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Charleston Riverdogs vs. Savannah Sand Gnats Recap

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My first trip to the Charleston Riverdogs on April 27 was a disaster from a blogging standpoint. I forgot my digital camera at home, I lost the game’s program, and many of the prospects I wanted to see didn’t play.

But from a pure I’m-going-to-a-baseball-game standpoint, it was damn awesome.

Our seats were in the first row behind the visitor’s dugout. The bullpen sat less than 15 feet from us and the warmup mound was directly in our view. If a ball slipped from the leftfielder’s hand while warming up, chances are I would have been hit in the face.

Our seats were also apparently “Tony the Peanut Man’s” preferred area. Not only does he peddle peanuts, but he’ll hurl insults at you, comment on your receding hairline, and make you look like an ass in front of hundreds. I’m sure some people hate it, but I thought it was a great touch. Oh and did I mention that there was beer for $1.50? I am not lying to you.

"Go completely bald!"

The Riverdogs played the Met’s low A team, the Savannah Sand Gnats. Being at this game was like being at a miniature Subway Series or something like a Subway Series of the Future. How cool is that?

Instead of right-handed uber-prospect Andrew Brackman, lefty Manny Banuelos took the hump for the Riverdogs. The Yankee’s #14 prospect is an unexciting and unassuming pitcher out of Mexico. He throws, from what I could tell, an average four seamer that sat at 90 mph, a curveball that he needs to learn how to control, and something resembling a changeup. I was shocked that his fastball was even clocking in at 90 because his motion was so free and easy. He pitched pretty well but it was obvious I was at an A-ball game; hitters were swinging and missing at way too many curves in the dirt and also the high cheese.

Banuelos, Brackman, and D.J. Mitchell: Future Yanks?

The Dog's Banuelos, Brackman, and D.J. Mitchell.

The only other prospects on the Yankee’s top 30 list in Baseball America that played were shortstop Carmen Angelini and outfielder Abraham Almonte. As my luck would have it, they both went 0-fer at the plate. Neither did anything particularly memorable in the field either.

On the Met’s side of things, the only real player of consequence was shortstop Wilmer Flores. According to Baseball America, Flores is their #2 prospect. Flores is still only 17-years-old, a shockingly young age for someone even at this level. He possesses quick and powerful wrists at the plate and one of the strongest arms in the system in the field. Like the two Yankee’s prospects, he posted a big donut while walking once. In the field, however, I do recall him making a great play up the third base side to nab the runner at first.

Overall, there was little on-field excitement. There was shoddy defense, no homeruns, and players were stealing bases like they were free. It was a solid baseball game though, dominated by the Riverdog’s pitching and the Sand Gnat’s four errors.

Final score: 6-1, Riverdogs.

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  1. […] LHP Manny Banuelos: I gave my description of Banuelos in this post, but here it is again: I think he has underwhelming stuff and is getting away with a lot simply […]

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