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Dbacks Minor League Round-Up 4/17: Spruill Looking Good

Zeke Spruill had yet another solid start for Mobile last night in a tough 3-2 loss, his third consecutive solid outing to start the season. He was yet another piece in the Upton trade and probably wasn't considered one of the more exciting pieces. Since being drafted in the second round out of high school by Atlanta in 2008, he's worked his way steadily up the minors, even though he doesn't post the kind of pitching stats that normally get scouts talking. He doesn't strike out a ton of hitters, he will surrender his share of hits, and he doesn't post gaudy ERAs. He also doesn't walk a lot of hitters and he doesn't surrender the long ball. Last year in 161 innings he walked 46 and allowed just 8 home runs. The year before in 172 innings he allowed 10 home runs and walked 40. Those are good numbers. It remains to be seen if he's got any kind of solid future as a regular Major League pitcher, but he certainly can't be written off yet and just may develop into the kind of 4/5 starter every rotation needs. Deserves to be watched closely the next couple of years.

Zeke Sruill had another solid start for Mobile in a 302 loss.
Zeke Sruill had another solid start for Mobile in a 302 loss.

Last night's games featured of couple of late rallies for victories. Reno's was most impressive as they overcome a 7-0 deficit in the 7th inning by scoring 1 in the 7th, 3 in the 8th, and 4 in the 9th to win 8-7 led by Matt Davidson's 2-RBI walk-off single. South Bend rallied for 3 runs in the bottom of the 8th to win 4-3. Mobile lost 3-2 in spite of a good performance by Spruill, and Visalia fell 6-2 as Kyle Winkler continues his fight to find his game.

Snake Stars
3 Stars: Matt Davidson, Reno 3 for 6, 2 RBI, GWRBI
2 Stars: Zeke Spruill, Mobile 7.2 IP, 8 H, 1 BB, 4 K, 3 ER L (0-3)
1 Star: Chris Owings, Reno 2 for 5, 1 R, 1 HR (1), 2 RBI
0 Stars: Michael Perez, Visalia 0 for 3, 1 BB, 3 K

Triple A: Reno 8 Colorado 7. The Aces mounted a furious late rally with 8 runs over the final 3 frames to win 8-7 in walk-off fashion. Matt Davidson was the hero as he stroked a 2-run single with the bases loaded to drive in the game-winning runs in the bottom of the 9th. He went 3 for 6 on the night. Chris Owings hit his first homer of the year as part of a 2 for 5 night. Charles Brewer started and couldn't get out of the 5th inning after allowing 4 runs on 6 hits and 2 walks. Evan Marshall pitched a scoreless 9th to earn the victory.

Double A: Mobile 2 @ Montgomery 3. Zeke Spruill pitched all the way into the 8th innings after allowing 3 runs in the 2nd inning, all earned. The Bay Bears offense got it close with RBI in the 4th by Brent Clevlen and Garrett Webber. But they only got 4 hits on the night and couldn't get the equalizer.

High A: Visalia 2 @ Modesto 6. Kyle Winkler is still battling to find himself after missing all of 2011 and so far it doesn't appear he's there yet. He had a tough start last night going just 3 innings and allowing 6 runs on 6 hits and 3 walks. The Rawhide managed only 5 hits with Raywilly Gomez getting one of them along with 2 RBI. He's hitting .372 on the season. Michael Perez is having a tough time adjusting to the level as he has struck out 11 times in his first five games.

Low A: South Bend 4 Fort Wayne 3. The Silver Hawks rallied with 3 runs in the bottom of the 8th to win 4-3 and up their record to 8-2. Roidany Aguila got the game-winner with a single to score Alex Glenn. The late rally was aided by an error when Glenn hit a comebacker to the pitcher who promptly threw it away. Red-hot Jess Darrah started and wasn't as dominant as his first 2 starts but was still somewhat effective. He allowed 3 runs (1 earned) on 8 hits and 2 walks in 5 innings of work. Socrates Brito went 2 for 4 with a double and 2 runs scored, while Kevin Medrano also went 2 for 4 with a double.