The Mesa Solar Sox won 6-3 today, with four Pirates prospects playing a big part in the win.
Robbie Grossman bounced back from his 0-for-4 performance yesterday, going 3-for-5 with a double and a walk today. Grossman got his hits in his first three at-bats, including two singles off of 2011 first rounder Danny Hultzen. On the season, Grossman has a .325 average with an .869 OPS. Keith Law held a chat today and was asked about Grossman, a guy Law said was on his short list of hitters to watch in the AFL. Law’s response:
Looks good – great at bats, hard line drives, goes the other way really well. I do wish they’d promoted him to AA midyear, because full-year repeater stats are close to useless, but from a scouting POV he looks strong. I feel like Grossman actually is the player Brett Jackson is supposed to be.
Brett Jackson was the number two prospect in the Chicago Cubs system, coming in to the year, according to Baseball America (number one after they traded number one prospect Chris Archer). He was also the number 36 prospect in Baseball America’s top 100. Law didn’t have Jackson in his top 100 heading in to the year.
Jarek Cunningham also helped out, going 2-for-5 with a double and two RBIs. Cunningham was 2-for-19 prior to today’s performance.
Nathan Baker pitched two shutout innings, and got credit for the win thanks to three runs in the top of the fifth inning (with the rally started by a Robbie Grossman double). Baker came on in the third and allowed just one walk in the inning, with one strikeout. He gave up a two out double in the fourth, but escaped the frame with a ground ball out. In two appearances so far, Baker has allowed one run on five hits in 4.1 innings, with a 4:1 K/BB ratio.
Baker threw 29 pitches, with 17 strikes. He threw 23 fastballs, ranging from 90-93 MPH, and averaging 91.96 MPH with the pitch. His average in the first inning of work was a little higher, at 92.14 MPH, thanks to six 93 MPH fastballs. Baker threw two changeups, one per inning, and both coming in at 82 MPH. He also threw four sliders, two per inning, ranging from 83-85 MPH, and averaging 84 MPH.
Michael Colla came on for the easy save in the ninth inning, with Mesa up by three runs. Colla, who had 3.1 innings without an earned run heading in to today’s game, pitched a shutout inning, giving up just one walk. In 4.1 innings, Colla has given up an unearned run on two hits, with three walks and three strikeouts. Colla threw 14 pitches, with 10 strikes and four balls. His first 12 pitches were fastballs, mostly sitting 90-91 MPH, but touching 92 once. He averaged 90.67 MPH on his fastball. He finished off with two 80 MPH changeups to get the final out on a ground out.
Mesa plays Surprise tomorrow at 3:35 PM EST. Gerrit Cole will be making his AFL debut, starting for the Solar Sox.