The Arizona Diamondbacks announced that they have signed sixth-round pick Blake Perry, eighth-round selection Tyler Green, and 14th-rounder Ty Linton on the final day to sign members of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft class, according to D-backs' scouting director Tom Allison.
"We are delighted to have signed Blake Perry, Tyler Green, and Ty Linton today to give us 33 Draft picks under contract from the 2010 First-Year Player Draft," Allison said Tuesday. "We are looking forward to developing all of the signed draft picks through our player development system and seeing them play at Chase Field in the foreseeable future."
Those three players, each of whom are considered top-tier talents but fell in the draft due to signing concerns, have been added to the Missoula Osprey roster to help with their playoff run. After Thursday's win, the Osprey are in second place and just a half-game out of first in the Pioneer League North division. The Yakima Bears are two games in front of their nearest competitor in their division, so the D-backs apparently think that they can reach the playoffs without any help. In fact, the Bears swapped Italian pitcher Andrea Pizziconi (1.59 ERA in 39.2 IP) with Missoula's Teo Gutierrez (6.97 ERA in 20.2 IP), further bolstering the Osprey at Yakima's expense.
The Osprey did need to promote two of its players to South Bend in order to accommodate its new talent. Starting pitcher Derek Eitel (5.11 ERA in 49.1 IP) and outfielder Chris Jarrett (.706 OPS in 158 at-bats) weren't among Missoula's most successful players, though, and join a South Bend Silver Hawks team that is a longshot for the postseason. The Hawks also lost their best hitter, Matt Davidson, to the Visalia Rawhide. Davidson had been leading the Midwest League with 79 RBI at the time of his promotion.
The Rawhide also received Patrick McAnaney for their playoff run. McAnaney had struggled this year in Double-A, but went 10-8 with a 4.41 ERA and 146 strikeouts with Visalia last season. The red hot Rawhide are winners of eight of their last 10 games, putting them in the lead for the North Division Wild Card spot. They hope that McAnaney and Davidson will help them stay hot despite the losses of two Ryans - Cook and Wheeler - each of whom now finds himself in Double-A.
Ryan Wheeler hit .282 with nine homers with Visalia, but the most impressive aspect of his season was his defensive play at the hot corner, a position at which he was relatively inexperienced entering the season. He hopes to solidify the third base position for the BayBears, who have used eight players at the hot corner this year. Ryan Cook had a 4.24 ERA and led the Rawhide with 100 strikeouts at the time of his promotion. The sinkerballer also got a taste of advanced hitters earlier this season, when he made a spot start for the Reno Aces and fanned five batters in five innings of work.
Although the Aces have been hot lately, they remain 9.5 games out of first place in their division. That gives the BayBears the biggest playoff boost of any Diamondbacks affiliate, as they are receiving quality players both from the level above them and the level below them. Chris Rahl and Josh Collmenter, who both played for Mobile earlier in the season, return for the playoff run. Rahl comes over during easily his hottest stretch of the year; the outfielder had bumped his Triple-A batting average all the way to .291 after heating up in mid-July. Collmenter leads all Diamondbacks pitchers with a dozen victories this season and enjoyed his best success with the BayBears this year, having gone 6-2 with a 1.59 ERA in nine starts with them.
Mobile did need to send Cyle Hankerd and Bryan Augenstein to the Aces in order to once again enjoy the services of Rahl and Collmenter. Hankerd left the BayBears as their all-time RBI leader with 147, and could thrive in Reno's favorable hitting conditions. Augenstein has not been the same pitcher since his promotion to the big leagues last May. He's been righting the ship of late, however, and could get a September callup to the big leagues since he is on the 40-man roster. The Aces' season will end on September 6th while the BayBears are hoping to go deep into the postseason, making Reno a better level for a September callup hopeful.
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