The Cleveland Indians' standout catching prospect Francisco Mejia continues to dominate minor-league pitching. Maybe in a few years we will be glad Jonathan Lucroy voided his trade, because right now he looks like an incredible talent. In fact, I would say he -- along with a group of players recently promoted from the Lake County Captains -- easily makes the Lynchburg Hillcats the most exciting team to watch in the Tribe's farm system right now. If you happen to notice a game available on MiLB.tv or you can make it out to one, don't miss the chance.
Mejia is a few years away, but a bit closer to the majors is Bradley Zimmer and Yandy Diaz -- two players who could contribute as early as next season and are hitting extremely well for the Triple-A Columbus Clippers. Zimmer has not skipped a beat since his promotion and Diaz looks like one of the best hitters in all of the International League.
Columbus Clippers 4, Indianapolis Indians 4
Box Score · Clippers fall to 61-51
The Columbus Clippers and Indianapolis Indians were stuck in a 4-4 tie for several innings yesterday, with the game only concluding three-and-a-half hours after start time in the 11th inning.
Once again, prospects Bradley Zimmer and Yandy Diaz recorded hits, the latter extending his hitting streak to 22 games. Yandy's multi-hit performance yesterday was also his 13th of the streak. He currently leads all qualified International League batters in batting average (.343) and on-base percentage (.417) and he is third in on-base plus slugging (.904). Although he has been there for a much shorter period of time, Zimmer is not having any issues with Triple-A pitcher, either. he has a hit in seven of his nine games.
DJ Brown made his Triple-A debut with the Clippers last night, throwing five innings and allowing four earned runs off of four hits. Reliever Perci Garner held down an exciting eighth and ninth inning to get the game to extra innings, striking out three of the six batters he faced.
Akron RubberDucks 6, New Hampshire Fisher Cats 9
Box Score · RubberDucks fall to 55-56
Despite a valiant comeback attempt in the middle innings, the Akron RubberDucks were put in a 5-0 hole early and were unable to fully recover.
Julian Merryweather's ERA took the brunt of the damage from that first inning, but it was not all his fault. The second batter of the inning reached base via a throwing error and a handful of batters later another did the same thing. He did allow a single and two doubles, however, so he was not completely blameless in the fiasco. When all was said and done, Merryweather finished with six innings pitched and three earned runs (8 unearned) off of nine hits. He also struck out two and walked one.
Greg Allen continues to do his best to make us forget about Clint Frazier, going 2-for-5 with a double. Jordan Smith, Mike Papi and Joe Sever also had two hits apiece. That is now three-straight two-hit games for Papi, whose average has skyrocketed to .207 on the season.
Lynchburg Hillcats 1, Potomac Nationals 0
Box Score · Hillcats fall to 70-40
The Lynchburg Hillcats still maintain the best record in the Indians organization, but it took a hit yesterday with their 4-1 loss to the Potomac Nationals.
Francisco Mejia continued his incredible hit streak, extending it to 45 games with a single in the third inning and another hit for good measure later on. Mejia is now tied for the sixth-longest hit streak in MiLB history, the longest since 2009. He still has a ways to go to reach Joe Wilhoit's minor-league record of 69-straight games with a hit, but he looks well on his way at this point.
Tyler Krieger contributed two hits as well, which is hopefully a sign he is snapping out of his recent cold streak. He is slashing .279/.355/.393 on the season, but in his last 10 games he is just 7-for-36 with nine strikeouts.
Matt Esparza, making his second High-A start, pitched 5.1 innings and allowed two earned runs off of four hits.
Lake County Captains 8, Great Lakes Loons 2
Box Score · Captains improve to 56-52
It does not look like it by the final score, but this was a 2-1 game as late as the eighth inning before the Lake County Captains exploded for six runs in the final two frames.
As a team, the Captains had 17 hits on the day. Everyone but Jose Medina and Angel Miguel contributed a hit on the day, while Li-Jen Chu had himself a four-hit game, including two doubles.
Starting pitcher Casey Shane pitched a magnificent seven innings, striking out three and allowing just one earned run off of one hit.
Mahoning Valley Scrappers 4, West Virginia Black Bears 3
Box Score · Scrappers improve to 20-24
It took a while for the Mahoning Valley Scrappers to get rolling, but they don't look like they are stopping anytime soon. Even with the loss of Triston McKenzie to a call-up, they still have Juan Hillman on the mound every fifth day and a lineup that appears to be figuring everything out.
Hillman was great again yesterday, allowing two earned runs in five innings of work.
Erlin Cerda was 2-for-4, while Gabriel Mejia, Nathan Winfrey, and Alexis Pantoja all added singles.
AZL Indians 4, AZL Mariners 3
Box Score · Indians improve to 23-12
A three-run inning was all the AZL Indians needed to notch their 23rd win of the season.
Nolan Jones continues to look like an incredible player at only 18 years old, with his 2-for-4 day raising his slash on the season to .354/.500/.375. Hosea Nelson provided the only home run of the day, a two-run short in the third inning, his second of the season.
DSL Indians 1, DSL Yankees1 5
Box Score · Indians fall to 22-29
Cristopher Cespedes, Henderson De Oteo, and Wilbis Santiago all added hits in the Indians loss. Starting pitcher Luis Ovideo pitched 3.2 innings and allowed three earned runs off of seven hits.