The GCL Cardinals saw the debut of 2nd round pick Oscar Mercado, who had an eventful day all around. There were a number of impressive pitching performances throughout the system, as well as a couple that left much to be desired. Springfield witnessed a power surge in Texas and appeared to still be on the All-Star break, starting today’s edition of Sowing Seeds with a bang.
Corpus Christi won the first-half South Division crown and proved to be rude hosts to the SCards. Houston has the makings of a solid farm system and did not miss a beat after top prospect George Springer’s departure. The Hooks smoked four homers on the night and lit up Springfield starter Richard Castillo for a ten spot in his 2nd start back in AA. He is an interesting prospect from Venezuela but will need to be more consistent going forward.
Castillo didn’t appear overmatched at Memphis and probably should have been in the running for a TL All-Star nod as well. Given how the Cardinals use Springfield as a launching spot for pitchers, it is not surprising that two hurlers who began the year at Palm Beach were rewarded instead. Both Tim Cooney and Heath Wyatt have a chance to be contributors at the Major League level but were not the right fit this early in their career. Each gave up a home run during the exhibition, and I am curious to see how they throw after the experience.
Replacing players due to promotion or injury is a way of life in the minors, so the All-Star game must soldier on the same way. I would just hope selections are made for the right reasons and not because it may cause the rotation to be shuffled.
Wednesday, June 26th
White smoke — Jimmy Bosco, State College, 4-5, 1st cycle in Spikes’ history, 2 RBI
Gray smoke — Aidan Lucas, Palm Beach, 1 IP, 5 H, 3 R, (five straight hits before recording out)
Black smoke — Castillo, Springfield, 2.2 IP, 10 H, 10 R, 2 BB, 2 HR, WP, K, 33.75 ERA
If not for Bosco’s prolific game, the challenge would have been finding the top starting performance of the night. Check out these pitching lines from the four lowest levels.
An intriguing pick from last year’s draft class, Cory Jones, highlights the round-up as Peoria keeps on rolling. Jones gave up only two hits and one run over six innings in his fifth start for the Chiefs. A late addition to the roster due to promotions ahead of him, Jones has been stellar his first month out and could be traveling towards Palm Beach soon. A ready-made replacement for Jones made quick work in his outing for State College. Ben O’Shea struck out six as his return to the New York-Penn League may not last much longer. The imposing lefty hurled six frame for the Spikes, surrendering a solo run on a pair of hits.
Not to be outdone, 18 year-old righty Alexander Reyes turned heads for Johnson City to complete the trifecta of six inning appearances. He mowed down Bristol to the tune of 11 strikeouts while giving up one hit and a lone walk. Reyes will be one to watch this summer, as he won’t turn 19 until the end of August, but is only the second youngest starter to make the list. Dewen Perez will celebrate his 19th birthday officially in September and rewarded the GCL Cardinals with an early gift of his own.