The most exciting player in professional baseball is George Valera of the Lake County Captains.
Last night, he homered twice; once to ignite a rally in the fifth and again to walk it off in the seventh.
If you still do not believe me when I say that he is the coolest baseball player alive right now, then watch him set an impossibly high bar for the Olympic Bat Flip.
The mania grows. #ValeraMania
Look, I could do my job and give a reasonable recap of the rest of the game and explain that game two was postponed (again), but George Valera.
Game 1: Lake County Captains 5, West Michigan Whitecaps 4 (F/7)
Game 2: Game Called on Account of Pie (PPD, makeup Aug 14)
Box Score · Captains improve to 46-41
There, that’s it. Moving along now in our usual order.
Columbus Clippers 4, Toledo Mud Hens 5
Box Score · Clippers fall to 37-48
The Mud Hens battered Kirk McCarty for four early runs and put the Clippers down 4-0 after two. To McCarty’s credit, he evened out the keel and guided the crew through three more scoreless innings. The final line of 5.0 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 0 BB, 5 SO isn’t immaculate, but it’s unlikely to make the rest of the team mutiny.
Ryan Lavarnway, Oscar Gonzalez, Trenton Brooks, and Connor Marabell all notched multi-hit games for Columbus. The only extra-base hits of the night came from Marabell, who doubled both times he reached. Nolan Jones and Daniel Johnson failed to earn hits but both walked.
Former Podcast Darling Kyle Nelson tossed one of his most impressive relief innings of the year. He struck out two in a perfect inning. Since transitioning to Triple-A Nelson’s progress has slowed tremendously, but injuries and a whole global pandemic tend to tie up training.
The game ended as Gabriel Arias watched strike three with the tying run on first base.
Akron RubberDucks 9, Reading Fightin’ Phils 3
Box Score · RubberDucks improve to 54-32
We want Bama.
On a more serious note, scouting is complicated. At Covering the Corner we do not have the resources or time to travel to minor league games, spring training, or other opportunities to observe the players in person all that often. We are lucky enough to be part of a tremendously collaborative community of writers that works tirelessly to cover the bits of Cleveland sports fandom that are chronically overlooked or ignored by the pros.
We do our best to contribute to and credit this community whenever possible, and it is especially helpful when it comes to extending our analysis beyond box scores and stat lines. Please, continue to film every George Valera PA, you guys. You’re doing god’s work.
Every so often, though, a guy comes along who declares that his numbers are enough to go off of, thank you very much. One such guy is Bryan Lavastida.
He has only JUST reached Double-A, but .390/.435/.561 through 11 games is an encouraging start, no? He only earned one single last night. Slacker.
Meanwhile, Andruw Monasterio, Brayan Rocchio, and Bo Naylor all homered. Naylor took DH duties because yes, Akron might have two of the best catching prospects in all of baseball and if you think having two excellent players whose primary position reads “C” is a bad thing, I refer you to Tim Duncan and David Robinson.
Monasterio in particular deserves a shoutout for this game. n addition to his dinger, he walked twice, scoring both times.
Lynchburg Hillcats 1, Delmarva Shorebirds 7
Box Score · Hillcats fall to 44-44
The Hillcats pitched a 4-3-2, which is something that I will never fail to note. In this instance, it left something to be desired. Lenny Torres led the trio and allowed three runs on three hits, two walks, and three strikeouts. Daritzon Feliz coughed up seven hits and two runs in the middle three. Alec Wisely struck out five and allowed one hit in the final two, but an error blemished his entry with an unearned run.
The Hillcats offense failed to find a rhythm all night despite eight hits. Yordys Valdez and Micael Ramirez both doubled but the team went 1-8 with RISP. The opposition? 4-13.
You cannot always blame sequencing but this game isn’t as bad as most six-run losses. That is a particularly low bar, but still.