Tuesday in the minors saw a pair of standouts for High-A Great Lakes, an literally wild win for Double-A Tulsa, plus a weekly award for Low-A Rancho Cucamonga.
Player of the day
The strikeouts have been there for Nick Nastrini, the Dodgers’ fourth-round draft pick last year out of UCLA, with a 42-percent K rate. The issue so far was his 17.9-percent walk rate in his first five starts. But on Tuesday afternoon for High-A Great Lakes, Nastrini was at his best. He allowed no hits and no runs in his four innings, striking out seven of his 13 batters faced. But perhaps most importantly, he walked only one, the only batter he allowed to reach base.
Nastrini lowered his ERA on the season to 2.30 for the Loons. The right-hander was ranked as the Dodgers’ No. 18 prospect in FanGraphs rankings, which were unveiled in the last week.
“Routinely sitting 95-98 mph in short outings, Nastrini’s fastball also has big time carry through the zone,” Eric Longenhagen wrote at FanGraphs. “When both his breaking balls finish in the right spot, they are plus, and his curveball has enough depth to miss the occasional bat even when it’s mislocated.”
Triple-A Oklahoma City
Andre Jackson got touched for six runs (five earned) on five hits and five walks while recording only seven outs in Oklahoma City’s loss to the Round Rock Express (Rangers).
Miguel Vargas hit a three-run home run in the sixth inning, and has scored a run in 11 straight games. Zach McKinstry had three singles and scored twice. Kevin Pillar singled twice, and Jason Martin doubled and singled for Oklahoma City.
Trailing by three runs in the fifth inning, the Drillers took the lead without the benefit of a hit, with a win over the Frisco RoughRiders (Rangers) that could best be described as a walk in the park.
The first seven batters of the fifth inning for Tulsa all walked. The first two were issued by Frisco starter Zac Kent, to end his night. Sean Chandler entered and threw fourteen consecutive balls before throwing his first strike. He walked all four batters he faced before getting pulled in a tie game. Grant Wolfram entered and walked Andy Pages for the go-ahead run, then the Drillers tacked on more with two RBI singles, another bases-loaded walk, and a sacrifice fly.
The Drillers say the nine total walks in the fifth inning are a record for Tulsa professional baseball, which has been played since 1905.
Tulsa totaled 11 walks for the game, and those eight fifth-inning runs represented their entire offense on the night. The box score looks almost like a picket fence, with every starter except first baseman Justin Yurchak scoring exactly once and driving in one run each. Yurchak settled for a single.
High-A Great Lakes
To back the strong pitching of Nastrini, the Loons got three solo home runs in a win over the Lake County Captains (Guardians).
Right fielder Jonny DeLuca hit two home runs, giving him nine on the season to tie for the Midwest League lead. Catcher Kekai Rios also homered, one of his two hits in the game. Rios didn’t walk on Tuesday, but this season has already walked 11 times in 51 plate appearances.
Low-A Rancho Cucamonga
Quakes pitchers struck out 14 batters in a win over the Stockton Ports (A’s). Maddux Bruns, last year’s first-round pick, led the way with five strikeouts in his 2⅔ innings, and worked around three walks and two singles to keep Stockton off the board.
Catcher Marco Hernandez had a two-run single for Rancho Cucamonga’s only two runs. Center fielder Jake Vogel had two hits, including his fourth triple of the season.
On Monday, Rancho Cucamonga right-hander Jerming Rosario was named California League pitcher of the week after pitching five hitless, scoreless innings last Friday. Rosario struck out six in that game and didn’t walk anyone, though he did hit a batter. Rosario is next slated to start for the Quakes on Thursday.
Low-A: Right-hander Jhan Zambrano joined the Quakes from extended spring training. Right-hander Orlando Ortiz was placed on the injured list.
- Round Rock 13, Oklahoma City 7
- Tulsa 8, Frisco 6
- Great Lakes 4, Lake County 1
- Rancho Cucamonga 2, Stockton 1
- 9:05 a.m. PT: Tulsa (Gus Varland) vs. Frisco (Avery Weems)
- 3:35 p.m.: Great Lakes (Lael Lockhart) at Lake County (Aaron Davenport)
- 5:05 p.m.: Oklahoma City (Mike Wright Jr.) at Round Rock (Jake Latz)
- 6:30 p.m.: Rancho Cucamonga (Edgardo Henriquez) vs. Stockton (Chen Zhong-Ao Zhuang)
Yefry Ramirez is also expected to pitch bulk innings for OKC on Wednesday.