A couple of articles about Charlotte’s big fellas on the corners:
*Kevin Goldstein of FanGraphs included Jake Burger in his roundup of scouting notes:
The 11th pick in the 2017 draft, it’s hard to imagine a more injury plagued prospect than Burger, who entered the season having not played in almost four years due to back-to-back severe Achilles tendon ruptures. Suddenly 25, he was understandably pushed to Triple-A to start the season, and the results so far have been mixed. His .196/.245/.500 line in 11 games tells you everything you need to know about his offense. He’s hitting for power, with six of his nine hits going for extra bases, but isn’t hitting that much overall. “The bat speed is there, but he needs to simplify his swing in order to quit getting beat by good velocity,” said one pro scout who recently caught Burger in action. There is plenty of good news here, though, and not just because Burger is actually playing. He’s slimmed down and now projects as an average third baseman with a plus arm. There’s still a long way to go before we know what we have here, but it’s nice to see things moving in the right direction.
*Scott Merkin used the off day to focus on Gavin Sheets, who says he’s never started a season this well:
“This is the first year of my pro career where I’ve come out swinging the bat well right from the get-go. It definitely keeps you from pressing at the plate. Obviously hitting a home run the first night of the season takes off a big weight. Then you can just kind of go from there.”
There might be some recency bias, as he didn’t post a .700 OPS until June in 2019. He started strong enough in Winston-Salem the year before, although his .290/.430/.377 line was a homerless one.
Charlotte 6, Durham 4
- Luis González went 0-for-4 with a sac fly and a strikeout.
- Blake Rutherford was 3-for-5 with a double and a strikeout.
- Gavin Sheets went 0-for-3 with a walk.
- Brian Goodwin homered twice and struck out twice.
- Zack Remillard made his Triple-A debut, going 1-for-4 with a K.
Montgomery 5, Birmingham 2
- Carlos Pérez hit his first Double-A homer, along with a single and two strikeouts.
- Konnor Pilkington: 5 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 5 K
Jersey Shore 4, Winston-Salem 2
- Yolbert Sanchez went 1-for-4 with a walk and a strikeout.
- Bryce Bush made his first appearance since May 12, but went 0-for-5 with three strikeouts.
- Luis Curbelo was 1-for-4 with a K.
- Harvin Mendoza went 1-for-2.
- Duke Ellis was 1-for-4 with two strikeouts.
- Isaiah Carranza: 4 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 2 K
- Luke Shilling: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K
Columbia 7, Kannapolis 1
- Cabera Weaver played his first game since May 9, getting plunked once and striking out thrice.
- José Rodriguez went 2-for-4 with a strikeout.
- Bryan Ramos went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.
- DJ Gladney and Lency Delgado both wore collars and silver sombreros.
- Benyamin Bailey went 1-for-3.
- Sam Abbott struck out all three times.
- James Beard was 0-for-3 with two strikeouts.
- Yoelvin Silven: 3.2 IP, 4 H, 5 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 3 K, two balks
(Photo by Laura Wolff / Charlotte Knights)
Goodwin with 2 homers is good to see. That guy was decent in the majors a lot of the time… if he can play anything like he did in 2019 they can certainly use him. He might turn out to be better than how Eaton is playing now actually. Certainly better than what their CF options have been. Goodwin numbers are not that good yet but at least he his starting to hit, 3 homers in past few games. Coming around.
Engel starting rehab assignment next week it said, so he should be back in a couple weeks one would think. Either or both of them could give them a lift. Goodwin is a lefty which is probably a plus. Wonder if Goodwin starts doing a lot better if they could call him up before Engel returns.
Jose Rodriguez continues to hit . . . for average. Baby steps in Kannapolis
I’m keeping my eye on Blake Rutherford and hoping his improvement continues. We might yet see something come out of the infamous “Birmingham Logjam”
I’d like to know where he’s at defensively. Originally he was touted as a fringe center-fielder, but it doesn’t seem like that position is ideal for him any longer. He could cover right field, but I’d always heard his arm is not an asset there. So if he’s limited to left field or being a net minus elsewhere in the outfield, it’s gonna place a lot more pressure on his bat to come around. But if his defense plays across all three positions, it gives him a lot more leeway to be a contributor.