Image: Gary Streiffer/Courtesy Lynchburg Hillcats
LHP Will Dion (SP, Lynchburg) – 5IP, 1H, 2BB, 7K. In 23 innings in May, Dio gave up only 3 earned runs, and zero home runs, while racking up 29 strikeouts and 7 walks. The 5’10” left-hander has been showing why FanGraphs listed him as “a college draftee who could pop.” The 22 year-old threw 44 of 67 pitches for strikes (a 66% clip), but didn’t receive the offensive backing he would have needed to pick up his third win of the season.
Joe Naranjo (1B, Lake County) – 2-2, 2BB, 2B, HR – Don’t look now, fellow Jhonkensy Noel fans, but we may have to give some of our love to a first-base prospect who is listed as 5 inches shorter and about 20 pounds heavier than his better-known teammate. With a 27/16 K/BB% compared to 31/7.5 for Noel, Naranjo has also surpassed Noel’s .777 OPS with a .911 OPS. Both are fun players, of course, but it’s important not to miss a guy like Naranjo who hasn’t received the national (or local) fanfare in prospect circles that Noel has, yet is only about 3 months older. Naranjo plays excellent defense and hit his 9th homer of the year in a losing effort for the Captains.
Alex Call (RF, Columbus) – 2-4, HR – Alex Call continues to be a steady source of production for Columbus with an .811 OPS. Call has better splits against LHP than RHP (.990/.817) so it was good to see him get both hits for Columbus off a grizzled veteran RHP who has pitched in the majors in Toronto’s Casey Lawrence. Call continues to make his case to perhaps see some time in Cleveland at some point this season (he’s three months older than Mercado and provides a similar RH bat with ability to play any outfield spot).
RHP Anthony Castro (RP, Columbus)– 1IP, 3K – In case you’ve lost track of Anthony Castro since he last appeared for the Cleveland Guardians, he showed up for the Clippers to pitch a scoreless ninth striking out the side in order, lowering his Triple-A ERA to 3.24.
LHP Jaime Arias-Bautista (SP, Akron): 4IP, 4H, 4K – Bautista has done a pretty solid job as a fill in starter in Akron with their multiple injuries in the rotation.
Victor Planchart (C, Lynchburg)- 2-4 – An intriguing catcher/first baseman, Planchert had a good week for the Hillcats as his OPS sits at .812 following this solid two-hit effort. A 21 year-old switch-hitter, it’ll be interesting to see if he continues to get more reps, especially at catcher, for the Guardians’ Low-A club.
Will Brennan (LF, Columbus): 1-5, 2B, RBI – Brennan’s first RBI in Triple-A came on an RBI double as he has three hits in his last two games in Triple, starting to get it going.
Jose Fermin (3B, Columbus): 3-4, RBI – Haven’t seen too many multi-hit games from Fermin lately, as his offense has dried up some since the early season breakout. So this was good to see.
Gabriel Rodriguez (3B, Lake County )– 1-4 HR – Rodriguez has cooled off after a hot start to the season, so it was good to see him get a hold of a pitch and barrel-up his second homer of the season for the Captains. The 20 year-old, right-handed third baseman has a 93 wRC+ and a .697 OPS.
RHP Kevin Kelly (RP, Akron): 0.1IP, 2H, 2ER, 2BB, 3WP, HBP – A rare night where the normal command artist, Kelly, had literally zero control over anything he threw. It was quite shocking to watch.
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