published Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

Dodgers excited about Baez in his fifth Lookouts season; meet the Chattanooga Lookouts

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    Pedro Baez is in his fifth season with Chattanooga but only his second as a relief pitcher.
    Photo by John Rawlston.
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Meet the Lookouts

PEDRO BAEZ

Age: 26 Ht/Wt: 6-2, 230

Hometown: Bani, Peravia, Dominican Republic

Capsule: A Lookouts infielder for 110 games during the 2011-12 seasons, Baez was once rated by Baseball America as having the organization's best infield arm before being converted to a pitcher. He appeared in 16 Class AA games last season, going 1-1 with a 4.24 earned run average.

TYSON BRUMMETT

Age: 29 Ht/Wt: 6-0, 185

Hometown: Columbus, Miss.

Capsule: Brummett came up with Philadelphia and played in one big-league game in 2012, recording two strikeouts and allowing two hits in 2/3 of a scoreless inning. He spent most of last year with New Hampshire, Toronto's Class AA affiliate, and went 1-7 with a 5.36 ERA in 33 games.

ERIC EADINGTON

Age: 26 Ht/Wt: 6-2, 220

Hometown: Orange, Calif.

Capsule: A left-hander out of Harvard University, Eadington went 0-2 with an 11.42 ERA last spring with the Lookouts before being sent down to the high Single-A California League. With Rancho Cucamonga, Eadington went 5-5 with a 5.55 ERA in 39 appearances.

CARLOS FRIAS

Age: 24 Ht/Wt: 6-4, 194

Hometown: Nagua, Dominican Republic

Capsule: Frias, who signed with the Dodgers as an undrafted free agent in 2007, split time last season between Rancho Cucamonga and Chattanooga. He made eight high-A starts, going 2-3 with a 4.11 ERA, and made eight appearances (two starts) with the Lookouts, going 1-1 with a 3.94.

JUAN GONZALEZ

Age: 23 Ht/Wt: 6-2, 206

Hometown: Maracay, Venezuela

Capsule: Signed by Colorado as an undrafted free agent in 2009, Gonzalez spent last season with Tulsa in the Class AA Texas League. In 39 appearances a year ago, Gonzalez went 4-3 with a 2.14 earned run average.

GARRETT GOULD

Age: 22 Ht/Wt: 6-4, 190

Hometown: Wichita, Kan.

Capsule: A second-round pick by the Dodgers in 2009, Gould continues to be a top organizational prospect despite taking his share of lumps last season. He went 2-7 with a 7.04 ERA in high-A but actually was better in Double-A, going 3-5 with a 5.88 in 11 games (six starts).

JARRET MARTIN

Age: 24 Ht/Wt: 6-4, 227

Hometown: Bakersfield, Calif.

Capsule: Acquired in a three-player trade with Baltimore in 2011, Martin spent most of last season in Rancho Cucamonga, going 6-7 with a 4.62 ERA in 29 games, including 14 starts. in his short stint with the Lookouts, he went 0-0 with a 1.69 ERA.

HECTOR NELO

Age: 27 Ht/Wt: 6-1, 200

Hometown: Miami

Capsule: Selected from Washington in the Triple-A phase of the 2012 Rule 5 draft, Nelo returns to the Lookouts after going 5-2 with a 2.67 ERA in 45 relief appearances a year ago. His appearances ranked second on the pitching staff behind Yimi Garcia's 49.

JUAN NORIEGA

Age: 23 Ht/Wt: 5-7, 145

Hometown: Lagos de Moreno, Jalisco, Mexico

Capsule: Signed by the Dodgers in 2011 as a nondrafted free agent, Noriega made 38 appearances in 2012 with Great Lakes in the Midwest League, going 3-2 with a 2.78 ERA. At Rancho Cucamonga last season, he went 1-2 with a 1.45.

CHRIS REED

Age: 23 Ht/Wt: 6-4, 195

Hometown: Encino, Calif.

Capsule: Born in London and a product of Stanford University, Reed is rated by Baseball America as the No. 8 prospect in the Dodgers organization. In 29 games with the Lookouts last season, including 25 starts, Reed went 4-11 with a 3.86 ERA.

ANDRES SANTIAGO

Age: 24 Ht/Wt: 6-1, 218

Hometown: Catano, Puerto Rico

Capsule: Selected by the Dodgers in the 16th round of the 2007 draft, Santiago went 5-12 with a 4.97 ERA last season with the Lookouts in 30 games, including 25 starts. His 25 starts matched Chris Reed and Zach Lee for the team high.

CRAIG STEM

Age: 24 Ht/Wt: 6-5, 215

Hometown: Hermitage, Tenn.

Capsule: Selected by the Dodgers in the 15th round of the 2011 draft, Stem spent last season with Great Lakes in the Single-A Midwest League. In 32 appearances, he went 1-0 with a 1.38 earned run average.

MIKE THOMAS

Age: 25 Ht/Wt: 6-2, 185

Hometown: Forest Hill, Md.

Capsule: Selected by the Dodgers in the 35th round of the 2011 draft, Thomas split time last season between high-A and Double-A. He went 0-0 with a 1.46 ERA at Rancho Cucamonga, collecting nine saves, and went 1-1 with a 3.23 with two saves for the Lookouts.

DUKE VON SCHAMANN

Age: 22 Ht/Wt: 6-5, 220

Hometown: Edmond, Okla.

Capsule: The son of former Oklahoma and Miami Dolphins kicker Uwe von Schamann, von Schamann went 8-2 with a 4.34 ERA in 11 starts with Rancho Cucamonga before his promotion to Chattanooga, where he went 3-5 with a 5.00 ERA.

J.C. BOSCAN

Age: 34 Ht/Wt: 6-2, 215

Hometown: Maracaibo, Venezuela

Capsule: Signed in 1996 by the Atlanta Braves as an undrafted free agent, Boscan has played in 17 career big-league games, 11 with Atlanta and six last season with the Chicago Cubs. He hit .250 in those games and is a .223 hitter in 1,181 minor-league games, including 30 with the Lookouts in 2007.

CHRIS O'BRIEN

Age: 24 Ht/Wt: 6-0, 219

Hometown: Tulsa, Okla.

Capsule: Selected by the Dodgers in the 18th round of the 2011 draft, O'Brien has spent the past two seasons with Rancho Cucamonga in the high-A California League. The Wichita State product will begin this season sharing catching duties with J.C. Boscan.

ALBERTO ROSARIO

Age: 27 Ht/Wt: 5-10, 190

Hometown: Bonao, Dominican Republic

Capsule: Rosario is a career .235 hitter through 496 minor-league games. He made it to Salt Lake, the Triple-A affiliate with the Anaheim Angels in 2008 and again in 2012, and he played last year at Boston's Triple-A affiliate, Pawtucket, where he hit. 233 with two home runs and six RBIs.

AARON BATES

Age: 30 Ht/Wt: 6-4, 230

Hometown: New York

Capsule: The North Carolina State product signed with Boston for $440,000 in 2006 and played in five games with the Red Sox in 2009, going 4-for-11 for a .364 average. He is a career .279 hitter in 724 minor-league games and played Independent ball last year.

O'KOYEA DICKSON

Age: 24 Ht/Wt: 5-11, 215

Hometown: San Francisco

Capsule: A 12th-round selection by the Dodgers in the 2011 draft out of Sonoma State, Dickson hit .272 with 17 home runs and 48 RBIs at Great Lakes in 2012. Last season at Rancho Cucamonga, he hit .280 with 15 homers and 88 RBIs.

OZZIE MARTINEZ

Age: 25 Ht/Wt: 5-10, 200

Hometown: Carolina, Puerto Rico

Capsule: Martinez played 76 games with the Lookouts last season, hitting .249 with 11 doubles, four home runs and 19 RBIs. He played mostly third base and committed 12 errors, which ranked second on the team to shortstop Miguel Rojas, who had 16 in 130 games.

DANIEL MAYORA

Age: 28 Ht/Wt: 5-11, 175

Hometown: La Guaria, Venezuela

Capsule: Mayora signed with Colorado in 2005 as an undrafted free agent and reached Double-A Texas in 2009 and '10, hitting .286 in each of those seasons. He hit .262 in 51 games with Durham, Tampa Bay's Triple-A affiliate, in 2011 and was in Independent ball last season.

ANGELO SONGCO

Age: 25 Ht/Wt: 6-0, 190

Hometown: Granada Hills, Calif.

Capsule: Selected by the Dodgers in the fourth round of the 2009 draft, Songco played in 74 games with the Lookouts last season. The first baseman hit .214 with 12 doubles, two triples, six homers and 27 RBIs. He hit .313 at Rancho Cucamonga in 2011.

DARNELL SWEENEY

Age: 23 Ht/Wt: 6-1, 150

Hometown: Miramar, Fla.

Capsule: A 13th-round pick of the Dodgers in 2012, Sweeney hit .275 with 34 doubles, 16 triples, 11 home runs and 77 RBIs last season in 134 games with Rancho Cucamonga. Last year was his first full professional season, and he hit .308 this spring in big-league games.

NOEL CUEVAS

Age: 22 Ht/Wt: 6-2, 187

Hometown: Camuy, Puerto Rico

Capsule: A 21st-round selection of the Dodgers in 2010, Cuevas played 123 games last season at Rancho Cucamonga. The outfielder hit .284 with 25 doubles, 10 triples and 12 home runs, and he also stole 38 bases.

JON GARCIA

Age: 22 Ht/Wt: 5-11, 175

Hometown: Juana Diaz, Puerto Rico

Capsule: An eighth-round pick of the Dodgers in 2009, Garcia hit .287 with 17 homers and 44 RBIs in 68 games last season with Rancho Cucamonga. He was promoted to Chattanooga, where he hit .168 with a homer and nine RBIs in 56 games.

CASIO GRIDER

Age: 26 Ht/Wt: 6-1, 165

Hometown: Loma Linda, Calif.

Capsule: A 14th-round selection of the Dodgers in 2009, Grider hit .258 with 11 doubles, seven triples and a homer in 94 games at Rancho Cucamonga. The outfielder also stole 29 bases, ranking third on the team behind Sweeney (48) and Cuevas (38).

JEREMY HAZELBAKER

Age: 26 Ht/Wt: 6-3, 200

Hometown: Muncie, Ind.

Capsule: The Ball State product was drafted by Boston in 2009 and signed for $191,700. He played last season at Pawtucket, Boston's Triple-A affiliate, where he hit .257 with 11 home runs and 54 RBIs in 121 games.

SCOTT SCHEBLER

Age: 23 Ht/Wt: 6-1, 208

Hometown: Boone, Iowa

Capsule: Schebler was awarded with the Branch Rickey organizational player of the year after hitting .296 with 29 doubles, 13 triples, 27 homers and 91 RBIs last season in 125 games with Rancho Cucamonga. He was a 26th-round selection of the Dodgers in 2010.

As a member of the Chattanooga Lookouts for a fifth consecutive season, it would appear as if Pedro Baez's development has come to a grinding halt.

In actuality, he's never had more upside.

Baez, a 26-year-old from the Dominican Republic, spent the 2010 to '12 seasons as a Chattanooga infielder. The 6-foot-2, 230-pounder was converted to a pitcher after the '12 season and got his first taste as a reliever last year with high Single-A Rancho Cucamonga in the California League as well as with the Double-A Lookouts.

"I'm excited for this kid," Los Angeles Dodgers farm director DeJon Watson said. "I think he is in a role now that gives him a realistic shot to get to the big leagues. I think he likes pitching in the high-stress innings, and he's just a competitor."

The Lookouts will open their 2014 season tonight at AT&T Field against the Jackson Generals, with first pitch set for 7:15.

Current Dodgers reliever Kenley Jansen was converted from a catcher to a reliever during the summer of 2009 while in high-A ball and pitched for the Lookouts in portions of the 2010 and '11 seasons. So dominant was Jansen with the Dodgers in the second half of 2011 that he set a Major League record by averaging 16.1 strikeouts per nine innings.

"For some, the transition is obviously a lot tougher than for others," first-year Lookouts pitching coach Scott Radinsky said. "You see guys like Jansen pitching in the big leagues and a guy like Pedro coming right behind him -- some guys can do it, but it's not for everybody. The transition obviously has been somewhat smooth for him given the level that he's at.

"He's still getting better, and the potential is there."

Baez appeared in 32 games last season with Rancho Cucamonga, going 2-2 with a 3.63 earned run average. In 16 appearances with the Lookouts, he went 1-1 with a 4.24 ERA.

He pitched a combined 59 innings last season and tallied 55 strikeouts.

"Here is a guy who has made the conversion and is going to make himself about $50 million," new Lookouts manager Razor Shines said. "He's a power arm, and if they had known this before he ever started, he would never have been a position player. He's got power sink at 96 or 97 miles an hour, and I'm glad he's on our team.

"It doesn't seem to bother him how often he throws, so hopefully we can give him the ball late five or six times a week. When we give him the ball with the lead, we expect to win that game."

Shines said that Baez, who was rated by Baseball America before the 2012 season as having the best infield arm in the Dodgers organization, will get the first crack at being Chattanooga's closer.

The Lookouts have a starting rotation of Carlos Frias, Garrett Gould, Chris Reed, Andres Santiago and Duke von Schamann, with all five having pitched for Chattanooga last season. Frias is scheduled to start tonight's opener.

"It definitely has its positives -- the fact that they've all been here and that it's not their first time on this mound should make it a little more comfortable and easy," Radinsky said. "It's never a bad thing, and as far as their development, this is the level to do it. This is the big separator, getting from here to the big leagues.

"Most guys who can pitch here can pitch in the big leagues, so I think it will be fun having a group that has been here before."

Contact David Paschall at dpaschall@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6524.

about David Paschall...

David Paschall is a sports writer for the Times Free Press. He started at the Chattanooga Free Press in 1990 and was part of the Times Free Press when the paper started in 1999. David covers University of Georgia football, as well as SEC football recruiting, SEC basketball, Chattanooga Lookouts baseball and other sports stories. He is a Chattanooga native and graduate of the Baylor School and Auburn University. David has received numerous honors for ...

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