It's my firm belief that the Latin American summer leagues don't get enough press. Yeah, they're buried way down in the lowest depths of the minor-league system, but think of how many Latin American prospects grace big-league line-ups. We have seen DSL/VZL alumnus Gerardo Parra (DSL '05), Juan Gutierrez (VZL '01, '02), Esmerling Vasquez (DSL '03), and Miguel Montero (DSL '01) as a part of the 2011 D-backs, and have plenty of exciting Latin American prospects stateside who recently played in the DSL (most notably Wagner Mateo). So it helps that the best performance of the day came from a young infielder from the DSL, where the DSL-backs played a double-header with the DSL-Padres.
Snakelet of the Day:
Jesse Liriano (Dominican Summer League): 2-6, 2 3B, BB (two games)
Triple-A: Reno 3, Tucson 4. (38-28) It was a pretty Matt Torra-like day for Matt Torra, as the right-hander managed to give Reno seven innings of work, but only after giving up two-spots in the second and fourth innings. Torra sported a 3:2 K:BB ratio and surrendered two home runs, with a 7:6 GO:AO ratio and six hits allowed. Offensively, Tony Abreu had just one hit, but made it count by going yard for the sixth time of the year. Let's be serious here: if you have fewer than, say, eight home runs in mid-June in the PCL, you aren't much of a power-hitting prospect. The Aces who qualify as power-hitting prospects by this rule: Brandon Allen (9), Collin Cowgill (12), Cody Ransom (16), and Wily Mo Pena (20). Only one other Reno bat didn't take the night off: Wily Mo went 2-4 and hit, wait for it, a triple. His third of the year. My head exploded.
Double-A: Off-day for the BayBears as they head home for a five-game series against the most awesomely-named team in professional baseball - the Montgomery Biscuits.
Hi-A: Visalia 7, Modesto 1. (29-35) This was all-around awesome to see for the Rawhide. For starters, right-hander Eric Smith put in an impressive performance, surrendering just one unearned run in eight dominant innings of work. Smith struck out just two and hit a pair of batters, but walked none, gave up five hits, and registered 11 ground-ball outs (9 fly-ball outs). Offensively, the Rawhide put on an extra-base parade, led by two doubles, a walk, and a sac fly from Jon Mark Owings. Matt Davidson and Keon Broxton had identical nights, each doubling once, walking once, and hitting a sac fly. Ryan LaPensee doubled and walked, and Bobby Borchering tripled, though he also struck out twice.
Low-A: South Bend 1, Lansing 6. (31-33) Only one Silver Hawks bat showed up for this one, as Roberto Rodriguez went 3-3 with a double but the rest of the lineup went 3-28 without an extra-base hit and with ten strikeouts. Zach Walters and Yazy Arbelo each had a single and a walk, but combined for three strikeouts. On the mound, J.R. Bradley lasted just four innings, posting a 5:2 K:BB ratio but allowing six runs - four earned - on seven hits and a home run. Keith Cantwell pitched the final two innings of relief for the Silver Hawks, striking out the side in both innings.
DSL (game one): D-backs 2, Padres 3. 17-year-old high-profile infield signing Ronny Mejias continued the awesome start to his pro career in the Dominican, going 1-2 with a walk and his first professional home run, a solo shot in the sixth inning. 19-year-old infielder Jesse Liriano continued his campaign as one of the best bats in the pitcher-dominated DSL by going 1-3 with a triple as the team's DH.
DSL (game two): D-backs 2, Padres 4. (5-9) Liriano continued his impressive day of action in game two, hitting another triple in another 1-3 performance, but also collecting a walk. 20-year-old outfielder Alan Santiago - who actually spent time in the US in '09 with Missoula - went 1-2 with a double and a pair of walks. Given Santiago's .286/.444/.429 line and 6:8 K:BB ratio in 11 DSL games this year, I imagine he could be a candidate to return to the Osprey when the short-season leagues begin. It shouldn't be a problem to get him back to the states, either, considering he was born in Corpus Christi, Texas... 18-year-old 6'5" right-hander Joel Matos had his first start of the year, throwing two scoreless innings with a walk and no strikeouts.