The Eugene Emeralds begin their season tomorrow, and that means we will (probably) get the official roster today. Thanks to some recent roster moves by South Bend, we know the Emeralds will feature RHP Jeffrey Passantino and OF Nelson Velazquez. Both had been with South Bend for a few weeks, but the shuffle of some players from South Bend to Eugene is no great surprise. Velazquez, in particular, I expected to be with Eugene this season anyway.
Other notable players I expect to head to Eugene include 2018 first round pick SS Nico Hoerner (once he officially signs, anyway), OF Jonathan Sierra, and hopefully at some point RHP Jeremiah Estrada, a well-regarded pitcher from last year’s draft who received a fairly hefty bonus to lure him away from college (though Arizona Phil mentioned a possible injury issue this week at TCR). Given his sudden and surprising control issues, RHP Jose Albertos may also visit Eugene this season as he works his way back up to South Bend.
With both Velazquez and Sierra in the outfield (assuming it works out that way), the Emeralds should have a good defensive outfield that can put up some impressive power displays. Contact may be an issue for both players, but raw power isn’t going to be a problem. If, as I am very much hoping, stolen base specialist OF Fernando Kelli vaults over the Arizona Rookie League and into Eugene, the Emeralds might have one of the most fun outfields to watch in the league.
Look for the roster to come down in the middle of the afternoon on the East Coast, assuming we get it today at all. And when the Emeralds do open tomorrow night, you should be able to see the game on MiLB.tv.
- Daury Torrez: 4 IP, 3 R, 7 H, 3 K
- Dakota Mekkes: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 2 K
- Dillon Maples: 1 IP, 2 K
- Mark Zagunis: 2 for 5
- Mike Freeman: 2 for 5, 2B
- Taylor Davis: 2 for 4, BB
- Jacob Hannemann: 2 for 5, SB
- Bijan Rademacher: 1 for 3, 2B, BB
- Wynton Bernard: 1 for 1, 2B
- Oscar De La Cruz: 4.2 IP, 4 R, 9 H, 1 BB, 3 K
- Scott Effross: 1.1 IP, 2 H, 1 K
- James Norwood: 2 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 4 K
- Craig Brooks: 1 IP, 2 H, 3 K
- Trey Martin: 2 for 5, 2 2B
- Trent Giambrone: 2 for 3, 3B, HR, BB, SB
- Daniel Spingola: 1 for 2, BB, SB
- Cory Abbott: 4 IP, 3 R, 8 H, 2 BB, 5 K
- Casey Bloomquist: 3 IP, 2 H, 2 K
- Jhon Romero: 1 IP, 1 K
- Andruw Monasterio: 0 for 2, 2 BB, SB
- P.J. Higgins: 2 for 4
- Austin Upshaw: 2 for 3, 2B
- Luis Ayala: 2 for 3
- Tyler Thomas: 4.2 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 1 BB, 6 K
- Brendan King: 2.1 IP, 5 H, 1 BB, 3 K
- Yapson Gomez: 2 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 2 K
- Jhonny Bethencourt: 2 for 5
- Miguel Amaya: 2 for 4, 2B
- Delvin Zinn: 2 for 4
- One other outfielder to look for in Eugene this summer: Kwang-Min Kwon. This left-handed hitter, still only 20, was well regarded when he joined the Cubs’ farm system in 2016, but through his first sixty or so games as a professional he has struggled with his strikeout rate. Given that he’s never had more than 101 trips to the plate in any league as a professional, he may just need to see some regular pitching to make the necessary adjustments. If he gets that chance with the Emeralds this year, he will be a prospect you want to keep an eye on.
- Trey Martin has a nine-game hitting streak going, and in each of the last three he has at least one extra base hit. He has also walked ten times in that span, and struck out just eleven times.
- Trent Giambrone’s seven total bases weren’t a season high (he had eight on May 24), but it did mark the fourth time since June 8 that he has had more than one total base in a game. His line has jumped from .240/.308/.385 to .259/.327/.438 in that span.