Every farm team except Frisco was rained out yesterday, but all four teams were back in action today, with Hickory and Down East both playing seven inning doubleheaders to make out the games that were washed away yesterday.
The star from today’s games was clearly John King for the Crawdads. The 24 year old lefthander needed just 61 pitches (48 strikes) to get through 6 innings, allowing just 1 run on 4 hits, striking out 9 and walking no one. After not making his pro debut until late in 2018 due to Tommy John surgery, King impressed in the Instructional League and is off to a nice start to the 2019 season, walking just 1 batter in 15 innings this year while striking out 17.
The most heralded pitching prospect who started today was Taylor Hearn, who allowed 3 runs in 6 innings against San Antonio, but who pitched better than his line indicated. He allowed just 2 hits — a 2 run home run and a triple — while striking out 6 and walking 3. He was at 99 pitches, and just 57 of them were strikes, so there does appear there were some control issues, but it was a solid outing overall.
Emmanuel Clase struck out all three batters he faced for Down East today, and he’s still unscored upon this season, allowing 4 hits and 1 walk in 8 innings, striking out 14.
Among the bats, Anderson Tejeda went 1 for 3 with a double and a sac fly in Game 1 of the doubleheader for Down East, continuing his dominance of the Carolina League, while Tyreque Reed went 3 for 4 with his first home run of the year in the same game. Leody Taveras had single hits in both ends of the Down East double header, giving him a .355 batting average on the season with an 839 OPS. Sam Huff hit home runs in both of the Hickory games, giving him 6 bombs on the year. And Charles Leblanc had a pair of hits for Frisco, giving him a .375 batting average and an 850 OPS.