American Association Dispersal Draft: Winnipeg Goldeyes
American Association Daily provides insights and features on the American Association of Professional Baseball League, as well as player and coaching profiles and transactions going on with teams around the league. In today’s edition, Robert Pannier examines the players picked by the Winnipeg Goldeyes in the American Association dispersal draft held on Tuesday.
Winnipeg Goldeyes Fill a Number of Voids
The American Association dispersal draft was Tuesday afternoon, with the Winnipeg Goldeyes making nine selections, the most of any team in the dispersal draft. Manager Rick Forney made the most of his picks, filling roster needs at virtually every position, including selecting two catchers, four pitchers, two infielders, and an outfielder.
A look at the team’s nine picks. (Team player was drafted from listed in parenthesis)
Darnell Sweeney – IF (Kansas City)
Sweeney appeared in 23 games for Kansas City last season, hitting .288 with four home runs and nine RBI. He also walked 17 times, posting an impressive .430 on-base percentage.
Sweeney is a former Major Leaguer who began his professional career in the Dodgers organization in 2012. The infielder reached AA-Chattanooga in 2014 before moving to the Phillies organization the following season.
In 2015, he made his Major League debut, appearing in 37 games for Philadelphia. After spending much of the next three years in AAA, Sweeney returned to the big leagues in 2018 when he appeared in two games for the Toronto Blue Jays. He has 39 total games in the Majors.
Sweeney is a career .265 hitter in eight seasons in the minor leagues. In 819 games, he scored 457 runs, drove in 350, and recorded 160 stolen bases. Sweeney can play short, second, and the outfield, giving Forney a great deal of versatility as well as Major League experience.
Frank Duncan – RHP (Kansas City)
Duncan spent last season with Sussex County (Can-Am League) where he was 10-6 with a 3.05 ERA in 19 starts. The right-hander tossed three shutouts and eight complete games. He pitched 132.2 innings, allowing 113 hits and just 16 walks. He also struck out 111 batters. With those kind of numbers, he joins Kevin McGovern and Mitch Lambson in what should form the best beginning three of any rotation in the league.
Duncan was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in 2013 but opted to attend college at the University of Kansas for a year. He was drafted in 2014 in 13th round by the Pittsburgh Pirates, and spent three years in the Pirates organization, reaching AAA-Indianapolis in 2016.
In 2017 he joined the Arizona Diamondbacks organization. A year later, Duncan split time between the AA teams of the Dodgers, Colorado Rockies, and Diamondbacks. In five minor league seasons, he posted a 37-38 record in 118 games, 103 of which were starts. He has a 4.40 ERA in those five seasons, and boasts an incredible level of control, walking just 139 batters in 597.0 innings pitched.
Jordan George – OF (Kansas City)
George appeared in just one game for Kansas City last season after spending much of the year in the minor leagues. He had two hits in five plate appearances for the T-Bones. He appeared in 78 games in the minors last season, posting a .237 batting average with three homers and 28 RBI.
George was drafted by the Pirates in the 35th round of the 2015 draft. He spent four seasons in the Pittsburgh organization, reaching AA-Altoona in 2017 and 2018. In 2019 he began the year at High-A Winston-Salem in the Chicago White Sox organization before joining the Kansas City Royals where he was assigned to AA-Northwest Arkansas.
In five minor league seasons, George hit a combined .281 in 373 games with 20 homers and 179 RBI. He struck out just 203 times in 1459 plate appearances.
Thomas Walraven – IF (Gary Southshore)
Walraven was a true rookie for the Gary Southshore RailCats last season, hitting .300 in 62 games. The infielder hit six home runs and drove in 31 while scoring 35 runs. He also stole six bases and posted an on-base percentage of .409.
Walraven starred at University of New Haven. In his four collegiate seasons, he hit .326 in 162 games, scoring 121 runs and driving in 77. He also posted 49 career extra-base hits, including 39 doubles and stole 39 bases.
Roy Morales – C (Kansas City)
Morales appeared in 60 games for the T-Bones last season, and was chosen to represent the South team in the All-Star game. The catcher hit .310 in 216 at-bats with three homers and 25 RBI. He also added 22 walks, giving him a .378 on-base percentage.
Morales was drafted by the Miami Marlins in the 12th round of the 2014 amateur draft. He spent five seasons in the Marlins organization, reaching High-A Jupiter in both 2017 and 2018. In 208 career games, Morales hit .272, scored 81 runs, and drove in 70.
Kent Hasler – RHP (Sioux City)
Hasler has spent the first two years of his professional career with Lake Erie of the Frontier League. Last season he went 7-4 with a 2.01 ERA in 38 appearances. He also recorded seven saves. In 67.0 innings, the right-hander was dominant, allowing just 43 hits while striking out 89. He did walk 30, however.
In two seasons with Lake Erie, Hasler was a combined 7-5 with 10 saves and a 2.40 ERA. He has 133 strikeouts in 105.0 innings as a professional.
Mason Melotakis – LHP (Cleburne)
Melotakis is returning to the hill after his 2019 season was wiped out. The right-hander was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the second round of the 2012 draft. He spent seven seasons with the club, reaching AAA-Rochester in both 2017 and 2018.
In 2018, Melotakis began and Rochester where he was 2-1 with a 3.07 ERA in eight appearances. He then moved to the Colorado Rockies organization where he was assigned to AAA-Albuquerque, appearing in 16 games before an injury ended his season.
In six minor league seasons, the right-hander is 27-11 with a 3.50 ERA. In 311.1 innings pitched, he has allowed 305 hits and 121 walks, while striking out 296. He also has 11 career saves.
Ryan Flores – RHP (Sioux City)
The 2019 season began as a nightmare for Flores. He began the year with Sioux Falls, going 1-2 with two saves and a 9.00 ERA in nine appearances. He was then dealt back to the Sioux City Explorers, where he became an integral part of their bullpen, going 2-1 with a 4.71 ERA in 37 innings pitched. For the season, the right-hander pitched 42.1 innings, allowing 53 hits and 31 walks, while striking out 37.
Flores has spent his entire professional career in the American Association. He began in 2017 with Sioux City and pitched there in 2018 as well. In three seasons in the league, the right-hander is 15-10 with six saves and a 4.01 ERA. He has pitched 182.0 innings, allowing 147 hits and 96 walks, while striking out 216.
John Nester – C (Cleburne)
Nester was arguably the best catcher in the American Association last season, recording a .277 batting average in 85 games. He clubbed 16 homers, scored 55 runs, drove in 63, and added 23 doubles.
Nester was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the 39th round of the 2010 draft. He spent four seasons in the A’s organization before joining the San Diego Padres in 2014. In 2015, he signed with the Wichita Wingnuts, and was named an All-Star after hitting .281 in 80 games.
Nester briefly retired in 2016, but returned to Wichita in 2018 where he appeared in 92 games, hitting seven home runs while posting a .269 batting average. In three total seasons in the American Association, Nester has appeared in 257 games, hitting 28 home runs while driving in 156.
The Chicago Dogs selections will be reviewed later this afternoon.
By Robert Pannier