Wahoos Weigh-In (5/8): Best Start In Team History
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins Daily (photo of Alex Kirilloff)While the pitching has still been fantastic after the promotion of Twins Daily’s starting pitcher of the month Devin Smeltzer, offensive reinforcements have arrived in the form of top prospect Alex Kirilloff and a rehabbing Miguel Sano to help continue that trend.
Kirilloff’s first game of the year came on May 2nd, and it was okay to expect some rust as he finished 0-for-3 with a pair of strikeouts, but you knew the opposing team respected his efforts last year as he also was intentionally walked. That rust didn’t oxidize for any longer than that however, as in his next five games he has combined to go 8-for-19 with a double, triple, four RBI and three more walks. He’s basically immediately picked up where he left off last season and is also possibly showing some patience he lacked (or didn’t need) during his 2018 campaign. He’s already provided an injection of star performance into a minor league system somewhat lacking in that regard as far as hitters go thus far. Also, as a way to possibly get him to the majors sooner, he’s also gotten most of his starts at first base in the early going.
Sano adds some major league star power to the lineup, and he’s already showed off some of his prestigious power at Blue Wahoos Stadium:
In four games with Pensacola Sano has clubbed two doubles and that home run, good for a slugging percentage of .600 in 15 at-bats. He may not be there much longer or is already on his way to triple-A, but he’s been a big contributor in his brief time. All in all on his rehab stint thus far, Sano is crushing 400/.440/.800 with two homers and eight runs batted in over six games.
In addition to those two, another player just keeps showing he’s a #ProfessionalHitter in the minors. Luis Arraez missed nearly all of the 2017 season after injuring his knee with Fort Myers, but after hitting .298 in 48 games with the Chattanooga Lookouts last year he’s hitting .341 with Pensacola, good for second in the Southern League in batting average and on-base percentage while leading the league in hits. He’s not quite in Willians Astudillo territory when it comes to striking out (nobody is), but his 9% strikeout rate is also virtually unheard of in today’s game.
While pitching got the Blue Wahoos going early, the hitting is starting to catch up, so look out Southern League.
Batting League Leaders (through games completed on 5/8)
-Luis Arraez leads league in hits, is fifth in walks and total bases, and second in batting average and on-base percentage.
-Jaylin Davis’ four home runs lead the team and is tied for fifth in the circuit, while his .370 on-base percentage and .299 batting average rank seventh.
-Taylor Grzelakowski’s 16 RBIs is tied for eighth in the league.
-Tanner English and Jordan Gore have each scored 18 runs, tied for fifth in the league.
Pitching League Leaders
-Griffin Jax’s 0.53 ERA leads the league and his 1.00 WHIP ranks sixth.
-Devin Smeltzer still ranks second in ERA (0.60) after his promotion.
-Brusdar Graterol is tied for second in the league in innings pitched (37.2), is sixth in strikeouts (36), and fifth in WHIP (0.98)
-Jorge Alcala comes in at #2 in strikeouts on the year with 40 in 33.2 innings.
-Reliever Ryan Mason has picked up six saves, good for second in the Southern League
-Unfortunately, for a violation of unspecified team rules, backflipper Dusten Knight was removed from the Pensacola roster and subsequently released.
Every few weeks during the season I’ll be looking back at what happened for the Pensacola Blue Wahoos and welcome any input our readers may have on what you would like to see in these posts. I consider this space a work-in-progress that will evolve as the season wears on, so please leave a comment and discuss the Blue Wahoos performance thus far!
- Dman, dbminn and nclahammer like this