West Virginia Power Game Recap: 8/5/11

Prior to the game today it was announced that Zack Dodson was promoted to West Virginia so I was able to get my first chance to see the 2009 4th round draft pick, and he was impressive. He went 6 innings allowing 2 runs on 5 hits with one walk and one strikeout as the Power defeated the Lakewood Blueclaws 7-3 tonight in the first game of a four game series.

Rojas went 2-for-5 with 2 runs scored in the Power's 7-3 win tonight

Dodson worked quickly all night and was throwing strikes, getting a lot of groundballs with very few pitches hit hard. Three of the five hits he allowed were softly hit and two of them didn’t leave the infield. He ran into his only trouble in the 5th inning when Lakewood got the first batter on with an infield hit. That was followed by a long fly ball that seemed to hang up there long enough to be caught, but Mel Rojas Jr. was shifted well towards left field and was unable to track down the ball hit to the right field gap which fell for a double. The Blueclaws scored their only other run off Dodson following the double with a soft liner just over the second base bag into center field.

Zack threw a total of 71 pitches, 46 for strikes and never had to throw more than 15 pitches in any inning. He only struck out one batter, the last batter he faced in the game, Anthony Hewitt, who he got three swing and misses from. Despite getting just five swing and misses all game, he wasn’t getting hit hard. His fastball reached 93 a couple times and he seemed to be able to amp it up when he needed to but he was mostly 88-90 all game and he hit 91 four times. The first time through the lineup he was mainly fastballs but by the end he was using all of his pitches with mixed results on his curve which had a huge difference in speed at times and a nice break.

Brooks Pounders pitched the 7th inning and showed excellent fastball command and was throwing harder than I previously saw, hitting 94 four times and sitting 92-93. He had trouble with his off-speed pitches and despite facing just four batters it took him 28 pitches to get through his only inning. He got two soft grounders to 3B before walking the third hitter, then finishing his outing off with a strikeout.

Justin Ennis pitched the 8th, getting into trouble right away loading the bases in part due to his own fielding on two bunts. He was helped by a poor running decision on a wild pitch that didn’t get far away and he was able to get out of the inning with just one run allowed. Jason Townsend finished the game off working a scoreless ninth. He was throwing just 91-92 which was below the 93-95 I saw last time the Power played in Lakewood two months ago.

The Power scored five runs in the 1st inning chasing the Blueclaws starter before he could finish the inning. Drew Maggi with a double, Daniel Grovatt with a triple and Mel Rojas Jr with a line drive single made in 2-0 quickly. After a stolen base by Rojas, Chase Lyles and Justin Howard walked. You would think in a five run 1st it would be hard to find faults with the team but Kawika Emsley-Pai swung at the 1st pitch he saw, popping up weakly in the infield and Rogelios Noris followed him swinging at everything. Nothing is more irritating to me than watching a guy walk two straight batters to load the bases and then the next guys go up there hacking away at bad pitches.

Kevin Mort came up with the Power up 2-0 and bases loaded after those two poor outs and he was walked which spelled the end of the night for Lakewood’s starter. Eric Avila greeted the reliever with a nice liner to RF bringing home two runs to break the game open early.

The Power scored another run in the 2nd inning with a leadoff single from Rojas, who went to 3B on a Lyles single and a wild pitch. Rojas scored on a shallow fly out from Howard to CF showing good speed on a ball that didn’t seem deep enough to score a run. West Virginia added on a run in the 8th inning with a sharp single from Justin Howard followed by a double down the LF line from Emsley-Pai that scored Howard.

Some notes of interest in the game include the huge difference between Eric Avila at third base this game as opposed to last time I saw him. He was very mechanical last time I saw him as if you could see him saying to himself, catch the ball, get into position to throw, now throw the ball. He was very fluid tonight, a stark difference between tonight and early June when he looked lost out there at times.

Daniel Grovatt had a very nice game at the plate despite the boxscore showing just a 1-4. He drew a walk, his triple was hit well and two of his outs were hit just as hard as the triple but both found outfielder’s gloves. On the opposite end, Rogelios Noris seems to be set on being a free swinger his whole career. I’ve seen him have brief stints of patience and it paid off but for the most part he goes up there hacking and I’m guessing most of his hits are off mistakes. There is almost no reason to throw him a strike at this point. He obviously has tools, his power is legit and his defense, arm and speed all are at least average so it is annoying watching him swing at everything knowing that such an approach never pays off in the long run.

I will have more on the other batters at the end of the series, giving my scouting reports and comparing Maggi, Rojas, Howard, Avila, Elias Diaz (who didn’t play) as well as Grovatt and Noris to their performances in June.

Enjoy this story? Pirates Prospects will be switching to a subscription site on 4/13, so that we can continue bringing you the best Pirates coverage there is. For a very small monthly price, you can continue getting articles like this, along with coverage from every minor league city. Get more information here, and subscribe today!

Share This Article

John Dreker

John was born in Kearny, NJ, hometown of the 2B for the Pirates 1909 World Championship team, Dots Miller. In fact they have some of the same relatives in common, so it was only natural for him to become a lifelong Pirates fan. Before joining Pirates Prospects in July 2010, John had written numerous articles on the history of baseball while also releasing his own book and co-authoring another on the history of the game. He writes a weekly article on Pirates history for the site, has already interviewed many of the current minor leaguers with many more on the way and follows the foreign minor league teams very closely for the site. John also provides in person game reports of the West Virginia Power and Altoona Curve.

Ohlendorf Goes 6 Innings, As Indians Overcome 5 Errors

Next Story »

Five-Run Third Inning Chases Owens And Sinks Indians

  • Anonymous

    Nice recap of the game. Looks like Pounders is being groomed to be a closer. He has been adding velocity throughout the year and has excellent command of all pitches as evidenced by his K/BB ratio. Looking forward to seeing how Taillon does tomorrow night. Heard they had a record crowd at the game in Lakewood of over 8,800 peple……You can’t beat minor league ball.

Latest Analysis

  • Billy Roth is the top prospect in Bristol this year.

    Another Projectable Prep Pitcher Sees An Increase in His Velocity

    6 hours ago

    When discussing the best Pittsburgh Pirates draft under Neal Huntington, the 2011 group has to be at the top of the list. It features Gerrit Cole, Tyler ...

    Read More
  • Arquimedes Caminero

    Breaking Down the Final Pirates Roster Battles After Today’s Cuts

    1 day ago

    With less than a week remaining in camp, the Pittsburgh Pirates made their latest round of cuts this morning, sending three relievers to minor league camp, including ...

    Read More
  • Keller Supak Hinsz

    Even With the New Draft Rules, the Pirates Are Still Loading Up on Projectable Pitchers

    3 days ago

    From 2008-2011, the Pittsburgh Pirates spent a lot of resources on projectable pitchers out of high school. So far, this approach has led to breakout performances from ...

    Read More
  • Josh Bell made the move to first base over the off-season. (Photo credit: David Hague)

    Why Should You Care About Prospects?

    4 days ago

    Yesterday I had a shorter day than usual. The Pirates had cuts at the MLB level, and a road game. The day was shortened at Pirate City, ...

    Read More
  • Gregory Polanco

    Q&A: Trading Prospects For Rentals, Polanco Concerns, Meadows vs Appel

    5 days ago

    I missed the Q&A last week due to a common problem in Spring Training: I forgot what day it was. It was around 6:00 that I was ...

    Read More
  • Nick Kingham f

    Improving His Two-Seam Fastball will Make Nick Kingham a More Effective Pitcher

    6 days ago

    With Jameson Taillon returning from Tommy John surgery, and unlikely to make an impact at the Major League level early in the year, the top prospect to ...

    Read More
  • Arquimedes Caminero 3

    The Roster Situations That Could Impact the Makeup of the Pirates Bullpen

    1 week ago

    There are less than two weeks remaining in Spring Training, and the one area where the Pittsburgh Pirates had actual position battles is heating up. There were ...

    Read More
  • Jordan Luplow

    How the Pirates are Trying to Stay Ahead of the Curve With the New Draft Rules

    1 week ago

    The 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement brought a lot of changes to Major League Baseball. The biggest change for the Pittsburgh Pirates came in the draft. From 2008-2011, ...

    Read More
  • Alen Hanson

    The Key For Alen Hanson to Help the Pirates in the Majors This Year

    1 week ago

    When the Pittsburgh Pirates moved Alen Hanson to second base last year, part of the plan was to get him to the majors faster by putting him at ...

    Read More
  • Tyler Glasnow 2

    What the Stats Don’t Tell You About Tyler Glasnow

    2 weeks ago

    The stat line for Tyler Glasnow’s start at Pirate City yesterday looked great: 3 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K. The lone run ...

    Read More
  • Browse More Articles

    More