AAA: Round Rock 3, El Paso (SDG) 2
Round Rock: 8 hits, 2 walks, 5 strikeouts
Opponent: 6 hits, 4 walks, 5 strikeouts
Record: 3-3, 2 GB
SP Jake Latz: 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 4 SO, 78 P / 54 S, 3.00 ERA
LF Bubba Thompson: 2-4, SB (4)
CF Josh Smith: 1-4, HR (1)
Josh Smith has his first AAA homer and first professional start in the outfield. He’s also started twice at third after two days at his usual short. Smith caught two sharply hit flies. Both were plays any competent outfielder would make, but a misread on either might have spelled trouble. One can wait a long time to see even a small handful of 50/50 outfield plays that would provide some insight into the player’s quality, and one must wait in person, because the video feed rarely shows an outfielder’s reaction time and initial route.
I don’t start listing players’ slash stats until we’re around two weeks in. Also, nearly all Mondays in 2022 are off-days for the entire system. I expect many will be off-days for me as well, but I might pop in with news, summaries, or items I think deserve more coverage.
AA: Frisco 3, Arkansas (SEA) 5
Frisco: 10 hits, 1 walk, 12 strikeouts
Opponent: 8 hits, 4 walks, 11 strikeouts
Record: 2-1, tied for first
SP Cole Ragans: 3.1 IP, 3 H ,0 R, 1 BB, 7 SO, 66 P / 44 S, 0.00 ERA
RP Fernery Ozuna: 2 IP, 0 H ,0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO, 0.00 ERA
SS Jonathan Ornelas: 2-4
Cole Ragans pitched well, spotting a 93-95 fastball, change, curve and slider. Per Grant Schiller of Baseball Prospectus, Ragans tallied seven swinging strikes with the fastball and six with his change. Ragans could be pitching in middle relief in 2030 and I’ll still consider him a “comeback player” because of the successive elbow surgeries.
Fernery Ozuna is a converted infielder who drew notice for his tripe-digit velocity a year ago. Ozuna has acceptable control but can be alarmingly homer-prone, and the velo tends to ebb and flow. Seth Nordlin (2.1 IP, 7 runners, 4 runs) took the loss.
High-A: Hickory 5, at Winston-Salem (CHW) 2
Hickory: 11 hits, 4 walks, 4 strikeouts
Opponent: 6 hits, 3 walks, 9 strikeouts
Record: 2-1, 1 GB
SP TK Roby: 3.1 IP, 1 H (1 HR), 1 R, 1 BB, 4 SO, 55 P / 36 S, 2.70 ERA
RP Josh Smith: 1.2 IP, 0 H ,0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO, 0.00 ERA
DH Chris Seise: 2-4, HR (1)
C Scott Kapers: 2-4, HR (1)
Sometimes pitchers in the lower levels try to work up but lack the location or spin, and sometimes the hitter is keyed on a high fastball. Yesterday, that hitter was Chris Seise, who smacked a Trey Jeans fastball over the fence in a hurry. Limited to 31 games the previous four years, Seise is only DHing for the time being. I have no idea what to expect of Seise and really don’t even care for now. i just hope he can stay in the lineup.
Roby pitched in a real game for the first time in ten months, having been sidelined since last June with elbow trouble. Roby deals a high-spin fastball, curve and change. He was the middle man in Texas’s five-pick 2020 draft.
Hickory placed infielder Luisangel Acuna on the IL with a hamstring strain, per MLB.com’s Kennedi Landry. He’s expected to miss a couple of weeks.
Low-A: Down East 9, at Carolina (MIL) 11
Down East: 9 hits, 8 walks, 13 strikeouts
Opponent: 12 hits, 3 walks, 13 strikeouts
Record: 0-3, 3 GB
SP Victor Santos: 3 IP, 4 H ,3 R, 0 BB, 1 HBP, 4 SO, 59 P / 40 S, 9.00 ERA
RP Destin Dotson: 2 IP, 0 H ,0 R, 1 BB, 3 SO, 0.00 ERA
DH Efrenyer Narvaez: 1-5, HR (1)
LF Yosy Galan: 2-4, HR (1), BB
2B Junior Paniagua: 1-3, 2 BB
Outfielder Yosy Galan hit the second-most homers in the Arizona League last summer. The 20-year-old also struck out at just shy of a 40% rate in 2021 and has four in nine plate appearances so far.
In the primer I mentioned hitters having such an inflated strikeout rate that even a high average on contact won’t compensate. Efrenyer Narvaez rolls his eyes at that statement: In nine at-bats, he has six strikeouts, a single, triple and homer. Can a hitter fan two-thirds of the time and hit 1.000 when he puts the bat on the ball? I’m going to say no, but it’s 2022, so who knows.
Down East scored four in the 9th on three walks, three hit batsmen and a Galan single.
Five Years Ago Yesterday
Down East won its inaugural home opener 4-3 in ten innings. 3B Josh Altmann doubled and then scored on an error. Brett Martin allowed a run and whiffed seven in 5.1 innings. Round Rock’s Ronald Guzman singled twice and drew a bases-loaded go-ahead walk.