It’s Opening Day for all four of the Diamondbacks’ full season affiliates. For more on the prospects and which level they’re at to start the season, check out the farm system preview. The team’s affiliates combined to go 2-2 with Jackson and Kane County, the two most prospect heavy affiliates in the organization, picking up the wins.
These players started off 2019 in notorious fashion:
3 Stars: Jackson RHP Justin Donatella 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 K, W (1-0)
2 Stars: Kane County RHP Andy Toelken 4 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K, W (1-0)
1 Star: Visalia 1B Yoel Yanqui 1 for 3, solo HR, BB
0 Stars: Kane County LF Tra Holmes 0 for 3, 3 K, CS
(AAA) Reno Aces 4, Fresno Grizzlies 5: The Grizzlies are now the AAA affiliate for the Washington Nationals, previously being Houston’s AAA team the past few seasons. Taylor Clarke took the ball on Opening day for the Aces (0-1) and allowed just two solo homers over 5 innings, striking out 2 and walking 1. Abraham Almonte provided the early offense with a 2-run double in the first, but the offense stagnated in innings 2-7. After the Grizzlies picked up a 4-2 league thanks to Braden Shipley and Marc Rzepcyznski (don’t ask me to pronounce that ever) each allowing a run in that frame. Kevin Cron cut the lead in half in the immediate frame with a solo homer and Domingo Leyba tied the game in the top of the 9th with an RBI triple. That sent the game into extras, where Joey Krehbiel was unable to get the 3rd out of the 10th, his second inning of work, before the winning run was able to score.
(AA) Jackson Generals 5, Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp 0: Justin Donatella and three other relievers combined for a 1-hit shutout of the Shrimp. Ben DeLuzio, Daulton Varsho, and Marcus Wilson each had run-scoring doubles, the latter driving in two runs as the Generals (1-0) raced out to a 4-0 lead. Pavin Smith, who went 1 for 2 with a pair of walks, also added a sac fly in the 8th for insurance that wasn’t needed thanks to stellar pitching. Kevin Ginkel put an exclamation point on this game by striking out the side in order for the bottom of the 9th. Jazz Chisholm and Drew Ellis went hitless, but drew one and two walks in the game respectively.
(A+) Visalia Rawhide 3, San Jose Giants 7: Visalia (0-1) was unable to get anything off Giants starter Jose Marte with just 1 hit and 2 walks in 3 innings. Unfortunately Jeff Bain struggled a bit with control as he allowed 2 runs to come across in 3 innings despite striking out 5 hitters. After falling behind 3-0, Yoel Yanqui slugged a solo homer to put the Rawhide on the board, but two errors in the top of the 5th yielded a 4-run inning and the Rawhide never were able to catch up. Jake McCarthy’s season debut was a dud with an 0 for 4 with 3 K performance.
(A) Kane County Cougars 2, Clinton Lumber Kings 0: Despite the high ceiling position player prospects at this level, the Cougars (1-0) won in an old fashioned pitcher’s duel. Jackson Goddard managed to somehow not give up any runs in 3 innings despite walking 3 and allowing 4 hits. The good news is all those hits were singles. The Cougars struggled against Clinton starter Chris Vallimont, getting just 2 walks and a single in the first 5 innings. However, they were able to scratch out a pair of runs against the bullpen and the Cougars bullpen was flat out dominant in the final 6 frames. With the bases loaded in the 7th, Brandon Leyton chopped a ball to the left side of the infield that allowed Andy Yerzy to score from 3rd for an RBI groundout. Zachery Almond provided an insurance run in the 8th with a bloop single to center. One run proved to be enough, as Andy Toelken and Ethan Larrison combined to allow just two baserunners (single, RF fielding error) in the final 6 frames with a 8/0 K/BB. Despite making an error in the field, Eduardo Diaz went 3 for 4, Geraldo Perdomo 1 for 3 with a walk, and Alek Thomas 0 for 2 with 2 walks (and 2 Ks).