Archive for the ‘ Uncategorized ’ Category

Game Notes 4-16-14

Good Morning Keys Fans!

Enjoy brunch with the Keys this morning, as Frederick and Winston-Salem play a doubleheader following a rain-out last night.

To get you ready I’ve attached some game notes below.

Talk soon and shake your keys!

Geoff

Wednesday, Apr. 16, 2014 · Game #12/#13 · Road Game #5/#6

Frederick Keys (3-8) vs Winston-Salem Dash (4-7)

Game 1: LHP Matt Taylor (0-0, 0.00) vs. RHP Brad Goldberg (0-1, 8.64)

     Game 2: RHP Jesse Beal (0-0, 6.14) vs RHP Bryan Blough (0-0, 2.45)

DANCING IN THE RAIN:Mother Nature was not so kind on Tuesday night, as the Keys and the Winston-Salem Dash were postponed due to rain. The game will be made up as part of a rare Wednesday morning twinbill at BB&T Ballpark. Both games will be seven innings in length, with a break of approximately 30 minutes in between games. This is the Keys first doubleheader of the 2014 season.

FREE BASEBALL DOESN’T MEAN FUN BASEBALL:Playing for a series-split with Lynchburg, the Keys forced extra-innings, but a sac-fly by Kyle Wren in the 12th allowed the Hillcats to prevail 5-4 on Monday night. The defeat ended a difficult homestand, where Frederick went just 1-6, and was swept by the Carolina Mudcats in three straight games. Monday’s loss also dropped the Keys to 0-2 in extra-inning games this season (with the first defeat also coming to the Hillcats on April 4 at City Stadium).

CLOSE BUT NO CIGAR: Frederick may only be 11 games into the season, but five have been decided by one run. Sadly, the Keys have not won any of them. That 0-5 mark is the worst in the Carolina League, while Wilmington (0-4) is the only other club yet to win a one-run game. On the other side of the coin, Lynchburg is a perfect 4-0 in games decided by a single tally, with all four of those triumphs coming at Frederick’s expense. This season, the Dash are 2-2 in one-run games.

THE TIMES THEY ARE A’CHANGIN: On Tuesday afternoon, the Keys roster received a bit of a shakeup. Outfielder Trent Mummey and infielder Michael Mosby were both released, while infielder Jerome Pena was activated from the seven-day disabled list and outfielder Lucas Herbst was promoted from Low-A Delmarva. In seven games with Frederick this season, Mummey hit .182 (4-for-22) with a run scored. Mosby was 0-for-12 at the plate in three games. As for Herbst, he was hitting .250 (3-for-12) with two RBIs over four games with the Shorebirds.

DON’T MESS AROUND WITH GLYNN: Arguably the hottest hitter in the Carolina League, Glynn Davis recorded a hit for the 11th straight game on Monday-the longest streak in the Carolina League this season. Finishing 1-for-4, the outfielder’s start has been something to behold. He currently paces all Advanced-a hitters with a.458 batting average, 18 points higher than his next closest competition. Meanwhile, he leads the Carolina League in hits (22) and runs scored (13). Additionally, Davis is tied for the lead in total bases (28), is second in on-base percentage (.490) and is fourth in slugging percentage (.583). Despite an all-around great start, Davis was not named Carolina League Player of the Week-an honor that went to Joey Gallo of Myrtle Beach.

SPEAK SOFTLY, AND CARRY A BIG STICK: Keys catcher Wynston Sawyer continued his hot stretch of hitting on Monday. After going 2-for-3 on Friday night, the San Diego native went 3-for-4 on Monday with a home run, a double, an RBI and a run scored. In the process, it moved his batting average up to a season-high .233. The three hits also tied a career-high for Sawyer, who most recently accomplished the feat on April 11, 2013 as a member of the Low-A Delmarva Shorebirds. Of Sawyer’s seven hits this season, four (three doubles and a homer) have gone for extra-bases.

GOING LONG: After failing to homer in six games at Harry Grove Stadium, the Keys finally recorded their first longballs at home on Monday night. Wynston Sawyer got things started with a monster shot to left, before Brenden Webb followed suit in the third with a deep fly to right. Prior to the game, the Keys had hit only one home run as a club through 10 games-a two-run shot by Michael Burgess on April 6 at Lynchburg. Currently, Frederick is tied for last in the league in longballs with Winston-Salem and Wilmington. Potomac leads all CL clubs with nine home runs on the season.

THAT’S QUALITY: After two rocky outings to open the season, Parker Bridwell turned in his best Carolina League start on Monday night. Tossing a season-high six innings, the right-hander allowed three runs on seven hits, while he walked one and struck out four. All three runs came across in the sixth. It was his first quality start of the season, and the fourth by a member of the Keys starting rotation this year.

FREDERICK VS WINSTON-SALEM 2013: The Dash controlled the 2013 season series, winning 12 of the 20 meetings. Still, the games were often close. Of the 20 matchups, half were decided by two runs or less, while six came down to only one run. To add a little more excitement, this year’s Winston-Salem team is skippered by former Frederick manager Tommy Thompson. From 2007-08, he posted a 97-96 record, while he led the 2007 Keys to the club’s third Mills Cup title.

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.

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Brad Goldberg makes his third start of the season on Wednesday and his first against Frederick. Rated the No. 28 prospect in the White Sox system according to Baseball America, Goldberg last pitched on Thursday at Salem and received a no-decision. Over 4.1 innings, he allowed six runs on eight hits. He walked two, hit two batters and struck out three. In 2013, Goldberg made stops in Great Falls of the Pioneer League, Low-A Kannapolis and Advanced-A Winston-Salem. Over 16 combined games (all out of the bullpen), he went 3-0 with a 1.54 ERA. In only two relief appearances with the Dash last season he went 0-0 with a 3.18 ERA (5.2 IP/2ER). Selected by Chicago in the 10th round of the 2013 draft out of Ohio State, Goldberg began his college baseball career at Coastal Carolina in 2009. However he transferred to OSU after the 2010 season. After sitting out all of 2011 on account of NCAA transfer rules, the right-hander missed all of 2012 when some of his Coastal Carolina credits did not transfer and he was ruled academically ineligible. Finally getting his chance in 2013, Goldberg shined, going 6-1 with a 2.99 ERA. He was signed for a reported $10,000. Goldberg’s signature pitch is a power sinker which will sit in the low-mid 90s and can top out at 96 mph. He also throws a curve (75-78), slider (82-84) and a changeup.

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!

Geoff

 

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.

Game Notes 4-13-14

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

Frederick tries to snap a five-game losing streak when the team plays game three of four against the Lynchburg Hillcats. Branden Kline makes his second start of the year at Harry Grove (and third of the season), and if that’s not enough motivation to come out, before the game fans can MEET THE TEAM!!! So make sure to drop on by. However if you’ve got plans or are out of town, you can still listen to the game on 1450 AM The Source or frederickkeys.com. Doug and I will keep you company.

Here are some game notes for today. The highlight: Glynn Davis not only leads the Carolina League in hitting, but paces ALL OF ADVANCED-A. That means he has the highest batting average of any player in the Carolina, Florida State or California Leagues.

Talk soon!

Geoff

Sunday, Apr. 13, 2014 · Game #10 · Home Game #6

Frederick Keys (2-7) vs Lynchburg Hillcats (6-3)

RHP Branden Kline (1-1, 2.45) vs. RHP Andrew Waszak (0-0, 6.23)

 

UNLUCKY SEVEN:Lynchburgsent eight men to bat during a four-run seventh inning, while Frederick’s struggles with men in scoring position continued, as the Keys dropped their fifth straight, 8-1. After finishing 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position on Friday night, the team ended 0-for-9 on Saturday. Over the last three games, the Keys are a collective 2-for-31 with runners at second or third base. Meanwhile, the club’s five-game losing streak is its longest since last June 10-14, when the Keys dropped five straight to Myrtle Beach and Potomac.  

LET’S GO STREAKING!:On Saturday, Glynn Davis extended his hitting streak to nine games. Finishing 2-for-4 with a run scored, it was also his sixth multi-hit effort of the season. Davis now has the longest hitting streak in the Carolina League, after Winston-Salem’s Courtney Hawkins went 0-for-3 on Saturday night. Off to an outstanding start, Davis leads all CL hitters with a .447 average (30 pts higher than his closest competition). That mark is also tied for the highest at Advanced-A, with Jupiter’s Terrence Dayleg. Additionally, Davis paces the loop in the hits (17), ranks second in total bases (22), second in on-base percentage (.472) and fourth in slugging percentage (.579).

BULLPEN BLUES:Following an excellent performance by Matt Hobgood on Friday, the club’s bullpen struggles returned on Saturday. Pitching for the third time, Mark Blackmar was roughed up over 3.1 innings, allowing seven runs (six earned). The majority of those came in the Lynchburg seventh, when six straight Hillcats reached base. This season, the Keys bullpen has posted a 5.70 ERA (36.2 IP/23ER) over nine games. In contrast, the starting rotation has been sharp, tallying a 3.05 ERA (44.1/15ER) since the start of the season.

SLUMPBUSTING:Coming into Saturday on a 2-for-16 slide, Brenden Webb busted out, recording singles in each of his first three at-bats. He closed out of the day 3-for-4, and moved his batting average back over the .300 mark. The three hits was the most Webb had recorded in a Carolina League game since Opening Day 2013, when he went 4-for-5 with a home run and three RBIs against Salem. In his third season at Advanced-A, Webb hit .201 over 84 games last season.

FREDERICK VS LYNCHBURG 2014: The Hillcats have an early 4-2 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:Right-hander Andrew Waszak takes the mound for Lynchburg on Sunday. In his first start of the season this past Tuesday at Potomac, he allowed five runs (three earned) on four hits over three innings. He walked two, struck out one and hit a batter. His Carolina League debut came against the Keys on Opening Day. In 1.1 innings, the Michigan native struck out one and did not allow any runs. A 22nd round selection by Atlanta in 2013, Waszak spent his first professional season in the Appalachian League. With Danville, he went 3-5 with a 2.03 ERA over 13 games (nine starts) and paced the team with 53.1 innings pitched. He also held opponents to a .175 batting average. For his efforts, Waszak was named Danville’s Pitcher of the Year, and the club’s pitcher of the month in June and July. A standout pitcher at Michigan State, the right-hander earned third team All-Big 10 honors as a senior, and ranked fifth in the conference in ERA (2.36). In his college career, he went 18-11 with a 3.82 ERA. As a member of the Spartans, he was teammates with former Keys outfielder Torsten Boss.

Keys Game Notes 4-12-14

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!!

It’s Hockey Day at Harry Grove Stadium, and Craig Loughlin and Alan May will both be in attendance, signing autographs and greeting fans. On the field, Frederick tries to end a four-game slide following a 1-0 defeat on Friday. Frederick will send right-hander Jesse Beal to the mound. He is countered by Lynchburg’s Jarrett Miller, who pitched against the Keys on Sunday. It is his second year in the Carolina League.

Doug and I will have the pregame show at 1:45 with first pitch scheduled for 2:00 p.m. And don’t forget, today is the first edition of the 2014 Keys Corner! So make sure and tune in early, as Doug and I run down the highlights, chat with members of the Keys and highlight the first week-plus of action.

So tune make sure and tune us in, and if you’re coming to the game, make sure and wear your favorite hockey jersey!

A full batch of game notes are below.

Talk soon!

Geoff

 

Saturday, Apr. 12, 2014 · Game #9 · Home Game #5

Frederick Keys (2-6) vs Lynchburg Hillcats (5-3)

RHP Jesse Beal (0-0, 8.31) vs. RHP Jarrett Miller (0-0, 2.08)

A LITTLE HELP!:Frederick out-hit the Lynchburg Hillcats by a 6-5 tally on Friday night at Harry Grove Stadium, but an inability to convert with runners in scoring position resulted in a heartbreaking 1-0 loss. Unable to provide any run support for starter Brady Wager, the team went 0-for-8 with runners at second and third base. A trend that has been problematic of late, the Keys are just 2-for-22 with runners in scoring position over their last two contests, and are hitting a collective .208 as a club in those situations this year. As a result, the Keys have often come up short in close games, with half of the team’s defeats coming by one run.

LET’S GO STREAKING!:For the eighth straight game, Glynn Davis recorded a base hit. Going 2-for-4 on Friday, he was one of only two Keys players to record multiple hits on the game. The eight game streak is tied for the longest in the Carolina League this season (Courtney Hawkins of Winston-Salem has also hit safely in all eight games). Thanks to his fifth multi-hit effort of the year, the Baltimore native now leads all CL hitters with a .441 average. He also paces the loop in the hits (15) ranks second in total bases (20), and sits fourth in on-base percentage (.472).

SIGH OF RELIEF: Although the Keys came up short, reliever Matt Hobgood helped keep things close. Pitching against Lynchburg for the third time this season, the right-hander tossed three shutout innings. He walked a pair and struck out two. The three innings equaled the longest outing by a relief pitcher this season (Jesse Beal also pitched three at Lynchburg on April 4). Meanwhile, it was a welcome sign of life from the Keys bullpen, which had surrendered 16 runs over its previous 19.2 innings entering Friday’s action. Formerly a first round pick by Baltimore in 2009, Hobgood leads all Keys relievers with a 1.17 ERA (7.2 IP/1 R).

QUALITY AND QUANTITY: Brady Wager produced the third quality start by a Frederick starting pitcher this season. Tossing a season-high six innings, the 23-year-old surrendered one run on five hits. In total, he has allowed only two runs over his first 11 innings this year (1.64 ERA). Frederick’s rotation has been one of its strengths in the early going. Through eight games, the rotation has tallied an impressive 3.05 ERA, while Keys starters have given up only one earned run over their last 11 innings of work.

SPEAK SOFTLY, AND CARRY A BIG STICK: Wynston Sawyer enjoyed a nice performance at the plate in the series opener. After going just 2-for-19 over his first six games, the Keys catcher doubled his hit total, going 2-for-3 with a pair of base hits. On the night, Sawyer and Glynn Davis accounted for four of the team’s six hits. In his first season at Advanced-A, the Californian spent the last two seasons as the primary backstop at Low-A Delmarva. He was selected by the Orioles in the eighth round of the 2010 draft.

FREDERICK VS LYNCHBURG 2014: The Hillcats have an early 3-2 advantage in the season-series. However all three of Lynchburg’s 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:Right-hander Jarrett Miller makes the Saturday start for Lynchburg. Making his 2014 debut against Frederick last Sunday, the right-hander allowed one run on four hits over 4.1 innings and drew a no-decision. In his second Carolina League season, the 24-year-old posted a 9-8 record and a 3.73 ERA over 30 games (25 starts) with the Hillcats last season. Miller finished fifth in the CL in strikeouts (122) and fourth in innings pitched (147.0), but occasionally struggled with command, as he also ended third-overall in walks (63). The righty spent 2011-12 with Low-A Rome. Selected by Atlanta in the 21st round of the 2011 draft out of UNC-Greensboro, Miller went 4-2 with a 4.08 ERA in 28 games (four starts) as a junior. Miller tries to become the first Spartans pitcher to reach the Major Leagues since Brian Moehler, who made his big league debut with Detroit in 1996, and pitched 14 years with the Tigers, Reds, Astros and Marlins. Miller throws a low-mid 90s fastball, a curve, a slider and a changeup.

 

Game Notes 4-11-14

Good Evening Keys Fans!

Frederick tries to shake off a three-game losing streak when the Lynchburg Hillcats come to town. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05, and the broadcast kicks off at 6:45 with Doug and yours truly.

To get you ready, I’ve attached some game notes below.

Chat soon!

Geoff

Harry Grove Stadium · 21 Stadium Drive · Frederick, MD 21703

 

Friday, Apr. 11, 2014 · Game #8 · Home Game #4

Frederick Keys (2-5) vs Lynchburg Hillcats (4-3)

RHP Brady Wager (1-0, 1.80) vs. RHP Wes Parsons (0-0, 4.15)

 

KEYS LOCKED OUT IN FIRST HOME SERIES:Ahead 3-1 going into the top of the eighth, the Keys saw their two-run cushion slip away on Thursday night, as the Mudcats batted around and scored three runs off Miguel Chalas. In the ninth, Frederick put the first two aboard against Muddies closer Louis Head, but the hard-throwing righty struck out the side to hand the Keys a 4-3 defeat.  It marked the first time Frederick had been swept in a series since last August 11, when the club dropped three straight to Myrtle Beach. Currently, Frederick is on a season-worst three game losing streak.

BULLPEN BLUES: On Thursday night, the struggles for the Keys bullpen continued. After Keys relievers allowed one run over eight innings to open the year, the group has surrendered 16 runs its last 19.2 frames (7.47 ERA). During that time, Keys bullpen-hands are 0-for-3 in save opportunities and have given up 30 hits. In contrast, Frederick starting pitching has been strong, posting a 3.31 ERA (35.1 IP/13 ER) in seven games.

LET’S GO STREAKING!: Glynn Davis extended his hitting streak to seven games on Thursday. He ended the night 2-for-5 with a double, RBI and a run scored. Currently, Davis and Winston-Salem outfielder Courtney Hawkins are the only two Carolina League players to hit safely in all seven games this season. Entering Friday, the Keys centerfielder is second in the Carolina League in hitting (.433). He trails only Odubel Herrera (.450) of Myrtle Beach. Davis’ 13 hits pace the league, while he is second in total bases (18), second in on-base percentage (.469) and fifth in slugging percentage (.600). His only bugaboo has been strikeouts (10) as he has the fifth most in the league.

TOUGH LUCK TAYLOR:  For the second straight start, Matt Taylor pitched well, but received a no-decision. Over five innings, the former Crimson Tide lefty allowed one unearned run on six hits. He walked three and struck out two. Over 11 innings this season, Taylor has yet to allow an earned run. The excellent start comes after a strong season at Low-A Delmarva in 2013. He finished 12th in the South Atlantic League in ERA (3.77) and fourth in innings pitched (138.1).

FREDERICK VS LYNCHBURG RD 1: 2014: The Keys and the Hillcats have split four games this season. Frederick earned wins in the series opener and the finale (both by 6-2 scores) but lost the middle two games. On both occasions, the Hillcats triumphed in walk-off fashion, as Daniel Castro and Kyle Wren delivered game-winning singles on consecutive nights. Glynn Davis was the primary offensive force against the Hillcats, going 8-for-17 with three RBIs and a pair of doubles. Brenden Webb and Creede Simpson also fared well against Lynchburg pitching. In four games, Webb went 5-for-16 with four RBIs, while Simpson went 5-for-18 with four doubles and four RBIs.

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:Right-hander Wes Parsons makes the start for Lynchburg on Friday and is the No. 20 prospect in the Atlanta organization according to Baseball America. Making his Carolina League debut against Frederick on April 5, Parsons drew a no-decision, allowing two runs over 4.1 innings. He walked two and struck out four. The righty made his professional debut with Low-A Rome in 2013, going 7-7 with a 2.63 ERA in 19 starts. Joining the club in late May, the Tennessee native was nearly unhittable in the second-half. In 14 starts, Parsons tallied a 2.02 ERA and scattered just 63 hits over 84.2 innings. On the season, he limited opponents to a .224 batting average and displayed excellent command. Over 109.2 total innings, he walked only 21. Signed by Atlanta as a non-drafted free agent in 2012, Parsons gave up baseball early in his high school career to focus on golf. By his junior year he returned to the hill and later pitched at Jackson State Community College. There, he missed the fall of his first semester due to a weightlifting accident, but made an immediate impact once the regular season got started. That success carried over to the summer collegiate Northwoods League, where Parsons pitched for the Thunder Bay Border Cats. Against top-college competition, he posted a 2.61 ERA and tossed a scoreless inning in the league’s All-Star game, where he was clocked at 95mph. Although multiple teams showed interest, Parsons signed with the Braves for $200,000. Employing an easy delivery, the 6-5 righty pitches with a low-mid 90s fastball, a low-80s slider and a changeup that is developing.

Keys Game Notes 4-9-14

Good Evening Keys Fans!

The Keys try and shake off last night’s 7-0 defeat to Carolina. Dylan Baker perfect in his Carolina League debut. The righty retired all 18 men he faced before having to exit after six innings due to pitch count.

For the Keys, Frederick native Branden Kline was excellent in his home debut, going six innings and allowing two runs while striking out eight. However, he suffered the tough-luck loss. He is now 1-1 on the season.

Tonight, Frederick sends right-hander Parker Bridwell to the mound. He struggled in his first CL start against Lynchburg, allowing a career-high six walks over four innings. Carolina starter Shawn Morimando was also walk-prone last season, finishing second in the league in free tickets . The Keys hope to take advantage, with first pitch scheduled for 7:00 p.m. You can listen to coverage of the game on 1450 AM The Source, with the pregame show beginning at 6:45. Doug and I will keep you company.

To get you all ready, a fresh batch of game notes are below.

Talk soon and shake your keys!

Geoff

 

Wednesday, Apr. 9, 2014 · Game #6 · Home Game #2

Frederick Keys (2-3) vs Carolina Mudcats (3-2)

RHP Parker Bridwell (0-0, 6.75) vs. LHP Shawn Morimando (0-0, 3.60)

BLANKED:Carolina starter Dylan Baker set down the first 18 he faced, and the Mudcats rattled off 13 hits, as the Keys were shutout in their home opener 7-0. Making his Advanced-A debut, Baker retired every man he faced before being lifted due to pitch count. Still, Frederick managed only two hits on the game. It was the Keys lowest hit output since June 14, 2013, when Potomac right-hander Taylor Hill twirled a two-hit shutout. The two-hit game comes one game after the Keys pounded out a season-high 13 knocks at Lynchburg.

KLINE MAKES HOMETOWN DEBUT: Dylan Baker may have stolen the spotlight, but Branden Kline was superb over six innings. Pitching at his hometown ballpark for the first time, the Frederick native tossed six innings and allowed only two runs. He scattered three hits, walked a pair and struck out eight. It was the second quality start by a Frederick starting pitcher this season. Matt Taylor had the first, tossing six shutout innings at Lynchburg this past Saturday. Excellent in his first two Carolina League starts, Kline is 1-1 with a 2.45 ERA (11IP/3ER). Selected by Baltimore in the second round of the 2012 draft, the former Virginia Cavalier is the highest drafted player in Frederick County history.

WHO’S THE BOSS NOW?: Torsten Boss’ stay in a Frederick uniform was a brief one. On Monday afternoon, the 23-year-old was traded to Cleveland in exchange for right-handed pitcher Preston Guilmet. In three career games with the Keys (which includes a two-game stint in 2012) Boss went 2-for-10 with a double and two runs scored. He went 1-for-3 with a double and a run scored on Saturday at Lynchburg. In a twist of fate, Boss was assigned to the Carolina Mudcats-the Indians Advanced-A club. So he will simply switch clubhouses.

ALIVE AT FIVE: Glynn Davis broke up the perfect game in the seventh inning, with a triple to right-center. In the process, the Baltimore native also extended his hitting streak to five games. Davis is one of only three players in the Carolina League to have recorded a hit in all five games (Courtney Hawkins of Winston-Salem and Kevin Keyes of Potomac are the others). Currently, the Keys centerfielder is batting .429 (9-for-21) good for fifth best in the Carolina League. His nine hits are second-most in the CL, while he is third in total bases (13) and fourth in slugging percentage (.619).

STARTING THINGS OFF:An early trend for the Keys has been strong starting pitching. In four of the team’s first five games, Frederick’s starting pitcher has gone five innings or more and allowed two runs or less. Branden Kline set the tone in the season opener, tossing five innings of one-run baseball, while he tossed six innings of two-run baseball on Tuesday night. Brady Wager allowed one run over five innings Sunday,and Matt Taylor tossed six shutout innings on Saturday. This season, Frederick starters have posted a collective 2.42 ERA (26IP/7ER).

BULLPEN BLUES: After an excellent start to the season, the Keys bullpen has taken its lumps over the last few days. After allowing one run over its first eight innings of work, the bullpen has allowed 12 runs over its last 11 innings. During that time, opponents have rattled off 24 hits. Tuesday night was particularly difficult for Jesse Beal. Over 1.1 innings, the 6-7 righty allowed four runs on seven hits. That jolted the Keys team bullpen ERA up to 6.16 (19IP/13ER).

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.

CAROLINA ON MY MIND:The Keys finished 2013 with a 12-8 record against the Mudcats, the best mark Frederick posted against a CL opponent last season. Ryan Minor’s club dominated from the outset, winning five of the six first-half meetings

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Lefty Shawn Morimando makes the start for the Carolina Mudcats and is the No. 22 prospect in the Cleveland farm system according to Baseball America. Earning the opening day nod, Morimando earned a no-decision in his first start against Potomac. In five innings, he allowed two runs on five hits walking one and striking out three. The Virginian spent all of 2013 with the Mudcats, going 8-13 with a 3.73 ERA over 27 starts. The 13 defeats were the most in the Carolina League, while he finished second in walks (76). Still, the lefty enjoyed his share of success last season. The high point was a 23.2 innings scoreless streak which spanned five starts (May 17-June 8). During that time, he was named Carolina League Pitcher of the Week (May 27-June 3). In his fourth professional season, Morimando spent 2012 at Low-A Lake County (22 games, 7-6, 3.59 ERA) and made three starts for the AZL Indians in 2011. Selected by Cleveland in the 19th round of the 2011 draft, the southpaw was committed to East Carolina, but was lured away by the Indians with a $350,000 signing bonus. According to Baseball America, Morimando’s fastball sat between 87-91 mph as a high school pitcher. However the organization’s strength and conditioning programs have allowed him to sit between 90-92 mph as a professional. He also throws a curveball, changeup and mixes in a short slider.

 

Opening Series In Review

Happy Monday Keys Fans!

For us here at The Grove it’s the final rush to get everything ready for the long haul. The Keys are off today as they prepare for the first home stand of the year. The seven game home-stand with see the Carolina Mudcats and the Lynchburg Hillcats come to town with the Keys opening with the Mudcats in the home opener tomorrow at 7:00 pm.

The Keys (2-2) in their first action of the season split a four game series in Lynchburg. The Keys played well, and lead each game entering the bottom half of the eighth inning. However the losses came on two walk-offs, as the Hillcats were able to escape with two wins after two blown saves from the Keys bullpen. In spitting the series there were a few Keys that shined bright to open the season.

Glynn Davis

courtesy: Tim Jacobsen

courtesy: Tim Jacobsen

The outfielder was on fire in the opening series hitting in all four games. Davis finished the series batting .471 with two doubles, three RBIs and five runs scored. The speedster accounted for three of the Keys six runs in the season opener on April 3rd. He even stole his first base of the season in the win. On Sunday in the Keys 6-2 win Davis went 4-5 with two doubles, two RBIs and two runs scored to help lead the Keys to their second win of the season. His .471 batting average leads the team.

Creede Simpson

courtesy: Tim Jacobsen

courtesy: Tim Jacobsen

After the first series, Simpson is batting .278 with four doubles and four RBIs. On Friday, the first baseman went 3-5 with two doubles, two RBIs and two runs scored. Unfortunately it wasn’t good enough to help the Keys win, but it is a strong start to the season for the first baseman. His four doubles is good for the team lead.

Brenden Webb

courtesy: Tim Jacobsen

courtesy: Tim Jacobsen

The outfielder has already recorded two multi-hit games including opening the season going 2-4 with a double, an RBI and a run scored. Webb on the season is .313 with four runs batted in and two walks. The left handed hitter hit .333 (3-9) with runner on base against Lynchburg. He shares the team lead with four RBIs with Simpson.

Other Notable Performances:

courtesy: Tim Jacobsen

courtesy: Tim Jacobsen

courtesy: Tim Jacobsen

courtesy: Tim Jacobsen

The first home run hit by a Key was done by outfielder Michael Burgess. It was a two-run home run off of Hillcats RHP Zach Jadofsky in the sixth as the Keys scored four that inning en route to their second win of the season. LHP Matt Taylor looked great in his first outing. The lefty threw six scoreless innings in a no decision. He only allowed three base hits and struck out two.

Hometown Kid:

courtesy: Tim Jacobsen

courtesy: Tim Jacobsen

For the Keys, it will be Brendan Kline getting the nod for tomorrows home opener against Carolina. Kline was originally scheduled to start the second game of the home-stand, however Manager Luis Pujols has made the change. In his first outing on Opening Day the righty threw five innings allowing only one run that was earned. Kline struck out four to record his first win of the season. Tomorrows start is not only highly anticipated by the fans, but also for the Frederick native as he will be on the bump for his hometown team with friends and family in the crowd cheering him on.

Tickets are still available for the 7 pm game with gates opening at 5:45 pm. If you can’t make it, you can listen to the game with coverage beginning tomorrow at 6:45 pm with Geoff and Doug on the call on 1450 AM The Source.

Let the home season begin, and Shake Those Keys Fans!

Chris

Game Notes 4-6-14

Almost ready for Baseball at Calvin Falwell Field! Keys go for split of the four game series. Attached are some game notes for the day:

WALK-OFF WOES (PART 2):For the second time in as many nights, Lynchburg won in walk-off fashion against the Keys. This time is was Kyle Wren’s turn to play hero. With the game tied 3-3 in the top of the ninth, Jose Peraza singled with one out. He successfully stole second, and scored on a base knock to center by Wren. On Friday night, Jose Castro crushed the Keys hopes at an extra-inning win, with a single down the third base line in the bottom of the 10th.

HANDING OUT FREE RIDES: On Saturday, the Keys were done in by late-inning walks. Making his season-debut, Gene Escat struggled to command the strike zone, walking three and hitting a man over 1.1 innings. Two of those free passes led to runs, while the hit-by-pitch also led to a seventh inning score. Walks were occasionally a problem for the former Fresno State Bulldog in 2013. Over 57.1 innings with Frederick, Escat issued 25 free tickets.

TAYLOR ON THE ATTACK: Making his Advanced-A debut, Matt Taylor turned in the best outing by a Frederick starter so far. Despite receiving a no-decision, the lefty effectively used his sinker and changeup to hold the Hillcats to just three hits over six innings. Walking three and striking out two, he did not allow a base hit until the fourth inning. A former fifth round pick by Baltimore in 2011, Saturday marked the second straight season that Taylor did not allow a run in his first start. Last season against Hagerstown, he tossed four shutout innings in his debut, while he recorded a 1.62 ERA over the first month of the 2013 campaign.

DOUBLE YOUR PLEASURE: For the third time in as many nights, Creede Simpson finished a game with at least one double. Facing Hillcats reliever Eric Pfisterer, the former Auburn Tiger doubled off the top of the leftfield wall, just missing a home run. Unfortunately, Simpson’s one two-bagger was not enough to grab the CL doubles lead for himself. Wilmington’s Zane Evans also finished with a two-base hit, to keep the duo tied with four apiece. Still, it has been an excellent start for Simpson. Over his first three games he is batting .385 (5-for-13) with four doubles and four RBIs. On Friday, he tied a career-high with three hits.

KLINE TO START HOME OPENER: Branden Kline will start the home opener at Harry Grove Stadium when the Keys take on Carolina Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m. Although it will be the right-hander’s home debut, it will not be his first start in the Carolina League. On the mound opening night, Kline picked up the win, tossing five innings of one-run baseball. He allowed seven hits, but did not walk anyone and struck out four. A former standout at Governor Thomas Johnson High School, Kline posted a 0.51 ERA his senior year. Selected by Baltimore in the second round of the 2012 draft out of the University of Virginia, the right-hander is the highest drafted player in Frederick County history.

BULLPEN BLUES: Although the Keys bullpen got off to a solid start (8IP/1R/4H), things have gone off course since. Over the last four innings, Keys relievers have allowed six runs on 12 hits and handed out four walks.

START YOUR ENGINES: Adrian Marin got off to tough start, but on Saturday night, he received a confidence-boost. After going 1-for-8 over his first two games, Marin went 2-for-4 last night with a triple, an RBI and a run scored. The Orioles No. 12 prospect according to Baseball America (and tops on the Keys roster), this is Marin’s first year in the Carolina League. Last season at Low-A Delmarva, he hit .265 over 108 games.

2013 TOP-PERFORMERS: In 2013, the Keys finished last in hitting (.245) and pitching (4.43), but several players put together outstanding seasons. Michael Ohlman became the first Frederick player to win the Carolina League batting title since 2009, hitting .313. He also led the CL in slugging percentage (.524) and ended third in on-base percentage (.410). On the mound, Eduardo Rodriguez went 6-4 with a 2.85 ERA and earned a trip to the Sirius XM Futures Game, while fellow-lefty, Tim Berry, finished tied for the league lead in wins (11).

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.

2013 VS. LYNCHBURG: The 2013 season-series between Frederick and Lynchburg was often close. The Hillcats held a slim 10-9 advantage, while six of the 19 games were decided by a one run. Sammie Starr feasted off Lynchburg pitching, batting .323 with three doubles and six RBIs over 18 games.

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Right-hander Jarrett Miller makes the Sunday start for Lynchburg. The 24-year-old begins his second season in the Carolina League after posting a 9-8 record and a 3.73 ERA over 30 games (25 starts) with the Hillcats last season. Miller finished fifth in the CL in strikeouts (122) and fourth in innings pitched (147.0), but occasionally struggled with command, as he also ended third-overall in walks (63). The righty spent 2011-12 with Low-A Rome. Selected by Atlanta in the 21st round of the 2011 draft out of UNC-Greensboro, Miller went 4-2 with a 4.08 ERA in 28 games (four starts) as a junior. Miller tries to become the first Spartans pitcher to reach the Major Leagues since Brian Moehler, who made his big league debut with Detroit in 1996, and pitched 14 years with the Tigers, Reds, Astros and Marlins. Miller throws a low-mid 90s fastball, a curve, a slider and a changeup.

 

Game Notes 4-5-14

Here are same game notes hot off the presses! Join me and Doug for the pregame at 5:45 p.m.

 

Geoff

NOT FIDEL or RAUL:Frederick took the lead in the top of the eighth on back-to-back doubles by Creede Simpson and Wynston Sawyer, but Lynchburg fought back for the win. In the ninth, the home team tied the game on a base-hit by Kyle Wren to force extra-innings. Frederick was then held off the board in the top of the 10th, while the Hillcats put the first two aboard against Matt Price in the home-half of the inning. The right-hander retired the next two men, but Jose Castro snuck a single inside the third base chalk to give the Hillcats a 6-5 win.

NOT QUITE DUCK HUNTING SEASON: Frederick and Lynchburg both had opportunities with runners in scoring position, but the two squads struggled to convert. The Keys finished just 3-for-11 with runners at second or third base, while the Hillcats went 4-for-19 and left 10 on base. Over the first two nights, the Keys are 6-for-21 with runners in scoring position.

WAR EAGLE!: Creede Simpson has adjusted nicely to the Carolina League so far. After spending all of 2013 at Low-A Delmarva, he is 4-for-10 to open the year. Tied for eighth in the Carolina League in hitting, three of Simpson’s four knocks have been doubles. He is tied for the CL Lead in two-baggers with Wilmington’s Zane Evans, while Simpson is also tied for second in RBIs (four). On Friday, the former Auburn Tiger finished 3-for-5 with two doubles, two RBIs and two runs scored. The three hits ties a career-high for Simpson, who last accomplished the feat on June 27 of last season at Greensboro.

KLINE TO START HOME OPENER: Branden Kline will start the home opener at Harry Grove Stadium when the Keys take on Carolina Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m. Although it will be the right-hander’s home debut, it will not be his first start in the Carolina League. On the mound opening night, Kline picked up the win, tossing five innings of one-run baseball. He allowed seven hits, but did not walk anyone and struck out four. A former standout at Governor Thomas Johnson High School, Kline posted a 0.51 ERA his senior year. Selected by Baltimore in the second round of the 2012 draft out of the University of Virginia, the right-hander is the highest drafted player in Frederick County history.

RELIEF YOU CAN DEPEND ON: Although Friday may not have gone as planned for Matt Price, the Keys bullpen has performed well over the first two nights. Over 9.2 innings, Frederick relievers have allowed three runs on nine hits. Jesse Beal was particularly impressive in game two of the series. Making his season debut, the 6-7 righty tossed three shutout innings of two-hit baseball.

WALK THIS WAY: Parker Bridwell struggled in his Carolina League debut. Tying a career-high with six walks, the native Texan lasted only four innings. He allowed four runs (three earned) on four hits and struck out three but did not factor into the decision. In 2013 with Low-A Delmarva, he went 8-9 with a 4.73 ERA.

2013 TOP-PERFORMERS: In 2013, the Keys finished last in hitting (.245) and pitching (4.43), but several players put together outstanding seasons. Michael Ohlman became the first Frederick player to win the Carolina League batting title since 2009, hitting .313. He also led the CL in slugging percentage (.524) and ended third in on-base percentage (.410). On the mound, Eduardo Rodriguez went 6-4 with a 2.85 ERA and earned a trip to the Sirius XM Futures Game, while fellow-lefty, Tim Berry, finished tied for the league lead in wins (11).

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.

2013 VS. LYNCHBURG: The 2013 season-series between Frederick and Lynchburg was often close. The Hillcats held a slim 10-9 advantage, while six of the 19 games were decided by a one run. Sammie Starr feasted off Lynchburg pitching, batting .323 with three doubles and six RBIs over 18 games.

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER:Right-hander Wes Parsons makes the Saturday night start for Lynchburg and  is the No. 20 prospect in the Atlanta organization according to Baseball America. In his first professional season at Low-A Rome, Parsons went 7-7 with a 2.63 ERA over 19 starts. Joining the club in late May, the Tennessee native was nearly unhittable in the second-half. In 14 starts, he tallied a 2.02 ERA and scattered just 63 hits over 84.2 innings. On the season, he limited opponents to a .224 batting average and displayed excellent command. Over 109.2 total innings, he walked only 21. Signed by Atlanta as a non-drafted free agent in 2012, Parsons gave up baseball early in his high school career to focus on golf. By his junior year he returned to the hill and later pitched at Jackson State Community College. There, he missed the fall of his first semester due to a weightlifting accident, but made an immediate impact once the regular season got started. That success carried over to the summer collegiate Northwoods League, where Parsons pitched for the Thunder Bay Border Cats. Against top-college competition,  he posted a 2.61 ERA and tossed a scoreless inning in the league’s All-Star game, where he was clocked at 95mph. Although multiple teams showed interest, Parsons signed with the Braves for $200,000. Employing an easy delivery, the 6-5 righty pitches with a low-mid 90s fastball, a low-80s slider and a changeup that is developing.

Good Morning From The Best Western

Happy Saturday Keys Fans!

I hope everyone is doing well, and that you’re all enjoying KeysFest this afternoon at Harry Grove Stadium. Still plenty of time to get over and check it out, as the event runs until 2 p.m. And the best part is, the it’s  FREE!! So come on out and get excited for the start of the home schedule on Tuesday.

Doug Raftery and myself wish we could be there, but we are both with the team in Lynchburg. After a great performance by Branden Kline on opening night, Parker Bridwell struggled, walking six over four innings. The offense picked him up, as the Keys took the lead in the top of the eighth, but Lynchburg was able to force extra innings after an RBI single by Kyle Wren in the home ninth. Going to extras, the Hillcats put two aboard in the 10th against Matt Price before Jose Castro singled home the winning run.

The Hillcats and Keys each had their chances, but neither side performed well with runners in scoring position. Frederick finished 3-for-11  while Lynchburg was 4-for-19 with 10 men left on base. Those numbers will need to improve, but they are little surprise over the first month, as hitters try and get their timing back, and get to know the league’s pitchers.

That being said, Creede Simpson has had no problems so far. In his first season with the Keys, the former Auburn Tiger is 4-for-10, and is tied for the CL lead with three doubles.

Simpson

On the pitching side, Jesse Beal looked terrific on Friday. First out the bullpen, he attacked the strike zone while tossing three innings of two-hit, no-run baseball. Former 1st rounder Matt Hobgood was also very sharp on opening night. In two shutout innings he struck out a pair and showcased a tight breaking ball.

While we’re on the topic of pitching, the BIG NEWS out Lynchburg today, and it is worthy of all caps: BRANDEN KLINE WILL START THE HOME OPENER ON TUESDAY NIGHT!!!! For Kline it will be his second start of the season, after allowing one run over five innings in the opener. Kline 1 640x360

Talking with Kline on the pregame show yesterday, he said he wasn’t expecting “too many” people at his first start. However, I’ll go out on a limb and say he’ll get a nice surprise on Tuesday. Who knows, maybe the righty will get an entire cheering section. I’ll even suggest  “Kline Krazies” as a possible section name. That being said, if you can do better, it might be worthy of an on-air mention. Doug and myself like creativity.

Alright folks, back to game-prepping. Make sure to tune into the broadcast tonight at 5:45 p.m. when Doug and myself will have the pregame show on 1450 AM The Source. First pitch is scheduled for 6: 05 p.m. Lefty Matt Taylor takes the mound for Frederick and Wes Parsons throws for Lynchburg.

Enjoy KeysFest and Shake Your Keys!

Geoff

 

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: