The Omaha Storm Chasers (Pacific Coast League) has posted the second best record in the PCL going 17-8 trailing only the Fresno Grizzlies who are 19-6 on the campaign. The Storm Chasers have remained hot despite having send several players up to Kansas City, some of which have since returned.
The offense has slowed down a touch, but is continuing to carry Omaha to victories. A pair of former Naturals have been leading the charge over the last week. Anthony Seratelli is hitting .412 for the season, and posted his first four-hit game of the season back on April 27 against Memphis. Terry Evans, who began the season in Northwest Arkansas has been red hot since being called up. The outfielder has posted a .378 batting average and has belted a pair of home runs in 11 games. On the mound for the Storm Chasers Mike Montgomery has been brilliant as of late. The left-hander has turned in three straight quality starts (at least 6 innings and three earned runs or less). He has allowed just seven runs in his last 20 innings of work after giving up the same number in his first 7.2 innings to start the season.
Jamie Romak is in limited playing time (29 at bats) is hitting just .172 with no home runs and two RBI. On the mound for the Storm Chasers Francisely Bueno has surrendered five runs, only two of which were earned, in his last two outings, which have totaled three innings.
The Northwest Arkansas Naturals (Texas League) are back to .500 after at 12-12 after a 7-1 homestand that put them back in second place in the Texas League North. The Naturals are heading out on the road to Springfield for four games. They are just 2-8 away from Arvest Ballpark this season.
Wil Myers who was named the Texas League Player of the week (April 23-29) has been leading the charge for the Naturals. The outfielder is hitting .349 while leading the Naturals in home runs with six and RBI with 15. Another outfielder made a name for himself over the last homestand Carlo Testa. Testa hit three home runs on the homestand including a grand slam on April 27 and two more home runs on April 30. He is now tied for second on the team in RBI after driving home 10 runs in his last four games.
Rey Navarro had a three hit game on April 26, but has been cold since. The second baseman has gone 1-for-17 over the last four games. On the mound for the Naturals Bryan Paukovits allowed just one run of his own in his last appearance, but did allow all three runners he inherited to cross the plate as well in two thirds of an inning.
The Wilmington Blue Rocks (Carolina League) went just 2-5 last week and after getting back to .500 the week before. The Blue Rocks are now 10-13 on the season and sit in second place in the Carolina League’s North Division.
Brian Fletcher has turned his season around in a matter of days. The corner outfielder has hit in eight of his last nine games and collected multiple knocks in seven of those contests. He has raised his batting average from .152 to .305 over that same stretch. Nick Rogers has continued to be as close to perfect as anyone on the mound, and has yet to allow a run this season. The right-hander has allowed just six hits over nine innings walking just one and striking out nine. His opponents are hitting just .182 against him and he has converted both of his save opportunities.
Outfielder Geulin Beltre had a tough week, but showed signs of breaking out of his slump with his game yesterday tallying three hits in that contest, prior to that he had been mired in an 0-for-12 slump. Tyler Sample allowed a season high five runs in his last outing on April 27 against Winston Salem. Sample issued three walks and five hits in that contest. The rough outing for Sample followed his best outing of the season, which came on April 17, when he worked six innings allowing just one run and fanning a season high seven.
The Kane County Cougars also went 2-5 over the past week and now sit at 11-14 on the season. They are sitting in sixth place in the Midwest League’s Western division, but are just three games behind Quad Cities for the division lead.
Starting pitcher Alexander Scott has been on point for the Cougars as of late. Scott made his first two appearances out of the bullpen, before starting in two of his last three appearances. In his two starts Scott has worked ten innings allowing just eight hits and two earned runs, while striking out eight. He has posted a 1.04 ERA in five appearances. Outfielder Jorge Bonifacio has continued to carry the bulk of the load offensively. He is leading the team with a .340 batting average, and has nine extra base hits in 24 games this season.
Right-hander Michael Giovenco has hit a rough patch in his last two outings. The 6’6” relief pitcher has giving up seven runs over his last three innings of work. These two outings are coming after he had allowed just two earned runs over his first seven and a third innings. Cather Jin-Ho Shin is stuck in an 0-for-16 slump over his last five games. The South Korean born backstop has seen his average dip down to .179 after it had been up at .258 back on April 19.
Alumni Report (Former Naturals outside the Kansas City organization)
Jordan Parraz continues to be hot for the Triple-A Gwinnett Braves. The outfielder is leading the team with a .367 batting average in 22 games. Parraz has been his best against left-handed pitching hitting a scalding .600 (15-for-25) against them on the season. A teammate of Parraz Dusty Hughes seems to have found a spot in the bullpen late in games. Hughes earned three saves in his last four outings and has continued to see his ERA be one of the top ones in all of minor league baseball. The left-hander has allowed just one run in 12.2 innings, while striking out 11, posting an ERA of just 0.71.
Blake Johnson has continued to be one of the top pitchers for Double-A Chattanooga in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization. Johnson has appeared in eight games, and worked 15.1 innings allowing just three earned runs while striking out 14. He also ranks second on the Lookouts with a 1.76 ERA.
Tim Smith, who was released by the Kansas City Royals following spring training, has signed a deal with the Atlanta Braves. The veteran outfielder made his debut with Class-A Advanced Lynchburg this past week going 2-for-3 with two walks and a run scored against Frederick on April 29.
Ernesto Mejia had been off to a hot start for the Triple-A Gwinnett Braves, but has cooled off of late. The first baseman is just 4-for-28 over his last eight games with the Braves. He has provided some power though with five doubles and three home runs to go along with 15 RBI.
The Northwest Arkansas Naturals are the Double-A Texas League affiliate of the Kansas City Royals and play at state-of-the-art Arvest Ballpark, located in Springdale. Visit our website, nwanaturals.com, for information on season tickets and ticket plans.