‘This Week in the Minors’ 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 30through Sunday, May 6.
Shortstop Adalberto Mondesi returned with gusto from the disabled list this week. He went 8-for-26 with two doubles, a triple, and two home runs. He also stole three bases.
Josh Staumont was at it again with his whole “striking everyone out” gambit. The right-handed reliever struck out six and allowed zero hits in two appearances, totaling three innings. Staumont’s strikeouts per nine innings is now at 18.9 for the season, but he has also walked 6.8 batters per nine innings.
AA Northwest Arkansas Naturals (10-19)
Shortstop Nicky Lopez spent basically the entire week on base, thanks to 12 hits and four walks. The double he hit was his first of the season, and the triple was his second. Lopez’s 19 walks lead the Naturals, and is tied for second in the Texas League.
Outfielder Donnie DeWees also knocked out double-digit hits this week with a 10-for-31 performance. Among those ten were two doubles and two triples.
Glenn Sparkman pitched eight efficient innings on Thursday, with 96 pitches. He allowed two runs (one unearned) on six hits, struck out two, and didn’t walk anyone. The 25-year-old righty spent some time with the Blue Jays after Toronto snagged him in 2016’s Rule 5 draft. He was returned to the Royals in July 2017.
In four relief appearances since being promoted to the Naturals from Wilmington, right-handed reliever Walker Sheller has tallied 7 2⁄3 shutout innings, with six strikeouts, two walks, and six hits allowed. Sheller, 22, appeared in a few games for Northwest Arkansas at the end of last season as well.
Reliever Jake Newberry contributed three scoreless innings in two outings this week, with six strikeouts and one walk. The 23-year-old righty has now gone six outings since the last time he let in a run.
A-Adv. Wilmington Blue Rocks (13-16)
Third baseman Emmanuel Rivera muscled up this week for three doubles and a home run among eight total hits. He also walked three times. The doubles brought his season total to eight, which leads the team. Second baseman Gabriel Cancel also had eight hits, including one double.
Outfielder Brandon Downes has hit safely in eight of ten games he has played this season. This week, he added four singles and four doubles. Shortstop Angelo Castellano, 23, hit in each of the five games he played this week.
Right-handed starter Gerson Garabito had his longest start of this season on Sunday, a seven-inning no-decision. He allowed just two singles and three walks, and struck out five. Garabito’s season ERA is 2.12, but he does have a walk rate of 5.8 per nine innings, so it is possible that the low ERA has some luck behind it.
Reliever Matthew Wynne added two more shutout appearances and two saves this week, bringing his scoreless streak to 11 1⁄3 innings across eight games, dating back to April 10.
Low-A Lexington Legends (14-14)
A 7th-inning home run spoiled a no-hit effort by lefty Daniel Tillo in his start on Thursday. Tillo’s game began with nine straight strikeouts. Because that is so outlandish, I’m going to restate it, but with bold: Daniel Tillo struck out the side three times in a row. Nine batters up, nine batters sent back to the dugout with a strikeout.
21-year-old right-hander Janser Lara struck out five and walked two in four shutout innings of relief on Friday, earning a save for his efforts. It was the second career save for Lara, who has started two games this year and pitched long relief in his three other appearances.
Right-handed reliever Sal Biasi totaled five shutout innings this week, allowing just one hit and two walks in two appearances. He struck out five, leaving him with a rate 12.2 strikeouts per nine innings -- but beware the small sample of just 13 1⁄3 innings. The Royals drafted Biasi in the 11th round last summer.
First base prospect Nick Pratto homered in back-to-back games this week, bringing his season total to four. The only Legends player with more dingers is right fielder Seuly Matias, who hit another longball this week to push his season total up to eight.
We are getting relatively deep into the season all of a sudden, and the best team record in the system is .500. Is that a point of concern for the Royals, while the major league team is
Did any of you go to any minor league games this week? Who did you see?