Tyler Skaggs learned a lot in March. As a result, Southern League batters in April had best be on their toes.
The D-backs' No. 3 prospect yielded a run on five hits while striking out seven over six innings as Mobile lost to Mississippi, 4-2, on Monday. Skaggs, who also uncorked a wild pitch, tossed 83 pitches in his season debut and was pleased with his debut.
"I was very happy, I felt really comfortable on the mound," Skaggs said. "I felt like I was throwing the ball well and I felt like I had pretty much everything working for me. I had good command of my curveball, so it was basically fastball, curveball and changeup. I felt like I could throw all three pitches for strikes tonight."
Skaggs got a chance to pitch for Arizona during Spring Training, going 1-1 with a 7.16 ERA in six Cactus League contests. While the 20-year-old left-hander wasn't expected to win a job at the big league level, the experience was nevertheless valuable for him.
"It was a great experience, I really learned how to pitch," Skaggs said. "I thought I knew how to pitch, but when I went up there, I realized I knew nothing about pitching. I really learned how to throw strikes and keep my composure on the mound."
Skaggs ended the 2011 season with Mobile, going 4-1 with a 2.50 ERA in 10 starts for the BayBears. The hurler was instrumental in the club's run to a Southern League title. Skaggs is grateful for the chance to open the season in the Southern League with the reigning champions.
"I'm excited about [getting a chance to defend the title]," Skaggs said. "It's going to be an exciting year."
Adam Eaton, Arizona's No. 16 prospect, was 2-for-4 with a pair of RBIs for the BayBears, who lost for the first time this season.