Indianapolis was off.
— Altoona (15-15) got stomped by Bowie, 10-5. It should have been an easy win over one of the worst teams in the minors. The Curve had their ace, James Marvel, facing the Eastern League’s worst-hitting team. Meanwhile, the Bowie starter, Hunter Harvey, was a first-round draft pick six years ago who’s spent most of his time hurt and who’s struggled badly so far in AA. Instead, Marvel got pummeled for six runs on ten hits and a walk over four and two-thirds innings. And Harvey breezed through the Altoona lineup, allowing two singles through six shutout innings. The Curve finally got five runs in the eighth against the bullpen. Jared Oliva was 2-4 with a walk and Hunter Owen 0-3 with a walk.
— Cody Bolton had another outstanding start as Bradenton (19-11) beat Clearwater, 1-0. Bolton threw seven shutout innings, allowing three hits and no walks, and fanning seven. He threw 61 of 90 pitches for strikes. Luis Escobar threw the last two innings, pitching out of a first-and-third, no-out situation in the ninth. He gave up two hits and a walk, and struck out one. Escobar has yet to allow a run this year. The Marauders had only five hits. Travis Swaggerty went 1-3 with a walk and drove in Deon Stafford, who had doubled, with the only run. Stafford was also 1-3. Cal Mitchell was 1-4 and Dylan Busby 0-4; both struck out three times.
— Greensboro (20-10) beat West Virginia, 6-3, giving them a four-game sweep of a team that came in with a 17-8 record. I’m still wondering how much stock to place in the power this team is showing. It can’t all be their home park. As of this afternoon, they lead the South Atlantic League with 40 home runs; only one other team has more than 22. But their pitchers have given up only 23, with the average being 19. You do have to account for the fact that Greensboro’s four hottest hitters — Lolo Sanchez, Rodolfo Castro, Mason Martin and Fabricio Macias — are all repeating the level. All but Macias, though, were among the SAL’s youngest players last year.
Anyway, Castro went deep again, his tenth, which is second in the SAL. He was 2-4 and also played short again. Martin didn’t play, but Macias went 3-4 with a double and three RBIs. He’s 15-for-27 (.556) in his last seven games. Kyle Mottice was 3-3 and Mike Gretler 2-4. Sanchez was 0-3. Nick Economos pitched well except for a bad second inning in which he gave up all of the three runs and four hits he allowed. In six innings he walked one and fanned nine. Yerry De Los Santos made his full season debut with a 1-2-3 inning, including a strikeout. Braeden Ogle walked one and fanned three in his one inning, and Logan Stoelke walked one and struck out one in his inning to get the save.
A couple notes: Mottice was an NDFA last year and played in the GCL, where he had the highest OBP the league had seen in a number of years; that’s the sort of thing that happens when a college player faces much younger pitching. He was assigned to Greensboro out of extended spring training when Chase Lambert moved up to Bradenton. So far he’s 6-for-8 with three steals. De Los Santos signed with the Pirates back in 2014 for $100K, which made him one of their more prominent pitching signees. (The Pirates’ top position player signees out of Latin America have been getting about $400-700K, but their pitchers have topped out at about $200K ever since Luis Heredia. I don’t know why this is.) He pitched very little in 2016-18 due to Tommy John surgery. John Dreker has reported at Pirates Prospects that De Los Santos’ stuff took a step forward in extended, which is why he’s now at Greensboro. To the extent you can say this about a relief prospect, he’s probably worth watching.