The Cut4 Road Trip, Day 14: Detached legs and dunking on your dad
The guys behind Cespedes Family BBQ have embarked on a cross-country road trip to see as many Top-100 MLB prospects as possible.You can find an introduction to the trip and their full schedule by clicking here.
Before Wednesday morning, we believed we had a good grasp on America's vastness. At that point we'd already driven around 4,000 miles. We'd gone from D.C. up to Maine, down through the Carolinas and then all the way across to Oklahoma. Our trip was almost done -- we only had one Minor League game left to see! 14 down, one to go.
The drive from Erick, Okla. to Albuquerque, N.M., is three hours of boredom, followed by three hours of beauty. The first leg features nothing but total flatness and repetitive shrubbery. The second leg also consists of repetitive shrubbery, except said shrubbery rests upon a more topographically inconsistent landscape, so it looks cooler. In between these two very different stretches lies the city of Amarillo, Texas -- an important reminder that Texas is obscenely large.
Hours away from any semblance of a major American city, Amarillo felt like the type of place that's so isolated it can pretty much do whatever it wants and no one else will notice or care. It's pretty amazing. For instance, just outside of Amarillo, there are two of the more bizarre landmarks we've seen so far on the trip. Let us share them with you.
Ozymandias on the Plains: About seven miles south of downtown Amarillo, there are a pair of giant detached legs that stand (Sit? I dunno what action is associated with a detached pair of legs) on a raised platform in the middle of an open field. They were apparently constructed to honor the "two vast and trunkless legs of stone" referred to in the Percy Shelley poem Ozymandias. That's a great poem and if you don't know it you should go read it, but if not, just know that we saw some huge legs in the middle of nowhere.
Cadillac Ranch: The more famous Amarillo attraction of the two we visited was Cadillac Ranch -- which is basically just 10 old Cadillacs, in a field, with their front bumpers shoved deep into the ground so only half of them are visible. Graffiti art at the landmark is encouraged and thus we encountered throngs of spray can-toting individuals surrounding the cars, letting the aerosols fly like champagne after a pennant-clinching game. Overwhelming fumes aside, this place was perfectly odd; the ideal stop for our perfectly odd road trip.
With Albuquerque being our final game before Sunday's Futures Game, we opted to talk to two guys also heading to San Diego this weekend. First we sat down with No. 4 Rockies (and No. 46 overall) prospect Jeff Hoffman to get his thoughts on the ridiculous hill in Albuquerque's center field, when he first dunked a basketball, and his least favorite sandwich topping. Tomatoes, man. Tomatoes:
Hoffman will represent the U.S. Team on Sunday. Our second interviewee will play for the World Team -- Padres No. 15 prospect Carlos Asuaje. Born in Venezuela, the second baseman grew up in Florida and was eventually an 11th round pick by Boston out of D-II Nova Southeastern in 2013. Asuaje was part of the prospect package San Diego received for Craig Kimbrel this past offseason. Now crushing it for the Chihuahuas (.318, 5 homers, 43 RBIs), Asuaje seems more than ready to represent the hometown Padres at the Futures Game. Check his interview out in the main clip above.
A Baseball Game Appeared
El Paso Chihuahuas at Albuquerque Isotopes
After a prospect-light game in Oklahoma City on Tuesday, the breadth of young talent in Wednesday's game was staggering. El Paso boasted a 1-4 of Manuel Margot (No. 1 Padres, No. 25 overall), Asuaje, Hunter Renfroe (No. 3 Padres, No. 24 overall), and Austin Hedges (No. 24 overall in 2014). All four had at least one hit, with Renfroe's monster double to deep left-center in the seventh being the most impressive. But the real standout of the evening was Albuquerque outfielder David Dahl (No. 2 Rockies prospect, No. 40 overall), who went 4-for-5 with two doubles in only his third game in Triple-A. While he probably won't hit .600 in Colorado, he was clearly the best player on the field on Wednesday night, and we came away extremely impressed:
Where We Woke Up: Erick, Okla.
Where We Slept: Gallup, N.M.
Miles Driven: 558
Miles Driven To-Date: 4,508
Time in Car: 8:11
Time in Car To-Date: 75:57
Tomorrow's Plan: No baseball game. Well, at least not a professional one -- unless a team magically appears at or around the Grand Canyon. Tomorrow will be our nuttiest driving day of the trip, as we plan to spend about 11 hours in the car with a stop at the grandest of all canyons sandwiched in the middle. Grand Canyon Sturtze. That was a below-average joke to finish off today's post. See you tomorrow!