Royals Farm Report: July 27July 27, 2012 - Texas League (TL) Northwest Arkansas Naturals
The Omaha Storm Chasers (Pacific Coast League) went 5-2 improving to 58-41 on the season. The Storm Chasers are tied for the best record in the PCL and are a league best 36-19 when playing at Werner Park. They are leading the Northern Division by 14.5 games over the Nashville Sounds.
The Storm Chasers have gotten some great performances of late from one of the hottest hitters in all of minor league baseball Johnny Giavotella. Giavotella has hit safely in his last 21 games and is hitting .405 (17-for-42) over his last ten contests with two home runs and 12 RBI. Anthony Seratelli has also found his swing again hitting .391 (9-for-23) with two home runs and 7 RBI in his last six games. Vin Mazzaro has split the season between Kansas City and Omaha and has been great in relief this past week. The right-hander went five innings allowing just three hits and earned his second save of the season on July 23 against Round Rock.
Wil Myers has gone just 6-for-41 (.146) over his last nine games with just one home run and three RBI. Jeremy Jeffress has hit a rough patch on the mound for the Storm Chasers. The reliever has allowed six runs over his last five and two-thirds innings of work, but he has had his strikeout pitch working fanning 11.
The Northwest Arkansas Naturals (Texas League) went 1-6 over their past seven games and are now 7-26, so far in the second half of the season. The Naturals just snapped a six-game losing streak by defeating the Tulsa Drillers at home on July 26.
Kevin Kouzmanoff has provided a much needed spark for the Naturals offense since joining the team. The third baseman is hitting .325 (13-for-40) with a pair of doubles, RBI, and runs over his past ten games. On the mound for the Naturals, the recently added Yordano Ventura has been on fire. The hard-throwing right-hander has allowed only three hits and one run over his last 12.2 innings of work, while striking out 12.
Mario Lisson is hitting just .160 (4-for-25) over his last eight games, but does have a pair of RBI and runs scored in that stretch. Lisson is hitting .235 for the season with eight home runs and 34 RBI for the Naturals. Jon Keck has had a rough go of it lately on the mound for the Naturals. The reliever has surrendered nine hits, seven runs, and eight walks in his last four and a third innings of work. Keck has gone 2-1 with a 3.81 ERA in 28.1 innings of work so far this season for the Naturals.
The Wilmington Blue Rocks (Carolina League) turned in a great week going 5-1, and they are now 17-16 so far in the second half and are leading the Lynchburg Hillcats and the Potomac Nationals by a half game in the Northern Division.
Matt Fields has been giving pitchers in the Carolina League nightmares since joining the Blue Rocks. The first baseman is hitting .359 (14-for-39) in his last ten games with two home runs and five RBI. Since joining Wilmington at the end of June Fields is hitting .305 with 11 home runs and 20 RBI in 30 games. Robinson Yambati has been one of the best relievers for the Blue Rocks in recent weeks. He has appeared in three games allowing six hits over six innings, and picked up a save on July 24 against the Frederick Keys.
First baseman Murray Watts has hit a slump after being promoted to Wilmington from Kane County. The Arkansas State grad has gone 6-for-25 (.120) with one RBI over his last six games. He is the only strictly left-handed hitter on the Blue Rocks. Andy Ferguson was knocked around in his last start on July 23 going five and a third innings allowing ten hits and six runs. This outing comes on the heels of his best outing of the season July 18, when he went seven innings allowing just two runs.
The Kane County Cougars (Midwest League) went 2-5 since the last edition of the farm report falling to 16-16 in the second half. They find themselves three games behind the Clinton LumberKings for the Western Division lead.
Outfielder Alex Llanos has really picked things up at the plate in the last week. He has gone 13-for-35 (.371) with three RBI in his last nine games. Llanos hit .325 with a home run and six RBI in 20 games in the month of July for the Cougars. Rudy Brown has appeared in four of the Cougars last 10 games. In those appearances, he has allowed just three hits, and he has not surrendered an earned run since July 4.
Kyle Smith rebounded a bit from a rough start earlier in the week. The right-hander has allowed 11 hits and six runs over his last 10.2 innings of work, but he does have 14 strikeouts over that time as well. Infielder Jack Lopez joined the Cougars in mid-June and has hit a slump as of late. Lopez is hitting .137 (5-for-37) over his last nine games.
The Idaho Falls Chukars (Pioneer League) went 3-2 over the past week and sit at 17-19 on the season. They are trailing the Ogden Raptors by just two games in the South Division.
Carlos Garcia has had a great month of July for the Chukars hitting .296. The third baseman has been even better as of late hitting .393 (11-for-28) with seven runs scored in his last eight games. Sam Selman has been brilliant since joining the Chukars in the middle of June. The former Vanderbilt Commodore, has gone 4-0 with a 1.67 ERA allowing just six runs in 32.1 innings of work so far this season.
Parker Morin has seen his average drop, but he still has been very productive this past week. Morin has hit .179 (5-for-28) over his last seven games, but he does have three RBI over that stretch. Ali Williams is 0-2 in his last two outings. The right-hander has worked seven and two-thirds innings allowing 11 hits and 11 runs.
The Burlington Royals (Appalachian League) went 5-0 over the last week to improve to 23-8 on the season. The Royals are in first place in the Eastern Division leading the Danville Braves by six games.
Fred Ford has been hitting everything this past week for Burlington. The outfielder is 11-for-35 (.314) with six home runs and 12 RBI in his last ten games. On the mound, for Burlington Colin Rodgers has continued to be one of the best pitchers in all of baseball. Rodgers did not allow a run in 10 innings of work this past week, and has given up just two runs in 24.2 innings of work so far this season.
Kenneth Diekroeger has fallen into a bit of a slump. The infielder is hitting .206 and has three RBI, and three runs scored in his last nine games. Diekroeger is hitting .262 for the season with six home runs and 18 RBI. Austin Fairchild is looking to improve on his first two outing in rookie ball. The left-hander has thrown two innings allowing two hits and four runs, while issuing three walks.
The Northwest Arkansas Naturals are the Double-A Texas League affiliate of the Kansas City Royals and play at state-of-the-art Arvest Ballpark, located in Springdale. Visit our website, nwanaturals.com, for information on season tickets and ticket plans.
Texas League Stories from July 27, 2012
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