South Atlantic League baseball
What: Four-game series
When: Thursday through Sunday (7:05 Thursday and Friday nights, 6:05 Saturday, 2:05 Sunday)
Where: McCormick Field (Asheville, N.C.)
Major League affiliates: Kansas City Royals (Legends), Colorado Rockies (Tourists)
Probable pitchers (Legends listed first): Thursday, RH Miguel Almonte (3-4, 3.83) vs. RH Ben Hughes (5-5, 6.00); Friday, RH Christian Binford (4-2, 2.67) vs. RH Shane Broyles (1-8, 6.67); Saturday, LH Daniel Stumpf (4-4, 2.78) vs. RH Ryan Arrowood (3-0, 3.43); Sunday, LH Crawford Simmons (0-1, 9.00) vs. RH Matt Carasiti (1-2, 8.16).
Legend to watch: Thursday starter Miguel Almonte (6-foot-2, 180 pounds, age 20, from Santiago, Dominican Republic) has made 11 starts, going 3-4 with a 3.83 ERA over 56 1/3 innings. Almonte has struck out 53, walked 21, holding opponents to a .246 batting average. His last five starts have resulted in two wins and three no-decisions. In two June starts, he is 1-0 with a 2.45 ERA. Signed for $25,000 on Nov. 20, 2010, he made five appearances (one start) with the Dominican Summer League Royals in 2011, with no decisions and a 5.40 ERA. Last year, with the DSL Royals and Arizona League’s Surprise Royals, Almonte was a combined 8-2. He earned DSL all-star honors and was the Dominican Royals’ Pitcher of the Year, and even joined Burlington for the Appalachian League playoffs. Coming into this season, Baseball America rated Almonte as the 10th-best prospect in the Royals system.
Tourist to watch: SAL all-star OF Derek Jones (6-0, 210, 23, bats and throws left, from Snohomish, Wash.) is hitting .254 with eight homers, 30 RBI and 26 runs over 55 games. After batting .325 in 20 games in April, he has slumped of late. Still, he’s hitting .309 with runners on base. He has 10 stolen bases and 93 total bases, and 15 of his 52 hits have been doubles. A 2012 eighth-round draft pick out of Washington State, Jones broke into pro ball last year with Tri-City of the Northwest League, hitting .191 with a homer, 22 RBI and 29 runs over 68 games.
Radio: WLXG-AM 1300