Minor League Roundup: Good Night, And Good Luck

Today’s roundup bids farewell to an old friend, welcomes a new challenger into the Great Minor League Home Run Race, marvels at Rob Refsnyder‘s metronome-steady bat, bows in reverence at the feet of Joey Gallo, and shines light on yet another prospect for the Portland Sea Dogs.

 Mookie Meter

mookie-meter-2

Today, we bid farewell to the Mookie Meter. It’s been quite a ride, hasn’t it? From his first on-base streak, to his promotion to Pawtucket, to his move to center field, to this weekend’s move to the major leagues, we’ve enjoyed watching Betts’ journey through the system. Now that he’s in the major leagues, though, he’s ineligible for the roundup. Just like the majestic panther below, it’s time for Betts to go off to bigger and better things. So today we’ll note that he got on base twice at Yankee Stadium, and give you one last look at the meter. Savor it, people, savor it.

International League

Rob RefsnyderRob Refsnyder, 2b, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (Yankees): Refsnyder collected two more hits on Sunday, which at this point is becoming the norm, and that’s not hyperbole. In his 20 games in Triple-A, Refsnyder has as many multi-hit games as he does one-hit and hitless games. Overall, he’s got 38 multi-hit contests out of 80 total games. Yankees fans have become something well beyond restless waiting for the Yankees to call up Refsnyder, and it shouldn’t be long if he keeps hitting this way.

Pacific Coast League

Domingo Santana, of, Oklahoma City (Astros): Even with an 0-for-5 with four strikeouts on Sunday, Santana was still stellar this weekend. He collected six hits total on Friday and Saturday, including a walk-off bomb on Friday. He also doubled, scored four times, drove in four runs and stole a bag. With June drawing to a close, Santana is slashing an excellent .313/.404/.505 this month with seven doubles, four home runs and 15 RBIs. He’s also got a cannon for an arm.

Eastern League

sean-coyle-2013-ckSean Coyle, 2b, Portland (Red Sox): Now that Mookie Betts is gone, the Sea Dogs can just go ahead and plug another prospect in at second base. That’s Coyle, who had himself a weekend against the Reading Fightin Phils. Boston’s third-rounder from 2010 went 5-for-13 in the series, collecting a double, triple, a home run and eight RBIs along the way. He also walked four times and struck out just twice. This month he’s slashing a sweet .352/.457/.659 with seven doubles and six home runs.

Southern League

Jose Peraza, 2b, Mississippi (Braves): The greatest surprise recently came on Thursday, when Peraza failed to get a hit for the first time in June. He got right back on the horse this weekend, collecting five hits in 14 trips with the M-Braves.  He also scored three times, walked twice and stole two bases, which moved his season total to 39 swipes in 48 chances (81.3 percent success rate). His 115 hits this season leads all the minor leagues and is just one behind Houston’s Jose Altuve for the lead in all of baseball.

Texas League

joey-gallo-2014-mugJoey Gallo, 3b, Frisco (Rangers): Who did you think it was going to be? Although Gallo’s weekend probably wasn’t the greatest in all the Texas League, he did homer on Saturday, giving him eight with the RoughRiders and an amazing 29 for the season in just 254 at-bats, which works out to an absurd clip of a home run every 8.75 at-bats. He leads all of professional baseball by two home runs, and has bested the major league leaders—Jose Abreu, Nelson Cruz and Edwin Encarnacion—by four, despite playing in fewer games than all but Abreu. Side note: Abreu has 25 homers in 69 games. That’s incredible.

Florida State League

Jose Berrios, rhp, Fort Myers (Twins): If he goes right now, Berrios can hop a flight from Fort Myers to Hartford, Conn., for a scant $123. That would put him just 15 minutes away from New Britain, where he should be pitching at this point instead of in high Class A with the Miracle. He pitched Sunday, however, so he’s got some time to kill between starts. In that case, maybe he’d prefer the scenic route. He could drive from Florida to Connecticut in a little less than 21 hours, and could see the sights. Point is, with his seven innings of two-run ball on Sunday included, Berrios has been more than dominant. In June, he has pitched 41 innings, allowed eight runs (seven earned) on 24 hits and five walks, and struck out an absurd 53 hitters. That’s right, he’s striking out more than 10 for every batter he walks. Connecticut is calling.

Carolina League

Christian Binford, rhp, Wilmington (Royals): Forget what he did on Sunday—six innings, five hits, two runs, both earned, no walks and seven strikeouts—and look at his body of work this June. In four starts spanning a total of 25 2/3 innings, Binford has walked nobody. If you go back to May, in fact, he’s gone his last five starts—30 2/3 frames in total—without issuing a free pass. That’s a pleasant gem in the middle of a terrible stretch for Wilmington, which got no-hit twice on consecutive days by Lynchburg in recent days. With this stretch, Binford just keeps reestablishing himself as the Royals’ premier control artiste.

HOME RUN TRACKER
Player Home Runs
Joey Gallo 29
Kris Bryant 27
Peter O’Brien 25
Matt Olson 23

California League

Matt Olson, 1b, Stockton (Athletics): With Adam Duvall gone to the Land of Lincecum, a new challenger in the Great Minor League Home Run Race needed to take his spot, and Olson has emerged as that challenger. Olson, Oakland’s supplemental first-rounder in 2012, socked 10 homers this month—including one on Friday—and has 23 in all this season. He’s just four behind Kris Bryant and six behind Gallo, so one really hot streak—and those aren’t rare in the Cal League—could put him in the thick of the race.

Midwest League

Kyle Schwarber, c/of, Kane County (Cubs): The fourth pick in the draft continues to hit like the fourth pick in the draft. Schwarber, who has been a pro for two weeks, launched his seventh and eighth home runs of the year on Saturday as part of a 4-for-5 day with a double, three runs and five RBIs. Much like Jose Berrios in Fort Myers, it’s probably time for Schwarber to hop a flight to the next level, which in his case is sunny Daytona in the Florida State League.

South Atlantic League

Zach Green, 3b, Lakewood (Phillies): Back with some new orthotic shoes to help correct a balance problem, Green had quite the afternoon on Sunday. Playing first base, where he’ll have to have plenty of big days, Green went 3-for-5 with two home runs, three runs and five RBIs. One of the best-liked players in the New York-Penn League last year, Green hasn’t had much success this year with the BlueClaws. His homers Sunday were just his second and third of the season.