You wouldn’t believe the fun I had with the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Rookie A Pioneer League Ogden Raptors the two days I was at Lindquist Field in July.
President/Chairman Dave Baggott, GM Joey Stein, and Marketing Adam Turner greeted me cordially at the door, manager Mike Brumley, batting coach Michael Boughton, and pitching coach Craig Bjornson gave me the right away to take my photos, and the Raptors treated me like a member of the family, joking around before games, inviting me to sit in their dugout to shoot pictures during the game, showing me how they could raise their caps with hot air coming out of their ears, and generally making me feel at home. I hated to leave Lindquist Field for Salt Lake City, Orem, and Boise when it was time to go.
While 19-19 W-L and 500 the first half, I think the Raptors will come back strong the second half. Mike Brumley and his staff will develop these youngsters into strong contenders.
They have a pair of strong starters in RHP Geison Aquasviva, (3-2 W-L 3.35 ERA) and RHP Michael Watt (4-3, 3.46 ERA).
They’re strong up the middle with catcher Matt Wallach (293 BA, 3 HR, and 20 RBI), shortstop Devaris Gordon (304 BA, 1 HR, 16 RBI), outfielder Kyle Russell (306 BA, 7 HR, and 34 RBI) and at the hot corner with Dodgers’ #10 BA prospect, Pedro Baez (276 BA, 6 HR, and 33 RBI).
And they are stacked with lots of high 2008 draft picks – #3 Kyle Russell out of Texas, #5 RHP Jon Michael Redding, out of Florida CC, #8 OF Nick Buss from USC, #9 Steven Casceres from James Madison, #12 3B Austin Yount, who you can look at and tell immediately is a Yount, from Stanford, #14 Clay Calfee, OF from Angelo State (Texas), and #23 Brian Ruggiano 2B out of Texas A&M, all of whom could find themselves again before the end of the season.