By Adrian Noche, AngelsWin.com Minor League Reporter -
1.) Chris Ellis, Starting Pitcher, Arkansas Travelers
Last two starts: 1-0 12.0 IP 0.75 ERA 10 H 3 BB 7 SO 1.08 WHIP
Overall: 5-5 74.2 IP 3.38 ERA 63 H 23 BB 77 SO 1.15 WHIP .224 BAA
Chris Ellis was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2014 First Year Player Draft out of Mississippi. Ellis, who was converted to starting pitching his final year at Mississippi, saw his draft stock skyrocket after posting a strong 2014 campaign where he had a 10-3 record with an ERA of 2.55. Ellis struggled in his first taste of professional baseball with Orem but has been dominant his second time around. Ellis started out with Inland Empire and posted an ERA of 3.88, WHIP of 1.16 and 70 strikeouts in 62.2 IP (20 BB). This led to Ellis’ promotion to Arkansas and in his first two starts, Ellis has only allowed a single run in 12.0 innings pitched. Ellis is yet another member of the 2014 draft class that has been incredibly successful thus far.
2.) Nate Smith, Starting Pitcher, Arkansas Travelers
Last two starts: 1-0 13.2 IP 2.04 ERA 8 H 1 BB 5 SO 0.65 WHIP
Overall: 6-4 81.2 IP 2.98 ERA 70 H 23 BB 66 SO 1.14 WHIP .228 BAA
Nate Smith posted his 5th straight start in which he pitched at least 5 innings and gave up no more than 3 earned runs on Saturday. Smith went 7.0 complete innings while only allowing 1 earned run, 3 hits and 1 walk while striking out 4. In this stretch of games, Smith has pitched 30.2 innings with an ERA of 1.76 and WHIP of 0.65. On the season, Smith’s ERA is down to 2.98 and a SO9 of 7.3 and BB9 of 2.5.
3.) Kaleb Cowart, 3rd Baseman, Salt Lake Bees
Past 10 games: .303 AVG 10 H 3 Doubles 2 Triples 1 HR 0 SB
After Kaleb Cowart’s struggles in High-A, the Angels responded by promoting him all the way up to Triple-AAA. Cowart took the promotion and ran with it. So far with the Bees, Cowart is hitting a slash line of .303/.385/.606 in 33 at-bats with 3 doubles, 2 triples, and 1 home run. Cowart also has 5 walks in his last 4 games. Cowart always had all the tools and potential to be the all-star third baseman the Angels thought he would be. Let’s cross our fingers and hope he keeps it up.
Minor League Affiliate Report
Triple-A Salt-Lake Bees
The Bees broke their 7 game losing streak with a win on Sunday and ended the week with a record of 1-6. The Bees have an overall record 28-43 and are 11.5 GB first place. Drew Rucinski posted a quality start on Saturday, pitching 5.0 innings while giving up 2 earned runs, 3 hits and 3 walks with 1 strikeout. Cory Rasmus gave up 2 hits, 2 earned runs and struck out 2 in his rehab appearance (0.2 IP). CJ Cron homered twice this week, and has a slash line of .323/.364/.613 in 62 at-bats with Salt Lake.
Double-A Arkansas Travelers
The Travelers went 4-2 and played 3 doubleheaders this week. Their record sits at 35-33 this season. Michael Brady started his 3rd consecutive game, giving up 5 hits, 1 earned run and no walks in 6.2 innings pitched with 4 strikeouts. Chris O’Grady continued to be dominant in the bullpen and has a season ERA of 1.61 in 28.0 innings pitched. Greg Mahle earned his second save of the season on Saturday. After a rough start after his promotion to Arkansas, Austin Adams has managed to lower his ERA to 3.18 and has struck out 19 batters in 11.1 innings pitched (8 BB).
High-A Inland Empire 66ers
The 66ers went 3-4 this week and have an overall record of 34-35. Ryan Etsell pitched a dominant game on the 13th, tossing 7.0 shutout innings while giving up 2 hits and no walks with 12 strikeouts. Sean Newcomb earned the victory on Sunday, pitching 5.0 shutout innings while giving up 3 hits and 2 walks with 8 strikeouts. Newcomb has 95 strikeouts in 72.1 innings pitched this season across Low-A and High-A. Roberto Baldoquin hit his first home run of the season on Wednesday.
Low-A Burlington Bees
The Burlington Bees went 2-4 this week and have an overall record of 35-34. Austin Robichaux pitched 6.2 shutout innings on Saturday, striking out 8 while allowing just 4 hits and no walks. Robichaux is unbeaten in his last 8 starts and has now won his last five decisions. His last loss came on May 5 against Beloit. The 22-year-old is tied for third in the Midwest League with six wins.. Jeremy Rhoades pitched just 2.0 innings on Sunday, allowing no runs and 3 hits while striking out 1. Jake Jewell pitched 5 shutout innings on Thursday, striking out 7 while only allowing 2 hits and no walks. Eduardo Paredes’ season ERA sits at 1.93 after a 1.1 inning scoreless outing on Saturday. Paredes has 40 strikeouts in 28.0 innings.
Class-A Short Season Orem Owlz
The Owlz started the season strong after taking 3 of 4 games in a 4-game series against Ogden. 2nd round draft pick, Joe Gatto, pitched the season opener for Orem and gave up 3 earned runs in 4.0 innings pitched (5 H 2 BB 5 SO). Eduar Lopez was strong in his start on Friday, striking out 6 in 5.1 innings pitched while allowing 1 earned run, 2 hits and 2 walks. 1st baseman, Steven Mateo, has a hit in each of the Owlz’s first four games and is batting .438 on the young season. Hutton Moyer, the Angels 7th round draft pick, is 3-for-9 in 3 games with 2 doubles, 2 RBI’s, 2 walks and 2 strikeouts.