Yoelqui Céspedes followed an action-packed spring training with a muted start to his minor league season, attempting to improve on his decent-but-flawed Birmingham debut from 2021.
After Sunday’s finale in Chattanooga, he’s already crossed one item off the list. By notching a solo shot and a three-run blast, he now has more homers in nine games this year (two) than he did in 29 games with the Barons in 2021 (one).
MLB Pipeline captured both homers in a video. Both are lasers out to left in fastball counts, the latter on 3-0. The stadium radar gun readings show 87 on the first, 92 for the second.
Céspedes raised his line from .250/.286/.344 to .270/.300/.514 in a hurry, and he also wrestled his ground-ball rate below 50 percent. Next up: lowering that 32.5 percent strikeout rate.
Charlotte 9, Memphis 3
- Romy Gonzalez wore the collar and silver sombrero.
- Carlos Pérez went 1-for-4.
- Micker Adolfo was 1-for-4 with two strikeouts.
- Blake Rutherford homered for the second straight game, along with a single, walk and strikeout. He was also caught stealing.
- John Parke: 6 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 2 HR
Notes from Jeff Cohen:
*Following up on our discussion of Minor League Baseball’s enforcement of the pace clock, John Parke discussed in detail what he’s seeing from the mound, and he makes it sound like the pitcher has the upper hand if he’s working quickly and in sync with the catcher, especially with runners on.
*Luis Basabe struck out three times, including one strike three on a clock infraction.
*Hunter Schryver departed the game with a lat injury. Wes Helms says the severity will be determined over the next couple days.
Chattanooga 7, Birmingham 6
- Lenyn Sosa went 2-for-5.
- Yoelqui Céspedes had a louder form of that line, homering twice and striking out twice.
- Jose Rodriguez went 1-for-4 with a strikeout, and was caught stealing.
*Chattanooga’s Matt McLain hit for the cycle on just seven pitches.
Greensboro 6, Winston-Salem 1
- Bryan Ramos went 1-for-4 with a double and a strikeout
- Luis Mieses was 0-for-4 with a K.
- Andrew Dalquist: 4 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 2 HR
Was really hoping Romy would continue his dominance at AAA and force a call up, but alas that is not happening.
Carlos Perez looks legit from an offensive perspective. How does his defense look in terms of framing/blocking balls?
Seems like all of our catchers are raking in the minors.
There’s at least one interesting catcher at every level right now (depending on what you consider interesting).
IIRC, Perez has always gotten rave reviews for his blocking/game calling, but has swung a light stick. If he’s legitimately turned a corner with the bat, he could have a future in the MLB
He’s regarded as pretty good defensively, I think. If he has developed just average pop or even a tick below, his strong plate discipline should allow him to play at least a backup role.
Still not much of an update on Cueto since the one a week ago stating that he had not even faced live hitters in AZ yet. His option runs til May 15 which is 4 weeks from now, so you would think he would be making his was to Charlotte pretty soon if he wants to pitch with the Sox much before that.
Will take him at least a couple weeks down there to make a few starts and build arm strength, one would think.
it would be amusing if Rutherford actually shows something after being DFA’d and unclaimed. we’ll check on him in a month
Longenhagen, historically the low guy on Cespedes, has some positive things to say about his defense.