‘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?”
This Week in the Minors: Tuesday, May 10 to Sunday, May 15.
AAA Omaha Storm Chasers (16-19)
Omaha went on the road to their friendly rival Iowa Cubs, but came away with just one win and a couple of frustrating walkoff losses.
Vinnie Pasquantino did hit two homers this week in Principal Park, bringing his season dinger total to eight. Nick Pratto returned from the IL after a concussion on May 4. While he is still looking for his first hit since coming back, he did draw six walks and reached base once via HBP (thankfully not in the head this time).
Outfielder Dairon Blanco stole four more bases this week, so he is up to 13 on the season. Infielder Gabriel Cancel hit four doubles this week, including two that drove in Omaha’s two runs in their sole win.
That game was started by Jackson Kowar, who was fantastic in six shutout innings, allowing just one walk and three singles. He struck out six and threw 82 pitches.
Brad Peacock, Jace Vines, and Arodys Vizcaíno each added a scoreless inning to complete the shutout victory.
AA Northwest Arkansas Naturals (16-16)
The Naturals won more than any other team on the farm this week, with two victories against the visiting Wichita Wind Surge (MIN).
The definite highlight for the Naturals was lefty Drew Parrish repeating as league pitcher of the week, thanks to an even better game than the one that netted him that honor last week. On Friday, Parrish threw seven shutout innings with three hits allowed, but no walks and nine (!) strikeouts. The effort took 91 pitches and was Parrish’s second consecutive 7-inning shutout gem.
For the SECOND week in a row, Drew Parrish is through SEVEN scoreless innings!— NW Arkansas Naturals (@nwanaturals) May 14, 2022
And @Drewppp8 ties a career- high with 9 strikeouts ‼️
▲ 7 | #NWANaturals 4 Wichita 0
In relief, RHP Yefri Del Rosario finished off the Parrish game with two shutout innings of his own, and produced another 1 1⁄3 inning shutout appearance as well. In looking at Del Rosario’s splits page on Baseball Reference, I noticed an odd stat that means nothing but is kind of fun: So far this season, Yefri Del Rosario has not given up a hit to any batters younger than he is.
Catcher Logan Porter led the Northwest Arkansas bats this week, going 7-for-15 with a double and two homers.
Shortstop Maikel Garcia had six hits including two doubles this week, and only struck out once. Those six hits were good for seven runs batted in, more than doubling Garcia’s season total (he now has 13).
Two players who may be making a case for a promotion soon are second baseman Michael Massey and center fielder Nick Loftin. Massey went 6-for-21 this week with a homer, bringing his season slash line to .315/.360/.524. Loftin went 6-for-16 with two doubles and a home run.
Adv-A Quad Cities River Bandits (12-21)
The River Bandits won one game this week against the visiting Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (MIL).
Catcher Kale Emshoff went 7-for-15 with a double and two homers this week, plus four walks against just four strikeouts. The dingers were Emshoff’s fourth and fifth of the 2022 season. Utilityman Peyton Wilson hit six times in five games, with one leaving the yard for a homer.
A bright spot on the mound was the relief work of left-hander Christian Chamberlain, who piled up 3 2⁄3 no-hit, shutout innings in two outings. Chamberlain was a 4th-round draftee in 2020 from Oregon State University.
Single-A Columbia Fireflies (11-22)
Rough week in the win column for the Fireflies, who won one of six at the Augusta GreenJackets (ATL).
Righty Heribert Garcia was on the bump to start that lone win, and pitched four shutout innings with no walks and just one hit allowed. One of his innings was an immaculate inning - three strikeouts on nine pitches!
Not just a great inning, an IMMACULATE inning from Heribert Garcia. It's our first immaculate inning since Cruz Noriega accomplished the feat in the fifth inning May 5, 2021 at Augusta. pic.twitter.com/Uw2ROShArq— Columbia Fireflies (@ColaFireflies) May 14, 2022
For Thursday’s game, third baseman Enrique Valdez was slotted in at shortstop for the first time this season. Valdez played a lot of shortstop in Dominican and rookie ball in 2018-2019, but hadn’t been used much there since. Overall this week, Valdez went 8-for-21 with three stolen bases, and only struck out twice.
Catcher Carter Jensen homered this week and doubled three times in a 5-for-18 week. Jensen also walked four times, was hit by a pitch, and stole a base.
Outfielder River Town went exclusively for XBH this week, with each of his four hits going for at least two bases: a double, two triples, and a home run. Town also stole two bases and was hit by three (!) pitches.
Up for discussion: Did you go to any games this week? While individual results are ultimately more important than team wins and losses, do team records like these concern you?