The promotions of Micah Pries and Julian Escobedo, however both players time on the roster were brief, continue to make an impact on the Hillcats roster. Lenny Torres Jr. is starting to show signs of improvement, though not consistently. The Hillcats had a huge comeback on Wednesday night at Salem with Gabriel Rodriguez chipping in a good week. Lynchburg of course did lose one of its top bats – C Yainer Diaz – to a trade to Houston. Now Andres Melendez assumes the majority of the catching duties for the Hillcats.
A 2-5 week leaves the Hillcats 41-48, 5.5 games back of first place in the Low-A East Northeast Division
Day by Day
7/29 W 3-2 vs Carolina
7/30 L 4-3 vs Carolina
7/31 L 11-2 vs Carolina
8/1 W 10-1 vs Carolina
8/3 L 8-1 at Salem
8/4 W 9-6 at Salem
Prospect of the Week
INF Gabriel Rodriguez: 6-13 (.462/.462/.692) 3 2B, RBI
Technically Jhonkensy Noel had the better week overall, but we haven’t really had a chance to spotlight Rodriguez a ton in a positive light. He’s had a lot of struggles this year, but all six of his hits came in the last three games. While he didn’t walk, he also didn’t strike out, so perhaps the highly ranked infielder is starting to turn a corner. Still 19, Rodriguez is in his first full season stint and carries a lot of offensive upside.
1B/3B Jhonkensy Noel: 8-16 (.500/.579/.688) HR, 4 RBI, 3BB/3K
When is Noel not hot? Teams are not pitching to Noel as much lately as they did early in the year. He drew four walks this week, three four-ball walks and an intentional walk. We see the monstrous power. But the patience is something else we needed to see and this was a good week for Noel in that department.
SP Lenny Torres Jr.: 5IP, 2H, BB, 6K
The month of July was a good one for Torres. He finished the campaign with a 2.86 ERA in 22 inning (5 GS), striking out 23 in 22 innings. He did walk 14 and he had three straight starts with walk totals of 4, 3 and 5. But this season was all about Torres getting back on the mound after two years of not pitching and the fact that he’s still 20 and just now embarking on his first full pro season pitching. While his numbers aren’t eye popping, you can see the improvements his making and that show of progress reminds the upside Cleveland saw in him when they drafted him in 2018.
RP Trey Benton: 0.1IP, 4BB, 4ER
Tough line for Benton, the 23 year old 15th rounder in 2019. He has 29 walks in 17 innings this year. It has been a tough start for the big right handers pro career. On the plus side, he’s only allowed 12 hits. So when he’s throwing strikes, he’s productive.
INF Angel Martinez: .059/.059/.059 – 1-17, 3K
If I had to guess, the grind of his first full season is catching up to Martinez a little bit. Teams may also have a better report on him now, but he’s not swinging and missing more than he has all season, as you see by the low strikeout total this week. Just more weak contact and some bad luck. Some signs of a player being a bit tired. Martinez won’t turn 20 until January and he already shown impressive signs of his offensive game in 2021.
7/29 – RHP Allan Hernandez transferred to 60 day IL
7/31 + C/1B Micael Hernandez assigned to Lynchburg from ACL
8/3 – SS/C Jonathan Lopez assigned to Lynchburg from Lake County
8/3 – C Eric Rodriguez assigned to Double-A Akron from Lynchburg
8/3 – OF Julian Escobedo assigned to Lake County from Lynchburg
8/4 + LHP Randy Labut activated from 7 day IL
The Hillcats finish up their roadtrip at Salem through this Sunday, 8/8 and return home 8/10-8/15 for a series vs Delmarva.
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