At the game with some friends tonight and wanted to pass along observations about a few of the Altoona players. The game went by quickly due to lack of offense from both the Curve and the Richmond club. Aaron Pribanic started on the mound and pitched well. He averaged about 88-90 on the gun and hit 92 in the fifth inning on a couple of occasions. Pribanic wasn't tested due to Richmond's anemic offense, not because of any stellar pitching. That being said, he looked fine on the mound but his lack of power is obvious.
Going into extra innings, again, the Richmond club eeked out the win the worst way possible, mistakes by the Curve. Actually, mistakes by one player: pitcher Noah Krol. The sidearming Curve closer made two huge boo-boo's which cost the team the game. Ahead by one, Krol shotputted a bunt to 3Bman Jeremy Farrell which let the tying run score and let another slide over to third. Then, almost by script, Krol threw a wild pitch past Tony Sanchez which let the winning run score. The game was pretty much a snoozefest but hey, at least I got to see a few of our future Buccos.
TONY SANCHEZ: solidly built, much stronger than I had remembered. Has this swagger about him on the field. Shows off a good arm and good footwork behind the plate.
STARLING MARTE: also another guy who is bigger in person. Very fast. Beat out a bunt easily. Runs the bases and outfield like a gazelle.
BROCK HOLT: little guy. looks like a david eckstein clone. Very quick and had good range playing 2nd base. Made two very nice plays going towards the middle.
ERIC FRYER: looks older than his teammates, but maybe thats the monkey butt hairstyle he's fashioning. Arm not as good as Sanchez. Hit wind aided homer in the game but ball did jump off the bat.
JEREMY FARRELL: looked very good at third base. Made a few nice plays including a diving grab to save an inning. Bat looked average, which is not a bad thing.
JORDY MERCER: big kid out at shortstop. Hit a long line drive which would have been an easy homer if not pulled. Did look pretty well at SS; good footwork on balls in the hole. Probably the best arm I saw all night on both teams.
QUINCY LATIMORE: we've all read that Quincy has trouble recognizing pitches. DING!!! I would agree with this. He looked completely fooled and frustrated at the plate tonight. He even questioned a couple of the ump's calls before he was pulled later in the game. Fryer was moved out to LF and Sanchez came in behind the plate.
What I learned about some of the "hopeful" future Pirates : not much really. Marte, if the plate discipline continues and power comes, has the potential to be special. His physical gifts are easily noticable. Defense looks like it comes natural. Sanchez, even in his small 3 inning window, looks like a future player. Holt looks like a guy with a long career in the bigs, a la Craig Counsell . Pribanic, while not overpowering, looks to be at least organization filler, which isnt so shabby. The Curve are here again tomorrow but, alas, I have other plans. They will be back in my town in 2 weeks and I will keep you guys up to date. This game in one word: Zzzzzzzzzzz