Fort Wayne TinCaps (11-18) at Cedar Rapids Kernels (16-12)
RHP Hansel Rodriguez (3.68) vs. RHP Clark Beeker (1.69)
Sunday, May 7, 2017— Veterans Memorial Stadium — First Pitch 3:05 p.m. — Game 30
LAST NIGHT: The TinCaps beat the Kernels, 4-3. After falling behind 1-0 in the first, Fort Wayne put up 3 runs in the second. Brad Zunica added a solo homer in the fourth to extend the lead to 4-1. Will Headean had a quality start (6 IP, 3 ER), while Blake Rogers and David Bednar teamed for 3 scoreless innings of relief.
ZUNICA’S ELITE POWER: Brad Zunica has 12 hits this year—6 home runs, 4 doubles, and 2 singles (1 of which was off the center-field fence and he was out at second base trying to make it a double). According to Fangraphs, Isolated Power (ISO) is an advanced stat communicating a hitter’s extra bases per at bat. Zunica’s ISO is .386. For context, that’s 2nd highest among players in Minor League Baseball who have at least 70 plate appearances. (Coincidentally, MiLB’s ISO leader is also in the Padres’ organization: Jamie Romak, Triple-A El Paso, .453.) For more context, in the big leagues, only the Nationals’ Ryan Zimmerman (.472) and the Yankees’ Aaron Judge (.454) have a higher ISO.
ZUNICA’S ELITE PATIENCE: While Brad Zunica’sbatting average is .211, his on-base percentage is .392, as he’s drawn 17 walks in 18 starts. Zunica has drawn a walk in 23% of his plate appearances. Again, for context, among Minor Leaguers with 70+ PAs, that’s tied for 3rd highest BB% (Lansing’s Jake Thomas 34%; Double-A Corpus Christi’s Jon Singleton 25%; Double-A Tennessee’s Ian Rice 23%). No one in MLB is higher than 20%.Zunica displayed similar power last year, but his BB% in 2016 was just 5%.
REY OF LIGHT: Second baseman Reinaldo Ilarraza is on a 10-game on-base streak, which includes a hit in 4 straight. It’s the longest on-base streak of the 18-year-old’s young career.
GREENE GETS ON: Catcher Marcus Greene Jr. has reached base in 16 of the 19 games he’s played in this year.
SUWINSKI’S CR TIES: This isn’t the first time Jack Suwinski is playing at Perfect Game Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium. Suwinski previously played here in high school with his travel team, the Illinois Indians. In 2014 and ’15, Suwinski, who’s from Chicago, also played in tournaments with a team called the Chicago Scouts. One of his teammates with the Scouts was Cedar Rapids catcher Ben Rortvedt, a Verona, Wisc., native. (That team also included Gavin Lux, a top Dodgers prospect with Great Lakes.)
LEAGUE LEADERS: Jack Suwinski is tied for 3rd in the MWL in walks drawn (20)… Brad Zunica is tied for 3rd in home runs (6) and 5th in walks (17)… Eguy Rosario is tied for 6th in doubles (8) and 6th in stolen bases (7)… Fernando Tatis Jr. and Reinaldo Ilarraza are tied for 10th in stolen bases (6).
AS A TEAM: In the MWL, the TinCaps have drawn the 2nd most walks (119; 4.1/G) and are tied for the 2nd most stolen bases (28).