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Down on the farm June 25: Big names debut

In addition to Riley Unroe, last year's two seven-figure bonus Venezuelans made their pro debuts

Some of the Rays' highest priced talent will be in the Gulf Coast League this year
Some of the Rays' highest priced talent will be in the Gulf Coast League this year
Jim Donten

Overall, there was more quality pitching across the system today.

Triple-A Durham Bulls (48-30)

A five run fourth inning was huge on their way to a 7-1 win over Buffalo. Already up 2-0 against Ricky Romero, the Bulls drew two straight walks to start the inning. Although Romero had now walked five to this point and was clearly struggling, Mike Fontenot bunted the runners along to scoring position, and Cole Figueroa knocked Romero out with a two run single. They would score three more runs against Claudio Vargas, in large part thanks to a double by Brandon Guyer and triple by Tim Beckham. The run support was great because Mike Montgomery was not particularly sharp. Although he only allowed one run, he did it on six hits and four walked in seven innings with four strikeouts. In addition to a double, Vince Belnome walked three times.

Double-A Montgomery Biscuits (3-3)

After tying the game with two outs in the ninth, Montgomery scored one in the 10th for a 5-4 extra innings win over Chattanooga. Kevin Kiermaier's ninth inning triple extended the game for the Biscuits, and it would be a bases loaded walk by Hector Guevara that scored what would be the winning run an inning later. That triple by Kiermaier was actually his second of the game. He led off the game with one in the first inning and scored the first of two runs that inning. C.J. Riefenhauser got the win for two scoreless innings of relief, and starter Jake Thompson wasn't very effective. In six innings, he allowed three runs on nine hits and three walks with three strikeouts. In addition to Kiermaier, Mikie Mahtook had two hits and scored twice.

Class-A Advanced Charlotte Stone Crabs (3-2)

Five late runs keyed a Charlotte comeback in their 7-3 win over Jupiter. Down 3-2 in the seventh, Richie Shaffer hit a sac fly to tie the game up, but it would be the four run eighth inning that put this in the win column. After Willie Argo singled home Ben Kline to give the Stone Crabs the lead, Drew Vettleson's three run homer extended the lead to 7-3. Brandon Gomes allowed one hit and struck out one in his rehab appearance, and he was followed by Parker Markel who again put Charlotte in an early hole. In 3.2 innings, he allowed three runs on six hits and three walks, but he did strike out five. Argo and Vettleson both reached base three times and stole a base.

Class A Bowling Green Hot Rods (3-2)

Hot Rods batters couldn't support solid pitching in a 1-0 loss to Lake County. Jeff Ames and Nick Sawyer combined to hold the Captains to just two hits, but it still wasn't a sharp day for Ames who walked five and only struck out two in six innings. With two outs in the top of the ninth, Nick Sawyer allowed an RBI double to Joseph Sever that proved to score the decisive run. With two outs in the bottom half of the inning, a wild pitch allowed Tommy Coyle to move up to third base, but Marty Gantt lined out to end the game. Sawyer struck out four and walked none in three innings of work. Coyle was the only Hot Rod to reach base twice.

Short-Season Hudson Valley Renegades (6-2)

After two third inning runs, Hudson Valley's offense went quiet in a 3-2 loss to Brooklyn. Ariel Soriano's two run single gave the Renegades a 2-1 lead, but they couldn't take advantage of several chances with runners in scoring position after that. Making his pro debut, Harmen Sidhu allowed what would be the winning run in the ninth inning without allowing a hit. After walking the leadoff batter, a sac bunt and wild pitch moved the runner to third base when Gavin Cecchini hit a sac fly. John Farrell started and allowed an unearned run in an inning of work, and Eli Echarry came in and allowed a run in five innings of work. Out of the nine hole, Ismuel Antunez reached base three times and stole a pair of bases.

Rookie Princeton Rays (0-4)

Burlington's great pitching continued in Princeton's 4-1 loss to the Royals. Despite outhitting Burlington eight to six, Princeton wouldn't score their run until the ninth inning on a Wilmer Dominguez groundout. After allowing a first inning run, Rays starter German Marquez appeared to settle in for a few innings, but he ran into trouble in the fifth. A two run triple by Ramon Torres started a three run inning that sent Marquez to the showers early. He finished with four runs allowed on five hits and a walk in 4.2 innings with four strikeouts. David Garcia and Coty Blanchard each had two hit games.

Rookie Gulf Coast League Rays (2-1)

Some late runs ensured the GCL Rays' 5-2 win over the GCL Twins. After Frank De Los Santos completed a rehab outing, Jose Castillo made his pro debut, allowing an unearned run on two hits and a walk in 2.2 innings with five strikeouts. He was followed up by Jose Mujica who allowed a run on three hits and a walk in 2.1 innings with two strikeouts. At the plate, second rounder Riley Unroe made his debut playing shortstop. He went 2/5 with a stolen base and strikeout, and he scored an insurance run in the eighth. Second base prospect Ryan Brett went 0/4 with two strikeouts in his rehab appearance.


Star of the day- Between Castillo, Mujica and Unroe, a lot of money was invested in today's GCL roster.

Goat of the day- Princeton's offense could really use a boost.

Today's games (probables courtesy of

Durham @ Lehigh Valley IronPigs 7:15 PM (MiLB.TV)
Merrill Kelly (1-0, 2.92) v. Raul Valdes (2-2, 3.41)

Montgomery @ Chattanooga 7:15 PM (MiLB.TV)
Mike Colla* (2-0, 3.93) v. Chris Reed* (3-6, 3.74)

Charlotte v. Jupiter 6:30 PM
Ryan Carpenter* (6-4, 3.77) v. Josh Hodges* (1-2, 3.23)

Bowling Green v. Lake County 1:05 PM
Taylor Guerrieri (5-2, 2.50) v. Dylan Baker (3-5, 4.08)

Hudson Valley v. Brooklyn 7:05 PM
Benjamin Griset* (0-0, 0.00) v. John Gant* (1-0, 0.00)

Princeton v. Burlington 7:05 PM
D.J. Slaton (0-0, -.--) v. Andres Machado (0-0, 0.00)

GCL Rays @ GCL Twins 12 PM

*Listed as TBA on

Scouting the opposition

Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Philadelphia)
41-36 (2nd in IL North)
Offense: 372 R (4th) .751 OPS (4th)
Pitching: 4.78 ERA (14th) 1.49 WHIP (12th)
Top 30 Prospects: LHP Adam Morgan (2), 3B Cody Asche (6), 2B Cesar Hernandez (9), RHP Ethan Martin (10), 1B Darin Ruf (17), RHP Tyler Cloyd (18), C Cameron Rupp (28), OF Leandro Castro (29)

Chattanooga Lookouts (Los Angeles)
3-3 (T-1st in SL North)
Offense: 304 R (7th) .700 OPS (4th)
Pitching: 3.57 ERA (6th) 1.29 WHIP (6th)
Top 30 Prospects: OF Joc Pederson (4), RHP Zach Lee (5), LHP Chris Reed (6), LHP Onelki Garcia (7), RHP Ross Stripling (10), OF Bobby Coyle (15), OF Brian Cavazos-Galvez (26), OF Blake Smith (28)

Jupiter Hammerheads (Miami)
1-4 (6th in FSL South)
Offense: 273 R (12th) .666 OPS (11th)
Pitching: 3.06 ERA (1st) 1.25 WHIP (2nd)
Top 30 Prospects: LHP Andrew Heaney (3), LHP Justin Nicolino (6), RHP Jose Urena (8), RHP Jake Esch (23), C Austin Barnes (29), OF Brent Keys (30), 2B Noah Perio (34)

Lake County Captains (Cleveland)
4-1 (1st in MWL East)
Offense: 308 R (14th) .676 OPS (13th)
Pitching: 4.24 ERA (12th) 1.38 WHIP (10th)
Top 30 Prospects: SS Dorssys Paulino (2), OF Anthony Santander (13), RHP Dylan Baker (16), OF LeVon Washington

Brooklyn Cyclones (Mets)
4-3 (2nd in McNamara)
Offense: 21 R (11th) .614 OPS (10th)
Pitching: 1.50 ERA (1st) 1.15 WHIP (5th)
Top 30 Prospects: SS Gavin Cecchini (2), 2B L.J. Mazzilli

Burlington Royals
5-0 (1st in APP East)
Offense: 15 R (6th) .555 OPS (6th)
Pitching: 0.92 ERA (1st) 0.84 WHIP (1st)
Top 30 Prospects: SS Ramon Torres (22)

GCL Twins
1-2 (T-3rd in GCL South)
Offense: 12 R (11th) .597 OPS (9th)
Pitching: 2.22 ERA (4th) 1.31 WHIP (10th)
Top 30 Prospects: RHP Kohl Stewart, LHP Stephen Gonsalves