Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Kragthorpe: Greg Miller says minor league team ‘carries own weight’
Baseball » Angels’ other minor league teams provide own stories, color.
First Published Aug 02 2013 08:48 am • Last Updated Aug 08 2013 05:18 pm

The Salt Lake Bees baseball franchise — and the team’s nickname, in particular — were important to the late Larry H. Miller. His family remains committed to owning and operating the Bees, and it helps that the team "carries its own weight," said Greg Miller, CEO of the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies.

Miller further described the Bees as "not a huge money-maker," but said the Triple-A team complements the Jazz with a summer-based schedule that enables many employees to work both at EnergySolutions Arena and Spring Mobile Ballpark.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

The Bees rank fourth in the Pacific Coast League with average attendance of 7,067 — about 100 fewer fans than their 2012 final average.

Other notes and updates from my recent tour of the Los Angeles Angels’ six domestic minor-league affiliates:

• Bees infielder Andrew Romine, who has spent parts of four seasons with the Angeles, had this description of how life in the major leagues is different: "Everything’s just bigger and grander. In the minors, all the ballparks are pretty much the same. Then when you get to the big leagues, it’s just, ‘boom!’ Here’s everything thrown at you all at once. It takes a little bit to get used to it. I mean, it’s a lot of fun, once you can take it all in."

What struck me most about Angels Stadium was how deep the dugouts are.

• Bobby Scales, the Angels’ new director of player development, joined an organization whose minor-league system was ranked No. 30 (last), based on talent gaps. Scales’ immediate goal was an overall .500 record in 2013. With about a month remaining in the season, the six teams have a collective 263-248 record.

The Bees lead the way with a PCL-best mark of 64-49, while Burlington of the Class-A Midwest League is 42-62. Burlington’s struggles were not aided by the Angels’ trade of the team’s best player, outfielder Kyle Johnson, to the New York Mets. Remarkably, the player Johnson was traded for, outfielder Colin Cowgill, soon was promoted to the Angels.

• The player I’m most eager to see someday in Salt Lake City is Mark Sappington, a pitcher for Inland Empire of the Class-A California League. Having spent the 2012 season in Orem, Sappington is 11-4 with a 3.37 ERA. He’s also a great interview subject, with a uniquely named hometown: Peculiar, Mo.

• Arkansas of the Double-A Texas League is where most of the Angels’ top prospects are playing this season. Third baseman Kaleb Cowart recently was ranked No. 1, even thought he’s struggling with a .215 batting average. Second baseman Taylor Lindsey also started slowly, but has made a nice comeback and is now hitting .278, challenging first baseman C.J. Cron (.282) for the team lead. Outfielder Randal Grichuk is in the middle at .242. All four of them were first-round draft picks.


story continues below
story continues below

• Having spent a good portion of my visits in the radio booths, I was struck by the quality of broadcasting in the minor leagues. It’s fun to keep listening to them via the internet: Steve Klauke (Salt Lake), Phil Elson and Matt Dudas (Arkansas), Sam Farber (Inland Empire), Brandon Marcus (Burlington) and Trevor Amicone (Orem).

• The day in June when Scales visited Spring Mobile Ballpark, the Sons of Baseball Foundation was providing a nice opportunity for the Highland-based family of Paxton Norton, who was born with a rare chromosome deficiency and required considerable care. Paxton died about six weeks later, shortly after his third birthday. I hope that night’s events will remain memorable to the family of Paxton, who was even involved in the ceremonial first pitch.

kkragthorpe@sltrib.com

Twitter: @tribkurt



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.