Minor League Recap: Games of April 13, 2014

Jon Singleton's recent hitting has been even cooler than his shades - Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Your daily look at the previous night's Minor League happenings.

AAA Oklahoma City RedHawks: 4-3 win over New Orleans

-> Jonathan Singleton: 3-for-4, BB, 2B, HR, R, 2 RBI
-> Austin Wates: 2-for-3, 2B, SB, R, 2 BB
-> Ruben Sosa: 2-for-3, 2 SB
-> Carlos Perez: 2-for-4, 2B
-> Domingo Santana: 2-for-5, HR, R, 2 RBI
-> Max Stassi: 1-for-4, BB
-> George Springer: 1-for-5, R
-> Ronald Torreyes: 0-for-4, BB

SP Nick Tropeano: 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 1 BB, 4 K
RP Collin McHugh: 2.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 H, 0 BB, 0 K (blown save)
RP Jason Stoffel: 1.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 H, 1 BB, 1 K (blown save)
RP Josh Zeid: 2.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 2 BB, 2 K (win)

Dang, Singleton is going off. Springer who?

That was a joke, don't hurt me! Don't fire me, Coleman!

Singleton is hitting .325/.438/.725 with four doubles and four taters in ten games. I'll also point out that after punching out 11 times in the first six games, he struck out three times in the last four games. At least one walk in seven of the ten games as well. This is exactly what we need to see from him, and with the Krauzman platoon in the Majors not looking great, who knows?

My boy Nitro has looked good since the rough first outing (4 ER in 3.1 IP). Overall, his line looks good with a 3.18 ERA and a solid strikeout rate. The walk rate is ugly thanks to that first start (four walks). Rudy Owens might be the first call up when a starter is needed (I know, Clemens, but he may not actually even make a start, and if he does, he's not permanent), but Nitro could be ready very soon.

Springer is hitting .375/.468/.600 with six XBH and five steals already, making the Astros front office loo- oh, oh wait, no that's...that's Austin Wates! Heh...whoops. The mere six strikeouts should have tipped me off sooner, right?

...no really though, Springer is also doing well; .282/.404/.487 in 11 games. The strikeouts are there, of course, but so is everything else still. To be specific, Springer's strikeout rate stands currently at 28.3% (in his 266 PA in AAA last year, it was 24.4%, for reference). Santana is coming alive as well; seven hits in the last three days, including a homer and four doubles. That's jumped his line up immediately to a much more respectable .262/.311/.452. Hard to believe he's still just 21 years old and in AAA, right?

Pop quiz: which top catcher prospect is doing better right now? Answer: Carlos Perez. He's hitting .300/.364/.650 with a double and two bombs in six games. Stassi is also doing well, with a .297/.381/.514 line and two each of doubles and homers in nine games. How awesome is it to have depth like that ready for the Majors? And heck, Tyler Heineman is looking good in Double-A.

AA Corpus Christi Hooks: 9-1 win over Springfield

-> Delino DeShields: 3-for-4, 2B, HR, RBI, 2 R
-> Preston Tucker: 3-for-5, solo HR
-> Jiovanni Mier: 2-for-4, HR, SB, R, 3 RBI
-> Leonardo Heras: 2-for-4, SB, 2 R
-> Andrew Aplin: 2-for-5, RBI
-> Tyler Heineman: 1-for-3, 2B, 2 R
-> Enrique Hernandez: 1-for-4, R
-> Nolan Fontana: 0-for-4, BB

SP David Rollins: 0.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 1 BB, 0 K
RP Jordan Jankowski: 3.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 1 BB, 2 K
RP Aaron West: 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 0 BB, 2 K (win)
RP Travis Ballew: 1.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 H, 1 BB, 0 K

I couldn't find confirmation anywhere, but Rollins left the game immediately after walking the first batter, so I'm assuming it was due to an injury of some kind. Great to see West bounce back after getting beat up a bit last time out. He's not striking guys out yet (3.6 K/9) but the command has been there, and he lowered his ERA to 2.84.

Guess who's hitting .364/.400/.727 with four XBH and a steal in his first nine games? The man we took instead of Mike Trout, Jiovanni Mier himself. It's a little odd that he hasn't walked much, because even during all the struggles he's had since he was drafted, walking was one thing he did pretty well. But he's also limited himself to six strikeouts in the nine games. He's a solid defensive shortstop and has been playing a lot of third as well, and he would be more than capable of handling second. He might not hit enough to be a starter, but if he can be decent, you could see him as a super utility guy who has a little pop, a little running ability, plays average defense at short and plus defense elsewhere...it would be nice to get something out of him.

Tucker is on an eight-game hitting streak, and has five hits in his last two. Not unlike his short season debut in 2012, he's not striking out at all (6.5%). DeShields is hitting .308/.438/.513 through ten games, and the strikeout rate has started to come down just a hair recently. The second homer today is maybe most interesting though; back in Lexington in 2012, he showed some considerable pop with 12 long balls in 135 games, but it didn't translate last year, surprisingly, when he moved to Lancaster. He was hurt off and on with minor things though, so perhaps it's returning and continuing to develop here in AA. He'll probably never be a 20 HR guy, but if he can give you double-digit bombs to go along with what is likely to be 40-50 steals each year, and a nice OBP, he can be a force.

A+ Lancaster JetHawks: 3-2 loss to Lake Elsinore

-> Anthony Kemp: 2-for-5, BB, 2 2B
-> Danry Vasquez: 2-for-5, 2B, 2 RBI
-> Rio Ruiz: 2-for-5, 2B
-> Carlos Perdomo: 2-for-5
-> Roberto Pena: 1-for-3
-> Daniel Gulbransen: 1-for-4, BB, R
-> Teoscar Hernandez: 1-for-4, BB, SB
-> Brandon Meredith: 1-for-4, R

SP Josh Hader: 5.0 IP, 1 R (0 ER), 3 H, 1 BB, 6 K
RP Chris Devenski: 4.0 IP, 1 R (0 ER), 3 H, 1 BB, 0 K (blown save)
RP Daniel Minor: 1.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 H, 1 BB, 2 K (loss)

Not completely unlike the Big League club, Lancaster lost it in heartbreaking fashion; a walk-off run in the bottom of the 11th. Also not unlike in the Majors, the southpaw's strong start was wasted thanks to the offense not being able to get it going. This is what happens when you sit Carlos Correa!

No matter, just as it was drawn up. Captain Correa continued setting the pieces in motion in his master plan, using a six game "slump" followed by a day off to "take the pressure off" to lure the California League's pitchers into a false sense of security. Who else but Mr. Intagibles could concoct such a brilliant scheme? But the time is nigh; a fell wind blows across the desert. Soon...soon he returns, and then the feast begins.

Ruiz has made the transition well so far. .300/.378/.350 in ten games. Power hasn't shown up yet, with just a pair of doubles, but that can come later. This kid never fails to impress me, considering all the time he missed in high school, and here he is, just a couple months older than super-prospect Correa and yet still doing well against competition much older than him. Really, a 19-year-old that practically missed his entire senior season of development in high school, hitting .300 a step away from AA? That impresses the heck out of me.

A- Quad Cities River Bandits: Double-Header!

Game One: 11-0 win over Great Lakes

-> Chan Moon: 3-for-4, 2 R
-> Jon Kemmer: 2-for-3, BB, RBI, 2 2B, 2 R
-> Conrad Gregor: 2-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R
-> Tanner Mathis: 2-for-4, 2B, SB, RBI
-> Brett Phillips: 2-for-4, BB, RBI, R
-> Tyler White: 1-for-3, BB, 2B, RBI, R
-> Brian Holberton: 1-for-3, BB, RBI
-> James Ramsay: 1-for-4, R, 2 RBI
-> Jack Mayfield: 0-for-4, RBI

SP Andrew Thurman: 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 H, 0 BB, 5 K (win)
RP Tyler Brunnemann: 2.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 0 BB, 2 K

Game Two: 5-4 loss to Great Lakes

-> Brett Phillips: 2-for-4, 3B, 3 RBI
-> Conrad Gregor: 2-for-4, RBI
-> Tyler White: 1-for-2, 2B
-> Austin Elkins: 1-for-3, R
-> Chan Moon: 1-for-3, R
-> Jobduan Morales: 0-for-3, R
-> Jack Mayfield: 0-for-1, R (pinch-runner)

SP Chris Lee: 4.2 IP, 4 R (2 ER), 5 H, 1 BB, 3 K
RP Zach Morton: 3.1 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 2 BB, 1 K
RP Patrick Christensen: 0.1 IP, 1 ER, 2 H, 1 BB, 0 K (loss)

Lee wasn't super sharp today, but he was good, and an error behind him led to things looking a little worse than they were. His first outing saw four walks and one strikeout in two innings, and thanks to the sample size still being small, those rates don't look good. But since then, he's gone 4.1 innings and today 4.2 innings, and been quite solid, with just one walk and three whiffs in each of those starts.

Phillips is off to a smoking-hot start; .368 with a .836 OPS now. His triple today was his first extra-base hit of the year. Conrad Gregor has really turned things around for himself after a slow start; he's on a four-game hitting streak and has two hits in each of those games. He has just one extra-base hit though, and while the OBP is very nice, the lack of power from a first baseman is certainly a concern.

Today was a nice day for Thurman, who had given up nine earned runs in his first two outings (just 4.2 innings in them combined). Any day you trim nine runs off your ERA is a good one! And Chan Moon is a guy I like, but I'm never sure how much. I know he has a good glove at short, and he's getting some time at other postions, so you could see a bench role in the future perhaps, and he walks a lot too. He hasn't really hit yet, though he's off to a 1.041 OPS start to this season. Not sure what to make of him yet, but he's interesting.

Tomorrow's Scheduled Starters

AAA: David Martinez vs. Bryan Evans
AA: Luis Cruz vs. Kurt Heyer
A+: TBA (should be Appel/Hauschild) vs. TBA
A-: Kent Emanuel vs. Jeff Thompson

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