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UHH alum Spain makes a smooth transition to baseball in the minor league
UHH alum Spain makes a smooth transition to baseball in the minor league

UHH alum Spain makes a smooth transition to baseball in the minor league

Dylan Spain played three games in the Florida Coast League before the Atlanta Braves’ rookie league affiliate had seen enough.

Do not get on the bus, the text said.

It was also best that Spain lived out of a suitcase in Augusta, Ga. After less than a month, low-A GreenJackets asked him to pack his bag.

Next up for the former UH-Hilo ace was Rome, Ga.

Different minor league stops, the same star art – even if there is one that will continue.

“For the most part, there was not too much feedback on how I threw,” Spain said. “It was like just sitting out there and seeing how I perform, if I’m ready for the competition, and every time I was out there I was.”

Spain for the first time in more than two years after being selected as the 10th round in the draft Braves in July, Spain made a smooth transition to pro ball, delivering 17 2/3 pointless rounds on his three stops, while allowing only eight hits. The 6-foot-5 23-year-old struck out 21 strokes and went just two.

“It was just so much fun, I liked it,” he said. You really have to minimize your mistakes (with the minors). My biggest mindset is to perform paths every time I throw it, that’s all I can control. ”

He showed good command, especially considering the layoff since he last played in Division II college baseball, but about the two rounds. The eight courses give a glimpse of Spain’s confident thinking.

“I would take them back if I could,” he said. “Both came on four courses and were a kind of mental loss. There were mistakes that I can take away from (the experience). Just things to work on and clean up this season. “

Spain raised some eyebrows earlier this year when he decided to drop the senior season with the Vulcans and return to Oahu to prepare for the draft. He stepped out of the 2020 campaign when he suffered an arm injury – the season would be cut by the pandemic – so his last competitive course came during Vulcan’s breakout 2019 season, when he went 5-1 with a 3.80 ERA, hitting 29 strokes of 45 rounds with 45 hits allowed

“There were a few people who did not agree with the decision, but I believed in myself, and that is ultimately what matters,” he said.

He hit 95-96 km / h on the radar gun for a Braves scout in a pre-training session on Oahu, then he heard his name called in July as the 307th total selection.

Trying to stretch his arm, the Braves limited Spain to two lanes – a fastball, he said, which sat at 93-95 miles per hour and peaked at 96, and a cutter that ranged from 87-92 – as he worked exclusively from the bullpen, and never hit more than two innings on his 11 appearances. At high-A Roma he hit just one inning before the season ended.

Due to the constant ups and downs of minor league players, Spain never had a problem finding a place to stay with teammates during the summer in the South.

“We are taken care of, especially by the Atlanta Braves, they take good care of us,” he said. “Even the fans. Before I went to the smaller leagues, I had never played in front of more than 500 fans. One of my first games there, we had 2000 plus.

– It is a completely different level. It’s something I like to do. ”

He was back on Oahu earlier this week and rested his arm, and he will check in again with the Braves’ organization in Florida in December for strength and conditioning classes.

If the form holds, he will open the 2022 season in the league back in Rome, but Spain said that a strong spring training can change that. He has already climbed two rows, albeit at the lowest levels. Two more, and he would be on the butt of the big ones.

“We’ll see what I can do,” he said. “Hopefully my (major league) debut, if I can, and take it from there.”

Other minor leagues on the Big Isle in 2021:

Kean Wong, Waiakea -educed 2013: Wong shared the time between the Los Angeles Angels and their Triple-A affiliate in Salt Lake City. With the angels, the farmer was 10 for 60 (.167) with six RBI. At Salt Lake, Wong beat .339 (64-189), with four home runs, 22 RBIs and 10 stolen bases. His OPS (on-base plus slugging) was .860.

Quintin Torres-Costa, Waiakea 2012: Apparently at the helm of the major leagues in 2018 before suffering an injury that required Tommy John Surgery, Torres-Costa was released by the Nashville Sounds (Brewers, Triple A) in late August. In 2021, the left-hander went 3-1 with a 6.82 ERA, and went 38 strokes in 35 2/3 rounds. He allowed 32 hits with 50 strikeouts.

Kodi Medeiros, 2014 Waiakea: The previous first round picked out of the bullpen for Charlotte (White Sox, Triple A), goes 1-0 with a 5.52 ERA over 29 1/3 innings. The left-hander struck out 37, but went 25 and allowed 24 hits.

Micah Bello, Hilo High 2018: Played mostly on low-A Carolina (Brewers), the outfielder hit .238 (51-214) with a .684 OPS, hitting four home runs, with 24 RBI and three steals. Bello spent time on the 60-day injury list from May to July.

Edgar Barclay, St. Joseph, 2014: Combined between the Yankees’ low-A and high-A affiliates, the right-hander hit 112 strokes in 77 1/3 innings. He finished 4-4 with 3.49 ERA – 5.69 on high A – and gave 76 hits and 33 rounds.

Kalai Rosario, Waiakea 2020: Playing in 51 games in his first professional season with the twins’ allies in the rookie league, the outfielder hit .277 (52-188), with five home runs and 40 RBIs in 51 games. His OPS was .794.

Ocean Gabonia, Hilo High 2019: The right-hander spent time on the injured list before being activated by the Yankees’ rookie league team in August to make his pro debut. Gabonia struck out five games, knocking out nine in 9 1/3 innings and recording a 1.93 ERA. He went seven, but allowed only three hits.

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