Although he's struggling this year, this is the kind of game Enny Romero could shine in, as he has before. His big stuff will play up in a one inning stint, and it could be a preview for his eventual role in the majors.
Justin O'Conner has been hitting well since it was announced he would be participating. In 49 plate appearances, he has a .279/.347/.465 line with four walks and nine strikeouts. His work behind the plate could be more exciting though. I hope someone tries to steal against him, or maybe he gets a shot to throw behind a runner at first base.
This is worth watching for all baseball fans, even beyond their favorite team's representatives. These players are the stars of tomorrow, and it might not even be that long for some of them. In last year's game, fans got a look at Xander Bogaerts, Gregory Polanco, Billy Hamilton, George Springer, Christian Yelich, Yordano Ventura and Taijuan Walker before they made their big league debuts.
The game can be seen today on MLB Network at 5 PM. Matt Vasgersian will be doing play by play, so keep your remote handy for use of the mute button.
Triple-A Durham Bulls (53-44)
Durham piled up some early runs en route to a 7-2 win over Buffalo. Vince Belnome got the Bulls off to a fast start when he followed a pair of walks to start the game with a three run dinger, his seventh of the season. An inning later, Belnome singled home the second of two runs in the second. In the fifth, after Justin Christian led off the inning with a home run, Belnome singled and came home to score the final run of the game. Belnome had four hits and reached base five times.
Starter Matt Andriese wasn't at his best, but he pitched well enough to be credited with the win. He allowed both Bisons runs, starting in the second with a leadoff home run. In the fifth, his final inning of the night, he gave up a two out single. He finished with the two runs allowed on six hits and two walks in five innings with three strikeouts. Merrill Kelly and C.J. Riefenhauser each threw two innings.
Double-A Montgomery Biscuits (11-12)
Three home runs helped power Montgomery to an 8-5 win over Pensacola. Ryan Brett's solo home run in the fifth extended Montgomery's lead to 3-1. An inning later, Richie Shaffer's two run shot made it a 5-1 game, and Kes Carter hit a solo home run in a three run ninth. It was his first homer since being promoted to the Biscuits at the end of June. Carter also doubled, reached base three times total and stole a base. Cameron Seitzer joined Brett and Carter with two hits.
Grayson Garvin ultimately only allowed one run, but he was in and out of trouble and needed 63 batters just to get through three innings. A Carter outfield assist in the first cut down a potential run at home on a two out double, but three straight singles to start the second got the Blue Wahoos on the board. Garvin loaded the bases in the third inning but got out of trouble, finishing with one run allowed on six hits and two walks in three innings with three strikeouts. Cory Burns was the only one of five Biscuit pitchers to not be charged with a run.
Class-A Advanced Charlotte Stone Crabs (7-16)
A solid Reinaldo Lopez was wasted in Charlotte's 2-1 loss to Brevard County. After getting bombed for seven runs in 4.1 innings his left time out, Lopez rebounded with seven scoreless innings Saturday. Five runners would reach scoring position against him, but three of them were with two outs in an inning. He finished with four hits and two walks allowed in seven scoreless with three strikeouts. In the ninth, Kevin Brandt was unable to hold a 1-0 lead when two extra base hits to start the inning tied the game, and a second run scored on a Leonardo Reginatto error.
Charlotte's only run of the game came with two outs in the eighth inning when Josh Sale hit his fourth home run of the season. It was his second home run of July after not hitting one since May 19th. The Stone Crabs had only five hits, and no batter reached base more than once.
Class A Bowling Green Hot Rods (9-13)
Ty Young homered again, but it wasn't enough in Bowling Green's 3-1 loss to Lansing. That home run came in the fourth and tied the game at one, but that would be all they could manage. Five runners would reach scoring position after that, but they were 0/7 with runners in scoring position. James Harris had two hits and reached base three times.
German Marquez was sharp in his second start off the DL. After allowing a first inning run, he retired the final 11 batters he faced, and he finished with just that run allowed on two hits and a walk in four innings with five strikeouts. Josh Kimborowicz provided some nice long relief with three scoreless innings, but Jorge Rodriguez lost the game in the eighth. A sac fly brought home the eventual winning run with runners on the corners and nobody out, and a two out double provided an insurance run.
Short-Season Hudson Valley Renegades (22-7)
Hunter Lockwood provided more late inning heroics in Hudson Valley's 12-10 win over Batavia in 11 innings. After scoring the tying run in the ninth, he would hit his third walkoff home run of the season in the 11th. The Renegades did most of their damage with a seven run fourth inning. The first nine batters of the inning reached before Lockwood finally struck out with runners on the corners. He had started the inning with a leadoff double. Seven of nine Renegades had multi-hit games in their 19 hit outburst, led by Bralin Jackson with four. Lockwood was a triple shy of the cycle, and Braxton Lee also had three hits. Casey Gillaspie reached base three times.
Nolan Gannon was hit hard for the first time this season, allowing four runs on eight hits in four innings with three strikeouts and no walks. Batavia really got to Hudson Valley in the seventh when they posted a six run inning to take the lead. Darren Fisher was charged with five of those runs, and Justin McCalvin was hit with the sixth. Isaac Gil pitched two scoreless innings to earn the win.
Two late runs helped Princeton tie the game, but they ran out of gas in their 4-3 12 inning loss to Bluefield. Losing 3-1 in the eighth, Patrick Grady's second home run in three days pulled them within one, and an inning later, Hec Montes singled home Riley Unroe to tie it. Grady reached base in the ninth with two outs, but that would be the last Rays baserunner of the game. Princeton only had five hits, but they included a Carter Burgess home run, the first of his pro career.
Starter Jose Alonzo retired the first nine batters he faced and got out of a little trouble in the fourth, but a pair of RBI doubles in the fifth lost Princeton their 1-0 lead. He allowed another RBI double the next inning and eventually finished with three runs allowed on five hits in 5.2 innings with six strikeouts and no walks. In the 12th, Bluefield hit a solo home run against Ruben Paredes, and that proved to be the winning run.
Rookie Gulf Coast League Rays (13-6)
The GCL Rays rode a three run first inning on their way to a 4-2 win over the GCL Orioles. Matt Reida led off the game with a triple, and he came home to score on a Matt Ford double. He scored on Isias Alcantar's single, and David Rodriguez plated another run with a single. They would only get four more hits the rest of the game, including another RBI single by Alcantar in the sixth. Ford and Rodriguez also reached base twice.
None of the four Rays pitchers stood out, but they all combined to pitch just well enough to limit theto two runs. Starter Angel Yepez allowed their first run in the second inning and finished with that run allowed on two hits and a walk in three innings with two strikeouts. Junior Feliz provided them with four scoreless innings, but they weren't without opportunities for the Orioles since he allowed five hits and two walks. Mario Adames and Bret Dahlson each pitched an inning.
Star of the day- Lockwood continues to hit for power.
Goat of the day- Except for Sale and Young, Charlotte and Bowling Green's offense accomplished very little.
Today's games (probables courtesy of milb.com)
*Listed as TBA on milb.com
Scouting the opposition
Buffalo Bisons (Toronto)
48-48 (4th in IL North)
Offense: 386 R (13th) .717 OPS (10th)
Pitching: 3.71 ERA (7th) 1.32 WHIP (7th)
Top 30 Prospects: RHP Aaron Sanchez (1), LHP Sean Nolin (10), C (14), OF Kevin Pillar (20), RHP John Stilson (21), 2B (29)
Pensacola Blue Wahoos (Cincinnati)
9-14 (5th in SL South)
Offense: 391 R (7th) .704 OPS (7th)
Pitching: 3.85 ERA (6th) 1.41 WHIP (7th)
Top 30 Prospects: RHP Robert Stephenson (1), OF Jesse Winker (4), OF Yorman Rodriguez (5), RHP Michael Lorenzen (6), RHP Ben Lively (9), RHP Daniel Corcino (13), 3B (21), RHP Jon Moscot (23), RHP Hector Nelo (24)
Brevard County Manatees (Milwaukee)
12-7 (1st in FSL North)
Offense: 331 R (11th) .699 OPS (6th)
Pitching: 2.83 ERA (1st) 1.14 WHIP (1st)
Top 30 Prospects: OF Tyrone Taylor (2), OF Victor Roache (5), SS Orlando Arcia (7), 3B (12), RHP Tyler Wagner (16), RHP Damien Magnificio (23), RHP Jorge Lopez (24)
Lansing Lugnuts (Toronto)
11-11 (T-4th in MWL East)
Offense: 425 R (5th) .703 OPS (7th)
Pitching: 4.28 ERA (11th) 1.46 WHIP (14th)
Top 30 Prospects: OF D.J. Davis (3), 3B Mitch Nay (4), SS Dawel Lugo (9), RHP Chase De Jong (11), RHP Tom Robson (16), 1B Matt Dean (25)
Batavia Muckdogs (Miami)
16-12 (2nd in PInckney)
Offense: 127 R (8th) .629 OPS (11th)
Pitching: 3.98 ERA (9th) 1.39 WHIP (12th)
Top 30 Prospects: RHP Josh Hodges (29), SS Brian Anderson
12-11 (T-3rd in APP East)
Offense: 92 R (9th) .636 OPS (8th)
Pitching: 3.84 ERA (4th) 1.29 WHIP (4th)
Top 30 Prospects: LHP Matt Smoral (13), 1B Rowdy Tellez (18), SS Richard Urena (24)