Rookie Dish: Cunningham’s Perfect Day Not Enough For Pirates

Prospect Of The Day

GCL Pirates third baseman Jarek Cunningham went 4-for-4 with a home run, but the effort wasn’t enough, as the Pirates fell to the GCL Phillies, 7-4, in the first game of the GCL semi-finals. Cunningham was an 18th-round pick out of Mount Spokane High School in Spokane, Wash. this spring. He hit .318/.385/.507 over the regular season.

Propsect Nuggets

Shortstop Esmailyn Gonzalez went 2-for-4 with a walk and a double as the GCL Nationals defeated the GCL Twins in the GCL semi-finals, 10-5. Left fielder Destin Hood (Nationals) chipped in by going 2-for-5 with a double and 2 RBIs. On the losing side, center fielder Aaron Hicks (Twins) went 2-for-5 with two singles and two RBIs. . . In the Appalachian League playoffs, Elizabethton (Twins) defeated Pulaski (Mariners), 7-4. Left fielder Evan Bigley powered Elizabethton’s offense by going 2-for-5 with a double and a home run. There was some bad news for Elizabethton, however, as righthander Bradley Tippett had to leave the game in the first inning with an injured elbow. Tippett, a 20-year-old Australian, put together a good season, going 10-4, 2.87 over 91 innings between the Midwest and Appalachian Leagues while striking out 78 and walking 14. . . A’s outfielder Travis Buck continues to bash Arizona League pitching as he rehabs from a concussion that’s kept him out of baseball for the past month. Buck went 4-for-5 yesterday with a home run and three RBIs. . . AZL Giants center fielder Wendell Fairley went 2-for-3 with two doubles. . . Ogden third baseman Pedro Baez (Dodgers) powered the Raptors to a 7-4 victory with a 2-for-4 night that included his first triple of the season and his 12th home run. Designated hitter Tony Delmonico also helped put some runs on the board by going 2-for-4 with his eighth home run . . AZL Cubs shortstop Junior Lake went 3-for-4 with a triple and a stolen base.  The 18-year-old from the Dominican Republic is hitting .287/.337/.409 on the season. . . Orem lefthander Will Smith (Angels) shut down Idaho Falls (Royals) over six strong innings. The 6-foot-5 19-year-old was the Angels’ seventh-round draft pick out of Gulf Coast Community College in Florida. He gave up three hits, one run (unearned) and struck out six. He’s now 8-2 on the season with a 3.22 ERA and 67 strikeouts in as many innings–certainly someone to keep an eye on.

What To Watch For Tonight

The Phillies and Nationals are already underway, playing the first of a three-game series for the GCL championship while Elizabethton can clinch a title in the second game of the Appalachian League championship series tonight.