Three months ago 2nd round pick Justin Williams was finishing up his high school career. Since then he was drafted in the second round by the Dbacks, went to the Arizona Rookie League where he hit .345, got promoted to Missoula where he hit .423, and on Wednesday was promoted to South Bend where he's been installed as the starting left fielder. As a point of comparison, Justin Upton started his minor league career in South Bend at the age of 18 and did pretty well. Williams arrived in South Bend a full year younger and is just getting his feet wet. He'll likely spend next season there at essentially the exact same age as Upton. I'm not saying he's the next Upton. But it's awfully impressive what he's doing at such a young age. The power hasn't really developed yet and he was said to be one of the top power bats in this year's draft. He only has one home run so far but he does have 18 doubles and 37 RBI in 48 games. It's not something many 17-year-olds do and his K-rate is at a tolerable 20% so far. He could be the genuine article and he's zooming up my prospect list.
3 Stars: Archie Bradley, Mobile 5 IP, 3 H, 1 BB, 2 K, 2 R, 1 ER, W (12-5)
2 Stars: Chris Owings, Reno 2 for 5, 1 DBL, 1 TPL, 3 RBI
1 Star: Blake Perry, South Bend 6 IP, 3 H, 2 BB, 4 K, 1 R, 0 ER, W (8-7)
0 Stars: Tyler Skaggs, Reno 5.1 IP, 9 H, 2 BB, 4 K, 4 ER
Triple A: Reno 5 @ Salt Lake 4. Tyler Skaggs had another uneven start allowing 4 runs in 5.1 innings on 9 hits and 2 walks while striking out 4. But the offense bailed him out and made a winner of Chase Anderson who pitched 2 shutout innings of relief as the comeback ensued. Tony Sipp struck out the side in the 9th for his 1st save and has yet to allow a run in 9 games since being demoted. Chris Owings went 2 for 5 with a double, a triple and 3 RBI.
Double A: Mobile 10 Pensacola 2. Archie Bradley was sharp and his command was there as well. he only walked 1 in 5 innings while allowing 2 runs (1 earned) on 3 hits while striking out 2. He was pulled from the game after just 73 pitches, which shows how careful they are being with his workload this year as Mobile heads into the playoffs. Bradley is set up to pitch Game 1 of the Southern League playoffs next Thursday on 6 days rest. Four relievers followed Bradley and each put up a zero to cement the win. Sawyer Carroll went 2 for 3 with a triple and 3 RBI, and Nick Ahmed went 2 for 5 with a double and 3 RBI.
High A: Visalia 4 Bakersfield 7. Brandon Sinnery had another rough start, his 4th such shaky start in a row, by allowing 7 runs over 7 innings though he did strike out 7. The offense scored 4 times in the 4th to tie the game at 4-4, but that was all they would get managing just 5 hits for the game. It's looking increasingly likely that Visalia will take on Modesto in a 3-game playoff mini-series for the right to face San Jose for the North Division title.
Low A: South Bend 9 Bowling Green 2. Blake Perry was very good throwing 6 solid innings allowing just 1 unearned run on 3 hits and 2 walks. The offense was led by Pedro Ruiz who went 2 for 4 with a double and 4 RBI.
Short Season A: Hillsboro 3 Eugene 4. Jose Martinez started and pitched 2 shutout innings. Ben Eckels followed and went 6 innings but he allowed all 4 runs that made the Hops a loser. Ryan Gebhardt went 2 for 3 with a double to pace the offense.
Rookie: Missoula 3 @ Helena 11. Justin Van Grouw struggled again and could not escape the 4th inning before allowing 7 runs, though just 4 were earned as the defense committed 4 errors. The offense got just 6 hits with 2 coming from Justin Bianco.