Third round draft Pick Daniel Palka out of Georgia Tech is off to a fine start in his professional career. Assigned to Missoula the slugging first baseman blasted 2 home runs in Missoula's 6-5 win yesterday. In four games Palka is hitting .375 with 2 doubles, 2 home runs, 5 RBI and a 1.349 OPS. One of the organization's stated needs heading into this year's draft was to acquire some power and the team did that with its two picks in the 2nd and 3rd round. They drafted high school power phenom Justin Williams in the 2nd round and Palka in the 3rd. In three years at Georgia Tech Palka hit 50 doubles and 41 home runs in 189 games. Williams is off to a good start as well in the AZL Rookie League going 4 for 9 with 2 doubles in his first two games.
3 Stars: Daniel Palka, Missoula 2 for 4, 1 BB, 3 R, 2 HR (2), 3 RBI
2 Stars: Roidany Aguila, South Bend 3 for 4, 2 R, 2 HR (7), 2 RBI
1 Star: Brandon Drury, South Bend 3 for 5, 1 R, 1 HR (11), 2 RBI
0 Stars: Brandon Sinnery, South Bend 4.2 IP, 9 H, 2 BB, 2 K, 6 R, L (4-3)
Triple A: Reno 2 Tucson 8. Garrett Mock had another rough start and Reno couldn't dig out of the hole. Mock allowed 4 runs on 6 hits and 4 walks in 4+ innings. Relievers David Pauley and Matt Gorgen allowed more runs behind him to make a comeback less likely. The only offense of note was Chris Owings (of course) who went 2 for 4 with 2 doubles. The Aces are in need of another starting pitcher or two with Skaggs, Delgado and Spruill all spending time in the majors.
Double A: Mobile 3 @ Jackson 9. David Holmberg had one of his worst starts after tossing a gem in his last outing. He only got through 5 innings allowing 5 runs on 6 hits and a couple of home runs. Eric Smith allowed 3 more runs right after Holmberg's departure and the game was lost pretty early. Garrett Webber went 2 for 4 with a double and an RBI, and Mike Freeman added a pair of singles.
High A: Visalia 5 @ Modesto 6. The Rawhide got out to an early 4-0 lead in the 1st but couldn't make it stand up when starter Robert Coe allowed 4 of his own in the 6th. He finished with 5 runs allowed in 4+ innings. The offense only produced 7 hits, all singles, with 4 of those coming in the 1st inning. Gerson Montilla, David Nick and Jon Griffin each had 2 hits.
Low A: South Bend 7 @ Great Lakes 10. In a back and forth affair South Bend came up short as they allowed 8 runs in the 4th through 8th innings. Midwest All Star Brandon Sinnery wasn't at his best allowing 6 runs in 4+ innings. Catcher Roidany Aguila cracked a pair of solo home runs and Brandon Drury went 3 for 5 with his 11th home run.
Short Season A: Hillsboro 5 @ Everett 6. The Hillsboro bullpen couldn't hold onto a slim lead as Patrick Smith allowed a run in the 8th and Yoimer Camacho allowed a walk-off infield single in the bottom of the 9th. Starter Jose Martinez was cruising until the 5th when he walked two, hit one and then served up a grand slam. He only allowed 2 hits in 5 innings with 4 walks and 6 strikeouts. Jordan Parr went 2 for 4 with a double and Zach Esquerra hit his 2nd professional home run. Esquerra, this year's 24th round pick, has taken over the clean-up spot with a solid start to his career hitting .364 with 6 extra base hits, 10 RBI and a 1.129 OPS in 9 games. Esquerra is a well built outfielder at 6-4, 215 that also fits the power profile the team was looking to add this year in the draft.
Rookie: Missoula 5 @ Great Falls 3. The Osprey scored 2 unearned runs in the top of the 10th inning and pitcher Geordy Parra made it stand up with 2 innings of shutout relief. Carlos Hernandez started and was decent allowing 3 runs in 5 innings of work. Daniel Palka supplied the rest of the offense with 2 home runs, his first as a professional.
AZL Rookie: Dbacks 3 @ Athletics 8. A trio of Dbacks pitchers allowed a steady flow of runs to cross and the offense couldn't keep up. Dallas Newton allowed 2 runs in 3 innings, Sean Furney allowed 3 runs in 4 innings, and Luis Hernandez allowed 3 runs in just 1 inning. Dane McFarland went 1 for 3 with a walk and a double to pace a meager offensive output.