Jason Adam (photo via Clint Scoles at PinetarPress.com

Staying Positive Through Minor League Performances

The Royals are 3-8 entering tonight’s game against Detroit. They’ve lost six in a row. Alex Gordon is off to a slow start. Eric Hosmer is pressing.

It’s been a rough week.

But fret not. There are some things to be positive about, even some at the big league level. But first, a few Royals farmhands are having excellent starts to their 2012 seasons.

Most impressive early on is Jason Adam. The 2010 fifth round pick out of Kansas City spent most of last year in Low A Kane County and had an up and down but reasonable season. For starting out in A ball shortly after high school, he held his own.

Adam was assigned to High A Wilmington to start the season and has been great so far. Through three starts, he has a 0.51 ERA in 17.2 innings pitched. With that, he has a 16/5 K/BB ratio and in today’s start, he was a ground ball machine. Before the season, he talked about improving his delivery to the plate and controlling the running game and it seems his delivery may be faster to the plate than it was last year. According to Jason Parks, he broke five bats in Wednesday’s start and two of the hits against him could have been ruled errors. Impressive stuff.

In Adam’s old stomping grounds, the Kane County Cougars are hitting the ball all over the place. The quartet of Lane Adams, Daniel Mateo, Justin Trapp and Jorge Bonifacio have a combined 69 hits in 196 at bats. Adams has driven in 14 runs to the lead the team and Bonifacio – a popular breakout pick – has found a new patience at the plate. Last year he walked 16 times in 258 plate appearances. In 2012 he’s already walked nine times. On the pitching side of things, Edwin Carl is following his up his ridiculous 2011 (76 strikeouts in 36 innings). He has 14 strikeouts through 13.1 innings with a 2.70 ERA and only three walks allowed.

Thankfully, Alan Barrington’s scouting report on Wil Myers and the Naturals seems to be the anomaly, as the Royals top hitting prospect is off to a good start in Double A. He leads Northwest Arkansas with three homers and has a .318/.348/.614  line. The only downside is that he’s struck out 17 times in 44 at bats. That could catch up to him if he doesn’t adjust. Yem Prades has hit as well, with a .342/.375/.421 line in 10 games.

The defending Pacific Coast League champion Omaha Storm Chasers are off to another good start, lead by Tony Abreu and Max Ramirez. Abreu has a 1.003 OPS through 13 games with eight extra base hits. Ramirez has 19 RBI and five homers. The Robinsons – Clint and Derrick – are doing well too. Clint Robinson is still mashing minor league pitching, carrying a .903 OPS into tonight’s game and Derrick Robinson has a .364 average during a 10 game hitting streak.

On the mound, Nathan Adcock has had three good starts, putting up a 1.27 ERA in 18 innings. We can hope that continues, as he’s  walked seven batters, hit three more, and only given up 11 hits. If the control continues to be an issue, he may regress. But we’re staying positive here, so he may be an emergency option if the Royals suffer injuries in the starting rotation. In 60.1 big league innings as a Rule 5 pick, Adcock had a 4.62 ERA, which isn’t good, but considering his situation, it’s not bad either. Jeremy Jeffress and Franciseley Bueno are doing well out of the bullpen in Omaha too. Jeffress has 11 innings pitched and has given up just two runs. Bueno  has a 9/1 K/BB ratio in 8.1 innings. His ERA stands at 1.08 after four appearances.

So it’s not all doom and gloom in the Royals organization. There are some significant names doing some damage in the minors. While the big league team tries to get out of a losing streak, there’s still good baseball down on the farm.

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Tags: AL Central Baseball Clint Robinson Daniel Mateo Jason Adam Jorge Bonifacio Kansas City Royals KC KC Royals MLB Royals Wil Myers

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