Tag Archives: Torii Hunter

Hunter is a Tiger; Parrino & Werner to Oakland

Some former Wizards and TinCaps are in the Hot Stove news.

  

Former Fort Wayne Wizard, Torii Hunter has made it official with Detroit, signing a $26 million, two-year deal.

“To win it all, they’re just like me. They don’t know what it feels like,” Hunter said. “If there’s no failure, there’s no progress. These guys are hungry for it.”

In other Fort Wayne Alumni news, two former TinCaps are on their way to Oakland. Switch hitting infielder, Andy Parrino and pitcher, Andrew Werner have been traded to the A’s for for right-handed pitcher Tyson Ross and minor-league first baseman A.J. Kirby-Jones.

“My first thought was I was excited, because I was going to a team who had a great season last year and made it to the playoffs,” Parrino said, “but it will be tough leaving my first organization. Coming up with the Padres was a great experience, and I met and learned a lot from a lot of great players and coaches.”

Parrino was selected by the Padres in the 26th round of the 2007 draft out of LeMoyne College. This past season, Parrino hit .207 with 1 home run and 6 RBI in 55 games with San Diego.

Werner was signed by the San Diego Padres as an amateur free agent in 2010. He appeared in 12 games with the TinCaps in 2011, compiling a 2-6 record with  52 strike outs over 68 innings. In 2012, he appeared in 8 games with the Padres, going 2-3 with 35 K’s over 40.1 innings pitched.

Fort Fragments (Wizards): Donovan, Hunter, Condrey, Pierzynski, Soria, Perez

Here’s some good articles about former Fort Wayne Wizards:

Kevin Gray’s On Baseball: He still plays like a kid (UnionLeader.com)

A look at Todd Donovan, now a Blue Jays farmhand, and why he has not yet made a big league roster.

“I’ve tried not to talk about it as much as I can, but the conversation always seems to come up,” said Donovan, drafted in the ninth round by the Padres in 1999. “There’s a lot of built-up frustration. I’m not young anymore. I’m not a prospect anymore. I basically have to prove myself every single day.”

 Beckett sparks bench-clearing brawl (ESPN.com)

Angels center fielder Torii Hunter was ejected by West and had to be restrained by teammate Howie Kendrick.

Manuel: Phillies’ Condrey ‘a staff saver’ (SportingNews)

The 33-year-old Philadelphia Phillies pitcher gets the ball after Cole Hamels and before Brad Lidge. He’s a middle reliever that lacks the unhittable pitch or the highlight-reel flash of his more popular starter and closer teammates.

Sox love Pierzynski even if others don’t (MLB.com)

“Certain events that have occurred have led people to believe I’m a certain way, and I can’t control that. What I can control is how I prepare myself to play for this team, and that’s all I worry about.”

Joakim Soria:

Soria now one of Majors’ elite closers (MLB.com)
Hardly anyone in the Major Leagues was better at nailing down games last season than Soria, who converted 42 of 45 save chances, or 93.3 percent. The only closers topping that were the Phillies’ Brad Lidge (41-for-41, 100 percent) and the Yankees’ Mariano Rivera (39-for-40, 97.5 percent).

Soria dispels doubts with save (MLB.com)
“I remember when Trey first got here and saying to me, ‘That’s going to be our closer, huh?’ Just for the fact that he wasn’t sharp yet,” McClure said. “And he goes on to get 42 saves, but we had seen him pitch; I didn’t know he’d get 40, but you knew that he’d save a lot of games. So to me, he looks behind.”

Oliver Perez:

  • Mets’ Oliver Perez is wild in appearance against Tigers – 3/25/09 (SportingNews)
  • Mets’ Perez believes World Baseball Classic put him behind – 3/26/09 (SI.com)
  • Johan talks to Perez after tough outing – 3/26/09 (MLB.com)
  • Praise all around for Perez – 3/30/09 (MLB.com)
  • Perez sharp in Mets’ 2-1 victory against Orioles – 3/30/09 (SportingNews)
  • Perez shows rust in spring finale – 4/3/09 (MLB.com)

Torii Hunter Being Featured on CNBC

Former Wizards and current Angels outfielder, Torii Hunter, has gotten a few headlines this spring. In response to Alex Rodriguez’s admission of steroid use, Hunter expressed his sadness after learning the news. He has known Rodriguez since their teen years while playing in the Junior Olympics.

“With the talent he had, he didn’t have to take anything.”

Last year, Hunter created and staged a national tournament for inner-city youth in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. He is currently working to rally the troops of friends and fellow players to make it an anual event.

“We had 14 teams flown in from the Bronx, Virginia, the South Side of Chicago, Texas, Florida … all over the country,” Hunter said. “It was a tremendous feeling.

Hunter was also recently a Bad Wax subject.

And according to his newsletter, tonight Hunter “will be participating in CNBC’s airing of “NEWBOs: The Rise of America’s New Black Overclass”; a one hour primetime documentary. The documentary is about the growing wave of young and successful African Americans coming out of the sports, media and entertainment industries.

It’s your chance to learn more about Hunter and take on many subjects.  The documentary will premiere Thursday, February 26th at 9PM & 1AM ET on CNBC.

Related Torii Hunter posts at BBIFW:

Torii Hunter Project Update

Former Wizard and current Angels outfielder, Torii Hunter recently sent out an update to supporters of the Torii Hunter Project. Here’s an excerpt:

Many have you have been asking about Torii Hunter Project, so wanted to give you the latest on this initiative.

I have partnered with the Heart of a Champion Foundation, along with the Angels Baseball Foundation, and earlier this week launched The Torii Hunter Project’s Education Initiative.  Together we will bring character building programs and college scholarships to students in four states.  Students in Anaheim, CA, Pine Bluff, AR, Las Vegas, NV, and Minneapolis, MN will benefit from this program.

The initiative, which will be operated by the Heart of a Champion Foundation, focuses on two aspects: the Heart of a Champion character education curriculum, which will be delivered to middle school and junior high school students in Anaheim, CA, Pine Bluff, AR, and Minneapolis, MN; and the Hunter’s Hundred scholarship program, which will provide college scholarships to 100 students from Anaheim, Pine Bluff and Las Vegas over the next four years.

The way I grew up was pretty tough and I vowed to myself that if I ever got the opportunity to help anybody that I was going to do it. That’s one of the reasons why I’m so passionate about helping kids. Seeing the difference I can make in somebody’s life is powerful. I’m glad that I can in some small way give back, because I feel blessed to be where I’m at. 

For more information, visit recently redeisgned Torii Hunter Project website at www.toriihunterproject.com.

Torii Hunter Diamond Cuts Winner, “Luv Of Da Game”

Updating a previous post, the winner of the WeMix Diamond Cut Contest was announced earlier this week. RIPCHORD and TAZUH won the competition and their song, “Luv Of Da Game” premiered last week as former Wizards outfielder, Torii Hunter’s official walk on tune. 

You can hear the song here. You can purchase the song here. All proceeds go to the Torii Hunter Foundation so please support it.  You could win a great prize for signing up, so go get it!

…… in other Torii Hunter news, he was out of the Angels’ lineup Wednesday after getting hit by a ball in his right cheekbone during batting practice. Ouch.

Fort Fragments (Wizards): Luis Cruz, Pierzynski, Burroughs, Quezada

  • Luis Cruz (from the 2003 Wizards’ squad) went 3-4 with a double and his second homer of the season; a two-run shot that broke a 3-3 tie in the bottom of the eighth to outlast a Louisville rally to give Indianapolis a 5-4 win Thursday night at Victory Field. He launched another homer on Friday to lead the Indians to another victory over the Bats in front of 13,558 fans at Victory Field.
  • Controversy again found A.J. Pierzynski. During a rundown between second and third, Pierzynski appeared to get tagged out after falling, but umpire Doug Eddings called him safe, citing interference by Rays third baseman, Willy Aybar. Replays showed that Pierzynski initiated contact by hitting Aybar with his elbow before falling. So, Pierzynski was awarded third base and scored a couple batters later. The White Sox ended up winning by one run. Both Eddings and Major League Baseball later admitted the blown call.
  • Geoff at Ducksnorts rounds out his reviews of the farm by spotlighting Portland. Looks like he’s softening his stance on Will Venable: “I like Venable’s chances a little better now than I did at the same time last year, but he still looks like a fourth outfielder to me.” He also takes a look at Matt Antonelli, Peter Ciofrone, Wade LeBlanc and more.
  • Yes, you saw Sean Burroughs in the headline. Friar Forecast took a look at Burroughs’ fielding and found that his dissappointing offense underscored his above average defense. Good reading here.
  • It’s a Wizards reunion in San Diego: “[Chase] Headley welcomed newcomers [Josh] Geer and outfielder Will Venable, who also was promoted from Triple-A. The trio and rookie catcher Nick Hundley, along with last night’s starting pitcher, Dirk Hayhurst, helped Double-A San Antonio win the Texas League championship last year. Rookie utility man Sean Kazmar also played for the Missions.”All six of those players are former Wizards as well.
  • Midwest Leaguesaves leader, Jackson Quezada was the lone Fort Wayne representative of the Midwest League postseason all-star roster.
  • Paul DePodesta takes a look at the 2008 late round draftees.
  • Torii Hunter is still doing his thing in the Outfield, having robbed a couple crucial home runs lately.
  • Finally, MadFriars has been going crazy with Wizards-related headlines (subscription required for the links below):

Fort Fragments (Wizards): Blanks, Carlin, Torii Hunter, Carrasco, Chulk, Garrison

  • Kyle Blanks, the 6-foot-6, 270-pound former Wizards first baseman went 5-for-7 for the Double-A San Antonia Missions on Wednesday. He tied a career high with six RBIs and had run-scoring singles in the first and fourth before hitting a two-run shot in the sixth. In the eighth, he doubled (his 20th of the season). Then, he slugged his second home run of the game in the bottom of the 12th to give lead the Missions to a 14-12 win.
  • Josh Bard returned to the Padres from the DL on Friday. To make room on the 25-man roster, former Wizards catcher, Luke Carlin, was optioned to Triple-A Portland. Carlin made his MLB debut earlier in the season and was hitting .154 in 91 at-bats on the season.
  • Torii Hunter still feels strange when facing the Twins, the team with whom he spent the first 15 years of his career.”Hunter’s connection to the Twins can still be felt by the way he speaks about the organization. But with his team chasing the top record in the American League, Hunter wants to pull off as many victories over the Twins as he can right now. Still, he said he’s hoping that the two clubs might perhaps meet up again in the playoffs.”
  • Lots of Wizards related news over at MadFrairs.
    • John Conniff interviews one of my personal favorites, Felix Carrasco and Brad Chulk (subscription required).
    • Padres minor league field coordinator, Tom Gamboa, and Padres vice president of scouting and player development, Grady Fuson, talk about the Padres’ prospects – which include many current and former Wizards players. (subscription required)
  • Speaking of prospects, Padres’ front-office executive, Paul Depodesta talks about this year’s draft picks – both that were signed and those who were not. Hopefully we’ll be seeing many of them come through Fort Wayne real soon (seventh rounder, Adam Zornes is already here).

Fort Fragments (Wizards): Bonine, Hunter, Peavy

  • Eddie Bonine tossed seven innings of one-hit ball to lead the Toledo Mudhens to victory in what was the 500th game played at Fifth Third Field. Bonine (11-2), made his third start following a one-month stint with the parent club, the Detroit Tigers. He walked one and struck out seven. Maybe the yeah-yoos with OMGReds were there for this game and got some pics. Pretty sure thy went to Sunday’s game tho. 🙁
  • A day after his grandmother passed away, Torii Hunter homered twice, drove in five and scored four runs to lead the Los Angeles Angels over the Baltimore Orioles 11-6. He went 3-for-3 with two walks. It was Hunter’s third two-homer game of the season and the 11th of his career.
  • Jake Peavy, the reigning Cy Young Award winner struck out 10 over seven innings en route to a rare Padres’ victory on Sunday. The right hander allowed one run and four hits with three walks in his second double-digit strikeout game of the season and 26th of his career.
  • Lamond Pope’s Wizardsblog will be moving next month. The new address will be: http://www.journalgazette.net/apps/pbcs.dll/section?Category=BLOGS07

Fort Fragments (Wizards): Carlin, Hunter, Cuddyer, Breit

  • With the return of catcher, Josh Bard, from the disabled list, former Wizard, Luke Carlin was optioned back to Triple-A Portland. Since his May 10th debut, he had been behind the plate in 30 games including 23 starts. At the plate, he has gone 11-for-80 (.138) with three doubles, one triple, two RBI and 10 runs scored. But, with the July 31 trade deadline looming, it might be a short-lived stint. There’s been a lot of speculation that the Friars are trying to move Barrett or Bard. Padres GM Kevin Towers indicated otherwise, so we’ll have to wait out the week or so and see what happens.
  • Torii Hunter returned to the Angels’ lineup yesterday. He had been placed on bereavement to spend time with his ailing grandmother, Edna Cobbs, who passed away Friday after a five-year illness.
  • Still no set date for Michael Cuddyer’s return to the Twins’ lineup. He’s been on the DL since June 28th due to a strained tendon in the knuckle of his left index finger. The outfielder has also had soreness in the palm of his hand. An exam found no additional problems in Cuddyer’s hand.
  • MadFriars has a good interview with current Wizards’ right hander, Aaron Breit. (Subscription required). He discusses the nerve problems he had in his elbow before returning to Fort Wayne, mechanical changes and overcoming early career struggles.

Cedric Hunter Making Good on Promise

Cedric Hunter on DeckComing into the 2007 season, the hot name on the Wizards roster was prospect, Cedric Hunter. He arrived with a glint of excitement that many thought was sure to signal a second coming of Wizard from more than a decade-and-a-half ago with the same last name. The comparison was to that of none other than Torii Hunter, who ranks right up at the top of any list of most successful careers that have been posted by former Wizards.

In 1994, Torii Hunter hit .293 with 10 home runs and 50 RBI’s while scoring 57 runs and stealing 8 bases. In 2007, the Hunter Cedric posted a .282 average with 7 home runs and 58 RBI’s while scoring 53 runs and stealing . . . you guessed it, 8 bases. That looks like a pretty good comparison to me. But we also have to consider the playing time. What Torii did in 91 games, it took Cedric 129 – which also is 161 more at-bats (seems pretty high for just 38 more games, but that’s what the stats say, Torii must have come out more often too).

Still, the modern era of the Midwest League is that of a tough hitter’s league, so don’t discount Cedric’s achievements simply because of a few more at-bats. Let’s also not forget, he was a mere 19-year-old last season.

Today, and now all of 20 years, he’s still among the youngest players in the California League, he’s having a solid season at Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore. In fact, Grady Fuson, San Diego’s vice president of scouting and player development, made it a point to go out and personally congratulate Hunter on his performance thus far.

“It was one of the best feelings in the world,” said Hunter, who had a hit in two at-bats during last week’s California/Carolina All-Star Game. “Grady came up to me personally right before the [All-Star] break and told me how happy he was with my defense. I was happy that he did that. It’s nice to be able to show them that you’re working hard. My main purpose in being here is to play every day, get known out there and be the best player I can be.”

As of July 4, Hunter was hitting .303 over 82 games with 105 hits, 64 runs scored 4 home runs, 42 RBI’s and drawing 33 walks to 29 strike-outs in 347 at-bats. He’s stolen 7 bases too.

Cedric HunterIn his Ducksnorts 2008 Baseball Annual, Geoff Young comped Hunter to Sean Green, Kenny Lofton and Shane Victorino. After pointing out that Hunter may have lost a little luster with his MWL performance, he admitted that his status as a prospect didn’t falter for holding his own at a young age in a league that stiffles hitter’s performances. “The only questions with Hunter,” Geoff says, “are whether he’ll have to move to a corner spot at higher levels and how much power he’ll develop.”

While Hunter isn’t a prototypical center fielder, he continues to do what the position calls for with few miscues in the field, so he’ll probably remain there until he proves he doesn’t belong there or an opening at a higher level becomes available at one of the corner slots.

Some folks are suggesting that Cedric will hit the Padres’ lineup as early as 2010, but there are no plans to rush his climb up the ladder and Hunter isn’t too worried about his upward mobility right now either.

“I’m not going to think about what’s going on with that . . . if I stay here the whole year, I’m happy with that. I’m still young. I’m just thinking about playing every day and having a good year.”

I’m still pretty hopeful we’ll see him excelling at the Big League level in a few years. There’s a few too many players I have to continually answer the “Whatever happened to…” question. Methinks Cedric Hunter will someday give us the level of play that will make sure none of us forget or ever have to answer the “whatever happened to…” question.

Photographs by Chad Gramling.