SSA: @ Brooklyn Cyclones 7, Hudson Valley Renegades 6 (11 innings)
Hi, I'm JayceIt's hard to have a better professional debut than first baseman Jayce Boyd (pictured). "I was more excited than nervous, but there was definitely a little bit of tension in there," he said post-game. "I had to sit and watch for a few days, so I was kinda getting antsy."
The Mets 6th round pick, a right-handed hitter, doubled on a ground ball down the leftfield line, on a drive inside the rightfield line, and then drilled a line drive triple to the warning track in straight-away center. Then, with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 11th inning, he lined a sacrifice fly out to rightfield to bring home the winning run. He finished 3-for-5 with two doubles, a triple, a run and two RBI. His swing looked clean and balanced and he used the whole field. He's listed at 6'3", but that seems a little generous to me.
After a busy week that including traveling from Omaha, where he was playing in the College World Series with Florida State to packing up in Tallahassee and signing with the Mets, Boyd seemed relieved to be back on the field, "It's been a little hectic," he said "but [I'm] finally getting to slow down and play some baseball."
In the bottom of the 11th, the Cyclones used pinch-runner Jonathan Clark at third base for Boyd's at-bat. Boyd said that Clark, "mighta been the fastest guy I'd seen in my life so all I had to do was hit it up in the air and he was probably going to score."
Plawecki HomersJust when I was sitting in the stands in the 9th inning thinking that I hadn't seen supplemental first rounder Kevin Plawecki hit a ball hard in the few Cyclones' games I'd seen this year, he lined an upper 80s fastball over the leftfield wall to tie the game. He was 1-3 with his homer, grounding out and popping out, and taking two hit-by-pitches, the final one right off the the outside of the hand.
He threw out a runner, one at second where it appeared from the stands as though he got the benefit of a phantom tag. I did not get his time to second.
He's hitting .171/.341/.343 with five walks and two homers in his first 10 games as a Cyclone. Two of his six hits have gone over the wall.
Evans is a Pull HitterI think I've seen Philip Evans try to pulled the ball in almost every single at-bat in his three games I've seen this year. He pulled a pair of singles through the left side in his first two at-bats, and then grounded out to short twice and flew out to the warning track in left with the winning run at second in the 10th inning.
Defensively, I left the game with more questions about Evans than when I started. In the first two games I had seen him, I had not seen his arm tested at shortstop. Monday, he was tested twice, and I thought looked a little short both times. He ran around his backhand on a softly hit grounder to his right and bounced the throw to first. The friendly umps gave him the call at first. That's a play big league shortstops need to make more cleanly. In the seventh, on a relay to the plate, he did not get much on the throw from shallow left. I was not expecting him to throw out the runner, but the throw was both off-line and lofted, with little zip.
Off this limited viewing, it sure seems like his arm would play better at second than at short, but there's no reason to move him anytime soon.
Brandon Nimmo Knows the Strike Zone Better than NYP League UmpsBrandon Nimmo was 1-for-5 with three strikeouts Monday.
In the battle between player and umpire, usually the ump wins. His at-bat in the eighth inning created one of the unintentionally funny moments of the night. The first pitch, which was somewhere near his shins, was called strike one, prompting Cyclones' hitting coach Bobby Malek to hop out of the dugout to give the umps the business. I suspect Malek was in part reacting to earlier calls as well. Nimmo looked almost ashamed standing a the plate. Strike two and three might well have been off the plate, but Nimmo was not going to get any favors from his man in blue back there. That was a situation where he really did need to get more aggressive, as his manager Rich Donnelly has been preaching.
In the 10th, he was late on a few fastballs at 89-90, fouling them off. From my perspective, I just thought he needed to get his foot down earlier.
His one hit came on an infield grounder to second base in the fourth.
Defensively, he's fine. In the eighth, with runners on, he got a good jump on a linedrive into shallow right-center, and made a gliding catch.