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This Week in the Minors: Glenn Sparkman still hasn't been promoted somehow

Ryan O'Hearn leads the Pioneer League in everything; several pitchers shone; tons of players started at new levels; Johnny Giavotella has a hit-hit streak-streak (see below; it will make sense).

Johnny Giavotella has a doubly-impressive hit streak this week.
Johnny Giavotella has a doubly-impressive hit streak this week.
Minda Haas

This is our weekly look at notable performances from all over the system, from big-name prospects and less heralded guys alike.


Ryan O'Hearn is on a streak of four straight 2-hit games, which includes 3 doubles and a home run. Here's a video of him doubling, though it was from last month. His line on the season, .394/.473/.629. All of those numbers lead the Pioneer League.

Left Fielder Robert Pehl is on a tear as well, with 11 hits in his last 4 games. The 11th-rounder from this year's draft is hitting .368/.434/.489.


Scott Blewett struck out 7 in 4.2 innings on Friday, his longest professional outing to date. Blewett is basically an infant, 2.6 years younger than the league according to B-Ref.

Niklas Stephenson turned in another strong start, going 7 innings for the 2nd time in a row. He only gave up 4 hits and 1 walk while striking out 6.


Dominique Taylor had a good week, one of the few bright spots for Lexington, who were collectively kind of 'blah' this week. Taylor had a couple of 3-hit games, and his 6th homer of the season. Going into Sunday, Taylor was hitting .305/.345/.467.

Tennessean Alec Mills, a 22nd-rounder from 2012, pitched 6 shutout innings, with 6 Ks and no walks. He's doing pretty well since joining Lexington on July 23.


Bubba Starling smiled more this week than past weeks, but probably did not produce as many smiles per game as brass would like, because quarterbacks don't smile and he's a baseball player now. Anyway, 3 singles, 3 walks, 9 strikeouts this week.

Glenn Sparkman, again. Why is he still at Wilmington? He struck out 10 in 5.2 innings this week.  #SparkmanNOW

Andy Ferguson pitched his 2nd complete game of the season, leaving him with a 10-9 record and a 3.10 ERA. He's never pitched this many innings in his pro career, so it'll be interesting to see if the good outings continue.

Brandon Finnegan is off to a good start at AA, with 4 shutout innings on this stop on the fast track. Do you see him moving up again this season?

Orlando Calixte has a 7-game hit streak going. He struck out only 4 times the whole week.


Cheslor Cuthbert is red-hot, following his promotion to Omaha. He's got 9 hits in 5 games, including 2 doubles.

Johnny Giavotella has 7 straight 2-hit games. Last night, he didn't even start, but got his 2 hits off the bench, including a game-winning home run in the 12th. That's just impressive.

Whit Merrifield... more like HIT Merrifield, amirite? Seriously though, Whit's still hitting great, with a line of .364/.398/.500.

A lot happened in the Minors this week, but I found myself unable to focus on them for the first time in my adult life. Did anyone else struggle to pay attention to the future because the present is actually enjoyable?