John Michael Bertrand is an under-the-radar pitching prospect with multi-sport bloodlines and a great backstory. Furthermore, he’s performing above expectations in his first full skilled season. Drafted within the tenth spherical final 12 months by the San Francisco Giants out of the College of Notre Dame, the 25-year-old left-hander is 10-5 with a 3.17 ERA in 99-and-a-third innings throughout three ranges. Bertrand started the marketing campaign at Low-A San Jose and has since progressed to Excessive-A Eugene and Double-A Richmond.
Rising up in Alpharetta, Georgia, the 6-foot-3, 225-pound hurler aspired to play school basketball, however it will definitely grew to become obvious that baseball would offer him with the higher long-term alternative. The choice proved prudent, however solely after a bumpy starting. Bertrand’s Blessed Trinity Faculty prep days have been adopted by a pair of disappointments that may simply have ended his profession earlier than it even began.
“I went to the College of Dayton for a camp, they usually advised me that I didn’t throw arduous sufficient,” Bertrand defined. “I used to be round 82 [mph] and had a crazy curveball, so it was principally, ‘Thanks in your time.’ After that, my steerage counselor steered Furman [University]. It was nearer to residence, and purple occurred to be my favourite colour, so I used to be like, ‘Excellent, I’ll go.’ I walked on to their baseball crew, however ended up getting minimize my first fall. The coaches advised me that I wasn’t adequate to play Division One baseball.”
Undeterred, and extra decided than ever, Bertrand determined that not solely would he return the next 12 months and make the crew, he supposed to go on to play professionally. As he put it, ‘God sort of known as me to return to that campus and work even tougher.’ That began that prepare, began my journey.”
Bertrand did make the crew the subsequent 12 months, and proceeded to pitch credibly in his first two seasons of faculty eligibility. He then acquired off to an impressive begin in 2020, solely to have COVID shut issues down after he’d logged a 1.50 ERA over 4 appearances. His tutorial progress continued unabated. Bertrand went on to earn a bachelor’s diploma in Philosophy, with furthering his schooling a giant a part of his life’s plan. So was persevering with to play baseball. That led the southpaw to South Bend.
“I’m from an Irish Catholic household, and my dad grew up in Eire taking part in rugby, so Notre Dame had at all times been a dream school of mine,” stated Bertrand, who had utilized out of highschool however wasn’t accepted. “I used to be in a position to begin my grasp’s program there, and I pitched effectively sufficient that I acquired one name on draft day [in 2021]. I made a decision that I couldn’t cross up a second 12 months at my dream faculty, and be there with my little brother [JD Bertrand] who’s a beginning linebacker on the soccer crew, so I went again hoping that we might win a nationwide championship.”
The Combating Irish fell in need of that objective, getting eradicated by Texas A&M within the 2022 Faculty World Collection. Regardless of that disappointment, his Notre Dame tenure was a rousing success. Together with going 18-5 in his two seasons on the mound, Bertrand earned a pair of graduate levels, a grasp’s in Science and Administration, and an MBA.
His father had attended highschool in Greystones, Eire.
“That’s an fascinating story,” Bertrand advised me following his final begin with the Japanese League’s Flying Squirrels. “My grandfather truly purchased two desks at Blackrock in order that my father and his brother, my uncle, might play rugby there. It’s an all-boys boarding faculty, and it’s stated that when you’ve got a child — when you’ve got a son — the very first thing you do is title him, and the second is that you just signal him up on the wait checklist for Blackrock.
“My grandpa moved to Eire from Dayton, Ohio after they have been round center faculty age,” continued Bertrand. “That clearly meant they weren’t on the wait checklist, however he talked to the priest they usually let him purchase two desks. So, they performed at Blackrock and I feel my father [Jim Bertrand] remains to be the one American to captain a crew to the [Leinster] Senior Cup and win it. Now, this weekend, my little brother is taking part in in the identical stadium the place my dad gained the Cup.”
That will be Aviva Stadium, in Dublin, the place JD Bertrand, a fifth-year senior and second-year captain, helped lead Notre Dame to a powerful 42-3 win over Navy yesterday afternoon. As for older brother John Michael, he was following as carefully as his baseball schedule would enable. That the artful lefty with a six-pitch combine and an 89-90-mph heater was doing so two steps beneath the main leagues is not any much less notable. Twice advised that he wasn’t adequate, it seems that he truly is.
RANDOM HITTER-PITCHER MATCHUPS
Left on the cutting-room ground from Thursday’s interview with Max Scherzer have been his ideas on lacking bats. That’s one thing he’s lengthy been good at. The 39-year-old right-hander’s 3,344 strikeouts are Eleventh most in MLB historical past.
“Producing swing-and-miss is a vital a part of pitching,” Scherzer advised me. “It’s one thing you want, and ideally you’re doing it in-zone. When you can throw pitches within the zone and generate swing-and-misses, it opens up so many different issues. While you’re getting chases, you’re counting on the hitter to make a adverse resolution. You’ll be able to’t at all times throw each pitch out of the zone, you’ve acquired to throw pitches within the zone.
“You’re additionally attempting to get the very best quantity of swings-and-misses with two strikes. All swings-and-misses are good, however the ones with two strikes are nice. These are outs. Producing strikeouts is a optimistic objective on the mound. You’re seeing the at-bat ending the best way you need it to finish. Strikeouts are the best outcome.”
Duke Snider (389) and Gil Hodges (361), each of whom performed primarily when the crew was primarily based in Brooklyn, have probably the most residence runs in Dodgers franchise historical past. Which Dodger has hit probably the most residence runs for the reason that crew relocated to Los Angeles?
The reply may be discovered beneath.
The championship recreation of this 12 months’s Little League World Collection might be held at present, August 27, at 3:00pm ET and might be aired on ABC. Willemstad, Curaçao will face El Segundo, California.
SABR’s Rocky Mountain chapter will host a Zoom assembly tonight, Sunday August 27, with Joe Posnanski the featured visitor. Registration for the free-to-all 6:00pm MT occasion may be discovered here.
Aaron Familia, a 24-year-old former Milwaukee Brewers prospect, died after struggling a coronary heart assault throughout an try and cross the United States-Mexico border. The information was reported by Dominican Republic newspaper El Diario Nuevo, and by the UK’s Each day Mail.
Brian Snitker was known as old-school when he was employed to handle the Atlanta Braves in 2016, initially on an interim foundation and 5 months in a while a full-time foundation. To the extent that the label was correct then, it’s much less so now. Requested by one other reporter how he’s turn out to be extra adaptable to analytics, he stated the next when the Braves visited Fenway Park in late July.
“Nicely, I knew it wasn’t going away,” replied Snitker. “If I began bucking it, or no matter, it was going to be on me. I decide and select what I exploit. It’s a part of the sport, and I feel it’s right here to remain. It’s good things. It’s info. We’ve got a veteran employees, guys with a variety of expertise, and [the front office] permits us to include that in. I feel it’s a great mix.”
Upon listening to that, I requested the 67-year-old baseball lifer if any of the coaches he’s labored with over time stand out when it comes to instinct — they’ve nearly a sixth sense of which strikes to make, no matter what information suggests.
“All the guys I’m working with on this dugout, actually,” replied Snitker.” Walt Weiss has seen all of it as a participant, a supervisor, and now as a [bench] coach. I feel Kranny [pitching coach Rick Kranitz] has an important really feel. He’s the one I’m closest to over the course of the sport, and I belief his sixth sense, his expertise, his really feel. We’re very blessed to have a man along with his expertise working issues as our pitching coach.”
Kranitz turns 65 in mid-September. Atlanta’s 39-year-old bullpen coach can also be effectively regarded by the supervisor of baseball’s finest crew.
“We’ve acquired a younger, actually vivid, new-age man in our bullpen,” Snitker stated of Drew French. “He’s additionally acquired an important really feel. I feel Kranny goes to be an important useful resource for Drew, as a result of he’s going to be a significant league pitching coach sometime. Rising up on this recreation beneath Kranny goes to bode him effectively.”
Keio Senior Excessive Faculty gained its first nationwide baseball championship in 107 years earlier this week when it beat defending champion Sendai Ikuei Gakuen Excessive Faculty 8-2 at Koshien Stadium. The ultimate recreation of Japan’s most prestigious novice event was attended by 42,100 followers.
Chiba Lotte Marines outfielder/DH Gregory Polanco homered thrice on Thursday within the NPB membership’s 9-5 loss to the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks. The 31-year-old former Pittsburgh Pirate has 19 residence runs on the season to go together with a .250/.314/.466 slash line in 354 plate appearances.
Yokohama BayStars pitcher Trevor Bauer has one hit in 40 at-bats whereas taking part in in Japan. The erstwhile MLB right-hander went 7-for-105 professionally in the USA, together with 1-for-30 in his ultimate MLB season.
Jung Hoo Lee is slashing .315/.407/.456 with six residence runs in 386 plate appearances for the Kiwoom Heroes. A .340/.407/491 hitter over seven KBO seasons, the 25-year-old outfielder is anticipated to be made obtainable to MLB groups this coming winter.
Eui Lee Lee is 10-6 with a 3.87 ERA in 100 innings for the KBO’s Kia Tigers. The 21-year-old left-hander has allowed 78 hits and fanned 123 batters.
How do the Dodgers-Giants and Crimson Sox-Yankees rivalries examine? I requested that query to Dave Roberts at Fenway Park on Friday, and his response got here as considerably of a shock. I anticipated compulsory diplomacy. What I acquired as an alternative was forthright honesty.
“It’s arduous to beat Crimson Sox-Yankees,” stated the Los Angeles supervisor. “I feel that you must give it a transparent nod due to the historical past. I don’t assume you may take two groups that have been in New York and made their method westward [while] the preliminary, unique rivalry of Yankees-Crimson Sox… is entrenched within the blood and the tradition of these two fanbases… No disrespect to the Dodgers and the Giants.”
Roberts’s ninth-inning stolen base towards the Yankees in Sport 4 of the 2004 ALCS is among the most impactful performs in Crimson Sox historical past, and the next vanquishing of their arch rival is a momentous second in Boston sports activities historical past. For these causes alone it could be arduous for Roberts to have answered any otherwise than he did.
Pete Hansen is 10-3 with a 3.32 ERA, a 3.96 FIP, and 114 strikeouts in 103 innings for the Low-A Palm Seashore Cardinals. The 23-year-old southpaw was drafted within the third spherical final 12 months by the St. Louis Cardinals out of the College of Texas the place he went 22-4 with a 2.67 ERA over three collegiate seasons.
Tyler Cleveland is 13-5 with a 3.49 ERA, a 4.14 FIP, and 104 strikeouts in 126-and-a-third innings for the Low-A Modesto Nuts. A 14th-round decide final 12 months out of Central Arkansas, the 23-year-old submarining right-hander is No. 13 on our Seattle Mariners High Prospects checklist with a 40 FV.
Kenedy Corona is slashing .263/.343/.488 with 22 residence runs and 29 stolen bases in 39 makes an attempt between Excessive-A Asheville and Double-A Corpus Christi. The 23-year-old outfielder from Maracaibo, Venezuela is No. 10 on our Houston Astros High Prospects checklist with a 40+ FV.
Jackson Chourio is slashing .280/.333/.466 with 19 residence runs and 34 stolen bases in 40 makes an attempt for the Double-A Biloxi Shuckers. The 19 year-old outfielder within the Milwaukee Brewers system is No. 4 on The Board with a 60 FV.
Dru Baker is slashing .304/.392/.487 with 14 residence runs and 46 stolen bases in 49 makes an attempt between Excessive-A Bowling Inexperienced and Double-A Montgomery. The 23-year-old outfielder was taken within the fourth spherical of the 2021 draft by the Tampa Bay Rays out of Texas Tech.
Evan Katz didn’t need his profession ERA to stay at infinity, so he made one other pitching look final month at age 67. Beginning for the impartial Pecos League’s Austin Weirdos towards the Alpine Cowboys, the right-hander allowed 14 hits and 12 earned runs over 4 innings in a 22-0 loss. In his one earlier skilled outing, which got here in 2017 with the Pecos League’s White Sands Pupfish at age 61, he walked a batter who subsequently scored earlier than he might file an out.
Infinity within the rear-view mirror, Katz now could be within the file books with a 29.25 ERA. As for the 2023 Austin Weirdos, they at present have a file of 1-47. The 1899 Cleveland Spiders could be proud.
LINKS YOU’LL LIKE
At The Los Angeles Instances, Sarah Valenzuela wrote about how Angels possession doesn’t ship their radio crew on the street — a choice that (in my phrases, not hers) embarrasses the group and is disrespectful to each the broadcasters and the fanbase.
The Las Vegas Evaluate Journal’s Mick Akers interviewed understandably-unpopular Oakland Athletics proprietor John Fisher in regards to the crew’s impending transfer to Nevada.
The KBO’s Kiwoom Heroes introduced Friday that they’ve reached a strategic partnership with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Jee-ho Yoo has the story at Yonhap Information Company.
RANDOM FACTS AND STATS
Stephen Strasburg went 14-2 with a 2.58 ERA in 27 begins towards the Philadelphia Phillies.
Oakland Athletics pitchers have walked 544 batters this 12 months, probably the most of any crew. Seattle Mariners pitchers have walked 321 batters, the fewest of any crew.
The Detroit Tigers swept a doubleheader from the Minnesota Twins on at present’s date in 1972, profitable each video games on Eleventh-inning residence runs. Willie Horton’s blast recreation the Tigers a 5-3 win the opener, and Aurelio Rodriguez went deep within the 1-0 nightcap.
Pete Mackanin capped a four-run backside of the ninth inning with a walk-off single because the Twins beat the Tigers 4-3 on at present’s date in 1981. It was Minnesota’s solely hit that inning.
Gamers born on at present’s date embody Ed Herrmann, a left-handed-hitting catcher who performed for 5 groups in a profession that comprised the 1967-1978 seasons.The grandson of 1918 Brooklyn Robins pitcher Marty Herrmann was all All-Star with the Chicago White Sox in 1974.
Additionally born on at present’s date was Dizzy Nutter, an outfielder who logged 11 hits in 52 at-bats whereas showing in 18 video games for the Nationwide League’s Boston Braves in 1919. The Roseville, Ohio native’s given title was Everett.
Jim “Coldwater” Hughey went 25-12 for the Western League’s Toledo White Stocking in 1894, and 21-15 for the Toledo Swamp Angels/Terre Haute Hottentots in 1895. He later went 4-30 with the Nationwide League’s Cleveland Spiders, who infamously completed with a file of 20-134, in 1899.