clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Royals MiLB pitchers sparkled this week

This Week in the Minors: Anthony Veneziano, William Fleming, Ryan Ramsey, and Ben Kudrna were among many pitchers who had impressive starts

A tall white man in a white baseball uniform and a glove on his right hand is walking off the pitchers mound, with a smattering of fans out of focus behind in him.
Anthony Veneziano started twice this week and allowed just one run in 11 innings.
Minda Haas Kuhlmann

‘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, July 18 to Sunday, July 23

AAA Omaha Storm Chasers (8-12 in second half; 46-46 overall)

schedule | roster

In a home series against the St. Paul Saints (MIN), the Storm Chasers won four out of six to pull to .500 on the season.

Anthony Veneziano started the first and last games of the series, and was really good in both. On Tuesday, the lefty pitched five shutout innings and gave up just two hits. He struck out seven and walked two. In Sunday’s game, he walked none and struck out five in six innings. One run scored on a close play at the plate, though it was contested by catcher Logan Porter.

The following relievers were nails in the series:

  • Brad Keller, still on a rehab assignment, pitched scoreless and hitless innings on back-to-back days.
  • Will Klein picked up his first Triple-A win and save. He pitched three times, with six total Ks in 4 1⁄3 innings.
  • Jackson Kowar had two shutout appearances, totaling 3 13 innings.
  • James McArthur came into the game three times and did not allow any runs, and was perfect for two innings on Sunday.

Tucker Bradley played three games, and all four of his hits in that limited playing time were doubles. Second baseman Samad Taylor went 8-for-18 with two triples and three steals in the series.

AA Northwest Arkansas Naturals (11-9 in second half; 40-49 overall)

schedule | roster

The Naturals won five out of six in a home series against the Tulsa Drillers (LAD).

The series featured lots of great starting pitching, highlighted by the double-A debut of right-hander William Fleming. Fleming pitched 6 13 innings - his longest start of the season - without allowing any runs. He allowed two singles and one walk, and struck out seven. Fleming, 24, joined the Royals organization last summer as part of the Carlos Santana trade with Seattle.

Righties Andrew Hoffman and Chandler Champlain also had outstanding starts in the series. Hoffman punched out seven and walked two in 5 23 shutout innings. Champlain allowed just one run in 6+ innings, with four strikeouts and one walk.

John McMillon continued his unbelievable season out of the bullpen. This week, he was called upon twice for save situations in the 9th, and slammed the door with no-hit, shutout innings both times. McMillon has been promoted twice since starting the season with Columbia. In his nine games so far with the Naturals, only one unearned run has scored against him, and he has now struck out 19 in 13 innings.

RHP Yefri Del Rosario was dominant in relief as well, notching five strikeouts in three innings, in two games pitched. He allowed no hits and one walk.

Catcher Luca Tresh homered and doubled as part of an 8-for-16 attack in four starts.

Adv-A Quad Cities River Bandits (9-15 in second half; 41-49 overall)

schedule | roster

The River Bandits split their road series 3-3 against the Beloit Sky Carp (MIA).

Quad Cities got a bunch of great performances from starting pitchers in the series. Righty Mason Barnett started things off on Tuesday with six shutout innings, with just two hits allowed. Barnett struck out three and walked two, and all of that combined for a game score of 69.

Lefty Tyson Guerrero followed that with 5 23 innings on Wednesday, with six strikeouts and one walk. He allowed one run on four hits. In an odd quirk, that was the first time this season that Guerrero had been awarded a W.

Right-hander Ben Kudrna made his high-A debut on Thursday, and it couldn’t have gone much better. He pitched six shutout innings, allowing just three hits and two walks. He struck out six, and it was his second consecutive long shutout start.

Luinder Avila pitched six scoreless innings of his own on Saturday, with no walks and just two hits allowed. The righty struck out three and needed just 70 pitches to get through six. It was the best start of the 21-year-old’s season, and the first time since April 14 he has put up zeroes in a start.

Left fielder River Town finished the series with hits in every game, including four two-hit games. He went 10-for-23 in the Beloit series, with two doubles. Incredibly, Town has hit in all 14 games he has played in the month of July, compiling a slash line of .404/.483/.442 on the month.

Gavin Cross found quite a bit of power in this series, with two homers, a double, and a triple among his eight total hits. The center field prospect also stole three bases in four attempts.

Catcher Carter Jensen went 6-for-19 in the series, including two doubles and a home run.

Single-A Columbia Fireflies (13-11 in second half; 48-41 overall)

schedule | roster

Columbia lost the first and last games in their series at Myrtle Beach, but won all the ones in between to improve to 13-11 in the second half. That’s good for second place, three games out of first place.

Left-hander Ryan Ramsey is really cooking in his three starts back from an injury. On Saturday, he pitched a 6.2 shutout innings, allowing just three singles. He did not walk anyone, struck out eight, and at one point got 10 consecutive batters out. That’s now his third start without allowing a run, each start longer than the one before.

Elsewhere in encouraging results from people coming off injuries, righty Ben Hernandez pitched four shutout innings in his second start of the season for Columbia. Hunter Patteson made his full-season debut this week. The lefty who was drafted out of UCF in 2022 is working back from Tommy John surgery, and showed up for Columbia with three shutout innings in his debut.

Did you go to any games this week? If not - do you ever watch on