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Diamondbacks Farm Round-Up 5/15: High Desert "Baseball" Edition

Here's a quote from yesterday's Farm Round-Up:

It seems that the Visalia bats didn't get the memo about playing in perhaps the most hitter-friendly environment in all of professional baseball.

They got the memo before yesterday's game.

Snakelet of the Day:

The Entire Flipping Hi-A Visalia Offense: 31-61 (the entire team hit .508), 7 2B, 1 3B, 4 HR, 26 R, 6:4 K:BB

Michael Freeman (Hi-A): 7-8, 3 R, 4 RBI; tied Cal League single-game hit record

Jonathan Griffin (Hi-A): 5-7, 3B, 2 HR, 4 R, 5 RBI

Non-Visalia Snakelet of the Day:

Marc Krauss (Double-A): 3-4, 2B, HR, R, RBI

Triple-A: Reno 7, Nashville 9. (20-20) The offense had a solid night, with Ryan Wheeler hitting his sixth home run of the year and Jake Elmore hitting a pair of doubles and a single, but the solid work of the Aces lineup was largely wasted by bad days at the ballpark from Sam Demel and Jonathan Albaladejo. After Zach Kroenke kept the team in it through five innings with four earned runs allowed and the bullpen duo of Bryan Woodall and Jensen Lewis gave up just one run over the following two innings, Demel came on and allowed two hits and hit a batter before departing. Albaladejo inherited a pair of Demel's runners, and would allow both of them to score, along with another run attributed to Albaladejo. Just like that, a two-run lead became a two-run deficit, and the Aces bats couldn't make it up in the ninth.

Double-A: Mobile 4, Chattanooga 9. (24-16) The BayBears bats managed three home runs off of Chattanooga starter Ethan Martin - one apiece from Yazy Arbelo, Marc Krauss, and (of course) Matt Davidson, with Davidson and Krauss going back-to-back. Unfortunately, all three blasts were solo homers, and the BayBears scraped just four runs across the plate while Martin was on the bump. Krauss added a double and a single to his impressive day at the dish. Meanwhile, Brett Lorin had an odd day, allowing seven hits, a walk, and a solo home run in five-plus innings while striking out seven batters, but surrendering seven runs, five of which were earned. Reliever Eric Smith made his Double-A debut after Lorin departed, allowing two inherited runners to score on a hit and two walks, but not allowing any of his own baserunners to cross the plate.

Hi-A: Visalia 26, High Desert 11. (19-20) Yeah, this game was plain silly. Poor David Holmberg had the misfortune of starting this game, doing just about everything he could to mitigate the damage. He worked 5.1 innings and surrendered 11 hits, nine runs (seven earned), and two homers while striking out two and walking none. The players of the game here might actually be the relief trio of Victor Capellan, Jeremy Erben, and Blake Cooper, who combined to allow just two runs across their 3.2 innings on the mound. That's right, a 4.91 ERA from the relief corps = CELEBRATION!!!

As for the top contributors on offense... well, yeah, it was basically everyone. Jonathan Griffin probably had the best game, collecting 13 total bases, hitting his seventh and eighth "homers" of the year, and adding a triple. A rehabbing Chris Young went 2-5 with a pair of doubles, Michael Freeman tied the Cal League single-game hits record with seven singles in his eight at-bats, and Bobby Borchering was 4-7 with a pair of doubles. Chris Owings was also a big contributor, with a home run, a double, and two singles, while drawing one of Visalia's four walks - the free pass giving me an opportunity to use this lovely image I've created in homage to Owings' free-swinging ways:


Let's see what Twitter had to say about this "baseball game".

(The following tweet would actually be rendered inaccurate by the end of the game, as every starter wound up with at least one hit in this absurd contest.)

In all honesty, it's a shame that Seattle's poor Hi-A pitchers have to work in this environment, and it's telling that they keep any prized pitching prospect as far away from High Desert as possible, preferring to hold them back in Low-A until they're ready to be thrown straight into the Double-A fire. High Desert numbers truly do need to be almost completely factored out of any player evaluation if you want to gain real insights into the player's ultimate value.

Low-A: South Bend 4, Bowling Green 5. (21-18) Infielder Gerson Montilla homered for the second time this season, giving him an extra-base hit in seven of his last ten games for the Silver Hawks. Matt Helm added a double, but the bats fell just a bit short as the Hot Rods roughed up South Bend starter John Pedrotty. Pedrotty worked 5.2 innings for the Hawks, allowing four hits, four runs, five walks, and two homers, striking out five. Willy Paredes allowed a run in his 1.1 innings of relief, which proved to be costly, before D.J. Johnson locked things down with a scoreless eighth.