ prospect DREW 'DREW-K' NAYLOR who finished with an outstanding flourish, pitching a magnificent nine inning shutout victory for Reading. It was every bit as good as any performance this season.

The lack of competition this week gives us a nice opportunity to recognise a couple of our major league stars who probably would have missed a mention on most occasions due to their small sample of inning pitched for the week. However, this time we will not fail to mention right-handed relievers PETER MOYLAN and RICHARD THOMPSON who both collected wins and recorded a scoreless week of pitching in the big leagues.

To quickly summarise some of Australia’s better professional performers for 2010:

PETE MOYLAN (6-2, 3.05ERA) and BRAD THOMAS (5-2, 2.30ERA) both owned strong winning records in the majors, while GRANT BALFOUR (1-1, 2.58ERA) and RICH THOMPSON (1-0, 1.15ERA) were also very good.
NOTE: Major League statistics are not yet final for the 2010 season.

BRENDAN WISE (4-2, 2.08ERA) was most consistent for Detroit at ‘AAA’ level, while TRAVIS BLACKLEY (2-1, 2.52ERA) seemed to find a comfortable home with Oakland at ‘AAA’ Sacramento.

DREW NAYLOR was a little inconsistent but occasionally brilliant for Philadelphia’s ‘AA’ Reading to finish with a 12-10, 4.63ERA record. MATT WILLIAMS also made some progress at ‘AA’ level during 2010.

Clearwater catcher JOEL NAUGHTON was outstanding at ‘High-A’ level both defensively and offensively where he batted .308 for the season. Minnesota tyro LIAM HENDRIKS was once again brilliant with the ball at both ‘A’ and ‘High-A’ levels where he owned a combined 8-4 record with a “Sub 2.00” ERA and 105 strike outs versus just 12 walks! TIM KENNELLY and MITCH DENING both batted .274 for their respective teams.

At ‘A’ Level, Minnesota’s JIMMY BERESFORD started the season with an ice cold stick but when it caught fire it was an inferno and he scooped plenty of our awards while pushing his average above .300 before settling for a tremendous .297 for the year. Atlanta’s STEVE KENT made a very good return to pro baseball after persistent injury problems to own a great 2-0, 0.69ERA from his 39.1 innings in 2010.

TIM STANFORD and KABLE HOGBEN both compiled impressive pitching records in short-season ‘A’ ball. Texas starter Stanford went 6-0, 1.66ERA, while Arizona’s Hogben was 0-0, 0.72ERA plus ten saves.

Among the ‘Rookie’ league players Minnesota’s RORY RHODES carried the best  bat with his .319 average, while Boston’s MOKO MOANAROA wasn’t too far behind with his .296 from over 100 at bats. Although he owned a losing 1-3 record, Boston’s JUSTIN ERASMUS owned our best ERA for the season with 2.12 from nearly 30 innings.

Among our Independent league campaigners Victorian club mates DANNY BERG and SCOTTY WEARNE were both terrific hitters. Wearne batted a consistent .300 over a long season which took its toll on him toward the end, while Berg was quickly into a groove after joining the Air Hogs mid-season to finish with a blazing .377 average. Pitchers JAMES ALBURY (6-5, 4.73ERA), WAYNE LUNDGREN (7-6, 4.69ERA) and DAVID WELCH (8-6, 3.59ERA) each owned a winning record as regular starters for their respective teams, but CRAIG ANDERSON was probably the best with his 9-3, 4.22ERA record for the year.

We look forward to bringing you our PRO PLAYER OF THE WEEK AWARDS again in 2011.

'Flintoff & Dunn' selected this player for our top award this week and as our final winner for this year:



 DREW NAYLOR  (AA - Reading Phillies)
   1G   1-0, 0.00ERA  9.0IP  3H  0ER  1BB  7K  --  Season  12-10, 4.63ERA

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

 Peter MOYLAN (Braves 'MLB' Atlanta Braves) 4G   1-0, 0.00ERA  3.0ip  1h  0er  0bb  3k
 Richard THOMPSON (Angels 'MLB' LA Angels) 2G   0-0, 0.00ERA  4.0ip  1h  0er  1bb  1k
  'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 6 SEPTEMBER 2010

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

We must admit to being a bit tough on the Australian pitchers who came under consideration for our awards this week. To be totally truthful, if we had not decided to drop them below our primary award winners we may have had trouble minimising our PPOW award from the six pitchers and two hitters who were in genuine contention.

Given that three pitchers with identical five innings pitched did not allow an earned run, we decided to be really tough by leaving out HAYDEN BEARD, MATT WIILIAMS and RYAN SEARLE who each pitched well. Williams pitched a total of 7.1 innings while allowing just one run and he collected a win, but eight hits and four walks counted against him in this instance. Ryan Searle also earned a win from his five inning start, but he allowed a couple of runs. Beard allowed just one run from his three relief appearances that amounted to five innings for the week.

The three pitchers who we separated to receive “Honourable Mention” were LIAM HENDRIKS, STEVE KENT and TIM STANFORD who each owned a 0.00ERA from five innings for the week. Atlanta’s Steve Kent also collected a win while striking out six and walking none in a brilliant effort. Minnesota’s Liam Hendriks produced his second straight scoreless start since coming off the DL and he struck out four while walking none. Texas pitcher Stanford gave up seven hits, yet he kept a blank scoresheet to collect a win with one walk and four punch outs.

They were joined for “Honourable Mention” by Philadelphia’s catching prospect JOEL NAUGHTON who batted .412 from 17 at bats... if he missed out this should give you quite a clear idea about how good the two hitters were who earned our major award on this occasion.

LA Dodgers’ ‘AAA’ star TRENT OELTJEN has been unfortunate not to play at the big league level this year after his consistently strong season and his latest 10-20 last week is just another sample of his sustained productivity. New York Mets’ ‘High-A’ player STEFAN WELCH has been a fraction hot and cold, but his latest 10-23 was reflective of his capabilities. Oeltjen featured two doubles plus a home run, while Welch supplied two doubles and three triples in a pair of truly remarkable efforts for the week.

'Flintoff & Dunn' selected these players for our top award this week:



 TRENT OELTJEN  (AAA - Alberquerque Isotopes)
   5G  .500AVG  20AB  6R  10H  2D  1HR  4RBI  .750SLG%  --  Season .343AVG


 STEFAN WELCH  (A+ - St. Lucie Mets)
   7G  .435AVG  23AB  4R  10H  2D  3T    7RBI  .783OB%  --  Season .256AVG

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

Joel NAUGHTON

(Phillies 'A+' Clearwater Threshers) 4G   17AB  .412AVG  2R  7H  1HR  4RBI  .588SLG%
 Liam HENDRIKS (Twins 'A+' Fort Myers Miracle) 1G   0-0, 0.00ERA  5.0ip  2h  0er  0bb  4k
 Steve KENT (Braves 'A' Rome Braves) 1G   1-0, 0.00ERA  5.0ip  4h  0er  0bb  6k

Tim STANFORD

(Rangers 'A-ss' Spokane Indians) 1G   1-0, 0.00ERA  5.0ip  7h  0er  1bb  4k
  'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 30 AUGUST 2010

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

If it sounds a little too convenient or maybe manufactured then we can’t help the fact that we have, for the second week running, neatly parcelled two hitters and two pitchers to share our Pro Player of the Week award. We expect that the statistics will speak for themselves as they always do!

To start with a couple of young pitchers who didn’t quite do enough to earn a special mention, Cincinnati’s NATHAN DRIESSEN and Arizona’s KABLE HOGBEN both picked up saves... it was Hogben’s ninth of the year. Neither allowed a run with Hogben striking out five across his 2.2 innings and Driessen striking out three from his 3.0 innings.

From a week where there were many worthy performances, those we selected for “Honourable Mention” were pitchers AARON SOOKEE (Angels), LIAM HENDRIKS (Twins) and ADAM O’NEILL (Mets). Hendriks pitched an abbreviated 4.0 innings after his recent return from the DL but in somewhat typical fashion he did not allow a run while striking out EIGHT! Rookie O’Neill pitched 4.1 innings of NO-HIT baseball while striking out five. Sookee took a loss, but this didn’t stop us from recognising his six inning effort for two earned runs and seven punch outs. Joining them were offensive players RORY RHODES (Twins) and MITCH DENING (Red Sox) who batted .333 and .318 respectively for the week.

For the seventh time this season and for the third successive week Minnesota’s JIMMY BERESFORD scoops a share of our major award after batting .391. It is a truly remarkable story that he has now pushed his season average above the .300 plateau after starting the season at .056 from his first 50 or so at bats! He is joined by Philadelphia hitter TIM KENNELLY who batted .381 for the week. The pitchers we chose to share the award were Phillies’ DREW NAYLOR and Braves’ STEVE KENT who both threw a total of seven very effective innings. Naylor took a win after allowing one run and striking out ELEVEN, while Kent struck out six and did not allow a run. We hope you agree that they were outstanding!

'Flintoff & Dunn' selected these players for our top award this week:



 JAMES BERESFORD  (A - Beloit Snappers)
   6G  .391AVG  23AB  5R  9H  1D  5RBI  .440OB%  --  Season .301AVG


 TIM KENNELLY  (A+ - Clearwater Threshers)
   5G  .381AVG  21AB  4R  8H  1D  2RBI  .429SLG%  --  Season .278AVG


 DREW NAYLOR  (AA - Reading Phillies)
   1G   1-0, 1.29ERA  7.0IP  5H  1ER  2BB  11K  --  Season  11-9, 4.90ERA


 STEVEN KENT  (A - Rome Braves)
   2G   0-0, 0.00ERA  7.0IP  6H  0ER  2BB  6K  --  Season  1-0, 0.79ERA

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

 Adam O'NEILL (Mets 'R' GCL Mets) 3G   0-0, 0.00ERA  4.1ip  0h  0er  1bb  5k
 Liam HENDRIKS (Twins 'A+' Fort Myers Miracle) 1G   0-0, 0.00ERA  4.0ip  1h  0er  1bb  8k
 Aaron SOOKEE (Angels 'R' AZL Angels) 1G   0-1, 3.00ERA  6.0ip  3h  2er  1bb  7k

Rory RHODES

(Twins 'R' GCL Twins) 5G   18AB  .333AVG  1R  6H  2D  3RBI  .444SLG%

Mitch DENING

(Red Sox 'A+' Salem Red Sox) 6G   22AB  .318AVG  3R  7H  1D  1RBI  .364SLG%
  'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 23 AUGUST 2010

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

I’m afraid that we’re not going to please those of our Subscribers who sometimes think that we should limit our major award winners to just one or two each week. With an acknowledgement that we can never please all of the people all of the time, I’m sorry that we just couldn’t separate four Pro Players of the Week this time with a couple of hot hitters and a couple of outstanding pitchers sharing the spoils.

To begin with a few players who we couldn’t quite select for “Honourable Mention” we noted that Twins’ catcher ALLAN de SAN MIGUEL and Red Sox outfielder MITCH DENING both hit home runs last week but their averages for the span were just a bit below that required for special mention. A few pitchers who did not quite throw sufficient innings for special mention were major leaguer PETE MOYLAN, Padres’ JOSH SPENCE and Braves’ STEVE KENT. Moylan collected two wins from his three hitless and scoreless outings, while Spence struck out six across three scoreless innings to earn a win and Kent also struck out six from three scoreless innings. For his season form so far we thought we must mention Arizona's KABLE HOGBEN who rarely throws enough innings to feature among these awards but his season ERA of just 0.88 and his 34/4 strike outs versus walks is worthy of recognition. It was also great to see one of our regular award winners LIAM HENDRIKS back from the disabled list with another win, even if he doesn’t feature among our awards on this occasion.

Missing our major award, but earning “Honourable Mention” were pitchers DREW NAYLOR and JUSTIN ERASMUS. Philadelphia’s Naylor pitched a solid 5.1 inning winning start, while Erasmus took a loss and a save from three relief appearances that added up to a very effective week of pitching.

If we had to single out just one PPOW, we probably would have selected recent major leaguer RYAN ROWLAND-SMITH who is mowing down hitters at ‘AAA’ Tacoma with another brilliant winning start where he walked one and struck out eight across seven innings. Yet, we couldn’t overlook Angels’ rookie AARON SOOKEE who also earned a win while walking one and striking out six from five hitless and scoreless frames.

Joining them from the offensive forces were batters who enjoyed .400 averages for the week in JASON SMIT and JAMES BERESFORD. Cleveland’s Smit batted 8-20 with three doubles for a .550 slugging percentage, while Minnesota’s red-hot Beresford batted 6-15 with two doubles and four walks for a .526 on base percentage. Remarkably, Beresford’s sample started with his only hitless game from his past 14 and immediately before that he posted another streak of ten-plus games with at least one hit! It is no wonder that he has dominated our awards recently.

'Flintoff & Dunn' selected these players for our top award this week:



 RYAN ROWLAND-SMITH  (AAA - Tacoma Rainiers)
   1G   1-0, 2.57ERA  7.0IP  5H  2ER  1BB  8K  --  Season  2-1, 4.08ERA


 AARON SOOKEE  (R - AZL Angels)
   1G   1-0, 0.00ERA  5.0IP  0H  0ER  1BB  6K  --  Season  1-1, 4.97ERA


 JASON SMIT  (A - Lake County Captains)
   5G  .400AVG  20AB  4R  8H  3D  3RBI  .550SLG%  --  Season .265AVG


 JAMES BERESFORD  (A - Beloit Snappers)
   5G  .400AVG  15AB  2R  6H  2D  4RBI  .526OB%  --  Season .296AVG

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

 Drew NAYLOR (Phillies 'AA' Reading Phillies) 1G   1-0, 3.38ERA  5.1ip  4h  2er  3bb  2k
 Justin ERASMUS (Red Sox 'R' GCL Red Sox) 3G   0-1, 1.93ERA  4.2ip  6h  1er  2bb  6k  1SV
  'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 16 AUGUST 2010

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

We know that we say it too often but, once again, it caused us a fair bit of stress to decide where to draw the line under those we selected for our major award. We could have quite easily bracketed all eight of our selections for special mention even though this would have been considered too many.

In the end we decided to slightly discount the efforts of our three pitchers because none produced a scoreless week of baseball, even though each were clearly worthy of consideration. It was perhaps even tougher to separate the six offensive players who attracted our attention this week. In the end we went for those with more than 20 at bats and an average above .350 for the past week.

The pitchers that we assessed as just below our primary award were Minnesota’s MATT WILLIAMS who has been starting at ‘High-A’ level and his latest seven inning start saw just one run scored for a no decision. Seattle’s recent major leaguer RYAN ROWLAND-SMITH is seeking to regain confidence at ‘AAA’ Tacoma and he collected a win from his latest five inning start at the cost of just one run. Similarly, Angels’ JOSH SPENCE took a win from his five inning start that saw two runs posted while he struck out eight.

Those who earned “Honourable Mention” for batting were WA ‘bash brothers’ MATT and TIM KENNELLY. Matt Kennelly batted a mighty .429 with a huge .714 slugging percentage but from just 14 at bats, while Tim batted exactly .350 from 20 at bats. Joining them was Dodgers' 'AAA' star TRENT OELTJEN, who batted .353 from 17 at bats plus four walks.

Just ahead of them were our three joint Pro Players of the Week in COREY ADAMSON, MITCHELL DENING and JAMES BERESFORD. San Diego Rookie Adamson batted .391 after a recent streak of hot hitting, while Boston’s Dening (.381) and Minnesota’s Beresford (.364) are both regulars among our award winners as consistent stars.

'Flintoff & Dunn' selected these players for our top award this week:



 COREY ADAMSON  (R - AZL Padres)
   6G  .391AVG  23AB  5R  9H  4D  3RBI  .565SLG%  --  Season .288AVG


 MITCH DENING  (A+ - Salem Red Sox)
   5G  .381AVG  21AB  3R  8H  1T  0RBI  .476SLG%  --  Season .280AVG


 JAMES BERESFORD  (A - Beloit Snappers)
   6G  .364AVG  22AB  3R  8H  1D  2RBI  .409SLG%  --  Season .291AVG

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

Matt KENNELLY

(Braves 'A+' Myrtle Beach Pelicans) 4G   14AB  .429AVG  1R  6H  1D  1HR  3RBI  .714SLG%

Trent OELTJEN

(Dodgers 'AAA' Alb'que Isotopes) 5G   17AB  .353AVG  4R  6H  2D  0RBI  .476OB%
 Tim KENNELLY (Phillies 'A+' Clearwater Threshers) 5G   20AB  .350AVG  3R  7H  2RBI  .381OB%
 Matt WILLIAMS (Twins 'A+' Fort Myers Miracle) 1G   0-0, 1.29ERA  7.0ip  6h  1er  1bb  3k
 R. ROWLAND-SMITH (Mariners 'AAA' Tacoma Rainiers) 1G   1-0, 1.80ERA  5.0ip  6h  1er  1bb  1k
 Josh SPENCE (Angels 'A' Fort Wayne Tin Caps) 2G   1-0, 3.60ERA  5.0ip  3h  2er  3bb  8k
  'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 9 AUGUST 2010

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

Although we weren’t spectacularly overwhelmed by any particular performance from an Aussie pro this past week, you will see that it was another very difficult thing for us to choose between quite a few excellent efforts. It was also a week for our Australian pitchers to retake most of the limelight, even though not many of the better ones pitched a heap of innings during the time span.

A trio of rookie league pitchers just missed the cut for special mention this week with maybe the most unfortunate of those being Cubs’ lefty CODY HAMS who pitched 4.2 innings of scoreless baseball, but one of his outings saw him saddled with the loss. Boston’s JUSTIN ERASMUS collected a save from his too few three scoreless innings and Mets’ ADAM O’NEILL earned a win but from an even fewer two innings of work. We also discounted the .429 batting average of Philadelphia's JOEL NAUGHTON because it came from just 14 at bats for the week.

Two pitchers threw the most innings and both took a win and a loss while allowing four earned runs from their two outings. Cubs’ RYAN SEARLE walked four and struck out eleven from his 11.2 innings, while Pirates’ JARRYD SULLIVAN enjoyed 7/0 strike outs versus walks from his total of nine innings to each earn “Honourable Mention”.
They were joined by LA Dodgers’ ‘AAA’ star TRENT OELTJEN, who batted .348 for the week, and Phillies’ TIM KENNELLY, who batted .320 including a home run. 

Just ahead of those for a share of our Pro Player of The Week were short-season 'A' league pitchers TIM STANFORD and KABLE HOGBEN who both refused to allow an earned run, walked none and struck out more than one batter per inning. Texas Rangers' Tim Stanford pitched a total of 7.1 innings from two outings and owned a 8/0 strike outs versus walks ratio. Arizona’s Kable Hogben pitched a total of five innings across three appearances for his 7/0 ratio.

'Flintoff & Dunn' selected these players for our top award this week:



 TIM STANFORD  (A-ss - Spokane Indians)
   2G   0-0, 0.00ERA  7.1IP  6H  0ER  0BB  8K  --  Season  3-0, 0.66ERA


 KABLE HOGBEN  (A-ss - Yakima Bears)
   3G   0-0, 0.00ERA  5.0IP  4H  0ER  0BB  7K  --  Season  0-0, 0.91ERA

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

Trent OELTJEN

(Dodgers 'AAA' Alb'que Isotopes) 6G   23AB  .348AVG  3R  8H  1D  1T  5RBI  .478SLG%
 Tim KENNELLY (Phillies 'A+' Clearwater Threshers) 6G   25AB  .320AVG  3R  8H  1D  1HR  4RBI  .480SLG%
 Ryan SEARLE (Cubs 'A' Peoria Chiefs) 2G   1-1, 3.09ERA  11.2ip  9h  4er  4bb  11k
 Jarryd SULLIVAN (Pirates 'R' GCL Pirates) 2G   1-1, 4.00ERA  9.0ip  8h  4er  0bb  7k
  'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 2 AUGUST 2010

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

We can afford to keep it brief this week with only four serious contenders for special mention among a fairly "quiet" crop of Aussie professionals in the US leagues. Because there weren't too many to mention on this occasion we will give some space to WA Rookie COREY ADAMSON who didn't have sufficient at bats for the week, but he did bat 4-4 in one game, including two triples! Padres Rookie reliever ALESSIO ANGELUCCI currently owns an ERA of 0.63 from nine appearances this season, while Colorado Rookie DAVID KANDILAS batted 4-12 with a triple.

One guy who has consistently caught our attention over the past few months is Minnesota Twins' AROOS star JAMES BERESFORD who has extended his current hitting streak beyond the past ten games. Over this span he has produced 18 hits, including seven multi-hit games. As you will note, it took a really special effort over the past week to edge his .375 average out of a share of our major award. So too for LA Dodgers' 'AAA' star TRENT OELTJEN who batted .346 with a .538 slugging percentage.

Eclipsing both of them was the mighty effort of Philadelphia's 'Advanced-A' utility TIM KENNELLY who batted a massive .522 with a .652 slugging percentage for the past week. Waving the flag for the pitchers this time was Chicago Cubs 'A' league pitcher RYAN SEARLE who could not have done much more than produce a scoreless winning start for his team.

'Flintoff & Dunn' selected these players for our top award this week:



 TIM KENNELLY  (A+ - Clearwater Threshers)
   6G  .522AVG  23AB  4R  12H  3D  4RBI  .652SLG%  --  Season .278AVG


 RYAN SEARLE  (A - Peoria Chiefs)
   1G   1-0, 0.00ERA  6.0IP  5H  0ER  0BB  4K  --  Season  5-5, 4.29ERA

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

 James BERESFORD (Twins 'A' Beloit Snappers) 5G   24AB  .375AVG  5R  9H  2D  5RBI  .458SLG%

Trent OELTJEN

(Dodgers 'AAA' Albuquerque Isotopes) 6G   26AB  .346AVG  5R  9H  5D  3RBI  .538SLG%
  'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 26 JULY 2010

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

There was a fair representation of both pitchers and position players among our award contenders this week, but the major award was again dominated by some very good offensive efforts for the third week running.

To start with the “Honourable Mentions”, we wouldn’t usually mention a player who batted a relatively modest .250 for the week but when you include a double, two triples and a home run among his 7-28, plus five RBIs, we couldn’t discount the .536 slugging percentage of our ‘AAA’ star TRENT OELTJEN. It also provides us with an opportunity to mention that Trent was reportedly right on the brink of a call-up to the LA Dodgers big league club recently and he must be very close to reappearing in the majors with the fabled Dodgers organisation. Our best wishes to him as always!

To stick with the “unusual” theme, we also didn’t overlook Minnesota’s MATTHEW WILLIAMS who, it appears, is being converted from a reliever to a starter lately and he has performed solidly in spite of taking a loss from his two starts last week. Pittsburgh rookie pitcher JARRYD SULLIVAN pitched a very good winning start and we also included Atlanta major leaguer PETER MOYLAN who allowed just one run from four relief appearances.

Philadelphia’s ‘AA’ starting pitcher DREW NAYLOR outstripped all of those to join our major award winners this week with a superb eight inning winning start that allowed just one run on four hits. He earned a share of our Pro Player of the Week award with .400-plus hitters ALLAN de SAN MIGUEL, DAVID KANDILAS and JIMMY BERESFORD who each enjoyed an outstanding week of consistent hitting as you will note from their respective statistics.

'Flintoff & Dunn' selected these players for our top award this week:



 DREW NAYLOR  (AA - Reading Phillies)
   1G   1-0, 1.13ERA  8.0IP  4H  1ER  2BB  5K  --  Season  9-7, 3.86ERA


 DAVID KANDILAS  (R+ - Casper Ghosts)
   5G  .412AVG  17AB  2R  7H  1D  1T  3RBI  .588SLG%  --  Season .253AVG


 ALLAN de SAN MIGUEL  (A+ - Fort Myers Miracle)
   6G  .412AVG  17AB  3R  7H  2D  4RBI  .529SLG%  --  Season .197AVG


 JAMES BERESFORD  (A - Beloit Snappers)
   5G  .409AVG  22AB  2R  9H  1D  2RBI  .455SLG%  --  Season .289AVG

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

 Jarryd SULLIVAN (Pirates 'R' GCL Pirates) 1G   1-0, 1.80ERA  5.0ip  5h  1er  0bb  1k
 Matt WILLIAMS (Twins 'A+' Fort Myers Miracle) 2G   0-1, 1.80ERA  10.0ip  3h  2er  5bb  6k
 Peter MOYLAN (Braves 'MLB' Atlanta Braves) 4G   0-0, 2.08ERA  4.1ip  3h  1er  0bb  5k

Trent OELTJEN

(Dodgers 'AAA' Alb'que Isotopes) 6G   28AB  .250AVG  8R  7H  1D  2T  1HR  .536SLG%
  'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 19 JULY 2010

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

It wasn’t the most impressive week for Aussies in the US professional leagues and, once again, it was not a simple matter to decide upon those who deserve “Honourable Mention”, or to separate our major award winner(s) from them. In the end we elevated three young players who may not have had sufficient sample sizes to win the award on other occasions, even though their statistics were very good.

To start with a few players who missed out on awards but still merit some mention, a couple of pitchers are enjoying excellent and identical records with their current teams. SHANE LINDSAY owns a 1-0, 0.84ERA record from nine outings since joining the Cleveland Indians at ‘AA’ Akron, while Atlanta’s STEVE KENT owns a 1-0, 0.84ERA record from his eight outings with the Rome Braves. Minnesota rookie league pitcher MARK TRAU has still yet to allow a run from his five relief appearances. Recent major leaguer TRENT OELTJEN had a small sample this week with the Dodgers’ ‘AAA’ Albuquerque but he has hit two home runs in recent games.

Getting our nod for “Honourable Mention” this week are Red Sox ‘Adv-A’ league hitter MITCH DENING who batted 7-21 with two triples, San Diego rookie COREY ADAMSON, who batted 6-19 with four RBIs and Cleveland 'A' leaguer JASON SMIT, who batted 7-23. They were joined by Detroit’s ‘AAA’ reliever BRENDAN WISE who must be as close as anyone to becoming the next Australian to reach the majors. He owned a 1-0, 2.81ERA record from his two appearances last week.

Two pitchers who earned a share of our top award with a win each from two strong outings were Pirates’ MITCHELL FIENEMANN and Rangers’ TIM STANFORD who are both playing Short-Season ‘A’ level baseball. Joining them this week is Philadelphia’s consistent ‘A’ league infielder ALAN SCHOENBERGER who batted .400 for the past week with a .667 slugging percentage.

'Flintoff & Dunn' selected these players for our top award this week:



 MITCHELL FIENEMANN  (A-ss - State College Spikes)
   2G   1-0, 0.00ERA  4.0IP  3H  0ER  1BB  3K  --  Season  3-1, 5.06ERA


 TIM STANFORD  (A-ss - Spokane Indians)
   2G   1-0, 1.80ERA  5.0IP  4H  1ER  1BB  4K  --  Season  2-0, 1.50ERA


 ALAN SCHOENBERGER  (A - Lakewood Blueclaws)
   6G  .400AVG  15AB  4R  6H  1D  1HR  4RBI  .667SLG%  --  Season .299AVG

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

Mitchell DENING

(Red Sox 'A+' Salem Red Sox) 6G   21AB  .333AVG  7R  7H  2T  2RBI  .524SLG%

Corey ADAMSON

(Padres 'R' AZL Padres) 5G   19AB  .316AVG  0R  6H  4RBI  4BB  .435OB%

Jason SMIT

(Indians 'A' Lake County Captains) 6G   23AB  .304AVG  4R  7H  1D  1RBI  .360OB%
 Brendan WISE (Tigers 'AAA' Toledo Mud Hens) 2G   1-0, 2.81ERA  3.2ip  4h  1er  0bb  2k
  'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 12 JULY 2010

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

With a few of our regular candidates either injured or out of action at the moment there were not too many contenders for our Pro Player of the Week this time. And, for the second week in succession, our candidates were dominated by everyday players with only one pitcher attracting our attention. It was not so simple to separate the major award winner(s) from the “Honourable Mentions” but this is how we ultimately adjudicated.

The ‘Honourable Mentions” on this occasion were hitters JAMES BERESFORD and MITCH DENING, plus pitcher DREW NAYLOR... all of whom have been regular winners of these awards over the past few seasons. Minnesota infielder Beresford batted 8-24 with three triples to continue his rich vein of form lately, while Red Sox outfielder Dening continues his typically solid season with 7-22. Narrowly missing the top award was Philadelphia’s ‘AA’ pitcher Naylor who pitched a high quality winning start last week.

Just rated ahead of them were former major league outfielder TRENT OELTJEN who seems to be thriving since his move to the LA Dodgers organisation recently with a .417 average and .625 slugging percentage from the past week. Philadelphia utility player TIM KENNELLY also had a mighty week with the stick, batting .385 with a .654 slugging percentage to take a share of our top award for the second week running. In addition, Kennelly drove in eight big runs for the period.

Others who did not do quite enough, but still worthy of mention, included Boston rookie JUSTIN ERASMUS who owns a 1-0, 0.00ERA record with five saves from his seven relief appearances. Arizona’s short-season ‘A’ league pitcher KABLE HOGBEN also owns an impressive 0.75ERA from 8 appearances and 12.0 innings so far this season. Pitchers STEVE KENT, HAYDEN BEARD and JARRYD SULLIVAN all enjoyed wins during the past week.

'Flintoff & Dunn' selected these players for our top award this week:



 TRENT OELTJEN  (AAA - Alberquerque Isotopes)
   6G  .417AVG  24AB  1R  10H  3D  1T  1RBI  .625SLG%  --  Season .417AVG


 TIM KENNELLY  (A+ - Clearwater Threshers)
   7G  .385AVG  26AB  4R  10H  2D  1T  1HR  8RBI  .654SLG%  --  Season .253AVG

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

 James BERESFORD (Twins 'A' Beloit Snappers) 6G   24AB  .333AVG  4R  8H  3T  2RBI  .583SLG%

Mitchell DENING

(Red Sox 'A+' Salem Red Sox) 5G   22AB  .318AVG  3R  7H  2RBI  .318SLG%
 Drew NAYLOR (Phillies 'AA' Reading Phillies) 1G   1-0, 3.00ERA  6.0ip  9h  2er  0bb  5k
  'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 5 JULY 2010

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

It doesn’t happen often that we find more hitters vying for our Pro Player of the Week Award than their more prolific pitching brethren from Australia. To cut to the chase, just one pitcher, MITCHELL FIENEMANN, sneaked in for “Honourable Mention” based on his two wins for the week which was fairly remarkable given that his high 6.75ERA precluded him from a share of our top award. He would surely be grateful for the run support his team provided him during the period.

Others to earn “Honourable Mention” were JAMES BERESFORD, TRENT OELTJEN, MOKO MOANAROA and DAVID KANDILAS. Minnesota Twins’ Beresford has been impressively building his average over the last couple of months and his .368 for the past week was only just overshadowed by our two top award winners who had slightly higher averages and better power numbers. Boston’s Moko Moanaroa carried on from winning the top award last week to bat .556 again this week but we had to downgrade his too low nine at bats for the term. Same goes for Milwaukee’s ‘AAA’ star Oeltjen who batted an identical 5-9. Colorado rookie league outfielder David Kandilas batted a tidy .300 with a .364 on base percentage.

The men who shared our primary award this week were catchers JOEL NAUGHTON and TIM KENNELLY who both reached the .400 average plateau for the week including a double and a home run each for .600-plus slugging percentages.
The Philadelphia Phillies pair are team mates with their 'Advanced-A' Clearwater Threshers where Naughton does most of the catching, while Kennelly splits time catching, playing at third base and in right field. You can view their quite similar numbers below this text.

Of those who missed special mention due to small sample sizes JUSTIN ERASMUS added another save for a win and four saves from his five appearances this season. SHANE LINDSAY and DREW NAYLOR both collected wins last week.

'Flintoff & Dunn' selected these two players for our top award this week:



 JOEL NAUGHTON  (A+ - Clearwater Threshers)
   6G  .412AVG  17AB  3R  7H  1D  1HR  7RBI  .647SLG%  --  Season .337AVG


 TIM KENNELLY  (A+ - Clearwater Threshers)
   6G  .400AVG  20AB  2R  8H  1D  1HR  3RBI  .600SLG%  --  Season .231AVG

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

James BERESFORD

(Twins 'A' Beloit Snappers) 5G   19AB  .368AVG  5R  7H  2RBI  .400OB%

Trent OELTJEN

(Brewers 'AAA' Nashville Sounds) 2G   9AB  .556AVG  4R  5H  1D  1HR  2RBI  1.000SLG%

Moko MOANAROA

(Red Sox 'R' GCL Red Sox) 3G   9AB  .556AVG  0R  5H  1RBI  .600OB%

David KANDILAS

(Rockies 'R+' Casper Ghosts) 5G   20AB  .300AVG  4R  6H  1RBI  .364OB%

Mitch FIENEMANN

(Pirates 'A-ss' State College Spikes) 2G   2-0, 6.75ERA  6.2ip  6h  5er  2bb  4k
  'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 28 JUNE 2010

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

Well subscribers, if you thought that we were a bit “soft” last week by refusing to separate the five players for our major award then, you might feel that we have been too tough by overlooking some with extremely good numbers for this week. As difficult as this job has been at times we can’t quite remember having so many genuine candidates for our top award and this fact has caused us to rule a very lofty line under those we separated for the primary award from those who earned “Honourable Mention”. As we occasionally say, most of those players could have won our Pro Player of the Week on many other occasions.

Among the pitchers we could have quite easily awarded six, but we trimmed this down to two by going with two starters who made two quality starts for the week and who pitched several more innings than the others. As you will see, there were some fine efforts among those who just missed this cut. For the SEVENTH time this season we could not go past Minnesota’s ‘Wanneroo Wrecker’ LIAM HENDRIKS who recorded a win and a loss and, interestingly, his losing start was probably more impressive than his winning one. What always stands out to us with Hendriks is his stellar strike outs versus walks ratio that stood at 12/0 for this week. His tally for the season is an incredible 88/9! He was joined by Philadelphia’s ‘AA’ ace DREW NAYLOR who was 1-0, 1.29ERA from his two high quality starts. You can view for yourselves those who earned “Honourable Mention” but take special note of RICH THOMPSON who struck out eight and walked none from his four innings and JUSTIN ERASMUS who collected a win and two saves from his three outings.

The offensive efforts were even more difficult to separate this week but, without a hint of novelty, we have elevated Red Sox brothers BOSS and MOKO MOANAROA just above the rest. Boss batted .333 but, with two home runs included, his .733 slugging percentage lifted him into our top award. Moko batted 8-21 to own the best average for the week with .381. Very unfortunate to just miss was Mets’ STEFAN WELCH who batted .364 but he didn’t quite have the power numbers this week, while TRENT OELTJEN batted .320 with a .520 slugging percentage.

While we don’t consider them for these awards, it is time to mention how well some of our players are performing in the Independent Leagues. Pitchers JAMES ALBURY (5-1, 3.11ERA), CRAIG ANDERSON (3-0, 1.61ERA), WAYNE LUNDGREN (4-1, 4.00ERA) and DAVID WELCH (3-1, 3.00ERA) have each been impressive. Our lone everyday player SCOTT WEARNE has excelled in his first season as the Brockton Rox leading batter with a .357 average from 27 games.

As we said, there were a few with legitimate claims for our main award, but it was a very hot kitchen this week. Well done to all of those mentioned.

Flintoff & Dunn' simply could not go past any of these four players for our top award this week:



 LIAM HENDRIKS  (A+ - Fort Myers Miracle)
   2G   1-1, 2.63ERA  13.2IP  15H  4ER  0BB  12K  --  Season  5-2, 1.86ERA


 DREW NAYLOR  (AA - Reading Phillies)
   2G   1-0, 1.29ERA  14.0IP  8H   2ER  2BB  7K  --  Season  6-6, 3.94ERA


 BOSS MOANAROA  (R - GCL Red Sox)
   5G  .333AVG  15AB  4R  5H  2HR  4RBI  .733SLG%  --  Season .333AVG


 MOKO MOANAROA  (R - GCL Red Sox)
   5G  .381AVG  21AB  2R  8H  4D  6RBI  .571SLG%  --  Season .381AVG

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

Stefan WELCH

(Mets 'A+' St. Lucie Mets) 7G   22AB  .364AVG  5R  8H  1D   1RBI  .409SLG%

Trent OELTJEN

(Brewers 'AAA' Nashville Sounds) 6G   25AB  .370AVG  7R  8H  1HR  3RBI  .520SLG%

Justin ERASMUS

(Red Sox 'R' GCL Red Sox) 3G   1-0, 0.00ERA  5.1ip  1h  0er  0bb  6k  2SV

Ryan SEARLE

(Cubs 'A' Peoria Chiefs) 1G   1-0, 1.80ERA  5.0ip  6h  1er  0bb  4k

Tim STANFORD

(Rangers 'A-ss' Spokane Indians) 2G   1-0, 0.00ERA  4.0ip  2h  0er  1bb  2k

Rich THOMPSON

(Angels 'AAA' Salt Lake Bees) 3G   0-0, 0.00ERA  4.0ip  1h  0er  0bb  8k
  'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 21 JUNE 2010

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

You may be tired of hearing us whine about how difficult this job can be at times but, honestly, we’d like you to consider our predicament this week where we had three hitters who batted .400 or above for the week and two pitchers who stood out because of excellent starts? Do we rate the offensive efforts as better than the pitching, or the reverse, or do we simply include all five players as joint winners? 

At the eternal risk of being accused of failing to make an adjudication, ‘Flintoff & Dunn’ always prefer to err on the side of doing something positive for those Australian players involved so, guess what... we’re not going to split them. Like it or not, and we know some don’t, we will have five Pro Players of The Week this time.

Let’s mention those straight away, starting with the remarkably similar statistics of TRENT OELTJEN and MITCH DENING who both batted 9-22 for a .409 batting average, followed by the in-form JAMES BERESFORD who batted 10-25 for a .400 average this week. Oeltjen and Beresford each drove in five runs and Dening four, while Oeltjen owned a mighty .727 slugging percentage. Toss a coin about the starting pitching of Cubs’ RYAN SEARLE who collected a win with six innings for one run and Twins’ ace LIAM HENDRIKS (yep, him again!) who was unfortunate not to get another win with five scoreless innings. It is Hendriks’ SIXTH Pro Player of the Week award this season! In fact none of these winners are any strangers to this page.

On the next rung below them were regular hitting stars STEFAN WELCH, who batted .389 for the week from 18 at bats, and MICHAEL COLLINS, who batted .381 from 21 at bats. Also, we could not go past the quite astonishing start pitched by former major leaguer TRAVIS BLACKLEY who walked six and allowed five hits from his 4.1 inning no-decision. If that sounds rather poor, then consider the fact that he also struck out seven and that he maintained a blank scoresheet during his outing... baseball sure is a strange game at times!

Not having sufficient plate appearances to challenge for special mention were Philadelphia’s ‘High-A’ catcher JOEL NAUGHTON, who batted 5-14, and rookie pro GUY EDWARDS, who batted 4-9 in his first week of Rookie ball with the Dominican Summer League Rangers. 

Once again we hope that nobody is too critical of our failure to single out fewer than our FIVE joint winners this week, as follows. 'Flintoff & Dunn' simply could not leave out any of these five players from our top award this week:



 TRENT OELTJEN  (AAA - Nashville Sounds)
   6G  .409AVG  22AB  7R  9H  4D  1HR  5RBI  .727SLG%  --  Season .281AVG


 MITCH DENING  (A+ - Salem Red Sox)
   5G  .409AVG  22AB  5R  9H  1D  4RBI  .458OB%  --  Season .303AVG


 JAMES BERESFORD  (A - Beloit Snappers)
   6G  .400AVG  25AB  5R  10H  1D  5RBI  .423OB%  --  Season .276AVG


 RYAN SEARLE  (A - Peoria Chiefs)
   1G   1-0, 1.50ERA  6.0IP  3H  1ER  1BB  4K  --  Season  3-1, 4.01ERA


 LIAM HENDRIKS  (A+ - Fort Myers Miracle)
   1G   0-0, 0.00ERA  5.0IP  3H  0ER  0BB  4K  --  Season  4-1, 1.62ERA

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

Michael COLLINS

(Padres 'AA' San Antonio Missions) 5G   21AB  .381AVG  5R  8H  1D   3RBI  .429SLG%

Stefan WELCH

(Mets 'A+' St. Lucie Mets) 5G   18AB  .389AVG  4R  7H  3D   2RBI  .556SLG%

Travis BLACKLEY

(As 'AAA' Sacramento River Cats) 1G   0-0, 0.00ERA  4.1ip  5h  0er  6bb  7k
  'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 14 JUNE 2010

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

Maybe the most remarkable thing about our Pro Player of the Week Award this week is that LIAM HENDRIKS did not win this time, but then he has the quite reasonable excuse in that he didn't make an appearance during the time span!

More seriously, we really agonised over how to adjudicate the awards for this week because, while there wasn't too many genuine contenders, we just couldn't seem to find a plausible reason to separate our four winners from the only player who will receive "Honourable Mention" on this occasion. Yes, we have maybe taken the easy way out by refusing to split the others, but we hope that most will agree that this just couldn't be done.

A handful of Australian pitchers enjoyed positive statistics for the week from small samples of work. While we could not consider a special mention, it is still worth noting that DREW NAYLOR, BRAD THOMAS and BRENDAN WISE all added wins during the week, while PETER MOYLAN had a win and a loss and MATT WILLIAMS recorded a save.

Missing out on the top award but earning "Honourable Mention" was former major leaguer TRAVIS BLACKLEY who continues to enjoy a resurgence lately since joining the Oakland Athletics. Travis struck out six and allowed just one run from his latest six inning start and he was unfortunate to take a no-decision.

As we said, it was hard to separate the rest, but maybe just shading the others was Minnesota's JAMES BERESFORD who has featured here often and he was on a tear again this week with 9-20, a .522 on base percentage and, very significantly, he drove in seven runs for his team. Take your pick between Boston's MITCH DENING and Cleveland's JASON SMITH who we thought were very close behind. Dening batted 10-25 with a .483 on base percentage, while Smit batted 8-19 with a home run to give him a .684 slugging percentage. Waving the flag for the pitchers was Chicago Cubs 'A' level starter RYAN SEARLE who joined our primary award winners with a scoreless winning start and one strike out per inning.

 'Flintoff & Dunn' simply could not leave out any of these four players our top award this week:



 JAMES BERESFORD  (A - Beloit Snappers)
   5G  .450AVG  20AB  6R  9H  7RBI  .522OB%  --  Season .267AVG


 MITCH DENING  (A+ - Salem Red Sox)
   6G  .400AVG  25AB  8R  10H  2RBI  .483OB%  --  Season .291AVG


 JASON SMIT  (A - Lake County Captains)
   5G  .421AVG  19AB  1R  8H  1HR  3RBI  .684OB%  --  Season .282AVG


 RYAN SEARLE  (A - Peoria Chiefs)
   1G   1-0, 0.00ERA  5.0IP  2H  0ER  1BB  5K  --  Season  2-1, 4.42ERA

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

Travis BLACKLEY

(As 'AAA' Sacramento River Cats) 1G   0-0, 1.50ERA  6.0ip  4h  1er  3bb  6k
  'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 7 JUNE 2010

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

For anyone who may be tired of hearing us extol the virtues of young WA pitcher LIAM HENDRIKS, and we can't imagine why that might be, then you should probably stop reading this now. This week we are going to let the cat out of the proverbial bag right away by anointing him as Pro Player of the Week for the FIFTH time this season so far. In fact, Liam has surpassed even his own previous efforts with one of the finest individual performances for a week that we can remember since we introduced these awards. His stats from two brilliant winning starts will speak for themselves.

Even though his performance would be virtually impossible to beat, he really didn't have much serious competition on this occasion. Maybe next, even though he had only 16 at bats, was Cleveland's JASON SMIT who batted .375 with a .625 slugging percentage and six RBIs that all came in the same game. Salem Red Sox outfielder MITCH DENING batted .310 from 29 at bats to continue his solid season with the stick.

Even though he took a loss, we still liked the solid start of former major league pitcher TRAVIS BLACKLEY who allowed just two runs while striking out six for Oakland's 'AAA' Sacramento River Cats.

Not quite doing enough for special mention this week, but still worthy of comment were former major leaguers DAMIAN MOSS, who collected another win, and RICH THOMPSON, who returned to action this past week and he has still yet to allow a run from his total of 17.0 innings at 'AAA' Salt Lake this season.

 'Flintoff & Dunn' thought that LIAM HENDRIKS stood out for our top award AGAIN this week:



 LIAM HENDRIKS  (A+ - Fort Myers Miracle)
   2G   2-0, 0.56ERA  16.0IP  13H  1ER  1BB  8K  --  Season  6-2, 1.60ERA (Combined)

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

 Jason SMIT (Indians 'A' Lake County Captains) 4G   16AB  .375AVG  2R  6H  1D  1HR  6RBI  .625SLG%
 Mitch DENING (Red Sox 'A+' Salem Red Sox) 7G   29AB  .310AVG  4R  9H  1D   2T   1RBI  .483SLG%

Travis BLACKLEY

(As 'AAA' Sacramento River Cats) 1G   0-1, 2.84ERA  6.1ip  5h  2er  1bb  6k
  'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 31 MAY 2010

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

It was another fabulous week for several Aussie pitchers in the US pro leagues this week, with just one batter grabbing our attention on this occasion. In the end we had to decide whether to split our primary award among four or five pitchers or to be really hard on some of them by selecting just one. With a mild apology to those who missed our top award this week we decided to select the one pitcher whose numbers outshone the others, which is saying a lot in this case!

Without further ado, we simply could not go past Philadelphia's 'AA' starter DREW NAYLOR who hurled a magnificent nine inning, three hit, complete game shutout victory for the Reading Phillies while striking out six and walking just one.

It took an effort like this to overshadow four time 2010 F&D PPOW Award winner LIAM HENDRIKS, along with TRAVIS BLACKLEY, BRENDAN WISE and HAYDEN BEARD. The latter three all collected wins during this past week while Hendriks threw another six shutout innings for an unfortunate no-decision with his customarily incisive strike outs versus walks ratio. Former major leaguer Blackley seems to have found a comfortable home with Oakland's 'AAA' Sacramento team after bouncing around this season so far. Beard made four scoreless relief appearances including a win with San Diego's 'A' Fort Wayne Tin Caps. Brendan Wise was rewarded for his strong form this year with promotion to Detroit's 'AAA' Toledo club where he responded immediately with a win among his two scoreless outings so far.

Joining the pitchers this week as the solitary position player is another of our "regulars" MITCH DENING, who batted .381 for Boston's 'A' team Salem Red Sox.

Just missing "Honourable Mention" due to insufficient sample size this week were Colorado's former major leaguer DAMIAN MOSS who is one of the great professional "survivors" and current major league star PETER MOYLAN who earned a win among his recent bracket of strong performances for the Atlanta Braves.

 'Flintoff & Dunn' thought that 'Drew-K' Drew Naylor deserved our top award this week:



 DREW NAYLOR  (AA - Reading Phillies)
   1G   1-0, 0.00ERA  9.0IP  1CG  3H  0ER  1BB  6K  --  Season  4-4, 3.61ERA

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

Travis BLACKLEY

(A's 'AAA' Sacramento River Cats) 2G   1-0, 1.29ERA  7.0ip  4h  1er  2bb  8k

Liam HENDRIKS

(Twins 'A+' New Britain Rock Cats) 1G   0-0, 0.00ERA  6.0ip  3h  0er  2bb  7k

Brendan WISE

(Tigers 'AAA' Toledo Mud Hens) 2G   1-0, 0.00ERA  5.1ip  3h  0er  0bb  2k

Hayden BEARD

(Padres 'A' Fort Wayne Tin Caps) 4G   1-0, 0.00ERA  4.0ip  3h  0er  1bb  3k
 Mitch DENING (Red Sox 'A+' Salem Red Sox) 6G   21AB  .381AVG  4R  8H  1D   3RBI  .458OB%
  'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 24 MAY 2010

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

Plenty of candidates for us to ponder this week and, in the end, it wasn't at all easy to separate our top award winners from the "Honourable Mentions". One guy who just missed a special mention was St. Lucie Mets infielder STEFAN WELCH whose .286 average wasn't outstanding, but his 8-28 included two doubles a triple and a home run for his .536 slugging percentage plus five runs driven in. This week he was edged out by players with superior averages for the period.

Best among the "Honourable Mentions" for hitters was Minnesota's 'AA' catcher ALLAN de SAN MIGUEL who has started to swing the bat after beginning the season at 'AAA' level. Allan batted .389 for the week. Next was his Minnesota club mate JIMMY BERESFORD who continues to come on strong after a quiet start to the year with .346 for the past week for their 'A' club Beloit. Rounding out our offensive mentions is recent major league outfielder TRENT OELTJEN who batted .333 this week for Milwaukee's 'AAA' Nashville Sounds.

Philadelphia's 'AA' pitcher DREW NAYLOR featured in a no decision, yet we liked his seven inning start that came at the cost of two runs with a 5/0 strike outs versus walks ratio. Joining him for "Honourable Mention" this week were a pair of relievers who pitched an identical, scoreless, 4.1 innings each which might normally be a smallish sample for us. Major league star PETER MOYLAN grabbed our attention because of his five scoreless appearances that included a couple of most valuable holds for the surging Atlanta Braves. Minnesota Twins 'AA' reliever MATT WILLIAMS caught the eye mainly because his three scoreless outings included a win and a save.

Ahead of all them, we thought, were San Diego's 'A' league pitcher JOHN HUSSEY who pitched a very neat winning start and Boston's 'High-A' outfielder MITCH DENING who batted 7-15 for the Salem Red Sox.

 'Flintoff & Dunn' thought that this duo deserved our top award this week:



 MITCH DENING  (A+ - Salem Red Sox)
   5G  .467AVG  15AB  1R  7H  3RBI  .529OB%  --  Season .237AVG


 JOHN HUSSEY  (A - Fort Wayne Tin Caps)
   1G   1-0, 1.80ERA  5.0IP  2H  1ER  0BB  3K  --  Season  4-1, 4.61ERA

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

Drew NAYLOR

(Phillies 'AA' Reading Phillies) 1G   0-0, 2.57ERA  7.0ip  5h  2er  0bb  5k
 Allan de SAN MIGUEL (Twins 'AA' New Britain Rock Cats) 6G   18AB  .389AVG  3R  7H  2D   5RBI  .500SLG%
 James BERESFORD (Twins 'A' Beloit Snappers) 7G   26AB  .346AVG  5R  9H  1D   2RBI  .385SLG%
 Trent OELTJEN (Brewers 'AAA' Nashville Sounds) 6G   21AB  .333AVG  3R  7H  2D   4RBI  .429SLG%

Peter MOYLAN

(Braves 'MLB' Atlanta Braves) 5G   0-0, 0.00ERA  4.1ip  3h  0er  1bb  3k

Matthew WILLIAMS

(Twins 'AA' New Britain Rock Cats) 3G   1-0, 0.00ERA  4.1ip  2h  0er  2bb  2k  1SV
  'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 17 MAY 2010

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

It was another relatively quiet week for our Australian professionals in terms of outstanding individual performances but, as ever, there were still a few who attracted our attention. Let's not waste any time to start right from the top by lauding the effort of WA tyro LIAM HENDRIKS who, not only earned promotion to 'Advanced A' level baseball, but he also grasped the opportunity to keep his most impressive form rolling. Hendriks earned a win for Minnesota's Fort Myers Miracle via seven innings of one run pitching with his typically venomous ratio of eight strike outs versus zero walks. WOW!

New York Mets' infielder STEFAN WELCH may have been a fraction unlucky to be nudged out of our top award this week after batting .370 for their 'High A' St. Lucie Mets. He was joined for "Honourable Mention" by Detroit's 'AA' reliever BRENDAN WISE who pitched a total of four scoreless innings from his two outings while collecting a win and owning a 4/1 strike outs to walks record. His sample was just a little small to challenge Hendriks for our major award.

Not far from earning special mention were Cleveland's JASON SMIT and Chicago Cubs pitcher RYAN SEARLE. Smit batted .308 with a .615 slugging percentage and five RBIs, but this came from only 14 at bats for the week. Searle pitched a six inning winning start that yielded three earned runs but he issued four walks compared with two strike outs.

 'Flintoff & Dunn' thought that Liam Hendriks deserved our top award this week to give him four from five this season:



 LIAM HENDRIKS  (A+ - Fort Myers Miracle)
   1G   1-0, 1.29ERA  7.0IP  3H  1ER  0BB  8K  --  Season  3-1, 1.32ERA (Combined)

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

 Stefan WELCH (Mets 'A+' St. Lucie Mets) 7G   27AB  .370AVG  3R  10H  3D   8RBI  .556SLG%

Brendan WISE

(Tigers 'AA' Erie Seawolves) 2G   1-0, 0.00ERA  4.0ip  1h  0er  1bb  4k
  'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 10 MAY 2010

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

If we have been lamenting that there haven't been too many outstanding performers to choose between over the last couple of weeks, then we certainly had to earn our money this week with a veritable glut of top performances. We took some criticism for not giving our top award to LUKE HUGHES last week when he made his great major league debut but we think that most of our subscribers understand what we are trying to achieve with these unique awards, regardless of level. In any case we definitely didn't fail to recognise his mighty achievement... you just can't please everyone all the time!

Missing out on special mention this week are San Diego 'A' league starter JOHN HUSSEY and Minnesota reliever MATT WILLIAMS who each collected wins. In Williams' case he received an award much more important than ours by earning promotion to the Twins 'AA' club New Britain. Another Twin, LIAM HENDRIKS, took his first loss of the season to miss our awards for the first time this year but, our grapevine tells us, he has just been promoted to the Twins' 'High-A' team in Fort Myers. The loss should not cloud his sixth quality start from six outings this year and another 7/1 strike outs versus walks takes his season statistics to an eye catching 39/4. His star is very much on the rise.

Hendriks' former Beloit Snappers team mate JAMES BERESFORD is among our "Honourable Mentions" after sharing our top award last week as he continues to turn around a quiet start with the stick. Beresford batted .438 this week. Joining him for Honourable Mention are Milwaukee's 'AAA' star TRENT OELTJEN (.419) and Atlanta's 'High-A' player MATT KENNELLY (.417). We almost by-passed Mets 'High-A' infielder STEFAN WELCH with a lower .348 average but we liked his five RBIs for the past week so we decided not to leave him out.

We narrowly voted in favour of giving a share of our top award to Phillies 'AA' pitcher 'Drew-K' DREW NAYLOR whose winning start this week comprised seven innings of one run ball with six strike outs and only one walk. He joined a guy who was never in doubt for the top award in MICHAEL COLLINS who hammered out a .667 average with six extra base hits for a massive 1.048 slugging percentage. We have already mentioned that Collins is probably playing at a level or two below his proven capabilities but then, as we say, we cannot take that into consideration for these awards.

 'Flintoff & Dunn' thought that this pair deserved our top award this week:



 MICHAEL COLLINS  (A+ - Lake Elsinore Storm)
   5G  .667AVG  21AB  4R  14H  5D  1HR  7RBI  1.048SLG%  --  Season .360AVG


 DREW NAYLOR  (AA - Reading Phillies)
   1G   1-0, 1.29ERA  7.0IP  6H  1ER  1BB  6K  --  Season  2-3, 4.55ERA

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

James BERESFORD

(Twins 'A' Beloit Snappers) 6G   16AB  .438AVG  1R   7H  2D    3RBI  .563SLG%
 Trent OELTJEN (Brewers 'AAA' Nashville Sounds) 7G   31AB  .419AVG  5R 13H  2HR  5RBI  .871SLG%
 Matt KENNELLY (Braves 'A+' Myrtle Beach Pelicans) 4G   12AB  .417AVG  3R   5H  1HR  7RBI  .750SLG%
 Stefan WELCH (Mets 'A+' St. Lucie Mets) 6G   23AB  .348AVG  4R   8H  2D    5RBI  .522SLG%
  'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 3 MAY 2010

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

It was another relatively quiet week for our Australian baseball professionals in the USA. That is if you manage to forget the fact that WA's LUKE HUGHES made a sensational major league debut to become the 28th Aussie to reach the big leagues. As you would all know by now Hughes definitely made his presence felt with a home run from his very first at bat that, interestingly, spanned two innings!

A couple of our more seasoned relief pitchers are worthy of mention even though their samples for the week were too small to feature among our awards. LA Angels 'AAA' reliever RICH THOMPSON has now posted 13 scoreless innings for the season, while BRENDAN WISE pitched another three scoreless frames for Detroit's 'AA' Erie and he collected a win.

Our "Honourable Mentions" for this week go to San Diego 'A' pitcher JOHN HUSSEY and his 'Advanced A' team mate MICHAEL COLLINS. Hussey was edged out of our top award this week because the guy who won the award for the third time in three weeks pitched an additional inning with a few more strike outs... Hussey wasn't far away! It is somewhat rare for us to give a special mention to player who bats .250 but, in this case, Michael Collins' 4-16 included a triple and two home runs for his .750 slugging percentage over the past week.

WA's remarkable strike out machine LIAM HENDRIKS scooped his third PPOW Award for the first three weeks of this season with another strong winning start as he takes his current season record to 2-0, 0.64ERA! On this occasion he is joined by his Beloit Snappers and AROOS team mate JAMES BERESFORD who is also no stranger to these awards over the past few seasons. James has endured a tough start with the bat so far in 2010, but he is steadily building his batting average back to a more Beresford-like standard. He is not there yet, however, his 6-17 this week has certainly helped and his .476 on base percentage was good news for his team.

 'Flintoff & Dunn' thought that these Twins deserved our top award this week:



 LIAM HENDRIKS  (A - Beloit Snappers)
   1G   1-0, 1.50ERA  6.0IP  5H  1ER  1BB  6K  --  Season  2-0, 0.64ERA


 JAMES BERESFORD  (A - Beloit Snappers)
   6G  .353AVG  17AB  3R  6H  1D  2RBI  .476OB%  --  Season .191AVG

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

John HUSSEY

(Padres 'A' Fort Wayne Tin Caps) 1G   1-0, 1.80ERA  5.0ip  5h  1er  1bb  3k

Michael COLLINS

(Padres 'A+' Lake Elsinore Storm) 4G   16AB  .250AVG  3R 4H  1T  2HR .750SLG%
  'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 26 APRIL 2010

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

For some reason it was a little more "quiet" for Australian players in the US professional leagues this week. It was a very rare occasion for us that we really didn't have too many contenders to seriously consider for our awards.

Among only five players to be mentioned this week, we felt that two pitchers were worthy of "Honourable Mention" but they fell just below the quantity of innings pitched to challenge for our major award. Minnesota Twins pair BRAD TIPPETT and MATT WILLIAMS were the ones we selected for mention. Tippett did not allow and earned run from his slightly brief 4.0 inning start, while Williams allowed just one earned run while collecting a win from his total of 4.1 relief innings. Both were good performers for the Twins 'High-A' Fort Myers Miracle.

Trumping them on this occasion were, making it two from two so far this season, LIAM HENDRIKS, along with major league reliever GRANT BALFOUR and South Aussie hitter STEFAN WELCH. Once again we would expect their statistics to speak for themselves as detailed below. To emphasise the variable life of a pitcher, Liam Hendriks allowed his very first earned run from his fourth start during this past week, yet he collected his first win of the season... go figure!

 'Flintoff & Dunn' thought that this trio deserved our top award this week:



 GRANT BALFOUR  (MLB - Tampa Bay Rays)
   3G   0-0, 1.80ERA  5.0IP  2H  1ER  1BB  7K  --  Season  0-0, 1.93ERA


 LIAM HENDRIKS  (A - Beloit Snappers)
   1G   1-0, 1.80ERA  5.0IP  1H  1ER  1BB  6K  --  Season  1-0, 0.41ERA


 STEFAN WELCH  (A+ - St. Lucie Mets)
   7G  .400AVG  25AB  4R  10H  2D  1HR  6RBI  .516OB%  --  Season .317AVG

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

Brad TIPPETT

(Twins 'A+' Fort Myers Miracle) 1G   0-0, 0.00ERA  4.0ip  2h  0er  3bb  4k

Matthew WILLIAMS

(Twins 'A+' Fort Myers Miracle) 2G   1-0, 2.20ERA  4.1ip  4h  1er  1bb  3k
  'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 19 APRIL 2010

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

Nice to be back for our fifth year of producing 'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK'. Early indications are that we will once again have plenty to ponder with many fine young Aussies featuring in the various leagues. We are already pleased to see PETE MOYLAN, GRANT BALFOUR and RYAN ROWLAND-SMITH flying our flag in the big leagues early in 2010, along with "comeback kid" BRAD THOMAS.

Although quite a few of our young Rookie League professionals are yet to start this season, it hasn't taken long for us to feel the pinch of adjudicating our award after the very first week-and-a-bit of this season. Colorado Rockies 'AAA' pitchers DAMIAN MOSS and SHANE LINDSAY just missed out on special mention, as did GRANT BALFOUR whose sample was just a bit too small for us this time. Likewise for young Philadelphia infielder ALAN SCHOENBERGER whose 5-8 came from too few at bats for us, along with his senior club mate JOEL NAUGHTON who batted 4-10.

West Aussies MATT KENNELLY, LUKE HUGHES and BRENDAN WISE were joined by former major leaguer RICH THOMPSON for our "Honourable Mentions" this week and, as we often say, they may have been in line for our major award on another week when the standard is not as high as it is this week.

We think you'll see that the extraordinary numbers speak for themselves for our joint winners of the first awards for 2010. Take your pick between the mighty batting of 2010 Claxton Shield slugger MICHAEL COLLINS whose .471 batting average was spiced by a 1.000 slugging percentage and recent AROOS tyro LIAM HENDRIKS who has started the 2010 season in near perfect fashion. I happen to know that young Liam was like a "caged lion" when he was shut down for our Claxton Shield competition this summer but it is already evident that he has lost none of his command or competitive edge! On top of those statistics listed for his two starts this past week, his first start of the season was also a scoreless five innings which yielded another seven strike outs... his overall strike outs versus walks ratio this season already stands at 20/1! Collins may be playing at a level or two below his capabilities, but we don't take this into account for these awards

 'Flintoff & Dunn' thought that this dynamic duo deserved our top award this week:



 LIAM HENDRIKS  (A - Beloit Snappers)
   2G   0-0, 0.00ERA  12.0IP  5H  0ER  1BB  13K  --  Season  0-0, 0.00ERA


 MICHAEL COLLINS  (A+ - Lake Elsinore Storm)
   5G  .471AVG  17AB  4R  8H  3D  2HR  3RBI  1.000SLG%  --  Season .345AVG

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

Brendan WISE

(Tigers 'AA' Erie Seawolves) 3G   0-0, 0.00ERA  5.2ip  2h  0er  2bb  4k

Rich THOMPSON

(Angels 'AAA' Salt lake Bees) 3G   0-0, 0.00ERA  7.2ip  2h  0er  2bb  4k

Luke HUGHES

(Twins 'AAA' Rochester Red Wings) 4G   15AB  .400AVG  4R  6H  5D  .733SLG%

Matt KENNELLY

(Braves 'A+' Myrtle Beach Pelicans) 5  19AB  .316AVG  1R  6H  1D  .381OB%