Eastlake, OH — On a frigid night just outside Cleveland, the Low-A Fort Wayne TinCaps fell to Lake County. The club surrendered a 2-0 lead in the ninth as the bullpen imploded with four walks and a high-leverage wild pitch. TinCaps starter, Nick Margevicius, took a no-hitter into the sixth inning of a stellar debut, striking out six of the first seven Captains hitters.
“I heard good things about [Margevicius] and saw him briefly in the spring,” said TinCaps manager Anthony Contreras. “But for him to come out and dominate the way he did in the first start of the year was tremendous. I can’t remember how many strikeouts he had, but to come out and give us a chance to win is what we ask for. He kind of came as was advertised — he threw strikes, got them to chase the fastball up, and kept them off balance.”
In addition to Margevicius’ auspicious start, Jeisson Rosario and Justin Lopez each collected a pair of singles. The former, a four-tool center fielder, looked naturally confident at the plate. The 18-year-old exhibited a smooth, compact swing from the left side. Perhaps his most impressive moment came in the top of the fourth. He nailed an opposite field shot off a chest high pitch on the outside edge of the plate, something he did regularly last season (54.7 percent of his batted balls in the AZL went opposite field).
Lopez, who has yet to reach his 18th birthday, has drawn rave reviews for his fielding but has looked fairly raw at the plate. He’s seemingly made some substantial progress in the offseason, but he still needs to sharpen his hitting mechanics as you can see below:
Meanwhile, Tirso Onelas received a particularly rough welcome to full season ball. He went 0-3 with two Ks and whiffed three consecutive times in his second plate appearance. On his last trip to the plate, he was visibly resolved to be more selective and ended up drawing a walk. Like many other young guys on the TinCaps’ squad, he’s simply going to need some time to get acclimated.
It was clear that Esteury Ruiz is much more interested in hitting than taking walks, swinging at the first pitch he saw in his first two plate appearances. To be fair, both of the pitches were over the heart of the plate and Ruiz didn’t chase a single pitch out of the strike zone all night. He also continued to show that his track record of hitting was no fluke, ripping a line drive down the third baseline for the best hit of the night for either team.