Down on the Farm Report: Barons’ Hurlers Providing Lone Fast Start

Here is your 2nd 2013 installment of GSB's "Down on the Farm Report" … and keep in mind, we're working with a very small sample size …

  Scott Snodgress dealing during Spring Training, via Daily Herald                     

AAA Charlotte Knights

The Knights haven’t started out the season on a good note, dropping all four of their games at Gwinett. Zach Stewart and Andre Rienzo both struggled in their outings, while Simon Castro had a pedestrian line of four runs in six innings.

Tony Pena Jr., former Royals shortstop who is trying to make a comeback as a pitcher, threw five innings and gave up two unearned runs in game two of Charlotte’s Saturday doubleheader (their season opener was rained out on Thursday and made up on Saturday).

At the plate, Seth Loman picked up where he left off in Spring Training, as he’s hitting .462 with a home run and two doubles in four games.

The team has also gotten production from the catcher position, as Josh Phegley is hitting .444 with a home run in three games, while Bryan Anderson went 2-for-3 with two doubles in his start. Brent Morel is off two a .250 start, while Carlos Sanchez (.222), Jordan Danks (.154), and Jared Mitchell (.067) have all struggled out of the gate.

AA Birmingham Barons

Birmingham is off to a 2-2 start, with the wins coming from Scott Snodgress (pictured above) and bullpen arm Salvador Sanchez. In addition to Snodgress (who went five innings and gave up three runs), Spencer Arroyo, Erik Johnson, and Nestor Molina all pitched well in their starts. Ryan Kussmal has K’d seven in 4 innings out of the bullpen (two appearances).

Michael Blanke and Tyler Saladino both are hitting above .300 to start the season, and Saladino also has a homer to go along with it. He and top prospect Trayce Thompson (.200) both homered in the Barons’ season opening win at Montgomery on Thursday. Speedster Keenyn Walker has hit just .214 in the early going, but has worked three walks and swiped three bags despite the slow start at the plate.

A+ Winston-Salem Dash

The Dash dropped all three games to start their season, and top prospect Courtney Hawkins had a rough series. The Texas native and GSB! interviewee went just 1-for-10 with six strikeouts in the three-game set against Carolina. Also, second baseman Joey DeMichele went just 1-for-11.

However, infielders Grant Buckner (.400) and Chris Curley (.300, one home run) had strong series. On the mound, Chris Bassitt and Christopher Beck pitched well in their starts, but Bryan Blough was roughed up for nine runs (seven earned) in three innings.

A- Kannapolis Intimidators

Kannapolis is off to a 3-1 start, and a big reason why is the start of outfielder Kale Kiser. The 2012 23rd round draftee is hitting .583 with six RBI and two steals.

Micah Johnson, Adam Heisler, and Rangel Ravelo are all hitting above .300 as well, and Johnson and Heisler each have four steals a piece. All four starters (Brandon Brennan, Myles Jaye, Euclides Leyer, and Jake Cose) went five or more innings in their starts.