Earlier this week, with little fanfare involved, Ryan Court was promoted from South Bend to Visalia because nobody could get him out in the Midwest League. In four days in the California League nobody is getting him out there either. He's 7 for 16 since Wednesday with 2 doubles, 2 homers and a 1.509 OPS. It's hard to tell how long this will last and if he's opened up a new ceiling for himself, but the ride sure has been fun of late. Sometimes the light bulb comes on a little later for some as Court will turn 25 later this month. And it's hard to get too excited about a 25-year-old just arriving in High A ball. We'll just enjoy the ride for the moment and see if he can keep it up and jump another level before the season runs its course.
Perhaps more deserving of fanfare is what Cody Wheeler is doing following his promotion to Visalia a week ago. His first start flashed some nerves when he walked a bunch of guys while scrambling out of jams, but last night he put up a real gem. He went 6 innings allowing one run on 5 hits with no walks and 9 strikeouts. Wheeler is 23 and is running a year behind due to the lost season of 2011, but he's getting back on track in a hurry and this 5th round pick is making major strides to get his prospect status back in short order. The key figure that jumps out is 17 strikeouts in 11 innings since coming to California. Wheeler is one to watch.
Around the leagues Reno lost...again...with Tyler Skaggs on the mound. But you can't blame this one on Skaggs as he had a fine outing allowing just a 2-run homer over 6+ innings while striking out 7. Mobile continues to struggle offensively with just 5 hits in a 4-1 loss. Cody Wheeler sparkled on the mound and the offense put up 9 runs on 16 hits in a laugher for Visalia. And South Bend went down 9-4 as Blake Perry had a rough start.
3 Stars: Ryan Court, Visalia 4 for 5, 2 R, 2 DBL, 1 HR (4), 2 RBI
2 Stars: Cody Wheeler, Visalia 6 IP, 5 H, 0 BB, 9 K, 1 ER, W (2-0)
1 Star: Tyler Skaggs, Reno 6.1 IP, 7 H, 1 BB, 7 K, 2 ER, L (2-5)
0 Stars: Blake Perry, South Bend 4 IP, 5 H, 4 BB, 0 K, 5 ER, L (0-2)
Triple A: Reno 1 Iowa 4. Tyler Skaggs had a fine outing going 6+ innings allowing 2 runs on 7 hits and walk while striking out 7. He made his only mistake in the 2nd inning when he served up a 2-run homer. The Reno offense could do little to help Skaggs out as they managed just 1 run on 7 hits. Taylor Harbin and Tuffy Gosewisch each had a pair of hits. Reno's team record is now an abysmal 12-25.
Double A: Mobile 1 @ Chattanooga 4. Mobile lost by the identical score as Reno when they could only muster 1 run on 5 hits. Bradin Hagens had an effective start allowing 3 runs on 10 hits and 2 walks in 6+ innings. Mobile had no extra base hits with Justin Greene getting 2 of the team's 5 hits.
High A: Visalia 9 @ Inland Empire 4. The Visalia offense has put together a fair number of offensive explosions and Saturday night was another as they collected 9 runs on 16 hits. Recently promoted Ryan Court continues to mash the ball as he collected 2 doubles and a homer in a 4 for 5 night that just missed befing for the cycle. Cody Wheeler was dominating on the mound with 9 strikeouts in 6 innings. Raul Navarro also had a 4-hit game that included a double and Gerson Montilla went 3 for 6 with a triple and 2 RBI. Adam Eaton continued his rehab with Visalia last night leading off as the DH and going 0 for 5. His rehab was moved to Visalia because Reno isn't scheduled to use the DH this week.
Low A: South Bend 4 West Michigan 9. Blake Perry got roughed up on the mound and newly-acquired reliever Henry Garcia wasn't much better following him as they allowed 8 runs combined. The offense did manage 11 hits but went 1 for 8 with runners in scoring position and squandered several potential rallies. Kevin Medrano went 2 for 4 with a triple, and Fidel Pena and Alex Glenn each had a pair of singles.