by Tyler Radecki, Staff Writer
HARPER AND PEACOCK GO TO FUTURES GAME
MILONE, ANTONELLI GARNER AAA ALL-STAR NODS
WANG CONTINUES PROMISING REHAB ASSIGNMENTS
Syracuse Chiefs, AAA International League (38-50)
Tom Milone: He was named to the International League All-Star team, and his mid-season numbers back the selection up: 7-5 record (103 IP), 3.15 ERA, 107 strikeouts to just 7 walks and a .233 batting average against. His final start before the break was once again great, tossing seven shutout innings with just two hits against.
Yunesky Maya: He gave up four runs and nine hits in five innings on Saturday, raising his ERA on the year to 4.45.
Josh Wilkie: He added two more innings this week, giving up one unearned run and two strikeouts. In four July appearances, he has yet to give up a run.
J.C. Romero: He pitched a scoreless inning on Sunday, bringing his ERA in Syracuse to 1.50. It’s just six innings in AAA, but with Sean Burnett struggling we could see Romero soon after the All-Star break.
Collin Balester: He was sent back down to AAA this week, and pitched three innings of scoreless relief with three hits, two walks and four strikeouts.
Steve Lombardozzi: He went 2-for-5 on Sunday with a double and an RBI, raising his average in Syracuse to .348. He has just one walk in 92 at-bats so far in AAA, but he’s not striking out any more (14.5% in AAA compared to 14.3% in AA), which tells me he’s just being more aggressive at the plate. He needs to show he can draw walks, though, because he’s not going to be able to maintain a .348 average. Still, it’s encouraging to see him hit so well at the highest minor league level.
Chris Marrero: Three multi-hit games this week brought his average on the year to .301, and his overall line (.301/.373/.433) is very solid up to this point in AAA. He’s getting better as the year is going on, and if he finishes the year this strongly, he’ll force the Nats to consider him a potential long-term first base option (or a trade piece).
Matt Antonelli: He’ll join Milone at the All-Star game after hitting .311 in 44 games for Syracuse. His patience is fantastic (24 walks to 25 strikeouts) and he can hit for some power as well (.450 SLG). Overall, I think he has some good potential to be a backup infielder at the major league level.
Jesus Flores: Flores was called up to replace Ivan Rodriguez, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list.
Corey Brown: He hit .152 in his last 10 games, and his average still sits at just .206 on the year. He does have nine home runs and 12 doubles (as well as solid walk numbers), but he absolutely needs to hit for contact better. He’s just 5-for-32 (.156) so far in July.
Harrisburg Senators, AA Eastern League (53-36)
Chien-Ming Wang: He made another step in his return to the majors this week, throwing five innings in Harrisburg with two hits and no runs against. He needed only 43 pitches and had nine groundouts. He only gets 30 days for a rehab assignment so the team will need to make a decision on him soon. Wang will make his next rehab start Wednesday, July 13 with Potomac.
Brad Peacock: He pitched a scoreless 1-2-3 inning in the Futures Game on Sunday (with a strikeout). It’ll be interesting to see what they do with Peacock after he gets back from Arizona, because he clearly is ready for a new challenge. So far, in 98 innings in AA, Peacock is 10-2 with a 2.01 ERA and 129 strikeouts. He was also named the #42 midseason prospect in baseball by Baseball America. Today it was announced Peacock was promoted to Triple-A per multiple sources.
Shairon Martis: Martis, 24, had another great start in Harrisburg, giving up one run on four hits in seven innings on Wednesday. His ERA is a stellar 2.68 and he has just about a strikeout per inning.
Bryce Harper: In his first four games at AA, Harper hit .357/.400/.357 with two RBIs and a stolen base. Baseball America named him the top prospect in baseball, and it’s hard to argue against it. He went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts in the Futures Game, but did have a ridiculous throw from left field to home plate. Here’s Ben Goessling’s recap of the game.
Derek Norris: He went 3-for-4 with two home runs and three RBIs on Monday, but went 0-for-11 the rest of the week and battled an injury in the middle of the week. His average has dropped below .200 to .197, but his OBP is .360.
Tyler Moore: He had five hits this week and is hitting just .243 in his last 10 games, but his power hasn’t suffered at any point this year, mashing 17 home runs and 23 doubles in 86 games.
Bill Rhinehart: Rhinehart continues to punish Eastern League pitching. In his last ten games he's hitting .394/.500/1.000 with six homers and 11 RBIs. He's 26, so his time as a prospect is running out, but he's having an All-Star season in Double-A nonetheless.
Potomac Nationals, High-A Carolina League (39-48)
Daniel Rosenbaum: He gave up just one earned run in five innings Friday, lowering his season ERA to 2.76. He did surrender six hits and four walks but he managed to get through five innings.
Josh Smoker: Two more scoreless innings for Smoker, who lowered his ERA to 1.95. He has 37 strikeouts in 32 1/3 innings, but has given up 22 walks as well.
Cameron Selik: He struggled in his one start this week, surrendering four runs on six hits and three walks in five innings. He has given up nine runs total in his last two starts, and has a 4.42 ERA in 10 Potomac starts.
Sammy Solis: Solis made his second Potomac start on Sunday, pitching seven shutout innings with four hits, two walks and five strikeouts. He made his first start Tuesday, giving up three runs in six innings with five strikeouts. MASN’s Byron Kerr recapped his debut.
Eury Perez: He had five (!) walks this week, raising his total on the year to 11. It’s very encouraging to see his patience improve his week, and he did add two two-hit games and five runs scored. Perez is hitting .278/.305/.325 with 26 steals this season in 255 at bats.
Destin Hood: He’s hit in nine of his last 10 games (.289 overall) and had eight RBIs last week. Even with the injury, Hood has very impressive numbers this season - .270/.360/.464, 40 runs, 25 doubles, four triples, seven home runs, 53 RBIs and nine stolen bases. A sleeper prospect if I’ve ever seen one.
Jeff Kobernus: A slump at the end of the week (1-for-9) hurt his line, but he had two 3-for-5 games earlier in the week with two doubles and two RBIs. He doesn’t walk much (just 15 on the year), but if he can keep his average up, he’ll get a look.
Hagerstown Suns, Low-A South Atlantic League (52-36)
Robbie Ray: He struck out seven in six shutout innings this week, walking two and giving up just four hits. He’s averaging a strikeout an inning so far and has given up just two home runs in 56 innings.
Taylor Jordan: He was fantastic this week, giving up two runs in 5 1/3 innings on Monday and then tossing seven shutout innings with just four hits against Saturday. He is now 9-4 on the year with a 2.48 ERA.
A.J. Cole: Cole was also impressive in his start Thursday, striking out seven and giving up just three hits in six innings. He has 57 strikeouts in 47 innings and opponents are hitting just .227 against him. The two young guns – Ray and Cole – have been better than expected in a level they seem to be dominating. Very encouraging.
Christopher Manno: His last run against was on June 19, 6 2/3 innings ago. This week, he pitched 2 2/3 shutout innings with seven strikeouts and a walk.
David Freitas: I’m still amazed by his batting eye (50 walks to 51 strikeouts) and even when he slumps a little bit (.258 in his last 10 games), he still draw walks (five this week). The former University of Hawaii standout has done more than prove he can hit low-A pitching, and he’s ready for a new challenge.
Blake Kelso: He had a hit in five of six games this week and also had four walks. Between Kelso and Freitas, the Suns have two on-base machines, as Kelso has an OBP over .370. Kelso does have 13 errors on the year, but offensively there’s a lot to like.
Pitcher to Watch: Christopher Manno, Hagerstown Suns. He’s long overdue for a promotion (AA or A+), but nonetheless, he’s been nearly unhittable in low-A, giving up just 18 hits in 38 2/3 innings. He also has an amazing 63 strikeouts this year to just 14 walks. He has 11 saves and owns a 0.93 ERA for the year.
Hitter to Watch: Matt Antonelli, Syracuse Chiefs. Named an All-Star replacement this week, Antonelli has regained prospect status after injuries derailed his career the last two years. He has raked in AAA so far, showing versatility and fantastic discipline. I think we’ll see him in D.C. before September.