Today was a camp day at Pirate City, and there were no games played. Instead, the team played games called “27 outs”.
Two teams would take the field with the goal of being the first team to reach, you guessed it, 27 outs. There would be a batter at the plate and a pitcher on the mound, but no ball. The pitcher would fake a throw, then a coach at home plate would hit the ball in to play. If the team on the field made a bad play, didn’t hustle, or didn’t execute properly, they would be pulled off the field and the other team would be given a shot.
The teams didn’t really play innings. Instead, the coaches would shout out situations. For example, with runners on first and third, a coach would announce that it was a tie game in the bottom of the ninth, with one out. Then he would proceed to simulate a squeeze play.
The game was all about hustle and execution. Players could be pulled off the field even before the play even began. If the coach yelled out a situation, and the outfielders walked to their new spots, the whole team would lose the field, and the other team would get a shot. Some other examples of a team losing the field today:
-A first baseman throws wild to second on a 3-6-3 double play attempt.
-The pitcher misses the throw to second base on a double play attempt.
-Three fielders allow a pop up to drop between them in shallow center field due to a lack of communication.
-On a double steal attempt, the shortstop catches the throw in front of the bag, and makes the tag at second, rather than throwing to home to save the run.
-A catcher doesn’t back up the throw to first base.
-The second baseman takes the cut-off on a throw from right field to third base, when it’s the job of the shortstop.
As for the prize for the winning team: the losers had to serve lunch to the winners after the drill.
Today was a camp day, so not a lot going on. They held some drills early in the day, then played three games of 27 outs on three different fields. On the fourth field they held live batting practice.
I watched Dovydas Neverauskas and David Jagoditsh throw. Jagoditsh was drafted in the 32nd round last year out of the JuCo ranks. He didn’t play much, due to injury, but threw 91-93 MPH for scouts. In his first outing in the GCL last year he was 93-95 MPH. He’s got a lively fastball, and gets a lot from his 6′ 7″, 230 pound frame.
Neverauskas is another hard thrower. He’s 6′ 4″, 175 pounds, and hails from Lithuania. Last year I saw him touching 94 MPH at the age of 18. There is some video below of his live batting practice today.
Tomorrow the AAA and AA teams will be playing games at Pirate City at 1:00 PM.
VIDEO OF THE DAY
I recorded Neverauskas throwing a few pitches this afternoon. Nothing on how hard he was throwing today.