D-backs Farm Rumblings: Missing hats and Zac(k) attacks

Aug 27, 2018, 7:52 AM | Updated: 8:11 am

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Reno Aces (Triple-A Pacific Coast League)

For the Week: 3-3
On the Season: 68-64
In the Standings: 2nd place in Pacific Northern Division; 9.0 games behind Fresno

Clawing out a win – The Aces scored single runs in the eighth, ninth and tenth innings to scratch out a 3-2 road win in Tacoma Tuesday night. Yasmany Tomas got Reno on the board and broke a scoreless tie in the eighth with a solo home run to left field. Tacoma answered with two runs in the bottom of the frame off of Aces reliever Jake Barrett. But Reno would rally on a solo blast by Kristopher Negron in the ninth and an RBI single by Tomas in the 10th that scored Kevin Cron. Starter Jake Buchanan was excellent, throwing six scoreless innings while Jimmie Sherfy picked up the relief win which improved his season record to 4-1.

Men without hats – The Aces got to Albuquerque safe and sound for their weekend series against the Isotopes. Their headgear didn’t. The team’s caps didn’t make it to the stadium in time, so they improvised by wearing the hats of their hosts, with strategically-placed tape on them.

Jackson Generals (Double-A Southern League)

For the Week: 5-2
On the Season: 32-31 (2nd half)
In the Standings: 2nd place in North Division; 5.0 games behind Montgomery

Getting duped – Right-hander Jon Duplantier notched another win Wednesday, twirling a solid six innings during which he allowed just four hits and two earned runs while striking out five in a 6-2 win over Tennessee. Duplantier is now 5-1 with a 2.03 ERA. Jason Morozowski broke the game open in eighth inning with a three-run blast.

Close affair – Third baseman Marty Herum went 3-for-4 with a home run and starter Justin Donatella was outstanding over seven innings in Jackson’s 2-1 win over Tennessee Thursday night. Donatella, a 23-year-old right-hander, allowed just four hits and one run while striking out three over seven innings in picking up his sixth win of the season.

Speaking of Herum – The 26-year-old has been swinging a hot bat.

Vargas steps up – Emilio Vargas had been struggling since a Double-A call-up on Aug. 1, but that’s not the case anymore. The 22-year-old right-hander was awesome Friday night, going eight shutout innings while yielding just three hits and striking out 10 in a 3-0 win over Birmingham. Vargas continues to rack up huge strikeout numbers — he’s got 166 Ks over 137.2 innings between Visalia and Jackson this season. Vargas also won a California League honor for his stellar season in Visalia.

Visalia Rawhide (High-A California League)

For the Week: 3-3
On the Season: 29-33 (2nd half)
In the Standings: 1st place in North Division; 1.0 game ahead of Modesto and Stockton

Tough luck for Grey – Right-hander Connor Grey was outstanding, giving up just two hits and one run while striking out 11 over six innings, but his counterpart, DJ Myers, was better as San Jose eked out a 1-0 win Tuesday night. Grey’s only misstep came in the fifth inning, when he gave up the game’s run by allowing an RBI single to San Jose’s Tanner Murphy. It was the second time in Grey’s last three starts that he struck out 11 opposing hitters, as he turned the feat on Aug. 9 in a win over Lake Elsinore.

Life of Riley – Riley Smith continued his excellent pitching in his latest start — a 3-1 win over San Jose Thursday. Smith, a 23-year-old right-hander out of LSU, allowed one run and four hits while striking out six in the victory, which was his fourth straight. In his last five starts, Smith is 4-0 with a 1.15 ERA, 36 strikeouts and seven walks. Smith also leads the California League with 145 strikeouts on the season.

Blanked – Jeff Bain, Carlos Bustamante and Mason McCullough combined on a two-hit shutout in a 5-0 win over Stockton Saturday night. Bain threw no-hit ball for six innings while walking three and striking out eight. Bustamante, a 23-year-old right-hander, kept Stockton off the board over the the next two innings while fanning five. Then McCullough worked the ninth, wiggling out of a little trouble in the process, to close out the win.

Kane County Cougars (Single-A Midwest League)

For the Week: 3-4
On the Season: 33-29 (2nd half)
In the Standings: Tied for 4th place in Western Division; 6.5 games behind Cedar Rapids

Raking – Outfielder Ryan Grotjohn led Kane County’s 15-hit attack by going 4-for-4 with a triple, two runs scored and three RBI in an 11-1 thrashing of Peoria Tuesday night. Jose Caballero and Yoel Yanqui each chipped in with two RBI for the Cougars. Grotjohn and Caballero each followed that up by homering in Kane County’s 9-6 win over the Chiefs. Grotjohn had a huge week at the plate, batting .417 (10-for-24) with two homers and an organization-leading 10 RBI.

Hillsboro Hops (Short Season-A Northwest League)

For the Week: 6-1
On the Season: 22-9 (2nd half)
In the Standings: 1st place in South Division; 8.0 games ahead of Eugene

January in the summertime – Catcher Ryan January broke out of a five-game hitless streak by going 3-for-3 with a double, a triple and two RBI in Hillsboro’s easy 11-1 win over Eugene Wednesday night.

Perdomo getting hot – Shortstop Geraldo Perdomo, the D-backs’ No. 21 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, went 3-for-4 with two runs scored, a home run and three RBI in Hillsboro’s 4-3 win over Everett Saturday night. It was the 18-year-old’s third multi-hit game of the week. Perdomo batted .429 (9-for-21) on the week and added seven RBI. Perdomo is pretty good with the glove, too.

Big ol’ winning machine – The Hops won the South Division in both the first and second halves of the season.

Missoula Osprey (Rookie Pioneer League)

For the Week: 3-3
On the Season: 15-12 (2nd half)
In the Standings: 2nd place in North Division; 2.5 games behind Billings

Here’s to you, Mr. Robinson – Outfielder Khristian Robinson, the D-backs’ 12th-best prospect according to, had a big night in a Missoula loss Thursday. The 17-year-old went 2-for-3 with two runs scored, two home runs and four RBI in a 10-7 loss at the hands of Grand Junction. The homers were Robinson’s first since being elevated to Missoula from the Arizona League on Aug. 17.

Zack (and Zac) attack – Zack Shannon continues pounding the baseball. In five games during the week, Shannon batted .438 (7-for-16) with three home runs and seven RBI. His OPS for the week was a whopping 1.533, a mark that topped the entire D-backs organization. His teammate, Zac Almond, wasn’t far behind. Almond hit .409 (9-for-22) with four homers and seven RBI while posting an OPS of 1.480.

DSL D-backs 1 (Rookie Dominican Summer League)

For the Week: 4-2
On the Season: 48-24
In the Standings: 1st place in Baseball City Division; 7.0 games ahead of Blue Jays

Youngsters standing out – Catcher Sergio Gutierrez went 3-for-3 with a run scored and four RBI while right-hander Yaramil Hiraldo baffled White Sox hitters, striking out 11 in 5.0 relief innings during an 11-3 win Tuesday. Hiraldo has been outstanding in 2018, while playing for both D-backs teams in the Dominican Summer League. In sum, the 22-year-old is 5-1 with a 1.58 ERA, a 0.83 WHIP and 58 strikeouts in only 40 innings of work.

DSL D-backs 2 (Rookie Dominican Summer League)

For the Week: 1-5
On the Season: 23-49
In the Standings: 8th place in San Pedro Division; 28.0 games behind Rangers 2

AZL D-backs (Arizona Rookie League)

For the Week: 4-1
On the Season: 15-10 (2nd half)
In the Standings: 2nd place in East Division; 3.0 games behind AZL Cubs 1

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