Saturday Roundup: Louisville, Vanderbilt Among Strong Finishers
Vanderbilt set a new record for Southeastern Conference wins in a season Saturday, beating Alabama 14-10 to clinch the series and finish 26-3 in SEC play. The previous record was [...]
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Compiled by Kevin Goldstein, Chris Kline and Matt Meyers
As the Diamondbacks welcomed No. 1 pick Justin Upton into the fold yesterday, their first-rounder from last season made his debut in the system at high Class A Lancaster after ending a year-long holdout.
But it's probably a night Stephen Drew will want to put behind him, despite going 2-for-3 with two walks and a pair of runs scored in the JetHawks' 6-5 win against Bakersfield.
During Drew's brief tenure with Camden in the independent Atlantic League, the Riversharks averaged 3,380 fans a game, but fans didn't come out in droves to see the shortstop in Bakersfield--just 763 showed up.
And the only reason the 763 in attendance were interested in Drew was simple: he was the designated "beer batter" of the night. If Drew struck out--which he did in the sixth inning--fans were treated to $1 beers within a 15-minute time frame.
According to the Los Angeles Daily News, a few Lancaster fans cheered when Drew recorded his first hit, but the entire crowd erupted after the strikeout, then immediately left the stands and headed for the concession area.
Drew, a former Florida State shortstop, signed a five-year big league contract with the Diamondbacks, who took him 15th last year. He will receive a $4 million bonus over to be paid over four years and is guaranteed a minimum of $5.5 million.
• Everybody hits! That was the mantra last night in Triple-A Louisville, as the Bats and Charlotte combined for 42 hits in a 15-13 Knights' win. Charlotte outfielders Brian Anderson and Joe Borchard combined to go 6-for-12 with four RBIs and five runs scored, and both went deep. Third baseman Edwin Encarnacion led the Louisville attack, going 4-for-6 with a homer, a double and five RBIs. The only player to go hitless in either lineup was Louisville's A.J. Zapp, who went 0-for-1 as a pinch-hitter. It was the second time in the last eight days that the Louisville pitching staff has been battered. On May 31, Indianapolis put up 22 hits in a 15-1 victory. The Charlotte offense one-upped them by hitting 23 last night.
• Don't wake up the sleeping giant. Triple-A Ottawa first baseman Walter Young, who fell into a slump for most of May--seeing his average drop 175 points after hitting .384 in April--is back on track with a seven-game hit streak. Young went 5-for-8 in a 6-5 loss to Columbus, with two homers and four RBIs. In 29 at-bats this month, the 6-foot-5, 296-pound first baseman is hitting .448 with four homers and 11 RBIs.
• Everyone's been jumping on the Brian Bannister bandwagon this year at Double-A Binghamton with good reason--the 24-year-old righthander won his seventh game last night and is carrying a 2.05 ERA in 71 innings. But last night, he helped out with his bat, going 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles in consecutive innings and two RBIs in a 5-1 win against Altoona. On the mound, it was business as usual. The seventh-rounder in 2003 out of Southern California went eight innings--his longest outing of the season—and allowed a run on eight hits and struck out three.
• Dodgers' No. 1 prospect Joel Guzman missed his second straight game at Double-A Jacksonville with a sore left shoulder, the same injury that caused him to miss three games in late May. The 20-year-old will be examined by a specialist on Wednesday when the team returns home for a four-game set against Carolina.
• Odd stat of the day: Jacksonville catcher Russ Martin has been hit by a pitch in five consecutive games.
• Ian Kinsler only had one hit last night, but it was a big one. The Rangers second baseman hit a three-run homer (his 10th of the season) in the third inning to put Triple-A Oklahoma ahead for good against Albuquerque as the RedHawks cruised to a 10-5 victory. Kinsler is in the midst of a 13-game hitting streak and has seen his batting average jump 37 points during that time. He is now hitting .263/.335/.488.
• Maybe he was excited about seeing fellow UMass Minuteman Matt Torra getting picked in the second round, or maybe he can just hit. Either way, the Angels’ Nick Gorneault had a monster night for Triple-A Salt Lake. The outfielder was 3-for-3 with two homers and five RBIs in game one of a doubleheader against Sacramento. The 26-year-old is hitting .314/.364/.590 with nine homers.
• After missing more than a month with hamstring problems, Chris Nelson is finally playing again. The ninth overall pick in 2004 went 1-for-5 last night for low Class A Asheville and is 4-for-17 in his first four games back. With the Rockies drafting Troy Tulowitzki yesterday, he now has some competition at shortstop on the organizational depth chart.
• It was a nice night for Yankees pitching prospects. Phillip Hughes continued to dominate the SAL with seven strong innings as he out-dueled the White Sox Ray Liotta. Hughes allowed just two runs on four hits and a walk while fanning five to raise his record to 7-1, 1.72 for low Class A Charleston. Both runs came on a home run hit by Kannapolis outfielder David Cook. It was the first homer Hughes has allowed all year, and it was Cook's 13th. Righthander Mike Martinez continued his successful conversion from being primarily a position player at Cal State Fullerton, as he came on in the ninth for his minor league leading 19th save.
• Low Class A Dayton center fielder B.J. Syzmanski made his first appearance since April 10 and hit two homers, going 2-for-3 with four RBIs in the Dragons' 7-3 win against Burlington. The Reds' second-round pick last year out of Princeton, Syzmanski was on the disabled list due to surgery to remove a bone chip from his right knee.
Contributing: J.J. Cooper.