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Minor League Roundup: Colton Cain Has Strong Start; GCL Bats Do, Too

Altoona and West Virginia were off, but it was still a busy day as State College and the GCL Bucs opened their seasons.

NOTE: I'm going to try to do updates for the Pirates' two DSL teams. This could be an erratic undertaking, for two reasons. One, DSL box scores often don't go up until the wee hours, later than I'm willing to stay up (so sue me). Two, I have no friggin' idea who the real prospects are. Six-figure bonuses (I mostly know which guys got those) and age are the best indicators, but DSL stats are next to meaningless. Starling Marte was bad his first year there, for instance. But maybe some interesting guys will emerge.

-P- Indianapolis held a 5-4 lead through four and then hung on to beat Gwinnett by that score. Rick VandenHurk, who's looking kinda interesting, got knocked around early but settled down to finish seven innings on 90 pitches. He allowed four runs on seven hits and no walks, and fanned five. Bryan Morris finished the last two innings, allowing a hit and a walk and fanning two to pick up the save. Gorkys Hernandez went 2-5 with a triple and Starling Marte knocked in three runs with two sac flies and a single. Jeff Clement had a double and two walks and Tony Sanchez went 1-3 with a double and a walk.

-P- Colton Cain had probably his best start for Bradenton and the Marauders held on through another bad 9th inning from Quinton Miller to beat powerhouse St. Lucie, 6-5. Cain gave up a run on two hits and a walk in 5.2 IP, with five Ks. Miller allowed three runs in the 9th, but survived with the lead. Andy Vasquez went 3-4 with a double, and Carlos Mesa and Kirk Singer had good FSL debuts. Both went 2-4 and Singer homered. Junior Sosa went 2-5, but fanned three times and got picked off base just ahead of Singer's HR. Alex Dickerson went 2-3 with a walk.

-P- State College had a rough opener, committing five errors in a 6-2 loss to Williamsport in which all runs by both teams were unearned. Starter Jason Creasy was victimized by three errors in the first two innings and also got hit by part of a shattered bat. That all led to three runs. Creasy allowed only two hits and two walks, but hit his pitch count after 2.2 innings thanks to the extra outs he had to get. He fanned two. Joan Montero followed with two and a third scoreless innings, allowing a hit and a walk and fanning four. The Spikes had only five singles, two by Jodaneli Carvajal. Somewhere in the State College offices, divorce papers are being prepared.

-P- The GCL Bucs had a fun opener, collecting 17 hits in a 13-3 drubbing of the Blue Jays. This year's second-round draft pick, Wyatt Mathisen, went 3-5 with a double and a steal. Stetson Allie, in his debut as a thirdbaseman, went 2-3 with a triple, a walk and an error. Jesus Vasquez and Elvis Escobar each went 2-3 with a double and a walk. Luis Urena went 2-5 with two doubles and two outfield assists. Candon Myles and Jorge Bishop each went 2-5, and Dilson Herrera hit his first HR. Colten Brewer threw three scoreless innings before giving up a two-run HR in the 4th. He allowed four hits and no walks, and fanned three, in four innings.

A few specific notes:

-Herrera, who was considered a shortstop when he signed, played second, with Jorge Bishop at short. Bishop isn't really a shortstop and also isn't much of a prospect any more, so Herrera probably isn't going to be a shortstop.

-Vasquez, who played outfield previously, played first to accommodate the team's excess of outfielders. Harold Ramirez, who got the highest bonus on the team, didn't even play as Escobar, Urena and Myles manned the outfield.

-The team's two catchers, Mathisen (who served as DH) and Jin-de Jhang, batted third and fourth.

-P- The DSL Pirates1 gave up four in the first to the Mets and couldn't quite come back, losing 4-3. Julio Perez, a 19-year old first baseman who played in the Mexican League last year, homered in his only AB. Richard Mitchell, a RHP who won't turn 17 until the end of July, threw four scoreless innings, allowing two hits and no walks, and fanning one. Mitchell hails from a little island that belongs to Colombia and signed for a six-figure bonus.

-P- The DSL Pirates2 dropped the Phillies, 8-2. Jesus Paredes, a 19-year-old LHP, pitched the last three innings, allowing two hits and no walks, and fanning four. 1B/OF Yunerky Adames went 2-4 with two triples and now has an OPS of .998 through 13 games. Adames is 20, but is only in his second DSL season after getting limited playing time last year. Third baseman Maximo Rivera, a 19-year-old in his third DSL season, went 2-5 with a double. Carlos Munoz, a first baseman from Mexico who'll turn 18 in two weeks, went 2-3 with a double, a walk and five RBIs.