Scoreboard

Triple-A: Omaha Storm Chasers 4, Columbus Clippers 2
Double-A: Akron RubberDucks 9, Erie Seawolves 2
High-A: Fort Wayne TinCaps 4, Lake County Captains 3
Single-A: Salem Red Sox 5, Lynchburg Hillcats 3

(# denotes IBI prospect rankings)

Highlights

#1 Tyler Freeman (SS, Akron): 5-6, 2B, R, 3 RBI – Freeman struck out four times in his first two games and seven at bats. Since then in seven games he’s struck out four times total and now has a seven game hitting streak and eight hits his last two games. Shockingly with the way Freeman hits, this is his first five hit game of his career. All three of Freeman’s RBI came with two outs as well.

#39 Will Benson (CF, Akron): 3-4, HR, 2 RBI, 2 R, BB – Benson knocked his first Double-A homer and more importantly he didn’t record a strikeout in a game for the first time all year. He had struck out eight times the last three games. Strikeouts will always be a part of Benson’s game but nights like this when he can put it all together remind you of how much of an impact he can have on the game and how much talent he really had.

Shane McCarthy (SP, Akron): 4.2IP, H, 2BB, 8K – McCarthy pitched well enough to earn the win, but not long enough. A terrific second start for the Seton Hall product who only last three innings in his first start. More importantly, because of his commitment to donate $3 to pediatric cancer research per strikeout this year, that’s $6 from his first start (3K) and $24 from this outing.

Best of the rest

#30 Jose Fermin (2B, Akron): 3-5, 2 R, RBI – Not to be outdone too much by his best friend, Fermin came through with a big day of his own. Freeman owns a .368/.888 slash line this year, and Fermin is at .348/.848 so far this year. The duo also recorded a double play together in the win.

#57 Yainer Diaz (C, Lynchburg): 3-5, 2 RBI – While he doesn’t hit for much power (.818 OPS) and isn’t much for taking a walk (two so far this year) Diaz just puts the ball in play and makes it work (four strikeouts all year so far) and has 11 hits in seven games and now eight RBI.

Jake Miednik (RP, Akron): 2IP, BB, 5K – Pitcher wins, especially in the bullpen, are bunk stats. But Miednik struck out all the batters he faced but one, minus his walk. Not a bad effort and now he’s had 10 strikeouts in his last three outings (4.2IP).

#34 Nick Mikolajchak (RP, Akron): IP, BB, 2K -Mikolajchak has been used sparingly early on but he’s impressed each time out with multi-strikeout effort each time.

#34 Owen Miller (2B, Columbus): 2-4, R – Just another mulit-hit night for Miller. It was only two measly singles in this one, but it was his seventh multi-hit game in 10 games played this year. In the other three games he has one hit, none and none. So he has more multi-hit games than one hit and no-hit efforts so far this year. Not sure how much longer Cleveland can just let Yu Chang ride the bench and Miller just beats up Triple-A pitching.

Matt Koch (RP, Columbus): 1.2IP, ER, H, BB – Koch didn’t have a great line but he’s noted for his first appearance in a Cleveland-affiliate uniform. The club signed him to a minor league deal not long after the major league squad departed from spring training and he just joined the Clippers bullpen recently. The 30 year old right hander most recently pitched with the Diamondbacks in 2019.

Manuel Alvarez (RP, Columbus): IP, 2K – Alvarez has yet to allow an earned run in three outings and 3.1IP so far this year (through two unearned runs crossed the plate on his watch).

Randy Labut (RP, Lynchburg): 4IP, ER, BB, 2K – Labut’s line wasn’t particularly spectacular, but he posted a good effort behind a shorter, rougher outing for starter Josh Wolf to give the Hillcats offense a chance to come alive. But they lost their third straight game.

#2 Nolan Jones (3B, Columbus): 0-3, BB, 2K – Usually we note the ‘best’ performances in the Tribe’s system here. But it’s important we keep notes on Cleveland’s top prospects constantly and the first month of baseball hasn’t been great for Jones. He’s now hitting .091 with a .352 OPS. He’s hitless in his last three games with nine strikeouts. It’s early and there’s going to be an adjustment period for Jones at the highest level in the minors, but he won’t force Cleveland’s hand to find a spot in the majors for him on the field until he makes that adjustment in Columbus first.

#7 Brayan Rocchio (2B, Lake County): 1-4, HR, 2 RBI – Rocchio has two extra base hits the last three games and a four game hitting streak. His stat line doesn’t look impressive on the surface but if you consider he’s just turned 20, is still a bit undersized at this point in his development and he couldn’t train in the US in 2020, he’s off to a pretty solid start in High-A.

Matt Turner (SP, Lake County): 4.1IP, 2H, 2BB, 5K – The southpaw is in a Lake County rotation that includes a ton of high profile draft picks and prospect favorites, but Turner has always thrown a ton of strikes and could be a sleeper arm himself. A tall, lanky lefty, Turner has bulked up some and only throws in the high-80s/low-90s, but with some added velocity and his command, there’s more upside there with his strike throwing ability.

5 Comments »

  1. Love the vidoes embedded in the column. Awesome work! Also appreciate the “big picture” comments on how the players are doing overall as opposed to just listing the stats for one game.

  2. Just to add on, it was interesting to see that Freeman had four hits to right field and one to center, which you wouldn’t know if not for the video. One was a jam job bloop off the handle that probably should have been caught, but the other four were line drives.

  3. McCarthy looks really short. He’s listed at 6’2″ but I question that. I wonder how many short right-handers have success throwing 92 mph fastballs at the top of the zone. It was working for him last night but will it work in the bigs?

      • I dont know. I can see a little Plesac/Civale there with the command/pitch mix. Not sure he has the CH to survive LHH 2+ times through the order But FB at 92-93 t94 with armside run, CB/SL are good. Feels like a workable 5/6 arm. Plutko-ish with some added velo. Might have to be ranked in our mid-season re-rank

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