27 years old
Weight: 225 lbs.
Drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 11th round of the 2001 MLB Draft
Last week we featured a Royals pitcher with the best name in baseball (Rowdy Hardy). This week, let’s talk about the pitcher with the game’s best mutton chops.
Anthony Lerew has spent a little time in The Show this year with mixed results: a 1-4 record, mile-high 8.54 ERA, but moments of brilliance sprinkled in. However, in the Minor Leagues this year, Lerew is 7-3 with a 3.01 ERA. Of late, he’s been particularly dominant, going eight innings in each of his last two starts and allowing only one earned run during that stretch. He also posted 13 strikeouts versus just three walks, and his efforts earned him a pair of wins.
Lerew might be the most interesting pitcher in the minor league system right now. Despite his spotty success in the big leagues this season (and over four Major League seasons between Atlanta and Kansas City), Lerew deserves and probably will receive a shot at the Royals’ rotation next year. That would be a huge step forward for his career, but a slot in the big league bullpen is not beyond the realm of possibility.
The fear with Lerew, though, is that he falls into that category of “AAAA” players – the guys who dominate in the minor leagues, but just aren’t good enough to cross the wide chasm between AAA and the majors.
Royals fans have seen that happen too many times.
MiLB WEEKLY ROUNDUP
AAA – Omaha Royals
Record to date: 70-56, second place in the PCL American North
The past week: 5-2, winning three out of four at Sacramento
Transactions: Another light week. Jai Miller was promoted to Kansas City; and Brian Anderson was sent all the way from A- Burlington to Omaha.
Coming up: In an I-70 Baseball flavored matchup, the O-Royals host the Memphis Redbirds this weekend before Iowa comes to town for a rare five-game series.
AA – Northwest Arkansas Naturals
Record to date: 31-21 in the second half (first place), 73-49 overall
The past week: 2-4, dropping a pair against Midland
Transactions: Josh Fields was received on a major league rehabilitation assignment.
Coming up: The Naturals host Midland, then travel to Springfield for a four-game set before going to Tulsa next weekend.
A+ – Wilmington Blue Rocks
Record to date: 28-24 in the second half (second place), 60-62 overall
The past week: 4-2, with a rainout against Salem
Transactions: James Thompson was activated from the temporarily inactive list; and Harold Mozingo was placed on the 7-day disabled list.
Coming up: The Rocks finish up with Lynchburg at home this weekend, then travel to Potomac for three games and to Lynchburg next weekend.
POSITION PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Clint Robinson, first baseman, AA-Northwest Arkansas Naturals
.411 average the past week, 5 home runs in past 10 games
Clint Robinson has been arguably the best hitter in the Royals’ minor league system this year, and recently he’s been keeping his hot streak alive.
PITCHER OF THE WEEK
Luis Mendoza, AAA-Omaha Royals
2-0, 1 earned run, 8 strikeouts
Mendoza picked up a pair of wins last week, defeating Sacramento on the road and then Fresno in an eight-inning, no-earned runs gem. Mendoza is 9-8 on the season for the O-Royals with a 4.23 ERA.