After every game covered, our writers submit player reports with observations from that game. The best reports are collected each week for this feature, where we will feature about a dozen players and the progress they’ve been making in the last week. This time around we had reports from all four affiliates, going well over the normal dozen players. Below are the reports from our writers who covered games this week.
Ryan Palencer – Indianapolis
Josh Wall, RHP (5/5 – 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 0 HR) – Made 2015 Triple-A debut. Fastball was as low as 93 and as high as 97. Attacked the hitters and the zone, working quickly. Off speed pitches were around 84. Worked down with the changeup and breaking balls. Attacked the lower part of the zone, limiting the solid contact.
John Holdzkom, RHP (5/5 – 1.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 0 HR) – Worked with mostly fastballs in the 94 to 96 range. Worked mostly up with his fastballs, but the command was improved. Tossed a 85 mile per hour fastball with a palm ball resulting in a ground ball out. Showed some ability to get the ball down toward the later ends of the outing. Worked deep into the counts, with a full count to the first hitter.
Nick Kingham, RHP (5/6 – 5.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 1 HR) – Left after 5.1 innings with an elbow injury. Threw a ton of off-speed pitches, mostly curve balls. Started in the 93-94 range with the fastball. Did not lose velocity prior to the injury. Worked down in the zone, but got a lot of the plate most of the night. Worked primarily inside to left-handed hitters and outside to right-handed hitters. Change was in the mid to high 80s. Curve was in the low to mid 80s. Change dropped off the table as a put away pitch. Got a lot of ground outs.
Mel Rojas, OF (5/7 – 3-for-3, BB) – Attacked early in the count when he got fastballs. Swung at the first pitch in his first at bat and picked up a single the other way on a sharp hit to the second baseman. Picked up a five-pitch walk. Fell behind 0-2, before handling an 82 MPH pitch down in the zone for a single to left. Also picked up a second-pitch bloop single the other way to right.
Sean McCool – Altoona
Zack Dodson, LHP (5/4 – 7.0 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 1 HR) – Dodson was one missed pitch away from another spectacular performance on Monday night in Altoona. He left a breaking ball up on the outside edge of the zone to Richmond’s Myles Schroder for a no-doubter, three run home run over the left field bleachers. Otherwise, he looked strong through the night. Dodson threw mostly four-seam fastballs the first time through the rotation, only mixing in a few changeups and two curveballs during that time. After getting through the rotation once, he mixed in all of his pitches quite evenly, with the slider and changeup being used consistently with two strikes. He seemed to lose a little control of his fastball as the game wore on, but he was able to mix in his other pitches well to get outs. His four-seam fastball sat between 90-92, the changeup and slider was in the low to mid 80s, and his big looping curveball was in the mid 70s.
Jacob Stallings, C (5/4 – 0-for-3, K) – He threw out base runners on both steal attempts against him. The second was extremely impressive as he scooped a low slider from Dodson and threw a dart (past a right-handed batter) to third base to get the runner.
Chad Kuhl, RHP (5/5 – 6.0 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 0 HR) – Kuhl battled through six innings in his start. After a 27 pitch first inning, he came back with a seven pitch second inning and looked to regain control of the game. While Richmond scored four in the third inning, they really only had two hard hit balls, with one of them being one that Keon Broxton slipped on. Others just seemed to find holes throughout the infield. He only had one ball leave the infield between the fourth and sixth innings, a fly out to right field. Kuhl got ground balls all night. Unfortunately, it seemed to either find holes through the infield or take some weird bounces behind him. His four seam fastball reached 96 MPH, and his sinker was sitting between 90-93 MPH.
Tyler Glasnow, RHP (5/6 – 3.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 0 HR) – In the first inning of Glasnow’s outing, Richmond came out sitting on the fastball, and they were able to catch up to it for three straight hard hit balls. He gave up three runs with two of them earned in the first. Glasnow cruised through the next two innings (before the ankle injury) facing the minimum with four ground outs and two strikeouts. He was hitting his spots well with the curveball and changeup after the first inning and kept Richmond off balanced. He seemed to be settling in for a strong outing before the injury occurred, with his fastball hitting 98 MPH, and his curveball in the low to mid 70s.
Josh Bell, OF (5/4-5/6 – 0-for-12, 1 BB, 1 K) – (5/4) He looked terrible at the plate with three lightly hit ground outs in the infield. (5/5) Went 0-for-4 from the plate and grounded into a double play in the bottom of the 9th. His swing looked off balanced and awkward. He also had the opportunity to scoop two balls at first and failed on both. (5/6) He looked awkward and off balanced at the plate. After such a strong week last week, Bell looked like a completely different player hitting slow grounders and pop-ups.
Max Moroff, 2B (5/5-5/6 – 4-for-6, 2 2B, 2 BB, 1 K) – (5/5) He continued to stay hot with a deep line drive double to left center field and a deep sacrifice fly to the center fielder. The ball seems to be leaping off of his bat lately. (5/6) Like a broken record, Moroff had a great day from the plate. He was Altoona’s only multi-hit player. He hit a line drive double to left field to extend his on-base streak to 22 games in the first inning. He then walked in his next at-bat followed by a single up the middle in the sixth. At this point, Moroff looks like one of the Curve’s strongest, if not the strongest, hitter in their lineup.
Tim Williams – Bradenton
Felipe Gonzalez, RHP (5/2 – 6.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, 0 HR) – Gonzalez showed good command of his fastball, and also displayed some improved breaking stuff over what he had in previous years. His stuff is good enough to put up strong numbers in Bradenton, but probably won’t play in the upper levels. He should continue filling in as an organizational starter.
JaCoby Jones, SS (5/2 – 2-for-4, BB) – Showed some good fielding tonight, including a strong ninth inning where he made two difficult plays. One of those plays saw him range to the second base side of the bag, field the ball cleanly, and throw to first base for the out. He missed a similar play earlier in the year. Also made a quick turn on a double play, getting the out at first in a close situation.
JaCoby Jones, SS (5/5 – 2-for-6, BB, SB) – The defensive results from Jones on this night were mixed. He did a good job on the charging plays, and had plenty of opportunities in the 15 inning game. Jones only missed one of those plays, and it was a difficult one to make. The rest of them displayed his range, quickness, and the arm strength to make the throw from short. He doesn’t have a plus arm, but it should be good enough to stick at the position. He made errors on two plays he should have had, showing problems with his glove work and footwork. I wrote about his defense in more detail here.
Barrett Barnes, LF (5/5 – 1-for-5, 2B, BB, SB) – Showed no signs of his recent hamstring issue bothering him. Doubled in his first at-bat, and followed that up by stealing third base. He also made two nice diving catches in left field, showing no visible issues after either catch. Barnes played the entire 15 inning game, and while he took a night off the following night, he was back on the field after just one game off.
Cody Dickson, LHP (5/5 – 5.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 0 HR) – Dickson had some poor command issues, struggling to put hitters away with his curveball. The curve was often flat and up in the zone, and wasn’t fooling hitters in two strike counts. He needed 84 pitches to get through five innings, which shortened his outing. He also wasn’t helped by his defense, which had five errors and extended a few of his innings, while leading to an unearned run. Dickson wasn’t hit hard, and was a victim of his own control issues. He did manage to put up good numbers, despite the control problems.
Tim Williams – West Virginia
John Sever, LHP (5/7 – 4.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 0 HR) – Sever probably would have gone five innings tonight, but hurt those chances with a high pitch count, including two innings where he went over 20 pitches. He didn’t have the best command, missing a lot with both breaking pitches. He was bouncing his curveball in the dirt a foot in front of the plate, and the slider was flat up in the zone. The curve looks like the better breaking pitch, but he went to it too often in the first inning, and opposing hitters caught on to it. It was also loopy, making it recognizable early. His fastball was sitting around 89 MPH, and he did a good job to get ahead of hitters with the pitch, while getting a few strikeouts in the process.
Jordan Luplow, 3B (5/7 – 1-for-4, 2B) – Was robbed of a home run that went over the left field wall, hit a metal sign, and bounced back onto the field, with the umpire thinking it hit the top of the wall. Defensively he showed a strong arm from third base, although he did sail a throw over the first baseman’s head into the stands.
Michael Suchy, RF (5/7-5/8 – 3-for-7, 2B) – Suchy did a good job of using the opposite field, hitting a double off the wall in right in Thursday’s game, then poking a single through the hole on Friday. He also had a few other balls that were hit to the opposite field, although they went for outs. He’s a big guy, built like a linebacker, but he shows some good speed on both sides of the ball. Ranged far to his back right to make a catch at the wall in the right-center gap, and scored from first base on a double to the left field gap.
Yeudy Garcia, RHP (5/8 – 4.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 0 HR) – Ranged 93-96 MPH with his fastball, mostly sitting 95. Throws effortlessly to achieve this velocity. Talked with a scout who had seen the team for the last three games who said Garcia was the best pitcher he has seen. The scout didn’t like Garcia’s slider, and didn’t think he could develop a good breaking pitch for the upper levels due to his arm slot. Thought he would be a good candidate for a splitter or a cutter. Garcia throws a changeup, and the scout liked the potential of the pitch.
Austin Coley, RHP (5/6 – 6.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 8 K, 1 HR) – The same scout I talked with about Garcia was impressed with Coley. I didn’t see the Thursday start, but the scout was in attendance and said Coley had good command of his changeup and his breaking ball. He also threw a fastball that wasn’t flashy, but had a lot of sink. The scout felt that Coley wouldn’t be a big prospect, but was a guy who had a shot at the majors.