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Diamondbacks Minor League Recap 5/31/2022: Pfaadt Tuesday

Another great start by Brandon Pfaadt, who’s making a charge towards the Reno, if not the D-backs, starting rotation

Midland RockHounds v Amarillo Sod Poodles Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images

The Diamondbacks Minor league affiliates combined for a record of 3-1, with Reno not getting the memo that today was sweep day.

Top Prospect Performances

Amarillo CF Corbin Carroll: 0-4, R
Amarillo RHP Brandon Pfaadt: 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 8 K, 95 pitches (61 strikes)

AAA: Reno Aces 2, Tacoma Rainiers 3


Tommy Henry shoved in this game, allowing just 1 gosh darn hit over 6 scoreless innings with no walks and a career-high 11 strikeouts. In this brilliant start, Henry was able to get a called strike or whiff on 38% of his 86 pitches, with none of individual pitches finishing below 32%. Here’s a screen grab of his Statcast Breakdown

Despite the great outing by Henry, Reno (26-23) found themselves up only 1-0 on a 5th inning solo homer by Braden Bishop. Bishop’s home run had an exit velocity of 102.4 MPH, the hardest hit ball by an Ace in this game, and a launch angle of 33° for Reno’s only barrel of the game.

Taylor Widener would come in for the 7th and the first batter he faced barely missed a home run. Despite recording a punchout of the next hitter, Widener would allow the tying run to score on a single. An error by Drew Ellis on a potential inning-ending double play ball extended the inning, but Widener was able to pitch out of the inning with a strikeout and a softly-hit liner. More trouble would find Luis Frias in the 8th. Jarred Kelenic opened up the frame with a double on a well-placed fly ball between 1B, 2B, and RF. An infield hit with Ellis’ second error of the game would allow Tacoma to take a 2-1 lead. After a strikeout, Frias would allow a single that would push across a 2nd run on a fly ball single to right.

Despite trailing 3-1, the Aces put up a fight in the bottom half of the 8th. The first three hitters would reach on two singles and an E5 to load the bases with no outs. Camden Duzenack hit a sacrifice fly to right to plate Bishop from 3rd. Yonny Hernandez hit into an inning-ending double play to 2B to close off their last good scoring chance.

AA: Amarillo Sod Poodles 3, Midland RockHounds 2

Brandon Pfaadt was dealing once again, striking out 8 in 6 innings of 2-run ball. Run support didn’t show up until after he left the game, but Amarillo had a couple solo shots to tie the game. Blaze Alexander and Ti’Quan Forbes were the batters that left the yard for Amarillo (21-25), with Alexander hitting his 6th and Forbes getting his 5th.

The bullpen behind Pfaadt delivered 3 scoreless innings, allowing Amarillo hitters to grab the lead in their final at-bat. It certainly wasn’t pretty, as it took 3 walks and a throwing error on a potential inning-ending double play ball by the opposing pitcher to plate a run. Jake Rice, Brett de Geus, and Blake Rogers each delivered a scoreless inning, with the latter picking up his 3rd save.

High A: Hillsboro Hops 4, Tri-City Dust Devils 3

Hillsboro (23-21) took advantage of a pair of defensive miscues, capitalizing on a pair of errors to put up 4 runs. In the 2nd inning, Caleb Roberts would reach on a throwing error by Dust Devils 2B Jose Guzman to plate the first run. Tim Tawa would punish that mistake with an opposite field base hit to score Roberts from 2nd. The 5th inning would see Channy Ortiz reached on a missed catch error by Devils 1B Gabe Matthews. Like with the D-backs game Monday night, the Hops would capitalize with a pair of two out hits by the same culprits who did the damage in the 2nd, Roberts and Tawa. That gave Hillsboro a 4-0 lead and they needed every run they got to hold on to the win.

Jamison Hill had a solid outing, although he was let down by his defense, as the Hops made four errors. The extra outs made him reach his pitch count of 89 with 1 out in the 5th. Andrew Saalfrank came in to relieve Hill in the 5th, but a fielding error by 3B A.J. Vukovich would turn a zero in a run and ultimately a 2-run inning because of two errors in the field. Saalfrank would put up a zero in the 6th before giving way to Jose Alcantara. Alcantara would be rudely greeted in the 7th, as two singles with a walk sandwiched between would plate the Devils’ 3rd and final run. Zeros in the by Alcantara in the 8th and Liu Fuenmayor in the 9th would close out the game.

Low A: Visalia Rawhide 6, Inland Empire 66ers 4

Visalia (14-32) found themselves trailing 3-0 after the top of the 3rd, but were able to string things together in the middle innings to take the lead. Deyvison De Los Santos hammered out a 2-run double in the bottom of the 3rd to cut the deficit to 3-2. The 5th inning would see the Rawhide taking the lead. Sheng-Ping Chen homered to start up the inning. A couple base hits would put runners on the corners with no outs before Visalia dialed up the double steal. Junior Franco would successfully pull of the theft of home, giving his team a 4-3 lead, while Wilderd Patino advanced to 3rd after a throwing error by Inland Empire’s catcher. J.J. D’Orazio would drive in Patino with a groundout to SS. De Los Santos would add an RBI single in the 7th to cap off a 2-hit, 3 RBI game.

That was enough support for Diomedes Sierra, who allowed 3 runs (1 earned) over 5 13 innings on 5 hits, 2 walks, and 5 strikeouts. Rael Santos would allow a solo homer in the 6th after Sierra was done for the 66ers fourth and final run. Miguel Gil would get the 9-out save to close things out for Visalia.