I was at the game in the Peoria Complex vs. the Padres Sunday (3/8). I was lucky to get a seat straight behind the home plate about 9th row. Right in front of me were about 20-25 scouts with their guns measuring pitch velocity. Beautiful cloudless day with the wind blowing out at about 10 MPH to CF for most of the game, then shifted right to left. But no HR was hit by either side.
Tyler Matzek started the game and threw two innings, well not exactly cuz his pitch count was quite high. He faced pretty much opening day lineup and the Friars played their regulars through at least five or six innings. So it was a good test for all Rox pitchers that faced the A lineup. He struck out Will Myers to start the game with a nasty curve when he was expecting a fastball on a full count. After that, his day wasn’t so good as he was spraying fastballs, mostly wide or down. One ball was squared up for a three-run double as part of the four-run first inning. His FBs were sitting 92-93 while his breaking stuff was 83 give or take a tick.
Tom Murphy showed pretty good speed today. He beat out a grounder to ex-Rockie Clint Barmes. The MLB’s most overpaid player, Jerko watched a tailor-made double play by Nick Hundley roll under his mitt and between his legs putting runners on the corners. Rafael Ynoa hit a laser to right field for the first run. Clobberson then beat out a grounder to Barmes to again put the runner on the corners. D.J. LeMahieu hit a sac fly for the second run.
Career minor leaguer Ben Paulsen led off the third inning with a double and Murphy followed with a walk. Hundley hit a double to the opposite field. Despite the fact that the ball was thrown back into the infield quickly, Murphy showed speed scoring the tying run all the way from 1B. Then Ynoa outran a bobble by first baseman Yonder Alonso to keep the inning alive. Clobberson followed through with an RBI single for a 5-4 lead.
Then it was a battle of the prospects the rest of the way. Jon Gray easily was the best pitcher of the day with his efficiency while everyone else on both sides struggled to throw strikes. Gray sat 93-94 on his FBs while his breaking ball was averaging 83. But when he need the K, he reared up and threw FB at 96 for a third strike. He had an easy day, that’s for sure. Gray looks ready to knock down the door to the majors; at minimum he will be ready when one of the starters go down.
Clobberson had a couple of Tulowitzki highlight reel plays. He refuses to go away. Ynoa also played well. Bottom line – we have some quality depth at each position.