The Omaha Storm Chasers (Pacific Coast League) went 4-2 over the past six days making them 21-10 trailing only the Fresno Grizzlies who are 23-8 on the campaign in the race for the best record in the Pacific Coast League. The Storm Chasers have remained hot despite sending several more players up to the Royals including Nate Adock and most recently Irving Falu.
The offense has continued to carry the Storm Chasers to wins providing walk-off victories on two consecutive nights thanks to home runs by Cody Clark and Johnny Giavotella. Giavotella has been on fire since the calendar turned over to may hitting .458 (11-for-24) in the first six games of the month. He has also hit two home runs and knocked in eight, while working six walks over that span. On the mound for the Storm Chasers a pair of pitchers who returned from the Kansas City Royals have been on. Everett Teafordtossed five and two thirds innings in his first start of the season in Triple-A. Louis Coleman has allowed just three hits and one run over five and a third innings of work.
Sean O’Sullivan looked to have found it working and inning and a third scoreless innings in his last appearance against Oklahoma City, but prior to that he allowed nine hits and five runs over five and a third innings in his previous two relief outings. Jason Bourgeois has struggled at the plate since being demoted to Triple-A. He is hitting .200 (6-for-30) in his first seven games of the season, but has hit a home run.
The Northwest Arkansas Naturals (Texas League) are back to .500 after at 15-15 and have won the first two games of a four game homestand against the Tulsa Drillers to pull within five games of the Drillers for the North Division lead. The Naturals have been brilliant at Arvest Ballpark this season going 12-4 at home.
Wil Myers who was named the Texas League Player of the week (April 23-29) has continued to be the best player on the field nearly every night. Myers has homered in three of his last four games and is hitting a healthy .336 on the season to lead the Texas League. He is also tops on the Naturals with 22 RBI, knocking home seven runs in his last four games. On the mounc Jake Odorizzi has been just as good as advertised winning the Texas League Pitcher of the week (April 30-May 6) and turning in a seven and a third inning eleven strikeout performance his last time out on the mound.
Julio Rodriguez is still trying to find his rhythm at the plate going 7-for-36 in his first ten games of the season. He has delivered some key hits knocking in three runs in ten games on the season. On the mound for the Naturals Chris Dwyer is coming off his worst start of the season and will look to rebound later in the week. Last time out Dwyer went three innings allowing five hits and ten runs, seven of which were earned, while walking a season high six.
The Wilmington Blue Rocks (Carolina League) went just 2-4 last week and after getting back and are now 12-17 on the season sitting in third place in the Carolina League’s Northern Division trailing the Potomac Nationals by just one game for second.
Brian Fletcher has been giving opposing pitchers nightmares so far in the month of May. The former Auburn Tiger is hitting .348 in the month of May lifting his average to .314 on the season. Nick Rogers turned in what has become a run of the mill performance out of the bullpen on Saturday going two innings allowing just one hit and fanning three. Rogers has yet to allow and run this season and have fanned 12 in 11 innings of work.
Catcher Kenny Swab is still trying to find himself at the plate this season in limited playing time. The backstop has appeared in ten games for the Blue Rocks and is hitting .094 (3-for-32) on the season. Sam Runion had a couple of tough appearances in the last week allowing four runs in five and a third innings of work, but for the season he has now allowed just five runs over 13 innings.
The Kane County Cougars went 3-2 over the past week and they now sit at 14-16 on the season. The Cougars are sitting in fifth place in the Midwest League’s Western division, but are just 4.5 games behind the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers for the division lead.
Outfielder Lane Adams has continued to be one of the focal points of the Cougar offense. He is hitting a cool .330 with a home run and 18 RBI on the campaign. On the mound for the Cougars, Santiago Garrido is undefeated on the season, going 3-0 with a 0.68 ERA over 26.1 innings of work.
First baseman Murray Watts is still trying to hit for a better average, but his power swing has definitely been there. Despite hitting just .191 on the season Watts has popped five home runs and driven home 13. Aaron Brooks is coming off of a pair of rough starts allowing seven runs in his last 11 innings of work to go along with 15 hits.
Alumni Report (Former Naturals outside the Kansas City organization)
Corey Smith turned in a great week for Double-A Birmingham posting a .407 batting average, to go along with four doubles and four RBI. Blake Johnson made three scoreless appearances for Double-A Chattanooga in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization. He logged two and a third innings surrendering just one hit and striking out two.
Jeff Bianchi posted a .300 average for the week while with Double-A Huntsville in the Milwaukee Brewers organization, and earned his first career promotion to Triple-A on Saturday.
Dusty Hughes got knocked around this past week working a third of an inning allowing two hits, walking two, and surrendering three runs. Hughes had been one of the hottest pitcher for the Atlanta Braves Triple-A affiliate prior to that outing. Jordan Parraz, also with the Gwinnett Braves had a rough week at the plate going 0-for-16 with six strikeouts.
Josh Johnson who is now with Triple-A Syracuse in the Washington Nationals organization is 1-for-16 with a walk and three strikeouts.
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.