Chihuahuas 10 – Las Vegas 51s 0
Key Stats: CF Travis Jankowski 3-for-4, BB, 2B, 3RBI; 1B Brett Nicholas 3-for-4, 2 2B, BB; C Raffy Lopez 4-for-5, 2B, HR (3), 3RBI; SS Javier Guerra 1-for-4, 3B; LHP Eric Lauer 6IP, 3H, 0R, 10K, 2BB; LHP Tyler Webb 1IP, 1H, 0R, 1K, 0BB
John Conniff reports on the Chihuahuas, who cruised Sunday. Eric Lauer dominated in his third start, three different hitters reached base four times, and Tyler Webb made his system debut.
Northwest Arkansas Naturals 3 – Missions 2
The Naturals led the entire game as Marcus Pond looked on. Jesse Scholtens, the tough-luck loser, now has a 14:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio through his first two Texas League starts. Josh Naylor continues to reach base in more than half his plate appearances.
Lancaster JetHawks 7 – Storm 0
Prospect Notes: Lancaster jumped on Ronald Bolanos for three runs in the third and never looked back as they blanked Elsinore for a series split. Bolanos, 21, gave up only two softly hit singles and struck out three through the first two frames. But Lancaster’s number nine hitter opened the third with a double, and the Hawks plated three on two singles, a wild pitch, and an error by shortstop Kelvin Melean. The Cuban worked a scoreless fourth but then gave way after allowing a walk and single in the fifth. He finished the day 79 pitches. The big righty, who signed mid-way through the 2016 international signing period, got out of the gate slowly for Fort Wayne last year but held his own in the second half. When Michel Baez and Chris Paddack join the staff later this month, Bolanos might well work in a swing role. Some observers have thought he would ultimately profile as a reliever since he joined the system. … After a brutal outing Friday night, Dauris Valdez showed the upside in his high octane arm Sunday. The 6-foot-8 Dominican got a big strikeout to end the fifth inning, then induced a weak grounder and two pop-outs in the sixth. After throwing only one strike against three batters Friday, 13 of his 17 pitches Sunday were strikes. … Edward Olivares and Buddy Reed pair as a dynamic duo in the outfield and at the top of the Storm lineup. They combined for five of the club’s six hits Sunday afternoon. Olivares went 3-for-4 and now has multiple hits in four of his last five games. The 22-year-old owns a 1.074 OPS through his first ten games in the organization. Reed, 10 months older, collected his first extra-base hit of the year, a line-drive double to right, as well as his second bunt hit in as many nights. One of the better athletes in the organization, Reed’s ability to leverage his speed will be a key part of his development. … Luis Torrens continued a rough start to the year at the plate and behind it. The 21-year-old, who spent last year on the big league roster as a Rule 5 pick, struck out three times and is now just 3-for-27 on the season. He also allowed his third passed ball in eight games behind the plate and had two more runners steal against him.
Bowling Green Hot Rods 5, 7 – TinCaps 3, 1
Key Stats: 2B Esteury Ruiz 1-for-3, HR (1), 2K; OF Jeisson Rosario 0-for-2, 3BB; 1B Carlos Belen 2-for-4, 2 2B, 2BB, PO; SS Justin Lopez 1-for-3, 2B; LHP Osvaldo Hernandez 4.2IP, 8H, 4R (3ER), 4K, 2BB;
Prospect Notes: The TinCaps dropped both ends of their double-header, missing out on their first series victory of the year. Esteury Ruiz homered off Rays top prospect Brendan McKay to give the club a lead. But as they have six times on the year, Fort Wayne lost the lead and the game. The nightcap was never in doubt as the good guys managed only three singles and struggled defensively. … Osvaldo Hernandez has been a bit of an enigma thus far in his career. The 19-year-old Cuban lefty has struck out well over a batter per inning and has allowed only four homers in 60 professional innings. But opponents also hit .300 against him and he has surrendered 16 hits in 8.1 frames this year. His stuff can play up, but the fastball often flattens out, and Hernandez doesn’t have enough velocity to sneak it past even lower-level hitters. He will be one to keep an eye on. … Jeisson Rosario chased wildly to strike out and end the first inning in the early game.When the ball got away from the catcher, he made no effort to run to first. That mental lapse got him pulled from the game. Manager Anthony Contreras apparently liked Rosario’s response, as he put the 18-year-old back in the lineup for game two. Rosario rewarded him with a three-walk performance. He now leads the team with eight free passes on the year. … Contreras also benched Gabriel Arias for the final few innings of the first game after a strikeout, but also returned for the nightcap. … Several decision makers in the system have long loved Carlos Belen‘s tools, especially his impressive raw power. But the big Dominican has struggled to turn them into playable skills. Now 22, he was sent backward to open the year after posting a .734 OPS last year in Lake Elsinore. While he’s sporting a robust .300/.417/.500 line through his first 10 contests, he’s also struck out in 39 percent of his plate appearances. He’ll need to show the ability to control that number if he’s going to move back up in the system.
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