May 12th, 2023 Scoreboard
- Triple-A Oklahoma City 6, Round Rock 0
- Double-A Tulsa 10, Springfield 5
- High-A Great Lakes 8, Lake County 4
- Single-A Rancho Cucamonga 11, Stockton 1
Landon Knack keeps rolling right along for Tulsa, as he picked up his first W of the season on Friday:
The 79 pitches that Knack tossed were a season high, his previous high water mark was 74 back on April 29th.
The former East Tennessee State Buccaneer has now logged 29.0 innings this season, with a K/BB of 30/6, but the ability to effectively use his repertoire was never in question; merely the velo level he was operating at, which was predicated on health and of late buoyed by fitness and nutrition (further detailed here).
While it’s fun for Tulsa to have the best starting rotation in all of minor league baseball, now that Knack is comfortably sitting at 95 throughout his outings, along with being almost fully ramped up, the 25-year-old should arrive in Triple-A before too long.
There was a sight for sore eyes in Drillville for Dodger fans, as Diego Cartaya put about as good a swing on a ball as he has all season:
Cartaya went 1/3 on the evening, also drawing a pair of walks and driving in four, grounding into a double play and hitting a hard lineout to right in his other two ABs.
Before looking at the numbers, it is important to note that, bar none, in state-side minor league baseball there is no greater jump than from High-A to Double-A. At High-A, you can get outs if you have a decent offspeed pitch and the hitters who can’t hit an offspeed pitch are exposed, and that’s often the end of the line. At Double-A, hitters and pitchers have a better understanding of their games, and are able to approach ABs with plans specific to their skillset and the opposition. In short, tools are very rarely enough, and this step up in competition is the first taste of the level of aptitude that is a requirement of major league baseball players. Additionally, in the field, players have settled into their likely long-term position and are typically just working to further polish aspects of their defensive game, so holes tighten up and hits are harder to come by.
With all of that said, without a doubt, Cartaya’s first five weeks in the Texas League have been rough. The 21-year-old is currently slashing .197/.284/.355, with a strikeout rate of 31.8% and an infield fly ball rate a little north of 30% as pitchers have successfully attacked him up in the zone time and again.
Until Friday night, that is. Which is part of what makes that particular long ball so encouraging. It’s a game of adjustments, more so at the Double-A level than any before it, and on this particular night the young Venezuelan put together a few impressive swings, the kind that he will need in his bag of tricks if he is to meet and exceed his current challenge. Do it again, and again after that, kid.
Josue De Paula went deep again on Saturday, and good heavens, turn the sound on for this one, for both the contact and the landing:
De Paula is 17. Only for another week and a half (his birthday is on May 24th), but still, for the time being, he is 17, and the sound he gets off the bat stops you dead in your tracks. At these sorts of complex games, the only people in attendance, typically, are team personnel. Players, coaches, scouts, perhaps some executives now and then. That’s usually it. These folks have seen a game or three, and for them to react as audibly as they do here, well. They know they saw something special. Strap in, boys and girls, because this is going to be one heck of a fun ride.
Payton Martin, the 18-year-old wunderkind who has been absolutely dealing for Rancho, was at it again on Friday, as he tossed another pair of scoreless innings, allowing one base hit and striking out two. The 2022 17th round pick lowered his ERA to a microscopic 0.56.
Martin was followed in the contest by a fellow 2022 draftee, 7th rounder Chris Campos, who has also been shining for the Quakes. The former St. Mary’s Gael tossed a career high 3.2 IP, allowing one run on three hits and one walk, and striking out six. His ERA held steady at 2.45 for the season, and he picked up his team-leading fifth W.
Here’s Saturday’s start times for the minor-league clubs (all times Pacific), along with the Dodger affiliate’s starting pitcher:
- Oklahoma City at Round Rock – 5:05 PM, Robbie Erlin
- Tulsa vs Springfield – 5:05 PM, Kyle Hurt
- Great Lakes at Lake County – 3:35 PM, Ben Casparius
- Rancho Cucamonga vs Stockton – 6:30 PM, Peter Heubeck
Enjoy your Saturday, folks.