Dashing Around Baseball – April 9
I’m sure you followed our coverage all weekend and know that the Dash are 1-2 after the opening weekend with a three game set in Frederick starting tomorrow. But, there were plenty of highlights around the Carolina League and in the White Sox system. Each week I’ll recap the noteworthy news going on in the league and on the farm.
Lynchburg Perfection-The Hillcats are the lone unbeaten in the league after a sweep of Potomac. Tommy LaStella, one of the top prospects in the Braves organization, drove in all three runs Sunday in Lynchburg’s 3-2 win. He’s batting a pretty solid .556, with 7 RBI and a homer after three games.
Potomac Panic-Potomac lost Saturday night’s game but experienced a much more jarring scare when Anthony Rendon left the game with a sprained ankle. Injuries plagued Rendon’s spectacular collegiate accomplishments throughout his three seasons at Rice.
He was named Freshman of the Year in 2009, followed by College Player of the Year in 2010. But Rendon tore ligaments in his right ankle in 2009 and broke the same ankle the next season. The Nationals were wowed by Rendon in big league camp at spring training but will proceed with caution after this setback. If healthy, the Dash will see him and Potomac for the first time April 23 at BB&T Ballpark.
Frederick Reloads-The defending Mills Cup Champions lost a number of emerging superstars to the Double-A level but plenty of talent remains with the Keys. Frederick won two of three from Salem behind superb performances from the mound Saturday and Sunday. Scott Copeland threw five shutout innings Saturday, and highly-touted prospect Mike Wright made his Advanced-A debut Sunday and surrendered only three hits over six scoreless innings.
Stocked in Salem-The Sox are 1-2 after the opening weekend, but expect the wins to pile up as a young offense adjusts to Advanced-A pitching. Salem is loaded because three of the top 10 prospects in the Red Sox organization all playing for the first time in the Carolina League. Number two prospect Xander Bogaerts is only 19, but has shown off the charts potential. He opened 2-for-5 with an RBI on Friday but did not get a hit the rest of the series. Outfielders Brandon Jacobs and Jackie Bradley struggled at the plate but are known for their defensive ability to cover all the green in the outfield.
Around the Farm
- The White Sox lost two of three to the defending AL Champion Texas Rangers, but former Dash players played prominent roles in the series. Hector Santiago picked up his first major league save, locking down a 4-3 win Saturday.
- 2010 Dash member Eduardo Escobar was one of the final roster spots named to the White Sox roster. He made his first appearance of the season Sunday night at shortstop with a 1-4 outing, the one hit being a triple.
- Nate Jones, the surprise nod on the final roster, made his major league debut Sunday night. Jones pitched the seventh inning, walking two Rangers before inducing a double play. He struck out 2010 AL MVP Josh Hamilton to end the inning.
- The Birmingham Barons got their first win of the season Sunday with a 9-2 throttling of the Jackson Generals. 2011 Dash members provided the highlights. Andy Wilkins hit his first home run of the season, Jared Mitchell had an RBI triple and Tyler Saladino also had an RBI. The Barons roughed up Generals starter Danny Hultzen, the #2 overall draft pick in 2011.
- The most exciting game in the organization Sunday occurred in Kannapolis, where the Intimidators rallied from down five runs to walk-off for their first win of the season. 2011 top draft pick Keenyn Walker went 2-6 with an RBI and scored the game tying run in the ninth.
That’s a look back at some of the highlights from opening weekend around baseball. In addition to our daily updates, I’ll be here with a comprehensive look around the league and the White Sox organization every Monday.