A-Ball Tuesday: Interesting Arm? Sure.

A+: @ St. Lucie Mets 7, Bradenton Marauders (PIT) 5 

RHP Rafael Montero was ok: 5.2 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 1 HR. In 37 innings in the Florida State League, he has a 4.6 K/BB ratio (37/8) as a 21-year old.

23-year old DH TJ Rivera who had a big first half with the Gnats was 3-for-4 with a double and two RBI for St. Lucie to lift his FSL line to .278/.328/.357. He’ll be a fine organizational piece.


A: @ Savannah Sand Gnats 8, Kannapolis Intimidators 1 

Jacob deGrom: 6 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 9 K. If he had enough innings to qualify, he’s 2.2 short, his 2.47 ERA would lead the SAL. He’s done it while running a 6.2 K/BB ratio (68 K/11 BB) in 76.2 innings. The nine strikeouts were a season and career high eclipsing his eight punchouts in his previous start.

Early in the year, he was getting his outs on the ground with his sinker which was 92-94 and touched 96. To my eyes, it looked like he was getting less sink than early on. I suspect that he was using a four-seam fastball Tuesday and it resulted in more swings and misses up. I will ask him about his pitch-mix Wednesday. Consider his strikeout rate by month: May 22%, June 16%, July 29%. He mixed in a slider and changeup, but threw a whole lot of fastballs on Tuesday. I’m still not sure what deGrom is as a prospect, but he’s definitely something. I’m tempted to say he’ll be a bullpen piece based on his age (24) and lack of pitching experience, but he throws enough strikes to give himself a chance to start.

At the plate, 23-year old Dustin Lawley has announced he is done with the SAL with a pair of homeruns. In his last nine games, he’s hitting .444 (16-36) with four doubles, a triple, four homers, 11 runs scored and 13 RBI and a .944 slugging percentage in that time. I thought this would come sooner for Lawley. He had a slow June (.211/.280/.333), but has turned it around in July (.333/.393/.654). He can play leftfield and thirdbase and should be a solid org piece.

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