FEATURE: Offense and Pitching Shine in Patriots Opening Series
By Lexi Semanchik | SomersetPatriots.Com Beat Writer Lexi Semanchik is a resident of Flemington, New Jersey and a rising senior at Emerson College majoring in Sports Communications.
By Lexi Semanchik | SomersetPatriots.Com Beat Writer
Lexi Semanchik is a resident of Flemington, New Jersey and a rising senior at Emerson College majoring in Sports Communications.
Bridgewater, New Jersey - If fans were worried about the Somerset Patriots holding their own as the new Double-A Affiliate of the New York Yankees, this past week calmed those nerves. With powerful offense and lights out pitching, the team proved they have what it takes to compete with all of the teams that they will face.
The 2021 season started with a bang for the Patriots, as outfielder Estevan Florial put on an offensive clinic against the Harrisburg Senators. Baseball America’s number 10 Yankees prospect is currently hitting .318 with four home runs, six RBI and an on-base percentage of .400. He leads all offensive stats for the Patriots except for total hits, which infielder Diego Castillo holds. With four RBI, a home run and a batting average of .348, the 23-year-old out of Venezuela is becoming a fast offensive star with three multi-hit games. Other Patriots that have contributed to the power that has been seen from the team are catcher Donny Sands, infielder Hoy Park and outfielder Thomas Milone, with a home run each to their name. As a team, the pinstripes are swinging a .247 and are second to the Erie SeaWolves in home runs. Much like their major league counterpart, the Patriots are going to show off their ability to hit the long ball this season.
OF Estevan Florial continued his hot start to the season by smashing 2 home runs to lead the @SOMPatriots to a win last night. pic.twitter.com/j7Utc3i9Ug— NYYPlayerDev (@NYYPlayerDev) May 8, 2021
The only thing that could rival the power coming from the bats were the arms of the pitching staff. Somerset’s starters and bullpen put on a show this weekend, with their first two games being shutouts. Luis Gil, the Yankees' fourth overall prospect according to Baseball America, threw a gem for his first appearance at TD Bank Ballpark. In 3.2 innings he gave up just two hits and struck out six. Voorhees, New Jersey’s Shawn Semple threw four scoreless innings in his first start that led to a two-hit shutout of the Senators. Glenn Otto threw for six shutout innings in his debut as he earned the first win for the starters on the season. His six strikeouts to two hits allowed the Patriots bullpen to come in and continue to be as dominant as they have been. Toms River native Ron Marinaccio has allowed just one hit in his 5.1 innings and Jefry Valdez has allowed just one run in his five innings. The pairing of Stephen Ridings and Greg Weissert are a nasty one-two punch in late innings out of the Patriots bullpen that is yet to give up a run and closer Keegan Curtis is 2-for-2 in his save attempts this year with five strikeouts.
The Patriots now travel to New Hampshire to face the Fisher Cats (Toronto Blue Jays).