US PRO PLAYERS
OF THE WEEK - 2011

'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 12 SEPTEMBER 2011

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

With most of the minor leagues heading into off-season hibernation this left us with just one very easy choice for our final ‘Flintoff & Dunn’ PRO PLAYER OF THE WEEK AWARD for 2011.

Not only did WA star LIAM HENDRKS become only the 31st Australian to reach the US major leagues last week, but his sterling seven inning debut start was also worthy of our major award. Having won so many of our PPOW awards over recent seasons we could hardly be surprised that he has not gone unnoticed in professional ranks either.

Pitching for the struggling Minnesota Twins against the visiting Chicago White Sox Liam produced a quality start by any measure and he could hardly be blamed for coming out on the losing end when his offensive team mates were shut out in a 0-3 defeat. Hendriks pitched a very strong and most impressive 7.0ip 4h 3er 3bb 4k to begin his big league career with a deceptive 0-1, 3.86ERA record that has not done justice to the quality of his performance. We all hope that this is just the start of a long and successful career at the apex of world baseball for Liam Hendriks.

It’s a fitting way for us to draw the curtain for 2011... we look forward to bringing these awards back for our Subscribers in 2012.

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



 LIAM HENDRIKS  (MLB - Minnesota Twins)
  
1G   0-1, 3.86ERA  7.0IP  4H  3ER  3BB  4K  --  Season  0-1, 3.86ERA
  'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 5 SEPTEMBER 2011

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

As we usually do on these occasions we will begin these awards by recognising Victorian pitcher SHANE LINDSAY who became only the 30th Australian to play in the US major leagues this past weekend when he made his debut with the Chicago White Sox big league team. It’s always a massive moment for Australian baseball.

With the Minor Leagues coming towards a close for 2011 we found ourselves with only five realistic contenders for our nominations this week, but those were of a particularly high quality and quite difficult to separate. In the end we had to be especially tough on a couple of pitchers who we debated about for some time before deciding to go with just two 'Pro Players of the Week’. Even then we are not entirely convinced that we have done the right thing by depriving them of a share of our top award... anyway, here goes.

Most unlucky no to get a share of our primary award were pitchers CAMERON LAMB (Giants Short-Season 'A' level) and RYAN SEARLE (Cubs ‘AA’) who each pitched six scoreless innings, with Lamb also earning a win. Our other "Honourable Mention” went to Minnesota’s ‘High-A’ short stop JAMES BERESFORD who batted .316 for the past week with a .409 on base percentage and four RBIs.

Just, and we do mean just, shading them was Minnesota’s ‘AAA’ starter LIAM HENDRIKS on the strength on his eight inning winning start in which he allowed just one run with a 6/0 strike outs to walks ratio. In his case it may have just been the outing that guaranteed him a September call up to the major league Twins and we are looking out for him to become our 31st big leaguer soon! Another regular award winner to share our PPOW award this week is Casper Rockies’ Rookie DAVID KANDILAS who batted a mighty .435 with an even mightier .826 slugging percentage.

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



 LIAM HENDRIKS  (AAA - Rochester Red Wings)
  
1G   1-0, 1.13ERA  8.0IP  3H  1ER  0BB  6K  --  Season  4-4, 4.56ERA


 DAVID KANDILAS  (R+ - Casper Ghosts)
   5G  .435AVG  23AB  7R  10H  1D  1T  2HR  5RBI  .826SLG%  --  Season .332AVG

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

 Cameron LAMB (Giants 'A-ss' Salem-K Volcanoes) 1G   1-0, 0.00ERA  6.0ip  4h  0er  0bb  3k
 Ryan SEARLE (Cubs 'AAA' Tennessee Smokies) 1G   0-0, 0.00ERA  6.0ip  3h  0er  3bb  4k
 James BERESFORD (Twins 'A+' Fort Myers Miracle) 6G   19AB  .316AVG  4R  6H  4RBI  .409OB%
  'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 29 AUGUST 2011

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

To avoid accusations of “crying wolf” we must admit that it really wasn’t a difficult task to adjudicate upon our Pro Player of the Week Awards on this occasion. Our three nominations to share the main award quite clearly selected themselves, while the “Honourable Mentions” had remarkably similar performances.

To open with those “Honourable Mentions” it was just great to see our popular major league star PETER MOYLAN back in action at ‘AAA’ level with the Atlanta Braves where he pitched three scoreless innings over the past week. Others to pitch three scoreless innings were ANDREW RUSSELL (Braves), SHANE LINDSAY (White Sox) and AARON SOOKEE (Angels). We added Boston’s JUSTIN ERASMUS to this group on the strength of his 4.2 innings that allowed just one run. Boston slugger MOKO MOANAROA will also receive a mention for his 4-13 that comprised a double and a home run for his .615 slugging percentage... he had too few at bats to challenge for our major award.

For our PPOW Award we should start with our Minnesota Twins major leaguer LUKE HUGHES who has been scorching hot over the last couple of days to produce a 6-20 week that included two doubles and three home runs for a monster .850 slugging percentage. He will share the award with Twins starting pitchers LIAM HENDRIKS (AAA) and TIM ATHERTON  (Rookie) who both pitched terrific six inning, scoreless, winning starts. It was a Twins “Trifecta” this week!

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



 LUKE HUGHES  (MLB - Minnesota Twins)
   6G  .300AVG  20AB  3R  6H  2D  3HR  8RBI  .850SLG%  --  Season .245AVG


 LIAM HENDRIKS  (AAA - Rochester Red Wings)
  
1G   1-0, 0.08ERA  6.0IP  5H  0ER  0BB  5K  --  Season  3-4, 5.23ERA


 TIM ATHERTON  (R+ - Elizabethton Twins)
  
1G   1-0, 0.00ERA  6.0IP  3H  0ER  0BB  9K  --  Season  2-0, 2.00ERA

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

 Aaron SOOKEE (Angels 'R+' AZL Angels) 2G   0-0, 0.00ERA  3.0ip  3h  0er  1bb  5k  1Save
 Peter MOYLAN (Braves 'AAA' Gwinnett Braves) 3G   0-0, 0.00ERA  3.0ip  4h  0er  3bb  4k
 Andrew RUSSELL (Braves 'A+' Lynchburg Hillcats) 1G   0-0, 0.00ERA  3.0ip  3h  0er  0bb  1k
 Shane LINDSAY (White Sox 'AAA' Charlotte Knights) 2G   0-0, 0.00ERA  3.0ip  1h  0er  4bb  3k
 Justin ERASMUS (Red Sox 'A' Greenville Drive) 2G   0-0, 1.93ERA  4.2ip  5h  1er  2bb  2k
 Moko MOANAROA (Red Sox 'A-ss' Lowell Spinners) 4G   13AB  .308AVG  1R  4H  1D  1HR  2RBI  .615SLG%
  'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 22 AUGUST 2011

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

This week we had quite a number of highly creditable performances to rank for our awards. Ultimately, for the third week running, we have decided to elevate one pitcher and one hitter for our primary Pro Player of the Week Award. However, as you will see, there are more than the usual number of players nominated for “Honourable Mention” as it was simply too difficult to leave any of them out!

To begin with a few players who missed nominations chiefly because of samples that were too small, we had MATT KENNELLY who batted 4-11 with a double along with GUY EDMONDS who also batted 4-11 with a double and a triple. KABLE HOGBEN pitched just 3.2 innings yet he struck out six.

White Sox ‘AAA’ reliever SHANE LINDSAY was perhaps a tad unfortunate to miss our top award after collecting a save and striking out seven, but we just felt that his total of 4.1 innings was a little skinny. Twins Rookie TIM ATHERTON earned a win with his five inning start that yielded just two runs while Pirates Rookie JACKSON LODGE allowed only one run from five innings, even though he was saddled with a loss. Boston’s ‘A’ level pitcher JUSTIN ERASMUS allowed one run from six innings for a no-decision to be virtually matched by Twins ‘AAA’ starter LIAM HENDRIKS who allowed only two runs from six innings to take a hard-luck loss.

The hitters that just missed our major award also set a high standard, probably led by Twins Rookie RORY RHODES who batted .429 with a .571 slugging percentage. Next in line to just miss was regular award nominee DAVID KANDILAS who continues his fine season with .389 for the week plus a .611 SLG%. Just sneaking in for a nomination is Indians’ Rookie COREY ADAMSON who batted .295 with two triples that gave him a .529 SLG%.

Just ahead of all those for a share of our PPOW Award this week were Chicago Cubs ‘AA’ pitcher RYAN SEARLE and Minnesota Twins Rookie slugger JOSHUA HENDRICKS. Searle pitched a neat seven inning winning start that allowed just one earned run while he struck out six. Hendricks batted a barnstorming .500 with two doubles and a triple for a mighty .786 slugging percentage.

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



 RYAN SEARLE  (AA - Tennessee Smokies)
   1G   1-0, 1.29ERA  7.0IP  3H  1ER  3BB  6K  --  Season  5-2, 3.49ERA


 JOSHUA HENDRICKS  (R - GCL Twins)
   5G  .500AVG  14AB  3R  7H  2D  1T  0RBI  .786SLG%  --  Season .276AVG

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

 Rory RHODES (Twins 'R+' Elizabethton Twins) 4G   14AB  .429AVG  1R  6H  2D  2RBI  .571SLG%
 David KANDILAS (Rockies 'R+' Casper Rockies) 5G   18AB  .389AVG  4R  7H  2D  1T  0RBI  .611SLG%
 Corey ADAMSON (Padres 'R' AZL Padres) 4G   17AB  .294AVG  3R  5H  2T  0RBI  .529SLG%
 Shane LINDSAY (White Sox 'AAA' Charlotte Knights) 3G   0-0, 0.00ERA  4.1ip  1h  0er  2bb  7k
 Justin ERASMUS (Red Sox 'A' Greenville Drive) 3G   0-0, 1.50ERA  6.0ip  7h  1er  1bb  3k
 Jackson LODGE (Pirates 'R' GCL Pirates) 1G   0-1, 1.80ERA  5.0ip  2h  1er  0bb  3k
 Tim ATHERTON (Twins 'R+' Elizabethton Twins) 1G   1-0, 3.60ERA  5.0ip  5h  2er  2bb  5k
 Liam HENDRICKS (Twins 'AAA' Rochester Red Wings) 1G   0-1, 3.00ERA  6.0ip  6h  2er  0bb  4k
  'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 15 AUGUST 2011

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

It was another week of most interesting professional baseball for our Aussie boys. For the second week running we could not arrive at anything other than separating the best of the hitters and the best of our pitchers to share our Pro Player of the Week Award. We hope you agree that the pair we elevated above the others were the most deserving this week.

To start with those who will receive “Honourable Mention”, Twins’ pitcher TODD VAN STEESEL had a most eventful outing which saw him collect a win from his 3.1 innings where he struck out SEVEN and only one of the three runs he allowed was earned... we did say “eventful”! Four hitters will also receive “Honourable Mention” beginning with Padres’ Rookie COREY ADAMSON who batted .375 from 16 at bats with one home run included. Rangers’ Rookie GUY EDMONDS batted .364 from just 11 at bats, while Red Sox 'Short Season A' slugger BOSS MOANAROA batted .333 from 18 at bats. In normal circumstances we would not nominate Mets’ ‘High A’ star STEFAN WELCH who batted a decent .261 from 23 at bats, yet we simply couldn’t fail to mention the two home runs he hit for the week.

Outstripping those was Casper Rockies Rookie DAVID KANDILAS who batted 8-21 with two doubles and two triples for a .667 slugging percentage. He will share our PPOW Award with Diamondbacks’ pitcher KABLE HOGBEN who hurled 5.1 scoreless innings for their ‘A’ South Bend Silver Hawks with six punch outs. Very nice work by those guys!

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



 DAVID KANDILAS  (R+ - Casper Ghosts)
   5G  .381AVG  21AB  4R  8H  2D  2T  4RBI  .667SLG%  --  Season .320AVG


 KABLE HOGBEN  (A - South Bend Silver Hawks)
  
2G   0-0, 0.00ERA  5.1IP  2H  0ER  1BB  6K  --  Season  0-0, 2.25ERA

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

 Corey ADAMSON (Padres 'R' AZL Padres) 4G   16AB  .375AVG  4R  6H  1HR  3RBI  .563SLG%
 Guy EDMONDS (Rangers 'R' AZL Rangers) 4G   11AB  .364AVG  2R  4H  1D  4RBI  .455SLG%
 Boss MOANAROA (Red Sox 'A-ss' Lowell Spinners) 5G   18AB  .333AVG  2R  6H  2D  3RBI  .444SLG%
 Stefan WELCH (Mets 'A+' St.Lucie Mets) 6G   23AB  .361AVG  4R  6H  2HR  2RBI  .522SLG%
 Todd VAN STEENSEL (Twins 'R+' Elizabethton Twins) 1G   1-0, 2.70ERA  3.1ip  3h  1er  0bb  7k
  'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 8 AUGUST 2011

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

We haven’t complained quite as much recently about how difficult this job can be but, we have to say, this week has provided us with a task as tough as any that we can remember with some performances that were really hard to separate. In the end we opted for the best hitter and the best pitcher to share our major PPOW award, both coming from the Rookie Leagues.

The begin with those who will receive “Honourable Mention”, probably the most unfortunate player to miss our primary award this week is Colorado’s DAVID KANDILAS who, on most occasions, would have been in line for a share of the top award with his 8-24 that included two home runs for a .667 slugging percentage. Next most unfortunate was Atlanta’s ANDREW RUSSELL who threw five scoreless innings, with a win, for their ‘High A’ Lynchburg Hillcats. To emphasise how good the winners were, the next recipients were White Sox ‘AAA’ reliever SHANE LINDSAY who struck out six across four scoreless innings and Cleveland Rookie ANDREW CAMPBELL who batted .438 from 16 at bats.

Minnesota Rookie JOSHUA HENDRICKS batted 6-19 and Phillies ‘AA’ player TIM KENNELLY batted 5-16 to sneak in for “Honourable Mention”. Also earning the same mention were Cubs’ RYAN SEARLE whose winning start allowed just two runs from six innings, as did Twins’ Rookie TODD VAN STEENSEL who was consigned to a no-decision. Finally we could not overlook Boston’s JUSTIN ERASMUS who had a small sample of three total innings, yet he collected two wins from his two scoreless appearances.

The two Queensland players who we thought topped all of them were Indians' Rookie League catcher MITCH NILSSON, who carries that most famous of Australian baseball names, and Phillies Rookie League pitcher JOSH WARNER. Even though Nilsson had a relatively few 14 at bats for the week we just couldn’t go past his .571 average, .929 slugging percentage and .647 on base percentage. Warner pitched a terrific six inning scoreless start with five punch outs to just rise above the other fine pitching performances for the week. It is Warner's third Pro Player of the Week nomination.

Our loyal Subscribers would realise that we rarely mention Independent League players, who are not eligible to receive nominations here, but we feel compelled to mention our former major leaguer CHRIS OXSPRING who pitched a stunning complete game shutout for the Somerset Patriots against York Revolution in Atlantic League action. His line was 7.0ip 5h 0er 0bb 12k... yes, that reads zero walks and TWELVE strike outs folks!

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



 MITCH NILSSON  (R - AZL Indians)
   4G  .571AVG  14AB  3R  8H  2D  1HR  4RBI  .929SLG%  --  Season .400AVG


 JOSH WARNER  (R - GCL Phillies)
  
1G   1-0, 0.00ERA  6.0IP  4H  0ER  2BB  5K  --  Season  2-3, 5.93ERA

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

 David KANDILAS (Rockies 'R+' Casper Rockies) 6G   24AB  .333AVG  5R  8H  1T  2D  4RBI  .667SLG%
 Andrew RUSSELL (Twins 'A+' Lynchburg Hillcats) 2G   1-0, 0.00ERA  5.0ip  4h  0er  3bb  2k
 Andrew CAMPBELL (Indians 'R' AZL Indians) 4G   16AB  .438AVG  5R  7H  2D  1RBI  .563SLG%
 Shane LINDSAY (White Sox 'AAA' Charlotte Knights) 2G   0-0, 0.00ERA  4.0ip  2h  0er  1bb  6k
 Joshua HENDRICKS (Twins 'R' GCL Twins) 4G   19AB  .316AVG  5R  7H  1D  3RBI  .368SLG%
 Tim KENNELLY (Phillies 'AA' Reading Phillies) 4G   16AB  .313AVG  2R  5H  1D  4RBI  .375SLG%
 Ryan SEARLE (Cubs 'AAA' Tennessee Smokies) 1G   1-0, 3.00ERA  6.0ip  4h  2er  4bb  1k
 Todd VAN STEENSEL (Twins 'R+' Elizabethton Twins) 1G   0-0, 3.00ERA  6.0ip  6h  2er  0bb  6k
 Justin ERASMUS (Red Sox 'A' Greenville Drive) 2G   2-0, 0.00ERA  3.0ip  2h  0er  0bb  2k
  'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 1 AUGUST 2011

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

There was some solid competition from both sides of the baseball “pitching / hitting equation” vying for our award nominations this week. Even though he pitched too few innings to really figure in the nominations we must again mention our most recent major leaguer JOSH SPENCE who posted three more hitless and scoreless relief outings for the San Diego Padres last week.

This week we will begin with the two outstanding hitters who shared our primary Pro Player of the Week award; namely STEFAN WELCH and DAVID KANDILAS who both finished the week with identical .455 batting averages and .478 on base percentages. Welch had a home run among his 10-22 for the ‘Advanced A’ St.Lucie Mets, while Kandilas had five doubles among his 10-22 for Colorado’s ‘A’ level Casper Ghosts. We found it much tougher to compare a bevy of pitchers that included five who collected wins. In the end we thought that Phillies Rookie Leaguer JOSH WARNER just shaded some others for a share of our top award. His winning start for the Gulf Coast Phillies saw him allow two runs from six innings with a 6/1 strike outs to walks ratio.

Chicago Cubs ‘AA’ pitcher RYAN SEARLE had one winning start that would have placed him easily among our top award winners this week when he struck out seven with 7.1 innings of one run ball; however, unfortunately for him, his statistics for the week were dulled by another not so brilliant start. This left him among our “Honourable Mentions” for the week. Angels Rookie AARON SOOKEE didn’t quite pitch sufficient innings to be ranked higher and Detroit Tigers’ ‘AAA’ reliever BRENDAN WISE was in a similar boat. The prolific LIAM HENDRIKS was very solid in collecting his first win at ‘AAA’ level for Minnesota, taking him to nine wins for the season overall.

Minnesota’s ‘High-A’ short stop prodigy JIMMY BERESFORD was just rated behind those others hitters, even though he had a terrific 10-28 week and he is riding a nine game hitting streak that has already comprised four multi-hit games. Twins Rookie Leaguer JACOB YOUNIS batted .400 for the week but his total of 15 at bats was too few for him to receive an even higher ranking.

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



 STEFAN WELCH  (A+ - St.Lucie Mets)
   6G  .455AVG  22AB  4R  10H  1HR  2RBI  .591SLG%  --  Season .285AVG


 DAVID KANDILAS  (R+ - Casper Ghosts)
   5G  .455AVG  22AB  6R  10H  5D  3RBI  .682SLG%  --  Season .308AVG


 JOSH WARNER  (R - GCL Phillies)
  
1G   1-0, 3.00ERA  6.0IP  5H  2ER  1BB  6K  --  Season  2-3, 6.87ERA

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

 James BERESFORD (Twins 'A+' Fort Myers Miracle) 7G   28AB  .357AVG  3R  10H  1D  1RBI  .419OB%
 Jacob YOUNIS (Twins 'R' GCL Twins) 4G   15AB  .400AVG  2R  6H  1D  2RBI  .467SLG%
 Brendan WISE (Tigers 'AAA' Toledo Mud Hens) 2G   1-0, 0.00ERA  4.1ip  1h  0er  1bb  4k
 Aaron SOOKEE (Angels 'R' AZL Angels) 2G   1-0, 0.00ERA  3.0ip  1h  0er  3bb  6k
 Liam HENDRIKS (Twins 'AAA' Rochester Red Wings) 1G   1-0, 4.50ERA  6.0ip  8h  3er  1bb  3k
 Ryan SEARLE (Cubs 'AAA' Tennessee Smokies) 2G   1-0, 3.75ERA  12.0ip  13h  5er  2bb  12k
  'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 25 JULY 2011

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

Quite unusually our award nominations this week have been dominated by Australian hitters, while our pitching fraternity was relatively quiet for a change. To quickly mention a couple of pitchers who missed out on nominations, one of our most prolific award winners, LIAM HENDRIKS, has had a whirlwind week or two that started with his appearance in the prestigious Futures Game during the All-Star break and culminated in his promotion to Minnesota’s ‘AAA’ Rochester. His first start at ‘AAA” level was another typically effective no-decision. Chicago White Sox ‘AAA’ reliever SHANE LINDSAY continues to do a sterling job with another 3.2 innings of scoreless pitching.

Our most recent new major leaguer JOSH SPENCE had a slightly too small sample to figure in our major award, but we couldn’t overlook his 4.1 scoreless innings for the big league Padres that included seven punch outs! He sneaked in for “Honourable Mention” this week. Joining him were three hitters, while at least two of those would have normally expected a share of our major award with the numbers they produced... unfortunately there was a couple of batters who were simply outstanding this past week.

The “Honourable Mentions” went to Boston Red Sox ‘AA’ outfielder MITCH DENING, Minnesota Twins ‘High-A’ short stop JIMMY BERESFORD and Texas Rangers Rookie League catcher GUY EDMONDS. Beresford batted .345 from 29 at bats, while Dening batted .346 from 26 at bats with a couple of home runs included. Edmonds batted .333 from just just 18 at bats, but we also liked his six RBIs and his home run.

The two batters who we separated for our Pro Player of the Week award this week were Mets’ ‘High-A’ infielder STEFAN WELCH and Red Sox short-season 'A' player BOSS MOANAROA. Welch batted a mighty .524 for the week with a home run, while Moanaroa batted .435 with two doubles, a triple and a home run for ten big runs driven in. I don’t think many could argue with those statistics.

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



 STEFAN WELCH  (A+ - St.Lucie Mets)
   6G  .524AVG  21AB  7R  11H  1HR  3RBI  .667SLG%  --  Season .273AVG


 BOSS MOANAROA  (A-ss - Lowell Spinners)
   7G  .435AVG  23AB  4R  10H  2D  1T  1HR  10RBI  .739SLG%  --  Season .309AVG

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

 James BERESFORD (Twins 'A+' Fort Myers Miracle) 7G   29AB  .345AVG  3R  10H  1D  2RBI  .387OB%
 Mitch DENING (Red Sox 'AA' Portland Sea Dogs) 7G   26AB  .346AVG  4R  9H  2HR  3RBI  .577SLG%
 Guy EDMONDS (Rangers 'R' AZL Rangers) 4G   18AB  .333AVG  4R  6H   3D   6RBI  .667SLG%
 Josh SPENCE (Padres 'MLB' San Diego Padres) 4G   0-0, 0.00ERA  4.1ip  1h  0er  3bb  7k
  'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 18 JULY 2011

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

Whereas this has usually proven to be a tough task, ‘Flintoff & Dunn’ will not be accused of becoming the “boy that cried wolf” by admitting that this time it has not been too difficult to assess our award nominations this week.

To begin by mentioning a pair that missed out on nominations we will give a brief mention to Rookie League players AARON SOOKEE and GUY EDMONDS who had very small samples of work, yet they did all that they could to impress. Pitcher Sookee pitched a total of 2.1 “no hit” and scoreless innings, while Texas catcher Edmonds batted 3-9 with those three hits being two doubles and a home run.

Pittsburgh Pirates Rookie League pitcher JACKSON LODGE earns an “Honourable Mention” this week for his tally of five innings that allowed just one run to score. He was joined by a trio of hitters STEFAN WELCH, MATT KENNELLY and MITCH DENING. Mets’ ‘High-A’ infielder Welch batted .353 from 17 at bats while the other pair just had too few plate appearances to really be considered for our primary award. Atlanta’s Kennelly batted 5-12 while Boston’s Dening batted 5-13 with two doubles and a mighty seven RBIs; both playing at ‘AA’ level.

Perhaps the leading nomination for our Pro Player of the Week this time was Minnesota short stop JAMES BERESFORD who has emerged from a minor cool spell with the bat to hit 9-20 this week with two doubles and five driven in. We also selected two Rookie League pitchers who threw impressive winning starts for their respective teams. Phillies JOSH WARNER and Twins TODD VAN STEENSEL pitched almost identical one run outings with Warner going seven innings and Van Steensel going six. We felt that these three players were standout winners of our top award this week.

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



 JAMES BERESFORD  (A+ - Fort Myers Miracle)
   5G  .450AVG  20AB  1R  9H  5RBI  .550SLG%  --  Season .271AVG


 JOSH WARNER  (R - GCL Phillies)
  
1G   1-0, 1.29ERA  7.0IP  2H  1ER  1BB  6K  --  Season  1-1, 5.27ERA


 TODD VAN STEENSEL  (R+ - Elizabethton Twins)
  
1G   1-0, 1.80ERA  6.0IP  2H  1ER  1BB  4K  --  Season  3-0, 3.55ERA

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

 Stefan WELCH (Mets 'A+' St.Lucie Mets) 5G   17AB  .353AVG  2R  6H  2D  1T  4BB  .588SLG%
 Mitch DENING (Red Sox 'AA' Portland Sea Dogs) 5G   13AB  .385AVG  4R  5H  2D  7RBI  .538SLG%
 Matt KENNELLY (Braves 'AA' Mississippi Braves) 3G   12AB  .417AVG  2R  5H  1RBI  .462OB%
 Jackson LODGE (Pirates 'R' GCL Pirates) 2G   0-0, 1.80ERA  5.0ip  5h  1er  0bb  1k
  'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 11 JULY 2011

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

Like so many of our previous efforts over the years, this week provided us with another real headache in terms of how to assess and compare our award nominations. We might start this time by mentioning a couple of our major league guys who didn’t feature among the awards but they have been flying the Aussie flag in the “bigs” with distinction... those being our two most recent new major leaguers. Minnesota infielder LUKE HUGHES had one big day last week with a 3-4 game that included a vital three run bomb. San Diego lefty pitcher JOSH SPENCE finally saw his run of nine straight scoreless appearances from debut broken with a run allowed today after four scoreless relief efforts for the past week.

Following some serious discussion we eventually decided not to separate four pitchers who produced at least 4.2 innings of scoreless pitching with some very fine supporting numbers. If we had to separate them our top award probably would have gone to Angels Rookie League righty AARON SOOKEE who collected two wins from his two scoreless relief outings with five strikeouts versus one free pass. Next cab off the rank might have been Arizona’s short-season ‘A’ reliever KABLE HOGBEN who posted 5.0 scoreless innings with 6/1 strikeouts to walks. Twins’ Rookie TODD VAN STEENSEL took a win with his 5.0 scoreless innings, while Boston’s JUSTIN ERASMUS joined the quartet with 5.1 scoreless innings.

We separated those four scoreless efforts from pitchers CAMERON LAMB and BRENDAN WISE, along with the one hitter, JAMES BERESFORD, who just grabbed our attention with an interesting set of statistics. San Francisco’s short-season ‘A’ pitcher Lamb gave up a couple of runs from his quality seven innings start, but we also liked his 6/0 strike outs versus walks. Detroit’s ‘AAA’ reliever Wise added a win from his small 3.0 inning scoreless sample for the week. Twins’ short stop Jimmy Beresford would not have earned a mention simply from his pretty decent 5-18 for the week had it not been for the stunningly high seven walks that left him with a .480 on base percentage for the period. This trio will be nominated for “Honourable Mention”.

And, if anyone might be wondering why the seeming "ever present" LIAM HENDRIKS hasn't featured in these awards on this rare occasion... well, he has a very good excuse. He has not pitched this past week mainly because his excellent 2011 season has earned him selection in the prestigious MLB Futures Game where he will be pitching for the World Team today!

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



 AARON SOOKEE  (R - AZL Angels)
  
2G   2-0, 0.00ERA  4.2IP  0H  0ER  1BB  5K  --  Season  2-1, 1.59ERA


 TODD VAN STEENSEL  (R+ - Elizabethton Twins)
  
1G   1-0, 0.00ERA  5.0IP  4H  0ER  1BB  2K  --  Season  2-0, 4.19ERA


 KABLE HOGBEN  (A-ss - Yakima Bears)
  
2G   0-0, 0.00ERA  5.0IP  1H   0ER  1BB   6K  --  Season  1-0, 0.53ERA


 JUSTIN ERASMUS  (A - Greenville Drive)
  
2G   0-0, 0.00ERA  5.1IP  2H   0ER  2BB   4K  --  Season  2-0, 1.26ERA

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

 James BERESFORD (Twins 'A+' Fort Myers Miracle) 6G   18AB  .278AVG  6R  5H  7BB  .480OB%
 Cameron LAMB (Giants 'A-ss' Salem-Keizer Volcanoes) 1G   0-0, 2.57ERA  7.0ip  5h  2er  0bb  6k
 Brendan WISE (Tigers 'AAA' Toledo Mud Hens) 2G   1-0, 0.00ERA  3.0ip  1h  0er  2bb  3k
  'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 4 JULY 2011

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

To start from the top this week, for the sixth time this season, and the 17th time overall, we were compelled by his weight of performance to nominate Minnesota’s ‘AA’ starter LIAM HENDRIKS for a share of our Pro Player of the Week Award. We don’t particularly like to sound like the proverbial “broken record” with the regularity of his selection; however, our only task is to recognise performance, not to share these awards around for the heck of it! I’m sure you’d agree that Liam’s two starts this week were worthy of the award with his total of 13 innings that collected his eighth win of the season with only three runs allowed for a 11/2 strikeouts versus walks ratio.

The man to share the award with Hendriks this week was Colorado Rookie tyro DAVID KANDILAS who hit for the cycle in one game the previous week and he followed this by batting a torrid 10-23 with a .696 slugging percentage this past week. Suffice to say that he is "on a tear" at present.

Mainly due to much smaller sample sizes, we selected five others for “Honourable Mention” this week. Major league outfielder TRENT OELTJEN batted 6-11, including a home run, for the big league LA Dodgers to make sure that he won’t be sent down any time soon, while Minnesota Rookie League youngster JOSHUA HENDRICKS batted 6-12 including a triple to demonstrate his potential. Maybe more unfortunate to miss our top awards this week was Boston's 'AA' outfielder MITCH DENING who batted 6-16 with a .688 slugging percentage. Joining them are pitchers JUSTIN ERASMUS and MITCHELL FIENEMANN who both threw a total of four innings from two outings, while allowing just one run each. Boston’s Erasmus recorded his second win for their ‘A’ team Greenville and Fienemann took a save for Pittsburgh’s short-season ‘A’ club State College Spikes.

Not quite earning an award nomination, but still worthy of mention were new major league pitcher JOSH SPENCE, who had three scoreless relief appearances for the Angels, and Detroit’s ‘AAA’ reliever BRENDAN WISE who also had three scoreless relief appearances. Chicago Cubs ‘AA’ pitcher RYAN SEARLE was not at his sharpest, yet he also collected a win this past week.

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



 LIAM HENDRIKS  (AA - New Britain Rock Cats)
  
2G   1-0, 2.08ERA  13.0IP  11H  3ER  2BB  11K  --  Season  8-2, 2.70ERA


 DAVID KANDILAS  (R+ - Casper Ghosts)
   6G  .435AVG  23AB  9R  10H  3RBI  .696SLG%  --  Season .347AVG

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

 Mitch DENING (Red Sox 'AA' Portland Sea Dogs) 6G   16AB  .375AVG  6H  12D  1HR  .688SLG%
 Trent OELTJEN (Dodgers 'MLB' LA Dodgers) 5G   11AB  .545AVG  6H  1T  1HR  1.000SLG%
 Joshua HENDRICKS (Twins 'R' GCL Twins) 4G   12AB  .500AVG  6H  1T  2BB  .571OB%
 Mitchell FIENEMANN (Pirates 'A-ss' State College Spikes) 2G   0-0, 2.25ERA  4.0ip  1h  1er  2bb  1k
 Justin ERASMUS (Red Sox 'A-ss' Greenville Drive) 2G   0-0, 2.25ERA  4.0ip  4h  1er  0bb  4k
  'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 27 JUNE 2011

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

To start with the most significant event of the week ‘Flintoff & Dunn’ will once again take this opportunity to herald the 29th Australian to reach the US major leagues with Victorian lefty pitcher JOSH SPENCE making his debut with the San Diego Padres big league team this past weekend. Josh has now had two “no hit” starts and he is yet to allow a base runner ... long may it continue!

The other thing that has happened this week is the start of the professional Rookie and Short-Season ‘A’ Leagues which have already seen several new Aussie youngsters in action. One of those to miss an award this week due to insufficient sample size is Texas catcher GUY EDMONDS whose 3-7 included a double and a home run. COREY ADAMSON’s 3-12 comprised three doubles, while Mets’ star STEFAN WELCH hammered another long ball last week.

To start with those who earned “Honourable Mention” this time we will start with Colorado Rookie DAVID KANDILAS who batted a reasonable .269, yet it was his one double, three triples and one home run that grabbed our attention for his .654 slugging percentage. Boston’s BOSS MOANAROA also just missed out with his .300 batting average and his .500 slugging percentage that came via a double and a homer.

Pitchers to receive “Honourable Mention” are short-season ‘A’ guys MITCHELL FIENEMANN and CAMERON LAMB who both enjoyed very good starts to their seasons. Fienemann pitched four relief outings without allowing an earned run, even though he took a loss during the week, while Lamb allowed just one run from his quality six inning start.

Those that we selected ahead of them for our Pro Player of the Week awards are LIAM HENDRIKS, for the fifth time this season, KABLE HOGBEN and hitter RORY RHODES who were quite outstanding. Minnesota’s ‘AA’ ace Hendriks collected his seventh win of the season for New Britain with his seven innings of one run ball, including six strike outs. Arizona’s Hogben struck out nine across his five scoreless innings of dominant pitching in an eye-catching effort. The one hitter to rise above those others mentioned was Twins’ Rookie Rhodes who, not only batted .353 for the week but three doubles and a home run left him with a bulging .706 slugging percentage.

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



 LIAM HENDRIKS  (AA - New Britain Rock Cats)
  
1G   1-0, 1.29ERA  7.0IP  8H  1ER  1BB  6K  --  Season  7-2, 2.81ERA


 KABLE HOGBEN  (A-ss - Yakima Bears)
  
3G   0-0, 0.00ERA  5.0IP  2H  0ER  0BB  9K  --  Season  1-0, 0.00ERA


 RORY RHODES  (R+ - Elizabethton Twins)
   4G  .353AVG  17AB  2R  6H  2RBI  .706SLG%  --  Season .353AVG

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

 Boss MOANAROA (Red Sox 'A-ss' Greenville Drive) 5G   20AB  .300AVG  6H  1D  1HR  .500SLG%
 David KANDILAS (Rockies 'R+' Casper Ghosts) 6G   26AB  .269AVG  7H  1D  3T  1HR  .654SLG%
 Mitchell FIENEMANN (Pirates 'A-ss' State College Spikes) 4G   0-1, 0.00ERA  3.2ip  3h  0er  1bb  1k
 Cameron LAMB (Giants 'A-ss' Salem-Keizer Volcanoes) 1G   0-0, 1.50ERA  6.0ip  1h  1er  3bb  5k
  'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 20 JUNE 2011

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

I’m not going to spend the time to sift through all of our previous award winners, but we’re fairly confident that this will be the first time, or at least one of very few, that all of our award winners come from one side of the baseball contest... in this case pitching! To quickly mention a couple of players who did not make the cut this week we would still like to recognise that Mets’ infielder STAFAN WELCH added another long ball to his season resume and that HAYDEN BEARD added another win, even though this fine effort was balanced by a poor one this past week.

In the end we separated one pitcher for our primary award ahead of four others who will receive “Honourable Mention” while, we have to say, there was not a huge gap between them. To open our “Honourable Mentions” this week we could not go past Chicago White Sox ‘AAA’ reliever SHANE LINDSAY who continues to defy his modest form in Australian competition and a propensity to walk more than most others by being very hard to hit in the States. No doubt Shane relied on his naturally high velocity to pitch four scoreless innings while collecting another win in the process.

Back in short-season ‘A’ ball with the Diamondbacks is KABLE HOGBEN who warmed to the task with three scoreless innings for a win, while striking out five and walking none. Chicago Cubs ‘AA’ pitcher RYAN SEARLE pitched 5-plus innings for just one run while striking out five. CAMERON LAMB made a sterling 2011 debut for the Giants short-season ‘A’ team Yakima with a win from his five inning effort that saw just one run cross the plate.

Outstripping all of those, we thought, for our Pro Player of the Week was San Diego Padres ‘AA’ lefty reliever JOSH SPENCE who made five appearances for the week for a total of eight scoreless innings that included a win. He scooped our top award mainly because of the extra innings he pitched over the span while keeping a blank scoresheet. Let’s face it, they were all very good efforts!

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



 JOSH SPENCE  (AA - San Antonio Missions)
  
5G   1-0, 0.00ERA  8.0IP  2H  0ER  1BB  4K  --  Season  3-1, 1.71ERA

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

 Shane LINDSAY (White Sox 'AAA' Charlotte Knights) 1G   1-0, 0.00ERA  4.0ip  1h  0er  3bb  5k
 Kable HOGBEN (Diamondbacks 'A-ss' Yakima Bears) 1G   1-0, 0.00ERA  3.0ip  1h  0er  0bb  5k
 Ryan SEARLE (Cubs 'AA' Tennessee Smokies) 2G   0-0, 1.69ERA  5.1ip  7h  1er  1bb  5k
 Cameron LAMB (Giants 'A-ss' Salem-Keizer Volcanoes) 1G   1-0, 1.80ERA  5.0ip  4h  1er  2bb  4k
  'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 13 JUNE 2011

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

Realistic candidates for our Pro Player of the Week Awards may have been relatively few recently, but this week was by far the fewest that we can remember since we started publishing these weekly awards. On this occasion there were only four players that we considered worthy of special mention; however, it was by no means a simple matter to decide how to adjudicate the different levels of awards this week.

To mention a few that didn’t quite qualify for our awards due to small sample sizes this week, we’ll start with Oakland Athletics major leaguer GRANT BALFOUR who collected a win from three scoreless relief efforts. Flintoff & Dunn’ is also delighted to see Aussie TRENT OELTJEN make a long awaited well deserved return to the big leagues with the LA Dodgers. Chicago White Sox ‘AAA’ reliever SHANE LINDSAY hurled three more hitless and scoreless innings while Philadelphia’s ‘AA’ catcher TIM KENNELLY nailed a home run during this past week.

Having already said that it was difficult to separate the top award winners we’ll start again this week with our two Pro Players of the Week, both favourite sons of Western Australia. For the fourth time this year and the 16th time overall pitching prodigy LIAM HENDRIKS could not be overlooked with his latest winning start for Minnesota’s ‘AA’ New Britain. Liam allowed just one run  over six innings to snare his sixth win of the season. Joining him for our PPOW award is Minnesota major leaguer LUKE HUGHES who is establishing himself in the “bigs” with 9-22 over the past week while providing versatile infield defence.

The two players that just missed out, but will receive “Honourable Mention”, can consider themselves a tad unfortunate not to be bracketed with our top award winners. They are San Diego ‘AA’ reliever JOSH SPENCE and Mets’ infielder STEFAN WELCH who were also worthy of special mention. To explain why we graded them just slightly behind the other pair, we felt that Welch’s 14 total at bats was a bit too few when compared with Hughes’ total of 22. Even though Spence totalled the same six innings from his four relief appearances we do expect relief pitchers to maintain lower ERAs than starters who have to contend with the same batters more than once in the same outing. In this case Spence allowed two runs compared with Hendriks’ one, while we do recognise the 6/1 strike outs to walks ratio that Spence produced.

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



 LIAM HENDRIKS  (AA - New Britain Rock Cats)
  
1G   1-0, 1.50ERA  6.0IP  7H  1ER  1BB  3K  --  Season  6-2, 2.63ERA


 LUKE HUGHES  (MLB - Minnesota Twins)
   6G  .409AVG  22AB  4R  9H  1RBI  .409OB%  --  Season .270AVG

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

 Josh SPENCE (Padres 'AA' San Antonio Missions) 4G   1-0, 3.00ERA  6.0ip  4h  2er  1bb  6k
 Stefan WELCH (Mets 'A+' St.Lucie Mets) 5G   14AB  .429AVG  6H  3D  .643SLG%
  'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 6 JUNE 2011

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

Well, we guess that it is probably a case of “Murphy’s Law” that, just when we have been asked to publish the number of awards won by our Australian professional players, two of our most prolific winners take the bacon again this week. To start with them for a change, Twins’ ‘AA’ starting pitcher LIAM HENDRIKS has been more hot than not over the past few years, yet his magnificent seven inning winning start this week must have been at least as good as anything he has produced previously. His seven shutout innings comprised seven punch outs and not a single walk... it was somewhat typical of what this young guy often brings to the diamond. Hendriks won his 15th ‘PPOW’ Award among 25 total nominations.

One of the very few ahead of him and leading the pack is LA Dodgers’ ‘AAA’ outfielder TRENT OELTJEN who collected his 21st ‘PPOW’ among 47 total nominations.  His .333 batting average may not have been stunning enough but when we noticed that his 18 at bats included two doubles and two home runs we simply couldn’t go past his .778 slugging percentage for the week, or his five runs driven in. ‘Flintoff & Dunn’ maintain the opinion that the famous Dodgers are not playing so brilliantly that they can afford to leave this guy out of the big leagues!

Atlanta catcher MATT KENNELLY had a slightly better average than Trent with .375 for the week but his lack of comparable power numbers left him with an “Honourable Mention”. We gave the same billing to White Sox ‘AAA’ reliever SHANE LINDSAY who earned a win and struck out five across 3.2 scoreless innings.  Padres’ reliever HAYDEN BEARD also earned a win from his 4.2 innings of one run pitching to sneak in for “Honourable Mention”.

To give some kudos to those who missed nominations this week, very briefly, LUKE HUGHES has batted 3-7 since being recalled to the majors by Minnesota, while RICH THOMPSON has struck out three with two scoreless innings for the major league Angels. BRENDAN WISE and JOSH SPENCE pitched two scoreless outings, as did RYAN SEARLE when none of the four runs posted against him were earned! Atlanta’s ANDREW RUSSELL had one fine outing in relief and one that cost him a few runs... no prizes for guessing that it was his poorer outing that recorded him a win... baseball is a funny old game!

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



 LIAM HENDRIKS  (AA - New Britain Rock Cats)
  
1G   1-0, 0.00ERA  7.0IP  6H  0ER  0BB  7K  --  Season  5-2, 2.75ERA


 TRENT OELTJEN  (AAA - Albuquerque Isotopes)
   5G  .333AVG  18AB  3R  6H  2D  2HR  .778SLG%  --  Season .326AVG

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

 Shane LINDSAY (White Sox 'AAA' Charlotte Knights) 3G   1-0, 0.00ERA  3.2ip  2h  0er  1bb  5k
 Hayden BEARD (Padres 'A+' Lake Elsinore Storm) 3G   1-0, 1.93ERA  4.2ip  4h  1er  0bb  2k
 Matt KENNELLY (Braves 'AA' Mississippi Braves) 4G   16AB  .375AVG  6H  .412OB%
  'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 30 MAY 2011

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

Once again there didn’t seem to be the usual number of legitimate contenders for our awards this week, but those who did come into consideration enjoyed some very good performances over the past week. In the end we didn’t have too much trouble selecting one pitcher and one hitter for our primary award, even though the players who missed out were also high achievers.

Earning ‘Honourable Mention” this week was the ever-present recent major leaguer TRENT OELTJEN who continues to maintain his extremely consistent and high standards at ‘AAA’ with the LA Dodgers. Perhaps not quite so impressive was Atlanta’s ‘AA’ catcher MATTHEW KENNELLY who batted .320 from a smallish 14 at bats but his home run pushed his slugging percentage to .571 and this earned him a share of the award. San Diego’s ‘AA’ pitcher JOSH SPENCE had another strong week with five scoreless innings; however, we felt that this sample was just a bit too small for him to get another PPOW nomination this week.

Edging out those guys, we felt, were Minnesota’s ‘AA’ starting pitcher LIAM HENDRIKS who is certainly no stranger to these awards. Neither is New York Mets ‘High-A’ infielder STEFAN WELCH who earned a share of our top award this week. Hendriks pitched two starts during this period for one splendid win and one no-decision with both efforts comprising seven innings for an overall 15/3 strike outs versus walks ratio. Welch batted 7-19 with two doubles and a home run for a .632 slugging percentage.

In response to several of our subscribers, we have now kept a running total of the number of our F&D awards that players have received since we started these weekly awards way back in 2006. It would not surprise many that Liam Hendriks is among the most prolific award winners with a total of 24 mentions, including 14 ‘PPOW Awards’. Welch has also received many with 18 (8). The man who leads the pack by a fair margin, and yes he did start earlier than some, is Trent Oeltjen who has racked up our awards every year and he now has a total of 46 mentions (20 PPOW). We will try to include these running totals often from now on for those who are interested.

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



 LIAM HENDRIKS  (AA - New Britain Rock Cats)
  
2G   1-0, 2.57ERA  14.0IP  13H  4ER  3BB  15K  --  Season  4-2, 3.12ERA


 STEFAN WELCH  (A+ - St.Lucie Mets)
   6G  .368AVG  19AB  4R  7H  2D  1HR  .632SLG%  --  Season .273AVG

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

 Josh SPENCE (Padres 'AA' San Antonio Missions) 3G   0-0, 0.00ERA  5.0ip  4h  0er  1bb  4k
 Trent OELTJEN (Dodgers 'AAA' Albuquerque Isotopes) 7G   25AB  .320AVG  2R  8H  1BB  .346OB%
 Matt KENNELLY (Braves 'AA' Mississippi Braves) 4G   14AB  .286AVG  4H  1D  1HR  .571SLG%
  'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 23 MAY 2011

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

For a variety of reasons it wasn’t by any means a clear-cut decision about how to allocate our awards for this week. For example, we had two pitchers who collected wins despite relatively few innings pitched, one pitcher who took a hard luck loss while pitching a quality start and one outstanding hitting effort from a smallish sample of plate appearances.

While we are expecting some disagreement with our selections this week, we decided to reserve our primary award for three pitchers who did not allow a score for the week. Two had fairly small totals of innings pitched but both had a win and very high strike out totals that caught our attention. Oakland major league reliever GRANT BALFOUR pitched only three scoreless innings but he had a win and six strike outs for the week. Similarly San Diego ‘High-A’ reliever HAYDEN BEARD pitched 3.2 scoreless innings for the week with a win and six Ks. Joining them with a share of our main award is San Diego’s ‘AA’ lefty JOSH SPENCE who hurled five scoreless innings for the week.

Perhaps unfortunate to miss this cut was White Sox ‘AAA’ reliever SHANE LINDSAY who also pitched three scoreless innings but he didn’t get a win or strike out quite so many as Balfour and Beard. Just to show that recording a win isn’t always the best indication of pitching success, Minnesota’s regular award winner LIAM HENDRICKS still qualified for an "Honourable Mention” following his hard luck loss where only one of the three runs he allowed was earned.

We also had to think long and hard this week about the batting of LA Dodgers ‘AAA’ star TRENT OELTJEN whose gaudy .462 average came from  only 13 at bats and NY Mets ‘High-A’ infielder STEFAN WELCH who batted .320 from 25 at bats, including a home run during the week. In the end we decided that both would receive an "Honourable Mention” this week. We agonised over whether either or both deserved a share of our main award and there is certainly room for debate.

As we always say, we’re happy to hear what you think!

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



 JOSH SPENCE  ('AA' - San Antonio Missions)
  
3G   0-0, 0.00ERA  5.0IP  3H  0ER  0BB  3K  --  Season  0-1, 2.01ERA


 HAYDEN BEARD  ('A+' - Lake Elsinore Storm)
  
2G   1-0, 0.00ERA  3.2IP  3H  0ER  1BB  6K  --  Season  1-0, 3.13ERA


 GRANT BALFOUR  (MLB - Oakland Athletics)
  
3G   1-0, 0.00ERA  3.0IP  2H  0ER  0BB  6K  --  Season  3-1, 1.31ERA

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

 Liam HENDRIKS (Twins 'AA' New Britain Rock Cats) 1G   0-1, 1.50ERA  6.0ip  7h  1er  1bb  6k
 Shane LINDSAY (White Sox 'AAA' Charlotte Knights) 2G   0-0, 0.00ERA  3.0ip  1h  0er  2bb  4k
 Trent OELTJEN (Dodgers 'AAA' Albuquerque Isotopes) 4G   13AB  .462AVG  1R  6H  4BB  .588OB%
 Stefan WELCH (Mets 'A+' St.Lucie Mets) 6G   25AB  .320AVG  5R  8H  1HR .480SLG%
  'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 16 MAY 2011

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

By comparison with previous weeks this season it was relatively “slim pickings” as far as finding realistic candidates for our awards this week. To quickly mention a couple of players who missed out due to lack of sample size for the week, quality relievers BRENDAN WISE and GRANT BALFOUR pitched three and two scoreless appearances respectively to maintain their excellent season records so far. Wise at 'AAA' with the Tigers and Balfour in the majors with the Athletics.

We thought that one pitcher really stood alone for our major award this week, but a couple who earned “Honourable Mention” were regular award winners LIAM HENDRIKS and RYAN SEARLE. Hendriks picked up a win with his start for Minnesota’s ‘AA’ New Britain, even if it was not his sharpest effort, while Searle collected a win via a couple of tidy relief efforts for the ‘High-A’ Daytona Cubs. Joining them for “Honourable Mention” are hitters TRENT OELTJEN, who batted .316 for the week and MATT KENNELLY, who batted .333 from fewer at bats.

The one pitcher we separated for our primary award this week was recent major league hurler RYAN ROWLAND-SMITH who is pushing for a return to the big leagues with his new team the Houston Astros early in the 2011 season. His six inning winning start comprised an impressive seven strike outs and it came at the cost of just one run.

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



 RYAN ROWLAND-SMITH  (AAA - Oklahoma City RedHawks)
  
1G   1-0, 1.50ERA  6.0IP  6H  1ER  1BB  7K  --  Season  2-2, 2.45ERA

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

 Liam HENDRIKS (Twins 'AA' New Britain Rock Cats) 1G   1-0, 5.40ERA  5.0ip  7h  3er  4bb  2k
 Ryan SEARLE (Cubs 'A+' Daytona Cubs) 2G   1-0, 2.70ERA  3.1ip  2h  1er  0bb  4k
 Trent OELTJEN (Dodgers 'AAA' Albuquerque Isotopes) 6G   19AB  .316AVG  2R  6H  4BB  .435OB%
 Matt KENNELLY (Braves 'AA' Mississippi Braves) 4G   12AB  .333AVG  1R  4H  2BB  .429OB%
  'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 9 MAY 2011

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

Into our fourth week of these awards for 2011 and this proved to be out most difficult adjudication so far. Not in terms of the winners we have selected, who were really "no brainers", but more in terms of who we would leave out or separate for the two award levels.

Minnesota tyro JAMES BERESFORD was an obvious selection for our primary award with his magnificent .524 average for the week and, without much hesitation, we selected Dodgers' star TRENT OELTJEN to join him with his .423 average and his even better .731 slugging percentage. Trent's OPS remains above the 1.000 plateau so far this season and he must be on the cusp of returning to the major leagues sometime soon.

This week we felt that those two offensive stars had just superior numbers to a group of Aussie pitchers who each had a fine week in slightly different ways. Former major leaguer RYAN ROWLAND-SMITH had a very good winning start for Houston's 'AAA' Oklahoma City, while Minnesota starter LIAM HENDRIKS was terrific again to strike out eight across his 6.0 inning start, even though he didn't figure in the decision. Padres' HAYDEN BEARD pitched a total of 4.2 scoreless relief innings for one hit and club mate JOSH SPENCE pitched 4.1 scoreless innings without allowing a solitary hit. Cubs reliever RYAN SEARLE pitched only 3.0 scoreless innings but he sneaked in for an "Honourable Mention" for striking out five.

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



 JAMES BERESFORD  (A+ - Fort Myers Miracle)
   5G  .524AVG  21AB  3R  11H  2RBI  .545OB%  --  Season .362AVG


 TRENT OELTJEN  (AAA - Albuquerque Isotopes)
   7G  .423AVG  26AB  6R  11H  3D  1T  1HR  5RBI  .731SLG%  --  Season .322AVG

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

 R. ROWLAND-SMITH (Astros 'AAA' Oklahoma City Redhawks) 1G   1-0, 1.42ERA  6.1ip  7h  1er  0bb  4k
 Liam HENDRIKS (Twins 'AA' New Britain Rock Cats) 1G   0-0, 3.00ERA  6.0ip  4h  2er  2bb  8k
 Hayden BEARD (Padres 'A+' Lake Elsinore Storm) 3G   0-0, 0.00ERA  4.2ip  1h  0er  0bb  4k
 Josh SPENCE (Pardes 'AA' San Antonio Missions) 4G   0-0, 0.00ERA  4.1ip  0h  0er  0bb  4k
 Ryan SEARLE (Cubs 'A+' Daytona Cubs) 2G   0-0, 0.00ERA  3.0ip  1h  0er  2bb  5k
  'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 2 MAY 2011

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

There is a familiar sound to most of the names we had to consider for our PRO PLAYER OF THE WEEK Award this week.

We’d first like to mention those players who just missed out on awards with small samples for the week and also a couple of our major league guys who are flying the flag for Aussie baseball on the biggest of all stages. Oakland reliever GRANT BALFOUR pitched three scoreless innings in the big leagues, as did minor league relievers JOSH SPENCE and KABLE HOGBEN. Minnesota infielder LUKE HUGHES has also seen a fair amount of big league playing time lately and he rewarded the Twins this past week by batting 5-18 with a home run included.

One pitcher that we decided to include for “Honourable Mention” is White Sox ‘AAA’ reliever SHANE LINDSAY who continues to be an enigma. Shane pitched 4.1 no-hit innings, yet he had to tip-toe around six walks to keep a blank score sheet! JAMES BERESFORD continues to enjoy a tremendously consistent start to the 2011 season with Minnesota’s ‘High-A’ Fort Myers and he batted .333 from more at bats (27) than any of our other contenders. We decided to include Dodgers’ ‘AAA’ star TRENT OELTJEN, even though his .400 average came from just 15 at bats. Narrowly missing out on special mention was Atlanta’s MATT KENNELLY who batted .333 from just 12 at bats.

While a couple of those players may have been treated harshly to miss out on our primary award, we decided to separate one hitter and two pitchers for our top award this week. Maybe best of the three was Minnesota’s ‘AA’ starter LIAM HENDRIKS who has won plenty of these awards and he scooped another one with his 7.1 inning winning start that allowed just one run while he struck out nine. We just couldn’t leave out Detroit’s ‘AAA’ reliever BRENDAN WISE this week after three appearances that produced five no-hit, scoreless innings. With now 10.1 innings of scoreless pitching for the season at 'AAA' level, Brendan must be as close as anyone to becoming our next new major league player! New York Mets’ STEFAN WELCH just shaded the other hitters with his .364 average from 22 at bats.

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



 LIAM HENDRIKS  (AA - New Britain Rock Cats)
   1G   1-0, 1.23ERA  7.1IP  4H  1ER  2BB  9K  --  Season  2-1, 3.43ERA


 BRENDAN WISE  (AAA - Toledo Mud Hens)
   3G   0-0, 0.00ERA  5.0IP  0H  0ER  1BB  1K  --  Season  0-0, 0.00ERA


 STEFAN WELCH  (A+ - St.Lucie Mets)
   6G  .364AVG  22AB  2R  8H  1D  .409SLG%  --  Season .280AVG

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

 James BERESFORD (Twins 'A+' Fort Myers Miracle) 7G   27AB  .333AVG  4R  9H  5RBI  .357OB%
 Trent OELTJEN (Dodgers 'AAA' Albuquerque Isotopes) 4G   15AB  .400AVG  2R  6H  2RBI  .533SLG%
 Shane LINDSAY (White Sox 'AAA' Charlotte Knights) 3G   0-0, 0.00ERA  4.1ip  0h  0er  6bb  3k
  'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 25 APRIL 2011

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

I know that it is still very early in the professional baseball season and the Rookie Leagues haven't yet started, but there didn't seem to be as many genuine contenders for our awards this week. A couple of relief pitchers who were good but had insufficient innings to be considered were HAYDEN BEARD, who pitched 2.1 innings of one-hit scoreless baseball, and SHANE LINDSAY, who pitched two innings of hitless and scoreless baseball after being promoted back to AAA level.

Earning "Honourable Mentions" this week were pitchers LIAM HENDRICKS and BRENDAN WISE who we thought performed better than both of those who missed out. Hendriks pitched a quality six inning winning start for Minnesota's AA New Britain, while Wise pitched two strong relief outings for four innings of one-hit scoreless ball.

Just shading them for our primary award were 'Cubbies' pitcher RYAN SEARLE and Mets' infielder STEFAN WELCH whose numbers should speak for themselves as our PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK. Searle threw five-plus innings of scoreless relief for the week and Welch batted .345 for the same period to share our top award.

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



 STEFAN WELCH  (A+ - St.Lucie Mets)
   7G  .345AVG  29AB  2R  10H  1D  1HR  .483SLG%  --  Season .290AVG


 RYAN SEARLE  (A+ - Daytona Cubs)
   2G   0-0, 0.00ERA  5.1IP  3H  0ER  3BB  4K  --  Season  0-0, 0.00ERA

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

 Liam HENDRIKS (Twins 'AA' New Britain Rock Cats) 1G   1-0, 3.00ERA  6.0ip  4h  2er  1bb  3k
 Brendan WISE (Tigers 'AAA' Toledo Mud Hens) 2G   0-0, 0.00ERA  4.0ip  1h  0er  0bb  1k
  'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 18 APRIL 2011

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

It’s great to be back producing ‘Flintoff & Dunn’s PRO PLAYER OF THE WEEK Award’ for the first time this season and now for the sixth season since we started this way back in 2006.

One thing that is consistent about baseball with the rest of life is that leopards rarely change their spots and, in this context, there is a familiar look to those players we have considered for our first award in 2011. As we have done traditionally we will start with those who just missed out on our primary award before revealing those who we considered the best performers for the week. Before mentioning those we'll give some brief praise to MITCH DENING for his home run.

Although we realise that this is a fact life for a relief pitcher, we just can’t give maximum value to those who have pitched such small samples for the time span. In this case we will give “Honourable Mention” to RYAN SEARLE and BRENDAN WISE who both avoided conceding an earned run from 3.0 and 2.2 total innings respectively. Atlanta starting pitcher STEVE KENT pitched one winning seven inning start for two earned runs to also join the “Honourable Mention” list. Also just missing our main award this week with very good hitting numbers is STEFAN WELCH who didn’t quite match up to the other three hitters who we chose to share the award.

Minnesota’s JAMES BERESFORD has been a regular winner of these awards and he starts the new season in torrid style by batting .393 for the past week to the top averages among our Aussie professionals. Not too far behind him, but with superior power numbers, were another regular star TRENT OELTJEN (.368) and Cleveland’s JASON SMIT (.370) who made up our trio of winners for this week.

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



 JAMES BERESFORD  (A+ - Fort Myers Miracle)
   7G  .393AVG  28AB  3R  11H  1D  .414OB%  --  Season .368AVG


 TRENT OELTJEN  (AAA - Albuquerque Isotopes)
   6G  .368AVG  19AB  6R  7H  4HR  9RBI  1.000SLG%  --  Season .269AVG


 JASON SMIT  (A - Lake County Captains)
   7G  .370AVG  27AB  7R  10H  3D  2HR  7RBI  .704SLG%  --  Season .455AVG

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

 Steve KENT (Braves 'A' Rome Braves) 3G   1-0, 2.57ERA  7.0ip  6h  2er  0bb  4k
 Ryan SEARLE (Indians 'A+' Daytona Cubs) 2G   0-0, 0.00ERA  3.0ip  2h  0er  0bb  1k
 Brendan WISE (Tigers 'AAA' Toledo Mud Hens) 3G   0-0, 0.00ERA  2.7ip  2h  0er  4bb  2k

Stefan WELCH

(Mets 'A+' St.Lucie Mets) 6G   22AB  .318AVG  2R  7H  3D  4RBI  .545SLG%