‘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, July 9 through Sunday, July 15.
AAA Omaha Storm Chasers (41-51)
Omaha’s week was shortened by the Triple-A all star game, in which first baseman Frank Schwindel and pitcher Trevor Oaks appeared. Schwindel went 2-2 with a double as the DH, and Oaks pitched a scoreless inning.
Oaks returned to Omaha and made a start on Saturday, shutting out the Memphis Redbirds for 6 2⁄3 innings. It was not a domination, as Oaks allowed three hits and three walks, and struck out just three. That conforms to Oaks’ style, as he has struck out just 5.2 per nine innings this season with Omaha.
After Oaks left the mound, righty Josh Staumont held up the shutout with with 1 1⁄3 innings. Right-hander Kevin Lenik finished off the goose egg with a scoreless 9th.
Absent other on-field updates, here is first baseman Ryan O’Hearn with a small puppy and a great idea for the future of baseball.
AA Northwest Arkansas Naturals (39-52)
Like last week, the Naturals won one game this week.
Tops among the Northwest Arkansas bats was right fielder Elier Hernandez. He went 10-for-23 with a pair of doubles, one walk, and just two strikeouts. Hernandez, 23, is hitting .292/.327/.388 on the season.
Third baseman Kelvin Gutierrez doubled three times and tripled once among his eight hits this week. Veteran first baseman Alex Liddi hit three home runs this week, bringing his season total to a team-leading 15.
A-Adv. Wilmington Blue Rocks (43-49)
A trio of Blue Rocks had 10-hit weeks:
- Second baseman Gabriel Cancel was 10-for-28 with four doubles and a homer, 10 runs driven in, three walks and five strikeouts.
- Right fielder Nick Heath was 10-for-27 with two doubles and a homer and three walks, but 10 strikeouts.
- Center fielder Blake Perkins also had 10 hits and 10 strikeouts, and hit a homer and a double.
Righty Gerson Garabito made a solid start on Sunday, going seven innings for the 4th time this season. He walked three, but limited the Salem lineup to three hits and two runs, and struck out five.
Fresh off the fantastic start we featured last week, righty Andres Sotillet was promoted to Wilmington. In his Blue Rocks debut he pitched five innings, and gave up three runs on five hits, with a walk and five strikeouts.
Low-A Lexington Legends (46-45)
Right-hander Carlos Hernandez pitched another 7-inning gem on Monday, with a dozen strikeouts (!), two walks, and one unearned run surrendered on four hits. (The unearned run, by the way, scored on a fielding error by Seuly Matias.) This game followed two consecutive 7-inning shutout starts by Hernandez. His follow-up start on Sunday was less great, with two runs allowed on nine hits in 5 1⁄3 innings, with four strikeouts and two walks.
19-year-old righty Charlie Neuweiler made the best start of his young season on Wednesday. He struck out five, walked two, and plunked two batters. Only one run scored on four hits in six innings. Royals assistant GM J.J. Picollo recently described Neuweiler’s arsenal to Rustin Dodd at The Athletic (subscription required):
“He’s not a power guy. He’s going to throw anywhere from 88 to 93 mph; he’ll sit at 91 mph. He’s got a curveball that he uses really well. He throws it for a strike and he can use it for a chase pitch. And he’s got a changeup. And that’s the pitch he’s spent a lot of time working on, and it coming on and becoming a really, really effective pitch. That’s going to be a key moving forward.”
A pair of 2018 first-rounders debuted at Lexington this week:
- LHP Daniel Lynch (34th pick): 5 IP | 6 H | 2 ER | 1 BB | 5 K | 72 pitches
- RHP Jackson Kowar (33rd pick): 1⁄3 IP | 3 H | 3 ER | 2 BB | 1 K | 27 pitches
Kowar spoke to Alex Schiffer of the Kansas City Star about what went wrong.
The Royals were represented in the MLB Futures game solely by right fielder Seuly Matias, who homered and singled.
Did you see any minor league games this week? Who did you see, and how did they look?
BONUS QUESTION: Would you go to more or fewer games if every game was bark in the park?