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3/23 MiLB Spring Training Game(s) Notes


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Once again, I ventured over to Twin Lakes Park for some Minor League Spring Training games, this time featuring the AAA and AA teams, along with a surprise.

The "Rookie" squad was playing against Team Canada! That game started an hour before the other games and had a lot of the DSL guys and some GCL guys, along with a few Aberdeen and Delmarva. Saw Adam Hall, Cole Billingsly, "Itchy" Xu, Ryan Ripken, Jaylan Ferguseon, and others. Watched the game for a bit, but didn't scout it. The starter for the Orioles squad was good though, with a decent fastball and his breaking stuff had some good movement. Funny moment: The wife and I grabbed a seat in the bleachers while waiting for the AAA and AA squads to come out. We ended up being surrounded by Orioles players, including Ryan Mountcastle, who sat right infront of me. Hand was bandaged up. Hunter Harvey was there for a bit too before going over for a "bullpen" session.

Funny note: Before the AAA and AA games, the wife and I managed to find a few players we recognized from the last season and talked to them for a bit. The list was: Austin Wynns, Ademar Rifaela, Steve Wilkerson, and Randolph Gassaway. Why am I telling you this?

Well, funny thing is, all 4 of them crushed long home runs in their games!

I don't know what Gassaway and Wilkerson did for the rest of the game, because they were in the AA game and I was mainly watching the AAA game (and trying to avoid sunburn.) I know there was a report that Rifaela had to be carted off with a leg injury, but I did not see that.

Now, for the main updates on the AAA game:

Austin Wynns: 1-3 with a long home run on the first pitch he saw in his first at bat. Was trying to take a picture and the phone didn't zoom in, so I said "I'll just get the next pitch." *CRACK* "Well..." Struck out looking in his second at bat on a breaking ball on the outside corner. Really good pitch. Grounded out to short in his last at bat. Looked like a hit and run with DJ Stewart, but the shortstop stayed home while the second baseman covered, which didn't look like what was planned. Wynns and Stewart talked in the dugout afterwards and seemed to be indicating that same thing, that they thought the shortstop would be covering and that spot would of been open. Also had a stolen base with Wotherspoon pitching. Offspeed pitch low and outside. Decent throw but it was a rising throw and the runner slid in under the tag. A better throw gets him. No excuses, but Wynns said he worked out heavy before the game. Didn't seem to effect his swing on the first at bat. Was replaced by Arrendono (sp?) later in the game.

Jordan Kipper: The starter for the Orioles AAA squad. Had a lot of trouble finding the strike zone, issuing a few walks and getting deep into counts. The Rays couldn't string together any hits though, so he didn't get damaged too much. Needs to work on location and control in order to have a shot at a bullpen call up during the season. Breaking pitches were breaking, but he didn't seem to have any control. Fastball was flat and tailed high.

Matt Wortherspoon: Even worse than Kipper. Hit hard and when they weren't crushing the ball, he was giving free passes. Breaking balls weren't breaking, fastball wasn't that fast. Atleast he wasn't as bad as...

Stefan Crichton: Remember how he was given praise and then promoted to the majors? Yeah...None of that showed. Balls were crushed into the gaps in the outfield and he left pitches high. It was so bad, they stopped the inning after he walked the bases loaded. Command wasn't bad, but he wasn't fooling the batters or getting the ball past them.

Donnie Hart: I didn't see him in the Spring, but he changed his release point from last time I saw him last year. He is a bit lower now, even lower than O'Day. It gave his breaking pitches a bit more life and his fastball had more tail to it. Had the hitters off balance and nothing was hard hit. Looked pretty good.

Rueben Tejada: Per the wife, he had a 3 run home run when I had to take a call. Made a bad play later, double pumping on a play at the plate and making the throw be late. If he had thrown the first time, they would of gotten the runner out by a good 10 feet. Struck out looking too on a pitch middle, in.

Drew Dosch: Had a good defensive play where he backhanded a slow roller to third up the line and made a strong throw. Was very "bang/bang" at first, but it looked like his got the runner by a half a step. Throw was extremely strong and impressive.

Little Yaz: Tracked down 2 DEEP fly balls for running catches, one in the gap in left/center and one near the foul line. He got the start in left while Rickard was in center and Stewart was in right. Had a hard shot to right for a double and then made it to third when the throw got away from the shortstop. Might always be an org guy, but if 6 or 7 outfielders get hurt...

Anderson Feliz: 2 solid hits in this game and some good defense at second with 2 diving stops and throws.


This wraps it up for this game. Next season when I come back, I'll have a better idea of how to scout at these games.

Also, almost got nailed by a foul ball from the Rookie game. Landed 4 feet from me on the bleachers. The Orioles players infront of us saw it at the last second and gave the "heads up" yell.

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21 minutes ago, Frobby said:

How did you like the experience at Twin Lakes Park?   Is it a good venue for fans?

Define "fans."

Its not good if you have kids, unless your goal is only autographs or player interactions. There are no announcers or scoreboards. There are no skits between innings. There is also ZERO shade, so make sure you have tons of sunscreen and water. Also...Bring your own chair or seat cushion. Bleacher seats are hard.

Those points aside, if you just love watching baseball in the extreme most pure form...this is it.

The whole area is picture perfect, 2 (maybe 3) games go on at once and all you have to do is turn to a new field, or get up and walk 10 feet to the other bleachers. Just watch out for foul balls. Also, you are literally sitting with potential future Orioles players all around you.

I am 100% going back next year and going there again though. Palm trees, baseball, and it's all free.

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