Thursday, July 24 - Savannah 2, Augusta 1
A late home run by Colton Plaia overshadowed what was a solid overall night for Tyler Horan. Plaia hit a solo homer in the ninth for Savannah's go-ahead and eventual winning run.
Augusta is now 6-10 against Savannah this season. The GreenJackets have lost six of their past seven.
Ysla scared everyone by coming out throwing 81-84 to the first batter of the game. It drew a trainer visit, but he was left in. The next pitch was 92, and went on to sit 87-94 and touch 95 for the rest of the game. Ysla's fluctuating velo confuses everyone, but he seems to know what he's doing. He'll go from throwing an 87 fastball to 95 on the next pitch, and it all seems to be part of design.
Ysla's average velo was a little lower in this start. I clocked a lot of 88-89 when he's usually more 90-92. He got knocked around a little, allowing four line drives in six innings, but he was again impressive from the stretch. He didn't lose his pace and kept his command in tough situations. There's no way Ysla gets to six innings in April with the kind of stuff he had in this start. It's the latest example that he is growing as a pitcher.
Ysla's slider was all over the place. He got under it at times from his low release point, he choked some in the dirt and he spun some high and arm side. It was nothing more than flashing above average. His changeup was again noncompetitive. His arm action slows and it's very firm.
The positive to take from this start is that Ysla continues to grow as a pitcher. He worked with less-than-stellar stuff or command and battled for six innings. The kind of stuff he had in this start won't play past the SAL, but luckily it's usually better.
Black wasn't firing triple digits, which is almost disappointing at this point considering what he has done this season. The fact that failing to hit 100 can be considered a disappointment shows how insanely strong Black's arm is.
His fastball was 93-98 and touched 99. He worked up and down to change eye levels, which led to one strikeout on a high fastball. His breaking ball didn't have the usual impossible bite, but he kept the same mid-80s velo with above-average bite. It was enough to generate a second strikeout.
Horan took advantage of a rare mistake by Savannah starter Logan Taylor and hit it over the ad boards in right field for his 14th home run of the season. Taylor's arm slot dropped and his fastball was left flat and up at 88. Horan did what he was supposed to do with it by tapping into his plus raw power.
Horan can be classified as a streaky hitter, because the path of his swing comes and goes. But he has been able to stay in the .270s quite a while, and it's at .273 after this game. He continues to slug circles around his teammates. He easily has the most present power on the team.
Horan also threw out a runner at home from fairly deep right field. However, his arm is below average and isn't considered a tool, similar to the rest of his defensive profile. The value is in his bat, and any further push of his prospect status will come at the plate.
Taylor's fastball was 88-92 with varying movements, from running sink to cut. His feel for the fastball and ability to change movements is almost identical to teammate Robert Whalen's. His command for the pitch was also similar to Whalen's, missing up and over the plate at times, but staying down for the most part. Taylor also showed the ability/confidence to work glove side to left-handed batters, running a cutter on their hands with varying degrees of success.
Taylor flashed an above average curveball around 76-79. The spin was a little loose and showed hump early, so Augusta batters were able to lay off. He'll need to tighten the pitch for future success, but the feel is there for further development. It could become a reliable above average pitch in time.
Taylor showed some sort of cutter/slider around 83 that had tighter spin and less depth. I only saw it once. It might have been a loose cutter, but the depth was greater. If it's some sort of slider/cutter mix, I'd like to see it more often. It fooled an Augusta batter. Taylor's changeup appeared as a show-me offering.
Taylor has a deeper arsenal than I expected. The varying fastballs give him an added advantage, and the curveball should be usable down the road. The looser cutter seemed intriguing, but I don't know what kind of plan they have with that. The changeup probably won't be a factor. It's enough to start for now, and he might get by with it in the upper levels. I still think Taylor's future is in the bullpen. His delivery has effort from a high arm slot and heavy upper-body rotation and spine tilt.
Notable Augusta lines:
Luis Ysla: 6 IP, 8 H, R/ER, BB, 3 K, 11 ground balls, 5 fly balls, 4 line drives, 4 swinging strikes, 87-94, t95
Tyler Horan: 2-4, 2B, HR, RBI
Notable Savannah lines:
Logan Taylor: 6 IP, 6 H, R/ER, BB, 4 K, 9 ground balls, 8 fly balls, 3 line drives, 8 swinging strikes, 88-92
Colton Plaia: 1-4, HR, RBI
Victor Cruzado: 1-3, 3B, RBI, BB
Nelfi Zapata: 3-4, 2B
Yeixon Ruiz: 3-4, BB