I had a chance to check out the Colorado Springs Sky Sox second game of the year on MiLB.tv on Friday night as they took on the Memphis Redbirds in a Pacific Coast League clash.
Junior Guerra started for Colorado Springs, and looked solid on the mound, but it was Memphis coming out on top, winning a pitcher’s duel by a score of 2-1. The Sky Sox managed only four base hits in the game but I had a chance to see some top prospects including Orlando Arcia and Michael Reed. Here are a few of my notes from Friday night’s contest.
Orlando Arcia – Arcia looks like he added a little upper body muscle since the last time I saw him play, but there’s still more room to work with there. In his first at bat, he got behind in the count and wound up chasing a two stike pitch, popping up to first base. He drew a walk his second time up and showed good speed and instincts on the bases, but otherwise it was a quiet offensive night for Arcia. He chased an offspeed pitch that was low and away for a strikeout in the sixth, then beat a sinker into the ground for a routine double play ball in the eighth. Where he really stood out was with the glove, showing incredible range to cover a lot of ground as well as a strong arm. He showed good patience to make a smooth looking backhand play in the fourth, but his throw sailed on him. The error didn’t seem to effect him though, as he came back to make another web gem in the eighth going to his right to snag a line drive.
Michael Reed – As noted this spring, Reed definitely looks like he spent some time in the weight room in the offseason. He was in left field, which seemed strange since he has the arm for right and the presence of Shane Peterson certainly should not have any influence on where Reed plays defensively. He made a nice diving catch in the eighth, covering a lot of ground on a ball to shallow left center. He got up a little bit slow and looked like he might have gotten the wind slightly knocked out of him, but he stayed in the game. At the plate he showed a patient approach, battling and making the opposing pitchers work. He put togehter some nice at bats on the evening, highlighted by a single to center in the sixth.
Garin Cecchini – Cecchini was batting seventh and playing third base and put together a good night for the Sky Sox. He hits from a slight crouch and did a nice job taking the ball back up the middle for a single in the fifth. He went up the middle again in the seventh but the pitcher got a glove on it, deflecting it to the second baseman who nipped Cecchini at first. He came back and ripped a single to right in the ninth to load the bases and keep the Colorado Springs rally going.
Junior Guerra – Guerra got the start and had a rough first inning, but found his groove after that. A quick worker who gets the ball and goes, Guerra works from a high 3/4 slot and has an easy, repeatable delivery. His fastball was getting up into the low-to-mid-90’s but looks pretty straight at times. He burries his sinker well however, which helped him to rack up the K’s early on. He had a good plan, moving the ball around well, using all parts of the plate. As an added bonus, he looked to be a pretty reliable bunter, getting down a couple of nice sac bunts.
Josmil Pinto – I didn’t know much about Pinto going in, but he looks to be a solid defensive option. He’s very quiet behind the plate, setting a good target for the pitchers. He receives well, doing a subtle job of framing, and did a really nice job of blocking balls in the dirt. He’s short and stocky and likely not much of an offensive threat. He picked up one hit on the night, but looked off balance, serving it into right field for a single.
Alex Presley – The left-handed hitting Presley was one of the Brewers last cuts this spring and was batting leadoff and playing center field for the Sky Sox. He has a couple of rough looking at bats, going down looking in the first, and again in an RBI situation in the fifth. He did do a nice job however, of hitting the ball to the right side of the infield and moving the runner from second to third with one out in the third inning. Defensively he is fine in center, though he maybe doesn’t have quite as much range as you’d like in a true center fielder.
Shane Peterson – Hitting sixth and playing right field, Peterson drew one walk, but other than that it was a night to forget for him. He had a couple of bad looking at-bats that saw him go down on strikes. He was chasing fastballs away and didn’t cut down his swing with two strikes, taking some wild hacks, and looking visibly frustrated at the plate.
Brooks Hall – Hall came on to work the seventh out of the bullpen and escaped without any damage, despite a couple of hard hit balls against him. He gave up a double and a liner that Arcia made a nice play on, but other than that Hall was effective enough. He kept the ball down for the most part and when he missed his spot, he was missing down and in the dirt.