Is it possible that I haven’t attended a game in over 3 weeks? Nothing at all since my last post? Of course not. I’ve been fortunate to see a few recent Iron Pigs games and even a Fightins game since the time I wrote but either had nothing to write about paid so little attention to the game it wouldn’t be fair to comment on what I saw. But this past Tuesday my family and I made the trek to Reading for another game and even the annual Gluttony Night ($8 for all-you-can-eat concessions!?!) couldn’t keep me from watching some prospects. And here’s what I saw.
Ben Lively – This was actually the second consecutive time I’ve seen Lively, having caught his last home start at the end of May. I didn’t get to pay full attention last time but his stuff seemed a bit off and he got hit around a little bit. This time out was more of the same. Our seats were directly behind the left hand batters box in the second row so my son and I got a decent look at Lively’s stuff. Despite what the numbers tell you, he seemed to have good command of his pitches but didn’t seem to be getting the close calls. Not even a few of them. More than once (closer to ten times) Lively and catcher Logan Moore really wanted a pitch they didn’t get. The stadium radar gun was in and out all night so I don’t trust any of what it did show the crowd but the fastball looked like it always does, 91-93. I saw a sharper slider than I was expecting to see which he used effectively as well. I came away less depressed than most with what I saw. Lively has some stuff to work on, but is still very promising.
Roman Quinn – Not much new to report here. While I question approach at times, he’s very consistent at the plate. Besides my issue with his strikeouts, I’m also starting to get concerned with the number of times he gets picked off. I realize as a speed guy it comes with the territory, but it’s really becoming a common occurrence.
Aaron Altherr – After a quick start, Altherr has slowed a bit and I seemed to notice a regression in his approach to more 2014 than early 2015. However, he looked to have much better at bats in this game. He carried it into Wednesday’s contest, collecting 4 hits (3 XBH). I really root for Aaron because I love the raw tools and the defense and hope his latest trend (patience at the plate) continues.
JP Crawford – This is the one we came for. As much as we’ve read and as much as we’ve seen on TV, this would be our first look at JP in live game action. He is absolutely as advertised. His approach at the plate is evident. He’s not in a hurry and is willing to wait out the pitcher to get “his pitch”. And if he has to, he seems very willing to hit with 2 strikes. He doesn’t chase much early in counts and remains balanced throughout his at bats. It was a treat to watch. Cannot wait to see him again in a few days!
As always, we finished off the night watching our son chase the players down the autographs. Successfully I might add. We even had the pleasure of a half hour hang with pitcher Zach Eflin in the parking lot, with very little discussion about baseball. What an absolute gem of a human being. It was a great end to another fun night in Baseballtown. Now, if you’ll excuse me I have a lot of pizza and hot dogs to walk off.