This update will run each Monday and Friday morning moving forward. Today we will look at performances from Wednesday and Thursday:
RHP Wilmer Font, Hickory - Font made his second start Thursday and continued to look statistically like a different pitcher from his 2009 version. He went 4.2 innings and allowed seven hits, but his K/BB ratio of 6/1 moved his season total to 14/2. He also continued to induce a high number of outs on the ground, moving his ratio to 2.25 GO/AO for the season. Last year in Hickory those ratios were 105/59 and 0.73 in 108 innings.
LHP Robbie Erlin, Hickory - Erlin relieved Font and completed his second perfect appearance of the season. Erlin's line is now 4.1 IP, 5 K, zero baserunners. Erlin signed as a third round pick last summer just soon enough to squeeze in 4.1 innings in rookie ball. His jump this spring to an opening day full season assignment was swifter than that of most of the club's recent highly drafted arms, but his performance has made the cause for that apparent.
SS Leury Garcia, Hickory - Yet another Hickory returnee, like most of the teenagers who fought through a season of being much younger than their competition in 2009, the 19 year old Garcia looks more comfortable this spring. He's played in seven games, has a hit in six of them and multiple hits in three, and the components of his slash line thus far (.333/.344/.400) are all much higher than last season. "Furcalito" will want to improve his control of the strike zone (1/6 BB/SO), but just the fact that the little defensive wizard isn't having the bat knocked out of his hands makes him an intriguing prospect.
OF Engel Beltre, Bakersfield - Beltre, one of the 2-3 most gifted position players in the system, returned to Bakersfield this spring with a big year in front of him. He's still just 20 years old, quite age appropriate for this level, but his 2009 was possibly the most disappointing of any player in the organization, and he's yet to translate talent into results. This season is very young, but thus far he's laying another egg. His 0-7 composite the past two nights moves his season line to 4-23. He has failed to draw a walk as the Blaze leadoff man and could amazingly come in below his 17 walk total from 2009. Beltre has hitting talent, so the batting average will rise, but the maturity at the plate and power potential are not showing themselves.
OF Craig Gentry, OKC - A minor ding limited Gentry to just one at bat over the first weekend, but he is off to a quick start in his first true taste of the Triple A level. He has hit safely in his last five games, 8-19 overall, and he has homered, tripled and stolen three bases. Now 26, Gentry has moved through the system at a deliberate pace, but his superb defense across the outfield and quality complementary skills will make him a very usable player if he can continue to hit.