Minor League Recap: 5/6/13

Mike Stobe

Mike Foltynewicz made his Texas League debut, George Springer hit his 11th home run, and things got a little dicey in the desert for Travis Ballew - all in one action-packed day as the Houston minor leagues went 3-1 while the big league club had the day off.

Scout it Out

The National Baseball Hall of Fame has a really cool new exhibit, which features original scouting reports on tons of players. Take a poke around their website and you'll find some gems.

Here's one on Roy Oswalt from the Chicago White Sox:

Small framed wiry kid with tone and looseness. Weak appearance and below average development.

STRENGTH
Live fastball with late hop and consistently above average velocity (90-94). Real quick arm. Rotation good on breaking ball but quality is inconsistent (68-73). Tilted slurve is a better pitch with harder break. Really comes after hitters with the fastball.\

WEAKNESS
Delivery is a mess. Doesn't close up at all, jumps off back side and lands on stiff front and pitches against front with effort and recoil. Putting incredible strain on his arm. No utilization of offspeed.

SUMMATION
Scary to watch this kid but he is scary to hit off also. Live fastball and chance to have decent slurve in future. Basically has to be relief type and hope that he stays healthy. My feeling is that he will not, and to smooth him out would rob him of his velocity and deception. Under control with Houston and was signed at Mississippi State.

One from the Angels about Jeff Bagwell:

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION
Compact, very muscular build. Big, thick shoulders and upper body. Stocky lower half-heavily muscled legs and butt. Maybe just a little tight.

STRONG POINTS
Smooth, fluid, powerful swing. Hands thru the zone are very compact and quick. Explosive line drive power to all fields - balls he hits really take off. An intelligent and patient hitter - doesn't get many pitches to hit, and he will take the base on balls. Solid average, accurate arm and can reach back for a little extra. Not a holler guy, but comes to play - hard nosed and a hustler.

WEAK POINTS
Defensive shortcomings. Lacks first step quickness, agility at third and fails to field a lot of balls cleanly. Range and lateral movement below avg. Running speed is short. Won't be able to steal a base, but won't clog them either. Runs the bases with intelligence and calculated aggressiveness - scored easily from first on alley double.

SUMMATION
This fellow is the best looking hitter on the east coast and I think he's got a chance to hit .300 with power in any league, right up to the majors. Reminds me of Al Oliver - everything he hits is hard. His defense would bother me more if we were an astroturf club, but I don't think he's hopeless at third. Has no fear and his work habits are good. Would like to see us get him.

Pretty cool stuff. But if you want to see a scouting report that just gets right to the point, check this one out.

And you know what else? That scout was right.

Filthynewicz

When Asher Wojciechowski was promoted to Oklahoma City, he took the mound and promptly struck out the first man he faced. His replacement in the Hooks rotation, Mike Foltynewicz, is not the kind of man who likes to be outdone. He faced down the first Texas League hitter of his career, Raymond Fuentes, and promptly struck him out. He then walked Rico Noel, but picked him off at first base before striking out Everett Williams. Three up, three down, and the only fielder who had to make any play was Folty's Lancaster teammate, first baseman Zach Johnson, who caught the pickoff.

Folty struck out the first two batters in the second inning, as well... that's three strikeouts in a row, and four of the first five batters he's ever faced in the Texas League. The sixth guy - Anthony Contreras - was the first to put the ball in contact: 6-3 groundout, Jiovanni Mier to Johnson.

It's a theme that would continue. Folty struck out two more in the third inning, two more in the fourth, and just one in the fifth. I guess he got bored and decided to give the opposing batters a chance. It was also the only inning in which a batter got the ball to the outfield - a fly out to center and a single to left.

The most impressive part? From Danny Wild's article on MiLB.com:

"I only threw the curveball twice today," he said. "I only threw one changeup. The slider was working really well."

Foltynewicz, who's fastball in the 93-99 mph range, said he used a mixture of high heat and balls in the dirt to yield his best strikeout total since he K'd 10 on Aug. 21, 2012 with Class A Lexington.

"Half of [the strikeouts] were on high strikes and half were sliders in the dirt or sliders away," he said. "I mixed my pitches up well today."

Away Game Homecoming

Two former Astros, Brian Bogusevic and Edwin Maysonet, were on hand to face off against the Oklahoma City RedHawks. The pair combined to go 3-for-6 with a double, a triple, a home run, 3 runs scored, 4 RBI, and 2 walks.

I Guarantee It

Quad Cities has a very interesting promotional night coming up on Wednesday: If they do not win their game against the Cedar Rapids Kernels (MIN), every fan in attendance will get free tickets to another Quad Cities home game. This is, of course, the kind of thing that can only happen in minor league baseball, but it's a really clever marketing idea.

For a brief period of time, early in my life, I worked for a restaurant. My manager at the time asked me to look around the dining room and tell her which table would result in the least amount of money for the restaurant. I looked from patron to patron, finally arriving at what I thought was the right answer: A single man with threadbare clothes. He had a book by his side, and was clearly planning on being there for a long time. He had a drink with free refills and had finished his appetizer at least an hour before. I pointed at him, sure of my answer.

"No," she said, and pointed at an empty table. "An empty table is the worst thing you can have." Just as, at a baseball game, an empty seat is the worst thing you can have. Even if you don't make money on ticket sales, people pay for parking, food, beverages, merchandise. I've been spoiled: The first minor league team I ever saw was my hometown Dayton Dragons. I remember the day Fifth Third Field opened -- I was there. They sold out that game, and they've sold out every game since. Every single game in the history of the field. So I forget sometimes what a struggle it can be for some teams to get fans into the seats.

One way is to give the seats away. Good for you, Quad Cities. I still hope you make good on your guarantee, but I love the promotion.

Above Average Average

Here's a look at the batting averages of the first seven batters in the RedHawks' lineup (Trevor Crowe, Jake Elmore, Jimmy Paredes, Brett Wallace, Jonathan Villar, Carlos Perez, and Andrew Simunic):

.307
.315
.366
.315
.304
.462
.340

What Happened Was...

Oklahoma City RedHawks (AAA) - Ross Seaton took the mound for the RedHawks against the Iowa Cubs (CHC). It was just his fifth game - and fourth start - since getting called up to Triple-A. Over 5 innings, he threw 80 pitches. 10 percent of them went for hits. All told, he took the loss after allowing 4 earned runs over those 5 innings, falling to 0-2 for Oklahoma City, with a 10.42 ERA. The RedHawks offense also had four hits, none of them for extra bases. Perhaps more importantly, they did not draw a single walk. In their defense, they were facing off against Matt Garza, but they still fell to Iowa 6-1.

  • LF Trevor Crowe - 2/4
  • 1B Brett Wallace - 1/4, 2 K
  • SS Jonathan Villar - 2/4, 2 SB
  • DH Carlos Perez - 2/4
  • RHP Ross Seaton - 5 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 6 K
  • LHP Wes Musick - 3 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K
Corpus Christi Hooks (AA) - First, do yourself a favor and watch this:


A great pitching duel between Michael Foltynewicz and Donn Roach went scoreless well after both starters had left the game. Jeremy McBryde and David Martinez continued the electricity until the 8th inning, when Matt Stites gave up back-to-back home runs to George Springer and Domingo Santana. They were the only extra base hits of the game for the Hooks, but would prove to be all they needed, as they defeated the San Antonio Missions (SDP) 3-0.
  • DH Ben Orloff - 1/3, R, BB
  • CF George Springer - 1/4, HR, R, 2 RBI, K
  • RF Domingo Santana - 1/3, HR, R, RBI, BB, K
  • RHP Michael Foltynewicz - 5 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 K
  • RHP David Martinez - 3.1 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
  • LHP Alex Sogard - .2 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
Lancaster JetHawks (A+) - Lancaster put the first run on the board in the top of the first inning, but allowed 5 runs over the next two innings to fall behind to the High Desert Mavericks (SEA), 5-1. Solid work from Jonas Dufek out of the bullpen and piggyback starter Brady Rodgers shut down the High Desert offense, which allowed the Jethawks to scrape their way back into the game. 2 runs in the sixth inning, 1 in the 7th, 1 in the 8th, and 3 in the 9th gave Lancaster the lead, 8-5. That's when things got interesting. Travis Ballew gave up a 2-run home run to Daniel Paolini before shutting the door and earning his fifth save of the year as Lancaster won, 8-7.
  • SS Nolan Fontana - 1/4, R, 2 BB, 2 K, SB
  • DH MP Cokinos - 2/4, R, BB, HBP
  • 3B Matt Duffy - 2/5, 3B, R, 2 RBI, K
  • RF Preston Tucker - 2/5, R, RBI
  • C Tyler Heineman - 2/5, 2B, R, RBI
  • PR/2B Raoul Torrez - 1/1, 2 R, RBI
  • PH/LF Chris Epps - 2/2, 3B, RBI
  • RHP Chris Devenski - 3 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 3 K
  • RHP Jonas Dufek - 2 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K
  • RHP Brady Rodgers - 3 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K
  • RHP Travis Ballew - 1 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 1 K
Quad Cities River Bandits (A) - In Colton Cain's last four appearances, he gave up more earned runs than innings pitched. Yesterday, he was able to reverse that trend, pitching five scoreless innings. Mike Hauschild ran into some trouble, but the River Bandits offense was able to put some runs on the board, led by Ryan Dineen and Jordan Scott. The River Bandits pulled out a 8-3 win over the West Michigan Whitecaps (DET).
  • SS Joe Sclafani - 0/3, R, 2 BB, K
  • 2B Austin Elkins - 1/4, 2B, R, BB, K
  • 1B Jesse Wierzbicki - 2/5, 2 2B, 2 R
  • 3B Ryan Dineen - 2/4, 2 R, 2 RBI, K, SB, E
  • C Roberto Pena - 2/5, R, RBI, K
  • RF Ariel Ovando - 0/2, RBI, 2 BB, SB
  • LF Jordan Scott - 2/3, 3B, 3 RBI, BB
  • LHP Colton Cain - 5 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K
  • RHP Mike Hauchild - 2 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K
  • RHP Gera Sanchez - 2 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K


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