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Sunday Notes: Giants Prospect John Michael Bertrand Has Irish in Him

12 min read

John Michael Bertrand is an under-the-radar pitching prospect with multi-sport bloodlines and backstory. Furthermore, he’s performing above expectations in his first full skilled season. Drafted within the tenth spherical final yr by the San Francisco Giants out of the College of Notre Dame, the 25-year-old left-hander is 10-5 with a 3.17 ERA in 99-and-a-third innings throughout three ranges. Bertrand started the marketing campaign at Low-A San Jose and has since progressed to Excessive-A Eugene and Double-A Richmond.

Rising up in Alpharetta, Georgia, the 6-foot-3, 225-pound hurler aspired to play faculty basketball, however it will definitely grew to become obvious that baseball would offer him with the higher long-term alternative. The choice proved prudent, however solely after a bumpy starting. Bertrand’s Blessed Trinity College prep days have been adopted by a pair of disappointments which may simply have ended his profession earlier than it even began.

“I went to the College of Dayton for a camp, they usually informed me that I didn’t throw laborious sufficient,” Bertrand defined. “I used to be round 82 [mph] and had a crazy curveball, so it was mainly, ‘Thanks on your time.’ After that, my steering counselor advised Furman [University]. It was nearer to residence, and purple occurred to be my favourite coloration, so I used to be like, ‘Good, I’ll go.’ I walked on to their baseball crew, however ended up getting reduce my first fall. The coaches informed me that I wasn’t adequate to play Division One baseball.”

Undeterred, and extra decided than ever, Bertrand determined that not solely would he return the next yr and make the crew, he supposed to go on to play professionally. As he put it, ‘God form of referred to as me to return to that campus and work even tougher.’ That began that practice, began my journey.”

Bertrand did make the crew the following yr, and proceeded to pitch credibly in his first two seasons of school eligibility. He then bought off to an impressive begin in 2020, solely to have COVID shut issues down after he’d logged a 1.50 ERA over 4 appearances. His educational progress continued unabated. Bertrand went on to earn a bachelor’s diploma in Philosophy, with furthering his training an enormous a part of his life’s plan. So was persevering with to play baseball. That led the southpaw to South Bend.

“I’m from an Irish Catholic household, and my dad grew up in Eire taking part in rugby, so Notre Dame had at all times been a dream faculty of mine,” stated Bertrand, who had utilized out of highschool however wasn’t accepted. “I used to be capable of begin my grasp’s program there, and I pitched nicely sufficient that I bought one name on draft day [in 2021]. I made a decision that I couldn’t cross up a second yr at my dream faculty, and be there with my little brother [JD Bertrand] who’s a beginning linebacker on the soccer crew, so I went again hoping that we may win a nationwide championship.”

The Combating Irish fell in need of that purpose, getting eradicated by Texas A&M within the 2022 School World Collection. Regardless of that disappointment, his Notre Dame tenure was a rousing success. Together with going 18-5 in his two seasons on the mound, Bertrand earned a pair of graduate levels, a grasp’s in Science and Administration, and an MBA.

His father had attended highschool in Greystones, Eire.

“That’s an fascinating story,” Bertrand informed me following his final begin with the Jap League’s Flying Squirrels. “My grandfather really purchased two desks at Blackrock in order that my father and his brother, my uncle, may play rugby there. It’s an all-boys boarding faculty, and it’s stated that when you have got a child — when you have got a son — the very first thing you do is title him, and the second is that you just signal him up on the wait checklist for Blackrock.

“My grandpa moved to Eire from Dayton, Ohio after they have been round center faculty age,” continued Bertrand. “That clearly meant they weren’t on the wait checklist, however he talked to the priest they usually let him purchase two desks. So, they performed at Blackrock and I feel my father [Jim Bertrand] continues to be the one American to captain a crew to the [Leinster] Senior Cup and win it. Now, this weekend, my little brother is taking part in in the identical stadium the place my dad gained the Cup.”

That might be Aviva Stadium, in Dublin, the place JD Bertrand, a fifth-year senior and second-year captain, helped lead Notre Dame to a powerful 42-3 win over Navy yesterday afternoon. As for older brother John Michael, he was following as intently as his baseball schedule would enable. That the artful lefty with a six-pitch combine and an 89-90-mph heater was doing so two steps beneath the main leagues isn’t any much less notable. Twice informed that he wasn’t adequate, it seems that he really is.



Andrew Benintendi is 11 for 21 towards Shane Bieber.

Todd Benzinger went 10 for 21 towards Orel Hershiser.

David Bell went 7 for 10 towards Gary Majewski.

Tim Naehring went 7 for 12 towards Shawn Boskie.

Scooter Gennett went 7 for 12 towards Jon Gray.


Left on the cutting-room ground from Thursday’s interview with Max Scherzer have been his ideas on lacking bats. That’s one thing he’s lengthy been good at. The 39-year-old right-hander’s 3,344 strikeouts are Eleventh most in MLB historical past.

“Producing swing-and-miss is a vital a part of pitching,” Scherzer informed me. “It’s one thing you want, and ideally you’re doing it in-zone. In the event you can throw pitches within the zone and generate swing-and-misses, it opens up so many different issues. Whenever you’re getting chases, you’re counting on the hitter to make a damaging determination. You possibly can’t at all times throw each pitch out of the zone, you’ve bought to throw pitches within the zone.

“You’re additionally making an attempt to get the best quantity of swings-and-misses with two strikes. All swings-and-misses are good, however the ones with two strikes are nice. These are outs. Producing strikeouts is a constructive purpose on the mound. You’re seeing the at-bat ending the best way you need it to finish. Strikeouts are the perfect outcome.”


A quiz:

Duke Snider (389) and Gil Hodges (361), each of whom performed primarily when the crew was primarily based in Brooklyn, have probably the most residence runs in Dodgers franchise historical past. Which Dodger has hit probably the most residence runs because the crew relocated to Los Angeles?

The reply could be discovered beneath.



The championship sport of this yr’s Little League World Collection can be held as we speak, August 27, at 3:00pm ET and can be aired on ABC. Willemstad, Curaçao will face El Segundo, California.

SABR’s Rocky Mountain chapter will host a Zoom assembly tonight, Sunday August 27, with Joe Posnanski the featured visitor. Registration for the free-to-all 6:00pm MT occasion could be discovered here.

Aaron Familia, a 24-year-old former Milwaukee Brewers prospect, died after struggling a coronary heart assault throughout an try to cross the United States-Mexico border. The information was reported by Dominican Republic newspaper El Diario Nuevo, and by the UK’s Day by day Mail.


The reply to the quiz is Eric Karros, with 270 residence runs. Ron Cey is subsequent on the checklist with 228.


Brian Snitker was referred to as old-school when he was employed to handle the Atlanta Braves in 2016, initially on an interim foundation and 5 months in a while a full-time foundation. To the extent that the label was correct then, it’s much less so now. Requested by one other reporter how he’s turn into extra adaptable to analytics, he stated the next when the Braves visited Fenway Park in late July.

“Properly, I knew it wasn’t going away,” replied Snitker. “If I began bucking it, or no matter, it was going to be on me. I decide and select what I exploit. It’s a part of the sport, and I feel it’s right here to remain. It’s great things. It’s data. We’ve a veteran employees, guys with a variety of expertise, and [the front office] permits us to include that in. I feel it’s mix.”

Upon listening to that, I requested the 67-year-old baseball lifer if any of the coaches he’s labored with over time stand out when it comes to instinct — they’ve virtually a sixth sense of which strikes to make, no matter what knowledge suggests.

“All the guys I’m working with on this dugout, actually,” replied Snitker.” Walt Weiss has seen all of it as a participant, a supervisor, and now as a [bench] coach. I feel Kranny [pitching coach Rick Kranitz] has a terrific really feel. He’s the one I’m closest to over the course of the sport, and I belief his sixth sense, his expertise, his really feel. We’re very blessed to have a man together with his expertise working issues as our pitching coach.”

Kranitz turns 65 in mid-September. Atlanta’s 39-year-old bullpen coach can also be nicely regarded by the supervisor of baseball’s greatest crew.

“We’ve bought a younger, actually vivid, new-age man in our bullpen,” Snitker stated of Drew French. “He’s additionally bought a terrific really feel. I feel Kranny goes to be a terrific useful resource for Drew, as a result of he’s going to be a serious league pitching coach sometime. Rising up on this sport below Kranny goes to bode him nicely.”



Keio Senior Excessive College gained its first nationwide baseball championship in 107 years earlier this week when it beat defending champion Sendai Ikuei Gakuen Excessive College 8-2 at Koshien Stadium. The ultimate sport of Japan’s most prestigious novice event was attended by 42,100 followers.

Chiba Lotte Marines outfielder/DH Gregory Polanco homered thrice on Thursday within the NPB membership’s 9-5 loss to the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks. The 31-year-old former Pittsburgh Pirate has 19 residence runs on the season to go along with a .250/.314/.466 slash line in 354 plate appearances.

Yokohama BayStars pitcher Trevor Bauer has one hit in 40 at-bats whereas taking part in in Japan. The erstwhile MLB right-hander went 7-for-105 professionally in the US, together with 1-for-30 in his closing MLB season.

Jung Hoo Lee is slashing .315/.407/.456 with six residence runs in 386 plate appearances for the Kiwoom Heroes. A .340/.407/491 hitter over seven KBO seasons, the 25-year-old outfielder is anticipated to be made out there to MLB groups this coming winter.

Eui Lee Lee is 10-6 with a 3.87 ERA in 100 innings for the KBO’s Kia Tigers. The 21-year-old left-hander has allowed 78 hits and fanned 123 batters.


How do the Dodgers-Giants and Crimson Sox-Yankees rivalries examine? I requested that query to Dave Roberts at Fenway Park on Friday, and his response got here as considerably of a shock. I anticipated compulsory diplomacy. What I bought as an alternative was forthright honesty.

“It’s laborious to beat Crimson Sox-Yankees,” stated the Los Angeles supervisor. “I feel that you need to give it a transparent nod due to the historical past. I don’t suppose you may take two groups that have been in New York and made their means westward [while] the preliminary, unique rivalry of Yankees-Crimson Sox… is entrenched within the blood and the tradition of these two fanbases… No disrespect to the Dodgers and the Giants.”

Roberts’s ninth-inning stolen base towards the Yankees in Recreation 4 of the 2004 ALCS is likely one of the most impactful performs in Crimson Sox historical past, and the next vanquishing of their arch rival is a momentous second in Boston sports activities historical past. For these causes alone it will be laborious for Roberts to have answered any in another way than he did.



Pete Hansen is 10-3 with a 3.32 ERA, a 3.96 FIP, and 114 strikeouts in 103 innings for the Low-A Palm Seaside Cardinals. The 23-year-old southpaw was drafted within the third spherical final yr by the St. Louis Cardinals out of the College of Texas the place he went 22-4 with a 2.67 ERA over three collegiate seasons.

Tyler Cleveland is 13-5 with a 3.49 ERA, a 4.14 FIP, and 104 strikeouts in 126-and-a-third innings for the Low-A Modesto Nuts. A 14th-round decide final yr out of Central Arkansas, the 23-year-old submarining right-hander is No. 13 on our Seattle Mariners Prime Prospects checklist with a 40 FV.

Kenedy Corona is slashing .263/.343/.488 with 22 residence runs and 29 stolen bases in 39 makes an attempt between Excessive-A Asheville and Double-A Corpus Christi. The 23-year-old outfielder from Maracaibo, Venezuela is No. 10 on our Houston Astros Prime Prospects checklist with a 40+ FV.

Jackson Chourio is slashing .280/.333/.466 with 19 residence runs and 34 stolen bases in 40 makes an attempt for the Double-A Biloxi Shuckers. The 19 year-old outfielder within the Milwaukee Brewers system is No. 4 on The Board with a 60 FV.

Dru Baker is slashing .304/.392/.487 with 14 residence runs and 46 stolen bases in 49 makes an attempt between Excessive-A Bowling Inexperienced and Double-A Montgomery. The 23-year-old outfielder was taken within the fourth spherical of the 2021 draft by the Tampa Bay Rays out of Texas Tech.


Evan Katz didn’t need his profession ERA to stay at infinity, so he made one other pitching look final month at age 67. Beginning for the unbiased Pecos League’s Austin Weirdos towards the Alpine Cowboys, the right-hander allowed 14 hits and 12 earned runs over 4 innings in a 22-0 loss. In his one earlier skilled outing, which got here in 2017 with the Pecos League’s White Sands Pupfish at age 61, he walked a batter who subsequently scored earlier than he may file an out.

Infinity within the rear-view mirror, Katz now could be within the file books with a 29.25 ERA. As for the 2023 Austin Weirdos, they presently have a file of 1-47. The 1899 Cleveland Spiders can be proud.



At The Los Angeles Occasions, Sarah Valenzuela wrote about how Angels possession doesn’t ship their radio crew on the street — a choice that (in my phrases, not hers) embarrasses the group and is disrespectful to each the broadcasters and the fanbase.

The Las Vegas Overview Journal’s Mick Akers interviewed understandably-unpopular Oakland Athletics proprietor John Fisher in regards to the crew’s impending transfer to Nevada.

Brewers pitching prospect Robert Gasser — featured right here at FanGraphs in July of final yr — discussed his arsenal at MLB Pipeline’s Pitching Lab.

Over at Royals Overview, Preston Farr wrote about how 20-year-old left-hander Frank Mozzicato, Kansas Metropolis’s first-round decide within the 2021 draft, has added a slider to his repertoire.

The KBO’s Kiwoom Heroes introduced Friday that they’ve reached a strategic partnership with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Jee-ho Yoo has the story at Yonhap Information Company.



Kyle Schwarber has 35 residence runs and a 111 wRC+. Mookie Betts has 34 residence runs and a 171 wRC+.

Pirates rookie Henry Davis is 3-for-3 with two residence runs off of Shohei Ohtani.

Stephen Strasburg went 14-2 with a 2.58 ERA in 27 begins towards the Philadelphia Phillies.

Oakland Athletics pitchers have walked 544 batters this yr, probably the most of any crew. Seattle Mariners pitchers have walked 321 batters, the fewest of any crew.

Bob Tewksbury walked 93 batters in 783 innings from 1990-1993. Matt Young walked 259 batters in 459 innings.

The Detroit Tigers swept a doubleheader from the Minnesota Twins on as we speak’s date in 1972, successful each video games on Eleventh-inning residence runs. Willie Horton’s blast sport the Tigers a 5-3 win the opener, and Aurelio Rodriguez went deep within the 1-0 nightcap.

Pete Mackanin capped a four-run backside of the ninth inning with a walk-off single because the Twins beat the Tigers 4-3 on as we speak’s date in 1981. It was Minnesota’s solely hit that inning.

Gamers born on as we speak’s date embrace Ed Herrmann, a left-handed-hitting catcher who performed for 5 groups in a profession that comprised the 1967-1978 seasons.The grandson of 1918 Brooklyn Robins pitcher Marty Herrmann was all All-Star with the Chicago White Sox in 1974.

Additionally born on as we speak’s date was Dizzy Nutter, an outfielder who logged 11 hits in 52 at-bats whereas showing in 18 video games for the Nationwide League’s Boston Braves in 1919. The Roseville, Ohio native’s given title was Everett.

Jim “Coldwater” Hughey went 25-12 for the Western League’s Toledo White Stocking in 1894, and 21-15 for the Toledo Swamp Angels/Terre Haute Hottentots in 1895. He later went 4-30 with the Nationwide League’s Cleveland Spiders, who infamously completed with a file of 20-134, in 1899.

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