Local baseball “must-sees”

And now for some shameless promotion for the 51s, Las Vegas’ AAA baseball team, of which my newspaper maintains a very small financial interest. If you’re a baseball aficionado and looking for a rising star to see in person, this is the blog item for you. I asked the 51s who is a "must see" in this last half of the baseball season and received this recommendation. You can get the scoop to catch a game here.
    Outfielder Travis Snider: First round selection in 2006 draft…Ranked by Baseball America as the No. 1 prospect in the Blue Jays system…a power hitting left-handed hitter…just 21 years old and began the season with the Blue Jays…made his major league debut last season at just 20 years old…hit a combined 21 home runs, 97 RBI over three levels (A, AA, AAA)…appeared in 24 games for Toronto and batted .301 in 2008.
    Catcher J.P. Arencibia: First round selection in 2007 draft…23 years old…Ranked by Baseball America as the No. 2 prospect in the Blue Jays system…has played the entire ’09 season with L.V. and has 25 doubles, 10 HR, 44 RBI…had a combined 36 doubles, 27 HR, 105 RBI in ’08 between Double-A and Triple-A…played college baseball at the University of Tennessee…ranked among USA Baseball’s college national team’s top prospects.
    LHP David Purcey: First round selection in 2004 draft…26 years old and began the season with the Blue Jays…has pitched in Las Vegas for the majority of the season…6-foot-5, 235 pounder is a power pitcher…played college baseball at the University of Oklahoma…pre-season all-american as a Sooner…made his major league debut last season with the Blue Jays….won three games for the Blue Jays in ’08.
    Outfielder Buck Coats: Left-handed hitter…originally drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 18th round of 2000 draft…good speed as a center fielder and leads the 51s in stolen bases…Toronto acquired him in a trade from Cincinnati in 2007…made his major league debut with the Cubs in 2006…appeared in a total of 46 career major league games with Chicago, Cincinnati and Toronto (2008).
    LHP Fabio Castro: Traded to Toronto from Philadelphia in exchange for Matt Stairs on August 29, 2008…24 years old…originally signed by Chicago White Sox as a free agent in 2001…named the PCL Pitcher of the Week for the 51s on May 11…also compiled a scoreless innings streak of 24.1…was among the league leaders in ERA in the PCL earlier in the season.

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