The Omaha Storm Chasers (Pacific Coast League) went 2-5 over the last week dropping to 56-36 on the season. The Storm Chasers have the best record in the PCL and are a league best 34-14 when playing at Werner Park. They are leading the Northern Division by 15.5 games over the Nashville Sounds. Chris Dwyer was promoted from AA Northwest Arkansas and will be making his Triple-A debut this next week.
The Storm Chasers have continued to pile up runs on offense. Johnny Giavotella has been behind most of the offense this past week. The second baseman has hit .417 over his last ten games with three home runs and 10 RBI. Max Ramirez also has 10 RBI over his last ten games as the Storm Chasers continue to pile up the runs. Ryan Verdugo seems to have reverted back to his old self on the mound. The left-hander had a rough start and then pitched twice out of the bullpen after being called up to Kansas City. He returned to the rotation this past week tossing six shutout innings allowing just four hits, while walking two and striking out six.
Derrick Robinson finds himself mired in a mid-summer slump. The speedy outfielder is hitting just .158 (6-for-38) in his last nine games with an RBI and four runs scored. On the mound for the Storm Chasers, Doug Davis had a rough week despite going 1-0. The veteran tossed 11.2 innings allowing 17 hits and eight runs, while issuing an uncharacteristic seven walks.
The Northwest Arkansas Naturals (Texas League) have gone 5-14, so far in the second half of the season. They suffered through a franchise record eight straight losses before picking up a walk-off win on July 10 against the San Antonio Missions. The Naturals' pitching staff did add a pair of starters this past week. Mike Montgomery will be returning to Northwest Arkansas and Yordano Ventura will make his Double-A debut this weekend for the Naturals.
Brian Fletcher appears to be making the adjustment to Double-A pitching. The outfielder had struggled in his first week in Double-A, but broke out in a big way over the last week. He is hitting .368 (14-for-38) with a pair of home runs and three RBI in his last nine games. Mario Lisson, who holds nearly every Naturals' franchise record, continues to put up good numbers. He is hitting .370 over his last 10 games with a home run and a pair of RBI. Jon Keck has arguably been the best pitcher the Naturals have had in the bullpen since being promoted from Class-A Advanced Wilmington at the end of May. The left-hander worked seven and two-thirds innings of shutout baseball over his last four appearances. Since being promoted, Keck has gone 2-0 with a 1.99 ERA in 22.2 innings of work.
Johnny Whittleman is hitting just .143 (4-for-28) over his last ten games, but has shown some signs of life at the plate lately, getting an extra base hit on July 10 against San Antonio. On the mound for the Naturals, Sugar Ray Marimon has started to struggle after throwing well in his first few outings in Double-A. Marimon is 0-2 in his last two starts allowing 16 hits and nine runs over nine and a third innings of work.
The Wilmington Blue Rocks (Carolina League) have gone 2-5 over the past seven games, and they are now 10-11 so far in the second half and sit just one game behind the Lynchburg Hillcats for first place in the Northern Division.
Matt Fields has been on a power hitting spree for the Blue Rocks. The first baseman has homered in eight of his last 11 games, and is hitting .333 (14-for-42) over his last ten contests. In that same span, he has homered seven times and driven in nine runs. Antonio Cruz has been on fire on the mound for the Blue Rocks. The left-hander has appeared in four games and has yet to allow a run. He has worked six and two-thirds innings allowing two hits and four walks.
Orlando Calixte has cooled off since being promoted from Kane County. The shortstop is hitting just .200 ((8-for-40) over his last nine games. In that same stretch, he does have one home run and four RBI. Chase Boruff had a rough week on the mound for the Blue Rocks. The right-hander surrendered seven runs on eight hits over four and a third innings.
The Kane County Cougars (Midwest League) went 4-5 since the last edition of the farm report on July 3. They are now 11-9 in the second half and are in a tie for first place with four other teams in the Western Division.
Infielder Justin Trapp has gotten hot lately for the Cougars. Trapp is hitting .314 (11-for-35) over his last ten games with a home run, two RBI, and five runs scored. Angel Baez has continued to be one of the best arms in the Cougars rotation. This past week he went 2-0 allowing just one run on six hits, over 12 innings, while striking out 13.
Murray Watts has hit his biggest slump of the season. The power-hitting first baseman is 0-for-15 in his last four games and is hitting just .154 over his last seven games. Bryan Brickhouse continues to flutter between the hot and not lists on a start to start basis. His last outing he went five and a third innings allowing seven hits and eight runs, seven of which were earned. The start before that was his best of the season for the Cougars. He threw six shutout innings allowing just one hit and one unearned run.
The Idaho Falls Chukars (Pioneer League) are now 11-13 on the season and they are trailing the Ogden Raptors by four games in the South Division.
The Chukars Rainier Bello has been hot this past week. The first hit .321 (9-for-25) over his last nine games with one home run four RBI and five runs scored. On the mound for the Chukars, Andy Ferguson turned in his third straight quality start going seven innings allowing just four hits, while walking one and striking out five.
Adrian Martinez suffered through a tough week for the Chukars. The shortstop hit .208 (5-for-24) with two RBI over the team's last ten games. On the mound Chase Henteges has been knocked around in his last two outings. The right-hander has allowed nine hits and eight runs, while issuing walking six, in just one inning of work.
The Burlington Royals (Appalachian League) went 5-1 over the past week to improve to 13-7 on the season. The Royals are tied with the Danville Braves for first place in the Eastern Division.
Who's Hot Kenneth Diekroeger has been hitting everything for the Royals. The Stanford product is hitting .333 (13-for-39) with two home runs, eight RBI and six runs scored. The second baseman is hitting .288 for the season with five home runs and 14 RBI, in 15 games. Julio Morales has been getting it done on the mound for Burlington. The right-hander has turned in four straight scoreless outings and worked a season long three innings in his last appearance on July 7 against the Bluefield Blue Jays.
Mark Threlkeld has been in a slump at the plate as of late. The first baseman is hitting .125 (4-for-32) over his last nine games with one RBI and two runs scored. Jake Junis has had back-to-back rough outings on the mound for Burlington. In his last two starts he has worked nine and two-thirds innings allowing 15 hits and eight runs.
The Northwest Arkansas Naturals are the Double-A Texas League affiliate of the Kansas City Royals and play at state-of-the-art Arvest Ballpark, located in Springdale. Visit our website, nwanaturals.com, for information on season tickets and ticket plans.