This is our weekly look at notable performances from all over the system, from big-name prospects and less heralded guys alike. Today's column covers results from Monday, August 1 through Sunday, August 7.
AAA Omaha Storm Chasers (50-64)
There is not much to report for Omaha, as the team won just two games this week. Let's see...
Dusty Coleman, as you know, is an infielder and is not a pitcher. However, he pitched a scoreless inning in a big loss to Iowa on Monday. He gave up a hit and struck out Iowa first baseman Cael Brockmeyer.
Hunter Dozier only played third base one time this week. He was in right field for three games, and first base for one. At the plate, he went 7-for-21, walked three times, and only struck out twice.
AA Northwest Arkansas Naturals (52-62 overall; 23-21 in second half)
It is time to start scoreboard watching in the Texas League. The Naturals have taken a half-game lead over Arkansas with about four weeks to go in the regular season.
Right-hander Jake Junis racked up 9 strikeouts in six innings on Wednesday, but took a loss to Arkansas. Relievers Aroni Nina and Daniel Stumpf were each called upon three times, and each gave the team three scoreless outings.
LHP Eric Skoglund pitched 6.2 solid innings on Sunday, giving up just one run. He walked two and struck out two.
Second baseman Corey Toups cracked four doubles this week, giving him a total of 18 in just 61 games as a Natural. That is only three shy of Ryan O'Hearn's team-leading 21, and in far fewer games.
A-Adv. Wilmington Blue Rocks (40-72 overall; 13-30 in second half)
First baseman Samir Duenez contributed 11 hits to the cause, including two doubles. Duenez, 20, is hitting .317/.378/.506 through 43 games at high-A.
Seven of outfielder Brandon Downes' eight hits this week went for extra bases. He hit as many doubles (five) in the first week of August as he did in the entire month of July. Ditto for his two home runs.
Lefty starter Matt Tenuta shut out Salem through six innings on Wednesday, surrendering just six singles. Tenuta got the W in Wilmington's only win of the week.
A Lexington Legends (43-68 overall; 18-24 in second half)
Prior to this week, outfielder Roman Collins had four home runs on the season. He doubled that total this week, with two homers on Monday, and one on each Thursday and Sunday. The Sunday trip to dong town was a grand slam, but the Legends ended up losing in extras. Collins was a 5th-round draft pick out of Florida Atlantic last summer.
Catcher Xavier Fernandez had 10 hits this week, including a pair of dingers. Fernandez, 21, has been with the organization since he was 17. He is 21 now, and is hitting .283/.348/.442 in his first year of full-season ball.
Southpaw Emilio Ogando struck out eight and walked one on his way to a six-inning win on Friday. He gave up one run, on a solo home run. Ogando has pitched about 20 more innings in 2016 than in his 2015 campaign for Lexington, and he has sustained better results in almost every category.
Glenn Sparkman, on his way back from Tommy John surgery, got up to six innings and 83 pitches on Wednesday. He walked one and struck out nine, letting in three runs on eight hits.
Left-handed reliever Mark McCoy's longest outing of the season was 3.2 innings this time last week. Since then, he has been called upon for two four-inning stints. He picked up a win on Tuesday by holding Rome scoreless from the 11th through the 14th innings.
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-This was linked in the Monday Rumblings, but if you missed it, read what Josh Banuelos had to say about being released. An excerpt:
"I kinda figured it was going to happen sooner or later. I wasn’t really getting a lot of chances. I got left in extended spring training again. I didn’t break with a full-season team this year. Right then and there, I knew that it wasn’t my time. Then I went to Low A, and I kinda sat on the bench there. I got bumped up to High-A, and I kinda sat on the bench there, too."
With the big club struggling like they did in the bad old days, it is time once again to pin all our hopes and dreams on the minor leagues. Who do you think are most likely to join the Royals in September? Will anybody go up before that?