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Minor League Recap 8/2/21: Reno Scores Four Runs Late, Falls Short Against Sacramento

Plus a look at AAA Reno’s Catcher Jose Herrera

Arizona Diamondbacks v Seattle Mariners
PEORIA, ARIZONA - MARCH 15: Jose Herrera #85 and Carlos Navas #76 of the Arizona Diamondbacks celebrate their 6-2 win against the Seattle Mariners during the MLB spring training baseball game at Peoria Sports Complex on March 15, 2021 in Peoria, Arizona.
Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

Reno Aces 5 Sacramento River Cats 6

Humberto Mejia went five innings and allowed two runs on four hits and three walks, while striking out four. Surprisingly Mejia did not allow any home runs. Shane Carle pitched a scoreless sixth inning, with a hit and a walk allowed. Taylor Clarke pitched the seventh inning and allowed an unearned run with a walk allowed, and struck out two batters. The unearned ran came via an error by shortstop Juniel Querecuto. Baserunner Mauricio Dubon was stealing second, and thanks to the error by Querecuto, ended up on third, eventually scoring on a sacrifice fly. Ty Tice pitched 23 of an inning and allowed three runs on four hits and a walk while striking out one. Shumpei Yoshikawa pitched the final out of eighth inning.

The Aces didn’t get on board until the fifth inning, when they were already down 2-0. Juniel Querecuto led off with a double, and scored on the Jose Herrera single that followed. After the River Cats scored a run in the bottom of the seventh to make the score 3-1, the Aces answered back with three runs in the top of the eighth. Andrew Young led with a one out walk, then Seth Beer followed with a single. An error on the play allowed the Young and Beer to advance to second and third on the play. Cooper Hummel hit into a fielder’s choice, with Young scoring and Beer out at second. Back-to-back-to-back singles by Jake McCarthy, Juniel Querecuto, and Jose Herrera would load the bases, and two runs scored on Herrera’s single, giving the Aces a 4-3 lead. Unfortunately, Henry Ramos was unable to keep the offense going, and he struck out to end the inning. Even worse, that lead turned out to be a mirage, as the River Cats scored three runs of their own in the bottom of the inning, putting them up 6-4. The Aces did rally in the top of the ninth though, as Ildemaro Vargas and Andrew Young hit back-to-back one out doubles, with the former scoring on the latter’s double. Seth Beer singled to follow, putting runners on first and third, but Cooper Hummel struck out, and Jake McCarthy grounded out to end the game.

LF Ben DeLuzio 2-5 with a pair of doubles

2B Ildemaro Vargas 2-5 with a double, caught stealing

CF Jake McCarthy 2-5 with a double, two outfield assists

3B Andrew Young 1-3 with a double and two walks

SS Juniel Querecuto 2-4 with a double, error

1B Seth Beer 3-4 with a hit by pitch

C Jose Herrera 2-4 with three RBIS

Prospect of the Week + Notes

I’ll be introducing a new feature here on the recap of monday’s games, where I highlight an individual prospect, preferably a lesser known prospects having good season. Today I’ll be looking at catcher Jose Herrera. Herrera is just 24 years old, though he seems older since he signed with Diamondbacks as an undrafted free agent, all the way back in 2013. Herrera started out the season in AA Amarillo, where played in 36 games. In 148 plate appearances Herrera is hitting .278/.372/.460, which is a 123 wRC+ and a .369 wOBA. After promotion to AAA Reno, Herrera is now hitting .323/.443/.462 with a 134 wRC+ in 22 games and 77 PAs. Though his Isolated slugging has dropped down from .183 to .134, Herrera has improved in other ways since his promotion. His walk percentage improved, going from 12.8% to 17.7%. At the sametime Herrera has dramatically improved his strikeout percentage, cutting his strikeouts in half, going from 26.4% to 13.9%. His BABIP is only .009% higher in Reno than Amarillo, so this improvement seems like the real deal to me. The switch hitting catcher has long been known his defense, but his value has certainly skyrocketed as his offensive consistency has improved.