Knights Knotes: May 13, 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. On Thursday, 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 (16–17) snapped their three-game losing streak on Thursday with a 7–4 win in the opener and continued their winning ways last night with a 5–2 win in game two. The Knights have scored 12 runs over the two-game stretch in Louisville and moved to just within one game of .500 overall this season. 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 LAST KNIGHT: RHP Carson Fulmer twirled another impressive performance on the mound, 2B Yoan Moncada continued his torrid pace at the plate, and the Charlotte Knights beat the Louisville Bats by a score of 5–2 on Friday in game two of their four-game series from Louisville Slugger Field in Louisville, KY.
RETURN TO 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, 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 continue his solid stretch last night with his fifth home run of the season last night — a solo shot in the third inning. Engel is hitting .316 (6-for-19) over his last five games and has four home runs and six RBIs in the month of May (11 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.
LEAGUE LEADER: RHP Carson Fulmer (5–1, 2.72) was sharp over 5.1 innings last night allowing just two runs (one earned) with eight strikeouts en route to his International League leading fifth win of the season. Fulmer, who made his seventh start of the season last night, earned his fourth consecutive winning decision (four of his last five games). The Vanderbilt University product improved to 4–0 with a 1.57 ERA over his last five games (28.2 IP) with 25 strikeouts. Fulmer has 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 three May starts, Fulmer is 3–0 with a 1.62 ERA (16.2 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.
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, including a double and a run scored, and is currently hitting .352 (44-for-125) with 27 runs scored, six home runs, 11 RBIs, 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 (2nd), hits (2nd), total bases (T-3rd), and stolen bases (T-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.
MONTH OF MAY: OF Jacob May started the season with the Chicago White Sox and was optioned down to the Knights on May 1st and active on Charlotte’s roster on May 4. Since then (eight games), May has hit safely in every game he’s played for the Knights and overall now has an 11-game hit-streak (dating back to 9/3/16). Over that 11-game stretch, May is hitting .304 (14-for-46) with a home run and five RBIs. Last night, May connected on a two-run single and has at least one RBI in back-to-back games.
DEFENSIVE LEADERS: 1B Danny Hayes leads all International League first basemen in most total chances (282), most putouts (260), most double plays (33), and assists (21). He is also tied for first in games played (32)… 2B Yoan Moncada leads all International League second basemen in nearly all defensive categories including games (31), most total chances (143), most assists (90), and most double plays (27)… 3B Nicky Delmonico leads all International League third basemen in most putouts (21) and is tied for first in games (31).
KNIGHTS STARTING PITCHER: RHP Lucas Giolito (0–5, 7.31) will make his seventh start of the season tonight as he takes the ball for the Charlotte Knights in game three of their four-game series tonight. Giolito is still in search of his first win of the 2017 season. Giolito, along with Knights teammate Reynaldo Lopez, were acquired from the Washington Nationals at the Winter Meetings in exchange for Adam Eaton. The 22-year-old right-hander, who appeared in six games with the Nationals last season (four starts), entered the 2017 ranked as Chicago’s number two prospect by Baseball America. A first round pick (16th overall) of the Nats in the 2012 MLB June Amateur Draft, Giolito has combined to compile a 25–16 record with a 2.84 ERA in 77 games (75 starts) over parts of six seasons in the minors.
LOUISVILLE STARTING PITCHER: LHP Cody Reed (0–1, 10.12) will get the start for the Bats tonight in game three against the Knights. Tonight’s start will be Reed’s second of the season with the Bats. On May 8, Reed allowed three runs on four hits over 2.2 innings pitched in a loss at home to the Norfolk Tides. He went 1–1 with a 6.43 ERA in seven games (one start) with the Reds this season. A native of Memphis, TN, Reed is ranked by Baseball America as the number two prospect in Cincinnati’s organization. He is one of three left-handed pitchers acquired by the Reds in the 2015 deadline deal that sent Johnny Cueto to the Kanas City Royals. Last season with the Bats, Reed went 6–4 with a 3.08 ERA in 13 games (all starts). He was 0–7 with a 7.36 ERA in 10 starts with the Reds last year.
PEN PALS RHP Juan Minaya (0–0, 2.08) pitched 1.2 scoreless innings last night and has now had six scoreless appearances in seven games this season… RHP Brad Goldberg (1–1, 3.14) earned his second save of the season after a scoreless ninth inning on Thursday. 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 on Thursday 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.