Diamonds in the Rough 4-19-16

A 3-1 day for Royals affiliates was highlighted by quality starts at all stops but Low-A yesterday.

HR Roll Call Hunter Dozier (4), Allan de San Miguel (1), Brandon Downes (1), Wander Franco (1), DJ Burt (1), Josh Banuelos (1)

BP KC Hitter of the Day – DJ Burt 4-6 HR, 2R, 5 RBI

BP KC Pitcher of the Day – Pedro Fernandez 5 IP 4 H 1 ER 3 BB 7 K

Omaha Storm Chasers 3 Round Rock Express 0
9-4 1st place +1.5

The Chasers continue to get quality starting pitching despite a young rotation. On this night, it was Luke Farrell working 5.1 scoreless innings while working around just two hits and two walks against a strong affiliate of the Rangers that features Joey Gallo and Jurickson Profar, just to name a couple. Curiously, the Royals have limited to their starters to around 85 pitches despite it being their third start. Perhaps this is allowing them to give a more effective performance by stopping them from facing as many hitters a third time through. With Farrell spinning and the bullpen backing him up capably, the offense did just enough to earn the W. Early in the year, it seems like Cheslor Cuthbert is Johnny on the spot offensively as he seems to be positioned well to get the big knock, today was no different as he came through with an RBI single in the first and fourth innings to up his total to 14 in just his 12th game of the year.

Boxscore Link

Cheslor Cuthbert 2-4 2 RBI hitting .333
Whit Merrifield 1-3 3 SB, 2R, BB
Travis Snider 1-3 2b, R, BB hitting .385

Midland RockHounds 5 NW Arkansas Naturals 4
3-9 4 GB

The Naturals dropped another close one Tuesday as the bullpen couldn’t back up a quality effort from Matt Strahm. Reliever Sam Selman’s struggles continue in this third trip through AA as he was unable to complete an inning of relief while giving up 3 hits, one walk and 3 earned runs in pushing the game a tad closer. The offense couldn’t muster up a threat after two home runs in the first two innings gave them four runs and reliever Benino Pruneda couldn’t get an out in taking the loss in the 9th.

Shortstop Raul Mondesi has gotten pull happy in his last couple of games at the plate while also being put into a difficult spot by trying to protect a stealing baserunner during two plate appearances. Still, he needs to be more consistent at bat to at bat and take care of hittable pitches that he receives, which often means working the opposite field or up the middle, something he still doesn’t do effectively.

Boxscore Link

Matt Strahm 5 IP 5 H 1 ER 1 BB 6 K
Hunter Dozier 1-4 HR (4) 2 RBI, BB
Bubba Starling 1-3 2b, BB, HBP

Wilmington Blue Rocks 6 Frederick Keys 1
5-7 4.5 GB

A bat that had been dormant since winter woke up Tuesday evening. Third baseman Wander Franco found his stroke in a 3 for 4 night that included his first High-A home run and a double while driving in himself and another run on the night and scoring one other time. The offense Franco helped provide was in backing fellow Latin signee Pedro Fernandez who is off to an excellent start on the year, improving to 2-0 with a sub 2 ERA, thanks in part to better control that somewhat eluded him tonight with a season high 3 walks. The right-handed starter was able to avoid trouble however by putting away seven via K 85 pitches in 5 innings of work before handing things off to the bullpen that finished the job. The offense was sliced and diced by reliever Brian Matusz over the final four innings while completing a rehab assignment, the lefty K’d 9 while allowing only a Elier Hernandez single versus him.

It was announced that Josh Staumont, the fireballing righty, will start during his next appearance for the Blue Rocks.

Boxscore Link

Ryan O’Hearn 1-4 BB, R
Evan Beal 2 IP 1 H 2 BB
Corey Toups 1-5 2b, R, 6 gm hitting streak

Lexington Legends 11 Asheville Tourist 8
7-6 3 GB

A good ol’ slugfest broke out in the second game of this series as Lexington took some big shots early but rebounded with a pair of five run innings to take the series lead 2-0. Second baseman DJ Burt paced the offense with a four-hit night that included his first Low-A home run. But it wasn’t all Burt as the lineup packed in nine other hits on the night. The 11 runs tied a season high output for the Legends while giving reliever Yunior Marte another win despite a less than stellar outing on his par. The Legends faced a 2-0 deficit and scored five in the top of the 5th to take a 5-2 lead. After falling back behind 7-5 they used a five run 7th inning that included both home runs on the night, a triple by Jackson Flores and two more additional hits to take a commanding lead. The Legends will attempt to finish off the three game series sweep with Nolan Watson on the mound tomorrow.

Boxscore Link

Samir Duenez 1-3 2BB, RBI
Anderson Miller 1-5 R hitting .220
Jackson Flores 3-5 2R, 2b, 3b, RBI

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