High A Rancho Cucamonga: 37 wins, 27 losses
Tyson Auer, CF - (28 AB's) .536/.567/.786 with 2 trpls, 1 HR, 5 SB's, 3 K/2 BB
Auer pummeled the baseball all week for the Quakes, pushing his season line up to .329/.384/.444 with 2 HR's and 36 stolen bases, and earning a trip to his league's allstar game for the second consecutive season. Nevertheless, he's remaining true to his small ball roots: he laid down a successful bunt to move runners over last night, despite stepping up to the plate in a prime RBI situation. Auer also has a reputation for being a top-notch defender: managers voted him best centerfielder in the Midwest League last year, where he saved 17 runs according to TotalZone.
Tyler Chatwood, rhsp - (1 start) 1 W, 8 IP, 3 hits, 0 ER, 6 K/0 BB
From Halos Heaven community member Balls and Strikes:
"We took my family out to the Quakes/ 66ers game last night to celebrate my son's 2nd birthday. We were fortunate enough to see Tyler Chatwood pitch and this kid was filthy dominant. He allowed two hits (both to the same guy) in 8 innings with no walks and 6 k's. His fastball was sitting 95-96, touching 98 five or 6 times and 99 once. His offspeed stuff was dirty, dropping down to 72-75 with excellent movement and command. This kid looks like a future star."
First, happy birthday to the son of Balls and Strikes. Second, I'm thrilled to hear that Chatwood's hitting the upper 90's frequently, especially on a night when he walked no one. He's putting together an outstanding season.
Gabe Jacobo, 1B - (31 AB's) .419/.419/.839 with 1 dbl, 4 HR's 11 RBI's, 1 SB, 5 K/0 BB
Jacobo went on a homerun binge last week after going a full month without going yard. His .311/.346/.498 season line is above average for the Cal League - though not overwhelmingly so - but he also brings a fine glove to the table. Despite some recent misplays, he's generally been an outstanding defender so far in his professional career, saving 12 runs above average last year with the Kernels according to TotalZone.
Eddie McKiernan, rhrp - (3 appearances) 3 saves, 3 IP, 0 hits, 0 ER, 5 K/0 BB
McKiernan is a guy whom I'd really like to see in person. At 5'11", he's your classic Angels' undersized righty. According to pitch F/X., his stuff didn't look that impressive in spring training: the fastball averaged just under 90 mph, backed with an upper 70's curveball. Both pitches must have lots of movement, because for the third year in a row McKiernan has improved his peripherals and missed more bats, and is now boasting a 28 K/11 BB ratio and stingy .215 BA against in 25.1 California League innings.
Cedar Rapids: 41 wins, 21 losses
Garrett Richards, rhsp - (1 start) 1 W, 6 IP, 1 hit, 0 ER, 4 K/0 BB
Stephen Locke, lhsp - (1 start) 1 W, 8 IP, 5 hits, 2 ER, 7 K/1 BB
Tyler Skaggs, lhsp - (1 start) 5 IP, 5 hits, 1 ER, 5 K/0 BB
The Kernels are in the midst of yet another win streak, this one at 5 games so far, and the rotation deserves much of the credit. Garrett Richards notched his sixth quality start in his last seven tries, and the fourth in that time where he allowed no earned runs. As recently as June 5th, however, he yielded 11 hits in just 5 innings, so it remains highly debatable whether he's fully transitioned from enigma to top flight pitching prospect. Here's Halowood's scouting report for that game. Locke tossed his second straight gem Thursday evening, but Skaggs continues to look like the most impressive pitcher of the bunch: the eighteen year old has posted a 2.55 ERA and 55 K's to just 10 BB's in 53 IP. If his change comes around, he has a shot at becoming a true four-pitch guy.
Casey Haerther - (19 AB's) .474/.500/.632 with 1 dbl, 1 trpl, 5 RBI's, 2 SB's 2 K/1 BB
Matt Long - (20 AB's) .400/.400/.650 with 3 dbls, 1 trpl, 2 SB's, and 2 K/0 BB
Mike Trout - (20 AB's) .350/.409/.600 with 3 dbls, 1 trpl, 1 SB, and 1 K/2 BB
Jeremy Cruz - (18 AB's) .444/.474/.611 with 1 HR, 1 SB, and 5 K/1 BB
Like the rotation, the whole line-up is on fire, making it difficult to recognize just a couple of guys. Haerther's June .450/.463/.600 line has pushed him to sixth in the league in batting average, and he now ranks third in RBI's despite spotty playing time in April. He also stole two bases last week, certainly notable for the 6'2" 210 lbs first baseman. Long is ripping the cover off of the ball from the two hole, behind Mike Trout, who makes yet another appearance on this list. Two weeks ago, Abe Flores told us a little about Jeremy Cruz, who is replacing both Luis Jimenez and Eric Oliver in the lineup: "He can do a lot of things well, can play both corners of the outfield adequately, can play both corners of the infield, so he's a very versatile guy... He has good pitch recognition, he covers the strikezone, two strikes don't bother him, runners on base don't bother him, he can drive balls to the opposite field and he has some power."