Last night saw Jose Torres go 4-4 with two home runs in a Dayton Dragons win. TJ Hopkins went 3-3 with a walk and three steals in a Chattanooga Lookouts win. It was quite the night for both guys.
The start to the season was a bit of a struggle at the plate for Jose Torres. Coming off of an outstanding debut in 2021, he was hitting just .179 with a .421 OPS through the first eight games of the season. But last night he beat up on the West Michigan Whitecaps, falling a triple short of the cycle but hitting two home runs in the process. Oh, and he also picked up a stolen base for good measure.
By the time that the game was over, Jose Torres nearly doubled his season OPS. He was hitting .281/.303/.531 at games end. The offensive outburst helped lead the Dragons to a win and keep them on top of the East Division with an 8-3 record.
TJ Hopkins hot start continues
Yesterday afternoon I had a quick little note on TJ Hopkins in the MiLB Notebook, but his start to the season got even better last night. The outfielder got on base every time he came to the plate, singling three times and walking in his other plate appearance.
The 25-year-old outfielder leads the Cincinnati Reds farm system in OPS, hitting a scorching .379/.514/.690 through the first nine games of the year. He’s picked up three doubles, two home runs, stolen four bases, walked eight times, and he’s struck out 11 times. And last night, the Chattanooga Lookouts needed every bit that he contributed as they eeked out a 4-3 win over Mississippi to move above the .500 mark to 6-5 on the season.
Sam Benschoter keeps ’em missing
Right-handed pitcher Sam Benschoter dominated the Bradenton Marauders last night in Daytona. Coming out of the bullpen he allowed just two hits and a walk in 4.0 innings while striking out a career best nine batters. That outing followed up his start last week where he threw 4.0 perfect innings with seven strikeouts.
His first outing of the year saw him allow three runs in 2.2 innings while walking one and striking out three. Since then he’s been absolutely brilliant on the mound. Benschoter now has 19 strikeouts in 10.2 innings this season while walking just two batters. He’s only faced 41 batters this season, meaning he’s struck out 46% of the hitters that he’s faced. Hes’ picked up 45 swinging strikes out of 158 pitches thrown – good for a swinging strike rate of 28%. For some perspective the MLB average swinging strike rate is 11%. Obviously there’s a big difference between the Low-A Florida State League and the highest level on the planet, but it does show just how dominant he’s been within his league.