Paul Goldschmidt continues to rip the cover off the baseball. He hit .353 in a five-game series against the Mississippi Braves and collected at least one hit in every game between April 10 and April 17. The powerful first baseman cracked a double and two home runs while driving in seven after ripping four bombs and knocking in eight against Carolina in the opening series. He capped Mississippi set with an exclamation point when he smacked a grand slam with two outs in the bottom of the ninth.
Goldschmidt has been dominant in the Southern League as he is the league leader in home runs (6), runs batted in (15), walks (10), and slugging percentage (.861). The slugger was drafted out of the Woodlands High School (TX) in the 48th round by the Los Angeles Dodgers but instead chose to attend Texas State University where he was named the Southland Conference Player of the Year in 2009. He was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the eighth round of the 2009 draft and was named the California League MVP last season.
BayBears righty Bryan Henry pitched five scoreless innings against the Mississippi Braves last Thursday after working 3.2 scoreless frames out of the bullpen in his first appearance against the Mudcats. He only allowed one hit and struck out three to help lead the BayBears to a 1-0 victory over the Braves. The Florida State alum picked up victories in each of those outings.
Henry came out of the bullpen when Wade Miley left the game due to injury against the Mudcats on April 8th and was thrust into the starting rotation after Miley was put on the disabled list on the13th. The Florida native posted a 2.53 ERA in a starting role for the BayBears in 2010 while making 14 starts.
Wily Mo Pena has quickly asserted himself as one of the premier power threats in the PCL, homering in six of his first eight games this season while driving in 14 runs. After a pinch-hit single Monday, Peña is batting .444 with six homers, 13 runs scored, and 15 RBI. He has hit safely in all ten games in which he has appeared—including five multi-hit efforts.
He's ranked fifth in the PCL in batting average, tied for third in RBI, first in slugging percentage, second in runs scored, and third in total bases. Peña is homering at a rate of one per every six at-bats this season, and is tied with Goldschmidt for the minor league lead in home runs.
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