Bats Rack: Great Start

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The opening homestand for the Louisville Bats has come and gone…with a bang! The Bats played a double header against the Columbus Clippers (Indians) yesterday and won both games. In the finale the Bats battled back from a three-run deficit to tie the game in their final at-bat, and then Devin Mesoraco—who hit a walk-off grand slam last season—went into clutch mode again with one out in the 8th (minor league double headers are seven innings) blasting the first pitch he saw 410 ft. to dead center. The Bats, who lost game one of the homestand 11-6, have won five straight and are 5-1 going into a six-game series with the Indianapolis Indians (Pirates).

Who’s Hot

Dave Sappelt – Sappelt has picked up right where he left off in the spring. He’s hitting .381 and has walked four times. Last night, down 1-2 in the count, Sappelt fouled off 3 pitches and drew a walk in the big 3-run 7th inning that tied the game.

Jeremy Hermida – Heremida has absolutely torn the cover off the ball. He’s batting .389 with 2 HR and 4 RBI. Hermida looks as if he’s found his stroke and looks like a good insurance policy if a Reds corner outfielder gets injured.

Danny Dorn – Through five games, Dorn is hitting .529 with 1 HR and 4 RBI. Dorn is primarily an outfielder but has played a stellar first base this year for the Bats.

Who’s Not (At least not right now)

Zach Cozart – Cozart hasn’t got off to the best of starts. He’s batting just .150 and has struck out 4 times in just 20 at-bats. But Cozart has played in all six games. Why? His glove. He makes plays other shortstops can’t. His arm is money, too. Cozart reminds me of Paul Janish; Great defensive prowess, not-so-good bat—yet. Janish has his bat going for the Reds and I think (and hope) Cozart will too.

Kris Negron – Negron has struck out in half of his at-bats (6 out of 12) and is hitting .167. But, like Cozart, Negron plays because of his glove and hustle. This guy is like Jonny Gomes when it comes to fielding; he plays so hard every play, everybody else on the team has no choice but to follow suit.

Yonder Alonso – Alonso is hitting .211 in 5 games and has struck out 4 times in 19 at-bats. Fortunately, we’re only five games in. I have no doubt Yonder (and the other two guys above) will get out of this slump and be hitting the ball well in no time.

A few nuggets:
– The Bats have committed just two errors on the season through six games. That’s not bad considering the highest total in the league is Buffalo with 10 errors in six games.
– With a .283 team BA, the Bats are third in the league in hitting. They’re second in HR with 8, and have swiped 7 bases (3rd) while being caught just once.
– The Bats have drawn a total attendance of 43,119. That’s an average crowd of 8,623 over five openings. Of teams that have opened at least four times, the Bats are ahead of second place in total attendance by 7,719 and in average attendance by 368. Not a bad start for their first home stand.

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