April 28, 2022 Scoreboard
- Triple A Oklahoma City 4, Sugarland 8
- Double A Tulsa 4, Corpus Christi 9
- High A Great Lakes 4, West Michigan 1
- Low A Rancho Cucamonga 5, Visalia 2
Clayton Beeter matched a career high in pitches with 55 in a fantastic start for Tulsa:
Beeter, whom the Dodgers eagerly snapped up with the 66th pick of the 2020 draft (FanGraphs had him ranked 19th in the class), was mostly 94-96 MPH with the fastball, topping out at 97.
Beeter’s last outing, against a tough Springfield lineup that gave Bobby Miller a rough go (twice), wasn’t nearly as clean, as he allowed 3 earned runs in 2.0 innings, striking out an uncharacteristically low 2. He was mixing in an interesting but as yet unrefined cutter at 91-93, which showed slider-like tilt, but of which he had poor command, as expected of a high octane breaker that’s new to the repertoire.
Last night, he stuck with his trio of 60+ grade pitches, the FB/SL/CB combo, to great effect. For the season, he has struck out 23 hitters in 11.2 innings, running a K rate of 46%.
Miguel Vargas did his best to get Oklahoma City back in the ballgame with this 9th inning blast:
Vargas reached base four times, going 2-for-3 with a pair of walks. He also made his third start of the season at second base, and he turned a couple of double plays while manning half of the keystone combination.
Lael Lockhart continues to roll right along for Great Lakes, giving Midwest League hitters fits with his curve that ranged from 68-74 MPH:
Lockhart has 22 Ks in 13 innings for Great Lakes. His poise and command of multiple secondaries are frankly too much for the Midwest League, he should get bumped up to Tulsa before too long.
Yadier Alvarez made his return to action, debuting for Oklahoma City:
Alvarez, who is from Cuba, was signed by the Dodgers back in 2015, and he was one of the most incredible arm talents the organization has seen, reaching triple digits with his fastball, and garnering 60+ grades with both his slider and his curve. Prior to the 2017 season, and after less than 60 professional innings, he showed enough promise that Baseball America ranked him 26th in their top 100. While it might feel at times like a bit of ancient history, the glow that one of the very best prospects in baseball gives off isn’t easily forgotten.
Alvarez is 26 now, and a long way removed from the reverberating buzz that accompanies top prospects who casually touch triple digits. He battled command, he battled injuries, he left the game for personal reasons, he rehabbed, and he has made it all the way back.
Tonight, he took the mound, and he threw strikes. He got outs, and he did so with a delivery that still looks easy like Sunday morning. Channeling Vin for a sec — here’s to hoping that he gets to push the sun back up into the sky, to enjoy at least one glorious day of summer.
Let’s get back to this one.