Results tagged ‘ Matt Williams ’
Matt Williams is the ABL leader in Saves with 15 (SMPImages)
Sydney’s Matt Williams had quite a weekend against the Melbourne Aces. He had 3 Saves in consecutive outings, he created a new ABL record in Saves (15) and therefore not surprisingly he won the ABL’s Pitcher of the Week.
The former Twin didn’t allow a run nor a walk in his 3 outings against the Aces, although he did create some anxious moments for the Blue Sox fans when he loaded the bases at one stage with none out but then retired the next 3.
In his last 10 outings Matt has Saved them all and gave up 5H, 0R, 2BB whilst striking out 12 in the 10 innings pitched.
No wonder the catch cry around Sydney is “Fear the Beard”.
Chris Oxspring has been released by the Detroit Tigers. In eight games for their Triple-A Toledo affiliate he was 0-1 with a 6.53 ERA over 20.2 innings.
- Matt Williams has been released by the independent River City Rascals of the Frontier League.
Former Twins pitcher Matt Williams has signed with the River City Rascals who are based in O’Fallon, Missouri. The Rascals, who open their season today, are a member of the West Division of the Frontier League. They were the League Champions in 2010.
Matt first signed with the Twins as a 16yr old in 2004. In 6 seasons with the Twins the 23yr old reached AA in 2010 pitching in relief in 26 games and starting in 2 for a W2-3 record with a 5.23 ERA. His lifetime stats are W21-14, 3.25 ERA. Matt was mildy successful for the Sydney Blue Sox during the past ABL season with an 0-2 record but a good 2.30 ERA despite walking 8 in 15.1 innings of relief.
Mel Greenleaf commented on an article we did some time ago about the Twins and their interest in Australians following the article about Matt Williams finishing his minor league career with them. As you may have missed this comment we thought we would re post it here.
I have watched a lot of major and minor league baseball in my 50+ years of going to games. I grew up in San Diego and moved to the Ft. Myers area in 1977. I cannot speak to the treatment of ballplayers off of the field. On the field however, it seems like the Minnesota Twins are one of the organizations that likes to recruit and play, athletes from Australia. It seemed like they had as many opportunities to showcase their skills as any other athlete. I have spoke with, received autograph cards from, and watched Danny Berg and Matt Williams play baseball. Both young men played the game with passion and dedication. As much as I rooted for both to be successful, to me there were simply other athletes who were more talented. For most of us, we explore many directions in life until we find the final path. Baseball is a game of many who want to reach the major Leagues and few roster spots available. Yes, the people in power make mistakes. Generally though, they “get it right” and young dreams are forced to turn to new hope. Pursue your dreams Matt, Danny, and other young ambitious athletes. Thanks from the fans in America for what you gave to the game of baseball and all of the other players who start with hope in rookie leagues. Sadly though, only about 1 out of every 100 who start in the minors ever reach the major leagues. And as for the Minnesota organization, be thankful you were a part of it. From what I have seen as a fan and a father of one who worked for them, it is one of the finest, if not the finest, organizations in the major leagues. They gave my daughter a chance, and she too was let go. It was sad to see that dream of hers end, but she has moved on to what seems like a better opportunity. Letting go of a dream is hard until you embrace a new one. Don’t blame someone for telling you that you are going the wrong way. Thank them for putting you on a road to success.
I wish Matt Willams every success. It never ceases to amaze me just how badly the Twins treat Australian players. Howard Norsetter signs more Aussies than any other scout, but by percentages his club releases more Aussies than any other club. Very little support from the Twins once a player goes to the US. A lesson to be learned here perhaps by young Aussie prospects. Before you sign, ask other ex Twins players what they think.
Twins scout Howie Norsetter has sent this response to the Editor which I reproduce in full:-
A point of clarification—Matthew Williams was not released. He played out his minor league contract and is currently a minor league free agent. He was under contract with the Twins for the past seven years. The minor league contract is for seven consecutive playing seasons. I would encourage anybody who had questions about the Twins treating Australian players badly speak with Matty Williams.
The Twins do not release a lot of players. I’m not sure where Peter gets the idea that the Twins treat players badly or that we release a higher percentage of players. That is simply not true. The last Australian player that the Twins released was Dan Berg, in 2009. Danny played for 4 years with the Twins and got to 2A—a tremendous achievement for a player who was drafted in the 30th round. Not only do the Twins sign more players, they keep them around longer than other teams. The average minor league career is two years. The average Australian Twins’ career is more than twice that.
Following is a list of the current Australians under contract, the number of years they have been under contract with the Minnesota Twins, and the year they signed:
Justin Huber, (2nd year with the Twins), 2000
Luke Hughes, 9 years, 2002
Allan de San Miguel, 6 years, 2004
Brad Tippett, 5 years, 2005
Liam Hendriks, 4 years, 2007
James Beresford, 5 years, 2006
Rory Rhodes, 2 years, 2008
Josh Hendricks, 2 years, 2009
Mark Trau, 1 year, 2009
Jacob Younis, 2010 will be his first year
Todd VanSteensel, 2010 will be his first year with the Twins
Other players who have worn a Twin uniform in the minor leagues and are still playing professionally are Mike Nakamura, Brad Thomas, Pete Moylan, Grant Balfour, and Trent Oeltjen.
Almost all Australians who have been released by the Twins in the past have had at least two years in the states. Many of those had another year at the MLBAAP academy. There are exceptions, but the exceptions are players who either quit, had career affecting injuries, or were released for disciplinary reasons. We give our players one year to adjust to the rigors of professional baseball, and then a couple of years to show that they are improving. Unfortunately, the reality is that not all players improve; Not all players have the ability to play at a higher level. The Twins have a history, and the reputation, of being more patient with their prospects than any other club. Players are given the opportunity to develop, and to prove themselves. Every Australian who signs with the Twins is warned of the difficulties of minor league life, and is made aware of the brevity of the average minor league professional career. They are all aware that the odds are one in fifteen to get to the major leagues. Fortunately, the vast majority of Twins’ Australian minor league players have had longer than average professional careers, and we have had more than our share of players make it to the Major Leagues.
The following Australians have played (or will be playing) with the Minnesota Twins over the past 20 years. Feel free to speak to any of them about their experience. They will have seen and experienced it all:
Darren Fidge, Terry Millwood, Greg Clark, Peter Moylan, Grant Balfour, Brad Thomas, Andrew Cooke, Rhys Wheldon, Fred Lindberg, Mike Nakamura, Brett Tamburrino, Trent Oeltjen, Paul Rutgers, Paul Mutch, Jason Pospishil, Josh Hill, Steve Tope, John Edwards, Dan Berg, Peter Tautor, Luke Thwaites, Simon Fletcher, Mike Lysaught, Josh Dean, Matty Williams, Tristan Crawford, Nate Crawford, Allan de San Miguel, James Beresford, Brad Tippett, Jared Eacott, Kyle Edlich, Matt Gourlay, Glenn Williams, Justin Huber, Matty Lawman, Taylor Rowe, Matty Ryan, Tim Atherton, Eliot Biddle, Liam Hendriks, Josh Hendricks, Mark Trau, Jacob Younis, Todd Van Steensel.( In addition, Ryan Rowland-Smith was a Rule-5 draft selection, and spent some time at spring training with the Twins before being returned to Seattle.)
Six of those players above were originally signed by other clubs and were either released, or had become minor league free agents before they were signed by the Twins. 39 were originally signed by the Twins. 16 of those players above are currently active (and that doesn’t include independent ball and the ABL.) Easily the highest number in baseball. Three played out their minor league contract. Of the other 25 players who were released (over the course of 20 years,) 5 did so voluntarily—they retired or quit—and 5 had career ending injuries. That leaves 15 players who were released involuntarily over the course of 20 years. That is not a high number. Of those 15, five were released because of off field issues and rules infractions. They, in essence, released themselves. So in fact, there have not been a lot of releases due to inability to progress and compete at a higher level. I take it personally when any one of the players I sign gets released, but the reality is that not everybody can play at a higher level. All teams release players. However:
The average minor league career for Australians who signed with the Twins is longer than those who sign with other clubs.
Thirty-four of the players above spent at least 3 years in the Twins system. That is a strong record.
A young player who is looking to sign a contract should indeed speak to as many players and their families as possible. Especially Matty Williams. He is honest and fair. He will tell you of the advantages and disadvantages. I would imagine that he is quite proud of his career with the Twins—I know that I am proud of him. He is exactly the type of person we try to bring into the Twins organization. He had a successful Minor League career with the Twins. I wish “The Professor” all the best—I hope he hooks up with another team and pitches in the Major Leagues. No matter what he goes into, he will be successful, of that I am certain.
Matthew Williams [Blue Sox] is now a minor league free agent who first signed with the Twins as a 16yr old in 2004. He has not been offered a contract for 2011. In 6 seasons with the Twins the 23yr old reached AA in 2010 pitching in relief in 26 games and starting in 2 for a W2-3 record with a 5.23 ERA. His lifetime stats are W21-14, 3.25 ERA.
No doubt both Sydney and Canberra were wishing they had Adelaide’s luck this weekend when the Bite were victims of Brisbane’s downpours and had two games washed out. The Bite went home having split the series with the Bandits 1-1 which was somewhat of a relief to the SA boys after their whitewash in Canberra last week.
Not so lucky on the road were the Cavalry and former League Leaders Blue Sox. Both got a bit of a mauling by the home side. Just to prove that nothing can be certain in sport the Canberra boys experienced the reverse of last week’s white wash when they went down 4-0 with the Heat outscoring the visitors 27-3. That’s about as embarrassing a white wash as you can get. No doubt it was a pretty sombre flight back to the Nation’s Capital although game 3 on Saturday would have given them some small comfort, going down 1-2 against the now League Leading Heat. They are still 0-10 on the road and pretty much out of the race for the play offs.
Sydney had a tough time in Melbourne going down 4 -1 in a 5 game series that included a postponed game from BOP last week with the Aces outscoring the Blue Sox 44-22. We have known all this season that the Sydney offense was lacking with little action coming from their big hitters especially with runners in scoring position. Sydney have the worst batting average in the League and its been their outstanding starting pitching that has kept them in the games so far. This weekend it was their bullpen that imploded with Paul Anderson and Aaron Sookee in particular taking a shellacking. The Sydney relievers gave up 24ER and 35H as well as 13BB in 15 innings of work. Clearly Glen Williams will be looking around for more effectiveness from his bullpen, Matt Williams was missing from the Melbourne games as was Shane Benson and he can only hope that some of the other Sydney Pro’s such as Brad Tippett [Twins], Alessio Angelucci [Padres], Tim Stanford [Rangers] and Adam O’Neill [Mets] will soon be available to fill the gap.
So after the weekend the standings have changed with the Heat taking the lead over the Blue Sox. Whilst the two leading teams are still the likely finalists Adelaide and Brisbane do have strong hitting and Melbourne showed this weekend that they can beat the best. Next weekend’s round should see Perth consolidate their No 1 position with games against the Cavalry in Canberra, whilst Sydney slug it out at Norwood Oval and Melbourne make up two postponed games in Canberra and then play a mid week series against Brisbane.