Thinking about our prospects

We got to see several of our best prospects in tonight's 7-1 win over Cincinnati.

Brett Gardner continued his march toward the starting centerfielder job, going 2-3. He couldn't get a bunt down in the third, but made up for it with a RBI single. (He did, however, misplay a deep drive to center that accounted for Cincy's only run. I wouldn't say he should have caught it, but he certainly could have. He also got gunned down trying to stretch a single into a double. That seems to happen a lot with him - he's such a good base-stealer that he doesn't need to take those chances; he has a better chance of stealing second than trying to reach it on a single.)  He needs to learn when to use his speed and when not to. Gardner sometimes has too much confidence in his speed.

Joba Chamberlain (though not a prospect anymore) had his best outing of the spring. He completed three innings, allowing three hits, one run, no walks and three Ks. He hit his spots, threw all his pitches for strikes, and even touched 96 on one fastball.

Austin Jackson stroked a line-drive single to centerfield and later made a tough running catch in the right-center gap to end the game.

Jesus Montero inside-outed a single to right (on a tough two-seam fastball), then looked surprisingly agile behind the plate. From all the reports, you'd think he was stiff as a board. He certainly looked better than Mike Piazza (if memory serves me), who he's often compared to. Now that we have a first-baseman for the next eight years, there aren't many options left for Montero. Catcher and DH are it.

Juan Miranda crushed a homerun over the right-field wall. Shelley Duncan lofted a three-run shot over the left-field wall. Both are fighting to be the first first-baseman called up in case of injury. Shelley's got an advantage in that he can play the outfield and has more experience at the ML level.

Phil Coke threw two shutout innings while fanning three. Chris Garcia (a high ceiling, injury riddled prospect) pitched one scoreless inning - you could see his filthy stuff: a low 90s fastball that moved all over, a sharp but inconsistent curve, and a devastating changeup (that I never read about in his scouting reports). Even Kei Igawa joined the party with two perfect innings.

Is it April 6th yet?

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