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This Week in the Minors: Hunter Dozier heating up

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Third baseman Hunter Dozier makes it rain...baseballs; Ryan O'Hearn makes a move on defense; the rookies begin.

Hunter Dozier's 13 hits led the organization.
Hunter Dozier's 13 hits led the organization.
Minda Haas Kuhlmann

This is our weekly look at notable performances from all over the system, from big-name prospects and less heralded guys alike .Results this week are from Monday, June 13 through Sunday, June 19.

AAA Omaha Storm Chasers (30-38)

schedule | roster

Righty starter Alec Mills was probably about due for a promotion anyway, but he put a punctuation mark on his time in Double-A last Monday, by pitching seven shutout innings with 11 strikeouts and no walks. Now he's with Omaha, and his first AAA start was a decent one: 5 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 K at Colorado Springs.

RHP Miguel Almonte pitched twice this week, working his way back from shoulder fatigue that made him miss about three weeks. He struggled badly on Monday, lasting just a third of an inning, with four hits and four runs surrendered on 38 pitches. Saturday was much better: 3.2 shutout innings.

The Omaha 'pen saw two new faces this week: right-hander Kevin McCarthy was promoted from Double-A, and lefty Tyler Olson was claimed off waivers from the Yankees.

McCarthy also gave the universe this gift:

Third baseman Hunter Dozier collected an absurd 13 hits in seven games this week, including four doubles and a home run. He also struck out 11 times and walked just twice, so his extreme week may have been sprinkled with a bit of magic from the BABIP fairy. Lucky or not, the hits count, so Dozier's Omaha line is up to .296/.325/.497.

Shortstop Ramon Torres, playing in just his third week at the Triple-A level, had 11 hits, nine of which were singles. Outfielder Jorge Bonifacio hit his 13th and 14th doubles to tie for the team lead in that category. He also had three consecutive multi-hit games over the weekend.

Utility man extraordinaire Irving Falu hit his second homer since rejoining the Storm Chasers from the Mexican League earlier this month. The dinger was one of eight hits for Falu, who played shortstop, second base, right field, and DH this week alone. Orlando Calixte compiled an OPS of 1.056 for the week, with five of his seven hits going for extra bases. He doubled twice, tripled twice, and homered once. That home run was a grand slam to help seal Omaha's 11-3 win on Sunday.

AA Northwest Arkansas Naturals (29-40)

schedule | roster

It was a rough week for the Naturals; they only won once, and are 11 games out of first place with just a week left in the first half. On the bright side, they have a rehabbing Alex Gordon on the roster right now.

Ryan O'Hearn has been logging a lot of time in left field lately, and seems to be heating back up at the plate as well. He socked two dingers this week, and doubled twice among 10 total hits. Also with 10 hits was catcher Cam Gallagher. Gallagher, age 23, is hitting .264/.353/.362 in 49 games -- 40 games behind the dish, and nine as the DH.

Bubba Starling: Still struggling. He hit five singles this week. His season line is now at .190/.262/.332.

A-Adv. Wilmington Blue Rocks (27-42)

schedule | roster

Wilmington played NINE games this week, with two doubleheaders to make up for two previous rainouts. As a former baseball employee, I'd like to extend congratulations to the staff of the Carolina Mudcats for surviving six games in four days.

Shortstop Humberto Arteaga dropped in 11 singles and a home run. Left fielder Brandon Downes was 9 for 35, including three doubles and a home run, but struck out 13 times.

A pair of Blue Rocks starters took tough-luck losses, in case anyone needs case studies on why Ws and Ls are flawed stats:

Pitcher IP H R ER BB K
Matt Tenuta (LHP)
7.0
6
1
0
2
6
Zachary Lovvorn (RHP)
7.0 8
2
1
0
6

Right-handed reliever Jake Newberry pitched three times, totaling 5.2 innings, just one hit, and six strikeouts. He also walked one batter. Another Jake in the Wilmington bullpen, Jake Kalish, struck out seven in 4.1 innings across two appearances.

A Lexington Legends (25-44)

schedule | roster

Lexington is hosting the South Atlantic League All-Star Game tonight.

A number of Legends had excellent individual lines on the week, but the team came away with just two wins. First baseman Samir Duenez had 11 hits, including one of each kind of extra-base hit. Second baseman DJ Burt walked three times in addition to his 11 hits. Continuing around the infield, shortstop Marten Gasparini homered and doubled as part of a nine-hit week.

RF/CF Anderson Miller hit 10 times this week to raise his season line to .303/.398/.427. Miller, who is from Lexington, went to college just a couple hours away at Western Kentucky University, and the Royals drafted him in the 3rd round last summer.

* * * * * * * *

The rookies at Idaho Falls and Burlington have set their rosters, as noted yesterday. Idaho Falls opened their season last Thursday, and Burlington's opening day is this Thursday.