The Louisville Bats begin a three game series in Indianapolis Thursday night with Aroldis Chapman scheduled to start tonightÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s game. I know we have a lot of fans in the Indianapolis area, and I hope you can make it out to Victory Field to take in a game or two of the series. The scheduled pitching match-ups for the series include:
- Thurs 7:00pm: Aroldis Chapman (0.93 ERA) vs. Chris Jakubauskas (4.50 ERA)
- Fri 7:15pm: Justin Lehr (7.20 ERA) vs. Kevin Hart (4.35 ERA)
- Sat 7:00pm: Sam Lecure (2.08 ERA) vs. Brad Lincoln (4.70 ERA)
The series will feature 4 of Baseball AmericaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s top 10 prospects for the Reds (plus Chapman who was signed after the list was published) and 3 of the Pirates top 4 prospects. The Reds top prospect list includes Todd Frazier (IF/OF), Chris Heisey (OF), Juan Francisco (3B/LF), and Zack Cozart (SS).
Travis Wood and Matt Maloney are two other Reds top 10 prospects who are the scheduled starting pitchers against Indianapolis on Sunday and Monday back in Louisville.
The top prospect in the Pirates organization is 23 year old, power hitting 3rd baseman Pedro Alvarez. The left-handed Alvarez was drafted in the 1st round, 2nd overall pick, of the 2008 draft. This is just his second full season of professional baseball, and he will likely be with the Pirates by the end of the season. He hit .288/.378/.535 at two minor league levels last year (A+/AA.) The Pirates 2nd best prospect is 21 year old outfielder Jose Tabata. He was rated as the Pirates best hitter for average by Baseball America. Acquired from the New York Yankees in 2008 in the Xavier Nady trade, Tabata hit .293/.357/.406 between AA & AAA last season. Former prospect, 1B Steve Pearce is starting his 4th year in AAA and has hit the ball well (.281/.349/.486) at this level .
ChapmanÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s opponent on Thursday night is Chris Jakubauskas. The 31 year-old pitcher spent most of last season in the Seattle Mariners bullpen with a 5.32 ERA. Friday night features Kevin Hart, who just missed winning the Pirates 5th starter role to begin the 2010 season. Hart was acquired by the Pirates in the Tom Gorzelanny trade last year with the Cubs and split time between the majors and minors.
SaturdayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s scheduled starter, Brad Lincoln, is the Pirates highest rated pitching prospect in the organization. The 2006 1st round draft pick (4th overall) split time last year between AA Altoona and AAA Indianapolis with a 3.37 ERA.
The weather is supposed to be great Thursday night. A general admission ticket in the lawn seats is always a great time. Or purchase a box or reserve seat with their Ã¢â‚¬Å“Thrifty ThursdayÃ¢â‚¬Â package (ticket, hot dog, soda, and souvenir for $15 reserve seats or $19 box seats.) After Friday nightÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s game is their regular Friday Fireworks show.