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, April 16 through Sunday, April 22.
AAA Omaha Storm Chasers (6-11)
Utility infielder Jack Lopez played impressively this week, both at the plate and in the field. At the plate, he delivered eight hits including a double and two triples. He also drew a bases-loaded walk to deliver a walkoff win in 10 innings on Tuesday.
Some guys you may have heard of joined the Storm Chasers for rehab assignments. Catcher Salvador Perez and outfielder Alex Gordon had not played on a minor league team together since 2010, when Gordon was rehabbing a thumb injury in Wilmington and Perez was still a kid working his way up through the system.
Perez hit at least once in each game of his assignment, including this mighty dong on Saturday.
Backing up Perez for the week was Nick Dini. He homered and hit two doubles. The home run was his third, good for the Omaha team lead. Heath Fillmyer brought out all kinds of good stuff for his start on Friday, dishing out sliders that moved all over the place. He pitched six scoreless innings with six strikeouts. You can watch those here.
Hold on to your seats; there are so many more Omaha pitching performances to note. Lefty Jonathan Dziedzic withstood seven hits to turn in a one-run performance in seven innings. Righty Trevor Oaks also went seven frames in his win on Saturday, yielding two runs on four hits. And right-hander Clay Buchholz, on the comeback trail from a forearm surgery last year, went 6 1⁄3 innings on Sunday, allowing one run on five hits. Fans at Sunday’s Omaha game saw three members of the 2013 American League All-Star team: Buchholz, Perez, and Gordon.
AA Northwest Arkansas Naturals (6-9)
Right fielder Elier Hernandez doubled three times in four games this week. Hernandez, 23, is off to a bit of a slow start for the Naturals this season, slashing just .224/.250/.310 so far.
The first outing of lefty reliever Sam Selman’s season was a disaster. He gave up six runs in a third of an inning. Selman has bounced back nicely since then, however, with four consecutive shutout outings of varying lengths.
A-Adv. Wilmington Blue Rocks (8-9)
Right fielder Kort Peterson hit three home runs and drove in nine runs in five games. In a fun coincidence, two Blue Rocks players hit eight singles in six games this week. Middle infielder D.J. Burt also walked four times and struck out eight times, and scored five runs. Third baseman Emmanuel Rivera had a lot of runners on base in front of him; he ended up with 8 RBI. Outfielder Khalil had a three-walk game and already has 14 free passes this year with 20 strikeouts.
Left fielder Rudy Martin had six hits, six walks, and six RBI in six games. (This report is brought to you by the number six!) He also stole three bases, bringing his season total to a league-leading 13 to go with his league-leading 19 walks. Right-handed starter Arnaldo Hernandez pitched his best start of the season on Friday, going six shutout innings with just four hits surrendered.
Low-A Lexington Legends (10-7)
Dennicher Carrasco was just starting to heat up. The 22-year-old third baseman hit three home runs, a double, and three singles in just four games this week. He then landed on the disabled list on Saturday. On the other corner of the infield, Nick Pratto cranked out 10 hits in seven games, including a homer and a double. Pratto is hitting .323/.373/.500 on the season, with 18 strikeouts and five walks.
Right fielder Seuly Matias kept up his powerful April with two home runs and two doubles in four games. Catcher Sebastian Rivero, 19, hit his first home run as a Legend, and drove in five runs in his four games.
Last week we mentioned reliever Carter Hope’s comeback story. Hope added another strong long relief outing on Thursday, with five strikeouts in three innings. He did allow a solo home run, but still held on for a win. Hope has received decisions in each game he pitched in; all four were Ws.
Right-handed reliever Tyler Zuber allowed his first run of the season on Sunday, but struck out three in one inning. Zuber has struck out 13 batters in seven innings of work this season, and has walked nobody.
Daniel Tillo is a left-handed pitcher from Iowa Western Community College in Council Bluffs, IA (just on the other side of the Missouri river from Omaha). The Royals drafted him in the 3rd round in 2017. Tillo was strong in his start on Friday, needing just 84 pitches to get through seven innings. He allowed two runs on two hits and three walks, but did not get a decision in a game the Legends would go on to lose thanks to a four-run rally by Hagerstown in the 9th inning. He also made this nifty play on a comebacker.