Tuesday, April 9, 2019

April 4th Observations Winston Salem vs Frederick

Winston Salem Dash 9 Frederick Keys 4 

I typically would get this out the next day, but I left on vacation right after the game.

Luis Robert

Obviously Robert had a big game and has been crushing the ball through the first five games.  Obviously he is a physical specimen that is incredibly athletic.  I was struck by how focused and serious he seemed.  It is not looking very likely that Robert will still be in the Carolina League for the All Star game on June 18th.

Nick Madrigal 

Everything about Madrigal is short and efficient including his size, his swing and his throwing release. There was some talk that the White Sox would move Madrigal from second base to shortstop, but it did not happen and he probably does not have the arm for it.  Only a matter of time before Madrigal starts putting up multi-hit game after multi-hit game.  Like Robert, I do not think Madrigal will be in the Carolina League for the June 18th All Star game.

Zach Lewis


I did not know anything about Zach Lewis prior to the game.  He was a good college pitcher at Wichita State, but was undrafted when the White Sox signed him in June 2017.  Lewis has put good numbers in his minor league career in the AZL in 2017 when he was old for the level, but also had a nice year in 2018 for Kannapolis in the Sally League (2.60 ERA, .189 average against and 103 strikeout in 103 innings). Lewis will be 24 in May.  

Lincoln Henzman was the Dash starting pitcher but he got hurt facing his first batter.  Henzman stayed in the game to face four more hitters before Lewis was brought in the game.  Lewis gave up a double to Ryan Ripken that gave the Keys a 3-0 lead.  Lewis mixed his fastball which he controlled well with a very effective curveball and kept Keys hitters off balance.  Lewis only allowed an unearned run in 6.2 innings which is actually the longest outing in the Carolina League this year.  He allowed six hits and struck out eight.

Lewis is a sleeper that is worth keeping an eye on. 

Brenan Hanifee

It was a rough night for Hanifee who had the misfortune of facing Luis Robert but also had no command. The command was likely due an off night. Hanifee had only walked 34 batters in 200 innings as a pro previously.  However, what struck me was that he did not seem to have another pitch besides the sinking fastball.

Luis Perez

Not really a prospect but he threw either a slider or cutter that was resulting in terrible swings against him. 

Ryan Ripken

Ripken went to University of South Carolina but never played before transferring to junior college.  He signed with the Nationals after being their 15th round pick in 2014. After struggling for three years, the Nationals released Ripken and he signed with the Orioles. 

Clearly the primary reason the Orioles signed him is his family. Ripken is not a prospect and will be 26 in July. Based on early scouting reports from his high school and college days, that Ripken has made it to Carolina League is a surprise and he has made progress as a hitter.  Ripken has good size (6'6") but only had 6 homers in 705 at bats prior to 2018.  He is painfully slow and not athletic, but Ripken does deserve credit for the improvements he has made.

On the first at bat of the season, the left handed Ripken hit a shot to dead center of the top of the wall.  On his next at bat, he pulled one off the top of wall in right.

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