By Adrian Noche, AngelsWin.com Staff Reporter -
1. Bo Way, Outfielder, Orem Owlz
Past 10 games: .432 AVG 19 H 5 Doubles 1 Triple 2 HR 1 SB
Bo Way refused to cool down as he was able to maintain his batting average at a high .348 on the season. Way has collected a 3-hit game in 4 of his last 10 games, bringing his season average to .357. Way also hit 2 home runs, 5 doubles and one triple for a slugging percentage of .727 in his past 10 games and a season slugging percentage of .551. Bo also chipped in 2 stolen bases (2 attempts) and drove in 10 RBI’s for the Owlz while patrolling an error-free center field.
2. Michael Strentz, Catcher, Orem Owlz
Past 10 games: .409 AVG 18 H 5 Doubles 0 Triple 2 HR 0 SB
Michael Strentz appeared out of nowhere and bursted onto the scene after being signed as an undrafted free agent from Louisiana-Lafayette on June 21st. Strentz now joins Austin Robichaux and Caleb Adams as Ragin’ Cajun representatives on the Orem Owlz. Strentz has been a hitting machine since being signed. Now a staple in the Owlz’s heart of the lineup, Strentz has been batting a slash line of .418/.456/.674 in his last 10 games to go along with 5 doubles, 2 home runs and 11 RBIs. After failing to sign 2014 catching draft picks John Bormann (19th round) and Khloeton Sanchez (32nd round), Strentz’s emergence could be huge for an Angels’ farm system that is greatly lacking in catching prospects.
3. Zachary Houchins, Third Baseman, Orem Owlz
Past 10 games: .342 AVG 13 H 3 Doubles 0 Triple 1 HR 0 SB
Houchins has been one of the Pioneer League’s finest this season, being among the league leaders in numerous offensive categories: Runs - 33 (1st), Hits - 47 (2nd), Doubles - 11 (1st), Home Runs - 6 (T-5th), RBIs - 34 (1st), Total Bases - 78 (2nd), SLG - .614 (3rd), AVG - .370 (5th), OPS - 1.040 (3rd). Houchins capped off the week with a 4-hit day on Sunday with 2 doubles, a home run, 3 RBIs and 3 runs scored to lead the Owlz to a Pioneer League leading 22 wins.
4. Andrew Daniel, Second Baseman, Orem Owlz
Past 10 games: .381 AVG 16 H 3 Doubles 1 Triple 1 HR 2 SB
Daniel has succeeded this season as the Owlz’s leadoff hitter due to an advance approach at the plate. The second baseman has walked (13) more times than he has struck out (11). Daniel has been a catalyst in his last 10 games, batting .381 with 3 doubles, 1 triple and a home run while scoring 9 runs, along with a strikeout-walk ratio of 6:6. Daniel has also found a nice power stroke since returning to the lineup on July 5th after missing a week. Slugging .607 so far this month after a .500 SLG with 4 doubles, 2 triples and 2 home runs in June.
5. Jonah Wesely, Pitcher, Orem Owlz
Overall (7 appearances): 0-0 1.80 ERA 15.0 IP 8 H 3 BB 16 SO 0.73 WHIP .154 BAA
Wesely was arguable the steal of the draft for the Angels’ in 2013, being picked 11th round out of Tracy High School in Calfornia. Scouting director, Ric Wilson, described Wesely as a pitcher who pitches like his "hair is on fire" and he has done just that so far this season. Wesely has made 7 appearances this season and has allowed at least 1 run to score in just one of those appearances. The southpaw has shown excellent rates, striking out batters at 28% while only walking batters at 3% and getting them to ground out at 52%. Wesely’s stock as a prospect would likely be higher if they eventually decide to try him as a starter but will be a fast riser through the system in the pen.
Minor League Afiiliate Report
Triple-A Salt Lake Bees
The Bees’ All-Star Break was this week and sent two players to the All-Star Game, Brennan Boesch and Shawn O’Malley. O’Malley was hitless in one at-bat as a pinch-hitter while Brennan Boesch did not receive an at-bat. The Bees went 2-2 this week, bringing them 16.0 games behind first place with an overall record of 42-60. Luis Jimenez launched his 16th home run on the season while Brennan Boesch hit home runs in back-to-back games on the 18th-19th. Tony Compana led the Bees with 7 hits this week. Caleb Clay pitched a complete game shutout on Sunday, allowing 3 hits and 1 walk while striking out 6.
Double-A Arkansas Travelers
The Travelers had themselves a nice week, going 5-2 and bringing their overall 2nd-half record to 16-14 (1st place in Texas League North). 1st baseman, Brian Hernandez, continues to be the model of consistency as he batted .320 this week as his average floats around the .290’s - .300’s all season. Alex Yarbrough batted .296 with 2 doubles and 1 home run, bringing his season average to .290. Michael Roth hasn’t missed a beat in the rotation despite his short stint the Majors, pitching 7.0 complete on July 16th while only allowing 1 earned run on 4 hits and 2 walks. Danny Reynolds pitched his 5th consecutive game without allowing a run, lowering his ERA to 2.81 ERA this season. Cam Bedrosian saved 2 games for the Travs this week, striking out 8 in a combined 3.0 innings pitched.
High-A Inland Empire 66ers
The 66ers were perfect this week, winning all 6 of their games but still find themselves in the cellar of the California League South division with a 13-17 overall record (5.0 games back). 1st baseman Dennis Raben has been red-hot, batting .372 in his past 10 games to go along with 3 home runs and 2 doubles. Starting pitching was the difference for the 66ers this week. Recently traded Elliot Morris started things off on Monday and pitched 5.0 shutout innings with 5 strikeouts, 2 hits and 2 walks. On Wednesday, Dan Tobik hurled 7.0 innings of one-run ball in a pitchers duel that resulted in a 2-1 66ers victory. Tyler DeLoach followed Tobik’s effort and pitched 5.0 shutout innings of baseball on the 17th, allowing 3 hits and 3 walks while striking out 6. Raymond Hanson then pitched 6.0 innings Friday and only surrendered 1 run on 3 hits, 3 walks and 4 strikeouts. Michael Clevinger nearly got a quality start on Saturday but ended his line at 4.2 innings pitched (2 ER, 3 H, 3 BB, 4 K). To end the week, Trevor Foss pitched 5.0 shutout innings while only allowing 2 hits, 1 walk and 4 strikeouts.
Low-A Burlington Bees
Burlington won 4 of their 6 games this week and now sit in 3rd place (3.0 GB) with a second half record of 16-13. 1st baseman, Eric Aguilera, cranked his 12th home run of the year to go along with a .280 average this week. 2nd baseman, Kody Eaves, hit .285 this week and raised his average to .273 for the season. Futures Game participant, Victor Alcantatra, pitched 7.0 innings on Sunday and struck out 7 batters, while allowing just 4 hits and 3 walks. Daniel Hurtado has done a fine job bouncing in and out of the rotation for the Bees this year. He pitched a combined 6.0 innings (2 appearances) while not allowing an earned run with 6 strikeouts to 1 walk.
Class-A Short Season Orem Owlz
The Owlz kept on rolling this week, going 4-2 to lead the Pioneer League with an overall record of 22-11. Other than the aforementioned standouts, Natanael Delgado has been impressive in the Pioneer league, batting .347 for the week (.309/.340/.526 for the season).
The AZL Angels went 4-1 this week (14-10; 1.0 GB). Alex Abbott struggled this week and was just 2-14 in 4 games played. Austin Wood made his return from injury on the 17th, pitching 2.0 shutout innings while allowing 0 hits, 1 walk and 2 strikeouts. 2nd round draft pick Joe Gatto followed Wood with 2 more innings of shutout baseball, allowing 3 hits, no walks and 3 strikeouts. 5th round draft pick, Jake Jewell, pitched 3.0 innings without allowing an earned run with 2 strikeouts, hits and no walks (0.82 season ERA). Ricardo Sanchez only allowed 1 earned run on Sunday, striking out 4 in 4.0 innings pitched with just 3 hits and 1 walk allowed.