Offensive Players of the Week
Here's a look at the top offensive performers in each league for the week ending June 8:
Steve Clevenger, Norfolk
(.593/.613/.852, 6 G, 16-for-27, 7 2B, 13 RBI, 9 R, 3 BB, 2 K)
Clevenger's first three games with the Tides didn't go so well -- he went 0-for-11 -- but as soon as Norfolk hit the road, the 28-year-old backstop began to dominate. A 4-for-4, five-RBI performance at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Tuesday was just the beginning, as Clevenger pounded out 16 hits and drove in 13 runs over the next five games. A day off Saturday failed to interrupt his groove, with the Baltimore-born Clevenger going 3-for-4 with three runs scored at Durham on Sunday.
Steve Clevenger's RBI double for the Tides
Pacific Coast League
Juan Ciriaco, Fresno
(.632/.682/1.421, 6 G, 12-for-19, 4 2B, 6 RBI, 8 R, 3 BB, 2 K, 1 SB)
There wasn't much suspense regarding the PCL's choice for the week's top hitter, as a glance at the stats makes clear. Ciriaco concluded the previous week with a walk-off single last Sunday before compiling a monstrous weekend in Las Vegas. In a four-game set against the 51's, the 30-year-old shortstop went 11-for-14 with three homers and four doubles. All four of the latter came during a 5-for-5 effort Friday, which tied a Fresno team record for two-baggers in a game. On Sunday Ciriaco legged out his first triple since 2012 and fell a double shy of the cycle in a 3-for-4 performance. The Grizzlies are back at home to face Iowa on Monday; I-Cubs pitchers might be well advised to throw Ciriaco a steady diet of wide ones.
Fresno's Ciriaco hits walk-off single
Carlos Alonso, Reading
(.480/.552/.880, 7 G, 12-for-25, 4 2B, 3 RBI, 7 R, 4 BB, 4 K)
Alonso hit .288/.395/.397 in April, his first month in Double-A, but slumped to .229/.302/.352 in May. The Delaware product broke out in the first week of June, however, collecting multiple hits in four of five games between Tuesday and Saturday. The 26-year-old Alonso doesn't have a lot of power -- his six homers this season are already a career-high -- but he doesn't strike out much and has a knack for getting on base. A 32nd-round pick in 2010, he has a career .371 OBP.
Reading's Alonso belts solo shot
Kris Bryant, Tennessee
(.417/.533/.917, 7 G, 10-for-24, 3 2B, 3 HR, 5 RBI, 7 R, 6 BB, 6 K, 1 SB)
One is tempted to write "ditto" and just move on. Bryant has now earned this award for the second consecutive week and third time in the last five. He's tied for the Minor League home run lead with 21. He leads the Southern League in hits, batting average, slugging, on-base percentage, RBIs, walks and runs scored. It could be time for the second overall pick in the 2013 Draft to ply his trade in Triple-A -- or maybe we'll be searching for more things to say in this spot next week.
Tennessee's Bryant belts 21st homer
Ryan Casteel, Tulsa
(.385/.448/.846, 6 G, 10-for-26, 3 2B, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 7 R, 3 BB, 6 K)
Casteel collected a homer and a double in three separate games last week, showing glimpses of the power that produced 22 homers and 30 doubles for Modesto last season. The backstop, who turned 23 on Friday, got off to a modest start in April (.227/.288/.364) but has been steadily improving. Though he's unlikely to match his Cal League-aided offensive numbers -- Casteel hit just two homers the previous season -- he's adjusting well to the challenges of Double-A ball.
Ryan Casteel hits a three-run homer for the Drillers
Aaron Miller, Rancho Cucamonga
(.407/.467/.852, 7 G, 11-for-27, 3 2B, 3 HR, 10 RBI, 6 R, 3 BB, 7 K)
The last time Miller won a weekly league award, it was 2009 in the Midwest League and he was a pitcher. A first-round pick that year, the southpaw reached Double-A in 2010 and went 6-6 in 25 starts for Chattanooga in 2012. Plagued by control issues -- he walked 71 in 121 1/3 innings that season -- Miller picked up a bat and swung it to great effect last week. The 26-year-old Texan went 3-for-4 with a homer and three RBIs against Visalia on Thursday, then burned Bakersfield for two long balls, a double and a single on Saturday. The outburst doubled Miller's 2014 homer total to six in 37 games.
Jason Coats, Winston-Salem
(.464/.500/.893, 7 G, 13-for-28, 3 2B, 3 HR, 11 RBI, 8 R, 2 BB, 3 K)
A 29th-round pick out of TCU in 2012, Coats was a White Sox Organization All-Star last year after hitting 12 homers and driving in 84 runs for Kannapolis. He's been steadily productive for the Dash this season and is currently on a 10-game hitting streak that's featured five home runs and 13 RBIs, including a pair of blasts against Carolina on Sunday. The surge has given Coats 10 long balls for the season, tied for second-most in the league.
Florida State League
K.C. Hobson, Dunedin
(.423/.500/.769, 7 G, 11-for-26, 3 2B, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 4 R, 4 BB, 5 K)
Some parts of Hobson's hitting game have improved while others have lagged behind in his second FSL season -- his OBP is up 50 points but his slugging is down 70 -- but a bunch of good things happened last week for the California native. Two of the 23-year-old slugger's four 2014 homers came during the stretch, which concluded with three straight multi-hit games. After struggling to a .183 average in May, things are looking up for Hobson.
Jake Bauers, Fort Wayne
(.455/.520/.727, 6 G, 10-for-22, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 6 R, 3 BB, 4 K, 3 SB)
Bauers didn't join the TinCaps until the end of April, but if he had the requisite number of plate appearances, he'd be among the league leaders in a host of offensive categories. The 18-year-old first baseman, a seventh-round pick last year, is batting .442 during his current 14-game hitting streak and .373/.452/.567 overall. Bauers wrapped up the week by going 7-for-12 with four runs scored, three RBIs and three stolen bases while fanning once in his last three games.
South Atlantic League
Trey Michalczewski, Kannapolis
(.409/.458/1.045, 6 G, 9-for-22, 3 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 8 RBI, 6 R, 2 BB, 3 K)
The 19-year-old Michalczewski, who has hits in each of his last 12 games, has taken a big step forward in his first full season with Kannapolis. His average has risen steadily throughout the campaign, and the switch-hitter is (though generating more power from the left side) handling righties and lefties with equal aplomb. A seventh-round selection in 2013, Michalczewski is proving just as difficult for Sally League pitchers to keep off the bases as to pronounce.
John Parker is an editor for MiLB.com.