Brady Singer's stingy May came to a close with one of his strongest outings to date. Next month reportedly will find him in a new setting.
Kansas City's top prospect turned in his third straight scoreless start, scattering four hits over seven innings, as Class A Advanced Wilmington held on to edge Myrtle Beach, 1-0, at Frawley Stadium. He struck out four and walked two.
"I think the command of his fastball and slider," Blue Rocks manager Scott Thorman said of Singer's biggest steps forward. "He's been down in the zone. He's done a really good job throwing his slider for a strike and understanding when to throw it for a strikeout. That's something he's been working on. He's been working on his changeup for effect, and he's done a really nice job with that. He's coming along nicely."
Gameday box score
According to The Athletic, baseball's No. 50 overall prospect was promoted to Double-A Northwest Arkansas after the game.
Singer (5-2) gave up singles to Carlos Sepulveda and Tyler Payne over the first two innings, but erased each with a double play. In the third, D.J. Wilson beat out a grounder to deep short, but was caught stealing by No. 3 Royals prospect MJ Melendez.
After retiring the side in order in the fourth and fifth, Singer issued a leadoff walk to Jimmy Herron and promptly picked him off at first base. Last year's 18th overall Draft pick faced the minimum through his first six innings.
"He's done an excellent job of adapting to the pro game," Thorman said. "He had a real nice pickoff today in a big situation. [He's] understanding the finer points of the game and really getting the rhythm of the pro game and what he has to do to move through the ranks."
Singer worked out of his only jam in his final frame. After Sepulveda walked with one out and went to third on Luke Reynolds' single to the right side, Singer whiffed Payne to finish his day.
"He has the ability to pitch for the strikeout, and he also has a really good two-seamer where he can get a ground ball for a double play," Thorman said. "He had two double-play ground balls today, and it's something different every time. One time, he might bust you in. The next time, he might set you up with the slider, and he's got three pitches for a strike that are all well-above-average pitches."
The Florida product fired 63 of 93 pitches for strikes. Holden Capps allowed one hit and fanned three in two innings to earn his first save, closing out the win in two hours and 28 minutes.
2019 MiLB include
"[Singer] works quick and he throws strikes, which keeps the infielders and all the fielders light on their feet," the skipper said. "They want to play good defense behind him when he's pounding the zone and making pitches. He got that today. He got a couple double-play balls early in the game that kind of set the tone, and he settled in and really cruised."
Singer hasn't allowed an earned run in his last 22 innings. In five May starts, the 22-year-old has amassed a 3-0 record with a 0.90 ERA, 29 strikeouts, five walks and a 1.00 WHIP. He's been tasked to keep doing the things that made his recent stretch so dominant.
"Continuing to work on his pitch selection and all of his pitches," Thorman said. "We know what kind of gamer he is. He's an ultimate competitor. Just going out there and working all of his pitches and making the pitches when he has to [is key]."