Callie Hughes, IBI

'Ducks Notebook: Tyler Krieger continues to dominate at the plate

The Akron RubberDucks played a successful week of baseball after winning six out of seven games. Meanwhile, second basemen Tyler Krieger emerged as one of the top players as he continues to have impressive at bats. IBI's Daniel Sherriff takes a closer look at other notable performances as he breaks down which players were hot this week and which were not...

The RubberDucks had quite the week. They started out on a low note when they dropped a close one to the Reading Fightin’ Phils, but things quickly turned in their favor as they won the next two games, then came back home to Canal Park to sweep the Altoona Curve in three games, and then went on to win the opening game of a three-game series against the Binghamton Rumblin’ Ponies. The RubberDucks are slowly but surely bouncing back after a slow start to the season and are putting it together on all facets of the game in hitting, fielding and pitching. They have ripped off five straight wins and won the last six out seven games.

The club will play two more games against the Ponies at home before going back out on the road.  They’ll have the day off on Thursday then start a three-game set in Bowie to face off against the Bowie Baysox, a team that dominated the RubberDucks in the first series of the season. The ‘Ducks will look to be able to get some much-needed payback against the Baysox.

WEEK IN REVIEW 

4/18: Reading 8, Akron 6: (WP: Eshelman (3-9); LP: Speer (0-1))
4/19: Reading 2, Akron 12: (WP: Peoples (1-1); LP: Viza (1-2))
4/21: Akron 3, Altoona 2 (WP: Pasquale (1-0); LP: Anderson (1-1))
4/22: Akron 3, Altoona 2 (WP: Aviles (1-0); LP: Kucno (0-1))
4/23: Akron 6, Altoona 1 (WP: Banwart (1-1); LP: Garcia (0-1)
4/24: Akron 5, Aloona 2 (WP: Merryweather (1-1); LP: Conlon (2-1)

PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Tyler Krieger, 2B
Last Week: 6 G, 29 PA, 24 AB, .375/.464/.625 6 R, 9 H, 3 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 4 BB, 9 SO,
Season to Date: 12 G, 53 PA, 45 AB, .356/.431/.556 10 R, 16 H, 6 2B, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 4 SB

The middle infielder continues to be the little engine that could. He is without question one of the best pure hitters in the Indians organization and has done nothing but hit since starting his first season in Double-A. He’s extremely skilled at spraying the ball to all parts of the field and helps form a deadly hitting trio amongst the top of the lineup with center fielder Greg Allen and catcher Francisco Mejia.

WHO'S HOT

Luis Lugo, SP
Last Week: 1 GS, 5.1 IP, 2 R/1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 1 HR,
Season to Date: 3 GS, 18 IP, 12 H, 6 BB, 11 SO, 3 HR 2.65 ERA, 6 R/E ER

The southpaw is no flamethrower by any means, but is capable of having pinpoint control and limiting the damage. He’s a got a good mindset too as he struggled to find a consistent rhythm early in his latest outing, but kept battling and kept Akron in the game long enough to give them a chance to take the lead. He’s been without question one of the most consistent pitchers on the team to start the season.

Michael Peoples, SP
Last Week: 1 GS, 6.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R/ER, 3 BB, 5 SO, 1 HR
Season to Date: 3 GS, 17.2 IP, 19 H, 6 R/ER, 4 BB, 12 SO, 2 HR, 3.06 ERA

The big righty is doing his thing. He’s using his big frame to deliver the ball on a downward angle and generating quite a lot of groundballs with his sinker pitch. He’s not a huge strikeout guy but when his sinker is on the opposing team has very little chance as the best they can do is roll over on the ball and send grounders towards the infielders. Peoples remains first in line to get a promotion to Columbus as the season wears on given his vast experience in Double-A.

Nick Pasquale, SP
Last Week: 1 GS, 6.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R/ER, 5 SO, 1 HR
Season to Date: 3 GS, 15.2 IP, 7 R/ER, 6 BB, 11 SO, 2 HR, 4.02 ERA

The right-hander remains one of the RubberDucks’ more impressive reclamation projects. He was supposed to only be making a few spot starts last season but became a key piece in the team’s championship run and is once again demonstrating the success he showed late last season that led Akron all the way to the Eastern League Title.

Julian Merryweather, SP
Last Week: 6.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R/ 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 SO
Season to Date: 4 GS, 3.48 ERA, 1-1, 20.2 IP, 15 H, 9 R/8 ER, 2 HR, 4 BB, 0.919 WHIP

Merryweather was nothing short of brilliant in his start against the Ponies on Monday night. The righty continues to improve and make the necessary adjustments it takes to master the Double-A level. He has found a solid routine since the start of last year when he began in High-A Lynchburg. He’s pretty much quietly dominated since then and is definitely turning some heads with his ability to keep batters guessing at the plate and be stumped with his ability to throw his breaking ball over for strikes.

WHO'S NOT

Mike Papi, RF
Last Week: 6 G, 26 PA, 23 AB, .174/.269/.304, 4 R, 4 H, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 3 BB, 5 SO,
Season to Date: 16 G, 64 PA, 51 AB, .235/.375/.294 7 R, 12 H, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 12 BB, 11 SO

It’s been more of the same for the 2012 1st round draft pick. He’s got an excellent frame but is having trouble driving the ball with power consistently. Instead he only seems to be hitting singles and not much else as his extra-base hitting ability is non-existent. He’s got a good eye at the plate but is still trying to remain aggressive and not let a good pitch get by him to which he can do something with.

Greg Allen, CF
Last Week: 6 G, 29 PA, 24 AB, .208/.321/.250, 4 R, 5 H, 1 2B, 3 RBI, 3 BB, 2 SO, 4 SB
Season to Date: 17 G, .267/.362/.679, 71 PA, 60 AB, 11 R, 16 H, 3 RBI, 6 BB, 9 SO, 8 SB

The center fielder is in a bit of a slump. He’s making contact but just can’t seem to find the right spots in the field to get the ball to drop. The good news is he’s not letting his hitting slump affect his defense as he continues to show excellent speed and range in center field, making him by far the best defensive player on the team.

Yu Chang, SS
Last Week: 6 G, 28 PA, 26 AB, .115/.143/.269, 4 R, 3 H, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 10 SO
Season to Date: 17 G, 69 PA, 62 AB, .194/.261/.500 11 R, 12 H, 3 2B, 2 3B, 4 HR, 14 RBI, 5 BB, 24 SO

After a hot start, it seems the Double-A pitchers are beginning to catch up to him. The shortstop is swinging through more pitches now and having trouble refraining from expanding his strike zone. He’s still got the right-handed pop that makes him such an intriguing stealth prospect, but he’s also showing some defensive struggles at short as well. He’ll have to start making adjustments sooner than later.


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