Thursday, May 04, 2006

The Future

I was in Wichita this week for a business trip, so my co-worker and I decided to take in a Wranglers game to get a peek at the Royals prospects there.

It was a nice evening, but rain clouds were hovering over the stadium. When we arrived, we were surprised that the gates to the stadium didn't open until 6:15, 45 minutes before game time. Once we got in, we found our seats just a few rows up from the third base dugout. I was a little shocked to see the artificial turf infield. I suppose it easier/cheaper to maintain the artificial turf than dirt, but not only does it produce an ugly field, I would think it hurts the development of the infielders' defensive skills.

The Frisco RoughRiders jumped on Wrangers pitcher Junior Herndon in the first. Luke Grayson singled and took second on Billy Butler's terrible error in right field. It was a lazy fly ball that Butler misread. The ball hit his glove and simply bounced out. I can see why people say Butler projects as a DH only. Frisco took a 2-0 lead with Jim Fasano's two run homer.

All of the Royals' prospects in AA are hitting prospects, so we were anxious to see the Wranglers bats. I started to think we had picked the wrong game to see when Frisco pitcher Thomas Diamond had a perfect game into the bottom of the fourth.

Alex Gordon broke up the no-no with a single in the fourth, but was stranded on Dee Brown's (yes, that Dee Brown) ground out. Dee Brown was a Royals prospect years ago, made it to Kansas City for a short time, then was out of baseball last year. He resigned this season to try to make a comeback, but it isn't going well. Brown is batting .136/.208/.227.

The Wranglers' offensive drought continued throughout the game, and the Wranglers never could push a run across. For Frisco, Jim Fasano had a great game with two home runs and an RBI double.

Gordon was 1-2 with two walks, and raised his average to .327.

The Wranglers lost 7-0.

Despite the loss, it was a fun night of baseball. Lawrence-Dumont Stadium is a very small ball park and we felt like we were very close to the action. On this night, very few people were in attendance (announced attendance was 1,124, but we're positive there were only about 500 people there).

For our next trip to Wichita, I think we'll try taking in a Wichita State Shockers game.

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