Tagged: Brevard County Manatees

Richardson returned to baseball rejuvenated

By Jason Arndtmanatees
Brewers Farm Report

It was a year of growing as a person before Brevard County’s D’Vontrey Richardson decided to make a return to baseball.

The Brewers’ former 20th ranked prospect walked away from the game following the 2011 season and made his presence known in the Florida State League during the 2013.

“I was missing it and baseball is fun,” Richardson said. “I guess my decision to come back was missing the competition and drive to play the game whether you win or lose and have fun. That experience is something you can’t teach. What it all boiled down to was I guessed I missed it.”

The former two-sport star at Florida State University stated to Brewers Farm Report he returned to the game with a renewed sense of optimism.



“I guess its respect for the game and enjoying the moment of the game,” Richardson said. “I appreciate every moment and try to get better.”

The outfielder cited personal reasons and his desire to complete his college degree at Florida State University in a report by MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy in 2012.

“I went to school in Georgia, a technical school. I went there and studied,” Richardson said. “I grew up a little bit.”

In addition, Richardson credited his family for the unconditional support during his season away from baseball.

“They supported me when I walked away from the game, they didn’t tell me what to do,” Richardson said. “They helped me through the process. They really didn’t know what was going on and they were also with me when I chased my dream. They want what is best for me.”

D'Vontrey Richardson blasts a home run against Lakeland August 28. (Credit: milb.com)

D’Vontrey Richardson blasts a home run against Lakeland August 28. (Credit: milb.com)

Richardson, 25, compiled a stellar season where he accumulated an 18-game hitting streak between July 23 through August 10. Through his torrid stretch, he tabulated a .418 batting average along with an On Base Percentage of .452 for the Brewers’ High A affiliate.

“I wasn’t really focused on it that much. I found myself in the moment enjoying my teammates and the chemistry they have,” Richardson said. “It’s a great team to be on.”

The Georgia native stated he was not aware of his hitting streak until the final game.

“I did not know until it ended so I didn’t really look at the numbers that much so I guess that is why I kept on going,” Richardson said.

Richardson followed up with an eight-game hitting streak August 12 where he collected a double and triple for the Manatees.

The outfielder was a home run shy of the cycle August 30 at Daytona where he batted 3-for-5 with a double, triple and two runs scored.

Cumulatively, he batted .325 with 12 doubles, two triples, 13 stolen bases in 52 games for the Manatees.

He also demonstrated exceptional plate discipline with 14 walks in 228 Plate Appearances for a career-best .372 OBP.

Richardson acknowledged playing both football and baseball stunted his development on the baseball diamond.

“To play baseball you have to play year round and get better,” Richardson said. “When most of the baseball players are playing all year you might miss out on the opportunity to get better.”

The former Seminole quarterback opted for baseball and left the gridiron following the 2008 season where he threw for 315 yards on 23 completions with three touchdowns and three interceptions.

“I made my decision to sign the contract with Milwaukee and never really thought of going back to football,” Richardson said when the Brewers picked him with the fifth round selection of the 2009 June draft.

“I had that opportunity to chase after the dream that I wanted to play professional baseball,” Richardson added.

Future commitment

D'Vontrey Richardson as quarterback with Florida State University in 2008.

D’Vontrey Richardson as quarterback with Florida State University in 2008.

Richardson has begun his pre-Spring Training workouts and arrived in Florida where he works out during the off season.

“I am actually in Florida right now hitting and tossing the ball and putting work in that area to get prepared. I am looking forward to the upcoming season for sure.”

The outfielder remains open to where Milwaukee assigns him for the 2014 season, but believes it could be the Double A Stars.

“I think Huntsville but it all depends on how spring training is,” Richardson said. “Just have to keep striding, keep playing and keep going.”

However, all signs point him directly to the Southern League team with Chadwin Stang as the lone holdover from the 2013 season. Home Run leader Brock Kjeldgaard has not re-signed with the Brewers’ organization.

Much like Richardson’s mindset is on the baseball diamond, he chooses to remain in the present.

“The future is undecided so just plan it, day-by-day,” Richardson said.


Brevard’s Suter shouldered heavy workload

By Jason Arndtmanatees
Brewers Farm Report

Making a successful jump to Double A from High A is “what separates the men from the boys” – and left-hander Brent Suter could ultimately be tested in 2014.

The Brewers’ 31st round pick in the 2012 Draft was recently among Milwaukee’s Organizational All-Stars.

The lanky Harvard graduate has demonstrated the ability to succeed at every level since making his professional debut with Pioneer League Helena in 2012.

Suter made an immediate impact in the Rocky Mountain environment of Montana striking out 42 batters and walking just eight in 43.2 innings for the Rookie League Brewers.

Additionally, he managed to keep his ERA below 4.00 in a league notorious for a high amount of runs per game.



Milwaukee opted to promote Suter to Single A Wisconsin at the tail end his first season and responded with eight strikeouts and three walks in 8.2 innings pitched for the Timber Rattlers.

Manatees’ teammate Tyler Cravy told Brewers Farm Report in August the 6’5” Suter fearlessly goes after hitters.

Suter started just three games for Single A Wisconsin in 2013 allowing three earned runs in 15 innings to give him a 1.80 ERA. He also struck out 15 batters and allowed just three walks in his three appearances before earning a rapid promotion to High A Brevard County.

Milwaukee’s Director of Player Development Reid Nichols had high regard for the Ivy League Pitcher and Cincinnati native.

“Brent Suter is a very smart pitcher,” Nichols said. “He knows how to read hitters and works the plate front to back.”

Suter had a scorching start to his Manatees career by winning seven of his first 11 starts including his first career complete game June 28 at Clearwater.

The Manatees needed all nine innings of Suter in the narrow 2-1 victory against the Threshers and the left-hander eventually claimed Florida State League’s Player of the Week July 1.

In the ensuing hot streak, he succumbed to a tough loss where he struck out 11 batters in seven innings but made one

Brent Suter struck out a combined 113 batters walking just 41 through 139 innings between Single A Wisconsin and High A. (Credit: MiLB.com)

Brent Suter struck out a combined 113 batters walking just 41 through 139 innings between Single A Wisconsin and High A.
(Credit: MiLB.com)

mistake – allowing a solo blast to Dunedin’s Andy Burns in the fourth inning.

Brevard County could only muster two hits and were shutout 1-0 against an equally tough Austin Bibens-Drikx, who struck out ten batters in seven innings.

Suter produced a stellar strikeout-walk ratio during the initial 11 games with 51 strikeouts compared to 15 walks in 69.1 innings.

However, Suter was not the same pitcher after his complete game victory and went winless the remaining ten games for Brevard County.

Heavy workload

Suter’s downturn during the later portion can be partially attributed to compiling a career high 139 total innings between Wisconsin and Brevard County, almost three times the amount of work he received in his first professional season.

Additionally, he led the Manatees with 124 innings pitched compared to second place finisher Chad Pierce who logged 108.2 innings.

Brevard County’s pitching staff was gutted due to a myriad of injuries and promotions to Double A Huntsville including David Goforth, Brooks Hall, Drew Gagnon and Kevin Shackleford.

Consequently, Suter and fellow starters Jacob Barnes and Pierce needed to shoulder a substantial workload.

However, he should be able to straighten out after an offseason of rest and likely additional workouts.

As Delmonico develops, Crew’s Ramirez could get extended

By Jason Arndtmanatees
Brewers Farm Report

Due to the thin depth at third base in the upper levels of the Brewers’ minor league system, all signs point to Milwaukee and Aramis Ramirez mutually agreeing to a 2015 option.

Ramirez, 35, played 92 games in 2013 where he was riddled with injuries but produced in his shortest season since 2009 when he was a member of the Chicago Cubs.

However, the injury caused the Brewer organization to raise questions regarding the long-term outlook of the position and made a trade deadline deal with Baltimore to acquire third baseman Nick Delmonico.

Delmonico, 21, was noted as a player with excellent plate discipline while a member of High A Fredrick Keys when the Brewers sent reliever Francisco Rodriguez to the Orioles.

The sixth round selection in 2011 by the Orioles became an immediate prospect for a Brewers organization which had no third baseman with Major League potential.



Delmonico was the Orioles fourth rated prospect by Baseball America at the time of the trade and was dealt during a game in Winston Salem, NC.

“I came back in the dugout to get my stuff and go back on the field, and I saw (manager) Ryan Minor on the phone. He pulled me aside and told me I was traded to Milwaukee,” Delmonico told Steve Melewski of MASN following the deal.

However, Delmonico stated to Melewski he was grateful for the opportunity he had with Baltimore and looked forward to the next phase in his career.

“I’m excited for a new start, but also the teammates, coaches and everyone in the Orioles organization have been really good to me,” Delmonico added.

Prior to the trade, Milwaukee’s only experienced third baseman above Single A was Brevard County’s Brandon Macias.

Delmonico had setbacks

The left-handed hitter from Knoxville incurred two injuries in 2013 including an injury less than two dozen games into his time in the Brewers’ organization.

While a member of Fredrick Keys of the High A Carolina League, he suffered a concussion April 18 at Potomac and led to nearly a month of missed action.

Prior to the concussion, he began the season with a bang with a .325 batting average along with nine doubles, two home runs and nine RBI.

Delmonico’s injury derailed him the remainder of his time with the Orioles organization batting .226 with 48 strikeouts in 50 games.

Despite the setback, he still had the ability to collect extra base hits. He had 12 doubles and 13 home runs of his 55 total hits in 61 games for the Carolina League team.

Macias was the Manatees third baseman upon the arrival of Delmonico July 27 and led Brevard County Manager Joe Ayrault to alternate both between Designated Hitter and the infield position.

Aside from a trying season for Delmonico, he displayed some of the potential scouts saw in him while a member of the Manatees.

Delmonico produced three games where he drove in multiple runs including a three-RBI game August 14 when he doubled in all three in the first inning. The Manatees later won the game and stopped a four-game skid.

Delmonico still learning

The 2013 season was Delmonico’s first full season playing the hot corner after playing both first base and second base in 2012 for the South Atlantic League Delmarva Shorebirds.

With Delmarva, he collected 22 doubles with 11 home runs and 54 RBI. He accrued a batting average of .249 with an OBP of .351.

It also should be noted he was a 19-year-old for the majority of the season with the South Atlantic League team in 2012.

Delmonico managed to hold his own through his short professional career batting against pitchers older than him in both seasons including his most recent time in a pitching-rich Florida State League.

In conjunction with the high marks scouts credit him with, he has plenty of opportunity to substantially grow.

Organizational Outlook



As Ramirez holds down the position at the Major League level at least through the 2015 pending the mutual option, there might be a season or two where Milwaukee will require a stopgap solution at 3B.

Ramirez has remained durable through his playing career accumulated more than 120 games a season in 11 of 13 seasons.

Milwaukee will have limited options regarding free agent third baseman at the conclusion of the 2014 season.

According to MLBTradeRumors, the following players will be free agents:

Alberto Callaspo (32)
Eric Chavez (37)
Jack Hannahan (35) – $4MM club option with a $2MM buyout
Chase Headley (31)
Casey McGehee (32)
Donnie Murphy (32)
Nick Punto (37) – club/vesting option
Aramis Ramirez (37) – mutual option
Hanley Ramirez (31)
Pablo Sandoval (28)
Ty Wigginton (37)
Kevin Youkilis (36)

Goforth looks to relish relief role

By Jason Arndthstars2
Brewers Farm Report

When a pitcher is locked in on a hot streak – it is tough to maintain following a promotion to the next level of Minor League Baseball.

Huntsville’s David Goforth remained on a hot streak towards the end of his stint with Brevard County with play-off implications on the line.



“We were still in the playoff run when I was in Brevard the first half heading into the All-Star break,” Goforth said. “We were at a three-game set against Lakeland and I was scheduled to pitch that third game.”

Goforth pitched five innings and allowed two earned runs before being yanked from the game by Brevard County Manager Joe Ayrault.

“We missed out by half of a game that first half and I got pulled,” Goforth said. “In the third game I went like five or six innings and got taken out of the game.”

The Brewers’ 17th ranked prospect in the organization had a scorching stretch of winning three consecutive starts from June 7-June 19.

“I was kind of upset because I was throwing decent and I was starting to get in the groove in the fifth inning and he took me out. My pitch count wasn’t that high and (Ayrault) knew I was a little frustrated,” Goforth said.

Goforth produced near phenomenal numbers with the Florida State League prior to the promotion June 21.

In 14 games for the Manatees he compiled a 7-5 record with an earned run average of 3.08. The starter also accumulated 58 strikeouts compared to 28 walks in the span of 79 innings.

Midway through his stint with the Manatees he won a stretch of three games where he allowed just two earned runs through 21.2 innings pitched including a season-high eight strikeouts May 15 against St. Lucie.

Moving on up to Huntsville

David Goforth pitching for the Manatees at start of 2013. The Brewers' 2011 seventh round draft pick is 17th overall among top 20 prospects.

David Goforth pitching for the Manatees at start of 2013. The Brewers’ 2011 seventh round draft pick is 17th overall among top 20 prospects.

After learning of the news he would don a Stars’ hat following the game against Lakeland, he met with Huntsville the following day.

“Huntsville’s next opponent was in Jacksonville and we played in Florida,” Goforth said. “So I was going to drive up to Jacksonville to meet the team there.”

After a tough initial appearance with the Stars, the pitcher rattled off three consecutive wins to earn him Southern League’s Pitcher of the Week July 8-14.

In his following three starts he struck out 16 batters allowing four earned runs and ten hits through 20 innings, including a complete game shut-out July 8 at Tennessee.

“I was throwing the ball well at that time and I was getting really comfortable out there,” Goforth added.

Goforth followed up his complete game shutout throwing seven scoreless innings allowing just four men to reach base before teammate Brooks Hall sealed the victory.

Another transition

Goforth is taking the high road in regards to his newest endeavor – relief pitching when Milwaukee made the planned move July 20.

“The Brewers thought it was a good time to make the transition,” Goforth said. “Actually I was pretty excited about the move. I always wanted to pitch in the bullpen and I think it was a good time to do it.”

It took Goforth seven appearances before he notched his first save of the season August 10 and led to four straight save conversions.

“On the difference between starting and relieving, it is a totally different animal,” Goforth said. “When I actually come into relieve late in the ballgames. It’s a totally different mindset so that is something that gets harder (as pitchers advance through the system) so they wanted to make this transition now so that I could get used to it.”

Looking into the future

Goforth re-affirmed his role as a reliever despite multiple strong starts in the 2013 season.

“I am not sure on what the future plan as far as that goes,” Goforth said. “Right now I am going ahead as a reliever and there are still things I need to work on.”

In addition, he acknowledges he will need to be more “on the attack” in his new role.

“You come into games with people on in situations and you got to have your best stuff,” Goforth said. “As far as throwing harder and throwing more velocity I don’t think that is necessarily going to happen.”

Arizona Fall League

afllogo.previewGoforth will begin his stint in the Arizona Fall League October 8 alongside six of his fellow Brewers’ farmhands – and looks forward to reuniting with teammate Mitch Haniger of Brevard County and meeting up with his Stars’ teammates.

“I always like coming to Arizona for spring training and stuff like that,” Goforth said. “I play golf a lot in my spare time and nice to do something on my off days or downtime and then hanging out with the guys I played with in Huntsville.”

Additionally, Goforth believes Milwaukee’s second rated prospect Taylor Jungmann has the tools necessary to rebound after a tough 2013 campaign.

“Just want to say everyone has their ups and downs and things are going to happen and its baseball,” Goforth said. “One thing about him is he still competes out there and gives the team a chance to win whether he has the best stuff or not.”

Jungmann is among the seven total prospects Milwaukee sent to the Fall League and Goforth is optimistic about the tall right-hander’s future.

“Just looking at the guy and watch him throw, he can pitch,” Goforth said. “I think he will definitely pitch in the big leagues one day.”

‘Tees Toledo makes stellar comeback

By Jason Arndtmanatees
Brewers Farm Report

Closer Tommy Toledo’s season with the Brevard County Manatees can be considered a significant victory for more than just notching the second most saves in a Manatee history with 20.

The right-handed pitcher from Tampa overcame setbacks at the start of his college career where he declined to sign with San Diego after the Padres drafted him in the third round of the 2007 draft out of high school.

His decision to attend University of Florida was to improve his stock in the MLB Draft and gain a college education, which he met half away according to his own personal expectations.



The freshman was named to SEC Freshman Academic Honor Roll but had difficulty maintaining a steady earned run average (4.40) in 2008 for the Gators.

Toledo discovered in the winter he required surgery on a torn labrum and sidelined him for the entire 2009 season.

“I could tell something was wrong. My velocity had come down, I wasn’t able to control the ball and I wasn’t getting warm and ready as quick as I usually do. It was just something that I battled through my freshman year.”

Despite a tough freshman year, the pitcher produced solid starts including a seven inning game where he allowed one earned run and six hits against the Ole Miss Rebels – which snapped a road losing streak of more than a decade.

The Tampa native attempted a comeback in 2010 but was sidelined again after being hit by a liner on the mound and broke multiple bones in his face – and by observers – considered himself lucky it did not hit him in the eye.

The injury came after he posted a 2-0 record with 15 strikeouts in 13.5 innings – and tabulated a 1.98 earned run average.

Tommy Toledo in an appearance with University of Florida. Credit: Florida Times-Union

Tommy Toledo in an appearance with University of Florida.
Credit: Florida Times-Union

Major League scouts still had Toledo on their radar screen in 2010 evidenced by the 32nd round selection by Minnesota just a month after returning to action, but the hard thrower believed he could rise above his present situation.

In his first game since the line drive, the pitcher threw a scoreless inning and according to GatorSports Nation in 2010, it was an emotional return.

“It was a special moment,” UF head coach Kevin O’Sullivan said of Toledo’s return. “The players were excited to get him back out there. As a coach, you get a little choked up. He was chomping at the bit. It was great to see him out there, and obviously he will be a huge part of our success down the stretch.”

Steady rise with Milwaukee

It was the third time which proved the charm for Toledo when Milwaukee selected him with the 11th round pick in 2011.

The pitcher posted a 6-3 record with a 3.99 earned run average in 38.1 innings. He also compiled a productive K:BB rate of 32:10 in his final season for the Gators.

His stint with Helena brought growing pains and took nearly the entire season to produce his first victory in an August 30 game against Billings.

Toledo pitched 5.1 innings allowing two earned runs with four strikeouts to achieve his first win as a professional in 2011.

The following season with Single A Wisconsin brought improvement demonstrated by a 7-1 record with six saves for the Timber Rattlers. He additionally struck out 31 compared to 11 walks in 37 innings.

His performance with Wisconsin brought him to High A Brevard County by the end of the 2012 season and led him to post a 2-1 record in 11 games for the Manatees.

Despite a few rough outings, he accomplished three consecutive scoreless outings and four overall.

Second Place All-Time

In 2012, Casey Medlen broke the Manatees’ record with 22 saves to break now-Milwaukee Brewer Rob Wooten’s 18 saves set in 2009.

Toledo nearly reached the mark the following season with 20 saves and posted a highly respectable 2.11 earned run average in 55.1 innings for the Manatees.

The pitcher showed an increase in location demonstrated by a phenomenal 44-18 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 2013.

Additionally, he held opponents to 43 hits to give him a WHIP of 1.102 on the season. The right-hander produced nearly 30 scoreless outings and went on to finish second All-Time in Brevard County’s 20-year history.

Top Ten ‘Tees

Single-Season Saves Leaders






Casey Medlen




Tommy Toledo




Rob Wooten




Doug Pettit




Tim McClaskey




Omar Aguilar




Tim McClaskey




Bill Hurst




Paul McCurtain




Roque Mercedes




Corey Frerichs




Roy Corcoran



Farewell Ax Man – Humble beginnings

By Jason Arndtbrewers
Brewers Farm Report

John Axford pitches in 2009 for the High A Brevard County Manatees - his first season in the organization.

John Axford pitches in 2009 for the High A Brevard County Manatees – his first season in the organization.

Milwaukee traded former closer John Axford to Central Division rival St. Louis earlier Friday and marks the end of an era to the former Brevard County Manatee, Huntsville Star and Nashville Sound.

Axford was signed as a minor league free agent by Milwaukee in 2008 following one season with the New York Yankees’ organization.

The closer posted a 5-10 record with an earned run average of 4.55 as a spot starter and long reliever for the High A Manatees in 2008.  His 95 innings with the Florida State League team is the most he ever accrued professionally in a season and allowed 48 earned runs and struck out 89.

Axford split time between three different levels the following year in 2009 (Brevard County, Huntsville, Nashville) and combined for 68.1 innings pitched with a 9-1 record and 2.77 earned run average.

He posted a 5-0 record in 22 relief appearances for the Nashville Sounds in 2009 and started coming into his own.

Milwaukee attempted to convert him to a starter upon his initial year with the organization, starting 14 of 26 games but eventually found his niche in the bullpen and set the tone for his career heading into the Major Leagues.

Axford’s best strikeout stint came with the Manatees in 2009 where he fanned 43 batters in 27.1 innings before earning a promotion to Double A Huntsville.

Hellweg to be recalled



Nashville’s Johnny Hellweg has his boarding pass stamped to Milwaukee and will be en route to Miller Park following his last start for the Sounds Friday.

Hellweg faces off against Iowa in the first game of the Sounds’ final series of the season and will be the first of many September call-ups when Major League rosters expand to 40 on September 1.

The Pacific Coast League’s Pitcher of the Year is second in the league with 11 victories and also in earned run average with 3.16. He rattled off a string of nine consecutive minor league before and after his short stint with Milwaukee.

Hellweg’s first trip to Milwaukee was unsuccessful in four appearances posting an 0-3 record with 13 earned runs allowed in 10.2 innings.

Crunch time for Rattlers tonight

By Jason Arndtwisconsin-timber-rattlers
Brewers Farm Report
Facebook Page

It all boils down to tonight and the odds are stacked against the defending Midwest League Champion Wisconsin Timber Rattlers.

With Wild Card leader Clinton needing either a win versus Peoria or a Rattler loss, Wisconsin will be knocked out of the playoffs. The LumberKings’ magic number is at two with four games remaining – and own the tie breaker against the Brewers’ Single A affiliate.

But the Rattlers embarked on quite the journey after a dismal first half of the season and rebounded with a solid second half thanks to contributions from multiple players.



Wisconsin did not have one particular player carrying the load down the stretch which included a couple walk-off wins courtesy of catalyst Michael Reed (third in Midwest League with 11 triples) and a 19-game hitting streak from catcher Parker Berberet.

After a slow start to the season, infielder Alfredo Rodriguez has caught fire with a 16-game hitting streak from July 24-August 14 batting .328 with an On Base Percentage of .380.

Rodriguez later started a nine-game hitting streak three games later where he drove in seven runs and struck out four times through the life of the streak.

In addition, Rodriguez is batting .322 in the month of August and accrued a .390 On Base Percentage.



Right-hander Rodolfo Fernandez, 23, spent the entire season pitching out of the bullpen until he was given his first career start August 25 and responded with a six inning gem striking out five and allowing one earned run.

Prior to Fernandez’s start, he produced five straight scoreless outings spanning 16 innings along with 14 strikeouts and a mere two walks.



Fernandez is pitching his first season in the United States after defecting from his native Cuba in June 2012.

Starters Tyler Wagner and Preston Gainey have emerged as pitchers worth a look following strings of productive outings down the stretch.

Wagner, 22, captured his team-leading tenth victory August 26 where he struck out seven and allowed two earned runs through seven innings of work.

News and Notes – Brevard Countymanatees



D’Vontrey Richardson blasted his first home run of the season August 28 and snaps a string of more than two years without a home run.

Richardson’s last home run was May 21, 2011. The outfielder sat out the entire 2012 season deciding whether to utilize his degree at Florida State University and quit baseball altogether but eventually had a change of heart.

The Florida State League team reassigned Tyler Cravy to Arizona League Brewers to squeeze out another outing from former top 20 prospect Cody Scarpetta.

Since Brevard County’s season concludes Sunday – and the team out of playoff contention – Brewers’ officials might be taking one last look at him before deciding his long-term future with the organization.

Scarpetta, 25, has been hampered with injuries including a lost 2012 season and multiple roadblocks on the road to recovery. He has been part of the Milwaukee Brewers’ organization since 2007.



Closer Tommy Toledo successfully converted his last four save opportunities for the Manatees and has allowed two earned runs in the stretch of ten appearances (14 innings).

Toledo’s 19 total saves ties him for second in the Florida State League with St. Lucie’s T.J. Chism.

It has been a frustrating journey for Milwaukee’s 2009 first-round selection Eric Arnett after struggling through his entire minor league career.

But following his reassignment to Brevard County he has produced five productive relief appearances allowing one earned run through 8.2 innings.