Right after the KC Royals got their season up and running, the minor leagues got going last Thursday. Let’s check out the first action on the farm.
AAA – Omaha Storm Chasers (3-3)
Opening their season Thursday night on the road, the KC Royals AAA affiliate, the Omaha Storm Chasers played their first series of the year against the Colorado Springs Sky Sox, an affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers. Omaha’s lineup was stirred against elite pitching prospect Josh Hader. Omaha was held to two hits in their season opener.
After the opening loss, the Storm Chasers could only find themselves one win in the series, losing 3 of 4. They avoided the sweep on Sunday, winning 8-3, led by home runs from Whit Merrifield and Jorge Bonifacio. Other than good first starts by Jonathan Dziedzic and Jake Junis, the rest of the pitching staff couldn’t get acclimated.
In their second series, the Storm Chasers were on the road again, this time against Round Rock, the Texas Rangers affiliate. The Storm Chasers would head in looking to get back to .500. They would just do that, winning 9-1 and 6-3.
In these two games, the offense starting firing, collecting 25 hits. The pitching wasn’t too shabby to, as Jonathan Dziedzic provided another good start. Prospect Erik Skoglund was also sharp, pitching 5 scoreless innings. Look for him to be a pitching option for the Royals sooner or later.
Overview: The theme of the week for the Storm Chasers was offense, as they currently sit 3rd in the PCL in runs and 4th in OPS. I would look for this to keep up, as the Storm Chasers have a pretty nice lineup.
Some hitters that had a nice first week include Billy Burns (.421/.545/.636), Whit Merrifield (.364/.400/.864), and Corey Toups (.357/.471/.500)
Some pitchers that started off well are Jonathan Dziedzic (1-1, 1.69 ERA), Jake Junis (0-0, 2.84 ERA), and Malcom Culver (3 scoreless innings of relief).
Player of the Week-Whit Merrifield: The utility player is off to scorching start after being left off of the 25 man roster. He is 6th in the PCL with a 1.264 OPS