Arizona's top position player prospect continues to shine early this year. Matt Davidson has gotten off to an absolutely blazing start to the year for Mobile - after tonight's game, he now has 16 hits and five doubles through nine games, with at least one hit in each contest. Further, Davidson has posted a stellar K:BB ratio thus far of 5:7, which is encouraging in a small sample mostly because it was such a significant problem for Davidson in the past, particularly last year at Hi-A Visalia, where he posted a 147:52 K:BB ratio in 135 games. A good year at Mobile could very well propel Davidson into the team's plans for 2013, and provide a long-term everyday solution at the hot corner. (No, the title of the post was not a reference to some much-desired South Bend heat wave.)
Snakelet of the Day:
Matt Davidson (Double-A): 3-4, 2 2B, BB, 2 R
Triple-A: Reno 2, Sacramento 0. (4-5) The Aces bats had a rough time against Sacramento starter and top Oakland prospect Brad Peacock, who struck out eight Reno hitters in six innings of one-hit work, allowing just a single unearned run. Thankfully, Reno starter Zach Kroenke was even better, throwing six shutout frames with five strikeouts, walking three and allowing three hits. Relievers Sam Demel, Jensen Lewis, and Bryan Woodall combined to throw three more scoreless frames. Third baseman Ryan Wheeler added an RBI triple in the top of the ninth as an insurance run for the Aces.
Double-A: Mobile 6, Pensacola 5. (7-2) Left-hander Patrick Corbin made his second start of the year for the BayBears, putting together a quality outing of seven innings and three earned runs, striking out six batters while allowing six hits and three walks. However, this game came down to the work of each team's bullpen, as the score was tied as Corbin departed from the game. Mobile took the lead with two runs in the bottom of the eighth, though reliever Evan Marshall allowed a pair of unearned runs in the top of the ninth to tie the game up at five. That set the stage for a walk-off single from Alfredo Marte, driving in Matt Davidson, who had put himself in scoring position with his second double of the game. Davidson also hit a single and drew a walk, giving him four times on base on the day. Marte had three hits on the day as well, while Adam Eaton was hit by two pitches and stole a pair of bases.
Hi-A: Visalia's game was rained out, and Anthony Meo will have to wait until tomorrow at earliest to make his next start.
Low-A: South Bend 4, Dayton 6. (4-4) On the mound for the Silver Hawks in this game was left-hander John Pedrotty, a 13th-round pick from the 2011 draft who posted solid numbers a year ago at Short-season Yakima. Pedrotty works from a low-3/4 arm slot that instantly brings to mind potential as a lefty-killer, and he can spin a curveball to back it up. His fastball is in the 86-88 range with some arm-side run and sink, touching up to 90 mph. Pedrotty's control and command could use some refining - he missed with his curveball off the outside and inside parts of the plate, and left his changeup up in the zone on a few occasions. Still, as a lefty who can spin a hook, Pedrotty will be given plenty of opportunities to refine his command of the pitch.
After Pedrotty's departure - his line on the night: 5 IP, 6 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 K, 3 BB, 2 HBP - reliever Matt Sample came on to pitch the sixth and seventh innings. Sample worked primarily with a fastball from 91-94, occasionally showing a slider in the upper-70's, showing potential as a big-league middle relief arm. On the offensive end, Gerson Montilla and Bobby Stone each hit a double, with Tom Belza adding a "triple" - a single that was misplayed in right field and not called an error. Montilla has been the best bat in South Bend's lineup, with the numbers - a .333/.375/.467 line - starting to reflect the solid line-drive contact he was making in South Bend at the end of last year.