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Diamondbacks Minor League Recap 5/21/21

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2020 Major League Baseball Draft
Get used to seeing Slade Cecconi in a D-backs cap.
Photo by MLB Photos via Getty Images

The Diamondbacks Minor League affiliates combined for a 2-2 record. Reno and Hillsboro pulled off close wins while Visalia and Amarillo struggled to prevent big innings in losses. Top pitching prospects Slade Cecconi and Luis Frias started today, so you’ll want to read below to see how they fared.

Yesterday, top prospect Corbin Carroll met with the media over a Zoom call to talk about his road to rehabbing from a surgery to repair a posterior capsular avulsion and torn shoulder labrum. He sustained the injury in the follow-through of his home run swing on May 10th. He elected to take the surgical route in order to avoid any bad habits that could have formed by trying to playing through the injury and pain. In my opinion, that takes off any potential 2022 debut off the table so his timetable to getting into the lineup is now somewhere in 2023.

Here’s audio [LINK]:

Best Pitching Performance: Hillsboro LHP Kenny Hernandez - 4 13 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K, W (1-0)
Best Hitting Performance: Amarillo CF Jake McCarthy - 2 for 3, solo HR (2), BB

AAA: Reno Aces 9, Sacramento River Cats (SFG) 6

Reno ended up facing the entire Sacramento bullpen for this one with a bunch of old friends pitching. Jon Duplantier got the start and managed to clear 5 innings on 78 pitches, a huge win for those who still believe in him as a starter. Dup allowed one run on 3 hits, walked 3, and struck out 3.

Reno would put up a 4 spot in the top of the 3rd, thanks to pitchers who can’t field. After a leadoff single, Dup would bunt the ball back to the mound and a throwing error would open up the floodgates. Nick Heath and Juniel Querecuto would hit back to back singles to make it 2-0. Another walk loaded the bases with no outs before Reno before a double play and a single would make it 4-0. Reno would tack on in the 5th thanks to a double by Drew Ellis and a single by Henry Ramos, along with more wildness from Philip Pfiefer, this time throwing to home plate instead of bases.

Things got a bit hairy in the 7th inning. After Reno blew a bases loaded, no out situation in the top half of the inning, Sacramento stormed back for 5 runs in the bottom half of the inning. Three singles, a walk, and a homerun came against Carlos Navas, who was only able to retire 1 of 7 hitters he faced. Austin Powers would come in with the potential tying run on 1st and induce two flyouts to end the threat. The Aces once again took advantage of bad defense, as a throwing error put a runner on 2nd for Matt Lipka, who doubled home Ramos before scoring on a sac fly himself to make it 9-6. Miguel Aguilar would pitch around a single and a balk with 3 strikeouts and Ryan Buchter completed a clean 9th for the save.

1B Seth Beer: 1 for 4, BB, R
RHP Jon Duplantier: 5 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 3 BB, 3 K, W (1-0)

AA: Amarillo Sod Poodles 3, Midland Rock Hounds (OAK) 5

This game started out as a pitchers duel between Zac Reininger and top prospect Luis Frias. Jake McCarthy clubbed out a solo home run in the bottom of the 3rd to give Amarillo a short-lived 1-0 lead. Frias had been outright dominant through the first 4 innings, the only baserunner reaching on a throwing error by backup shortstop Mikey Reynolds. Unfortunately the 5th inning wasn’t as kind, as Frias would run out of gas and the bullpen was unable to strand the runners he left behind.

Frias would pick up 2 outs in the inning and had a chance to get out of the inning unscathed, but a single and a walk on full counts would result in Midland’s first run scoring and knocking him out of the game. He was still responsible for the runners on the bases and a bases-clearing double would put Amarillo down 4-1. They would make a bid to tie the game in the bottom of the 7th, as they loaded the bases with 1 out. Unfortunately the potential tying run was thrown out at home plate after Reynolds doubled to left. Midland would score an insurance run in the top of the 8th while Amarillo blew a chance in the 9th.

CF Jake McCarthy: 2 for 3, HR, BB
LF Dominic Fletcher: 2 for 4, 2B, 1 K, R
RHP Luis Frias: 4 23 IP, 2 H, 4 R (4 ER), 1 BB, 9 K, L (0-1)

High A: Hillsboro Hops 4, Vancouver Canadians (TOR) 3

Slade Cecconi took the mound and looked good. He used 66 pitches to get to 3 23 innings, allowing 1 run on 2 hits, 2 walks, and 5 strikeouts. They’re still building him up, so that probably explains the quick hook. His battery mate would give him an early 1-0 lead when Andy Yerzy launched a home run to dead central. That would be all the scoring until the bottom of the 7th.

With 2 on and 2 outs in the 4th inning, manager Vince Harrison elected to bring in lefty Kenny Hernandez. As you can tell from the top of the article, he had a pretty good day. Hernandez would pitch all the way through the 8th inning, allowing just 1 hit. In the 7th, Hillsboro would take the lead thanks to the running game. Nick Dalesandro would open the inning with a single before stealing his way to 3rd. Tra Holmes saw that was fun and decided to do the same, picking up an RBI in the process. Walks to Ricky Martinez and Leodany Perez would load the bases with no outs, the 2nd time in the game for Hillsboro.

A wild pitch would give them a 3-1 lead. A pair of strikeouts put the inning in jeopardy, but Martinez decided screw this I’m scoring myself and stole home. In just that 7th inning alone, the Hops ended up stealing 6 bases: 3 of 2nd, 2 of 3rd, and 1 at home. The 9th inning ending up turning into an experience, as the first two batters doubled and homered off Kyler Stout. A pair of strikeouts followed by a walk put the potential tying run on base with 2 outs, but Joe Jones came in to record the final out.

RHP Slade Cecconi: 3 23 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 5 K
SS Blaze Alexander: 0 for 4, 2 K
3B Tristin English: 1 for 3, BB

Low A: Visalia Rawhide 2, Stockton Ports 7

Brandon Pfaadt would put Visalia in a 3-0 hole in the first, although he would steel himself to allow no more runs to cross home plate in the next 4 innings. Overall Pfaadt gave up 4 hits, walked 2, and struck out 7. After the first he allowed just 2 hits, 1 walk, and picked up 5 strikeouts. Unfortunately, Visalia’s offense and bullpen seems to mimic the parent team’s offense, so it was enough to put them down for good.

Stockton would put up 2 runs on Junior Mieses in the 7th, stretching the deficit to 5-0. RBI singles by Lyle Lin and A.J. Vukovich would put up Visalia’s 2 runs on the board in the bottom of the 8th. Stockton would answer with 2 more runs in the top of the 9th. The loss now puts Visalia at 2-14 to start the season.

3B A.J. Vukovich: 2 for 4, RBI