RedHawks 5, Storm Chasers (KC) 1
Robbie Grossman- 1 for 4, BB, 2 K
Ronald Torreyes- 2 for 4, 2 2B, CS
Jon Singleton- 1 for 4, BB
Domingo Santana- 0 for 4, 2 K
Kike Hernandez- 2 for 4, 2B
Mike Foltynewicz- 6 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 12 K (1 HRA)
Paul Clemens- 3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K
It was a fantastic all around performance for the OKC club, who didn't make an error and allowed just one hit to the opposing Omaha Storm Chasers. Ronald Torreyes continued his hot, aggressive hitting, characteristically neither striking out nor walking and tallying two doubles. Torreyes is knocking on the door to Houston, where he projects as a backup at both middle infield spots and a solid bench bat.
Some have said that Jon Singleton has been slumping of late, but in reality he's just having some bad luck. His K rate is significantly lower over the last couple of weeks, and he has continued to hit for power while walking at a great clip. The BABIP will normalize, and he's just as close to a callup now as he was before the late-April batting average dip.
Kike Hernandez, who like Ronald Torreyes projects as a multi-positional backup at the next level, has been impressive early on for OKC, and is hitting .311 across two levels this season. With the ability to play second base and left field, Hernandez should be able to carve out a nice big league role if he can continue putting the bat on the ball with consistency. With just seven strikeouts in 112 plate appearances so far this year, he's doing just that.
The star of the day, however, was Mike Foltynewicz- who, after social media drama earlier in the day, had by far the best start of his AAA career. He allowed just one hit- a solo home run- while walking two and striking out twelve in six frames. At his best, Folty shows solid command of a plus-plus fastball, plus curve, and a solid change and slider. Those assets were on full display Monday, and if he can string more starts like this one together he could be in Houston in short order.
Hooks 6, Missions (SD) 3-
Nolan Fontana- 2 for 3
Andrew Aplin- 0 for 4, K
Preston Tucker- 2 for 4, SB
Jiovanni Mier- 1 for 4, 2 K
Tyler Heineman- 1 for 2, 2 BB
Marc Wik- 1 for 4, HR
Thomas Shirley- 5.1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 3 K (2 HRA)
Travis Ballew- 1.2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 2 K (1 HRA)
The Hooks allowed three runs, all on solo homers, and took down a weak Missions club on the back of ten hits. 2012 second round pick Nolan Fontana played second base and tallied two singles, raising his OBP to .365 as he continues to settle in at Double-A. In his last ten games, Fontana is 11 for 35 (.314) with four doubles and seven walks against twelve Ks. Fontana continues to show a super-utility profile and is overcoming his adjustment period in Corpus.
Preston Tucker, the top hitter in the Hooks' lineup, had a productive day with two hits and a stolen base. Though he doesn't project to be a terror on the basepaths, Tucker's lefty power bat continues to look strong and he could see some corner outfield at bats in Houston later this season in a part-time role. With a .908 OPS against righties this year, Tucker is continuing to show a strong platoon profile as far as the major leagues go.
Lake Elsinore (SD) 7, JetHawks 4
Tony Kemp- 0 for 5, K
Teoscar Hernandez- 2 for 4, 2 K, E (6)
Carlos Correa- 3 for 4, 3B
Rio Ruiz- 1 for 4, 2B, K
Danry Vasquez- 2 for 4, 2 2B, K
Lance McCullers Jr.- 1.2 IP, 4 H, 6 R, 3 BB, 0 K
It was a rough day for Lance McCullers, who has had an up and down campaign in hitter-friendly Lancaster. The bad news is that the biggest drawback today, and in many of his starts this year, the biggest issue has been his control. With three walks issued in less than two frames today, he was facing an uphill battle to go deep into the game. He remains young for the level, though, and his stuff remains sharp, so it's far too early to sound the alarm bells.
In a tough matchup against a strong prospect, Joe Ross, the JetHawks lineup did well to collect nine hits. Top prospect Carlos Correa led the charge, tripling in a three-hit day, to raise his average to .309 on the season. Rio Ruiz turned in a double, Teoscar Hernandez got two hits on a BABIP of 1.000 for the day, and Danry Vasquez continued to slowly push his average up with a pair of doubles and a strikeout.
Though raking was expected of Carlos Correa, his teammate Rio Ruiz didn't have the highest expectations coming into the season and has hit at a great clip and will likely find his way into plenty of top 100s with continued strong performance. Danry Vasquez is another prospect with top 100 potential, and his hot streak of late is something worth monitoring.
Cedar Rapids (MIN) 5, River Bandits 2
Brett Phillips- 0 for 4, K
Chan Moon- 1 for 2, BB
Conrad Gregor- 0 for 4, K
Brian Holberton- 0 for 3, BB
Chase McDonald- 1 for 3, HR, BB
Andrew Thurman- 5 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 4 K
Quad Cities struggled to get much going offensively on Monday, and took the loss as a result. Andrew Thurman, who has had a rough start to his first full year in pro ball, had a decent outing, but was victimized by a barrage of singles from the Cedar Rapids club. Chan Moon continued to surprise and get on base at a great clip, reaching twice in three appearances.
One player in Quad Cities who gets less attention than other members of the 2013 draft class but deserves more recognition, in my mind, is catcher Brian Holberton. He has above average power, plate discipline, solid defensive skills, and could be a very nice power hitting backup catcher at the next level. He has been heating up as of late and bears watching.
Chase McDonald, another 2013 draftee out of East Carolina, had a great day with a homer and a walk and continued his hot streak- he's now hitting .314/.415/.486 in his last 10 games. The big first baseman has the ability to hit for average with decent power, and should draw plenty of walks.