AAA: Round Rock 9, at Las Vegas (OAK) 6
Round Rock: 15 hits, 3 walks, 12 strikeouts
Opponent: 10 hits, 4 walks, 7 strikeouts
Record: 1-1, tied for first, 45-31 overall
SP Owen White: 2 IP, 6 H (3 HR), 5 R, 2 BB, 0 SO, 57 P / 31 S, 9.00 ERA
RP Daniel Robert: 2.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 SO, 5.40 ERA
RP Jonathan Hernandez: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 SO, 0.96 ERA
CF Bubba Thompson: 3-6, SB (4), .300/.417/.333
RF JP Martinez: 2-4, BB, SB (23), .345/.470/.559
C Matt Whatley: 4-4, HR (1), BB, .227/.331/.300
From Herman Melville’s Bartleby, The Pitcher: “In this very attitude did I sit when I called to him, rapidly stating what it was I wanted him to do—namely, to pitch multiple innings in Las Vegas, the most hitter-friendly location within the most hitter-friendly league. Imagine my surprise, nay, my consternation, when without moving from his privacy, Bartleby in a singularly mild, firm voice, replied, ‘I would prefer not to.’ “
Okay, neither Owen White nor anyone else is going to refuse to pitch in a potentially destructive environment, but the thought crosses my mind once in a while. White has allowed seven hits in two AAA starts. Four of them have left the yard.
After two games, Round Rock shares the second-half division lead with nine other teams. The entire league is 1-1.
AA: Frisco 2, at San Antonio (SDG) 3
Frisco: 6 hits, 7 walks, 9 strikeouts
Opponent: 5 hits, 5 walks, 13 strikeouts
Record: 1-1, 1 GB, 32-38 overall
SP Ryan Garcia: 5.1 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 1 HBP, 9 SO, 84 P / 52 S, 6.75 ERA
SS Luisangel Acuna: 3-5, 2B, SB (32), .301/.360/.442
RF Trevor Hauver: 1-2, 2 BB, SB (1), .244/.369/.395
Trevor Hauver has a nine-game hitting streak with a .387/.537/.548 line. Hauver has always walked at a tremendous rate, but many of that type have difficulty responding to pitchers with better control and command once they reach AA. Hauver has batted .241/.386/.417 in 79 AA games stretching to late last year. Picked in 2020’s third round by the Yankees, Hauver will be Rule 5-eligible if unprotected. At present, I’m doubtful he’s placed on the 40, but he has time. That aside, a good showing would entail continued improvement against AA pitching and perhaps a late-season finish in AAA.
Low-whiff, high-strikeout hitters in the organization with at least 100 PA are Hauver, Aaron Zavala, Ian Moller, and Griffin Cheney.
Incidentally, three-fifths of Atlanta’s current rotation (Shuster, Strider, Elder) came from the 2020 draft. That’s ridiculous.
Hi-A: Hickory 7, Greensboro (PIT) 0
Hickory: 10 hits, 2 walks, 9 strikeouts
Opponent: 2 hits, 6 walks, 13 strikeouts
Record: 6-0, 2.5 G up, 33-34 overall
SP Larson Kindreich: 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 1 HBP, 8 SO, 73 P / 45 S, 4.50 ERA
RP Jackson Kelley: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 2 SO, 5.25 ERA
C Tucker Mitchell: 2-4, HR (3), .266/.375/.430
3B Cody Freeman: 2-4, 2B, .218/.280/.397
DH Yosy Galan: 2-4, 2B, .250/.250/.300
Hickory’s nightly flirtation with no-hitters is a winning strategy. Kindreich’s flirting was rather awkward, as he somehow escaped the 1st unscathed despite a hit batter, two walks, and a wild pitch. He didn’t allow a hit until the 5th. Last night’s wildness aside, Kindreich has reduced his BB/HBP rate from 18% last year to 14% in 2023, although his strikeout rate has also fallen the same amount from 32% to 28%.
Lo-A: Down East 5, Carolina (MIL) 1
Down East: 7 hits, 1 walk, 7 strikeouts
Opponent: 2 hits, 0 walks, 12 strikeouts
Record: 4-1, 1 G up, 41-25 overall
SP Aidan Curry: 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 SO, 52 P / 38 S, 2.73 ERA
RP Kai Wynyard: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 SO, 1.56 ERA
2B Danyer Cueva: 2-4, 2B, .266/.319/.402
C Ian Moller: 2-3, HR (4), .186/.312/.314
Led by Aidan Curry retiring his first 11 opponents, Down East maintained a shutout until he 9th and needed only 102 pitches. Of those first 11, Curry struck out five, and 14 of his 34 pitches were swinging strikes. Like Josh Stephan, Curry missed 2020’s five-round draft and signed as a free agent out of high school. Those guys flew under the radar because undrafted Americans hardly ever make an impact, plus we were all distracted by civilization potentially collapsing.
Lo-A: TBD (Porter)
Five Years Ago Yesterday
Round Rock’s win streak ended at seven with a late-inning loss to Colorado Springs. As I wrote: “Colorado Springs is a lame-duck entity, at least in terms of Triple A. They’ll move to San Antonio after the season. The existing AA Missions are headed to a new stadium in Amarillo. The MLB affiliation for next year’s Missions is undetermined, but the Rangers are a perfect fit geographically. The drawback is the stadium, which doesn’t measure up to other AAA parks. The mayor of San Antonio remains actively disinterested in funding a replacement stadium downtown. They’re hoping for a major franchise in some sport. I believe a stadium near US 281 north of Loop 1604 would do fabulous business, as the area has grown dramatically in the last decade, but I lack the means to build it.”