The Memorial Day weekend and the days following were unkind to the Dayton Dragons. This was a week where Delino DeShields earned his keep as the Dragons Manager while the team found a variety of ways to lose and even the weather seemed to be working against them.
The original schedule had Dayton slated to face South Bend for 4 games over Memorial Day and then return home to host Beloit for 3. After Saturday’s game was rained out they scheduled a makeup double header for Sunday but the second game of that pair was also postponed. Finally on Monday they lost both ends of the double header to drop 3 of 4. The final game against the Silver Hawks marked the first of three one run losses after only scoring one run in the two previous games. During this stretch they lost 5-4, 11-10 and 6-5.
The job of a minor league manager is challenging but this week DeShields showed he is making progress on at least one front. After sitting Billy Hamilton down about two weeks ago behind close doors this week seems to herald a change in direction from the speedy shortstop. This week Hamilton started to hit.
Let’s start by discussing the top 4 performances of the week and end with our 2nd Dragon of the Week.
5. A tie between relief pitchers Jamie Wolford and Brian Howell, both had challenges this week but both recorded 2 Quality Relief Outings to lead the squad.
4. Drew Poulk. Drew just joined the team on the 27th called up from the Arizona Extended Spring training had a good week for the Dragons. He went 5-15 with a HR, SB, 2 runs scored and an RBI. Not a bad way to start!
3. Dominic D’Anna. Dominic went 5-22 on the week with 5 runs scored, 3 runs batted in and 3 doubles.
2. Josh Smith. Easily could have picked Josh as the Dragon of the Week. He went 2-0 earning the only two wins of the week. He had 2 quality starts with 12 IP, 2 Runs both earned, 9 K’s, 8 Hits, 1 Walk.
1. Dragon of the Week Billy Hamilton! After sitting Billy Hamilton down about two weeks ago behind close doors, this week seems to herald a change in direction from the speedy shortstop. This week Hamilton started to hit.
There are reasons not to pick Billy at first glance. He made two errors, was picked off base twice, struck out 7 out of 28 at bats, was caught stealing for the 7th time this season and he only had 4 stolen bases after stealing 14 during the previous 10 games.
Here is why I selected Billy. Mr. Hamilton led the team with 9 hits going 9-28 on the week, he also led or shared the lead in doubles (3), triples (2), runs scored (5), and runs batted in (8). His 4 steals also led the team and when you have 9 hits and no walks and 5 of the hits are stretched into extra bases you simply won’t have as many steals.
In all Hamilton’s batting average jumped from .198 to .216 in 7 games 200 ABs into the season, giving credence to the idea that the hard work he has displayed since he stepped into the managers office is paying off. Dragon’s fans should be excited to see his continued growth and development. I know I am.
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After sitting Billy Hamilton down about two weeks ago behind close doors this week seems to herald a change in direction from the speedy shortstop. This week Hamilton started to hit.