He didn't know it at the time, but Joe Wieland left Double-A Frisco with a pretty impressive going-away present.
Just two days before the righthander was traded to the Padres (along with teammate Robbie Erlin), Wieland faced the minimum number of batters in a 3-0 no-hitter against San Antonio on Friday. (Incidentally, San Antonio will be Wieland's likely destination in the Padres organization.) He walked one batter, but that runner was erased on a caught stealing. Jedd Gyorko gave Wieland the biggest scare with a long fly ball that was caught on the warning track in the eighth inning
Wieland leaves Frisco with a 4-0, 1.23 record. Including his earlier stint in high Class A Myrtle Beach, Wieland is 10-3, 1.80 this season. His no-hitter moved him up to second in the minors in ERA behind Kane County's Greg Billo.
DOUBLING UP: Playing in Las Vegas rarely hurts a hitter's numbers, but in Triple-A first baseman David Cooper's case, the numbers are so good that it's hard to discount them as exclusively a feature of his hitting environment.
The hitting environment is extreme, so let's start by acknowledging that. As a team, Las Vegas is hitting .307/.379/.482, and the 51s pitchers have a 5.87 ERA. But even with Cooper playing in parks where the ball carries very well, his numbers stand out. Cooper was 6-for-11 this weekend with two home runs and two doubles. His seven-game hitting streak has raised his averages to .379/.447/.586.
Cooper now ranks second in the minor league batting race, behind current Astros second baseman Jose Altuve, who hit .389 while in the minors. (Altuve collected 391 plate appearances in the minors, which would qualify him for the batting title even if he doesn't return to the minors.) Cooper also leads the minors with 42 doubles.
Cooper's teammate Brett Lawrie, leads the minors in slugging at .663. Lawrie is currently working on a 12-game hitting streak.
POWER POTENTIAL: Low Class A Greensville shortstop Xander Bogaerts isn't your typical 18-year-old. Most teenagers, particularly shortstops, have plenty of filling out to do before they reach their power ceiling—even if they have the hand-eye coordination to hit for high average.
In Bogaert's case, he has the power. He's just working on hitting for average and getting on base. Bogaerts went 4-for-10 with a double and two home runs this weekend. He now has nine home runs in 145 at-bats, good for an exceptional .256 isolated power. But he's also hitting just .234 with a .315 on-base percentage.
At 6-foot-3, 175 pounds, Bogaerts figures to move to third base eventually, but for now he's turned into one of the South Atlantic League's top power hitters, even if he's still months away from his 19th birthday.
DANTE'S INFERNO: It's hard to get noticed in the Gulf Coast League—the games are played during the heat of the day in front of no fans. But Dante Bichette Jr.'s production is impossible to ignore. He's on a 15-game hitting streak, and he's coming off a weekend where he went 5-for-10 with two home runs and a double. He's hitting .619 (26-for-42) over his past 10 games, and has had two or more hits in nine of his past 10 games.
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