Tag: Alex Presley
Three weeks into the minor league season... knowing that it's a small sample, who's hot -- or not-- at the plate:
Team batting average: .274 (4th in International League) , �20 Home runs (3rd in IL), 166 strikeouts (2nd in IL), 30 stolen bases (2nd in IL)
Who's HOT: � (* is the team high)
Steve Pearce - .371 average*, 9 doubles*, 2 homers, 7 RBI, 16 walks ; .488 OBP*, .643 SLG*, and 1.131 OPS*; �Pearce has been spending most of his time at first base, with just 3 games in right field. �This is the Pearce we saw in 2007, when he rocketed through the Pirates' minor league system. �His average has been above .400 this week, and even when he's not hitting, he's still walking and scoring runs. �He and Neil Walker should be the next position players called up.
Neil Walker - .333 average, 8 doubles, 3 homers, 15 RBI*, 10 walks, 7 stolen bases, .407 OBP, .560 SLG, .967 OPS; Walker is right behind his buddy Pearce in most of those numbers. �Pearce is doing it while back at his comfortable position, and Walker is doing it in all his uncomfortable positions. �He's learning to play outfield and second base on the fly, and is looking good. �If you didn't know this was his first month at second base, you probably couldn't tell just by watching. �He made a jump-turn-throw this week that looked like he's been there all his life. �He's also taking more walks than he has before, and has fewer strikeouts. �And, he's stealing bases -- second most steals on the team. �He's had at least one hit in 10 of his past 12 games, and went 4-for-4 last night. �Not so great splits: �he's hitting .434 against right-handed pitching, but only .091 against lefties. �Also in line to go home to Pittsburgh.
Luke Carlin - .342 average, 3 doubles, 4 RBI in 11 games. �Carlin has had more playing time than originally expected, due to some minor injuries to Erik Kratz.
Jose Tabata - .296 average, 2 doubles, 2 homers, 8 RBI, 8 stolen bases*; �Tabata started the season with an 11-game hitting streak, then went 0-for-4 in one game, and has hit in each if his next 6 games -- he's had at least one hit in 17 of the 18 game's he's played. �Looking good in the outfield, mostly center plus a few games in left.
Argenis Diaz - .296 average, 8 RBI; �That taste of The Show last week was good for Diaz. �He's been 7-for-15 since his return, and boosted his batting average 60 points.
Not So Hot:
Brandon Moss - .233 average, 2 doubles, 2 homers, 7 RBI; Doing better in the past week, going 6-for-22 in his last 5 games.
Erik Kratz - .200 average, 2 doubles, 2 homers, 7 RBI; �Invaluable behind the plate, though, and also on the mound.
Brian Myrow - .200 average, 2 doubles, 2 homers, 7 RBI; (yes, that's right, these three all have the same numbers of doubles, homers, and RBI); Got off to a slow start, but he's starting to pick it up.
In the Middle:
Pedro Alvarez - .237 average, 2 doubles, 4 homers*, 12 RBI, 22 strikeouts*, 8 walks; �Those homers all came in the first 8 games of the season -- in fact, three came in the first two games. �But, this is also how Alvarez started off last season with A+ Lynchburg, and he got better. �He had a modest 7-game hitting streak in the past 10 days. �Also worrisome is that he leads the team in errors (4). �Three of those were fielding errors, and the one yesterday was throwing, but he also probably leads the team in the number of times Steve Pearce has saved him at first base. �By my observations, about half of Alvarez's throws to first base make Pearce stretch out as far as he can go to make the catch -- to his left, to his right, in the dirt. �Pearce is a very good first baseman... what's going to happen if Alvarez is throwing to a less experienced first baseman, like Jeff Clement?
Continuing on with the rest of the affiliates... (click on "read more")
A late morning game, and an evening game on Wednesday.... the West Virginia Power have a scheduled day off
Altoona Curve 10, �Akron Aeros 2 (box)
The Curve tied their season-high with 15 hits on the way to 10 runs, to sweep a shortened 2-game series with the Aeros, and finish this homestand with a 3-3 record.
The two teams exchanged a run in the 1st inning. �Curve starter Rudy Owens opened the game by giving up a single, then hitting the next batter with a pitch. �A grounder to short moved the lead runner to third, but the Curve couldn't get ball to first fast enough for the double play. �A single into left field scored the runner from third, and Akron had the first run of the game. �In the bottom of the inning, DH Jim Negrych singled into left, then 3B Jordy Mercer grounded into a force out at second, but he also beat out the relay to first to avoid the double play. �A wild pitch put Mercer into scoring position on second base, and from there he scored easily on RF Miles Durham's line drive into right field, tying the score at 1-1.
Owens held the Aeros scoreless over the next two innings, while his teammates got him some run support. �SS Chase d'Arnaud led off the 3rd with a single blooped into center field. �Negrych followed with a smash past the diving Akron center fielder, which brought in d'Arnaud and put Negrych on third with a triple. �Mercer brought in Negrych with an oops swing that dribbled the ball into the middle of the infield and out of everyone's reach. �Two more singles, by Durham and CF Alex Presley loaded the bases, but all were left on base when the inning ended. �Curve up, 3-1.
Akron got a little closer in the top of the 4th. �Owens gave up a double and a single to the first two batters of the inning, and a grounder to third allowed the lead runner to score. �A double play ended that frame, with the Aeros within one run of the Curve. �That was all the scoring the Aeros would do, though. �Owens retired the side in order in both the 5th and 6th innings, and finished his day with 2 runs on 5 hits and a walk, plus 2 strikeouts over 6 innings.
Two more games in the lower minors on Tuesday... The Power played this afternoon.
Altoona Curve 5, �Akron Aeros 4 (box)
The hot-hitting infielders Jordy Mercer and Josh Harrison contributed two hits each, as the Curve held on to defeat the Aeros in Altoona. �The two got going in the bottom of the 1st inning. �With two teammates, SS Chase d'Arnaud and DH Jim Negrych both on base with walks, Mercer drove a single into center field, scoring d'Arnaud. �Moments later, Harrison's liner into left field brought Negrych home, and the Curve had a 2-0 lead.
With starter Tim Alderson on the bump, the Aeros had not done much in the first two innings. �They had a runner reach base on 2B Harrison's fielding error, but Harrison was able to start the double play that erased that runner. �In the top of the 3rd, Akron led off with back-to-back home runs off Alderson. �A single and another fielding error by Harrison put runners on first and second bases following the homers. �Another walk loaded the bases, and a sacrifice fly, the first out of the inning, plated the third run of the inning. �A double play ended the inning, but Akron had taken a 3-2 lead.
The Curve chugged right back in the bottom of the inning. �Negrych again walked, and Mercer singled again. �A wild pitch moved both runners up one base, and a walk to Harrison loaded the bases. �A second wild pitch gave Negrych the chance to come home, tying the score. �LF Alex Presley brought Mercer in from third with a sacrifice fly to take the 4-3 lead, and RF Miles Durham added an insurance run with another RBI single, plating Harrison.
Alderson had no problems with the Aeros in the 4th inning, but he let them creep a run closer in the 5th, when three singles loaded the bases with one out. �A grounder to 3B Mercer might have been an inning-ending double play --- the force out was made at second base, but they did not get the batter at first, so the runner from third scored. � Curve 5, Aeros 4.
Sunday afternoon's games for the Pirates minor league affiliates:
Erie SeaWolves 10, �Altoona Curve 3 (box)
Six runs in the 3rd inning gave the SeaWolves a huge boost over the Curve in the series finale, and the Curve could not catch up, despite 3 hits from C Kris Watts. Curve starter Jared Hughes retired the first three batters he faced, but got into trouble in the 2nd inning. �A walk and a double put runners on second and third bases, then a ground out brought in the first run. �An RBI singled plated the second runner, and Erie had a 2-0 lead. �The Curve tried to come back in the bottom of the inning. �Watts' first single, plus a walk to RF Miles Durham put two runners on base. �LF Alex Presley singled into left field, but the throw in to the plate was in time to tag out Watts, and a strikeout ended the inning.
Then came the 3rd inning. �The SeaWolves sent 10 batters to the plate on their way to 6 runs. �Two singles and a hit batter loaded the bases to begin the inning. �A ground out scored one run, and a double into center field brought in two more. �A grounder to third base let 3B Jordy Mercer make an out at third, but left a runner at first base. �Two more singles scored two more runs, and a double brought in the 6th run of the inning. �That was enough to send Hughes to the showers; Tony Watson came on in relief and got a ground out to end the miserable inning. �A solo home run off Watson in the 4th inning gave Erie a 9-0 lead.
The Curve made a little headway in the 4th. �1B Matt Hague led off with a walk, then a double error (fielding, then throwing) by the Erie third baseman put Mercer on base and sent Hague to third base. �Watts singled up the middle, and when the Erie center fielder made a fielding error, both Hague and Mercer scored. �That was all the Curve would get, though. �SS Chase d'Arnaud led off the 5th inning with a single, but the next 13 Curve batters went down in order. �With one out in the bottom of the 9th, Watts singled for his third hit of the game. �Durham doubled, bringing Watts around to score the last Altoona run.
Jared Hughes was charged with his first loss of the season. �Tony Watson allowed the home run in the 4th, and another solo homer in the 6th inning. �He pitched a total of 3.1 innings, and those were the only two hits he allowed. �Michael Dubee pitched the final 3 innings, allowing just one hit. �CF Gorkys Hernandez also had a hit, going 1-for-4 at the plate.
Altoona Curve 3, �Erie SeaWolves 2 (box)
3B Jordy Mercer was the man of the night for the Curve, as he went 3-for-4 at the plate, raising his batting average to .348. �He drove in two of the Curve's three runs and scored the first and third. �LF Alex Presley went 3-for-3, and 1B Matt Hague contributed two hits and the remaining RBI.
Starter Rudy Owens earned his first win of the season. �He allowed one run on 5 hits and a walk over 6 innings, and struck out 5 Erie batters. �The run came in the 2d inning, on a single, a walk, a sacrifice bunt, and an RBI single. �Owens stopped the scoring at one run by getting the next batter to bounce into a double play. �Owens also worked around base runners in the 1st, 3rd, and 4th innings, then retired the SeaWolves in order in the 5th and 6th.
The Curve bats were quiet in the early innings. �Their first hit was a single by Presley to lead off the 3rd. �Mercer tied the score at 1-1 with his first home run of the season, a blast over the left field wall with one out in the 4th. �Hague and Presley both singled following the homer, but were both left on base. �The go-ahead run came in the 5th inning. �CF Gorkys Hernandez led off with a single into right field that had deflected off the Erie pitcher. �SS Chase d'Arnaud bunted Hernandez to second base, then RF Miles Durham was hit by a pitch. �That brought up Mercer, who doubled down the left field line, scoring Hernandez.
Owens was relieved by Michael Dubee to begin the top of the 7th. �Dubee retired the side in order that inning, but the top of the 8th began with a batter reaching on a fielding error by Mercer. �After a stolen base, a walk, and a strikeout, Dubee was relieved by Danny Moskos. Moskos got a grounder for a force out at third, then a second ground out to end the inning without a run scoring.
Mercer started the rally in the bottom of the 8th that gave the Curve an insurance run. �He led off with a triple into right field, which was followed by a walk to C Kris Watts, and two singles by Hague (RBI) and Presley. �With the bases loaded and one out, Hernandez grounded to third, forcing Watts out at the plate, and another grounder ended the inning. �The insurance run was necessary, because Erie scored one more time in the top of the 9th on a double and a single off Moskos, who held on to end the inning and earn his third save.
Bradenton Marauders 6, �Jupiter Hammerheads 0 (box)
Four Marauders#039; pitchers combined for a one-hitter against the Jupiter Hammerheads on Monday night in Bradenton. � Starter Brian Leach made the start and got the win. �He pitched 5 innings and it was he who gave up the only hit, a one-out single in the 3rd. �That base runner was promptly thrown out trying to steal second base. �Leach walked a batter in the 2nd inning and another in the 4th, and one more runner reached base on a missed catch error by 1B Calvin Anderson in the 5th. �Mike Colla also walked a batter in the 6th, but he pitched two hitless, scoreless innings. �Tom Boleska and Noah Krol each pitched a perfect inning to finish the game for the Power. �The four pitchers struck out a total of 9 batters -- 4 for Leach, 2 each for Colla and Boleska, and one for Krol.
The Bradenton batters posted 10 hits on their way to 6 runs. �LF Quincy Latimore, 1B Calvin Anderson, and 2B Greg Picart had two hits each, and Latimore collected 2 RBI. �RF Austin McClune scored the first run in the bottom of the 1st, when he singled, stole second, moved to third on a wild pitch, and scored on DH Tony Sanchez's RBI double. �The Marauders had a big 3rd inning, scoring 4 runs. �Picart got things started with a lead-off single, though he was forced out at second base on SS Brock Holt's grounder. �Another grounder by McClune moved Holt to second base. �CF Starling Marte plated Holt with an RBI single. �A walk to Sanchez and a double by Latimore brought in two more runs, and 3B Jeremy Farrell's double brought in Latimore with the fourth run. �A single by Latimore and a double by Anderson added one more run in the 6th inning.
Harrisburg Senators 6, �Altoona Curve 4 (box)
As the world looked in on the baseball-happy town of Altoona, via ESPNews and MLB, Stephen Strasburg made his pro debut against the Curve. �Some people, maybe those who thought Strasburg didn't need to bother with the minors at all, �may have thought that Strasburg would breeze through this start. �The Curve were not among that group, though. �Yes, Strasburg got his first pro win in his first pro start. �Yes, he did strike out 8 batters. �But the Curve did not make it easy, as they scored 4 runs off Strasburg on 4 hits and 2 walks, and reminded Strasburg and anyone else that those guys with the bats in their hands are dangerous, no matter who's on the mound.
With Curve radio broadcaster Dan Zangrilli and former Pirate pitcher Stan Belinda doing the honors on national tv, Strasburg started off strong. �He got 2B Jim Negrych on a sky-high pop out to short, and got CF Gorkys Hernandez to ground out. �Then LF Alex Presley lined Strasburg's 2-0 pitch to the base of the wall in right field, and sped around to score when RF Miles Durham followed with a line drive into center field. �C Kris Watts worked a walk, even though the 4th ball came in at 98 mph. �3B Josh Harrison struck out to end the inning, but the Curve had scored a run off Strasburg.
Strasburg settled down to retire the Curve in order in the 2nd and 3rd innings, with 2 strikeouts in each. �He began the 4th inning with a fly out off Durham's bat, but then Kris Watts worked another walk. �Josh Harrison bounced a grounder to Harrisburg SS (and former Curve and Indy Indian) Pedro Lopez. �Lopez scooped up the ball as he was moving behind second base, and flipped it to his 2B Michael Martinez. �But Martinez missed the flip, and instead of an inning-ending double play, both runners were safe. �1B Shelby Ford struck out, then SS Jose De Los Santos slipped a single just under his counterpart Lopez's glove and into center field. �Watts scored easily, and when the throw in from CF Leonard Davis came in to the plate way up the line and got past the Harrisburg catcher, Harrison rounded third and slid into the plate just ahead of the tag. �Next up was Altoona pitcher Rudy Owens, who had told the Altoona Mirror's Cory Geiger that he was more concerned about his first professional plate appearance against Strasburg than about pitching against the big prospect. �(Below the AA level, designated hitters are always used and pitchers never hit.) �Owens needn't have worried. �He collected his first pro hit and his first RBI too, with a single up the middle, scoring De Los Santos from third base. �A strikeout ended the inning, with the Curve ahead 4-0.