Sunday, April 7, 2013

Video of Yasiel Puig's first Double-A home run, plus other prospect news

Yasiel Puig drew his first walk of 2013 on Friday night during the first Chattanooga Lookouts' game. Puig failed to draw a walk in 60 spring training plate-appearances. It wasn't cause for much concern because he hit .517.

On Saturday night, he hit his first Double-A home run in a 5-4 Lookouts' loss. It's been too long since we've seen this beautiful sight.

Per usual, it was a no-doubter. And Puig certainly does have that bat-flip down pat. I'm not a fan of it, but when he does it, you know he's done something well on the field.

One of the Dodgers' top prospects, Puig is 3-for-7 (.429) with a home run, two singles, two runs scored, a stolen base, a walk and three strikeouts in his first two games. It's only a matter of time before he's doing this at the Major League level.

The Lookouts play a doubleheader on Sunday because Thursday night's season-opener was postponed due to rain

Cotton, Cash roughed up in debuts

Jharel Cotton, making his first appearance above rookie ball, got roughed up a bit: 4 1/3 IP, 5 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 2 HR.

At least Cotton was missing bats, thanks to his changeup. There was a nice piece about him on MLive by Loons' beat writer Hugh Bernretuer. It's worth a read.

Ralston Cash, who pitched with the Loons in 2012, was equally roughed up: 3 2/3 IP, 4 H, 6 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 8 K, 2 HR.

Luckily for him, none of the runs were earned. Cash struck out eight of the 11 batters he retired -- an impressive feat.

Both pitchers showed the ability to miss bats, which is a testament to their stuff and to the inexperience of the hitters.

They probably won't be pitchers who strikeout a hitter every inning, but having good secondary offerings is important.

Cuevas the hero in Rancho

Noel Cuevas was the hero in Rancho Cucamonga's comeback 8-7 win on Saturday night. The outfielder drove in the eventual game-winning run in the bottom of the eighth inning with an RBI single. He went 3-for-5  with a double and two stolen bases.

O'Koyea Dickson hit his first California League home run in the first inning -- a 2-run shot to right field. The Quakes' cleanup man could be in store for a big season.

Pratt Maynard made his season debut and went 3-for-4 with a double. He's one of my favorite Dodger catching prospects and it'd be great to see him do well in 2013.

Garrett Gould was cruising through three innings, having allowed just a run on one hit and one walk, while striking out four. His final line wasn't pretty: 5 1/3 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 5 K. At least he kept his walk total down.

Van Slyke, bullpen, have big night in New Mexico

Scott Van Slyke went 4-for-5 with a double and five RBI to help lead the Isotopes to an 8-3 win. The 'Topes are 3-0 on the season so far, thanks in large part to the bullpen.

Chris Withrow made his Triple-A debut by tossing two scoreless frames. He walked one and struck out three. Red Patterson followed him up with two scoreless innings of his own (one walk, two strikeouts). After Geison Aguasviva got in trouble, Josh Wall was called upon to get a four-out save -- which he did.

The bullpen should be a strength for the Isotopes this season. It's filled with players who know how to get strikeouts, which is invaluable in the thin air of the Pacific Coast League.

Photo credits: Dustin Nosler, Feelin' Kinda Blue

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