Tanner Burns (Lake County, SP): As we continue on with the first week of the season, obviously many players will be making their professional debuts or at least their debuts at a new level, but it would have been impossible to predict how many of these would go so well for Cleveland. On the heels of fellow 2020 draft mate Logan T. Allen’s tremendous start for Lake County, Burns (the Indians 2nd round pick last year) had one of his own. He went four shut out innings, struck out six and allowed three hits with no walks. After the first batter reached and moved up on a wild pitch with one out in the first, Burns struck out four in a row and faced just one more runner in scoring position, although that was due to an error by Raynel Delgado at third.
Josh Wolf (Lynchburg, SP): Not to be outdone, Josh Wolf had an impressive start of his own in his Indians debut, although it wasn’t his first pro start. Coming over from the Mets in the Francisco Lindor trade, Wolf went four innings for the Hillcats and struck out seven while allowing three hits and one run. Fredericksburg scored in the first off a single, walk and single, but Wolf struck out batters for all three outs to end the threat. He allowed just one batter to reach in the second (HBP) and third (single) before ending his night with a perfect fourth.
THE BEST OF THE REST
Scott Moss (Columbus, SP): A four inning shut out is much more impressive from a rookie than a vet, but Scott Moss nearly matched Burns tonight with four scoreless innings against Louisville. He struck out four including all three outs in the fourth and allowed just one walk and one double for base runners (plus one Gabriel Arias error). Moss was pulled after just 51 pitches, but obviously, it has been quite some time since he last pitched in an official game.
Jhonkensy Noel (Lynchburg, 1B): The entire Lynchburg offense had a scorching start to their season, but no one more than Jhonkensy Noel, who is currently hitting .500 thanks to another multi-hit night. He struck out and reached on a passed ball in the first, singled to advance a runner in the fifth, then hit his second home run in three days with two outs in the sixth to score two more runs and put the Hillcats ahead for good. He now has eight hits, three doubles and two home runs on the season with eight RBI and seven runs scored. That season is three days old if you were unaware.
Gabriel Rodriguez (Lynchburg, SS): While Lynchburg has had many offensive stars, the number two man for last night was Gabriel Rodriguez who hit a two run single in the second to give the Hillcats an early lead. He added a double in the sixth before coming home on Noel’s homer. This was his first extra base hit on the season, but he is now 5 for 14 with four runs scored on the young season.
Bobby Bradley (Columbus, DH): The Clippers had the benefit of Moss and company throwing a shut out last night, but if it weren’t were for some offense it wouldn’t have been a win. The Clip Show got that offense in the fifth when the first three batters walked, one reached on an error and another was hit by a pitch. While this was generally self induced damage, Bobby Bradley’s three run homer wasn’t and it gave Columbus a six run lead that they’d never give up. Honorable mention goes to Oscar Mercado for stealing second before the home run for some reason.
Owen Miller (Columbus, 1B): Even if he hadn’t done anything, former short stop turned second baseman Owen Miller playing first base would be worth noting given the current situation in the big leagues. That being said, Miller had a fantastic night with three hits and is now 7 for 15 on the season.
Austen Wade (Lake County, RF): Burns was the star last night for Lake County, but it was Wade’s two run home run in the second that gave him the lead. He singled again in the seventh, took second on a passed ball and scored on Victor Nova’s single as well.
Tyler Freeman (Akron, SS): The whole Akron offense played a part in the fun last night against Binghamton, but Tyler Freeman’s sixth inning triple was the first extra base hit (Oscar Gonzalez hit a home run in the seventh to pad the lead) and lead to two runs to pile on. First, he knocked in Marcos Gonzalez after a single, then scored himself on a Richard Palacios single. Freeman also walked and stole a base. Looking at the rest of the Akron offense, only Josh Rolette went hitless while six different hitters scored a run and five knocked at least one in.
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