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This Week in the Minors: Hunter Dozier on top of the world

Dozier earns PCL player of the week honors with 14 hits in 5 games, and appears in the MLB Futures Game. ALSO: Raul Mondesi promoted; Corey Toups hot; Chase Vallot rehabbing.

Hunter Dozier goes into the All-Star break on quite a hot streak.
Hunter Dozier goes into the All-Star break on quite a hot streak.
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. This week's column covers Monday, July 4 through Sunday, July 10.

AAA Omaha Storm Chasers (38-51)

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The Pacific Coast League selected third baseman Hunter Dozier as player of the week. He went 14-22 with three doubles and two home runs. That is 14 hits, in five games.
Through 57 total games with Omaha, Dozier is hitting .341/.392/.550.

Utility man Orlando Calixte also contributed 14 hits to the cause this week, but in eight games. His included four doubles and a pair of homers. Another utility player with two dingers this week was Irving Falu, who also hit three doubles and drove in eight runs.

Shortstop and top prospect Raul Mondesi was promoted to Omaha over the weekend, and has hits in each of his first three games.

Venezuelan RHP Yender Caramo made his Triple-A debut on Thursday, and picked up a win in 3.2 innings of relief.

AA Northwest Arkansas Naturals (39-48 overall; 10-8 in second half)

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Second baseman Corey Toups hit like a man on a mission this week, with 12 hits including four doubles and a triple. He also stole three bases. Toups has now played about as much at Northwest Arkansas as he had at Wilmington prior to his promotion, and is actually hitting substantially better at AA:

Toups as of 7/10/16
179 .252
Northwest Arkansas

First baseman Frank Schwindel drove in six runs on eight hits, including two doubles and a solo home run. The homer was Schwindel's team-leading 14th on the season; his career high is 22 across two levels in 2014.

Jake Junis struck out seven in seven innings on Friday, letting in just one run on five hits and a walk. Junis, a right-hander the Royals drafted in 2011, has reached seven innings in three starts this season.

On Saturday, lefty reliever Kyle Bartsch pitched five shutout innings in a start he found out he was making just hours before the game.

A-Adv. Wilmington Blue Rocks (33-54 overall; 6-12 in second half)

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Josh Staumont had a great start against Potomac on Wednesday, giving up just one earned run on two hits in seven innings. (Two unearned runs scored following a catcher's interference call loaded the bases, after the lone walk and a single.) The game matched Staumont's longest outing of the season, and the 71 Game Score he earned was his best of 2016.

Also with a solid start was right-hander Zachary Lovvorn, who pitched six scoreless innings on Friday. He struck out six and walked two.

Kyle Kubat, the former Nebraska Cornhusker, was solid in two games out of the 'pen. Kubat has about two months at the high-A level. He has done well in that time, and it would not be too surprising to see him rewarded with another promotion later this summer if he keeps it up.

Lefty Jake Kalish had a couple of nice relief appearances this week, totaling 4.2 innings, with one run surrendered, five strikeouts and a walk.

A Lexington Legends (32-54 overall; 7-10 in second half)

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A number of Legends flashed good power at the plate this week. Left fielder Roman Collins socked two dingers and hit his third triple of the season, and drove in eight runs. Collins started this season at Wilmington, but was moved down to Lexington in late May.

Catcher/corner infielder (and occasional emergency pitcher) Mike Hill also homered twice this week, in addition to a pair of doubles. Catcher Xavier Fernandez knocked out five doubles, one of which you can see below.

Shortstop Marten Gasparini legged out a triple and two doubles this week, along with a home run. The homer was his 6th of the year. However, one solid week of hitting does not erase past struggles, and Gasparini's line still stands at just .199/.259/.329 on the season.

Right-hander A.J. Puckett, Kansas City's top draft choice this June, pitched his second game for Lexington on Friday. He threw 77 pitches in five innings, giving up one run on two hits. He struck out three and walked two.

Gabe Cramer, a right-handed reliever, hasn't given up a run in his last five outings, a total of 9.2 innings. In that streak, he has struck out 14 and allowed just three walks and two hits. Cramer signed with the Royals last summer as an undrafted free agent out of Stanford.

Scott Blewett, a 2nd-rounder from the 2014 draft, pitched six innings on Tuesday. He gave up one run on hit and three walks, and struck out four.

* * * * * *


  • Catcher Chase Vallot is hitless in the first four games of his rehab assignment with the AZL Royals. He's on the mend after getting struck in the face with a fastball, which happened in his first game back from a back injury.
  • Infielder Steve Tolleson has been informally coaching first base for Burlington. Tolleson was injured on June 1, shortly after reporting to Omaha as a minor league free agent signee. This DL stint necessitated Omaha's reunion with utility man Irving Falu, who had been playing in Mexico.
  • Hunter Dozier and Jorge Bonifacio were part of the Futures Game on Sunday, as noted in yesterday's Rumblings.
  • Reliever Tyler Olson was DFA'd by the Royals last week, and picked up by Cleveland over the weekend.