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PostPosted: Sun Jun 18, 2017 9:01 am 
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"Like all good living, fun-loving, All-American, randy teenagers,"smiled Genius Hopkins,"I love that one last hot fling as the summer comes to its bittersweet end. As the nights are getting colder, the days are getting shorter, and the leaves start changing color, I like to grab that one last memory, to guide me through the endless winter."

"So unlike all good living, fun-loving, All-American, randy teenagers, I grab a bunch of kids from AAA and throw them into the Show."

Twenty-three year-old Mexican second baseman, Gabriel Talamante, made his major league debut last week for the mighty Sluggers, and performed at totally sustainable levels. He hit his first home-run in his second big league game, (vs Des Moines acne challenged youngster, Pizzaface Hernandez), hit for a 1.003 OPS and compiled a +1.3 ZR in his first six games at second base.

Talalmante may be the first 'real' find of the Sluggers international academy, as a player who wasn't drafted or signed as an international free-agent. He was found as a sixteen year-old by the Sluggers' international complex, and at age 19 in 2027 he made his debut for Rookie League Mobile Biscuit Whompers in the Rookie League. He was an all-star in successive years at successive levels from A in 2028, AA in 2029, and AAA in 2030. He has won gold gloves in 2027 (rookie league), and 2030 (Triple A). He was slashing .255/.334/.532/.867 with 24 home-runs in 310 at-bats when he received his big league promotion.

"Gabriel looks like a a gold glove challenging, 20-30 home-run a year kind of guy,"smiled The Genius,"I hope he is."

Twenty year old, American third baseman, Derek Kennedy, also made his major league debut last week for the mighty Sluggers, and also performed at totally sustainable levels. In eleven plate appearances over 3 starts, the youngster smacked seven singles and drew one walk, giving him an early big league OPS of 1.427. His fielding wasn't quite as good as Talamante's, but he did create +.1 ZR in his three games.

Kennedy was the second round pick (#49 overall) of the 2030 draft by the Louisville Sluggers. He has spent the past two seasons at AAA Missouri, perfecting his defense at third base, and amassing an .808 OPS over 660 AAA at-bats, with 18 home-runs.

"Kennedy looks like our future weak sided platoon player at third base,"explained the Genius,"But you never know...he's only twenty and he's already in the Show...so if I feed him lots of at-bats over the next couple of years, he may continue to develop, like guys like Barnett and Maguire did."

Twenty-two year old, Dominican starter, Ramon Garza, also returned to the Sluggers last week. Garza spent the first month of the season in Louisville, and he struggled in the Bigs, miscast as an emergency closer upon superstar Felipe Murillo's late spring training injury. He returned to AAA and finished his development, going 10-5 with 100 K's in 120 innings, over 20 starts.

Garza was handed $500 000 as a seventeen year-old international free agent in 2026, and has steadily developed through the Sluggers vaunted minor league system, and exceeded all initial projections when he was signed. He pitched six innings against Des Moines in his first big league start, limiting the Kernals to two runs, in an eventual Sluggers victory.

"Garza is great,"beamed The Genius,"Rodriguez's injury just may be a blessing in disguise. The only thing wrong with Garza is that he's right-handed."

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Six time winner of the Genius Hopkins Award for Managerial Excellence


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