Bats Rack: Yonder Hitting it Yonder

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The Louisville Bats return home tonight to open a four game series with the Buffalo Bisons (Mets). The Bats went 4-4 on their recent road trip and currently hold a record of 20-14, 5 GB of Columbus who is 25-9.

The Bats have a few players playing very well right now:

Yonder Alonso – Yonder is on an eight game hitting streak and is absolutely shredding the ball. In those eight games Alonso is 14-37 (.378) with a HR, 1 triple, 6 doubles, and 7 RBI. He was a single short of the cycle on Monday. As of April 23rd, Alonso had yet to hit a HR or get an RBI. He now has 4 HR and 17 RBI (in 19 days) and boasts a .322 AVG and .378 OBP for the season. The only problem for Alonso has been defensively. He seems to lack a quick first step in left field and can rarely cut a ball off that’s going in the alley. I feel as if this will come around, though—much like his bat has come around.

Todd Frazier – Frazier, who has played in all 34 games this season, is on a nine game hitting streak. In those nine games, Todd has hit 8 doubles, 3 HR, and has 8 RBI. 4 of his last five games have been multi-hit games. On May 8, Todd went 3-4 with 2 HR and 4 RBI. Think he’s seeing the ball well? And by the way, Frazier is awesome defensively. In 27 games at third base this year, Frazier has committed just 4 errors. I, however, feel that Todd’s best position is left field—although he’s only played five games there this season. Here’s the best way to explain Todd Frazier’s defensive abilities: He has committed only 47 errors in his entire minor league career (4 full seasons and 34 games of this season), and has a fielding percentage of .973. And in 167 career games in LF, he’s committed only 5 errors (.985 fielding percentage). When Frazier’s bat starts becoming consistent, he could be a very good major league ball player.

Tom Cochran – Cochran has been absolutely lights out on the mound all year. In six games pitched (21.2 innings) Tom is 5-0 with an ERA of 1.66. In the one game he did not get the win, he pitched to only one batter and got the out. In Tom’s three starts this year he has given up just 10 hits, 4 runs (all earned), walked 9 and struck out 9 in 17 IP. Doing some quick math, that’s an ERA of 2.11 and a WHIP of 1.55. Tom may not be a top prospect, but he’s been pitching like one in the first month of the season.

Here’s some other interesting factoids:

Matt Maloney became the Louisville franchise leader in games started (75) on May 3rd when he got a ND against Norfolk (Orioles). On May 8th, Maloney pitched 7 scoreless innings against Buffalo, got the win and went 3-3 with a double. That win put Matt 1 win behind current record holder Ralph Citarella. Coming up next in the record book is career IP. Matt currently sits 29.2 IP behind Kevin Hagen (481 IP) in that category. Maloney is already the franchise leader in strikeouts.

The Bats were 16-7 before CF Dave Sappelt went down to a strained oblique. Since then the Bats are 4-7, including losing the first five games after Sappelt’s injury.

On May 9, the Reds signed former Detroit Tiger Brent Clevlen to a minor league contract and assigned him to the Bats. In three games, Clevlen is 2-13 with an RBI and a run scored.

And finally, some nifty statistical numbers to get you excited about the Reds’ future:

Sappelt is currently 4th in the IL in AVG (.341), 4th in OBP (.417) and 5th in SLG (.588).

Alonso is 10th in the league in hits with 38.

Alonso, Frazier, and Zack Cozart are all tied for 3rd in the league is doubles with 11 each.

Frazier is tied for the third in HR (8), tied for 7th in RBI (22), and 8th in SLG (.575).

The Bats as a team lead the International League in doubles with 76, are tied for 4th in triples with 7, and are 2nd in home runs with 35. That totals 118 extra base hits, which also leads the league.

Be sure to follow me on Twitter @kevingeary10 and BRM @blogredmachine.