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TWitM: Wilmington 2017 wrapup

Wilmington plays in the Carolina League, notoriously difficult for hitters. How did they do this season?

Reliever Richard Lovelady made a name for himself with a spectacular run for Wilmington.
Ken Inness |

This is where we would normally take a weekly look at notable performances from all over the system, from big-name prospects and less heralded guys alike. But now the Minor League regular season has come to an end. How did it go?

Wilmington Blue Rocks (High-A)

First-half record: 39-31

Second-half record: 28-41

Overall: 67-72

Where in the South Atlantic League is Lexington?

Mostly toward the cellar, but they did lead the league in triples.

WIL Rank (of 10)
Runs 522 10
Hits 1110 8
2B 209 9
3B 47 1
HR 78 10
RBI 461 10
SB 111 6
BB 476 5
SO 1109 4
AVG .244 8
OBP .320 7
SLG .362 10

(Source: Baseball-Reference)

Standout performances:

Shortstop Nicky Lopez hit .295/.376/.407, and struck out only 23 times in 324 plate appearances before his late-June promotion to Northwest Arkansas. Lopez played collegiate ball at Creighton University in Omaha, and the Royals drafted him in the 5th round in 2016.

Outfielder Elier Hernandez also tore up the Carolina League before a promotion to Double-A, with a slash line of .306/.336/.508 in 30 games with the Blue Rocks. Hernandez, 22, had spent all of 2016 at Wilmington.

Left-handed reliever Richard Lovelady earned the Royals Review pitcher of the year award. Bolstered by an absurd streak of 23.2 straight shutout innings (prior to his promotion to Northwest Arkansas, where the streak continued), Lovelady finished his time at Wilmington with 1.08 ERA in 33.1 innings, with 41 strikeouts and just 4 (!!) walks.

Catcher Chase Vallot put up the best walk rate in the Royals system, and his .380 on-base percentage was among the best in the Carolina League.

Who stayed on the roster all season?

  • RHP Scott Blewett
  • OF Brandon Downes
  • C Chase Vallot
  • OF Roman Collins
  • INF Travis Maezes
  • 3B Wander Franco
  • INF Jecksson Flores
  • C/1B Colton Frabasilio
  • OF Tanner Stanley
  • 2B D.J. Burt
  • RHP Gabe Cramer
  • RHP Jacob Bodner
  • RHP Franco Terrero
  • LHP Colin Rodgers
  • LHP Cristian Castillo

Who made it to Kansas City?

Right-hander Andres Machado became a September callup to the Royals. Machado gave up six earned runs in 0.2 innings in his first big league start, and three runs in a relief appearance three days later.