Photo Credit: Sam Hodde
Texas League North (Affiliate, Record, Last Week’s Record)
Tulsa Drillers (Los Angeles Dodgers), 15-10 (4-2)
Northwest Arkansas Naturals (Kansas City Royals), 14-12 (3-4)
Arkansas Travelers (Los Angeles Angels), 11-14 (5-2)
*Springfield Cardinals (St. Louis Cardinals), 10-16 (2-4)
Texas League South (Affiliate, First-Half Record)
Midland RockHounds (Oakland A’s), 18-8 (4-3)
*Corpus Christi Hooks (Houston Astros), 12-14 (1-6)
San Antonio Missions (San Diego Padres), 12-14 (4-3)
Frisco RoughRiders (Texas Rangers), 11-15 (5-2)
*First Half Champion
Leading Off, Arkansas Travelers
First up are the affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels, who themselves had a fine week. Things started out wet and just got worse as the Travs were postponed twice and played a pair of double headers, running them eight innings short of the norm.
Texas League hit leader (107) and All-Star first baseman Eric Aguilera was 10-for-27, with three hits in game one of the Monday doubleheader.
In that game, fellow All-Star Jordan Kipper pitched an abbreviated seven inning complete game. He allowed one run and struck out seven batters.
Batting Second, Frisco RoughRiders
It was only a matter of time. Simply too much talent on the Rangers Double-A squad. After starting 30-13 they would go 15-31 before this week of 5 up 2 down.
Pitching prospect Yohander Mendez —who catapulted his way into Baseball ProspectusMidseason Top 50 Prospects— returned to Double-A after a quick and knowingly temporary trip to Triple-A Round Rock and struck out a career high seven batters in a quality start vs. the Missions.
First baseman Ronald Guzman saw his 16-game hit streak end but immediately started a new one with hits on Tuesday and Wednesday as well as a pair of RBIs. During his streak he slashed a robust .365/.420/.619 with four homers, two stolen bases and 13 RBIs.
Outfielder Preston Beck was promoted to Triple-A Round Rock. He had multi-hit games on the 15th, 16th and 17th and finished the season in Frisco hitting .289 with seven homers and 30 RBIs. He also walked 21 times.
Photo Credit: Sam Hodde
In the Hole, Tulsa Drillers
The Drillers were the Arkansas visitor during the back-to-back rain delays so also had a truncated week of baseball. The bats missed the weekend bus but Tulsa would score 21 runs in the final three days of the week.
All-Star Willie Calhoun had three homers this week, two coming on Tuesday against Northwest Arkansas. The up and coming prospect now has 20 in 2016. New call-up Tim Locastro had four hits in his first two games. CatcherShawn Zarraga had six hits on the week and is hitting .326 since returning from Triple-A Oklahoma City on June 30th.
Former big leaguer Lisalverto Bonilla had his best start of the year at Double-A. He struck out seven in six innings of work, but did walk four to just three hits. Jeremy Kehrt allowed just two hits in six of his own scoreless innings the following day.
Batting Cleanup, Midland RockHounds
Midland took a step backwards, albeit a small one and kept their hold on the Texas League South Division. They won two out of three vs. Corpus Christi, their closest competition.
Outfielder Brett Vertigan had a pair of hits in not one, not two or three or even five, but in six straight games. He hit a clean .500 on the week. Fellow outfielder J.P. Sportman had four hits on the 15th and ten from the 14th to 20th.
Photo Credit: Tony Capobianco
Hitting 5th, San Antonio Missions
The Missions conversely squared off with the just mentioned RockHounds to begin the week and took two of three despite great pitching from the Hounds.
Right fielder Nick Schulz had a hit in all but one game. Leadoff man Franchy Cordero(who I haven’t stopped talking about in several weeks) hit his 3rd and 4th Double-A home runs and added a four-hit game to cap off the week. The week ended as it started, with a win on the heels of a great pitching performance.Kyle Lloyd threw seven shutout innings.
Due Up 6th, Northwest Arkansas Naturals
Speaking of good pitching, the KC Royals affiliate received some to start the week off right. All-Star and the Texas League’s strikeout leader Jake Junis did not allow a run in six innings of work. Second in strikeouts is his teammate, lefty Matt Strahm.
Alfredo Escalera spent his first week at the Double-A level with good times. In 26 at bats he hit .308 and stole all three of his attempts on the base paths. He also hit three doubles.
Frank Schwindel hit his 16th home run.
7th, Springfield Cardinals
On the 16th, three Cardinal pitchers combined for a two-hitter in a 2-0 victory over the Naturals. Starter J.C. Sulburan went 6 2/3 and struck out five, allowing just two hits. Second baseman Allen Staton accounted for the game’s offense with a two-run home run.
Third baseman Paul DeJong hit his 16th and 17th home runs.
And 8th, Corpus Christi Hooks
It’s not all on uber prospect Alex Bregman, but since his promotion to Triple-A Fresno on June 29th the dominant Astros Double-A affiliate are just 8-12. This week was their worst week all season, going 1-6 and getting outscored by the rebounding Frisco RoughRiders 21-6 in a three game sweep on their home field. But enough about the negative.
Kent Emmanuel gave the Hooks a great starting pitching effort on Monday. He threw seven strong innings without giving up a run. He struck out as many batters (five) that reached base.
2014 14th Round Pick Nick Tanielu hit well during the week with nine knocks and seven of them coming in three games. He struck out just twice in 27 plate appearances.
Next Week: July 21-July 27