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Dust Devils off to hot start

In case you missed it over the weekend, the Tri-City Dust Devils put a big hurt on the Boise Hawks, sweeping them in their own park in a three game series.

In the process, the Dust Devils proved what they already knew about themselves — they will be able to put up some serious offense this season. Over the three games in Boise, Tri-City averaged 11 runs and 13 hits to overwhelm the Hawks pitchers.

But to be honest, Boise just didn't have the personnel on hand to make it a competitive series. Some Northwest League teams have been a little luckier than others in terms of player assignments, and the Hawks had very few of their 2009 draft picks on the active roster.

The Dust Devils, on the other hand, have been fortunate to add 14 college players to the roster from the recent MLB First-Year Player Draft, and they have made a difference. Tri-City leads the league in runs (36), hits (45) and batting average (.306) through four games.

The Dust Devils are in the middle of a five-game home series against Vancouver, so the next four days should be a much more telling display of what type of team this will be.

But I like what I have seen so far. The hitting is there, the speed is there, the bullpen has been impressive so far. The starting pitching the first three nights was a little shaky, but Dan Perkins, a 27th rounder out of Delaware State, tossed a gem Tuesday night in a 3-2 win over Vancouver.

It could be fun to watch some of the starters just out of college. Rob Scahill and Wes Musick are supposed to piggy-back their starts tonight, so we'll get to see two more draftees in action. I'm looking forward to seeing Erik Stavert, a right-hander out of Oregon and the Rockies' seventh-round pick this year, get folded into the rotation. No word yet on whether that will happen. He's not been added to the official roster yet.

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