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 Thursday, April 5 through Sunday, April 8.
AAA Omaha Storm Chasers (1-3)
Like the Royals, the Storm Chasers have had rotten luck with Mother Nature this spring. The pre-season exhibition game against Kansas City was canned due to cold and rain, and then three games were postponed in the opening weekend. They played double-headers Thursday and Saturday because of freezing forecasts on Friday and Sunday, respectively. Monday’s game was postponed, but the makeup date has not been announced yet.
Left-hander Jonathan Dziedzic lost much of the 2017 season to injury, but was tabbed as the opening day starter. He pitched five scoreless innings, allowing five hits and one walk. He struck out four, and induced two double plays.
Reliever Richard Lovelady made his Triple-A debut on Thursday, and pitched again on Saturday. He totaled two hitless and scoreless innings. Long reliever Eric Stout, who was extremely reliable out of the Omaha ‘pen last summer, chipped in 2 2⁄3 shutout innings on Saturday, and was awarded the ‘W’ in the team’s lone win. Scott Barlow struck out seven in 4 1⁄3 innings on Saturday, but he also walked five. Barlow was signed to a one-year deal in December, and is on the 40-man roster.
Omaha’s bats were quiet throughout the weekend. Hunter Dozier doubled and homered in the season opener, and catcher Nick Dini hit his first Triple-A dinger on Saturday.
AA Northwest Arkansas Naturals (1-3)
If you haven’t already, check out this FanPost about one reader’s visit to Arvest Ballpark. He was there on for the season opener, which NWArk won on a walkoff single by outfielder Elier Hernandez.
First baseman Samir Duenez is off to a good start at the plate, with two doubles and a homer among his six hits in four games. Duenez, 21, played all of last season at Double-A, and may be stuck there a while due to a logjam at that position in Omaha.
Right-hander Franco Terrero, 22, made his Double-A debut on Thursday with a scoreless inning. On Saturday, an unearned run scored against him on a throwing error by third baseman Corey Toups, but he did notch two strikeouts.
While the aim of this column is typically to highlight good performances, sometimes a struggle is noteworthy enough for a mention. To wit: outfielder Alfredo Escalera has 14 plate appearances in this young season, and has struck out in 11 of them.
In a pair of relief appearances, righty Jake Newberry amassed 2.2 innings, with four strikeouts, no walks, and no runs allowed.
A-Adv. Wilmington Blue Rocks (2-2)
Outfielder Khalil Lee has hit the ground running in his first action at the High-A level. He already has six hits, including one of each flavor of extra base hits. He has also walked four times and stolen a base, but has struck out six times.
Third baseman Emmanuel Rivera is also getting his first shot at High-A, and has displayed good power already. In four games, he has hit three doubles and a home run. He has not struck out yet.
Outfielder Rudy Martin has reached base seven times, and has already stolen six bases.
22-year-old righty Gerson Garabito made a splash in his Blue Rocks debut, with nine strikeouts in six shutout innings. That was good for a Game Score of 77, the second-best mark of Garabito’s career.
Low-A Lexington Legends (3-1)
19-year-old outfield prospect Seuly Matias stole the show in his first four games in full-season ball. He has already clubbed four home runs and a triple, and driven in eight runs. By himself, Matias leads twelve South Atlantic League teams in home runs, earning him recognition on ESPN’s SportsCenter.
In tonight's KC's Minor League Minute, we highlight @LexingtonLegend star Seuly Matias - the #3 prospect in the @royals system, who hit 2 HR's in his season debut Thursday night!! #KCRoyals #FamilyTimeIsOurGame @milb @KDavies07 @TheCoachrules pic.twitter.com/VfaCdjQTpY— Kevin Connors (@kevconnorsespn) April 7, 2018
In this space, expect to see a lot of high draftees from 2017 featured this summer. As Max Rieper noted in his thorough guide to the farm system, the Royals sent a lot of intriguing players to Lexington.
Who will be there? The Legends have perhaps the best power hitter in the system with outfielder Seuly Matias. They’ll also have one of the faster players with outfielder Marten Gasparini. First baseman Nick Pratto, catcher M.J. Melendez and outfielder Michael Gigliotti are also hitters to watch from the 2017 draft, and keep an eye on pitchers Garrett Davila, Carlos Hernandez, and Daniel Tillo.
Have you been to any minor league games yet this season, or do you plan to?