The Undercards: Tampa Bay Rays 2014 Draftees Stay Hot


The Triple-A All Star Game was happening in Durham, and Wilson Betemit and Mikie Mahtook got to play. Grant Kay is still mashing in his very brief career for Hudson Valley, and Brent Honeywell is blowing away the Appalachian league over his first 8 innings. It is too early to read into their brief careers, but the Tampa Bay Rays 2014 draftees have been exciting so far.

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Triple-A: International League All-Stars (Including Durham Bulls) 7, Pacific Coast League All-Stars (Non-Bulls) 3

Durham was the featured locale for the Triple-A All-Star Game. The Bulls’ Wilson Betemit (DH) and Mikie Mahtook (LF) were in the starting-lineup for the INT All-Stars. In his first at-bat, Betemit drove in two on a single – this would be his only hit of the game in four at-bats. Betemit is having a solid year in Durham, with an OPS of .732, 14 HRs, and 14 doubles. But, he probably won’t see time in St. Pete barring injury. Bulls’ lefty Mike Montgomery (one of the players dealt to the Tampa Bay Rays from Kansas City in the James Shields trade) entered the game in the 3rd. He pitched one perfect inning, striking out one. Fellow pitcher Merrill Kelly closed out the game, pitching only a third of an inning with the International League up 7-3. Mahtook finished the game 0-4 with a strikeout.

Double-A Southern League: Montgomery Biscuits 7, Jackson Generals (SEA) 0

The Biscuits lit-up Generals’ starter Matt Anderson in the first inning as Cameron Seitzer doubled in Ryan Brett and Jake HagerRichie Shaffer followed with a homer to left and had 3 RBI on the day. Kes Carter (.838 OPS in July) added a homer of his own, a solo shot in the 4th. Brett, Hager, Seitzer, and Willie Argo each had 2 hits on the day.

Biscuits starter Mike Colla was good through 4, but pitched himself into trouble in the 5th inning, loading the bases with no outs. With the Biscuits up 7 runs, Colla danced out of the jam getting a weak fly-out and two strikeouts. Colla went 6 shutout innings, striking out 6, and Braulio Lara, Parker Markel, and Jim Patterson each pitched a scoreless inning of relief.

The High-A Charlotte Stone Crabs were rained-out  Their game against the Lakeland Flying Tigers (DET) will be made-up on Thursday as part of a double-header.

Low-A Midwest League: Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (MIL) 6, Bowling Green Hot Rods 3

Ty Young had an RBI in the 4th, and a few batters later second-baseman Darryl George hit a two-RBI single. But the 4th would be the only inning in which the Hot Rods hitters figured out Timber Rattlers’ pitching. Hot Rods pitching was not impressive: Ben Griset, the starter, gave up 6 hits and a solo HR in 3.2 IP. William Gabay gave up 3 earned and 5 hits in 3 innings, and Stone Speer followed him by giving up 3 hits in 1.2 innings, allowing 1 run and walking 3.

Short-Season A New York-Penn League: Hudson Valley Renegades 2, Auburn Doubledays (WAS) 8

Coty Blanchard wreaked havoc on the basepaths in the first inning, when he walked, stole second, advanced to third on an error, and then stole home. The wheels came off for Renegade starter Oscar Armenta in the third inning when he allowed 4 runs on 5 hits and a HBP in that inning alone. Apart from DH Grant Kay and catcher Wilmer Dominguez, Renegade batters were baffled by four Auburn pitchers. Kay stayed hot in his second game in the NY-Penn league. After hitting for the cycle in his first professional game, he’s got 7 hits in his first 9 ABs. First-round draft pick Casey Gillaspie had an 0 for 2 day, snapping a three-game multi-hit streak.

Advanced Rookie Appalachian League: Princeton Rays 3, Elizabethton Twins 1

19 year old Brent Honeywell, the 72nd overall pick this year, made his third start for the P-Rays tonight. The 6’2’’ righty had a very strong start for the P-Rays throwing 3 perfect innings and striking out 5. The Rays are being cautious with Honeywell’s innings in his first pro season, as they should be with a teenager. In three starts he’s thrown a total of 8 innings, allowing 2 hits, walking 1, and striking out 10. Carter Burgess doubled home Manny Sanchez in the 5th. Thomas Milone hit a two-run homer in the seventh, and those would end up being the final runs of the game. Roel Ramirez, who came in for Honeywell, went 4.2 innings and got the win. Rafael Cordova also got his first save of the season.

Rookie Gulf Coast League: Game 1: GCL Twins 2, GCL Rays 0 (7 Innings)

In the first game of the day, the Grays were shut out by a trio of Twins. GCL Rays SP Jose Alvarado pitched 5 good innings, allowing 1 one, 2 hits, and 5 SOs. Unfortunately for him, the Grays only had 4 baserunners (3 singles and a walk) before the first game of the double-header was called.

Game 2: GCL Rays 11, GCL Twins 4 (7 innings)

On a double-header day, most of the Grays total offense was scored in the top of the fourth in this game. Jeremy Hadley and Jose Rojas each hit their first HR of the season in the fourth, and a Twins throwing error allowed for a few more. The Twins had 4 total errors in this game, which the Grays took advantage of. Rojas, a catcher, had a monster day, going 3 for 4 with a double, the aforementioned HR, and 4 RBI. Nick Sawyer got a win in relief of Henry Centeno and Joselito Cano. Impressively, Sawyer struck out 6 batters out over 2.1 innings.