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Michael Choice Batting Stance Picture - Stockton Ports Oakland A's Prospect

Michael Choice - OF/CF
Oakland A's #3 Rated Prospect - Baseball America Handbook

Scouting Trip: April 18, 2011
Visalia Rawhide (Diamondbacks) vs. Stockton Ports (A's)
A+ California League Game

Born: Nov 10, 1989  Drafted: 1st Rd #10 2010  Bonus: $2 Million

Baseball America Handbook Listed : Ht: 6-0 Wt: 215
Stockton Ports Official Roster Listed: Ht: 6-0 Wt: 215

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I've seen Michael Choice play a few times now and I really like his cool comfortable demeanor out on the field. The Stockton Ports Gameday Program said that Choice hangs out with Torii Hunter in the off season so playing in A+ minor league ball must seem like nothing to Michael. The pitcher for Choice's first 3 AB's of the night was Arizona Diamondbacks top pitching prospect - left-hander Tyler Skaggs. Choice showed patience at the plate against Skaggs, drew a walk but was also frozen by a Skaggs curveball during his 2nd AB. A's fans should be excited that a young player like Choice already displays above average discipline at the plate. Choice was the #10 pick in the 2010 MLB Draft and he could end up in Oakland in a few short years.

The video is of Choice's 4th AB in the game against Rawhide right handed pitcher Diogenes Rosario.  You can see that Choice has an interesting foot curl as he begins to time up the pitch. He worked it to a 3-1 hitters count but flied out to RF.
2011 Picture Michael Choice Stockton Ports A+ Minor League
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Michael Choice Baseball Cards & Values

Prices Dated April 27, 2011 - Check the link for current market value on eBay.

2010 Bowman Chrome Red Refractor Autograph #/5
Sold For: $599.00 + Free s/h - April 15, 2011

2010 Bowman Chrome Michael Choice Red Border #/5

2010 Bowman Chrome Gold Refractor Autograph #/50
Sold For: $202.50 + $2.00 s/h - April 18, 2011

2010 Bowman Chrome Gold Refractor Michael Choice Autograph

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Matt Davidson Arizona Diamondbacks - Visalia Rawhide Top Prospect

Matt Davidson - 1B/3B
Arizona Diamondbacks #3 Prospect - Baseball America Handbook

Scouting Trip: April 18, 2011
Visalia Rawhide (Diamondbacks) vs Stockton Ports (A's)
A+ Minor League Game

: March 26, 1991 Drafted: 1st Sup #35 2009 Bonus: $900,000

Baseball America Handbook Listed : Ht: 6-3 Wt: 225
Visalia Rawhide Official Roster Listed: Ht: 6-3 Wt: 210

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Sometimes you just catch guys on an off night. 0-4 with 3 SO is an off night. The game before I saw Matt Davidson, he hit a grand slam HR so it hasn't been all bad for him during the first few weeks of the 2011 minor league season.  Davidson is one of the top prospects in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization and is a legit 6-3 who projects to have power despite a rare bunt attempt during the game I witnessed. He is hitting either 3rd or 4th in the lineup for the loaded Visalia Rawhide A+ minor league team that also features top prospects Bobby Borchering, Chris Owings and pitcher Tyler Skaggs.

Short Observations: Davidson started at 1B, but that is because he is splitting time with Borchering at 3B. The weather in Stockton for the game was not ideal. There was a light misty rain during the middle part of the game and that for sure can mess with young hitters.  Davidson was a popular guy pre-game as he was laughing and joking with teammates and enjoying himself out there. Despite his rough night at the plate I never saw him get upset out there - he is a relaxed guy who keeps his composure from what I saw. Davidson is still very young, he just turned 20 years old when I saw him, so he could see another 3-4 years in the minors before he is ready to go for the Diamondbacks.  During a couple of Davidson's AB's - there were runners moving where some 'hit and run' plays might have been on - which can impact a guys success at the plate.

Matt Davidson and Chris Owings Top Arizona Diamondbacks Prospects
Matt Davidson (left) & Chris Owings (#1 right)

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Key Matt Davidson Baseball Cards & Values
Prices Dated April 12, 2011 - Check the link for current market value on eBay.
2010 Bowman Chrome Matt Davidson Ref. #/500
Sold For: $14.50 + $2.75 s/h - April 12, 2011
2010 Bowman Chrome Matt Davidson Refractor Autograph RC
2009 Donruss Elite Matt Davidson Auto /599
Sold For: $9.59 + $2.99 s/h - April 10, 2011
2009 Donruss Elite EEE Matt Davidson /599 Auto RC

April 16, 2011
Tyler Matzek Colorado Rockies #1 Prospect Warming Up Modesto Nuts


Tyler Matzek - LHP
Colorado Rockies #1 Prospect - Baseball America Handbook
#32 Overall Prospect - Baseball America - 2011

Scouting Trip: April 14, 2011
Modesto Nuts (Rockies) vs Stockton Ports (A's)
A+ Minor League Game

: Oct. 19, 1990 Drafted: 1st #11 '09 Bonus: $3.9 Million

Baseball America Handbook Listed : Ht: 6-3 Wt: 213
Modesto Nuts Official Roster Listed: Ht: 6-3 Wt: 210

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I came into this game - Tyler Matzek's second start of the 2011 season - excited to see what the Rockies #1 overall prospect had to offer. Matzek was one of the top high school arms available in the 2009 MLB Draft and might have been picked higher if he didn't let it be known that he wanted huge money to sign. I remember watching an interview with him after he was picked. Fresh with a diamond stud in one ear, he sounded more like an agent then a player who just realized his dream. The Rockies eventually ponied up record money to get him to sign and he begins 2011 on the Modesto Nuts A+ Minor League roster as the #3 starter in the rotation.

In his first start of 2011 - against the same Ports team - he got lit up in 3 innings for 5 hits, 4 walks, and 6 ER.  Ouch. The Stockton Ports don't have much of a lineup this year outside of Michael Choice and Max Stassi.  I didn't see his first start on 4/9/2011 - but this one had to be at least a little better....... but just a little.

Tyler Matzek Modesto Nuts Starting Pitcher - #1 Rated Prospect - Rockies
Pre-Game Observations:  First thing first. diamond stud in ear? Nah, that's probably against the rules anyways as it would distract the hitter. There must not be any die-hard Rockies fans in Stockton because nobody was seeking his autograph and nobody seemed to know that he is the most prized arm in the Rockies minor league system. I got so many unbelievable pictures (for my standards) of Matzek during this time that it made getting to the park early worth it.

Matzek was casual out there. He seemed like he was tired - but his fastball had life during the game - so perhaps that is just his normal pre-game demeanor.  He can uncork fastballs without much drive in his legs.  It was the Ports home opener and Matzek had to stop his pre-game long-toss when a helicopter landed in center field.  Is he 'soft' in a few areas of his body? He is not an impressive looking athlete, but is a legit 6-3" and could easily be heavier then the 213 the Nuts have him listed at.


Game Action - 1st Inning
First two warm-up pitches? Bounced in the dirt. Batter one? 4-pitch walk.  Uh-oh. The radar gun at Banner Island Ballpark in Stockton, CA was spotty at best - and during the first AB it only registered a 91 MPH fastball, no other pitch speed showed up on the scoreboard. Batter two? Two straight balls to open the AB. He isn't missing by much with the first 6-pitches. Mostly high, with the fastball and a couple, what Baseball America says is a slider, that tops out at about 87 MPH but didn't feature much sharp movement. Matzek gets out of the 2-0 hole when Dusty Coleman flies out to center on a fastball that registered 92 on the gun.

Matzek has a decent move to 1st base and is somewhat deceptive in his look over.  A couple times it seemed like he wasn't even checking the runner at first, but he tilts his hat down low and will peak while keeping his head looking toward home plate. It kept Ports runner Conner Crumbliss close which helped when Michael Choice stepped up with one out in the inning. Matzek got behind the A's #3 rated prospect and Choice fouled off a couple fastballs that hit 94 MPH on the gun. Finally on 3-2, Matzek blew Choice away on a high fastball and with Crumbliss running at first it ended up being a strike-out, throw out double play at second. Matzek was a little shaky with his control but he escapes with the high heat.

Game Action - 2nd Inning
The 2nd ended up being Matzek's best inning of his short outing. He made a nice play on a come-backer from A's #6 rated prospect Max Stassi. It seemed like Matzek was working his slider a little bit more this inning and it cost him in the AB with Kent Walton as he walked him with two outs. Ports OF Rashun Dixon then got himself into a 2-0 count but ended up getting blown away by Matzek's fastball which was hitting 91-94 all game.

Game Action - 3rd Inning
Uh-Oh. Bad inning. Matzek walked Anthony Aliotti and then the next batter, Juan Nunez had no interest in swinging but Matzek couldn't throw a strike. Another walk. The Modesto Nuts pitching coach went to the mound, and it seemed to work - Matzek then found his grove and got Crumbliss and then Dusty Coleman to strike out.  But he couldn't get out of the inning when on the 8th pitch of the AB to Choice was a fastball singled hard to center - scoring Aliotti. Matzek then struck out Stassi to strike out the side, but with 2 walks and a hit mixed in.

Game Action - 4th Inning
He just didn't have it this game. To start the 4th Leonardo Gil singled hard to right. Walton popped out meekly to 2nd but that was it for Matzek.

3.1 IP 2 H 1 ER 4 BB 5 SO

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Tyler Matzek Top Colorado Rockies Prospect