Reno Aces (Triple-A Pacific Coast League)
Week: 3-4 | Overall: 46-44, 3rd place in Pacific Northern Division — 3.5 games behind Tacoma
It was a strange week for the Aces. Reno went 3-4 in seven games, but were outscored by a total of 30 runs in their four losses, including a 13-3 defeat to Tacoma Tuesday and a 14-0 loss at Fresno two days later.
Banda in Futures Game: Lefty Anthony Banda was the D-backs’ representative at the Futures Game Sunday in San Diego. The 22-year-old gave up a hit and two runs (one earned) and took the loss for the U.S. Team in an 11-3 loss to the World Futures. Banda threw 17 pitches, nine for strikes. The former 10th-round pick was impressive in his last outing for Reno, however. Last Wednesday, Banda allowed just two runs on eight hits in six innings while striking out seven in a 3-2 win over Tacoma.
Did you see what Peter O’Brien did?: No? That’s probably because the slugging outfielder didn’t do much after being optioned back to the PCL last week. O’Brien batted just .150 (3-for-20) with eight strikeouts. He did hit a two-run homer in a 9-4 win over Fresno Friday night. Despite spending a month with the big league club, O’Brien still ranks seventh in the PCL with 56 RBI.
Ks galore: In a seven-inning double-header Saturday against Fresno, the Aces struck out a total of 22 times. In their seven games last week, Aces hitters racked up 70 strikeouts while getting only 52 hits. First baseman Kyle Jensen fanned 12 times in 22 at-bats. The Aces lead the PCL with 776 strikeouts in 90 ball games.
All-Star honors: Shortstop Jack Reinheimer, the D-backs’ 12th-best prospect, according to MLB.com, was named to the PCL All-Star team. He joins right-hander Braden Shipley and Jensen as Reno’s representatives on the squad, which will take on the International League All-Stars Wednesday night in Charlotte. Reinheimer is batting .286 with two home runs and 36 RBI this season for Reno.
Grab a program: The Aces used 16 different pitchers in their seven games last week, including infielder Ed Lucas, who was pressed into duty during one of Reno’s blowout losses. Turns out, that isn’t far from the norm this season for the Aces.
The @Aces have had 37 different players take the mound for them this season, tied for second-most in club history (37 in ’11, 41 in ’15).
— Aces Communications (@RenoAces_PR) July 8, 2016
Mobile BayBears (Double-A Southern League)
Week: 5-2 | Overall: 9-8, 1st place in South Division, 1.0 game ahead of three teams
Taylor dealing: Lefty Josh Taylor has acclimated very well to facing Double-A hitters. After being assigned to Mobile from Visalia last Tuesday, the former Peoria Centennial High star has made two starts and allowed just one earned run over 16 innings of work while striking out 10 and walking none. Taylor picked up two of the Bears’ five wins on the week. The 23-year-old had struggled a bit in the California League before his promotion, going 2-7 with a 5.65 ERA in 15 games (13 starts), while opponents batted a robust .335 against him.
Kussmaul in the mix: After five years in the Chicago White Sox organization and a year pitching in the independent Atlantic League, the D-backs inked 29-year-old Ryan Kussmaul to a minor-league deal. The right-hander made two starts for Mobile last week, allowing 16 hits and seven earned runs over 10 innings. Kussmaul’s minor league stats look pretty good. He’s 14-8 with a 2.80 ERA in 162 games, almost all in relief. His two starts for the BayBears were only the second and third of his career in affiliated ball.
Clarke slings a gem: Taylor Clarke, a third-round pick out of the College of Charleston in 2015, was outstanding in his last outing for the Bears. The 23-year-old right-hander allowed just two hits and one unearned run while fanning a season-high 10 in a 4-3 win over Pensacola last Thursday.
— MiLB.com (@MiLB) July 8, 2016
Visalia Rawhide (High-A California League)
Week: 2-5 | Overall: 7-11, tied for 3rd place in North Division (second half)
Lugo cycles: Third baseman Dawel Lugo had himself quite a week, one that included a cycle in Tuesday’s 10-6 win over Lancaster. The cool thing about Lugo’s cycle? He did it in reverse order. The 21-year-old led off the second inning with a solo home run then added an RBI triple in the fourth inning, a two-run double in the fifth and single to lead off the ninth. Lugo finished the week hitting .429 (9-for-21) in five games and was named the California League Player of the Week. He also earned a promotion to Double-A Mobile.
Donatella impresses: Justin Donatella, a 21-year-old right-hander, pitched very well in his Visalia debut last Friday. The 2015 15th-round draft pick out of UC San Diego pitched seven innings, allowing only one unearned run, while striking out six and walking only one. For the season, which began in Kane County, Donatella is 8-4 with a 3.32 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP in 16 starts.
RHP Justin Donatella goes 7.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K. IN line for 1st @CalLeague1 win
— Visalia Rawhide (@VisaliaRawhide) July 9, 2016
Reed’s struggles continue: Lefty Cody Reed, who was outstanding in seven starts for Kane County early this year, has seen tougher times in his first-ever California League stint. Last Wednesday, Reed allowed six hits and seven earned runs while lasting just an inning-and-a-third in a 10-7 loss to Lancaster. He’s now 0-4 with a 5.81 ERA in seven games (six starts) for the Rawhide.
Kane County Cougars (Class A Midwest League)
Week: 3-4 | Overall: 7-11, tied for 7th place in Western Division
Byler finding his groove: First baseman Austin Byler, whose season began with a 50-game suspension, continued to settle in at the plate last week for the Cougars. Byler batted .444 (12-for-27) with two doubles, two triples, two homers and four RBI in seven games. Byler is hitting .405 over his last ten games.
Basabe debuts: Second baseman Luis Alejandro Basabe, whom the D-backs acquired from Boston in the Brad Ziegler trade, got on the field for the Cougars for the first time Sunday in an 11-9 road win at Cedar Rapids. Basube went 0-for-4 with a a walk, a run scored and a stolen base. Basabe’s twin brother, Luis Alexander Basabe, is considered one of the top prospects in the Red Sox organization.
Weird stat line of the week: That belongs to left-hander Junior Garcia. In two starts last week, Garcia allowed 13 runs — however, only four of them were earned. Kane County committed five errors in a 7-5 loss at Peoria Tuesday and another error with Garcia on the mound in an 11-9 victory over Cedar Rapids Sunday. It’s not an uncommon occurrence — Garcia has 16 unearned runs on his stat line this year.
Hillsboro Hops (Short-season Class A Northwest League)
Week: 4-3 | Overall: 11-13, 3rd place in South Division, 6.0 games behind Eugene
The thief: It’s not often you see a catcher stealing three bases in a single game, but that’s exactly what Hops’ backstop Luke Lowery did in a 7-3 win over Tri-City on Monday. Lowery, a 14th-round pick of the D-backs out of East Carolina last year, swiped second base twice and third base once in the win. He added another bag Sunday in a win over Eugene. Lowery stole only 11 bases in three collegiate seasons at ECU, but already has 16 in his first 107 minor-league games.
Gouin dazzles in debut: Twenty-four-year-old right-hander Alex Gouin, who went undrafted after four seasons pitching at the University of Hartford, signed a deal with the D-backs Sunday and took the mound, shutting down Eugene. Gouin allowed two runs and five hits over seven innings while striking out 11 to pick up his first affiliated win. Gouin spent last season with the Rockland Boulders of the Can-Am League, going 8-4 with a 3.86 ERA in 18 games (14 starts).
Owings on the diamond: Connor Owings, a 34th-round pick of the D-backs, made his Hillsboro debut over the weekend after helping his Coastal Carolina Chanticleers to a College World Series title last month. Owings, the younger brother of D-backs’ utility man Chris Owings, went 0-for-7 with a walk in two contests.
Missoula Osprey (Rookie Pioneer League)
Week: 3-4 | Overall: 10-13, 4th place in North Division, 3.0 games behind Great Falls
Using the long ball: The Osprey brought their whooping sticks to the park in Helena Friday night, as they hit six home runs in a 13-4 win over the Brewers. Eudy Ramos clubbed two, while Luis Silverio, Ryan January, Billy Endris and Jasrado Chisholm all also left the yard. The six home runs tied a franchise record for Missoula.
Yerzy debuts: The D-backs’ second-round pick in June’s draft, Andy Yerzy, made his minor league debut last week for the Osprey, going 6-for-15 in four games. The Canadian catcher, who just turned 18 last Tuesday, had three hits and scored a run in his first game — a 7-3 win at Great Falls Wednesday.
Arizona League D-backs (Arizona Rookie League)
Week: 4-1 | Overall: 8-9, tied for 2nd place in East Division
Karaviotis hot: Mark Karaviotis, a 19th-round pick out of Oregon last month, is red-hot at the plate for the D-backs. The 19-year-old batted .533 (8-for-15) with three doubles and three RBI in four games last week.