Huggins delivers best pro outing yet, other FSS alum arms shine

April 30, 2023

After a couple frustrating outings out of the bullpen to start his season with the Low-A Daytona Tortugas, Kenya Huggins was finally able to put it all together on Wednesday.

The 2020 International Week and 2021 Pre-Draft Combine star went to the Cincinnati Reds with the No. 123 overall pick in last year’s draft — not long after fellow alum Cam Collier, who is currently teammates with him in Daytona — and was outstanding against the Fort Myers Mighty Mussels in a three-inning start, his first of the year.

Huggins was sitting between 93-95 MPH with his fastball in recording a career-high seven strikeouts, working around a bases-loaded jam in the first to allow only one run against a solid lineup of Minnesota Twins prospects.

Mick Abel, RHP — Reading Fightin’ Phils (AA)

Like Huggins, Abel’s last outing was his best of the season; the 21-year-old righty, who is one of top pitching prospects in the Philadelphia Phillies system after multiple appearances at Future Stars Series events, allowed just two hits through six innings of one-run ball on Saturday night against the Altoona Curve. Abel also struck out a season-high six batters, and picked up his first win of the season.

Grayson Rodriguez, RHP — Baltimore Orioles

Sensing a theme here? Grayson Rodriguez picked up his first major-league win on Saturday, striking out a career-high nine Detroit Tigers batters over five scoreless innings in which he allowed just two hits.

“I was really impressed,” Baltimore manager Brandon Hyde told “Had all his pitches going today. Loved the changeup, was really good. Dropped some curveballs in there, a cutter, the slider was really good today, and he had a good fastball. Really kept them off-balance and cruised through five.

“He’s got great stuff, and showed it today. He’s got a really good changeup, there’s no doubt. I wouldn’t say it’s consistent, but it’s a plus pitch and is only going to get better.”

Drew Gilbert, OF — Asheville Tourists (A+)

The No. 28 overall pick by the Houston Astros just last year, the International Week alum has looked just fine in returning from last year’s season-ending injury. He delivered the first multi-homer game of his pro career on Tuesday, going deep twice in Bowling Green. He’s now hitting .339 with three home runs and eight RBI thus far in 2023, and has also added three stolen bases for Asheville.

David Calabrese, OF — Rocket City Trash Pandas (AA)

The Canadian-born outfielder has continued to have big moments in an up-and-down first year at the Double-A level; he also produced a two-homer game recently, accomplishing the feat as part of a 3-for-4 showing on Friday night against the Chattanooga Lookouts.

Mike Ashmore
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