Since I was at the Eastern League All-Star Game last week, I didn’t have the chance to recap the week of Royals Rookie Ball. So this week’s recap will cover the last two weeks (from July 2nd to July 15th).
The Royals top pick in this June’s draft, Kyle Zimmer, made his debut for the AZL Royals on July 13th. He allowed one run on two hits over two innings. He struck out three while not walking a batter.
Idaho Falls are 12-15, four games back in the Pioneer League’s South Division. From July 2-9, the Chukars went 3-4. From July 9-15 (which included a day off and a rain out), they went 2-4. One of those losses came to Orem, 20-6.
In his last ten games, catcher Parker Morin is hitting .424. Outfielder Ethan Chapman has a hit in seven of his last eight games (11-for-31). First baseman Rainier Bello has a hit in nine of his last ten games (10-for-31) with three doubles, a homerun, three runs scored, and four RBIs.
The Chukars have had shaky pitching and lost one of their best starters, Andy Ferguson, to a promotion to High-A Wilmington. Ferguson was 2-0 with a 1.14 ERA in four starts. 2012 second round draft pick Sam Selman made three starts, two solid ones over the last two weeks. In his past two starts, he allowed three runs (two earned) on eight hits and four walks over 10.1 innings. He struck out 14.
Alec Mills made three relief appearances (though he hasn’t pitched since July 9th). He allowed two runs on nine hits and one walk over 5.2 innings. He struck out eight. Right-hander Ali Williams has been racking up the strikeouts so far for the Chukars (28 Ks in 22.1 innings). He made two starts over the last two weeks. In his last start (July 12th), he struck out 11 over six shutout innings. He only allowed three hits and one walk.
Bubba Starling‘s big game came on July 2nd, when he hit two homeruns (the first of his career) and drove in six runs. He picked up two hits the next day, but has struggled a bit since (3-for-19 with eight strikeouts).
It must have seemed like forever since the Royals played a game this past week. Their July 9th game in Bluefield was suspended. Then, their three-game series in Kingsport was rained out. Then their first game in Princeton was postponed. The Royals finally got back on the field on Sunday, as they split a doubleheader against Princeton.
Terrance Gore has struck out 13 times so far this season, but has cut back as of late (just three over his last eight games). In that span, he is 8-for-31 (.258) with three walks and four stolen bases. Kenny Diekroeger (the 4th round pick this year), was 10-for-31 (.323) with three homeruns, six runs scored, and six RBIs. Patrick Leonard leads the Royals in homeruns with seven, but hit just one over his last eight games (8-for-30).
Unlike the Chukars, the Royals have received very good pitching. They have three pitchers with ERA’s under two and three more with ERA’s under three.
Daniel Hernandez has been very good since returning from Tommy John surgery. He made three starts over the last two weeks, totaling 17.1 innings. He allowed four runs on 11 hits and just two walks while striking out 17. Colin Rodgers made one start (July 6th) and pitched six hitless innings (the lone baserunner came via a hit batter). He struck out three.
Daniel Stumpf, who retrieved both of Starling’s homerun balls for Bubba, is also pitching pretty well. He’s carrying a 0.84 ERA over six relief outings (he hasn’t pitched since July 8th). In his two most recent outings, he allowed three hits over 3.1 innings. He struck out six. Jossiel Martinez is making his professional debut in the US. In his last two relief outings, he has allowed just one run on four hits and one walk over 4.1 innings. He struck out six.
Patrick Conroy made one start (July 4th) and picked up the win. He allowed two runs on six hits and a walk over six innings. He struck out seven.