Box Score Recap – 7/21/2014

Darin Ruf had three hits, while David Buchanan and Ethan Martin pitched well for Lehigh Valley. They had the lead going into the ninth and then things went south. Then in the tenth things went even further south – so far south that the toilets flush the other direction. Which is an appropriate reference, I think.

Everyone in Reading’s lineup had a hit – Jake Fox hit his 11th homer. He’s only been with the team for 35 games. Hoby Milner allowed another home run – his 18th in 17 games. His HR/9 is nearing 2. At least he hasn’t had to face Jake Fox, I guess. Luis Encarnacion hit his second home run of the year while playing first base.  He’s only played two games in left and DHed some, and has not been used at third at all. That lines up with what we were told when he was drafted – they may have called him a third baseman, but it seems to not be an option going forward.

Here’s the affiliate Scoreboard from MiLB.


32 thoughts on “Box Score Recap – 7/21/2014

      1. Jake Fox has legitimate power and has put up some monster minor league seasons, including some huge seasons in AAA (check out his 2009 season – wow) and it doesn’t look like he’s the worst fielder in the world either. But he’s 32 and he’s never quite had the ability to stick in the major leagues due to limited at bats, not a huge MLB OBP and a limited hit tool in the big leagues. He’s certainly not the worst guy in the world to keep around and I think he’s quite a bit better than Jim Murphy. Fox is a lot like Jack Cust – the type of guy who, if he got 450 ABs in a major league season, could actually do fairly well for a year or two. I can’t imagine he’d be worse than Ryan Howard has been this season (sorry, Ryan, not meant as a dis, it’s just an honest observation).

  1. Ruf, ruf, ruf… 3 barks for 3 hits… For the Ruf Man. Totally jacking up Bootsy Doo! People, talk to the Doo & dish on the Ruffy’s hits!! Any line drives that you can hang a week’s worth of clothes on?!

    Bootsy Doo owwwwt!

    1. I mean really could he be any worse in left field than Brown , I think maybe we have seen the best of Brown. Im sad I hoped upon hope that he would be good but maybe he should go back to pitching because he looks lost. Maybe he should hire Joyner as a personal hitting coach because something isnt working like it did

      1. He would be worse defensively, yes. Though not by a whole lot. He would, though, hit better than Brown has been hitting, maybe a lot better.

        At this point, I’ve mostly given up on Brown. So I’m not going to say this would be a crazy move. But not a move with any real upside, apart from maybe squeezing out a win or two more this year (as it is probable that Ruf’s superior hitting would outweigh marginally worse fielding). I would still keep putting Brown out there, only because there’s SOME chance he could turn it around and rebuild some value. Whereas we KNOW Ruf is not a regular outfielder long term.

        Ruf should platoon with Howard – won’t happen but should (heck, a good case could be made for replacing Howard entirely, but that REALLY won’t happen) – and occassionally fill in in the OF.

  2. I actually went to the Williamsport game. I won’t pretend to offer much, but I will say that they looked really feeble for most of the game against Marcos Molina, who looks like a pretty good prospect for the Mets–a 19 year old who was hitting 94 on the gun (according to a scout sitting across the aisle from me), but who struggled with command a good bit. He was effectively wild against a pretty free swinging Williamsport lineup, thought, striking out 8 in 7 innings. Whitehead looked like a 34th round pick to me, he seemed to be fooling some of the younger guys (he got one Cyclones player ducking out of the way on a curve) but the better hitters (like Michael Conforto) basically hit everything really hard.

    JDT, who I’d never seen before, looked pretty sharp in his two innings, he seemed very much in command and rang up several Ks, I wish I knew how hard he was throwing but the scouts I was sitting near weren’t interested enough to use the gun on him.

    Drew Stankiewicz made a nice behind-the-back play at second. That’s pretty much all I have to report. On Monday’s game. Oh, there were about 15,000 screaming day campers there, the highlight of the day was the Spongebob Squarepants singalong.

    I also went to the game on Saturday evening, but it was my 2-year-old’s first baseball game, so I was distracted from my scouting duties. But Williamsport didn’t do much of anything to speak of until Hoskins homered with two outs in the 9th off of Luis Mateo, a former top Mets prospect who was making just his fourth appearance since coming back from Tommy John. Hoskins hit it out to left, in the same direction where the Cyclones catcher hit a ball off the scoreboard earlier in the game, and in the same general area where I saw Altherr hit an absolute bomb a few years ago. It’s my definite impression is that if you get the ball up in the air in Coney Island the ball really carries out that way in the direction of the Thunderbolt roller coaster

    Sandberg (who did not play yesterday) seemed like he was all out of whack hitting-wise, I guess that is evidenced in the declining average but I didn’t even see him make decent contact in any of his at bats over the course of the two games. Tromp looked very good, as we all know–too good for the level. Brown, Hernandez and Grullon did nothing interesting to speak of at bat, to my frustration. Despite reports of Grullon’s cannon behind the plate, the Cyclones stole two bases off of him Saturday, one of second and another of third. The one at second (which I had a better angle on) was definitely errant, a high throw that the 2B had to reach up to snag. A very, very small sample size, but worth noting. Seeing these guys in person certainly had the effect of underscoring just how far they all are from the majors.

    That said, it was definitely fun to put some faces to names, and maybe in six or seven years I’ll be telling the kid how he saw Rhys Hoskins hit a homer way back when he was a toddler.

    1. I went to the first game of the Cyclone series and I can agree with the phrase “free swinging.” These guys look like they’ve never worked a count in their lives.

      One thing to note about the Cyclones is that it’s my understanding they emphasize winning much more than your average short season team. They draw very well, being in Brooklyn and all that, and keep their fair share of overagers.

    2. Sorry, I made a mistake there, Sandberg did play on Monday. He just did so little at bat that it seemed like he wasn’t playing. They dropped him down in the lineup, it appears. He’s really scuffling. Well, we all knew he was a project.

  3. How great would it be if Encarnacion become the next Stanton , or those 4 years of Howard when we all marveled at his opposite field power

    1. What kind of question is that? These comments have been absolutely brutal lately

      1. Sometime before the spring of 2013, but I have no date on it. Guys who start as 16/17-year-olds you can guess because there’s a window where they can sign, but older guys like he would have been it’s impossible without getting the transaction from someone on the inside.

  4. Any reports on Ethan Martins velocity? I know when he came back it wasn’t where he has been in the past. He doesn’t need to be 96-97 where he’s been before (mostly outta the pen tho where obviously stuff plays up but in a few starts he threw in that range as well) he can compete nicely at 93-95 . . . Reports?

    Cord has certainly taken a nose dive the past few weeks.

    Also with Grullon you have to take a lot of other things into consideration;

    1. How good of a jump did the runners get?

    2. Was the pitcher slow to the plate? Over 1.4

    3. Maybe the runners picked up on the pitchers looks and knew when to break

    4. Did they run on off speed or fastballs?

    5. Where was the location of the pitch? Obviously belt to letters on Grullons glove side would be more conducient to him throwing a runner out then say arm side and low.

    Next time if you have a stop watch check what his pop time is . . If he’s between 1.80-2 seconds then he’s legit and the reports on him are correct. 1.80 is going to be a reach (thats a 8 on the 2-8 scale) my guess is that he’s somewhere around 2.05 which is advanced for his age.

    1. Okay, on Martin – I just saw his appearance on video. The Lehigh gun is typically 1-2 MPH slow. Based on that, Martin was sitting 92-94, but his command on the breaking pitches is improving. But for that fact that his fastball velocity drops precipitously after about 40 pitches, he would be and should be a starter. He has starter’s stuff, although he can certainly pitch in relief.

      However, in relief, he’s nowhere near as dominant as MAG was when I saw him the other day. Right now, MAG is completely dominant and his stuff should play up very well in the majors in a relief role. MAG’s evolution from ST is the most startling development of the year. It’s like two completely different pitchers.

      1. That is pretty encouraging, if true, though I’d like to see it with my own eyes. I saw him in spring training and it was underwhelming, to say the least.

      2. 100% agree about Martin. He should be a starter next year.He’s got four quality pitches…I remember reading in a few articles when Martin began his rehab outings, that the plan for Martin was he was going to pitch in the bullpen THIS YEAR, and be reevaluated after the season. They probably made him a reliever this year to take stress off his injured shoulder. As far as gonzalez, i have to disagree with you their. Imo, he also has 4 quality pitches, and Amara said the plan for him is to move back into a starting role next year.

    2. Yeah, I understand that all those things are contributing factors, but I don’t think having a stopwatch would make the observation any more pertinent. I mean, it’s a sample size of one game. I’m a fan, maybe a slightly better informed fan than most, but I’m not going to pretend I’m a scout. I think a lot of fans (and I’m not calling you out personally) make the mistake of thinking that just because they have a stopwatch or a speed gun from radio shack they are qualified to assess prospects, when it fact that takes a whole lot of specialized knowledge. I feel the same way about some of the prospect bloggers who do things like break down swing/pitching mechanics–they could know what they’re talking about but I have no way to assess their expertise, they might as well be describing the inner workings of jet engine.

  5. Carlos Alonso and Willians Astudillo….two short stocky guys who make contact and get on base. I wonder if they have any future with the big team!

      1. And Stoltz says this in the comments: “Yeah, compared to what’s up above, the Lakewood team is a gold mine. Cozens, Tocci, and Knapp have a chance, and even Walding showed well in my recent looks. Imhof, Mecias, and Francisco are interesting arms.”

    1. I think this is the most exciting stat: “Cozens has stroked the ball at a .314/.365/.514 clip away from home, including putting up 26 of his 35 extra-base hits, further backing up how impressive he is in this area.”

      We all know what a cavern the Lakewood stadium is, so the fact that he is OPSing .880 away from home is really encouraging. I think Matt pointed out his glaring home/road splits early in the season and the fact that it’s holding up through July suggests to me it’s not just a SSS anomaly.

      1. That video showed a guy, imo who’s power makes the ball jump off his bat. I never saw him before, he looks like he has real good power. now if he can learn the strike zone. even though on that plate appearance the ump call a ball 6 inchs outside a strike.

        1. I’ve seen Cozens in person. Regardless of what else you think of him, the dude can hit the ball really far.

  6. Starting to get excited about Encarnacion. After today’s game, his line is up to .229 / .308 / .400, and .279 / .367 / .442 in July. He’s 16, the same age Tocci was when he was in the GCL.

    To put his line into perspective, he is one of just two 16 year old hitters in the GCL, and his wRC+ is higher than 5/6 of the league’s 17 year olds (behind only Ozhaino Albies).

    1. I posted something similar, when Jesse was saying the same thing about still not feeling 100 percent but still pitching…It was a Mike Drago article from the Reading Eagle a couple weeks ago, but the article is behind a pay wall, hence nobody believed me…..

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