Results tagged ‘ Jean Casanova ’

Series Preview: Hickory Crawdads at Hagerstown Suns August 2-5

Hickory Crawdads (Texas Rangers) (53-54 overall, 23-16 second half, 2nd SAL North) at Hagerstown Suns (Washington Nationals) (14-23, 41-64, 7th SAL North)

The Crawdads take a short road trip for a four-game series at Hagerstown’s Municipal Stadium.

IF YOU PLAN TO GO:

WHERE IS IT?: 274 East Memorial Blvd., Hagerstown. From I-81, take exit 6A (US 40 East) through downtown Hagerstown. Turn right at Cleveland Ave.

 

GAME TIMES: Thursday and Friday 7:05 p.m., Saturday 6:05 p.m., Sunday 2:05 p.m.

 

TICKETS: $12 Reserved, $10 Grandstand, $9 General Admission

 

PARKING: Free parking available at the stadium.

 

PROMOTIONS:

Thursday – Thirsty Thursday

Friday – Post-game Fireworks/ 80s Night

Saturday – Jim Palmer Bobblehead Giveaway (First 1,000 fans)

Sunday – Candy Drop

 

CONCESSIONS: Municipal Stadium has standard ballpark fare (Burgers, hot dogs, pizza, funnel cakes, etc.) There is also a beer garden down the left field line.

 

PROBABLES (Hickory/ Hagerstown)

Thursday: RHP Tyree Thompson or RHP Jean Casanova vs. RHP Jackson Tetreault

Friday: RHP Tyler Thomas vs. RHP Malvin Pena

Saturday: Tyler Phillips vs. RHP Brigham Hill

Sunday: RHP Noah Bremer vs. RHP Tomas Alastre

 

Recent Series History:

The Crawdads won the only two games played between the two teams this season during a rain-shortened series in May at Hagerstown. The Suns have not made a trip to Hickory since 2016 and this is only the third series overall between the division rivals over the past two seasons. The teams split a four-game series in 2017. Since 2009, which is the start of the Crawdads-Rangers affiliation, the teams are 46-46 overall, with Hickory holding a 31-24 margin at Municipal Stadium.

 

Prospects to watch- Hickory (rankings are by MLB.com):

OF Bubba Thompson (No. 10): 2018 stats: .287/.340/.439, 13 2B, 4 3B, 5 HR, 16 BB, 68 K, 23 SB, 4 CS. Last series vs. Charleston: 2-for-8, 2B, HR, 2 K. Has hits in 24 of his last 27 games. Had 15 steals in July. First-round pick of the Rangers in 2018 out of McGill-Toolen High, Mobile, AL. SAL Top-10 Rankings: T-3rd stolen bases.

RHP Tyler Phillips (No. 14): 2018 stats: 18 games (18 starts) 104 IP, 100 H, 39 R (36 ER), 3 HR, 3 HB, 12 BB, 98 K, 3.12 ERA, .248 OBA, 1.08 WHIP. Last start 7/29 at Greensboro: 5 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 7 K. In his last 29 starts stretching to 6/23/17 at Spokane 167.2 IP, 19 BB, 171 K. Sixteenth-round pick of the Rangers in 2016 out of Bishop Eustace HS, Pennsauken, N.J. Native of Lumberton N.J. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 1st walks-per-9-inning ratio among starters (1.04), T-3rd wins (8), 7th WHIP, 9th ERA, 10th innings. Named to the SAL All-Star Game.

OF Pedro Gonzalez (No. 18) 2018 stats: .241/.302/.442, 16 2B, 5 3B, 11 HR, 24 BB, 97 K, 8 SB, 3 CS. Last series vs. Charleston: 3-for-8, HR, 2 K. Obtained by the Rangers in 2017 from the Colorado Rockies for Jonathan Lucroy. Native of Santo Domingo, D.R.

RHP AJ Alexy (No. 19): 2018 stats: 17 games (15 starts), 84.2 IP, 74 H, 45 R (39 ER), 4 HR, 8 HB, 44 BB, 101 K, 4.15 ERA, .239 OBA, 1.41 WHIP. Last start vs. Charleston 8/1: 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 7 K. Joined the Rangers after a trade that sent Yu Darvish to the Dodgers in 7/17. Originally 11th round pick of Dodgers out of Twin Valley HS, Elverson, Pa. SAL Top-10 Rankings: T-4th walks, T-8th hit batters, 9th strikeouts, T-9th losses (7).

C Sam Huff (No. 22): 2018 stats: .252/.309/.462, 19 2B, 3B, 15 HR, 19 BB, 103 K, 7 SB. Last series vs. Charleston: 4-for-11, 2 HR, 5 K. Seventh round pick of Rangers in 2016 out of Arcadia HS (Phoenix, Ariz.). Named to the SAL All-Star Game. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 5th HR/ AB Ratio 1/20.93, T-6th HR, 10th slugging pct.

RF Miguel Aparicio (No. 27): 2018 stats at Hickory: .219/.269/.377, 7 2B, 4 3B, 7 HR, 13 BB, 42 K, 1 SB, 4 CS. Last series Charleston: 1-for-6, 2 K. Named SAL hitter of the week July 9-15. Signed with the Rangers as an international free agent in 2015. Native of San Carlos, Venezuela.

 

Others to watch – Hickory:

RHP Tyree Thompson: 18 games (15 starts), 83.1 IP, 90 H, 56 R, 43 ER, 12 HR, 4 HB, 31 BB, 51 K, 4.63 ERA, .276 OBA, 1.45 WHIP. Last start at Greensboro 7/27: 6.1 IP, 5 H, 3 R (2 ER), HR, 2 BB, 5 K. Twenty-sixth round pick of the Rangers in 2016 out of Edna Karr HS, New Orleans. SAL Top-10 Rankings: T-3rd losses (8), T-6th home runs allowed, T-10th runs allowed.

RHP Jean Casanova: 2018 stats: 21 games (7 starts), 57 IP, 59 H, 25 R (21 ER), 8 HR, 2 HB, 22 BB, 39 K, 3.32 ERA, .269 OBA, 1.42 WHIP. Last game at Greensboro 7/27: 1.2 IP, 1 H. 1 K. Thirty-fifth round pick of the Rangers in 2016 out of Waukegan (Ill.) HS. Born in the Dominican Republic.

RHP Tyler Thomas: 2018 stats (overall): 17 games (16 starts), 83 IP, 64 H, 36 R (29 ER), 7 HR, 4 HB, 16 BB, 90 K, 3.14 ERA, .209 OBA, 0.96 WHIP. Last game 7/28 at Greensboro: 4 IP, 6 H, 5 R (5 ER), 2 HR, BB, 6 K. Acquired by the Rangers from the Chicago Cubs on July 19 in a trade for Jesse Chavez. Originally the seventh-round pick of the Chicago Cubs out of Fresno St. Attended Mira Mesa HS in San Diego.

RHP Noah Bremer: 2018 stats: 12 games (12 starts), 57 IP, 67 H, 30 R (26 ER), 5 HR, 19 BB, 50 K, 4.11 ERA, .300 OBA, 1.51 WHIP. Last start vs. Charleston 7/30: 6.2 IP, 9 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 3 K. Sixth-round pick of the Rangers in 2017 out of the Univ. of Washington. Attended Berkeley (Calif.) HS.

RHP DeMarcus Evans: 2018 stats: 27 games, 4 saves, 42.2 IP, 25 H, 11 R (11 ER), 1 HR, 1 HB, 27 BB, 78 K, 2.32 ERA, .171 OBA, 1.22 WHIP. Last game vs. Charleston 7/31: 2 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 4 K. Twenty-fifth round pick of the Rangers in 2015 out of Petal HS (MS). SAL Top-10 Rankings: 1st K-per-9 innings ratio among relievers (16.45), 2nd lowest OBA among relievers (.171).

RHP Joe Barlow: 2018 stats: 29 games, 4 saves, 48 IP, 18 H, 14 R (11 ER), 3 HR, 39 BB, 74 K, 2.06 ERA, .120 BA, 1.19 WHIP. Last game vs. Charleston 8/1: 2 IP, 1 H, 4 K. Eleventh-round pick of the Rangers in 2016 out of Salt Lake CC. Attended Riverton (Utah) HS. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 1st OBA by relievers (.120), 2nd SAL among relievers Ks per 9 IP ratio (13.88), 9th walks, T-9th games.

C Yohel Pozo: 2018 stats: .250/.306/.396, 19 2B, 1 3B, 9 HR, 26 BB, 43 K. Last series vs. Charleston: 2-for-8, 2B, 5 BB, 1 K. Signed with the Rangers as an international free agent in 2013. A native of Maracaibo, Venezuela. Named to the SAL All-Star Game. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 4th plate appearance to strikeout ratio (8.35).

IF Ryan Dorow: 2018 stats: .295/.359/.451, 18 2B, 3B, 10 HR, 26 BB, 85 K, 5 SB, 2 CS. Last series vs. Charleston: 3-for-7, 2 2B, BB, 2 K. Thirtieth-round pick of the Rangers in 2017 out of Adrian College (MI). Attended South Haven (MI) HS. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 5th batting avg., 10th OBP, 10th OPS.

2B-SS Yonny Hernandez: 2018 stats (Hickory only): .253/.367/.328, 8 2B, 3 3B, 2 HR, 44 BB, 47 K, 31 SB, 8 CS. Last series vs. Charleston: 3-for-13, 2 HR, K, SB. Signed with the Rangers as an international free agent in 2014. Native of Maturin, Venezuela. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 1st sacrifice bunts (13), 2nd stolen bases, T-4th walks, 5th OBP, T-7th CS.

 

Prospects to watch-Hagerstown (rankings by MLB.com):

OF Gage Canning (No. 13): 2018 stats (Hagerstown only): .207/.295/.402, 4 2B, 4 HR, 10 BB, 26 K, 2 SB. Last series vs. Lexington (Ky.): 1-for-7, 2B, 2 BB, 3 K. Fifth-round pick of the Nationals in 2018 out of Arizona St. Univ. Attended Ramona (Calif.) HS.

RHP Tomas Alastre (No. 25): 2018 stats: 18 games (18 starts), 95.1 IP, 107 H, 64 R (51 ER), 17 HR, 12 HB, 33 BB, 64 K, 4.18 ERA, .288 OBA, 1.47 WHIP. Last start vs. Lexington 7/31: 7 IP, 5 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 HR, 2 BB, 5 K. Signed with the Nationals as an international free agent in 2014. A native of Valencia, Venezuela. SAL Top-10 rankings: T-1st hit batters, T-3rd runs allowed, 4th home runs allowed, 6th earned runs allowed, T-6th hits allowed.

RHP Jackson Tetreault (No. 27): 2018 stats: 18 games (18 starts), 99.1 IP, 101 H, 58 R (47 ER), 9 HR, 5 HB, 29 BB, 99 K, 4.26 ERA, .262 OBA, 1.31 WHIP. Last start 7/28 at Lakewood (NJ): 7 IP, 5 H, 1 R (0 ER), 1 BB, 8 K. Seventh-round pick of the Nationals in 2017 out of State JC of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota. Also attended Cameron Univ. in Lawton, Okla. Pitched in high school at Lennard HS in Ruskin, Fla. SAL Top-10 rankings: T-3rd losses (8), 9th runs allowed, 9th earned runs allowed, T-10th hits allowed.

RHP Brigham Hill (No. 29): 2018 stats (Hagerstown only): 8 games (8 starts), 37.2 IP, 36 H, 20 R (15 ER), 3 HB, 15 BB, 21 K, 3.58 ERA, .257 OBA, 1.35 WHIP. Last start vs. Lexington 7/30: 6 IP, 7 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 K. Fifth-round pick of the Nationals in 2017 out of Texas A&M. Attended Nacogdoches HS (Tex.).

 

Others to watch-Hagerstown:

RHP Malvin Pena: 2018 stats (Hagerstown only): 4 games (4 starts), 20 IP, 22 H, 6 R (5 ER), 2 BB, 21 K, 2.25 ERA, .268 OBA, 1.20 WHIP. Last start at Lakewood 7/29: 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 7 K. Signed with the Nationals as an international free agent in 2014. A native of Santo Domingo, D.R.

2B Cole Freeman: 2018 stats: .235/.324/.325, 20 2B, 3 3B, 2 HR, 35 BB, 49 K, 21 SB, 5 CS. Last series vs. Lexington: 3-for-12, BB, K. Fourth-round pick of the Nationals in 2017 out of LSU. Also played college ball at Delgado CC (New Orleans). Attended Lakeshore HS in Mandeville, La. SAL Top-10 rankings: 3rd plate appearance to strikeout ratio (8.49), T-6th stolen bases, T-7th runs, T-9th games played.

C Alex Dunlap: 2018 stats (Hagerstown only): .265/.350/.529, 3 2B, 5 HR, 9 BB, 15 K. Last series vs. Lexington: 3-for-8, HR, BB, K. Twenty-ninth round pick of the Nationals in 2017 out of Stanford Univ. Attended The Woodlands School (Tex.).

Series Preview: Hickory at Delmarva July 7-9

Series Preview: Hickory at Delmarva July 7-9

Hickory Crawdads (Texas Rangers) (38-45 overall, 8-7 second half T-4th SAL North) at Delmarva Shorebirds (Baltimore Orioles) (44-39, 9-7 3rd North)

The Hickory Crawdads continue a six-day road trip with three games at Delmarva’s Arthur W. Perdue Stadium in Salisbury, Md.

 

If You Plan to Go:

GAME TIMES: Saturday, 7:05 p.m., Sunday, 5:05 p.m., Monday, 7:05 p.m.

BROADCASTS: All games are streamed live on the web through milb.com or the Delmarva Shorebirds website.

PROMOTIONS:

Saturday – Post-game fireworks

Sunday – 2018 All-Stars Poster, Post-Game Autograph Session, Strike out Hunger Sunday (Bring two canned-food items and receive an upper reserve ticket for $3, Kids Run the Bases

Monday – 47 ABC 2 Buck Monday ($2 Upper Reserved Tickets, hot dogs and Pepsi products)

TICKETS: Ticket prices range from $8-$13 in advance, $1 more on game day. Upper reserved are $2 on Monday.

PARKING: Parking at the ballpark is $4.

CONCESSIONS: Purdue Stadium offers standard ballpark fare (hot dogs, peanuts, popcorn, etc. The Bird’s Eye Café has BBQ sandwiches, crab dip and shrimp salad. The Angus Stand serves Angus Burgers, BBQ sandwiches and steak subs. Vegetarian, gluten-free options are also available.

Where is it?:

From Salisbury, Md. take U.S. 50 east towards Ocean City. Turn right onto Hobbs Rd.

 

PROBABLES (Hickory/ Delmarva)

Saturday: RHP Jean Casanova vs. LHP Cameron Bishop

Sunday: RHP Alex Eubanks vs. RHP Brenan Hanifee

Monday: RHP Tyler Phillips vs. RHP Luis Perez

 

Recent Series History:

The Intimidators are 6-4 vs. Hickory in 2018, which includes a 5-2 record at Intimidators Stadium. The Crawdads won 2 out of 3 in the last series played between the two squads last month at Hickory. Hickory won the season series in 2017 12-10, which included a 7-5 edge at Intimidators Stadium. Since the start of the Crawdads affiliation with the Rangers in 2009, Hickory is 100-69 against Kannapolis, 53-37 at Intimidators Stadium. The Intimidators last won a season series vs. Hickory in 2010 (9-7).

 

About the Crawdads:

The Crawdads split a rain-shortened two-game series at Kannapolis and have won four of their last five. The stretch has come with a good stretch of starting pitching. Over the last five games, the starting pitchers combined have tossed 28.1 innings with a line of 20 H, 7 R, 6 BB, 30 K, 2 HR. Walks continues to plague the team as the Crawdads are tied with Rome for the most walks allowed and that has contributed largely to a 1.33 WHIP, which 11th in the 14-team SAL. However, the Crawdads have received solid help in the field this season. Hickory is third in the SAL in fielding pct. (.975) and have committed the third fewest errors. With the solid defensive help, Hickory has given up the second-fewest earned runs in the league… At the plate, Hickory is 11th in runs scored, hits, 13th in batting avg. and last in doubles. The Crawdads do have the ability put the ball over the fence. Their 71 homers are third in the SAL.

Prospects to watch- Hickory (rankings are by MLB.com):

OF Bubba Thompson (No. 6): 2018 stats: .268/.320/.402, 9 2B, 2 3B, 3 HR, 12 BB, 50 K, 11 SB, 1 CS. This season vs. Delmarva: 3-for-14, 2B, 6 K. Last series at Kannapolis: 4-for-9, BB, K, SB. Has reached base in 9 of his last 10 games (14-43, 2B, 2 BB). First-round pick of the Rangers in 2018 out of McGill-Toolen High, Mobile, AL.

OF Pedro Gonzalez (No. 9) 2018 stats: .229/.286/.404, 13 2B, 2 3B, 7 HR, 16 BB, 73 K, 6 SB, 2 CS. This season vs. Delmarva: 0-for-14, 7 K, 2 SB. Last series at Kannapolis: 1-for-8, 2B 3 K. Currently in a 2-for-17 stretch with 9 K. Obtained by the Rangers in 2017 from the Colorado Rockies for Jonathan Lucroy. Native of Santo Domingo, D.R.

RHP AJ Alexy (No. 16): 2018 stats: 14 games (12 starts), 63.2 IP, 51 H, 38 R (32 ER), 3 HR, 7 HB, 39 BB, 76 K, 4.52 ERA, .224 OBA, 1.41 WHIP. Not expected to pitch during the series. Last start at Kannapolis 7/5: 6 IP, 4 H, 2 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 2 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: T-3rd walks, T-5th losses (7), T-7th hit batters.

RF Miguel Aparicio (No. 17): 2018 stats at Hickory: .201/.259/.309, 3 2B, 2 3B, 3 HR, 11 BB, 28 K, 0 SB, 4 CS. This season vs. Delmarva: 4-for-19, 3 BB, 5 K. Last series at Kannapolis: 1-for-4, 2 K. Signed with the Rangers as an international free agent in 2015. Native of San Carlos, Venezuela. Assigned to Hickory 6/29 after a two-weak stint at short-season Spokane. He is 4-for-24 with a HR, BB and 4 Ks in six games since his return.

C-1B Sam Huff (No. 24): 2018 stats: .231/.291/.397, 13 2B, 9 HR, 13 BB, 75 K, 4 SB. This season vs. Delmarva 9-for-33, 2 2B, 2 HR, BB, 9 K. Last series at Kannapolis: 0-for-7, BB, K, SB. Currently in an 0-for-18 slump with 7 Ks. Seventh round pick of Rangers in 2016 out of Arcadia HS (Phoenix, Ariz.). Named to the SAL All-Star Game.

RHP Tyler Phillips (No. 29): 2018 stats: 14 games (14 starts) 81 IP, 83 H, 34 R (31 ER), 3 HR, 3 HB, 9 BB, 74 K, 3.44 ERA, .263 OBA, 1.13 WHIP. This season vs. Delmarva: 2 starts: 12 IP, 11 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 HR, 1 H, 14 K. Last start 7/2 vs. Greensboro: 5 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 HR, 1 HB, 1 BB, 9 K. In his last 25 starts stretch to 6/23/17 at Spokane 144.2 IP, 16 BB, 147 K. Sixteenth-round pick of the Rangers in 2016 out of Bishop Eustace HS, Pennsauken, N.J. Native of Lumberton N.J. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 2nd walks-per-9-inning ratio among starters (1.00). Named to the SAL All-Star Game.

 

Others to watch – Hickory:

RHP Jean Casanova: 2018 stats: 17 games (5 starts), 43.2 IP, 47 H, 22 R (18 ER), 7 HR, 2 HB, 16 BB, 30 K, 3.71 ERA, .278 OBA, 1.44 WHIP. This season vs. Delmarva: 3 games (1 start), 8 IP, 8 H, 2 R (2 ER), 2 HR, 1 BB, 5 K. Last game 6/29 at West Virginia: 2 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 HR, 2 BB, 1 K. Thirty-fifth round pick of the Rangers in 2016 out of Waukegan (Ill.) HS. Born in the Dominican Republic. Has allowed at least one HR in all four of his starts.

RHP Alex Eubanks: 2018 stats: 14 games (13 starts), 71.2 IP, 87 H, 50 R (49 ER), 12 HR, 4 HB, 18 BB, 76 K, 6.15 ERA, .300 OBA, 1.47 WHIP. This season vs. Delmarva: 1 start, 6 IP, 7 H, 3 R (3 ER), 1 HR, 6 K. Last start 7/1 vs. Greensboro: 5.1 IP, 6 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 HR, 4 K. Fourteenth-round pick of the Rangers in 2017 out of Clemson. Attended Byrnes High in Moore, S.C. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 3rd earned runs allowed, T-4th home runs allowed, T-7th runs allowed, T-8th hits allowed.

RHP DeMarcus Evans: 2018 stats: 20 games, 2 saves, 32.1 IP, 18 H, 9 R (9 ER), 1 HR, 21 BB, 59 K, 2.51 ERA, .165 OBA, 1.21 WHIP. This season vs. Delmarva: 2 games, 3 IP, 1 H, 2 BB, 4 K. Last game at Kannapolis 7/5: 2 IP, 4 K. Last 6 outings: 10.1 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 24 Ks.Twenty-fifth round pick of the Rangers in 2015 out of Petal HS (MS).

RHP Joe Barlow: 2018 stats: 22 games, 2 saves, 35.1 IP, 11 H, 13 R (10 ER), 34 BB, 52 K, 2.55 ERA, .103 BA, 1.27 WHIP. This season vs. Delmarva: 3 games, 2.2 IP, 2 H, 5 R (5 ER), 1 HR, 7 BB, 3 K. Last game 7/4 at Kannapolis: 1 IP, 2 R (1 ER), 3 BB, 2 K. Eleventh-round pick of the Rangers in 2016 out of Salt Lake CC. Attended Riverton (Utah) HS. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 1st OBA by relievers (.103), 3rd SAL among relievers Ks per 9 IP ratio (13.25), 9th walks.

C Yohel Pozo: 2018 stats: .252/.299/.395, 11 2B, 1 3B, 8 HR, 17 BB, 33 K. This season vs. Delmarva: 4-for-27, 3 BB, 6 K. Last series at Kannapolis: 1-for-4. Signed with the Rangers as an international free agent in 2013. A native of Maracaibo, Venezuela. Named to the SAL All-Star Game. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 3rd plate appearance to strikeout ratio (8.42).

IF Ryan Dorow: 2018 stats: .289/.339/.439, 10 2B, 8 HR, 20 BB, 65 K, 4 SB, 2 CS. This season vs.Delmarva: 4-for-23, 3 BB, 10 K. Last series at Kannapolis: 0-for-4, K. Had a 20-game, on-base streak stopped 7/1. Since then, he is 1-for-10, 2B, BB, 2 K. Thirtieth-round pick of the Rangers in 2017 out of Adrian College (MI). Attended South Haven (MI) HS.

2B-SS Yonny Hernandez: 2018 stats (Hickory only): .246/.369/.313, 6 2B, 3 3B, 33 BB, 33 K, 16 SB, 5 CS. This season vs. Delmarva: 2-for-16, 3 BB, 5 K. Last series at Kannapolis: 2-for-5, 2 BB, K, 2 SB. Signed with the Rangers as an international free agent in 2014. Native of Maturin, Venezuela. SAL Top-10 Rankings: T1st sacrifice bunts (11), T-6th stolen bases, 8th walks, 9th on-base pct.

 

About the Shorebirds:

Delmarva is coming off a 2-1 home series win over in-state rival Hagerstown… The Shorebirds started the season with a franchise-best 7-0 record and pushed its record as high as 25-12 on May 14. But the Shorebirds went 4-10 the rest of May and dropped to 32-30 before finishing the first half at 35-32… With a stable of top-30 prospects in the starting rotation, Delmarva has been able to get ahead in most games. They’ve scored first in 48 games – the second most in the SAL – but holding leads has been a work in progress. Delmarva has 8 losses when leading after six innings and four losses when leading after eight. Both are the most in the SAL. In extra inning games, the Shorebirds are 3-8, the second worst mark in the SAL… Walks have also troubled the Shorebirds as they are third behind Hickory and Rome (Ga.)… Delmarva is second in fielding pct. (.976) and in fewest errors committed.

Prospects to watch-Delmarva (rankings by MLB.com):

LHP D.L. Hall (No. 4): 2018 stats: 14 games (12 starts), 54.1 IP, 42 H, 21 R (17 ER), 5 HR, 3 HB, 29 BB, 49 K, 2.82 ERA, .213 OBA, 1.31 WHIP. Not expected to pitch in this series. Last start 7/5 vs. Hagerstown (Md.) 5.2 IP, 1 HB, 2 BB, 7 K. First-round pick (21st overall) of the Orioles in 2017 out of Valdosta (Ga.) High. Signed away from a commitment to Florida St.

RHP Brenan Hanifee (No. 7): 2018 stats: 15 games (15 starts), 89 IP, 78 H, 28 R (26 ER), 6 HR, 5 HB, 15 BB, 62 K, 2.63 ERA, .234 OBA, 1.04 WHIP. This season vs. Hickory: 2 starts, 13 IP, 9 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 HB, 4 BB, 5 K. Last start 7/3 at Lakewood (NJ): 7 IP, 8 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 HR, 6 K. Last 4 starts: 28 IP, 22 H, 6 R, 1 HR, 2 HB, 2 BB, 17 K. Fourth-round pick of the Orioles in 2016 out of Ashby High in Bridgewater, Va. Signed away from a commitment to East Carolina. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 2nd innings pitched, T-3rd wins (7), 9th WHIP.

LHP Cameron Bishop (No. 13): 2018 stats: 14 games (14 starts), 85 IP, 74 H, 31 R (28 ER), 4 HR, 4 HB, 16 BB, 65 K, 2.96 ERA, .234 OBA, 1.06 WHIP. This season vs. Hickory: 1 start, 5 IP, 8 H, 4 R (4 ER), 1 HR, 1 HB, 1 BB, 4 K. Last start 7/2 at Lakewood (NJ): 7 IP, 4 H, 5 K. Last 4 starts: 25 IP, 13 H, 4 R (4 ER), 1 HR, 3 HB, 5 BB, 16 K. Twenty-sixth-round pick of Orioles in 2017 out of the Univ. of California-Irvine. Native of Brea, Calif. SAL Top-10 Rankings: T-3rd wins (7), 7th innings pitched.

SS Mason McCoy (No. 25): 2018 stats: .251/.321/.375, 12 2B, 9 3B, 2 HR, 29 BB, 57 K, 4 SB, 2 CS. This season vs. Hickory: 8-for-33, 2B, 2 3B, 5 BB, 7 K, 1 SB, 1 CS. Last series vs. Hagerstown: 4-for-12, 2B, BB, 4 K. Since 6/26, 16-for-52, 3 2B, 2 3B, HR, 1 BB, 12 K. Sixth-round pick in 2017 out of Univ. of Iowa. Native of Peoria, Ill. Attended Washington (Ill.) Community HS. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 1st triples

 

Others to watch-Delmarva:

RHP Luis Perez: 2018 stats (at SS-A Aberdeen and Delmarva): 22 IP, 9 H, 1 HR, 2 HB, 7 BB, 20 K, 0.41 ERA, .122 OBA, 0.73 WHIP. Last start 7/4 vs. Hagerstown: 6 IP, 5 H, 2 BB, 6 K. Called up to Delmarva on 7/4. Signed by the Orioles as a free agent in 2016. Previously pitched in the San Diego Padres organization.

RHP Tim Naughton: 2018 stats: 11 games, 3 saves, 14 IP, 15 H, 8 R (5 ER), 8 BB, 13 K. Has not faced Hickory this season. Last game 7/2 at Lakewood: 0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB. Thirty-fourth round pick of the Orioles in 2017 out of NC State. Attended Charles B. Aycock HS in Goldsboro.

OF Zack Jarrett: 2018 stats: .309/.382/.488, 18 2B, 3 3B, 10 HR, 30 BB, 85 K. This season vs. Hickory: 11-for-38, 2 2B, HR, 1 BB, 17 K. Last series vs Hagerstown: 4-for-9, 2B, 4 BB, K. Twenty-eighth round pick of the Orioles in 2017 out of UNC Charlotte. Played his high school ball at Hickory High. Named to SAL All-Star Game. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 1st games played, 3rd hits, 3rd batting avg., 4th steals, 5th on-base pct., 5th OPS, 5th RBI, 5th total bases, 6th at-bats, T-10th doubles

C Ben Breazeale: 2018 stats: .245/.350/.335. 8 2B, 2 HR, 23 BB, 45 K. This season vs. Hickory: 4-for-20, 2B, 3 BB, 5 K. Last series vs. Hagerstown: 0-for-3, BB, 3 K. Seventh-round pick of the Orioles in 2017 out of Wake Forest. Attended Pigeon Forge (Tenn.) HS.

3B Trevor Craport: 2018 stats:.265/.337/.441, 14 2B, 2 3B, 10 HR, 24 BB, 44 K, 4 SB, 2 CS. This season vs. Hickory: 5-for-26, 2B, 4 BB, 4 K, SB. Last series vs. Hagerstown: 2-for-10, 2B, BB, K, CS. Eleventh-round pick of the Orioles in 2017 out of Georgia Tech. Attended Norcross (Ga.) HS. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 1st sac flies, 2nd RBI, T-6th RBI, T-9th runs

SS Cadyn Grenier: 2018 stats: 1-for-4, 3B, BB, 2 K. Competitive-Balance pick of the Orioles in 2018 out of Oregon State. A member of the Beavers National Championship team. Attended Bishop Gorman HS in Las Vegas. Joined the Shorebirds on July 5.

2B Kirvin Moesquit: 2018 stats: .275/.350/.375, 12 2B, 2 3B, 4 HR, 30 BB, 59 K, 35 SB, 9 CS. This season vs. Hickory: 12-for-39, 2 2B, 3B, HR, 3 BB, 8 K, 5 SB, CS. Last series vs. Hagerstown: 2-for-12, BB, 4 K, 2 SB. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 1st steals, T-1st caught stealing, 2nd runs scored. Twenty-fourth round pick of the Orioles in 2015 out of Seminole St. College (Fla.). Born in Willemstad, Curacao, attended high school at Highland Christian HS (Pompano Beach, Fla.).

1B Ryen Ripken: 2018 stats: .236/.281/.304, 7 2B, 3 HR, 14 BB, 38 K. This season vs. Hickory: 5-for-27, 2 BB, 5 K. Last series vs. Hagerstown: 2-for-11, 2B, 2 K; Signed free agent deal with Orioles in 2017. Played previously in SAL with Hagerstown (Washington) in 2016. Son of Cal Ripken, Jr.

RF Will Robertson: 2018 stats: .238/.280/.389, 19 2B, 3B, 5 HR, 12 BB, 48 K. This season vs. Hickory: 4-for-23, 2B, 2 BB, 4 K. Last series vs. Hagerstown: 2-for-11, 2 2B, 4 K. Signed with the Orioles in 2017 as a non-drafted free agent out of Davidson (NC) College. Attended The Bolles School, Jacksonville, Fla. SAL Top-10 Rankings: T-6th doubles

Series Preview: Hickory at Kannapolis July 4-6

Hickory Crawdads (Texas Rangers) (37-44 overall, 7-6 second half T-3rd SAL North) at Kannapolis Intimidators (Chicago White Sox) (45-35, 6-7 6th North)

The Hickory Crawdads begin a six-game road trip with a trip to Intimidators Stadium to face the Kannapolis Intimidators.

 

If You Plan to Go:

GAME TIMES: Wednesday through Friday, 7:05 p.m.

PROMOTIONS:

Wednesday – Post-game fireworks

Thursday – Thirsty Thursday, Los Rapidos de Kannapolis promotion

Friday – Chicken-Fried Friday, Kids Run the Bases

 

TICKETS: Advance tickets: Adult General Admission $6.50/ Children $5.50; Adult Reserve $8.50/ Children $7.50. Add $1.50 to each ticket the day of the game.

WHERE IS IT?: From I-85 take Exit 63 (Lane Street). From I-85 South, turn left; I-85 north, turn right. Stadium Drive will be on the right.

PARKING: All parking is $3.

CONCESSIONS: Intimidators Stadium is your no-frills ballpark with traditional burgers, hot dogs, popcorn, BBQ sandwiches, etc.

 

PROBABLES (Hickory/ Kannapolis)

Wednesday: RHP Reid Anderson vs. RHP Zach Lewis

Thursday: RHP AJ Alexy vs. LHP Drew Harrington

Friday: RHP Jean Casanova vs. RHP Jhoan Quijada

 

Recent Series History:

The Intimidators are 6-4 vs. Hickory in 2018, which includes a 5-2 record at Intimidators Stadium. The Crawdads won 2 out of 3 in the last series played between the two squads last month at Hickory. Hickory won the season series in 2017 12-10, which included a 7-5 edge at Intimidators Stadium. Since the start of the Crawdads affiliation with the Rangers in 2009, Hickory is 100-69 against Kannapolis, 53-37 at Intimidators Stadium. The Intimidators last won a season series vs. Hickory in 2010 (9-7).

 

About the Crawdads:

The Crawdads won the final three games of a series vs. Greensboro… Hickory has the fewest road wins (14-23) in the SAL… Defensively, the Crawdads have gone three straight games without an error and are currently third in the SAL in fewest errors committed and fielding pct. (.975)… Collectively at the plate, Hickory remains near the bottom of several SAL’s statistical categories. However, they continue to pommel home runs (five in the last three games) and are currently third in the SAL at 70. The team .243 batting avg. is 13th out of 14 teams and they are last in doubles… Though improved in recent days, Hickory is tied for the most walks issued and is 12th in WHIP (1.34).

 

Prospects to watch- Hickory (rankings are by MLB.com):

OF Bubba Thompson (No. 6): 2018 stats: .258/.314/.400, 9 2B, 2 3B, 3 HR, 12 BB, 49 K, 10 SB, 1 CS. This season vs. Kannapolis: 5-for-21, 2 3B, BB, 7 K. Last series vs. Greensboro: 4-for-10, BB, 2 K, 2 SB. First-round pick of the Rangers in 2018 out of McGill-Toolen High, Mobile, AL.

OF Pedro Gonzalez (No. 9) 2018 stats: .233/.291/.410, 12 2B, 2 3B, 7 HR, 16 BB, 70 K, 6 SB, 2 CS. This season vs. Kannapolis: 6-for-22, 4 2B, 2 HR, 5 R, 10 RBI, 5 BB, 9 K. Last series vs. Greensboro: 1-for-9, 6 K. Obtained by the Rangers in 2017 from the Colorado Rockies for Jonathan Lucroy. Native of Santo Domingo, D.R.

RHP AJ Alexy (No. 16): 2018 stats: 13 games (11 starts), 57.2 IP, 47 H, 36 R (30 ER), 3 HR, 7 HB, 37 BB, 74 K, 4.68 ERA, .225 OBA, 1.46 WHIP. This season vs. Kannapolis: 2 starts, 11.2 IP, 2 H, 1 HB, 4 BB, 16 K. Last start vs. West Virginia 6/29: 4 IP, 4 H, 3 R (3 ER), 3 BB, 4 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: T-3rd walks, T-5th losses (7), T-7th hit batters.

RF Miguel Aparicio (No. 17): 2018 stats: .200/.259/.310, 3 2B, 2 3B, 3 HR, 11 BB, 26 K, 0 SB, 4 CS. This season vs. Kannapolis: 2-for-13, 3B, BB, 2 K. Last series vs. Greensboro: 2-for-16, HR, K, CS. Signed with the Rangers as an international free agent in 2015. Native of San Carlos, Venezuela. Assigned to Hickory 6/29 after a two-weak stint at short-season Spokane.

C-1B Sam Huff (No. 24): 2018 stats: .238/.296/.409, 13 2B, 9 HR, 12 BB, 74 K, 3 SB. This season vs. Kannapolis: 8-for-34, 2B, 2 HR, BB, 9 K. Last series vs. Greensboro: 0-for-11, 6 K. Seventh round pick of Rangers in 2016 out of Arcadia HS (Phoenix, Ariz.). Named to the SAL All-Star Game.

RHP Tyler Phillips (No. 29): 2018 stats: 14 games (14 starts) 81 IP, 83 H, 34 R (31 ER), 3 HR, 3 HB, 9 BB, 74 K, 3.44 ERA, .263 OBA, 1.13 WHIP. This season vs. Kannapolis: 1 start: 5 IP, 10 H, 6 R (6 ER), 1 HR, 5 K. Last start 7/2 vs. Greensboro: 5 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 HR, 1 HB, 1 BB, 9 K. Sixteenth-round pick of the Rangers in 2016 out of Bishop Eustace HS, Pennsauken, N.J. Native of Lumberton N.J. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 2nd walks-per-9-inning ratio among starters (1.00), 10th innings pitched. Named to the SAL All-Star Game.

 

Others to watch – Hickory:

RHP Reid Anderson: 2018 stats: 12 games (10 starts), 58 IP, 53 H, 30 R (26 ER), 1 HR, 3 HB, 18 BB, 48 K, 4.03 ERA, .242 OBA, 1.21 WHIP. Has not faced Kannapolis this season. Last start 6/28 at West Virginia: 5.1 IP, 3 H, 3 R (3 ER), 2 BB, 6 K. Seventeenth-round pick of the Rangers in 2016 out of Millersville (Pa.) Univ. Attended New Egypt (N.J.) HS.

RHP Jean Casanova: 2018 stats: 17 games (5 starts), 43.2 IP, 47 H, 22 R (18 ER), 7 HR, 2 HB, 16 BB, 30 K, 3.71 ERA, .278 OBA, 1.44 WHIP. This season vs. Kannapolis: 3 games (1 start), 9 IP, 12 H, 4 R (3 ER), 1 HR, 1 HB, 6 K. Last game 6/29 at West Virginia: 2 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 HR, 2 BB, 1 K. Thirty-fifth round pick of the Rangers in 2016 out of Waukegan (Ill.) HS. Born in the Dominican Republic. Has allowed at least one HR in all four of his starts.

RHP DeMarcus Evans: 2018 stats: 19 games, 2 saves, 30.1 IP, 18 H, 9 R (9 ER), 1 HR, 21 BB, 55 K, 2.67 ERA, .175 OBA, 1.29 WHIP. This season vs. Kannapolis: 3 games, 4.2 IP, 6 H, 3 R (3 ER), 5 BB, 5 K. Last game vs. Greensboro 7/1: 1.2 IP, 4 K. Twenty-fifth round pick of the Rangers in 2015 out of Petal HS (MS).

RHP Joe Barlow: 2018 stats: 21 games, 2 saves, 34.1 IP, 11 H, 11 R (9 ER), 31 BB, 50 K, 2.36 ERA, .106 BA, 1.22 WHIP. This season vs. Kannapolis: 3 games, 4.2 IP, 2 H, 2 R (1 ER), 3 BB, 8 K. Last game 7/2 vs. Greensboro: 2 IP, BB, 3 K. Eleventh-round pick of the Rangers in 2016 out of Salt Lake CC. Attended Riverton (Utah) HS. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 1st OBA by relievers (.106), 4th SAL among relievers Ks per 9 IP ratio (13.11), 10th walks.

RHP Samir Vivas: 2018 stats (at High-A Down East, AA Frisco and AAA Round Rock) 19.2 IP, 19 H, 15 R (15 ER), 5 HR, 1 HB, 12 BB, 18 K, 6.86 ERA, 253 OBA, 1.58 WHIP. Assigned to Hickory on 7/3 and is awaiting his debut. Signed with the Rangers as an international free agent in 2013. Native of Barquisimento, Venezuela.

C Yohel Pozo: 2018 stats: .252/.299/.398, 11 2B, 1 3B, 8 HR, 17 BB, 33 K. This season vs. Kannapolis: 12-for-34, 4 2B, 2 HR, 3 BB, 4 K. Last series vs. Greensboro: 2-for-11, HR, BB. Signed with the Rangers as an international free agent in 2013. A native of Maracaibo, Venezuela. Named to the SAL All-Star Game. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 4th plate appearance to strikeout ratio (8.30).

IF Ryan Dorow: 2018 stats: .295/.363/.446, 10 2B, 8 HR, 20 BB, 64 K, 4 SB, 2 CS. This season vs. Kannapolis: 6-for-24, 2B, HR, 3 BB, 6 K. Last series vs. Greensboro: 3-for-13, 2B. BB, 2 K, SB. Thirtieth-round pick of the Rangers in 2017 out of Adrian College (MI). Attended South Haven (MI) HS.

2B-SS Yonny Hernandez: 2018 stats (Hickory only): .241/.364/.310, 6 2B, 3 3B, 31 BB, 32 K, 14 SB, 5 CS. This season vs. Kannapolis: 2-for-12, 2 2B, 4 BB, 4 K, 1 SB, 1 CS. Last series vs. Greensboro: 8-for-15, 3B, BB, K. Signed with the Rangers as an international free agent in 2014. Native of Maturin, Venezuela. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 1st sacrifice bunts (11), T-8th walks, T-9th stolen bases.

 

About the Intimidators:

A near shoo-in for the first-half, Northern Division title, Kannapolis lost its final five games, which shifted the playoff spot to Lakewood (N.J.). Since then, a rash of promotions has the Intimidators regrouping to start the second half. Kannapolis split a four-game series at Rome (Ga.) as a part of a 4-7 stretch.

 

Prospects to watch-Kannapolis (rankings by MLB.com):

C Evan Skoug (No. 22): 2018 stats: .208/.294/.344, 9 2B, 1 3B, 5 HR, 23 BB, 66 K. This season vs. Hickory: 10-for-25, 2 2B, HR, 5 BB, 4 K, 2 SB. Last series at Rome (Ga.): 1-for-7, 2B, 3 K. Seventh-round draft pick of the White Sox in 2017 out of Texas Christian Univ. Native of Libertyville, Ill. Big 12 Co-player of the year in 2017. First-team All-American). Has thrown out 6-of-15 base stealers in 2018.

3B Luis Curbelo (No. 23): 2018 stats: .267/.315/.397. 10 2B, 3B, HR, 7 BB, 28 K. This season vs. Hickory: 3-for-10, 2B, 2 BB, 3 K. Last series at Rome (Ga.): 3-for-12, 3 2B, BB. Sixth-round pick of the White Sox in 2016 out of Cocoa (HS), FL. Born in Carolina, P.R.

1B Justin Yurchak (No. 28): 2018 stats: .252/.351/.338, 14 2B, 3B, HR, 34 BB, 41 K. This season vs. Hickory: 14-for-34, 4 2B, 3B, 10 RBI, 6 BB, 6 K. Last series at Rome (Ga.): 3-for-8, 2 2B, K. Twelfth-round pick of the White Sox in 2017 out of Binghamton (N.Y.) Univ. Attended Shenendehowa HS in his native Clifton Park, N.Y. Played at Wake Forest his freshman season. SAL Top-10 Rankings: T-6th walks.

 

Others to watch-Kannapolis:

RHP Zach Lewis: 2018 stats: 12 games (8 starts), 53 IP, 46 H, 18 R (16 ER), 2 HR, 6 HB, 13 BB, 45 K, 2.72 ERA, .241 OBA, 1.11 WHIP. This season vs. Hickory: 3 games (1 start), 7.2 IP, 6 H, 3 R (3 ER), 1 HR, 1 HB, 5 BB, 6 K. Signed a non-drafted, free-agent contract with the White Sox in 2017. Played college ball at Wabash Valley College (IL) and Wichita St. Attended St. Laurence HS, Burbank Ill.

LHP Drew Harrington: 2018 stats (at Low-A Rome (Ga.), High-A Florida, Rookie AZL White Sox, Low-A Kannapolis): 16 games (7 starts), 1 save, 45 IP, 59 H, 35 R (29 ER), 7 HR, 6 HB, 15 BB, 31 K, 5.80 ERA, .321 OBA, 1.64 WHIP. This season vs. Hickory (with Rome): 1 start, 4 IP, 1 HR, 1 HB, 3 K. Last start 6/30 at Rome: 5 IP, 2 H, 1 HB, 2 BB, 3 K. Signed a free-agent contract with the White Sox on June 18. Released by the Atlanta Braves on June 9. Originally a third-round pick of the Braves in 2016 out of the Univ. of Louisville. Attended Central Hardin HS, Cecilia, KY. SAL Top-10 Rankings: T-10th hit batters.

RHP Jhoan Quijada: 2018 stats: 8 games (2 starts), 33 IP, 39 H, 18 R (18 ER), 4 HR, 2 HB, 6 BB, 20 K, 4.91 ERA, 2.98 OBA, 1.36 WHIP. This season vs. Hickory: 1 game, 3.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 HR, 3 K. Last start 7/1 at Rome: 6 IP, 10 H, 6 R (6 ER), 1 HR, 1 HB, 2 K. Signed as an international free agent with the White Sox in 2012.

RHP Jake Elliott: 2018 stats: 21 games, 2 saves, 44.1 IP, 34 H, 17 R (15 ER), 5 HR, 2 HB, 10 BB, 54 K, 3.05 ERA, .217 OBA, 0.99 WHIP. This season vs. Hickory: 3 games, 1 save, 7 IP, 4 H, 3 R (3 ER), 2 HR, 4 BB, 7 K. Last game 7/3 at Rome: 3 IP, 4 H, 5 R (4 ER), 1 HR, 1 HB, 1 BB, 2 K. Fifteenth-round pick of the White Sox in 2016 out of the Univ. of Oklahoma. Attended Coppell (Tex.) HS. Named to SAL All-Star Game.

2B Tate Blackman: 2018 stats: .272/.367/.426, 12 2B, 1 3B, 9 HR, 35 BB, 91 K, 3 SB, 3 CS. This season vs. Hickory: 7-for-35, 2B, 3B, HR, 3 BB, 15 K, 1 CS. Last series at Rome: 1-for-13, 2B, BB, 2 K. Thirteenth-round pick of the White Sox in 2017 out of Ole Miss. Attended Lake Brantley HS (Altamonte Springs, Fla.) Named to SAL All-Star Game. SAL Top-10 Rankings: T-4th walks, T-5th games played, 6th strikeouts, 10th OBP, T-10th RBI.

LF Craig Dedalow: 2018 stats: .269/.320/.424, 21 2B, 5 3B, 5 HR, 17 BB, 65 K. This season vs. Hickory: 11-for-40, 5 2B, 3B, 2 BB, 14 K, CS. Last series at Rome: 2-for-13, 2B, 2 2 K. Ninth-round pick of the White Sox in 2017 out Indiana Univ. Attended Munster (Ind.) HS. Named to SAL All-Star Game. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 1st at-bats, T-2nd doubles, T-5th games played, T-7th triples, T-9th total bases, 1st assists by an OF (11).

RF Tyler Frost: 2018 stats: .213/.283/.425, 10 2B, 2 3B, 11 HR, 18 BB, 78 K. This season vs. Hickory: 4-for-21, 2B, HR, 2 BB, 8 K. Last series at Rome (Ga.): 3-for-16, 2B, BB, 2 K. Fifteenth-round pick of the White Sox in 2017 out of Gonzaga Univ. (College teammate with Hickory’s Justin Jacobs.) Attended Greenway HS in Phoenix, AZ. SAL Top-10 Rankings: T-9th HR

 

Series Preview: Hickory at Kannapolis May 17-20

Hickory Crawdads (Texas Rangers) (13-22, 6th SAL North) at Kannapolis Intimidators (Chicago White Sox) (25-14, Tied for 1st North)

The Hickory Crawdads take a short road trip to Kannapolis where they will face the Intimidators for four games at Intimidators Stadium.

 

If You Plan to Go:

GAME TIMES: Tuesday through Thursday 6:30 p.m.

PROMOTIONS:

Thursday – Thirsty Thursday, Mega Money Drop (A helicopter will drop $1,000 after the game).

Friday – Chicken-Fried Friday, Kids Run the Bases

Saturday – Post-Game Fireworks

TICKETS: Advance tickets: Adult General Admission $6.50/ Children $5.50; Adult Reserve $8.50/ Children $7.50. Add $1.50 to each ticket the day of the game.

WHERE IS IT?: From I-85 take Exit 63 (Lane Street). From I-85 South, turn left; I-85 north, turn right. Stadium Drive will be on the right.

PARKING: All parking is $2.

CONCESSIONS: Intimidators Stadium is your no-frills ballpark with traditional burgers, hot dogs, popcorn, BBQ sandwiches, etc.

 

PROBABLES (Hickory/ Kannapolis)

Thursday: RHP Alex Eubanks vs. LHP John Parke

Friday: RHP AJ Alexy vs. LHP Parker Rigler

Saturday: RHP Jean Casanova vs. TBA

Sunday: RHP Reid Anderson vs. RHP Lincoln Henzman

 

Recent Series History:

Kannapolis swept earned its first sweep of the Crawdads of any kind since at least 2004. Hickory won the season series in 2017 12-10, which included a 7-5 edge at Intimidators Stadium. Since the start of the Crawdads affiliation with the Rangers in 2009, Hickory is 96-66 against Kannapolis, 51-35 at Intimidators Stadium. The Intimidators last won a season series vs. Hickory in 2010 (7-9).

 

About the Crawdads:

The Crawdads split a four-game series at home against Rome (Ga.) and went 4-3 during their recent homestand…The offense at times continues to struggle at scoring runs. Though it is at .256/.332/.381 with runners on base, Hickory is third-to-last in runs scored as the Crawdads have trouble starting rallies early. Leading off an inning, the Crawdads have a .223/.290/.394 mark. Also 22 of the team’s 29 homers have been solo shots. Oddly, Hickory is last in doubles. In the middle of the pack of the SAL statistically, the slash line of .226/.294/.343 on the road has been a big part of why they are 3-13… Though better in recent days – Hickory allowed four or fewer runs in four of the last six contests – the staff ERA (4.86) during May is 12th out of 14 teams in the SAL. Overall, the Crawdads have give up the second most walks in the SAL and are 12th in WHIP (1.42).

Ryan Dorow

Ryan Dorow went 5-for-11 in the recent series against Rome (photo courtesy of Tracy Proffitt)

 

Prospects to watch- Hickory (rankings are by MLB.com):

CF Bubba Thompson (No. 6): 2018 stats: 8-for-25, 3 2B, 1 HR, 2 BB, 3 K, 2 SB. Last series vs.Rome: 4-for-16, 2 2B, R, 2 RBI. First-round pick of the Rangers in 2018 out of McGill-Toolen High, Mobile, AL. Joined the team last Wednesday. Had at least one hit in five of the six games he played, two or more hits in three of them.

RHP AJ Alexy (No. 17): 2018 stats: 7 games (6 starts), 24 IP, 23 H, 19 R (18 ER), 2 HR, 4 HB, 18 BB, 32 K, 6.75 ERA, .256 OBA, 1.71 WHIP. Last start 5/11 vs. Columbia: 4 IP, 4 H, 3 BB, 2 HB, 7 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: 3rd walks allowed, T-4th hit batters.

RHP Alex Speas (No. 23): 2018 stats: 12 games, 3 saves, 17 IP, 12 H, 8 R (6 ER), 1 HR, 16 BB, 30 K, 3.18 ERA, .190 OBA 1.65 WHIP. Last game 5/14 vs. Rome: 1 IP, 2 K. Second-round pick of Rangers in 2016 out of McEachern HS (Powder Springs, GA). SAL Top-10 Rankings: 3rd Ks-per-9 innings among relievers (15.88), T-8th walks.

C-1B Sam Huff (No. 26): 2018 stats: .219/.286/.396, 5 2B, 4 HR, 6 BB, 36 K. Last series vs. Rome: 2-for-9, 1 BB, 5 K. Seventh round pick of Rangers in 2016 out of Arcadia HS (Phoenix, Ariz.).

 

Others to watch – Hickory:

RHP Alex Eubanks: 2018 stats: 6 games (6 starts), 28.2 IP, 39 H, 24 R (24 ER), 6 HR, 5 BB, 36 K, 7.53 ERA .328 OBA, 1.53 WHIP. Last start 5/19 vs. Columbia: 7 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 8 K. Fourteenth-round pick of the Rangers in 2017 out of Clemson Univ. A native of Duncan, S.C. SAL Top-10 Rankings: T-4th HR allowed, 8th earned runs allowed.

RHP Jean Casanova: 2018 stats: 7 games (4 starts), 23.2 IP, 23 H, 12 R (9 ER), 5 HR, 1 HB, 9 BB, 15 K, 3.42 ERA, .247 OBA, 1.35 WHIP. Last start 5/12 vs. Rome: 6 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 1 HR, 1 BB, 4 K. Thirty-fifth round pick of the Rangers in 2016 out of Waukegan (Ill.) HS. Born in the Dominican Republic. Has allowed at least one HR in all four of his starts. SAL Top-10 Rankings: T-10th home runs allowed.

RHP Reid Anderson: 2018 stats: 7 games (6 starts), 31.2 IP, 30 H, 14 R (13 ER), 2 HB, 10 BB, 32 K, 3.69 ERA, .250 OBA, 1.26 WHIP. Last start 5/13 vs. Rome: 3 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 1 HB, 2 BB, 4 K. Seventeenth-round pick of the Rangers in 2016 out of Millersville (Pa.) Univ. Attended New Egypt (N.J.) HS.

RHP Joe Barlow: 2018 stats: 9 games, 15 IP, 10 BB, 26 K, 0.60 ERA, .095 BA, 1.08 WHIP. Last game: 5/15 vs. Rome 2 IP, 1 H, 5 K. Eleventh-round pick of the Rangers in 2016 out of Salt Lake CC. Attended Riverton (Utah) HS. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 2nd lowest OBA by relievers (5-for-42, .127). 4th SAL among relievers Ks per 9 IP ratio (16.39).

UT Ryan Dorow: 2018 stats: .300/.383/.471, 3 2B, 3 HR, 8 BB, 31 K. Last series vs. Rome: 5-for-11, 1 SB, 4 K. Thirtieth-round pick in 2017 out of Adrian (Mich.). Attended South Haven (Mich.) HS. Has started to see more playing time, rotating around the infield. Played in four straight and five of the last six games.

OF Franklin Rollin: 2018 stats at Down East: .209/.277/.279, HR, 2 BB, 9 K, 1 SB, 2 CS. Played in just 16 games at Down East, sent to Hickory on Monday and will slide into a fourth outfield role at Hickory. Signed an international free agent contract with the Rangers in 2013. Native of La Romana, D.R.

RHP Tyler Ferguson: 2017 stats at Hickory and Down East: 36 games, 1 save, 47.2 IP, 48 H, 40 R (35 ER), 9 HR, 13 HB, 26 BB, 57 K, 6.61 ERA, .254 OBA, 1.55 WHIP. Sixth-round pick by the Rangers in 2015 out of Vanderbilt Univ. Attended Clovis (Calif.) West HS. Started the season on the disabled list, assigned to Hickory last Saturday.

RHP Derek Heffel: 2017 stats at AZL Rangers: 11 games (6 starts), 44.1 IP, 40 H, 16 R (14 ER), 1 HR, 14 BB, 50 K, 2.84 ERA, .242 OBA, 1.22 WHIP. Fourteenth-round pick of the Rangers in 2016 out of Madison Area (Wisc.) Technical College. Attend St. Catherine’s HS in Racine, Wisc. Started season at Extended Spring, assigned to Hickory last Saturday.

 

About the Intimidators:

Kannapolis is managed by Justin Jirschele in his second season with the team (93-82). The Intimidators won the SAL North first-half title and went on to the playoffs before losing in the championship series to Greenville (S.C.)…The Intimidators have the SAL’s best mark in May at 11-3 after winning five of seven during the recent road trip to Asheville and Greenville (S.C.)…Kannapolis far outpaces the rest of the SAL with a .285 batting avg. (Delmarva is second at .267). It also leads in OBP (.351), runs scored, hits, RBI, total bases, and OPS (.774). The Intimidators are second in doubles and slugging pct. (.423)…The team’s pitching has also been solid with a staff ERA of 2.97… Kannapolis has been nearly unbeatable at home in 2018, going 15-3. The Intimidators have yet to lose back-to-back home games this season.

 

Prospects to watch-Kannapolis (rankings by MLB.com):

CF Luis Gonzalez (No. 18): 2018 stats: .328/.389/.547, 8 2B, 1 3B, 6 HR, 14 BB, 33 K, 3 SB. Last series at Asheville: 7-for-20, 4 2B, 3 HR, 5 R, 6 RBI, 3 K. Third-round draft pick of the White Sox in 2017 out of Univ. of New Mexico. Born in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico. Attended high school at Catalina Foothills in Tucson, Ariz. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 3rd batting avg., T-3rd total bases, 4th OPS (.936), 4th hits, 5th slugging pct., 6th OBP, T-8th home runs

C Evan Skoug (No. 22): 2018 stats: .204/.325/.398, 6 2B, 1 3B, 4 HR, 19 BB, 36 K. Last series at Asheville: 2-for-11, 2B, 3 R, RBI, 3 BB, 3 K. Seventh-round draft pick of the White Sox in 2017 out of Texas Christian Univ. Native of Libertyville, Ill. Big 12 Co-player of the year in 2017. First-team All-American). Has thrown out 6-of-15 base stealers in 2018. SAL Top-10 Rankings: T-6th walks

RHP Tyler Johnson (No. 25): 2018 stats: 13 games, 15.2 IP, 12 H, 5 R (4 ER), 1 HR, 2 HB, 8 BB, 30 K, 2.30 ERA, .211 OBA, 1.28 WHIP, 6 saves. Last series at Asheville: 2 games, 2 IP, 1 H, 3 K, 2 saves. Fifth-round draft pick of the White Sox in 2017 out of the Univ. of South Carolina. Native of Midlothian, Va. and attended Trinity Episcopal HS there. Pitched for USA Baseball Collegiate National Team. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 1st Ks-per 9-inning ratio among relievers (17.23), T-2nd saves, T-5th games.

RHP Lincoln Henzman (No. 26): 2018 stats: 8 games (8 starts), 43.2 IP, 43 H, 20 R (12 ER), 5 BB, 36 K, 2.47 ERA, .249 OBA, 1.10 WHIP. Last start 5/14 at Asheville: 5.2 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 8 K. Fourth-round pick of the White Sox in 2017 out of the Univ. of Louisville. Native of Lexington, Ky. and attended Lexington Christian Academy. First-team All-American and NCBWA Stopper of the Year in 2017. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 1st innings pitched, 3rd fewest walks per 9 innings among starters (1.03), T-10th hits allowed.

1B Justin Yurchak (No. 28): 2018 stats: .254/.372/.303, 6 2B, 23 BB, 123 K. Last series at Asheville: 6-for-14, 2 2B, 2 R, 5 RBI, 1 K. Twelfth-round pick of the White Sox in 2017 out of Binghamton (N.Y.) Univ. Attended Shenendehowa HS in his native Clifton Park, N.Y. Played at Wake Forest his freshman season. SAL Top-10 Rankings: T-3rd walks.

 

Others to watch-Kannapolis:

LHP John Parke: 2018 stats: 7 games (7 starts), 36 IP, 28 H, 10 R (9 ER), 1 HR, 3 HB, 6 BB, 31 K, 2.25 ERA, .214 OBA, 0.94 WHIP. Last start 5/11 at Greenville (SC): 1 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 1 BB. 21st round pick of the White Sox in 2017 out of the Univ. of South Carolina. Attended Greenville (SC) High. SAL Top-10 Rankings: T-2nd wins (4), 8th WHIP.

LHP Parker Rigler: 2018 stats: 7 games (7 starts), 33.2 IP, 26 H, 15 R (12 ER), 1 HR, 18 BB, 31 K, 3.21 ERA, .208 OBA, 1.31 WHIP. Last start 5/12  at Asheville: 4 IP, 4 H, 5 R, 4 BB, 5 K. Thirty-first-round pick of the White Sox in 2017 out of Kansas State. Attended Edmond (Okla.) Memorial HS. SAL Top-10 Rankings: T-3rd walks

2B Tate Blackman: 2018 stats: .305/.381/.430, 4 2B, 4 HR, 14 BB, 41 K, 1 SB, 3 CS. Last series at Asheville: 4-for-11 2 R, 2 BB, 3 K. Thirteenth-round pick of the White Sox in 2017 out of Ole Miss. Attended Lake Brantley HS (Altamonte Springs, Fla.) SAL Top-10 Rankings: 9th batting avg., 9th OBP, T-8th hits, T-9th total bases

SS Laz Rivera: 2018 stats: .365/.408/.511, 8 2B, 4 HR, 4 BB, 21 K, 4 SB, 3 CS. Last series at Asheville: 5-for-14, 2B, 2 HR, 4 R, 5 RBI, 2 K. Twenty-eighth round pick of the White Sox in 2017 out of the Univ. of Tampa. Played at Univ. of Miami and Chipola CC (Fla.) before going to Tampa. Played at Columbus High in Miami. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 1st batting avg., 1st hits, T-3rd total bases, 4th runs scored, 5th OBP, 5th OPS (.919), 8th slugging pct.

LF Craig Dedelow: 2018 stats: .270/.285/.453, 13 2B, 4 3B, 2 HR, 3 BB, 32 K. Last series at Asheville: 6-for-15, 3 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2 K. Ninth-round pick of the White Sox in 2017 out Indiana Univ. Attended Munster (Ind.) HS. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 1st at-bats, 1st doubles, 6th hits, T-8th RBI.

3B Anthony Villa: 2018 stats: .364/.419/.494, 10 2B, 8 BB, 24 K. Last series at Asheville: 6-for-13, 2B, 4 R, 2 RBI, BB, 3 K. Nineteenth-round pick of the White Sox in 2017 out of St. Mary’s (CA) College. Attended San Ramon Valley HS (Danville CA). SAL Top-10 Rankings: T-3rd doubles. T-3rd triples, T-8th total bases.

Casanova and Huff go to “Plan B”: Crawdads get the benefit in 4-3 win over Rome

Down three runs early, Hickory Crawdads starting pitcher Jean Casanova settled down and his teammates fought back to take a 4-3 win over the Rome (Ga.) Braves Saturday night at L.P. Frans Stadium.

The win for the Crawdads (12-20) in the series opener with the Braves was the third in four games of the current homestand. Despite the loss, Rome (21-14) remained in a tie for first the Southern Division of the South Atlantic League.

Hickory scored the decisive run in the eighth after two were out. With Austin O’Banion on first, Ryan Dorow put up his third single of the game. Cristian Inoa then hit a grounder that got past second baseman Derian Cruz and allowed O’Banion to score from second.

It looked as if the Crawdads would be run out of the stadium. Facing Jean Casanova, Braves center fielder Drew Waters hit the second pitch of the game out of the ballpark. Two outs later, William Contreras, Kurt Hoekstra and Jean Carlos Encarnacion hit consecutive doubles and suddenly Rome held a 3-0 lead.

The Crawdads pecked away at the lead, starting in the second with Tyreque Reed’s second home run of the season. In the third, Cristian Inoa and Bubba Thompson steered back-to-back doubles just inside the bag at third to get Hickory within 3-2.

Tyler Ratliff worked an eight-pitch at bat into a walk in the fourth. He stole second with two outs and came home when Ryan Dorow lifted a soft liner into right center.

After giving up the homer and five doubles into the third, Casanova settled down and retired 12 straight before he walked Encarnacion to start the seventh.

Sal Mendez (2-2) got out of the inning and worked around an error with two outs in the ninth to seal the win.

Casanova and Huff Work Plan B:

Simply put, the Braves were pounding the fastball of Casanova early. So Casanova, pitching coach Jose Jaimes and catcher Sam Huff decided to alter the attack against an aggressive Braves lineup that had six extra-base hits through the first 11 hitters. After Riley Delgado doubled on a first-pitch fastball in the third, Casanova started the next nine hitters with an offspeed pitch. The right-hander retired the next 12 hitters, striking out four.

Huff and Casanova talked about the change of strategy and what went into the decision to use plan B.

 

It didn’t look like there wasn’t much of a fastball at the start and they were hitting it. You guys made the decision to go offspeed. I think I had one time where you went through the whole order and started everybody offspeed. How did that decision come about?

Huff: Before pregame, we were talking about the hitters. A lot of them, their percentages were they’re early swingers. They’re going to swing at first-pitch fastballs no matter what. Their two-hole shortstop (Riley Delgado), he is ten-percent on striking out, so he’s putting the bat on the ball. The first inning, we kind of got an idea and we got on the same page and we just started working it. I knew he had a good curveball, slider and changeup and we started mixing those in and then just get guys thinking and uncomfortable.

They hit you and hit you hard early. There were five doubles and a homer over the first three innings. What was your part in this decision to make a change in what you were going to throw?

Casanova: The first inning, that came from my head. I was like, “I’m not going to give up. I’m still going to attack the zone.” We all went over to the side with our pitching coach (Jose) Jaimes and we talked about, “Let’s start over and use the offspeed, curveball. Then, when the guy’s got two strikes on them, throw the slider because the slider is way faster than your curveball.” Then we started with the changeup and then the fastball and it started working. So, we just kept doing that throughout the rest of the game after the first inning. That helped a lot.

Sam Huff

Catcher Sam Huff from an early 2018 game (photo courtesy of Sam Huff

Is there are a macho thing where guys will say, “I’m going to throw my fastball, come hell or high water” and you overuse it?

Casanova: As a pitcher, I like to be aggressive with my fastball. Tonight, after they were hitting my fastball, I just worked with whatever was working earlier in the bullpen, which was my curveball and the slider and the changeup looked pretty good. So, I mixed those up. Then, a couple of times I threw a fastball when they were waiting for a breaking pitch and that’s when my fastball started playing.

 

At what point are you watching him and saying, “Okay, this is what we need to do.”? They’re hitting the fastball and you have your pregame stuff and you see what is actually taking place. At what point do you make a decision to call it this way?

Huff: First thing, once I saw them being aggressive throughout the at bat, I was just like, “We’ve got to go curveballs now. We’ve got to switch it up and we’ve got to get them out on their front foot and get them uncomfortable.”

We were talking about going in and they were sitting there. So, we started going away and then hard away and then soft away. I mean, we tried to get them uncomfortable and thinking.

Four guys I knew for sure were like, “he’s throwing a curveball right there” and we’d throw a fastball the first pitch. And then, he’s pretty much already given up on his at bat and then we’d throw two sliders inside.

I have to read hitters, too, and know which guys are going to be swinging no matter what it is. It doesn’t matter if it’s a fastball or a curveball or a changeup or slider, they’re swinging. And then the guys that are more picky and will take – because the guys that take, they take a curveball right down the pike and, okay, it’s strike one. Here comes another curveball, fouls it off and they’re 0-2. Alright, you can go fastball, curveball, changeup or slider. It just depends on what he wants.

We were pretty much on the same page. He shook me off maybe two or three times and we executed it. We took what we wanted from the first inning and built off of it. We’re taking that as a learning experience and the next time that we play them, maybe not go straight fastballs, but more working counts and getting guys uncomfortable.

 

Have you ever thrown that many offspeed pitches in a row to start a hitter?

Casanova: No, that was the first time where I had to start with my curveball or my slider or my changeup.

Huff: He’s a big fastball guy. This is the total opposite of what he does. He looked the part. He showed you that he can pitch both ways and still carve. You don’t need to just to just trust your fastball. You can use other things. Seeing that, I was really happy to see that from him. For him to hold and get out of that first inning and then come in and go back out there and just say, “You know what, hit it. Try and hit this.” It was really cool to see.

Casanova: It was special to me because he is the catcher that knows me the most. We’ve been together for like three years now. We got onto the same page and everything. After the first inning, I put it away and throw it in the garbage. This is a new inning and I’m going to try and compete and stay in the game as long as I can. That’s what I tried to do and it worked out.

Jean Casanova.jpg

Jean Casanova (photo courtesy of Tracy Proffitt)

 

In a game like this, you had the golden sombrero tonight and I know you’re not happy about that, but you had to take a lot of pleasure in working in that way. That was more important win wise than what you did at the plate?

Huff:  As a team, we want to win. If it means I go 0-for-4, it means I go 0-for-4, but if I’m helping my pitchers and my whole staff and my team to win a ballgame behind the plate, then I’ll take it every day of my life. I love to win. I want to win.

 

Ratliff’s battle rewarded

It seemed innocuous at the time, but Ratliff’s at bat in the fourth played a big part in getting the Crawdads the tying run. An eight-pitch plate appearance turned into a walk and began the process of running up the pitch count of Odalvi Javier, who had thrown 42 pitches one out into the fourth.

“The first at bat, I was kind of late on his fastball and I got a hit off his changeup or slider,” said Ratliff about his approach for the key AB. “I actually got into an advantage count to 2-1. I fouled it off and got back even with a 3-2 count. He just kept throwing fastballs, fastballs. He kept trying to get me to chase the fastball up, which I couldn’t lay off of. They weren’t quite up enough to take. He just kept aggressively throwing the fastball up, up, up. I was sitting fastball and then the last pitch was kind of a spiked changeup. It was nice to get rewarded for a long 3-2.”

After hitting .167/.254/.250 in April, Ratliff has come around in May and is now at .371/.421/.486 for the month. He has multi-hit games in six of his last nine contests.

:I was working with Chase Lambin (Crawdad hitting coach) and Josue (Perez), our hitting coordinator, and (coach) Turtle (Thomas) and (manager) Matt (Hagen). They were all like, ‘You just have to go back to you, which is not chasing pitches up.’ I was trying to do too much, like I said. I was trying to go for the big home run. I’m not that type of player. I’m the type of player that’s going to hit balls in the gap, and hit doubles, and make hard contact and grind out at bats.”

Rome roaming out of runs:

The Braves baserunning cost them a couple of scoring opportunities. In the second, Isranel Wilson hit a liner to deep right. Through right fielder Justin Jacobs quickly retrieved and relayed the ball back in, Wilson hustled and reached second well ahead of the throw. However, he slid well past the bag, even avoiding the tag of Inao at short. Inao was able to snare Wilson in the ensuing rundown.

The more perplexing play happened in the seventh. After Encarnacion walked, Drew Lugbauer hit a swinging bunt in front of the plate. Mendez hopped down the mound and quickly got the out at first. Meanwhile, Encarnacion sped around second and made tracks to third. First baseman Tyreque Reed’s strong throw to the waiting Ratliff at third was well ahead of Encarnacion’s slide.

Tyreque Reed’s blast:

Check out Dan Victor’s (@slydanno70) video of Reed’s blast.

 

Series Preview: Rome (Ga.) at Hickory May 12-15

Hickory continues a weeklong homestand at LP Frans Stadium with a four-game series against the Rome Braves.

Rome (Ga.) Braves (Atlanta Braves) (21-13, T-1st SAL South), at Hickory Crawdads (Texas Rangers) (11-20, 6th SAL North)

If You Plan to Go:

GAME TIMES: Saturday 6 p.m., Sunday 3 p.m., Monday 6 p.m., Tuesday 10:30 a.m.

Promotions:

Saturday – Crawmoms Weekend

Sunday – Church Bulletin Sunday (Bring a church bulletin for a $6, $4 is donated back to that organization), Wine & Design, Mother’s Day Celebration.

Monday – Make-A-Difference Monday (Bring canned goods $5 or more in value and receive a free ticket.)

TICKETS: $9 dollars for regular seats, $14 for VIP section.

Where is it?: Clement Blvd., 1 mile west of U.S. Hwy 321, near entrance to Hickory Airport.

PARKING: All parking is $3.

CONCESSIONS: L.P. Frans Stadium has two main concession areas plus the Crawdads Café. The concession stands have your basic ballpark food: Hot dogs, burgers, chicken sandwich, BBQ, etc. Here is that menu http://www.milb.com/content/page.jsp?ymd=20130627&content_id=51970362&sid=t448&vkey=team4

The Crawdad Café has a menu that features more diverse items, including the Mac & Crawdog, Banana Foster Bites, Fried Pickles, Sloppy Burger, and more. Click here for the menu http://www.milb.com/documents/3/3/4/185907334/cafe_menu_6eeko6n2.pdf

 

Probables (Rome / Hickory):

Saturday: RHP Odalvi Javier vs. RHP Jean Casanova

Sunday: RHP Drew Harrington vs. RHP Reid Anderson

Monday: RHP Huascar Ynoa vs. RHP Tyler Phillips

Tuesday: RHP Alan Rangel vs. RHP Tyree Thompson

 

Recent Series History:

Rome swept a three-game series at L.P. Frans Stadium in the only games played between the two teams in 2017. Since 2009 – the start of the Crawdads/ Rangers affiliation – Hickory is 30-26 overall, but the Braves own the advantage 18-16 at L.P. Frans.

 

About the Crawdads:

Hickory took the first two games of the homestand vs. Columbia (S.C.) before dropping the finale of the series on Friday… Overall, the pitching continues to take a beating in May. The team has allowed seven or more runs in five of the nine games played this month. Collectively, Hickory is second in the SAL in walks allowed and are next to last in WHIP (1.46)… Conversely, the sticks have turned it around this month. After a .242 team batting avg. in April, it is at .272 in May.

 

Prospects to watch- Hickory (rankings are by MLB.com):

CF Bubba Thompson (No. 6) 2017 stats at AZL Rangers: 30 games, .257/.317/.434, 7 2B, 2 3B, 3 HR, 5 SB, 5 CS. Last series vs. Columbia: 4-for-9, 2B, HR, 2 R, 4 RBI. First-round pick of the Rangers in 2018 out of McGill-Toolen High, Mobile, AL. Joined the team on Wednesday.

RHP AJ Alexy (No. 17): 2018 stats: 6 games (5 starts), 24 IP, 23 H, 19 R (18 ER), 2 HR, 4 HB, 18 BB, 32 K, 6.75 ERA, .256 OBA, 1.71 WHIP. Last start 5/11 vs. Columbia: 4 IP, 4 H, 3 BB, 2 HB, 7 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: 2nd walks allowed, T-4th hit batters.

RF Miguel Aparicio (No. 18): 2018 stats: .224/.288/.346, 3 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR, 9 BB, 20 K. Last series vs. Columbia: 3-for-10, 2B, 3 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: 11 games, 3 saves, 16 IP, 12 H, 8 R (6 ER), 1 HR, 16 BB, 28 K, 3.38 ERA, .200 OBA 1.75 WHIP. Last game 5/10 vs. Columbia: 2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 3 K. Second-round pick of Rangers in 2016 out of McEachern HS (Powder Springs, GA). SAL Top-10 Rankings: 3rd Ks-per-9 innings among relievers (15.75), T-5th walks.

C-1B Sam Huff (No. 26): 2018 stats: .218/.277/.414, 5 2B, 4 HR, 5 BB, 31 K. Last series vs. Columbia: 2-for-8, 2 HR, 3 K. Seventh round pick of Rangers in 2016 out of Arcadia HS (Phoenix, Ariz.).

 

Others to watch – Hickory:

RHP Jean Casanova: 2018 stats: 6 games (3 starts), 17.2 IP, 17 H, 9 R (6 ER), 4 HR, 1 HB, 8 BB, 11 K, 3.06 ERA, .243 OBA, 1.42 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: 6 games (5 starts), 28.2 IP, 24 H, 10 R (9 ER), 2 HB, 8 BB, 28 K, 2.82 ERA, .229 OBA, 1.12 WHIP. Last start 5/7 at West Virginia: 4 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 1 HB, 2 BB, 7 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: 6 games (6 starts), 32 IP, 34 H, 15 R (14 ER), 2 HR, 1 HB, 4 BB, 34 K, 3.94 ERA, .266 OBA, 1.19 WHIP. Last start 5/7 at West Virginia: 5.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R (0 ER), 1 HB, 1 BB, 6 K. Sixteenth-round pick of the Rangers in 2015 out of Bishop Eustace HS, Pennsauken, N.J.

RHP Tyree Thompson: 2018 stats: 6 games (5 starts) 25.1 IP, 30 H, 22 R (19 ER), 4 HR, 2 HB, 7 BB, 10 K, 6.75 ERA, .294 OBA, 1.46 WHIP. Last start vs. Columbia 5/9: 4 IP, 8 H, 6 ER, 2 HR, 3 BB, 1 K. Twenty-sixth round pick of the Rangers in 2016 out of Edna Karr HS, New Orleans. SAL Top-10 Rankings: T-9th hits allowed.

1B Tyreque Reed: 2017 stats at AZL Rangers: 35 games, .350/.455/.617, 13 2B, 2 3B, 5 HR, 22 BB, 26 K. Last series vs. Columbia: 4-for-9, HR, BB, 3 K. Eighth-round pick of the Rangers in 2017 out of Itawamba Community College in Mississippi. Attended Houlka (MS) HS. Named to Arizona Summer League All-star team in 2017.

LF Austin O’Banion: 2018 stats at AA Frisco: 4 games, .188/.235/.188, 1 BB, 7 K. Last series vs. Columbia: 5-for-11, 3B, BB, 4 K, 1 SB. Thirty-seventh round pick by the Rangers in 2016 out of Cal State-Fullerton.

 

About the Braves:

Managed by Rocket Wheeler, in his 26th season overall as a minor league manager, the 16th in the Braves organization. Wheeler (240-209 with Rome) returned to Rome this season. He last managed the R-Braves from 2003 to 2005 and won the SAL title with the team his first season… Rome comes to Hickory after winning 3 of 4 at Augusta to gain as a share of first in the SAL Southern Division… In the middle of the pack statistically, the pitching staff has allowed three or fewer runs in five of the last nine games.

Prospects to watch- Rome (rankings are by MLB.com):

C William Contreras (No. 17): 2018 stats: .246/.370/.361, 1 2B, 2 HR, 11 R, 4 RBI, 9 BB, 14 K. Last series at Augusta: 3-for-13, 2 BB, 3 K. Signed as an international free with the Braves in 2015. Native of Puerto Cabello, Venezuela. Appalachian League all-star in 2017 at Danville (Va.). Brother of C Wilson Contreras of the Cubs. Joined the Braves on April 24.

CF Drew Waters (No. 18): 2018 stats: .225/.286/.408, 6 2B, 2 3B, 1 HR, 8 R, 9 RBI, 3 BB, 3 SB. Last series at Augusta: 2-for-12, 2 2B, 6 K. Returned from DL on 5/9 after over two weeks out with an injury. Second-round pick of the Braves in 2017 out of Etowah HS in Woodstock, Ga.

2B Derian Cruz (No. 19): 2018 stats: .227/.270/.361, 4 2B, 3 3B, 2 HR, 15 R, 10 RBI, 6 BB, 44 K. Last series at Augusta: 4-for-13, 2 2B, 4 K. Signed as an international free with the Braves in 2015. Native of Puerto Plata, D.R. SAL Top-10 rankings: T-2nd strikeouts, -7th triples.

RF Isranel Wilson (No. 21):  2018 stats: .184/.283/.316, 5 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 20 R, 10 RBi, 13 BB, 38 K, 8 SB, 3 CS. Last series at Augusta: 3-for-10, 2 2B, 3B, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 SB. Signed as an international free with the Braves in 2014. Native of St. Maarten, Netherlands Antilles. Gulf Coast League All-star in 2015. SAL Top-10 rankings: T-6th steals.

RHP Freddy Tarnok (No. 24): 2018 stats: 8 games, 15 IP, 9 H, 7 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 10 BB, 22 K, 0.60 ERA, .167 OBA, 1.27 WHIP. Last Game 5/7 vs. Asheville: 2 IP, 1 BB, 4 K. Third-round pick of the Braves in 2017 out of Riverview (FL) HS.

C-3B Drew Lugbauer (No. 28): 2018 stats: .217/.300/.358, 3 2B, 4 HR, 12 R, 13 RBI, 12 BB, 44 K, 1 SB. Last series at Augusta: 2-for-11, HR, 4 RBI, 4 K. Eleventh-round pick of the Braves in 2017 out of the Univ. of Michigan. Native of Pleasant Valley, NY, attended Arlington HS in Poughkeesie. SAL Top-10 rankings: T-2nd strikeouts.

RHP Huascar Ynoa (No. 30): 2018 stats: 6 games (6 starts), 21.2 IP, 21 H, 18 R, 16 ER, 3 HR, 2 HB, 16 BB, 26 K, 6.65 ERA, .253 OBA, 1.71 WHIP. Last start 5/9 at Augusta: 5 IP, 3H, 2 R (1 ER), 1 HR, 6 K. Obtained by the Braves in a trade with the Twins for RHP Jaime Garcia last July. SAL Top-10 Rankings: T-5th walks.

 

Others to watch-Braves

LHP Hayden Deal: 2018 stats: 6 games, 11.1 IP, 10 H, 2 ER, 2 HB, 2 BB, 18 K, 1.59 ERA, .227 OBA, 1.06 WHIP. Last game 5/9 at Augusta: 2 IP, 3 H, 6 K. Signed with the Braves as a non-drafted free agent in 2017 out of Presbyterian College (Clinton, SC). Played at Bandys HS in Catawba.

RHP Odalvi Javier: 2018 stats: 6 games (5 starts), 29 IP, 19 H, 14 R, 13 ER, 2 HR, 6 HB, 12 BB, 30 K, 4.03 ERA, 1.90 OBA, 1.07 WHIP. Last start vs. 5/7 Asheville: 6 IP, 1 H, 2 HB, 2 BB, 8 K. Signed as an international free with the Braves in 2014. Native of Puerto Plata, D.R. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 1st hit batters.

RHP Drew Harrington: 2018 stats: 6 games (1 start), 15.1 IP, 20 H, 13 R (9 ER), 2 HR, 3 HB, 4 BB, 10 K, 5.28 ERA, .323 OBA, 1.57 WHIP. Last start 5/9 at Augusta: 3 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 HB, 1 BB, 2 K. Third-round pick of the Braves in 2016 out of the Univ. of Louisville. Attended Central Hardin HS, Cecilia, KY. Named to Florida State League All-Star Game in 2017.

RHP Alan Rangel: 2018 stats: 7 games (5 starts), 24 IP, 23 H, 16 R, 2 HR, 6 BB, 25 K, 6.00 ERA, .245 OBA, 1.21 WHIP. Last start 5/10 at Augusta: 4 IP, 5 H, 5 ER, 4 BB, 3 K. Signed as an international free with the Braves in 2014. Native of Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico.

RHP Brandon White: 2018 stats: 12 games, 5 saves, 17 IP, 10 H, 4 R (3 ER), 1 HB, 2 BB, 17 K, 1.59 ERA, .159 OBA, 0.71 WHIP. Last outing 5/11 at Augusta: 2 IP, 1 H, 1BB, 4 K. Twelfth-round pick of the Braves in 2016 out of Lander Univ (Greenwood, SC). Attended Chapin (SC) High. SAL Top-10 Rankings: T-3rd saves, T-4th games pitched.

SS Riley Delgado: 2018 stats: .313/.355/.426, 10 2B, 1 HR, 12 R, 23 RBI, 4 BB, 12 K. Last series at Augusta: 2-for-11, 2B, RBI, 2 K. Ninth-round pick of the Braves in 2017 out of Middle Tennessee St. Also played at Columbia State CC (Tenn.) Played at Palmetto HS, Miami, FL. SAL Top-10 Rankings: T-1st doubles, 5th hits, 6th RBI, 9th batting avg.

Series Preview: Delmarva (Md.) at Hickory April 27-29

Delmarva Shorebirds (Baltimore Orioles) (14-7, 1st SAL North) at Hickory Crawdads (Texas Rangers) (7-12, 6th SAL North)

The Hickory Crawdads continue a weeklong homestand with a three-games series against the Shorebirds.

 

IF YOU PLAN TO GO:

GAME TIMES: Friday at 7:00 p.m., Saturday at 5:00 p.m., Sunday at 3:00 p.m.

 

PROMOTIONS:

Friday – Post-game fireworks

Saturday – Post-game concert featuring Finding Favour

Sunday – Bark at the Park, Red Out Sunday (Wear a red shirt to receive a free ticket to the game), Church Bulletin Sunday (Bring a church bulletin for a $6, $4 is donated back to that organization)

TICKETS: $9 dollars for regular seats, $14 for VIP section. Note: Tickets for Saturday’s game/ concert at $15/ $20.

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

PARKING: All parking is $3.

CONCESSIONS: L.P. Frans Stadium has two main concession areas plus the Crawdads Café. The concession stands have your basic ballpark food: Hot dogs, burgers, chicken sandwich, BBQ, etc. Here is that menu http://www.milb.com/content/page.jsp?ymd=20130627&content_id=51970362&sid=t448&vkey=team4

The Crawdad Café has a menu that features more diverse items, including the Mac & Crawdog, Banana Foster Bites, Fried Pickles, Sloppy Burger, and more. Click here for the menu http://www.milb.com/documents/3/3/4/185907334/cafe_menu_6eeko6n2.pdf

 

PROBABLES (Delmarva / Hickory):

Friday: RHP Brenan Hanifree vs. RHP AJ Alexy

Saturday: LHP Zac Lowther vs. RHP Jean Casanova

Sunday: LHP DL Hall vs. RHP Reid Anderson

 

RECENT SERIES HISTORY:

Delmarva swept a three-game series at home vs. Hickory earlier this month. The Crawdads held a 7-4 advantage in last year’s season series, including a 3-1 mark in the only series played at L.P. Frans. During the Crawdads affiliation with the Rangers, Hickory is 72-48 overall, 39-19 at Hickory. The Crawdads have lost one season series to Delmarva since 2009. Oddly that came in 2015, the season Hickory won the SAL title.

 

ABOUT THE CRAWDADS:

The Crawdads lost 2-of-3 against Greensboro to open the homestand but fought the rain as much as they did the Grasshoppers. Games from Monday and Tuesday were rained out, as was the second game of Thursday’s doubleheader… After snapping out of an early season funk during the previous homestand, the Crawdads have scored in just four of the last 30 innings. They were shutout by Columbia (S.C.) in the series finale on Sunday, then used a four-spot in game one Wednesday’s doubleheader to secure their only win of the Greensboro series. Hickory has scored ten runs over the last four games, five coming on home runs. The Crawdads put the ball in play. They are last next to last in strikeouts AND in walks received…The pitching staff has been a bit of a Jekyll-and-Hyde act recently. Over the last ten games, the Crawdads have allowed two or fewer runs on half of them but five or more in the other half. Walks have hurt the Crawdads cause more than anything else. Hickory has allowed the third fewest hits in the SAL but are third in walks surrendered… The Crawdads are tied with Delmarva for the fewest errors committed (17 in 19 games) in the SAL. Catcher Melvin Novoa has thrown out four of five attempted base stealers.

 

Prospects to watch- Hickory (rankings are by MLB.com):

CF Pedro Gonzalez (No. 10): 2018 stats: .250/.294/.453, 2 3B, 3 HR, 22 K, 3 BB, 4 SB. Last series: 1-for-9 with 5 Ks vs. Greensboro. Came to the Rangers in a trade for C Jonathan Lucory. Originally signed with Rockies in 2015. Native of Santo Domingo, D.R.

RHP AJ Alexy (No. 17): 2018 stats: 3 games (2 starts), 11.1 IP, 12 H, 10 R (9 ER), 1 HR, 10 K, 9 BB, .279 OBA, 1.85 WHIP. Last start 4/20 at Columbia S.C.: 3.1 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 4 BB, 2 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.

RF Miguel Aparicio (No. 18): 2018 stats: .250/.276/.357, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 11 K, 2 BB. Last series 3-for-8, 2B, R, 2 RBI, 1 K vs. Greensboro. Signed with the Rangers in 2015. Native of San Carlos, Venezuela.

RHP Alex Speas (No. 23): 2018 stats: 6 games (all in relief), 8 IP, 8 H, 5 R (4 ER), 1 HR, 8 BB, 16 K, 2.00 WHIP. Second among relievers Ks per 9 IP (18.00). Second round pick of Rangers in 2016 out of McEachern HS (Powder Springs, GA).

C-1B Sam Huff (No. 25): 2018 stats: .214/.267/.339, 4 2B, 1 HR, 19 K, 2 BB. Last series: 0-5, BB, 2 K. Seventh round pick of Rangers in 2016 out of Arcadia HS (Phoenix, Ariz.).

 

Others to watch – Hickory:

RHP Jean Casanova: 2018 stats: 4 games (2 starts), 11 IP, 7 H, 6 R (3 ER), 2 HR, 6 BB, 5 K, .171 OBA, 1.18 WHIP. Last start 4/21 at Columbia, S.C.: 5 IP, 2 H, 1 HR, 2 BB, 2 K, 4/21.

RHP Reid Anderson: 2018 stats: 4 games (3 starts), 18.2 IP, 14 H, 6 R (5 ER), 1 HB, 5 BB, 15 K, .212 OBA, 1.02 WHIP. Last start 4/22 at Columbia: 6.2 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 1 HB, 3 BB, 5 K 4/22.

RHP Joe Barlow: 2018 stats: 5 games, 8 IP, 4 BB, 14 K. Leads relivers in OBA (0-for-23). 4 in SAL among relivers 15.75 Ks per 9 IP ration. 4th in fewest baserunners allowed ratio (4.50 per 9 innings).

C Melvin Nova: 2018 stats: .339/.391/.525, 5 2B, 2 HR, 2 BB, 9 K. SAL top-10: 3rd in RBI (18), 5th batting avg., 9th OPS (.916), 10th OBP. Last series: 0-for-5. Caught 4 for 5 runners attempting to steal this season. The native of Nandaime, Nicaragua signed with the Rangers as an international free agent in 2013.

OF Eric Jenkins: 2018 stats: .286/.342/.471, 1 2B, 3 3B (tied for 2nd in SAL), 2 HR, 6 BB, 20 K, 11 steals (1st n SAL). Last series: 5-for-10, 2B, BB, 4 K, 4 SB. Native of Cerro Gordo, N.C. Was the 2nd-round pick of the Rangers in 2015 out of West Columbus High.

IF Ryan Dorow: 2018 stats: .286/.381/.629, 3 2B, 3 HR, 5 BB, 14 K. Last series: 1-for-7, HR, 2 BB, 4 K. Taken over at second in the absence of Kole Enright. Was 30th-round pick of Rangers in 2017 out of Adrian (Mich.) College. Native of South Haven, Mich.

 

 

ABOUT THE SHOREBIRDS:

Managed by Buck Britton in his first season with the Shorebirds. He is the brother of Orioles closer Zach Britton… Split a four-game series at home vs. Kannapolis, winning the last two and reclaiming first place… Their pitching staff, especially the starters, have carried the team to an extent. Delmarva’s 2.47 ERA is third in the SAL, but it has allowed the fewest runs, courtesy of a league-leading defense (only nine unearned runs). The Shorebirds have surrendered just seven home runs and are third in Ks. The 1.13 WHIP is second in the SAL… The sticks have been fairly consistent as well. The .260 batting avg. is third in SAL., but runs have been at a premium lately with just ten over the last five games. Delmarva is third in hits, tied for fourth in runs scored…Third baseman Trevor Craport and SS Mason McCoy each lead the SAL in assists at their position and they’ve committed just five errors between them. However when runners get on base, those with speed have taken advantage of catcher Ben Breazeale, who has thrown out just three of 16 attempting to steal and just 10-of-48 for his pro career.

 

Prospects to watch-Delmarva:

LHP D.L. Hall (No. 5): 2018 stats: 3 games (3 starts), 8 IP, 5 H, 2 R (1 ER), 6 BB, 6 K, .192 OBA, 1.38 WHIP. Last start 4/3 vs. Kannapolis: 3 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 2 K. First-round pick (21st overall) of the Orioles in 2017 out of Valdosta (Ga.) High. Signed away from a commitment to Florida St.

RHP Brenan Hanifee (No.10): 2018 stats: 3 games (3 starts), 19 IP, 15 H, 3 HR, 3 BB, 12 K, .211 OBA, 0.95 WHIP. Last start 4/21 vs, Lakewood, N.J. 7 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 8 K, .211 OBA, 0.95 WHIP. Was Fourth-round pick of the Orioles in 2016 out of Ashby High in Bridgewater, Va. Signed away from a commitment to East Carolina.

RHP Michael Baumann (No. 15): Not expected to start in the series. Third-round pick of the Orioles in 2017 out of Jacksonville Univ. Native of Mahtomedi, Minn. and pitched in HS there. In his opening night start, threw four-hit shutout over five innings with 10 Ks and a walk.

LHP Cameron Bishop (No. 16): Not expected to start in the series. Was 26th-round pick of Orioles in 2017 out of Univ. of California-Irvine. Native of Brea, Calif.

LHP Zac Lowther (No. 17): 2018 stats: 3 games, (3 starts) 16 IP, 5 BB, 31 K, .094 OBA, 0.44 WHIP. Last start 4/22 vs. Lakewood, N J.: 5 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 11 K. SAL Rankings: T-1st Ks, Was Orioles second pick in competitive balance round in 2017 out of Xavier. Named SAL pitcher of the week 4/16-4/22

RHP Gary Fenter (No. 23): 2018 starts: 3 games, 9 IP, 2 BB, 12 K, .257 OBA, 1.22 WHIP. 7th-round pick of the Orioles in 2015 out of West Memphis (AR) High. Signed away from commitment to Mississippi St.

SS Mason McCoy (No. 29): 2018 stats:.193/.281/.281, 3 2B, 1 3B, 7 BB, 14 K. Last series vs. Kannapolis: 2-for-12, 2B, BB, 2 K. Sixth-round pick in 2017 out of Univ. of Iowa. Named to New York-Peen A native of Peoria, Ill.

RHP Matthew Dietz (No. 30): Not expected to start in the series. Second-round pick of Orioles out of John A. Logan CC (Ill.).

 

Others to watch-Delmarva:

RF Zach Jarrett: 2018 stats: .338/.413/.723, 4 2B, 7 HR, 7 BB, 18 K. Last series vs. Kannapolis: 6-for-15, 2 HR (walk-off HR on 4/26), 1 K. SAL rankings: T-1st HR, 2nd slugging pct., 2nd OPS (1.136), T-2nd runs (16), 4th total bases (47), 6th OBP, 7th in avg., T-7th hits (22), T-10th RBI. Drafted 28th-round by the Orioles in 2017 out of UNC Charlotte. Played his high school ball at Hickory High.

C Ben Breazeale: 2018 stats: .167/.273/.229. 3 2B, 6 BB, 12 K. Last series vs. Kannapolis: 1-for-11, 3 BB, 2 K. Seventh-round pick of Orioles in 2017 out of Wake Forest.

2B Kirvin Moesquit: 2018 stats: .261/.354/.348, 3 2B, 1 HR, 10 BB, 19 K. Last series vs. Kannapolis: 3-for-11, 2 2B, 1 BB, 4 K, 2 SB, 1 CS. SAL Rankings: 2nd steals, T-5th runs scored (14). Drafted 24th round 2015 out of Seminole St. College (Fla.). Born in Willemstad, Curacao, attended high school at Highland Christian HS (Pompano Beach, Fla.).

CF TJ Nichting: 2018 stats: .297/.354/.405, 6 2B, 1 3B, 6 BB, 16 K. Last series vs. Kannapolis: 2-for-13, 2 BB, 2 K. SAL Rank: T-4th doubles, T-7th hits.Drafted 9th round out of UNC Charlotte 2015. Native of Hamilton, Ohio, attended Badin High (Ohio).

1B Ryen Ripken: 2018 stats .310/.355/.345, 2 2B, 4 BB, 7 K. Last series vs. Kannapolis: 5-for-13,

2B, BB, K. SAL Rankings: 3rd fewest plate appearances/ K ratio 8.86. Signed free agent deal with Orioles in 2017. Played previously in SAL with Hagerstown (Washington) in 2016. Son of Cal Ripken, Jr.

 

Crawdads Bats Heat up: Have a Legendary Night

Winter-like weather here on the east coast has held some plants at a dormant stage in this area. The Hickory Crawdads bats could be included on that list much of the early season.

With more seasonal temperatures last night, the Crawdads bats stirred and had their biggest scoring output in eight seasons at L.P. Frans Stadium as they overwhelmed the Lexington (Ky.) Legends 18-6.

The 18 runs were the most scored by the Crawdads at home since putting up 18 against Lexington on June 6, 2010. Overall, it was the most runs since scoring 19 in a road win at Lexington on August 4, 2016.

Eight of the nine players scored, seven coming across the plate at least twice. Hickory collected 14 hits – eight for extra bases – walked six times and were hit by four pitches.

Melvin Novoa led the way with three extra-base hits (a homer and two doubles), four runs scored and three RBI. Along with Novoa, Eric Jenkins and Yohel Pozo each hit their first homers of the season.

After the Crawdads put up four in the first, they put the game away with nine in the third. Miguel Aparicio’s three-run triple and Novoa’s two-run blast were among the highlights.

The Legends cut their deficit to 13-6 after bringing in four in the sixth. However, the Crawdads answered with four of their own to squelch any hopes of a comeback. Jenkins’s three-run triple was the big hit of that inning.

Tyree Thompson (1-1) was the beneficiary on the mound for Hickory. The right-hander gave up five runs (two earned) on five hits over 5.2 innings with two strikeouts. Jean Casanova threw two scoreless innings of relief and Sal Mendez struck out two during a scoreless ninth.

Thoughts:

***I wanted to write a little bit about Eric Jenkins on Saturday, but time constraints worked against me there. I’m certain the Rangers would like to see the youngster finally put together the natural tools he has and take a step forward in 2018. Contact can still be an issue (15 Ks in 47 PAs), but, at least to me, it seems on this home stand that he is willing to battle more rather than give up ABs. The 21-year-old is in the midst of a mini five-game hit streak and has multi-hit games the last three.

The game that got my attention was Saturday’s contest at West Virginia. After taking off Friday following a three-K effort the night before, Jenkins had one of those games were his natural ability stood out. He just missed reaching on a bunt in the first. One inning later, he turned on a 0-2 offering and ripped it into the corner for a two-run triple. In the third, a bunt single plus a steal of second. In the fifth, a walk and a steal of second. Defensively, he made arguably his best catch of the three seasons with Hickory, a leaping catch in left to rob Dylan Busby of a homer.

Eric Jenkins HR rob

With a plethora of center fielders in the Texas Rangers system, Jenkins, who was the Crawdads starter at that position in 2016, has been taken out of the conversation for now. But if he puts together those natural tools of speed and occasional power, the mentions of him by others could return.

Power Cruzing: West Virginia takes early lead, evens series

In similar circumstances to game one of the series, the West Virginia Power took advantage of an error in the first to score three times and never trailed during a 6-4 win over the Hickory Crawdads in front of 2,925 fans at L.P. Frans Stadium Friday night.

The Power (4-5) snapped a three-game losing streak with the win and evened the series with the Crawdads (1-7).

In game one of the series Thursday, the Crawdads used a first-inning error to score four unearned runs on the way to a 6-2 win. On Friday, the roles were reversed.

After Crawdads starter Jean Casanova (0-1) retired the first two batters in the first, Dylan Busby hit a high pop-up near home plate. Catcher Sam Huff settled under the ball, which carried to the fair side of home plate and ticked off the glove for the error. The Power made Hickory pay with a double by Mason Martin and a three-run homer by Oneil Cruz.

Miguel Aparicio cut the deficit to 3-1 with his first homer of the season, a high drive off the top row of billboards in right. Ryan Dorow added his first blast of the season in the second.

The Power regained their initial three-run lead in the third. Cruz walked and Kyle Watson reached on an infield hit that chased Casanova. Sal Mendez entered and recorded two straight grounders, the second by Ryan Peurifoy scored Cruz. Chris Sharpe blooped a single into short right to bring in Watson and the Power led 5-2.

From there, the Crawdads threatened several times with runners scoring position in five of the last seven innings. Melvin Nova singled and scored on Tyler Ratliff’s double to get Hickory back within 5-3. However, Yohel Pozo grounded to third and Gavin Wallace fanned Huff to strand the runner.

Dorow doubled with one out in the fourth, but never advanced. Pozo double to start the sixth, but he, too, never moved.

Cruz’s second homer of the night in the seventh pushed the Power ahead 6-3 before Pedro Gonzalez tripled and scored to create what turned out to be the final margin.

The Crawdads loaded the bases with two outs in the eighth, but reliever Evan Piechota struck out Gonzalez to end the attempted rally.

Piechota then worked around a two-out single in the ninth to record the three-inning save (1).

Wallace got the win (1-0) with six innings of work during which he gave up three runs on eight hits.

 

Thoughts:

***This felt like a game that Hickory would win. The Power stranded seven over the first four innings and the Crawdads responded each time West Virginia scored. However, the inability by Hickory to capitalize on presented opportunities ultimately doomed the team. The Crawdads went 0-for-12 with runners in scoring position for the game and left 10. Through 7 games with RISP, the team is at .190/.239/.206. It feels like the pitcher has the advantage rather than the other way around.

***First home appearance for Alex Speas and it looked sharp. Cruz touched him for the second homer, but the pitch appeared to be a fastball that was down and away. Cruz lined it opposite field, down the line in left. Otherwise, Speas brought a live fastball (sorry, no speed gun readings) with a change and breaking ball (looked like a slider) that kept hitters honest. He fanned four of the last five swinging.

***Wallace didn’t appear to have his best stuff. Was told by the Power radio guy that keeping his sinker down was the key to his success. Wallace left a good bit up that Hickory hit hard. But Wallace mixed in the secondaries well until he could find the touch on the sinker and he went on to record nine groundball outs. While fastball command wasn’t there, the control was as he issued no walks. He seemed poised when in troubled and never panicked. After the Power pulled their starter after the first on Thursday, Wallace’s outing was a balm to the Power’s staff.

***Casanova should have been out of the first with just six pitches, but the error started a chain of events from which he never recovered. Like Wallace, he also had command issues with the fastball and it was punished. One wonders what his evening would be like had the error not happened. However, he seemed to panic and was never the same.

***The first “Wow” moment for me this season was Gonzalez’s triple in the seventh. He took a Piechota offering and lined it hard into open grass down into the right field corner. Gonzalez was in full stride between first and second… and then accelerated. It was another gear!

 

Series Preview: West Virginia at Hickory April 12-15

West Virginia Power (Pittsburgh Pirates) (3-4, Tied for 4th SAL North) at Hickory Crawdads (Texas Rangers) (0-6, 7th SAL North)

The Hickory Crawdads start the 2018 home scheduled with a four-game series against the Power, who are making their first road trip of the season.

 

If You Plan to Go:

GAME TIMES: Thursday and Friday, 7:00 p.m., Saturday, 6:00 p.m., Sunday, 3:00 p.m.

 

Promotions:

Thursday – Thirsty Thursday, Fill the Frans Night (If the Crawdads have 4,000 in attendance all fans receive a free ticket to another game.), Magnet Schedules to first 1,000 fans.

Friday – Post-game Fireworks

Saturday – Texas Rangers night, Poster Schedules to first 1,000 fans

Sunday – Jackie Robinson Day, Church Bulletin Sunday (Bring church bulletin for a $6 ticket, $4 goes back to the bulletin’s organization), Fun in the Sunday

 

TICKETS: $9 dollars for regular seats, $14 for VIP section.

 

Where is it?: Clement Blvd., 1 mile west of U.S. Hwy 321, near entrance to Hickory Airport.

 

PARKING: All parking is $3.

 

CONCESSIONS: L.P. Frans Stadium has two main concession areas plus the Crawdads Café. The concession stands have your basic ballpark food: Hot dogs, burgers, chicken sandwich, BBQ, etc. Here is that menu http://www.milb.com/content/page.jsp?ymd=20130627&content_id=51970362&sid=t448&vkey=team4

The Crawdad Café has a menu that features more diverse items, including the Mac & Crawdog, Banana Foster Bites, Fried Pickles, Sloppy Burger, and more. Click here for the menu http://www.milb.com/documents/3/3/4/185907334/cafe_menu_6eeko6n2.pdf

 

Probables (West Virginia / Hickory):

Thursday: RHP Travis MacGregor vs. TBA

Friday: RHP Gavin Wallace vs. RHP Jean Casanova

Saturday: RHP Evan Piechota vs. A.J. Alexy

Sunday: TBA vs. Reid Anderson

 

Recent Series History:

The Crawdads were 3-7 against the Power in 2017, with West Virginia sweeping Hickory in the only three games played at L.P. Frans. Hickory has not won a home series against the Power since 2014, which is also the last time it won a season-series. West Virginia is 17-9 against the Crawdads the last three years, 4-9 at Hickory. Both teams switched affiliates prior to the start of the 2009 season – the Pirates moved from Hickory to West Virginia and the Rangers aligned with Hickory. Since those partnerships began, the Crawdads own a 44-40 edge in the series, 22-20 at home. The clubs faced each other in the 2015 SAL Northern Division Playoffs when Hickory took 2-of-3 en route to the championship

 

About the Crawdads:

The 2018 season started about as poorly as could be imagined. Hickory was swept in three games at Greensboro and then suffered the same fate at Delmarva (Md.)…The bats have shoulder much of the blame, putting up ten runs in the six games. Among the 14-team South Atlantic League, Hickory is last in batting avg. (.182) on-base percentage (.239), slugging pct. (.251), runs scored (the next team has double the number of runs), hits, total bases and walks … On the mound, the Crawdads have held their own. The 4.13 ERA is 11th in the SAL, but the Crawdads have allowed the fewest hits in the league and have surrendered just two homers…Defensively, Hickory has committed just four errors, three of those on either pickoffs or a catcher’s interference. Behind the plate, catchers have nailed half the runners (4 of 8) trying to steal with Melvin Nova catching all three of the attempted base-stealers.

 

Prospects to watch- Hickory (rankings are by MLB.com):

CF Pedro Gonzalez (No. 10): 2018 stats: 4-for-20, two-run HR, 2 steals, 11 Ks. Came to the Rangers in a trade for C Jonathan Lucory. Originally signed with Rockies in 2015. Native of Santo Domingo, D.R.

RHP AJ Alexy (No. 17): 2018 stats: 1 start, 4 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 4 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.

RF Miguel Aparicio (No. 18): 2018 stats: 5-for-21, 2 runs, 1 RBI, 1 BB. Signed with the Rangers in 2015. Native of San Carlos, Venezuela.

RHP Alex Speas (No. 23): 2018 stats: 2 games (both in relief), 2.1 IP, 2 H, 4 BB, 3 K. Second round pick of Rangers in 2016 out of McEachern HS (Powder Springs, GA).

C-1B Sam Huff (No. 25): 2018 stats 2-for-17, solo HR, 6 K. Seventh round pick of Rangers in 2016 out of Arcadia HS (Phoenix, Ariz.).

 

Others to watch – Hickory:

RHP Alex Eubanks: 2018 states: 1 game (start), 5.2 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 1 HR, 2 BB, 7 K. Was 14th-round pick 2017 out of Clemson. Native of Duncan, S.C.

RHP Jean Casanova: 2018 stats: 1 game (relief), 2 IP, 1 K. Was 35th-round pick by the Rangers in 2016 out of Waukeegan (Ill.) High. Born in the Dominican Republic but moved to the states in fifth grade.

RHP Reid Anderson: 2018 stats: 2 games (1 start), 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R (unearned), 2 BB, 4 K, OBA .158, 0.83 WHIP. Was 17th round pick of the Rangers in 2016 out of Millersville Univ. Native of New Egypt, N.J.

OF Eric Jenkins: 2018 stats: 5-for-24, 1 BB, 9 K, 2 steals in 4 attempts. Native of Cerro Gordo, N.C. Was the 2nd-round pick of the Rangers in 2015 out of West Columbus High.

2B Kole Enright: 2018 stats: 3-for-15, 2 doubles, 1 HR, 2 BB, 3 K, 1 SB. Is the lone Crawdads everyday hitter slugging over .350.

 

About the Power:

Managed by Wyatt Toregas in his second season (72-71). The Power opened the season with a weeklong homestand. Split a four-game series with the defending SAL champs Greenville (S.C.) before they dropped the final two of a three-game series against Lakewood (N.J.)…Not to the extent of the Crawdads, but West Virginia has also struggled at the plate, posting a .211/.304/.417. The Power is 12th in batting avg. and 11th in OBP. They are tied for the SAL-lead with Lexington (Ky.) with 8 HRs, but all of them came during a three-game stretch when the Power scored 26 of their 34 runs… The Power has struggled on the mound with a 5.21 team ERA and a 1.61 WHIP, both of which are next to last in the SAL. They have given up 71 hits in seven games, and the defense has contributed to 13 unearned runs already.

 

Prospects to watch – West Virginia:

CF Lolo Sanchez (No. 10): 2018 stats: 6-for-26, 3 doubles, 1 HR, 3 BB, 10 K. Native of Santo Dominguez, D.R. Was signed as an international free agent in 2015.

SS Oneil Cruz (No. 14): 2018 stats: 2-for-21, 1 HR, 4 BB, 12 K, Native of Nizao, D.R, Originally signed as an international free agent by the L.A. Dodgers in 2015. Traded to the Pirates last summer for former Crawdads LHP Tony Watson.

LF Calvin Mitchell (No. 16): 2018 stats: 6-for-22, 2 triples, 1 HR, 4 BB, 3 K. Native of San Diego, Calif. Was second-round pick of the Pirates in 2017 out of Rancho Bernardo HS.

RHP Travis MacGregor (No. 25): 2018 stats: 1 game (start), 5.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 12 K. Native of Tarpon Springs, Fla. Was second-round pick of the Pirates in 2016 out of East Lake HS.

1B Mason Martin (No. 26): 2018 stats: 5-for-20, 2 doubles, 2 HRs, 5 BB, 9 K. Native of Kennewick, Wash. Was 17th-round pick of the Pirates in 2017 out of Southridge HS. Was Gulf Coast League MVP in 2017.

LHP Braeden Ogle (No. 29): 2018 stats: 1 game (start), 3 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 1 HR, 4 BB, 4 K. Was fourth-round pick of the Pirates in 2016 out of Jensen Beach HS (Fla.)

 

Others to watch – West Virginia:

RHP Gavin Wallace: 2018 stats: 1 games (start), 5 IP, 6 H, 5 R (3 ER), 2 BB. 4 K. Native of Staten Island, N.Y. Was 15th-round pick of the Pirates in 2017 out of Fairfield Univ.

RHP Evan Piechota: 2018 stats: 1 game (start), 5 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 7 K. Native of Livonia, Mich. Signed with the Pirates as a non-drafted free agent in 2016. Pitched in college at Madonna Univ. (Mich.)