To say that Mark Kolozsvary had a good first week of the minor league season would be an understatement. The 25-year-old catcher is known for his quality defense behind the plate. What he’s not known for his is bat. In 2018 he posted a .633 OPS in Dayton, and then in 2019 he posted a .662 OPS in then Advanced-A Daytona.
In 2020 he spent the summer with the Cincinnati Reds alternate site team as one of the catchers, but never got the call up to the big leagues during the season. This spring he was a part of early minor league camp that ran alongside big league spring training and even got invited over to play in one big league game. But during a game on the backfields he had a chance to face reigning American League Cy Young Award winner Shane Bieber and he took him deep.
Perhaps that should have been a sign because while the Double-A South is a fine league with some quality pitching in it, those guys aren’t Shane Bieber. As a catcher, Mark Kolozsvary isn’t going to play in every game. Catchers do need some days off and that meant that the former Florida Gator played in four of the six games for the Chattanooga Lookouts in their first series of the season.
In the first game he went 2-2 with two doubles, two walks, and he drove in two runs. The next night he went 2-4 with two home runs, six runs batted in, and he walked two more times. The following night he went 2-3 with a double, home run, two runs batted in, and he scored three runs. As tough as it may have been to keep him out of the lineup the next day, Kolozsvary got the day off on Saturday. But on Sunday he was back in the the lineup and that off day must have cooled him off. All he did on Sunday was go 2-4 with a double, run scored, and an RBI.
Mark Kolozsvary is currently hitting .636/.750/1.545. His OPS of 2.295 leads the Double-A South by 642 points. His slugging percentage would nearly lead the league in OPS all on it’s own.
Allan Cerda crushed Palm Beach pitching
The Daytona Tortugas have a few guys that got out to big starts this past week, but none better than Allan Cerda. The center fielder hit .389/.500/.944 for the Tortugas with two doubles, a triple, two home runs, a stolen base, and he had three walks with six strikeouts in 22 plate appearances over the five games he played in.
On Saturday night he absolutely crushed a home run against Palm Beach that went 434 feet. Does that video remind anyone else of Aristides Aquino in terms of set up and swing mechanics?
Brian Rey has outhomered several teams
Back with the Dayton Dragons this year thanks to their own promotion up a level (Dayton is now the High-A Reds affiliate), Brian Rey channeled his inner Rowdy Roddy Piper from They Live – and he was all out of bubblegum. The 23-year-old smacked four home runs in five games played and hit .333/.318/1.000. He didn’t strike out until the final game of the series, but he also hasn’t walked yet, either.
His four home runs as as many as the Quad Cities River Bandits have as a team. And they are more than West Michigan, Cedar Rapids, Peoria, Great Lakes, Lake County, or South Bend have. In the series, Rey drove in 12 runs. Great Lakes was held to just 16 runs – but the Loons got a chance to play all six games, while Rey only played five.
Lyon Richardson’s first week
Lyon Richardson is the only pitcher that made two starts for the organization this week. Daytona is going on a 6-man rotation, and both Louisville and Chattanooga saw a rain out make it so they couldn’t start their #1 twice this week in a series. Richardson stepped up in his second go-around against Great Lakes after throwing 3.0 hitless innings with three walks and three strikeouts against them on Opening Day.
Sunday he faced off against the Loons for a second time and he threw 5.0 shutout innings as he allowed four hits, walked just one batter, and picked up six strikeouts. His increase in velocity this year was showing up, too, as he was throwing 94-97 MPH on the day.