This is our weekly look at notable performances from all over the system, from big-name prospects and less heralded guys alike. Wilmington pitchers put up lots of great performances this week.
AAA Omaha Storm Chasers (18-20)
The Chasers' offense stagnated terribly this week. Only one player - Dusty Coleman - had more than five hits.
Orlando Calixte has been back with the Chasers about a week after a stint with the Royals. In that time, he's batting .278/.350/.444, a line which includes his 2nd home run of the season. His homers, coincidentally, came exactly one month apart, one one April 17 and one on May 17. Bets on June 17, anyone?
Elsewhere in the middle infield, Dusty Coleman is holding his own since his promotion from Double-A. In full-time duty this week, he's batted .292 and doubled twice. He's been playing mostly second base for Omaha, but since he was NW Arkansas' shortstop, I don't know what his future is with Calixte back in the fold.
Jonathan Dziedzic struggled in his Triple-A debut, giving up 8 runs on 10 hits in 3.1 innings. He was sent back to NWArk the following day. But he did strike out Josh Hamilton, so he's got that going for him.
Andy Ferguson pitched 6 strong innings in his first Triple-A outing of 2015. He allowed one earned run on four hits. Prior to his promotion, he sported a 0.85 ERA for the Naturals.
AA Northwest Arkansas Naturals (24-12)
Jorge Bonifacio had a nice week, driving in 7 runs on the strength of 8 hits. This pulled his season line up to .231/.300/.406. He also stole a base, his 2nd of the season.
Catcher Zane Evans was promoted to AA this week. He's only played two games, but it's a promotion worth keeping an eye on as the season goes along. Consider this a note for posterity.
Middle infielder Angel Franco has 4 doubles in his last 3 games. This is the 3rd season at the Double-A level for Franco, a 24-year-old Dominican player who has been in the Royals system since 2007.
Balbino Fuenmayor played in 5 games this week, and had two (2!) hits in each of those games. Among those were 2 doubles and 3 home runs, and only one strikeout.
Raul Mondesi, who was injured on the first day of the season, returned to action this week. In two games, he has singled, and stolen a base.
Hunter Dozier hit a 10th-inning walkoff home run, as well as another dinger and a double throughout the week. His season line is now. .238/.326/.373. Per the customs of our people, Shaun .gif'd the home run for our enjoyment.
Hunter Dozier with a walk-off home run. Homers in back-to-back games. pic.twitter.com/tSx2iB6XpQ— Shaun Newkirk (@Shauncore) May 18, 2015
A-Adv. Wilmington Blue Rocks (19-17)
I don't know if this is a Thing that exists anymore, but my YMCA used to have a "LazyMan Triathlon," where you had 3 months to do the events contained in an IronMan triathlon. Two Blue Rocks players - Frank Schwindel and Dexter Kjerstad - hit for a similar kind of cycle this week: They had all the kinds of hits, but spread out over the whole week.
Robert Pehl scattered three doubles among his seven hits this week. He also struck out twice, which is actually kind of a lot for him - he has only struck out 8 times all season (22 games). Pehl, primarily a left fielder, was an 11th-round draftee from the University of Washington last summer.
Right-hander Yender Caramo is a pitcher I've wanted to feature here all spring, because every time I see his name, I see "Granite! Camaro!" and I chuckle. He took a hard-luck loss in his start last Tuesday, giving up only 2 runs in 7 innings. He also pitched 1.1 IP in middle relief on Sunday, striking out 3 and allowing one run.
Also checking in with an impressive 7-inning outing was righty Jake Junis, who struck out 8 and walked none, and gave up 2 runs in a no-decision on Wednesday.
Cody Reed and Luke Farrell both had standout performances on Thursday, outlasting Lucas Giolito and the Potomac Nationals in a game the Blue Rocks won 1-0. Reed struck out 9 and allowed 5 hits over 6 innings. Farrell picked up right where Reed left off, striking out 4 while earning a 3-inning save. Neither pitcher walked anyone.
Kevin McCarthy is off to a good start after his promotion from Lexington, throwing 5.1 innings in 2 relief appearances, with 7 Ks, no walks, and one run given up.
Eric Skoglund struck out 10 (!) in 6 shutout innings against Lynchbug on Saturday, good for a game score of 73. His ERA on the season is a wee 2.50 after 7 starts in the Carolina League. At 22, he's young for the league, but I'd still be unsurprised if he moved up a level midseason.
A Lexington Legends (16-20)
Ryan O'Hearn didn't have a world-record week at the plate (a single, a HR, 3 walks, 5 strikeouts), but I wanted to include him here in case anyone missed Shaun's piece on him yesterday, touting him as possibly the Royals' first baseman of the future.
Outfielder Brandon Downes led the Legends' bats this week with 9 hits in 5 games, including 5 doubles, a triple, and a stolen base. Five of those hits came in one game, on Friday.
Right-hander Zachary Lovvorn allowed just one run over 7 innings on Sunday, a great bounceback from a rough start last Tuesday in which he gave up 7 runs (only 4 earned somehow) in 5 innings.
In writing this column, it stands out to me how few lefties there are in the organization. One of the few is Emilio Ogando, a 12th-round pick from last year's draft. He threw 4 shutout innings in relief on Friday, with 5 strikeouts and a walk.
Whose performance this week is most exciting to you? Who do you think moves up next?