The first weekend of Minor League Baseball is in the books, and there were big names putting in big performances across the minor leagues. Here at Grading on the Curve we will give you a quick recap of the week that was for each league staggered across the week. Monday’s there will be a PCL recap, and there was plenty of excellent outing to talk about but, surprisingly, most were by pitchers.
While the pitchers took full advantage of the cold weather, there were some decent hitting performances. Andrew Susac is currently leading the league in small sample size batting average, hitting .583, and Joc Pederson impressed with a home run through the cold, damp air up in Tacoma, but Greg Garcia had the best offensive game of the weekend.
Garcia had just four home runs in 116 games in the PCL last season for the Cardinals, and while top prospect Oscar Tavares got the scoring started Friday with a home run of his own, Garcia put two over the wall himself. He hit a two run shot in the fifth inning and a grand slam in the sixth, to give him six RBIs on the day.
The Las Vegas 51s had back-to-back impressive pitching outings put in by Noah Syndergaard and Rafael Montero. Syndergaard went six innings while giving up two runs on six hits and a walk while striking out five, but that was a poor outing when compared to his teammate Montero. Montero pitched the day before Syndergaard, and also went six innings while striking out five, but didn’t walk anybody nor did he allow any runs while giving up just four hits.
Archie Bradley made his season debut in Triple-A after just missing out on the rotation in Arizona, and he looked good. He went five innings without allowing a run, but he was not dominant. He gave up four hits and two walks, but only struck out three batters despite a minor league career that has averaged more than a strikeout per inning.
Tyler Matzek didn’t put up a strikeout per innings, he didn’t put up two strikeouts per innings, no he bettered that. Matzek hung 11 Ks on the Miami Marlins Triple-A squad in just five innings. He did give up a solo home run in the first and a double in the fifth, but those were the only two hits he allowed in his five innings. Matzek’s path the the big leagues might be as a late inning left-handed reliever, but more starts like this could potentially earn him a spot in the back of the rotation.