Knights Knotes: May 12, 2017
KNIGHT LIGHTS: The Charlotte Knights (Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox) opened a seven-game road trip on Monday night at Victory Field in Indianapolis, IN against the Indianapolis Indians (Triple-A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates). The Knights traveled to Victory Field in Indianapolis, IN with a two-game winning streak, but dropped all three games in the series. Yesterday, the Knights continued the road trip and opened a four-game series against the Louisville Bats (Triple-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds) from Louisville Slugger Field in Louisville, KY. The Knights (15–17) snapped their three-game losing streak last night with a 7–4 win in the opener against the Bats. After this four-game trip, the Knights will return home on Monday for a three-game series. The Knights are 10–5 this season at BB&T Ballpark.
ABOUT THE LAST KNIGHTS GAME: Charlotte’s offense swatted a game-high 13 hits — including two key home runs — and powered their way past the Louisville Bats by a score of 7–4 on Thursday in the opening game of their four-game series from Louisville, KY. Outfielder Jacob May and first baseman Danny Hayes both homered on Thursday, while third baseman Nicky Delmonico finished the game with three hits — a home run short of the cycle.
BACK IN LOUISVILLE: RHP Zack Burdi and outfielder Adam Engel, are both products of the University of Louisville. Burdi has put together a solid season with the Knights this year. On Wednesday, Burdi tossed another scoreless inning and has not allowed a run over his last seven appearances (9.0 IP). He has 15 strikeouts over that stretch. Burdi is back in Louisville tonight where he compiled an 8–4 record with a 2.44 ERA and 20 saves over 60 appearances for the Cardinals over three seasons (2014–2016). Engel is hitting .316 (6-for-19) over his last five games and has three home runs and five RBIs in the month of May (10 games) with the Knights. Engel was named Third Team All-Big East in 2013 and Second Team All-Big East in 2012 with the Cardinals.
HOME RUN HAYES: 1B Danny Hayes launched his team-high seventh home run of the season last night — a three-run shot in a five-run third inning. Hayes has the second-most home runs (7) in the International League this season and third-most RBIs (24). Hayes has hit a home run once every 15.71 at-bats this season — fifth best in the IL.
NICK AT NITE: 3B Nicky Delmonico nearly hit-for-the-cycle last night in the opener. Delmonico went 3-for-4 with a single, double, and a triple — falling just a home run short of the cycle. He also scored a run and drove in two runs last night. For the season, Delmonico is hitting .300 (36-for-120) with 21 runs scored, 10 doubles, two triples, two home runs, and 16 RBIs.
REY OF LIGHT: RHP Reynaldo Lopez (4–1, 3.55) got the start for the Knights in last night’s opener and continued his solid stretch. Lopez allowed three runs (one earned) over six innings pitched en route to his fourth win of the season. Lopez has now won four consecutive starts and is 4–0 with a 2.66 ERA over that stretch (23.2 innings pitched). Ranked as the number three prospect in Chicago’s system, Lopez threw a total of 103 pitches on Thursday (73 for strikes). A native of the Dominican Republic, Lopez also struck out 10 batters in a game on April 11 in Durham. He was obtained by the Chicago White Sox on December 7, 2016 with Charlotte teammate Lucas Giolito and Chicago White Sox Pitcher of the Month for April, Dane Dunning, from the Washington Nationals for outfielder Adam Eaton. Eaton was recently lost for the season with an ACL tear.
MONCADA MANIA: Charlotte second baseman Yoan Moncada, who hit .500 (11-for-22) with eight runs scored, two home runs, and four RBIs over six games last week, was named as the International League’s Batter of the Week for the period of May 1–7, as announced by the International League of Professional Baseball Clubs, Inc. on Monday. Moncada added two more hits and a stolen base last night and is currently hitting .347 (42-for-121) with six home runs, and 10 stolen bases. Ranked as the number one prospect in Major League Baseball by MLB.com, Moncada is in the top five in the League in batting average (3rd), hits (2nd), total bases (4th), and stolen bases (2nd). Moncada became the second player this season to earn IL Batter of the Week honors for the Knights. Outfielder Willy Garcia, who is now a member of the Chicago White Sox, was named as the IL Batter of the Week during the first week of the season (April 6–9). The Knights are the only team in the IL with multiple batters of the week so far this season. Earlier this season (May 1), the Chicago White Sox named Moncada as their Minor League Player of the Month for the month of April. During the first month of the season, Moncada hit .314 (27-for-86) with 16 runs scored, four home runs, seven RBIs, and six stolen bases in 21 games for the Charlotte Knights
DEFENSIVE LEADERS: 3B Nicky Delmonico leads all International League third basemen in most putouts (20) and is tied for first in games (30)… 2B Yoan Moncada leads all International League second basemen in nearly all defensive categories including games (30), most total chances (137), most assists (85), and most double plays (25)… 1B Danny Hayes leads all International League first basemen in most total chances (276), most putouts (254), most double plays (31), and assists (21).
KNIGHTS STARTING PITCHER: RHP Carson Fulmer (4–1, 2.88) will make his seventh start of the season tonight as he takes the ball in game two of the four-game series. Fulmer continued his winning ways on Sunday and allowed just one run on three hits over six innings en route to his third consecutive winning decision. The Vanderbilt University product struck-out four batters and improved to 3–0 with a 1.54 ERA over his last four games (23.1 IP). Fulmer has now won all four of his starts at BB&T Ballpark this season. He is 4–0 with a 1.93 ERA in 23.1 innings pitched at BB&T Ballpark this year. In two May starts, Fulmer is 2–0 with a 1.59 ERA (11.1 IP). Fulmer was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the first round (eighth overall) in the June 2015 First-Year Player Draft. A native of Lakeland, FL, Fulmer entered the season ranked by Baseball America as the fifth best prospect in Chicago’s system. He went 2–1 with a 3.94 ERA in four starts with the Knights last year.
LOUISVILLE STARTING PITCHER: LHP Amir Garrett (NR) will make the start tonight for the Bats — his first start of the season with Louisville. Garrett — the number three prospect in Cincinnati’s organization as rated by Baseball America — posted a 3–2 record with a 4.25 ERA in six starts with the Reds this season. The 25-year-old went 5–3 with a 1.75 ERA in 13 games (12 starts) with Pensacola (High-A) last season. He also posted a 2–5 mark with a 3.46 ERA in 12 games (11 starts) with the Bats last year. He allowed two runs on three hits with seven strikeouts over seven innings in a loss against the Knights last season (August 9, 2016 at BB&T Ballpark).
PEN PALS RHP Brad Goldberg (1–1, 3.14) earned his second save of the season after a scoreless ninth inning last night. Goldberg allowed one hit and struck out one for his second consecutive scoreless appearance. Goldberg has not allowed a run on the road this season in five appearances out of the bullpen (6.0 IP). Both of his saves have come on the road… LHP Matt Purke (1–0, 1.59) continued his solid stretch out of the Charlotte bullpen on May 10. Purke allowed two hits over tossed two scoreless innings. The Charlotte lefty has not allowed a run in eight consecutive appearances (13.0 IP) and has 14 strikeouts over that span, including 10 over his last three games (6.0 IP)… LHP Brian Clark tossed another scoreless inning yesterday and has not allowed a run in any of his five appearances this season (4.2 IP). Dating back to last year with the Knights, Clark has not allowed an earned run in six straight Triple-A games.