Results tagged ‘ Hans Crouse ’

Steering the Staff: An interview with Hickory pitching coach Jose Jaimes

There are some people that know how to teach. Hickory Crawdads pitching coach Jose Jaimes appears to be one of them.

When one looks at the pitchers he has mentored over the past three seasons, it’s an impressive list. The last two Nolan Ryan Award winners, given to the Texas Rangers minor league pitcher of the year, both came from the Hickory squad – Kyle Cody in 2017 and Tyler Phillips last year. The minor league reliever of the year in 2018 also pitched at Hickory – Demarcus Evans.

A look at the current Texas Rangers top-30 prospects on mlb.com is a gallery of pitchers that have come through Hickory, or are here now: Hans Crouse (No. 1), Cole Winn (2), Joe Palumbo (7), Jonathan Hernandez (8), Tyler Phillips (13), C.D. Pelham (15), A.J. Alexy (20), Evans (24), Cody (28) and Ronny Henriquez (30).

Jeffrey Springs and Erik Swanson were also here with Jaimes in 2016, seasons during which both made the South Atlantic League all-star team. They, along with Pelham, have ascended to the majors.

Many of the names on the list above had their share of struggles. Some, like Phillips and Evans, went through demotions before coming back and figuring out what they were doing. Others, such as Pelham and Hernandez and Alexy, had to bull through tough times at Hickory, but eventually caught on to what they needed to do.

They common factor among them all is a calm-demeanored pitching coach in Jose Jaimes. In talking with him, now for four seasons, here is a coach that is positive about every pitcher under his care and expects them to succeed.

I had a chance to talk with Jaimes a couple of weeks ago about coaching and what adjustments he has made in that field. He also gives insights about those who worked through their struggles and those who were stubborn and had to learn the hard way that adjustments were needed.

Here is that interview.

Jose Jaimes Reid Anderson

Hickory Crawdads pitching coach Jose Jaimes works with Reid Anderson prior to a game with the West Virginia Power at LP Frans Stadium in Hickory NC on 7/12/2018. (TRACY PROFFITT)

This is your fourth year here?

Jaimes: The fourth year, you’re right.

 

Does this feel like home now?

Jaimes: Yeah, it kind of feels like home, actually. When we got back this year in early April, I told my wife that it kind of felt like we never left. It felt like we were gone for two weeks and then we came back. I like it here.

 

Obviously, the Rangers keep sending you back here, but you have a say in this. What brings you back here year after year?

Jaimes: Well, those decisions are more to the Rangers, but when they tell me I have to go back I don’t mind it at all, because I like the city. It’s a safe city and my wife loves it. So, it makes everything a little easier. I have only good stuff to say about Hickory.

 

This is your fourth year here. What do you know now that you had to learn since your first year back in 2016?

Jaimes: Well, 2016 was my first full-season as a coach. So, I kind of had to adjust to the workload of the players. Coming from extended (spring training) and Spokane (Wash.), they didn’t play that many games. In Arizona, they get an off day a week, so it’s a lot easier to manage the workload of the players. Coming here, it’s a little more difficult because you play 18 games in a row and you’ve got to travel. You got to do a bunch of stuff that you don’t do in short season. So, being able to manage that with the players was probably my biggest challenge my first year.

And then, it’s getting to know the league and to know the teams that we face. I feel like every year has been a little easier. But, it’s always a challenge, because you’re always getting new players and a new staff. So, you kind of have to adjust to them also.

 

Does this feel like a good niche for you to get these young guys in their first full season? Is that something you see yourself doing longer term?

Jaimes: Yeah. I like it here and I like working with the young players, definitely. I think it’s a really important year for these guys and I feel like I can help to get on track on what to expect in a full season and all that. I feel like it’s a good fit for me.

 

How difficult is it to take a group of 13 -14 guys, especially this year where so many of them are new to you, to learn their stuff and what they like to do, and then take some of what is not working for them, and fix what they can do better?

Jaimes: Everything starts for me in spring training. I try to spend as much time as I can with the guys that I know are going to come with me. So, I try to get to know them and what they like to do on the field, and get to know their routines, know what works for them.

That’s how it starts, and then once I get here, probably that first week, I start to put my plan together for them from when I got to know them in Arizona. Then, as the year goes, they start getting to know themselves a little more, so they start to put stuff together that will work for them.

Most of the time it comes from them. Sometimes I’ll give a suggestion, but at the end of the day, they’re the ones making the decision. That isn’t working for me, or other stuff they’re doing in their routines, thing like that.

 

Do you ever get guys that are stubborn and they have to figure that stuff out?

Jaimes: (Laughing) Yeah. That’s part of it. You’ll always get that guy that wants to do their own things. Sometimes you’ve just got to let it go until they can’t handle that. Then, they realize that they need to listen a little more.

 

How difficult is it to stand back when you see something that you know is not going to work, and they’re getting pounded, and you see the teammates’ reactions that something is not working?

Jaimes: I think that comes with experience. I think, maybe, my first couple of years as a coach, I always tried to jump in right away. But then, with experience, you kind of get to learn to be a little more patient and let the game take care of that. Sometimes, you need to let them come to you.

You always want them to tell you what they didn’t do right, or if they need to change. Sometimes, it gets a little overwhelming to them. I think the best thing, sometimes, is to let them come to you and ask for advice.

 

In your four years, you’ve had Kyle Cody, Edgar Arredondo, Joe Palumbo to name a few. Who is the guy that struggled some early, but you saw the light switch on, that gave you the most pleasure to see that?

Jaimes: There’s a couple, but definitely Joe Palumbo was one of them. I had him in 2014 and 2015. We always saw the potential that he had, but early in his career he didn’t challenge himself and he didn’t put in the effort in practice. Once he started changing that mentality and you started seeing the difference. The velo went up. The command got better. He became more of a true pitcher. It was probably one of the more exciting stories I’ve had in my career.

 

The 2017 and 2018 seasons, the first month to six weeks were tough. You and I would talk, and I know those were tough times. Part of that was what the Rangers were wanting to see the guys in commanding the fastball. How difficult was that to go through as a coach? You knew what the outcome was going to be, but still guys are getting beat up and they’re not happy.

Jaimes: That’s what we teach the players, is that we have to stay with the process. It was a plan that we put together for them. Yeah, it was tough to see it, but we always tried to stay positive, because at some point, that plan was going to pay off. And it did.

It was tough but watching the guys those first five or six weeks start to command their fastball better and getting to know that they can pitch with their fastball. It was cool to see. It was tough, but sometimes you have to stay with the process.

 

Who is the most talented pitcher you’ve had?

Jaimes: Oooo, that’s a tough one. We’ve had a few of them. Demarcus Evans.

Demarcus, for me, is one of the most talented pitchers because, obviously the size. He’s a big guy. He has a plus-fastball at 94-95, but when you look deeper at what kind of fastball he has, you look at the spin rate and the type of vertical movement that he has, that’s what makes his fastball so special. That’s why he has so many swing-and-misses on fastballs at the middle of the plate.

Kyle Cody was another one. Big fastball with some sinker action, then with the slider that he has. Those two pitches play very well.

Crouse, obviously. He’s a big talent and throws pitches for strikes. I love the way that he competes. To me, that’s special. He’s not afraid. He likes a good challenge. So, you pull the talent and then you add the type of person and athlete that he is, and the mentality he has, that makes him even better.

 

So, what’s the feeling like when you see guy like C.D. (Pelham) get a call up? Now, you start seeing the guys get the brass ring, what does that mean to you?

Jaimes: When I think about C.D. – you remember those first couple of months in 2017, he struggled. Then, he started putting it together halfway through the year. When I saw him when he got called up last year, it kind of almost made me cry, because I know how hard he worked and I know how much patience he had with the process. Sometimes, he tried stuff and it didn’t work, but he gave his best effort.

When you see guys like that make it to the big leagues, it makes you feel good for them, because you know how hard they work. He’s a special kid and a great guy, a good teammate and he was always good with the coaches.

 

What’s your path to the big leagues, or do you see a path? Do you like this part of the process in the teaching and developing?

Jaimes: Yes, I love teaching. I would like to see myself at some point, in a few years, getting into the big leagues. That’s the ultimate goal, for sure. But, as long as I have a job and doing what I like, I’ll be okay.

 

What made you want to do it in the first place?

Jaimes: My last year, when I played, I was the oldest Latin kid on the team. We had a lot of Latin players, so I kind of took them under my wing. So I started guiding them to what they were going to face when they went to Spokane. So, that’s when I started liking the teaching part. They were listening to what I was saying, so that’s when coaching started to become more intriguing to me. I knew my playing career was probably going to be pretty short, so I thought, ‘you know what, if I get to stay in baseball and I can coach, I’ll be fine.’

Jose Jaimes Melvin Novoa Tim Brennan.JPG

Jose Jaimes (center) with catcher Melvin Novoa and pitcher Tim Brennan (Proffitt)

Series Preview: Charleston (S.C.) RiverDogs at Hickory Crawdads May 11-13

Charleston RiverDogs (New York Yankees) (19-15, first place, South Atlantic League Southern Division)

Hickory Crawdads (Texas Rangers) (22-11, tied for second place, South Atlantic League Northern Division)

The Hickory Crawdads continue their homestand with a three-games series at L.P. Frans against the Charleston RiverDogs.

 

IF YOU PLAN TO GO:

WHERE IS IT?: 2500 Clement Blvd., 1 mile west of U.S. Hwy 321, near entrance to Hickory Airport.

GAME TIMES/ PROMOTIONS:

Saturday: Charleston at Hickory, 6:30 p.m. Murder Mystery Night, Replica Jersey Giveaway (1st 1,000 fans), Teacher Appreciation Night (School staff receive a free ticket with a valid ID badge).

Sunday: Charleston at Hickory, 3:00 p.m. Church Bulletin Sunday (Bring a church bulletin to the ticket office and receive a $6 ticket with $4 from each ticket donated back to the respective church), Teacher Appreciation Night (School staff receive a free ticket with a valid ID badge), Craw-moms day.

Monday: Charleston at Hickory, 10:30 a.m.

TICKETS: $9 tickets in advance, $10 at the gate. Children (12 and under) and seniors $8, $15 for VIP section.

PARKING: All parking is $3.

 

RECENT SERIES HISTORY:

The Crawdads went 7-4 against the RiverDogs in 2018, but it was the road team that succeeded most of the time. Charleston started off with a 3-1 series win at L.P. Frans early in the season before Hickory returned the favor later in the year. Hickory then swept a three-game series in late July through early August. The Crawdads are 31-24 against the Yankees affiliate at home since 2009, 57-49 overall.

 

PROBABLES (Charleston/ Hickory)

Saturday: RHP Alexander Vizcaino vs. RHP Tyree Thompson

Sunday: RHP Luis Medina vs. LHP Tim Brennan

Monday:  RHP Roansy Contreras vs. RHP Yerry Rodriguez

 

ABOUT HICKORY

Though the Crawdads have the second best record in the SAL, they are four games behind Delmarva (Md.) in the Northern Division, as the teams reach the halfway mark of the first half-season. However, Hickory is 9-7 at home and that is coming off the first series loss of the year to Asheville, which took two of three.

Manager: Matt Hagen (2nd season)

Prospects – (team rankings are by MLB.com):

RHP Hans Crouse No.1 (No. 80 in top-100)

IF Jonathan Ornelas No. 18

3B Sherten Apostel No. 22

RHP Ronny Henriquez No. 30

Possible lineups: C: Matt Whatley (.182/.333/.222) or Melvin Novoa; 1B Curtis Terry (.271/.331/.576); 2B Frainyer Chavez (.265/.351/.289); 3B Sherten Apostel (.184/.263/.282); SS Jonathan Ornelas (.347/.413/.490); LF: Tanner Gardner (.192/.214/.423); CF: Pedro Gonzalez (.237/.315/.485); RF: Jose Almonte (.170/.216/.298)

SAL Rankings:

Individual Batting:

Pedro Gonzalez – tied for 4th homers (7)

Jonathan Ornelas – 4th batting avg. (.347), 6th OBP (.413), 9th hits, 9th OPS (.903).

Curtis Terry – 1st doubles (15), tied for 1st RBI (29), tied for 3rd total bases, tied for 4th home runs (7), 7th slugging pct. (.576), 8th OPS (.907)

Matt Whatley – 2nd walks, tied for 6th stolen bases (11)

Individual pitching:

Tim Brennan – 2nd WHIP (0.73)

Hans Crouse – Tied for 9th home runs allowed (4).

Scott Engler – Tied for 9th saves (3)

Team Batting:

Slash line (BA. OBP/ SLG/ OPS):.242 (4th)/ .310 (8th)/ .417 (1st)/ .727 (3rd).

Other key rankings: 2nd home runs, 2nd total bases, 3rd stolen bases, 4th runs, 1th doubles, 12th walks,

Team Pitching:

1st ERA (2.87), 2nd WHIP (1.11), fewest runs allowed, fewest earned runs allowed, fewest hit batters, 2nd fewest walks allowed.

WHO’S HOT (Last 10 games)

Hitting: Jonathan Ornelas (.349/.404/.442/.846, 12-game hitting streak); Frainyer Chavez (4 SBs, .394/.444/.324/.869)

Pitching: Tim Brennan (1 start, 7 IP, 2 H, 1 R (0 ER), 7 K); Scott Engler (3 games, 6.2 IP, 4 H, 1 R 1 BB, 13 K); Yerry Rodriguez (2 starts, 11 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 5 BB, 19 K).

ABOUT CHARLESTON:

The RiverDogs took 2 of 3 at home against Columbia and overall won 11 of the last 14. Charleston is 11-6 on the road.

Manager: Julio Mosquera (2nd season)

Prospects – Charleston (rankings by MLB.com):

RHP Roansy Contreras No. 10

RHP Luis Gil No. 13

RHP Luis Medina No. 14

C Josh Breaux No. 15

RF Josh Stowers No. 25

Possible Lineups: C: Josh Breaux (.307/.344/.557) or Eduardo Navas (.146/.217/.364); 1B: Mickey Gasper (.284/.376/.473); 2B: Kyle Gray (.232/.339/.343); 3B: Wilkerman Garcia (.292/.309/.492); SS: Eduardo Torrealba (.240/.282/.281); LF: Canaan Smith (.307/.388/.466); CF: Brandon Lockridge (.220/.270/.371); RF: Josh Stowers (.308/.396/.429)

SAL Rankings:

Individual Batting:

Josh Breaux – Tied for 4th RBI (25); tied for 6th HRs (6), 8th Slugging pct. (.557), 10th OPS (.901).

Brandon Lockeridge – Tied for 7th doubles (10)

Josh Stowers – Tied for 3rd doubles (11), tied for 9th steals (8), 10th OBP (.396)

Individual pitching:

Luis Gil – Tied for 5th strikeouts, tied for 8th walks

Luis Medina – 2nd walks, tied for 8th hit batters

Jio Orozco – 7th ERA (1.83), tied for 8th hit batters

Team batting:

Slash line (BA. OBP/ SLG/ OPS): .239 (5th) / .310 (9th)/ .364 (6th)/ .675 (7th).

Other key rankings: 1st strikeouts, 3rd hits, tied for 4th HRs (23), 6th runs,

Team pitching:

1st hit batters, 2nd strikeouts, 2nd fewest HRs allowed (15), 6th WHIP (1.22), 8th ERA (3.57),

NOTES OF INTEREST: Tyree Thompson was brought up from extended spring to start for Hickory on Saturday… C Sam Huff and LHP John King were both promoted to High-A Down East…  RHPs Kelvin Gonzalez and Nick Starr were assigned to Hickory from extended spring… OF Miguel Aparicio was brought off the injured list.

 

Series Preview: Asheville Tourists at Hickory Crawdads May 8-10

Asheville Tourists (Colorado Rockies) (10-20, sixth place, South Atlantic League Southern Division)

Hickory Crawdads (Texas Rangers) (21-9, second place, South Atlantic League Northern Division)

The Hickory Crawdads return to L.P. Frans Stadium Wednesday through Monday and start the homestand with a three-game series against in-state Asheville.

 

IF YOU PLAN TO GO:

WHERE IS IT?: 2500 Clement Blvd., 1 mile west of U.S. Hwy 321, near entrance to Hickory Airport.

GAME TIMES/ PROMOTIONS:

Wednesday: Asheville at Hickory, 6:30 p.m. Kids Win Wednesday (All kids 12 and under receive a free ticket, free meal voucher, and free bounce house, speed pitch and carousel voucher every Wednesday night game) Teacher Appreciation Night (School staff receive a free ticket with a valid ID badge), Wine Wednesday

Thursday: Asheville at Hickory, 7:00 p.m. Thirsty Thursday, Teacher Appreciation Night (School staff receive a free ticket with a valid ID badge), Napoleon Dynamite Night (Dress as a Napoleon Dynamite character and receive a ticket for $6).

Friday: Asheville at Hickory, 7:00 p.m. Postgame Fireworks, Teacher Appreciation Night (School staff receive a free ticket with a valid ID badge), Dodgeball Night (Dress up as an Average Joe or a Purple Cobra and receive a $6 ticket.)

TICKETS: $9 tickets in advance, $10 at the gate. Children (12 and under) and seniors $8, $15 for VIP section.

PARKING: All parking is $3.

 

RECENT SERIES HISTORY:

The Crawdads took two out of three against Asheville during a series played at L.P. Frans in April. Since 2009 and the start of the Crawdads-Rangers affiliation, Hickory is 51-48 vs. Asheville, but the Tourists hold a 27-24 margin at L.P. Frans.

 

PROBABLES (Asheville/ Hickory)

Wednesday: LHP Nick Bush vs. RHP Hans Crouse

Thursday: RHP Shelby Lackey vs. RHP Ronny Henriquez

Friday:  LHP Colton Schmidt vs. LHP Grant Wolfram

 

ABOUT HICKORY

The Crawdads split a four-game series at Kannapolis to complete a 5-2 road trip. Hickory has played nine series so far this season and have won seven of them and split the other two. After losing the final game at Kannapolis on Monday, the Crawdads will try to avoid their first back-to-back loses of the year on Wednesday. Hickory is 8-5 at home.

Manager: Matt Hagen (2nd season)

Prospects – (team rankings are by MLB.com):

RHP Hans Crouse No.1 (No. 80 in top-100)

IF Jonathan Ornelas No. 18

C Sam Huff No. 21

3B Sherten Apostel No. 22

RHP Ronny Henriquez No. 20

Possible lineups: C: Matt Whatley (.163/.330/.209) or Sam Huff (.317/.355/.769); 1B Curtis Terry (.257/.308/.560); 2B Frainyer Chavez (.260/.349/.274); 3B Sherten Apostel (.163/.245/.239); SS Jonathan Ornelas (.345/.421/.500); OF LF: Tanner Gardner (.143/.200/.429); CF: Pedro Gonzalez (.233/.310/.500); RF: Jose Almonte (.163/.213/.279)

SAL Rankings:

Individual Batting:

Pedro Gonzalez – 4th homers (7)

Sam Huff – 1st home runs (14), 1st RBI (27), 1st total bases, 1st slugging pct. (.769), 1st OPS (1.124), tied for 3rd runs, tied for 5th hits, tied for 10th strikeouts

Jonathan Ornelas – 4th batting avg. (.345), 8th OBP (.421), 10th OPS (.921).

Curtis Terry – 1st doubles (15), tied for 2nd RBI (26), 5th total bases, tied for 5th home runs (6), 7th slugging pct. (.560)

Matt Whatley – Tied for 2nd walks, tied for 6th stolen bases (10)

Individual pitching:

Tim Brennan – 3rd WHIP (0.73)

Hans Crouse – 10th WHIP (0.86)

Yerry Rodriguez – 5th ERA (1.38)

Team Batting:

Slash line (BA. OBP/ SLG/ OPS):.234 (6th)/ .305 (12th)/ .412 (2nd)/ .717 (4th).

Other key rankings: 2nd home runs, 2nd stolen bases, 3rd total bases, 4th runs, 4th strikeouts, 1th doubles, 11th walks,

Team Pitching:

1st ERA (2.75), 2nd WHIP (1.11), fewest runs allowed, fewest earned runs allowed, fewest walks allowed, fewest hit batters, 11th home runs allowed (17),

WHO’S HOT (Last 10 games)

Hitting: Sam Huff (5 HRs, 14 RBI, .289/.357/.711/.1.068); Pedro Gonzalez (.323/.432/.581/.1.013); Jonathan Ornelas (5 SBs, .395/.452/.500/.952); Frainyer Chavez (5 SBs, .387/.472/.387/.859)

Pitching: Grant Anderson (4 games, 2 saves, 4 IP, 0 ER, 1 K, 1 BB, OBA .143, WHIP 0.75); Dylan Bice (3 games 4.2 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K

WHO’S NOT (Last 10 games)

Hitting: Sherten Apostel (6-for-37, 12 K, .162/.200/.200); Jose Almonte (5-for-35, 10 K .161/.235/.194)

ABOUT ASHEVILLE:

The Tourists won the first two of a homestand but lost the last five, including a four-game sweep to Delmarva (Md.). Asheville is 3-11 on the road.

Manager: Robinson Cancel (1st year)

Prospects – Asheville (rankings by MLB.com):

1B Grant Lavigne No. 4

RHP Riley Pint No. 7

SS Terrin Vavra No. 13

OF Daniel Montano No. 18

RHP Ryan Feltner No. 23

C Willie MacIver No. 27

RHP Mike Nikorak No. 28

Possible Lineups: C: Javier Guevara (.204/.218/.259) or Willie MacIver (.287/.357/.535); 1B Grant Lavigne (.247/.388/.376); 2B Coco Montes (.230/.301/.290); 3B: John Cresto (.310/.364/.521); SS: Terrin Vavra (.327/.423/.515); LF: Will Golsan (.218/.304/.376); CF: Daniel Montano (.267/.324/.386); RF: Cade Harris (.200/.412/.360).

SAL Rankings:

Individual Batting:

John Cresto – Tied for 7th doubles (9)

Cade Harris – Tied for 6th walks

Grant Lavigne – 1st walks

Willie McIver – Tied for 6th RBI (20), tied for 9th total bases, 10th slugging pct. (.535), tied for 10th homers (5)

Terrin Vavra – Tied for third caught stealing (4), 4th walks, 5th runs scored, tied for 5th hits, 7th OBP (.423), 9th batting avg. (.327), 9th OPS (.938).

Individual pitching:

Jake Bird – Tied for 3rd games pitched (12), tied for 3rd hit batters,

Nick Bush – Tied for 3rd home runs allowed, tied for 10th runs allowed, tied for 10th earned runs allowed,

Ryan Feltner – Tied for 3rd home runs allowed, 5th hits allowed

Alfredo Garcia – 1st runs allowed, 1st earned runs allowed, tied for 3rd hits allowed, tied for 3rd home runs allowed, tied for 7th hit batters

Nick Kennedy – Tied for 3rd games pitched (12)

Boby Johnson – Tied for 8th games pitched (11)

Shelby Lackey – Tied for 3rd home runs allowed, tied for 10th runs allowed

Alex Martinez – Tied for 3rd games pitched (12), tied for 3rd saves (4)

Mike Nikorak – Tied for 3rd games pitched (12), tied for 8th walks

Riley Pint – Tied for 2nd walks allowed

Team batting:

Slash line (BA. OBP/ SLG/ OPS): .252 (2nd)/ .343 (2nd)/ .399 (3rd)/ .742 (1st).

Other key rankings: 1st doubles, 1st walks, 3rd hits, 3rd fewest strikeouts, 3rd stolen bases, 3rd caught stealing, 4th total bases, 5th runs,

Team pitching:

Last ERA (5.59), Last WHIP (1.52), 1st runs allowed, 1st earned runs allowed, 1st home runs allowed, 2nd hits allowed, 2nd walks allowed, 3rd hit batters, 13th strikes,

NOTES OF INTEREST: Crawdads SS Chris Seise, OFs Miguel Aparicio and Chad Smith, pitchers Jean Casanova and Hever Bueno are on the injured list. Added to the roster are Tanner Gardner and Tyler Depreta-Johnson.

 

Series Preview: Hickory Crawdads at Kannapolis May 3-6

Hickory Crawdads (Texas Rangers) (19-7, 2nd Northern Division)

Kannapolis Intimidators (Chicago White Sox) (10-15, 6th Northern Division)

The Hickory Crawdads continue a weeklong homestand with a four-game series against the Kannapolis Intimidators at Intimidators Stadium.

 

IF YOU PLAN TO GO:

WHERE IS IT?: From Hickory, take Hwy 321 South to Gastonia, then I-85 North to Exit 63 (Lane Street). Turn left. Ballpark is on the right.

GAME TIMES/ PROMOTIONS:

Friday: 7:00 p.m. (Piedmont Boll Weevils Night, Baseball Card Strip Giveaway to first 1,000 fans)

Saturday: 7:00 p.m. (Star Wars Night, Postgame Fireworks)

Sunday: 3:00 p.m. (Cinco de Mayo, Kids Run the Bases)

Monday: 7:00 p.m.

TICKETS: Prices in advance range from $7 for general admission to $9 for reserve, $2 less for children. Add $2 on gameday.

RECENT SERIES HISTORY:

Hickory took two out of three during a series at L.P. Frans to open the home season in early April. The Crawdads went 14-9 against Kannapolis in 2018, but the Intimidators defended their home turf by winning six of 9 there.

PROBABLES (Hickory/ Kannapolis)

Friday: RHP Grant Wolfram vs. Jonathan Stiever

Saturday: LHP John King vs. LHP Taylor Varnell

Sunday: RHP Tim Brennan vs. RHP Davis Martin

Monday: RHP Yerry Rodriguez vs. LHP Konnor Pilkington

 

ABOUT HICKORY

The Crawdads continued their early-season domination on the road with a three-game sweep at Greenville this week. Hickory is 10-3 on the road and have won all four series played at visiting stadiums. The Crawdads have also won seven of eight series and tied the other one 2-2 with Lakewood last weekend.

Manager: Matt Hagen (2nd season)

Prospects – (team rankings are by MLB.com):

RHP Hans Crouse No.1 (No. 80 in top-100)

SS Chris Seise No. 12

IF Jonathan Ornelas No. 18

C Sam Huff No. 21

3B Sherten Apostel No. 22

RHP Ronny Henriquez No. 30

Possible lineups: C: Matt Whatley or Sam Huff; 1B Curtis Terry; 2B Frainyer Chavez or Jonathan Ornelas; 3B Sherten Apostel; SS Chris Seise; OF LF: Miguel Aparicio; CF: Pedro Gonzalez; RF: Jose Almonte.

SAL Rankings:

Individual Batting:

Pedro Gonzalez – Tied for 2nd homers (7), 9th slugging pct. (.579), tied for 10th runs (16).

Sam Huff –1st homers (13), 1st slugging pct. (.820), 1st OPS (1.189), 1st total bases, tied for 2nd RBI (23), tied 3rd runs (20), tied for 8th hits (29).

Jonathan Ornelas – 7th batting avg. (.348), 8th on-base pct. (.423).

Chris Seise – 2nd caught stealing, tied for 2nd triples (3), tied for 10th steals (6), tied for 10th strikeouts.

Curtis Terry – 1st doubles (13), tied for 2nd RBI (23), 5th total bases, 5th slugging pct. (.606), tied for 5th homers (6).

Matt Whatley – Tied for 3rd walks.

Individual pitching:

Hans Crouse – Tied for 10th WHIP (0.86), tied for 9th hit batters.

Yerry Rodriguez – 6th ERA (1.71)

Team Batting:

Slash line (BA. OBP/ SLG/ OPS):.239 (5th)/ .308 (8th)/ .429 (1st)/ .736 (2nd).

Other key rankings: 1st total bases, tied for 1st home runs, 2nd total bases, 4th stolen bases, 4th runs.

Team Pitching: fewest runs allowed, fewest hit batters, fewest walks allowed, 2nd ERA (2.77), 2nd WHIP (1.10), fourth fewest home runs allowed

 

ABOUT KANNAPOLIS:

The Intimidators were swept in a three-game series at home by Charleston (S.C.) and overall they have lost five of seven. Kannapolis is 4-8 at home in 2019.

Manager: Ryan Newman (1st season)

Prospects – Kannapolis (rankings by MLB.com):

LHP Konnor Pilkington No. 20

3B Bryce Bush No. 21

RHP Jonathan Stiever No. 27

Possible Lineups: C: Evan Skoug or Gunnar Troutwine; 1B: Amado Nunez; 2B: Ramon Beltre; 3B: Bryce Bush or Luis Curbelo; SS: Lenyn Sosa; LF: Alex Destino or Romy Gonzalez; CF: Ian Dawkins; RF: Logan Sowers

SAL Rankings:

Individual Batting:

Ramon Beltre – Tied for 2nd triples (3)

Bryce Bush – Tied for 6th triples (2)

Luis Curbelo – Tied for 6th strikeouts, tied for 8th RBI (18), tied for 10th doubles

Ian Dawkins – 4th stolen bases (8), tied for 6th doubles (9), 10th hits

Individual pitching:

Jason Bilous – Tied for 6th hit batters

Davis Martin – 1st home runs allowed (9), 2nd earned runs allowed, tied for 2nd runs allowed, tied for 3rd hits allowed

Konnor Pilkington – Tied for 4th strikeouts, 6th WHIP (0.77), tied for 6th hit batters, tied for 9th innings pitched

Bennett Sousa – Tied for 5th games pitched

Jonathan Stiever – Tied for 3rd home runs allowed (5), tied for 9th hits allowed

Taylor Varnell – Tied for 2nd hit batters, tied for 6th strikeouts, 7th (0.79), WHIP 8th innings pitched, 9th ERA (1.93)

Team batting:

Slash line (BA. OBP/ SLG/ OPS): .233 (7th)/ .307 (10th)/ .346 (8th)/ .653 (9th).

Other key rankings: 1st triples (11), 2nd doubles, 3rd strikeouts, tied for 6th runs scored, tied for 7th hits, 12th walks, last HRs (6).

Team pitching: 2nd fewest walks allowed, tied for 2nd home runs allowed, 3rd strikeouts, 3rd most hits allowed, 4th most runs allowed, 9th ERA (3.93), 9th WHIP (1.29)

 

Series Preview: Hickory Crawdads at Greenville (S.C.) Drive April 30-May 2

Hickory Crawdads (Texas Rangers) (16-7, 2nd Northern Division)

Greenville Drive (Boston Red Sox) (11-12, 3rd Southern Division)

The Hickory Crawdads start a weeklong homestand with a three-game series at Fluor Field at West End in downtown Greenville.

 

IF YOU PLAN TO GO:

WHERE IS IT?: From Hickory, take Hwy 321 South to Gastonia, then I-85 South into South Carolina. Take I-385 (exit 51) towards downtown, which ends into North St. Turn right onto North Church St. Follow that down to the Municipal Complex and plan to park there. Shuttle from the lot to the stadium is free, as is parking.

GAME TIMES/ PROMOTIONS:

Tuesday: 2:05 p.m. (Drive Business Downtown)

Wednesday: 7:05 p.m.

Thursday: 7:05 p.m. (Dollar Drink Night)

TICKETS: Prices in advance range from $8 at Pesky’s Porch to $16 for Green Monster Seats. Add $1 on the day of the game. $8 lawn and deck seating available on the day of the game.

 

RECENT SERIES HISTORY:

The two teams played all eight games at Greenville a year ago with Hickory taking six of the eight played at Fluor Field. Overall, since 2009, the Crawdads are 46-41, 22-21 at Greenville.

PROBABLES (Hickory/ Greenville)

Tuesday: RHP Yerry Rodriguez vs. RHP Chris Machamer

Wednesday: RHP Hans Crouse vs. RHP Brayan Bello

Thursday: RHP Jean Casanova vs. RHP Alex Scherff

 

ABOUT HICKORY

The Crawdads polished off their second winning homestand of the young season by defeating Lakewood 10-3 on Sunday. Hickory split this four-game series against the BlueClaws and went 4-3 overall. The team has played better on the road. They are 8-2 on the road and 8-5 at home.

Manager: Matt Hagen (2nd season)

Prospects – (team rankings are by MLB.com):

RHP Hans Crouse No.1 (No. 8 in top-100)

SS Chris Seise No. 12

IF Jonathan Ornelas No. 18

C Sam Huff No. 21

3B Sherten Apostel No. 22

RHP Ronny Henriquez No. 30

Possible lineups: C: Matt Whatley or Sam Huff; 1B Curtis Terry; 2B Frainyer Chavez or Jonathan Ornelas; 3B Sherten Apostel; SS Chris Seise; OF LF: Miguel Aparicio; CF: Pedro Gonzalez; RF: Jose Almonte.

SAL Rankings:

Individual Batting:

Pedro Gonzalez – Tied for 2nd homers (7)

Sam Huff –1st homers (12), 1st slugging pct. (.805), 1st OPS (1.163), 1st total bases, tied 3rd runs (17), tied for 9th hits (25), tied for 8th RBI (16)

Jonathan Ornelas – 8th batting avg. (.345), 9th on-base pct. (.419), 9th OPS (.947)

Chris Seise – Tied for 2nd triples (3), 2nd caught stealing, tied for 8th strikeouts

Curtis Terry – 1st doubles (11), 1st RBI (23), tied for 2nd total bases, 3rd slugging pct. (.639), tied for 3rd homers (6), 8th OPS (.960),

Matt Whatley – Tied for 2nd walks

Individual pitching:

Hans Crouse – 3rd WHIP (0.69), 5th ERA (1.33), tied for 7th hit batters.

John King – 6th hits allowed

Team Batting:

Slash line (BA. OBP/ SLG/ OPS):.229 (9th)/ .294 (11th)/ .429 (1st)/ .723 (2nd).

Other key rankings: 1st home runs, 1st total bases, 5th runs, 2nd total bases, 2nd fewest caught stealing, 3rd stolen bases, 3rd doubles, 11th hits, 12th walks

Team Pitching: 1st ERA (2.52), 1st WHIP (1.06), fewest runs allowed, fewest earned runs allowed, fewest hit batters, fewest walks allowed, 4th fewest hits allowed.

 

ABOUT GREENVILLE:

The Drive return home from a 4-3 road trip after splitting a four-game series at Lexington (Ky.). Greenville is 5-4 at Fluor Field.

Manager: Iggy Suarez (1st season)

Prospects – Greenville (rankings by MLB.com):

1B Triston Casas No. 2 (No. 6 1B prospect)

3B Brandon Howlett No. 15

RHP Alex Scherff No. 21

RHP Brayan Bello No. 25

LHP Yoan Aybad No. 29

Possible Lineups: C: Kole Cottam; 1B Triston Casas; 2B: Korby Batesole or Kervin Suarez; 3B: Brandon Howlett; SS: Grant Williams; LF: Jordan Wren; CF: Cole Brannen; RF: Tyler Esplin.

SAL Rankings:

Individual Batting:

Cole Brannen – Tied for third caught stealing (3), tied for 4th steals (8), tied for 8th strikeouts

Kervin Suarez – Tied for third caught stealing (3)

Individual pitching:

Rio Gomez – Tied for 1st saves (4)

Hunter Hayworth – Tied for 7th hits allowed, tied for 9th runs allowed, tied for 10th earned runs allowed

Chris Machamer – Tied for 10th hits allowed

Team batting:

Slash line (BA. OBP/ SLG/ OPS):.217 (12th)/ .299 (10th)/ .290 (13th)/ .620 (13th).

Other key rankings: most strikeouts, most caught stealing, 13th runs scored, 13th hits, 13th total bases

Team pitching: 3rd most hits allowed, 8th ERA (3.55), tied for 11th WHIP (1.35)

 

Series Preview: Lakewood (N.J.) BlueClaws at Hickory Crawdads April 25-28

Lakewood BlueClaws (Philadelphia Phillies) (6-14, seventh place, South Atlantic League Northern Division)

Hickory Crawdads (Texas Rangers) (14-5, second place, South Atlantic League Northern Division)

The Hickory Crawdads continue their weeklong homestand with a four-game series against the Lakewood BlueClaws from Thursday through Sunday.

 

IF YOU PLAN TO GO:

WHERE IS IT?: 2500 Clement Blvd., 1 mile west of U.S. Hwy 321, near entrance to Hickory Airport.

GAME TIMES/ PROMOTIONS:

Thursday: Lakewood at Hickory, 7:00 p.m. Thirsty Thursday, Salute to Scrubs Week (Healthcare professionals receive a free ticket with a current ID badge), NFL Draft Party

Friday: Lakewood at Hickory, 7:00 p.m. Salute to Scrubs Week (Healthcare professionals receive a free ticket with a current ID badge)

Saturday: Lakewood at Hickory, 5:00 p.m. Sanctus Real Post-Game Concert

Sunday: Church Bulletin Sunday (Bring a church bulletin to the ticket office and receive a $6 ticket with $4 from each ticket donated back to the respective church), Red Out Night (Wear red and receive a free ticket to the game), Bark at the Park.

TICKETS: $9 tickets in advance, $10 at the gate. Children (12 and under) and seniors $8, $15 for VIP section. NOTE: Tickets for Saturday’s game and concert are $16, $21 for VIP seating.

PARKING: All parking is $3.

 

RECENT SERIES HISTORY:

The Crawdads took three of four from Lakewood in New Jersey to open the 2019 season. The BlueClaws dominated the South Atlantic League a year ago and they did not spare Hickory from their wrath. Lakewood won 7 of 10, which included a 3-1 mark at LP Frans last August. Since 2009, when the Crawdads-Rangers affiliation began, Lakewood is 17-16 at Hickory, 55-50 overall.

 

PROBABLES (Lakewood/ Hickory)

Thursday: RHP Colton Eastman vs. RHP Ronny Henriquez

Friday:  RHP Tyler McKay vs. RHP Jean Casanova

Saturday:  LHP Jhordany Mezquita vs. LHP John King

Sunday: RHP Francisco Morales vs. RHP Tim Brennan

 

ABOUT HICKORY

The Crawdads enter the series on the heels of two straight wins over Augusta (Ga.) to claim a 2-1 series win. Hickory is 6-3 at home this season.

Manager: Matt Hagen (2nd season)

Prospects – (team rankings are by MLB.com):

RHP Hans Crouse No.1 (No. 80 in top-100)

SS Chris Seise No. 12

IF Jonathan Ornelas No. 18

C Sam Huff No. 21

3B Sherten Apostel No. 22

RHP Ronny Henriquez No. 20

Possible lineups: C: Matt Whatley or Sam Huff; 1B Curtis Terry; 2B Frainyer Chavez or Jonathan Ornelas; 3B Sherten Apostel; SS Chris Seise; OF LF: Miguel Aparicio or Chad Smith; CF: Pedro Gonzalez; RF: Jose Almonte.

SAL Rankings:

Individual Batting:

Jose Almonte – Tied for 9th doubles (6)

Pedro Gonzalez – Tied for 2nd homers (5)

Sam Huff – 1st home runs (8), 1st total bases, 1st slugging pct. (.750), 2nd OPS (1.063), tied for 9th runs, tied for 10th strikeouts

Chris Seise – 2nd caught stealing (4), tied for 10th stolen bases (5)

Curtis Terry – 1st RBI (21), tied for 2nd homers (5), 3rd total bases, tied for 3rd doubles (8), 5th slugging pct. (.600)

Matt Whatley – 5th walks

Individual pitching:

Tim Brennan – 8th WHIP (0.76)

Hans Crouse – 4th WHIP (0.69), tied for 4th hit batters (3), 10th ERA (1.33), 10th innings (20.1)

Scott Engler – Tied for 6th saves (2)

Abdiel Mendoza – Tied for 6th saves (2)

Team Batting:

Slash line (BA. OBP/ SLG/ OPS):.227 (19th)/ .291 (11th)/ .424 (2nd)/ .715 (3rd).

Other key rankings: 1st home runs, 3rd total bases, 4th runs, 11th hits, next to last walks,

Team Pitching:

1st ERA (2.42), 1st WHIP (1.02), fewest runs allowed, fewest earned runs allowed, fewest walks allowed, fewest hit batters, 4th fewest hits allowed, 11th home runs allowed (8),

 

ABOUT LAKEWOOD:

Though the lost the finale of a three-game series at Rome, Ga., the BlueClaws won two of three against the Braves coming off a 1-10 stretch. The two wins at Rome snapped an 0-8 start on the road.

Manager: Mike Micucci (1st season)

Prospects – Lakewood (rankings by MLB.com):

3B Alex Bohm No. 1 (No. 56 in top-100, No. 6 3B)

SS Luis Garcia No. 4

RHP Francisco Morales No. 8

C Rafael Marchan No. 14

RHP Dominic Pipkins No. 23

LHP Jhordany Mezquita No. 26

Possible Lineups: C: Rafael Marchan or Abraham Gutierrez; 1B: Matt Kroon; 2B: Luis Garcia or Jonathan Guzman; 3B: Alec Bohm; SS: Jonathan Guzman or Luis Garcia; LF: varied; CF: Yerwin Trejo or Malvin Matos; RF: Carlos De La Cruz or Malvin Matos.

 

SAL Rankings:

Individual Batting:

Alex Bohm – Tied for 3rd hits, 6th batting avg. (.343), 6th on-base pct. (.425), tied for 8th walks, 9th OPS (.947), tied for 9th doubles (6), tied for 10th total bases

Carlos De La Cruz – Tied for 3rd caught stealing

Jonathan Guzman – Tied for 10th stolen bases (5)

Rafael Marchan – Tied for 9th doubles (6)

Individual pitching:

Colton Eastman – Tied for 6th earned runs allowed, tied for 8th runs allowed

Ethan Evanko – Tied for 9th appearances (7)

Kevin Gowdy – Tied for 2nd walks allowed

Robinson Martinez – Tied for 6th saves (2)

Tyler McKay – Tied for 10th earned runs allowed, tied for 10th runs allowed

Jhordany Mezquita – Tied for 6th earned runs allowed, tied for 10th runs allowed

Team batting:

Slash line (BA. OBP/ SLG/ OPS): .235 (6th)/.306 (7th)/ .313 (13th)/ .318 (12th)

Other key rankings: 1st caught stealing, 2nd steals, 3rd hits, 4th strikeouts, 11th total bases, 12th runs scored, 13th home runs (5)

Team pitching:

Most hits allowed, most walks allowed, 2nd most runs allowed, 2nd most earned runs allowed, 13th ERA (4.84), 13th WHIP (1.49),

Smith’s Blast Sting GreenJackets

Chad Smith rocked a solo home run in the bottom of the ninth to give the Hickory Crawdads a 5-4 win over the Augusta (Ga.) GreenJackets Wednesday night in South Atlantic League action.

The victory was the Crawdads (14-5) second in a row, which gave them the three-game series after losing the opener on Monday. Hickory has now won all six series to open the season. The win also kept Hickory two games behind Delmarva (Md.) in the early Northern Division standings. The Shorebirds (15-2) defeated Asheville 15-7 Wednesday night.

The weeklong homestand continues Thursday when the Crawdads open a four-game series against Lakewood (N.J.) with the first pitch at 7 p.m.

The teams entered the ninth tied at four with Augusta getting the first shot to break the tie. Facing Grant Anderson (2-1), the GreenJackets started the inning with a walk issued to Shane Matheny. Anderson then struck out both Diego Rincones and Frankie Tostado, but Jacob Gonzalez appeared to have given the GreenJackets the lead with a line drive to deep left-center. Off with the crack of the bat, Matheny was on his way to score easily on the hit, but Gonzalez’s drive one-hopped over the wall, which turned the play into a ground-rule double and sent Matheny back to second. Aaron Bond ended the inning with a grounder to short.

Smith finished the game quickly in the bottom of the inning by hitting Solomon Bates’ (1-2) third pitch over the fence in right center. The home run was Smith’s second since he joined the team last Thursday.

Home runs continue to be the story for the Crawdads offense during the first month of the season. Entering the game with the most in the SAL, Hickory added four more Wednesday night to push the total to 26 for the season, 11 more than second-place teams Asheville and Greensboro.

Pedro Gonzalez broke a scoreless tie in the bottom of the fourth with a solo homer to left-center. Augusta retied the game quickly in the fifth with a double by Matheny and a single by Rincones.

However, the GreenJackets gave away the lead in the bottom of the inning after Chris Seise reached on Jacob Gonzalez’s fielding error at third and later scored on Curtis Terry’s double.

Pedro Gonzalez added his fifth homer of the season with another solo shot in the sixth to put Hickory up 3-1. However, the Crawdads bullpen struggles continued Wednesday, this time against Tai Tiedemann in the eighth.

Matheny continued his series long assault against Hickory with a leadoff home run, his fourth of the year. Matheny finished the series 6-for-12 with a double and two home runs. Rincones and Tostado each singled to chase Tiedemann with Hickory choosing to bring in Anderson.

A passed ball placed runners at second and third, which set up consecutive sacrifice flies by Gonzalez and Bond, who put Augusta ahead 4-3. The GreenJackets eventually loaded the bases before Ismael Munguia grounded out to third to strand all three.

For the game, Augusta put together 12 hits and received five walks, but hit into two double plays and stranded 11.

Sam Huff set up the ninth with his eighth home run of the season, which leads the SAL. The solo blast was his second in as many nights, both hitting the batter’s eye beyond the centerfield fence.

Hans Crouse – the Texas Rangers’ top prospect (mlb.com) – started for Hickory and held the GreenJackets to one run over six innings with three walks and six hits allowed to go with four strikeouts.

Joey Wong – the San Francisco Giants’ no. 7 prospect – allowed three runs (two earned) on nine hits and struck out five.

Series Preview: Augusta (Ga.) GreenJackets at Hickory Crawdads April 22-24

Augusta GreenJackets (San Francisco Giants) (8-7, 2nd place, Southern Division)

Hickory Crawdads (Texas Rangers) (12-4, 2nd place Northern Division)

The Hickory Crawdads start a seven-game homestand Monday with three against Augusta at L.P. Frans Stadium.

 

IF YOU PLAN TO GO:

WHERE IS IT?: 2500 Clement Blvd., 1 mile west of U.S. Hwy 321, near entrance to Hickory Airport.

GAME TIMES/ PROMOTIONS:

Monday: Augusta at Hickory, 6:30 p.m. Make-A Difference Monday (Bring canned goods $5 or more in value and receive a free ticket), Salute to Scrubs Week (Healthcare professionals receive a free ticket with a current ID badge)

Tuesday: Augusta at Hickory, 6:30 p.m. Dollar Dog Tuesday ($1 hot dogs, dogs admitted for $1), $2 craft pints, Salute to Scrubs Week (Healthcare professionals receive a free ticket with a current ID badge)

Wednesday: Augusta at Hickory, 6:30 p.m. Kids Win Wednesday (All kids 12 and under receive a free ticket, free meal voucher, and free bounce house, speed pitch and carousel voucher every Wednesday night game) Salute to Scrubs Week (Healthcare professionals receive a free ticket with a current ID badge), Wine Wednesday

TICKETS: $9 tickets in advance, $10 at the gate. Children (12 and under) and seniors $8, $15 for VIP section.

PARKING: All parking is $3.

 

RECENT SERIES HISTORY:

Hickory swept Augusta in a three-game series last June in the only series played by the two teams. The Crawdads have not played at Augusta since 2016 when they took two of three there. Since 2009, which is the start of the Crawdads affiliation with the Rangers, Augusta holds a 31-29 edge in games played, 19-15 at Hickory.

 

PROBABLES (Augusta/ Hickory)

Monday: RHP Blake Rivera vs. RHP Tim Brennan

Tuesday: RHP Matt Frisbee vs. RHP Yerry Rodriguez

Wednesday: RHP Jake Wong vs. RHP Hans Crouse

 

ABOUT HICKORY

Hickory took two out of three at Columbia (S.C.) over the weekend. During their first homestand, the Crawdads went 4-2 against Kannapolis and Asheville.

Manager: Matt Hagen (2nd season)

Prospects – (team rankings are by MLB.com):

RHP Hans Crouse No.1 (No. 80 in top-100)

SS Chris Seise No. 12

IF Jonathan Ornelas No. 18

C Sam Huff No. 21

3B Sherten Apostel No. 22

RHP Ronny Henriquez No. 20

Possible lineups: C: Matt Whatley or Sam Huff; 1B Curtis Terry; 2B Frainyer Chavez or Jonathan Ornelas; 3B Sherten Apostel; SS Chris Seise; LF: Miguel Aparicio or Chad Smith; CF: Pedro Gonzalez; RF: Jose Almonte.

 

SAL Rankings:

Individual Batting:

Pedro Gonzalez – Tied for 6th homers (3)

Sam Huff – 1st home runs (6), 1st total bases, 1st slugging pct. (.722), 3rd OPS (1.037), tied for 10th runs

Jonathan Ornelas – Tied for 10th runs

Chris Seise – tied for 8th steals (5)

Curtis Terry – 1st RBI (19), tied for 2nd homers (4), tied for 4th total bases, tied for 5th doubles (6), 7th slugging pct. (.569)

Matt Whatley – 4th walks

Individual pitching:

Hans Crouse – 2nd WHIP (0.35), tied for 3rd hit batters (3), 10th ERA (1.26)

Abdiel Mendoza – Tied for 5th saves (2)

Team Batting:

Slash line (BA. OBP/ SLG/ OPS):.229 (10th)/ .294 (13th)/ .416 (2nd)/ .710 (3rd).

Other key rankings: 1st home runs, 3rd runs, 3rd total bases, next to last walks,

Team Pitching:

1st ERA (2.18), 1st WHIP (0.97), fewest hits allowed, fewest runs allowed, fewest earned runs allowed, tied for fewest home runs allowed (4), fewest walks allowed.

 

ABOUT AUGUSTA:

The GreenJackets completed their first homestand of the season on Saturday with a 3-1 loss to Charleston (SC), but finished off the week at 4-2 overall. Because of The Masters in its backyard, Augusta had a nine-game road trip to start the year and managed a 4-5 record.

Manager: Carlos Valderrama (2nd season)

Prospects – Augusta (rankings by MLB.com):

RHP Sean Hjelle No. 6

RHP Jake Wong No. 7

RHP Gregory Santos No. 8

RHP Blake Rivera No. 18

3B Jacob Gonzalez No. 19

LHP Seth Corry No. 25

Possible Lineups: C: Andres Angulo or Jeffry Parra; 1B: Frankie Tostado; 2B: Shane Matheny or Wander Franco; 3B:Jacob Gonzalez; SS: Nico Giarratano or Shane Matheny; LF: Diego Rincones; CF: Jose Layer; RF: Aaron Bond.

 

SAL Rankings:

Individual Batting:

Aaron Bond – 3rd strikeouts,  tied for 8th steals (5)

Shane Matheny – 4th RBI (15)

Ismael Munguia – Tied for 7th runs

Frankie Tostado – 9th batting avg. (.327), 10th on-base pct. (.411), 10th OPS (.921)

Individual pitching:

Seth Corry – Tied for 6th walks

Sean Hjelle – 1st innings (19.2)

Jesus Tona – Tied for 1st saves (3)

Franklin Van Gurp – Tied for 9th games pitched (6)

Ryan Walker – Tied for 9th games pitched (6)

Team batting:

Slash line (BA. OBP/ SLG/ OPS):.234 (6th)/ .333 (4th)/ .346 7th)/.680 (6th)

Other key rankings: 2nd fewest strikeouts, tied for 2nd walks, 12th hits, 12th doubles,

Team pitching:

4th fewest hits allowed, 7th ERA (3.35), 8th WHIP (1.29)

 

NOTES OF INTEREST: RHP Cole Uvila and OF Julio Pablo Martinez were both promoted to High-A Down East last week. RHP Ronny Henriquez, OF Chad Smith joined the club. Henriquez is the first person born in the 2000s to pitch for Hickory … According to MLB.com, should he get to the major leagues, Augusta’s Sean Hjelle would be equal to Jon Rauch as the tallest pitcher in major league history… Augusta’s Jacob Gonzalez is the son of Arizona Diamondbacks World Series hero Luis Gonzalez… Hickory’s Sean Chandler and Augusta’s Keaton Winn both pitched at Iowa Western CC and were drafted one round apart (Winn 5th, Chandler 6th) last summer… Augusta RHP Matt Frisbee is the lone player with a North Carolina connection, as he pitched at Enka High and UNC Greensboro.

Series Preview: Hickory Crawdads at Columbia (S.C.) Fireflies April 18-20

Hickory Crawdads (Texas Rangers) (10-2, 2nd Northern Division)

Columbia Fireflies (New York Mets) (6-7, 4th Southern Divisioin)

The Hickory Crawdads take a quick roadtrip to Segra Park for a three-game series against the Fireflies

 

IF YOU PLAN TO GO:

WHERE IS IT?: From Hickory, take Hwy 321 South to Gastonia, then I-85 North towards Charlotte. Take exit 30 to the I-485 outer loop, then I-77 South toward Columbia. Take I-77 to 277 South to Columbia. Take the Farrow Road/SC-555 exit. Turn left onto Farrow Road/SC-555. Continue onto Colonial Drive. Turn left onto Gregg Street. Turn right onto Freed Street. The ballpark is located on the left side of the street.

GAME TIMES/ PROMOTIONS:

Thursday: 7:05 p.m. (Copa de la Diversion, Thirsty Thursday)

Friday: 7:05 p.m. (Copa de la Diversion, Chicharrones Piggy Bank Giveaway to first 1,500 fans)

Saturday: 6:05 p.m. (Copa de la Diversion, ZOOperstars Appearance, Post-game Fireworks)

TICKETS: $9 tickets in advance, $10 at the gate. Children (12 and under) and seniors $8, $15 for VIP section.

PARKING: All parking is $3.

 

RECENT SERIES HISTORY:

The Crawdads have had decent success against the Fireflies since their move from Savannah (Ga.) after the 2015 season. Over the three seasons since the Fireflies relocation to Columbia, the Crawdads are 15-9 overall, 8-3 in Columbia. Last year, Hickory held a 4-3 edge in the season series with a split in the four-game series in South Carolina.

PROBABLES (Hickory/ Columbia)

Thursday: RHP Ronny Henriquez vs. RHP Christian James

Friday: RHP Jean Casanova vs. RHP Dedniel Nunez

Saturday: LHP John King vs. RHP Woods Richardson

 

ABOUT HICKORY

The Crawdads polished off a 4-2 homestand with a win on Wednesday morning over Asheville. Hickory took 2 of 3 in that series. They’ll take to the road for the second time this season after posting a 6-1 mark during the season-opening trip to Lakewood (N.J.) and Greensboro.

Manager: Matt Hagen (2nd season)

Prospects – (team rankings are by MLB.com):

RHP Hans Crouse No.1 (No. 83 in top-100)

SS Chris Seise No. 12

IF Jonathan Ornelas No. 18

C Sam Huff No. 21

3B Sherten Apostel No. 22

RHP Ronny Henriquez No. 30

Possible lineups: C: Matt Whatley or Sam Huff; 1B Curtis Terry; 2B Frainyer Chavez or Jonathan Ornelas; 3B Sherten Apostel; SS Chris Seise; LF: Miguel Aparicio; CF: Pedro Gonzalez; RF: Jose Almonte.

SAL Rankings:

Individual Batting:

Pedro Gonzalez – Tied for 5th homers (3)

Sam Huff – Tied for 1st homers (4), tied for 4th total bases, 5th slugging pct. (.583), tied for 8th strikeouts

Chris Seise – Tied for 6th steals (5)

Curtis Terry – 1st RBI (19), tied for 1st homers (4), tied for 1st total bases, 2nd slugging pct. (.688), tied for 3rd doubles (6), 4th OPS (1.040), tied for 4th hits,

Matt Whatley – Tied for 10th walks

Individual pitching:

Tim Brennan – 5th WHIP (0.55)

Hans Crouse – 2nd WHIP (0.35), tied for 9th strikeouts (19)

Abdiel Mendoza – Tied for 3rd saves (2)

Team Batting:

Slash line (BA. OBP/ SLG/ OPS):.238 (4th)/ .299 (10th)/ .422 (2nd)/ .721 (2nd).

Other key rankings: 1st home runs, 2nd runs, 2nd total bases, 2nd fewest caught stealing, 3rd stolen bases, 3rd doubles, T-4th hits, tied for 12th walks

Team Pitching: 1st ERA (1.92), 1st WHIP (0.90), fewest hits allowed, fewest runs allowed, fewest earned runs allowed, 3rd fewest home runs allowed (2), fewest walks allowed, 4th strikeouts.

 

ABOUT COLUMBIA:

The Fireflies won three of their last four games to cap a seven-game roadtrip to Lexington (Ky.) and Rome (Ga.). Columbia was 3-3 during its first homestand to open the season.

Manager: Pedro Lopez (2nd season)

Prospects – Columbia (rankings by MLB.com):

SS Ronny Mauricio No. 3

3B Mark Vientos No. 4

RHP Woods Richardson No. 7

RHP Christian James No. 26

Possible Lineups: C: Juan Uriarte or Hayden Senger; 1B Brian Sharpe; 2B Chandler Avant or Walter Rasquin; 3B: Mark Vientos; SS: Ronny Mauricio; LF: Brad Marquez or Wagner Lagrange; CF: Anthony Dirocie; RF: Jose Miguel Medina.

SAL Rankings:

Individual Batting:

Ronny Mauricio – Tied for 1st hits, 5th batting avg. (.346)

Individual pitching:

Jose Butto – Tied for 3rd hits allowed, tied for 7th runs allowed,

Jaiso Vilera – Tied for 5th earned runs allowed, tied for 6th hits allowed, tied for 9th runs allowed, tied for 9th walks

Ezequiel Zabaleta – 1st games pitched (7), tied for 1st saves (3)

Team batting:

Slash line (BA. OBP/ SLG/ OPS):.229 (7th)/ .295 (12th)/ .319 (10th)/ .614 (11th).

Other key rankings: 3rd fewest strikeouts, 11th home runs, 11th walks, tied for 11th doubles, 13th runs scored, last steals (3).

Team pitching: 3rd hits allowed, 3rd fewest walks allowed, 3rd fewest strikeouts, 4th earned runs allowed, 8th WHIP (1.27), 11th ERA (4.22)

 

NOTES OF INTEREST: Crawdads CF JP Martinez (Rangers No. 2 prospect) was promoted to High-A Down East on Wednesday… RHP Ronny Henriquez will make his stateside debut on Thursday. In 11 starts in the Dominican Summer League last season, the 18-year-old struck out 79 and walked 8 over 58 innings with a 1.55 ERA and a 0.78 WHIP. He skipped two levels to join Hickory…Columbia is second in the SAL in fielding pct.

Series Preview: Asheville Tourists at Hickory Crawdads

Asheville Tourists (Colorado Rockies) (5-6, tied for second, Southern Division)

Hickory Crawdads (Texas Rangers) (8-2, 2nd Northern Division)

The Hickory Crawdads continue their season-opening homestand with a three-game series against Asheville.

 

IF YOU PLAN TO GO:

WHERE IS IT?: Clement Blvd., 1 mile west of U.S. Hwy 321, near entrance to Hickory Airport.

GAME TIMES/ PROMOTIONS:

Monday: Asheville at Hickory, 6:30 p.m. (Make-A Difference Monday (Bring canned goods $5 or more in value and receive a free ticket), Remember the Titanic)

Tuesday: Asheville at Hickory, 6:30 p.m. (Dollar Dog Tuesday ($1 hot dogs, dogs admitted for $1))

Wednesday: Asheville at Hickory, 10:30 p.m.

 

TICKETS: $9 tickets in advance, $10 at the gate. Children (12 and under) and seniors $8, $15 for VIP section.

PARKING: All parking is $3.

 

RECENT SERIES HISTORY:

Despite being only an hour apart, the Crawdads and Tourists played just one series in 2018. The Crawdads took 2 of 3 in that series played at McCormick Park in Asheville.

The last series between the two clubs at L.P. Frans came in July 2017 when Asheville swept all three games. That year, the Tourists won 8 of 10 from the Crawdads, which included a 6-1 record at Hickory. It was the first season-series win by Asheville since 2010. Since 2009 and the start of the Crawdads-Rangers affiliation, Hickory is 49-47 vs. Asheville, but the Tourists hold a 26-22 margin at L.P. Frans.

 

PROBABLES (Asheville/ Hickory)

Monday: RHP Ryan Feltner vs. RHP Tim Brennan

Tuesday: LHP Ryan Rolison vs. RHP Yerry Rodriguez

Wednesday: RHP Shelby Lackey vs. RHP Hans Crouse

 

ABOUT HICKORY

Coming off a 6-1 road trip to open the season, the Crawdads continued the early-season success at home with a 2-1 series win over Kannapolis.

Manager: Matt Hagen (2nd season)

Prospects – (team rankings are by MLB.com):

RHP Hans Crouse No.1 (No. 83 in top-100)

OF JP Martinez No. 2 (No. 86 in top-100)

SS Chris Seise No. 12

IF Jonathan Ornelas No. 18

C Sam Huff No. 21

3B Sherten Apostel No. 22

Possible lineups: C: Matt Whatley or Sam Huff; 1B Curtis Terry; 2B Frainyer Chavez or Jonathan Ornelas; 3B Sherten Apostel; SS Chris Seise; OF LF: Pedro Gonzalez or Miguel Aparicio; CF: JP Martinez, RF: Jose Almonte.

SAL Rankings:

Individual Batting:

Jose Almonte – Tied for 8th doubles (4)

Pedro Gonzalez – Tied for 2nd homers (3)

Sam Huff – Tied for 2nd homers (3), 4th total bases, tied for 4th strikeouts, tied for 8th runs scored, 10th slugging pct. (.605)

JP Martinez – Tied for 5th steals (4)

Jonathan Ornelas – Tied for 4th runs scored

Chris Seise – Tied for 3rd hits, tied for 4th runs scored, tied for 5th steals (4), tied for 8th doubles (4)

Curtis Terry – 1st RBI (14), 2nd slugging pct. (.703), 2nd total bases, tied for 2nd homers (3), 4th OPS (1.078), tied for 4th doubles (5), tied for 7th hits

Individual pitching:

John King – Tied for 4th hits allowed

Jake Latz – Tied for 8th strikeouts, tied for 10th ERA (0.90)

Abdiel Mendoza – Tied for 1st saves (2)

Team Batting:

Slash line (BA. OBP/ SLG/ OPS):.249 (3rd)/ .318 (6th)/ .441 (2nd)/ .760 (2nd).

Other key rankings: 1st home runs, 2nd runs, 2nd home runs, 3rd hits, 3rd stolen bases, tied for 3rd doubles, 10th walks

Team Pitching: 1st ERA (1.90), 1st WHIP (0.91), fewest hits allowed, fewest runs allowed, fewest earned runs allowed, tied for fewest home runs allowed (1), fewest walks allowed, 4th strikeouts.

 

ABOUT ASHEVILLE:

The Tourists come to Hickory with losses in four of the last five games. This is the second half of their road trip after losing 3 of 4 at Hagerstown, Md. Five of the Rockies top six draft picks from last June’s draft are currently with the Tourists. They include Ryan Rolison (1st), Grant Lavigne (Competitive Balance), Terrin Vavra (3rd), Ryan Feltner (4th)

Manager: Robinson Cancel (1st year)

Prospects – Asheville (rankings by MLB.com):

1B Grant Lavigne No. 5

LHP Ryan Rolison No. 6

RHP Riley Pint No. 8

SS Terrin Vavra No. 14

OF Daniel Montano No. 19

RHP Ryan Feltner No. 24

C Willie MacIver No. 28

RHP Mike Nikorak No. 29

Possible Lineups: C: Javier Guevara or Willie MacIver; 1B Grant Lavigne; 2B Coco Montes or Terrin Vavra; 3B: John Cresto or Hunter Stovall; SS: Coco Montes or Terrin Vavra; LF: Will Golsan; CF: Daniel Montano; RF: Cade Harris.

SAL Rankings:

Individual Batting:

John Cresto – Tied for 4th doubles (5), 7th slugging pct. (.621), 10th OPS (.987)

Will Golsan – Tied for 2nd runs scored, 4th RBI (10), tied for 7th total bases

Cade Harris – Tied for 8th walks

Daniel Lavigne – Tied for 4th strikeouts

Willie MacIver – 1st slugging pct. (.824), 1st OPS (1.229), 1st total bases, tied for 2nd homers (3), 3rd batting avg. (.382), 3rd RBI (11), tied for 3rd hits, tied for 8th doubles (4)

Daniel Montano – Tied for 8th home runs (2), tied for 10th total bases

Hunter Stovall – Tied for 2nd doubles (6), 3rd on-base pct. (.471), 8th batting avg. (.357), 8th OPS (1.042)

Terrin Vavra – Tied for 3rd hits, tied for 4th runs scored, 5th on-base pct. (.455), tied for 5th RBI, (9), 6th total bases, 7th batting avg. (.361), 7th OPS (1.066), tied for 8th doubles (4), tied for 8th walks, 9th slugging pct. (.611), tied for 9th steals (3)

Individual pitching:

Jake Bird – Tied for 5th games pitched (4), 8th ERA (0.82), tied for 9th innings pitched (11)

Nick Bush – Tied for 2nd home runs allowed, tied for 4th runs allowed, 5th earned runs, tied for 6th hits allowed

Alfredo Garcia – Tied for 10th earned runs allowed

Eric Hepple – Tied for 1st games pitched (6)

Boby Johnson – Tied for 2nd home runs allowed, tied for 5th games pitched (4)

Shelby Lackey – 6th earned runs allowed, tied for 9th runs allowed

Nick Kennedy – 4th ERA (0.00), Tied for 5th games pitched (4), 10th WHIP (0.78)

Alex Martinez – Tied for 5th games pitched (4)

Mike Nikorak – Tied for 3rd games pitched (5), tied for 5th walks allowed, tied for 9th runs allowed

Ryan Feltner – Tied for 5th walks allowed

Riley Pint – Tied for 5th walks allowed

PJ Poulin – Tied for 3rd games pitched (5)

 

Team batting:

Slash line (BA. OBP/ SLG/ OPS):.282 (1st)/ .363 (1st)/ .493 (1st)/ .856 (1st).

Other key rankings: 1st runs, 1st hits, 1st doubles, 1st total bases, 1st walks, 2nd home runs, tied for 2nd strikeouts

Team pitching:

2nd runs allowed, 2nd home runs allowed, 2nd most walks allowed, 3rd runs allowed, 12th WHIP (1.45), Last ERA (5.32), tied for last strikeouts

NOTES OF INTEREST: Pedro Gonzalez was a member of the Rockies organization prior to a trade to the Rangers in 2017… Rockies IF Kyle Datres played college ball at North Carolina.