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Friday, August 12, 2011

Eye Witness Account of Monday's Legends' Game

BryanTSC lives in Greenville, South Carolina, where at least once a year, he has the opportunity to see the Lexington Legends play when they pass through. He filed the following report of the Lexington/Greenville game played Monday night, August 8. This is the 2nd Annual Farmstros Report from Greenville by BryanTSC as he posted a similar report in April 2010.

Once again, I have braved being a visiting team's fan in a minor league city to bring you this recap of Monday night’s game between the Lexington Legends and Greenville Drive.

With rain threatening about an hour before game time, I was worried that I might witness a repeat of last year’s recapped game, which was highlighted by windy conditions and sloppy play, but thankfully the storm blew away as quickly as it blew in, and conditions were as good as one could hope for on an August evening. That did not, however, keep away the sloppy play, as the two teams combined for 6 errors, and misplayed a few others without drawing the ire of the local scorekeeper.

But the important part and the reason you’ve read the past two paragraphs is how did our boys perform. Unfortunately the three prospects we hear the most about, DDJ, Bushue, and Folty weren’t in the lineup. However, few were talking about J.D. Martinez and Jose Altuve last season, so maybe I saw our next surprise rookie starter anyway. Legends starter Carlos Quevedo looks very promising, mixing his low to mid 90’s (according to the stadium gun) fastball with his off speed offerings to keep the Drive off balance, with the exception of the 4th inning, when three straight singles by Greenville were quickly followed by a grand slam by the Drive’s 3B David Renfroe. Quevedo immediately settled back down to retire then next six batters.

Greenville threatened again in the bottom of the 6th when SS Xander Bogaerts singled on the pitch immediately following a dropped foul pop by C Ben Heath. The next batter 1B Michael Almanzar then doubled off the left field wall and it looked like Bogaerts was going to score. However, Legends LF Tyler Burnett, after having a little trouble fielding the ricochet off the wall, fired a laser to Heath to throw the runner out at home by several steps. While that was his only OF assist of the night, Burnett had a few throws that even had Drive fans remarking approvingly. Quevedo then retired the remaining two batters of the inning without drama to finish the night with 6 IP 8H 4ER 0BB 5K. Carlos Quevedo is one to watch as he moves up the ranks, especially given his outstanding control.

The next pitcher for the Legends was my surprise of the night. I had not heard of Alex Sogard prior to the game, but I certainly paid attention once I saw him pitch. While at 24 he may be more advanced than his Low A opponents, he was very impressive Monday night. He showed good command and life on his low to mid 90’s fastball, while changing speeds and keeping the Drive off balance for most of his three innings.

Unfortunately, the Legends fell in the bottom of the tenth on a two out walkoff HR by Bogaerts given up by David Martinez.

Other Legends notables from the game included 1B Jhonny Medrano’s 5th HR of the season, a 2 run shot to left in the 2nd, and 3B Michael Kvasnicka enjoying a 3-5 night at the plate.

While it would be easy to negatively compare this year’s team to the overachievers I saw come through town last season with the Legends (Altuve, Martinez, Hinze, Goebbert, Mier), I still think this is a solid crop of farmstros, with some players that should be fun to watch rise through the ranks over the next few seasons.

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