AA Dish: LaPorta Terrorizes Davis

Matt LaPorta tagged Wade Davis for two home runs, Mat Gamel extended his hitting streak, Aaron Thompson struggled with his command, Chuck Lofgren finally had a nice outing and Vin Mazzaro had double-digit strikeouts in yesterday’s Double-A action.

SOUTHERN LEAGUE

Prospect Of The Day
With today being Hot Sheet Friday (check back later this afternoon for our supplementary chat), this blog post probably won’t be the only place on our site that you’re going to read about Matt LaPorta. The Huntsville (Brewers) right fielder went 3-for-4 with two home runs and a double against Montgomery (Rays).

OK, so LaPorta had a fantastic night. What’s even more impressive is that all three of LaPorta’s extra base hits came against righthander Wade Davis, one of the top pitching prospects in baseball. Davis allowed four runs in six innings, but he generally pitched well, finishing with eight strikeouts and no walks. LaPorta just happened to drive in all four of the runs charged to Davis.

Prospect Nuggets
Another Huntsville player, third baseman Mat Gamel, is another strong Hot Sheet prospect. Gamel extended his hitting streak to 17 games in a 1-for-4 performance . . . Tennessee (Cubs) lefthander Donald Veal threw seven shutout innings with five strikeouts and three walks against Jacksonville. On the mound for the Suns (Dodgers) was righthander James McDonald, who allowed five runs in five innings with four strikeouts and two walks . . . Carolina (Marlins) lefthander Aaron Thompson struggled to command his fastball, missing the strike zone consistently and leaving the ball up in the zone when he was over the plate. He lasted 5 1/3 innings and allowed seven runs, walking six and striking out four. Thompson was noticeably upset with the home plate umpire, who did appear to be squeezing Thompson on some of his close pitches . . . Thompson went against West Tenn (Mariners) lefthander Justin Thomas, who showed a solid repertoire of pitches highlighted by a very good changeup, allowing two runs in six innings with five strikeouts and three walks.

What To Watch For Today
It’s always an exciting day at the ballpark when Jacksonville (Dodgers) lefthander Clayton Kershaw takes the mound, which he will do at home tonight against Tennessee . . . Chattanooga (Reds) righthander Daryl Thompson has impressed scouts and baffled opposing hitters this year. He throws tonight at Mississippi.

EASTERN LEAGUE

Prospect Of The Day
Akron (Indians) lefthander Chuck Lofgren finally got on the right track, striking out nine with three walks as he allowed one run in six innings against Erie (Tigers). The game was Lofgren’s fifth start of the year, and only the second in which he had more strikeouts than walks, lowering his ERA to 6.85. On the season, Lofgren now has a 20-17 K-BB ratio in 23 2/3 innings.

Prospect Nuggets
The contact problems continued for New Hampshire DH (Blue Jays) Travis Snider, who went 1-for-4 with four strikeouts. Despite Snider’s struggles, Reading (Phillies) righthander Drew Carpenter still struggled mightily against the Fisher Cats, who tagged Carpenter for seven runs in 3 2/3 innings . . . Binghamton first baseman Nick Evans went 2-for-3 with a triple, a walk and three runs scored.

What To Watch For Today
Portland righthander Michael Bowden struck out 11 through six innings in his last outing. He throws tonight at Trenton (Yankees) . . . New Britain (Twins) righthander Anthony Swarzak has a bit of helium after a strong April, and he takes mound tonight at home against New Hampshire.

TEXAS LEAGUE

Prospect Of The Day
Midland (Athletics) righthander Vin Mazzaro was explosive yesterday against Corpus Christi (Astros). Mazarro struck out 11 batters in 6 2/3 innings, allowing two runs and just one walk. It was a noteworthy performance for Mazzaro, who in his previous five starts had yet to have his strikeout total either equal or exceed his innings count.

Prospect Nuggets
San Antonio (Padres) first baseman Kyle Blanks is listed at 6-foot-6, 270 pounds (and might even be heavier than that), but that didn’t stop him from legging out a triple yesterday in a 2-for-5 night against Frisco (Rangers). Frisco’s offense got big nights from first baseman Chris Davis (3-for-5 with a three-run home run) and DH Max Ramirez (2-for-4 with a walk) . . . Northwest Arkansas (Royals) righty Julio Pimentel had a 7-1 K-BB ratio as he allowed three runs (two earned) in seven innings . . . Tulsa (Rockies) righthander Brandon Hynick was solid, allowing two runs in six innings with six strikeouts and two walks.

What To Watch For Today
Springfield (Cardinals) lefthander Jaime Garcia pitches at home against Northwest Arkansas . . . Corpus Christi (Astros) righthander Bud Norris looks to continue his successful 2008 campaign at Midland.

Minors | #Daily Dish

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