The Undercards: Jon Weber’s 3 Hits, Homer Lead Mexicali Over Hermosillo in 12 Innings
By Robbie Knopf
It’s almost as though Jon Weber got the memo that the one thing missing from his outstanding performance for the Aguilas de Mexicali was some power and decided to incorporate that into his game. In any event, he’s been on fire all season for the Aguilas and his performance Tuesday was about as good as ever in a game where Mexicali needed everything they could get.
Weber seems to be squaring up the ball every time he comes to the plate and stepping up whenever the Aguilas need him most. (Credit: Flickr user kentkessinger)
Mexican Pacific League: Aguilas de Mexicali 5, Naranjeros de Hermosillo 4 (12 innings)
Jon Weber has been the Aguilas’ 3-hole hitter for weeks now and they can’t ask anything more of him. In this game, he delivered yet again with a signature game to make sparkly numbers even better. Weber gave the Aguilas an early lead with a first inning solo home run before singling in a run and then scoring in the third inning. On the game, he went 3 for 5 with a homer, a walk, 2 RBI, and 2 runs scored. In his last 10 games, he has a .417/.532/.556 line, reaching base in every game including 5 multi-hit efforts and 8 times where he reached base at least twice. Sheesh, how do you stop this guy? On the season, he has hit to a .321/.415/.456 line with 18 doubles, 3 homers, 27 RBI, and a 44-37 strikeout to walk ratio. He’s done everything but hit for power, but maybe this game is an indication that he’s about to change that, a scary thought for opposing pitchers. Weber did get some help from Chris Roberson in this one as Roberson slammed a go-ahead homer for Mexicali in the 12th inning after their bullpen blew a 4-0 lead. On the other side, Humberto Cota went 2 for 3 with a walk for Hermosillo.
Venados de Mazatlan 12, Caneros de los Mochis 3
Henry Mateo isn’t quite on a Jon Weber level, but he’s pretty darn hot himself. Mateo delivered his fourth 3-hit game in his last 8 on Tuesday out of the leadoff spot for Mazatlan, going 3 for 6 with an RBI and a run scored. Mateo has a .385/.400/.462 line over that 8-game stretch and a .317/.347/.391 line on the season.
Mayos de Navojoa 15, Algodoneros de Guasave 5
Wes Bankston has certainly cooled off of late but did have a good game in this one, going 1 for 4 with a walk and 2 run scored. Replacing Bankston as a defensive replacement was Hernando Arredondo, who went 0 for 1. Arredondo was actually one of the first players ever acquired by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays franchise back in 1996 and was an interesting player for a time. Arredondo had a big season as a 19 year old playing for the Butte Copper Kings in their only year as a Rays affiliate in the Rookie-level Pioneer League, managing a .357/.429/.544 line with 21 doubles, 7 triples, 4 homers, 49 RBI, 8 of 11 stolen bases and 31 strikeouts against 24 walks in 67 games and 288 plate appearances as he quickly became one of the Rays’ earliest top prospects along with players like Matt White and Rolando Arrojo. Arredondo never lived up to the potential he showed in that first season, though, managing a solid but far from spectacular .275/.333/.370 line primarily at Short Season-A the next season before something pretty bizarre happened in 1998. After Arredondo had played in just 6 games at Low-A Charlestown in 1997, the D-Rays skipped him to High-A Charlotte for 1998 and watched him struggle in his first 25 games, hitting just .189, and promptly released him. Arredondo, now 36, has been in the Mexico League ever since, managing a .295/.338/.441 career line based on the available data. Arredondo certainly had his flaws as a player, but pretty amazing to see him go from top prospect to released in two yeras even though he was just 21 years old when he left the organization None of that is particularly related to our Minor League Recap here, but it’s always cool to stumble upon an original Devil Rays player.