By Scott Stedman - AngelsWin.com Minor League Reporter
Salt Lake - First baseman Efren Navarro stays red hot over the weekend! 4 home runs in his last 8 games, 6 hits over the weekend, no matter how you look at it, he is on fire. His OPS on the season has now climbed to above .850 for the first time all year. Andrew Romine has also been swinging a hot bat. He is hitting .359 in his last 10 including 4 doubles. His great defense and eye could make him a useful MLB bench player eventually. None of the pitching performances in the last couple of days were noteworthy.
Arkansas - The buzz around Arkansas has been the relief corps, namely Loek Van Mil, Robert Fish and David Carpenter. Van Mil tossed 2 more scoreless innings on Friday. He has pitched 22 straight shutout innings! This in turn, has lowered his ERA to 1.76. Robert Fish himself has thrown 8 scoreless innings in a row. The lefty reliever, who can touch 100 MPH on the radar gun, has struck out 40 hitters in just 28 innings for the Travs. Finally, David Carpenter kept his 0.00 ERA for Arkansas continuing his scoreless innings streak to 18. Carpenter between IE and Arkansas this year has a 0.58 ERA. I would be surprised if we didn't see 1, 2 or all 3 of those guys when the rosters expand.
Inland Empire - It looks as if 20 year old outfielder Randal Grichuk is finally healthy and back to his normal self. Since being called up to the IE, he is hitting .292 with 3 doubles. If he has a very good final 2 weeks of the season, you could see him in Arkansas at some point next year. Johnny Hellweg, coming back from a blister which sent him to the DL, threw 4 innings of 1 run ball and struck out 8. He has 104 strike outs in just 84 innings!
Cedar Rapids - It's tough to find the bright spots on the Kernels these days, though a few players do stand out. Catcher Francis Larson is hitting .365 since joining the club from Orem. Larson, a 23 year old drafted this year, has a .902 OPS which leads the team by a large margin. Lefty Reliever Dakota Robinson now has a 2.97 ERA and has struck out 61 hitters while walking just 13.
Orem - On Sunday, Taylor Lindsey was named the Pioneer League MVP. His .370 average is near the top of the league. He also has 9 home runs, and an OPS over 1.000, all as a 19 year old. Congrats to Taylor! This weekend however, was all about the starting pitching for the Owlz. Lefty Ryan Crowley started it off on Friday night. The 20 year old threw the best game of his young career, going 5.2 innings just 2 hits and 0 runs while striking out 5 and walking none. Nick Maronde was next, going 6 innings, 1 run, 9 strikeouts and just 1 walk. Crowley's ERA is now at 3.19 while Maronde's is a meager 1.96.
AZL Angels - The AZL Angels will conclude their season on Monday. Jean Segura finished his rehab hitting .400 (looks like he's healthy). If he is indeed feeling okay, he should join the 66ers for the final 2 weeks of the season. Outfielder Chevy Clarke is finishing strong, now hitting a respectable .221. Hopefully he can continue this success into next year where he figures to be in a hitters league in Orem. Mike Scioscia's son, Matthew hit .239, but the real question is, how was hit squat?
DSL Angels - The Angels won the DSL championship on Saturday, defeating the Mariners. 20 year old Jean Carlos Santiago dominated the Mariners, tossing 8 1/3 innings of 1 run ball picking up the "World Series" win. Many consider this DSL team of the Angels one of the most talented teams to hit the DSL in years.
Prospect of the weekend - Jean Carlos Santiago