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This Week in the Minors: Some hit streaks, some rehab, lots of rain

Several of the Royals' farm teams had their weeks re-shuffled by rain, but many prospects found ways to shine through the clouds and the mud.

Minda Haas

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


The poor Chukars have had a messed-up schedule all month due to rainouts. This week was the worst yet, with FIVE dates affected by inclement weather in two towns.

Among that mess, Ryan O'Hearn continued to do his thing, which is to hit, all the time. His line now stands at .371/.450/.601, with 47 RBI (a total padded nicely by a 5-RBI game this week).

Corey Toups had a solid week, with 3 multi-hit games, including 2 doubles, a triple, and a dinger.

Brandon Downes has himself a [whispers, so the Baseball Gods can't hear the jinx] hit streak going, with hits in 7 straight games dating back to last Saturday.

Kyle Zimmer made two more appearances this week. Coming off injury, Zimmer's results aren't the important part - he's obviously not going to go throw 8 innings - but he is on a mound and throwing hard.


Carter Hope, a 3rd-rounder from last year's Draft, struck out 9 batters in 5 innings Tuesday, and only walked one and surrendered 3 hits.

Joshua Banuelos's week included 3 multi-hit games in a row, plus a 3-walk night right after that. He's a late-round pick from this year, with a line of .302/.380 (!!) /.412.

Outfielder Logan Moon had another terrific week at the plate, piling on 10 more hits to bring his slash stats to .325/.353/.438 on the year.

Scott Blewett, a pick many folks tabbed as savvy in this year's Draft, had an odd line in his outing on Thursday. He only gave up 1 hit in 5 shutout innings, but walked 4 while striking out 3.


Elier Hernandez had a monster week, racking up 16 hits and 20 total bases since Monday. The Dominican outfielder spent the last two seasons at Idaho Falls before joining the Legends this season.


Sean Manaea started twice this week, and both were good results, but different types of games. Tuesday, he picked up 9 Ks and issued 2 walks in 5.1 innings. Yesterday, he lasted a full 7 innings, but only struck out 4. He's up to 114.2 IP. This late in the season, would you still like to see him move up a level, or wind down with Wilmington, where he's been all year?

Frank Schwindel has been featured in these posts many times, but up in the Lexington section. This week, he's fresh off a promotion to Wilmington, and is off to a great start with the Blue Rocks. He's hit in every game since the move, including 2 doubles and 2 home runs.

We're gonna whisper this next part, again to avoid a jinx. (Because those are totally real, shut up.) Bubba Starling has a hit streak going. He has hit in each of his last 6 games, and has only struck out thrice in that span.

Glenn Sparkman's ERA is still 1.38. He still pitches for Wilmington. This horse died weeks ago, and I am continuing to beat it. Promote the guy already.

Brett Eibner, out the last 2 months with an abdominal injury, joined the Blue Rocks this week for rehab. His only hit so far was a double yesterday, but I would imagine with an injury like that, the immediate concern is more just whether he can execute and repeat swings without aggravating it.


Brandon Finnegan's fast-tracked season continued with two more appearances at AA NWArk this week. Both were an inning. On Tuesday, he labored, requiring 38 pitches to get through his inning. He gave up a home run and 2 other hits. On the bright side, he struck out three. Saturday was much simpler: 12 pitches, 3 batters, 3 outs on balls in play. Overall, Finnegan has pitched 24.2 professional innings with a 1.46 ERA.


Carlos Peguero had a stretch of 4 games in which he hit 6 home runs, good for 28 total this year. I've seen a handful of people on Twitter pining for his callup. He might be a bench bat worth adding come September, but man, he sure does pile up the strikeouts. He has K'd 129 times in 97 games this year.

Catcher Francisco Pena, who briefly filled in at the big league level, hit his 27th homer last night in Reno in a Storm Chasers loss. I'm trying hard to imagine a Royals hitter with 25+ homers by August 24, much less two of them. It's not working.

[Side note about hitting environments: this season has been the first since Werner Park's 2011 opening that wind has not been a constant factor. Typically it blows out, and hard, most nights. This year we have seen many more nights with gentle breezes as opposed to the usual gale force. So these home run totals are not as inflated as you might expect from Werner Park.]

Christian Binford took the #didBinfordwalkanyone act on the road with his promotion to Omaha. His first appearance there was Monday, a marvelous 2-inning debut featuring 3 Ks and, indeed, no walks. He threw another 3 innings on Thursday,  but unfortunately struggled, giving up 3 runs on 9 hits, and 2 walks.

Aaron Brooks isn't the most electrifying pitcher you'll ever see, but he spun a complete game at Tacoma this weekend, giving up just one run. Given how thin Omaha's staff has been in these dog days, a game like that is huge for a team trying (like their MLB brethren) to hang on to first place.

If your phone rings right now and it's Dayton Moore, what moves do you ask him to make within the organization this week?