The news of the day is probably Archie Bradley's successful AA debut. But since he was on the cover yesterday I had to find someone else today. And it wasn't hard to find Jake Lamb who only went 4 for 6 with a grand slam for Visalia yesterday. Lamb missed 2-1/2 weeks to a leg injury earlier but in his first 10 games is hitting .405 with an OPS of 1.277 and 9 walks versus 11 strikeouts. Another 10 games like that and he'll be joining Bradley in Mobile. He's 6 months older than Matt Davidson and is a full two levels below him in High A, but he is making up the gap in a hurry to try and overtake him as our top third base prospect. He doesn't have Davidson's raw power but he is a much more gifted defender having played a lot of shortstop in his career. He could probably move to second base if the team wanted to develop him as a offensive-minded second baseman. He is shooting up my prospect list.
Around the minors there's a lot to report. While everyone has taken note and tweeted about Archie Bradley's promotion to AA, Zeke Spruill was promoted from Mobile to AAA Reno to make room for him and started last night. And he did wonders to calm things down with a 5+ inning, 1-run outing that helped end Reno's skid as they won 5-1. Archie Bradley had an impressive AA debut going 6 innings while allowing just 1 run on 4 hits and 2 walks while striking out 5 in Mobile's 3-1 win. Jake Lamb had a monster game as did the bullpen in a 5-4 12-inning win. And South Bend won again 6-4 behind more heroics from Ryan Court.
3 Stars: Archie Bradley, Mobile 6 IP, 4 H, 2 BB, 7 K, 1 ER, W (1-0)
2 Stars: Jake Lamb, Visalia 4 for 6, 1 R, 1 HR (2, GS), 4 RBI
1 Star: Visalia Pen*, 7 IP, 3 H, 1 BB, 12 K, 1 ER, W
0 Stars: Yazy Arbelo, Visalia 0 for 5, 4 K
*Visalia Pen = Seth Simmons, Blake Cooper, Willy Paredes
Triple A: Reno 5 Las Vegas 1.There's typically nothing pretty about Zeke Spruill's game. He walks guys and he doesn't strike out many, which generally produces poor results. But Zeke just gets guys out. In his first start for Reno following his promotion the day before Spruill allowed 1 run over 5.2 innings on 4 hits and 4 walks with just 1 strikeout. As I said, not pretty, but effective. Matt Davidson must be getting wind of all the Jake Lamb buzz and decided to do something about it as he went 2 for 4 with a double, a triple and an RBI, though he did commit his 7th error. Brad Snyder went 2 for 3 with a home run.
Double A: Game 1. Mobile 3 Huntsville 1. It was Archie Bradley's AA debut and he was just as dominant as he's been for Visalia. Just one run allowed on 4 hits and 2 walks with 7 strikeouts. Couldn't have asked for much more than that. He's very close to surpassing Skaggs as my number 1 prospect. It was also an asterisked complete game as the game was called after 6 innings due to rain and the second game was also cancelled. Ender Inciarte supplied the offense going 2 for 2 with a walk and his first home run of the year.
Double A: Game 2. Mobile - rained out.
High A: Visalia 5 Modesto 4. The Rawhide secured their second consecutive walk-off win, this time in 12 innings when Kerry Jenkins singled home Tom Belza for the winning run. Jake Lamb was the big star again going 4 for 6 with a 5th inning grand slam. Lamb is emerging as a bona fide elite prospect. Keith Hessler started and went 5 innings allowing 3 runs. But the story was the bullpen which struck out 12 batters over the next 7 innings to lead the team to victory. Belza went 2 for 5 with a walk and a double, and Gerson Montilla went 2 for 6 with a stolen base.
Low A: South Bend 6 Quad Cities 4. The red-hot Silver Hawks won yet another as Ryan Court delivered once again with a 3-hit night that featured 2 doubles and 2 RBI. Starter Kyle Schepel only went 4 innings as he struggled with wildness but still held Quad Cities to 2 runs. Frank Santana tossed a shutout 8th to earn the victory while Enrique Burgos pitched a clean 9th for his 2nd save. Alex Glenn also had 2 hits including a triple.