Pitching matchup of the day
The 12th overall pick in the 2006 draft, Kiker hit a bit of a wall in the
California League last year, but he’s found a bit of his old velocity this
year, getting up to 94 mph with his fastball while showing a much-improved
curve and changeup. The top prospect in the Angels system, Walden received
a $1 million bonus in 2007 as one of the last of the draft-and-follows and
he’s seven inches taller than Kiker, with more velocity, but a shallower
arsenal. With both pitchers pulled after seven, and at 91 and 89 pitches,
respectively, this one turned into a marathon as Frisco grunted out a run in
the 13th for a 1-0 victory.
Can I get a copyright on “MC-Squared”?
After two straight years of almost making the big league club out of spring
training, the 2005 first-round pick is gunning to avoid another full year at
Indianapolis by batting .313/.377/.625 in his first 11 games. As good as
Nate McClouth is, he’s miscast in center, while McCutchen is outstanding
there defensively. He’d make the Pirates a better team right now, and the
marketing possibilities would go through the roof they can convince their
left-fielder to change his name to Nyjer McMorgan.
Our first repeat customer
After earning praise on Monday for his hot start, Gamel has followed that up
with home runs in his last two games, bumping up his averages to something
out of a video game at .444/.518/.911. In addition, he’s hasn’t made an
error for two straight games, which ties a season-high, believe it or
Message sent, but maybe not received
Tuesday’s stats: 0-for-3, 1 SB
One of the many “message moves” by the Nats early in the season, one
imagines that the hope in Washington was for him to dominate in the minors,
learn a lesson and come back with confidence and a new attitude. Instead,
he’s 2-for-14 with four whiffs.
The Astros have prospects?
Collin DeLome, OF, Astros (Double-A Corpus Christi)
DeLome has all of the tools in the world, but his transition from athlete to
baseball player has been a slow one, mostly because of an over-aggressive
approach. Still, he slugged 22 home runs last year and now has four in his
last eight Texas League games, while seeing a dramatic drop in his strikeout
rate. Keep an eye on this one.
A second-round pick last June, Knapp was seen as a bit raw because of his
New Jersey heritage, but his arm strength rivals anyone in the system, as
his fastball has consistently been touching 97 mph this spring. Last
night’s start is the best of his career, but his first two weren’t so shabby
either, as in 18.1 innings for the BlueClaws, the six-foot-five righty has
allowed just nine hits while striking out 30.