KC Royals J.C. Sulbaran Makes AAA Debut in Victory


Six out of seven KC Royals minor league affiliates were in action Friday night, with a 3-3 record on the day.

Omaha scored over the first three innings en route to their 10-3 victory over Round Rock.

The Storm Chasers collected 17 hits, but just two for extra bases (two doubles by Christian Colon). Leadoff hitter Reymond Fuentes went 3-for-5 with three runs scored, two RBIs, and a stolen base.

Jose Martinez went 4-for-5 with two RBIs. Martinez continues to make the case he deserves a September call-up by boosting his average to .380 in AAA. Though long-in-the tooth for a prospect at 27-years-old, hitting .380 for half a season begins to make one wonder if he’s a late-bloomer a la Raúl Ibañez (who didn’t get a starting MLB gig until age 29 with the Kansas City Royals). Somehow, Dayton Moore needs to find out exactly what kind of player he has on his hands.

Paulo Orlando and Orlando Calixte each had two hits in the win.

In his first Triple-A start, J.C. Sulbaran picked up the victory, allowing just one run on two hits and two walks over 6.2 innings. He struck out nine, including the final two batters he faced. Sulbaran, who came to the KC Royals organization in 2012’s Jonathan Broxton deadline deal,  allowed a single in the first and a solo home run to Joey Gallo in the second.

Lefty Troy Patton entered in the 7th inning and allowed a solo home run to Gallo, the first batter he faced. Patton allowed two runs on five hits over 2.1 innings.

NW Arkansas lost to Springfield, 11-1. It was their third straight loss. The Naturals collected six hits, two each by Ramon Torres and Parker Morin.

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Brooks Pounders made his first start with the Naturals in 2015 and allowed two runs on three hits and three walks over 4.2 innings. He struck out three. It went downhill from there.

Aroni Nina allowed four runs (three earned) on two hits and four walks over 1.1 innings. Sam Selman then allowed five unearned runs on four hits and a hit batter over 1.2 innings. He had the error. Selman continues to wallow in the minors, even after getting moved to the pen in 2014. His prospect star is fading fast.

Wilmington lost their sixth straight, losing their opener to Carolina, 4-1. However, everyone in their division has been losing.

The Blue Rocks lone run came via Ryan O’Hearn‘s first home run as a Blue Rock. It came in the 2nd inning. O’Hearn is having a big season, showing a nice combination of power and patience that is rare in the Kansas City Royals system. The 22-year-old, however, is  struggling to adjust to High A (Wilmington is a tough level for hitters). Let’s hope the home run can get him going.

Ashton Goudeau made another start and pitched well. He allowed one run on six hits and a walk over 5.1 innings. He struck out six. Estarlin Cordero took the loss in relief, as he allowed three runs on six hits and a walk over 3.2 innings. He struck out four.

Lexington lost to Greenville, 4-2.

The Legends two runs came via solo home runs: Wander Franco‘s in the fourth and Brandon Downes‘ in the seventh. Downes went 3-for-4.

Scott Blewett took the loss, as he allowed two runs on four hits and three walks over five innings. He struck out two.  The 19-year-old Blewett remains one of the system’s top prospects (no. 8 according to MLB.com), despite a modest 4.33 ERA and 6.9 K/9 at Lexington. He is, however,  three years younger than the average player in his league.

Matt Tenuta, who was just added to the roster, allowed two runs on four hits and a walk over three innings. He struck out four.

Idaho Falls walked off against Ogden, 9-8. The Chukars were down 8-1 heading into the bottom of the ninth.

Amalani Fukofuka started the ninth with an inside-the-park home run. The 19-year-old centerfielder is batting .348 in 168 ABs for the Chukars with 7 stolen bases. With one out, Brawlun Gomez drove in two runs with a double to cut the deficit to 8-4. D.J. Burt singled in a run with the bases loaded and back-to-back fielder’s choices without recording an out led to the game winner.

Burt, Fukofuka, Joshua Banuelos, and Gomez each had two hits in the win.

Ian Tompkins earned the win in relief, as he allowed a run on two hits and two walks over two innings. He struck out three. Todd Eaton got the start and allowed five runs on ten hits and a walk over 4.2 innings. Nick Green followed and allowed two runs on three hits and two walks over 2.1 innings.

Burlington beat Elizabethton, 12-6.

Nolan Watson got the start for the Royals and allowed a run on three hits over four innings. He struck out one. The 18-year-old Watson was the team’s competitive balance pick in the June draft (1st round sandwich pick), and is rated the KC Royals no. 11 prospect by MLB.com. He has a 4.41 ERA so far in rookie ball.

Chase Darhower then allowed four runs on five hits and two walks over the next two innings. He allowed a three-run homer in the fifth. Jake Kalish earned the victory, though he allowed a run on two hits over three innings. He struck out three.

Colton Frabasilio went 3-for-5 with a solo home run in the first (his first professional homer). Luke Willis and Angelo Castellano each had two hits. Brian Bien went 4-for-5 with a double and three RBIs.

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