There was an interesting matchup yesterday between the very polished 3rd round pick RHP Thomas Hatch and 6’4″ (at least) 17 year old southpaw Brailyn Marquez. Here are some of the highlights and a few photos at the gallery at the bottom of the page..
- In his first game action as a Cub, Thomas Hatch sliced through the young lineup like a hot knife through butter. He needed just 22 pitches in 2 perfect innings with 4 of the 6 outs coming via the ground ball. Hatch has a mechanically sound delivery, dealing from a low 3/4 arm slot. The fastball is typically low 90s and he has added some sink, so the ground ball rate was good to see. As you might expect from a pitcher with his lower arm slot, Hatch throws a slider as his primary breaking ball. He has a solid, durable build and the lower effort delivery should help him be an innings eater down the road, especially since he is efficient, throws strikes, and can get quick outs by drawing weak contact.
- His opponent was LHP Brailyn Marquez, who was not quite as efficient through 2 IP but still pitched well, allowing one run after a leadoff single and then a successful hit and run through the vacated spot at 2B put him in an early jam. Marquez got all 6 outs via the GB, including two in one on a nice double play turned by Yonathan Perlaza and Andruw Monasterio.
- The main hitting star was once again Wladimir Galindo who ripped a double and a triple, the double was down the LF line and the triple was hit to the RF gap. It was the loudest contact of the day. In the intrasquad the day before using a pitching machine, Galindo hit 2 HRs and went 3 for 3. One of those HRs was a bomb over the CF batting eye.
- Yelier Peguero went 3 for 4 and drove in 2 runs and played his usual good defense. In fact, all the infielders played well, though there were a few youthful mistakes. Rafael Narea made a couple of nice plays at 3B and Aramis Ademan made a nice play at SS.
- That is not to leave out the outfielders. Luis Ayala threw out a runner at the plate from RF and also went 2 for 3 with a double, 2 runs and an RBI. 17 year old Jose Gutierrez played CF and made a Willie Mays type catch as he ran back toward the CF fence. He also ran down a ball in the gap and relayed the ball to Monasterio, who cut down Chris Pieters trying to stretch a double into a triple. Speaking of Pieters, the Eugene 1B played CF in what would be an advantageous move for him if he can stick. It would suit his athleticism and arm strength well, not to mention take the pressure off of him to hit for power, which is not his game. Pieters did not get much action out there, however, and nothing that was all that challenging.
- Zack Short displayed his on base skills with 2 walks and his above average speed with an infield single and a steal of 3B. He also lost the battle of the Shorts yesterday, though the out he made versus LHP Wyatt Short was a solid line drive, so maybe we call that a draw. Wyatt Short the pitcher worked quickly, getting two quick outs before a 6 pitch battle with Zack Short.
- Christopher Morel has been impressive in BP and he held his own in his first game action, hitting a single and drawing a walk.
- Connor Myers went 2 for 4 and drove in a run as he continues to make strides at the plate.
- Other than Short, I was able to see a few pitchers I had not seen live yet. 6th round pick Chad Hockin has a an athletic build with a live, quick arm. Most importantly for him, he threw strikes (7 of 9 pitches were strikes) in his scoreless inning. He struck out one. Dakota Mekkes is a big, big RHP whose long stride makes it seem like he’s coming down right on top of the hitter. He gave up a run in his one inning of work. Carlos Ocampo has a nice pitchers build and frame but really struggled with his command, walking 2 and sometimes missing the zone by a wide margin. Jed Carter was the opposite, he threw strikes and retired the side in order, 2 via strikeout.
- Sometimes I unwittingly confirm my own thoughts on a player. When a left hander stepped up and showed a lean athletic build with a quick arm and good velocity, I thought to myself, “This guy looks pretty good.” Then as I approached closer to take a picture, I realized it was Manuel Rondon, who had an exceptional season at Eugene.
- Matt Swarmer looked good in his 2 innings of work and while I could not see exactly what he was throwing from my vantage point, he was able to keep hitters off balance and chasing pitches off the plate.
- You can see the box score from AZ Phil at The Cub Reporter here.
- I didn’t see the other intrasquad game but it featured Dylan Cease on the mound throwing heat and an interesting tidbit as far as the Cubs aims to make players more versatile — Donnie Dewees played some 1B (h/t Cubs1935 on both counts). So we had Dewees at 1B and Chris Pieters in CF…don’t you just love the instructional league?
Filed under: Uncategorized