GCL Jays (won 9-8 in extras)
We'll start this recap off at the bottom of the system, where Jacob Anderson, the 35th pick in this year's draft, went deep in his first professional ballgame. It was a long one, 14 innings in fact, and Anderson played the whole game in right field. He would end up going 2-for-7, with no walks or strikeouts.
Another debutant, Jeremy Gabryszwski or King Scrabble the Third, pitched a great first inning with strikeouts and no hits allowed. Joe Musgrove started the game with another three scoreless innings. Musgrove, another draft pick from this year's draft, has now had three straight scoreless outings spanning 9 innings with only 2 hits allowed, 9 strikeouts and a ton of groundballs.
Second baseman/shortstop Jorge Vega-Rosado keeps hitting well, he was 2-for-5 with a double and a walk. He's hitting .311/.380/.466, and at 19 years old he's not too old to be in rookie ball. Justin Atkinson, yet another 2011 draft pick, went 2-for-5 with a walk. It was just his second walk, but then he's also struck out just 3 times. He only turned 18 less than a month ago, so he's very young. Santiago Nessy went 3-for-6 with a double and a strikeout. He's hitting .300/.339/.409 and the young catcher will have to improve his plate discipline and power, but he's got enough time to do that.
Bluefield (won 7-3)
Let's continue to work our way up from the bottom. Aaron Sanchez started for Bluefield, and he had another one of his "Super Sanchez" starts: 5 innings, 1 earned run, 0 walks, 7 strikeouts, 70% (7 out of 10) groundballs. He has clearly got loads of potential, as his four "Super Sanchez" starts this season prove, but he also has a lot of unimpressive outings where he struggles. This might've been the best out of his good starts though, and he's probably improving.
Chris Hawkins was 3-for-4 with a strikeout. He has improved his walk rate, but in the process has seemingly given up the ability to hit for power. He's hitting .309/.355/.495 on the season and .361/.452/.444 over his last 10 games. Dalton Pompey DH'd but didn't reach base. His .214/.353/.393 line since joining Bluefield inspires some confidence, though, as it shows both great patience and good power. His average shouldn't be that low over a larger sample.Vancouver (won 4-1)
Kings of "not being interesting" when Syndergaard and Nicolino aren't pitching, the Canadians had just one extra base hit: a double by 2011 draftee Andy Burns (11th pick). Shortstop Shane Opitz was 2-for-4 with a walk. Opitz has the contact ability to hit for a decent average, but the question is if he'll add at least some power, as he currently has just a .027 ISO, and a lower SLG than OBP.
Lansing (lost 2-3)
The 'Nuts were facing Enny Romero, a Tampa Bay prospect who strikes out a lot of hitters. And the strikeouts did happen, with Marcus Knecht collecting another golden sombrero. Knecht just seems to have days where he can't hit anything and strikes out a bunch. Jake Marisnick struck out twice, but at least he added a walk. Despite going hitless, Marisnick is still hitting .405/.479/.643 over his last 10 games, with 2 triples and 2 homers but no doubles. K.C. Hobson was 2-for-4 with a double and a strikeout, continuing to be a bit of a mystery (when will his power show up in games?).
Dunedin (won 10-1)
Asher Wojciechowski allowed only 2 hits and one run in 7 innings, and he didn't walk anyone, but he did only strike out four batters. A.J. Jimenez was 3-for-4 with 2 doubles (last 10: .263/.356/.395) and Sean Ochinko was 2-for-5 with his second homer in as many games. Ryan Schimpf also homered to go 1-for-3 with 2 walks and a K, he's hit .266/.372/.545 this season, showing very impressive power and patience. Ryan Goins was 2-for-4 with a double, a triple and a strikeout, hitting .283/.341/.417 on the season as Dunedin's shortstop.
New Hampshire (lost 4-5, won 6-3)
In NH's doubleheader, Travis d'Arnaud went a combined 3-for-8 with a homer. He's obviously very good, but his unimpressive BB/K rate does concern me. We'll see if he can radically improve his patience, the way Brett Lawrie did, next year in Vegas. Gose played just one of the games, going 1-for-3 with a walk. It was just his second walk in August, a month in which he has struck out 23 times. That is really, really bad. Again, let's see what Chad Mottola can do for him in Vegas next year. Gose has a lot of time to figure out how he's gonna cut down on the strikeouts.
I'm looking forward to see Molina try to build on the success of his impressive 8 strikeout debut in NH. Could he be in the majors by 2012? If he continues to strike hitters out a lot while not walking many, why not? Pitching coach Pete Walker was impressed by Molina's stuff too.
"(Molina) was as good as advertised. He put hitters away. His split was off the table, and he showed a good curveball and fastball," New Hampshire pitching coach Pete Walker said. "His split is a devastating pitch."
Will that put the doubts about his stuff to rest?
Las Vegas (won 11-0)
Yes, a shutout, but it was in Memphis, not in Vegas, Colorado Springs, Reno, Salt Lake, Albuquerque, Tucson or whatever other nonsense the PCL has. Still, Chad Beck deserves some credit for his 7 inning shutout with 3 Ks and one walk. The PCL has been tough on him so far, which is not strange since A) he's a flyball pitcher and B) the PCL is tough on all humans who throw baseballs anywhere near a hitter's strikezone.
Adeiny Hechavarria has gone crazy since coming to the PCL, and another multi-hit performance (2-for-4, with a walk) actually took down his slash line to .560/.607/.680 in six games. Amazingly, none of those games were in the PCL's hitter's parks. He has 3 walks and 3 strikeouts, and only multi-hit games. The gameday shots Jo-Jo Kirby has provided us with have indicated that, so far, Hech has been very patient at the plate. If Vegas' hitting coach can make even Adeiny draw walks, why the heck are we stuck with Dwayne Murphy? If Mottola can get Rasmus, Lind and others not to swing at every pitch, I'm voting for him to be hitting coach for the big club next year.
Speaking of lefties who swing at everything, Travis Snider drew another walk and hit another homer. His BB/K rate since rejoining Vegas is 4/5. It doesn't seem like he took his free swinging ways from the Majors to Vegas. His home run was to center field, so it wasn't a lazy fly ball sneaking over the wall in short right field or anything. No, on gameday it was a massive blast that even cleared the center field wall by some distance. Quite how reliable that data is remains to be seen, but it's very nice to see.