If you have subscription to MiLB.tv, make time in your schedule to watch Keegan Thompson throw seven perfect innings for Myrtle Beach last night. Thompson, a product of last year’s draft, is a guy with a lot of pitches he can use to get hitters out and the polish (thanks to experience pitching in the SEC) to know how to use them. Last night he was using all them to the tune of 0 hits, 0 walks, and 8 strikeouts.
And it isn’t like this game came out of nowhere. On May 26 he pitched six innings of one hit ball while striking out eight. On June 2 he pitched six and a third innings of two hit ball. He has also twice struck out seven (May 1 in 5 IP, May 13 in 6 IP).
So how is he doing it? I definitely recommend watching the replay of his start for a good example. In a nutshell, he’s willing to throw almost any pitching to almost any batter in almost any count, and that pitch is probably going to be in the strikezone. This results in good, not great, strikeout numbers, very few walks, and a line drive rate of just 16%. That is a very good rate. Thompson is making batters hit his pitch, and when they do they’re having a hard time squaring him up.
If he can keep that up as he moves up the farm system, he’s going to go a very long way.
- Duane Underwood: 5 IP, 6 R, 10 H, 2 BB, 2 K
- Shae Simmons: 1 IP, 2 K
- David Bote: 2 for 4, HR
- Taylor Davis: 1 for 2, 2B, BB
- Jacob Hannemann: 1 for 4, HR
- Michael Rucker: 6 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 1 BB, 4 K
- Ryan McNeil: 1 IP, 1 H, 3 BB
- Trey Martin: 2 for 5, HR
- Jason Vosler: 1 for 4, 2B, BB
- Yasiel Balaguert: 2 for 4, BB
- Ian Rice: 2 for 3, HR, 2 BB
- Keegan Thompson: 7 IP, 8 K
- Tyler Peyton: 1 IP, 4 R, 5 H, 1 BB
- P.J. Higgins: 1 for 3, 2B
- Luis Ayala: 1 for 3, BB
- Erich Uelmen: 6.2 IP, 6 H, 5 K
- Manuel Rondon: 1.1 IP, 1 BB
- Brian Glowicki: 1 IP, 2 H, 1 K
- Christian Donahue: 2 for 5, 2B
- Jhonny Bethencourt: 2 for 4
- Jared Young: 2 for 4, 2 2B
- Brandon Hughes: 2 for 3, 2B, SB
- Tyler Peyton has been one of the best relievers in the Carolina League this season. Before last night he hadn’t give up more than one earned run in a game all year. He hadn’t allowed more than three hits in an appearance all year. He had only allowed two earned runs since the 25th. Of April. But baseball is unpredictable, so Peyton, who entered the game with an ERA of 1.42, left with an ERA of 2.48.
- Thompson was lifted after throwing 84 pitches, and it was without question the right move. The most important goal in the minors is to develop players. Winning games and reaching impressive milestones has to take second place to that.
In this case, 84 pitches is right about where Thompson has been stopping all season long.
- Tennessee is technically still alive for a first half title. They are in a three way tie for second, but that tie is two games back of Jackson. If Jackson wins two times this weekend, they win the division. If Jackson wins once and Tennessee loses once, the Smokies are out. But if the Smokies can sweep a good Montgomery team at home and Jackson can win no more than once against a team with a .422 win percentage, the Smokies could steal the first half title. In other words, they’re all but out of it.
- The Eugene roster is out, and there is some good news on it. First off, the outfield is exactly what we hoped. We will get to watch the slugging tandem of Jonathan Sierra and Nelson Velazquez as well as the OBP and stolen base maestro that is Fernando Kelli. Kwang-Min Kwon is also in that OF mix.
- On the infield, all eyes will be on SS Luis Vazquez. The Cubs drafted him last year in the 14th round out of Puerto Rico, but he is still only eighteen. Reports on his glove are excellent, but there are questions about the bat. Soon we may get some answers.
- On the pitching side, Jose Albertos will be trying to bounce back with the Emeralds. Brailyn Marquez is one of the better lefties in the lower part of the system, and he’ll be with Eugene. The 6’8″ Stephen Ridings starts the year in Oregon; some scouting reports have him down as one to watch as well.