NWA Week in Review: May 13-20

Weekly Record: 6-1
Overall Record: 19-23
Standings: 3rd (7.5 GB Arkansas)

Weekly Transactions:
5/13 – Activated Taylor Featherston from the IL, sent Offerman Collado back to Burlington.

5/18 – Activated DJ Burt from the IL, sent Blake Perkins back to Wilmington.

The Naturals had a great week winning 6 of the 7 games they played.  They definitely need a few more weeks like this one in order to gain ground on the streaking Travelers.  I thought this team would be contending for a playoff spot and they’re down to 28 games left in the first half.  The Naturals are 42 games into the season and at a good point to reflect on what they’ve been so far this season.  They’ve been streaky to say the least.

A few things of note from the last week.  Currently, the rotation is Conner Greene, Jace Vines, Arnaldo Hernandez, Gerson Garabito, and Ofreidy Gomez.  All the starters had a decent week with the shortest starts being just 5.0 innings.  They went a combined 4-1 with 2 no decisions.

The bullpen had a solid week.  Gabe Speier, Yunior Marte, and Grant Gavin combined for an ERA of 0.00 in 6.1 innings striking out 8 and walking just 1 batter.  As a whole, the bullpen only walked 3 batters in 22.1 innings.  They also had 25 strikeouts over that time period and went 2-0 with 4 saves.  Yunior Marte posted a swing and miss rate of 15.4 percent, the highest on the team.  Franco Terrero, who turns 24 today, posted a swing and miss rate of 14.0 percent.

Travis Jones, Khalil Lee, and Nick Heath combined to go 13-13 on stolen base attempts with Jones notching 5.  Lee and Heath each had 4 stolen bases while hitting .231 on the week.  Even if they aren’t producing a high average, if they can get on base and steal second almost every time they are doing good things for the ball club.  Jones hit .235 on the week.

Anderson Miller continued his hot season by hitting .481/.542/.704 over the week.  He is riding a modest 6-game hitting streak currently.  Miller didn’t walk but was hit by a pitch and only struck out 3 times on the week.  Last year, I wrote if Miller could cut his strikeouts down with more of a contact approach, he would hit for a solid average.  It seems that he has done that to start this season.

Meibrys Viloria seems to have finally broken out of his slump.  Viloria hit .471/.526/.529 in 5 games behind the plate.  Xavier Fernandez picked up the slack in his 2 games going 2 for 6 with 2 home runs.

Gabriel Cancel continued to put the ball in play with hard contact.  Cancel hit .348/.360/.783 on the week with 4 doubles and 2 home runs.  Cancel had 8 runs batter in as well as scoring 4 himself.  He did strike out 6 times and needs to find a way to cut those slightly.

Angelo Castellano has done well filling in for guys while Featherston and Burt were on the IL.  Castellano has hit .333/.467/.583 over the last week with 5 runs batted in.

On a personal note, I’ll be doing much more writing now that school and baseball have finished.  I’ve written 30 draft profiles over the last month as well and you’ll have a chance to read some of those soon.  There for a while I had to pick what I wrote for because I didn’t want to sacrifice time with my wife and kids to write so I had to do only what was necessary.  I appreciate the understanding and look forward to putting more content out there on Royals prospects.  Thanks for reading.

Picture taken by Drew Osborne.

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