Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Fathers' Day

Today I remember my father, Dick Hull, who went to be with Jesus in 2011. A year ago I made a website, as my dad's last request, dedicated to my father's high school football team. In 1947, the Okmulgee Bulldogs, from a town of 30,000 people, won the Oklahoma Class A Football title, 14-6, over Frederick at a game played at Owen Field in Norman.
My dad, Dick Hull, handing his school principal the
Okla. State Championship trophy in 1947

The link to the website is at the bottom of this page.

Dad went on to Okla. St. where he met my mom, Shirley, got married and then served our country in the Air Force during Korea.

Dad taught me fishing, one of my favorite pastimes, and I still have much of his tackle and rods. I will use it again in July when I go with the family to northern Wisconsin.

Today I get to spend the day with my boys, Joel and Max, likely on the golf course where we all excel and have fun together.

Yesterday, was a day with the boys, my daughter Sylvia, her husband Jack, and my grandkids, Seth and Olivia in Mountain View. We all watched Max, now a senior in high school, and the summer version of the Elk Grove Thundering Herd baseball team. They played at two really unique baseball facilities at Bellarmine College Preparatory School and Valley Christian High School in San Jose.

It's been a great Fathers' Day weekend. Remember your dads, living or not, in some way today.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Baseball Sacramento Announces All-Capitol Team

An excellent local baseball website, Baseball Sacramento.Com, has named Elk Grove's Rowdy Tellez and Herd coach Jeff Carlson as its player and coach of the year. Their "All-Capitol Team" also included Elk Grove's Dave Smith and Derek Hill, along with Franklin's Tyler Blake.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Notebook: Linehan Signs With Brewers

Kyle Larson continues to race where ever he can do quite good at it. Read about the latest win on the racing circuit in today's EG Citizen. ....

I have heard from both his former Sheldon baseball coach, John Misplay, along with a story in the Fresno Bee that Fresno State left-hander Tyler Linehan has decided to forego his final year of college and sign to play for the Milwaukee Brewers organization. He was taken in the ninth round.

Misplay says he's been assigned to the Helena franchise in the Pioneer League, same league where Josh Powers and Raymond Hernandez have played. ...

The College World Series begins Saturday and former EG catcher Jake Rodriguez will be leading Oregon State in its first game against Mississippi State. He was drafted in the 19th round by the Astros. Though he will wait until the end of the CWS to say anything, he's likely going to sign. ...

Monday, June 10, 2013

Nunez Set To Sign With The Rockies

If there was one professional baseball organization that seemed to court Dom Nunez a little more than any of the others it was the Colorado Rockies.

The past three falls he played for the Rockies’ Area Code team, getting to know a few of their scouts and coaches. He liked Gary Wilson, the Rockies’ area scout and began to get attached to the club.

So when the Rockies phoned him last Friday on the second day of the Major League First-Year Player Draft to see if he’d be interested in foregoing college and playing professionally this summer, it was a pretty easy decision for the Elk Grove High School catcher/infielder. 
Dom Nunez may ink a contract to play for the
Colorado Rockies as soon as this weekend

“I think the Rockies definitely showed the most interest,” Nunez said Monday, moments after being named the Herd’s co-MVP, along with Rowdy Tellez, at the team’s end-of-season awards night. “They were one of the only phone calls the first day of the draft.”

The Rockies will probably officially sign Nunez to a contract sometime this weekend. He wouldn’t say how much his signing bonus might be, but because he was selected in the sixth round, the 169th player drafted overall, it could be a six-figure check Nunez will be depositing in the bank.

“I’m pretty much locked in and the deal is almost done,” Nunez said. “I’ll be flying to Denver and finish it all.”

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Rowdy Drafted - Finally

Maybe the most surprising angle to this year's Major League Baseball Amateur Draft was that Elk Grove slugger Rowdy Tellez was still on the board going into the third and final day of the draft Saturday. 

Baseball America had ranked the 6-5, 220-pounder as the 59th best prospect in the draft, the third-best first baseman. MLB.Com’s draft preview ranked him the 99th best prospect overall. 
EGHS' Rowdy Tellez, drafted in the 30th round
by the Blue Jays Saturday

But, Tellez said early on in the draft he knew things couldn’t be worked out between him and any baseball club.

“I was contacted by quite a few teams, but the timing wasn’t right (to be drafted),” he said. “They didn’t have the things to offer us and as a family we decided that education was the way to go.”

Tellez has already signed a NCAA National Letter-of-Intent to play collegiately for Southern Cal.

“I’m now going to USC and help them win a couple national championships,” he said. “Getting the opportunity to play for a great program in the biggest media market and hit home runs for them is something I can look forward to.”

On its website, MLB wrote an impressive summary about Tellez prior to the draft: “Big, strong, left-handed-hitting first baseman don't come through the Draft all that often these days. Tellez fits that mold, and his ability to do damage with the bat was generating some buzz this spring.”

But, the big first baseman wasn’t selected by any club on the first two days. Finally, just past 2 p.m. local time Saturday, the Blue Jays took him in the 30th round, the 895th pick overall.

“That’s just another day, another game in the life of a baseball player,” Tellez said of the Blue Jays selection of him. “I am looking forward to playing three years at USC, get better and then be a first-rounder.”

Tellez says his plans for the summer are a bit up in the air, but may join some USC teammates playing in the Northwoods League for the St. Cloud franchise. Tellez’ mother is from New Hope, Minn.

His Elk Grove teammate, Dom Nunez, apparently has committed to sign with the Rockies. He told the Sacramento Bee that prior to his selection in the sixth round the Rockies phoned him.

Friday, June 07, 2013

Nunez, Linehan Selected In MLB Draft

A pair of Elk Grove-area baseball players were selected in day two of Major League Baseball's Amateur Draft Friday. Elk Grove catcher Dom Nunez was taken in the sixth round by the Colorado Rockies. He was the 169th overall selection.

Former Sheldon and current Fresno State pitcher Tyler Linehan was drafted in the ninth round by the Milwaukee Brewers.
Former Sheldon Huskie Tyler

What is surprising is that after being so highly rated by several media sources prior to the draft, Elk Grove slugger Rowdy Tellez is still on the board. Also, going undrafted to this point is former Herd infielder Jake Rodriguez, now the Oregon State University catcher.

Following his high school days at Elk Grove Rodriguez was drafted by the Los Angeles Angels, but turned down the offer to go to college.

Here's what had to write about Nunez:

Nunez played for the national team in 2011 and '12 as a shortstop, helping Team USA to gold medals each time. But he moved behind the plate this spring at Elk Grove and has become one of the Draft's most intriguing catching prospects. He isn't especially toolsy, but Nunez plays above his talent level, thanks to his feel for the game. He has a good approach as a hitter and provides gap power but probably won't ever be much of a power hitter. He is still learning behind the plate, but is eager to improve.

Nunez batted .390 for the Sac-Joaquin Section champion Herd in 2013. He had four homers, five triples, seven doubles and drove in 37 runs. He started all four years at Elk Grove, this past season he played most of his games at catcher.

Elk Grove's Dom Nunez, taken by the Rockies Friday
in the sixth round of the MLB Amateur Draft
He is committed to play college baseball for UCLA next season. The draft selection, particularly one as high as the sixth round, may change those plans.

The Rockies drafted Nunez as a third baseman.

Here's what MLB.Com wrote about Linehan:  

Linehan had a disappointing season at Fresno St. after moving between the rotation and the bullpen and struggling to find any consistency. He still has good potential, however, because of two good pitches in his fastball and curveball. His fastball sits in the low 90s and has good cutting action to it while his curveball has late, sharp downward action. If Linehan can become more consistent and add a third pitch, he could become a solid value for whatever team drafts him.

Linehan was 3-7 with a 5.90 ERA this year for Bulldogs.

His Bulldog teammate, Aaron Judge, was taken in the first round Thursday by the New York Yankees. 

The MLB Draft each June selects players who have graduated from high school or collegiate players who have completed three years of play. 

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Following the MLB Amateur Draft

The best place to do so right now is on the MLB.Com's Draft Tracker.

We're watching for guys like Elk Grove's Rowdy Tellez and Dom Nunez. Also, former EGHS stud Jake Rodriguez who is in his junior year at Oregon State. Sheldon's Tyler Linehan, also a junior in college now at Fresno State, could be selected.

We'll tweet right away when we hear. @EGCitizenJHull.

First Day Update -
The only local drafted was Cal/Granite Bay catcher Andrew Knapp who had quite a season for the Golden Bears this spring. He was taken in the second round by the Phillies. Knapp was the 53rd player selected.

The first overall pick was Stanford pitcher Mark Appel who went to the Houston Astros.

Fresno State outfielder Aaron Judge went #32 overall to the New York Yankees.

The A's first pick was at #24 and the took Billy McKinney, a outfielder from Plano West H.S. in Texas.

The Giants selected next and took shortstop Christian Arroyo as their first round draft choice. Arroyo is from Hernando H.S. in Florida.

Round three through ten will be Friday.

Monday, June 03, 2013

The Best of the 2012-2013 School Year

School is out at Elk Grove Unified and with that comes the hot months with kids trying to find things to do and stay out of their parents' hair. Almost every interscholastic sport has a summer program now, so our local athletes won't exactly be looking for too many things to do between now and when school resumes in August.

Thus, we take a moment and remember the top ten accomplishments over the past nine months in local sports:

1. Pleasant Grove Wins the Division I boys' basketball state championship.

Strange, but true, that none of the players, including the big three on the Eagles this year - Colfax Nordquist, Matthew Hayes and Malik Thames - had a D-I offer on the table, but that trio played together as well as anyone.

Sure, it took Delta River League champion Sheldon to get out of the way and be placed into the new CIF Open Division, but the Eagles took advantage of the opportunity and beat Santa Monica at ARCO/Power Balance/Sleep Train Arena in March for the area's first state championship in Division I.

2. Elk Grove Baseball Wins The Section Div. 1 Championship

Yes, they were supposed to.

With nationally-reknowned talent in Dom Nunez and Rowdy Tellez and a great supporting cast of Nick Madrigal, Derek Hill, Dave Smith and Mikey Wright, the Herd went 29-5 and made minchmeat of St. Mary's in the SJS championship round.

If it weren't for losing to Pleasant Grove in the North championship of the Boras Baseball Classic and to Div-VI champion Bradshaw Christian, this would have been a perfect season.

But, hey, in baseball anyone is due to stumble once or twice per season. Coach Jeff Carlson pulled it all together for an amazing run through the post-season. Truly, the championship game came in the final single elimination game against Woodcreek. That was one of the best baseball games you'll ever see.

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Elk Grove Takes SJS Div-I Title

Elk Grove High School seniors Rowdy Tellez and Dom Nunez may have saved some of their best baseball for the Sac-Joaquin Section’s Division I championship series against St. Mary’s of Stockton Friday and Saturday at Sacramento City College.

The Herd clinched their fifth Section banner in the last 11 seasons Saturday with a dominating 11-2 win over the Rams to end St. Mary’s three year stranglehold on D-1 baseball.

Elk Grove Thundering Herd - 2013 SJS Div. I champs
In the title clincher, Tellez was four-for-five with four RBI’s including two doubles and a screeching line drive over the right field fence, about 375 feet away, in the third inning. He drove in Carlos Moseley in the first frame with a double. He tacked on an RBI single in seventh inning to drive in Elk Grove’s final run.

For the post-season, he batted .600 (12-for-20 with three homers and 11 RBI’s) yet said the Section championship was a total team win.

“A Section title is all that matters,” the big first baseman said. “I gave it my all and left it on the field and it shows in the scoreboard.”

“We put 20 runs on this team in two games,” he added. “It shows we played as a team.”

With Elk Grove leading 3-0, Nunez opened the fifth inning with a towering homer to right – the first of five runs for the Herd in that inning as they performed surgery on the St. Mary’s pitching.

In all, Elk Grove had one of its most impressive offensive performances, smacking 17 hits in Saturday’s win.

“When you win a Section title in a convincing fashion, you’ve saved your best for last,” Elk Grove head coach Jeff Carlson said. “That’s the best hitting performance we’ve had all year.”

The win secured the fifth Section championship at Elk Grove under Carlson, the first since 2007.

On the mound, Mikey Wright once again followed David Smith with another solid outing. He went the distance, scattering five hits, in winning his seventh game of the year against no losses.

The pair accounted for all but one of Elk Grove’s wins in the playoffs. Smith tacked on a pair of saves during the post-season.