CBN POW, Week XIV: Tanner Kirwer


By George Farelli
Canadian Baseball Network

The first time we heard the name Tanner Kirwer -- from baseball people south of the border -- was in the spring of 2017.

Kirwer had broken one of the game’s unwritten rules, according to those in the opposing dugout. 

At the time Kirwer was with the Niagara Purple Eagles and he had stolen a base when the Baylor Bears staff did not think was appropriate due to the score.

Kirwer hit that weekend -- 5-for-14 with a double, a homer, four RBIs and two stolen bases -- that weekend in Waco, Tex. He continued to hit last spring batting .335 with 20 doubles, two homers and 29 RBIs. He was 23-for-25 stealing bases and an .899 OPS in 48 games.

The Toronto Blue Jays and scout Jamie Lehman (Brampton, Ont.) selected the former Sherwood Park Duke from Niagara in the 20th round and gave him a $40,000 US signing bonus. Kirwer (Sherwood Park, Alta.) is still hitting and this week earned our Canadian Baseball Network minor league Player of the Week for Week XIV.

He shared the lead for most hits (nine) for the week -- with Andrew Yerzy (North York) at class-A Hillsboro -- batting .529 (9-for-17) with two homers and three RBIs for the class-A Vancouver Canadians.

How the week that was went for Kirwer  ...

_ Batting eighth and playing centre, he was hitless in a 5-4 loss to the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes before : 6,044 fans at Nat Bailey Stadium. 2B Otto Lopez (Montreal, Que.) tripled for the Canadians. 

_ Playing centre and hitting eighth, he was 3-for-4 with two RBIs in a 4-3 loss to the Everett AquaSox in front of 4,549 fans at Everett Memorial Stadium. Kirwer singled to centre in the third, doubled to centre, his third, in the fifth and homered to left field, his first, facing Noah Zavolas in the seventh.

_ Batting eighth and hitting left field, he had a pair of hits in an 8-4 win against the Everett AquaSox before 1,983 at Everett Memorial Stadium. Kirwer reached on an infield single in the second and led off the seventh with a double to right, his fourth.

_ Playing left and batting ninth, he doubled and hit a solo homer as Vancouver knocked off Everett 9-0 in front of 3,389 at Everett Memorial Stadium. Kirwer led off the fifth with a homer to centre, his second, and doubled to left, his fifth. Lopez doubled for the Canadians. 

_ Playing centre and hitting ninth, he singled and stole his 10th base as Vancouver e3dged the Spokane Indians 5-4 in front of 6,413 at Nat Bailey Stadium. Kirwer singled in the second. Lopez singled.

_ Hitting ninth and player centre, he singled and stole his 11th base in his only at-bat in a rain-shortened 3--0 win against Spokane in front of 6,413 at Nat Bailey Stadium.

Highlights of the Week
RHP  Jordan  Balazovic, Mississauga, ON  -  Named as the Single A Midwest League Pitcher of the Week  (June 24 to July 1).
RHP  Brock Dykxhoorn,  Goderich, ON  -  Named as the Triple A Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Week  (July 1 to July 8).
OF  Danny Beaver,  Oakville, ON  -  Named to the 2018 IND Pecos League - New Mexico Division Mid Season All Star team.
RHP  Bobby St. Pierre,  Windsor, ON  -  Named to 2018 IND Pecos League - New Mexico Division Mid Season All Star team.

Best Offensive performances
Player Class Team AB R H HR RBI AVG

Tanner Kirwer - A Vancouver      17    5   9    2    3    .529
Andrew Yerzy - A Hillsboro       22    3   9    1    2    .409
Abraham Toro - AA Corpus Christi   21    5   8    2   11    .381
Josh Naylor - AA San Antonio      16    2   6    -    1    .375
F. Hernandez - Rkie DSL Cards     19    2   7    1    8    .368
Jacob Robson - AAA Toledo       22    5    8    1    3    .364
Otto Lopez - A Vancouver        14    3    5    -    1    .357
Bruce Yari - A Daytona          20    1   7    -    5    .350
Tristan Pompey - A Greensboro    22    2   7    -    2    .318
Jonathan Lacroix - A Quad Cities    16    2   5    1   5    .313
Ian Horne - IND Garden City      17    2    8    -    3    .471
Sebastien Boucher - IND Ottawa   26    5   12   -    9    .462
Danny Beaver - IND Santa Fe      13    4    6    -    4    .462
Carter McEachern - IND Washington 21    4    8   2    6    .381
Maxx Tissenbaum - IND Quebec   27    3    8    -    6    .296
(Minimum 10 AB’s)
(Pompey includes three games at Rookie Class, three at Class-A). 
Best pitching perforamances

2   3.1   2   1   -    1   5  2-0    -    0.97    0.00   
Recently promoted by the Padres to their Triple A affiliate the El Paso Chihuahuas, Rowan Wick is making the most of this new opportunity by pitching very well out of the bullpen.  This week he had two very good outings, the first on July 4th in an 11-10 extra innings victory over Salt Lake Bees, he pitched two scoreless innings and gave up two base hits while striking out four Salt Lake hitters to earn the win. On July 10th in a 5-4 win again over Salt Lake, he threw 1 1/3 scoreless innings, surrendering zero hits, while striking out one batter, to pick up his second win of the week. His record with El Paso in three Pacific League appearances now stands at 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA.

1   6.1  3  1   1   2   5   1-0    -   0.82    1.48
Jordan Balazovic continues to perform a very high level, and this week made another excellent start for the Kernels. On July 7th in a 5-1 victory over Kane County Cougars he threw 6 1/3 innings, gave up three base hits and one earned run while striking out five Cougar batters, to earn the win. His record with Cedar Rapids in six Single A Midwest League starts, is now 4-1 with a 2.18 ERA.

1   5.2   3  1   1    -   7  1-0    -    0.58    1.73          
Adjusting quite well to pitching at the Triple A level, this week Brock Dykxhoorn had another very good outing fro the Fresno Girzzlies. On July 7th in a 2-1 win over Las Vegas ‘51s he threw 5 2/3 innings, gave up three base hits and just one earned run while striking out seven Las Vegas hitters, to earn his third win for Fresno. His Triple A Pacific Coast League record is now 3-1 with a 3.15 ERA. His overall record for the  season, including his earlier stint with Corpus Christi Hooks in the Double A Texas League, includes a total of 16 appearances 5-1 record with a 3.16 ERA.

Canadian Baseball Network Players of the Week

Week 1 _ OF Tyler O’Neill (Maple Ridge, BC) Memphis (Cards) and Josh Naylor (Mississauga, Ont.) San Antonio (Padres).
Week II _ RHP Jordan Romano (Markham, Ont.) New Hampshire (Blue Jays).
Week III _ RHP Mike Soroka (Calgary, Alta.) Gwinett (Braves).
Week IV _ RHP Brock Dykxhoorn (Goderich, Ont.) Corpus Christi (Astros).
Week V _ 3B Vladimir Guerrero (Montreal, Que.) New Hampshire (Jays).

Week VI _ RP Phillippe Aumont (Hull, Que.) Toledo (Tigers)
Week VII _ 3B Vladimir Guerrero (Montreal, Que.) New Hampshire (Jays).
Week VIII _ RHP Curtis Taylor (Coquitlam, BC) Montgomery (Rays)
Week IX _ RHP Cal Quantrill (Port Hope, Ont.) San Antonio (Padres)
Week X _ 3B Abraham Toro-Hernandez (Longueuil, Que,) Buise Creek (Astros) and 2B Charles Leblanc (Lavall, Que.) Down East Wood (Rangers).

Week XI _ C Andrew Yerzy (Toronto, Ont.) Hillsboro (Diamondbacks).
Week XII _ LHP Evan Grills (Whitby, Ont.) Hartford (Rockies).
Week XIII _ OF Ben Pelletier (Varennes, Que.) Williamsport (Philies)
Week XIV _ OF Tanner Kirwer (Sherwood Park, Alta.) Vancouver (Blue Jays).