A-Ball Tuesday: Rafael Montero and Jacob deGrom were Excellent

A+: Brevard County Manatees 1, @ St. Lucie Mets 0

Rafael Montero was excellent: 6 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 10 K and induced six ground ball outs compared to just two fly-ball outs. Montero’s ERA has declined slightly from the SAL 2.52 to the FSL. Both his walk and strikeout rates have jumped in the five starts since his promotion: his walk rate went from 2.8% to 6.7% of batters faced, while his strikeout rate went from 18.9% to 27.7%. In the SAL, he survived by throwing strikes to both sides of the plate with his fastball which was generally around 92-93 mph. If his slider develops into an average pitch, he could grow into a rotation piece.

DH Mike Baxter was 1-for-2 with a double and a walk in his third rehab game.

A: Savannah Sand Gnats 10, @ Lakewood Blue Claws 2 
The Gnats ended an eight-game road trip to the northern reaches of the South Atlantic League with a 5-3 record and two straight games in which the offense scored nine runs or more.

And with all of that offense, I want to talk pitching. RHP Jacob deGrom gave the Gnats 7.2 good innings yielding just two runs on four hits with a walk and eight strikeouts. He works off a sinker at 94-96 mph and has allowed just 61 hits in 70.2 innings pitched to go along with a 5.9 K/BB ratio (59 K/10 BB) in his 70.2 innings. He’s missing more bats too. In his last three starts, he’s fanned 19 batters in 18.1 innings of pitching while walking three. At 24 years old, it’ll be interesting to see what the Mets do with his development come August, when he might have earned a few starts for St. Lucie and more longterm.

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