There were three standout performances for Dodger prospects on Monday, and the result was three wins in four games. Aaron Miller was outstanding for 6 innings in his 2011 debut, while Tim Sexton threw 6 strong frames. Kyle Russell was the star, however, as he had the best offensive game to date of all Dodger minor leaguers.
One other note is that I'll be in Boston starting tomorrow for a week, but I should be able to continue with the updates...though they might be a little shorter for the next 7 days.
Minor League Player of the Day – Kyle Russell - 4 for 4, 2 HR's, 2 2B's, 4 RBI's 4 Runs. Russell had the biggest offensive outburst of any Dodger minor leaguer this season with 12 total bases. Hopefully the big lefty continues this hot streak as he has a .361 average in his last 10 games and 7 extra base hits in his last 5 games.
AAA – Tim Sexton was stellar in his AAA debut and the offense scored 4 late runs as the Isotopes defeated the Sky Sox (Rockies) 5 to 4 on Monday. Sexton, who is on the Topes roster because the team has 4 pitchers on the DL, threw 6 innings of 3 hit ball and allowed his only run on a solo homer. I had written on Monday's Hot/Cold sheet that this time in AAA would be an opportunity for Sexton to really make a name for himself against much older competition, and that is exactly what he did. Travis Schlichting did his best to ruin the game as he allowed Colorado Springs to tie the game with 3 runs in the 8th, but Damaso Espino singled in the go ahead run in the bottom of the inning and Merkin Valdez threw a perfect 9th for his 3rd save. For Espino his hit was part of a big night in which he went 3 for 3 with 3 RBI's. Jamie Hoffmann also had 3 hits on the night, while John Lindsey doubled and hit a booming homer to center in route to 2 RBI's. One final note is that the rehabbing Casey Blake went 0 for 3 with 2 strikeouts.
AA – Kyle Russell owned the night in Carolina on Monday as he led the Lookouts to a 9 to 3 win over the Mudcats (Reds). Russell went 4 for 4 with 2 homers, 2 doubles, 4 RBI's and 4 runs to really put on a show. The big night raised Kyle's average to .279, and gave him 6 homers for the season. Brian Cavazos-Galvez also contributed to the win with a 2 for 4 effort and 2 RBI's, and Alfredo Silverio had a couple of hits and scored 2 runs. Starting pitcher Michael Antonini threw a solid 6 innings, allowing 4 hits and 3 runs (2 earned) while striking out 5. Steven Ames threw 2 shutout innings in relief for a hold, and Josh Wall had another scoreless outing to lower his ERA to 4.35.
HiA – Aaron Miller had a marvelous 2011 debut and the Quakes pitching staff limited the 66ers to just 3 hits in Rancho's 4 to 2 victory over Inland Empire. The rehabbing Blake Hawksworth started the game and allowed a walk, a couple of stolen bases, and a sac fly before Aaron took over the game. Miller struck out 9 over 6 innings while giving up just 3 hits and a run as he picked up the win. Shawn Tolleson was perfect for the final 2 frames and struck out 2 for his 2nd save with his new team. On offense, the one big surprise was the roster move the Quakes made before the game. Outfielder Noel Cuevas took the spot of the injured Nick Buss despite being just 19 years old and having just 3 professional games in the Arizona Rookie League under his belt. I had him ranked as the Dodgers #52 prospect heading into this season because he has has a ton of raw power, and Cuevas got off to a strong start on Monday with an RBI single in his 2nd at bat. Jake Lemmerman and Angelo Songco also contributed to the win as they both went 2 for 4.
LoA – South Bend (Dbacks) came out swinging on Monday as the Silver Hawks defeated the Loons 8 to 3 in the battle of the birds. Great Lakes starting pitcher Derek Cone was wild and hittable in the early going, lasting just 3 innings. He gave up 6 hits, 4 walks, and 5 runs which led to his fourth loss of the season. Angel Sanchez made his professional debut and ended up throwing 5 innings of impressive relief. Sanchez, a 21 year old signed this past off-season out of the Dominican Republic, struck out 9 in his outing although he did allow 3 runs on 4 hits. I know nothing about Sanchez since this is his first appearance, and he is an unusal international player since he was signed at such a late age, but based on his strikeout numbers it seems like he has some good stuff. Getting back to the game, Andrew Pevsner threw the final inning in relief and was perfect to lower his ERA to 1.29 for the season. At the plate the Loons were not able to generate much offense. They had just 6 hits, and were led by a Roman Pena homer and a Chris Jacobs 2-RBI double.