Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image

Did The Tribe Win Last Night? | May 1, 2017

Scroll to top

Top

About David Freier

David Freier

David Freier

David Freier was born in Brooklyn New York in 1966 less than a decade after the Dodgers had departed the very same borough. His first professional baseball game was at Yankee stadium and to this day he and his father still argue over who started for the Orioles that day (his father says Mike Cuellar, while he insists it was Jim Palmer). Being a lover of underdogs he naturally became a Mets fan. He grew up in Montclair New Jersey which had the advantage of being home to two baseball legends, Yogi Berra and Larry Doby, as well as having a local college which regularly held baseball card conventions that fed his baseball card hobby. While attending college at the University of Richmond he and some of his friends attended a Richmond Braves game in the then (1985) brand new Diamond stadium, and now home to the Richmond Flying Squirrels. This began what has become a passion for the minor leagues of baseball. During his 10 years as a Richmond resident he and his future wife developed an affinity for the Braves, especially when Richmond fan favorite Francisco Cabrera scored the winning run to knock the Pirates from contention and vault the Braves into the World Series of 1991. During extensive travels he has rooted for the Minnesota Twins, Minneapolis Loons, St. Paul Saints, Iowa Cubs, Philadelphia Phillies, Erie Sea Wolves, Berkshire Bears and of course the Lynchburg Hillcats. To date he has visited over 110 different baseball parks in which he has seen a game. He joined the Society for American Baseball Research in 2000 and has been a member ever since, where he participates on the Biographical and Minor Leagues committees when time permits. In his day job he is an Associate Professor of Biomedical Science at Lynchburg College in Virginia.

Posts By David Freier

Eric Haase, Mastering the Tools of Ignorance

June 10, 2015 |

The tools of ignorance is a longstanding euphemism in baseball for the catcher’s gear – mask, chest protector and shin guards. Various sources have credited the origin of this term to either longtime American League catcher Muddy Ruel, or Yankee Hall-of-Fame catcher Bill Dickey.
Regardless of its origin, the words create a strong sense of irony, as there is nothing about being a catcher that relies upon ignorance.

For Eric Haase High-A Lynchburg’s primary catcher, mastering the skills needed to excel at catching is his way of life. As of June 7th he has already caught 274 innings in 32 games played during the 2015 season. The job of catching can be a grind, but Haase plans his offseason so that he can maintain his health for each new baseball season.

Read More

Luigi Rodriguez, Young Veteran with Tools

June 3, 2015 |

Luigi Rodriguez possesses an intriguing set of tools; power, speed, and defense. These tools have had him on and off the Cleveland organizations top prospect list for the past several years.

At the age of 16 he was signed out of a baseball academy in Santiago, Dominican Republic. The somewhat diminutive outfielder, he stands 5’11” and 160 lbs., first got noticed for his on-field performance at Low-A Lake County in 2012. He put up a slash line of .338/.406/.744 that included 5 triples, 11 homeruns and 24 stolen bases. The power speed combination garnered attention, but he has been unable to capitalize on these talents in the several years since.

That trend seems to be reversing itself this year with the High-A Lynchburg Hillcats. He shares time in the outfield with the trio of number one picks, Bradley Zimmer, Clint Frazier and Mike Papi and of late has been manning the leadoff spot in the lineup for the Hillcats.

Read More

From the Land of 10,000 Lakes to the Shores of Lake Erie

May 27, 2015 |

If someone described a draft pick as 6’1” 195 lbs. out of Rochester, Minnesota, most sports enthusiasts would assume you are talking about a hockey player. In this case the player is Mitch Brown, the Cleveland Indians 2nd round selection in 2012.

Rated the 14th best prospect in the Indians farm system, the 21-year old right-hander grew up with a love for the outdoors, not uncommon for those raised in the Northstar State.

“I love to fish and hunt,” says Brown. “I really like to spend time out on the lakes and when I’m home just hang out with my family.”

Read More

Joe Sever, A Hidden Pedigree

May 20, 2015 |

Joe Sever is not the amongst the most recognizable names on the High-A Hillcats roster, but this former Pepperdine Wave second baseman has been instrumental in catalyzing the team’s recent winning ways.

After beginning the season 9–19 the Hillcats have … Read More

Closing in on the Future

May 13, 2015 |

He was the 8th overall pick of the Colorado Rockies in 2007 and joins three Cleveland first round picks on the High-A Lynchburg team in 2015. The time between has been filled with challenges, but Casey Weathers is determined to persevere in pursuit of his dream of playing in the majors.

Casey was not always a pitcher, having been an outfielder at Laguna Creek High School in Elk Grove, California, and then at Sacramento City College. It was in junior college that he was converted to the mound, featuring a 94 mph fastball. He transferred to Vanderbilt in for his junior and senior years, joining a team led by current major leaguers David Price and former Lynchburg Hillcat Pedro Alvarez.

Asked if he would go back to hitting if he couldn’t get his arm fully healthy, Weathers said, “Absolutely not! There is a reason they converted me to a pitcher really fast.” With only a slightly diminished grin, “I don’t think hitting was my calling, ever.” Read More

Zimmer Makes Quick Impression on Carolina League

May 6, 2015 |

By each and every measure Bradley Zimmer is emerging as an elite prospect. His standard five-tool talent is obvious to those who watch him play, but he stays humble and remains focused on developing his talent in the High-A Lynchburg Hillcats outfield he shares with fellow first round picks Clint Frazier and Mike Papi.

Power – Leads the Carolina League with 4 homeruns.

Speed -Twelve bags, good for second in the Carolina League.

Average – A robust .318 as the season nears the end of its third week.

Fielding /arm strength – He has yet to make an error this season, has two assists, one each in right and center fields and his speed and focus make difficult plays look routine.

Read More

Joining the Red-Headed League

April 29, 2015 |

Hillcats outfielder Clint Frazier is a player to watch. You will never have any difficulty in picking him out on the field when you go to see him play. This is because he is one of a small number of baseball players to have red hair. At some point in the future it is likely that Frazier will join pitchers Charles “Red” Embree (1941 – 1947) and current ESPN baseball broadcaster Rick Sutcliffe (1982 – 1984) as red-headed Cleveland Indian major leaguers, based upon his pedigree as the 5th overall pick in 2013.

Traditional baseball scouting is based upon five tools, while noted prospect analyst John Sickels prefers to about seven tools. By either measure current Frazier is an up and coming player. He features power, speed, running skills and a plus arm and is one of three first round picks by the Indians to be featured in the High-A Lynchburg outfield.

“[It is] a unique experience,” says Frazier, about sharing the outfield with Bradley Zimmer and Mike Papi. “It’s fun just to be out there, but it is more than just the three of us out there.”

Read More

College World Series Ace Making Mark on Carolina League

April 22, 2015 |

A first glance at the 2015 High-A Lynchburg roster will pull your attention to the all outfield prospects, but don’t overlook the pitching. The pedigree of Adam Plutko may be amongst the most intriguing of all the pitchers in the Cleveland Indians farm system. Drafted in the 11th round following his junior year at UCLA in 2013, the third year professional from Upland, California now has 20 starts at the High-A level.

Plutko is a prospect on the rise, but this should be no surprise following his college career. The leader of a UCLA team that captured the Bruins first College World Series championship in 2013, that pinnacle was bracketed by his freshman experience. That season he was part of a Bruins’ staff that featured two current major league starters in Pittsburgh’s Gerrit Cole, and the Indians own Trevor Bauer as the team won the Pac-12 Conference. In Plutko’s sophomore year the team earned a birth in the College World Series and his junior year was capped by UCLA’s first national title on the diamond.

Read More

Hillcats Open Indians Affiliation With Prospect Filled Outfield

April 15, 2015 |

The Hillcat green and gold are set to take the field again for another season. For 2015 this marks the 20th season of the Hillcats moniker for a team in Lynchburg and the 75th anniversary of professional baseball in the hill city. On top of all these momentous milestones the Hillcats will be at the start of a new four-year affiliation as a farm club of the Cleveland Indians. With this new affiliation the hometown fans will kick off their connection to Cleveland with a team comprised of some of the best and brightest prospects the Indians farm system has to offer.

The coaching staff is headed up by second year manager, Mark Budzinski. He was once a Cleveland minor-leaguer himself and a product of the University of Richmond. Budzinski makes his home in Richmond, Virginia so this season provides added opportunities to see his family. As any devotee of professional baseball knows family time is precious as there can be long periods of absence when you are far from home and there the breaks in the season are few in number.

Read More