Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

Indians News

McCarty finishes strong, spins five scoreless

@JimCallisMLB
October 22, 2019

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Many prospects come to the Arizona Fall League to work on specific parts of their game. Kirk McCarty arrived with the idea of not trying to do too much. "I've always been a tinkerer," said McCarty, a left-hander whom the Indians drafted in the seventh round out

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Many prospects come to the Arizona Fall League to work on specific parts of their game. Kirk McCarty arrived with the idea of not trying to do too much.

"I've always been a tinkerer," said McCarty, a left-hander whom the Indians drafted in the seventh round out of Southern Mississippi in 2017. "It's always been, 'What are we going to get with Kirk?' We don't know if we're going to get a curveball one way or the other or if it's going to be there or not.

"So right now we're like, this is your stuff, it's good, let's try to perfect it and try to find some success. Luckily, I didn't get in my own way in this league and I actually did that. It felt good to kind of know where the stuff needs to be going into the offseason.

Box score | Indians Arizona Fall League updates

McCarty mixed and commanded his four-pitch repertoire well on Monday, working five scoreless innings to lead the Mesa Solar Sox to a 4-0 win over the Surprise Saguaros. His final Arizona Fall League outing of the season was his best, as he allowed just three hits while collecting three whiffs and delivering 40 of his 58 pitches for strikes. His fastball ranged from 91-94 mph and he also was effective with his curveball, cutter and changeup.

McCarty finished with a 3.00 ERA in 24 innings, limiting opponents to a .202 batting average while posting a 19/6 K/BB ratio. It was a positive end to a frustrating 2019 season. After topping all Indians farmhands with 161 strikeouts during his first full pro season, he missed the beginning of his second with a lat strain before logging a 5.66 ERA in 13 starts at the Class A Advanced level.

"It's good to build a lot of confidence back up going into the offseason," the 24-year-old McCarty said. "I have a good idea where the stuff needs to be, see that against some great hitters in this league. It's absolutely vital to end on a good note."

McCarty ended his football career on a good note, quarterbacking Oak Grove High (Hattiesburg) to the Mississippi 6-A state title in 2013. His offensive coordinator was NFL Hall of Famer Brett Favre.

"He's a great guy," said McCarty, who passed for 4,043 yards and 44 touchdowns as a senior before focusing on baseball in college. "He worked his butt of with us. He brought more energy to the field than any of the players did every day and it was a lot of fun ... Brett pretty much just taught me where to throw the ball and I threw it."

Mesa center fielder Greg Deichmann hit his league-leading ninth home run to open the scoring in the fourth inning. The solo blast to right-center came off a 92-mph fastball from right-hander Dean Kremer (Orioles), traveling 410 feet with an exit velocity of 109 mph. The last Fall Leaguer to reach double digits in home runs was Mike Olt, who slammed 13 in 2011.

Kremer took the loss after surrendering three runs on seven hits in five innings. He did move into fourth place in the AFL in strikeouts with 23 in 19 innings after fanning six Solar Sox, four on curveballs.

Mesa improved to 13-13 but was eliminated from East Division contention later in the day when first-place Salt River topped Glendale, 11-7. Surprise, which clinched the West Division title Sunday, dropped to 16-10.

Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. Listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.