BAPR Plus: June 11

Brandon Watson is threatening to leave Mitch Hilligoss’ hitting streak in his wake. Bryan Bullington left his start with a shoulder injury and James Hoey’s scoreless streak has come to an end.

Triple-A

We might as well call 2007 the year of the hitting streak. As Mitch Hilligoss’ 38-game hitting streak was wrapping up, Brandon Watson’s hitting streak was hitting its stride. Watson is only one game away from Hilligoss’ mark after he singled in the fifth inning on Sunday to extend his streak to 37 games. With a hit today, Watson would tie Hilligoss for the longest minor league hitting streak in the past 46 years. Watson also isn’t far from the International League record of 42 games, set by Jack Lelivelt in 1912.

Andy Marte’s days as a top prospect are past. Now he has to earn his way back to the majors. Marte took a step towards that goal on Sunday, going 3-for-3 with two doubles and a home run in the opener against Richmond and 1-for-3 with the go-ahead RBI single in the nightcap.

Bryan Bullington left Sunday’s start after one inning with what is being termed shoulder discomfort. Gustavo Molina homered twice for Charlotte in the 4-3 Knights win.

James Hoey’s scoreless streak has finally come to an end. The Orioles prospect didn’t allow a run in his 18 2/3 innings at Bowie and he continued his streak by not allowing a run in his first 2 1/3 innings at Triple-A Norfolk. But Hoey has allowed three runs in his last two outings, including one yesterday in one inning as Toledo topped Norfolk 2-1. Rehabbing Kenny Rogers allowed no runs in 3 2/3 innings.

Terry Evans homered as part of a three-hit night to lead Salt Lake past Portland.

Rick Ankiel homered as part of a four-hit night to lead Memphis to a 15-7 pounding of Albuquerque.

Adam Jones amazing June continued on Sunday. The Tacoma center fielder had four more hits including a triple as Tacoma topped Colorado Springs. Jones is hitting .425/.465/.850 with four home runs in 40 at-bats this month.

Craig Brazell hit his minor league leading 22nd home run of the season and Justin Huber added six RBIs in Omaha’s 10-6 win against Nashville.

Philip Humber was very hittable, but still picked up the win on Sunday. Humber gave up 13 hits in 5 1/3 innings, but only three runs in New Orleans’ 9-3 win over Iowa.

Double-A

One of the reasons the Pirates moved Neil Walker to third base was because they said they believed it would improve his hitting once he didn’t have to deal with the rigors of catching. It seems to be working. Walker hit his 10th home run of the season on Sunday, double his 2006 total.

Ian Kennedy has handled the jump to Double-A with aplomb. Kennedy struggled in his first start for Trenton on June 5, but he was back in control yesterday, allowing only three hits while striking out eight in six scoreless innings.

Travis Ishikawa’s walkoff home run led Connecticut past Binghamton. The home run ended an impressive pitchers’ duel between Kevin Mulvey and Garrett Broshuis.

Donnie Veal hasn’t had many outings to remind fans of his 2006 success, but on Sunday he allowed only one hit in five innings while striking out eight.

Carlos Fisher is proving to be one of the biggest surprises of the season. Fisher allowed one run in six innings last night, raising his ERA to 1.26 in seven Double-A starts since being promoted from high Class A Sarasota. Fisher is now 6-2, 1.71 with 89 strikeouts and 20 walks in 84 innings. Opponents are hitting .220 against him.

Victor Mercedes hit for the cycle for Birmingham in a win against Mississippi.

Mitchell Boggs allowed one unearned run in seven innings and Joe Mather threw out the potential tying run to end the game in Springfield’s 4-3 win Sunday.

Jeff Baisley and Brandon Boggs traded two home run games in Frisco’s 15-12 win in the opener, but Mario Ramos turned the second game into more of a pitcher’s duel. Ramos threw five scoreless innings in Midland’s 6-2 win in the nightcap.

High Class A
John Mayberry’s average is still stuck at .230, but he did hit his 16th home run of the season on Sunday. The Dallas Morning News recently ran a feature where Mayberry agreed that he is still somewhat of a project.

Craig Cooper had four hits and Matt Antonelli added three more as Lake Elsinore topped San Jose.

The ugliest game of Sunday took place at Potomac, where the Nationals and Frederick Keys combined for 20 walks. Brandon Erbe allowed six walks and four runs in five innings.

Sergio Perez deserved better. The Salem starter allowed only one hit in five scoreless innings, but he wasn’t involved in the decision as Ron Davenport’s home run led Lynchburg to a 3-2 win.

Clearwater’s Josh Outman struck out nine in six scoreless innings.

Jake McGee struck out 11 in 5 2/3 innings as Vero Beach topped Jupiter.

Low Class A

Rafael Gonzalez rebirth as a prospect continued on Sunday as Gonzalez allowed one run in eight innings to lower his ERA to 2.24.

Eduardo Perez had four hits including a double to lead Great Lakes past Fort Wayne.

With Travis Snider back home in Washington for what were termed personal reasons, Lansing relied on its pitching to beat South Bend. Starters Ray Gonzalez and Anthony Barnette both left with shutouts intact, but Raul Barron singled in the winning run in the bottom of the ninth for Lansing.

John Whittleman homered twice as Clinton beat Peoria.

Tyler Herron allowed three hits in six scoreless innings and Brad Furnish finished off the shutout in Quad Cities’ 2-0 win over Cedar Rapids.

Justin Maxwell had three hits including a double to as Hagerstown topped Lake County.

Jim Goethals was an unlikely hero. The catcher was 0-for-12 for the season with 10 strikeouts when he stepped into the batter’s box in the ninth inning last night. But Goethals cranked a walk-off two-out home run to give Lexington a 2-1 win over West Virginia.

Kevin Howard isn’t exactly a young prospect on his way up–he’s a Double-A veteran who not surprisingly is tearing up the South Atlantic League. Howard drove in seven runs in Lakewood’s 10-4 win over Delmarva.

Minors |

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