Your weekly minor league update has returned. Most of the attention has turned away from the minors as of today as the man on the right in the picture above is making his way to Kansas City. That’s right, Eric Hosmer is making his major league debut today. Remember this day Royals fans May 6th, 2011 could the day where we said it all started. With Danny Duffy, Mike Montgomery, and Mike Moustakas sure to follow in 2011 the first wave of talent will be here shortly and this is the start. The national media is already taking off about Hosmer and the Royals are getting some big time media coverage which should only pick up the more prospects that come up. Anyway, back to the point at hand. Here are the records for the affiliates as of today:
Kane County Cougars (Low A): 9-19 (7th place)
Wilmington Blue Rocks (High A): 16-10 (1st place)
Northwest Arkansas Naturals (Double A): 11-12 (2nd place)
Omaha Storm Chasers (Triple A): 16-11 (1st place)
Low A (Kane County):
5/1/2011 – Kane county Cougars lose in 12 innings to the Cedar Rapids Kernels, 5-4
Leondy Perez – 6.1 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 6 H, 2 BB, 4 SO
Giving up two runs in the top of the 11th put the Cougars behind the 8 ball, until they responded in the bottom of that inning. The Kernels came back and added another run in the 12th and shut down the Cougs in the bottom half to close out the victory.
5/2/2011 – Kane County Cougars drop another to the Cedar Rapids Kernels, 6-3
Robert Penny – 5 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO
Trailing 6-0 going in to the ninth the Cougars staged a comeback effort in the ninth only to fall short. The Cougars starters have allowed only 3 ER in 27 1/3 innings, although it hasn’t amounted to much as they have accounted for only 1 win in those 4 games.
5/3/2011 – Kane County Cougars drop another to the Cedar Rapids Kernels, 6-1
Greg Billo – 5.2 IP, 0 R, 6 H, 1 BB, 6 K
The Cougars are still trying to turn things around. They are now 8-18 with a depleted roster. The Cougars need some offensive help but I don’t know if it will be coming anytime soon. Hopefully they can turn things around and get back on track.
5/4/2011 – Kane County Cougars lose to the Quad Cities River Bandits, 4-1
Leonel Santiago – 7 IP, 4 R, 2 ER, 5 H, 2 BB, 3 SO
Alex Llanos – 2/4
A decent outing from Santiago was lost as the Cougars drop yet another loss to the River Bandits. Hopefully this is not a sign that the Royals have lucked out on a couple draft classes and then there’s nothing. Dayton Moore needs to replenish this system at the lower levels to ensure that the talents comes in multiple waves and not just the one wave.
5/5/2011 – Kane County Cougars defeat the Quad City River Bandits, 4-3 (14)
“Sugar” Ray Marimon – 3 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 0 BB, 3 SO
Geulin Beltre – 2/6, 1 RBI
The Cougars end their slide and pick up a win in 14 innings. Going through nearly their entire staff just to get through the game the Cougars battled and battled and eventually pulled out the victory.
High A (Wilmington):
4/29/2011 – Wilmington Blue Rocks defeat Winston-Salem Dash, 4-0
Jake Odorizzi – 7 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 0 BB, 10 SO
Another ridiculous outing for Odorizzi getting his second straight start with 10 strike outs going 7 innings scoreless before being taken out. Odorizzi holds an important position in this organization as the most prominent right handed starter in the minors for this organization. While the Royals have enough prospects right now to have an entire rotation of lefties, it will be important to have a solid right hander in the rotation and Odorizzi is showing good signs he can be that piece.
4/30/2011 – Wilmington Blue Rocks defeat the Winstom-Salem Dash, 3-1
Rey Navarro – 1/4, 1 3B, 2 RBI
Arguelles wasn’t as sharp as he has been in his previous starts but he still put in a solid 5.1 innings and Michael Mariot came in to pick him up (as he has done successfully this year) to secure the win. Rey Navarro continues to light it up being the biggest offensive force on the first place Blue Rocks. Putting up these kinds of numbers you would think he would be moving along soon but the Royals currently have a logjam of defenders up the middle so it might be a little bit before Navarro makes his way to AA.
5/1/2011 – Wilmington Blue Rocks defeat the Winston-Salem Dash, 4-2
Elisaul Pimentel – 7 IP, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 H, 1 BB, 5 SO
Pimentel gives another solid outing helping the Blue Rocks defeat the Dash for the 3 straight time. They were some low-scoring affairs this weekend against the Dash but solid pitching kept the Blue Rocks in the games and allowed them to win.
5/2/2011 – Wilmington Blue Rocks lose to the Lynchburg Hillcats, 9-1
Tim Melville – 4 IP, 7 R, 6 ER, 11 H, 0 BB, 1 SO
Whit Merrifield – 2/3, 1 2B 1 RBI
The inconsistency that has plagued Melville his entire career has reared its ugly head again. A poor outing put the Blue Rocks behind the 8 ball in the early going and they were not able to recover. After giving up 7 runs, the Rocks weren’t able to muster much offense to help them out, resulting in a loss. Melville has a high ceiling but he needs to work on his consistency. His future, along with Tyler Sample’s, may lie in the bullpen.
5/3/2011 – Wilmington Blue Rocks stomped by Lynchburg Hilcats, 11-1
Tyler Sample – 5 IP, 5 R, 4 ER, 8 H, 2 BB, 6 SO
Alex McClure – 1/4
Not a lot good to talk about with this game. Sample got touched up a bit and the bullpen didn’t do the team any favors. Their offense has settled down a bit and the Hillcats continue to have the Blue Rocks’ number. After a pretty solid start to the season from Sample and Melville both have put in two stinkbombs this week so hopefully these are nothing but blips on an otherwise solid radar this year.
5/4/2011 – Wilmington Blue Rocks defeat Lynchburg Hillcats, 7-3
Jake Odorizzi – 6 IP, 2 R, 2 ER, 6 H, 1 BB, 8 SO
Nick Francis – 2/4, 1 R, 2 RBI; Rey Navarro – 2/4, 1 R, 1 RBI
Odorizzi is quickly growing out of Wilmington. He has had 28 Ks in his last 3 starts and continues to dominate with a 2.42 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP. This is on top of a ridiculous 38:5 K:BB ratio. This will no doubt go down when he will make the jump to AA but they are strong numbers nonetheless. This spells good news for the Royals because with all the lefties in the system the Royals will need a strong right handed starter they can put in the rotation.
5/5/2011 – Wilmington Blue Rocks lose to the Frederick Keys, 5-2
Noel Arguelles – 6 IP, 4 R, 4 ER, 5 H, 0 BB, 4 SO
Nick Francis – 2/4, 1 2B, 2 RBI
The Blue Rocks were shut out until the 8th where they tried to put up a rally but fell short. Arguelles turned in his worst outing of the year so far and it wasn’t even that bad. Sometimes pitchers aren’t their sharpest but it’s good to see a scenario when even when he’s not at his best the team was still in a position to be in the game when he left. The offense has seemingly slowed down a little bit which is to be expected. Rey Navarro’s ridiculous start has cooled off a bit as he is now batting .368 but the Blue Rocks are still sitting atop their league.
Double A (Northwest Arkansas):
4/29/2011 – Northwest Arkansas Naturals lose to the Arkansas Travelers, 6-3
Harold Mozingo – 2.1 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 H, 1 BB, 2 SO
Nick Van Stratten – 1/3, 1 RBI
The Naturals have to be off their game due to all the rain outs they have had to deal with in Arkansas. Certainly it hasn’t made things easier for them, that’s not an excuse but it can’t help. After a hot start the Naturals have cooled down a bit and are seemingly coming back to Earth. Will Myers continues to be out and there isn’t much word as to why. Hopefully he gets back in the lineup and the Naturals continue their winning ways.
4/30/2011 – Northwest Arkansas Naturals defeat the Arkansas Travelers, 3-0
Mario Santiago – 6 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 1 BB, 6 SO
Mario Lisson – 1/4, 1 RBI
The Naturals take a victory back from the Travelers with a solid outing from Mario Santiago. A solid outing was needed because the Naturals offense was anemic at best. Myers was a sub in this game but didn’t get up to the plate. Hopefully this means he’s ready to get back into the lineup and get back on track.
5/1/2011 – Postponed due to rain.
5/2/2011 – Postponed due to rain.
5/3/2011 – Northwest Arkansas Naturals drop one to the Springfield Cardinals, 9-5
Chris Dwyer – 5 R, 5 ER, 4 H, 5 BB, 4 SO
Chris Dwyer continues his slightly shaky start. After a couple of solid outings Dwyer got touched up again against the Cardinals. He wasn’t helped out too much from his offense as Colon and Seratelli were the only ones going anywhere with the bat. Will Myers was back in the lineup but went 0/3. I wouldn’t be surprised if that was attributed to rust with him being out for a week or so. Hopefully he finds his way back on track.
5/4/2011 – Northwest Arkansas Naturals drop a heartbreaker to the Springfield Cardinals, 2-1
John Lamb – 6 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 H, 3 BB, 3 SO
Will Myers – 3/4; Anthony Seratelli – 1/3, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI
A tough loss for the Naturals, especially in a game where their stars finally showed up. Will Myers has returned to the lineup and had a solid day at the plate with 3 hits, even though it wasn’t enough. Lamb had his best outing of the year so far giving up only 1 run in 6 innings but another run giving up by the bullpen allowed the Cardinals to grab the lead and hold on as they secured the victory against a late inning rally by the Naturals in the 9th.
5/5/2011 – Northwest Arkansas Naturals lose to the Springfield Cardinals, 5-2
Christian Colon – 2/3, 1 RBI
The Naturals were in position to make a charge late but were held in check by the Cardinals and gave up another tough loss. The Naturals pitching hasn’t been as great as you would think with talented pitchers like Lamb and Dwyer on the roster, but hopefully that will change as we have started to see them be a little bit sharper on the mound in their last couple of starts.
Triple A (Omaha):
4/29/2011 – Omaha Storm Chasers lose to the Iowa Cubs, 4-3
Mike Montgomery – 6 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 H, 3 BB, 5 SO
David Lough – 2/4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI; Eric Hosmer – 2/4
Another solid outing from Monty but couldn’t be propelled to a victory against the Iowa Cubs. Monty still looks to be struggling with his control a bit and his BB:K numbers could be a little bit better. David Lough continues his strong start to the season and Eric Hosmer continues to be…Eric Hosmer. Every indication is that he will be a star at the major league level.
4/30/2011 – Omaha Storm Chasers defeat the Iowa Cubs, 7-6
Vin Mazzaro – 5 IP, 3 R, 2 ER, 6 H, 2 BB, 10 SO
Mike Moustakas – 1/3, 2 RBI; Irving Falu – 1/3, 1 3B, 2 RBI
Mazzaro gives his second solid outing in a row. He gave up a few runs but struck out a lot as his command has come along since his first couple of starts. Some solid offense led by Hosmer and Lough propelled the Chasers to a tight victory against the I-Cubs.
5/1/2011 – Omaha Storm Chasers lose to the Iowa Cubs, 7-5
Johnny Giavotella – 2/3, 1 R, 1 RBI; Irving Falu – 2/3, 2 RBI; Mike Moustakas – 1/5, 1 R, 2 RBI
This is the Suppan the Royals expected to get. Greg Holland came in and tried to hold them as best he could to give the Chasers a chance but it was too much for them to overcome as they were taken down by the I-Cubs. Mike Moustakas continues to put up pretty decent slugging numbers but his average is still nowhere near where it needs to be. Looking at his numbers I think the best case scenario for Moos is a Ryan Howard like player. He’s gonna strike out a lot, he’s gonna hit in the .270-.280 range, but maybe belt 35-45 HRs and get 100+ RBIs. If he can develop into that I’m all for it, but I think that’s his absolute ceiling so hopefully he comes close to realizing that potential.
5/2/2011 – Omaha Storm Chasers lose to the Albuquerque Isotopes, 5-3
Kevin Pucetas – 6 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 H, 2 BB, 6 SO
Eric Hosmer – 3/4; Lucas May – 3/4, 1 2B, 1 RBI
Behind the likes of Mike Montgomery and Danny Duffy, Kevin Pucetas is quietly having a solid start to his season in Triple A. He is 2-0 with a 1.96 ERA, 0.91 WHIP and a 3.61 FIP. Received in a trade, from a win loss perspective Pucetas has had success at every level with a total 49-20 record. His numbers don’t look as impressive with 5.00+ ERAs in 2009 and 2010. If he can put it together and continue at this level he is a good asset to have.
5/3/2011 – Omaha Storm Chasers defeat the Albuquerque Isotopes, 7-5
Danny Duffy – 6 IP, 4 R, 4 ER, 5 H, 2 BB, 9 SO; Jesse Chavez – 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H
Duffy wasn’t his usual strong self but still have a solid outing with 9 K’s and 6 strong innings. Although he gave up 4 runs his offense came in to pick him up with great games from the top of the lineup Cain-Robinson (hitters 1-5) all got hits and accounted for all 7 RBIs. Eric Hosmer continues to rake and is on another planet right now. Batting .430 Hosmer is performing better than expected at this juncture. As everything at this point of the season it is still early but Hosmer is seemingly ahead of schedule. If he continues like this for another couple weeks it will be hard for the Royals to justify keeping him down in the minors. If the Royals are still within striking distance in a month Hosmer could come up and have an impact like Buster Posey did for the Giants last year.
5/4/2011 – Omaha Storm Chasers stomp the Albuquerque Isotopes, 11-4
Mike Montgomery – 6 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 H, 4 BB, 1 SO
Johnny Giavotella – 2/6, 3 RBI; Eric Hosmer – 3/5, 1 RBI; Mike Moustakas – 2/5; Lance Zawadzki – 3/5, 3 R, 2 2B, 2 RBI
Man this is an exciting offense in Omaha. Every starter for the Storm Chasers reached base at least once and there wasn’t even enough room to put all the players that had a standout day defensively. Eric Hosmer continues to dominate at this level hitting a ridiculous .439. .439 is .439 but what’s most impressive is that the more people see him, the better he gets, his average has climbed to .439, it’s not as though he started batted .550 and came down. Hosmer really is a special talent at the plate. Monty tossed another solid outing but his walk numbers are still high and a bit disconcerting. His low ERA and low hit numbers show that he is hitting his spots like he wants when hitters are making contact but he’s not getting the swing and miss stuff as you would like to see. Hopefully with another month or so at this level he can get that going. Either way, there is a lot to be positive about in Omaha.
5/5/2011 – Omaha Storm Chasers lose to the Albuquerque Isotopes, 9-8
Vin Mazzaro – 6 IP, 4 R, 4 ER, 10 H, 5 SO
Clint Robinson – 3/4, 2 R, 1 RBI; Lorenzo Cain – 2/2, 1 R, 1 2B; Mike Moustakas – 2/4, 1 R; David Lough – 3/6, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 RBI
The Storm Chasers offense was solid even in their first game without Eric Hosmer. However, the offense wasn’t enough as their late inning rally fell short and they dropped a game to the Isotopes. Mazzaro was only ok but was picked up by the Chasers offense. Lorenzo Cain has awakened and nearing .300 with a .294 average. He had a lot of rust to shake off but it looks like he has shaken it. Moustakas is 7/22 in his last 5 games so he looks like he may be on his way to putting things together. David Lough continues to impress as well and if Dyson continues to have injury woes and the Royals move some outfielders Lough could make his way to the big leagues as a sub.
Promotions: Eric Hosmer (Majors – called from AAA)
Demotions: Kila Ka’aihoue (AAA from Majors), Eric Basurto (Released from AA)
Jake Odorizzi was most likely the lynchpin of the Greinke trade. The #1 prospect in the Brewers organization Odorizzi was the final cog the Brewers didn’t want to give up but had to in order to get Zach Greinke. He has been nothing but spectacular all season so far. With a ridiculous 38:5 K:BB ratio and ridiculous ERA/WHIP/FIP numbers it looks like his days in High A Wilmington are most likely numbered. His numbers will probably come down when he makes the jump to the offense heavy Texas League, but his command looks as though he will be able to adjust quickly and make some noise there too. Odorizzi probably won’t see time in the majors until 2013, no rush with players like Monty, Duffy, Lamb, and Dwyer ahead of him, but he will factor in to the Royals future, especially as the bets RHP prospect the Royals have.
Drafted in 2007 in the 11th round not much was really expected of David Lough but it looks as though that can change. Lough has absolutely been raking in the last week or so and is a key cog in the offensive wheels of the Storm Chaser offense. He is having a great season and also playing solid defense. Lough might not ever be an everyday player in the Royals crowded outfield but he will be a 4th outfielder and an important player for the Royals moving forward