Diamondbacks Minor League Round-Up 8/1: Bianco and Leonard Sent Back to AZL Rookie League

OF Justin Bianco and INF John Leonard were supposed to be two of our more intriguing prospects from last year's draft with Bianco being taken in the 3rd round and Leonard in the 9th. Bianco immediately appeared on most Diamondback Top Prospect lists. But it hasn't really worked out for either of them so far. Last year Bianco played in Missoula and Leonard in the AZL League but neither one hit a lick. Both started this year in Missoula with the idea that in their second professional seasons things might start to look up. But they haven't hit a lick this year either. So yesterday they were both sent back to the AZL League where Bianco will be starting in CF and Leonard at 2B. Perhaps they can get some more intense instruction here at home base and make some progress. The club has some money invested in Bianco since he got a $369,000 signing bonus (Leonard got $80,000) and I'm sure they're not too willing to just walk away from it yet. But it's getting close. We'll keep an eye out on them and see how they handle the demotion.

Snake Stars
3 Stars: Anthony Meo, Visalia 5 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 1 HR, 5 K, 1 ER
2 Stars: Michael Perez, Missoula 2 for 4, 2 R, 1 DBL, 1 TPL, 4 RBI
1 Star: Tyson Van Winkle, Visalia 3 for 4, 1 R, 1 DBL, 4 RBI
0 Stars: Jose Munoz, AZL 0 for 4 (.186), 1 K, 1 E (17)

Game summaries after the jump.

Triple A: Reno 3 @ Omaha 6. Reno had to turn to Zach Groenke again to start with the recent promotion of Corbin and Bauer on hiatus, and it didn't work out too well. Groenke gave up 6 runs in 5 innings and the offense couldn't do enough to beat that. Josh Bell had a double and 2 RBI and Adam Eaton had a pair of hits, though he got picked off first base after one of them.

Double A: Mobile 1 Jacksonville 9. The roster quality for Mobile has fallen back quite a bit with Krauss traded, Marte still nursing an injury, Corbin all the way up to the majors, Bauer in AAA, etc. And their recent record reflects all that. They got pummeled again plating just 1 run on a Brent Clevlen home run. Chase Anderson started and actually pitched well allowing just 2 hits and a walk, but both hits were home runs and he was saddled with 4 earned runs and the loss. Matt Davidson was given the night off after playing both games of a double header the night before.

High A: Visalia 6 Modesto 1. The Visalia roster is actually in really good shape, and has been since the promotions of Ender Inciarte and Gerson Montilla solidified the top of the order. Anthony Meo got the start last night and was terrific allowing 1 run on 2 hits and 2 walks while striking out 5 in 5 innings. Tyson Van Winkle and Garrett Webber were the hitting stars of the game. Van Winkle had 3 hits including a double and 4 RBI. Webber also had 3 hits with 2 doubles and scored 3 runs. The bullpen was outstanding pitching 4 innings and yielding just one hit.

Low A: South Bend 4 Fort Wayne 5. Reliever Keith Hessler got his first start of the year and was superb going 5 innings surrendering 1 run on 4 hits and 2 walks while striking out 5. Unfortunately the bullpen was less than superb and gave away what should have been his first win as a starter. Jesse Darrah gave up 3 runs in 2.1 innings and Seth Simmons blew the save. The offense managed only 5 hits with Ryan Court leading with a double and an RBI.

Short Season A: Yakima 3 Tri-City 2. Blake Perry was very solid on the mound once again and pitched 5 shutout innings before running into trouble in the 6th when he surrendered a pair. He allowed 5 hits and 1 walk in 5.2 innings with 4 strikeouts. He's now sporting an impressive 1.92 ERA in 51 innings with 44 Ks. Michael Lang did the most on offense with 3 hits including a double and 2 RBI. C Ronnie Freeman also had 2 hits and an RBI.

Rookie: Missoula 13 @ Great Falls 5. The Missoula offense has had their fair share of explosive games this year and they did it again yesterday with 13 runs on 16 hits. Michael Perez continued to impress with a double, a triple and 4 RBI. Yosbel Gutierrez had 3 hits with a double and 2 RBI. CF Evan Marzilli (who had a lot to do with pushing Bianco aside) had 2 more hits including a double, scored 3 runs, and stole 2 bases. He's hitting .385 on the year. Tyler Bream hit his first home run of the season.

AZL Rookie: Dbacks 5 Mariners 6. This game featured the 2012 AZL League debuts of recently demoted Justin Bianco and John Leonard. Leonard played 2B (in place of injured Andrew Velazquez) and batted second, while Bianco played CF and batted third. Bianco had a walk, a single and an RBI in four chances. Leonard went 0 for 3 with a walk. They each stole a base. Francisco Guzman took the loss when he allowed 2 runs in the 7th. Guzman was recently promoted from the DSL where he'd been having a pretty good season. Alex Glenn and Brian Billigen each had 2 hits and Stryker Trahan had a triple with no errors and no passed balls.

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