D-backs Farm Rumblings: Christian Walker on (another) home run tear

Aug 7, 2017, 4:22 PM

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Reno Aces

Triple-A Pacific Coast League
Week: 2-4
Overall: 65-49 — 2nd place in Pacific Northern Division, 1.0 game behind Fresno

Home run binge: First baseman Christian Walker continued his season-long power display. Walker clubbed four homers, including two solo shots Sunday in a 5-4 loss to Nashville. It was Walker’s third multi-HR game of the season and first since May 18. The 26-year-old has 28 dingers on the year, which is six more than anyone in the PCL and a new career-high.

Rough debut: Taylor Clarke, the D-backs’ No. 3 prospect according to, made his Triple-A debut Friday night and was touched up for eight runs over five innings in a loss to Nashville. Clarke allowed four home runs, including back-to-back shots by Matt Olson and Renato Nunez in the third inning. In 111.1 innings at Double-A Jackson, Clarke had allowed only seven home runs and he’s only given up 24 in 286.2 minor league innings, so this may have been more a product of pitching at hitter-friendly Greater Nevada Field, which sits 4,500 feet above sea level.

Big Ern would be proud: Nice threads worn by the Aces on Saturday night, paying tribute to Kingpin.


Jackson Generals

Double-A Southern League
Week: 3-4
Overall: 21-22 — 4th place in North Division, 11.0 games behind Chattanooga (2nd half)

Payamps pays off: Joel Payamps, a 23-year-old right-hander, had another great start last week. Thursday, Payamps allowed just one hit in a seven-inning contest, walking two and striking out six, shutting out Tennessee in the process. It’s the fourth time this season Payamps has thrown at least five shutout innings, and the second time in his last three outings.


Visalia Rawhide

High-A California League
Week: 4-3
Overall: 23-21 — 1st place in North Division, 1.0 game ahead of San Jose (2nd half)

Future relief: Ryan Burr and Yoan Lopez continue to mow down California League hitters out of the Visalia bullpen. Burr, a 23-year-old right-hander out of Arizona State, threw 2.2 scoreless innings and picked up his first win for the Rawhide Saturday. In 24 innings with Visalia, Burr has allowed only 13 hits and two earned runs with 28 strikeouts and only six walks. Opposing hitters are batting just .167 against him. Lopez, meanwhile, continues his resurgence. The Cuban right-hander saw action in three games last week, striking out 11 of the 18 batters he faced. The 24-year-old has 28 strikeouts in only 15.2 innings of work.

Big game Byler: Austin Byler had a big game Thursday night in a 7-6 win over Stockton. The first baseman had two hits, including a home run and drove in a career-high five runs.


Kane County Cougars

Single-A Midwest League
Week: 5-2
Overall: 22-21 — 4th place in Western Division, 6.0 games behind Quad Cities (2nd half)

Offensive outpouring: Stephen Smith, Ramon Hernandez and Adam Walton led the Cougars offense, which broke out for 41 runs in seven games last week. Smith, a 22-year-old outfielder who was a 10th round pick of Arizona out of Texas Tech in 2016, drove in eight runs last week with five coming in Sunday’s 11-1 win over Burlington. It was his first multi-RBI game of the season and second of his career, which has now spanned 70 games. Hernandez, a 21-year-old first baseman, batted .435 (10-for-23) on the week with two home runs and five RBI. He leads the Cougars with 54 RBI on the season. Walton, a 23-year-old infielder, batted .407 (11-for-20) and had a stretch of five straight multi-hit games from July 30 to August 3.

Smith slings a gem: Riley Smith, a 22-year-old right-hander has been locked in as of late. Friday against Cedar Rapids, the former LSU Tiger pitched seven shutout innings, allowing just four hits and two walks in a 2-0 win. He hasn’t allowed a run in his last two starts (14 innings) while striking out 10.


Hillsboro Hops

Short Season-A Northwest League
Week: 2-2
Overall: 6-5 — Tied for 1st place with Eugene in South Division, 1.0 game ahead of Salem-Keizer (2nd half)

All-Star representation: Camden Duzenack, Eudy Ramos, Pavin Smith, Daulton Varsho, Riley Smith and Erbert Gonzalez all saw action for the Northwest League squad in the annual All-Star Game against the Pioneer League. Duzenack and Varsho drove in runs in a 5-4 win.

Channeling his inner Flash?: Hops outfielder Dan Swain isn’t your normal millennial who has no interest in learning about things from before he was born. This is evidenced in his walk-up music — the theme song from the campy (translation: terrible) 1980 version of Flash Gordon — a movie released 14 years before he was born! Check it out.


Missoula Osprey

Rookie Pioneer League
Week: 1-3
Overall: 1-4 — 4th place in North Division, 2.0 games behind Billings (2nd half)

All-Star representation: Keshawn Lynch, Dominic Miroglio, Gabriel Maciel and Abraham Almonte all represented the Osprey for the Pioneer League All-Stars.



Rookie Arizona League
Week: 1-5
Overall: 2-5 — 5th place in East Division, 3.0 games behind Angels (2nd half)

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D-backs Farm Rumblings: Christian Walker on (another) home run tear