Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Wrapping Up Winter Ball

The 2009 Caribbean Series is over, bringing the 2008-09 Winter season to an end, so let's take a look back at two notable RailCats performances that you may have missed while digging out of a mountain of snow.

The one-time blogger, one-time closer and 2008 Northern League leader in ERA, Cogan got off to a bit of a slow start in the early going but pitched well down the stretch for Caguas in the Puerto Rican league. The former Kansas City Royal went 4-3 with a 4.32 ERA over 13 appearances, including eight starts. Cogan fired 50.0 innings (third on the team) and allowed only 53 hits and 13 walks for a solid 1.32 WHIP.

After Caguas was eliminated from the postseason, Cogan was dealt to the Dominican Winter League, where he pitched for the Azucareros del Este.

Cogan was looking to impress some big league scouts during his trip to the Caribbean, and his late-season effort could be enough to earn the 32-year-old another crack at affiliated baseball. Cogan rose quickly through the Royals organization and reached the majors in 2001, before arm injuries derailed his career. The Highland Park, Ill. native has spent the last four years in independent baseball, but here's hoping his success in 2009 comes at AA, AAA or above.

The now former RailCats star got his first crack at winter ball in Puerto Rico this year and made the Florida Marlins (who signed him in December) look awfully smart.

Townsend had some ups and downs in the regular season - including some surprising struggles in the field - but still batted .284 with 11 RBIs in 18 games. His club, Arecibo, reached the four team postseason and that's when Townsend found his groove. The Kentucky native hit .378 (third in the league) in nine playoff games, helping Arecibo to the final round of the Puerto Rican playoffs. Townsend collected a league-leading 25 total bases in the playoffs, racking up three doubles, a triple and two home runs. His .676 slugging mark and 1.070 OPS both ranked second in the league.

Townsend will be in minor league camp with the Marlins later this month, looking to latch on at the AA or AA level. Needless to say, if the 2008 Northern League Player of the Year hits like he did in the playoffs in Puerto Rico, his dream of reaching the major leagues may not be that far away.

No comments:

Post a Comment