Thursday, April 06, 2006


2006 BayBears Season Preview

The last 2 seasons for the BayBears have been very different. In 2004, the Bears shared a championsip due to a Hurricane and ended up with a record of 73-67. The following year, Mobile ended the season with a 58-80 record. Much of the season last year was spent rebuilding; sending guys up from Class A Lake Elsinore. At the end of the season, fans got a glimpse of the future.

Jared Wells, George Kottaras, and Cesar Carrillo all played with Mobile towards the end of the season in 2005. Cesar Carrillo was recently rated the #1 Prospect in the Padres farm system. Last year he split time between Lake Elsinore and Mobile going 5-2 in 12 starts with a 4.95 ERA and 64 Ks. Mobile will also be home to the #2 Padres prospect in 2006. George Kottaras spent about a month in Mobile last year batting .287 in 29 games. Another pitching prospect here in Mobile is Jared Wells. Wells was 11-3 in Lake Elsinore last year before being promoted to Mobile where he was 2-5. Jared is rated as the #7 prospect in the Padres organization. Others in the pitching rotation include Jose Oyervidez and Sean Thompson. BayBear fans should be on the lookout for Fernando Valenzuela Jr, son of the great Dodger pitcher, as he makes his debut with Mobile. Valenzuela batted an impressive .296 last year with the Storm. Other position players include Michael Johnson who hit 21 HR in 2005 and Brett Bonvechio who hit 19 HR in the 2005 campaign.

The BayBears are loaded with prospects this year. Players from Lake Elsinore have made their way to Mobile. Could the BayBears be the "Jacksonville" of 2006? Only time will tell.

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