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Jordan George flashes extra-base power in Altoona debut

Pittsburgh Pirates Photo Day
This isn’t Jordan George. This is Cody Dickson, who also participated in this baseball event.
Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images

Jordan George went a combined 3-for-6 with a home run and two doubles in his first taste of Double-A baseball in Altoona’s doubleheader split with Trenton on Saturday.

The Curve lost the first game, 8-7, and won the nightcap, 5-1.

A switch hitter, George was batting right-handed in the fourth inning of Game 1; he was leaning in ripped a foul ball sharply to the left on a pitch that probably would have hit him. He then lofted a high fly all the way into the left-field bleachers for a two-run homer.

With runners on the corners in the fifth, Trenton changed pitchers and turned George around to the left side, and he promptly smacked a double to the right-field wall to plate the two runs.

George added a double in Altoona’s five-run fourth inning in Game 2, and later walked, too.

Already 25 years old, George was a 35th-round pick as a senior out of Arkansas State in 2015. His mature approach worked well in the low minors; he’s posted several .400-plus on-base percentages. He carried that over and hit for some more power at High-A Bradenton this year, with a .302/.339/.488 line with nine homers and 15 doubles in an unfriendly offensive environment. He’ll have to keep that going up the ladder if he’s going to figure into any sort of big-league plans, but in any event, his continued development is a positive, especially from a late-round pick.

Game One featured 27 hits, 16 from Trenton. J.T. Brubaker surrendered nine hits in five innings, though he struck out four and walked none. Altoona pitchers actually walked just one batter all game, though the benefits of that were questionable.

Brubaker allowed four runs, just two earned, thanks in part to his own throwing error when Yankees prospect Jorge Mateo ended up scoring on his own double.

Jerrick Suiter went 2-for-3 with a walk and reached on an error. Anderson Feliz went 2-for-4 with a triple.

Cole Tucker, another Double-A newcomer, went 2-for-4 with a walk. Defensively, I noticed him just missing several hard-hit grounders. I don’t know what to make of that. Melding it with previous knowledge, I’d guess it might just mean lesser fielders wouldn’t have even potentially had a play on those balls.

Game One was a baseball delicacy: an eight-inning, extra-inning game, as minor-league doubleheaders are scheduled for seven innings. In this case, Tate Scioneaux gave up a late homer.

Game Two was a much more tidy affair, with Altoona pitchers holding Trenton to just three hits in a Curve win. Cody Dickson went five innings with four strikeouts, four walks and the three hits, including a solo homer.

Heredia walked a pair, but avoided much trouble over the final two innings. I didn’t see a gun reading on him, but he’s still walking almost as many as he strikes out. He looked big, but not particularly out of shape — something that dogged the big-ticket signing from Mexico at times — but I’m not seeing anything to convince us there’s much left to see here.

The Curve flustered Trenton with the running game as it scored all five runs in the fourth. It all happened with two outs, starting with George’s double. Elvis Escobar singled and George scored on a close play; the Trenton catcher was livid and got ejected. Cole Tucker reached on a bouncer to the second baseman, and Escobar scored all the way from second. Tucker stole second and scored, as did Pablo Reyes, who followed him.

Reyes and Michael Suchy both posted beautiful 1-for-1 lines with two walks each. Reyes was also hit by a pitch.

Feliz, also 25, didn’t hit at Indianapolis, but he looked like a nice defender at third, with a lot of slick picks and strong throws.