KC Royals: Breaking Down the First Week of Minor League Action
A+ – Wilmington Blue Rocks (3-3)
After getting their opener rained out at home Thursday night, the Blue Rocks would take the field Friday against the Potomac Nationals. Slabbing the toe for the Blue Rocks would be righty Foster Griffin. He struggled mightily after a mid-season promotion from Lexington. He went 5-10 with a 6.23 ERA in a very pitcher friendly park. Looking to start the year off on the right track, Griffin would be pitching against a lineup that has Victor Robles, the #5 prospect in baseball, according to MLB.com.
And boy, did Foster Griffin look good. He pitch 5 innings, allowing one run, with 8 strikeouts and no walks.
Another thing that impressed in Wilmington was A.J. Puckett’s first start in High-A. The Royals top draft pick last year, Puckett continues to impress in his pro career. I expect him to climb the minors quick.
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The offense for Wilmington didn’t have too much to hang their head about though. A lot of hitters struggled. Chase Vallot, Anderson Miller, Nicky Lopez, and Travis Maezes all posted a sub .700 OPS.
One hitter did have a good week though. Brandon Downes, back in High-A again in 2017, posted a 1.017 OPS.
Overview: Wilmington had trouble hitting, as they are third to last in the Carolina League in runs scored. The pitching impressed though, evidenced by the league third best ERA.
It wasn’t just the rotation that threw the ball well too. Jake Kalish, Richard Lovelady, and Yunior Marte haven’t allowed a run yet in their relief work.
Player of the Week – Foster Griffin: This one was easy. After a rough year for the KC Royals #22 Prospect, he has thrown the ball wonderfully. In 11 innings, he has a 0.82 ERA, with 14 strikeouts to ZERO walks. His K-BB ratio is second in the Carolina League, only behind the Red Sox Travis Lakins, according to Fangraphs. He has by far been the KC Royals most impressive pitching prospect. Look for him, Scott Blewett, A.J. Puckett, and Christian Castillo to form a formidable rotation down there.