On a crisp and windy Tuesday night at Banner Island Ballpark, the Stockton Ports cruised to a 6-2 win over the Lake Elsinore Storm, the High-A affiliate of the San Diego Padres.
Here are a few quick observations from the contest:
Seth Streich,who took the mound for the Ports, has a nasty curve. I attempted to capture it below.
— Karl Buscheck (@KarlBuscheck) April 23, 2014
The right-hander threw five scoreless frames and struck out three Lake Elsinore batters. In 19.1 innings of work, the 23-year-old has now piled up 24 strikeouts. However, the 6th round pick from the 2012 draft also issued four free passes, after walking just two in his first three starts combined.
Before the game, I spoke with a team official who told me that catcher Bruce Maxwell’s mechanics were “much improved” behind the plate. That analysis was spot on. In the first two innings, Maxwell threw out a pair of base runners attempting to steal second base.
The 23-year-old is also off to an impressive start at the plate. Through 15 games, the second round pick from 2012 draft is hitting .344. Interestingly, the left-handed hitter is smashing lefties to the tune of a .462 average (12-for-26). On the night, Maxwell went 1-for-4 with a walk. The way he’s hitting right now, the catcher is on his way to earning a midseason promotion to Double-A.
Dusty Robinson has a ton of pop.
In the second inning, the 24-year-old right-fielder smashed a no-doubter to left field. I think it landed in Lodi.
Last year, Robinson hit 21 bombs for Stockton and the year before he swatted 18 for the Ports. So, why is the 10th rounder from 2011 still in Single-A? He hit .210 in 2013 and .231 in 2012. This year, he’s up at .286.
Speaking of towering home runs, Renato Nunez added his own in the third. The 20-year-old Venezuelan also hit a foul ball with home run distance in his next at-bat. Last year, the third baseman hit 19 home runs for the Oakland A’s Low-A affiliate.
Matt Olson has easy power.
In his first at-bat, the 47th overall pick from the 2012 draft stroked a double to right-center field. Then in the fifth inning, the 20-year-old went deep to left-center, just beyond the 385′ sign.
Shorstop Daniel Robertson has a cannon.
The A’s snagged Roberston with the 34th overall selection in the 2012 draft. As mentioned, the 20-year-old has an excellent arm and solid range at shortstop. He also has strong opposite field pop. In his first at-bat, the right-handed hitter hit flew out to the warning track in right. He did the same thing in his final trip to the plate.
Omar Duran gets a lot of swings-and-misses.
In the eighth inning, the left-handed reliever stuck out the side. However, he also served up a two-run homer along the way. In five innings, the 23-year-old now has nine strikeouts.