Last season rule 5 pickup Travis "Moose" Mattair surprised at Bakersfield where he was their top run…
Mattair Now Leads Blaze
Mattair was originally drafted out of Southridge (WA) H.S. in the second round of the 2007 draft by the Phillies. They gave him a signing bonus of almost $400K and he went to work in the Gulf Coast Rookie Leagues as an 18 year-old. The next year he was promoted to Lakewood where he spent two lackluster years. Then unexpectedly the 6'5"/210# Mattair then left baseball to pursue college basketball.
"Basketball was always in the back of my mind," he said. "I was at a point in my life where I needed to do 'something.' Unfortunately, I wasn't in love with baseball at the time. It was a move I needed to make for my life. When I left baseball, I never expected to come back. I didn't. I made that move and I was content with it, I prayed about it, and decided I was going to go play basketball."
He missed the 2010 season and contacted Boise State about playing on the hardwood. Before that commenced however, he had second thoughts which eventually led him to return to the Phillies. He began last year at Lakewood again and was eventually promoted to Clearwater. While in high-A he hit only .207 in over 200 plate attempts. That convinced the Phillies to leave him unprotected and the Reds obtained his services in the minor league portion of the Rule 5 draft.
When he started this season at Bakersfield he showed a power stroke that he'd never had before. Oddly enough his batting average went in the other direction. Basically, in the early part of this season if the ball didn't clear the fence he didn't get a hit. He inherited the third base job when David Vidal was promoted to Pensacola. Now his average has risen to .262 with a .322 OB% including 7-19 over his last four games. He leads the Blaze with 390 AB, 17HR and 67 RBI.
In the field nearly all his action has come at the hot corner where he left high school with a reputation of having soft hands with the glove. He has a .942 fielding percentage in five minor league seasons with a range factor of 2.75/game. On average he's been charged with an error every 6.4 games and has stayed around that rate this season.
Now at 23 years of age the player with the moniker "Moose" is on the path that Philadelphia envisioned when they invested a high draft choice on him. Promotion of Blaze teammates to AA have leaves him the main run producer in the Bakersfield lineup. Recently some Cincinnati AA prospects have made the jump to Louisville and Mattair is making a strong case for himself to move to the next level.
Other News from the Farm:
Louisville scored the go-ahead run in the seventh inning and beat Charlotte 4-3 at Louisville Slugger Field. Mike Costanzo had a couple of hits including a home run. Denis Phipps hit a two-run homer in the third. Sean Gallagher qualified for the quality start by allowing three runs in six innings. Nick Christiani threw two innings of scoreless relief for the win and his ERA is now down to 3.36. J.J. Hoover tossed a perfect ninth for the save and lowered his ernie to 1.50.
In a wild finish Pensacola lost 6-5 at Huntsville in eleven innings. The Wahoos scored four in the top of the eleventh before allowing five in the bottom of the inning. Brodie Greene went 3-4 with a walk for the fish. Josh Fellhauer and Tucker Barnhart added two hits each. Andrew Means contributed a pinch-hit homer to their rally in the final inning. Tony Cingrani had a strong outing when he allowed five hits and four walks in five scoreless innings. Mark Serrano got beat up for five runs in the final inning and took the loss.
Billy Hamilton Theft Watch:
Hamilton led the game off with a walk and was caught stealing second. He walked in the eleventh and scored on a trio of throwing errors in pickoff attempts. He's been successful in 122 of 148 stolen base attempts in 105 games.
Dayton did not score until they put two on the board in the eighth inning. They came back with four more in the ninth for a 6-5 win at Great Lakes. Juan Perez had two triples and drove in three for the Dragons. Juan Silva had a solo homer in the final frame. Jacob Johnson got the start and allowed four runs on seven hits and was lifted in the fifth after he was victimized by three home runs. Ryan Kemp retired the side in the eighth for the win and Carlos Contreras did the same in the ninth for the save.
Billings lost a lead in the top of the eighth, regained it in the bottom of the inning, lost it again the next frame and scored the game-winner in the bottom of the ninth in a 9-8 home victory over Great Falls. Offensively Brandon Dailey and Taylor Wrenn led the way with four hits each. Dailey had two extra base hits and drove in two while raising his average to .360 with the Mustangs. Beau Amaral, Matt Lentz, and Robert Ramirez added two hits apiece. Jose Amezcua allowed six runs (four earned) and was lifted in the fifth. Sean Lucas came in to get the final out in the ninth and hung around for the win.
After getting pounded by the AZL Brewers on Friday it was payback time Saturday when the AZL Reds beat them 15-2. Brent Peterson and Humberto Valor had four hits each for the Reds with Valor driving in four. Adam Matthews, Jonathan Reynoso, and Josh Kennelly each had two hits. Pedro Diaz got the start and allowed one run on three hits in 3+ innings. Mike Saunders relieved him and finished the seventh without allowing a run to get the win.
The DSL Reds tied the DSL Orioles with two in the ninth and scored another run to tie the game again in the tenth before losing 7-6 at home in eleven innings. Ronald Bueno went 3-5 with a walk and Ariel Baez had two hits and a walk. Starter Jose Rosario allowed two unearned runs in five innings before Jairo Martinez allowed the game winner for the loss.
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