This Week in the Minors: Ryan O'Hearn now! Christian Binford to AA and more

Matt Fields keeps hitting, basically every day. Does he have a future role in the Bigs? - Minda Haas

Lots of farmhands, some prospects and some late-rounders, had noteworthy weeks.

IDAHO FALLS:
First Baseman Ryan O'Hearn is on a tear, collecting 15 hits in 7 games. His line through the first 13 games (SSS alert!): .444/.483/.704, with an eye-popping 1.187 OPS. His bestie from college, Corey Toups, is a walk machine, which accounts for the huge split between his AVG (.189) and his OBP (.404).

Jake Newberry, a 19-year-old pitcher already in his 3rd season in the organization, had two good starts this week. On the season, he's piling up Ks but also walking more than you'd like to see. Still, his season is promising so far.

BURLINGTON:
In 3 appearances, brand-new first-rounder Foster Griffin has only given up 1 run, and that didn't happen until yesterday. Like many new draftees, he's being stretched out into pro action, going just 1, then 2, then 2.2 innings.

Hometown product Logan Moon, a Blue Springsian outfielder drafted last month, is off to a nice start, continuing a 9-game hit streak with a double yesterday. First baseman Joshua Banuelos is also working on a streak, with hits in each of his last 8 games.

LEXINGTON:
Catcher Frank Schwindel had a great week, with 10 hits including 4 doubles and a homer. That brought up his season line to .273/.296/.493.

Kenny Diekroeger, freshly reassigned from Wilmington, started off with 6 hits in four games with the Legends. That tally included 3 doubles and a home run.

WILMINGTON:
Michael Antonio, a 3rd-round pick back in 2010, had 3 multi-hit games this week. He has split this season between Lexington and Wilmington, but his production at Wilmington has lagged behind what he was doing with the Legends.

Antonio's line with Lexington: .313/.391/.473 in 32 games
Antonio's line with Wilmington: .257/.292/.438 in 41 games. Maybe this week is him making adjustments to his newest level?

Bubba Starling was 'blah' this week, offering only a couple of singles. His line on the season is at a snoozy .201/.288/.328. Fellow prospect Raul Mondesi was similarly 'meh,' and is at .216/.260/.296.

Reliever John Walter pitched in 4.1 1-hit innings in a rain-soaked win on Wednesday, and added a scoreless inning on Sunday. This is Walter's first turn at this level, and he's been tasked with tons of multi-inning performances.

Glenn Sparkman and Kyle Barkman combined for a 2-hit shutout over Winston-Salem yesterday. Sparkman has been outstanding all season, but it's hard to top his 7-inning, 9 K, 0 BB, 1 hit performance yesterday. He's got to be close to a promotion at this point.

NORTHWEST ARKANSAS:
Good news: Christian Binford was promoted to AA! Bad news: Christian Binford walked somebody in his AA debut. There goes didbinfordwalkanyone.com.

Chelsor Cuthbert went the whole week without getting a hit. That's gonna be rough on anyone's stats, but Cuthbert's line is still at .256/.321/.390. Elswhere in the prospect-laden Naturals infield, Orlando Calixte's bat is picking up, as he has  hit in 8 of his last 10 games.

Hunter Dozier now has two full weeks at the AA level, with an early line of .271/.306/.407. Here's hoping he picks things up in Week Three and beyond.

OMAHA:
The Storm Chasers had a good, powerful win in the July heat yesterday, but otherwise had a pretty down week. They lost 4 of 5 to the Iowa Cubs, ceding 1st place to them in the process, then lost 2 of 3 to Colorado Springs. Apparently Christian Colon was the glue holding the team together.

Even Paulo Orlando, who had been having a ludicrously good season, only managed 2 hits this week, though his slash stats are still at a healthy .306/.356/.425.

My irrational (or maybe not!) favorite Chaser, Whit Merrifield, had yet another great week, including his first home run at the Triple-A level. Through 27 games with Omaha, Whit's at .374/.398/.533. Not too shabby.

Matt Fields has hit in 9 of his last 10 games, including 4 multi-hit games in that stretch and 2 homers in yesterday's win. He even tripled on Tuesday! #freeMattFields?

On the mound, Clayton Mortensen had two more very decent starts. It's only been 7 games, but a starter with a sub-2 ERA is not nothing if a parent club needs a fill-in during the dog days of summer.

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