Good day for the Royals as the major league team finished off a series win over the Tigers and the affiliates won 4 of the 5 games that they played in.
Daily Tap Hitter of the Day Ryan Stovall Kane County 3-4 HR 4 RBI
Daily Tap Pitcher of the Day Blake Johnson NW Arkansas 4 IP 1 H 5 So 0 BB
Alex Llanos capped a terrific series versus the Timber Rattlers getting the offense going with a two run homer in the third that woke up the offense which tagged on seven more runs on the day. Llanos finished the four game set strong with multiple hit games in the final three games. It wasn't an offense only show as Keaton Hayenga got his 2011 season off to a good start going 5 innings allowing only 3 hits, 2 runs (1 ER) and no walks against 4 strikeouts. This was a good sign for a pitcher that really struggled last year.
Alex Llanos (series) 6-17 2-2b, 1-3b, 1-HR 1 BB
Blue Rocks Recap
The Rocks resumed their rain suspended game on Sunday tied at five. They had Kelvin Herrera a former starter converted closer toe the hill and he delivered two solid innings striking out 4 while giving up just 1 hit and one walk. Herrera has a solid fastball to go with a potential above average curve and change up out of his 5'10 frame. Those two innings allowed the Rocks to mount an offensive charge in the 11th when Rey Navarro reached on a error and was driven in on a John Whittleman double, Whittleman would score on a Tim Ferguson double. That extra run came in handy when Kevin Chapman allowed a run in the bottom of the inning but hung on for the Rocks victory.
In the full game of the day the Rocks squandered a great pitching performance by Jake Odorizzi (4 IP 4 H 1 ER 6 K 1 BB) when they allowed a 2 run 8th inning to lose the lead and the game. Rey Navarro once again paced the offense with 2 hits in 3 at bats driving in a run while also scoring one. The young 2b/SS who the Royals picked up in the Carlos Rosa deal finished the series 7 for 12 with a double, triple and Home Run.
Nick Francis 4th OF assist of the season
The Naturals for the second day in a row won in walk off fashion when Wil Myers drove in Nick Van Stratten with a single in the 14th inning. Myers and Salvador Perez who had gotten off to slow starts enjoyed good days offensively as they had 5 of the 11 Naturals hits. The pitching was outstanding on the day as Rollins, Blake Johnson and Patrick Keating all pitched at least 3 innings each while combining for 12 strikeouts against only 2 walks and 5 hits while allowing only 2 runs (1 ER). Brandon Sisk worked a scoreless hitless 14th to get earn the victory for the Naturals.
Salvador Perez 2-5 2b, HR, Wil Myers 3-6 2b, BB
Despite a poor performance by Vin Mazzaro (2.1 IP 2H 7 BB 5 ER 3 K) the Storm Chasers offense and bullpen were able to overcome the Isotopes in the final game of their four day set. 8 of the 9 hitters in the lineup reached base via hit while the bottom third (Pina,Blanco,Orlando) of the order did the heavy lifting driving in 5 of the runs while scoring five also. The bullpen slowed down the Isotopes offense limiting them to 1 run and 4 hits over the final 6.2 innings to gain a split in the series.
Mike Moustakas 2-5 HR
Quad City River Bandits (Cardinals) Kevin Siegrist
Kane County Cougars Crawford Simmons
Simmons one of the Burlington(NC) three from last year makes his first start of the year. Simmons is a control lefty who throws in the high 80s topping out at 90-91 with feel for a change up and 12-6 curve. Simmons has solid command (2.2 BB/9 '10) and is a couple velocity ticks away from becoming a prospect worth watching for Royals fans.
Siegrist is a 41st rd draft pick who enjoyed some success early in his career making it to the High A level in his first two years where he enjoyed moderate success despite a 1.416 WHIP when he returned last year he was knocked around for over a hit per inning. Siegrist according to reports has decent movement on his mid 80s fastball while also featuring a cutter and forkball.
Wilmington Blue Rocks Noel Arguelles
Kinston Indians Giovanni Soto
This is a day that has long been in the works for the Royals and their staff. Arguelles signed a $7 million dollar major league deal with the Royals which was quite a coup as not many favored the Royals in the chase for his services. Unfortunately he sustained some arm problems and was forced to sit out last season. Arguelles is a physical specimen who throws in the low 90s from a 3/4 arm slot and has earned some comparison to Francisco Liriano.
Soto is a young lefty that the Indians received in the Jhonny Peralta trade with Detroit. He's young for the level (19) and performed well at High A last year when he was called up 2.61 ERA 83 IP 76 K 25 BB 1.21 WHIP. His stuff is less than impressive with a high 80s fastball, slurvy curve and less than impressive change up but he's survived thus far on pitchability.
Corpus Christi Hooks Kyle Greenwalt
NW Arkansas Naturals Edgar Osuna
Osuna could have a ceiling for AA as he had a solid season at that level last season but was knocked around when promoted to AAA Omaha. Osuna has a plus change up but he combines with a below average fastball which hitters can sit on at upper levels. Osuna will likely be the odd man out if a pitcher pushes their way to the AA level.
Greenwalt had a solid stint in the Arizona Fall league not allowing a HR in 15 innings which is no small accomplishment considering the light air in Arizona. He didn't have that type of success in the Cal league last season but scouts like his mix of pitches which includes plus change up and slider to go with an average fastball (89-91 touches 93).
Omaha Storm Chasers Everett Teaford
Round Rock Express (Rangers)Derek Hankins
Teaford had a breakout season last year at AA striking out 113 in 99 innings while allowing a 1.214 WHIP. Teaford was given an opportunity to make the big league squad in spring training but was knocked around in Arizona to the tune of 11 ER in 4.1 iP while surrendering 14 hits. Teaford also got knocked around in his one AAA start last season in Albuquerque allowing 7 runs over 4.2 innings. He'll need to show he can get upper level hitters out this season to be given another big league shot.
Hankins was picked up by the Rangers from the Pirates organization. He's roster filler at this point in his career as a 2004 MLB draftee that has yet to break the major leagues. He features a fastball, curve and change up none of which are plus.