Four strong innings from John Simms and a pair of two-run rallies early helped the Rafters eclipse the Solar Sox, 5-1 and stop a three-game slide.
Simms allowed the lone Mesa run on a solo shot in the 3rd and three hits total. He walked one and struck out four and threw 57 pitches during the outing, his second for Salt River.
Christopher Bostick returned the lineup and played second base. He batted ninth and reached base twice with a single in the 6th and drew a walk in the 8th to go 1-for-3 overall. Defenisvely he had a putout and four assists.
Salt River wraps up the week with a day game today at home vs. Mesa.
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It’s a two-fer today, so let’s jump into the usual weekly post…
WINTER LEAGUE SIGHTINGS
The following players have appeared in Mexican Pacific League and the Dominican Winter League:
Rafael Bautista, Bruce Billings (Escogido, DWL)
Pedro Severino (Cibao, DWL)
Richard Bleier (Oriente, DWL)
Paul Demny (Culiacan, LMP)
THE POTOMAC NATIONALS
Like the Hagerstown Suns, Potomac went from contender to pretender to post a losing season for the first time since 2012. It’s tempting to compare this team to that team, but there are two key differences: (1) this team did no better on the road than it did at home (2) this team didn’t feel like it had underachieved. Obviously, #1 is objective — to paraphrase the grossly overrated Bill Parcells, your record is your record. And #2 is subjective — part of underachieving is a disconnect between expectation and actual performance, perceived or actual.
Lucas Giolito and Wilmer Difo were “as advertised”; Reynaldo Lopez was not. Drew Ward was a mixed bag. Rafael Bautista was hurt. This can be argued (and probably will be in the comments), but most of the other names either weren’t as highly regarded outside our bubble or there were reservations already about their prospect status.
The 2015 crew felt to me very much like the first couple of seasons I watched this team (2006, 2007): A couple of true prospects and a handful of maybes mixed in with “OGs” (organizational guys). This may be “old world order” returning, and with the parent club now drafting in the lower third, it might not be all that surprising.
And with that, I present the obligatory Top 5’s:
|TOP 5 BATS||TOP 5 ARMS|
|1. Christopher Bostick, 2B, .253 GPA, .344 OBP||1. Lucas Giolito, RHP, 2.71/1.96/1.22, 11.11 K/9IP|
|2. Spencer Kieboom, C, .241 GPA, .346 SLG%||2. Tyler Mapes, RHP, 2.38/2.78/1.22, 8.54 K/9, 4.18 K:BB|
|3. Drew Ward, 3B, .237 GPA, 29E in 95G||3. Reynaldo Lopez, RHP, 4.09/2.95/1.22, 5HR in 99 IP|
|4. Estarlin Martinez, OF, .238 GPA, .711 OPS in 2nd half||4. Austen Williams, RHP, 2.59/3.22/1.09, .215 OBA|
|5. Rafael Bautista, CF, .224 GPA, 23SB in 52G||5. Phillips Valdez, RHP, 3.77/3.26/1.44, 58.1 LOB%|
No honorable mentions as we’re now well past the point of ignoring a player’s age or having repeated the level. Folks interested in seeing the entire team’s stats, can find them here.