US PRO PLAYERS
OF THE WEEK - 2012

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:
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'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 3 SEPTEMBER 2012

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

In what may be our final Pro Player of the Week award, depending upon any worthy contenders emerging this coming week, there was really only one outstanding performer. Boston Red Sox ‘A’ league slugger BOSS MOANAROA stood head and shoulders above all other Aussie pro players last week with his 8-17 batting plus four walks that left him with a .571 on base percentage. There wasn’t anyone with numbers to compete with those this week.

One guy who probably would have scooped the award is regular nominee LIAM HENDRIKS. Liam started the week with a quite stunning complete nine inning game in the major leagues where he was a snake-bitten loser after allowing just one solo home run in a 0-1 loss to ‘King Felix’ Hernandez. Unfortunately he made another start for the week that was short and hard hit in contrast to taint his overall statistics for the week. So good was his earlier effort that he still rated an “Honourable Mention”.

In similar fashion he was joined by JOSH WARNER who also made two contrasting starts for Philadelphia’s Short-Season ‘A’ team Williamsport Crosscutters. He nailed one terrific win to start the week, but then he took a nasty loss in his next outing when only three of the eight runs allocated to him were earned. Once again his overall effort deserves “Honourable Mention”. Add to those Atlanta's 'AAA' reliever ANDREW RUSSELL who recorded a save from one of his three scoreless outings for the week. He must have been desperately close to a September call-up that fell in the lap of his more seasoned Aussie team mate PETER MOYLAN who has worked all the way back to the big leagues after a long injury rehabilitation.

Although their hitting efforts were not spectacular in the context of these awards we will also include a couple of Australia’s top infield prospects who are doing the business at ‘AA’ level in 2012. Pittsburgh’s STEFAN WELCH batted a relatively modest 5-22 but he included two doubles and a home run for his .455 slugging percentage with Altoona Curve.
Minnesota’s middle infield star JAMES BERESFORD batted a slightly better 6-24 with a triple and three walks for his .333 on base percentage at New Britain.

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



 BOSS MOANAROA  ('A' - Greenville Drive)
  
5G  .471AVG  17AB  2R  8H  1D  4WLK  .571OB%  --  Season .266AVG

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

 Liam HENDRIKS (Twins 'MLB' Minnesota Twins) 2G   0-1, 2.84ERA  12.2ip  13h  4er  3bb  11k
 Josh WARNER (Phillies 'A-ss' Williamsport C'cutters) 2G   1-1, 2.38ERA  11.1ip  9h  3er  2bb  6k
 Andrew RUSSELL (Braves 'AAA' Gwinnett Braves) 3G   0-0, 0.00ERA  4.0ip  2h  0er  1bb  4k  1Save
 James BERESFORD (Twins 'AA' New Britain Rock Cats) 7G  24AB  .250AVG  3R  6H  1T  .333OB%
 Stefan WELCH (Pirates 'AA' Altoona Curve) 6G  22AB  .227AVG  3R  5H  2D  1HR  .455SLG%
  'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 27 AUGUST 2012

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

With the US minor leagues nearing their conclusions, there were only four realistic challengers for our award nominations this week. It didn’t take much prolonged “think music” for us to decide that recent major leaguer LUKE HUGHES was the clear selection for our Pro Player of the Week award. Just when it appeared that his professional career may be teetering on the brink after his release from the Oakland Athletics, Hughes has found a new baseball lifeline with the Toronto Blue Jays organisation. The renewed opportunity and change of scene seems to have been a tonic for him and he maintained his strong batting form at ‘AAA’ Las Vegas with a torrid 8-19 again this week. With four doubles included his slugging percentage bulged to .632.

Behind him for “Honourable Mention” is Colorado’s ‘A’ level outfielder DAVID KANDILAS who batted 9-24 at Asheville with three walks for a .444 on base percentage. Joining him are pitchers RYAN SEARLE and WARWICK SAUPOLD who both pitched six innings with zero walks and five strike outs for the week. Not to differentiate their efforts but to note the vagaries of baseball, Searle collected a win with one earned run allowed for the Cubs’ ‘Advanced A’ team Daytona, while Saupold took a loss with two earned runs allowed for Detroit’s ‘Advanced A’ team Lakeland.

Although they didn't quite qualify for a nomination we noted that young Philadelphia pitcher JOSH WARNER added a win to his statistics this past week and that Tampa rookie DARRYL GEORGE rattled off five hits from his limited eleven at bats. We should also mention that our major league reliever GRANT BALFOUR has enjoyed his return to the closer's role with three (from three) tidy saves over the past week.

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



 LUKE HUGHES  ('AAA' - Las Vegas 51s)
  
5G  .421AVG  19AB  2R  8H  4D  1RBI  .632SLG%  --  Season .355AVG

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

 David KANDILAS (Rockies 'A' Asheville Tourists) 7G  24AB  .375AVG  3R  9H  2D  .444OB%
 Ryan SEARLE (Cubs 'A+' Daytona Cubs) 2G   1-0, 1.50ERA  6.0ip  3h  1er  0bb  5k
 Warwick SAUPOLD (Tigers 'A+' Lakeland Flying Tigers) 1G   0-1, 3.00ERA  6.0ip  7h  2er  0bb  5k
  'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 20 AUGUST 2012

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

In our opinion there were two stand-out performers who will share our Pro Player of the Week Award this time.
To begin with those that we separated for “Honourable Mention”, maybe the unluckiest of those was Minnesota’s relief pitcher TIM ATHERTON who allowed one run from his total of five innings for their ‘A’ level Beloit Snappers. What was most eye catching for him was his tally of eight strike outs which was nearing two per inning! Next cab off the rank was probably Atlanta’s ‘AA’ catcher and utility player MATT KENNELLY who batted .357 for the week but his 14 at bats was insufficient to challenge for our primary award.

Joining them this week, even though their averages were below the .300 threshold were the established recent major leaguer LUKE HUGHES and the not yet established RORY RHODES. Hughes batted .292 with Toronto’s ‘AAA’ Las Vegas 51s where he struck out for half of his 24 at bats, yet we took account of his three doubles and a triple that elevated him to a .500 slugging percentage. It is good to see Hughes still alive and kicking at his third club after receiving some setbacks this season. Minnesota Rookie leaguer Rhodes batted 4-15, including a double and a home run, for his .533 slugging percentage.

Quite clearly ahead of them for our top award were Chicago Cubs’ pitcher RYAN SEARLE and Minnesota’s emerging  Rookie infielder LOGAN WADE. Not only did Searle earn promotion to the Cubbies’ ‘AAA’ Iowa, but he responded brilliantly with two polished outings. He collected one win from his total of 6.2 scoreless innings in a sterling effort. Young Logan Wade batted a prolific 8-20 in the closing week of the Rookie leagues with two doubles, two triples and a home run to record a bloated .850 slugging percentage. It should leave him with a positive footnote to his first professional season.

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



 LOGAN WADE  ('R' - Gulf Coast League Twins)
  
6G  .400AVG  20AB  3R  8H  2D  2T  1HR 2RBI  .850SLG%  --  Season .264AVG


 RYAN SEARLE  ('AAA' - Iowa Cubs)
  
2G   1-0, 0.00ERA  6.2IP  4H  0ER  2BB  5K  --  Season  1-0, 0.00ERA at 'AAA'

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

 Matt KENNELLY (Braves 'AA' Mississippi Braves) 4G  14AB  .357AVG  2R  5H  2D  .500SLG%
 Rory RHODES (Minnesota 'R+' Elizabethton Twins) 3G  15AB  .267AVG  3R  4H  1D  1HR  .533SLG%
 Luke HUGHES (Blue Jays 'AAA' Las Vegas 51s) 6G  24AB  .292AVG  5R  7H  3D  1T  .500SLG%
 Tim ATHERTON (Twins 'A' Beloit Snappers) 2G   0-0, 1.80ERA  5.0ip  4h  1er  3bb  8k
  'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 13 AUGUST 2012

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

It was a terrific time for Australian pitchers, in particular, over the past week in the US professional leagues. By virtue of pitching the most scoreless innings while both earning a win our Pro Player of the Week award will be shared by regular nominee LIAM HENDRIKS and rising relief ace ANDREW RUSSELL. Hendriks pitched yet another high quality start for Minnesota’s ‘AAA’ Rochester with seven shutout innings, while Russell totalled 6.2 innings from four scoreless relief appearances where he allowed just one hit.

Not far behind for “Honourable Mention” was San Diego reliever HAYDEN BEARD who pitched 4.2 scoreless frames for ‘AA’ San Antonio, followed by Minnesota’s ‘A’ level pitcher TIM ATHERTON who pitched four scoreless innings with the Beloit Snappers. KABLE HOGBEN sneaked in with just 3.1 scoreless innings for Arizona's 'A' team South Bend, but we were persuaded to include him due to his six strike outs. Detroit’s WARWICK SAUPOLD was the other pitcher nominated after he recorded another winning start for their ‘High-A’ Lakeland team with five innings of one run baseball.

Two hitters were nominated to join them for “Honourable Mention” in the shape of Atlanta’s ‘AA’ catcher MATT KENNELLY and Washington Nationals’ rookie leaguer JAMES BROOKS. Kennelly would have been a lock to join our PPOW winners had he been allowed some more at bats, yet his 7-14 with four doubles could not be overlooked. Brooks batted 8-21 with a double and a triple to get his season rolling with the stick.

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



 LIAM HENDRIKS  ('AAA' - Rochester RedWings)
  
1G   1-0, 0.00ERA  7.0IP  4H  0ER  1BB  4K  --  Season  9-2, 1.99ERA


 ANDREW RUSSELL  ('AAA' - Gwinnett Braves)
  
4G   1-0, 0.00ERA  6.2IP  1H  0ER  3BB  1K  --  Season  1-1, 1.72ERA

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

 Matt KENNELLY (Braves 'AA' Mississippi Braves) 4G  14AB  .500AVG  1R  7H  4D  .786SLG%
 James BROOKS (Nationals 'R' GCL Nationals) 6G  21AB  .381AVG  4R  8H  2D  1T  .571SLG%
 Hayden BEARD (Padres 'AA' San Antonio Missions) 2G   0-0, 0.00ERA  4.2ip  1h  0er  1bb  2k
 Tim ATHERTON (Twins 'A' Beloit Snappers) 1G   0-0, 0.00ERA  4.0ip  0h  0er  4bb  5k
 Kable HOGBEN (D-Backs 'A' South Bend Silver Hawks) 2G   0-0, 0.00ERA  3.1ip  1h  0er  2bb  6k
 Warwick SAUPOLD (Tigers 'A+' Lakeland Flying Tigers) 2G   1-0, 1.80ERA  5.0ip  4h  1er  2bb  4k
  'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 6 AUGUST 2012

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

This week our primary Pro Player of the Week award is dominated by one current major league pitcher and a couple of others who have been there and they are pressing to get back to the “bigs”. The current major leaguer is Oakland Athletics’ relief ace GRANT BALFOUR who is piling up the “holds” with four more scoreless outings last week where he struck out six and walked one. He will share the award with recent major league pitchers LIAM HENDRICKS and RICH THOMPSON who were also dominant over the past week. Hendriks earned his eighth win with Minnesota’s ‘AAA’ Rochester with a high quality seven inning start that saw seven struck out and only one walked for the one solitary earned run. Thompson pitched only three relief outings for Oakland’s ‘AAA’ Sacramento, but they produced two wins and a save with 5/1 strike outs versus walks.

We thought that those performances were superior to one other pitcher and four hitters who may have been somewhat unfortunate to be overlooked because of the quality of the other nominations this week. Detroit pitcher WARWICK SAUPOLD deserves “Honourable Mention” with his five inning winning start for their ‘Advanced A’ Lakeland that yielded just one run. The most productive of the hitters to share this award was Baltimore’s ‘High A’ catcher ALLAN de SAN MIGUEL, but we just felt that his mighty 8-15 with big slugging numbers came from too few at bats for our major award. They will be joined for “Honourable Mention” by TRENT OELTJEN, BOSS MOANAROA and DARRYL GEORGE who also hit very well over the past week. Dodgers' Oeltjen batted 6-19 at ‘AAA’ Albuquerque, Red Sox Moanaroa batted 7-22 at ‘A’ Greenville and Rays’ George batted 8-22 with ‘R+’ Princeton.

Although they didn’t have sufficient samples to feature in these nominations ANDREW RUSSELL and WILSON LEE both recorded wins from their pitching exploits this past week. Aside from one or two exceptions most of our professional Aussies either lowered their ERAs or raised their batting averages in a positive week of baseball progress.

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



 GRANT BALFOUR  ('MLB' - Oakland Athletics)
  
4G   0-0, 0.00ERA  5.1IP  1H  0ER  1BB  6K  --  Season  2-2, 2.60ERA


 LIAM HENDRIKS  ('AAA' - Rochester RedWings)
  
1G   1-0, 1.29ERA  7.0IP  4H  1ER  1BB  7K  --  Season  8-2, 2.32ERA


 RICHARD THOMPSON  ('AAA' - Sacramento RiverCats)
  
3G   2-0, 0.00ERA  4.2IP  2H  0ER  1BB  5K  1SV  --  Season  3-2, 3.51ERA

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

 Allan de SAN MIGUEL (Orioles 'A+' Frederick Keys) 4G  15AB  .533AVG  4R  8H  3D  1HR  .933SLG%
 Darryl GEORGE (Rays 'R+' Princeton Rays) 6G  22AB  .364AVG  3R  8H  2D  .455SLG%
 Boss MOANAROA (Red Sox 'A' Greenville Drive) 6G  22AB  .318AVG  2R  7H  1D  .400OB%
 Trent OELTJEN (Dodgers 'AAA' Albuquerque Isotopes) 5G  19AB  .316AVG  4R  6H  2D  .421SLG%
 Warwick SAUPOLD (Tigers 'A+' Lakeland Flying Tigers) 1G   1-0, 1.80ERA  5.0ip  4h  1er  3bb  3k
  'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 30 JULY 2012

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

Had it not been for his second outing of the week, there is little doubt that major leaguer TRAVIS BLACKLEY would have been a leading contender for our major award. Travis began the week with probably his best outing in the majors when he threw a personal big league record eight strike outs to earn a win when his Oakland A’s defeated the Toronto Blue Jays.  However he didn’t fare so well in his latest start when he took a loss dished out by the Baltimore Orioles. His outstanding performance in that previous win ensured that he didn’t miss an “Honourable Mention”.

To continue with the “Honourable Mentions”, Travis will be joined by pitchers RICHARD THOMPSON and KABLE HOGBEN, along with outfielder DAVID KANDILAS this week. Pitching at ‘AAA’ level for Oakland, Thompson enjoyed three scoreless relief appearances with only two hits across 5.1 innings and he struck out five. Hogben collected a win from two scoreless relief outings for Arizona’s ‘A’ club South Bend while striking out four across 3.2 innings. Kandilas batted a potent 6-18 for Colorado’s ‘A’ team Asheville with a double, a triple and a home run for his .667 slugging percentage. He also drove in five runs for the week.

On that evidence it is fair to assume that our primary award would require a pretty special effort and that is what we saw from the experienced TRENT OELTJEN and the inexperienced SAM GIBBONS who will share our Pro Player of the Week Award. Former major leaguer Oeltjen continues to press for a call-up with another torrid week of hitting that comprised
9-20, including three doubles and a triple for ‘AAA’ Albuquerque. Minnesota Rookie Gibbons posted a terrific winning start with five shutout innings that saw only two batters reach base.

As a couple of sidelights for the week, we noted that our popular recent major leaguer PETER MOYLAN continues to progress in rehabilitation for the Braves. He took a win for their ‘AA’ Mississippi during the week. Just to give the Independent League Aussies a brief mention, we can’t inform you about the relative standard of the Pecos League, but we can tell you that JOSH CAKEBREAD is batting .396 for Roswell and KEIRAN BRADFORD is batting .341 for Santa Fe.

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



 SAM GIBBONS  ('R' - Gulf Coast Twins)
  
1G   1-0, 0.00ERA  5.0IP  2H  0ER  0BB  2K  --  Season  3-0, 1.71ERA


 TRENT OELTJEN  ('AAA' - Albuquerque Isotopes)
  
6G  .450AVG  20AB  1R  9H  3D  1T  1RBI  .700SLG%  --  Season .309AVG

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

 David KANDILAS (Rockies 'A' Asheville Tourists) 5G  18AB  .333AVG  3R  6H  1BB  .667SLG%
 Travis BLACKLEY (Athletics 'MLB' Oakland Athletics) 2G   1-1, 4.50ERA  12.0ip  11h  6er  5bb  9k
 Richard THOMPSON (Athletics 'AAA' Sacramento R. Cats) 3G   0-0, 0.00ERA  5.1ip  2h  0er  3bb  5k
 Kable HOGBEN (D-Backs 'A' South Bend Silver Hawks) 2G   1-0, 0.00ERA  3.2ip  1h  0er  2bb  4k
  'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 23 JULY 2012

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

Not too many really outstanding performers worthy of special mention this week; however, unlike last week where there was not a hitter in sight, three out of our four nominations this week are based on offence.

To start with those who will receive “Honourable Mention” we have nominated young Minnesota Twins’ rookie LOGAN WADE along with Pittsburgh’s ‘AA’ star STEFAN WELCH. Wade did not have sufficient at bats to be considered for our major award, yet he caught our attention by hitting 4-11 with a pair of doubles from those limited appearances. Welch continues to ride a consistent hitting streak since moving to the Pirates’ organisation and he batted 7-21 over the past week.

For the third week in succession and the sixth time this season we were compelled to select recent major league pitcher LIAM HENDRIKS as our Pro Player of the Week following his latest dominant start for Minnesota’s ‘AAA’ Rochester. Liam had to settle for a no decision on this occasion but you couldn't ask for much more than his high quality seven inning start that saw just one run scored while he struck out six and walked one. Another recent major leaguer to share the award this week also comes from ‘AAA’ level. LA Dodgers outfielder TRENT OELTJEN batted 7-18 plus, including two home runs, for the Albuquerque Isotopes.

We also noted that Detroit pitched WARWICK SAUPOLD earned promotion to their 'Advanced A' team Lakeland Flying Tigers.

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



 LIAM HENDRIKS  ('AAA' - Rochester RedWings)
  
1G   0-0, 1.29ERA  7.0IP  5H  1ER  1BB  6K  --  Season  7-0, 1.74ERA


 TRENT OELTJEN  ('AAA' - Albuquerque Isotopes)
  
5G  .389AVG  18AB  6R  7H  2HR  4RBI  .722SLG%  --  Season .300AVG

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

 Stefan WELCH (Pirates 'AA' Altoona Curve) 6G  21AB  .333AVG  1R  7H  1BB  .364OB%
 Logan WADE (Twins 'R' GCL Twins) 3G  11AB  .364AVG  3R  4H  2D  .545SLG%
  'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 16 JULY 2012

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

Pitchers, pitchers, everywhere (well almost), but not a hitter in sight... that was what we found from trawling through our Aussie players in the US pro leagues for the past week. In the end it came down to how we would evaluate five pitchers who were each worthy of special mention. While it is certainly repetitive, we simply could not deny the performance of Australia’s most recent new major leaguer LIAM HENDRIKS who now boasts seven wins without a loss at ‘AAA’ Rochester. Liam continued his amazing domination at ‘AAA’ level this week with yet another winning start and, although he gave up a couple of runs, his seven inning effort with 5/0 strike outs versus walks earned him another PPOW nomination.

The four players who remained for “Honourable Mention” were also very good but all pitched fewer innings than Hendriks. Atlanta reliever ANDREW RUSSELL rode two more winning efforts at ‘AA’ level to earn promotion to ‘AAA’ Gwinnett this week and he has just made his first appearance there. Young Pirates’ rookie WILSON LEE also collected two wins from a couple of clean relief outings. Playing at ‘A’ level with the Detroit Tigers, WARWICK SAUPOLD earned a save with three scoreless innings, while KABLE HOGBEN pitched 4.1 scoreless innings with just one hit for Arizona’s ‘A’ level South Bend Silver Hawks.

To round off this report we will also congratulate CLAYTON TANNER who has risen to ‘AAA’ level since transferring to the San Francisco Giants organisation along with Cleveland Indians’ rookie RYAN BATTAGLIA who homered during the past week.

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



 LIAM HENDRIKS  ('AAA' - Rochester RedWings)
  
1G   1-0, 2.57ERA  7.0IP  3H  2ER  0BB  5K  --  Season  7-0, 1.79ERA

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

 Andrew RUSSELL

(Braves 'AAA' Gwinnett Braves) 2 Wins at 'AA' Mississippi - Promoted to 'AAA'
 Wilson LEE (Pirates 'R' GCL Pirates) 2G   2-0, 0.00ERA  4.1ip  4h  0er  2bb  3k
 Warwick SAUPOLD (Tigers 'A' W.Michigan White Caps) 1G   0-0, 0.00ERA  3.0ip  1h  0er  1bb  3k
 Kable HOGBEN (D-Backs 'A' South Bend Silver Hawks) 2G   0-0, 0.00ERA  4.1ip  1h  0er  0bb  3k
  'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 9 JULY 2012

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

This week we must start with a slight apology for the fact that our Pro Player of the Week awards last week failed to recognise the brilliant start by Oakland’s TRAVIS BLACKLEY because his efforts last Monday (US time) happened after we had already assessed the awards on the same day. However, we will include that mighty performance here as he takes a share of our primary award with another impressive, three inning, relief outing. In most cases his efforts would be hard to match, but another of our regular award winners LIAM HENDRIKS once again demonstrated his dominance at ‘AAA’ level for the Minnesota Twins. After another tilt in the majors recently Liam responded to his reassignment superbly once again with a brilliant winning start for Rochester that comprised seven shutout innings. His record at ‘AAA’ now stands at an almost flawless 6-0, 1.69ERA.

Working backwards this time, our “Honourable Mentions” will be shared by three other pitchers and a couple of hitters. Minnesota Twins ‘AA’ short stop JAMES BERESFORD batted .429 for the week, yet his total of just 14 at bats precluded him from consideration for our main award. In contrast, we would not normally consider young Tampa Bay rookie DARRYL GEORGE with a relatively modest average of .208 for the week, except for the fact that he smacked a double and two home runs for five RBIs. Minnesota youngster SAM GIBBONS pitched five scoreless innings for the week to be joined by more seasoned pitchers RYAN ROWLAND-SMITH and WARWICK SAUPOLD who allowed just one run from similar innings.

Others who did not have good enough overall records for the week to warrant consideration, but still caught our eye were: Pitchers JUSTIN ERASMUS (Red Sox ‘A’), KABLE HOGBEN (D-Backs ‘A’) and JOSH WARNER (Phillies ‘A-ss’) each recorded wins during the week. LUKE HUGHES homered for the second successive week with Oakland’s ‘AAA’ Sacramento, while LOGAN WADE batted 4-10 with a double and a triple as a Minnesota Twins' rookie leaguer.

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



 TRAVIS BLACKLEY  (MLB - Oakland Athletics)
  
2G   1-0, 0.90ERA  10.0IP  8H  1ER  0BB  6K  --  Season  2-2, 2.63ERA


 LIAM HENDRIKS  ('AAA' - Rochester RedWings)
  
1G   1-0, 0.00ERA  7.0IP  5H  0ER  1BB  1K  --  Season  6-0, 1.69ERA

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

 James BERESFORD (Twins 'AA' New Britain Rock Cats) 4G  14AB  .429AVG  3R  6H  1BB  .467OB%
 Darryl GEORGE (Rays 'R+' Princeton Rays) 6G  24AB  .208AVG  3R  5H  1D  2HR  .500SLG%

 Sam GIBBONS

(Twins 'R' GCL Twins) 1G   1-0, 0.00ERA  5.0ip  3h  0er  0bb  3k
 Ryan ROWLAND-SMITH (Cubs 'AAA' Iowa Cubs) 3G   0-0, 1.42ERA  6.1ip  4h  1er  4bb  4k
 Warwick SAUPOLD (Tigers 'A' W.Michigan White Caps) 2G   0-0, 1.69ERA  5.1ip  6h  1er  1bb  3k
  'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 2 JULY 2012

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

We quite regularly complain about how hard it can be to assess or separate our Pro Player of the Week awards but, to be quite frank, this week it was something of a “no brainer”. Although there were several very good contenders for “Honourable Mention”, there was just one obvious stand out for our primary award.

Before we get to the award nominations we want to make a brief mention of the fact that Australian major league pitching star PETE MOYLAN made a long awaited return to competitive baseball, albeit via a rehab assignment in the lowly Gulf Coast Rookie league... we don’t expect him to stay there long as he will be aiming for a quick climb back to the big leagues. A couple of other recent Aussie major leaguers TRENT OELTJEN and LUKE HUGHES both homered during the week, yet they didn’t quite feature among our award nominations.

The “Honourable Mentions” were shared equally by three pitchers and three position players. In order of batting average the hitters were DARRYL GEORGE (Rays R+), BOSS MOANAROA (Red Sox A) and RORY RHODES (Twins R+). George batted .385 for the week with four doubles, while Moanaroa batted .368 plus five walks and Rhodes batted .333 with a home run for six RBIs. The nominated pitchers were TIM ATHERTON (Twins A), ANDREW RUSSELL (Braves AA) and HAYDEN BEARD (Padres AA). Russell had three more scoreless relief outings for the week, while Atherton had two scoreless outings where he struck out eight across 6.1 innings. Beard had two starts for a win with only two runs allowed from his total of 11 innings.

Even though they were very solid nominations, the man who stood out like a beacon again this week was STEFAN WELCH who continues to mash since his elevation to the Pirates’ ‘AA’ Altoona Curve. With another torrid week of hitting, Stefan batted 12-26 with a double and three home runs to drive in ten. Suffice to say that his OPS of just below 1.400 for the week is simply outstanding. As we said, it really wasn’t a tough choice to single him out!

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



 STEFAN WELCH  ('AA' - Altoona Curve)
  
7G  .462AVG  26AB  8R  12H  1D  3HR  10RBI  .846SLG%  --  Season .431AVG

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

 Andrew RUSSELL

(Braves 'AA' Mississippi Braves) 3G   0-0, 0.00ERA  3.1ip  1h  0er  2bb  5k
 Tim ATHERTON (Twins 'A' Beloit Snappers) 2G   0-0, 0.00ERA  6.1ip  2h  0er  3bb  8k
 Hayden BEARD (Padres 'AA' San Antonio Missions) 2G   1-0, 1.64ERA  11.0ip  7h  2er  6bb  5k
 Darryl GEORGE (Rays 'R+' Princeton Rays) 7G  26AB  .385AVG  5R  10H  4D  5RBI  .538SLG%
 Boss MOANAROA (Red Sox 'A' Greenville Drive) 5G  19AB  .368AVG  3R  7H  3D  5BB  .500OB%
 Rory RHODES (Twins 'R+' Elizabethton Twins) 6G  24AB  .333AVG  4R  8H  1D  1HR  6RBI
  'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 25 JUNE 2012

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

There is no getting around it; we have had to be very tough on some very fine performers when assessing our nominations for Pro Player(s) of the Week. With the rookie and short-season leagues getting underway we have a whole raft of new players to enter our adjudications and, as we have always pledged, we will make our selections based purely on performance regardless of the level of competition.

We won’t detail two or three players that may have been good enough for nomination at other times, but you will soon see that some of the “Honourable Mentions” were extremely unlucky to miss the major award this week. Take for instance Dodgers’ ‘AAA’ star TRENT OELTJEN who batted .444 with a .722 slugging percentage and Pittsburgh’s STEFAN WELCH who has batted .462 with a .588 on base percentage since his recent promotion to ‘AA’ Altoona. Both of these guys were terrific but missed out mainly because they had fewer than 20 at bats for the week. Likewise for Tampa Bay’s ‘Advanced Rookie’ DARRYL GEORGE who batted 5-14 for his opening week of the new season.

A couple of pitchers joined them for “Honourable Mention”, starting with Pittsburgh youngster JACKSON LODGE who collected a win and a save from his two outings. He threw just four innings, unlike Philadelphia’s JOSH WARNER who had a couple of solid starts to total 13 innings with ten strike outs and only two runs allowed. As we said, the standard was red hot on this occasion.

Ahead of all those we thought to share our PPOW award were our major league starter TRAVIS BLACKLEY who is really starting to pitch with confidence for the A’s, along with Minnesota’s RORY RHODES who is surely showing that he is a cut above Rookie league level since being reassigned from ‘A’ ball recently. Travis pitched a sublime eight inning start for Oakland while allowing just three hits and one run... he struck out six and walked none. Rhodes batted a monster 13-26 with two doubles, a triple and two home runs to rack up an awesome .885 slugging percentage... his OPS for the week was a ridiculous 1.436!

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



 TRAVIS BLACKLEY  (MLB - Oakland Athletics)
  
1G   0-0, 1.13ERA  8.0IP  3H  1ER  0BB  6K  --  Season  1-2, 3.15ERA


 RORY RHODES  ('R+' - Elizabethton Twins)
  
6G  .500AVG  26AB  8R  13H  2D  1T  2HR  8RBI  .885SLG%  --  Season .500AVG

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

 Josh WARNER

(Phillies 'A-ss' Williamsport C'Cutters) 2G   1-0, 1.38ERA  13.0ip  8h  2er  3bb  10k
 Jackson LODGE (Pirates 'R' GCL Pirates) 2G   1-0, 2.25ERA  4.0ip  3h  1er  1bb  3k  1Save
 Stefan WELCH (Pirates 'AA' Altoona Curve) 4G  13AB  .462AVG  5R  6H  2D  4BB  .588OB%
 Trent OELTJEN (Dodgers 'AAA' Albuquerque Isotopes) 5G  18AB  .444AVG  4R  8H  1T  1HR  .722SLG%
 Darryl GEORGE (Rays 'R+' Princeton Rays) 5G  14AB  .357AVG  3R  5H  4RBI  3BB  .471OB%
  'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 18 JUNE 2012

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

This was an interesting week for Australia’s professional players in the United States, but not necessarily an easy one for Flintoff & Dunn’s Pro Player of the Week nominations. For a start, we had four pitchers who collected wins, not including Steve Kent’s win in the Independent Leagues. Of these we did not include TIM ATHERTON because his total of two innings was insufficient for consideration... even though he struck out four. We also overlooked RICH THOMPSON whose three scoreless innings was not quite enough.

Major leaguer TRAVIS BLACKLEY gave up a couple of runs for his win, while WARWICK SAUPOLD also gave up a few for his win, plus he struck out seven across his total of 7.1 innings. We nominated them for “Honourable Mention” along with major league reliever GRANT BALFOUR who pitched four scoreless innings for the week with four punch outs.

Ahead of them to share our PPOW award this time we selected Dodgers’ ‘AAA’ outfielder TRENT OELTJEN who batted 6-20 with a double, a triple and a home run for his .600 slugging percentage, along with Philadelphia’s ‘A’ level pitcher JOSH WARNER who pitched a five inning winning start with all three runs scored against him unearned.

Finally a brief mention that Minnesota’s LIAM HENDRIKS has forced his way back to the big leagues with weight of performance at ‘AAA’ Rochester... unfortunately he took another loss on his return to the majors this week although he pitched quite well. STEFAN WELCH earned promotion to ‘AA’ with the Pittsburgh Pirates organisation.

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



 JOSH WARNER  ('A' - Lakewood BlueClaws)
  
1G   1-0, 0.00ERA  5.0IP  5H  0ER  2BB  2K  --  Season  1-0, 5.19ERA


 TRENT OELTJEN  ('AAA' - Albuquerque Isotopes)
  
5G  .300AVG  20AB  4R  6H  1D  1T  1HR 2RBI  .600SLG%  --  Season .265AVG

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

 Warwick Saupold (Tigers 'A' West Michigan Whitecaps) 3G   1-0, 3.68ERA  7.1ip  5h  3er  0bb  7k
 Travis Blackley (Athletics 'MLB' Oakland Athletics) 1G   1-0, 3.00ERA  6.0ip  5h  2er  2bb  3k
 Grant Balfour (Athletics 'MLB' Oakland Athletics) 3G   0-0, 0.00ERA  4.0ip  1h  0er  1bb  4k
  'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 11 JUNE 2012

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

Sorry that we are a day behind this week... put that down to Queen's Birthday holiday AFL football in Melbourne.

Three of Australia’s brightest young ‘AROOS’ produced quite outstanding efforts this week to head our Pro Player of the Week Awards. Had we been compelled to select only one, we probably couldn’t go past the exceptional winning start posted by our most recent new major leaguer LIAM HENDRIKS who rattled through one out short of a complete nine innings shutout victory. In typical fashion for Liam he featured ten strike outs while walking just two for Minnesota’s ‘AAA’ Rochester. There is nothing more needed to explain that effort!

We decided that he would share the award this week with ‘AA’ tyros JAMES BERESFORD of Minnesota and TIM KENNELLY of Philadelphia. With more at bats (23), Beresford batted a scalding .435 which, when added to six walks, left him with a terrific .552 on base average. Kennelly batted a torrid 8-16 for his .500 average, with two home runs from his last game lifting him to a .875 slugging percentage.

Behind them with nominations for “Honourable Mention” were pitchers TIM ATHERTON, HAYDEN BEARD and BRENDAN WISE. Atherton was perhaps most effective with 4.1 scoreless innings of relief that produced seven punch outs. While not as impressive for raw statistics we simply could not discount the fact that Wise and Beard each collected two wins for the week.

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



 LIAM HENDRIKS  ('AAA' - Rochester RedWings)
  
1G   1-0, 0.00ERA  8.2IP  3H  0ER  2BB  10K  --  Season  5-0, 1.94ERA


 JAMES BERESFORD  ('AA' - New Britain Rock Cats)
  
6G  .435AVG  23AB  3R  10H  1D  1T  1RBI  .552OB%  --  Season .296AVG


 TIM KENNELLY  ('AA' - Reading Phillies)
  
5G  .500AVG  16AB  4R  8H  2HR  2RBI  .875SLG%  --  Season .271AVG

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

 Tim ATHERTON (Twins 'A' Beloit Snappers) 2G   0-0, 0.00ERA  4.1ip  1h  0er  4bb  7k
 Brendan WISE (Twins 'AAA' Rochester RedWings) 2G   2-0, 2.25ERA  4.0ip  5h  1er  2bb  2k
 Hayden Beard (Padres 'AA' San Antonio Missions) 2G   2-0, 4.63ERA  11.2ip  10h  6er  5bb  5k
  'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 4 JUNE 2012

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

Eeny, meeny, miny, moe? It really wasn’t too hard to identify six Australian pros for our award nominations this week, but how to separate the Pro Player(s) of the Week from the "Honourable Mentions” was no simple matter... especially when we had to compare the performances of three pitchers with three offensive players.

We are prepared for an argument after having adjudicated this way:

‘Flintoff & Dunn’ just felt that the three hitters were not quite outstanding enough or in a couple of cases had sufficient sample size to challenge for our main award. Minnesota’s ‘AA’ short stop star JIMMY BERESFORD owned the best batting average with .385 from a relatively few 13 at bats. Next was Colorado ‘A’ level outfielder DAVID KANDILAS who had just one more at bat for his .357 average. Boston’s ‘A’ first baseman BOSS MOANAROA was very good again with a .316 average from 19 at bats, plus he also featured three doubles and a home run for his .632 slugging percentage.

Joining them for “Honourable Mention” were RYAN SEARLE who pitched 4.2 scoreless innings for a win and with seven strike outs for the ‘A+’ Daytona Cubs. He went along with Minnesota’s ‘A’ level pitcher TIM ATHERTON who struck out nine across five innings that gave up just the one run.

In the end we just felt that new professional and 2012 ABL Pitcher of the Year WARWICK SAUPOLD held an edge over all of them. Saupold pitched 5.2 scoreless innings with a stunning 8/0 strike outs versus walks for Detroit’s ‘A’ league West Michigan Whitecaps. Let us know either way if you think we got it right to give Warwick our Pro Player of the Week this time?

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



 WARWICK SAUPOLD  ('A' - West Michigan Whitecaps)
  
3G   0-0, 0.00ERA  5.2IP  6H  0ER  0BB  8K  --  Season  1-1, 3.23ERA

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

 James BERESFORD (Twins 'AA' New Britain Rock Cats) 4G  13AB  .385AVG  1R  5H  1T  2BB  .538SLG%
 Boss MOANAROA (Red Sox 'A' Greenville Drive) 5G  19AB  .316AVG  4R  6H  1HR  3BB  .632SLG%
 David KANDILAS (Rockies 'A' Asheville Tourists) 5G  14AB  .357AVG  5R  5H  3D  5BB  .526OB%
 Ryan SEARLE (Cubs 'A+' Daytona Cubs) 2G   1-0, 0.00ERA  4.2ip  2h  0er  2bb  7k
 Tim ATHERTON (Twins 'A' Beloit Snappers) 2G   0-0, 1.80ERA  5.0ip  3h  1er  3bb  9k
  'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 28 MAY 2012

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

If we may have been hard on LIAM HENDRIKS by separating him out of our primary award last week, then he gave us no opportunity to even think about it this week. Liam continues to shine very brightly since being reassigned to ‘AAA’ Rochester and his third winning start for them was nothing short of brilliant. He pitched a supremely dominant 7.0ip 5h 0er 2bb 9k to share our Pro Player of the Week award with another recent major league Aussie. In the same vogue as Hendriks, we simply could not overlook the outstanding 9-23 batting of Dodgers’ ‘AAA’ outfielder TRENT OELTJEN who included four doubles and two home runs for a spanking .826 slugging percentage.

While none of our other Australian professionals really came close to them, maybe last week’s PPOW BOSS MOANAROA was first in line for “Honourable Mention” after batting 7-19 plus seven walks for a .538 on base percentage that, once again, confirms his plate discipline. Joining him were relief pitchers ANDREW RUSSELL, CLAYTON TANNER, KABLE HOGBEN and TIM ATHERTON. Russell earned his third win of the season, while Hogben collected a save and Atherton made a good fist of his first game at ‘A’ level this season.

As our Subscribers would know, we rarely mention our Independent League campaigners who are not included in these award nominations, yet we felt compelled to mention the efforts of JOSH CAKEBREAD and AVEN FLETCHER who have been on a tear recently for their teams. Both of these guys has hit three homers over the past week in the fledgling Pecos League. Cakebread is batting .415 with a .732 slugging percentage for the Roswell Invaders and, given the name of his team, where he has found that power surge is about as mysterious as an alien invasion... sorry Josh we just couldn’t resist the obvious opportunity! Fletcher is currently batting .364 with a .727 slugging percentage for the White Sands Pupfish... whatever they are? We suppose that the vast number of American sporting teams has caused some of the more recent franchises to really get "creative" with their team nicknames. The Independent Leagues dish up some beauties!

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



 LIAM HENDRIKS  ('AAA' - Rochester RedWings)
  
1G   1-0, 0.00ERA  7.0IP  5H  0ER  2BB  9K  --  Season  3-0, 1.40ERA


 TRENT OELTJEN  ('AAA' - Albuquerque Isotopes)
  
6G  .391AVG  23AB  6R  9H  4D  2HR  4RBI  .826SLG%  --  Season .255AVG

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

 Boss MOANAROA (Red Sox 'A' Greenville Drive) 5G   19AB  .368AVG  6R  7H  1D  7BB  .538OB%
 Andrew RUSSELL (Braves 'AA' Mississippi Braves) 2G   1-0, 0.00ERA  3.0ip  1h  0er  0bb  1k
 Kable HOGBEN (D-Backs 'A' South Bend Silver Hawks) 2G   0-0, 0.00ERA  4.1ip  2h  0er  1bb  0k  1SV
 Tim ATHERTON (Twins 'A' Beloit Snappers) 1G   0-0, 0.00ERA  3.0ip  0h  0er  0bb  4k
 Clayton TANNER (Reds 'AA' Pensacola Blue Wahoos) 3G   0-0, 0.00ERA  3.0ip  1h  0er  2bb  3k
  'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 21 MAY 2012

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

The only thing difficult about our task this week was to decide whether both of the players we have nominated should have shared our primary Pro Player of the Week Award.  In the end we opted for separation but, clearly, both of the players we selected were well ahead of their Aussie compatriots for the past week.

Singled out for our major award was Boston’s ‘A’ level slugger BOSS MOANAROA who pounded 9-20 with three doubles and a home run for his .750 slugging percentage. To cap this off he also drove in eight runs and walked six times for a tremendous .577 on base percentage.

Maybe we were a tad hard on LIAM HENDRIKS because he has featured in these awards so often over the past few years but he was once again very good. We decided to give the recent major leaguer an “Honourable Mention” for his most recent winning start for Minnesota’s ‘AAA’ Rochester RedWings where he provided another quality seven innings.

On this occasion there really wasn’t anyone else who could challenge this pair for either quality or sample of performance.

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



 BOSS MOANAROA  ('A' - Greenville Drive)
  
6G  .450AVG  20AB  5R  9H  3D  1HR  8RBI  .750SLG%  --  Season .274AVG

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

 Liam HENDRIKS (Twins 'AAA' Rochester RedWings) 1G   1-0, 2.57ERA  7.0ip  4h  2er  2bb  2k
  'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 14 MAY 2012

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

To be blunt about this, there were only three players that we could seriously consider for nominations this week and two of those were quite outstanding.

Sometimes the true measure of any sportsman is not so much how they prosper in the good times, but more so how they respond when things are not going according to plan. In this context we must pay a huge tribute to ‘Flintoff & Dunn’ award regular LIAM HENDRIKS who has bounced back in the most positive way since being sent down from the majors to Minnesota’s ‘AAA’ Rochester. Liam started the season on the Twins big league team but, after a couple of hard hits starts recently, he has been asked to recapture form at ‘AAA’ level. In his two starts for the RedWings Liam has posted two really effective wins and he is giving himself every chance of a recall when the next opportunity arises.

On most occasions we would not expect to find anyone who could share our top award with a performance to match Hendriks yet, on this occasion, we felt that it would be unfair to downgrade the efforts of Pittsburgh’s ‘High-A’ infielder STEFAN WELCH. For the second straight week Stefan has been on a tear and his 9-22 this past week included three doubles and two long balls for a monster .818 slugging percentage. Whether you prefer pitching or hitting we’d defy anyone to make a case for one of these to miss out?

Not as impressive as them but still worthy of “Honourable Mention” was San Diego’s ‘AA’ starting pitcher HAYDEN BEARD who recorded his second win of the season with a solid, if not overpowering, performance this past week.

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



 LIAM HENDRIKS  ('AAA' - Rochester RedWings)
  
2G   2-0, 1.54ERA  11.2IP  6H  2ER  4BB  12K  --  Season  2-0, 1.54ERA


 STEFAN WELCH  ('A+' - Bradenton Marauders)
  
6G  .409AVG  22AB  7R  9H  3D  2HR  4RBI  .818SLG%  --  Season .276AVG

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

 Hayden BEARD (Padres 'AA' San Antonio Missions) 1G   1-0, 3.60ERA  5.0ip  8h  2er  1bb  4k
  'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 7 MAY 2012

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

Whereas over the past few weeks we have found it relatively easy to identify one standout Pro Player of the Week, on this occasion we have been unable to separate three superb contenders. Feel free to let us know which of these guys you could have left out of the top award after you consider these terrific performances.

Arizona’s ‘A’ level pitcher KABLE HOGBEN immediately caught the eye with two wins from two scoreless appearances that comprised six strike outs across his total of five innings. Converting to starting pitching is San Diego’s ‘AA’ pitcher HAYDEN BEARD who produced a wonderful winning start with seven scoreless innings. We also felt that one hitter was good enough to join them after Pittsburgh infielder STEFAN WELCH batted 11-30 with two doubles, a home run, seven RBIs and four walks. It gave him a .533 slugging percentage and a .441 on base percentage.

Not matching them but worthy of “Honourable Mention” were Minnesota’s ‘AAA’ pitcher BRENDAN WISE and Atlanta’s ‘AA’ player MATT KENNELLY who both had insufficient samples to challenge our top three award nominations. Wise pitched three scoreless innings in his one outing for the week, while Kennelly batted 4-10 with a double and a home run included.

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



 KABLE HOGBEN  ('A' - South Bend Silver Hawks)
  
2G   2-0, 0.00ERA  5.0IP  2H  0ER  1BB  6K  --  Season  2-0, 1.88ERA


 HAYDEN BEARD  ('AA' - San Antonio Missions)
  
1G   1-0, 0.00ERA  7.0IP  5H  0ER  1BB  4K  --  Season  1-3, 8.10ERA


 STEFAN WELCH  ('A+' - Bradenton Marauders)
  
7G  .367AVG  30AB  2R  11H  2D  1HR  7RBI  .533SLG%  --  Season .276AVG

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

 Brendan WISE (Twins 'AAA' Rochester RedWings) 1G   0-0, 0.00ERA  3.0ip  3h  0er  2bb  2k
 Matt KENNELLY (Braves 'AA' Mississippi Braves) 3G   10AB  .400AVG  3R  4H  1D  1HR  .800SLG%
  'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 30 APRIL 2012

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

We apologise if this is somewhat repetitive but, for the second week running, we really didn’t take long to identify former major league pitcher TRAVIS BLACKLEY as our obvious Pro Player of the Week following his third start for the season this past week. Blackley was quite brilliant once again with his seven scoreless innings that earned him a meritorious win, his third for the young season so far.

Blackley stood out above a couple of pitchers and a couple of hitters on this occasion. Pittsburgh’s ‘High A’ infielder STEFAN WELCH batted .304 from 23 at bats with two doubles and two home runs for a mighty .652 slugging percentage to earn “Honourable Mention”. He was joined by Minnesota short stop JAMES BERESFORD who burst out of a mini slump to bat .462 from a smaller sample of only 13 at bats for their ‘AA’ team New Britain. Beresford also walked twice for a .533 on base percentage.

The pitchers we selected for “Honourable Mention” were ‘AA’ relievers RYAN SEARLE for the Cubs and ANDREW RUSSELL for the Braves. Searle pitched 4.2 innings without allowing an earned run but, as the baseball gods decreed, he was saddled with a loss due to three unearned runs. Russell was finally tagged for a couple of runs to break his scoreless sequence of nine appearances and 10.2 innings. Those two runs in his last outing put a bit of a dampener on his brilliant start to the season, yet we could not overlook the two wins that he collected during the past week.

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



 TRAVIS BLACKLEY  ('AAA' - Fresno Grizzlies)
  
1G   1-0, 0.00ERA  7.0IP  3H  0ER  1BB  5K  --  Season  3-0, 0.39ERA

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

 Ryan SEARLE (Cubs 'AA' Tennessee Smokies) 1G   0-1, 0.00ERA  4.2ip  5h  0er  1bb  2k
 Andrew RUSSELL (Braves 'AA' Mississippi Braves) 4G   2-0, 3.86ERA  4.2ip  5h  2er  2bb  7k
 James BERESFORD (Twins 'AA' New Britain Rock Cats) 4G   13AB  .462AVG  2R  6H  0RBI  .533OB%
 Stefan WELCH (Pirates 'A+' Bradenton Marauders) 6G   23AB  .304AVG  3R  7H  2D  2HR  .652SLG%
  'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 23 APRIL 2012

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

Although we felt that there several strong contenders for “Honourable Mention” this week it really didn’t take us long to assess that former major league pitcher TRAVIS BLACKLEY was our clear Pro Player of the Week. In the past week Travis notched two wins with a total of 12.1 innings that saw just one run scored while he struck out nine for San Francisco’s ‘AAA’ Fresno Grizzlies. Blackley is putting his hand up high for another tilt at the big leagues.

GRANT BALFOUR collected two more saves at major league level with Oakland but he just missed a nomination this week, as did TRENT OELTJEN who batted .286 for the Dodgers ‘AAA’ Albuquerque. Colorado’s ‘A’ level outfielder DAVID KANDILAS also batted .286, yet he did receive a nomination because his week included a double and a home run, plus the six walks that gave him a .444 on base percentage and his seven RBIs. Red Sox ‘A’ leaguer BOSS MOANAROA also homered this past week.

Three other relief pitchers earned “Honourable Mentions” for their scoreless efforts last week with similar innings pitched. Those were CLAYTON TANNER, JUSTIN ERASMUS and ANDREW RUSSELL.

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



 TRAVIS BLACKLEY  ('AAA' - Fresno Grizzlies)
  
2G   2-0, 0.73ERA  12.1IP  7H  1ER  2BB  9K  --  Season  2-0, 0.55ERA

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

 David KANDILAS (Rockies 'A' Asheville Tourists) 6G   21AB  .286AVG  6R  6H  1HR  7RBI  .444OB%
 Clayton TANNER (Reds 'AA' Pensacola Blue Wahoos) 3G   0-0, 0.00ERA  3.0ip  1h  0er  2bb  1k
 Justin ERASMUS (Red Sox 'A' Greenville Drive) 2G   0-0, 0.00ERA  3.0ip  0h  0er  0bb  4k  1sv
 Andrew RUSSELL (Braves 'AA' Mississippi Braves) 2G   0-0, 0.00ERA  2.2ip  2h  0er  0bb  3k
  'Flintoff & Dunn's PRO PLAYERS OF THE WEEK' - 16 APRIL 2012

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

Right from the start of the new 2012 major league baseball season we are faced with a log-jam of serious contenders for our first Pro Player of the Week Awards and the majority of those were Aussie pitchers. In the end we had to overlook our two most prominent hitters, WA duo Luke Hughes who batted 2-7 for the big league Minnesota Twins and Allan de San Miguel who batted 5-13 from his three games at ‘AA’ level with the Orioles.

There were no fewer than seven Australian pitchers who have started the season with unblemished records in terms of ERA and you can see six of them listed below as honourable mentions. Maybe most notable of those was ANDREW RUSSELL who has now pitched 4.2 scoreless innings for the ‘AA’ Mississippi Braves as he allowed his first and only base runner in his most recent outing. We also enjoyed a terrific major league start by LIAM HENDRIKS for the Minnesota Twins from which he emerged with six innings of one run ball via a solo home run.

While we won’t go into further detail of all the “Honourable Mentions” we just had to elevate one reliever above all others this week. New Oakland Athletics closer GRANT BALFOUR scoops our first PPOW Award this season by virtue of him pitching more innings than the others and he also collected two saves for his efforts.

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



 GRANT BALFOUR  (MLB - Oakland Athletics)
  
6G   0-0, 0.00ERA  2SV  7.0IP  2H  0ER  2BB  5K  --  Season  0-0, 0.00ERA

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

 Liam HENDRIKS (Twins 'MLB' Minnesota Twins) 1G   0-0, 1.50ERA  6.0ip  7h  1er  0bb  4k
 Andrew RUSSELL (Braves 'AA' Mississippi Braves) 4G   0-0, 0.00ERA  4.2ip  1h  0er  0bb  1k
 Clayton TANNER (Reds 'AA' Pensacola Blue Wahoos) 4G   0-0, 0.00ERA  5.1ip  4h  0er  0bb  7k
 Kable HOGBEN (D-Backs 'A' South Bend Silver Hawks) 4G   0-0, 0.00ERA  5.0ip  2h  0er  0bb  3k
 Ryan SEARLE (Cubs 'AA' Tennessee Smokies) 1G   1-0, 0.00ERA  4.0ip  2h  0er  1bb  5k
 Travis BLACKLEY (Giants 'AAA' Fresno Grizzlies) 1G   0-0, 0.00ERA  4.0ip  3h  0er  0bb  5k
 Josh SPENCE (Padres 'AAA' Tucson Padres)
& San Diego MLB Combined
4G   0-0, 0.00ERA  3.2ip  3h  0er  0bb  2k