Frederick Keys Game Notes 4-25-14

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

Manny Mania is set to descend on Harry Grove Stadium, as former Key and current Orioles third baseman Manny Machado is scheduled to begin a weekend rehab assignment with the Keys. First pitch is slated for 7 p.m. Some game notes are attached below.

Talk to you later!

Geoff

Friday, Apr. 25, 2014 · Game #21 · Home Game #10

Frederick Keys (9-11) vs Myrtle Beach Pelicans (13-7)

                                                         RHP Parker Bridwell (0-2, 7.58) vs. LHP Victor Payano (0-1, 6.00)

WALK IT OFF, WALK IT OFF: Wynston Sawyer played the role of hero on Thursday night, with runners on first and second in the ninth. Facing the hard-throwing Keone Kela, the California native supplied the game-winning double, to give the Keys a 5-4 walk-off win. It was only the second home win of the season for the Keys, who had gone 1-7 in their previous eight games at Harry Grove Stadium. On Friday, Frederick goes for its second series win of the year, and its first at home since September 2, 2013, when the team claimed two of three against Potomac.

A BULLDOG, JUST NOT A BRITISH ONE: Not only did Wynston Sawyer’s double give the Keys the win, it gave the 22-year-old his second multi-hit game in as many nights. In his last two contests, Sawyer is a combined 4-for-7 with a double and three RBIs. He has also recorded seven RBIs in his last eight games, after picking up only two in his first seven tilts. Sawyer is currently batting .255, the highest his average been as a member of the Keys (his previous high-water mark was .243).

SEVEN THINGS I LIKE ABOUT YOU: Local product Branden Kline turned in his second straight seven-inning outing on Thursday. Against Myrtle Beach, he allowed one unearned run on three hits. He walked two and struck out three. The seven innings equals a career-high for the former Governor Thomas Johnson alum, who previously tossed that amount on April 18 at Carolina. In his last 14 innings, the right-hander has handed out only two runs (one earned) on seven hits. That has helped cut his ERA from 4.20 to 2.48. Unfortunately, both outings have resulted in no-decisions. The first Carolina League pitcher to make five starts this season, Kline leads the loop in innings pitched (29IP)

I WANNA BE LIKE MIKE: After getting off to a slow start, Michael Burgess has found his groove over the last week. The Keys outfielder has hit safely in six of his last seven games, to jolt his average from .209 to .271 (the highest it has been since April 6). On Thursday, Burgess went 3-for-3 with a double and a run scored, his first three-hit game since June 21, 2013, when the Floridian was playing for the Corpus Christi Hooks, the Houston Astros Double-A affiliate. Over the last two nights, Burgess has hit .625 (5-for-8) with a homer, two doubles, three runs scored and two RBIs. He is currently tied for fifth in the CL in homers, while he leads the club in RBIs (11).

FORE!: Harry Grove Stadium turned into a launching pad on Wednesday, with the Keys and the Pelicans collaborating on seven longballs. On the Frederick side, Jason Esposito, Michael Burgess and Creede Simpson all went yard. It was the most home runs the team has hit in a game this year. However, Myrtle Beach cleanup hitter Joey Gallo equaled the Keys total himself, becoming the first player to hit three home runs off Keys pitching since June 13, 2013, when Jason Martinson clubbed three for Potomac. Gallo is currently second in all of minor league baseball in home runs (nine), trailing only Toledo’s J.D. Martinez. The other Pelicans homer on Wednesday was by Nick Williams.

WEBB TO THE DL: On Tuesday, Brenden Webb was placed on the seven-day disabled list with a right shoulder sprain. The move is retroactive to April 21. Over 15 games, Webb is batting .283 with one home run, eight RBIs and four doubles. He did not play in Monday’s doubleheader. Taking the outfielder’s spot on the roster is Sam Kimmel. Selected by Baltimore in the 18th round of the 2012 draft out of Stetson University, Kimmel has spent each of the last two seasons at Short-Season Aberdeen. In 39 games last season, he hit .277 with one homer, 16 RBIs, three triples and six doubles. Born in West Palm Beach, FL, Kimmel has played both catcher and leftfield.

CLOSE CALLS: Over the recent roadtrip, the Keys played a number of tight games. Five of the seven ballgames were decided by two runs or less, and three contests hinged on just one run. This season, Frederick has been excellent in games decided by two runs (3-0), but has struggled in one-run tilts (2-6). Only Wilmington (1-7) has a worse record in such games. The team’s second one-run victory of the year came on Thursday night thanks to Wynston Sawyer’s walk-off double.

JASON, JASON, HE’S OUR MAN!: Jason Esposito has been swinging a hot bat over the last week. The former Vanderbilt Commodore has hit safely in his last nine games, raising his batting average from .194-.265. Esposito has also played dazzling defense. He currently leads all Carolina League third baseman in fielding percentage (1.000), and has successfully executed all 47 chances that have come his way.

TOP DOG:  For only the third time all season, Glynn Davis finished without a hit on Thursday.  On the game, he went 0-for-4, to drop his batting average below the .400 mark for the first time since April 5 (the third game of the season). Despite falling to .387 on the year, the Baltimore native still leads the Carolina League in hitting.Additionally, he is tied for the CL lead in hits (29) is second in runs scored (16) and third in on-base percentage (.457). He is also tied for fourth in total bases (37) and fifth in on-base percentage (.425).

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 played at the Advanced-A level prior to 2014.

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Left-hander Victor Payano makeshis fifth start of the season on Friday night and his first against Frederick in 2014. Pitching the second game of a doubleheader against Wilmington last Saturday, the lefty received a no-decision. Over 3.2 innings, he allowed one run on three hits despite walking five batters. The Carolina League leader in free passes, Payano has given out 22 free tickets in 12 stanzas this season, and has walked at least five in every start he has made this season (the longest lasting four innings). A problem throughout his entire career, Payano has walked 189 over 297.2 innings as a professional, or roughly six per nine innings. The lefty spent all of 2013 with Myrtle Beach, going 5-7 with a 6.67 ERA over 21 games (20 starts). In 82.1 innings, he allowed 82 hits, walked 54 and surrendered a career-high 11 home runs. Payano’s best season came with Low-A Hickory in 2012. As a 19-year-old that season, he went 6-8 with a 4.63 ERA over 25 games (20 starts). The Pelicans opening day starter this season, Payano was originally signed as a non-drafted free agent by Texas in February 2010. Clocked in the upper 80s as a 16-year-old, the Dominican originally agreed to terms with Boston for $900,000, but failed his physical. That allowed Texas to swoop in and sign him for a reported $75,000. Payano throws a low-mid 90s fastball, a curveball and a changeup.

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