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TWitM: Haake strikes out a dozen

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This Week in the Minors: Lexington’s Zach Haake and Chris Bubic brilliant again; Nicky Lopez still hitting.

Zach Haake struck out 12 in his start this week.
Lexington Legends

‘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 22 through Sunday, April 28.

AAA Omaha Storm Chasers (10-13)

schedule | roster

The Storm Chasers picked the most dramatic way possible to end a 7-game losing streak on Sunday, coming back from a 9-0 deficit to win 11-10.

Last week, we noted that SS/2B Nicky Lopez had only struck out twice on the season. He added just one more of those this week, while continuing his hot hitting. Lopez went 7-for-15 in his four games, bringing his season line to .338/.400/.494.

A weird thing: LHP Foster Griffin has posted identical Game Scores of 54 in each of his last three starts, per Baseball-Reference.

AA Northwest Arkansas Naturals (10-14)

schedule | roster

Gabriel Cancel drove in drove in 10 runs this week, on the strength of two doubles and three (!) homers in an 8-for-28 week.

Some Naturals relief efforts of note:

  • LHP Gabe Speier’s last five games have resulted in zero runs on three hits and two walks. In those 5 23 innings, Speier struck out five and faced just 21 batters. He also snagged three saves in that stretch.
  • RHP Franco Terrero pitched five shutout innings across three appearances this week, with just one single and two walks allowed. He struck out six.
  • RHP Andrew Beckwith was called upon twice this week for two innings apiece, and answered with nothing but scoreless innings.

A-Adv. Wilmington Blue Rocks (14-10)

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Kansas City’s top two draftees from 2018 had good starts this week:
Jackson Kowar pitched seven innings on Tuesday, with five strikeouts. He walked three and allowed two runs on six hits.

Brady Singer picked up a W in six innings on Sunday, giving up one earned run (and one unearned), six hits, and two walks. He struck out five. That game was Singer’s third consecutive six-inning start.

Low-A Lexington Legends (12-11)

schedule | roster

Left-hander Kris Bubic had another marvelous start this week, going seven shutout innings with just three hits and one walk allowed, and 10 strikeouts. It was his second double-digit strikeout night of the season. Bubic’s first start of the season was a rocky one, but since then he has put up Game Scores (per Baseball-Reference) of 74, 71, 62, and now an 80. Bubic was a first-round pick in 2018, the 40th overall pick.

Another Legends pitcher putting up a big, pretty number this week was righty Zach Haake. In six innings on Saturday, Haake struck out 12 (!) with no walks, and allowed one run on five hits. That was a career high in strikeouts for Haake, a 6th-round draft pick out the University of Kentucky right there in Lexington.

The bullpen provided a bunch more Ks thanks to this trio of arms:

  1. Lefty Josh Dye struck out four in two perfect innings on Tuesday, and then racked up eight strikeouts in three innings on Friday.
  2. Right-hander Jonathan Bowlan struck out six in five shutout innings of relief on Wednesday, with just one hit allowed.
  3. Righty Jon Heasley struck out five in three perfect innings on Saturday.