Missoula's Justin Williams has the bat really working of late with an 11-game hitting streak during which he is hitting .441 with a 1.104 OPS. For the first month of the season he was sporting a high average but not a lot of power or extra-base hits, which was supposed to be his calling card when he was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2013 draft. He has picked up 3 doubles and a home run in his last 5 games so maybe that part of his game is starting to emerge. The strikeouts are on the highish side at just over 25%, but he's still only 18 years old and has picked up 11 walks in 29 games for a .402 OBP. He looks to be the real deal so far and his exploits should earn him a job in South Bend next year at the age of 19. That still puts him a ways off but a steady progression should project an arrival date of 2017 or 2018.
3 Stars: Breland Almadova, Visalia 4 for 5, 3 R, 1 TPL, 1 RBI
2 Stars: Brandon Drury, Visalia 2 for 4, 1 R, 1 DBL, 3 RBI
1 Star: Anfernee Benitez, AZL 6 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 6 K, 1 ER, W (2-3)
0 Stars: None
AAA: All Star Beak
AA: Mobile Mobile 4 Chatanooga 3. A.J. Schugel was decent allowing 3 runs in 6+ innings, though he wasn't around to earn the win when the Bay Bears scored 2 in the bottom of the 8th to take the lead. RJ Hively got the win with 1.1 shutout innings and Kaleb Fleck earned his 11th save with a nervous 9th. Sean Jamieson went 2 for 5 with a double and 2 runs scored while Jake Lamb went 2 for 4.
A+: Visalia 11 @ Lancaster 6. The Rawhide cranked out 18 hits in route to an easy win. Breland Almadova took his first game in Visalia to heart going 4 for 5 with a triple and 3 runs scored. Brandon Drury drove in 3 runs on a single and a double as did Raul Navarro on a single and a triple. Ryan Gebhardt had 3 hits in his first game for Visalia as well though he was picked off and caught stealing. Brandon Sinnery was the beneficiary earning the win in spite of allowing 6 runs (5 earned) including 3 home runs in 6 innings of work. Lancaster's Danry Vasquez hit all 3 home runs off Sinnery--all the more amazing because he had only hit 1 home run to date in 80 games.
A: South Bend 1 Burlington 3. Sean Furney surrendered 3 runs in the 5th inning and that's all Burlington would need to secure the win. The Silver Hawks were shut down on 4 hits, though 1 of those was a triple by Andrew Velazquez to extend his on-base streak. He actually extended it in the 3rd inning when he was hit by a pitch, though he was subsequently caught stealing.
A-: Hillsboro 7 Tri-City 4. Starter Austin Platt allowed 3 runs in the first inning, but was very sharp after that with 5 subsequent shutout innings. He got the win when the offense scored 2 in the first and 2 in the second and were never headed after that. Steve Nyisztor went 2 for 3 with a walk, a triple and 2 runs scored to pace the offense. Jake Mayers, George Roberts and Galli Bribbs all had 2 hits each. Zac Curtis picked up his 9th save with a perfect 9th that included a strikeout.
R: Missoula 3 Grand Junction 5. Carlos Hernandez wasn't his best allowing 5 runs in 5 innings and the offense could only respond with 3 of their own. Justin Williams led a meager 6-hit attack with a pair of singles in 3 at bats.
AZL: Dbacks 7 Angels 2. Cody Reed made his 4th pro start and this time went 3 innings allowing an unearned run on 2 hits and a walk while striking out 3. So far in 5.2 innings he has allowed no earned runs on 3 hits and 2 walks with 8 strikeouts. Anfernee Benitez followed and went the final 6 innings allowing just a solo home run and a single while striking out 6 to earn the win. Jose Herrera led the way on offense going 2 for 3 with a walk, a double, an RBI and 2 runs scored.