Fisher Cats home for six
The top two teams in the Eastern League’s Western Division will be in town as the New Hampshire Fisher Cats open a six-game homestand tonight at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium.
The Richmond Flying Squirrels (66-49, affiliate of the San Francisco Giants) begin a three-game set tonight at 7:05. The second-place Akron Rubber Ducks (61-55, Cleveland Indians) follow for a three-game set beginning Friday night.
The Fisher Cats (58-63) enter tonight’s game having lost three of their last four games. Scott Copeland (8-7, 3.70 ERA) will start for New Hampshire against Adalberto Mejia (5-7, 5.17 ERA).
The Flying Squirrels have climbed to the top of the Western Division pile thanks to solid pitching. Richmond, which boasts six of the Giants’ top pitching prospects, has the best team ERA in the league (3.63).
No. 1 prospect Kyle Crick is not scheduled to pitch against New Hampshire, but Mejia is the No. 4 prospect and is worth a look.
In his first season in Double-A, Mejia is 5-7 with 69 strikeouts and an ERA of 5.17. He earned one of those wins against New Hampshire, pitching seven innings without giving up a run, walking one and striking out seven.
Second-place Akron won two of three games against the Fisher Cats last weekend.
Pitcher Cody Anderson is the No. 3 prospect in the Indians’ pipeline and was named the organization’s pitcher of the year. His fastball reaches upwards of 96 mph. Anderson is 4-9 with 65 strikeouts and an ERA of 4.97.
The other Rubber Ducks player to watch is shortstop Erik Gonzalez, a recent call-up to Double-A. In 17 appearances, he is hitting .408 with one home run, eight RBIs and three stolen bases.
The scouting report also tabs Gonzalez as a smooth fielder.