Saturday, April 27, 2019

April 20th and 21st Observations Salem Red Sox vs Frederick Keys

I attended the first game of the doubleheader on April 20th.  I could not stay for the second game.  It was a very sloppy game.  The first 3 innings took 90 minutes.  Salem's poor defense was the deciding factor in the game which the Keys won 6-4.

The next day was a much better played game that the Keys won 4-2   

DL Hall

This was Hall's third start of the year.  He has been struggling with his command and consistency.  

Hall had a easy first inning with two strikeouts and a groundout. 

The first three batters of the second inning got on base with two singles (neither hit hard) and a walk.  After a ground out that scored a run, Hall struck out Marino Campana and Nick Sciortino to get out of the jam.



Hall again let the first 3 batters in the 3rd on base with two walks and a softly hit single.  He was not as fortunate in escaping this time and three runners scored.  Hall did seem to get rattled towards the end of the inning and the last hit by Kervin Suarez was the hardest hit of the day.  After the inning, Hall appeared to say something to the umpire who did a good job of walking away.

Overall, Hall pitched 3 innings, 71 pitches, 5 hits, 3 walks, 4 earned runs and  strikeouts.  Despite his struggles, it is easy to see that he has two plus pitches that overmatched Salem at times.  The command will improve and Hall will have better days.

Jarren Duran

Jarren Duran has been one of the most impressive players in the Carolina League in early part of the season.  He was an 7th round draft pick in the 2018 out of Long Beach State.

Duran sat out the game against DL Hall.  He has three hits including a double and triple in the second game of the doubleheader that I did not attend.

On Sunday, the left hander hitting Duran hit an opposite field homer in the 3rd on a ball that traveled much further that appeared it would.  Duran only hit 2 homers in his college career.  He hit 3 as a pro in 2018 and this was his first homer in 2019.

Duran walked in the 6th inning and attempted to steal second. He was initially called safe, but was called out as he went off the bag.  Duran has good speed and know how to steal.

The Red Sox converted Duran from 2nd base to centerfield.  Duran's speed should be valuable here although he possibly could have caught Zach Jarrett's hit in the 6th inning with a better route.

Duran's production is making it look like he will be in Portland before the summer.  His lack of power may limit him to being a 4th outfielder type.

Kutter Crawford

Crawford is a solid Carolina League pitcher that gets the most of his ability. He works fast and is always around the plate.   Crawford seems to be successful the first time through the order and then it becomes more of a struggle. On Sunday, he gave up a two run homer to Trevor Craport in the 4th and was laboring in the 5th when he was removed.  In Crawford's 4 starts in 2019, he has made it to through the 5th inning only once.  

Crawford is 23 and was a 16th round draft pick in 2017. His ceiling is likely as a AAAA player.

Cody Sedlock

It has been a nice comeback year for Sedlock, after essentially losing the last two years to injuries and falling off the prospect map.  Sedlock was a 1st draft pick in 2016.

Sedlock was very effective on Sunday (5 innings, 1 hits, 3 walks and 2 strikeouts). However, he has neither top velocity or plus command.  Without another uptick in the pitch quality, I question how his stuff is going to play at higher levels.

Quick Takes Salem

Ryan Fitzgerald - Signed out of independent ball, he really knows how to work the count.

Marco Hernandez - Saturday was Hernandez' first game back since May 3, 2017 which was in the major leagues.  If he had not gotten hurt, he may well have gotten an extended look in Bostn with all of Dustin Pedroia's injuries.   Hernandez had three shoulder surgeries and was understandably rusty. In the 1st inning, Mason McCoy, the Key leadoff hitter, hit a pop up that clearly should have been Hernandez'  ball at second base if he took a few steps back, but he did not go for it and it dropped in front a Marino Campana for a single. When Hernandez got a base, he put on some sort on contraption on his hand, that looked a lot like an over mitt. 

Marino Campana and Pedro Castellanos - Both are tall, slender and athletic looking.  They both have long swings that seems to have plenty of holes.  Campana was sent back to Greenville after Saturday.

Quick Takes Frederick

JC Escarra- Hit the ball hard several times on Saturday with nothing to show for it. Escarra has some skills with the bat, but since he is limited to 1st base, there is little margin for error.

Mason McCoy - Has a pretty good hit tool, but is already 24 and has limited power and speed.  Steady with the glove.

Zach Jarrett - Swinging a hot bat. Has good size (6'4" 220 lbs). Would like to see that translate to more power.

Luis Perez - Mentioned being impressed with Perez on opening day.  Perez has a good arm and is pitching well for the Keys.  He will be 24 next month.

Francisco Jimenez - Nothing fancy, but very efficient on Saturday pitching the final four innings to get the win.

Irrelevant  Observation

Hard to imagine there is a greater difference in height in Managers than when the Keys play Salem.  

Salem' manager, Corey Wimberly is very generously listed at 5'8".  The Keys skipper, Ryan Minor is listed at 6'7".  

Being a diehard University of Maryland baseball fan, when I think of Minor, I think of when he had 30 points for Oklahoma to beat Maryland in 1993.  He was an outstanding college basketball that had 1,946 points his career.


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