There’s something majestic about basestealers, something that the Tampa Bay Rays have been missing the last two years. The places of Tommy Coyle and Granden Goetzman in the team’s future are far from secure, but at least they remind us that there are players in the system with the ability to get the Rays back among the top basestealing teams in baseball.
Australian Baseball League: Sydney Blue Sox 10, Brisbane Bandits 9 (10 innings)
The Bandits had a huge collapse to blow this game, losing despite holding a 9-4 lead after the top of the 8th inning, but we’ll instead dwell on how they scored their 9 runs. Tommy Coyle was a huge piece of their effort, going 2 for 3 with a double, 2 walks, 2 stolen bases, an RBI, and 2 runs scored. He wasn’t the only Rays prospect to swipe a pair as Granden Goetzman did so to highlight a 1-for-5 day with a double, a walk, and an RBI.
Goetzman is tied for second in the ABL with 12 stolen bases, and Coyle is a couple of spots behind him with 10 steals. Also, interestingly, there are no player in the league with more than 6 stolen bases and less than 10–apparently there is a natural divide between “the basestealers” and “the guys who occasionally swipe a base.” It certainly helps Tommy Coyle’s steal count that he leads the league with a .426 OBP, but Granden Goetzman’s stolen bases are even more impressive when we consider his .292 OBP.
Johnny Field also had a nice game for the Bandits, going 2 for 3 with 2 hit-by-pitches an RBI, and a run scored. Maxx Tissenbaum, meanwhile, managed to drive in 2 runs despite an 0 for 3 day, although he did draw a walk and get hit by a pitch.
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Venezuelan Winter League: Leones del Caracas 2, Bravos de Margarita 1
You wouldn’t guess it from the score, but both Henry Rodriguez and Bobby Abreu had perfect days at the plate for the Leones. Rodriguez went 3 for 3 with a walk at the plate but still didn’t factor in the scoring. At least Abreu scored a run amid his 2 for 2 day with 2 doubles, 2 walks, and a stolen base. Daniel Mayora also went 1 for 3 with a hit-by-pitch for the Leones in their win.
Caribes de Anzoátegui 5, Aguilas del Zulia 2
Alex Torres‘ effort for the Aguilas in this game certainly can’t be described as dominant, but it was progress after he had walked 5 batters in consecutive starts. Torres went 4 innings allowing 2 runs on 5 hits, striking out 8 while walking 3. The K’s were quite nice, but Torres’ strikeout to walk ratio on the season is still a scary 34-28 in 32.2 innings pitched.