This is our weekly look at notable performances from all over the system, from big-name prospects and less heralded guys alike. The mission is to answer this simple question: "Who had a good week?"
Today, we’ll cover results from Monday, May 29 through Sunday, June 4.
AAA Omaha Storm Chasers (28-26)
Jorge Soler has only played in one game this week after being demoted from Kansas City, but he made an immediate impact with a 2nd-inning home run. He also made this dramatic catch, next to a billboard that reads “Your road to success starts here,” with an arrow pointing to the spot he crashed into the wall.
Hit a dinger☑️— Omaha Storm Chasers (@OMAStormChasers) June 6, 2017
Throw out a runner☑️
Make a nice catch☑️
Jorge Soler excelling in all facets of the game tonight. pic.twitter.com/SNDfjocmLP
Center fielder Bubba Starling flashed some power this week, with a pair of doubles and a home run in his four games. He only struck out one time.
Infielder Ramon Torres went 6-for-20 this week in five games, with one strikeout. That was only the 15th time Torres struck out all year, in 52 games - that’s a very nice 6.9% strikeout rate, the lowest among all minor leaguers in affiliated ball.
AA Northwest Arkansas Naturals (28-26)
Outfielder Elier Hernandez had a noisy bat to start the year, and earned a promotion to Northwest Arkansas three weeks ago. Through his first 16 games with the Naturals, Hernandez is batting .339/.391/.452. On defense, he has played chiefly in right, with a handful of games in left and center as well.
Catcher Nick Dini collected four hits in his first three games at Double-A. Dini was promoted following to fill Parker Morin’s place, when Morin went back up to Omaha after Storm Chasers catcher Cam Gallagher was placed on the disabled list. Center fielder Donnie DeWees had a good week at the plate, with seven hits that included three doubles and a grand slam.
Foster Griffin, who was Kansas City’s 2nd pick of the 2014 draft behind Brandon Finnegan, was promoted to Northwest Arkansas this week. The lefty had a strong debut on Tuesday, with one run allowed on five hits in six innings. His second start was shakier: five runs allowed, including two homers, in six innings on 93 pitches.
A-Adv. Wilmington Blue Rocks (29-27)
First baseman Chris DeVito was promoted to Wilmington less than a month ago, and is more than holding his own in the Carolina League. DeVito cranked out a dozen hits this week, and even hit for the cycle on Friday.
Center fielder Brandon Downes was activated from the disabled list on Wednesday. In his first six games back, he hit three home runs, scored seven runs, and drove in six. He also drew five walks.
Left-handed reliever Richard Lovelady added two more scoreless outings to his streak, which is now at nine. The last time he gave up a run was May 1.
Coming up in off-the-wall promotions, Wilmington will have a helicopter drop candy on the field for kids to pick up next week. So if you’re in the Wilmington area that day...
Low-A Lexington Legends (29-28)
Right-hander Jace Vines, 22, started and ended this week with excellent starts. On Monday, he pitched six innings, allowing one run on six hits and no walks. Sunday, he did even better - seven innings, one earned run on four hits, two walks, and seven strikeouts. Vines was a 4th-round draft pick in 2016, and is probably due for a promotion any time.
Dominican righty Ofreidy Gomez threw a great game on Tuesday, with just one run surrendered in seven innings on seven hits. He struck out six, and walked none.
We haven’t heard much from former shortstop prospect Marten Gasparini in 2017. He has been moved to the outfield, but had not done a ton at the plate. This week, his bat came alive with two dingers, two doubles, and a triple. Gasparini is one of those kids who has been around for so long - the Royals signed him when he was 16 - but he is still much younger than his league peers. He just turned 20 a couple weeks ago, and is 1.4 years younger than the average Sally Leaguer.
Thank you for your patience with the messed-up schedule this week. TWitM will be back to its regularly scheduled Tuesday slot next time!