Here is your weekly minor league update. It was a decent week for the affiliates as we are starting to see the emergence of some younger players like Yordano Ventura and Cheslor Cuthebert and the re-emergence, if you will, of Will Myers. Here is where they stand:
Kane County – 27-39 (7th place)
Wilmington Blue Rocks – 34-31 (2nd place)
Northwest Arkansas Naturals – 32-20 (2nd place)
Omaha Storm Chasers – 37-30 (1st place)
Low A (Kane County):
6/10/2011 – Kane County Cougars 4, Dayton Dragons 8
Leondy Perez – 6 IP, 6 R, 6 ER, 10 H, 1 BB, 3 SO
Guelin Beltre – 2/3, 2 R, 1 RBI
Kane County has seemingly dipped back into their losing ways of early season. Just like their big league counterparts they can’t seem to have much consistency or get a sustained run out of anything. Perez dropped an unusually bad outing and didn’t get any help from his offense. That type of game leads to these types of results.
6/11/2011 – Kane County Cougars 0, Dayton Dragons 3
Leonel Santiago – 7 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 2 BB, 6 SO
Jacob Kuebler – 2/4, 2 2B
Another lackluster night from the Cougars offensively put them in a position where they let one slip away. The Cougars need to do a better job of sticking around in games like these when pitchers like Santiago give them solid outings.
6/12/2011 – Kane County Cougars 5, Dayton Dragons 4
Yordano Ventura – 4.2 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 H, 0 BB, 6 SO
Ryan Stovall – 3/4, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI; Cheslor Cuthbert – 1/3, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI
Don’t let the score fool you. The Dragons tacked on 3 runs in the 8th against Billo to make it close but the Cougars were able to pull it out. Ventura was able to get his second very good start in a row and he has seemingly found his footing in A-. Cuthbert continues to blast homeruns, giving the 190 lb Nicaraguan 4 in only 19 games. With an average near .300, OPS over .880 and nearly a half year till his 19th birthday, Cuthbert could be a budding star for the Royals and one to keep an eye on.
6/13/2011 – Off Day.
6/14/2011 – Kane County Cougars 3, Burlington Bees 4
Jason Adam – 6.1 IP, 4 R, 4 ER, 5 H, 1 BB, 7 SO
Brett Eibner – 1/3, 1 RBI
Adam threw out a decent outing and put his team in a position to win but they just couldn’t get it done. No big stories here, just a loss.
6/15/2011 – Kane County Cougars 4, Burlington Bees 8
Sugar Ray Marimon – 2.2 IP, 4 R, 4 ER, 7 H, 1 BB, 2 SO
Guelin Beltre – 2/4, 1 2B, 2 RBI; Ryan Stovall – 3/5, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI; Cheslor Cuthbert – 2/4, 1 R
An uncharacteristically poor performance for Marimon led to this loss to the Royals former affiliate the Burlington Bees. Another good sign here is that Cheslor Cuthbert continues to hit well and shows a TON of promise here in the system.
6/16/2011 – Kane County Cougars 2, Burlington Bees 6
Leondy Perez – 6 IP, 4 R, 2 ER, 8 H, 0 BB, 5 SO
Angel Franco – 2/4, 1 R
Perez actually turned in a solid outing but the some errors and the bullpen haven’t been able to come through for him. KC has slipped back in to their losing ways of the early season but hopefully they can turn things around.
High A (Wilmington):
6/10/2011 – Wilmington Blue Rocks 4, Winston-Salem Dash 1
Tim Melville – 6 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 4 H, 3 BB, 4 SO
Ryan Eigsti – 2/4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI; Yem Prades – 1/4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI
Tim Melville is one of those pitchers with such inconsistent brilliance that it just makes you angry. Similar to Luke Hochevar at the major league level, Melville will have legit stuff one day and the next he finds himself giving up 8 runs. It’s getting to that make or break time with him so he needs to develop some consistency or be moved. He probably doesn’t have much trade value at this point but could have life in the bullpen.
6/11/2011 – Wilmington Blue Rocks 9, Winston-Salem Dash 4
Tyler Sample – 7 IP, 3 R, 3 ER, 6 H, 1 BB, 7 SO
Nick Francis – 5/6, 1 R, 1 3B, 1 RBI; Tim Ferguson – 3/4 2 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI; Whit Merrifield – 3/6, 1 R, 1 RBI
An offensive explosion helped Sample get back on track after a couple of bad outings. Sample is similar to Melville in that it’s make or break time for him as well. Francis and Merrifield continue to lead the team offensively, albeit with a very sporadic life to the offense overall.
6/12/2011 – Wilmington Blue Rocks 1, Winston-Salem Dash 10
Jake Odorizzi – 3 IP, 7 R, 7 ER, 4 BB, 3 SO
Whit Merrifield – 2/5, 1 2B
Turns out Jake Odorizzi is human and not a strikeout robot sent to fan batters from another dimension. Usually you see this type of outing as troublesome but with a pitcher of Odorizzi’s caliber you give him the benefit of the doubt and say that sometimes a pitcher just doesn’t have his best stuff. I also know that the Royals intend on getting him some practice with his secondary pitches so it could be him concentrating on throwing those a lot that got him in trouble. If that’s the case, then there’s not much to worry about. I wouldn’t put much stock in this bad outing at this point.
6/13/2011 – Wilmington Blue Rocks 0, Lynchburg Hillcats 5
Justin Marks – 6 IP, 5 R, 5 ER, 9 H, 0 BB, 4 SO
Whit Merrifield – 2/4
The Rocks didn’t get an awful outing from Justin Marks but he also didn’t put them in a position to win and that is ultimately what he’s asked to do. With Arguelles nursing a slight injury, not having him in the rotation hurts a bit, but hopefully he will be back soon and won’t have a hole in the rotation anymore.
6/14/2011 –Wilmington Blue Rocks 3, Lynchburg Hillcats
Elisaul Pimentel – 7 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 H, 1 BB, 7 SO
Nick Francis – 2/3, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI
Pimentel gives what may have been his best outing of the year to this point. Shutting down the Hillcats for the entire 7-inning double header shortened game. The offense didn’t give him a lot but it gave him enough to win.
6/14/2011 – Wilmington Blue Rocks 3, Lynchburg Hillcats 7
Michael Mariot – 4.2 IP, 5 R, 5 ER, 5 H, 2 BB, 3 SO
Tim Ferguson – 1/1, 1 R
A poor outing from A+ all star Michael Mariot put the team behind the 8 ball as the Hillcats won the game and the series.
6/15/2011 – Wilmington Blue Rocks 4, Lynchburg Hillcats 3
Tim Melville – 5 IP, 2 R, 2 ER, 6 H, 0 BB, 4 SO
John Whittleman – 2/4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 1 RBI
Pretty solid game all around for the Blue Rocks here. Melville gave his second strong outing in a row and hopefully maintains some consistency. The Blue Rocks offense still isn’t operating at the peak they were at to begin the season but came through with enough here to get the win.
6/16/2011 – Postponed due to rain.
Double A (Northwest Arkansas):
6/10/2011 – Northwest Arkansas Naturals 2, Arkansas Travelers 2
Chris Dwyer – 6 IP, 4 R, 4 ER, 7 H, 3 BB, 4 SO
Tim Smith – 2/3, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI
Dwyer continues to battle inconsistency and poor command as he get knocked around again. If recent history is any indication and the numbers tell us anything, Dwyer has a steep uphill climb at this point if he wants to reach the majors.
6/10/2011 – Northwest Arkansas Naturals 3, Arkansas Travelers 0
Edgar Osuna – 5 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 BB, 8 SO
Jeff Bianchi – 2/2, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI
Edgar Osuna pitched possibly his best game as a professional and led the Naturals to victory. The offense wasn’t heavy but enough to pull through with a solid performance by Osuna. Osuna continues to show flashes but needs to gather some consistency if he wants to continue moving along.
6/11/2011 – Northwest Arkansas Naturals 6, Arkansas Travelers 4
Buddy Baumann – 3 IP, 2 R, 2 ER, 5 H, 1 BB, 2 SO
Anthony Seratelli – 3/4, 1 R, 1 RBI; Tim Smith 2/4, 1 R, 1 RBI
They struggled with the pitching staff but the Naturals were able to throw enough guys out there, and got enough help from their offense to grab a victory. They really still seem to be searching for an identity as a team after the loss of Hosmer, Moustakas, and C Rob from last year, but hopefully somebody will be able to step up and take this team back to where they were in years past.
6/12/2011 – Northwest Arkansas Naturals 7, Tulsa Drillers 6
Will Smith – 6 IP, 5 R, 5 ER, 9 H, 2 BB, 5 SO
Anthony Seratelli – 3/4, 2 R, 2 RBI; Derek Robinson – 3/5, 1 R
A tight one here that the Naturals were able to pull out the victory. Will Smith was not that great but the offense was able to pick him up with a solid night again from Anthony Seratelli who has had a great may and June so far.
6/13/2011 – Northwest Arkansas Naturals 7, Tulsa Drillers 9
Willy Lebron – 3.1 IP, 5 R, 5 ER, 6 H, 4 BB, 3 SO
Tim Smith – 3/4, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI; Derek Robinson – 2/3, 1 R
The Naturals had been playing with fire the last two games and when that happens, you often get burned as they did in this matchup losing a tight one that could have gone either way as both offenses had it working in the early going.
6/14/2011 – Northwest Arkansas Naturals 16, Tulsa Drillers 2
Edgar Osuna – 5.1 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 0 BB, 3 SO
Kurt Mertins – 2/2, 2 R, 1 2B, 3 RBI; Anthony Seratelli – ½, 1 R, 1 3B, 3 RBI; Will Myers – 3/4, 4 R, 2 2B; Christian Colon – 3/3, 4 R; Jamie Romak – 1/3, 3 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI
The Drillers got taken to the woodshed big time by the Naturals. A career high 4 runs scored for Will Myers and 3 RBIs from Seratelli, Mertins, and Tim Smith all led to this epic destruction of the Drillers. It’s good to see the Naturals get some offensive firepower back, hopefully they can take this momentum and keep it going.
6/15/2011 – Northwest Arkansas Naturals 4, Tulsa Drillers 0
Chris Dwyer – 6 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 4 H, 3 BB, 9 SO
Salvador Perez – 3/4, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 1 RBI; Will Myers – 2/3; Jamie Romak – 1/2, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI
In the race to the first half championship the Naturals are making a strong push. They have been playing well against the Drillers and that continued here. The Naturals are racing against the Arkansas Travelers and in the event of a tie they are going to have a one game playoff to decide the first half crown.
6/16/2011 – Northwest Arkansas Naturals 7, Springfield Cardinals 1
Buddy Baumann – 7 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 4 H, 0 BB, 7 SO
Will Myers – 2/5, 1 R, 2 2B; Kurt Mertins – 2/3, 1 2B, 4 RBI
Kurt Mertins lead the way offensively as the Naturals handled the Cardinals. Buamann continues to have a solid season and threw maybe his best game of the season so far. If Omaha loses anymore starting pitchers (Montgomery anybody?) then he projects as a solid option to fill that gap if necessary.
Triple A (Omaha):
6/10/2011 – Omaha Storm Chasers 5, Oklahoma City Redhawks 4
Mario Santiago – 5 IP, 2 R, 1 ER, 3 H, 4 BB, 4 SO
Lorenzo Cain – 3/3, 2 2B, 2 RBI, Johnny Giavotella – 3/4, 1 R, 1 2B; Daivd Lough – 2/5, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI
Santiago pitched perhaps his best game since being called up to Triple A. Hopefully this is a harbinger of things to come from Santiago. It’s too late to consider him a prospect still (nearly 28 years old) and he probably won’t fit into the Royals future, but he could be good for a few spot starts here and there or get himself in line for some possible bullpen duty.
6/11/2011 – Omaha Storm Chasers 4, Oklahoma City RedHawks 6 (11)
Jeff Suppan – 6.1 IP, 3 R, 3 ER, 7 H, 2 BB, 5 SO
Clint Robinson – 1/5, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI
Extra inning losses are always tough. Especially when you get a decent outing from Suppan and a HR from Robinson, it’s tough to stomach a loss like this but such things happen when you can’t close a team out in the late innings.
6/12/2011 – Omaha Storm Chasers 5, Oklahoma City RedHawks 4
Luis Mendoza – 6 IP, 3 R, 1 ER, 11 H, 0 BB, 5 SO
Clint Robinson – 3/4, 2 R, 1 2B, 2 HR, 3 RBI
Mendoza puts together a solid outing as he has, believe it or not, been the most consistent pitcher at AAA that is still on the roster. It appears all the Royals brass is looking for out of their pitchers is some modicum of consistency, so hopefully we see more of that from the AAA staff. Also, Clint Robinson continues his assault on AAA pitching as he raises his average to .356 with this game and drops his 16th and 17th HRs on the season, oh, and an OPS of 1.067 to boot. Not too bad for the Alabama Hamma.
6/13/2011 – Omaha Storm Chasers 6, Iowa Cubs 3
Bruce Chen – 4 IP, 2 R, 2 ER, 6 H, 0 BB, 1 SO
Johnny Giavotella – 2/4, 2 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI; David Lough – 2/4, 2 R, 1 2B; Lorenzo Cain – 2/4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI
Bruce Chen did well enough in his first AAA rehab start. Hopefully he can continue to improve and stretch out his outings and get back to the major league staff because Lord knows they need some help in the starting rotation. Giavotella and Lough continue to tear and present their case for promotion. If you ask me, it sure does look like they will get a shot this year, hopefully sooner rather than later.
6/14/2011 – Omaha Storm Chasers 5, Iowa Cubs 11
Mike Montgomery – 5 IP, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 H, 5 BB, 8 SO
Manny Pina – 2/4, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI; Lorenzo Cain – 2/4, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 1 RBI; Johnny Giavotella – 2/4
The Storm Chasers were in this game until Iowa dropped 5 runs in the ninth to seal up a victory. Monty put them in the position they needed to be in, he still struggled with his command a bit but it seems that he might be getting closer to figuring things out. Giavotella keeps raking and Lorenzo Cain continues to show he has some promise. With the trade deadline looming a month away I would expect the Royals to make some moves and get these guys up here.
6/15/2011 – Omaha Storm Chasers 5, Iowa Cubs 9
Mario Santiago – 7 IP, 2 R, 2 ER, 8 H, 4 BB, 3 SO
Mike Aviles – 2/3, 2 R, 2 HR, 4 RBI; Clint Robinson – 2/4
A 2 HR day by Aviles was wasted as Jeremy Jeffress couldn’t hold anything down and gave up 7 runs in only one inning of work. Jeffress is starting to look much more like a project than originally thought.
6/16/2011 – Omaha Storm Chasers 6, Iowa Cubs 2
Jeff Suppan – 7 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 6 H, 2 BB, 7 SO
Lorenzo Cain – 1/4, 2 RBI; Clint Robinson – 2/4, 1 R, 1 2B
The Chasers bounce back with a victory over the Cubs after getting a solid start from Jeff Suppan. The Royals have had ample opportunity to move Suppan up for some spot starts in the Majors and haven’t done it yet, so I question why he’s still here. I suppose there is nobody from the AA staff that is knocking on the door but he’s just occupying a spot at this point.
Pitcher of the Week: Tim Melville – Week Stats: 11 IP, 2 R, 2 ER, 10 H, 3 BB, 8 SO, 1.63 ERA, 1.18 WHIP; Season Stats – 66.2 IP, 4.59 ERA, 22 BB, 45 SO, 1.63 WHIP, 3.76 FIP
Tim Melville was a big signing for the Royals. A local hero he was projected as having huge upside and the Royals paid him overslot money to see him reach that potential with their club. He has been inconsistent at best in his career, often times battling command issues and not being able to get hitters out. Melville puts a lot of people on base and it often comes back to bite him. However, he has shown flashes of brilliance (like this week) that give the organization hope that he can turn things around.
Hitter of the Week: Will Myers – Week Stats: 10/28 (.357), 5 2B, 1 HR, 1 RBI; Season stats: .296/.360/.432/.792, 8 2B, 3 HR, 12 RBI
This is what Royals fans have been waiting from Will Myers. While not an overly spectacular week, after coming back from injuries Myers has played very well and is starting to heat up. If he continues on a .357 type tear, he is looking at a promotion to AAA near end of July, start the year with Omaha next year, and then find himself as a possible call up in June next year similar to Moustakas’ route to the pros.