By Adrian Noche, AngelsWin.com Staff Reporter -
1. Bo Way, Outfielder, Orem Owlz
Past 10 games: .450 AVG 18 H 5 Doubles 1 Triple 2 HR 3 SB
Bo Way was drafted by the Angels in the 7th round of the 2014 First-Year Player Draft out of Kennesaw State. One has to assume the Angels got a long look at Way from scouting his college teammate, Max Pentecost. Way had a strong Senior campaign, slashing a line of .358/.404/.470 while providing solid defense. Scouting director Ric Wilson described way as a “grinder” on the field. After scuffling out of the gate to begin his first season of professional ball, Way has been one of the top performers in a dynamic Owlz offense. After batting just .200 in the first two weeks of the season, Way has upped his average to an impressive .353. Way’s week consisted of a batting average near .500 (.481) while also slugging 3 doubles, 2 home runs and chipping in 2 stolen bases.
2. Zachary Houchins, Third Baseman, Orem Owlz
Past 10 games: .400 AVG 16 H 2 Doubles 1 Triple 3 HR 0 SB
Zach Houchins, 13th round selection of the 2014 First-Year Player Draft, was one of two third baseman selected in the draft (the other being Andrew Daniel 2 rounds earlier, who now primarily plays second base). Not much could be found online as to scouting reports on Houchins, but is said to be a strong natural hitter with a plus arm. Houchins, like Way, spent all 4 years in college attending the University of East Carolina where he was named Williams Jungle Hitter-of-the-Year. This week, Houchins hit for an average of .464 and is in the middle of a 4-game streak where he has multiple hits. Houchins ranks second in the Pioneer League in SLG, RBIs, home runs and is first in total bases, hits and runs scored.
3. Ryan Seiz, 1st Baseman, Orem Owlz
Past 10 games: .286 AVG 12 H 2 Doubles 0 Triple 3 HR 0 SB
Ryan Seiz was originally draft as a 2nd baseman with the Angels’ 17th round selection of the 2014 First-Year Player Draft, but has primarily played 1st base and DH for the Owlz this season. Seiz propelled himself onto many draft radars as a Liberty transfer after two years at Louisville (sat Junior season). Seiz was named the Big South Conference player of the year, hitting .351/.429/.593 with 12 home runs. The switch-hitters swing can get a little long but has the potential to continue hitting for power. Seiz has done just that out of the gate for the Orem Owlz. Seiz leads the Pioneer League in home runs with 5 on the season, with 3 coming this week. His multi-homer game on Friday is already his second multi-homer game of the season (the other coming on the first game of the season). Along with his 3 home runs, Seiz also smacked two doubles to go along with his .357 average on the week.
4. Wade Hinkle, 1st Baseman, Inland Empire 66ers
Past 10 games: .405 AVG 15 H 4 Doubles 0 Triple 2 HR 1 SB
Wade Hinkle continued his fine season with another strong week with the bat. The first baseman hit .428 with two doubles and two home runs on the week. His two home runs came on a multi-homer game to close the week on Sunday. Hinkle’s .422 OBP is second in the Cal League as he boasts a bb-rate of 11.7% this season. Hinkle could find himself in AA sometime this year in what will most likely be a steady climb up the organizational depth chart at 1st base.
5. Tyler DeLoach, Starting Pitcher, Inland Empire 66ers
Last two starts: 1-1 14.0 IP 1.93 ERA 6 H 6 BB 11 SO 0.85 WHIP .125 BAA
Overall: 7-4 3.52 ERA 94.2 IP 76 H 42 BB 102 SO 1.24 WHIP .218 BAA
Tyler DeLoach is quite imposing on the mound, with a 6’6 and 240 pound frame. DeLoach was taken in the 26th round of the Angels’ 2012 First-Year player draft. The southpaw has been posting strong strikeout numbers since being drafted, posting a strikeout per nine innings of 10.0 for his minor league career. DeLoach has struggled some with command this year with the 66ers, walking one more batter per nine innings than he did last year (4.0 BB9). Despite the struggles, has been seeing success in the rotation as of late, lowering his ERA to 3.52 on the season with 7.0 shutout innings on Sunday while only allowing 2 hits, 3 walks and striking out 8.
Minor League Affiliate Report
Triple-A Salt Lake Bees
The Bees had themselves another losing week, going 2-5 and putting themselves 17.0 games behind first place with an overall record of 36-55. Brennan Boesch has been the team’s offensive leader so far this season, as he is hitting .332 with 12 home runs and 48 RBIs. Shortstop Tommy Field had 12 hits this week to bring his season average up to .310. Newly acquired outfielder Tony Campana is batting .500 (5 for 10) in 2 games since arriving in Salt Lake in the Joe Thatcher trade. Jarret Grube pitched a solid game on Saturday, going 7.0 innings and allowing just 2 runs on 4 hits and 1 walk while striking out 6. Michael Kohn and Cory Rasmus did not allow a run this week on a combined 3 appearances.
Double-A Arkansas Travelers
The Travelers have been struggling as of late, losing 5 games in a row and going 1-5 for the week. They are now sitting 1.0 game behind first place with an overall record of 8-9. 1st baseman Michael Snyder made his return from the DL on Saturday and will try to help a scuffling Travelers offense that only scored 11 runs in 6 games this week. Nate Smith allowed a combined 2 runs in a two-start week. The southpaw pitched a total of 12.0 innings and allowed 8 hits and 7 walks while striking out 11. Drew Rucinski pitched another quality start, allowing 3 runs (2 earned) in 6.0 innings pitched. Kramer Sneed went 5.0 innings on Thursday and struck out 8 with 4 walks and 3 hits allowed. R.J. Alvarez allowed his first earned run of the season on Friday, ending his scoreless streak at 22.0 innings.
High-A Inland Empire 66ers
The 66ers went 3-3 this week, bringing their overall record to 4-13 (11.0 GB). Outfielder Mark Shannon had a strong week, batting .409 with 3 home runs and 2 doubles. Sherman Johnson had 6 hits and 3 walks, reaching base at a .473 clip this week. Jose Rondon hit .333 for the week and also chipped in a couple of walks. Elliot Morris had a quality start on Friday, pitching 6.0 innings while allowing 3 runs (2 earned) on 3 hits and 2 walks with 3 strikeouts. Relief pitchers Chris O’Grady and Kurt Spomer pitched a combined 6.2 scoreless innings this week (only 1 hit allowed). Mark Sappington pitched out of the bullpen on Sunday with 1 scoreless innings on 1 walk and 2 strikeouts.
Low-A Burlington Bees
The Bees boasted a winning record this week, going 4-3 and giving them a record of 9-8 so far in the second half of the season (3.5 GB). 1st baseman Eric Aguilera clubbed a home run on Wednesday, his 11th of the season. Yency Almonte returned from the DL and was the starting pitcher on Saturday. Almonte pitched 3.0 innings and allowed no runs on 1 hit and 2 walks with 1 strikeout. Brian Loconsole pitched 5.0 innings out of the pen while only allowing 3 hits and no runs, bringing his season ERA down to 1.29.
Class-A Short Season Orem Owlz
The Orem Owlz went 4-3 this week and sit atop the Pioneer League South, 3 games ahead of the second place Grand Junction Rockies. The Owlz have been carried by their red hot offense thus far this season, having scored a jaw-dropping 72 runs this week. 10th round draft pick Caleb Adams has home runs in back-to-back-to-back games and hit for a .363 average this week. Outfielders Miguel Hermosillo and Natanael Delgado each have a home run this week as well. 3rd round draft pick Chris Ellis made his professional debut on Saturday, pitching a scoreless inning while walking 1 and striking out 1. Keynan Middleton had the longest outing of the season, pitching 7.0 innings while allowing 2 earned runs on 4 hits allowed, 1 walk and 5 strikeouts. Jonah Wesely pitched 3.0 scoreless innings on Friday, only allowing 1 hit, no walks and 3 strikeouts. Jeremy Rhoades started the game on Sunday and allowed 1 earned run in 3.0 innings pitched. The 5th round draft pick allowed 3 hits, 3 walks and struck out 5.
The AZL Angels went 4-2 on the week, which gives them an overall record of 8-6 (1.0 GB). Outfielder Ayendy Perez had 7 hits this week (5 games played), giving him a season average of .359. Top international signee Ricardo Sanchez had a two-start week. Perez pitched 3.0 brilliant shutout innings on Monday, allowing 0 earned runs, 2 hits, 0 walks with 5 strikeouts. His second start was solid, allowing 3 runs (1 earned) on 2 hits, 2 walks and 4 strikeouts on 2.2 innings pitched. 2nd round draft pick Joe Gatto made 2 appearances this week, pitching a combined 3 innings and giving up 1 earned run, 3 hits and 3 walks with no strikeouts.