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TWitM: O’Hearn hits everything

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Omaha first baseman Ryan O’Hearn knocks out 14 hits, including seven doubles.

Ryan O’Hearn leads the Omaha Storm Chasers in doubles and home runs.
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. The mission is to answer this simple question: "Who had a good week?"

Today, we’ll cover results from Monday, July 17 through Sunday, July 23.

AAA Omaha Storm Chasers (46-53)

schedule | roster

The Storm Chasers are languishing far, far from first place, but that is not for lack of offense. Ryan O’Hearn, for example, had three three-hit games this week, and piled up 14 total hits. He hit seven doubles, a dinger, and even a triple.

O’Hearn’s first base/DH counterpart, Frank Schwindel, was also hot this week. Among his 11 hits were a pair of doubles and four (!) home runs.

In six games, infielder Dean Anna produced 10 hits, including three doubles and a home run. In the one game he did not appear as an infielder, he pitched a scoreless two-thirds of an inning.

The reason infielder Dean Anna had to pitch (and actually, catcher Brayan Pena started that inning) is that Omaha’s pitching is somewhat thin.

Jakob Junis had a nice start on Monday, amassing a game score of 69. He went six innings, with no runs and four hits, one walk and six strikeouts.

In short appearances, Miguel Almonte has done well lately. He made a scheduled 2.1 inning start on Thursday, following three consecutive scoreless relief outings since his most recent move down from Kansas City.

Left-handed reliever Eric Stout, 24, has been excellent lately, with a stretch of five scoreless outings.

AA Northwest Arkansas Naturals (52-48)

schedule | roster

Center fielder Donnie Dewees hit two home runs this week, and stole three bases. His steals brought his season total to 18, which gets him into the top five in the Texas League.

Paulo Orlando began a rehab assignment with the Naturals. Orlando has been out since May 12, when he fouled a ball off himself and broke his shin. In three games with Northwest Arkansas, Orlando has five hits and a walk.

RHP Glenn Sparkman is back in the Royals system after being returned by the Blue Jays, who had selected him as a Rule 5 pick in December. He pitched five scoreless innings on Thursday.

Right-hander Jake Newberry has a streak going of five scoreless relief outings.

A-Adv. Wilmington Blue Rocks (53-47)

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22-year-old right hander A.J. Puckett pitched six solid innings on Sunday. He allowed just one hit, a solo home run. He also walked two and plunked a batter, but he struck out four.

Third baseman Wander Franco socked two dingers this week, among eight total hits. Franco has now played about the same amount in his second go-round at Wilmington, and has improved in many areas:

Year G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO AVG OBP SLG
2016 95 394 368 29 81 24 2 5 47 19 83 .220 .259 .337
2017 91 372 352 39 99 16 4 4 32 14 68 .281 .313 .384

Low-A Lexington Legends (48-49)

schedule | roster

Catcher Meibrys Viloria, 20, had an intriguing week. In four games, he went 5-for-16 with two doubles and a home run. Viloria has been streaky, with a very good month of May surrounded by batting lines that are a little more dampened. Overall, he has hit .245/.300/.379 for Lexington.

RHP Anthony Bender threw six no-hit innings on Friday, allowing just two walks while striking out seven. Bender, a 20th round pick last summer, has pitched out of the ‘pen all season until one start prior to this gem.

Right-handed reliever Cody Nesbit has not allowed a run in his first four appearances at Lexington. Nesbit was drafted in the 22nd round in 2016.

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Parting thoughts:

  • The pitching shortage at Omaha has caused some ripples in rosters both above and below Triple-A. Pedro Fernandez was promoted from Double-A; Andres Machado came up from High-A; and RHPs Justin Camp and Kevin Lenik have now joined the Storm Chasers from Lexington.
  • Not many injuries sound as horrifying as a broken shin caused by a foul ball, like the injury Paulo Orlando is rehabbing.
  • It might be time to start thinking about September callup candidates. Who are your favorites for that?