AAA -- Tacoma 5, Colorado Springs 4 -- Box
The return-to-AAA debut for Dustin Ackley. Jesus Montero at 1b for the fifth game in a row. Mike Zunino (Talk40 #1) on the road, so, of course, he hits a home run. Brad Miller (Talk40 #6) walked twice.
And Gordon was there ... so I hope he doesn't mind if we poach his items from the Shout Box.
Ackley: Hit the ball hard to the OF (all caught, but he was swinging and not getting deep into counts) and bunted when asked for a situation (almost beat it out to first). Turned a nice DP, was cordial before the game talking to fans and looking people in the eye and thanking them when they wished him well. His attitude is right. No entitlement there. I still think he'll be fine.
Montero: Looked way worse. Head hanging, had a couple tough plays at first and missed one badly (not his fault, Liddi made a horrible throw) but two throws pulled him off the bag. He had some pretty good fielding plays out there too, though, on some sharp grounders - he'll learn the position. At the plate, though, he's completely lost and has NO plan of attack. Sometimes he swings like his eyes are closed, it's just terrible. I'm worried about where his head is at. Somebody's got to get in his ear.
Follow-up thoughts: And to be clear on Montero (reading back over what I wrote last night) he wasn't hanging his head in the field. He was up and smiling in the field. I think he loves being on the field too much to be a good DH, maybe. But it was at the plate where you could see that not only was he lost, he KNEW he was lost. Dragged his bat back to the dugout with him after one K, literally dragging it in the dirt like an 8 year old after a bad AB, shoulders slumped, head down. That worries me, especially since he had a good game like 3 days ago.
Miller: All angles and bone. He looks like a player from 1965, and that baggy uniform... he and Nick Franklin are gonna need tailors to make their uniforms not look like scrub hand-me-downs from older brothers. No batting gloves, had the second-best sound off his bat of any player on either side tonight (And with the humidor balls most of them sound like wet thuds, but not his). He has a good arm but going into the hole is dicey, and throws back to first from there... they scare me. Seeing him a couple of times out there I don't think he's better than Franklin at SS (though his arm may be better) but I'd be fine seeing them play next to each other.
Zunino: Good fun to watch at catcher, and definitely works with the pitcher out there. Takes control of the game, even when the umps are being a lil weird. And his was the hardest hit of the game by either side. He murdered a home run thirty feet up a retaining wall out behind the outfield wall to LCF (so oppo). Just crushed it. That serious power he has is really serious when he catches one. No doubters are fun.
AA -- Jackson 5, Huntsville 4 -- Box
His line: 5.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K
At the end, it was one of those double-edge-sword "W's" for Tyler Burgoon (26intheMix). Blew the save in the top of the 9th with a solo home run, only to see his mates pick him up with a walk-off rally in the bottom of the inning. James Jones (Watch List) got the game-ending single.
High-A -- High Desert 9, Lake Elsinore 7 -- Box
Well, so what if it doesn't take all that much to send a ball out of dry, windy Mavericks Stadium in Adelanto, California. Chris Taylor (Talk40 #28) sent two out of the park, and for a shortstop with a .444 OBP, we'll take 'em. He's got 67 hits and 37 walks so far.
And ... OK ... it was the kind of night in which Steven Baron, who's never had more than four home runs in a whole season, got his third of the year. But still ...
Hot-and-cold pitcher Seon-Gi Kim (26intheMix) was back to "cold" (0.1 IP, 4 ER), but the Mavs prevailed anyway, thanks to increasingly interesting Stephen Shackleford (Watch List) closing the door with his seventh save.
Low-A -- Cedar Rapids 9, Clinton 4 -- Box
Interestingly, the LumberKings got to face the two top draft picks of 2012 on consecutive nights.
Monday night, Carlos Correa of the Astro organization got three hits, and Tuesday night it was Byron Buxton of the Twins system ... also getting three hits.
If you're curious: SS Correa (age 18) is at .292/.410/.424 and CF Buxton (age 19) is at .332/.436/.556. Those were the two guys taken ahead of Zunino. So nobody's regretting their picks so far.