LHP Keegan Akin struggled through 3IP allowing four runs, three earned, on five hits and four walks while striking out just two. Moutcastle hits the ball hard despite no hits and Austin Hays struggles on some breaking pitches.
Akin – Through the first two innings he used a fastball, breaking ball combo. The catcher (Levy) almost always set up down and away glove side so not sure if Akin is working on something or if the catcher is just really poor at going in and out on his setups. His command was ok thru first two, as he was around where the catcher set up, but he didn’t miss any bats and his two strikeouts were on borderline strike three calls that the batters were upset over, one on an low and in fastball and the other a backdoor breaking ball. He goes to a lot of long counts due to batters able to foul him off frequently. In the 3rd inning Akin’s command went out the window. The 1st batters he faced he four pitch walked him missing on the other side of the plate with three fastballs and a 1-0 change that was way outside. Next batter, a left-hander hit a long fly ball to center field on a 2-2 fastball. Really started to struggle with his breaking ball command, burying many in the dirt.
Has a poor pick off move to first base and will frequently no look runners, even fast runners, which allows them to get good jumps. Left-handers look comfortable in the box and are able to lay off his breaking pitches.
Fastball: Was told it was 86-90 MPH. I didn’t see any whiffs on the pitch though Carolina batters didn’t barrel him up very often. Doesn’t look like the pitch has much movement.
Slider – Really struggled to command the pitch all night. Occasionally flashed average but either buried it in the dirt or left up to high.
Change – It appeared he may have thrown a couple but without a radar gun it was hard to tell because there was no fade or drop to the pitch.
Austin Hays – Just missed a long homer in his 1st PA on a 2-2 fastball but pulled it foul. Fouled off a good 2-2 low-outside fastball down RF line. Then flew out to medium center on middle away fastball. 2PA- Got under a 1st pitch low slider to fly out to medium LF. 3PA- took a 1st pitch slider for a strike before swinging at an up and in fastball to ground out to SS. 4PA- Facing lefty, swung through several curveballs before striking out on a low curveball in dirt. Hays really seems to struggle on breaking pitches, especially curveballs. Book seems to be breaking pitches down and fastballs away or up and in to get him out. He’ll need to make adjustments.
Ryan Mountcastle – Flew out deep to the warning track in center on 0-0 fastball in first at bat. That will be homer when he gets stronger. 2PA – Swung at an up and in fastball to ground out weakly to SS. 3PA- Smashed a first pitch fastball to center field but caught on warning track. 4PA – Hit with a 2-0 curveball.
Randolph Gassaway – Singles through 1st and 2nd hole on outside first pitch fastball. 2PA- Swung through a 2-0 in fastball middle in. Worked a walk after fouling off two down and away fastballs. 3PA- Way out on front and awkwardly chopped a 1-0 changeup back to the pitcher for an out. 4PA – Took a 1-1 middle fastball and slapped it between SS and 3B for a groundball hit.
Josh Hart – Stand far off the plate and dives into the pitch. Swung through and fastball and slider down and in. Then swung through a fastball up an in for the K. Defensively gets good jumps and can cover good ground. Arm looks a little below average though. Grounded out to 2B who made a nice play on a down the middle fastball. 3PA – Badly fooled on a 1-2 curveball in dirt that got past the catcher from LHP and struck out, but reached base on the wild pitch.