Fort Wayne travels North to Michigan to face off against the Los Angeles Dodgers High-A affiliate, the Great Lakes Loons.
This month, the two clubs met in a six-game series where the TinCaps took four of six games from the then-league-leading Loons. The Loons find themselves in the thick of the High-A Central playoff race. Going into play Sunday, the Loons are tied for the East Division lead and two games out of a playoff spot.
Fort Wayne sits five games out in the East and seven games out of a playoff spot.
Fort Wayne did get some good news Saturday afternoon as they prepare for a big series.
Top Prospect Promoted:
On Saturday, it was announced that outfielder Robert Hassell had been promoted from Low-A Lake Elsinore Storm to High-A Fort Wayne. Hassell is the 47th ranked MLB Prospect and the Padres No. 3 ranked prospect. He was the Padres first-round pick in 2020 and the eighth overall pick. With Lake Elsinore this year, he was batting .326 with 31 doubles, three triples, seven home runs, and 37 stolen bases.
In the previous meeting between Fort Wayne and Great Lakes, I credited the TinCaps defensive positioning. At the time, per FanGraphs, Great Lakes had multiple lead leaders in balls batted up the middle. The TinCaps were often positioned in the right spot to get the putouts. Also, Ethan Skender had a great display of defensive plays in that series. Skender has since received his promotion to Double-A San Antonio. It was not all Skender, though. As a team, the TinCaps are currently tied for second in the High-A Central in fielding percentage at .975. Directly above them are the Great Lakes Loons. In this series, each team will have to earn their runs.
Keys for a Series Win:
The last time the TinCaps lost a series was against the same Great lake Loons in a series that ran 6 games in early July. To keep that streak going, they need to keep Ryan Ward and Andy Pages in check. Ward leads the High-A Central in hits (107). He is second in the league in home runs (24). He only trails teammate Andy Pages who has 25. The Loons roster has 10of the Dodgers organization’s top 30 prospects.
Agustin Ruiz continues to hold many of the batting top batting statistics besides being promoted to Double-A. Justin Lopez and Johnny Homza have batting averages of .238 and .232. Homza also leads the team in runs scored at 51. Tirso Ornelas leads the High-A Central in doubles with 30. Reinaldo Ilarraza has swiped 33 bags this year, which leads the team.
- Where- Dow Diamond Midland, Michigan
- When- 8/31- 9/5/2021
- How to Follow: MiLB.TV, ESPN 1380 Fort Wayne, Down on The Farm content at East Village Times.