It appears that the D-backs have cornered the market on right-handed small-school college first basemen with gobs of power and holes in their swing who slide to the later rounds of the draft. Awfully specific, eh? Well, aside from the most obvious example, Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona has a new enormously large man patrolling first base at Missoula who would love to follow a similar path. Now, don't get me wrong, the numbers being put up by the latest slugging right-hander to grace the Osprey's lineup pale in comparison to Goldy's, and the odds heavily favor us never hearing of this guy again in a year or two, but it's hard to not at least bring up Goldschmidt's name when looking at this 21st-round pick from the 2011 draft out of USF:
Snakelet of the Day:
Jonathan Griffin (Advanced-Rookie): 3-5, 2 HR, 3 R, 4 RBI, K
Triple-A: Reno 5, Nashville 11. (66-49) It was simply one of those nights in the PCL for starter Wade Miley. The promising left-hander posted a 6:1 K:BB ratio in six innings on the rubber, but the thin air of Aces Ballpark sent a pair of home runs sailing over the fences, and the result was six runs crossing the plate (five earned). The big left-hander still is the #6 option on the team's starting depth chart in my eyes, and I truly believe he would be an effective member of the D-backs rotation if called upon. In spite of home runs from Andy Tracy and Konrad Schmidt, the Aces offense could never make this one a close game, as the bullpen allowed five additional runs over the following three innings. Tracy was stellar, complimenting his homer with a single and a pair of walks.
Double-A: Mobile 3, Montgomery 10. (67-45) The story of this one was Bryan Henry's awful start, as the fill-in right-hander gave up ten runs in just 5.1 innings of pitching, posting a 3:2 K:BB ratio, allowing 10 hits and a pair of home runs, and hitting a batter. The offense received pop from doubles by Ryan Wheeler and Jimmy Comerota, while Marc Krauss added a triple. Wheeler's walk made him one of just two Mobile hitters to reach base twice in this game, joining Kyle Greene, who notched a pair a singles.
Hi-A: Visalia 8, Lancaster 6. (50-63) Visalia starter Derek Eitel had a similar game to Miley's outing two levels higher, allowing five runs in 6.2 innings on the mound despite a shiny 5:1 K:BB ratio and 8:4 GO:AO ratio. Unfortunately, Eitel allowed 10 hits and a homer, raising his season ERA to 5.23. However, before you freak out about that number, consider this: it ranks third among Visalia starters with five or more starts this year, behind Tyler Skaggs (3.22 ERA, 17 starts) and David Holmberg (4.93 ERA, seven starts). I have two take-aways from that list: 1) Tyler Skaggs is FREAKING INCREDIBLE, and 2) it's really hard to be good as a pitcher in the Cal League. Eitel remains a top sleeper going into 2012. As for the offense, it was a big day for top prospect Matt Davidson, who went 2-3 with a home run, a double, and a walk. Keon Broxton added a home run, while David Nick tripled, Alfredo Marte doubled, and Chris Owings walked (which always needs mentioning).
Low-A: South Bend 3, Bowling Green 14. (53-58) It was a rough all-around day for the Silver Hawks pitchers, as only Victor Capellan managed a scoreless outing, striking out three in his 1.1 innings on the mound. The offense was led by Roberto Ortiz, who went 3-4 with a triple, Ender Inciarte also tripled, and David Narodowski singled and walked twice. Unfortunately, the rest of the offense didn't pick up the slack, and this one ended up a blowout.
Short-Season-A: Yakima 2, Spokane 3. (17-33) It was a strong outing for starter Alex Capaul, who gave up just one earned run in five innings with a 4:0 K:BB ratio and 7:0 GO:AO ratio. Unfortunately, an unearned run charged to Capaul proved to be the difference in this game, as reliever Greg Robinson allowed the go-ahead run to Spokane, and the Bears offense couldn't get that run back. The offense received a double from Tyler Bream and triples from Westley Moss and Justin Hilt, but couldn't muster more than a pair of runs.
Advanced-Rookie: Missoula 12, Helena 9. (30-16) The offense went bananas with the home run ball in this one, clubbing five long-balls off of the Brewers' pitching. The homer culprits were Ryan Court, Bryan Henry (a different Bryan Henry from the one that got shellacked at Mobile), Ty Linton, and a double helping from 6'7", 250-pound behemoth Jonathan Griffin. Henry also tripled, and the Osprey collected a total of 17 hits in the shootout victory. Five bats recorded three-hit games: Fidel Pena, Tom Belza, Griffin, Court, and Henry. That was enough to cover for the struggles of starter Robby Rowland, who allowed six runs in 5.1 innings on seven hits, including a home run, with two walks and two strikeouts, and an off-night from the Osprey bullpen.
Low-Rookie: D-backs 0, Royals 2. (12-26) The D-backs offense really struggled in this one, collecting just four singles, four walks, and a HBP on the night. It's a shame, too, because promising starter Blake Perry had one of his best outings of the year, allowing just one run on two hits over seven innings of work with a 5:2 K:BB ratio. The best offensive performance came from Socrates Brito, who notched a pair of singles and a stolen base.