Minor League Minutes: 7/1/2021

Well, June is over, which means the Royals annual “suck so bad that the rest of the season can’t possibly matter” month is officially over. With that in mind, we turn our full attention to the Minor Leagues, the MLB Draft, the All-Star Future’s Game, and the hope for a brighter tomorrow. Because I’m not entirely sure I can take even another week of watching this unmitigated disaster taking place in the big leagues.

Photo of Nick Loftin: Josh Franzen (@BanditsPhotog)

AAA Omaha (32-17): L 4-7

Omaha was gutted of most of its stars and is now starting to feel the effects. Ryan O’Hearn, Edward Olivares, and Emmanuel Rivera were all called into action with the big league club and the Storm Chasers had just two bench bats in their game this evening. One of which was Rudy Martin, who I’m not entirely sure is eligible to play yet due to COVID protocols. Anyway, Ryan McBroom is still there and still raking. He finished 2-4 with HR #14 and a double last night, raising his season OPS to .892. Bubba Starling doubled three times and is actually hitting for a good amount of power in limited action. It’ll be Eddie Butler and Johnny Wholestaff for the Storm Chasers tomorrow night.

AA Northwest Arkansas (25-23): W 5-4, W 5-2

The Naturals are on a roll. They’ve won 9 of their last 14 games and are averaging over 6.5 runs/game in that time. MJ Melendez went 2-7 with a pair of doubles on the night as he continues to be scorching hot. Bobby Witt Jr. singled 3 times in 7 tries, Dairon Blanco finished 3-5 with a HR and a BB, and Travis Jones finished 2-5 with a pair of walks and a double. Austin Cox was fantastic on the mound in game two, striking out 5 in 4.2 IP. Yefri Del Rosario will be on the hill for the Naturals tomorrow night.

A+ Quad Cities (32-16): W 9-4

I thoroughly enjoy watching this River Bandits team. Their lineup is solid 1-9, the rotation has legitimate prospects throughout, and the bullpen has some electric arms that keep the game close all the time. They’ve got one of the better records in MiLB and, short of getting gutted at the All-Star Break, ought to compete for a High-A Central title at the end of the year. Nick Loftin went 3-4 last night, Michael Massey finished 2-4 with HR #7, John Rave finished 2-3 with a walk, and Vinnie Pasquantino and Jeison Guzman singled. Zach Haake left his start early with some apparent discomfort in his side. He struck out 3 batters in 2.1 IP before his exit. Anthony Veneziano is scheduled to start tomorrow night for the River Bandits.

A- Columbia (25-21): L 0-1

In classic 2021 Fireflies fashion, half the game went great and half was pretty dismal. Cruz Noriega struck out 3 in 5 scoreless innings to start things off. Offensively, Maikel Garcia and Kale Emshoff both doubled. That was about it on the evening. Delvin Capellan will look to right the ship tomorrow night.

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