Chihuahuas 5, Salt Lake Bees 4 (10 innings)
Key Stats: RHP Bryan Rodriguez 5.2 IP, 10 H, 2 ER, 5 K; RHP Phil Maton 2 IP, 2 H, BB, 2 K; CF Franchy Cordero 1-4, 2B, RS, 2 RBI, HBP; 1B Nick Buss 2-4, HR (4), RBI; SS Dusty Coleman 2-4, 2 RS.
Prospect Watch: Despite only having one hit in the game C Rocky Gale was the game MVP. He doubled home Dusty Coleman in the tenth inning to give the Chihuahuas the lead. In the bottom of the inning he made a great throw to second to nail the potential winning run on a stolen base attempt. Gale is batting .264 this season with a .650 OPS; both slightly above his career average). With Sanchez sidelined, Gale would be the next catcher up… RHP Jason Jester threw his second consecutive scoreless outing of relief. While this shouldn't be notable for most relievers, Jester was coming off four straight outings allowing runs, with a total line of 5.1 IP, 15 H, 10 ER, BB, 2 K. This coming from the same pitcher who allowed just 11 runs in 39 innings last year in San Antonio and was named a Texas League All-Star… CF Franchy Cordero reached base safely another two times tonight.
Missions 4, Tulsa Drillers 3
Key Statistics: RHP Adrian De Horta 4 IP, 2 H, ER, 2 BB, 6 K; SS Luis Urias 2-3, RS, BB; RF Franmil Reyes 1-4, HR (4), 2 RBI; 1B Ty France 1-4, 2B, RBI.
Prospect Watch: RHP Adrian De Horta has had one of the strangest minor league careers. He was drafted in 2013, and was named the MadFriars’ top pitching prospect the AZL that season. Was roughed up to start the 2014 campaign in Fort Wayne and hasn’t been back since. He has battled injuries throwing in fewer and fewer innings each year; 77.1, 56, and 31 last three years. This time he looked great in a spot start in Lake Elsinore last week, and was strong coming out of the bullpen in San Antonio tonight. Hopefully he has a chance to stay on a full season club as the high school draftee is now 22… RF Franmil Reyes has been unconventionally struggling. When most players struggle they go into 2-25 slumps. Franmil on the other hand has been mired in a slum where he has hit safely in 8-12 games. However in those games he is just 9-48 (.188) with 4 double and only 2 RBI. This was his first homerun in nearly three weeks. Hopefully it’s a sign of things to come.
Inland Empire 66ers 4, Storm 2
Key Statistics: LHP Eric Lauer 5.1 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 5 K; SS Javier Guerra 3-4. 2B, 2 3B, RBI.
Prospect Watch: Its been a great two games for Javier Guerra. After not hitting a triple all season, Guerra now has three in the past two games. In the two games he is 5-9, with 12 total bases, 5 RBI, and a run scored. His OPS has risen from .514 to a slightly more acceptable .587. In 41 previous games Guerra had only 10 extra-base hits. In the last two games Guerra has four… Speaking of players the front office thought highly of, 22 year-old former catcher Jose Ruiz is on the 40-man roster despite throwing all of 12 innings ever in his career. Ruiz tossed a scoreless 1.1 innings lowering his ERA to 6.92. While that sounds horrendous, in his last six outings now he has posted a vastly improved 7.1 IP, 4 H, ER, BB, 9 K. Like Bethancourt, the raw stuff is there, its just now about finding and maintaining consistency.
West Michigan WhiteCaps 5, TinCaps 0
Key Stats: RHP Mason Thompson 4 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 4 K; RHP Jim McDade 4 IP, 3 H, 4 K.
Prospect Watch: Like Reggie Lawson on Monday, RHP Mason Thompson also made his 2017 debut this week and also struggled to post the results many were hoping to see. In Thompson’s case most of the damage came from bad luck; seeing-eye singles, and bloopers. While over the course of a season these things will even themselves out, for a first start in full-season ball, it could have gone a lot differently. Thompson did look fairly polished with his pitches, and it will be interesting to see if the numbers were more nerves related then anything else… Both Tatis and Potts went 0-3 with a hit by pitch… Jim McDade was the 2016 MadFriars AZL pitcher of the year. ( on a side note, we named Mason Thompson as the top pitching prospect). The 24 year-old led the team with a 1.59 ERA and a 0.91 WHIP. Considering that he was undrafted, already 24, making it to his first Spring Training and having success in Fort Wayne is a huge accomplishment. McDade is someone who relies on hitting their spots more than on raw talent. Like many, when he is on he can be tough to hit, and boy was he on today.
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Full box scores for the night are available from MiLB.