Monday, August 4, 2014

By Adrian Noche, Staff Reporter - 

1. Cal Towey, Third Baseman, Inland Empire 66ers
Past 10 games: .405 AVG  15 H  4 Doubles  1 Triple  0 HR  2 SB
Overall: .290/.375/.442

Cal Towey has seen his average climb after a month of July in which he hit .354/.449/.556, raising his average from .259 all the way up to .290. Towey got August off to a good start as well, as he collected a 3-hit performance, his second in 3 games. Cal is currently on a 9-game hitting streak where he is hitting a slash line of .454/.484/.636. So far this season, Towey has continued to show a solid eye with a walk rate of 9.2% this season. However, his k-rate is up there at 26.9%.

2. Wade Wass, Catcher, Orem Owlz
Past 10 games: .389 AVG  14 H  3 Doubles  0 Triple  4 HR  4 SB
Overall: .313/.421/.625

Wade Wass, like Strentz (who was on the list last week), is another catcher signed after being undrafted. Wass was originally drafted in the 8th round after a huge year for Meridian Community College, where he hit a monstrous slash line of .427/.568/.938. However, Wass chose to transfer to Alabama instead. Unfortunately, Wass was hampered by injuries and missed almost the entire 2013 season. After earning a medical redshirt, Wass put up a slash line of .312/.421/.625 as Alabama’s cleanup hitter. Unfortunately this was not enough to get Wass drafted. The Angels must have liked what they saw from Wass as they signed him after a hot performance in the Cape Cod Baseball League. Wass became the first CCBBL player to hit two grand slams in one game, and also the first to drive in nine runs in one game. It appears as if Wass has continued his strong hitting in Orem, as he has 4 home runs in his last 10 games with 3 coming in back-to-back-to-back games (July 27 - July 30). 

3. Ben Carlson, Relief Pitcher, Burlington Bees
Last 5 appearances: 0-1  0.00 ERA  10.0 IP  7 H  2 BB  16 SO  0.90 WHIP  .184 BAA
Overall: 3-2  9 Saves  2.35 ERA  53.2 IP  61 H  13 BB  52 SO  1.37 WHIP  .282 BAA

Ben Carlson's streak of scoreless innings came to an end on Friday, where he gave up 3 runs (all unearned). Before Friday, Carlson was dominating the opposition with a K/9 of 12.5 in 9.1scoreless innings pitched. Carlson, together along with Alan Busenitz, have formed a formidable backend of the bullpen for the Burlington Bees.

4. Jordan Kipper, Relief Pitcher, Orem Owlz
Last 5 appearances:  0.00 ERA  10.0 IP  8 H  2 BB  10 SO  1.00 WHIP  .228 BAA
Overall: 3-2  9 Saves  2.45 ERA  14.2 IP  15 H  3 BB  13 SO  1.22 WHIP  .259 BAA

Jordan Kipper was drafted by the Angels in the 9th round of the 2014 First Year Player Draft out of TCU. Kipper’s sinker - slider combination has done well in his first year of professional baseball. Jordan was able to extend his scoreless inning streak this week with 2.0 innings pitched on Thursday. In his 10.0 scoreless inning stretch, Kipper has struck out 10 while only walking 2 and limiting batters to just a .228 batting average. Most of Kipper’s damage was done in a stint in which he gave up 3 earned runs in 1.2 innings. If you take away that outing, Kipper has only allowed 1 earned run in 13.0 innings pitched.

5. Eric Stamets, Shortstop, Arkansas Travelers
Past 10 games: .344 AVG  11 H  4 Doubles  0 Triple  0 HR  1 SB
Overall: .213/.291/.253

Stamets may be turning the corner after a rough start to the season that saw him struggle with the bat and also see a trip the disabled list. This week, Stamets has collected 8 hits in 20 at-bats to go along with 3 doubles and 6 runs scored. Before the week, Stamets was hitting below .200. The smooth-fielding shortstop has not recorded an error in his last 20 games as well. 

Minor League Affiliate Report

Triple-A Salt Lake Bees
The Bees went 3-4 this week, putting them 20 games below .500 with an overall record of 48-68 (15.5 GB). Third baseman, Luis Jimenez, homered for the 18th time this season and has collected 2-hits in 3 consecutive games. Wade LeBlanc struck out 9 batters in 6.0 innings of 1-run ball. Kurt Spomer made his return to the PCL after a promotion from Inland Empire and pitched 2.2 scoreless innings on Sunday (2 H  2 BB  1 SO).

Double-A Arkansas Travelers
The Travelers are currently on a 4-game winning streak and went 5-1 this week. The Travelers are now 25-18 and are in first place of the Texas League North. Catcher, Jett Bandy, launched his team-leading 10th home run of the season on Sunday. Tyler DeLoach earned the victory in his Double-A debut, striking out 4 in 5.0 shutout innings while giving up 2 hits and 4 walks. Jairo Diaz struck out 7 in a combined 4.1 scoreless innings this week (2 H  2 BB). Starting pitcher, Nate Smith, was placed on the 7-day DL on Saturday.

High-A Inland Empire 66ers
The 66ers went 1-5 this week, putting them 7.5 games out of first place with a record of 17-25. Third baseman, Angel Rosa, went 2-4 with 2 RBIs and a stolen base in his Cal League debut on Saturday. Outfielder, Brandon Bayardi, is batting .333 with a homer in 24 at-bats since getting called up from Burlington. Raymond Hanson threw 8.0 innings of 2-run ball on Thursday, striking out 4 while giving up 5 hits and 3 walks. Mark Sappington continued to impress out of the pen, not allowing an earned run in 4.0 innings pitched with no walks allowed and 6 strikeouts.

Low-A Burlington Bees
The Low-A Bees did not win a single game this week and are currently on an 8-game losing streak. The Bees are now 6.0 games out of first place in their division with a record of 19-23. Zachary Houchins and Bo Way were both promoted to Burlington after strong starts with the Orem Owlz. Houchins collected his first hit with the Bees on Sunday while Way has yet to record a hit in 7 at-bats. First baseman, Eric Aguilera, had a huge game on Wednesday, hitting 2 home runs and a double in a 4-hit performance. Garrett Nuss tossed his 4th straight quality start on Wednesday, striking out 5 in 6.0 innings while giving up 4 hits and 1 walk.

Orem Owlz
The Owlz went 3-3 this week and are tied for first place with a record of 4-3 in the second half of the season. 1st baseman, Fran Whitten, homered in his first game with Orem after getting the call up from the AZL Angels. 2nd baseman, Andrew Daniel, collected back-to-back 3-hit games on July 30th and August 1st. Keynan Middleton was sharp on Wednesday, only allowing 1 earned run in 5.0 innings pitched. Middleton only gave up 3 hits while walking 3 and striking out 6. Jonah Wesely's scoreless innings streak continued with 5.0 innings pitched this week (3 H  2 BB  5 SO). Jacob Kopra surrendered his first earned run of the season on Thursday.

AZL Angels
The AZL Angels went 3-2 this week and have a record of 5-2 (1.0 GB). 1st round draft pick, Sean Newcomb, appeared in his first game since being signed. The southpaw pitched 1.0 scoreless inning and gave up 1 hit, no walks and struck out 1. Joe Gatto struck out 3 in 3.0 innings on Thursday, giving up 2 runs (1 earned) on 4 hits and no walks.
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