The Class-A Mahoning Valley Scrappers are starting to find the win column a little more consistently as the young club gels in Niles, Ohio.
Mahoning Valley took a tough 2-0 loss last Saturday with star pitcher Triston McKenzie on the mound before Juan Hillman led the club to a 6-4 win in the series finale with Staten Island on Sunday. After losing the opener at home against Tri-City, the Scrappers bounced back with 4-3 and 5-3 victories on Tuesday and Wednesday to win their first series of the season. They won Thursday’s opener at State College, 7-4, before a strong 8-5 win on Friday night.
The Scrappers are now 10-18 on the season and have won four consecutive games. Their season-high winning streak has helped to propel the club past the Batavia Muckdogs and out of the cellar of the New York-Penn League’s Pinckney Division. They are now in fifth place in the six-team league, trailing the first place State College Spikes by eight games.
In other notes from the Scrappers scrapbook:
The successful development of young ball players generally takes precedence over wins and losses in minor league baseball, especially at the lowest levels. That may be the focus for the Mahoning Valley Scrappers, who have won just five times in their first 21 games and are tied for the worst record in the short-season New York-Penn League.
On the road against State College last weekend, the Scrappers dropped the first two games of the series before winning a 4-0 finale on Sunday to avoid the sweep. They followed a similar recipe after returning home to host Vermont Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, dropping the first two before winning a 6-0 final to avoid the sweep again. After taking Thursday off, they started a three-game set in Staten Island against the Yankees, losing a 4-2 decision on a three-run fifth inning.
After finishing the series on Sunday, Mahoning Valley will return home from July 11 through 13 for three games at Eastwood Field in Niles when they host the Tri-City ValleyCats in three 7:05 PM ET starts.
More from the Scrappers’ scrapbook:
It’s been a rough start to the season for the young Mahoning Valley Scrappers (3-12), but they did pull out a pair of wins this week to give them three so far in New York-Penn League play.
They were 2-4 on their homestand to wrap up the month of June, losing two of three to Batavia and Auburn. Their 10-4 win last Saturday over Batavia was their second double-digit scoring game of the early season, a feat that they nearly matched in their 9-5 win over Auburn on Tuesday. They hit the road for a three-games series this week against State College (St. Louis Cardinals affiliate), but they lost the opener on Friday, 4-3.
More scraps from the Scrappers’ scrapbook:
Baseball has returned to Niles, Ohio, as the Mahoning Valley Scrappers’ short-season is now underway.
Debuting on Friday, June 17, the Scrappers dropped each of their first two games to open the Class-A season last Friday and Saturday at home against West Virginia. They hit the road and claimed their first win on Sunday in Auburn behind a 14-3 offensive explosion. Mahoning Valley lost the final two games of their series with Auburn before moving on to Williamsport, where they lost three heartbreakers, 1-0 in the first game and 2-1 in the final two.
The late loss on Friday, after the Crosscutters scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth to take the final at bat lead, knocked the Scrappers to 1-7 on the season and left Mahoning Valley buried deep in the New York-Penn League Pinckney Division.
In other scraps from the Scrappers:
Baseball returns to Niles, Ohio, this weekend as the Mahoning Valley Scrappers kick off the short-season New York-Penn League season against the West Virginia Black Bears at Eastwood Field on Friday night.
Manager Edwin Rodriguez is at the helm for the Scrappers and is joined by pitching coach Tighe Dickinson and former Indians farmhand (and published author) Justin Toole in his new capacity as the team’s hitting coach. Plenty of young and fresh faces will fill out the roster for Mahoning Valley as several look to begin or continue their paths towards potential Major League careers.
In past years, the Cleveland Indians have walked away from the MLB First Year Player Draft with questionable results. Their drafting hasn’t blown anyone away, but it hasn’t been as wretched as it could be.
Recently, the tides seem to be turning, with the Indians coming away with players such as Bradley Zimmer, Clint Frazier, and Bobby Bradley – names that carry weight in the baseball world, and names that make other squads jealous. Hopefully, last year’s draft can carry that same weight.
One of the most notable names to come out of the 2015 draft is that of Triston McKenzie, a right-handed pitcher out of Royal Palm Beach High School in Florida. McKenzie, drafted 42nd overall in the first round of the 2015 draft, had previously committed to play baseball at Vanderbilt, the defending College World Series champ, which made the decision to play in pro ball or at the collegiate level a difficult one. He told the Sun Sentinel in June that he didn’t plan on making a decision right away, and that he would weigh all his options – including not being eligible for the draft again until his junior year of college should he forgo the opportunity to sign this time around. McKenzie didn’t take too much time, however, as he knew by the end of the month that he was going to sign with the Tribe to the tune of a $2,302,500 signing bonus.
The Cleveland Indians announced the selection of left-handed pitcher Brady Aiken with the club’s first selection (17th overall) in the 2015 First-Year Player Draft. Later in the first round they selected right-handed pitcher Triston McKenzie and finished the evening by selecting left-handed pitcher Juan Hillman in the second round.
The selection marks the second consecutive year Aiken has been selected in MLB’s First-Year Player Draft, having been tabbed with the first overall pick by the Houston Astros last June. Aiken, 18, is a 2014 graduate of Cathedral Catholic High School (San Diego, CA), where he compiled a 7-0 record with a 1.06 ERA in 11 starts in his senior season. Brady was a 2014 Perfect Game USA first Team All-American and led Team USA to the gold medal at the 18U World Cup in Taiwan in September 2013, including a win in the championship game vs. Japan (7.0IP, 1R, 10K). He was the fifth LHP selected first overall and the first since David Price (Tampa Bay) in 2007.