Game: 5/4 Pelicans and Red Sox

Final: Pelicans 24, Red Sox 6

Summary: The Pelicans continue to multiply the run column

The Pelicans scored 24 runs on May 4th and 20 of those runs came after 5 innings of play. Pete Crow-Armstrong, BJ Murray, Reggie Preciado, and Peter Matt all had 3+ hits. Matt had 2 home runs and 7 RBIs and Preciado added another 6 RBIs on four hits. Luke Little started the game going 2.1 innings, giving up 1 run while striking out 4. Jarod Wright threw 2.2 innings in relief giving up 2 runs, Tyler Santana threw 3 innings of 2 run ball, and Adam Laskey closed the game, throwing 1 inning and giving up 0 runs.

Player of the Game: Reggie Preciado

There is no getting around it, Preciado has not performed at the level we all expected when we acquired him in the Yu Darvish trade. But this May 4th game told a completely different story. Preciado for the first time this year hit. He looked much more comfortable at the plate from the start of the game to the end, including with two strikes. Preciado has struck out this year at an alarmingly high rate, but we are starting to see that change. In the month of April, Preciado struck out multiple times 11 of the 12 games he played. So far in the month of May, including May 4th, he’s only struck out one time in each game. Obviously, you still want to see those numbers cut down even more, but it’s a step in the right direction. Preciado is still only 18 years old, younger than most of the competition in low-A Myrtle Beach, but the talent is there. With the seemingly new two-strike approach, we could see a Preciado who is more like the type of player we expected in the Yu Darvish Trade.

Who You Might Have Missed: BJ Murray Jr.

After starting the season off slow, the switch hitting BJ Murray has really heated up and is looking more and more like the power bat we expected when we drafted him in 2021. Similar to Preciado, Murray looked uncomfortable in the batters box at the start of the season. He spent a little time resetting his poor start nursing a nagging injury on the IL, but once he came back, Murray has dominated. He has a good knowledge of the struck zone and doesn’t strike out much. He could be another 1st basemen in the Cubs system that isn’t a big bat in the middle of the lineup, but more of a guy that gives the team a quality AB every time he steps in the batter’s box. One example of this was during the 1st innings of this week’s game of the week. BJ Murray took his at AB against Wikelman Gonzalez, 9th best prospect in the Red Sox organization according to MLB Pipeline. Against Gonzalez Murray drew an 8 pitch walk after fouling off some tough pitches, and the Pelicans knocked Gonzalez out of the game after 0.2 innings. Murray seems way to advanced for low-A and be a potential June or July call up to South Bend.

Who to Keep an Eye On: Luke Little

Luke Little didn’t have his best command or his best stuff on May 4th, but even so, he looked better than low-A competition. Every Luke Little start is much watch TV. We know Little can crank the fastball in the upper 90’s and touch triple digits, but he has shown in each of his starts that he also has a plus slider. He surprisingly doesn’t throw his sweeping  slider that hard, so it has a nice change in velocity. We also saw a few changeups early on in the season as well from Little, but lately, including his game of the week start, we have only seen the fastball-slider combination. If Little can locate his slider, it has enough movement to get both lefties and right handed bats out. One thing he will have to improve however, is holding runners on base. When runners have gotten on base they have taken advantage of Little’s slow and deliberate arm action and leg kick.

Feature photo of Reggie Preciado by Rich Biesterfeld (@biest22)