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Old 04-01-2008, 08:45 AM   #1
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San Jose Giants - AAA - one kid to watch....

We have a friend who was sent to San Jose. If you're into baseball, keep an eye out for Matt Downs - he's a good kid and was the co-mvp for his A team in Salem OR.

Edited - correct the level of play.
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k7 screwed with this post 06-01-2008 at 12:50 PM
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Old 04-01-2008, 08:53 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k7
We have a friend who made the leap from A to AAA this year and was sent to San Jose. If you're into baseball, keep an eye out for Matt Downs - he's a good kid and was the co-mvp for his A team in Salem OR.

Which school did he play for?
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Old 04-01-2008, 07:10 PM   #3
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Which school did he play for?
He played at the University of Alabama - since I went to school at Auburn, I try not to hold that against him. His parents are some of the finest people I know.

Here's a good article from a recent interview with his coach:

"Q: Is there anyone who really stands out for you in terms of coming in and looking like he's really done the work he needed to this offseason?

I’d be able to answer that question in two to three weeks. There are guys who come in and look good physically. Matt Downs in our first intrasquad went 4-for-4 with a home run and double and four RBI’s. He’s a guy that was the league MVP in the Northwest League that’s going to be fighting for a position, or fighting for a team this spring.
He’s working at second base, third base. He can play shortstop in a pinch or go to first base and be an above-average defender. It really is going to be where he fits in. They’re going to have to find someplace for him to play because he’s really forcing the issue the way he’s swinging the bat."

The Giants showed their typcial arrogance when they gave a kid from the Dominica a couple of million dollars. 16-years old - Google "Angel Villalona".

He reported at something like well over 250 lbs and appears to have been an utter failure. The press doesn't seem to have any recent news about him and supposedly, he was injured. Likely tripped over his fat ass going for another candy bar.

FF.

Seriously.

FF.

Luckily, he's young - and can lose weight.

Hopefully.
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Old 04-01-2008, 07:22 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by k7
He played at the University of Alabama - since I went to school at Auburn, I try not to hold that against him. His parents are some of the finest people I know.

Sounds like a multi-tool player. Better still, he sounds like a fine young man and I will certainly look & listen for his name.

I pray for these boys, k7. It's a tough road ahead for any kid who's got the heart to stick with it, but I know (as I'm sure you do) that the kids with maturity are the ones who make it.

I'll pray for Matt. Pass it on to his folks, from one baseball Dad to another.


Keep me posted.


Kev
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Old 04-01-2008, 07:49 PM   #5
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The Giants with a legitimate position player prospect? Isn't that an oxymoron? When was the last time the Giants had anybody that was not a pitcher come out of their farm system and become anything close to a star player?

Brian Sabean has spent too many years buying free agents and giving up 1st round picks to let the Giants have anything decent in their farm system. All so they could worship at the trough of Barry Bonds, and try to win a title before he went out to the steroid pasture. Oh well, it almost worked.

After seeing the Giants and Diamondbacks play last week, I'd say the Giants are in for a long year of losing. But good luck to your friend. If anything it should be easier for him to make the leap to the big leagues since he's in the Giants system.
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Old 04-01-2008, 07:55 PM   #6
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The Giants with a legitimate position player prospect? Isn't that an oxymoron? When was the last time the Giants had anybody that was not a pitcher come out of their farm system and become anything close to a star player?
Yup.

Spent many evenings sitting at San Jose Municipal. Great way to spend an evening, or sunny afternoon. Is that one of the guys who were looking for a place to live last week?

Hey, since when has SJ been AAA?
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Old 04-01-2008, 07:57 PM   #7
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Great now that I live in Denver. Kate loved going to SJ Giants games.



She even snagged a foul ball

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Old 04-01-2008, 08:16 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by drunkwithkeyboard
Yup.

Spent many evenings sitting at San Jose Municipal. Great way to spend an evening, or sunny afternoon. Is that one of the guys who were looking for a place to live last week?

Hey, since when has SJ been AAA?
Sorry about the designation - I misspoke.

Could have been him - they were looking for a family for him to live with. My dates are still screwed up but I had dinner with Matt, his gf and his family the night before I went to Brazil. They called him during dinner about his arrangements.
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Old 04-01-2008, 08:19 PM   #9
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If they told him they were bumping him to AAA, he's been had. San Jose is Class A Advanced.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Jose_Giants
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Old 04-01-2008, 08:33 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by R1150GSA
Sounds like a multi-tool player. Better still, he sounds like a fine young man and I will certainly look & listen for his name.

I pray for these boys, k7. It's a tough road ahead for any kid who's got the heart to stick with it, but I know (as I'm sure you do) that the kids with maturity are the ones who make it.

I'll pray for Matt. Pass it on to his folks, from one baseball Dad to another.

Keep me posted.

Kev
Will do. I know it's a tough road. It would appear that they get very, very little feedback. The motto appears to be, 'just go and play".

I've learned a few things since we met Matt. You see, it had been quite a few years since I had seen his parents. I played basketball and football against his dad and I've known his mom since I was about 8.

When we learned he'd be here, I called them and offered any/all assistance. Last March, we had him over for dinner on Sundays and followed that with the same during the fall.

When they come in for spring training, they have a strict curfew. The kids from outside the US, mostly Dominican, are seeing more money than they've ever seen before. A lot of them tend to drink so the curfew is needed. They're pretty quick to ship you back home if you violate the rules.

Having gone through college, Matt is typically older than the others. He's within two or three classes from his degree in finance. The curfew didn't bother him - his roommate was from Kansas and they each adapted pretty well.

I think his main issue is patience. He has a gf who is just a little cutie and they'll get married at some point. He's told me many, many times that as long as he's moving up, he'll stay with it. He played last year with Salem-Keizer and should have gone to Augusta GA. He skipped that level to go to San Jose.

Besides playing all the positions, he also pitched in his early years in college. He didn't think he was that successful and asked to play another position - and the coaches at AL accommodated him.

Baseball is huge here in PHX - there are many, many retired players and it seems that many of them run training classes/camps for school kids. A lot of the kids have personal coaches, nutrition coaches, personal shrinks, etc. I asked Matt if he ever participated in those. He laughed and said 'nope'.

I had a connection in Miami when I returned from Brazil in late Feb. There were about 30 players who were from the Dominican who got on the plane. They were all carrying CA Angels' bags.

When I was retrieving my suitcase, one of theirs came down the ramp, hit the edge and came open. It was shocking how little that young man owned. Baseball is their ticket out of poverty and most of them will stick with it as long as necessary. They have no other options for the most part.

Matt is different. He's pretty mature - he'll do well at life even if his road leads him in another direction - that's the best part - he has options.
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Old 04-01-2008, 08:34 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by drunkwithkeyboard
If they told him they were bumping him to AAA, he's been had. San Jose is Class A Advanced.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Jose_Giants
They didn't - my mistake! Wrong assumption.... yeah - I know.
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Old 06-01-2008, 12:48 PM   #12
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Last night's game: Downs' Home Run Lifts Giants To 5-1 Victory

Link

"Matt Downs hit a tiebreaking two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth inning leading the San Jose Giants to a 5-1 victory over the Modesto Nuts on Saturday evening to complete a four-game sweep. In front of 3,380 fans at Municipal Stadium, Downs’ homer was part of a four-run eighth inning rally for the Giants. The win, San Jose’s season-high sixth in a row, improves the Giants’ record to 36-19. San Jose owns a four-game lead over the Stockton Ports (32-23) for the top mark in the North Division."

I'm headed to AL to start a 9-day kayak trip on the Alabama River. When I come off the river, we'll have dinner with Matt's parents. It's funny listening to him mom and dad talk about listening to the games on the internet much in the same way we listened to our favorite team's on the radio when we were kids.

Matt's doing ok - leads the team in HR's and is batting .287. He also has 10 stolen bases.
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Old 06-01-2008, 01:48 PM   #13
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hmmm, I went to Friday nights game against the Nuts and forgot all about him. We kept wondering why Modesto didn't just call the them the Fruits.
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Old 06-23-2008, 07:46 AM   #14
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Promoted.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drunkwithkeyboard
hmmm, I went to Friday nights game against the Nuts and forgot all about him. We kept wondering why Modesto didn't just call the them the Fruits.
You may have missed your chance -

Source




Matt Downs hit his team-leading 15th home run
of the season on Saturday and then was
promoted to Fresno (AAA) after the game
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Old 06-23-2008, 08:30 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by k7
You may have missed your chance -

Source




Matt Downs hit his team-leading 15th home run
of the season on Saturday and then was
promoted to Fresno (AAA) after the game
Actually I just saw him Friday night. I took a phone cam pic of him, but he was striking out so I'll spare you.
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