May 22nd, 2022 Scoreboard
- Triple A Oklahoma City 7, Sugar Land 2
- Double A Tulsa 10, Amarillo 3
- High A Great Lakes 8, Lansing 3
- Low A Rancho Cucamonga 1, Fresno 10
Ryan Pepiot got back on track in his first outing since returning to Triple A:
Pepiot was also throwing a touch harder — his fastball averaged 94.6 today (up half a tick vs the season), and it topped out at 96.3. He also mixed in more of his high spin slider, throwing 14 of them today vs 15 of them in his two big league starts combined. When his command is on, with his stuff, it’s a big league starter look, but it needs to be a more regular occurrence.
Speaking of command being on, Nick Nastrini was pretty locked in as well for Great Lakes on Saturday:
In Nastrini’s first five outings, he ran a walk rate of 17.9%. In his last three outings, that has improved to a much more palatable 6.1%. In addition to having his two best outings of the season in those last three, he also had his worst outing of the season, giving up 5 earned runs and allowing 2 homers in 3.1 innings. Outings like that are alright in the grand scheme, since figuring out how to use his stuff in the zone is more important than succeeding with nibbling and missing around the plate. At the next level up, the chases drop, and success in those types of outings is harder to come by, so it’s better to attack now and learn what works.
Lael Lockhart keeps rolling right along for Great Lakes:
Lockhart’s fastball is typically 89-92, and has reached 95. Via the Great Lakes play by play team, the stadium gun was off by as much as 6 mph yesterday vs the readings from Hawkeye, so take the numbers with a grain of salt.
That said, Lockhart is doing his thing as a pitchability lefty, spotting both his secondaries and fastball, and using them to change eye levels.
Miguel Vargas hit another big fly for OKC:
Vargas ended up going 2/4, singling and drawing a walk as well.
Vargas got off to a modest start to begin the season in AAA, slashing .259/.363/.424 in April. In May, he has absolutely caught fire, posting a line of .368/.467/.632, and has climbed into the Pacific Coast League top 10 for wRC+. Everyone else in the top 10 is 25 or older. He has been a minimum of a year and half younger than all of his competition at every stop (4.8 years younger at AAA), and he just keeps hitting.
Lastly, this past week saw the rollout of the Automatic Balls and Strikes (ABS) system. While watching the games, there’s little delay in the ump calling balls and strikes, it feels pretty natural … most of the time:
While these are the exception and not the rule, when they do happen, they stick out like sore thumb. The system is promising, but there are wrinkles to iron out before fans should be comfortable with this as an arbiter.
As for the living and breathing ump, they should all be Pat Hoberg:
Let’s be real, even if they were all like him, fans would cry about those two calls anyway.