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D-backs Farm Rumblings: Cron, Payamps and Peacock dominating

Reno Aces (Triple-A Pacific Coast League)

For the Week: 4-3
On the Season: 42-48
In the Standings: 3rd place in Pacific Northern Division; 11.0 games behind Fresno

Happy to be starting? – Neftali Feliz, a former American League Rookie of the Year and All-Star, built his career on being a dominant relief pitcher for the Texas Rangers in the early part of this decade, but he’s trying out something new for the Aces: Starting. Feliz pitched 4.0 innings Monday in a 5-3 loss to Tacoma, then took the hill again on Saturday night, throwing a solid 5.0 innings during which he allowed just five hits and one earned run while striking out two in an 8-1 win over Sacramento. In the two starts, Feliz allowed two earned runs over 9.0 innings while allowing eight hits with two strikeouts and two walks.

The starts were the first for Feliz since 2013, when he made one such appearance for the Rangers Arizona League Rookie affiliate.

A gem from Koch – Matt Koch allowed one hit over six innings — a two-run first-inning homer — in a 10-5 win over Sacramento Wednesday. The right-hander walked four, struck out six and got plenty of help from his offense. The Aces banged out 13 hits, paced by Michael Perez’s 3-for-4, three-RBI performance. Kevin Cron also drove in three for Reno.

Speaking of Cron … – The Reno slugger had three straight games with three RBI as he continued his month-long stretch of hot hitting. To put this into perspective, there have only been 24 players to accomplish this feat in Major League Baseball since 2010. Nobody has done it this year. Cron has moved into the top five among PCL hitters in RBI with 65.

Wastin’ away – The Aces wore these Saturday in honor of Margaritaville Night at Greater Nevada Ballpark.

Hot bat – Infielder Ildemaro Vargas is riding a 13-game hitting streak as the PCL hits the All-Star break.


Jackson Generals (Double-A Southern League)

For the Week: 2-5
On the Season: 6-11 (2nd half)
In the Standings: 4th place in North Division; 5.0 games behind Tennessee

A tough one – Justin Donatella had one of his best starts of 2018 but only got a loss to show for it. The 23-year-old right-hander allowed just three hits and one run while striking out 10 in 5.1 innings in a 2-1 loss at Birmingham Tuesday. It was Donatella’s first double-digit strikeout effort in his pro career, which spans 75 games over the last four seasons.

Locked in – Joel Payamps was flat-out nasty Tuesday night against Birmingham, striking out 14 in just 5.2 innings during a 3-0 win. Payamps allowed only two hits — both singles — and didn’t walk a batter before giving way to Wei-Chieh Huang, who finished up the shutout with 3.1 innings of relief. Over his last four starts, Payamps, a 24-year-old right-hander, is 4-0 with a 1.14 ERA, 37 strikeouts and two walks over 23.2 innings.

Harder than it should have been – Josh Prince’s RBI single scored Evan Marzilli and the Generals got a walk-off, 9-8, 12-inning win over Tennessee on the Fourth of July. Jackson had 16 hits and drew nine walks in the game but left 20 runners on base, necessitating the late-inning rally.

Batting practice – Thursday, in a 16-3 loss to Tennessee, Jackson pitching was terrorized by Smokies first baseman Trent Giambrone, who clubbed three home runs and drove in nine runs.

Sit down! – Jackson right-hander Taylor Widener, a top D-backs pitching prospect and a player whose name has been mentioned in Manny Machado trade rumors, had a great outing Saturday night against Tennessee. Widener allowed just three hits and one earned run while striking out 13. Unfortunately, the Generals couldn’t get the bats going and suffered a 1-0, seven-inning loss to the Smokies. In his last two starts, Widener has allowed two earned runs in 13 innings with 20 strikeouts and three walks, but doesn’t have a win to show for it.

An honor for Lopez – Jackson reliever Yoan Lopez will get a nice big stage to perform on during All-Star festivities.


Visalia Rawhide (High-A California League)

For the Week: 3-4
On the Season: 9-9 (2nd half)
In the Standings: 2nd place in North Division; 1.5 games behind Stockton

Proud as a, well, you get it – It was a nice week for right-hander Matt Peacock. Last summer’s 23rd-round pick out of South Alabama pitched really well in two starts. Tuesday, Peacock combined with four relievers on a three-hit shutout in a 7-0 win over San Jose. On Sunday, the 24-year-old scattered four hits and allowed just one earned run over 6.0 innings in a 6-1 victory over Lake Elsinore. In his two starts for the week, Peacock went 2-0 with a 0.82 ERA, 14 strikeouts and only two walks.

Smith caps a wild inning – Pavin Smith, the D-backs’ top position player prospect, according to MLB Pipeline, delivered a two-out RBI single in the bottom of the ninth that scored Marcus Wilson and gave the Rawhide a 6-5 victory over San Jose. Visalia managed to push across three runs in the inning, with Smith providing the only hit. The frame included two walks, a wild pitch and two errors on San Jose.


Kane County Cougars (Single-A Midwest League)

For the Week: 4-3
On the Season: 8-10 (2nd half)
In the Standings: Tied for 6th place in Western Division; 5.0 games behind Cedar Rapids

Viva De La Trinidad! – Something has clicked with Cougars right fielder Ernie De La Trinidad. In seven games last week, the Phoenix native batted .423 (11-for-26) with six RBI. His torrid pace has moved him into a tie for seventh in the Midwest League in RBI with 51. He capped the week with a two-out, walk-off RBI single that plated Yoel Yanqui in the ninth inning of a 5-4 win over Cedar Rapids on Sunday.

Throwing zeroes – Right-hander Cole Stapler combined with Jayson McKinney and Erbert Gonzalez on a six-hit 1-0 shutout of Cedar Rapids on Friday. Stapler worked the first five innings, allowing just four hits while fanning seven. Then McKinney and Gonzalez came in and silenced the Kernels’ bats over the last four frames, striking out four in the process.

A monthly honor for Bain – Kane County right-hander Jeff Bain was named the D-backs Minor League Pitcher of the Month for June. Bain went 4-1 with a 2.27 ERA over 31.2 innings. The 22-year-old struck out 32 and walked three while holding opponents to a .220 batting average.


Hillsboro Hops (Short Season-A Northwest League)

For the Week: 5-2
On the Season: 16-7
In the Standings: 1st place in South Division; 3.0 games ahead of Boise and Salem-Keizer

Lot of bullpen work – The Hops played a total of 64 innings of baseball over the course of their seven games and got just 16.2 innings from starting pitchers. That means relievers threw 48.1 innings (75.5 percent) over that span. Wesley Rodriguez, a 21-year-old right-hander who was a 21st-round pick in 2015, went 2-1 out of the bullpen.

Yerzy enjoying a nice season – Hillsboro’s Andy Yerzy, the D-backs’ 18th-best prospect (and second-best catching prospect) had a big week, hitting .370 (10-for-27) with a home run and four RBI.


Missoula Osprey (Rookie Pioneer League)

For the Week: 3-5
On the Season: 13-11
In the Standings: Tied for 1st place in North Division with Great Falls and Helena

Hot bat – Infielder Cesar Garcia had the best week at the plate for the Osprey, hitting .417 (10-for-24) with four runs scored, four doubles, a triple and four RBI.


DSL D-backs 1 (Rookie Dominican Summer League)

For the Week: 4-2
On the Season: 19-12
In the Standings: 2nd place in Baseball City Division; 2.0 games behind Orioles

• Andres Cordero and Kevin Noriega, a pair of 18-year-old prospects, each hit .429 (6-for-14) on the week for the D-backs 1.


DSL D-backs 2 (Rookie Dominican Summer League)

For the Week: 4-2
On the Season: 14-17
In the Standings: 6th place in San Pedro Division; 5.5 games behind Brewers


AZL D-backs (Arizona Rookie League)

For the Week: 1-5
On the Season: 10-7
In the Standings: 2nd place in East Division; 1.0 game behind Cubs 1

The D-backs only won once last week, but it was a doozy. The baby ‘Backs pounded out 17 hits in a 20-7 win over the AZL Indians 2 on Friday night. Outfielder Jay Gonzalez led the way with four hits and three RBI, while Blaze Alexander and David Garza had three hits each. The D-backs also took advantage of nine (yes, you read that correctly) Indians errors.

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