Will any of these player become trade bait? Will they be moving up next week if the Royals trade some Major League pieces away? It could be time for some organizational shake-ups.
Omaha Storm Chasers (44-57)
The Storm Chasers took three of four from Las Vegas, but went on the road to drop three of four at Nashville. Hunter Dozier continued his torrid pace with a pair of home runs last night to give him 21 on the season, bringing his line to .310/.378/.567 overall. It seems a matter of time before he is called up to the big leagues or used as trade bait for a starting pitcher.
Raul Mondesi has also been red-hot, going 11-for-28 this week with a home run and five steals, and he is hitting .304/.328/.536 in 14 games since being promoted to Omaha.
On the flip side, Bubba Starling is in a major slump after getting off to a decent start with Omaha after his promotion. He is just 4 for his last 31 and is hitting .192/.256/.321 overall in what has been a lost season. Balbino Fuenmayor destroyed the Las Vegas 51s with eight hits and two home runs in that three-game series, lifting his line to .296/.332/.433. Infielder Ramon Torres returned from the disabled list to have a pair of two-hit games but has struggled since his promotion to Omaha, with an OPS of just .565.
Blue Springs native Nick Tepesch made his debut with Omaha after the Royals signed him, and he impressed with six innings of no-hit ball with five strikeouts. Alec Mills struggled, allowing eight hits and six runs in just four innings of work. Miguel Almonte, now working in the bullpen, also struggled giving up four hits and two runs in an inning of relief work. Omaha also signed veteran reliever Edward Mujica.
Northwest Arkansas Naturals (46-54 overall, 17-14 in the second half)
Ryan O'Hearn was 7-for-22 and is drawing walks, but he has not homered since July 3. Infielder Corey Toups, on the other hand, has homered three times in his last six games and is hitting .295/.369/.461 in 50 games since being promoted to AA. Terrance Gore stole six bases this week and leads the Texas League with 31 swipes in 35 attempts.
Naturals pitchers dominated the Springfield Cardinals all week. Josh Staumont brought his high heat this week, striking out 10 Cardinals in just 5 2/3 innings, allowing just two hits and one run. Erik Skoglund tossed a one-hitter over six innings of shutout ball to lower his ERA to 2.83. Jake Junis bounced back from a rough start to throw four scoreless innings against Springfield. Matthew Strahm has moved to the bullpen in anticipation of pitching in the pen at higher levels, and he has struggled with his command walking four in his last two outings but striking out seven hitters in 3 1/3 innings over that time.
Strahm K'd the side that inning. Started in 92 range and finished inning around 96— Clint Scoles BP (@ClintScoles) July 24, 2016
The Naturals will receive left-handed pitcher Daniel Stumpf, who was returned by the Phillies after being selected in the Rule 5 draft last winter. He served an 80-game suspension this year for a banned substance.
Wilmington Blue Rocks (36-64 overall, 9-22 in the second half)
First baseman Samir Duenez had a pair of three-hit games this week and is enjoying his finest season after a rough start to his career, hitting .287/.364/.522 in 31 games in a tough hitting environment in Wilmington. Infielder Robert Pehl is enjoying a six-game hitting streak but is hitting just .219 overall. Outfielder Elier Hernandez has had a pair of hits in seven of his last ten games, hitting .385 over that time. Anderson Miller is slumping, but he did hit his fourth home run of the season this week and is hitting a respectable .250/.328/.397 this year.
Andy Ferguson joined the Wilmington staff after missing most of the year with an injury, giving up three runs and striking out four in 2 2/3 innings of work. Foster Griffin continues to have a rough season, giving up six runs in three innings in his last outing, raising his ERA to 7.08 in 13 starts with the Blue Rocks. Zach Lovvorn has been one of the more dependable pitchers for Wilmington, and he struck out eight in five innings to get the win his last time out, lowering his ERA to 3.55.
Lexington Legends (39-60 overall, 14-16 in the second half)
Catcher Chase Vallot was activated from the disabled list after getting hit in the face by a pitch and was plunked in his first game back. He was hitless in his first three games back but did have a two-hit game on Saturday and is hitting .270/.385/.497 with the Legends this year. Shortstop Marten Gasparini had a good week, going 6-for-22 to get over the Mendoza Line. He has shown good pop this year with seven home runs, but has struck out 102 times in 80 games. Infielder Travis Maezes hit his tenth and eleventh home runs to lead the team. Outfielder Amalani Fukofuka is 6 for his last 11, although he did take the Golden Sombrero with a four-strikeout game on Friday.
Pitcher Glenn Sparkman joined the Legends as he rehabs from Tommy John surgery, but he gave up seven hits and six runs in less than four innings of work in his 2016 debut. Royals' 2016 second-round pick A.J. Puckett gave up five runs in five innings but has a 2.84 ERA in four starts with the Legends with just four walks in 19 innings. Right-hander Gerson Garabito tossed seven innings of shutout ball, allowing just one hit, to lower his ERA to 4.99. 2015 first-round pick Nolan Watson continues to struggle, giving up four runs in four innings last night to bring his ERA up to 8.11.
Idaho Falls Chukars (22-14)
The Chukars are riding a three-game winning streak that included a 17-7 drubbing of Missoula and are in first place in their division. Catcher Meibrys Viloria is destroying the Pioneer League. He was 10-for-23 this week with a pair of home runs and is now hitting .454/.504/.815 with 6 HR in 27 games. Shortstop Ricky Aracena is riding a six-game hitting streak with four multi-hit games over that time. He is hitting .292/.331/.394 in 30 games for the Chukars this year. 2016 draft pick Nick Heath is holding his own in Idaho Falls hitting .279/.341/.423. The outfielder played at Northwestern State but is originally from Junction City, Kansas.
Arnaldo Hernandez gave up just one run in 5 2/3 innings to get a win on Saturday against Helena. Alex Luna gave up three runs in 5 2/3 innings in his last start, striking out eight to lower his ERA to 2.50. 2015 draft pick Jace Vines, out of Texas A&M, gave up three runs in five innings but has a 6.65 ERA so far this year.
Burlington Royals (17-14)
First baseman Chris Devito, a 2016 draft pick out of the University of New Mexico, cracked his team-leading seventh home run last night. Nicky Lopez, a shortstop out of Creighton, is 10 for his last 32, with four stolen bases over that time. Leawood native Logan Gray has struggled mightily, hitting .167 in 16 games with 25 strikeouts.
Garrett Davila, a 2015 draft pick, has been Burlington's best starting pitcher with a 2.48 ERA in six starts. He gave up three runs in 5 2/3 innings against Bluefield on Sunday. Justin Camp continues to shine as a reliever, throwing five shutout innings this week, lowering his ERA to 1.13 with 13 strikeouts in 16 innings.
Arizona Summer League Royals
Outfielder Seuly Matias is tied for the league lead in the Arizona Summer League with six home runs and is hitting .215/.305/.473. He has also struck out 43 times in 24 games. Third baseman John Brontsema is hitting .326/.372/.407 for the ASL Royals but has committed 14 errors in 23 games. Pitcher Grant Gavin has walked just one hitter, 12 hits, and no earned runs in 24 innings of work.