South Side Hit Pen Top Prospect 69: Luis Curbelo

Rough patch: Though still young, Curbelo’s demotion in 2019 should be a wake-up call. (Tiffany Wintz/South Side Hit Pen)



Luis Curbelo
Third Baseman
6´3´´
185 pounds
Age: 22
SSHP rank among all third basemen in the system: 4
South Side Sox 2019 Top Prospect Rank: 26
South Side Sox 2018 Top Prospect Rank: 29

Born in Puerto Rico, Luis Curbelo moved to Florida for his senior year of high school. Before moving, however, he played for the Puerto Rico Baseball Academy, whose most famous alumnus is Carlos Correa. At the time of the 2016 draft, Baseball America said Curbelo “is a physical infielder with promising power potential. He has plenty of strength and produces good bat speed, enabling him to drive the ball out of the park. He has a balanced swing and does a good job of getting to his power. Curbelo is a below-average runner, limiting his range up the middle. He has good hands and a strong arm, giving him a good chance to settle at third base as a professional.”

The Sox drafted him in the sixth round that year, prying him from his verbal commitment with the University of Miami with a $700,000 bonus — $413,000 more than his slot value. As an 18-year-old, Curbelo struggled in his first taste of professional ball with the AZL squad in 2016 when he slashed just .226/.303/.323 with two homers in 45 games.

After a terrific three-game start in 2017 with Great Falls, Curbelo tore his meniscus and missed a year of development time. He struggled a bit with Kannapolis the following year, which wasn’t a huge surprise as he was about 16 months younger on average than his competitors. For the year in 83 games spanning 317 at-bats, Curbelo slashed .237/.282/.338 with 19 doubles, two triples, three homers, 31 RBIs, 18 walks (5.2%) and 87 strikeouts (25.4%).

The 2019 season marked Curbelo’s return to Kannapolis, and he hit rock bottom by slashing just .169/.216/.287 in 64 games with 11 doubles, five homers, 30 RBIs, 13 walks (5.1%) and 105 strikeouts (41.0%). Curbelo was demoted to Great Falls, where he bounced back in his 56 games to slash .262/.294/.266 with nine doubles, six triples, eight homers, 24 RBIs, 11 walks (4.7%) and 76 strikeouts (32.3%). He will obviously have to cut down on his strikeouts to better tap into his impressive power.

Expect Curbelo to begin 2020 with Kannapolis, with a chance for promotion to Winston-Salem by the end of the year if he can indeed make more contact.

Deep Dive: White Sox rookie league third basemen

Local product: D.J. Gladney made a huge impact with the AZL White Sox in 2019. What will next year have in store for him? (Kim Contreras/South Side Hit Pen)


“Deep Dive” focuses on the depth of each position in the Chicago White Sox organization. Each position is broken into a five-part series:

  1. Depth in the rookie levels (Dominican through Great Falls)
  2. Depth in A-ball (Kannapolis and Winston-Salem)
  3. Depth in the higher levels (Birmingham and Charlotte)
  4. Under the Radar-type detail on one of the White Sox players at that position
  5. Free agent options at that position

This article delves into the third basemen who finished the year with Great Falls, along with the Arizona and Dominican League affiliates. There is indeed some talent here, though it’s mostly raw. The AZL third basemen appear to be the best of this group.

(age as of April 1, 2020)


Great Falls Voyagers

Luis Curbelo
6´3´´
185 pounds
B/T: R/R
Other positions played: Shortstop, Second base
Age: 22

Born in Puerto Rico, Curbelo moved to Florida for his senior year of high school. Before coming to Florida, however, he played for the Puerto Rico Baseball Academy, whose most famous alumnus is Carlos Correa. At the time of the 2016 draft, Baseball America said of Curbelo that he “is a physical infielder with promising power potential. He has plenty of strength and produces good bat speed, enabling him to drive the ball out of the park. He has a balanced swing and does a good job of getting to his power. Curbelo is a below-average runner, limiting his range up the middle. He has good hands and a strong arm, giving him a good chance to settle at third base as a professional.”

The Sox drafted him in the sixth round that year, prying him from his verbal commitment with the University of Miami with a $700,000 bonus — more than $413,000 more than his slot value. As an 18-year-old, Curbelo struggled in his first taste of professional ball with the AZL squad in 2016 when he slashed just .226/.303/.323 with two homers in 45 games.

After a terrific three-game start in 2017 with Great Falls, Curbelo tore his miniscus and missed a year of development time. He struggled a bit with Kannapolis the following year, which wasn’t a huge surprise as he was about 16 months younger on average than his competitors. For the year in 83 games spanning 317 at-bats, Curbelo slashed .237/.282/.338 with 19 doubles, two triples, three homers, 31 RBIs, 18 walks (5.2%) and 87 strikeouts (25.4%).

This year in Curbelo’s return to Kannapolis, he hit rock bottom by slashing just .169/.216/.287 in 64 games with 11 doubles, five homers, 30 RBIs, 13 walks (5.1%) and 105 strikeouts (41.0%). As a result, Curbelo was demoted to Great Falls, where he bounced back in his 56 games to slash .262/.294/.266 with nine doubles, six triples, eight homers, 24 RBIs, 11 walks (4.7%) and 76 strikeouts (32.3%). He will obviously have to cut down on his strikeouts to better tap into his impressive power.

Expect Curbelo to begin 2020 with Kannapolis, with a chance for promotion to Winston-Salem by the end of the year if he can indeed make more contact. He will be eligible for the upcoming Rule 5 draft but likely won’t be selected.


AZL White Sox

Bryan Ramos
6´2´´
190 pounds
B/T: R/R
Other positions played: First base
Age: 18

Labeled as a power-hitting third baseman by Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com, Ramos received a $300,000 signing bonus from the White Sox during last year’s International Signing Day. The native Cuban skipped past the DSL and instead played the full 2019 season with the AZL team. As a 17-year-old, he was 2.4 years younger than league average but certainly held his own. In 51 games for the AZL Sox spanning 188 at-bats, he slashed .277/.353/.415 with 10 doubles, two triples, four homers, 26 RBIs, three stolen bases, 19 walks (8.7%) and 44 strikeouts (20.2%). Despite his youth, his walk and strikeout totals were quite respectable and showed some polish. As a result, he likely will begin the 2020 season with Great Falls.

D.J. Gladney
6´3´´
195 pounds
B/T: R/R
Other positions played: First base
Age: 18

Gladney, a native of Matteson, played varsity ball with Illiana Christian Academy (Lansing, Ill.). As a product of the White Sox ACE program, Gladney caught the attention of White Sox scout J.J. Lally at the Area Code Games in 2018, as he told South Side Sox: “My initial thoughts were that he showed excellent bat speed but was a raw talent.” The White Sox gladly selected him in the 16th round of this year’s draft, and after eschewing his verbal commitment to Eastern Kentucky University by accepting an over-slot $225,000 bonus, Gladney immediately began paying dividends.

Though Gladney struggled making contact this year with the AZL White Sox, he still slashed a solid .264/.309/.428 in 50 games with five doubles, two triples, eight homers, 25 RBIs, one stolen base, 10 walks (4.5%) and 82 strikeouts (37.2%). The White Sox will likely be patient with the young man as he adapts to the speed of the game. Thus, while it’s possible he could earn a promotion to Great Falls for 2020, it may make more sense to see him return to the AZL White Sox. For additional information on him, read the terrific, in-depth piece by South Side Hit Pen’s own Dan Victor.


DSL White Sox

Edwin Peralta
6´3´´
175 pounds
B/T: R/R
Other positions played: Shortstop
Age: 18

Peralta, a lanky third baseman from the Dominican Republic, received a signing bonus from the White Sox in February 2018. As a 17-year-old for the DSL squad, he scuffled with a .193/.322/.234 slash line in 52 games with three doubles, one homer, 18 RBIs, five stolen bases, 21 walks (12.0%) and 41 strikeouts (23.4%).

With a year of experience under his belt, Peralta enjoyed a much more successful 2019 campaign. This year in 54 games with the DSL Sox, he slashed .241/.372/.306 with nine doubles, one triple, 16 RBIs, 10 stolen bases, 34 walks (16.4%) and 46 strikeouts (22.2%). He does need to improve his power numbers, though it seems he has a good batting eye with the high walk rates. Peralta also needs to work on his defense, as he committed 15 errors in his 48 games at the hot corner. With that said, we should see Peralta Stateside at some point in 2020.


White Sox Minor League Update: September 1, 2019

High-quality performance: Starter Tanner Banks pitched six and one-third scoreless innings to propel the Barons to victory. (Hannah Stone/Birmingham Barons)


Norfolk Tides 11, Charlotte Knights 2

Kyle Kubat (SP): 3 1/3 IP, 6 H, 4 R (4 ER), 1 BB, 3 K (5.63 ERA)
Danny Mendick (SS): 1-for-3, 2B (.282 BA, .820 OPS)
Luis Robert (CF): 1-for-4, HR, 2 RBI, (.301 BA, .984 OPS) *MVP*
Nick Madrigal (2B): 1-for-4 (.301 BA, .773 OPS)
Zack Collins (DH): 0-for-4, 3 K (.285 BA, .956 OPS)
Daniel Palka (RF): 0-for-4 (.262 BA, .901 OPS)

In a game with playoff implications, this one was born under a bad star. It got off to a rocky beginning, as Knights starter Kyle Kubat ran into trouble in the first. After a dreaded leadoff walk, Tides second baseman Christopher Bostick hit a triple to drive in the first run of the game. An RBI ground out scored Bostick, so the Tides led 2-0 after one inning. The Tides added to their lead in the third and fourth innings on an RBI single and an RBI double, respectively. Those hits put them up, 4-0.

Things were looking hopeless, but in the top of the fifth, White Sox outfielder Knights outfielder Luis Robert hit a two-run shot to cut the deficit in half. Why Luis Robert is not in the majors right now is beyond me. The extra service time factor should not be taken nearly as seriously as the front office is taking it, but I’m at peace with it. It will be exciting to watch Robert in Chicago next season.

Unfortunately, the Knights would never get any closer than they were after Robert’s home run. The Tides had a monster fifth inning, as they scored six runs to go up by a score of 10-2. Thanks to the Tides rally that inning, in which eight hitters reached base safely, this game got ugly. Onward.


Birmingham Barons 3, Biloxi Shuckers 0

Tanner Banks (SP) 6 1/3 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 7 K (4.23 ERA) *MVP*
Zach Remillard (3B): 1-for-3, 2B, BB (.231 BA, .654 OPS)
Blake Rutherford (DH): 1-for-3, 2B, 2 RBI (.245 BA, .685 OPS)
Luis Basabe (RF): 2-for-5, RBI (.250 BA, .670 OPS)
Gavin Sheets (1B): 0-for-2, 2 BB, (.267 BA, .759 OPS)
Joel Booker (LF): 2-for-4 (.257 BA, .647 OPS)

After a scoreless first inning, a two-out rally by the Barons put them on the board and gave them an early lead. With a runner on first and two outs, Luis González got hit by a pitch, which set up Luis Basabe for a single that drove in the first run of the game for either team. The next hitter, Blake Rutherford, crushed a two-run double to give the Barons a pair of insurance runs. The inning finally ended one batter later, but not before the Barons had scored three.

Meanwhile, starter Tanner Banks had an excellent game. Banks’ control was terrific, and the Shuckers struggled to make sharp contact against him. Banks made very few mistakes and earned a well-deserved victory. Also on the defensive side, Basabe had an outfield assist, as he threw out a runner trying to score. Overall, despite three strikeouts, Basabe provided a ton of value for the Barons in this one.


Winston-Salem Dash 10, Lynchburg Hillcats 3

Jorge Cavanerio (SP): 7 IP, 6 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 5 K (3.13 ERA)
Andrew Vaughn (DH): 1-for-3, 2 BB, 2 RBI (.243 BA, .742 OPS)
Tate Blackman (2B): 2-for-5, RBI (.195 BA, .581 OPS)
Steele Walker (CF): 2-for-5, 2 2B (.271 BA, .774 OPS)
Jonathan Allen (CF): 3-for-5, 2 HR, 4 RBI (.600 BA, 2.400 OPS) *MVP*

This was an outstanding game all-around for the Dash, as they jumped out to a lead in the top of the first and never looked back. Jonathan Allen made his debut in High-A ball, and mercy, it went well for him. In 38 games with the Great Falls Voyagers and the AZL White Sox, Allen’s combined slash line was .241/.296/.369, but he was terrific today. Allen had three hits, two of which were home runs, and he set the tone for the offense.

On the other side of the ball, Jorge Cavanerio displayed excellent control, issuing zero walks in seven quality innings. Cavanerio had plenty of run support, but he barely needed any, as his quality start was more than enough for him to earn the victory.


Kannapolis Intimidators 5, Delmarva Shorebirds 2

Johan Dominguez (SP): 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 K (2.98 ERA) *co-MVP*
Corey Zangari (1B): 2-for-3, HR, 3 RBI (.204 BA, .748 OPS) *co-MVP*
Michael Hickman (C): 1-for-3, RBI (.209 BA, .619 OPS)
Ian Dawkins (CF): 1-for-4, BB (.299 BA, .755 OPS)
Alex Destino (RF): 1-for-4, 2B, BB, RBI (.294 BA, .841 OPS)

The Intimidators’ bats got off to a fast start in this one, and strong pitching throughout allowed the offense to coast in the latter innings in this victory. Michael Hickman hit a sacrifice fly in the second, and the Intimidators led from that point onward. A Corey Zangari two-run blast in the fourth put the Intimidators up by a score of 3-0. In the fifth, Alex Destino added an insurance run, as he hit an RBI double.

The pitchers were excellent, especially starter Johan Dominguez, who got the victory. Delmarva’s only runs crossed the plate on a two-run homer by Adley Rutschman, who was the first overall pick in the draft this year. Despite that homer, this was a great team effort all-around against a strong Delmarva squad.


Great Falls Voyagers 4, Billings Mustangs 3

Avery Weems (SP): 5 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 4 K (2.14 ERA)
Harvin Mendoza (1B): 0-for-4 (.281 BA, .835 OPS)
Sam Abbott (DH): 2-for-5, 2B, 3B, RBI (.227 BA, .793 OPS)
Kelvin Maldonado (2B): 1-for-4, 2B (.255 BA, .603 OPS)
Luis Curbelo (3B): 3-for-4, 2B, 2 HR (.268 BA, .789 OPS) *MVP*
Lency Delgado (SS): 1-for-4, RBI (.200 BA, .607 OPS)

The Voyagers jumped out to an early lead in the first. Luis Curbelo set the table with a one-out double, and Lency Delgado drove him in with a two-out base knock. The Mustangs got that run back in the second, and the teams traded solo home runs in the third, as the score was 2-2 after three. The Voyagers’ second run of the game crossed the plate on a Curbelo home run.

The score remained 2-2 until the bottom of the sixth, when Curbelo (who else?) hit a two-run homer to break the tie. Curbelo’s two homers increased his home run total to eight with the Voyagers and 13 overall on the season. Though the Mustangs got one of those runs back in the seventh, Yoelvin Silven closed the door by pitching two scoreless innings to protect a one-run lead.

White Sox Minor League Update: August 31, 2019

Much-needed win: Odrisamer Despaigne pitched seven quality innings for the Knights, who now take a one-game lead over the Durham Bulls with two games remaining. (Laura Wolff/Charlotte Knights)

Charlotte Knights 5, Norfolk Tides 2

Odrisamer Despaigne (SP) W (8-6), QS, 7 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 9 K, HR (3.47 ERA, 1.34 WHIP)
Jose Ruiz (RP) SV (7), 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K (0.69 ERA, 1.00 WHIP)
Luis Robert (CF) 2-for-5, R, CS (3) (.302 BA, .977 OPS)
Nick Madrigal (2B) 2-for-3, 2 R, BB (.303 BA, .783 OPS)
Yermin Mercedes (DH) 2-for-4, R, 2B (10), HR (16), 3 RBI (58) (.300 BA, 1.001 OPS) **MVP**
Zack Collins (C) 0-for-2, RBI (74), BB, E (7) (.289 BA, .969 OPS)
Danny Mendick (SS) 2-for-4, 2B (25), RBI (64), K (.281 BA, .819 OPS)
Seby Zavala (1B) 0-for-4, K (.222 BA, .774 OPS)
Charlie Tilson (RF) 1-for-4 (.289 BA, .752 OPS)
Trey Michalczewski (3B) 0-for-2, BB, K (.232 BA, .715 OPS)
Ramon Torres (PR-SS) 0-for-1, R (.355 BA, 1.009 OPS)

After a one-out single by future White Sox second sacker Nick Madrigal, Yermín Mercedes ripped a double down the left-field line, giving the Knights a 1-0 lead in the first inning of this pivotal International League contest. Austin Hays of the Tides tied the game with a solo shot off Odrisamer Despaigne in the second. The game wouldn’t stay tied for long, however, as Mercedes hit a clothesline just over the left-field fence with Madrigal aboard to give the Knights a much-needed 3-1 cushion.

After a Jack Reinhemer sac fly tightened the score to 3-2, both starters knuckled down as the Knights maintained their slim, one-run margin until the top of the seventh. With Trey Michalczewski and Luis Robert leading off the inning with a walk and single respectively, Madrigal did the Sox-ish thing by sacrificing them over to scoring position. After the Tides walked the scalding-hot Mercedes to load the bases, Zack Collins grounded into an run-scoring fielder’s choice at second to give the Knights an important insurance run. Danny Mendick supplied yet another insurance run to give the Knights a 6-3 cushion, although Collins was gunned down at the plate trying to add a seventh run. Despaigne left the game after this seventh frame, but not without providing the Knights with a much-needed quality start and three-run lead.

José Ruiz pitched a scoreless eighth inning, and began the final frame by getting the first two hitters out — including former White Sox José Rondón. However, Ruiz loaded the bases by allowing the next three hitters to get on via two singles and a walk. Ruiz was able to induce Mason Williams to fly out to Robert, securing his seventh Knight save, and a tense one at that!

With a Knights victory and an extra-inning loss by the Durham Bulls, the Knights take a one-game lead in the International League standings with two games remaining. Several players came up huge in this game: Despaigne with his seven clutch innings, Madrigal getting on base three times via two singles and a walk (not to mention a pivotal sac bunt), Robert with two hits and a run scored and Ruiz. Mercedes merits the MVP for this game, however, thanks to his two extra-base hits and three RBIs which set the tone for this game. As an interesting side note, Mercedes now has 58 RBIs in just 51 games for Charlotte this season. The Knights stemmed the Tides by snapping their six-game losing streak, improving to 75-62. Norfolk dipped to 58-79 with their defeat.


Birmingham Barons 6, Biloxi Shuckers 5 (12 innings)

Blake Battenfield (SP) 5 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 1 HR (4.52 ERA, 1.37 WHIP)
Alec Hansen (RP) 2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 4 K (5.45 ERA, 2.02 WHIP)
Mauricio Cabrera (RP) 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K (4.60 ERA, 2.04 WHIP)
Codi Heuer (RP) 2 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K (1.84 ERA, 1.09 WHIP)
Luis Martinez (RP) W (5-2) 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K (4.26 ERA, 1.29 WHIP)
Luis Gonzalez (CF) 0-for-3 (.251 BA, .682 OPS)
Luis Basabe (LF) 2-for-5, R, RBI (29), BB, 2 K (.247 BA, .667 OPS)
Blake Rutherford (DH) 2-for-4, R, 2 BB, 2 K (.265 BA, .682 OPS)
Gavin Sheets (1B) 0-for-4, RBI (83), BB, K (.268 BA, .760 OPS)
Joel Booker (RF) 1-for-5, R (.254 BA, .642 OPS)
Laz Rivera (2B) 3-for-5, 2B (22), 2 RBI (39), K (.252 BA, .615 OPS) **MVP**
Zach Remillard (3B) 1-for-5, R, 2B (2), 2 K (.227 BA, .635 OPS)
Alfredo Gonzalez (C) 1-for-5, R, K (.238 BA, .636 OPS)
Luis Valenzuela (SS) 1-for-5, R (.199 BA, .511 OPS)

This game started out as a pitching duel between Blake Battenfield and Brewer prospect Dylan File. That is until the third, when Luis Basabe pulled a single to right, scoring Alfredo Gonzalez with the first run of the game.

After the teams swapped runs in the fourth inning and went scoreless in the fifth, the Shuckers ended Battenfield’s evening with a triple and double to initiate the sixth frame. Control-challenged Alec Hansen entered the game tied 2-2 and promptly loaded the bases with a couple of walks. With the bases loaded and nobody out, things certainly didn’t look good for the home team. Hansen looked like he’d pull a Houdini act by fanning the next two batters, but his inability to find the plate cost him on a bases-loaded walk. An Alfredo Gonzalez passed ball proceeded to give Biloxi a 4-2 lead.

The game remained 4-2 until the bottom of the eighth, when Basabe scored on a wild pitch to slice the deficit in half. Then, in the bottom of the ninth, Zach Remillard (who opened the inning with a leadoff double) eventually scored a run thanks to a botched grounder hit by Luis Valenzuela. Thanks to those two gifts by the Shuckers (along with solid bullpen work by Hansen and Mauricio Cabrera in the seventh and eighth), the game went into extras.

After a scoreless 10th frame, Codi Heuer allowed a run without courtesy of a hit in the 11th.: The opening runner on second advanced to third on a ground out, and subsequently scored on a meek RBI ground out to Ti’Quan Forbes, giving Biloxi the 5-4 advantage.

Would this be the end for the Barons on this night? Not if Omar Vizquel’s squad had anything to say about it! Laz Rivera promptly scored designated runner Joel Booker with a double to begin the inning, tying the game 5-5. The Barons were unable to tack on the winning run that inning, however, so the game remained 5-5 after 11.

After a stellar 1-2-3 12th inning by Luis Martinez to keep the game deadlocked, Gavin Sheets came up with the bases loaded and one out, and came through with a clutch, game-winning sac fly to finally conclude this marathon with a 6-5 victory!

As is typical for a comeback win, this was certainly a team effort. The bullpen pitched a whopping seven innings allowing nary an earned run, but their work was so evenly split it was difficult to come up with a decisive winner. Thus the winner would have to come from the offensive side in the name of Rivera, who collected three hits and knocked in two runs —including the game-tying double in the 11th. The Barons improved to 63-71, while the Shuckers slipped to an impressive 81-56.


Lynchburg Hillcats 6, Winston-Salem Dash 1

Zach Lewis (SP) L (6-8) 6 IP, 9 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 0 BB, 4 K (5.83 ERA, 1.52 WHIP)
Jake Elliott (RP) 2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K (4.83 ERA, 1.33 WHIP)
Steele Walker (CF) 0-for-4, R (.269 BA, .768 OPS)
Mitch Roman (SS) 0-for-4, E (11) (.275 BA, .670 OPS)
Andrew Vaughn (1B) 0-for-3, BB, K (.240 BA, .733 OPS)
Craig Dedelow (RF) 1-for-3, 3B (10), RBI (63), BB, K (.246 BA, .755 OPS) **MVP**
Carlos Perez (DH) 1-for-4, K (.260 BA, .633 OPS)
Jameson Fisher (LF) 0-for-4, E (.238 BA, .711 OPS)

The Dash drew first blood in this game, as extra-base machine Craig Dedelow slugged an RBI triple, plating Steele Walker in the top of the first. Not only does Dedelow lead the Carolina League in triples this year with 10, he’s also clubbed 21 doubles and 18 homers. The Dash retained their tenuous 1-0 lead until the bottom of the third, when the Cleveland affiliate mounted a two-out run rally to give them a 2-1 lead off Dash starter Zach Lewis.

The bottom of the fourth started ominously for Lewis, as the first three hitters got on base via a single, double and hit-by-pitch. It didn’t finish well for Lewis, either, as the Hillcats tacked on three runs that inning which extended the Dash deficit to 5-1. Aside from an unearned run allowed by Jake Elliott in the eighth, there was very little offense in the last five frames. This was especially true of the Dash, as a Carlos Perez single was the only hit aside from Dedelow’s first-inning triple in this game. It’s never a good thing to have as many errors as hits.

Nobody really stood out in this game for the Dash, so Dedelow wins the MVP of this game for the Dash with his RBI triple and walk. The Dash fell to 70-61 with the defeat, while the Hillcats improved their record to 62-71.


Delmarva Shorebirds 4, Kannapolis Intimidators 3

Jason Bilous (SP) L (6-10) 2.2 IP, 1 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 6 BB, 4 K (3.70 ERA, 1.39 WHIP)
Declan Cronin (RP) 3.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K (3.70 ERA, 1.03 WHIP)
J.B. Olson (RP) 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K (5.83 ERA, 1.58 WHIP)
Ian Dawkins (CF) 2-for-5, R, K (.299 BA, .756 OPS)
Lenyn Sosa (SS) 2-for-4, 2 R, HR (6), RBI (49), 2 K (.252 BA, .662 OPS) **MVP**
Alex Destino (RF) 1-for-4, RBI (61), 2 K (.294 BA, .840 OPS)
Tyler Osik (DH) 1-for-3, 2B (10), RBI (18), BB, K (.273 BA, .899 OPS)
Amado Nuñez (2B) 0-for-3, BB, K (.205 BA, .579 OPS)
Gunnar Troutwine (C) 1-for-3, BB, K (.244 BA, .692 OPS)

With one out and nobody on in the first, Lenyn Sosa hammered his sixth homer of the season, giving the Intimidators an early 1-0 lead. Sosa’s enjoyed an above-average ending to his 2019 season, as his slash line was .307/.357/.421 prior to this game since the calendar flipped to August. Jason Bilous’ control evaporated in the bottom of the third, as four walks and a single among the first six batters is always a foreboding sign. Alas, a fifth walk in the inning plated the third Shorebirds run of the frame and presented the opportunity for Bilous to take an early shower. Somehow, throwing just 24-of-59 pitches for strikes doesn’t often get the job done. Fortunately, 36th-round pick Declan Cronin extinguished the fire and kept the score at a manageable 3-1.

Aside from a run in the fourth, Cronin did a yeoman’s job in keeping the Intimidators in the game. Unfortunately, his offense was nonexistent, as it couldn’t even tally a run in the seventh when the Shorebirds graciously handed them three free passes.

After a scoreless eighth inning thrown by J.B. Olson, the Intimidators went to work in the bottom half. Three singles and a double to begin the inning reduced the deficit to 4-3, with runners on scoring position and nobody out. However, strikeouts to Corey Zangari, Cameron Simmons and Amado Nuñez ignominiously ended the inning without any further damage.

Olson returned for the eighth, and held Delmarva scoreless with another solid inning of work. Each of the three hitters fanned in the ninth, however, as the Intimidators lost a tough one at 4-3, their hitters finishing the game with six strikeouts. Bilous’ wildness in the third inning, along with the inability to get the clutch hits in the seventh and eighth frames, provided the demise of Kannapolis in this contest. Cronin and Olson were excellent out of the bullpen this evening, but Sosa was the MVP of this one with his two hits (including his sixth homer of the year). The Shorebirds soared to an incredible 89-47 record, while the Intimidators fell to 10 games under at 63-73.


Great Falls Voyagers 8, Billings Mustangs 7

Dan Metzdorf (SP) 2 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 2 K (3.55 ERA, 1.29 WHIP)
Kaleb Roper (RP) 3 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 K (2.81 ERA, 1.00 WHIP)
Nate Pawelczyk (RP) 1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K (3.96 ERA, 1.52 WHIP)
Karan Patel (RP) 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K (4.02 ERA, 1.31 WHIP)
Sammy Peralta (RP) 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K (2.63 ERA, 1.10 WHIP)
Caberea Weaver (CF) 0-for-4, R, K (.248 BA, .680 OPS)
Luis Curbelo (DH) 4-for-5, 4 R (.259 BA, .741 OPS) **MVP**
Luis Mieses (RF) 0-for-5, 2 R, K (.238 BA, .617 OPS)
Lency Delgado (3B) 2-for-4, R, 3 RBI (31), K, E (15) (.282 BA, .731 OPS)
Sam Abbott (1B) 1-for-4, 2 RBI (27), BB, K, E (6) (.231 BA, .806 OPS)
Ivan Gonzalez (C) 1-for-3, 2 RBI (3), K, E (3) (.233 BA, .559 OPS)
Anderson Comas (LF) 2-for-4, RBI (33), 2 K (.240 BA, .651 OPS)

The normally reliable Dan Metzdorf got off to a rocky start in this one, as he relinquished three runs in the opening frame thanks to a single, three doubles and a walk. The Voyagers, however, got back two of those runs courtesy of a two-run single by Lency Delgado. Metdorf was unable to stifle the Mustangs in the second, however, as a two-out single increased the Billings lead to 4-2. Billings added an insurance in the fourth off Kaleb Roper, increasing their lead to three runs. The Voyagers narrowed the deficit to 5-4, however, as Ivan Gonzalez clubbed a two-run single in the bottom of that frame.

Kaleb Roper relinquished a run in the fourth, but it wasn’t entirely his fault as Gonzalez committed a throwing error trying to gun down a runner at third on a stolen base attempt. Aside from that minor blemish, Roper did a terrific job keeping the Voyagers within fighting distance. In the meantime, Great Falls evened the score at 6-6 during the bottom half of the fifth thanks to an RBI ground out and an RBI single by Anderson Comas.

Billings, seemingly offended by Great Falls tying the game up, immediately scored a run in the sixth off Nate Pawelczyk to regain the advantage. Thanks to some solid bullpen work by both teams, the game remained that way until two outs in the ninth inning, when Lency Delgado blooped a clutch RBI single to plate Caberea Weaver with the game-tying run. Not to be outdone, Sam Abbott pulled a single to right, which scored Luis Curbelo with the game-winner!

What an exciting win for a team that’s had more ups than downs this season. As mentioned in the Birmingham game, it’s usually a team effort when a team achieves a come-from-behind victory like this one. The bullpen (all selected in this year’s MLB draft) certainly deserves kudos for keeping the team in the game, while Delgado and Abbott contributed clutch hits in the final frame. The true MVP of this game is Curbelo, however, with four hits and an equal number of runs scored, including the game-winner. He’s certainly had a difficult 2019, but here’s hoping that a great finish this year could lead to a resurgent 2020 for the young man. Honorable mention goes to Delgado with two hits and 3 RBI., including the game-tying run in the ninth.