Part two looks at some of
The Park – The only other short-season
A ballpark that I have visited is the
With that understanding it is
It is not realistic to expect
Remember – These observations are made on
one game, just one game. They are
not intended to be an indicator of either future performance or overall
ability. My last eye-witness report
came in July 2005 when I visited the short-season A team when they were in
The Hitting –
Generally speaking, the batting stances were conventional. Charlie Pelt's stance was every so slightly more open than the others and his stance still fell within the ‘normal' range. Any comments on defense included here were obviously dictated by how the game played out. Do not draw any conclusions if comments on defense are not included for specific players. Sixteen of the 27 recorded outs came via the strikeout which means the defense did not get a lot of opportunities.
While not all the players that took part in the game are discussed, those that are mentioned below are listed in the order they batted.
Shortstop Oliver Marmol (6th round, 2007 draft): 0-for-3 with a sac bunt
Marmol is listed at 5'10" and 165 pounds. He is slender with good bat speed. The 21-year-old batted lead-off. He did little from the plate but did lay down a nice bunt in the 5th that went between the pitcher's mound and third which he barely missed for a hit. That sac bunt advanced two runners and set up a two-run double by Will Groff.
Defensively, Marmol showed good
range and an accurate arm except for one glaring play. In the sixth inning he fielded a
grounder but double-clutched his throw which was low and just a tad late. That play was scored an infield hit
against Blake King. He easily
handled two 6-3 ground outs, one of which was a very nice play. After Blake King allowed a solo home run
with two out in the eighth to narrow
Will Groff (29th round, 2007 draft): 1-for-4 with a double, two runs batted in and three strikeouts
Groff was the game's designated
hitter and batted out of the two spot.
All three of his strikeouts were swinging and he did not show much plate
The 22-year-old did
connect in the third inning for a two-run double to right-center but was
immediately picked off second by the pitcher before a pitch was even thrown to
the next batter.
The 22-year-old did connect in the third inning for a two-run double to right-center but was immediately picked off second by the pitcher before a pitch was even thrown to the next batter.
Third baseman Daniel Descalso (3rd round, 2007 draft): 1-for-2 with a walk and a hit-by-pitch
Descalso batted third and hit from the left side (he is right-handed). Descalso is a physically solid, muscular player, particularly so for a 20-year-old. His physique is far more developed than most of the other starters with the exception of catcher David Carpenter and first baseman Charlie Pelt. In his first at bat he drove a ball left over the plate for a solid single to right-center. He walked on five pitches in the fifth (the pitches were close and required a pretty good eye) and my notes have him subsequently stealing second. The official game log has him advancing to second on a wild pitch but my memory has him running as the pitcher delivered the ball to the plate. Descalso was hit in his lower right back by a pitch to lead off the eighth but was forced at second on the next play.
First baseman Charlie Pelt (29th round, 2007 draft): 1-for-4 with a run scored and two strikeouts
Pelt hit fifth and is another hits lefty/throws righty. My notes indicate that he may have had a slight upper cut to his swing and his batting stance is ever slightly open. His sole hit was a solid single to right on the first pitch he saw during his first at bat. His second at bat was a very hard hit fly out to the warning track in dead center, about 397 feet, approximately three feet shy of the centerfield wall. He wore a shin/ankle guard on his right leg during his at bats. Defensively, Pelt played first base and handled his position quite well. He made an excellent stretch to glove a low throw by Oliver Marmol in the sixth inning and fielded a fairly hot smash in the third inning for an unassisted out. Pelt is physically well developed, as you would expect from a player who will turn 23 in December.
Centerfielder Tommy Pham (16th round, 2006 draft): 1-for-4 with a run batted in and one strikeout
Pham hit in the six hole and looks more slender than the 180 pounds (at 6'1") listed on the roster. He had a weak pop out to second in his first at bat. Pham grounded out to short on a 3-1 count in his second at bat but the play was close due to Pham's speed. He struck out looking on a 1-2 count after fouling off two pitches the next time he came up. Then after three at bats in which he was less than impressive, Pham nailed the first pitch he saw in the ninth inning and drove it into left-center which allowed Collin Fanning to score from second for an insurance run. He lost no time in stealing second but was stranded there.
Defensively, Pham's failure to hit the cut-off man in the third inning led to the only run allowed by Jess Todd. He tried to throw it all of the way home from center which resulted in the ball landing somewhere around the pitcher's mound. On the other hand, Pham's fine grab on a line drive to left-center by lead-off man Bryan Petersen in the sixth inning likely prevented subsequent runners from scoring. Blake King proceeded to give up three singles and a wild pitch that inning but escaped without harm due to a caught stealing and a strikeout.
All in all, Pham looked like what he is…inexperienced and young. There were glimpses of his promise.
Catcher David Carpenter (12th round, 2006 draft): 1-for-1 with a run scored and two walks
Boy oh boy do I wish this guy's
bat would come around because his work behind the plate was pretty darn
good. Carpenter hit seventh and was
the most physically impressive player that I saw. He looked taller than the 6'1" listed on
the roster. Carpenter twice showed
off a strong, accurate throwing arm:
once in the second inning when he nearly picked off the runner on a snap
throw to second and then again in the sixth inning when he helped bail Blake
King out of a jam by nailing Ryan Curry on his attempted steal of second. His one defensive lapse came in the
seventh inning. With the count 2-2,
the lefty-hitting batter checked his swing on a pitch inside. The umpire called him out (delayed call)
but Carpenter appeared to have ‘assumed' that
Carpenter, who turned 22 on July 15th, was perfect at the plate that game, hitting in the eight spot. He walked to load the bases on five pitches in his first at bat and then walked again (and subsequently scored) on a 3-2 count in his second at bat. Carpenter led off the seventh with a single to right-center on the first pitch and was sacrificed to second where he was stranded. He was the second most impressive position player in the game as he combined overall excellent catching skills and good plate discipline.
Second baseman Ross Oeder (28th round, 2007 draft): 1-for-1 with a run scored, a run batted in on a sacrifice fly and a sacrifice bunt
First, the guy's last name is
pronounced ‘Aid-er', not ‘
Defensively, Oeder displayed very good range and a strong arm. His best play came with two out in the third inning. With runners at first and second and one run already in, the Jammers' number three guy, Ryan Anetsberger hit a dying quail into shallow right. Oeder raced back and caught it over his left shoulder. (The game log is just flat out wrong. The play was made by Oeder, not Fanning.) It was the best play of the game. Oeder also ranged behind the second base bag to initiate a 4-3 ground out.
Oeder showed that he can handle second base and utilize his good bat control to create opportunities. (He strikes out about once every 5.6 at bats so far this season.) But he needs to walk more to off-set his total lack of pop. Still, he did look promising.
These comments probably should
have been included in Part
One, but ‘better late than never'.
The umpiring was better in this game than it was in the three games I saw
Maybe it was due to my fairly low
expectations but the
Leonda Markee may be reached at email@example.com.
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