Well this will be my last ‘Princes of Kauffman’ update as I am leaving to take over the Kansas Jayhawks blog for Fansided (if you get a chance please stop by at www.throughthephog.com). There is one small victory here as the promotion I have been calling for for Jake Odorizzi has finally been given and he is on his way to Northwest Arkansas. The Kane County Cougars are making many strides as they have won 6 of their last 7 and the infusion of solid talent down there is definitely encouraging. Well I have enjoyed writing this post and I hope you have enjoyed reading it. Wally Fish will continue the minor league updates after I am gone, so expect a new format but quality information nonetheless. Here is where the affiliates stand:
Arizona Royals (Rookie): 2-7 (4th place)
Idaho Falls Chukars (Rookie Advanced): 6-5 (3rd place)
Burlington Royals (Rookie): 1-9 (5th place)
Kane County (A-): 6-1 (1st place)
Wilmington Blue Rocks (A+): 3-5 (3rd place)
Northwest Arkansas Naturals (AA): 1-6 (4th place)
Omaha Storm Chasers (AAA): 44-37 (1st place)
Low A (Kane County):
6/24/2011 – Kane County Cougars 6, Peoria Chiefs 2
Yordano Ventura – 5.2 IP, 2 R, 2 ER, 6 H, 1 BB, 3 SO
Cheslor Cuthbert – 2/5, 1 R, 2 2B, Brett Eibner – 1/5, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI
Ventura puts in yet another solid outing. For a pitcher who just hit his 20th birthday a few weeks ago, Ventura is coming along nicely and if he continues at this pace will most likely start in Wilmington next year. I don’t imagine that the Royals would move him up this year as he didn’t even start the season with the team, but starting in A+ next year means he could be in NWA by end of 2012 with a possibly Major league debut near the end of 2013, but again, that is absolute best case scenario and it’s probably 2014 until we see Ventura in the pros.
6/25/2011 – Kane County Cougars 11, Peoria Chiefs 5
Jason Adam – 3 IP, 2 R, 2 ER, 5 H, 0 BB, 3 SO
Brian Fletcher – 3/3, 3 R, 1 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBI (yup, 7); Brett Eibner – 3/4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 1 RBI
Not sure why Adam left the game so early here. He struggled a bit but nothing that would cause him to be taken out after 3 innings. If any information comes about it will be passed along. It is good to see Eibner start to hit a little bit. Hopefully, after an injury to start the season he is completely back now and can get back to hitting as we all knew he could when we drafted him.
6/26/2011 – Kane County Cougars 6, Peoria Chiefs 1
Leonel Santiago – 7 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 5 H, 0 BB, 7 SO
Ryan Stovall – 3/3, 2 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI; Carlito Calixte – 2/4, 1 RBI
Leonel Santiago continues to prove why he was picked to the Midwestern league all-star game with a really solid outing. With the success he has had, the conversation will now shift to if/when he is going to be moving up to Wilmington.
6/27/2011 – Kane County Cougars 4, Burlington Bees 1
Leondy Perez – 7 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 7 H, 0 BB, 2 SO
Angel Franco – 3/5, 2 RBI
The Cougars are on a bit of a tear here with their 4th straight win. Looks as though the infusion of some young talent like Jason Adam, Carlito Carlixte, Cheslor Cuthbert, and Yordano Ventura has paid off and this team looks like they can make a run now after the all-star break.
6/28/2011 – Kane County Cougars 4, Burlington Bees 1
Greg Billo – 5 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 H, 1 BB, 2 SO
Jacob Kuebler – 2/3, 1 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI; Ryan Stovall – ½, 2 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI
Billo continues his stellar season as the Cougars put together their 5th straight win. KC has really turned things around. After starting 15-25 they have gone 18-16 since and have improved to 6th place in their division for the first time this year.
6/29/2011 – Kane County Cougars 5, Burlington Bees 9
Yordano Ventura – 3 IP, 6 R, 6 ER, 7 H, 3 BB, 4 SO
Brett Eibner – 3/4, 2 R, 2 HR, 3 RBI
Ventura got roughed up a bit and wasn’t nearly as impressive as his earlier outings showed him to be. It is good to see Eibner start to hit better as he has risen his average up above .200 and looks to be showing some improvement last week in recovering from his injury. The Cougars 5 game win streak has come to an end with this loss.
6/30/2011 – Kane County Cougars 4, Beloit Snappers 3
Jason Adam – 5 IP, 2 R, 1 ER, 4 H, 1 BB, 2 SO
Brett Eibner – 2/3, 1 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI
This is another one of those games that is good for the Royals future. Jason Adam, one of the organizations bright young pitchers, gave a solid outing putting the team in position to win, and Brett Eibner, one of the highly thought of young prospects has seemingly fully recovered from his injury and is starting to mash at KC.
High A (Wilmington):
6/24/2011 – Wilmington Blue Rocks 4, Lynchburg Hillcats 2
Noel Arguelles – 6 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 0 BB, 2 SO
Nick Francis – 3/4, 2 RBI
Arguelles has put together another dominant outing. His velocity hasn’t been as good since coming back from his injury, but if anything, that is even more encouraging as it shows he really knows how to pitch. Arguelles has been one of, if not the most, consistent pitcher in the organization this year and is another good piece that, if he continues, could be a part of the future.
6/25/2011 – Wilmington Blue Rocks 0, Lynchburg Hillcats 6
Jake Odorizzi – 6 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 H, 2 BB, 4 SO
Nick Francis – 1/3, 1 2B
Odorizzi gets the loss but more from a lack of run support from his offense than anything to do with poor pitching. His K:BB ratio this game leads one to believe that he continues to work on his secondary pitches and is getting better at them, which should mean he will be moving up to NWA soon, who could use some help in their rotation.
6/26/2011 – Wilmington Blue Rocks 2, Frederick Keys 6
Tyler Sample – 7 IP, 5 R, 5 ER, 5 H, 0 BB, 1 SO
Rey Navarro – 2/4, 1 R, 1 2B
Just when it seemed like he was starting to figure things out, Sample puts together a rough outing like this one and ruins your confidence. Sample no doubt has some talent, but I think the Royals will make the decision after this year that he will be moved to the bullpen.
6/27/2011 – Wilmington Blue Rocks 0, Frederick Keys 2
Elisaul Pimentel – 7 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 4 H, 1 BB, 6 SO
Carlo Testa – 2/4
The Blue Rocks have gotten off to a rough start in the second half race this season. Their offense that started off the season hot has since dissipated and even with their excellent pitching the Rocks have hit some tough times in the second half early going.
6/28/2011 – Wilmington Blue Rocks 5, Frederick Keys 2
Tim Melville – 6.2 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 7 H, 1 BB, 6 SO
Nick Francis – 2/4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI
Whispers around the organization were that Tim Melville was close to figuring things out and this may be an indication that he keeps getting closer. In his last 10 games Melville has an ERA of 3.71 on 53.1 IP with a WHIP of 1.39 and a 43:15 K:BB ratio. That is also made to look less impressive by two outings in a row where he gave up 5 runs in less than 6 innings work. Take those out and in the other 8 outings he has an ERA of 2.43. He has only given up 5 runs in his last 4 starts on 23 IP so he has started to show some decent consistency.
6/29/2011 – Wilmington Blue Rocks 0, Salem Red Sox 2
Noel Arguelles – 6.2 IP, 2 R, 2 ER, 6 H, 0 BB, 4 SO
Jiohn Whittleman – 2/4
Arguelles puts in a decent outing but the offense came up with absolutely no help giving him the loss. No doubt this was spurred by the fact that Rey Navarro and Nick Francis were called up to NWA.
6/30/2011 – Wilmington Blue Rocks 3, Salem Red Sox 5
Jake Odorizzi – 6 IP, 5 R, 4 ER, 8 H, 0 BB, 6 SO
Joey Lewis – 2/4, 1 2B, 1 RBI
Odorizzi didn’t give his best outing but it didn’t seem to matter as he received a call-up to Northwest Arkansas after this game. The organization will definitely be looking to NWA to see how Odorizzi works out there as he has ascended to the top of the Royals pitching prospect list at midseason.
Double A (Northwest Arkansas):
6/24/2011 – Northwest Arkansas Naturals 0, Arkansas Naturals 3
Zach Miner – 4.1 IP, 2 R, 2 ER, 4 H, 1 BB, 2 SO
Will Myers – 1/3, 1 2B
The Naturals are off to a bit of a rough start to the second half season here as they take another loss to the Travelers. Good to see Myers continue to hit better as he is methodically moving his batting average closer to that .300 mark.
6/25/2011 – Northwest Arkansas Naturals 0, Arkansas Travelers 2
Chris Dwyer – 5.2 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 H, 0 BB, 5 SO
Salvador Perez – 1/3
This is the 3rd solid start in a row for Dwyer and now it’s becoming a trend. Dwyer had an injury last year (his back if memory serves) and it could have still been effecting him in the early going. I am not gonna say that he is back at this point, but things are looking up for Dwyer after the way the season had started.
6/26/2011 – Northwest Arkansas Naturals 6, Arkansas Travelers 7
Buddy Baumann – 2 IP, 4 R, 4 ER, 3 H, 2 BB, 2 SO
Derek Robinson – 4/5, 2 R; Will Myers – 1/3, 1 2B, 2 RBI; Anthony Seratelli – 1/4, 2 R, 1 HR
Baumann put up his worst outing of the year and the offense made a run at it but couldn’t get back the 7 runs that the staff gave up. Will Myers continues to hit well as does others around him.
6/27/2011 – Northwest Arkansas Naturals 0, Arkansas Travelers 3
Will Smith – 5 IP, 2 R, 2 ER, 7 H, 3 BB, 4 SO
Ben Theriot – 2/3, 1 2B
Similar to the Blue Rocks, the Naturals have gotten off to a rough start here in the second half. Will Smith turned in a solid performance but no help from his offense meant that he walked away with the loss, as did the Naturals.
6/28/2011 – Off Day.
6/29/2011 – Off Day.
6/30/2011 – Northwest Arkansas Naturals 2, San Antonio Missions 8
Chris Dwyer – 1.2 IP, 7 R, 7 ER, 5 H, 4 BB, 1 SO
Will Myers – 1/3, 2 RBI
Just when you thought it was figured out, Dwyer goes and lays and egg like this one. Not sure what his issue was but hopefully it was something that is correctable so these types of outings don’t happen again.
Triple A (Omaha):
6/24/2011 – Omaha Storm Chasers 2, Nashville Sounds 3
Kevin Pucetas – 5 IP, 3 R, 3 ER, 5 H, 0 BB, 0 SO
Johnny Giavotella – 3/4, 1 2B
Gio continues to hit well in Omaha showing that he is ready as soon as the Royals want him. The reason he remains down in AAA is due to his suspect defense as the Royals would rather have Chris Getz manning the hole at 2nd. However, if Gio can hit like this at the major league level, I think he makes up for his defense as Getz isn’t exactly a gold glover and cost the Royals the series sweep on this very day with a suspect play at second.
6/25/2011 – Omaha Storm Chasers 1, Memphis Red Birds 3
Kyle Davies – 7 IP, 2 R, 0 ER, 4 H, 0 BB, 9 SO
Cody Clark – 1/3
The Chasers get a good outing from Davies but a few errors don’t allow them to convert and they drop one to the Memhis RedBirds.
6/26/2011 – Postponed due to Rain.
6/27/2011 – Omaha Storm Chasers 2, Memphis RedBirds 1
Jeff Suppan – 6 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 6 H, 1 BB, 1 SO
Johnny Giavotella – 2/3
Suppan gives the Storm Chasers six solid innings allowing them to come away victorious from the rival RedBirds. Gio continues to rake as he is now up to .324 at the plate. His defense is the main concern for the Royals but at some point they are not going to be able to keep him down there for long and Getz will have to move aside, especially if Gio can come even close to replicating this at the major league level.
6/27/2011 – Omaha Storm Chasers 2, Memphis Redbirds 5
Sean O’Sullivan – 4 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 2 BB, 3 SO
Mike Aviles – 2/3, 1 RBI
SOS gives a slightly encouraging performance as he holds the Redbirds in check until the bullpen came in and let Memphis take over. They didn’t get much help from the offense either, as the Storm Chasers are, like the other affiliates, having a slow start to the second half of the minor league season.
6/28/2011 – Omaha Storm Chasers 6, Memphis RedBirds 2
Luis Mendoza – 7 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 H, 4 BB, 2 SO
Clint Robinson – 2/4, 1 2B; Kila Ka’aihue – 2/4, 1 R, 1 HR, 4 RBI; Lorenzo Cain – 2/3, 1 RBI
Kila hit a walk off grand slam to win the game late as they got a solid outing from Mendoza. Lorenzo Cain gets himself out of a 4 game hitless slump here and Clint Robinson continues to maintain his solid hitting at the AAA level.
6/29/2011 – Off Day.
6/30/2011 – Omaha Storm Chasers 18, Albuqerque Isotopes 13
Vin Mazzaro – 4 IP, 8 R, 8 Er, 8 H, 6 BB, 3 SO
Johnny Giavotella – 3/5, 3 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI; Kila Ka’aihue – 2/4, 3 R, 1 HR, 4 RBI; Lorenzo Cain – 2/3, 3 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI
There were 9 total HRs in this game between the two teams and it was definitely an exciting affair. Mazzaro looked like the major league Vin Mazzaro but Johnny Giavotella has really stepped his game up. If the Royals are shifting the lineup around and really want to get some more production out of 2B then I really don’t know why they don’t give Gio a shot. He has definitely earned it to this point.
Arguelles has been possibly the most consistent pitcher on any staff in the Royals organization. Even Jake Odorizzi has been roughed up a time or two, but Arguelles has really kept things under control. Not a strikeout pitcher but he is displaying excellent command and keeping the runs down. His worst outing has been 4 ER over 5.1 innings, which isn’t even that bad, just ask Chris Dwyer and Mike Montgomery about that. Arguelles is still recovering from his injury that kept him out all of 2010, and his velocity is still coming back. That only bodes well for the Royals as it shows that even without his velocity he still knows how to pitch. I’m excited to see his development.
Gio has really stepped up since the call-ups of Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas. Gio currently ranks 4th on the team in BA and if you take out Hosmer and Aviles who haven’t been there the whole season, then he is only trailing Clint Robinson and even that is only by .004 points. He has also taken the lead from Robinson in the RBI department and leads the team in that category. Gio has nothing left to prove if you ask me, his defense might be suspect but Chris Getz isn’t winning gold gloves at the major league level so I think Gio is the better option at this point. I would expect him to be called up within the next