(Portland ME) Another beautiful day of baseball at Hadlock.
The Sea Dogs didn’t win (They lost 3-2 to Hartford) but the setting was great with a throng of brightly-dressed campers filling the seats.
The noon start gave summer camps from all over Maine (I saw a bus from Bangor) the time-frame needed to see an entertaining baseball game in an equally entertaining setting.
The weather was spot on with a ton of sun. I was near the Hartford dugout as one of the umpires came there early asking for sunscreen.
Portland has some attractive prospects (Bobby Dalbec, CJ Chatham, Bryan Mata, and Jarren Duran) and all were on the field today.
I am usually located at either the end of the Portland dugout or the visitor’s dugout. I consider myself an open target for a line drive, or a hot grounder, but if you want to get a good action shot, or an individual player shot, it’s where you must be. I did have a Binghamton Met’s reserve tell me he’d protect me!
The current player at-the-bat who scares me plenty is righty Bobby Dalbec. This kid is big and swings with authority. He leads the Eastern League in home runs and hits long shots to all fields. I always hope/pray, when he’s at bat, that the pitcher doesn’t throw a changeup for him to turn on. I had the same feeling last season when hard-swinging Bo Bichette batted for the NH Fisher Cats.
It’s not news but I am quite certain that Bobby will be moved to Pawtucket in August. He has power but he also leads the EL in walks. He was the DH this afternoon but in previous visits I have seen him play a solid third base.
Bryan Mata continues to pitch well with little to show for it. Today it was six innings and one earned run……….and the loss. He pitches in the mid-90s and is only 20 years old. You would think that with the current state of the Boston pitching staff, Bryan would be attracting plenty of interest from the Red Sox higher ups.
It was nice to see the stands packed with kids. Some of the camps were organized enough to chant and cheer.
CJ Chatham was at short in this game. There have been reports that he would spend more time at second so that the way to the higher levels would be less difficult. Xander, current Red Sox shortstop, isn’t going anywhere, any time soon! CJ now leads the Eastern League in batting. Maybe CJ will get to Pawtucket before the season ends too.
Outfielders Jarren Duran and Marcus Wilson have plenty of speed. Today was my first look at Marcus. Both are twenty-two and should be with Portland into next season. They also could be trade bait in the coming days to fetch some relief help for the big team.
I also did my homework on the Sea Dogs’ opponent and their prospects. Hartford is in the Colorado Rockies system. I suspect that distance has a lot to do with the fact that only three of their top thirty prospects are in Connecticut.
Tyler Nevin is their 5th best prospect. He was the Rockies first-round pick in 2015. The 22-year-old was in left today, although he does play first and third. Yes, he is Phil’s son. If you’re old enough to remember Phil, you’ll notice the facial resemblance. Phil, by the way, is now the third-base coach with the Yankees.
I thought that I might see outfielder Colton Welker. He was in the dugout but on the 7-day DL.
They did have the usual race between a youngster and the Sea Dog mascot. Only problem was that Slugger wasn’t that mascot. First time I’ve seen that happen in all the years I’ve been coming to Hadlock. Slugger has never won this race and I can assure you that his replacement today, some sort of fish, was no better. He indeed was a fish out of water, and he was out of water as he reversed his way over first base. He was no competition for the speedy kid. I’d like to know what happened to Slugger. Maybe he needs some fresh legs.
I certainly appreciate the opportunity to be in the good spots at Hadlock to see the action. Much thanks to Chris Cameron for arranging my visits.
(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)