First-round prospect, Mick Abel pitched today. This was the first time I was able to see him pitch. It was certainly worth the wait. But, it was also a disappointing tease. Abel started the game and dominated the top of the rookie-level Tigers’ order. Abel turned them away on 8 pitches, 6 strikes, and 3 ground outs.
The disappointment was that Abel was done for the day after one 8-pitch inning. Oh well, I hope I get to see him with the Low-A Threshers in May. Abel, from where I stood (behind the center field fence) looks like he has already filled out. He’s as big as some Double-A and High-A pitchers I’ve seen in past years. A good body comp would be Jesse Biddle when he reached High-A in his third season as a 20-year-old.
Abel looks like he’s ahead of rookie-level hitters. I don’t know his velocity today. I was about 400 feet from home plate, but with binoculars, it seemed much closer. His pitches were all in or around the strike zone. I say “around” in deference to the two that were called balls. But one was really close. The other was definitely high.
LHP Corey Phelan was signed as a free agent after the 2020 draft. I concluded that he was too advanced for rookie ball after his two innings. I thought I was watching a JUCO pitcher dominate lesser batters. I am flabbergasted to say that he is an 18-year-old signed out of high school in 2020. He also has an advanced build for his age. And, he attacks the strike zone deftly – 2 innings pitched, 23 pitches, 15 strikes, 6 up, 6 down, 3 K (all swinging).
These guys would make a nice righty-lefty combination in Clearwater this season.
Game three. The Rookie-Level Phillies hosted the Tigers. We lost 4-2 when Paul Zabowski doubled home 2 runs in the top of the ninth with 2 outs. His mother was standing next to me when this happened. I was gracious in defeat. No innings were rolled during the game. Here’s my boxscore.
|Y. Garcia||CF||P3||1B||FC||6-3||1-4, CS|
|Baylor||SS/3B||K||K||2B||F8||1-4, R, 2B, 2 K|
|Sanchez||RF||HR||6-3||F8||4-3||1-4, R, RBI, HR|
|Cedeno||LF||F8||BB||K||K||0-3, BB, 2 K|
|Mora||1B||F7||BB||K||0-2, BB, K|
|1/2||0/0||0/1||0/0||0/0||1/1||0/0||0/0||0/1||5-31, 2 R, 3 BB, 7 K|
Jadiel Sanchez showed some power with an opposite field HR (to LF) in the first inning before the breeze picked up and affected some balls later in the game.
Micah Yonamine and Yhoswar had line drive singles to left. Jamari Baylor surprised with a double off the LF fence after taking called third strikes in his first two at bats. He scored on a wild pitch. That and 3 walks was the extent of the offense. The Phillies did mount a threat in the ninth with a single and a fielding error, but a fielder’s choice ended the game.
Two runs in the ninth sealed the eventual victory for the Tigers. Here’s my pitchers’ box.
DJ Jefferson went infield single, HBP, infield single, sac fly to dive up 2 runs in the second. He settled down 6 of his last 7 batters.
Carlos A. Hernandez walked his first batter but got a line drive double play (4-3) to escape the sixth. He avoided trouble in the seventh after aleadoff HBP and a one-out single with a couple ground balls.
Gabriel Yanez looked dominate with 2 Ks in the eighth. But, two 2-strike singles (both line drives) set the table for the deciding two-run double.
The Tigers’ first 3 hits were all infield hits. Their next three hits were all hard contact.
Yhoswar Garcia had an incredible jump on a steal attempt but Jamari Baylor tipped the pitch. Later during the at bat, Garcia was thrown out on a close play.
Blue Jays tomorrow. I’ll be back at my original post. Camp day on Sunday. Blue Jays on Monday and Tuesday. Camp days on Wednesday and Thursday. Phillies break camp Friday.