Lots of activity at AA and below this week...
Whit Merrifield (OF-NWA-24): Activated from the 7-day DL on 6/9. Merrifield was 9th round draft pick in 2010 out of South Carolina. He's having his worst season in the minors so far this year going .196/.250/.293 in AA with only 1 HR and 6 RBI.
Alex McClure (INF-24): Demoted from NWA to Wilmington on 6/10. McClure was drafted out of MTSU in 2010 (11th round pick). In 179 AA plate appearances, Alex was hitting .213/.250/.256 with 0 HR and on 7 XBH.
Juan Graterol (C-24): Paper move promoting Graterol back to NWA on 6/10. He did not play a game in Wilmington after being demoted last week.
Felipe Paulino (RHP-29): Placed on a rehab assignment in NWA on 6/11. Paulino looked great in his first outing after Tommy John surgery, throwing 76 pitches over 5 innings. He gave up 2H, 0ER, 2BB, and 6Ks.
Matt Ridings (RHP-25): Released by the NWA Naturals on 6/14. Ridings was drafted in the 41st round (2010) by the Royals out of WKU. In his 3 seasons with the organization, he was 14-10 with a 3.23 ERA. This year his ERA was up slightly to 3.98, but his control problems probably doomed him, walking 4.4 per 9.
Scott Alexander (LHP-23): Promoted to NWA from Wilmington on 6/14. Alexander was a 2010 6th round pick out of Sonoma State University. This season he has been outstanding splitting time between Lexington (5 games) and Wilmington (12 games) going 3-1 with a 1.29 ERA. In 42 innings, he is yet to give up a HR.
Cheslor Cuthbert (3B-20): Promoted to NWA on 6/14. Cuthbert was rated as the #84 overall prospect after the 2011 season, but had a disappointing 2012. He was still rated the Royals #9 overall prospect heading into this year and was voted "Best Infield Arm" in the system. He has bounced back at Wilmington, going .280/.354/.418 with 2 HR and 31 RBI over 60 games.
Angel Franco (2B-NWA-23): Placed on the 7-day DL on 6/14. Franco has been one of the best hitters on the Naturals this year with a .294/.332/.418 line. He's added 3 HR and 5 stolen bases as well.
In other news, four Naturals will represent the club at the AA All-Star game. Shortstop Orlando Calixte, catcher Mitch Canham, infielder Angel Franco and pitcher Santiago Garrido will play for the North Division team.
Daniel Hernandez (RHP-24): Promoted from Lexington to Wilmington on 6/11. A 2010 12th rounder out of Miami Dade South CC, Hernandez has put up stellar numbers this year in Low A. In 27.2 innings of relief, he has a 0.98 ERA and has struck out 31 while only walking 8.
Dennis Raben (1B-25): Signed and assigned to Wilmington on 6/13. Raben was a 2nd round Mariners pick in 2008, but was cut before the season started. Injuries, not lack of production was likely the reason, as Raben had shown an ability to hit at High A. In parts of 4 seasons at High A, he hit .315/.389/.563 with 39 HR in 839 plate appearances. He was with the independent Lincoln Saltdogs this year, hitting .409/.455/.818 with 10 HR and 25 RBI in 23 games.
Ethan Chapman (OF-23): Chapman was promoted to Wilmington from Lexington on 6/13. Chapman was a 2012 30th round pick out of Cal State San Bernardino. In 62 games at Low A this season, he was hitting .238/.332/.280 with 18 stolen bases.
Alex Hudak (OF-23): In a corresponding move to Chapman's, Hudak was demoted to Lexington on 6/13. Hudak had struggled to a .202/.302/.357 line this year with only 8 XBH.
Ben Tomchick (RHP-23): Assigned to Wilmington from Burlington. Tomchick was undrafted out of ODU and signed by the Royals before last season. Last year at Burlington, he pitched 14 innings, giving up 11 hits, 5 ER, 6 BB and 14 K.
In other news, RHP Kyle Smith has made the Carolina League All-Star team.
Adrian Morales (3B-24): Released by Lexington on 6/11. A 49th round pick in 2011 out of South Carolina, Morales just couldn't hit. This year his line was .098/.257/.180 before his release, but over 3 seasons he only hit .223.
Bryan Brickhouse (RHP-21): Brickhouse was sent to Idaho Falls from Lexington on 6/11. Brickhouse is a 3rd round 2011 pick out of HS and ranked the #17 prospect in the organization. His Lexington numbers were promising. In 11 starts, he was 4-4 with a 2.25 ERA.
Kevin Allen (RHP-22): Allen was drafted out of TCU (23rd round, 2012). He was assigned to Lexington from Idaho Falls on 6/11. Last year at Idaho Falls he was 2-1 with a 4.76 ERA in 28.1 innings.
Cameron Gallagher (C-Lexington-20): Activated from the 7-day DL on 6/11 (broken hand). Gallagher was a 2nd round 2011 pick out of HS, and is the Royals #15 prospect heading into this year. Last year in Rookie ball he hit .276/.331/.425. In limited action this year (72 plate appearances), he is hitting .252/.292/.403 with a homer and 7 RBI.
Mark Threlkeld (1B-Lexington-23): Activated from the DL on 6/11 (broken arm). Threlkeld was hurt on opening day, so the 2011 25th rounder hasn't seen much action this year. Last year in rookie ball he showed pop hitting 10 homeruns in 240 plate appearances. Over the season he hit .283/.333/.530
Crawford Simmons (LHP-Lexington-22): Activated from the DL on 6/11. Simmons missed all of last year with an elbow injury. He was drafted out of HS in 2009 in the 14th round. 2010 was his only full season of action and he pitched 78 innings in Burlington (Rookie). His numbers there were 6-2 with a 2.77 ERA He struck out 70 and walked 19.