Man, it feels good to be writing this little daily segment again. And just think, on Saturday morning when you’re reading the minutes we’ll have four entire games to recap.
Make sure to check out the post we ran yesterday to celebrate Opening Day. I recapped much of the offseason here at RFR, linked a bunch of great pieces that will get you ready for the season, and recapped the podcast of late.
With that being said, here’s a list of 10 guys currently on minor league rosters that I’ll be watching the most for the first half of the MiLB season:
1: Angel Zerpa
I thought Zerpa had an outside shot of making the big league rotation out of camp, but the Royals decided to send him all the way back to AA to begin the season, and he wasn’t even on the official roster they announced yesterday. I think Zerpa is going to be a really good starter for the big league club, very soon, but I’m excited to see how he handles a second go round at AA after being admittedly a little slow to adjust to the level last summer.
We also threw in some expectations for the big league team at the end. Please make sure to subscribe and download wherever you get your podcasts!
#2: Brad Keller
Keller is still 26 years old and has three years of control left on his rookie deal. He was much better in the second half of last season, lowering his ERA from 5.97 in the first half to 3.96 in the second half. Keller still has some wicked stuff when he’s on, and I think he can help anchor a young rotation for now.
Dungan has a smooth, compact swing that is fun to watch. He really showed off his bat to ball skills in 2021 and proved that he just flat out hits. He slashed a respectable .288/.357/.405 for the Northwest Arkansas Naturals while hitting eight home runs and stealing 28 bases.
Alright. With all of that being said, let’s take a look at how the Omaha Storm Chasers did last night:
AAA Omaha Storm Chasers (1-0)
The Omaha Storm Chasers started their season out with a rather convincing victory last night over the Pirates AAA team in Indianapolis. Ronald Bolanos was brilliant, the bullpen was dynamic, the offense did just enough, and the 2022 International League Champions are off to a blazing start. They’re back at it tonight at 6:05 pm. If you made me guess, I’d guess that one of Foster Griffin or Austin Cox will be on the mound, but we’ll see.
– Clay Dungan: 2-5
– Nick Pratto: 0-4, BB
– MJ Melendez: 1-4, BB
– Vinnie Pasquantino: 0-4, BB
– Brewer Hicklen: 1-3, BB
– Gabriel Cancel: 1-4, 2B
– JaCoby Jones: 1-4, HR
– Dairon Blanco: 1-3, BB
– Ivan Castillo: 0-2, 2 BB
– Ronald Bolanos: 4 IP, 0 R, 6 K, 1 BB
– Marcelo Martinez: 1.2 IP, 1 R, 2 K, 1 BB
– Sam Freeman: 1.1 IP, 0 R, 1 K, 0 BB
– Jose Cuas: 1 IP, 0 R, 1 K, 0 BB
– Arodys Vizcaino: 1 IP, 0 R, 2 K, 0 BB