Carolina League action started last night and it was nothing short of spectacular. Catcher Matt Wieters gave a performance that made Orioles fans drool while Braves righthander Tommy Hanson was locked in for Myrtle Beach.
Wieters, the fifth overall pick in 2007, smashed two home runs in a 7-3 win over Lynchburg. Frederick’s home stadium has a 28-foot wall that is behind a shorter, outfield wall. Hitting the 28-footer is a home run, but Wieters’ second home run cleared both walls in left field. Meanwhile, righthander Jake Arrieta, pitching in his first minor league game since signing with the Orioles last season as a fifth-rounder, threw four innings, striking out nine and allowing just one run on two hits.
Frederick is primed to compete in the Carolina League this year with several of the Orioles’ top prospects on the team. One of those prospects, third baseman Billy Rowell, pulled up lame running to first base in last night’s game, but nothing has been released yet on the extent of the injury.
Meanwhile in Myrtle Beach, Hanson had a stellar line against Wilmington (Royals). He threw five innings, put up zeros in the hits and runs columns, while striking out 13 and walking just one. That’s right, he recorded 15 outs, 13 of which were via the strikeout. Needless to say, the Pelicans won 2-0 on two bases loaded walks in the 13th inning. Overshadowed in it all was Royals righthander Blake Wood, who allowed just one hit 5 1/3 scoreless innings with nine strikeouts and no walks.
With last night’s Florida State League lineup snafu in the past, righthander Mark Melancon threw Friday night for the Tampa Yankees, his first minor league game since 2006 after he missed all of last season following Tommy John surgery. Melancon went 1 2/3 innings with one strikeout and no walks or hits.