D-backs Farm Rumblings Week 9: Marte flashes power and Admiral Ackbar gets his due
He’s a power hitter now? – Reno shortstop Ketel Marte, who has been featured in Farm Rumblings often in 2017 for his batting prowess, has been opening eyes in a different way recently. Marte, who is hitting .377 on the season, had one home run in his first 48 games, but has gone deep in three of Reno’s last four contests. It started Thursday in a 9-2 win over Las Vegas, when Marte hit a solo shot in the fifth inning off of 51s starter Rafael Montero. Two nights later, he left the yard again — a two-run blast off of Steven Matz in the third inning. And Sunday, Marte muscled up again, hitting a two-run shot off of Ricky Knapp in the sixth inning of a 4-1 win.
Marte has matched his single-season high with four home runs, but don’t expect the power surge to continue. He’s got only 15 homers in 505 career minor league games.
— Reno Aces (@Aces) June 4, 2017
Marte’s pretty good with the glove, too.
— Reno Aces (@Aces) June 4, 2017
Gibson dealing in Jackson – Reliever Daniel Gibson is having a very solid season in Double-A Jackson. Last week, Gibson, a 25-year-old lefty, pitched four scoreless innings of relief, allowing four hits and striking out six. That type of shut-down performance has been par for the course in 2017. So far, the former Florida Gator has allowed just one earned run in 21.1 innings of relief — an ERA of 0.42. Over his last 67 innings against Southern League hitters (dating back to 2015), Gibson has an ERA of 0.81.
May the force be…oh, you get it – The Generals celebrated Star Wars Night Saturday. A season-biggest crowd of 6,224 fans showed up to see Jackson take the field in Admiral Ackbar jerseys, but lose to Mississippi, 4-3.
Star Wars Swag. pic.twitter.com/SuQKQTtSQL
— Jackson Generals (@jacksongenerals) June 3, 2017
— Minor League Promos (@MiLBPromos) June 3, 2017
Finally off the schneid – Visalia right-hander Justin Donatella, Arizona’s 26th-best prospect according to MLB.com, finally got his first win of 2017. After starting the campaign 0-7, Donatella pitched five innings Thursday against Rancho Cucamonga, allowing seven hits and four runs while striking out eight. His teammates provided plenty of run support, plating eight runs over the first five frames while the bullpen combo of Cameron Gann, Mason McCullough and Bud Jeter put up zeroes the rest of the game in a 9-5 win. Donatella, a 15th-round pick out of UC San Diego in 2015, went 13-8 combined at Kane County and Visalia last season.
Hot bat – Visalia first baseman Marty Herum is the hottest hitter in the California League. Last week, the 25-year-old hit a blistering .611 (11-for-18) with three doubles, a triple, a home run and six RBI. In the process, he raised his season average to .345, which trails only Lancaster’s Brendan Rodgers (.394) among California League hitters.
Grier getting comfortable – Kane County outfielder Anfernee Grier, last summer’s top pick out of Auburn, had a nice week at the dish for the Cougars, hitting .458 (11-for-24) with a double, a home run and four RBI.
|3-2||35-22||1st place in Pacific Northern Division; 2.0 games ahead of Tacoma|
|2-4||29-27||4th place in North Division, 2.0 games behind Tennessee, Chattanooga and Montgomery|
|3-2||27-30||3rd place in North Division; 6 games behind Modesto|
|4-2||31-24||2nd place in Western Division; 1 game behind Cedar Rapids|