Dodger Farm Report July 19

Most of the top prospects in the Dodger system have been playing in the lower levels of the game this season. That's about to change for two of the very best with the promotion of both shortstop Joel Guzman and righthander Chad Billingsley from Vero Beach to Jacksonville.

Since Vero is enjoying first place status in the Florida State League while Jacksonville wallows in the basement of the Southern League, the elevation of the two is not so much about bolstering a team in the second half stretch but rather to challenge the two 19-year-olds at the next level. Certainly they were succeeding in high A for Guzman was hitting .307 with 14 home runs and 51 runs batted in. Billingsley was 7-4 with a 2.35 earned run average and had struck out 111 in 92 innings.

Vero did receive an able replacement for Guzman in Chin-Lung Hu, the 20-year-old native of Taiwan who was brought up from Columbus where he was hitting .298 -6-25 with 17 stolen bases.

Meanwhile, down on the field:

Las Vegas 8, Tucson 6--The 51's came home to snap a six-game losing streak when John Barnes sent a two-run shot out in the bottom of the ninth. It was the fifth of the season for Barnes, who also pounded a two-run double earlier. Brian Myrow collected four hits including a pair of doubles and Antonio Perez lined three hits. Yhency Brazoban worked a scoreless top of the ninth for his first victory since coming up from Jacksonville. The 51's remain 15 behind in the PCL South.

Chattanooga 8, Jacksonville 5--Eric Hull (1-3) was ripped for seven runs in 4.2 innings pushing the Suns down to eight out in the East. Shane Victorino banged three hits.

Vero Beach 6, Clearwater 3--Delwyn Young (14), Brian Goelz (2) and Andy LaRoche (3) all homered in and around the raindrops that kept falling until the second game of what was to have been a doubleheader was called off. Casey Hoorelbeke (3-3) worked a solid five innings, giving up just three hits and one run. The victory increased Vero's lead to two games in the East .

Rome 6, Columbus 4--The Braves gained a series sweep when they scored twice off Eric Stults (1-1) in the seventh. Brandon Weeden gave up four runs in 5.1 innings. Tony Abreau was the only Catfish with two hits as they dropped 3 1/2 off the pace in the SAL South.

Ogden 5, Missoula 4--Despite the fact that they're only 13-15, the Raptors are just one game out in the tightly packed Pioneer South. Blake Johnson was strong for six, being touched for just three hits but left in a 3-all tie. Albenis Castillo (1-1) got the win with Matt Alexander picking up his fifth save. Mike Lynch wielded the big stick, driving in three runs with two hits. Luke May lined three hits and Cory Dunlap had two.

The entire Gulf Coast League schedule was rained out.

Extra Innings--Jim Beaudoin has been named general manager at Columbus and will assume those duties immediately. He's been the assistant G.M. with Portland, Maine, of the Eastern League for whom he's worked for eight years.

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