by Tyler Radecki, Staff Writer
Syracuse Chiefs, AAA International League (47-60)
Tom Milone: The usually mild-mannered Milone was ejected during his start on Thursday after giving up a home run that was originally called foul. In total, he gave up five runs (two home runs) in 2 1/3 innings and has now given up five runs in each of his last two starts. Despite the recent struggles, he still has just a 3.62 ERA on the year.
Brad Meyers: His most recent start with Auburn on a rehab assignment went well as he gave up two hits and one run in four innings on Wednesday.
Yunesky Maya: Maya was called up to Washington for a spot start on Saturday and he pitched well (picking up his first MLB win) despite giving up seven runs in three innings for the Chiefs on Monday. He was returned to Syracuse Sunday morning by the Nats.
Brad Peacock: He threw his best start in AAA on Wednesday, giving up just one hit and no runs in seven innings. He walked four and struck out seven, so his normally impeccable control wasn't there, but the start is very encouraging for Peacock. Opponents are now hitting just .193 against him in AAA.
Josh Wilkie: Wilkie blew a save and gave up a walk-off grand slam on Sunday night, suffering his fourth loss of the season. He also gave up a run in another appearance this week, which had snapped a long scoreless innings streak for the Chiefs’ closer.
Steve Lombardozzi: He’s starting to come back down to earth, hitting just .175 in his last 10 games, though he did break out of it a little bit on Saturday with a 2-for-4 effort. He’s still hitting .315 in AAA and is drawing more walks, getting his OBP up to .356. Though the average and OBP are his main contributions the offense, as he has just three home runs and five steals in 162 AAA at bats. On defense, in 38 games he’s yet to commit an error.
Chris Marrero: A 3-for-5 game on Sunday night brings his slash to .304/.377/.437 and he’s remained remarkably consistent all year. He does have 12 strikeouts in his last 37 at-bats, but he is hitting .297 in those with a .333 OBP. His season OBP of .377 is fantastic, and his power continues to develop (two doubles this week, 23 on the year, leading the club).
Matt Antonelli: Even as he slumps at the plate, Antonelli continues to draw walks (three this week) and get on base (.367 OBP in AAA). He is 9-for-52 since the All-Star break, but he was due for a regression after his blazing start in Syracuse. His patience means his line will remain solid at the plate.
Corey Brown: 15 strikeouts in his last 31 at-bats has kept his average at .209, but he is hitting .229 since the break. Overall, he’s struggled to get his average up to an acceptable level and his walk rate isn’t enough to overlook his low average (like Derek Norris). His power also needs to improve, but the bright side is he has just three errors so far.
Harrisburg Senators, AA Eastern League (61-48)
Shairon Martis: He gave up four earned runs for the third consecutive start, raising his ERA to 3.36. He did have eight strikeouts in his most recent start and has struck out six or more in every start dating back to June 15. He’s never been a big strikeout guy, so it is encouraging to see him racking up the Ks.
Rafael Martin: He gave up two runs in 1 2/3 innings on Wednesday (but did have four strikeouts) and settled down the rest of the week, pitching 2 1/3 more scoreless innings. His Harrisburg ERA still stands at 1.19 with 25 K in 22 2/3 innings.
Bryce Harper: Hitting at a .297 clip over his last 10 games, Harper is finally adjusting to AA pitching. Most encouraging is the fact that he has four doubles and a home run during that span – he’s starting to drive the ball as well. He also has four stolen bases already, bringing his total on the year between Hagerstown and Harrisburg to 23.
Derek Norris: After a big week last week, Norris cooled off a little bit, but he did have a home run and four RBIs this week. Despite his .207 average, his OPS a very solid .788 and he does have a .245 average after the All-Star break. He also added a stolen base this week, bringing his total to eight on the year.
Tyler Moore: He continues to crush the ball and he had three walks this week; he has a .274 average and .313 on-base percentage that only add to his remarkable power (24 home runs, 28 doubles). An eight-game hitting streak this week has certainly helped.
Eric Komatsu: The Nats traded utility man Jerry Hairston, Jr. for this 23-year-old outfielder, who will play in Harrisburg. In 93 AA games this year, Komatsu has hit .294/.393/.416 with six home runs, 19 doubles, 13 stolen bases and 40 RBI as well as 53 walks to just 44 strikeouts.
Potomac Nationals, High-A Carolina League (50-55)
Daniel Rosenbaum: Rosenbaum picked up his sixth win of the year by pitching eight innings Sunday, striking out a season-high 11 with three hits, two walks and two runs against. He continues to make his case for a promotion to AA.
Josh Smoker: His last run against was over a month ago; he added another 1 1/3 innings to his scoreless innings streak, which is now at 9 1/3 innings. He does, however, have nine walks in his last 10 appearances.
Cameron Selik: He surrendered four runs in six innings this week, walking one and striking out four. After posting a 3.64 ERA pre-All Star break, he has a 4.73 ERA after the break.
Sammy Solis: He dazzled on Wednesday, giving up one run on six hits in seven innings, striking out four and walking two in Potomac's 2-0 win over Lynchburg. He’s gone six or more innings in four of his five starts for Potomac and has 28 strikeouts in 30 1/3 innings.
Eury Perez: He had a hit in every game but Saturday’s (7-for-27, .259) and had a walk and three stolen bases as well. He’s walking more and his line is up to .271/.306/.312 with 32 stolen bases on the year.
Destin Hood: A nine-game hitting streak (.390 in his last 10) has Hood’s average up to .285. He had six multi-hit games and drove in six runs this week, bringing his RBI total to 67. Hood’s year has been extremely impressive: he’s hit .285/.371/.467 with 26 doubles, five triples, nine home runs and 13 stolen bases.
Jeff Kobernus: He’s hitting .310 in his last 10 games, raising his average to .281 on the year and his OBP to .313. His error total is up to 13.
Zach Walters: The 21-year-old shortstop was acquired for Jason Marquis on Saturday and brings his .302/.377/.485 line to Potomac. He does have 17 errors (12 as a shortstop, five as a third baseman), though, but his offense is solid, especially for a shortstop.
Hagerstown Suns, Low-A South Atlantic League (58-47)
Robbie Ray: Ray had two starts this week, totaling seven innings and no runs against, walking five and striking out 10 batters. He has yet to turn 20 years old and he is sporting a 1.91 ERA in Hagerstown with 76 strikeouts in 70 2/3 innings.
A.J. Cole: Cole had his worst start in a long time on Thursday, giving up five runs in three innings. Some bumps in the road are expected for the young Cole, who has a 3.60 ERA after the All-Star break (six appearances, five starts).
Collin Bates: Promoted to Hagerstown, Bates gave up five earned runs in 2 1/3 innings with two walks and no strikeouts. He was due for a promotion after his great performance in Auburn, so hopefully he can adjust.
David Freitas: David had one of those funny 0-for-1 games with four walks on Sunday, raising his walk total over his strikeout total on the year (67 to 59). His OBP is at .423 and his OPS is .905 – impressive for any position, let alone a catcher. He also has just five errors on the year in 97 games played.
Blake Kelso: He had a hit in every game this week but one, but he is still hitting just .214 in his last 10 games (mostly because he had a couple 1-for-5 games and a 1-for-6). He did add a double, triple and a walk in addition to three RBIs.
Auburn Doubledays, Short-Season A New York/Penn League (24-19)
Ben Grisz: He had just one inning of work this week – a scoreless inning on Wednesday. His ERA is now at 1.35.
Wirkin Estevez: After a great 2010 season in the DSL (2.61 ERA, 95 K in 82 IP), Estevez has been phenomenal in 2011, pitching to a 3.79 ERA with 37 strikeouts in 38 innings. A ’92 kid, Estevez is still extremely young (youngest on the team by 11 months), but the early results are promising. Here’s a short article on the young pitcher from the Dominican Republic.
Matthew Skole: He had just one hit this week – on Monday- and was 0-for-12 heading into Sunday’s action. He still walked five times this week and his OBP on the year is still at .365. He added two RBIs.
Hendry Jimenez: Hitting just .162 in his last 10 games, Jimenez’s average has dropped to .294, which is still obviously a very impressive number. He did have two RBIs and three walks, so despite the bad hitting week, he still got on base.
Pitcher to Watch: Wirkin Estevez, Auburn. The 19-year-old pitcher is showing great promise early on, striking out a batter an inning in the DSL last year and doing just about the same this year. He seems a little inconsistent – either he’s great or he’s given up four-plus earned runs, but he’s young and has plenty of room to grow.
Hitter to Watch: Bryce Harper, Harrisburg. Everyone is watching him closely, but he’s adjusting to AA on the fly, hitting .297 in his last 10 games. He is starting to hit for more power and has shown off his strong arm from LF while he learns to improve his outfield defense. The youngest player on the team by far, Harper is going to do just fine in AA.