The Undercards: Henry Wrigley Homers, Wes Bankston Goes Off Again
By Robbie Knopf
Sorry for the delay getting this out- more Hurricane Sandy troubles- but here finally is the Rays’ minor league recap for Tuesday featuring a homer by Henry Wrigley and a couple of ex-Rays you never thought you would have seen again.
Arizona Fall League: Mesa Solar Sox 7, Phoenix Desert Dogs 5
Just one Rays prospect in the game Tuesday for the Desert Dogs, outfielder Kevin Kiermaier, who went 1 for 4 with a run scored. Orioles prospect Jonathan Schoop homered in this game for Mesa while Josh Prince of the Brewers went deep for Phoenix. There will be more Rays prospects in today as Richie Shaffer should join Hak-Ju Lee and Tim Beckham in Phoenix’s lineup.
Dominican Winter League: Aguilas Cibaenas 4, Estrellas de Oriente 3
Omar Luna had a tough game for Cibaenas, going 0 for 4 with a walk. He’s now 0 for his last 12 in his last 3 games. The other Luna for the Aguilas, Hector Luna of the Phillies, was a big part of their 4-3 win, going 2 for 3 with a double, 2 walks, 2 RBI, and a run scored, while the Marlins’ Chris Coghlan went 2 for 3 with a triple, a walk, and an RBI.
Gigantes del Cibao 9, Leones del Escogido 4
Three current and former Rays prospects appeared in this one, which was highlighted by a 3-hit day including a home run for the Astros’ Jimmy Paredes. Rhyne Hughes went 0 for 3 with a walk for Cibao and is just 1 for 13 in Winter Ball. Jhonny Nunez, who the Rays released back in July, pitched the 9th for Cibao, allowing 1 hit but forcing 2 groundballs. And the current Rays prospect in the game, Enny Romero, tossed the 8th inning for Escogido and struck out 2 in his inning of work but allowed 2 hits, a walk, and a wild pitch on his way to allowing a run. Enigmatic Enny strikes again, featuring electric stuff but inconsistent control.
Mexican Pacific League: Mayos de Navojoa 7, Aguilas de Mexicali 6
The Mayos managed to hold on to win on Tuesday, and the principal reason for that was ex-Rays prospect Wes Bankston. Bankston has been on fire of late and continued that on Tuesday, going 2 for 4 with a homer, a double, a walk, 4 RBI, and a run scored. Bankston is now hitting .421 (16 for 38) in his last 10 games with 2 doubles, 3 homers, 8 RBI, and 6 walks versus 4 strikeouts. Bankston is only 28 years old, and there has to be a chance that the Rays or some other major league team comes calling this offseason on a minor league deal.
Naranjeros de Hermosillo 11, Algodoneros de Guasave 2
The Naranjeros rolled and ex-Rays infielder Jorge Cantu was a major contributor, going 1 for 3 with a 3-run homer, 2 walks, and 2 runs scored. Cantu spent 2012 in the minors for the Angels and is aiming to get back in the major leagues in 2013. Ex-Yankees draft pick Miguel Ruiz gave the Naranjeros 6 quality innings allowing just 2 runs on 3 hits, striking out 4 while walking none.
Venezuelan Winter League: Aguilas del Zulia 4, Caribes de Anzoategui 3
Rays prospect Ryan Reid had a tough day but managed to nail down his 4th save for Zulia. He allowed 1 run on 2 hits in an inning of work, although he did force 3 groundouts. Not good to see him allowing runs, but he’s forcing groundballs and that’s all we can ask for. Former White Sox and Dodgers prospect Dwayne Pollok went 6 innings for Zulia allowing just 2 runs, 1 earned, on 5 hits, striking out 5 while walking none, and Braves prospect Ernesto Mejia also homered for Zulia.
Navegantes de Magallanes 4, Leones de Caracas 2
It was former Rays prospects versus current Rays prospect in this game, and the former Rays prospects for Magallanes came away victorious. Erold Andrus went 1 for 3 with a double, a walk, and a run scored while Chris Nowak went 0 for 3. Carlos Maldonado, who saw time in the big leagues with the Nationals this season, slammed a solo homer for the Navegantes. For Caracas, they lost despite a homer by Henry Wrigley and a strong start by the Rockies’ big league starting pitcher Jhoulys Chacin, who went 5 innings allowing 1 run on 4 hits, striking out 4 while walking 3 and posting a 7-1 groundout to flyout ratio. Wrigley is on fire in his last 10 games, hitting .412 (15 for 37) with 1 double, 3 homers, 10 RBI, and 6 strikeouts against 3 walks.
Tiburones de La Guaira 8, Tigres de Aragua 6
Esteban Yan is still around? Apparently. The ex-Devil Rays closer started for Aragua and went 3 innings allowing 4 runs on 7 hits, striking out 2 while walking none. His major problem and the bane of the Tigres’ existence on Tuesday was Dodgers prospect Scott Van Slyke, who went 4 for 5 with 3 home runs and 4 RBI. Van Slyke, coming off a big 2012 at the Dodgers’ Albuquerque affiliate, already has 7 Winter Ball home runs. Twins top prospect Oswaldo Arcia homered in the loss for Aragua.