Kane County Cougars: Notes From the Ballpark

Kane County Cougars: Notes From the Ballpark

It was apparently $1 beer night at 167% Ballpark (really wish I could remember where I first saw this) in Geneva, Illinois but I, being a responsible adult, still only had one. However, had I known it was $1 beer night in advance, I probably would have been the responsible adult drinks enough to Randy Marsh his way through a ballgame and then gets a ride home.

The Kane County Cougars won last night on the back of an excellent statistical start from Daury Torrez, who held the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers scoreless through eight innings. No one really opened my eyes tonight, but let's discuss how Kyle Schwarber and the Kane County roster are looking lately...

  • I mention that Torrez had an excellent statistical start last night, throwing 8 scoreless innings, allowing just 5 hits, and fanning 7. By all measures, it's a great game. However, I came home and looked at his line, and was surprised to see how strong it really was. Torrez's stuff was not as dominant as the numbers suggest; he was anywhere from 89-94, mostly on the lower end of that range, fluctuating wildly all game. The FB has good life when down in the zone, and has the ability to really run in on righties. Unfortunately, he left it up a lot last night, where it was not as lively and got smacked around.
  • Torrez's secondary stuff was no more impressive. He threw maybe two or three good breaking balls on the night, and his changeup was often too firm for my taste. Change looked a lot like his FB coming out of his hand, which is a good sign going forward.
  • Kyle Schwarber was 2-3 with a walk and a double. He's really too good for this level. The Wisconsin SP pitched around him in both at bats, and he only got to make contact because the Timber Rattlers' pitchers couldn't execute their pitch-around strategy well enough. I can't imagine what he has to learn here; he faced better pitching in college.
  • The "Jeimer Candelario is a bad defensive 3B" thing from a few years ago still baffles me. Tonight, he made a very nice play diving to his right and throwing across the diamond for the out. He'll stick at the position for a while.
  • Jacob Hanneman is healthier than he was when I last saw him and his speed is back. He's not an elite runner, but he's plenty fast. That's good to see, because he's significantly less interesting as an average runner.
  • The Kane County Cougars rotation has been heralded for their incredible pitching but, given their high ground ball rates, the infield defense deserves praise for the sparkling ERAs.
  • Carlos Penalver is an excellent defensive shortstop for the level. His actions are smooth, his hands are soft, and he has an arm that's just fine for shortstop. He's quick to both his left and right and makes a lot of Big League plays....I just wish he could hit.
  • Saw James Pugliese for the first time. He sat 94 or so with a good changeup for the level. Fair amount of effort in the delivery. If you squint, you can see a possible MLB 'pen arm, which is saying a lot about an A-ball pitcher with no prospect pedigree


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Filed under: Minor League News


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  • Luv the insights, Tommy. Thnx.:)

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