Two notable names that Augusta may remember will make their major league debuts soon.
Brandon Cumpton, a former Greenbrier and Georgia Tech standout, will make his debut for the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday in place of the injured A.J. Burnett. Cumpton, who went 31-3 during his four years at Greenbrier, had a 3.31 ERA with 49 strikeouts and 22 walks in 65.1 innings for Triple-A Indianapolis this season.
It's been more than a month since Augusta GreenJackets right-hander Joe Biagini labored over three innings at Greenville, allowing four runs for the third consecutive start. It's been a solid month's span.
Over his past four starts, Biagini has allowed five runs in 27.2 innings, walking four and striking out 17. He went seven innings in three of the four outings and came up one out short of seven full in the other start.
Augusta GreenJackets right-hander Martin Agosta received a little recognition for his outstanding season by being named South Atlantic League Pitcher of the Week for June 3-9.
Agosta threw seven shutout innings on two hits against the Lexington Legends on June 7, allowing just two hits with two walks and 10 strikeouts. He beat the Legends for the fourth time in four starts this season.
Day 1: Thursday, 7 p.m. (rounds 1-2)
Day 2: Friday, 12:30 p.m. (3-10)
Day 3: Saturday, 1 p.m. (11-40)
My mock draft, based on very little: (assigned pick values in parentheses)
1. Astros - Jonathan Gray, Oklahoma ($7,790,400)
2. Cubs - Mark Appel, Stanford ($6,708,400)
3. Rockies - Kris Bryant, San Diego ($5,626,400)
4. Twins - Kohl Stewart, St. Pius X HS ($4,544,400)
5. Indians - Colin Moran, North Carolina ($3,787,000)
6. Marlins - Braden Shipley, Nevada ($3,516,500)
At the time of the July 31 trade that sent Ryan Dempster to the Texas Rangers in exchange for minor leaguers Christian Villanueva and Kyle Hendricks, ESPN's Keith Law said the Chicago Cubs did a good job acquiring a prospect like Villanueva for a pitcher everyone knew they wanted to deal. That statement is already proving true.
The Augusta GreenJackets experienced their first GreenJackets Hall of Fame night by inducting Tim Wakefield into the hall on Saturday.
Wakefield played 11 games as an infielder for the Augusta Pirates in 1989, hitting only .235. It was just one year later that he was working his way through the minors as a knuckleball pitcher.
Wakefield eventually played 17 seasons for the Boston Red Sox, and 19 overall, earning a 4.41 ERA with 200 wins. He was an All-Star in 2009 and finished third in Cy Young voting in 1995.
Before Baseball America released its minor league park study, I had an idea that Lake Olmstead Stadium was a homer-suppressing park. I had no idea it was so serious.
To be ranked 119th out of 120 parks in the country in home runs per game is pretty astounding. No matter the league, quality of players, weather or dimensions, it says something to be ranked that low out of that many parks.
Friday, May 31 - RiverDogs 2, GreenJackets 1
The matchup of strikeout leaders did a pretty solid job of living up to its billing.
Charleston starter Rafael De Paula looked excellent over five innings, allowing just one hit with no runs, no walks and three strikeouts. The strikeout total is a season low for him, but he pitched more economically, attacking the zone and limiting hard contact. He induced six swinging strikes and was neutral between ground balls and fly balls.
Friday, May 31 - 7:05 p.m.
Charleston RiverDogs (31-20)
RHP Rafael De Paula (49.1 IP, 2.74 ERA, 2.00 FIP, 40.2 K%, 11.1 BB%, .326 BABIP)
Augusta GreenJackets (29-24)
RHP Martin Agosta (47.2 IP, 2.45 ERA, 2.80 FIP, 33 K%, 11.2 BB%, .314 BABIP)
I sometimes tout a pitching matchup as one of the best you'll see at this level, but this matchup is a legit must-see. De Paula and Agosta are first and second in the South Atlantic League in strikeout percentage.
Thursday, May 30 - RiverDogs 4, GreenJackets 3
The GreenJackets managed to bring three across off RiverDogs starter Cesar Vargas in five innings, but the game ended when left-handed reliever Dietrich Enns entered in the sixth.