May 27th, 2022 Scoreboard
- Triple A Oklahoma City 2, Reno 3
- Double A G1 Tulsa 2, Springfield 3
- Double A G2 Tulsa 2, Springfield 0
- High A Great Lakes 4, South Bend 11
- Low A Rancho Cucamonga 10, Visalia 13
Landon Knack is looking pretty dominant these days:
In his last two outings, he has tossed 11.0 innings, allowed one run on five hits, and struck out 13 without a walk.
When Knack was drafted, he was described as a savvy senior pick who would move quickly as a two pitch reliever. Two years later, and he’s missing bats with a five pitch mix, and touching 100. The transformation is incredible, and his ability to tunnel off his super vertical fastball is impressive, especially with his sharper curve that used to be more of a roller, a steal-a-strike pitch:
As for the ramp-up, Knack matched his career high pitch total of 76, up from the 70 in his previous outing, so if the gradual increase continues, he will be in untested waters in his next outing.
With Knack, there have been three IL stints — a delayed start to his 2021 campaign, a hammy over the subsequent Summer, and a delayed start to his 2022 season as well, so it’s fair to wonder whether those were merely speed bumps, or warning signs. That said, his combination of command and ability to miss bats with five different pitches is tantalizing. Despite all of the incredible arm talent in the system, he might end up being the best of the bunch. For now, he’s looking like a certified Dude. If he’s free and clear physically, it won’t be long.
Jose Ramos hit his first bomb at the High A level, and it wasn’t a wall-scraper:
Ramos ended up going 1/3 with a walk.
High A has been a bit of an adjustment for the 21-year-old Panamanian, as evidenced by an OPS of .749, and a K% of 31.8% thru his first 10 games at the level, but that’s pretty much to be expected. As always, it’s a test, and it isn’t the struggle that’s concerning, it’s how he responds to a bit of adversity that’s being observed. This is the youngest he has ever been relative to his competition (-1.4 years), so it’s possible that it will take some time, but the tools are still very much there.
Caleb Ferguson is looking like he’s all the way back, and he accomplished something rare last night along the way:
I have no idea how rare a Triple A immaculate inning is, but there have been only 80 at the major league level, so they don’t exactly happen every day.
As for his velo, Ferguson is here, now — all six fastballs were 95+ mph, he topped out at 96.0, and he averaged 95.4 mph, 0.1 mph less than his average fastball velo back in 2020. Bullpen help is on the way!
Mann wrapped up the doubleheader just a hair shy of the aforementioned club, with his slash line at .299/.413/.540, which is a far cry from how the season started.
Mann, whom the Dodgers picked in the 5th round back in 2018, had an OPS in April of just .646, but May has been nothing but fire — 1.179. Mann is no stranger to hot streaks, as last September, he absolutely torched Amarillo:
There’s a lot to like about Mann’s game — he has drawn walks at a 10% or greater clip everywhere he has been (save for a 14 PA stint in the complex league, but, c’mon), the Ks are manageable (20ish%), and he shows enough extra base pop to be a decent threat (ISO in 21-22 with Tulsa is .197).
Going back to the asterisk from earlier, where Mann was described as a fellow middle infielder — he was tonight, but he brings more than just that to the table. He has played everywhere but catcher and pitcher, and though he’s more of an emergency shortstop than someone who could handle it daily if times got tough, he can more than hold his own at six different positions.
I’d like to see how the bat and OBP skills hold up at OKC, because the bench could use a bit more versatility.
Luis Rodriguez hit his fourth homer of the season:
Four jacks, four oppo tacos. It appears he took the pull-happy criticism to heart, and is making a concerted effort. He ended up going 3/4, with his other two hits being singles.
After a strong start to the season, Rodriguez has been scuffling in May, with the walks largely evaporating, dropping from 20 in April to just five, but this is how it goes — the league adjusts, you have to adjust back. Let’s see what June brings.
Have a good weekend, everyone.