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Shane Bieber tosses best start of his young professional career

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Cleveland Indians minor league recap for April 15, 2017.

The Tribe system was down, but not out yesterday, as several top prospects had monster days, particularly Francisco Mejia, who did everything both offensively and defensively, and Shane Bieber, who might be a pitcher worth keeping a serious eye on after last night’s star-making start for Lake County.

Columbus Clippers 3, Louisville Bats 5

Box Score · Clippers fall to 5-4

The Clippers fell into a hole quickly, as Shawn Morimando’s early season struggles continued. The southpaw gave up five runs in 5.1 innings and his season ERA actually dropped to 12.46. It seems the 24-year old still has some kinks to work out.

Offensively, Columbus brought the thunder as Tyler Naquin showed no signs of sour grapes since his demotion, going 2-4 with a walk. Catcher Erik Kratz joined him with a multi-hit game, also hitting his first home run of the season.

Top prospect Bradley Zimmer went 1-3 with two walks and picked up a stolen base while Giovanny Urshela continued to show improved patience at the plate with two more walks, bringing his season total to seven (he had 15 all of last year).

Unfortunately, despite the decent offensive numbers, the Clippers couldn’t get the big hits when it mattered and they were unable to make up the early deficit.

Akron RubberDucks 4, Altoona Curve 5

Box Score · RubberDucks fall to 2-7

I know this is going to shock you, but Francisco Mejia hit another double. The star catcher went 2-4 in yesterday’s loss with his seventh double of the season, that’s the most doubles by any player in all of minor league baseball right now. He also picked off three players at first base. That’s insane.

Dorsys Paulino and Joe Sever joined Mejia with multi-hit games as Paulino contributed his first home run of the season as well as a stolen base, but it wasn’t quite enough offensively as Mitch Brown gave up two runs in the sixth inning to blow a 4-3 lead which they were unable to come back from.

Nick Pasquale had a mediocre start, giving up three runs in 4.2 innings on five hits and four walks while striking out just two.

Lynchburg Hillcats 5, Myrtle Beach Pelicans 2

Box Score · Hillcats improve to 3-6

The bottom of the order helped carry Lynchburg to victory as Daniel Salters, Jodd Carter and Anthony Miller all had multi-hit games to lead the Hillcats offensively. Salters and Miller also slugged home runs, a two-run shot and a three-run bomb to account for all of Lynchburg’s scoring.

Jared Robinson pulled off a decent start, tossing five shutout innings on four hits and two walks while striking out two. Brock Hartson was excellent in long relief, throwing three innings of shutout ball himself while striking out four and giving up just one hit.

Lake County Captains 5, Lansing Lugnuts 2

Box Score · Captains improve to 4-5

The story of this game was all about Shane Bieber, and after hearing his pitching line, you might come down with a nasty case of Bieber fever yourself.

The 2016 fourth round draft pick had the best start of his young career, throwing six innings, giving up one run while walking zero and striking out a whopping 11!! That’s not a typo, he nearly whiffed two thirds of the batters he faced yesterday.

The Captains offense was paced by three players as Li-Jen Chu and Emannuel Tapia both had multi-hit games. Chu slugged his second home run of the season, a two-run shot in the fifth inning.

The other offensive contributor was the surprisingly swift Todd Isaacs, who reached base twice and promptly stole three bases successfully, moving his season total to an organization-leading seven on the year. That’s pretty impressive considering he’s teammates with Gabriel Mejia and is even beating Greg Allen, who has four.