I listen to a few minor league games a week when time permits me to. Today, I listened to the Hagerstown-Augusta (SF) game and here were a few observations I picked up on from the game.
- First and foremost, the game was extremely close until there was horrible decision made by the Augusta manager in the 7th inning. With one out and Eury Perez on 3rd and Francisco Soriano on second, Augusta intentionally walked Sean Nicol. The next batter, Steven Souza, with a full count hit a single to drive in Perez. Then with Justin Bloxom batting, the pitcher for Augusta threw a wild pitch scoring Soriano. Bloxom then hit a bases clearing single, followed by an RBI double by JP Ramirez. All and all, the decision costed them 5 runs and the game.
- The Suns were going up against Zach Wheeler, the 6th overall pick in last year's draft, and got 4 hits and one run off of him over 4.2 innings. He struck out 4 batters, but also gave up the same amount of walks. The Suns worked the count against him all night, getting him into deep counts often.
- Paul Demny was on the mound for the Suns. His fastball causes a lot of hitters to swing and miss and he could be considered a power pitcher, but he is wild. He had a few wild pitches and hit a batter in the fifth inning, eventually leading to the end of his night. After hitting a batter, he walked three straight batters and was pulled.
- Mitchell Clegg, who relieved Demny, came into the game and was able to get out of the inning after the first batter he faced grounded into a DP. Clegg then pitched four more innings of one hit ball, walking only one batter and striking out five. He was getting a lot of batters to miss and for the second consecutive night, Hagerstown only needed to use one reliever.
- Hood continues to hit the ball well (a double tonight) when the opposing pitchers make mistakes, but still has a glaring weakness: swinging at pitches in the dirt. He had two strike outs tonight on such pitches and cannot lay off of them for some reason.
- Francisco Soriano continues to be impressive for the Suns and had an infield single and two doubles tonight. He also had two stellar defensive plays that sent the Hagerstown announcer into a frenzy. Soriano, a 22 year old IFA from the DR, doesn't have much power but is a good contact guy who is also a very good baserunner.
- Another good baserunner, Eury Perez, got his first hit since April 23 tonight, an infield single but struggled at the plate the rest of the night. His defense is great, as he got to every thing hit to CF, but the SAL league may be a bit too advanced for him at this point. I expect for him to be sent back to Vermont come June.
- Adrian Nieto took the start behind the plate tonight and had the pitcher throw at least 4 pitches in each of his at-bats. The announcer described Nieto as having one of the best eyes on the team (along with Sandy Leon and Justin Bloxom) and Nieto backed this statement up by drawing 3 walks, in addition to advancing a runner on a bunt down the 3rd base line. It sounded like he performed pretty well behind the plate, despite the wildness from Demny, and he saved a few balls that were destined to go behind him.
- Marcus Jones had the two key hits of the night, driving in the only run off of Wheeler and then leading off the fateful 7th with a single to center. He also played RF pretty well, getting to a few balls that the announcer thought were sure to be hits or out of bounds. Jones, who is a defensive specialist, is starting to come to his own at the plate after missing most of last season with a knee injury.