Jose Caballero's speed is a major weapon for Class A Advanced Visalia.
The D-backs prospect swiped his Minor League-leading 10th base, collected three more hits and scored twice as the Rawhide rolled to a 13-4 victory over Lancaster on Friday night at Recreation Park.
Gameday box score
The right-handed hitter is confident that once he reaches base, the pressure on the pitcher magnifies and his teammates will take advantage.
"That's huge," Caballero said. "I get on base and someone is going to drive me in. The pitchers know that the guys behind me are going to get on base and are our best hitters. All of our lineup is pretty good, so they have to be careful with all of them. They [pitchers] lose focus."
Caballero doubled to left-center field on the first pitch of the game from Matt Dennis, scoring on a single by eighth-ranked D-backs prospect Jake McCarthy to give the Rawhide a 1-0 lead. The Panama native again took advantage of the first pitch he saw in the third, singling to center and stealing second to reach double digits on the season. Another base hit to left gave Caballero his third hit in the seventh and he crossed the plate again on a groundout by Renae Martinez.
It was the fourth time in seven games that the Chipola Junior College product has collected three hits. He's batting .316 with five doubles, 12 runs scored and four RBIs.
With speed already a part of his arsenal, Caballero dedicated much of the spring to letting the ball get farther into the strike zone than before, saying, "It's given me results."
He even broke out an old cliche to describe his approach.
"Like all coaches say, 'See the ball, hit the ball,'" he said with a laugh.
2019 MiLB include
A 2017 seventh-round pick, Caballero spent last season with Class A Kane County, batting .292/.378/.468 with nine homers, four triples, 12 doubles, 40 RBIs, 47 runs and 36 stolen bases.
Jancarlos Cintron led Visalia's 17-hit attack, going 3-for-4 with a homer, three RBIs and two runs scored. Camden Duzenack slugged a three-run shot in the third and scored twice. McCarthy contributed two RBIs and scored twice, while Luis Alejandro Basabe was 3-for-4 with two RBIs and a run scored.
Staked to a comfortable lead, Rawhide starter Cole Stapler (2-1) cruised. He recorded a career-high nine strikeouts over seven scoreless innings, yielding five hits without a walk.
The JetHawks avoided a shutout when Casey Golden belted his second career grand slam in the eighth.