Minor League Report - June 15, 2004

The Red Barons have an overlooked prospect in Buzz Hannahan. Of course, Hannahan is getting used to being overlooked, since it seems to happen to him a lot. At Reading, the pitching staff has been bolstered by some "independent" thinkers. Clearwater's outfield has been a wasteland with the exception of one rising prospect. And at Lakewood, Jose Cortez battles to keep his spot in the Phillies catching ranks.

Scranton Wilkes-Barre Red Barons Let's not forget about Buzz Hannahan. Hannahan, who turns 28 in a couple weeks, has shown great versatility for Scranton. Manager Marc Bombard puts him in the lineup at second base, third base, shortstop or even in the outfield and he produces. Throughout his minor league career, Hannahan has been somewhat overlooked. Last season, he even won the "Broadway" Charlie Wagner Unsung Hero Award for his contributions to the AA Reading Phillies.

At this point, Hannahan doesn't project as a major league starter, but could be a solid utility player for an organization. Think of guys like Casey Candaele or Rex Hudler when you think of Buzz Hannahan. On the season, Hannahan is 0-8-.313 for the Red Barons.

Reading Phillies The Phillies dug into the ranks of independent baseball to find pitchers Kevin Dougherty and Felix Villegas. Dougherty had spent last season with Camden in the independent Atlantic League, while Villegas was in the Red Sox organization last season and started this year with Atlantic City of the Atlantic League.

Dougherty is 0-2, 2.45 in two appearances. Technically, one was in relief when he came on after Billy Wagner started for Reading on a rehab assignment. Dougherty has walked just one and struck out nine in eleven innings of work for Reading. Villegas (1-1, 4.05) has struck out six in 6 2/3 innings and has really had just one bad outing. Villegas split last season between Sarasota (Florida State League) and Portland (Eastern League) for the Red Sox.

Clearwater Threshers Coming off being named The Sports Network Star of the Game in the Florida State League All-Star Game, Chris Roberson actually took an 0-for, going 0-3 with a walk Monday night. Roberson's star is rising quickly with the numbers (8-30-.313) that he is putting up at Clearwater.

Roberson is the only member of Clearwater's outfield contingent that is doing much this season. The other players getting regular time in the outfield - Chris Cosbey, Mike Floyd and Vince Vukovich - are hitting a combined .205 (90-439). They have also combined for just two homeruns, but have driven in a total of 42 runs for Clearwater. If first round pick Greg Golson signs quickly, it will be interesting to see how soon the Phillies will move him along to see if he can help in Clearwater's outfield.

Lakewood BlueClaws With the BlueClaws mired in a five-game losing skid, there hasn't been a lot to cheer about. Their last two losses have been heart breakers. On Sunday, Josh Paddock surrendered a game tying homerun in the eight and two runs in the ninth as Lakewood lost 5-3. Monday night, after putting down the side in order in the eighth and striking out the first hitter in the ninth, Kyle Parcus surrendered a walk, a wild pitch and an RBI single as Lakewood lost 3-2.

Catcher Jose Cortez went 5-14 (.357) over the past week and had two homeruns and seven RBI. Those numbers moved his season stats to 3-15-.280 for Lakewood. With the Phillies focusing on catching in last week's draft, Cortez is one of the long shots for the "catcher of the future" tag in the Phillies organization.

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