Pedro Álvarez began his minor league assignment well, with two home runs and five RBIs in the first game of the season, but has since struggled. He had a two-hit game Thursday, bringing his average to .207 through eight games entering Friday. Reports on his outfield defense have not been encouraging, though it's still early.
Center fielder Cedric Mullins is off to a monster start for the Baysox, with three home runs helping make eight of his team-high 18 hits (entering Friday) go for extra bases. He's batting atop the order in hopes of developing a leadoff-style approach, and has also walked three times while going 2-for-3 on attempted steals. Two of his three home runs have come in the first inning.
Coming off a disappointing season for the Keys, 20-year-old third baseman Jomar Reyes is trying to ensure his second stay in the Carolina League doesn't last long. Reyes had 16 hits in the team's first eight games, with multihit days six times in that stretch. He has six extra-base hits, including one home run, and five RBIs on the young season.
A pair of 2016 draftees are off to sparkling starts on the mound for the Shorebirds. Ninth-round pick Lucas Humpal has allowed just one run on seven hits with 10 strikeouts over his first two starts, both no-decisions. Zach Muckenhirn, their 11th-round pick, is 1-1, having allowed one earned run on 11 hits without a walk in 10 2/3 innings. He has 14 strikeouts through two games.