The full-season levels of the D-backs system have taken some hits lately, though perhaps things just look grim when Mobile isn't playing on any particular day. Reno's offense was ransacked by promotions to the major leagues, Visalia's rotation was ransacked by Mobile - though the signing of Trevor Bauer will fix that - and South Bend... well, that's a club that's struggled for most of the year. However, here's one guy who has not been struggling in 2011:
Snakelet of the Day:
Bobby Borchering (Hi-A): 1-4, HR, R, 3 RBI, BB, K
Triple-A: Reno 1, Sacramento 10. (61-41) Well, this offense is clearly a shadow of what it once was when Wily Mo Pena, Brandon Allen, Cody Ransom, Sean Burroughs, and Collin Cowgill were patrolling the lineup. Who would have thought that that quintet would mean so much to a team? The only offense Reno mustered was a solo home run from Mark Hallberg, which a good way to not win a game in the PCL. Granted, it didn't help that starter Tom Layne allowed eight runs in his six-inning start, posting a 3:4 K:BB ratio and allowing two home runs, though he post his typically-impressive 10:2 GO:AO ratio. Ryan Cook made his Triple-A debut and was as rattled as he was in his brief major-league stint, walking two and allowing a pair of (unearned) runs.
Double-A: Mobile wasn't in action on Monday; Tyler Skaggs is in action tomorrow for the BayBears.
Hi-A: Visalia 6, San Jose 8. (43-58) The Rawhide offense did its part, with Bobby Borchering hitting his 19th home run of the year as part of a ninth-inning rally that fell a couple runs short and drawing a walk, and Chris Owings doubling, singling, and, wait for it.... waaaaaaaaait for iiiiiit.......... drawing a walk(!!!!). Four other Visalia bats reached base at least twice: Keon Broxton singled and walked, David Nick had a hit and two walks, Matt Davidson walked twice, and Alfredo Marte singled twice and walked. Unfortunately, starter Diogenes Rosario fell victim to his own struggles and the struggles of the defense behind him, giving up nine hits and six runs, three earned, in five innings on the mound with a 1:1 K:BB ratio and 3:3 GO:AO ratio.
Low-A: South Bend 2, Kane County 4. (46-53) Silver Hawks starter Michael Bolsinger had a solid 7:1 K:BB ratio in his six-inning start, though three of his six hits went for extra-bases - a pair of doubles and a homer. That would prove to be a bigger deficit than the South Bend offense could overcome, as an RBI double from Gerson Montilla and a solo home run from Matt Helm accounted for the club's entire offensive output.
Helm has been on an unheard-of tear lately, clubbing five home runs in his last ten games - in the pitcher-friendly Midwest League, no less - to go with five singles, three doubles, and an admittedly-underwhelming 10:3 K:BB ratio, adding up to a .325/.372/.775 line, a 1.147 OPS. Since giving Helm a $500,000 signing bonus, the Arizona infielder has been a disappointment, but this could be the breakout with the bat that the team has been hoping for for over since originally assigning Helm to South Bend in 2010 as a teenager. If Helm proves this breakout to be legitimate over the next month or so, he'll be someone who could quickly re-enter the discussion as one of the team's best 30 or so prospects. As if we needed another corner infield prospect, right?
Short-Season-A: Yakima 3, Tri-City 9. (13-25) Starter Adam Kudryk had a rough game, giving up six runs, four earned, in 5.2 innings with a 5:2 K:BB ratio, then the bullpen allowed three more runs in its 3.1 innings of relief to put the game well out of reach for the consistently-lacking Yakima offense, which managed a two-run homer from Danny Pulfer and an RBI groundout that immediately preceded the Pulfer home run from Kerry Jenkins. Speaking of consistently-lacking offense, how about the line from Raul Navarro since his demotion from South Bend? After putting up a disappointing .205/.277/.252 line for the Silver Hawks, Navarro has been even worse for the Bears, putting up a truly horrendous .189/.237/.234 for Yakima. Defensive potential is one thing, and Navarro has it in spades, but Navarro's bat needs to be much, much better than this.
Advanced-Rookie: Missoula 4, Idaho Falls 1. (22-12) The Missoula offense received good days from Fidel Pena, who went 2-3 with a home run, Eric Groff, who doubled twice, and Jon Griffin, who doubled and walked. Helping on the basepaths were Chris Ellison and Josh Parr, who combined to steal three bases. Starter Taylor Siemens was solid, allowing one run in five innings with a 6:1 K:BB ratio and 7:1 GO:AO ratio, lowering his season ERA to 1.95 in 27.2 innings on the year, setting up the 21-year-old 18th-round-pick from 2011 for a prominent role on a full-season club next year. Ty Linton re-joined the club, going 1-4 with two strikeouts.
Low-Rookie: D-backs 8, Padres 3. (11-17) The AZL D-backs exploded for a seven-run first inning, chasing Padres starter Marlon Claveria before he recorded three outs with seven runs tagged against him, although an AZL Padres error led to four of those runs being unearned. Perhaps the most remarkable thing about that inning was that only one of the seven hits notched by the AZL D-backs against Claveria went for extra-bases, a double by Joseph Weik. Weik went 2-4 with a double, while Wagner Mateo also contributed an extra-base hit, doubling in his 2-4 night.
DSL: D-backs 11, Twins 1. (18-30) The DSL D-backs pulled off a rather remarkable feat, putting up a six-run innings... in the DSL. If you thought the AZL D-backs' efforts in chasing Claveria before he finished an inning was impressive, the DSL D-backs chased opposing starter Yorman Landa before Landa could record a single out, although Landa didn't exactly give the D-backs an opportunity to give him any outs by walking four batters and hitting two batters, despite facing a total of six batters. Ranfy Vargas and Anderson Bolivar added doubles for the DSL D-backs offense, while Yorman Garcia notched three hits and, of course, a first-inning walk.