Things are starting to come together for Double A Frisco left-hander Andrew Faulkner.
Improved mechanics have helped his command and led to four consecutive quality outings.
In his last 23 2/3 innings, the 22-year-old14th-round draft pick in 2011 has allowed six earned runs and struck out 19.
“The mechanics I’ve been working on all year have come together a little bit,” Faulkner said. “Keeping my weight back a lot longer and making sure I’m getting out front so no misfires away.”
On top of that, Faulkner has mixed his pitches better, using his changeup and curveball more effectively in counts. Better command of his fastball has allowed him to be more effective throwing away to hitters instead of staying inside all the time.
“If you throw fastballs away you can throw changeups off of that and it opens up a lot more,” he said.
He’s also been better at flushing the bad and keeping his focus on the next pitch.
“Sometimes, if you do bad you just have to wear it and that’s part of it,” said Faulkner, who is 5-3 with a 4.53 ERA in 12 starts this season. “I’ve never had a problem doing that. I’d rather myself wear it than anybody else. Being able to recognize that a whole lot better.”
Frisco pitching coach Jeff Andrews said too much can be made of a pitcher’s numbers.
“Numbers can get inflated, you know two ground balls get through, a flare down the right field line and they score two,” he said. “His numbers have been good recently and he has thrown well recently, but I don’t think there’s been anything different than he did last year when he came here. He’s made nice pitches his last two or three starts.”
Frisco catcher Jorge Alfaro, one of the top prospects in the organization, is on the disabled list with a left ankle injury this week. He’s in a boot and could miss the rest of the season if surgery is required. There is no break, but he could have some torn tendons so he’s likely to miss the remainder of the season with or without surgery.
Frisco outfielder Nick Williams snapped out of a mini-slump in a big way this week. The 21-year-old from Galveston Ball High School went 8 for 10 combined in games on Thursday and Friday. In the span, he had a double, homer, four runs scored, and two RBIs to increase his batting average 22 points to .299 before Saturday’s game. He had been 2 for his previous 13, and had not had an RBI in his previous 12 games.
High Desert homers
High A High Desert has a trio of home run hitters among the leaders in the California League. Alex Burg with 15 is tied for the league lead, followed by Ryan Cordell (13), and Zach Cone (10). They are also hitting for average. Burg and Cordell both entered Saturday hitting .308. Cone is hitting .299.
Low A Hickory right-hander Ariel Jurado is 8-0 with a 2.09 ERA in 10 starts this season. He’s struck out 49 and walked seven in 56 innings.