Yeah, I know I used this picture recently, but when a guy hits a cycle and you don't have a picture of him doing so, you have to find a picture of something else epic to use... hence the recycling of the Spring Training grand slam picture.
It's been a long and awesome season for the D-backs farm system, with Jarrod Parker's re-emergence as a dominant starter, Tyler Skaggs' competing for the MiLB strikeout title, Paul Goldschmidt's incredible emergence, and the heating up of the Visalia bats in May. However, by far the best performance down on the farm this year came at Reno last night (yes, even though it's a hitter-friendly league). Feast your eyes on this line:
Snakelet of the Day:
Triple-A (10 innings): Reno 8, Salt Lake 7. (36-24) It was a rough night from starter Tom Layne in spite of nice peripherals - a solid 4:1 K:BB ratio, a hit-by-pitch, and an exceptional 13:1 GO:AO ratio - as Layne surrendered seven runs in 6.2 innings of work due to 10 hits allowed. Thankfully, the Aces were supported by the epic night from Cowgill and two-hit nights from Cole Gillespie, Cody Ransom, Kyle Greene, and Mark Hallberg. Hallberg was also the only Aces bat besides Cowgill to notch an extra-base hit by hitting his fifth double at Triple-A this year, while Ransom and Greene each walked once to reach base three times apiece on the day. Back on Cowgill, I really think it's time the team promotes him in the big-leagues. He's the team's best option for a fourth outfielder, and would instantly become the team's most potent pinch-hit bat if promoted to the majors. The fact that he's at Reno is going to put a question mark on the numbers, but we won't know what we have until we give Cowgill a chance.
Double-A: Mobile 8, Huntsville 6. (34-25) There was a power display at Mobile, as Ryan Wheeler, Taylor Harbin, and Marc Krauss each hit home runs, their respective seventh, fourth, and ninth home runs of the season. Wheeler continues his fantastic season, currently sporting a line of .317/.386/.480 through 58 games and well over 200 plate appearances, showing that his incredible 2009 debut season wasn't a fluke. On the mound, Kyler Newby got the start for Mobile, sent down from Reno to replace the injured Charles Brewer and lessen the innings restrictions that his piggyback plan with Layne created for the two of them. Newby was solid for Mobile, striking out five and walking two through five innings of work, giving up two runs before giving way to the bullpen, where Leyson Septimo did his best to give away the game. After working a clean seventh inning, Septimo walked four straight batters to begin the eighth inning before he was pulled. Looks like Septimo simply isn't ever going to harness his golden arm, which is a crying shame.
Hi-A: Visalia 7, Modesto 4. (27-31) Diogenes Rosario made another start for Visalia, having replaced Mike Belfiore in the Rawhide's rotation. He'll probably head back to the bullpen soon when Andrew Chafin signs (I imagine he'll go to Visalia), as his peripherals have dropped since moving into a starting role. Rosario went five innings, allowing three hits, striking out six, walking four, and posting a 3:3 GO:AO ratio. Rosario gave up three runs before giving way to Belfiore, who was fantastic in two innings of work. Belfiore struck out three in two no-hit innings, surrendering only one baserunner on an error (by Belfiore) and registering three ground-outs. It's good to see Belfiore adapting to a move back to the bullpen well, because even if the starting experiment wasn't meant to be, the system could use some extra left-handed relief and Belfiore could make a darn good one. Offensively, David Nick continued the solid season he's been having, going 2-4 with a solo home run and a walk. Chris Owings, Keon Broxton, and Matt Davidson each added doubles in the win.
Low-A: South Bend 3, Burlington 6. (30-28) It was a rough day on the mound for Bradin Hagens, who served up six hits - including two homers - and four walks en route to allowing five runs in six innings of work. Offensively, the Silver Hawks just couldn't come up with enough to close the gap, led by Yazy Arbelo's two hits, including a double. Matt Helm also doubled for the Hawks, while Mike Freeman collected a single, a walk, and a stolen base.
DSL: The DSL saw more rain, leading to another postponed game.