Skaggs bests Royals' Myers, Odorizzi

D-backs prospect strikes out nine in Aces' 5-3 win at Omaha

By Andrew Pentis / Special to | August 3, 2012 9:20 PM ET

The last time top prospects Tyler Skaggs and Wil Myers faced off in a Minor League game, on April 24, 2010, Skaggs was teammates with Mike Trout and pitching in relief, while Myers was going by William and still catching.

These kids grow up so fast.

Now at Triple-A, Skaggs struck out nine batters -- including Myers twice -- over seven scoreless innings on Friday night in the Reno Aces' 5-3 road win at Omaha. He also outdueled Jake Odorizzi to snap the Storm Chasers' five-game winning streak.

"He's a really good hitter, a pretty close friend of mine," Skaggs said of the Royals' No. 2 prospect, "but I got the best of him."

The D-backs' No. 3 prospect also took care of Myers' teammates, yielding two hits -- singles to first baseman Clint Robinson in the second and seventh. He retired 15 straight batters over the middle innings and didn't allow a Storm Chaser past first base.

"I'm kind of in a groove right now," Skaggs said. "The fastball I was throwing for strikes, the curveball I was throwing for strikes and the changeup is still coming along; if that comes along, it will make me a better pitcher."

The 21-year-old left-hander walked three and threw 57 of 96 pitches for strikes. And the key against Myers, whom he fanned on four pitches in the first and seven in the third?

"I hit my spots, keeping him honest, working in and out," said Skaggs, who also got Myers to pop out in the seventh. "I threw the curveball for strikes and bounced it when I needed to."

Skaggs has held Myers, who leads the Minor Leaguers with 33 homers, hitless in four career at-bats. Now an outfielder, Myers flied out in their 2010 Midwest League meeting.

Arizona's prized arm is also 1-0 in two career matchups opposite Odorizzi, like Myers and Skaggs a Futures Games participant and one of's Top 100 Prospects. The heralded hurlers met on May 8, 2010, when Skaggs was still in the Angels system and Odorizzi in the Brewers', though neither factored in the decision.

"I was definitely watching him every inning," Skaggs said. "In the first inning, it looked like he was going to have a good night."

Odorizzi (8-2) was charged with three runs on seven hits, including Mike Jacobs' two-out, two-run homer, in the opening inning. The 22-year-old right-hander, ranked as the Royals' No. 4 prospect, also walked three and struck out six in 5 1/3 innings.

Odorizzi's strong season (12-3, 3,47 ERA in 20 games) looks no less alongside Skaggs' (9-5, 2.43 ERA in 20 starts), but the latter has performed better of late; he has allowed three earned runs over his last six starts after giving up five in his Triple-A debut on July 1.

"I am," Skaggs said, "hitting my stride."

Storm Chasers reliever Donnie Joseph made his organizational debut. Acquired with right-hander J.C. Sulbaran from the Reds in a pre-deadline deal for reliever Jonathan Broxton, he gave up two runs on three hits, including Adam Eaton's RBI single, in the ninth.

Andrew Pentis is a contributor to Follow him on Twitter at AndrewMiLB. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

View More