Once again, the French have come to our aid, and the
arrival couldn’t have come at a better time. At arrival of Pierre LePage – one of
four new players to arrive in Boise selected in the 2010 First-Year Player’s
Draft – the Boise Hawks (8-6) were the worst hitting team in the Northwest
League with a .216 batting average and a league low, 93 RBI heading into a new
three game home stand against the Yakima Bears (6-8). That’s all about to
In only his fifth professional game since being
drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 13th round of the draft, Pierre LePage went
2-4 with two hits and four RBI for the Hawks in their 7-0 win over the Bears
With the score tied 0-0 in the bottom of the second
inning and the bases loaded, LePage hit a base-clearing triple to left field,
scoring George Matheus, Arismendy Alcantara and Alvaro Ramirez.
The added run support proved crucial to left-handed
pitcher, Austin Kirk’s success in his third start of the season. Kirk went five
complete innings, giving up only three hits, while fanning five Yakima hitters –
arguably one of the best starts by a Hawks starter thus far.
LePage boasts a high baseball IQ, as well as plus
speed and contact hitting ability. With this new charge to the lineup, the
Hawks could see continued success on the back of the University of Connecticut
Right-handed relief man, Carlos Rojas, had another
successful outing for the Hawks, showing off his impeccable curveball,
finishing with two hits allowed and one strikeout in three innings pitched.
Rojas has a 1.54 ERA on the season.
Four Boise sluggers had two hit ball games in the
win; Alvaro Ramirez, Jesus Morelli, Runey Davis and LePage. Davis had a double
in the third and an opposite-field home run in the fifth inning.
LePage wasn’t the only player to make his Boise
debut; Micah Gibbs, the most anticipated prospect of the draftees who arrived
Thursday, went 0-4 with two strikeouts as a designated hitter for the club. However,
Gibbs is regarded as one of the best catchers chosen in the draft and will
flaunt his strengths defensively behind the plate in the ensuing games against
According to a Thursday press release by the Hawks
front office, the Chicago Cubs have sent 2010 third round draft choice Micah
Gibbs to Class-A Boise from their Mesa based rookie-team. He is now the third
catcher on the Hawks roster, along with 22nd rounder, Jeff Vigurs, and two-year
Hawk, Jose Guevara.
Though the catcher position may seem more crowded
than a Twilight Saga Premier, Gibbs’ arrival couldn’t be more needed – Vigurs and
Guevara are both struggling offensively with .188 and .097 batting averages
Before being drafted, Gibbs hit .388 with 10 home
runs and 60 RBI for the Louisiana State University Tigers, earning him 2010
All-Southeastern Conference status.
In his 2009 collegiate season, Gibbs received ABCA
(American Baseball Coaches Assosiation) Gold Glove honors and was placed on the
SEC’s All-Defensive Team individually, while catching for the 2009 College
World Series Champion Tigers as a sophomore.
The previous season, Gibbs was named a First-Team Freshman
All-American by Baseball America – an organization devoted to following
promising prospects in the collegiate and minor league ranks.
As with all minor league coaches, Jody Davis will
attempt to award ample playing time to each of these emerging catchers, but in
the end, the best will see the most playing time.
In the five games that he’s played in, Vigurs is
3-16 with an 0-11 slump currently underway; while Guevara is 0-14 in his last
four games. Defensively, the pair has a combined five errors – despite that
Vigurs has the second least playing time on the team.
New players can add a new excitement to a young team
that has been struggling of late. The Hawks received four new players from the
draft: left-handed pitcher, Eric Jokisch, right-handed pitcher, Aaron Kurcz, in
fielder, Pierre LePage and Gibbs.
In his sophomore season with Northwestern
University, Jokisch was 12-9 with a 5.48 ERA. Teammate of first-overall pick
Bryce Harper, Arron Kurcz was selected with the 310th pick by the Cubs after
going 3-3 in 35 innings of relief with the College of Southern Nevada. Lepage
was selected in the 13th round by the Cubs after hitting .327 with three home
runs and 57 RBI in his junior season with Connecticut.
Gibbs is most likely to make the quickest impact for
Boise, because of the current state of the catcher position, until the still
unknown arrival of first-round pick Hayden Simpson. His strong defensive skills
behind the plate and above average power should add more stability in the
middle of the batting order.