September 2009

Some of my favorite Gulf Coast League Shots Pt. 2

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Spencer Hylander of the GCL Astros
Scott Jontes/MiLB.com/futurestarphotos.com

This the second part of my favorite photos from the Gulf Coast League from this year. I took the photo above of Spencer Hylander at the last GCL game I did this year covering the GCL Nationals and GCL Astros in Viera, Florida. I had a chance to meet Spencer’s dad at the game that afternoon and it was a pleasure getting to know him. Thats one of the things I like about covering Minor League Baseball is the people you meet. Below is a few more of my favorites.

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Naoya Washiya of the GCL Nationals -Scott Jontes/MiLB.com

David Peters.jpgDavid Peters of the GCL Marlins -Scott Jontes/MiLB.com

Enrique Hernandez.jpgEnrique Hernandez of the GCL Astros
 Scott Jontes/MiLB.com/futurestarphotos.com

Kyle Farrell.jpgKyle Farrell of the GCL Braves -Scott Jontes/MiLB.com

Scott

Some of my favorite Gulf Coast League Shots Pt. 1

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Daniel Coury of the GCL Braves -Scott Jontes/MiLB.com

Keeping with the Gulf Coast League theme from my last post I thought I would put up some of my favorite GCL photos from this year. The photo above of Daniel Coury of the GCL Braves is my favorite photo from the GCL this year. I knew when I pressed the shutter this was going to be a good one, I really liked the way he made the throw to first. I took the photo at the Braves Spring Training complex at Disney’s Wide World of Sports.  The photos below are the first half of my favorite GCL photos from this year.

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Judd Golsan of the GCL Yankees -Scott Jontes/MiLB.com

Jobduan Morales.jpgJobduan Morales of the GCL Marlins
-Scott Jontes/MiLB.com/futurestarphotos.com

Kyle Rose.jpg

Kyle Rose of the GCL Braves -Scott Jontes/MiLB.com/futurestarphotos.com

Jose Mojica-Fernando De Los Santos.jpgJose Mojica of the GCL Yankees is tagged out by Fernando De Los Santos of the
GCL Braves -Scott Jontes/MiLB.com

In my next post I will put up the second half of my favorite GCL Photos from this year.

Scott

Baseball America picks the Gulf Coast League Top 20 Prospects

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Carlos Perez of the Gulf Coast League Blue Jays -Scott Jontes/MiLB.com

Baseball America has picked their top 20 players from the Gulf Coast League from this season. From that list I had photos of 2 players in the Top 20, Carlos Perez of the Gulf Coast Blue Jays and Eury Perez of the Gulf Coast League Nationals. The Gulf Coast League is Rookie level baseball that is based in Florida. The Clubs that have Gulf Coast League teams are the Astros, Cardinals, Mets, Nationals, Blue Jays, Braves, Pirates, Phillies, Tigers, Yankees, Oriloes, Rays Red Sox and Twins. I covered some of the games for MiLB this season and was able get photos of players from the Marlins, Blue Jays, Braves, Astros, Yankees and Nationals.

Eury Perez-3.jpgEury Perez of the Gulf Coast League Nationals -Scott Jontes/MiLB.com

The Gulf Coast League games are normally played on the back fields at the training facilities and you will hardly see any fans attending the games. Occasionally the teams will play on the Spring Training fields but to date I have not been to any of those games. You can see the rest of the top 20 from the Gulf Coast League here.

Carlos Zambrano Rehab Start 5-17-09

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Carlos Zambrano on a Rehab Start for the Daytona Cubs on 5-17-2009 in Dunedin, Florida against the Dunedin Blue Jays -Scott Jontes/MiLB.com

In my last post I said I would share with you a little more why I was at the game in Dunedin. Well I am sure by now you have figured out why I drove the 3 hours across state for the for the game. Carlos Zambrano was on a Rehab assignment after injuring his leg trying to beat a throw to first base in one of his starts. When he chose to make his start with the Daytona Cubs I was pretty happy, only problem was it was going to be in Dunedin. The game however worked out to be on a Sunday with a 1:00 start which was a worth it to me to go to the game.

Carlos Zambrano-5.jpg

Carlos Zambrano on a Rehab Start for the Daytona Cubs on
5-17-2009 in Dunedin, Florida against the Dunedin Blue Jays -Scott
Jontes/MiLB.com

After I decided that I wanted to head over to the game I called another MiLB photographer Jerry Hale and asked him if he wanted to go with me. Jerry agreed to make the trip with and we headed over to Dunedin, had some lunch and then we headed to the ballpark. We arrived about an hour early and Jerry showed me the lay of the land because I had never been to Dunedin before and I must say that it is quite a nice little ballpark.

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Carlos Zambrano talks with Daytona Cubs catcher Mark Reed on while Zambrono was on his Rehab Start for the Daytona Cubs on
5-17-2009 in Dunedin, Florida against the Dunedin Blue Jays -Scott
Jontes/MiLB.com

In anticipation of Zambrano being at the game quite a few cubs fans were at the ballpark and I even ran into some fans I know from Daytona who drove over to see him pitch too. For the game Zambrano pitched 3.2 innnings he gave up 5 hits and allowed 4 runs to score he took the loss. He looked liked he was in good spirits and he took time to sign autographs for the fans after the game.

Carlos Zambrano-3.jpg

Carlos Zambrano on a Rehab Start for the Daytona Cubs on
5-17-2009 in Dunedin, Florida against the Dunedin Blue Jays -Scott
Jontes/MiLB.com

Carlos Zambrano.jpgCarlos Zambrano signs autographs for fans after his  Rehab Start for the Daytona Cubs in Dunedin, Florida against the Dunedin Blue Jays -Scott
Jontes/MiLB.com

Jerry and I only stayed a few more innings after Zambrono came out of the game which was fine by me. It was brutally hot that day and we had a long drive ahead of us to get home. It turned to be a fun trip and I am really glad that I went.

Scott

Small Ball

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Marwin Gonzalez of the Daytona Cubs (Scott Jontes/MiLB.com)

This has to be one of my favorite bunt photos that I took this year and maybe the best bunt photo that I have taken. What I really like about the photo is how focused he is on the ball and also where the ball is in the frame. I think what makes this photo is it he is not making contact with the ball. I took this photo in Dunedin, Florida on a very hot Sunday afternoon when the Daytona Cubs were playing the Dunedin Blue Jays. In my next post I will share a little more of why I drove the 3 hours to Dunedin to cover a game. Until then I have added a few more photos below of Marwin from this season.

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Marwin Gonzalez of the Daytona Cubs (Scott Jontes/MiLB.com)

Marwin Gonzalez-3.jpgMarwin Gonzalez of the Daytona Cubs (Scott Jontes/MiLB.com)

Scott

Trying New Things

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Rafael Dolis of the Daytona Cubs (Scott Jontes/MiLB.com)

Sometimes when I am at a game I like to try new things as was the case with the photo above of Rafael Dolis. For a while there I thought he was the only pitcher Daytona had on the hill for them. Just the way the rotation was working out and my schedule of games I could cover he was the only Dayotna pitcher I shot for 3 games. I took this on a Sunday afternoon game around the 3rd inning after I had some shots that I could submit to MiLB. I submitted this photo along with the other shots I took that afternoon and MiLB used it as one of their photos of the week.  You can view this photo and the other photos from the galley here. I have also added a few other photos below of Rafael from some of his other starts this year.

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Rafael Dolis of the Daytona Cubs (Scott Jontes/MiLB.com)

Rafael Dolis.jpg
Rafael Dolis of the Daytona Cubs (Scott Jontes/MiLB.com)

Scott

Southern League Finials

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Brandon Guyer of the Tennessee Smokies is tagged out home by Logan Morrison of the Jacksonville Suns in Game 2 of the Southern League Finials in Jacksonville
on September 16, 2009  (Scott Jontes/MiLB.com
)

I was planning on posting these photos yesterday to try to catch up a little but I decided to first post the photos of Tyler Colvin who got his first Major League start for the Chicago Cubs yesterday instead. Last Wednesday I went back to Jacksonville to cover game 2 of the Southern League Finials between the Tennessee Smokies and the Jacksonville Suns. I got to Jacksonville with about 15 minutes before the game was due start and had a chance to say hello to some of the Cubs players that I have got to know in Daytona with the Cubs. It was really good to see some of the guys who I had not seen since the night Daytona won the Florida State League Championship last year.

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Starlin Castro of the Tennessee Smokies September 16, 2009 (Scott Jontes/MiLB.com)

The game featured 2 lefties going head to head with Jacksonville having Graham Taylor on the mound and the Smokies had Jeremy Papelbon. Graham Taylor pitched six scoreless innings while only allowing four hits. Jeremy Papelbon went six innings while only giving up 2 hits until the sixth inning when he allowed 2 runs to score on four hits.

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Mike Stanton of the Jacksonville Suns (Scott Jontes/MiLB.com)

Chirinos, Robinson_.jpgRobinson Chirinos of the Tennessee Smokies (Scott Jontes/MiLB.com)

The game was won by the Suns 2-1 and they took a 2 game lead to Tennessee. The Smokies were able to win on Friday night with a game winning single in the bottom of the 9th by Starlin Castro. Saturday night the Suns went on to win the Southern League Championship with pitcher Ehil Villanueva helping out his effort by hitting a 3 run home run in the 4th. The Suns won the Championship for the second since 2005 and it was also the first year for the Suns affiliation with the Florida Marlins. Bryan Peterson of the Suns was named the MVP for the series.

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Bryan Peterson of the Suns was named MVP of the Southern League Finials
(Scott Jontes/MiLB.com)

Scott

Tyler Colvin makes his big league debut for the Cubs in Milwaukee

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Tyler Colvin with the Tennessee Smokies (Scott Jontes/MiLB.com)

Tyler Colvin made his first Major League start tonight against the Milwaukee Brewers for the Cubs. He went 1 for 3 with an RBI. Tyler started the season off in Class A Advanced with the Daytona Cubs after coming off elbow surgery. He was promoted to Double A with the Tennessee Smokies where he hit .300 with 13 doubles, seven triples, 14 homers and 50 RBI in 84 games.

Tyler Colvin.jpg

Tyler Colvin with the Daytona Cubs (Scott Jontes/MiLB.com)

Tyler Colvin-2.jpgTyler Colvin with the Daytona Cubs (Scott Jontes/MiLB.com)

Scott

Jacksonville Suns Vs Birmingham Barons

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Jarrett Santos of the Jacksonville Suns (Scott Jontes/MiLB.com)

I had the chance to shoot my first Double A game this past Sunday in Jacksonville Florida. The game featured the Jacksonville Suns and the Birmingham Barons playing a postponed game 3 of the Southern League Semi Finials. My original plan was to cover the Florida State League Finials game in Charlotte, but the game between the Tampa Yankees and Charlotte Stone Crabs was rained out the night before so it would not be a deciding game on Sunday. That made it an easy decision for me between a 4 hour drive or a 1 hour drive to Jacksonville.

Scott Cousins.jpgScott Cousins of the Jacksonville Suns (Scott Jontes/MiLB.com)

Bryan Petersen .jpg

Bryan Petersen of the Jacksonville Suns (Scott Jontes/MiLB.com)

The Baseball Grounds of
Jacksonville
is an absolutely beautiful ballpark with a top notch and friendly staff that is very accommodating. The stadium has a nice feel to it and it rivals some of the spring training parks in the Florida State League.

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Matt Dominquez of the Jacksonville Suns (Scott Jontes/MiLB.com)

The game resumed from the night before in the bottom of the first inning with the Suns having the bases loaded. The Suns scored 2 runs in the inning and never looked back winning the game 12-2 and advancing to the finials against the Tennessee Smokies.

Chris Leroux.jpg

After it started to get dark I decided to try some diffrent types of photos
Chris Leroux of the Jacksonville Suns (Scott Jontes/Milb.com)

The game turned out to be a good one and I was able to get some great celebration photos after game of the players and fans.

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Jacksonville Suns players celebrate after their sweep of the Birmingham Barons in the Southern League Semi Finials (Scott Jontes/MiLB.com)

Jacksonville Suns Win-2.jpgJacksonville Suns players celebrate after their sweep of the Birmingham
Barons in the Southern League Semi Finials (Scott Jontes/MiLB.com)

Jacksonvilles Suns Fans.jpgJacksonville Suns Fans wait for autographs after the Suns sweep of the Birmingham
Barons in the Southern League Semi Finials (Scott Jontes/MiLB.com)

Logan Morrison.jpgLogan Morrison of the Jacksonville Suns walks into the tunnel after the Suns win against the Birmingham Barons to advance to the Southern League Finials
 (Scott Jontes/MiLB.com)

This was the last photo that I took that night of Logan Morrison of the Jacksonville Suns leaving the field and heading up the tunnel.

Scott

2009 Florida State League Champs-Tampa Yankees

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Brandon Laird of the Tampa Yankees (Scott Jontes/MiLB.com)

The Tampa Yankees won the Florida State League Championship this week against the Charlotte Stone Crabs. The Series turned out to be great one with the series going the full 5 games. The Tampa Yankees were 30-37 in the first half and finished the second half at a league best 47-19 to win the second-half North Division title. The Yankees swept the Brevard County Manatees in 2 games in the first round of the playoffs and were able to get by the Stone Crabs to win the championship. Here are a few photos of the Yankees from this season.

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Austin Romine of the Tampa Yankees (Scott Jontes/MiLB.com)

Kevin Smith.jpgDavid Adams of the Tampa Yankees (Scott Jontes/MiLB.com)

Scott