The Undercards: Nick Ciuffo Goes 3-5 As Princeton Rolls


The Tampa Bay Rays organization had a nice showing from some of their lower level players on Tuesday. Among those were Nick Ciuffo, Blake Grant-Parks, Casey Gillaspie, and Hector Montes. Great to see some promising results from some guys who are looking to establish themselves as top prospects.

Triple-A International League: Indianapolis Indians (PIT) 2, Durham Bulls 1

Enny Romero had a good start for the Bulls, going 6.0 innings and allowing just 2 runs (1 earned) while striking out 6. He did walk 4 guys, and still need significant work on his command, but overall it was an encouraging start from a guy who has been wildly inconsistent this season. Those would be the only runs the Indians would get, but Romero still left the game with the Bulls down 2-0. C.J. Riefenhauser and Jeff Beliveau would throw a final 3.0 shutout innings. The pair of lefties continue to impress, with Riefenhauser putting up a 2.28 ERA to this point and Jeff Beliveau posting a 1.16 mark. Despite the relievers keeping the Bulls in the game, the offense couldn’t do much. A lone 7th run inning was all they would get, and even then they needed an error by Brent Morel to make it happen. No Bull had a multi-hit game, and the team as a whole managed just 3 hits in the miserable showing.

Double-A Southern League: Montgomery Biscuits 5, Huntsville Stars (MIL) 4 in 10 innings

Dylan Floro was the starter for the Biscuits, and he turned in a nice outing. He would go 6.0 innings, allowing just 2 runs and posting an outstanding 11-1 groundout-flyout ratio. The groundball specialist has been outstanding since struggling in his first few starts of the season, and has posted a 3.14 ERA thus far. He is quickly working his way into Rays top prospect consideration. Behind him, Andrew Bellatti went 2.0 innings and gave up no runs. The Bulls took a 4-2 lead heading into the bottom of the 9th. But then Matt Lollis allowed 2 runs in an inning of work to tie the game up. Jim Patterson finished things off with a scoreless inning to earn the save after the Biscuits retook the lead in the top of the 10th.

The offense did their job in this game, continually pounding out hits until the pitching staff held the lead in the 10th. Ryan Brett went 2-4 with a double and an RBI, and Jeff Malm added a double of his own in a 2-5 performance. Taylor Motter also went 2-5 and scored 2 runs to cap off a solid day for the Biscuits.

High-A Florida State League: Fort Myers Miracle (MIN) 7, Port Charlotte Stone Crabs 6 in 10 innings

Starter Austin Pruitt struggled in his start, allowing 5 runs in 5.0 innings. Kevin Brandt then had a nice outing in relief, going 3.0 scoreless innings to lower his ERA to 0.63. The Stone Crabs took a tie game into the 9th, but Jose Molina allowed the Miracle to go up by one run. The Stone Crabs would tie things up in the bottom of the 9th, but then Molina allowed another run in the top of the 10th, and the Stone Crabs could not answer in the bottom half of the inning. The offense did their job, managing 15 hits and 5 walks. Maxx Tissenbaum lead the way, going 4-5 with a pair of doubles. Tommy Coyle went 3-5 with 3 runs scored, and Ariel Soriano had a 3-5 night of his own. However, it wouldn’t be enough thanks to the poor pitching.

Low-A Bowling Green was rained out

Short Season-A New York-Penn League: Hudson Valley Renegades 6, Brooklyn Cyclones (NYM) 3

Enderson Franco was solid, going 5.0 innings and giving up 3 runs (2 earned) while striking out 5 and walking 0. Behind him, 2014 draft picks Chris Pike (9th round) and Bradley Wallace (10th round) would each throw 2.0 shutout innings. The offense was also led by 2014 picks, as 8th rounder Daniel Miles led the way with a 3-3 night that included 2 doubles and 2 RBIs. 1st rounder Casey Gillaspie had a 3-5 night that included a double, and 13th rounder Jace Conrad went 2-5 with a run scored and an RBI. All-in-all, a nice showing for the 2014 draftees.

Rookie Appalachian League: Princeton Rays 5, Greenville Astros 3

Jose Alonzo had a nice start for the rookie Rays, going 5.0 innings and allowing 0 runs while striking out 4. Yonny Chirinos did not experience the same results, allowing 3 runs (2 earned) in 2.0 innings. Ruben Paredes and Justin McCalvin would then finish off the final 2.0 innings without letting up a run. On offense, former 1st round pick Nick Ciuffo led the way, going 3-5 with a double and a run scored. 2014 39th rounder Blake Grant-Parks also was solid, going 2-4 with a walk. Hector Montes added a 3-5 night to finish off a solid day for the Rays.

Rookie Gulf Coast League: GCL Red Sox 5, GCL Rays 3

Angel Yepez struggled in his start, going 4.0 innings and allowing 3 runs. Mario Adames wasn’t much better as his piggyback, going 3.0 innings and allowing 2 runs. Then Nick Sawyer finished things off with 2.o shutout innings. On offense, both Jonathan Freemyer and Matt Ford would have solid 2-4 outings.