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Hawaii Winter Baseball

According to a Hawaii Winter Baseball press release, Major League Baseball has decided to "consolidate" its fall operations to Arizona.? As the press release explains,

The decision essentially ends any participation in HWB by players from the MLB and its minor league affiliates.
Hawaii Winter Baseball combined a few really excellent ideas:

1. A second fall league for players, most of whom had completed A-ball seasons, who weren't ready for the Arizona Fall League

Tags: Business of Baseball, Hawaii Winter Baseball, Toby Hyde
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John Manuel of Baseball America ranked the top 20 Prospects in Hawaii Winter Baseball, a list that did not include any Mets. However, he took two Mets questions in his associated chat
Jack from Africa - for now asks:

John, How did Scott Shaw not make the list? He didn't have to be #1 but he was the best pitcher in the league statistically - he dominated. He should have been on the list somewhere.

A: John Manuel: I hate to sound like a broken record, but his fastball was a bit short for me to put him on the top 20. He had an incredible year after signing -- more than 100 IP as a pro after 50 or so at Illinois, and he sounds like he has a chance to be a durable, back-of-the-rotation guy if it all works out. But he works at 87-88 mph with his fastball, and the life on the pitch is just OK according to my info. Great scouting by the Mets (Scott Trcka's the area guy there) on getting him and he could be a real find, but I thought his fastball was short to make the list.

Tags: Baseball America, Hawaii Winter Baseball, Ruben Tejada, Scott Shaw, Toby Hyde
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The Hawaii Winter Baseball Season has come to a close. HWB is played at a level slightly above advanced-A, but not all the way up to AA. None of the Met hitters assigned to the league performed up to league average.

[table=17]

Tags: Daily Recap, Hawaii Winter Baseball, Toby Hyde
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Because it was so much fun to compare the hitters in the Dominican Winter League to their overall league environment, I thought I'd run through the exercise (and spreadsheets) for each of the important winter leagues.? Here's Hawaii Winter Baseball.

[table=10]

Tags: Analysis, Greg Veloz, Hawaii Winter Baseball, Jordan Abruzzo, Ruben Tejada, Toby Hyde
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Once again, Scott Shaw turned in the best Mets performance in the Islands.? Saturday, Shaw threw five shutout innings dropping his ERA to 1.91.? In those five innings, he gave up one hit, walked two and struck out six.? Thirty-eight of his 68 pitches - 56% - were strikes.

In 28.1 IP, Shaw has given up 10 hits, seven walks and struck out 33 while the League has hit .105 against him.

2B Greg Veloz (.214/.290/.238) was 2-3 Friday night and 1-4 Saturday.? He's struck out 25 times and walked 9 in 84 AB.

Tags: Hawaii Winter Baseball, Scott Shaw, Toby Hyde
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Josh Stinson: W, 4 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K ... Stinson is now 2-0 with a 0.87 ERA.?

2B Greg Veloz: 0-2, BB,? SB (2)

LHP Roy Merritt: .1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 HR, 1 HBP

Tags: Daily Recap, Hawaii Winter Baseball, Toby Hyde
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The North Shore Honu scored twice in the bottom of the 10th inning off Mets reliever Roy Merritt to beat the Honolulu Sharks and their many Mets 11-10.

Junior Guerra: 2.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 1 K

Roy Merritt: L, 1.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 K

Tags: Greg Veloz, Hawaii Winter Baseball, Junior Guerra, Ruben Tejada, Toby Hyde
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In Saturday?s game, the Honolulu Sharks pounded Yankees 2007 first rounder Andrew Brackman for seven runs in 2.1 IP in the massive righty?s professional debut. C Jordan Abruzzo was 1-4 with an RBI and 2B Greg Veloz was 1-4 with a double. Josh Stinson gave up two unearned runs in three innings, fanning two without walking a batter for the win. Junior Guerra struck out four in two innings (good) but also gave up two runs on three hits (not so good) without giving up a walk (good). LHP sidewinder Roy Merritt fanned four more batters in his two frames.

Tags: Greg Veloz, Hawaii Winter Baseball, Jordan Abruzzo, Josh Stinson, Junior Guerra, Toby Hyde
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The Mets made two changes to their HWB delegation Tuesday. Ages in parentheses, RHP Junior Guerra (23) replaces RHP Stephen Clyne (24) and C Jordan Abruzzo (24) replaces C Francisco Pena (18).

The 5?11? 213 lb Guerra pitched over four levels in the system, spending most of his July with Savannah where he was 1-1 with two saves in 25.2 dominating IP. He gave up just 14 hits and two walks while punching out 34. Guerra didn?t give up a hit in his four innings at St. Lucie to conclude his season. I missed Guerra when I saw Savannah, but an AL scout told me that he liked Guerra a little bit as a relief prospect. After all, Guerra had thrown 93-95 mph the night before to go along with an 83 mph slider. A strong Hawaii showing could set up Guerra for an Opening Day assignment to Binghamton and a rapid rise through the system in 2009.

Abruzzo, who the Mets picked in the 13th round in 2007, played at three levels in 2008 showing some power, and solid receiving abilities to go with an aggressive approach. Like Guerra, his Hawaii assignment should prepare him to start 2009 in Binghamton. Unlike Guerra, Abruzzo is not a candidate for a subsequent rapid ascension.

Tags: Francisco Pena, Hawaii Winter Baseball, Jordan Abruzzo, Junior Guerra, Stephen Clyne, Toby Hyde
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The Mets made first round pick SS Reese Havens, who struggled with injuries in 2008 with Brooklyn, a late scratch from Hawaii Winter Baseball, which opens play Saturday. Mets Director of Minor League Operations Adam Wogan told MiLB.com?s Kevin T. Czerwinski:

"We feel that it's a better environment for him to spend a month in Florida. We think it makes the best use of his time. He had some smaller injuries and we're just trying to be cautious.

Tags: Hawaii Winter Baseball, Reese Havens, Toby Hyde
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Hawaii Winter Baseball released its official 2008 rosters. The Mets will send (age in parentheses): RHP Stephen Clyne (24), LHP Roy Merritt (23), RHP Josh Stinson (20), C Francisco Pena (18), SS Ruben Tejada (19), and 2B Greg Veloz (20) to Oahu to play for the Honolulu Sharks.

No Reese Havens.

HWB mixes minor leaguers from 22 MLB teams, six Japanese teams and one Korean club. The level of play is most comparable to advanced-A, although the Japanese pitchers, who rely more heavily on breaking balls than their American counterparts, offer a different challenge.

Tags: Analysis, Hawaii Winter Baseball, Toby Hyde
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