Rookie Dish: Shooter Hunting Down Appy League Batters

Prospect of the Day

Elizabethton (Twins) righthander Shooter Hunt made his third start in the Appalachian League on Wednesday. Hunt, the Twins first supplemental round pick, gave up the first runs of his pro career last night, but was still dominant in his six-inning outing. The righthander gave up two hits and a run, but struck out twelve Greenville (Astros) batters. Hunt was considered a first round talent coming out of Tulane, but he wore down late in the year leading to his fall in the draft. Hunt’s performance thus far has been outstanding, since debuting on July 4 he has struck out 28 batters in 14 innings. 

Prospect Nuggets

After entering the year with high expectations, Burlington (Royals) third baseman Fernando Cruz hasn’t quite delivered on his potential. Considered by some to be a first-round talent after petitioning to enter the draft a year early in 2007, the Puerto Rico native had scuffled in his first month in the Appalachian League. Entering Wednesday’s action Cruz was batting a meager .179/.236/.239. Cruz broke out of what has virtually been a season long slump on Wednesday night going 4-for-4 against Princeton, raising his average to .225. . .For the second night in a row Johnson City (Cardinals) shortstop Niko Vasquez belted a double. Vasquez went 2-for-4 in a 12-9 loss to Kingsport, raising his season average to .326. Vasquez, just a few months removed from high school, made his third error of the year Wednesday on an errant throw. . .AZL Athletics catcher Petey Paramore has been outstanding in his pro debut. Paramore, a former Arizona State Sun Devil, is undoubtedly advanced for the AZL, but his 2-for-4 day on Wednesday raised his average to .444. . .AZL Rangers righthander Joe Wieland was saddled with the first loss of his pro career on Wednesday. The righthander out of a Nevada high school threw four innings, giving up five hits and two runs. Wieland did strike out four, while walking none in the loss to the AZL Angels. . .Just two years ago Humberto Sanchez (Yankees) was regarded as one of the most promising young pitchers in the game. Now the 25-year old is simply looking to stay healthy and advance through the Yankees system. The righthander threw a perfect inning for the GCL Yankees on Wednesday, striking out one.  The outing was Sanchez’s seventh in the GCL. He has allowed just three hits over 6 2/3 innings, while striking out nine. . .Another former Tiger prospect took the mound in the GCL yesterday, as Jordan Tata (Tigers) looked to work his back from a disastrous start to 2008. Sent to the GCL to regain the form that once made him a promising prospect for the Tigers, the 25-year old had his best start so far on Wednesday. Tata threw six innings, allowing just one run and scattering five hits.

What to Watch for Today

The GCL Mets will be taking on the GCL Nationals as third baseman Jefry Marte looks to improve on his .362 average. The third baseman signed for $550,000 during the international signing period last summer.