Remember the Ace?

By Jake Trybulski / Reno Aces | September 10, 2019 12:45 AM

At the Dish

Many former Aces are making considerable contributions for the D-backs in 2019. 

We have to start with Ketel Marte who is quietly turning in an MVP performance in the desert. We saw flashes of his brilliance in 2017 when the switch-hitter hit .338 over 70 games with the Aces. He paired that with six home runs, 23 doubles, seven triples, 41 RBIs, 62 runs scored, a .391 on-base percentage and .514 slugging percentage. 

He's broken out in a big way for the Snakes this season. Not to bore you with numbers but Marte leads the National League in hits with 178. He's set career highs this season with 32 home runs, 91 RBIs, 95 runs scored, 323 total bases, 31 doubles, .387 OBP, and a .595 SLG percentage. 

Marte was brought to the organization in 2017 from the Seattle Mariners for INF Jean Segura, RHP Taijuan Walker, and LHP Zac Curtis. 

Tim Locastro has had a very interesting season for the D-backs. Locastro has a knack for getting on base. He got on base at a .394 mark over 31 games this season for Reno. He was hit by a pitch nine times. At the big league level, Locastro has continued to get on base. His .361 on-base percentage is third on the team only behind Ketel Marte and Wilmer Flores. 

The New York native set the D-backs single-season franchise record with his 20th HBP on Sunday afternoon. He also has 15 stolen bases on the year.

2017 Pacific Coast League MVP, Christian Walker, has finally got his chance in Arizona. With his first opportunity at a starting spot at the Major League level, Walker has been very good. He's hitting .260 this season with 25 home runs, 63 RBIs, and 75 runs scored while playing a very solid first base. It will be interesting to see what the D-backs do with slugger Kevin Cron waiting in the wings.

Nick Ahmed won a Gold Glove at shortstop with the Aces in 2013. He flashed the leather again in 2018 earning his first MLB Gold Glove with the Diamondbacks. However, he's breaking out at the plate this season. Ahmed has set career highs this year in average (.262), home runs (18), RBIs (79), runs (73), walks (49) and slugging percentage (.447).

On the Hill

We all know offense is king for Reno, but it has been the pitchers that have shined the most for Arizona. 

Kevin Ginkel was one of the best strikeout pitchers the Biggest Little City bullpen has ever seen. The hard-throwing righty held a 1.62 ERA over 16.2 innings and struck out 36 batters with the Aces this season. He's carried that over to the Majors, to say the least. In 17.1 innings pitched with the D-backs in his young MLB career, he holds a 2-0 record and 1.56 ERA, .155 batting average against, and 20 strikeouts. 

The Aces' all-time saves leader, Jimmie Sherfy, has been solid since his September call-up. The University of Oregon alum has appeared in eight games with Arizona throwing 12.1 innings to go with a 1.46 ERA and 12 strikeouts. He recently earned his second career MLB save on September 7, preserving Alex Young's eight-inning scoreless start against Cincinnati. 

Speaking of Young, one of the reasons the team remains in contention is because of the left-hander. Looking for starting rotation stability, the southpaw got the call-up from Reno on June 27 and has been stellar since. He's tied with Robbie Ray for the team-lead in wins with seven and his 66.2 innings pitched, .208 average against, 3.38 ERA, and 1.05 WHIP are all tops on the squad over the span. 

Archie Bradley has been quality since taking over the closer role for Arizona on July 30. Since then, the righty from Oklahoma is 13-for-16 in save opportunities with a 2.89 ERA and 16 strikeouts over 18.2 innings pitched. 

Before the beard and MLB success, Bradley was 7-5 in 16 starts with a 3.13 ERA over 86.1 IP from 2014-2016 in Reno. He struck out 90 batters and held hitters to a .247 BA against during the time frame.  

We saw Kevin Ginkel, Josh Rojas, Kevin Cron, Domingo Leyba, Joel Payamps, Taylor Clarke, Jon Duplantier, Alex Young all play for the Aces in 2019 and later go on to make their Major League debuts with the Diamondbacks this season. 

Those eight players plus, Archie Bradley, Andrew Chafin, Stefan Crichton, T.J. McFarland, Robbie Ray, Robby Scott, Caleb Joseph, Nick Ahmed, Wilmer Flores, Jake Lamb, Ildemaro Vargas, Abraham Almonte, Jarrod Dyson, Tim Locastro, and Ketel Marte have all played at least one game for Reno in their careers. Exciting times for Aceball!

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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