Syracuse Chiefs, AAA International League (44-56)
Tom Milone: Milone has been due for a bad start, and it finally came Saturday night as he gave up six hits and five runs in 4 1/3 innings. He did strike out five, but he gave up a lot of fly balls and with his velocity, he’s going to need to keep the ball on the ground and have precise control to be successful. Considering how good he’s been this year, I’d bet it’s just a bad start.
Brad Meyers: He made a rehab start in short-season Auburn on Thursday, pitching 2 2/3 innings with three hits and one run against. Auburnpub.com recapped his start, which included back-to-back doubles in the first inning.
Yunesky Maya: He was hit hard again this week, giving up six runs on eight hits and three walks in five innings. His ERA ballooned to 4.80 on the year, and he’s had one good start since returning from the majors.
Brad Peacock: After a rough first start for Syracuse, Peacock rebounded well, pitching five innings with two runs against on Friday. He gave up just four hits and a walk and struck out four, and hopefully he can build off it and dominate AAA like he did AA.
Chien-Ming Wang: In his final AAA start, Wang gave up five runs in five innings on Sunday afternoon. He has been shaky in both of his AAA starts, but he is getting ground balls and sitting around 90 mph in his starts. The next time Wang pitches will be on Friday in Washington, making his first MLB start since 2009. The New York Times wrote a feature on Wang and his return to the majors.
Josh Wilkie: Four scoreless innings for Wilkie this week, giving up two hits and striking out four. The reliever has been consistently good all year long, and his ERA is down to 2.80.
Steve Lombardozzi: There was some concern when Lombardozzi didn’t walk once in his first 70 or so AAA at-bats, but his recent play has quelled any of those concerns. He has seven walks this week (to just five strikeouts) and is still hitting a cool .343. His play may be one of the reasons the organization may be open to moving SS Ian Desmond.
Chris Marrero: He had a four-walk game on Tuesday, further showing his improved patience at the plate this year. His walk rate is 10.6 percent, his highest mark since his high-A season in 2007, three percent higher than last season. He’s also striking out less (second lowest mark in his career) and his OBP is the highest it’s ever been. All in all, he is having the best year of his career in Syracuse.
Matt Antonelli: Hitting just .212 in his last ten games, his average is down to .292, but his plate discipline keeps his OBP high at .382. He had a down week, collecting just 3 hits in 20 at-bats, but had four walks and an RBI.
Corey Brown: Brown had a solid week, going 5-for-20 (.250) with three walks and an RBI. He is up to 100 strikeouts in just 89 games and his average stands at .206.
Harrisburg Senators, AA Eastern League (57-45)
Shairon Martis: After eight consecutive strong starts, Martis was hit hard on Tuesday, giving up four runs on eight hits and two walks in 5 2/3 innings. He also struggled Sunday, giving up four runs (three earned) in five innings, though he did have eight strikeouts. His ERA on the year is now 3.08.
Rafael Martin: He has been battling back from a “dead arm” and re-joined the Senators in June and has been fantastic. He has five saves and has given up one earned run in 18 2/3 innings in AA. The 27-year-old is a little old for AA, but the numbers don’t lie: he has dominated as a late-inning reliever.
Bryce Harper: Harper hit his first double in AA on Sunday night and appeared to get a little more comfortable this week as he had four hits in his last four games. He is still hitting just .208/.264/.204 in 15 AA games, but he may have turned the corner this week and will improve as he adjusts to the tougher pitching.
Derek Norris: Norris had a big week with hits in all but one game (eight total, with six walks) to bring his average up to .212. He also had three doubles and a triple, driving in two runs. After a slump last week he has rebounded and hopefully this is a sign of a rising batting average the rest of the way.
Tyler Moore: He smacked his 23rd home run of the year Sunday night (his third home run of the week), and he’s hitting .364 over his last 10 games to bring his average to .272. He also has six walks in his last 10, which is great to see; if he can develop more of a batting eye to go along with his power, his potential becomes even greater.
Potomac Nationals, High-A Carolina League (46-52)
Daniel Rosenbaum: He pitched his second complete game of the year this week, striking out seven and giving up three runs against Lynchburg. He actually picked up the loss, evening his record at 5-5 on the year despite his 2.67 ERA.
Josh Smoker: He pitched three more scoreless innings this week, walking two and striking out five. MASN’s Byron Kerr wrote about Smoker as well, noting that his velocity has touched 97 this year.
Cameron Selik: He pitched two good games this week – six shutout innings on Monday and 5 2/3 two-run innings on Sunday. His ERA is back below four at 3.95, and it’s encouraging to see him respond with two good starts after his last two were not so good.
Sammy Solis: He struggled this week, giving up nine hits and four runs in just four innings. High-A batters are hitting .295 against Solis so far in four starts but his ERA is at 3.91.
Eury Perez: He had two more walks this week, continuing his recent improvement in plate discipline. He also added another stolen base to bring his total to 29 on the year, though he has also been caught stealing 11 times. Perez is hitting .272/.305/.317 for the season, and with his complete lack of power (10 XBHs in 79 games) he needs to concentrate on getting on base -- and staying on base once he gets there.
Destin Hood: A 3-for-3 game with two walks and an RBI capped off another strong week for Hood, who collected eight hits in 21 at-bats with a home run and three walks as well. Still only 21 years old, Hood is looking like a legitimate big-league prospect.
Jeff Kobernus: A 3-for-5 game Sunday raised his average to .285 on the year and capped off a weekend in which he went 8-for-14 (.571) with two doubles, two home runs and three RBIs. He also has five walks to just three strikeouts in his last ten games, and his OBP is up to .315 on the season.
Hagerstown Suns, Low-A South Atlantic League (52-48)
Robbie Ray: He surrendered three runs in 2 1/3 innings on Monday on three hits and four walks. He has shown shaky control in his last four starts, walking two or more batters in each of his last four starts. He’s still striking out over a batter an inning and his overall numbers for the year are fantastic with a 2.12 ERA with 66 strikeouts in 63 2/3 innings.
Taylor Jordan: His last start was on July 9. MILB.com did a short story on Jordan’s season so far.
A.J. Cole: He pitched five strong innings this week, giving up one run on four hits. He has a 2.05 ERA and two walks to 24 strikeouts post All-Star break (five games, four starts).
Christopher Manno: He had just one appearance this week, pitching one scoreless inning. ERA down to 0.85 in Hagerstown.
David Freitas: He walked seven times with just five strikeouts in his last 10 games and continues to be an overall force at the plate, even when he’s slumping (.258 average during that span). He added another home run this week, bringing his total to 11 to go with 24 doubles and 58 RBIs.
Blake Kelso: Kelso had eight hits this week, but none of them for extra-bases. His SLG is just .362 this season, which is actually lower than his OBP (.370). He can hit for average and get on base, but you’d like to see a little more power from him.
Auburn Doubledays, Short-Season A New York-Penn League (20-17)
Colin Bates: A 23rd round pick in 2010, Bates leads the Doubledays starters in ERA and IP at 2.08 and 39, respectively. He’s a ground ball pitcher (2.1 GB/FB ratio) who doesn’t strike a lot of batters out (21 on the year), but he has kept runs from scoring so far. He struggled with Vermont last season (5.40 ERA), so it’s good to see him improve this year.
Ben Grisz: In 19 relief innings this year, Grisz has just three runs and 10 hits against (1.42 ERA). Opponents are hitting just .154 against him and he has a 1.65 GB/FB ratio.
Matthew Skole: Drafted in the fifth round of this year’s draft, Skole is already dominating NY Penn League pitching, hitting .303/.375/.472 with 13 doubles, one triple, three home runs and 20 RBI. The third baseman hit 47 HR in three seasons at Georgia Tech and looks good so far in 36 games. He does already have seven errors, which is concerning.
Hendry Jimenez: Signed out of the Dominican Republic before the 2007 season, Jimenez has shown good patience throughout his short career in the DSL and GCL. He has a .315/.379/.516 line so far this season and has six doubles, five triples and three home runs.
Note: Auburnpub.com did a story dishing out “Midseason Grades” for the Doubledays. Check out their thoughts on all the players who have performed well and who have disappointed so far for Short-Season Auburn.
Pitcher to Watch: Brad Meyers, Syracuse. Rehabbing from an injury, Meyers will be back with Syracuse shortly (hopefully). He had been struggling as of late with the injury, which will probably preclude him from any call-up discussion when the rosters expand, but it's important to see him get healthy down the stretch.
Hitter to Watch: Tyler Moore, Harrisburg. Though blocked by Chris Marrero at AAA, Moore has the best power potential in the system besides Harper and may be developing more of a batting eye this season, though his OBP still stands at just .302. He may also become a trade piece for the organization, which suddenly is deep at first base with Michael Morse, Adam LaRoche and Marrero.