ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

D-backs Farm Rumblings: Taylor Widener pitching well for Jackson

May 21, 2018, 7:58 AM
Team League Week/Overall Standing
Reno Aces Pacific Coast League (Triple-A) 3-3 / 18-26 4th place in Pacific Northern Division (9.0 games back)
Jackson Generals Southern League (Double-A) 6-2 / 25-18 2nd place in North Division (2.5 games behind Chattanooga)
Visalia Rawhide California League (High-A) 3-4 / 24-20 3rd place in North Division (2.0 games behind Stockton)
Kane County Cougars Midwest League (Single-A) 4-3 / 20-19 4th place in Western Division (1.5 games behind Peoria)

Strange way to start the week – On Monday, three of the D-backs’ four active MiLB affiliates scored 5-0 wins. Jackson blanked Mississippi behind a strong effort from right-hander Taylor Widener (more on him later) and the Generals bullpen. Visalia had ace Emilio Vargas on the mound and he led a 5-0 win over Rancho Cucamonga, while Kane County whitewashed Burlington by the same score in the Midwest League.

Widener rolling – The D-backs’ fourth-best prospect (according to MLB.com) had a great week. The 23-year-old made two starts and picked up two wins for the Generals. Widener pitched 13 innings, allowing only six hits, one earned run and one walk while fanning 15 opposing hitters. His ERA for the week was 0.69 and he posted a microscopic WHIP of 0.538. For the season, Widener is now 2-2 with a 2.86 ERA over 44.0 innings (nine starts) in Jackson.

All that Jazz – Kane County shortstop Jasrado Chisholm had quite the week in the Midwest League, at least in terms of power numbers. The D-backs’ number-three prospect had his first two-homer game Saturday in an 8-4 win over Peoria. He followed it up with another blast — this one a solo shot in the fourth inning of a 3-2, 11-inning loss to the Chiefs. Chisholm now has seven homers on the season, which leads Kane County and ranks tied for third-most in the Midwest League.

Can anyone get this guy out? – Jackson third baseman Juniel Querecuto has been a tough out for Southern League pitchers this season, and that trend continued this week. The 25-year-old Venezuelan native batted .391 (9-for-23) with four doubles, a triple and six RBI in seven games for the Generals. Querecuto leads the league in hitting at .383 — 31 points better than the guy in second place, who just happens to be teammate Kevin Medrano.

Strikeouts aplenty – The Reno pitching staff recorded a total of 18 strikeouts Friday night in a 9-7 win over Albuquerque, setting a new franchise record. Not to be outdone, Kane County pitchers Brian Shaffer, Matt Brill and Carlos Bustamante combined for 18 strikeouts in Monday’s 5-0 win over Burlington.

Offensive surge – Kane County enjoyed a couple of eight-run innings in a 21-6 win over Burlington Thursday night. The Cougars inflicted that much damage with the aid of only one home run — Joey Rose’s solo shot in the fifth inning. Renae Martinez led the way with four hits and five RBI, while Rose, Yoel Yanqui and Tim Susnara each had three hits. The Cougars sent 10 men to the plate in the first inning before Burlington recorded an out.

Who’s Hot? – The Kane County duo of Tim Susnara and Renae Martinez feasted at the plate this week. Susnara, a catcher who was an eighth-round pick out of Oregon last summer, hit .529 (9-for-17) with three doubles and two RBI while Martinez, a 33rd-round pick out of Oklahoma, hit .500 (10-for-20) with a homer and seven RBI. His OPS of 1.350 was the highest for the week in the D-backs system.

Another catcher, Visalia’s Daulton Varsho, also had a big week, hitting .478 (11-for-23) with a home run and six RBI. His teammate, Drew Ellis, had two home runs and an organization-high 11 RBI for the week. Ellis’ 31 RBI lead the team and are tied for third-most in the California League.

Reno reliever Silvino Bracho had two saves in two appearances. The right-hander had four strikeouts in two innings of work and threw 86 percent of his pitches for strikes, which was the highest percentage for any D-backs minor leaguer on the week.

Quick hits

• Pretty cool story here about former D-backs farmhand Connor Owings, the younger brother of Chris Owings, who received a kidney transplant from their mother and is now looking to get back on the field.

• The Hillsboro Hops, the D-backs’ short-season A team in Oregon, unveiled a bunch of new uniforms this week.

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