It was a tough week to be affiliated with the KC Royals.
They went 2-5 this past week and have lost three in a row heading into the All-Star break. That stretch has pushed the Royals further back in the American League Central (37-47). They fell to 9.5 games back and just 1.5 games ahead of Minnesota for last place. The Royals start their second half push against first place Chicago on Friday.
Omaha has also lost three straight heading into their All-Star break. They went 3-4 this past week, but are still 16 games up in the American Northern Division of the Pacific Coast League (56-35). The Storm Chasers hold the best record in the PCL and return to action at home against Iowa on Thursday (I think they play the Cubs too much in a small amount of time).
NW Arkansas went 0-7 last week and fell into last place in the Texas League’s North Division. The Naturals are just 4-12 in the second half and continue play tonight at home against San Antonio looking to break their losing streak.
Wilmington went 2-5 this past week and are in last place in the Northern Division of the Carolina League at 7-11 (three games back). The Blue Rocks finish up their three-game home series tonight against Myrtle Beach (they have lost the first two games).
Kane County was the only affiliate with a winning record last week. They were 4-3 and are sitting in a four-way tie for first place in the Western Division of the Midwest league (10-7). The Cougars finish up their series in Wisconsin this afternoon.
Even with the tough week record-wise, some players had great individual performances.
Majors: Salvador Perez has been nothing short of impressive since returning from knee surgery. He is hitting way better than many expected and this past week was no exception. In six games, he went 9-for-22 (.409) with two homeruns and three RBIs. He also scored six runs. His 11-game hitting streak game to an end on Saturday (when he went 0-for-4 in Detroit), but he has a hit in 12-of-13 games since returning from the DL.
Minors: Brian Fletcher, NW Arkansas. He struggled right out of the gate when he was promoted to Double-A and I was hoping for a big break out because he is too good of a hitter. This past week, he has done just that. Fletcher is in the midst of a six-game hitting streak, where he is 9-for-25 (.360).
Honorable Mention: Jose Bonilla, Wilmington. The catcher is getting a chance to catch more often in the second half and has taken full advantage. This past week, he went 8-for-21 (.381).
Power hitter of the week: Matt Fields, Wilmington. Fields came over from independent ball, leading his league in homeruns. I figured he would struggle at Frawley Stadium hitting the ball out (like every other hitter). He has taken advantage of his opportunities on the road though. This past week, Fields hit five homeruns, four of which came on the road. Overall, he has six homeruns, five coming on the road.
Pitchers of the Week
Majors: Louis Coleman has spent a lot of time going back-and-forth between the big leagues and Triple-A. This past week, he pitched two innings out of the bullpen. He allowed two hits and a walk, but recorded all of his outs via the strikeout.
Minors: There were a few great pitching performances this week in the lower levels.
Starter of the Week: This is a tie. Colin Rodgers, a 2012 third round draft pick, pitched six no-hit innings in short-season Burlington’s 5-2 win on July 6th. The 18 year old chose the Royals instead of beginning summer classes at Auburn.
Angel Baez of Kane County went 2-0 in two starts this past week. Over 12 innings (six per start), he allowed one run on six hits and one walk. He struck out 13.
Reliever of the Week: Andrew Triggs, Kane County. He is also a 2012 draft pick and has been dominant since his quick signing. He began his professional career in short-season Idaho Falls, but after two outings, was promoted to Kane County. In two relief appearances this week, Triggs allowed just one hit over four innings. He struck out two. In four overall appearances with the Cougars, he has yet to walk a batter.