Good Afternoon Keys Fans!
After a 12-run, 16-hit onslaught yesterday, the Keys look for the split against the Lynchburg Hillcats. It should be a fun evening with an excellent pitching match-up on tap. The Keys will send Parker Bridwell to the mound (No. 19 prospect in the Orioles system) against Hillcats right-hander Lucas Sims, the No. 1 overall prospect in the Atlanta organization. The Keys fared well against Sims on Opening Day, tallying three runs on five hits over four innings.
Meanwhile Glynn Davis continues to lead all of Advanced-A in hitting….by A LOT. Entering Monday’s action, he is batting an unreal .477, a mark that is more than 30 pts higher than his next closest competition.
So come on out and see if Davis can continue the hot hitting tonight. First pitch is slated for 7:00 p.m. It’s also a Kids Eat Free Night.
Today’s batch of game notes are below. Chat soon!
Monday, Apr. 14, 2014 · Game #11 · Home Game #7
Frederick Keys (3-7) vs Lynchburg Hillcats (6-4)
RHP Parker Bridwell (0-1, 9.72) vs. RHP Lucas Sims (1-1, 4.00)
BREAKING OUT:After five straight losses, the Keys offense put its foot down on Sunday. Pounding out a season-high 16 hits and batting around in consecutive innings, Frederick disposed of Lynchburg 12-6 at Harry Grove Stadium. On the game, eight of the nine starters finished with at least one hit, while four posted two hits or more. Meanwhile, the club’s struggles with runners in scoring position also came to a close. After finishing 2-for-31 with men at second or third base in the previous three games, the Keys were a robust 8-for-23 in those spots on Sunday afternoon.
DON’T MESS AROUND WITH GLYNN: Arguably the hottest hitter in the Carolina League, Glynn Davis was a one-man wrecking crew on Sunday. In the game, he set new career-highs for RBIs (four) and runs scored (four) while he also tied his career-best for hits in a game (four). If that was not enough, the Keys centerfielder pushed his hitting streak to 10 games, the longest of its kind in the Carolina League this season. Off to an outstanding start, Davis leads all Advanced-A hitters with a .477 batting average (a mark that is 30 points higher than his next closest competition). Meanwhile, he leads the Carolina League in hits (21), runs scored (12) and total bases (27), is second in the league in on-base percentage (.500) and is fourth in slugging percentage (.614).
MAN OF STEEL: Davis was not the only one to put together a monster day at the plate. Hitless in his first seven Carolina League at-bats, Steel Russell got on track going 4-for-4 with a double and three runs scored. He also reached in all five of his plate appearances. The four hits and four runs scored establish new career-highs for the Pennsylvania native, who is now hitting .364 on the season. The son of Orioles bench coach, John Russell, Steel is in his first season at Advanced-A.
EVERYBODY HITS!: In the third and fourth innings, the Keys sent a combined 18 men to the plate to the plate against Andrew Waszak and Patrick Scoggin. During that time, Frederick scored eight runs on nine hits and walked five times. The highlight of this onslaught came in the fourth inning, when the Keys recorded four consecutive doubles and put six straight on base. In the process, it gave Frederick its first come-from-behind victory of the year.
THE KLINE CHRONICLES: Following a quality start in his home debut, things were not as smooth for Branden Kline in his second outing at Harry Grove Stadium. Hurt by one tough frame, the Frederick native exited after four innings. He allowed four runs on six hits, walked two and struck out one and did not factor into the decision. All four runs allowed by Kline came in the fourth, an inning where the Hillcats sent eight men to bat. Over three starts this season, the former Virginia Cavalier is 1-1 with a 4.20 ERA.
FREDERICK VS LYNCHBURG 2014: The Hillcats have an early 4-3 advantage in the season-series. However, three of Lynchburg’s four wins over Frederick have come by one run, and two have occurred in walk-off fashion. On April 4, Daniel Castro supplied a walk-off single in extra-innings, while the next night, Kyle Wren singled home the winning run in the bottom of the ninth. Both Keys wins have come by 6-2 margins. A closely contested series in 2013, Lynchburg held a slim 10-9 edge, with six of the 19 games being decided by a single run.
NAME THAT PUJOLS!:Luis Pujols becomes the 20th manager in Keys history, after spending 2013 as the skipper at Low-A Delmarva. He takes the reins from Ryan Minor, who went 61-78 in his lone season as Frederick’s head man. The cousin of Angels star, Albert Pujols, the 58-year-old has considerable experience as a player, manager and coach in the majors and minors. Since spending nine years as a big league catcher with Houston, Kansas City and Texas, Pujols has worked as a bench/first base coach for Montreal (1993-00) and San Francisco (2003-06), while he served as interim manager for the Detroit Tigers in 2002, after Phil Garner was fired six games into the season. He has also managed for Double-A affiliates in the Detroit and Houston systems.
PROSPECTING:This year’s Keys team does not lack for talent. Frederick’s Opening Day roster features five of Baltimore’s Top 30 prospects according to Baseball America. Shortstop Adrian Marin (12) highlights the list and is joined by right-handed pitchers Parker Bridwell (19), Branden Kline (20) and Mychal Givens (23). Glynn Davis (29) rounds out the group. Of the five players, only Givens (one game in 2010) and Davis have played at the Advanced-A level.
BLAST FROM THE PAST: In addition to an excellent group of prospects, the Keys return 16 players. Many of those familiar faces are outfielders and relief pitchers. Brenden Webb, Trent Mummey and Torsten Boss have all spent time in with Frederick, while seven of the club’s eight bullpen hands (Jesse Beal, Matt Hobgood, Miguel Chalas, Matt Price, Lex Rutledge, Mychal Givens and Gene Escat) have also sported a Frederick uniform at some point.
TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER:The No. 1 overall prospect in the Atlanta farm system according to Baseball America, Lucas Sims makes his third Carolina League start on Monday. In his last outing at Potomac on April 9, the right-hander tossed five innings of one-run baseball to earn his first win of the season. This will be the second time he faces the Keys this season. Pitching against Frederick on Opening Day, he was tagged with the loss, allowing three runs on five hits over five innings. Sims comes off a stellar 2013 season at Low-A Rome. In 28 games for the Braves (18 starts), the Lawrenceville, GA native went 12-4 with a 2.62 ERA. In the process, he finished second in the South Atlantic League in wins and ERA, fourth in strikeouts (134), and held opponents to a league-low .203 batting average. For his efforts, the right-hander was named the Braves’ Minor League pitcher of the Year. Only 19 years old (he will turn 20 on May 10), Sims was on a strict innings limit last year, and pitched out of the bullpen until late May. Selected by Atlanta in the first round (21st overall) of the 2012 draft, the righty signed with the Braves for a reported $1.65 million rather than attend Clemson University. A Braves fan as a kid, Sims cites John Smoltz as his favorite player growing up. He features a 93-95 mph fastball, a mid-70s curveball, and a changeup.