HARPER, SOLIS PROMOTED IN BUSY WEEK IN MINORS
MILONE NAMED I.L. PITCHER OF THE WEEK
FIVE SENATORS MAKE EASTERN LEAGUE ALL-STARS
Syracuse Chiefs, AAA International League (37-45)
Tom Milone: Milone was named International League Pitcher of the Week for his two excellent outings last week. His first start was an eight-inning, three-hit shutout performance and the second a 6 1/3-inning, five hit and one run outing Saturday. He also had no walks and 12 strikeouts in the 14 1/3 innings. Opponents are hitting just .242 off of him this year and he continues to be very consistent.
Ross Detwiler: He pitched two scoreless innings to bring his June ERA to 2.45 and was lifted from the game. Detwiler is expected to make a spot start for the Nats Tuesday night due to the team's double-header on Saturday.
Brad Meyers: Meyers relieved Detwiler and then threw six innings of three-run ball, but gave up 10 hits as well. Batters are hitting .385 against him in June and he’s given up 73 hits in 59 innings this year – he’s far too hittable right now.
Yunesky Maya: He gave up seven hits and four runs in six innings in his start this week, raising his season ERA to 4.42. He’s struggled since returning from Washington.
Josh Wilkie: He pitched 4 1/3 scoreless innings this week with three hits, two walks and three strikeouts. He hit a little bump in the road but has rebounded nicely – his ERA is still just 3.41.
Steve Lombardozzi: In 13 AAA games so far, and Lombardozzi is hitting .403/.413/.500 with six doubles, four RBIs, two stolen bases and 12 runs scored. Sunday he went 3-for-6 with two doubles and while he hasn’t drawn a walk yet, he’s swinging a scorching hot bat, which is great to see. He only has seven strikeouts in 62 at-bats, so he’s still got a good eye at the plate and has no errors so far in Syracuse.
Chris Marrero: His average has risen every month so far, and he hit .324/.405/.450 in June. His overall line on the year reads .300/.370/.426 with 15 doubles, eight home runs and 42 RBI. He hit .366 in his last ten games with five multi-hit games and more walks than strikeouts (4:3). He’s always been an opposite field power guy and people have questioned if he can hit for enough power at first base. Could he just be a late bloomer? Consider this: Adrian Gonzalez hit .304/.364/.457 at AAA when he was 22 years old (same age as Marrero). Not saying Marrero is going to end up like that, but there’s a possibility we’re underestimating his potential.
Matt Antonelli: He had two more multi-hit games this week and is hitting .316 in his last ten games. He hit .324 overall in June with a .405 OBP, so he’s shown great patience and some great hitting so far in Syracuse. I can see him being on the short list of players to call up should the Nats need a hitter at some point.
Jesus Flores: Flores has hit .286 in his last ten games, but has no walks in that span and has just five on the season. He’s never put up big walk totals, but his average needs to get higher than the .240 it currently sits at right now. It is encouraging, though, that he had two doubles in three games this week and he slugged .400 in June; as he continues to recover from his injuries, his power may slowly be starting to come back.
Corey Brown: Just when I thought he was going to turn it around, Brown goes 1-for-16 this week with a walk and three RBIs. His average was starting to climb, but now he’s back down to .206 on the season.
Harrisburg Senators, AA Eastern League (48-34)
Five Senators were named to the Eastern League All-Star team: Bill Rhinehart, Erik Arnesen, Brad Peacock, Tyler Moore and Archie Gilbert. The game is July 13 in Manchester, NH, home of the Hampsire FisherCats
Brad Peacock: He had another great start this week, pitching 5 2/3 innings of one-hit ball on Tuesday. He did have three walks, but also had six strikeouts, bringing his total to a minors-leading 120 on the year. He’s clearly ready to move on, but the Syracuse rotation is full – if Detwiler does indeed get the call-up to be a spot starter and stays as Johnson’s sixth starter/long man, we could see a promotion for Peacock.
Shairon Martis: Another good start for Martis, this time giving up just one run on seven hits in six innings. His fastball is up to 92 mph, which is higher than I remember it being in D.C. two years ago. I’d bet he follows Peacock to AAA when there are some openings.
Derek Norris: Norris went 0-for-17 this week, dropping his average on the year to .197. His discipline is still fantastic (.359 OBP) and his power is solid (.405 SLG), but his average has never been high. He did hit .277 in May and his BABIP is just .226, so he is suffering from some bad luck as well and there’s reason to believe he’ll start hitting for more contact.
Tyler Moore: He knocked in two home runs and eight RBIs this week, bringing his total to 16 and 50, respectively. His power is his best tool and is carrying him as a prospect, because he doesn’t draw many walks (10 on the year) and his average isn’t special (.256). But that power is very real.
Potomac Nationals, High-A Carolina League
Daniel Rosenbaum: He gave up just three hits and one run in six strong innings Monday, lowering his ERA to 2.57 and ending his June ERA at 1.63. He hasn’t been dominant, but he’s worthy of a promotion given his age.
Josh Smoker: He gave up a home run in his three innings of work this week, the first run against in five appearances. He added five strikeouts to bring his total to 35 Ks in 30 1/3 innings this year, and his ERA is still great at 2.08.
Cameron Selik: He was hit hard this week, giving up nine hits and five runs in five innings on Friday. He had a great month of June, though, with a 1.38 ERA and two complete games.
Eury Perez: The month of June was one to forget for Perez, who hit just .243/.254/.288 while being caught stealing four out of 12 attempts. He was 4-for-19 this week with four stolen bases (and no CS), so hopefully July is a better month for him.
Destin Hood: He had a huge day Sunday, going 3-for-5 with a double, two home runs and five RBIs. His return from injury has been slow, so maybe Sunday’s outburst means he’ll get hot again and continue his very solid year.
Jeff Kobernus: He’s hitting .302 in his last ten games (.287 overall in June), so while he doesn’t draw many walks, it’s good to see him hitting for contact well. He also added two stolen bases this week, bringing his total to 31 on the year.
Hagerstown Suns, Low-A South Atlantic League (47-35)
Robbie Ray: After having his worst start of the year last week, Ray rebounded by giving up just one earned run in six innings this week. He’s been due to come back down to earth after his start, but it’s good to see him bounce back and have another solid start.
Taylor Jordan: He threw 5 2/3 innings this week, giving up three runs – none of which were earned – and totaling eight strikeouts. He’s posted eight strikeouts in two straight starts now, and has been very consistent all year, not giving up more than three earned runs in ten straight starts.
A.J. Cole: He pitched five shutout innings Monday (with just two hits against and with six strikeouts and a walk), but gave up three runs in four innings Saturday. Still, he’s been very good – like Ray – for his age at this level. He has 50 strikeouts in 41 innings and just ten talks on the year.
Sammy Solis: He gave up just three runs in six innings Thursday, but was hit hard, surrendering 11 hits. He continues to strike out batters (40 in 40 1/3 innings) and get ground balls (1.62 GB:FB rate). Solis was promoted to Potomac following Monday's game.
Christopher Manno: Three more shutout innings this week with five strikeouts and no walks. He has 56 strikeouts in 36 innings and batters are hitting just .145 against him. He’s due for a promotion, maybe to Harrisburg, which brings me to this next guy…
Bryce Harper: Harper was promoted to Harrisburg Monday morning, a huge leap for the 18-year-old. You can see our coverage of his first Double-A game here. He had been sidelined with a thumb injury (Mike Rizzo said that if he was in the majors, he’d be playing) and just returned this week, so the team may have been waiting on his injury to heal before promoting him. His final line in Hagerstown: 72 GP, 49 runs, 17 doubles, one triple, 14 home runs, 46 RBI, 19 SB/5 CS; .318/.423/.554. 19 stolen bases is particularly impressive because no one talks about his speed – he has the power for 40 HR, could he actually steal 40 bases in a year?
David Freitas: He hit a little slump earlier this week, but pulled out of it with four hits in two games this weekend. The catcher hit .359/.454.576 in June and leads the team with 53 RBIs. He may be soon behind Harper at the rate he’s going.
Blake Kelso: He’s hitting just .163 in his last ten games, but his average still stands at .306 with an OBP of .375. If nothing else, he’s a very good utility player.
Pitcher to Watch: Brad Peacock, Harrisburg. He, like Harper, is playing in the Futures Game next weekend, but with Ross Detwiler likely getting a spot start for the Nats on Tuesday and possibly sticking around as a long-man/sixth starter, Peacock could be up in AAA to fill his spot.
Hitter to Watch: Bryce Harper, Harrisburg. His new promotion to Harrisburg is a big leap as he now will be facing pitchers who are closer to being major-league ready. He will face a new challenge in AA and it’s a bold move to promote him past high-A Potomac.