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Rays down on the farm July 29: Honeywell strikes out seven more

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Brent Honeywell continues to dominate Appy League batters

Apparently the Reading Phillies, now the FIghtin' Ostriches, have a mascot named Screwball
Apparently the Reading Phillies, now the FIghtin' Ostriches, have a mascot named Screwball
Eric Hartline-US PRESSWIRE

Brent Honeywell has not had a tough time in rookie ball since being drafted by the Rays in the second round last month.  The pick was certainly greeted with skepticism at the time, but he's off to a good start.

Given that he was drafted out of a junior college and throws a screwball, I wonder if the Rays would challenge him with a promotion to Hudson Valley next month.  I've suddenly become an advocate for aggressive promotions, but I can't imagine the 20 and 21 year olds have seen anything like a screwball so far.  More experienced hitters might challenge him to locate and mix up his pitches more.

Triple-A Durham Bulls (58-50)

Nathan Karns was solid in Durham's 5-2 win over Toledo.  Through the first seven innings, he only allowed four runners to reach base, three of which came in the second inning.  He didn't allow a run to score, partially due to Toledo's catcher getting caught stealing third base.  He allowed two batters in the eighth to reach base, and they eventually scored, giving him a line of two runs allowed on four hits and two walks in 7+ innings with seven strikeouts.

This time, it was the Bulls using the longball to their advantage.  Wilson Betemit's two out RBI single in the first gave Durham a 1-0 lead, and an inning later, Ali Solis hit a two run home run to extend it to a 3-0 lead.  Mikie Mahtook's seventh inning single added some insurance, and Betemit came up big again in the eighth with a solo home run.  Justin Christian had three hits including two more doubles, and Mahtook and Betemit each had two.

Double-A Montgomery Biscuits (20-18)

A three run first inning helped Montgomery cruise to a 6-1 win over JacksonvilleKes Carter led off the game with a home run, and a two out rally would culminate in a two run single by Jeff Malm.  Starter Albert Suarez allowed Jacksonville's only run the next inning, but he was able to work out of any trouble he got in after that.  He finished with that run allowed on four hits and three walks in five innings with three strikeouts.

Had Suarez not been able to get out of jams, the Biscuits added some insurance runs anyway.  Jake DePew singled home a run in the sixth, and Willie Argo picked up an RBI on a bunt single later in the inning.  Malm doubled home another run in the seventh.  Malm, Argo and Seitzer all had three hit games, and Richie Shaffer added two.  Santiago Garrido and Andrew Bellatti each struck out two in two innings of work.

Class-A Advanced Charlotte Stone Crabs (16-21)

Blake Snell wasn't sharp, but he limited the damage in Charlotte's 3-1 win over Tampa.  In all but one inning, he allowed at least two batters to reach base, but two double plays helped him keep the Yankees off the scoreboard.  He finished with three hits and five walks allowed in five scoreless innings with seven strikeouts.  Jose Alberto Molina allowed the only run in three innings.

The Stone Crabs struck first in the fourth inning on a Jonathan Quinonez sac fly, but the big hit came an inning later.  Tyler Goeddel singled home a pair of runs to give them a 3-0 lead right before Snell exited.  Maxx Tissenbaum and Josh Sale each had two hits.

Class A Bowling Green Hot Rods (14-22)

Three home runs sunk Bruedlin Suero and the Hot Rods in their 4-3 loss to Quad Cities.  A leadoff home run provided a rude greeting to Suero to start the game, and after his lineup gave him a 2-1 lead, he allowed a second home run, this time a two run shot from A.J. Reed, the Golden Spikes Award winner in his first game with the River Bandits.  A sixth inning solo homer proved to be the winning run, and Suero finished with four runs allowed on eight hits and a walk in seven innings with five strikeouts.

The Hot Rods took a 2-1 lead in the second inning on RBI hits by Darryl George and Spencer Edwards.  George also scored their final run of the game two innings later on a bases loaded wild pitch.  Alexander Simon had three hits, and Edwards reached base three times.  The top four hitters in the lineup combined to go 1/19.

Short-Season Hudson Valley Renegades (31-13)

Each team scored runs early, but it was Hudson Valley tacking on late in their 8-3 win over Vermont.  After the Lake Monsters took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first, it actually turned out the Renegades scored all the necessary runs in the bottom half of the inning.  The big hit came off the bat by Grant Kay, of course, when he doubled home a pair of runs.  After two innings, the game settled down a bit with a 5-3 score, but Hunter Lockwood's three run homer in the seventh really opened things up.  Kay and Lockwood were two of five Renegades with two hit games, and all of theirs were for extra bases.

Nolan Gannon allowed all three Vermont runs in the first two innings, but he was able to hang on and pitch long enough for the win.  Over his last three innings, he only allowed one batter to reach, and he finished with the three runs allowed on six hits in five innings with four strikeouts and no walks.  Edgar Gomez had three strikeouts in two innings of relief to maintain Hudson Valley's lead.

Rookie Princeton Rays (19-18)

Princeton was outhit 10-8, but it didn't stop them from beating the Pirates 8-1.  They scored three runs over the first two innings to get the game off to a fast start, and they kept up the pressure in the middle innings with a barrage of extra base hits.  Thomas Milone tripled a run in and scored himself on an error, and in the sixth, Enmanuel Paulino added a two run homer.  Back to back doubles by Nick Ciuffo and Carter Burgess scored the final run of the night.  Paulino reached base three times and stole two bases.

With the early run support, Brent Honeywell cruised again.  He allowed three hits and a walk in 3.2 innings, and seven of his 11 outs were strikeouts.  He now has 20 strikeouts to two walks in 15.2 innings for Princeton.  Yonny Chirinos would end up picking up the win with four innings of relief, but he did allow Bristol's lone run.

Rookie Gulf Coast League Rays (20-12)

The GCL Rays were postponed.


Star of the day- Honeywell's screwball is a great trick pitch to dominate the lower levels.

Goat of the day- Suero and the Hot Rods had a tough time with Quad Cities.

Today's games (probables courtesy of

Durham @ Charlotte 7:05 PM (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
Alex Colome (4-3, 3.55) v. Matt Zaleski* (1-0, 3.48)

Montgomery v. Jacksonville 8:05 PM (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
Grayson Garvin (0-4, 3.72) v. Justin Nicolino (8-3, 3.16)

Charlotte v. Tampa 6:30 PM (Radio stream)
Blake Snell* (2-5, 5.11) v. Caleb Smith (2-0, 0.75)

Bowling Green @ South Bend 7:05 PM (Radio stream)
Isaac Gil (0-0, 3.00) v. John Omahen* (4-5, 3.20)

Hudson Valley v. Vermont 7:05 PM (Radio stream)
Oscar Armenta (3-1, 4.22) v. Jose Torres (0-5, 5.25)

Princeton @ Bristol 7 PM (Radio stream)
Greg Maisto (1-2, 4.44) v. Junior Lopez* (3-2, 4.44)


Both games will be seven innings

*Listed as TBA on

Scouting the opposition

Charlotte Knights (White Sox)
49-62 (T-3rd in IL South)
Offense: 534 R (1st) .727 OPS (1st)
Pitching: 5.02 ERA (14th) 1.53 WHIP (13th)
Top 30 Prospects: RHP Erik Johnson (2), 3B Matt Davidson (4), 2B Marcus Semien (5), 2B Micah Johnson (6), 2B Carlos Sanchez (12), OF Michael Taylor (27)

Jacksonville Suns (Miami)
23-15 (T-1st in SL South)
Offense: 459 R (7th) .678 OPS (10th)
Pitching: 3.73 ERA (4th) 1.28 WHIP (3rd)
Top 30 Prospects: LHP Justin Nicolino (4), RHP Jose Urena (7), C J.T. Realmuto (10), RHP Nick Wittgren (18), OF Brent Keys (19), C Austin Barnes (20), RHP Tyler Higgins (25)

Tampa Yankees
20-17 (3rd in FSL North)
Offense: 424 R (7th) .687 OPS (8th)
Pitching: 3.37 ERA (6th) 1.26 WHIP (4th)
Top 30 Prospects: 3B Eric Jagielo (5), OF Aaron Judge (6), 1B Greg Bird (8), 2B Angelo Gumbs (25)

South Bend Silver Hawks (Arizona)
22-14 (2nd in MWL East)
Offense: 532 R (1st) .723 OPS (2nd)
Pitching: 3.55 ERA (6th) 1.28 WHIP (6th)
Top 30 Prospects: RHP Jose Martinez (6), OF Stryker Trahan (8), 1B Daniel Palka (17), C Michael Perez (20), RHP Geordy Parra (22), SS Joe Munoz (26), 2B Jamie Westbrook (27), 2B Andrew Velasquez (28)

Vermont Lake Monsters (Oakland)
16-28 (4th in Stedler)
Offense: 181 R (11th) .671 OPS (9th)
Pitching: 4.45 ERA (13th) 1.35 WHIP (12th)
Top 30 Prospects: None

Bristol Pirates
10-26 (5th in APP West)
Offense: 136 R (10th) .618 OPS (10th)
Pitching: 4.43 ERA (10th) 1.43 WHIP (9th)
Top 30 Prospects: RHP Jon Sandfort (28)

GCL Twins
13-20 (4th in GCL South)
Offense: 105 R (14th) .580 OPS (16th)
Pitching: 3.81 ERA (8th) 1.37 WHIP (8th)
Top 30 Prospects: 3B Amaurys Minier (24)