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Northwoods Action

Tonight, I went to a Northwoods league game between the Mankato Moondogs and the Rochester Honkers.
Mike Strong, a junior LHP out of Oklahoma State and drafted by Oakland 665th overall, dominated Moondogs hitters with a 90 MPH FB and little else. He sat 89-90 touching 91 occasionally. He threw a few decent changes and his curveball was nothing special but he didn't need much. He looked about 6', 175 or so, pretty skinny. He looks like he could be a decent pro pitcher as a reliever in the long run. Tonight, he looked like an ace, not giving up a run on 3 hits and K'ing 10 in 7 IP.
Alex Blackford, a RHP out of Arizona State, thru 6 2/3 IP, struck out 9 and gave up 2 runs, one on a HR by Danny Pulfer, a sophomore out of Oregon. He hit it well over the LF wall, probably 350' or so. Blackford looked about 5'11, 180 to me.
He sat 87-89 in the early innings with a heavy fastball and an average curveball. The CB could be a plus pitch someday if he refines control and gains consistency. I didn't see much of a change from him. In the 5th inning he started to loose some control before his velocity dipped in the 6th. He sat 85-87 the rest of the way. I like Blackford and see some potential in him. It will be interesting to see how he does in the next 2 years at ASU.
Both of these guys look like pro ball players to me.
None of the hitters I saw tonight blew me away although Pulfer looked good, at least on the HR. Robby Ort showed a good arm in RF, gunning down a runner trying to advance to 3rd. Josef Terry made a nice one handed grab while a runner ran in fromt of him and threw out the hitter at 1st. That was a nice play.
Overall the talent level was good although Sam Sellman, the best talent for Mankato that I am aware of, throws tomorrow. The best talent on Rochester(that I'm aware of) is their backup Catcher, Geno Escalante did not play.


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