Blogging About Baseball

162 games, even more blogs. From college to the minors to the pros. It's all here.

Posts Tagged ‘charleston riverdogs

Know Your Prospects: Slade Heathcott, CF, New York Yankees

leave a comment »

If you’ve played sports, whether recreationally or professionally, chances are you’ve come across a player like Slade Heathcott. You know, the kind of player who has all the talent in the world, but just comes off as a total, well, there’s no easy way to say it, unlikable dick. You worry if their immaturity is going to derail them (Milton Bradley), or if they’re going to harness it and figure it out (Josh Hamilton).

And one of the major knocks ever since the New York Yankees drafted Heathcott with the twenty-ninth pick in the 2009 amateur draft has always been that immaturity. In high school, he was arrested for driving under the influence, was booted from his Texarkana, Texas, high school baseball team for academic reasons, and even pulled a gun on his father (who, I’ve heard, is not a saint either).

Still, Heathcott really turned things around after the Yankees sent him to Alcoholics Anonymous as a nineteen-year-old.

His first full professional season sent him out of AA and to the low-A South Atlantic League’s Charleston RiverDogs where he posted fairly pedestrian offensive numbers (.258 average, 2 homeruns, and 30 RBI in 76 games) but showed plus speed, range, and arm strength: inklings of the player he could be. Watching him last year left me divided; one day I saw flashes of first-round talent, and then the next, someone who looked to be pressing at the plate, trying to live up to his billing. But when the season finally winded down, I was more on the skeptical side. This guy’s right behind only Montero, Romine, and Vizcaino in Baseball America‘s Yankees’ list and we get a .250 average, 2 dingers, and 15 stolen bases, along with 10 caught stealings?!

But this year, I’ve been more impressed with Heathcott across the board. He’s become more patient at the plate. He’s taking walks in places where he should take walks, instead of trying to be the hero. As a result, he’s amongst South Atlantic League leaders in on-base percentage (.394), average (.314), and total bases (68). With the patience, has come power, or at least signs of it: through 34 games, he already has more homeruns (3) than he did through 76 games last year.

His stance and swing are unique. For a power/speed guy, he’s more upright and open than one would expect, and it’s allowed him to put more of an upswing on the ball than last year. He’s not quite Craig Counsell, but he stands tall in the box and consistently puts the ball in play hard. His swing is still somewhat erratic; he has games where drives or flies the ball every time and games where he only chops, grounds, and slashes it. Whatever he’s doing, it’s working: he’s four off the pace in doubles (11) and two off the pace in triples (2), some of which will turn into homeruns as he develops.

His play in center has never been questioned. He’s got great range and is athletic enough to make difficult plays look routine. His arm, considered among the best in the entire Yankees’ system, is outstanding even after 2010 off-season shoulder surgery. Just tonight, he nabbed the Augusta Green Jackets’ Raynor Campbell, a guy with six stolen bases already on the young season, on a play at home…in the top of the 11th inning with his team already down by two. And god, do I wish I had video of it!

He’s become a force at the top of the RiverDogs’ lineup and in the outfield, and I know that my time to watch Heathcott develop and flourish is dwindling.

But for all the positive developments in Heathcott’s game, there is a huge elephant, which is somehow standing under a black cloud, in the middle of the room, and it might just keep him from a mid-season promotion: that damn immaturity.

Back on Friday, May 13, Heathcott positively imploded, exploded, went postal—whatever you want to call it—starting a bench clearing brawl, after just the first pitch of the game, which pitted his Charleston RiverDogs and the Greenville Drive against each other. He was subsequently suspended for five games.

And I could see it coming.

On May 9, I saw a glimpse of Heathcott’s renewed hotheadedness before the now-infamous brawl. In a bases loaded situation with his team down against the West Virginia Power, he was picked off by right-handed pitcher Elias Diaz for the third out. He threw his helmet down, walked over to the dugout, and waited until someone brought out his glove and hat. During his between innings throw-arounds, he was angrily whipping the ball to the leftfielder, routinely overthrowing him, and making him run all the way to the Power’s bullpen to get it. And then after making a routine putaway on a flyball, Heathcott did the same thing in a game situation and overthrew the shortstop cutoff. It was childish.

And then tonight, that same night where he went 2-for-5 with a walk and threw out a Green Jackets’ runner at home, it popped up again. On the first pitch of an at bat late in the game, Heathcott was brushed back by the Augusta Green Jackets’ Tom Vessella. Nothing big. But then with a two-ball count, he was brushed back again, and this time the pitch was a little closer. Heathcott avoided the pitch, but threw up his hands and exchanged words with catcher Jeff Arnold. Nothing came of it, but for someone who knows his history, and knows what it could have become, it was something.

Of course I stopped recording preemptively.

Did I mention it was just his third game back from suspension?

What’s eating Bobby Cox?

leave a comment »

Well, that headline’s just a little misleading because nothing’s eating Bobby Cox.

In fact, Bobby Cox is eating.

Or at least he was.

You see, my girlfriend works at Magnolias restaurant in downtown Charleston, S.C. It’s a popular place with tourists, and for some reason, celebrities seem to flock to it whenever they’re in town. Hello, Bill Murray!

Last night Katlyn asked me if I’d heard of someone named Bobby Cox: “He’s a manager of a baseball team or something. He’s coming in for lunch tomorrow.”

“YOU MEAN THE ALL-TIME LEADER IN MANAGER EJECTIONS AND ALSO THE MANAGER OF FOURTEEN CONSECUTIVE DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIP TEAMS WITH THE ATLANTA BRAVES?”

Cox was in town because he was the guest speaker at the Charleston RiverDogs’ Hot Stove Banquet on Friday. I had wanted to go to the event, but unfortunately I’m not exactly shitting out twenties right now.

So as a consequence, I had trouble sleeping last night, thinking of the life-changing things that I would say to Bobby Cox when I inevitably stalked him during his low-key lunch: “Mr. Cox, thank you for everything,” “Mr. Cox, the game won’t be the same without you.” I’m not the kind of person who gets worked up about celebrities; I’ve actually seen Murray at a Halloween costume shop in West Ashley, and I ignored him. But Bobby Cox—this was a totally different story. He’s a baseball man, someone who’s spent the last 50 years toiling in the game I love. He’s a four-time Manager of the Year, he’s the fourth winningest manager in Major League Baseball history, and he was at the helm of the team that featured the best rotation in Major League Baseball history. Outside of some old-time players, Bobby Cox is one of the few on a short list of players/managers who I’d actually like to sit down with.

“His reservation is at 12:45.”

So around 12:00 p.m., I drove from Mount Pleasant to downtown Charleston. As soon as I hit East Bay Street, I saw Bobby Cox. Or I thought I did. I wanted to see Cox so badly that I turned every single old, wobbly man on the street into the Atlanta Braves’ manager. There was an old man wearing sweat pant jeans, and I was sure it was him. I couldn’t stop to confirm it from the car though, so I kept driving to Magnolias.

I was seated by 12:45, the time he was expected to appear.

He never came.

So I decided to have a few beers.

Next thing I know, a couple hours passed (I think it was now about 2:30 p.m.) and there was still no sign of Bobby.

Just as I was about to leave, in walks Bobby Cox, about two hours late for his reservation. He was wearing slacks, a blue shirt, and a black leather jacket. It turns out you can’t think you see a celebrity; when you see one, you know. It turns out he wasn’t wearing sweat pant jeans at all, and he looked exactly like you would expect Bobby Cox to look. He was with three other people, a man who looked like his brother and a pair of older women.

The bartender told me, “There you go, stalker!” and I just sat there, frozen.

I didn’t say anything to him. I didn’t try to get a picture with him. I didn’t try to get a picture of him.

My girlfriend doesn’t understand why I don’t take pictures, or why I’ll fight tooth and nail before I take one on our anniversary, while we’re in Disney World, or while I’m lifting a two-ton car.

Truth be told, I don’t need to prove that I was sitting next to Bobby Cox, that I met Bobby Cox, or that I didn’t meet Bobby Cox. The memory is ingrained in my brain for life, and I’ll never forget it. For an hour today, I sat ten feet from one of the most accomplished and respected figures in baseball history and didn’t say a word. For some people, that would be what’s called a “wasted opportunity.”

For me, it’s a damn good day.

Written by dylansharek

January 29, 2011 at 6:57 pm

I have lost my Golden Boy. I am upset.

with 4 comments

For the majority of Seinfeld fans, the most memorable story line in the episode “The Marine Biologist” revolves around George Costanza’s elaborate and continuous lying about being a marine biologist, capped by the gut-busting rescue of a beached whale with a Titleist golf ball lodged in its blowhole.

For me—and I hope I’m not the only one—it’s got nothing on the love story between Jerry Seinfeld and his beloved and beleaguered favorite shirt “Golden Boy.”

Golden Boy is a shirt that Jerry has had for six years. It’s the first shirt he wears out of the laundry; it’s the Cal Ripken Jr. of his wardrobe. But Golden Boy has problems. He’s fraying around the collar. His days are numbered.

Jerry: Elaine, see this t-shirt. Six years I’ve had this t-shirt. It’s my best one, I call him…Golden Boy.

Elaine: I’m on the phone here.

Jerry: Golden Boy is always the first shirt I wear out of the laundry. Here touch Golden Boy!

Elaine: No thanks. Yeah, Yeah I’ll hold.

Jerry: But see look at the collar, see it’s fraying. Golden Boy is slowly dying. Each wash brings him one step closer. That’s what makes the t-shirt such a tragic figure.

Elaine: Why don’t you just let Golden Boy soak in the sink with some Woolite?

Jerry: No! The reason he’s Iron Man is because he goes out there and plays every game. Wash! Spin! Rinse! Spin! You take that away from him, you break his spirit!

Everyone has a Golden Boy: that shirt or pair of pants or hat that just makes he or she feel good. Michael Scott from The Office has his jeans. The Sex and the City broads have whatever the hell they wear. Craig Sager has a whole bunch of tacky suits.

I had my Charleston Rainbows t-shirt.

I remember the moment I picked up Golden Boy and actually felt him in my hands. Mormons (Yes, that’s the second reference to Mormons in two blogs) say that when God sends them a revelation, they can’t explain the feeling—it just feels right. Well, that’s how it felt when I picked up Golden Boy. I knew that this was going to be the shirt that I would wear daily until he died, and I knew I might just die with this shirt on.

I, however, lost my Golden Boy. Where, when, and how it happened, I can’t be exactly sure. I’m fairly confident that I put Golden Boy down at a softball game in early August, but I didn’t see anyone take him away, hear him cry. He was just gone, like a child abducted unknowingly off a playground.

This is my last recorded memory of Golden Boy:

This Charleston Rainbows t-shirt was the perfect combination of two of my favorite things: comfortable clothing and classic baseball.

From 1985 through 1993, the Minor League Baseball club in Charleston was known as the Rainbows. Now an exceedingly successful single-A affiliate of the New York Yankees and known as the Charleston RiverDogs, the Charleston Rainbows club was a minor league outpost for the San Diego Padres (1985-1992) and the Texas Rangers (1993).

In addition to retro baseball, I’m a huge fans of underdog (read: bad) teams. Let’s just say that the Charleston Rainbows never really shined; starting in 1989, the Rainbows, and subsequently the RiverDogs, went eleven straight seasons without a winning record. Despite the terrible time in team history—known as the “Dark Days” according to Wikipedia—fans have fond memories of the Charleston Rainbows baseball club.

Walking through the supermarket, people would routinely stop me and ask, “Where did you get that? That’s an old shirt!” I explained that Golden Boy was actually relatively new (the RiverDogs started reproducing these shirts during the 2010 season), but that they better hurry to get one for themselves. These shirts were flying off the shelves.

You see, I wasn’t the only one who found a Golden Boy.

So today, the Charleston RiverDogs had a 25 percent off sale on all merchandise and apparel. As soon as I got out of work, I rushed over to Joe P. Riley Jr. Stadium to reunite with my best friend.

All of the Golden Boys were gone.

So like Jerry Seinfeld, whose own Golden Boy perished during a fatal spin cycle, I was forced to adopt a new Golden Boy.

Meet Baby Blue:

Prospects In Action: Zack Wheeler, RHP, Augusta GreenJackets – May 12, 2010

with 5 comments

If you’re a first round pick or a budding superstar, chances are you don’t want me in the stands when it’s your turn to take the bump.

A few weeks ago, I coaxed a bad start out of the Rome Brave’s Arodys Vizcaino.

And last Wednesday, I hexed the Augusta GreenJacket’s flamethrowing righty Zack Wheeler. In just 2.2 miserable innings, Wheeler gave up six hits, six earned runs, three bases on balls, two wild pitches, and a hit by pitch.

How’s that for a line?

I wanted Wheeler to do well last night. I mean, I really did. About six months ago, I wrote this post about Wheeler. It basically put me behind the wheel (no pun intended) of the Wheeler bandwagon, before there even really was one. There’s just something about a 6’4″ righthander that touches 95 miles per hour that intrigues me like nothing else but maybe a pizza with a donut topping.

But as is the course of the last couple weeks, another big prospect left town a beaten man, leaving me wondering how much longer I can continue this bad luck streak of awful starts by good pitchers.

When the night started, it looked like Wheeler was ready to deal. His bullpen session left the family next to me confounded; they hadn’t seen anyone with the velocity of Wheeler and they weren’t afraid to repeatedly admit it, noticing my notebook and hoping I was someone who could quote them in something worthwhile.

And even the catcher, Tommy Joseph, was feeling good about their chances: “Ah, it’s just an 88 mile per hour changeup. No big deal!”

And, like clockwork, Wheeler’s first inning went well.

His fastball sat at 95-96 according to the stadium gun, a pretty big bump from the 93 he had been previously reported at. One pitch caused a buzz amidst the Charleston fans when it registered at 99 miles per hour on the big board. It was an obvious glitch in electronics, an outlier of the purest sense, but a cool glitch, nonetheless.

The first thing I noticed about Wheeler was his delivery. It features an odd hesitation with his lead foot; instead of using the weight of his right leg to propel his arm and body weight forward, he basically takes it out of the mix, dangling it over the forward part of the mound until his snake-like right arm reaches its pinnacle and begins its downward movement. Only then does he finally drop the foot. The hesitation, once spotted, seems very out of place for a power pitcher. In person, it’s much more pronounced than in any of the video I’d previously seen.

You can clearly see that he is not consistently repeating the movement in this video. On the first pitch, the hesitation is apparent, but by the third pitch, there’s almost no delay.

That being said, Wheeler generates tremendously easy velocity from his tall, broad, and lanky frame.

His changeup had good running movement, coming in at 87-89 miles per hour. He didn’t throw many curveballs, which was a major disappointment since I’ve heard it’s a good looking pitch. When he did throw it, it spun in almost exclusively at 78 miles per hour. It has a tight rotation and looks like it could be a true power curve. My only notes are: “78, 78, 78, small break.”

In the first, Wheeler gave up just a run on a bloop single to left field.

But that’s just about all the positives I have to report. Check out this recap of Wheeler’s second inning:

  • Deangelo Mack grounds out, second baseman Ryan Cavan to first baseman Luke Anders.
  • Garrison Lassiter strikes out swinging.
  • Kelvin Castro singles on a fly ball to right fielder Ryan Lollis.
  • With Raymond Kruml batting, passed ball by Thomas Joseph, Kelvin Castro to 2nd.
  • Raymond Kruml singles on a ground ball to center fielder Evan Crawford. Kelvin Castro scores.
  • Jimmy Paredes doubles (5) on a fly ball to center fielder Evan Crawford. Raymond Kruml scores.
  • Justin Milo singles on a ground ball to left fielder Dan Cook. Jimmy Paredes scores.
  • Luke Murton walks. Justin Milo to 2nd.
  • With Robert Lyerly batting, wild pitch by Zack Wheeler, Justin Milo scores. Luke Murton to 3rd.
  • With Robert Lyerly batting, wild pitch by Zack Wheeler, Luke Murton scores.
  • Robert Lyerly grounds out, second baseman Ryan Cavan to first baseman Luke Anders.

It was ugly. When Joseph allowed the passed ball, it looked like there was a breakdown in communication between the battery mates. However, that wasn’t my biggest concern.

In the second inning, Wheeler’s velocity dropped almost four miles per hour. Instead of the 94-96 he was tossing in the first, his first five pitches in the second were 90, 91, 90, 92, and 90. And it remained there for much of the inning. He got back up to 94 during the Luke Murton at-bat, but the results were just not there.

Was he pitching with adrenaline in the first? Did he over-exert himself? Or had he just lost control?

I don’t know. But I do know that to the semi-trained eye, each time an abbreviated velocity reading popped on the board during the second, I put a mini red flag up. And when he lost all control during the second half of the second inning, I was reminded of something I saw during the bullpen session.

While working in the bullpen, Wheeler would start his windup, then look down to see where that lagging lead foot was, and then continue on.

I do not know if the pause I saw was present when he pitched in high school. But to me, it certainly looked more pronounced and intentional. It did not look like he was quite comfortable with it yet and it looked like something he was thinking about. And when you pitch, you don’t want to think.

Strangely enough, Augusta’s manager sent him back out there for the third. His velocity returned, but after a hit-by-pitch and a nasty walk, Wheeler’s night was over.

So, there it is. I wish I could send San Francisco fans revelatory information about the ace potential of Zack Wheeler, but I simply can’t. I’m still confused by what I saw.

For one inning, Zack Wheeler looked every bit the $3.3 million San Francisco thinks he is worth. But for the next 1.2 innings, he looked every bit Jason Grilli, the last pitcher the Giants picked up in the first round.

We’ll just have to wait.

Note: That obnoxious high-pitched voice isn’t me. That little rat ruined made my night a living hell.

Video of the Day: Roger Clamens eats batboy.

leave a comment »

There’s so many reasons to love minor league baseball. The beer is a cheap, you can move through the stands freely, and finding parking doesn’t make you want to stab yourself in the throat. And where else can you see a mascot named Roger Clamens eat the home team’s batboy?

Written by dylansharek

May 2, 2010 at 1:49 pm

Know Your Prospects: Jose Ramirez, RHP, New York Yankees

with 15 comments

Jose Ramirez.

During my two-plus years of religious attendance at Charleston RiverDogs’ games, I don’t think I’ve seen a better product come through this system.

I wasn’t planning on going to tonight’s game against the Hickory Crawdads, the Ranger’s low-A affiliate, but when I saw Ramirez was the starter, I packed up the camera, the notebook, and my program and headed out to Joe P. Riley, Jr. Park. I was so intrigued by the sneaky-fast fastball and the it’ll-make-you-look-foolish changeup he displayed on April 26 that I had to find out if they were mere figments of my imagination or if this guy could possibly be the real deal.

And once again, Ramirez blew me away.

In six very, very strong innings, the 6’1″ righthander gave up just two hits. One of those hits, a first inning double by Hickory’s Cody Podraza, was all the Crawdad’s needed to secure the 1-0 victory.  Still, we all know wins and losses don’t mean everything.

Sitting at 80-83 miles per hour, Ramirez’s changeup is as advanced as any pitcher’s I’ve ever seen, at any minor league level. With his motion, you can’t tell the difference between his fastball, which ranges from from 89-93 and routinely touches 94, and his changeup. At this level, the batters are completely overpowered, overmatched, and overwhelmed.

He shows the ability to adeptly work both halves of the plate, popping fastballs in on hitter’s hands and stretching them out with changes on the lower half of the zone.

Ramirez’s curveball, which ranges from 79-84 and is an 1-to-7 offering, leaves a lot to be desired, but it has shown flashes of development. He threw it much more tonight than during Monday’s game against the Rome Braves, but he routinely left it up in the zone or down in the dirt. Still, it’s clear that it’s the pitch he’s working on. He never seemed to get a good feel for it tonight, but if he ever does, well…

What makes Ramirez so intriguing isn’t his great natural stuff, but the projection left in that stuff. He’s so tall (6’1″) and so thin (just 155 pounds), that it’s not improbable to believe he can add another 2-3 miles per hour to his heater as he ages.

Did I mention he’s not even 21 yet?

Ramirez’s free and easy motion makes me like him even more. There aren’t too many moving parts and it appears as though he’s made an unnatural movement as natural as possible. I’m no expert on pitching mechanics (that’s a direct shout out to you, Adam Foster, of Project Prospect), but if I had to wager a bet, I’d say his mechanics are as close to clean as you can get.

All of this means his stuff should play well at higher levels. And if I had to guess, I’d say he has two starts max, if they decide to promote him aggressively, at this level before he moves on to high-A Tampa. If he deals anywhere near as well as he has here in Charleston, he’ll be on the fast track to the upper levels of the minor leagues.

In 2009, Ramirez added the MLB.com Short-Season Pitcher of the Year award to his resume after going 6-0 with a 1.48 ERA and a paltry .159 batting average against. If they keep him with the RiverDogs for just a little bit more of the season, it’s easy to imagine him bolstering that resume.

This year, I’ve seen the Braves’ RHP Arodys Vizcaino in game action. Sure, it wasn’t the best game Vizcaino has ever pitched, but I didn’t see anything from him that would make me take him or rate him higher than Ramirez. When each pitcher develops and grows into their physique, I don’t think it’s at all preposterous to propose that Ramirez will have a better fastball, a better changeup, but a worse curve.

I really don’t think that Ramirez is having a good run or that he’s facing inferior competition; he’s just the latest of the Yankees’ international signees to breakout.

And that’s the true story of the game.

Game Recap: Charleston RiverDogs vs. Rome Braves 4/26/10

with one comment

It was hard to harness my excitement for this one since Rome was trotting RHP Arodys Vizcaino to the mound, the most heralded prospect I’ve had the chance to see this year. Vizcaino was a pivotal facet of the deal that brought Javier Vazquez to the New York Yankees this offseason.

Vizcaino was also coming off his best outing of the short season, a seven inning, six hit, six K gem against the Kannapolis Intimidators. Building on that momentum seemed like a foregone conclusion before I got to the beautiful Joe P. Riley, Jr. Park.

I don’t know if he was tired or what, but Vizcaino’s outing was short and hardly sweet. He went just three innings, giving up three runs on three hits. The early lead Vizcaino gave up was all the ‘Dogs needed as they won the game 5-0.

Still, it looked like Vizcaino’s stuff was there. According to the stadium gun, his fastball sat at 94-95 miles per hour. His changeup lingered almost exclusively at 80. A velocity differential that large may be overwhelming any other night, but the seeing-eye singles kept dropping and his two walks came back to bite him.

Vizcaino struck out six in the abbreviated outing, so this was still an encouraging start. He could have used some help from his curveball, but the pitch refused to spin like usual and he ditched it midway through the second. Velocity-wise, the pitch ranged from 75-78 miles per hour.

His mound nemesis, Jose Ramirez of the RiverDogs, however, was nearly untouchable. The 6’1″ righthander out of the Dominican was dominant, pitching six very strong innings without allowing an earned run. He struck out nine in the process.

The lean and lanky righthander offers a lot of projection, so he could easily add a few miles per hour to his 91-92 mile per hour fastball. And that’s an intriguing thought because his changeup was outstanding, with a ton of downward movement. Rome hitters never got a good read on it and consistently swung well in front of it. It very well could be the best pitch I have seen all year.

I don’t know much about Ramirez, but he’s putting together a solid 2010 season, holding a 1.93 ERA through four starts, in which he has lasted at least five innings and struck out five in each.

Offensively, the game was just okay.

Christian Bethancourt, Rome’s young catcher, was still way too aggressive at the plate. Aggressive may not even be the word; stupid, well, that could work. In his first two at-bats, he saw a total of two pitches. His blind aggression worked in the first, as he picked up a single to left. In his second at-bat, he flew out on the first pitch if I remember correctly. And in his third, I thought someone may have told him, “Hey dude, calm down. Take a few,” but he still swung as soon as the ball left the pitcher’s hand. I don’t remember the result, but I was shocked at how poor his plate disciple truly was. He’s also got a lot of work to do against breaking balls.

Charleston’s batters, while they may have looked good in this game, still aren’t doing a whole lot for me.

Six foot-four inch first baseman Luke Murton has hit in 14 straight, so he looks alright. However, I don’t know if I have ever seen a batter more dependent on off-day pitchers in the stands. Before he steps into the box, he looks up to his teammates in the stands (you know, the guys with the gun or the pad meticulously recording every pitch) and asks if a pitcher is throwing a curve or a slider and whether or not his change is working. He may as well have a teammate sitting on second stealing signs.

And Deangelo Mack, a South Carolina grad and the RiverDogs’ pride and joy, knocked another roundtripper. He looks like he could be heating up. He’s easily one of the RiverDog’s more exciting players, so I’ll keep an eye on him as the season progresses.

The real story for me, however, was Rome’s bullpen. RHP Thomas Berryhill got in the game and did not live up to the bullpen session I saw on April 25. His fastball was around 89-93 with little-to-no control and little movement. His stride to the mound is real long and his arm tends to lag behind. As a result, he leaves a lot of stuff up in the zone. I was not impressed with his in-game action.

Another guy, who I know zero about, really impressed me. Julio Surinach, a 6’1″ skinny righthander from the Dominican, looked electric. Well, I should qualify that: wild, but electric. He hit two batters, but struck out two, too. He routinely and aggressively worked the inner-half of the plate, unafraid of hitting batters. His fastball ranged from 91-93 and had good pop and sweeping movement from a 3/4 arm slot. His changeup is a good offering, but needs refinement. It sits at 85. He’s also got a big curveball that spun in at 78-80 miles per hour.