South Atlantic League baseball
What: Three-game series
When: Monday through Wednesday (6 Monday and Tuesday nights, 11 Wednesday morning)
Where: Crawdads Stadium (Hickory, N.C.)
Major League affiliates: Kansas City Royals (Legends), Texas Rangers
Probable pitchers (Legends listed first): Monday, LH Luis Rico (0-2, 9.00) vs. LH Frank Lopez (0-1, 3.00); Tuesday, LH Matt Tenuta (1-1, 1.53) vs. TBA; Wednesday, RH Luis Santos (1-0, 1.26) vs. TBA.
Legend to watch: Wednesday starter Luis Santos (6 feet, 182 pounds, age 23, bats and throws right, from Bonao, Dominican Republic) is off to a 1-0-1, 1.26 start over three games, including two starts. Over 14 1/3 innings, he struck out 13 and walked one, holding opponents to a .236 batting average. Originally signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2011, he was acquired by the Royals with LH Luis Rico in exchange for RH Vin Mazzaro and 1B Clint Robinson on Nov. 28, 2012. He split last season between Idaho Falls (3-0, 1.40 in three games) of the Pioneer League and Burlington (4-1, 2.25 in seven games) of the Appalachian League. He was Burlington’s Pitcher of the Year and tied for seventh in the league in wins. Before joining the Royals organization, he threw two seasons for the Dominican Summer League Pirates.
Crawdad to watch: OF Lewis Brinson (6-3, 170, age 19, bats and throws right, from Tamarac, Fla.) is batting .274 with three homers, eight RBI and 11 runs scored over 16 games. Rated by Baseball America as the No. 15 prospect in the Rangers system, he was taken in the first round (29th pick overall) of the 2012 draft and signed for $1.625 million out of high school. Baseball America writes, in part, of Brinson: “His raw tools are as good as anyone’s in the system, but his baseball skills remain unrefined. He has outstanding bat speed and plu raw power to all fields, and he beat out Byron Buxton in the finals of the home run derby of the 2011 Under Armour All-America Game. Brinson came into pro ball as merely an adequate defensive center fielder, but the Rangers felt he improved significantly in the second half a low Class A Hickory in 2013 to take advantage of his plus speed and above-average arm. There’s still a long ways for Brinson to go at the plate. He struck out 191 times in 2013, finishing one behind the minor league leader in that category, with a whiff in 38 percent of his trips to the plate and a .209/.292/.374 batting line away from hitter-friendly Hickory.”
Radio: WLXG-AM 1300