Minor League Baseball season opened up April 6th and Opening Day marked the first game for four of the Marlins’ farm clubs. New Orleans, Jacksonville, Jupiter and Greensboro all got to showcase some of the top prospects in the system.
Triple A: New Orleans Baby Cakes take on Memphis Red Birds
The Baby Cakes debuted their fresh new look at home against Cardinals affiliate Memphis Thursday night. They were the lone loss in the Marlins system, losing 5-4 in 13 innings. The offense was led by the Marlins’ No. 9 prospect (according to MLB.com) J.T. Riddle who went three-for-six and Peter Mooney who went one-for-two with two walks and three runs scored. Three New Orleans hitters had RBIs including No. 29 prospect Destin Hood, who had one to go along with his lone hit.
Starting pitcher Justin Nicolino went five innings, giving up five hits while striking out three and walking three. He gave up two of the Red Birds runs. Javy Guerra gave up two runs in his lone inning of work. The Baby Cakes bullpen threw six shutout innings before No. 28 prospect Raudel Lazo surrendered a walk-off home run to Patrick Wisdom with two outs and nobody on in the bottom of the 13th. The Baby Cakes look to get in the win column on Friday. The game starts at 8:00 PM EST.
Double A: Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp visit Mississippi Braves
The Jumbo Shrimp debuted their new name on the field in a big way in their 7-2 victory over the Mississippi Braves, the affiliate of the Atlanta Braves. Taylor Ard knocked in three runs, two on a double in the first inning. David Vidal drove in a run while going two-for-four, while No. 4 prospect Brian Anderson tallied his first hit of the season, as well.
No. 11 prospect Dillon Peters tossed five mostly scoreless innings, striking out seven while giving up one run on three hits. The bullpen did the rest of the work, giving up only one run in the remaining four innings.
Chris Mazza struck out three of the four batters he faced in his one inning of work. Tyler Bremer pitched the seventh inning, striking out one and giving up a lone hit. Tyler Higgins finished the job with two scoreless innings in which he struck out one and only allowed two hits. Jacksonville goes at it again in Mississippi Friday at 8:00 PM EST.
Advanced A: Jupiter Hammerheads shutout Fort Myers Miracle
The Hammerheads started their season off on the right foot with a 4-0 victory over Minnesota Twins affiliate Fort Myers. No. 6 prospect Stone Garrett led the charge, going two-for-four and driving in three runs while batting second in the lineup. Angel Reyes drove in the other Jupiter run while also going two-for-four.
The Hammerheads pitching was top notch in the opener. No. 13 prospect Cody Poteet pitched well in his five innings of work, giving up only three hits while striking out three Miracle batters.
The bullpen did its job as well, giving up no runs over the last four innings. Steven Farnworth pitched two scoreless relief innings, striking out two. Esmerling De La Rosa followed with 1.2 shoutout innings, giving up two hits. The last out was recorded by No. 26 prospect Andy Beltre, after giving up a walk. The Hammerheads are back in action Friday at 6:30 PM EST against Fort Myers.
Single A: Greensboro Grasshoppers blow past Hickory Crawdads
The Grasshoppers had no problem on offense against Rangers affiliate Hickory. Led by Dalton Wheat, who went three-for-four with a home run and a robust five runs batted in while scoring four times, the Grasshopper took their opener by a score of 14-4. Colby Lusignan and Corey Bird each knocked in two runs of their own. Seven Grasshoppers had hits in the game, including three with three hits each.
The starting pitching in this game was not spectacular. The Grasshoppers starter, No. 15 prospect Jordan Holloway, pitched longer than Hickory’s starter only getting through 3.1 innings. He gave up four runs on five hits (two of which were home runs) while striking out 5.
The bullpen, however, was great. They collectively pitched 5.2 innings, striking out ten batters and giving up only four hits. L.J. Brewster led the way, pitching 2.2 of those innings and striking out four right after Greensboro yanked Holloway. The Grasshoppers take on the Crawdads again Friday at 7:00 PM EST.
Tune in every day throughout the season as we track the Baby Fish through their formative baseball lives, and keep checking Fish Stripes for all your latest Marlins news.