Some of the top bats throughout the D-backs farm system had excellent nights on Sunday, and only one contest in the entire farm system could be described as low-scoring - a stark contrast to the pitching brilliance we saw at the big-league level. I couldn't pick which stat line I liked more from these, so what the heck, here's the top four offensive performances of the night from the farm:
Snakelets of the Day:
Adam Eaton (Double-A): 2-4, HR, R, RBI, 2 BB, 2 SB
Bobby Borchering (Hi-A): 2-2, HR, R, 3 RBI, 3 BB, SB
Roidany Aguila (Adv-Rk): 4-5, 3B, 2 HR, 3 R, 5 RBI
Eric Groff (Adv-Rk): 3-5, 2 HR, 3 R, 5 RBI, K
Triple-A: Reno 6, Colorado Springs 4. (57-36) Aces starter Armando Galarraga and SkySox starter Edgar Gonzalez matched each other pitch-for-pitch on Sunday. Unfortunately, that isn't a compliment for either pitcher. Galarraga allowed three home runs in his six-inning outing, though lucky only was tagged for four runs while walking two and striking out just one. That barely bested Gonzalez, who didn't allow any long-balls, but posted a slightly-worse 1:3 K:BB ratio and allowed seven hits (compared to Galarraga's four). It wound up coming down to bullpens, and Reno's trio of Daniel Stange, Esmerling Vasquez, and Bryan Shaw each hurled a scoreless frame, sealing the win for Reno. Offensively, Robby Hammock cranked his third home run of the year, while Collin Cowgill went 2-4 with a double and a HBP to lead the way for the Aces.
Double-A (12 innings): Mobile 7, Chattanooga 5. (56-38) The star of the day for the BayBears was outfielder Adam Eaton, who wen 2-4 with a home run, a pair of walks, and a pair of stolen bases, showing off his all-around baseball skills and tremendous bat speed. Thus far, Eaton has picked up right where he left off in Visalia, posting a .323/.425/.500 line in his first 15 games of action for Mobile. Eaton's 13:6 K:BB ratio is supplemented by his annoyingly-awesome ability to draw HBP's, which appears to be sustainable based on his consistent ability to get plunked at all levels of the minors.
If Eaton can keep up numbers resembling these for another month or so, I think it wouldn't become a question as to who is the better of the short-but-powerful outfield prospects, Eaton and Cowgill. Eaton is hitting at Double-A in ways that Cowgill never could, despite being two years older now than Cowgill was at Mobile a year ago. Additionally, Eaton has been a consistent threat to post an OPS over .900 at all levels of the minors, whereas Cowgill has only done so at Yakima in his pro debut and this year with Reno. I already think it's a no-doubter.
Mobile also received doubles from Ryan Wheeler, the white-hot A.J. Pollock, and Kyle Greene. Wheeler and Taylor Harbin had three hits apiece, with Harbin chipping in a stolen base for good measure. Starter Patrick Corbin continued his peripheral magic, with a 7:2 K:BB ratio and 6:1 GO:AO ratio through his 5.2-inning outing, but unfortunately was hit around a bit, allowing five runs on nine hits, including a homer. The BayBear bullpen, however, was utterly phenomenal, throwing 6.1 scoreless innings to allow the Mobile offense enough time to wake up in extra-innings and seal the victory. Your Daily Goldschmidt: 0-6, 3 K's.
Hi-A: Visalia 7, Stockton 12. (42-51) *Yaaaaaawn* Just another day, another home run for Bobby Borchering. Looking at his month-by-month production, the only bad month he's had all year was April, and he's posted OPS figures above .800 in each month since. This game was particularly impressive, as Borchering not only went 2-2 with the homer, but also drew three walks (one intentional), which now accounts for 10% of his season walk total. Part of it is that pitchers are being more careful with Borchering, but give Borchering credit for laying off those pitches and taking the free base. Rossmel Perez, David Nick, and Raoul Torrez each added doubles for the Rawhide, with Nick particularly standing out for his three-hit effort. Borchering and Nick each even added a stolen base to their nights.
As for the other half of each inning, it might be time to bury the hatchet and give up on any chances of a return to form from Trevor Harden. Harden was shellacked again on Sunday, allowing 11 hits, including a homer, and four walks in 4.1 innings, though he did strike out four. It's rather depressing to think that this is the same guy who posted a 94:30 K:BB ratio between South Bend and Visalia in 2009, but since returning from a nerve injury he suffered that wiped away most of his 2010 season, he simply hasn't been the same. His 75 strikeouts in 95.2 innings are fine, but the accompanying 54 walks and 17 home runs aren't. Add in the fact that he'll turn 24 in September, and a last-chance bullpen move seems like a prudent choice.
Low-A (14 innings): South Bend 7, Wisconsin 6. (43-49) Speaking of being on fire, what's the deal with Matt Helm? Before Friday's game, Helm was a 20-year-old corner infielder with one home run on the year who was beginning to look like a colossal waste of a $500,000 signing bonus. Three days later, he now has home runs in three consecutive games to go with three singles and a pair of walks, upping his season line to .262/.336/.371 - not an atrocious line for the Midwest League. Sunday's home run came during a three-hit game for Helm, breaking up a 6-6 tie in the top of the 14th innings, which Christopher Odegaard held on to in the bottom of the 14th to seal the victory. Roberto Rodriguez was also impressive in the victory, going 3-7 with a double and a triple.
On the mound to start the game was J.R. Bradley, who once again defied peripheral wisdom and allowed two earned runs (one unearned) in five innings despite a 1:3 K:BB ratio. Kable Hogben blew Bradley's chance at a win, but the Silver Hawks bullpen did yeoman's work after Hogben left the game, allowing just one earned run in the next seven innings, including three scoreless frames from Odegaard, who struck out three.
Short Season-A: Yakima 5, Salem-Keizer 16. (10-20) Yakima's been playing a lot better lately, but this isn't a club that is going to win games in which its opponent scores 16 runs... The only Yakima pitcher to have a solid outing was Greg Robinson, whose 2.1 innings of scoreless relief arrived 16 runs too late. That's what happens when you strike out 2 batters through the first 6.1 innings.... unless, apparently, you're Dan Hudson. The Bears didn't muster a single extra-base hit on the night, although Steven Rodriguez collected two singles and a walk. Nonetheless, an all-around poor game for the Bears.
Advanced-Rookie: Missoula 16, Idaho Falls 8. (16-11) Home runs galore for the Osprey in this contest, with a pair of bombs each from Eric Groff and Roidany Aguila, and one shot apiece from Chris Ellison and Jon Griffin. Aguila added a triple, while Ellison doubled once and Ryan Court doubled twice. Aguila had a four-hit night and fell a double short of the cycle, while Ellison and Groff each had three-hit games. Tom Belza and Justin Bianco each drew three walks. On the mound, Enrique Burgos brought his swing-and-miss stuff, with eight strikeouts in 4.2 innings, but also gave up four walks and seven hits, including a pair of long-balls. All-in-all, a very disappointing night that ended with seven earned runs charged to him.
Low-Rookie: D-backs 4, Brewers 3. (8-13) J.J. Putz actually started this game, recording the first three outs before giving way to Blake Perry. Putz didn't strike anybody out, but he gave up just one hit and no runs. Perry followed with a quality outing, allowing just two runs, one earned, in 5.1 innings of "relief" work, posting a 5:3 K:BB ratio and 7:1 GO:AO ratio. The D-backs received doubles from Derek Luciano, Tyson Van Winkle, Joseph Weik, and Jacob Williams. Van Winkle and Williams were the only two D-backs bats to have multi-hit games, but it proved to be just enough against the AZL Brewers.
DSL: A day off in the DSL; the D-backs are back in action Monday.