Image: David Monseur/Accent Images/Courtesy Akron RubberDucks

Scoreboard

Columbus Clippers 3, Iowa Cubs 2
Binghamton Rumble Ponies 5, Akron RubberDucks 4 (F/11)
Lake County Captains 12, Cedar Rapids Kernels 4
Salem Red Sox 9, Lynchburg Hillcats 5

Highlights

Bo Naylor (C, Akron): 2-4, BB, 2B, 2 CS – Another banner night for Naylor. He doubled, singled and drew a walk in five plate appearances. Three times on base in five trips to the dish as a leadoff hitter is impressive. He also sent two would be base stealers back to the dugout as well, showing off his arm.

David Fry (1B, Columbus): 2-3, HR, 3 RBI – Fry banged a two run homer the second to put the Clippers ahead and added a sac fly. So yesterday, the David Fry’s beat the Iowa Cubs. He was the Clippers offense. It was his seventh homer of the year and he now has 22 RBI. He played first with Bobby Bradley at DH. Clearly Cleveland wants his bat in the lineup down there. Just not at catcher. But his bat is interesting. It would just make more sense for him to be able to grab a roster spot if he could occasionally catch in addition to playing third and first. But so far, he has no games behind the dish.

Jhonkensy Noel (RF, Lake County): 2-4, 2B, HR, 3 RBI, BB, K – No, that’s not a typo. Noel did play right field last night. It was his first appearance in the outfield in his carer. He did well, too. He made two catches on balls hit to right, including one tracking towards the line. Oh, and he also hit a monster homer, doubled, walked and struck out. Which is about normal for him at this point. 

LHP Logan Allen (SP, Akron): 6IP, 9H, 4ER, BB, 9K – You might think this line isn’t really a highlight, just more of a decent performance given the nine hits in six innings and four runs allowed. But Allen gave up a ton of soft bloopers in this one that dinged him and gave him a tough night by 1,000 cuts. Out of the nine hits allowed, I’d say about five or six of the hits were well struck. And some of those bloopers ended up driving in runs. I will note that Allen had more than a few hitters 0-2 and couldn’t finish them off, walked a few in that instance and allowed some hits. So that’s one area of note that caused his outing to look a little uglier than it should have been. 

LHP Tim Herrin (RP, Akron): 2IP, BB, 3K – Herrin has walked just two batters in the month of May compared to 23 strikeouts in in 11.1 innings now. He’s sitting in the mid-90s with a good slider. It’s very hard to ignore how dominant he is at this point. He’s Rule 5 eligible this winter. A left handed reliever who throws in the mid-90s and has missed bats, and has improved his control the way he has in 2022 is a very attractive profile. 

Milan Tolentino (SS, Lynchburg): 2-5, 2 2B, 2 RBI –  Hard not to be impressed by Tolentino’s bat at this point. He’s getting on base just a shade under the .500 mark and slugging around the same. At 20 in Low-A, it’s a solidly encouraging season so far for a pick that wasn’t considered bat first.

Other Notable Performances

LHP Tanner Tully (SP, Columbus): 5.2 IP, 3H, 2ER, BB, 5K – Another solid performance from Tully. He continues to be a good org soldier who takes the ball when it’s his turn and doesn’t burn the bullpen with bad starts. He makes every outing competitive. It’s a quality that earns you a lot of respect and you can do it for a long time because it has value.

Will Brennan (CF, Akron): 1-5, 3B, RBI, BB – Brennan did strike out in this one but he reached base twice and knocked in a run with a triple. His OPS is now .867 thanks to 15 extra-base hits this year and 16 walks compared to 15 strikeouts in 34 games played.

Jose Tena (2B, Akron): 2-5, 2B, RBI – Tena keeps having stretches where it looks like he’s getting it going with the bat this year, but then follows it with an 0-10 or 0-12 stretch. Right now, he’s back on the good side going 8-23 in the last five games with a double in four straight.

Brayan Rocchio (SS, Akron): 2-6, 2B – So far, so good for Rocchio coming off the concussion IL. Just before his IL stint, he was starting to get it going with the bat, with four hits in three games. He went hitless in his first two games back but has three hits in his last two.

Johnathan Rodriguez (DH, Lake County): 2-5, 3 RBI – Three singles at three opportune times for Rodriguez led to three runs driven in.

Connor Kokx (CF, Lake County): 2-2, 2B – Kokx had two hits replacing Petey Halpin late in the game.

Joe Naranjo (1B, Lake County): 2-5, R, RBI, BB, 2K – Naranjo is striking out more than I figured he would. The average has dropped but he’s keeping the OPS up with some less than regular power than he started the season with but also getting on base two or three times a night. It’s hard to really get a feel for his profile right now, but he’s keeping it interesting.

LHP Doug Nikhazy (SP, Lake County): 4.1IP, 2H, 2ER, 2BB, 7K – It’s good to get Nikhazy on the daily recaps list for a positive performance. His fastball was missing bats in this start. He wasn’t going to his breaking stuff as much. His curveball didn’t look all that impressive honestly, but with the way his fastball was sneaking by hitters, it didn’t matter. It marked the third time in seven starts in 2022 that Nikhazy has been able to get into the fourth inning.

Luis Durango Jr (RF, Lynchburg): 2-4, 2R – Durango hasn’t had much to write about with the bat this year but he’s had two hits a few times this week, and that’s at least encouraging. 

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