Apr 25 2036: Vikings finally win a series, sweeping Knoxville in 3 - by Cactusguy21 on May 30th, 2018
PRESQUE ISLE- A slow start to the Vikings season has some disappointed, but not discouraged. "Yeah, it kinda stinks," said All-League shortstop Cruz Toca, who currently is hitting .194. "We know we can do better".
And better they did, with a convincing sweep of Knoxville. The Knoxville Blueticks are a classic example of a Level 5.5 team, hovering back and forth between levels V and VI. They've got the coaching, but they just need a few more pieces to stick. But this year they've done well out of the gate, and came into the series with a 9-7 record. But the Vikings brought the pain during this series.
Steve Baughman delivered another impressive outing in the first game, surrendering only one run in seven innings. Jeremy Foreman, in his first appearance on the team, bailed out Kang Dae On to get the save. Ties Meijer, back in a starting role for the first time in a year and a half, hit a homerun during the 6-1 victory.
In game 2, the struggling Stan Seeley managed to deliver a decent start, 5 IP and 2 ER. But the game was never in doubt after the 7-run 5th inning, and the Vikings went on to win 11-4. Jeremy Foreman pitched again, and got the rare 3-inning save.
The pitching was trash in game 3, as both Foreman and starter Vicente Roque struggled. But the offense came to play, and Toca's 3-3, 2 BB, 1 HR night won him player of the game awards.
Next, the Vikings host the Erie Aces for a four game set. The Aces historically struggle against lefties, and so the probable pitchers are as follows:
Foreman starts in place of Stan Seeley, who will be working out of the bullpen. This decision was made due to the struggles of the Aces versus lefties combined with the slow start by Seeley. In addition, Lorenzo Perez, who has yet to throw a pitch, joins the bullpen to open up a spot for Reagan, who has struggled early yet again.
Mar 25 2036: Ricardo Madrid dominates Meteors in 3-1 series win - by Cactusguy21 on May 22nd, 2018
PRESQUE ISLE-The 2034 All-League right fielder got off to a great start this season with an impressive showing against the Utica Meteors in the first 4 games of cup play. Madrid went 8-for-13 (plus 4 walks), with a double and FIVE homeruns against Utica.
Other stories from the first cup games:
Recent free agent signing Lance Lynn was stellar in his Vikings debut, pitching in all four games, racking up 5.2 scoreless innings.
Last year's staff ace, Stan Seeley, was roughed up in his season debut, giving up 4 ER in 3.2 IP.
The only rookie on the roster, first baseman Ben Russell went 7-for-17 to start off his Vikings career.
New second baseman Alonzo Gamboa had a rough start to his Vikings career, making two errors and struggling at the plate.
Mar 20 2036: 2036 Vikings Prospect Rankings - by Cactusguy21 on May 21st, 2018
Below you'll find the updated prospect rankings for this franchise. These are NOT the auto-generated rankings, but rather my own.
RF Nicolas Zelaya (20yo, AA, 2-2033, HS): Zelaya had a monster season in the minors that carries him back to the top of the prospect charts. His development is quick, and his production is there.
OF/SS Rodolfo Paez (22yo, AAA, 2-2034, College): Paez had a disappointing first season at AAA, but I’m not too worried. He’s still young, and can turn things around next season. Only issue is that it is looking less likely that he will play SS and more likely will be a CF.
3B Brad Kaline (18yo, Rookie, 2-2036, HS): Kaline joining the organization creates a logjam at 3B, but having so much talent is never a bad thing. He looks to be a decent slugger, as we continue to stack our minors with power hitters during the early rounds each year.
LF Marcos Diaz (21yo, AA, Waivers): The only 15-POT in the minors had a rough start to his Vikings career, struggling through AA and failing to develop much. But as with Paez, he is both young and nearly ML-ready, so I’m not worried.
3B Denny Tackett (19yo, A, 3-2034, HS): Tackett shoots up the rankings after a successful A-ball campaign and another year of solid development. At this rate, he’s gonna challenge Julian Gonzalez for playing time in four seasons or so. Very impressed by one of my most under-the-radar picks.
1B Kieran Allen (22yo, A, 1-2035, Int.): I’m not sure what to think of Allen, but he has the scouting report to be decent, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed. Sure, he hasn’t developed well thus far, but I mean 1B is a lot easier to play underdeveloped than most positions.
C Federico Ortega (20yo, A, 4-2034, HS): Not impressed with Ortega’s second season with me. He has struggled offensively, although his catching has been good. His scouting report says he’ll be great, but I’m losing faith. Let’s see how he handles another year of A-ball.
DH Matias Ramirez (20yo, A, 4-2033, HS): Ramirez certainly has been raking in the minors. His slow growth isn’t ideal, but is rather typical for DH type players. I’m excited to see if he takes a leap forward this year.
C Todd Kennedy (24yo, AAA, Waivers): Kennedy had a monster spring, and combined with his steady success in the minors at a position of great need for us, and he could see playing time sooner rather than later. I would still like to get him some AAA time though.
1B/DH Maxim Zlotnik (18yo, Rookie, 1-2036, Int.): This year’s first round pick isn’t the flashiest player, but the Russian could be a contributor with the bat.
1B Ben Russell (25yo, Majors, 3-2029, HS): Russell projects to start at 1B this season for the Vikings, as the team tries to get him some reps at a position we sometimes struggle with.
LF/1B B.J. Manning (22yo, AA, 5-2035, College): Manning looks like he could be a solid player for this team, but we’re gonna have to see more from him before we get excited. His defense is rather suspect though.
RP Walt Weeks (18yo, A, 3-2035, HS): I really like Weeks. He did very well in rookie ball, and while he’s still a long ways away from the majors, he could be a very nice middle reliever. That 3.02 FIP from last year certainly is uplifting. Weeks is currently the top pitching prospect in the system.
RP Travis Coffey (19yo, A, 4-2035, HS): The lefty is a solid relief prospect that might be able to reach the majors at a young age.
1B Mariano Ortiz (24yo, AAA, Waivers)
RP Jose Ulloa (19yo, Rookie, Waivers): Ulloa has been garbage in the minors and during spring, but I still have hope for his future success as a ballplayer for this club. His scouting report is quite excellent, if he can start getting more movement on his curveball then he will be a good reliever.
2B/LF Elian Ramos (21yo, Rookie, 7-2034, Latin): Ramos has quietly put together two good seasons in Rookie ball, and has a chance of actually making it up through the system. The only problem is his age. 21 is really old for rookie ball.
C Gerardo Lagos (20yo, AAA, Waivers)
RF/C Alfredo Jimenez (20yo, AA, Waivers)
RP Ricardo Bermudez (23yo, AA, 3-2033, Latin)
SP Emilio Cervantes (20yo, AA, Waivers)
2B Ignacio Viciedo (20yo, Rookie, 8-2035, Latin)
SP Aaron Martin (21yo, A, Waivers)
DH Vince Haas (22yo, AA, Waivers)
Feb 19 2036: Prospects in Review - by Cactusguy21 on May 11th, 2018
The updated prospect rankings will be out soon. However, I want to take a brief minute to review the highlights of last year's pipeline.
Here’s what happened to every notable prospect who began the season on the Vikings farm or as rookies:
#10 RP Carlos Arenas (AAA, Majors, 22yo)
#11 1B Hinata Matsumoto (Majors, 23yo)
#13 C/RF Preston Gill (Majors, 26yo)
#16 SP R. J. Dickey (Majors, 24yo)
#22 OF Fabian Coronado (Spring Cut, 26yo)
#25 DH Juan Manuel Martinez (Spring Cut, 25yo)
Overall, five prospects were cut. Martinez and Coronado were reclamation projects I gave up on. Gill had all the talent in the world, but just couldn’t make enough contact to win the backup catcher job. Matsumoto proved that his previous success was just small sample size, forcing the team to go back to Jeong at 1B. Arenas had an up and down year in the minors, and pitched a game as an emergency reliever in the majors, but the team decided he just wouldn’t provide enough moving forward. Dickey more or less stunk in his rookie season, and was cut midway through.
#6 SP Percy Singleton
#7 RP Armando Cardenas
#12 RP Mateo Velazquez
#14 C Shane Takamatsu
#24 LF Clark Jolly
Singleton developed a lot in his rookie season, however the results were not there initially. Cardenas and Velazquez showed promise, and if they continue to grow we could have a nice pair of relievers in those two. Takamatsu was garbage at the plate this year, but a sparse catcher room in Presque Isle means that he’ll get some more chances. Jolly didn’t seen much action, but didn’t do well in limited opportunities.
2035 TOP 5 PROSPECTS
#1 SS/CF Rodolfo Paez (AAA, 21yo)
#2 CF Marcos Diaz (AA, 20yo)
#3 RF Nicolas Zelaya (AA, 19yo)
#4 C Federico Ortega (A, 19yo)
#5 1B Kieran Allen (A, 21yo)
This was a group of disappointment outside of Zelaya. The other four guys either barely developed, or put up terrible numbers. But Zelaya continued to dominate in AA, and has developed rather quickly. He could see the big league squad in 2038.
Mar 06 2035: Vikings Prospect Rankings - by Cactusguy21 on February 26th, 2018
The Presque Isle Vikings are pleased to announce the release of the first-ever annual Prospect Rankings. These rankings are NOT the ones generated by the system, instead they are compiled by coaches, scouts, and the front office, in order to get a more accurate list.
This list will be released during each Spring, and includes all players who have not exceeded their rookie limit in the majors.
1.SS/CF Rodolfo Paez (AA, 21yo): Selected in the second round of last year’s draft, Paez wowed scouts with his incredible range and arm in both the outfield and at shortstop. He hit to a very solid slash line in his first season at AA Monticello, and scouts consider him to be well ahead in ability for his age. If he can improve his fielding enough, Paez could grab a platoon shortstop spot as early as 2037.
2. CF/LF Marcos Diaz (AA, 20yo): The gem of the offseason, Diaz is the highest potential player to play for a Vikings affiliate since Cory Sheppard. While he isn’t as much of a sure bet as Paez, he certainly has talent and could become a great player for this team.
3. OF Nicolas Zelaya (A, 19yo): The scouting report on the 2033 second-round pick showed that he would become a powerful slugger, and would have a solid glove in the outfield. The front office saw him as a solid third outfielder option, perhaps a platoon bat. However, what no one predicted was that he would show solid contact skills in his first two years in the minors, hitting to over a .290 average between Bingham and Topsfield. He is still many years away, but this youngster has a chance to be a really special player in the majors.
4. C Federico Ortega (Rookie, 19yo): Ortega has a long way to go, but on his current trajectory, he could become a really special player with the bat. In addition, his defensive work at catcher looks to be pretty solid as well.
5. 1B/LF Kieran Allen (A, 21yo): The most recent draft pick is a little behind in development, but if he lives up to his potential then the Vikings have a great first baseman of the future. Now we just have to hope his speed plays well as a base-stealing weapon in the minors.
6. LHP (SP) Percy Singleton (AAA, 25yo): Singleton is gearing up for his rookie campaign, in which he will likely slot in at long reliever alongside Stan Seeley. Singleton has made incredible progress in the past few years to jump from the chopping block to the top prospects, and the club views him as the replacement to Carlos Marroquin at starting pitcher.
7. RHP (RP) Armando Cardenas (Majors, 25yo): The flame-throwing reliever has a ton of upside, and the team is hoping he finds a groove heading into this season. Hopefully he will improve a bullpen devoid of talent, especially young talent.
8. C Todd Kennedy (AA, 23yo): Kennedy should provide a solid catching option moving forward, as the team continues to shuffle players in the wake of the retirement of Hall of Famer Juan Pablo Berrios. The team likes his defense, and thinks he could develop into a solid contact hitter in a few more years.
9. 3B Denny Tackett (A, 18yo): Tackett isn’t lighting the world on fire, but he has some potential to start at third base in the future. This first full season of A-ball should be important in determining his value.
10. RHP (RP) Carlos Arenas (AAA, 22yo): There are a ton of question marks surrounding this youngster, but the results in the minors can not be denied. Hopefully he will learn a lot from AAA before making the jump.
11. 1B/DH Hinata Matsumoto (Majors, 23yo): Matsumoto did well in the practice league, and has earned the trust of the organization. He will provide good depth at 1B in his first season, and perhaps earn playing time.
12. RHP (RP) Mateo Velazquez (AAA, 24yo): Velazquez has done nothing to impress, but nothing to dissapoint either. He should be a wild card when he makes his debut later this year.
13. C/1B/RF Preston Gill (Majors, 26yo): The only 14+ POT outside of the top 3, Gill has shown strong development as a player but still struggles with basic hitting skills. He will get time in the majors this year to see if he sticks.
14. C Shane Takamatsu (AAA, 26yo): Takamatsu projects as a potential platoon bat, but he is quite underveloped and will not make the big league squad initially.
15. RF Alfredo Jimenez (A, 19yo)
16. LHP (SP) R. J. Dickey (AAA, 24yo)
17. RHP (SP) Emilio Cervantes (A, 19yo)
18. 2B Elian Ramos (Rookie, 20yo)
19. DH Matias Ramirez (A, 19yo)
20. RHP (RP) Jose Segura (AAA, 25yo)
21. 1B Ben Russell (AAA, 24yo)
22. C/DH Gerardo Lagos (AA, 19yo)
23. OF Fabian Coronado (AAA, 26yo)
24. RHP (RP) Ricardo Bermudez (A, 22yo)
25. CF/LF Clark Jolly (AAA, 22yo)
26. DH Juan Manuel Martinez (AAA, 25yo)