Image: David Monseur/Accent Images/Courtesy Akron RubberDucks
Daniel Espino (SP, Akron): 5IP, 3H, 2ER, 14K – Without a doubt, one of the most dominant performances by any Cleveland baseball prospect in recent memory. Espino just missed an immaculate inning in the first by one foul ball, struck out the first batter of the second inning on three pitches, struck out the first 11 (yes, 11) batters he faced in the game. He threw 74% strikes. It was arguably the best performance of his young career.
Bo Naylor (C, Akron): 2-4, 3B, HR, BB, 2 RBI – He came into the game hitting .213/.333/.303 and left hitting .243/.364/.459. The strikeout rate is still up a little, but he’s not swinging and missing as much, avoiding the popups and didn’t strikeout in this one. A solid performance at the dish and caught Espino’s gem.
Jose Tena (SS, Akron): 2-5, 2B, 2 R, RBI, SB – It’s been a slow start for Tena but he filled up the box score in this one and he does have a modest three game hitting streak now. He was 1-13 to start the year, so he’s really picked it up since then with hits in eight of nine.
Gavin Williams (SP, Lake County): 5IP, 2H, ER, 3BB, 7K – A solid outing results wise for Williams. Normally this would be a big notice outing for a Cleveland prospect, but Espino kind of overshadowed that tonight. Williams was good in his own right.
Aaron Bracho (1B, Lake County): 2-3, 2B, RBI – Very curiously, Bracho has had very inconsistent playing time. So because of that, a 2-3 game raises his numbers a lot and his slash line looks impressive. He does have two multi hit games in six games played this season now, so it’s better than where he was a year ago.
Jake Miller (SP, Lynchburg): 4IP, 4H, ER, 2BB, 6K – There were a few good pitching performances in the system on Saturday. This might have qualified for one of the better ones. But when you have and Espino and a Williams in the same org, it’s tough to rise over their dominance sometimes.
Dayan Frias (SS, Lynchburg): 2-4, 2R, 2BB – Frias is also not showing much power, but he has nine hits over his last four games plated, his third multi hit game in that stretch. He is a hitting/OBP machine.
Best of the rest
Will Brennan (CF, Akron): 2-4, 2 RBI, SF – No doubles for Willie-two bags but he still collected two hits and drove in a pair of runs, even when he didn’t get a hit to drive one of them. He’s hitting lower in the order more recently with Tena leading off, and he continues to keep hitting.
George Valera (RF, Akron): 2-4, 2B, BB, RBI – It seemed like Valera was really heating up leading up to this series, but he’s been held to one hit since Wednesday until breaking back out today and he managed to avoid striking out.
Micah Pries (1B, Akron): 2-4 – It’s been a slow start for Pries so his second two hit game of the season was an encouraging sighting.
Will Benson (DH, Columbus): 2-4, 2 2B – Benson seems to be finding his power stroke as of late. He didn’t have a single extra base hit until his homer April 21 and tonight he had two doubles.
Gabriel Arias (2B, Columbus): 1-4, HR – Arias hit a bomb for his second homer of the year. Still hard to understand why he’s playing much second base.
Peyton Battenfield (SP, Columbus): 5.1IP, 5H, 2ER, 2B, 5K – Not really Battenfield’s flashiest pitching line, especially compared to what Espino did, but he continues to be solid every time out.
Petey Halpin (CF, Lake County: 2-7, SB – Halpin was 2-4 in game one with a steal but took an 0-for in game two. He’s shown very little in the way of power so far but he finding his way on base at a decent clip.
Jhonkensy Noel (3B-DH, Lake County): 2-6, HR, R, RBI – Noel singled and homered in game two, but went 0-3 with two strikeouts in game one. He’s fluctuated some in contact early on and he avoided a strikeout in game two, so it does come and go game to game.
Gabriel Rodriguez (3B, Lake County): 2-3, R, RBI – Two more singles and a run driven in for Gabby-Rod in game two. He did put up a strikeout, so he’s still showing an aggressive, low contact, driven approach, but he’s playing much better this year than he was at any point in 2021.
Doug Nikhazy (SP, Lake County): 3IP, H, ER, 6BB, 6K – Barely throwing 50% strikes (53%) on the day, but Nikhazy was nearly unhittable. He issued six free passes but still fanned six in three innings and allowed just the one hit. It was an interestingly dominant #DougDay
Angel Martinez (2B-SS, Lake County): 2-6, 2B, BB, SB – Martinez walked in game one and stole his base then, while picking up two hits in game two as he split the games starting at second and short. He struggled to finish 2021, but it’s not a shock to see his 2022 get off to a good start.
Isaiah Greene (LF, Lynchburg): 1-3, 3BB, R – Speaking of on base machines, Greene continues to wait out any decent pitching in Low-A with his plate discipline.
Richard Paz (C, Lynchburg): 2-5, 2 RBI – Coming into Friday night with two hits all year, Pas has six hits in his last two games.
Luis Durango Jr. (CF, Lynchburg): 2-3, 2BB, RBI – The man they call ‘Dash’ has been getting on base plenty to try to use it, but none today.
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