Surprise, AZ - Wilmington Blue Rocks fans hoping to escape the Northeast's frigid temperatures can look toward Arizona for reassurance that spring is near. That's because baseball is back and so is the Blue Crew. However, despite a well-fought effort, the Rocks fell 4-2 in their Spring Training opener against the Myrtle Beach Pelicans.
Kansas City's No. 6 prospect Sean Manaea got the start for the Blue Rocks, and the power lefty did not disappoint. Manaea allowed just one hit across two scoreless frames while also striking out two. The Royals selected Manaea with the 34th overall pick out of Indiana State in the 2013 draft, but he did not pitch professionally last season after undergoing surgery to repair a torn hip labrum. Manaea had been talked about as a potential first overall pick until the hip injury sapped some of his velocity at Indiana State last spring.
Another notable performer for Wilmington yesterday was former Arkansas Razorback Sam Bates, who hit a solo homer and finished 1-2 on the day. Bates played in fifteen games for the Blue Rocks a year ago and hit .245 with a home run during his time on the Riverfront.
Several former Blue Rocks also stood out in their respective Spring Training games yesterday. At the Major League level, Eric Hosmer went 2-3 at the plate with a home run, a double, and an RBI in the Royals' 12-6 loss at Cleveland. Parker Morin finished 1-2 with a homer and 2 RBI in Triple-A Omaha's 10-8 win at Round Rock. Jorge Bonifacio and Lane Adams led Double-A Northwest Arkansas to an 11-5 win over Frisco with their performances. Bonifacio had 2 hits, including a double, and 3 RBI, while Lane Adams launched a grand slam.
Blue Rocks Baseball = AffordaFUNability!