Angel Villalona had a three-hit game, Craig Italiano hasn’t stopped dominating the Midwest League, and Brandon Hamilton didn’t give up a hit in his first outing of 2008.
South Atlantic League
Prospect Of The Day
It’s taken until mid-May, but we finally get to give a salute to Augusta (Giants) first baseman Angel Villalona. The Giants’ top prospect has gotten off to a slow start in the Sally League to the tune of a .213/.273/.354 line through 36 games, but he deserves plenty of slack since he’s all of 17 years old, and won’t turn 18 until August. However, his bat has been coming around lately. He’s had hits in five of his last six games, with two homers in that span, and last night against Rome (Braves), he went 3-for-6 with two doubles and two RBIs in the GreenJackets’ 8-7, 13-inning victory.
Lakewood (Phillies) shortstop Freddy Galvis went 2-for-4 with his first home run of the season in the BlueClaws’ 7-4 loss at Greensboro (Marlins) … Hagerstown (Nationals) second baseman Jake Smolinski went 2-for-4 with a home run … Lexington (Astros) left fielder Collin DeLome went 3-for-4 with a stolen base … Savannah (Mets) righthander Elvin Ramirez tossed six shutout innings against Asheville (Rockies). He allowed two hits, one walk, and struck out eight … Rome shortstop Michael Fisher went 5-for-7 in the Braves’ loss to Augusta. Its been a tough time for the Braves, who have lost 13 of 16 to sink into the cellar of the SAL’s Southern Division … We won’t often write about a 26-year-old in Low A, but we should recognize the efforts last night by Greenville (Red Sox) righthander Terumasa Matsuo, a Japanese import who’s in his first year in the U.S. Matsuo struggled through his first six starts, lasting more than five innings only once, but he had it going last night against Charleston (Yankees). Matsuo tossed seven one-hit shutout innings, walked two, and struck out five. He retired the side in order in five of his seven innings to pick up his first career victory.
What To Watch For Today
Minor-league strikeout leader Drew Naylor will go for Lakewood as they finish their series in Greensboro (7:00 EDT) … Charleston righthander Zach McAllister will try to bounce back from his first rough outing of the season as the RiverDogs conclude their series with Greenville (7:35 EDT).
Prospect Of The Day
You might remember Craig Italiano’s name from when he pitched the bulk of a 7-inning no-hitter earlier this year (which you can read about here) and he hasn’t stopped dominating MWL hitters since then either. Last night against Cedar Rapids (Angels), Italiano pitched six shutout innings, allowing only two hits, two walks, and striking out four. He improved his record to 5-0 and lowered his ERA to 0.90, the third best in the MWL. How dominant has Italiano been lately? He’s allowed only four earned runs all year, three of which came in his first start. He’s given up only one home run all year, which also came in that first start. He hasn’t allowed an earned run since April 21, a span of four starts and 21 innings, although he did allow two unearned runs on May 3. He’s compiled a 52-15 K-BB ratio and hitters are batting only .162 against him. He’s been particularly deadly against leftys, who are hitting at an .085 clip (5-for-59 with 22 K’s) against him.
Another day, another three hits for Ben Revere. The Beloit (Twins) center fielder went 3-for-5 with his third triple of the season against Clinton (Rangers) … Revere’s teammate Chris Parmelee went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and hit his seventh home run of the season … Burlington (Royals) shortstop Mike Moustakas continued his hot hitting with a 2-for-4 effort against Wisconsin (Mariners) which included his first triple of the season … West Michigan (Tigers) righthander Brandon Hamilton, the 60th overall pick in last year’s draft, didn’t disappoint in his first start of 2008, tossing four no-hit innings against Fort Wayne (Padres). He struck out six but also allowed four walks.
What To Watch For Today
Burlington righthander Edward Cegarra carries his 42-3 K-BB ratio into tonight’s outing as the Bees finish their series in Wisconsin (7:35 EDT).
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