Series Preview: Hickory at West Virginia May 4-7
Hickory Crawdads (Texas Rangers) (8-17, 7th SAL North) at West Virginia Power (Pittsburgh Pirates) (15-12, 5th SAL North), Appalachian Power Park, Charleston, WV.
If You Plan to Go:
GAME TIMES: Friday 7:05 p.m., Saturday 6:05 p.m., Sunday 2:05 p.m., Monday 7:05 p.m.
Friday – Star Wars Night, Post-game fireworks
Saturday – Pirates and Princesses night, Golden Baseball giveaway (first 1,000 fans)
Sunday – Sunday Funday (Pre-game catch, post-game run the bases), Harry Potter Day (post-game movie)
Monday – Family Buck Night ($3 box seats, $1 GA)
TICKETS: Advance tickets: General Admission $6, Box Seats $8. Game Day: Friday & Saturday $9-$11, Sunday $8-$10.
Where is it?: From Hickory: I-40 East to I-77 North. I-64West to Capital St./Leon Sullivan Way Exit #100. Go to the 1st traffic light and turn left onto Washington St. Go to the 2nd traffic light and turn left onto Morris St. Go through 1 traffic light and Appalachian Power Park is on the left.
PARKING: Off-site parking at meters, parking garages, etc.
CONCESSIONS: Along with basic ballpark fare, there is an Italian Stand, Portable Grill with various cheesesteaks, Italian sausages, brats, etc., BBQ, etc. Click here for the menu.
Probables (Hickory/ West Virginia):
Friday: RHP AJ Alexy vs. LHP Domingo Robles
Saturday: RHP Jean Casanova vs. TBA
Sunday: RHP Reid Anderson vs. RHP Travis McGregor
Monday: RHP Tyler Phillips vs. TBA
Recent Series History:
The Power took 2 of 3 during a rain-shortened series at L.P. Frans Stadium to open the Crawdads home season. Since 2009 and the start of the current affiliations by the Rangers with the Crawdads and the Pirates with the Power, Hickory holds a 45-42 edge, plus a 2-1 playoff series win in 2015. The Crawdads are 22-20 at Appalachian Power Park since 2009. West Virginia is 22-38 vs. Hickory since the opening of its park in 2005.
About the Crawdads:
Hickory is reeling after it was swept in three games at Kannapolis and the Crawdads have now dropped seven of eight and eight of ten…The pitching staff has much to do with the losing streak lately, as they have given up six or more runs in six of the last seven games. Kannapolis torched the Crawdads for 24 runs. The staff ERA has ballooned to 4.85, 11th in the 14-team South Atlantic League. Walks continue to hurt the team, as they’ve walked the second-most in the SAL. Hickory is tied for last in strikeouts. The 1.46 WHIP is next to last in the league… The bats have perked up in recent days with five or more runs and near 9 hits per game over the last four. Still, the team is 11th in the SAL in runs, 12th in hits, and last in doubles. The Crawdads have the second fewest Ks in the league… One area of success is the team’s fielding. Hickory is tied for the fewest errors committed (23 in 25 games) and has allowed the fewest unearned runs.
Prospects to watch- Hickory (rankings are by MLB.com):
CF Pedro Gonzalez (No. 10): 2018 stats: .213/.278/.388, 1 2B, 2 3B, 3 HR, 6 BB, 32 K, 5 SB. Last series at Kannapolis: 1-for-10, 2B, R, 3 RBI, 3 BB, 7 K. Came to the Rangers in a trade for C Jonathan Lucroy. Originally signed with Rockies in 2015. Native of Santo Domingo, D.R.
RHP AJ Alexy (No. 17): 2018 stats: 4 games (3 starts), 14 IP, 18 H, 16 R (15 ER), 2 HR, 2 HB, 12 BB, 13 K, 9.64 ERA, .321 OBA, 2.14 WHIP. Last start 4/27 vs. Delmarva.: 2.2 IP, 6 H, 6 ER, 1 HR, 1 HB, 3 BB, 3 K. Joined the Crawdads after a trade that sent Yu Darvish to the Dodgers. Originally 11th round pick of Dodgers out of Twin Valley HS, Elverson, Pa. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 9th walks allowed.
RF Miguel Aparicio (No. 18): 2018 stats: .235/.286/.341, 2 2B, 2 3B, 1 HR, 6 BB, 16 K. Last series vs. Kannapolis 2-for-13, 2 R, 3B, 1 BB, 2 K. Signed with the Rangers as an international free agent in 2015. Native of San Carlos, Venezuela.
RHP Alex Speas (No. 23): 2018 stats: 8 games (all in relief), 11.2 IP, 10 H, 7 R (5 ER), 1 HR, 12 BB, 23 K, 3.86 ERA, .212 OBA 1.89 WHIP. Second-round pick of Rangers in 2016 out of McEachern HS (Powder Springs, GA). SAL Top-10 Rankings: 4th Ks-per-9 innings among relievers (16.20).
C-1B Sam Huff (No. 26): 2018 stats: .224/.280/.368, 5 2B, 2 HR, 4 BB, 27 K. Last series vs. Kannapolis: 3-for-13, 2 R, 2B, 1 BB, 5 K. Seventh round pick of Rangers in 2016 out of Arcadia HS (Phoenix, Ariz.).
Others to watch – Hickory:
RHP Jean Casanova: 2018 stats: 5 games (3 starts), 16 IP, 15 H, 8 R (5 ER), 4 HR, 7 BB, 9 K, 2.81 ERA, .238 OBA, 1.38 WHIP. Last start 4/28 vs. Delmarva (Md.): 5 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 2 HR, 1 BB, 4 K. Thirty-fifth round pick of the Rangers in 2016 out of Waukegan (Ill.) HS. Born in the Dominican Republic.
RHP Reid Anderson: 2018 stats: 5 games (4 starts), 24.2 IP, 21 H, 8 R (7 ER), 1 HB, 6 BB, 21 K, 2.55 ERA, .233 OBA, 1.90 WHIP. Last start 4/29 vs. Delmarva: 6 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K. Seventeenth-round pick of the Rangers in 2016 out of Millersville (Pa.) Univ. Attended New Egypt (N.J.) HS.
RHP Tyler Phillips: 2018 stats: 4 games (4 starts), 21.2 IP, 21 H, 8 R (8 ER), 1 HR, 1 HB, 3 BB, 23 K, 3.32 ERA, 256 OBA, 1.11 WHIP. Last start 4/25 vs. Greensboro: 7 IP (complete game), 5 H, 1 ER, 1 HB, 4 K. Sixteenth-round pick of the Rangers in 2015 out of Bishop Eustace HS, Pennsauken, N.J. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 10th hits allowed.
C Melvin Nova: 2018 stats: .342/.402/.519, 8 2B, 2 HR, 21 RBI, 5 BB, 12 K. Last series vs. Kannapolis: 3-for-12, 2 R, 2 2B, 2 BB, 2 K. Caught 5 for 7 runners attempting to steal this season. Native of Nandaime, Nicaragua signed with the Rangers as an international free agent in 2013. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 2nd RBI, 3rd batting avg., T-4th doubles, 6th OPS, 7th OBP, T-10th hits.
OF Eric Jenkins: 2018 stats: .264/.320/.407, 1 2B, 3 3B, 2 HR, 12 R, 14 RBI, 8 BB, 28 K, 14 steals, 3 CS. Last series vs. Kannapolis: 1-for-9, R, 2B, BB, 3 K, 2 SB. Native of Cerro Gordo, N.C. Was the 2nd-round pick of the Rangers in 2015 out of West Columbus High. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 1st steals, T-2nd triples.
RHP Joe Barlow: 2018 stats: 6 games, 9.1 IP, 7 BB, 17 K. Eleventh-round pick of the Rangers in 2016 out of Salt Lake CC. Attended Riverton (Utah) HS. SAL Top-10 Rankings: Leads relievers in OBA (0-for-27). 2nd in SAL among relievers Ks per 9 IP ratio (16.39). 4th in fewest baserunners allowed ratio per 9 innings (6.75).
About the Power:
Managed by Wyatt Toregas in his second season (84-79) with the team… The Power are in the middle of seven-game homestand and took 2-for-3 from Southern Division leader Augusta (Ga.), capped by a 14-inning win on Thursday. West Virginia has won five of its last seven…The Power has been hampered by poor defense all season. Their 52 errors and 11 passed balls are easily the most in the SAL. West Virginia has given up 38 unearned runs in 27 games… At the plate, the Power has lived up to their nickname. They lead the SAL with 29 HRs, slugging pct. (414) and are second with a .731 OPS. West Virginia has scored the most runs in the SAL, and it also leads in strikeouts.
Prospects to watch-West Virginia (rankings by MLB.com):
CF Lolo Sanchez (No. 9): 2018 stats: .158/.245/.242, 5 2B, 1 HR, 10 BB, 27 K. Last series vs. Augusta: 2-for-15, 4 R, RBI, 4 K. Signed with the Pirates as an international free agent in 2015. Native of Santo Domingo, D.R.
SS Oneil Cruz (No. 13): 2018 stats: .228/.336/.478, 15 R, 2 2B, 3 3B, 5 HR, 19 RBI, 13 BB, 34 K. Last series vs. Augusta: 4-for-13, 3B, HR, 3 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 3 K. Traded to the Pirates last summer for former Crawdads LHP Tony Watson. Signed as an international free agent by the L.A. Dodgers in 2015. Native of Nizao, D.R. SAL Top-10 Rankings: T-2nd triples, T-4th home runs, T-4th RBI, T-5th Ks, T-10th walks,
LF Calvin Mitchell (No. 15): 2018 stats: .320/.372/.544, 8 2B, 3 3B, 3 HR, 4 BB, 15 R, 19 RBI, 8 BB, 25 K. Last series: 1-for-15, RBI, 3 K, 1 SB. Second-round pick of the Pirates in 2017 out of Rancho Bernardo (Calif.) HS. Native of San Diego. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 1st total bases, T-2nd games played, T-2nd ABs, T-2nd hits, T-2nd triples, T-4th doubles, T-4th RBI, 6th slugging pct., 7th batting avg., 9th OPS, T-10th walks
RHP Travis MacGregor (No. 24): 2018 stats: 5 games (5 starts), 22.1 IP, 18 H, 12 R (6 ER), 1 HR, 1 HB, 6 BB, 36 K, 2.42 ERA, .205 OBA, 1.07 WHIP. Last start 5/1 vs. Augusta (Ga.): 5 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 1 HR, 1 BB, 8 K. Second-round pick of the Pirates in 2016 out of East Lake HS, Tarpon Springs, Fla. SAL Top-10 Rankings: T-4th Ks.
1B Mason Martin (No. 25): 2018 stats: /.266/.373/.468, 7 2B, 4 HR, 11 R, 16 RBI, 13 BB, 34 K. Last series: 3-for-10, 2B, 2 BB, 4 K. Seventeeth-round pick of the Pirates in 2017 out of Southridge HS. Native of Kennewick, Wash. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 1st in games played, T-5th Ks, T-7th doubles. T-10th walks.
LHP Braeden Ogle (No. 27): 2018 stats: 4 games (4 starts), 17 IP, 16 H, 5 R (5 ER), 1 HR, 10 BB, 21 K, 2.87 ERA, .230 OBA, 1.27 WHIP. Last start 4/27 at Lexington (Ky.): 2 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 5 K. Fourth-round pick of the Pirates in 2016 out of Jensen Beach (Fla.) HS.
C Deon Stafford (No. 30): 2018 stats: .293/.341/.493, 7 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 15 R, 11 RBI, 4 BB, 23 K. Last series vs. Augusta: 3-for-14, 2 2B, R, 2 RBI, 4 K. Fifth-round pick of the Pirates in 2016 out of St. Joseph’s Univ. (Pa.) Native of Hummelstown, Pa. Attended Lower Dauphin HS. SAL Top-10 Rankings: T-7th doubles
Others to watch-West Virginia:
LHP Domingo Robles: 2018 stats: 5 games (5 starts), 21 IP, 23 H, 18 R (9 ER), 1 HR, 1 HB, 5 BB, 24 K, 3.86 ERA, .261 OBA, 1.33 WHIP. Last start 4/29 at Lexington, Ky.: 2/3 IP, 2 H, 7 R (0 ER), 2 BB, 1 K. Signed with the Pirates as an international free agent in 2014. Native of Imbert, D.R.
LF Chris Sharpe: 2018 stats: .278/.372/.405, 2 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 17 R, 9 RBI, 13 BB, 29 K. Last series vs. Augusta: 2-for-10, HR 3 BB, 5 K. Fourteenth-round pick of the Pirates in 2017 out of Univ. of Massachusetts-Lowell. Native of Burlington, Mass., attended Bridgton (Mass.) Academy. SAL Top-10 Rankings: T-8th runs scored.