* Rookie-class Bluefield's Dennis Holmberg is managing three sons of former big leaguers: Lydell Moseby, son of former Jays CF Lloyd Moseby, Austin Davis, son of one-time California Angel, Doug Davis and James Lynch, son of former New York Mets right-hander Ed Lynch. .... 2014 Canadians drafted … Canadians in the Minors … Canadians in College 2015 Canadian draft list Letters of Intent
Previous weeks: Sanchez, Pompey, Norris top rankings, Jays prospects rankings ... Case lone Van Canuck …Romano signs with Jays … Short one for Sanchez, Jays prospects VI Burns versatile, Jays prospects V …. Lawrence a cool cat, Jays prospects IV … De Jong II, Jays prospects III … Copeland picks up Janssen, Jays prospects II …. Pompey burning bases, Jays prospects I …. Matt Boyd.
By Bob Elliott
Dennis Holmberg first met Lloyd Moseby in 1978 at class-A Dunedi. Holmberg was a coach under manager Dennis Menke and Moseby was a second-year pro.
Holmberg initially shook hands with Doug Davis in 2006 when Davis was hired to manage New Hampshire.
And three years ago at spring training he met Jays scout Ed Lynch.
Now, Holmberg, longest-serving member of the Blue Jays organization in uniform, is managing the Bluefield Blue Jays.
His back-up first baseman is Lydell Moseby, son of Lloyd Moseby, former first-round pick who played centre field for 10 years.
One of his third basemen is Austin Davis, son of Doug Davis, the Jays minor-league field co-ordinator.
And one of his outfidlers is James Lynch, son of Ed Lynch, one of the Jays most experienced scouts.
While Lloyd was 6-foot-3 with a bounce in his step and still looks like he could add to his stolen bases total (280), Lydell is 6-foot-6, 230 pounds.
“There’s a big discrenancy in body size,” said Holmberg from Bluefield. “Shaker Mo (Lloyd) had that swagger, he was a five-tool guy. Lydell is a little bit on the quiet side ... not like his father.”
Lydell played in 16 games with Bluefield last year behind Matt Dean who won the Applachian League batting title with a .338 average and this year he’s behind Rowdy Tellez, a 30th round pick last year, who the Jays gave a $850,000 signing bonus.
“Lydell had a good game in the DH spot Sunday,” said his manager. Moseby hit his first homer in pro ball, singled and hit a scoring fly ball. And he made a heads-up play scoring from third on a wild pitch ... the ball only squirted into into the on-deck circle.
“I told him last year about my relationship with his father.”
Tellez is hitting .117 with seven RBIs in 17 games, while Moseby is batting .267 with a homer and two RBIs in six games.
It’s not easy for Appy League managers to find playing time as rosters can contain 35 players. Bluefield’s currently has 31 players (17 pitchers, two catchers, eight infielder and six outfielders).
How difficult is it to manage a team which contains your boss’s son? How many times has Davis called Holmberg asking for his son to hit lead-off like a Little League father?
“Not once, zero phone calls,” said Holmberg. “I was honoured when Doug said he’d like to have Austin come to Bluefield ... he hit three balls on the button (Tuesday) and singled in a run, the ball went under the right fielder’s glove. He made a running catch going back to the fence in left.”
Splitting time between third and the outfield, Davis is hitting .250 with one RBI in 14 games. Davis was drafted in the 47th round of the 2011 draft, but chose to attend Cal-State Bakersfield and was signed as a free agent.
Lynch was drafted in the 39th round this June from Pima Community College.
“Jamie has played well defensively,” said Holmberg. “I know Ed has done a lot in this game (pitched in the majors for eight years, was general manager of the Cubs) and is one of our top scouts. They’re all good teammates, I try to balance playing time as best I can.”
“It’s every father’s dream to have his son go out and play pro,” said Holmberg, who played eight seasons in the Milwaukee Brewers system before joining the Jays and watching his son Kenny Holmberg play four seasons in the minors. Kenny is managing in the Texas Rangers system. “My son says in high school you play game to game, in college you play at-bat to at-bat and in the minors it is pitch to pitch, you have to win every pitch.”
Over the years Holmberg has managed plenty of future major leaguers including:
Mark Eichhorn, Tony Fernandez, Paul Hodgson, Mitch Webster, Mike Sharperson, Jimmy Key, Pat Borders, Cecil Fielder, Nelson Liriano, Fred McGriff, Jose Mesa, Glenallen Hill, Junior Felix, Randy Knorr, Mark Whiten, Greg O’Halloran, Jeff Kent, Denis Boucher, Mike Timlin, David Weathers, Sandy Martinez, Graeme Lloyd, Derek Bell, Rob Butler, Carlos Delgado, Steve Karsay, Chris Stynes, Kelvim Escobar, Roy Halladay, Casey Blake, Ryan Freel, Russ Adams, Brandon League, Aaron Hill, Erik Kratz, Shaun Marcum, Ricky Romero, Adam Lind, Casey Janssen, J.P. Arencibia, Darin Mastroianni, Brett Cecil, Marc Rzepczynski, Yan Gomes and Drew Hutchison to name a few.
“Hopefully they took a little something from me, Pat Kelly, Omar Malave and Rocket Wheeler all have over 1,000 wins managing in the minors,” said Holmberg, a grandfathery type with the wisdom to match. When Burlington visited Holmberg, who has over 1,350 wins met Lirano at home plate one night, former Atlanta Braves No. 1 pick Scott Thorman (Cambridge, Ont.) the next.
“I tell all my guys that game does not owe them a thing, that players owe the game everything.”
Weekly look at the Blue Jays minor league system:
A veteran evaluator takes his turn in our weekly look at the top 10 prospects in the Blue Jays system. 1. RHP Aaron Sanchez, Buffalo “He’s getting closer. You’ll see him in Toronto this season.”
1A. LHP Daniel Norris, New Hampshire. “He might wind up being better than Sanchez. He’s anywhere from 93-to-97 MPH. He’s a battler. He’s 6-foot-3, he’s what the good ones look like.”
4. OF Dalton Pompey, New Hampshire. “He’s not hitting now, he’s going through that adjustment period everyone goes through. The game will slow down for him. He’s going to be a good major league player.”
6. OF D.J. Davis, Lansing. “Not for me. Too many strikeouts (114 in 324 at-bats) and only nine steals, but a lot of our guys like him.”
7. 3B Mitch Nay, Lansing. “I’m been reading your lists each week and people like his power. I looked saw two homers, then I saw him in batting practice. He belongs. The power will come.”
8. C Max Pentecost, Gulf Coast. “I saw him as an amateur and I like the comparison to Pat Borders. Borders was a converted guy at double-A. This guy has some polish.”
9. INF Franklin Barreto, Vancouver “A little on the small size, but I like his bat.”
10. LHP Matt Smoarl, Bluefield. “He’s starting to figure it out. It takes a while with left-handers. Especially a guy 6-foot-9. Some guys think he’s the second coming of Randy Johnson. Look how long it took him.”
E-I-E-I-O -- At Buffalo: RHP Austin Bibens-Dirkx pitched three scoreless innings in a 7-6 win over Rochester Monday ... 2B Ryan Goins went 2-for-4 with am RBI double. N.H.: RHP Radhames Liz pitched a complete game shutout, with two hits and eight strikeouts in 2-0, seven-inning win over New Britain ... OF Mike Crouse had two hits with a homer and a double, while Eastern League all-star OF Jon Berti was 2-for-2 with a double. Dustin Antolin and Randy Boone also earned AS honours. Dunedin: Dwight Smith is hitting .285 with 18 doubles, five triples, five home runs and .769 OPS in through 82 games ... RHP Kendall Graveman has a 2.49 ERA in 76 innings, with 55 strikeouts to 16 walks. Lansing: Matt Dean is hitting .300 with 16 doubles, three triples, and five home runs in 64 games while 3B Mitch Nay is hitting .284 with 17 doubles, three triples, two home runs, and 43 RBIs in 82 games ... RHP Brady Dragmire has a 2.88 ERA in 50 innings. Vancouver: SS Franklin Barreto is 26-for-89 (.292) with a ..770 OPS, eight doubles, 16 RBIs and six stolen bases in his first 23 games ... 1B Ryan McBroom is hitting .329 with seven doubles, three home runs, and a .908 OPS in 18 games. Bluefield: 3B Gabe Cenas went 2-for-3 with a home run, two RBIs in a win over Burlington ... SS Richard Urena is hitting .288 in 17 games with five doubles, and a home run. Gulf Coast: RHP Conner Greene pitched five innings, five strikeouts and LHP Angel Perdomo four innings, seven strikeouts combined on a 4-0 win over the Phillies ... C Max Pentecost went 0-for-3 in his debut.