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Legend_Of_Joey

Keys Home Opener (April 12, 2018) Report

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Tonight (well, last night) was the home opener for the Frederick Keys! This is a place I will visit a lot this season (Bowie will take the lead though) and I must say...I will be very happy with this!

It was on the cooler side of 60 with a decent to strong wind blowing out towards left/3rd. Much, much better than the Bowie and Norfolk season openers and the Saturday Orioles game after the season opener.

This report might not be 100% fully in depth. I was multi tasking by keeping up with the Delmarva and Norfolk games (neither one went as well as this one), but I did pay a good amount of attention.

Hitting/Fielding

Cole Billingsley: 2-4 with a single, double, walk, pair of runs scored and an rbi. Drove a ball into the gap between center and right. Would of been a triple, but Fajardo (catcher) was on base infront of him and was held at 3rd. Billingsley would of made it easily. Later on, dropped a perfect bunt to 3rd for a single. In the field, nothing stood out. Made a couple of catches and made them look real easy, despite the wind. Had a good eye at the plate. Made a nice play where he got to a ball off the wall near the line quickly and fired it in the Clare, who got it to Fajardo in time to nail a runner at the plate.

Ryan McKenna: 2-4 with a home run, single, 2 runs scored, 2 rbis, 1 walk, and a stirke out. CRUSHED a ball to left that cleared everything. If he hit it a bit more to the right, he would of hit it off the top of the video board. Like Billingsley, looked good at the plate the rest of the time. I do not remember the strike out.

Jomar Reyes: 2-5 with a run scored, 2 rbis, and a strike out. Still looks like he is flailing at the ball, but tonight, everyone was hitting. Wasn't getting much power on the ball, even though he squared up a few times. Was an adventure in the field. Dropped a low liner to him in the 1st. Booted a grounded later in the game but had the arm to throw the runner out at 1st. His arm is definently top notch, but the glove still isn't steady.

Randolph Gassaway: 2-5 with a run, rbi, strike out, and ground rule double. Luke was right, Gassaway does have more loft in his swing now. Hit his team leading 6th double on a ball crushed to center. It got over everyone and one hopped the wall for a ground rule double. If the wind wasn't blowing slightly in, that might of had a chance to go out. Had a solid single too. Struck out swinging, just missing the ball. Seemed like his timing was *just* off, but not fooled. DH'ing, so can't comment on defense.

Preston Palmeiro: 3-5 with an rbi, run, strike out, and double. Like Gassaway, he crushed one to center over the outfielder. This one stayed in the park though, but was about as solid contact as I can imagine. Whatever adjustments he has made since Aberdeen are paying off. Doesn't show much power, but isn't getting cheap hits. All of his contact was solid. Was good in the field too. Made a good tag to nail a would be stealer, then almost made another good tag. The ball tailed towards first, but he made an adjustment off the bag, caught it, and tried swiping down to get the runners leg on the head first slide. Just missed. For someone who is still under 10 games at second, I was impressed with that attempt. Booted a few balls in warm ups, but hey...

Chris Clare: 1-4 with a run, rbi, and strike out. Not much on the bat for Clare. Couldn't catch a break, but like everyone else, didn't seem overmatched. His main stuff was in the field. Made a nice throw on a relay to nail at runner at home by plenty. Also made a nice ranging play towards third and made a strong throw (think Manny's play the other night). The runner was going to be safe as the ball wasn't that hard hit, but the throw pulled Woody off the bag a little. They gave Clare an error on the throw, but even an on target one wouldn't of gotten the runner. Was still a great play for the range and the arm. If the bat comes around, he will have a bright future.

Jake Ring: 1-4 with a single, rbi, run scored, strike out, and walk. Ring did a little bit of everything, but no big surprises or things of note. Fooled on a few pitches (mainly breaking balls).

Collin Woody: 1-3 with a single, run, and strike out. Not much to note.

Daniel Fajardo: 1-4 with a single, rbi, and run scored. Nothing big with the bat, but had his hands full on defense. Blocked several errant pitches, saving a lot of wild pitches. Made 2 strong throws on base stealers, but only caught 1. Had one tail off a bit that Palmiero made a good play and attempt on.

Pitching

Cristian Alvarado: For 4 innings, Alvarado was cruising. Mixed up his fastball with his off speed and breaking pitches well. Breaking balls were showing good movement. He was getting weak contact and strikes. Once he got to the 5th, he looked like he ran out of gas and was hitting hit pretty good. Gave up a long home run to start the 6th and that was it for him. Stat line showed 86 pitches with 58 for strikes, getting 10 ground outs to 1 fly out. He kept things low and make them work. Very good outing early on in the season.

Matt Trowbridge: If you haven't seen the lefty throw, it's interesting. He has a kind of "throw back" delivery, where he leans WAY back just before the pitch and seems to try and get every ounce of weight behind it. Looks almost off balance and not sure how much he can repeat it consistently. Despite that, he did good mixing his pitches up. 38 pitches, 20 strikes, 1 wild pitch, and 1 hit batter, with 2 hits and 2 runs allowed. Breaking ball didn't seem to have much movement, but htiters had trouble picking it up (maybe due to the delivery.)

Francisco Jimenez: 2 innings, 2 hits, 2 strike outs...1 walk, 1 run, 1 wild pitch. 37 pitches, 23 strikes with 2 ground outs. Nothing real "wow" about him, just got the job done and the outs. The strike out to end the game was the best part. Sped up the bat with a fastball, threw a really nasty off speed that had the batter way out, then threw a breaking ball with late action that had the batter flailing.

Overall, the game was a great showing to the skills of the Keys. Alvarado was in the game just a bit too long, probably due to the early big lead. Trowbridge and Jimenez weren't bad in relief and gave up some runs, but they were never in danger of giving up a big inning. The batters all had a hit and scored a run. Woody was the only one without an rbi. McKenna was impressive, but Gassaway and Palmeiro were my top 2 players. Gassaway due to the adjustments he made, Palmeiro due to the way he handeled second in such a short time.

Delmarva might be the best team in the system, but Frederick wants to make an argument. This will be a fun summer.

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It's crazy how comfortable Palmeiro looks at 2B this quickly, huh?

You had the misfortune of getting the two least interesting relievers in Frederick. Kline, Teague, and Klimek are interesting. Erwin is fun due to being a pure lefty slinger.

I like Fajardo behind the plate significantly more than Levy. 

At the plate Palmeiro has had a solid, profession approach, but I'd like to see him pull the ball more, I think that's the only way he hits home runs.

Reyes swings ferociously, has quick hands but isn't seeing the ball well from what I've seen.

Billingsley, I love as a baseball player, I wish he had didn't have grade 30 power or he'd be a prospect. I know he's old for the level, but he can really play, I think he would be in Bowie if the OF wasn't stacked. 60 run, 60 glove LF, chance to be a 4th/5th OF, but most likely just a fun plus org player.

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8 hours ago, Luke-OH said:

It's crazy how comfortable Palmeiro looks at 2B this quickly, huh?

You had the misfortune of getting the two least interesting relievers in Frederick. Kline, Teague, and Klimek are interesting. Erwin is fun due to being a pure lefty slinger.

I like Fajardo behind the plate significantly more than Levy. 

At the plate Palmeiro has had a solid, profession approach, but I'd like to see him pull the ball more, I think that's the only way he hits home runs.

Reyes swings ferociously, has quick hands but isn't seeing the ball well from what I've seen.

Billingsley, I love as a baseball player, I wish he had didn't have grade 30 power or he'd be a prospect. I know he's old for the level, but he can really play, I think he would be in Bowie if the OF wasn't stacked. 60 run, 60 glove LF, chance to be a 4th/5th OF, but most likely just a fun plus org player.

On Palmeiro: I still expect growing pains, but he does not look lost. Very impressed on his transition. For his hitting, I don't mind him not overly pulling the ball for power. He tried that in Aberdeen and had some struggle, but looks like he is using more of the field and making solid contact. A power gap hitter with 10-15 home runs a season would be good.

I wish I had seen those three pitching. I really wanted to see Kline and Teague, but I was just happy with the win. Maybe you'll get to see them tonight.

Fajardo vs Levy is close. Fajardo has the better arm. Both are good blockers, but Levy was playing with a bad ankle injury all last year. I'll have to see more at bats from both though.

Reyes, like Rifaela and Mercedes, has quick hands but flails at the ball. Rifaela is able to make adjustments better mid swing to get the ball. Mercedes just powered anything he could. Reyes isn't doing either. His batting practice wasn't that good either.

For Billingsly, I wouldn't worry much on power. He could carve out a Gentry role as a defensive replacement/pinch runner role easily. Might not be an "All season" player, but can very easily be on the 40 and see action in the MLB atleast half a season for several years.

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