Your week is complete now, the minor league update of the Royals farm system is here. It was a mediocre week for the farm system as things have kind of normalized out and the teams are performing at the levels we would expect. The Results are still predominantly good and even Kane County has started to turn things around with an infusion of talent. Some injuries and underperformance have depleted the talent a bit from what it was before the season; however, some new talent has arisen and the Royals, if things continue as they are now, will still have a top 5 farm system next year. The emergence of players like Jason Adam (see below), Yordano Ventura, Cheslor Cuthbert, David Lough and others make this farm system still one of the best in the majors. Here are where the teams stand to this point:
Kane County Cougars (A-): 24-30 (7th place, but remember they were 15-25 at one point)
Wilmington Blue Rocks (A+): 29-23 (2nd place)
Northwest Arkansas Naturals (AA): 24-23 (2nd place)
Omaha Storm Chasers (AAA): 30-24 (1st place)
Low A (Kane County):
5/27/2011 – Kane County Cougars 2, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers 1
Yordano Ventura – 5 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 2 BB, 10 SO
Cheslor Cuthbert – 2/4
Well the rise of Yordano Ventura has commenced. Since getting called up from extended spring training both he and Robinson Yambati have been off to a slow start, but as much is to be expected from their young ages. However, it looks like they are starting to get their feet on the ground as well as others in the same group such as Jason Adam and Cheslor Cuthbert. This is positive news for a solid 3rd wave of talent the Royals can look to.
5/28/2011 – Kane County Cougars 6, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers 1
Jason Adam – 6 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 H, 1 BB, 3 SO
Cheslor Cuthbert – 1/2, 2 R, 1 RBI; Orlando Calixte – 2/4, 3 RBI
The young talent brought up by the Royals to help out Kane County has really improved this team. Their young pitchers and hitters have found their way into some highlight reels and is a big reason the Cougars have started to turn things around.
5/29/2011 – Kane County Cougars 0, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers 2
Sugar Ray Marimon – 8 IP, 2 R, 2 ER, 4 H, 1 BB, 7 SO
Jacob Kuebler – 2/4
After dropping two straight the Timber Rattlers were able to shut down the Cougars offense and steal a victory to avoid the sweep at the hands of Kane County. Marimon gave another strong performance but the offense was able to do very little to help him out as he walked away with the loss.
5/30/2011 – Kane County Cougars 5, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers 4
Leondy Perez – 6 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 H, 3 BB, 5 SO
Cheslor Cuthbert – 2/5, 1 RBI; Orlando Carlixte – 1/5, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI
Leondy Perez pitched another solid game only to have the team nearly give the game away in the ninth. The Cougars were able to hold on and get themselves the win in the game and the series. The Cougars have had an infusion of talent and they have really started to play some much better baseball.
5/31/2011 – Kane county Cougars 4, Lake County Captains 9
Leonel Santiago – 5.1 IP, 6 R, 6 ER, 10 H, 0 BB, 6 SO
Julio Aparicio – 3/3, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI
Santiago put the Cougars behind the 8-ball early and made it tough for them to fight their way back. The Cougars tried but they couldn’t get enough going.
6/1/2011 – Kane County Cougars 3, Lake County Captains 5
Yordano Ventura – 4.1 IP, 4 R, 3 ER, 7 H, 1 BB, 8 SO
Julio Aparicio – ¼, 1 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI
Ventura is still trying to find his footing at the A- level. Ventura is showing good command with high strikeout and low walk numbers but his issue in this game was giving up 3 HRs. I would expect that number to come down and if he can bring that down and keep his command we’re looking at another solid pitching prospect.
6/2/2011 – Kane County Cougars 4, Lake County Captains 3
Jason Adam – 6 IP, 2 R, 1 ER, 4 H, 2 BB, 8 SO
Travis Jones – ¼, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI
A 9th inning 2-run homer by Jones stole a victory for the Cougars. The game was knotted up at 2 apiece before that. The Cougars let another run score in the bottom of the ninth but held on after that to close out the victory.
High A (Wilmington):
5/27/2011 – Wilmington Blue Rocks 2, Myrtle Beach Pelicans 3
Jake Odorizzi – 3.1 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 H, 3 BB, 7 SO
Nick Ferguson – ½, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI
5/28/2011 – Wilmington Blue Rocks 0, Myrtle Beach Pelicans 4
Noel Arguelles – 5.1 IP, 4 R, 4 ER, 7 H, 1 BB, 3 SO
John Whittleman – 1/3
Arguelles has had his struggles recently as the rest of the league has seemingly caught up to him. It will be important for his development to see if he can bounceback from this and adjust to the adjustments being made on him.
5/29/2011 – Wilmington Blue Rocks 3, Myrtle Beach Pelicans 9
Elisaul Pimentel – 2.2 IP, 9 R, 9 ER, 4 BB, 1 SO
Yem Prades – 2/4
Pimentel continues to have a tough time getting things under control in Wilmington. Not sure what he needs to do to get things under control but he needs to figure it out because the Blue Rocks cannot continue to give up runs like this.
5/30/2011 – Wilmington Blue Rocks 1, Kinston Indians 9
Tim Melville – 3.1 IP, 8 R, 5 ER, 7 H, 2 BB, 2 SO
Rey Navarro – 1/4, 1 3B, 1 RBI
With one swing of the bat Rey Navarro was able to break up the no-hitter and the shut out. However, that one hit and one run was all the Blue Rocks would get as the Indians laid the hammer down on them. Melville continues to struggle with his command and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the patience running thin with the organization and Melville.
5/31/2011 – Wilmington Blue Rocks 0, Kinston Indians 1
Justin Marks – 8 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 H, 2 BB, 7 SO
Rey Navarro – 1/3
Justin Marks pitched well for the Blue Rocks but it wasn’t enough as the Indians got themselves one run and ran with it as they shut down the normally potent Blue Rock offense.
6/1/2011 – Wilmington Blue Rocks 2, Kinston Indians 0
Jake Odorizzi – 6 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 2 BB, 8 SO
Rey Navarro – 2/4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI
Just another episode of the Jake Odorizzi show in Wilmington. He has to be getting bored in Wilmington dominating as he has. I assume once they figure out what John Lambs injury is and how long he will be out that Odorizzi will make the jump to Arkansas. The more they wait they are only hurting his development, if they move him now then he can have a good amount of time in AA and start next season in AAA with a chance to be in the majors by June or July, assuming he is as successful at other levels.
6/2/2011 – Kinston Indians 7, Wilmington Blue Rocks 6
Michael Mariot – 3.2 IP, 5 R, 5 ER, 9 H, 2 BB, 1 SO
Juan Graterol – 2/4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI; Rey Navarro – ¼, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI
Mariot struggled in this outing but his offense came through for him as he left with a chance at the win. It was the bullpen in Wilmington that gave up the victory dropping a tough one to the Indians.
Double A (Northwest Arkansas):
5/27/2011 – Northwest Arkansas Naturals 7, Frisco Rough Riders 4
Zach Miner – 5 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 5 H, 1 BB, 2 SO
Kurt Mertins – 4/4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI
Miner gets his first win since 2009 as the Naturals take one from Frisco. Mertins had his best game of the year and propelled the Naturals to victory.
5/28/2011 – Northwest Arkansas Naturals 14, Midland Rockhounds 9
Edgar Osuna – 4 IP, 6 R, 6 ER, 7 H, 2 BB, 3 SO
Tim Smith – 2/3, 3 R, 1 3B, 1 RBI
It was a shootout in Midland here that the Naturals were able take home as a victory. The Naturals offense woke up a little bit and picked up a struggling start from Osuna.
5/29/2011 – Northwest Arkansas Naturals 3, Midland Rockhounds 11
Chris Dwyer – 5.1 IP, 5 R, 4 H, 5 ER, 3 BB, 6 SO
Jeff Bianchi – 2/4, 1 RBI
Dwyer continues to get knocked around and has not showed much improvement this year. It has passed the realm of a slow start and now is a legitimate concern. As one of the Royals top pitching prospects Dwyer really needs to find a way to right the ship as a starter or he will see himself sent to the bullpen.
5/30/2011 – Northwest Arkansas Naturals 2, Midland Rockhouds 4
Buddy Baumann – 4 IP, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 H, 4 BB, 3 SO
Anthony Seratelli – 2/4, 1 R
The Naturals ran into a buzzsaw here against the Rockhounds. They took the first one in a shootout and were then outmanned in the next two games. Baumann put up a good performance on the mound but didn’t get the requisite help needed from his offense to get a W.
5/31/2011 – Off day.
6/1/2011 – Northwest Arkansas Naturals 4, Frisco Rough Riders 5
Will Smith – 6.1 IP, 5 R, 4 ER, 7 H, 2 BB, 2 SO
Jamie Romak – ¼, 1 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI
Romak tried to bring the game back to the Naturals by tying it up with a 3-run-homer, but unfortunately it wasn’t enough. Will Smith gave another pedestrian performance and I think we are seeing what Will Smith is as a pitcher.
6/2/2011 – Northwest Arkansas Naturals 5, Frisco Rough Riders 7
Travis Miner – 4 IP, 3 R, 1 ER, 4 H, 1 BB, 5 SO
Anthony Seratelli – 2/3, 1 R, 1 RBI; Derek Robinson – 2/3, 2 R, 1 3B
Miner continues to pitch very well for NWA. He is showing good command and keeping this well under control even with a controlled pitch count. The offense gave him some good support but it wasn’t enough as the bullpen gave up 2 runs in the 9th and the 10th to lose the game.
Triple A (Omaha):
5/27/2011 – Omaha Storm Chasers 4, Memphis Redbirds 2
Vin Mazzaro – 6 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 H, 2 BB, 6 SO
Mazzaro may have just pitched the best game ever will ever pitch as a Royal. He was helped out by a solid offensive performance by the Storm Chasers led by Cain and Kila. Cain is now batting .300 on the season and is, by most estimations, for sure ready to take over CF at the majors. Melky could be a trade chip going forward which would open the door for Cain. Moustakas continues to rake as he is hitting over .320 in his last 10 games with good RBI numbers. Moos is ready and at this point it’s day to day before he gets called up just to make sure he doesn’t get Super 2 status.
5/28/2011 – Omaha Storm Chasers 5, Memphis RedBirds 6
Oliver Pucetas – 5 IP, 4 R, 4 ER, 8 H, 1 BB, 6 SO
Mike Moustakas – 2/4, 1 R; Lorenzo Cain 2/4, 1 RBI
The Storm Chasers had the game but couldn’t close it out. Losing it in the bottom of the 9th, even with another solid offensive performance Pucetas couldn’t get himself another victory.
5/29/2011 – Omaha Storm Chasers 4, Memphis RedBirds 9
Mike Montgomery – 4.1 IP, 6 R, 6 ER, 8 H, 3 BB, 5 SO
Mike Montogmery’s struggles continue. By all accounts his stuff is still there but his command remains an issue. From what I have gathered I think it may be a mental issue. I think in Monty’s world he should be in the majors by now and that has upset him which has caused him to regress. However, if he doesn’t get over it soon it’s only going to make the problem worse as others get moved up around him.
5/30/2011 – Omaha Storm Chasers 9, Memphis RedBirds 2
Luis Mendoza – 7 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 H, 1 BB, 3 SO
Mike Moustakas – 3/5, 2 R, 1 2B; Kila Ka’aihue – 2/5, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI; Lance Zawadzki – ¼, 1 R, 1 HR, 4 RBI
Lance Zawadzki’s grand slam gave the Storm Chasers enough juice to take home the victory against the RedBirds. Moustakas continues to shrug off his slow start and mash. It’s probably for the best he got off to a slow start so it wasn’t a big deal to keep him in Omaha until June, the last thing the Royals would need is another Super 2 status player.
5/31/2011 – Omaha Storm Chasers 15, New Orleans Zephyrs 10
Jeff Suppan – 4 IP, 7 R, 6 ER, 9 H, 0 BB, 3 SO
Mike Moustakas – 2/5, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI; Clint Robinson – 3/5, 3 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI; Lucas May – 2/4, 2 R, 2 HR, 5 RBI
Thankfully an offensive explosion from the Storm Chasers pickup up Suppan’s awful performance. The sleeping giant Lucas May came out of nowhere to get 2 HRs and Moustakas and Clint Robinson continue to do what they do. Robinson may be a valuable trade chip and Moustakas should be up in the next week or two as he is now batting .281 on the season and continues to show increasing power.
6/1/2011 – Omaha Storm Chasers 9, New Orleans Zephyrs 3
Vin Mazzaro – 7 IP, 2 R, 2 ER, 6 H, 2 BB, 5 SO
Mike Moustakas – 3/5; Clint Robinson – ¼, 1 R, 3 RBI; Irving Falu – 2/3, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI
Moustakas continues to rake and Mazzaro turns in another solid performance at AAA. If Mazzaro continues at this rate and actually performs well, does he warrant another shot? Could the Royals be expected to be taken seriously if they trot him back out there? I say no and they can only hope somebody takes a flier on him with a trade.
6/2/2011 – Omaha Storm Chasers 6, New Orleans Zephyrs 22
Kevin Pucetas – 4.2 IP, 5 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 3 SO
Johnny Giavotella – 3/5, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI; Mike Moustakas – 2/5, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI
That’s not a typo by the way. The Chasers gave up 22 runs, 17 of which were in the last 3 innings. It was a rough night all around on the mound for sure. Now, on the bright side, Moustakas continues his hot streak with another HR and a 2/5 night. He has jumped his average up to .292 on the season and is batting .395 in the last 10 games.
Pitcher of the Week: Jason Adam – Week Stats – 12 IP, 3 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 11 SO, 1.49 ERA, 0.83 WHIP; Season Stats – 24.1 IP, 6 R, 5 ER, 7 BB, 20 SO, 1.85 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, 2.87 FIP
Jason Adam is the hometown hero (went to Blue Valley Northwest HS) who was selected by the Royals in 2010 in the fifth round. It’s weeks like these with potential from a 19 year old pitcher that makes the sting of Mike Montgomery’s underperformance and John Lamb’s injury just a little bit less. Doesn’t make up for it, but makes the sting a little bit less. I doubt Adam sniffs the big leagues until 2013 but with Yordano Ventura and Robinson Yambati at Kane County, there is another wave of pitching prospects that will certainly be able to make up for a couple of this first wave not hitting.
Hitter of the Week: Mike Moustakas – Week Stats: 15/33 (.454), 3 2B, 1 HR, 5 RBI; Season Stats – .292/.356/.510/.865, 10 HR, 42 RBI
After a poor April where he hit .229/.304/.410/.714, Moos has woken up to the tune of a .321/.382/.560/.942 line in May. He is off to another solid start in June as well. I think Moos is ready to be called up at any point now, all that matters is what’s above him at the major league level.