I wrote down some thoughts about what our mid-season rankings are gonna look like at the end of next week. There will be some guys that come off the list for various reasons, some big risers, some fallers, and then some draft picks thrown in as well.
#23 Nick Pratto, 1B: Pratto has a 156 wRC+ and has already clubbed 14 HR for AA Northwest Arkansas this season. His K% keeps going up and is starting to concern me a little bit, but the power is legit and he has answered a bunch of questions that folks had about him coming into 2021.
We are now just four sleeps away from the 2021 MLB Draft. Here’s some quick info about the draft:
When: Sunday, July 11th, at 6:07 PM (Round 1 and Comp Round A)
How to watch: MLB Network (ESPN for Day 1)
Royals first three picks: 7, 43, and 66
AAA Omaha (36-21): W 3-2
Pretty good night all around for the Storm Chasers last night. The offense only scored 3 runs, but they also had 11 hits and did just enough to squeak it out. Jackson Kowar only allowed 1 run in 3.2 IP, Grant Gavin struck out a pair in 2.1 scoreless innings in relief, and Tyler Zuber was fantastic once again closing things out. In his last 12.1 IP, he’s allowed just 2 ER while striking out 13 batters and walking just 4. I would anticipate him being back in the big leagues shortly after the All-Star break if he keeps pitching like this.
– Lucius Fox: 2-4, 2 K
– Erick Mejia: 1-4
– Edward Olivares: 2-4, HR
– Ryan McBroom: 3-3, BB
– Kyle Isbel: 0-3
– Gabriel Cancel: 2-3, 2B
– Rudy Martin: 1-3, K
– Jackson Kowar: 3.2 IP, 5 H, 2 BB, 4 K, 1 ER
– Grant Gavin: 2.1 IP, 3 H, 0 BB, 2 K, 0 R
– Gabe Speier: 1 IP, 3 H, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 ER
– Tyler Zuber: 1 IP, 0 H, 1 BB, 2 K, 0 R
AA Northwest Arkansas (31-25): W 10-2
The Naturals have scored 38 runs in 4 games since arriving in Wichita on Tuesday night while allowing just 17. Last night they were led by Nick Pratto who finished the game 3-4 with a BB and was just a HR shy of the cycle. He landed his season OPS right at 1.000 before he heads to Denver for the All-Star Future’s Game and potentially AAA Omaha (I would bet against that one but he’s definitely headed to Denver, so…). Dairon Blanco also had 3 hits last night for NWA, raising his season OPS to .806. I’ve been really impressed by him over the last month or so. Angel Zerpa finished with 2 runs in 4 IP with 6 K and just 2 BB. Drew Parrish will pitch for NWA tonight without Bobby Witt Jr. and Nick Pratto behind him.
A+ Quad Cities (37-19): W 17-5
Quad Cities is on a war path this season. They have absolutely destroyed folks at times and don’t seem to be slowing down any time soon (unless they lose some guys after the ASB). For now, Noah Murdock’s return has added another lethal option at the top of the rotation for the River Bandits and they’ll continue to compete for the High-A Central title if they keep playing like this.
– Jeison Guzman: 3-7, K
– Tucker Bradley: 2-4, 2 BB, K
– Vinnie Pasquantino: 2-3, 2B, BB
– Michael Massey: 3-6, 2B, 3B
– Jake Means: 1-3, HR, 3 BB
– Jimmy Govern: 3-6, K
– William Hancock: 4-5, 2B
– Noah Murdock: 5 IP, 6 H, 0 BB, 4 K, 2 ER
– Yohanse Morel: 2.2 IP, 0 H, 1 BB, 3 K, 0 R
A- Columbia (28-26): L 5-7
The offense stayed hot for the Fireflies but the pitching staff didn’t pull through in this one. Juan Carlos Negret had a couple more XBH, a 2B and his 14th HR, in the loss. Maikel Garcia finished 2-6 with a 2B. Gage Hughes finished 3-5 with a double. Rylan Kaufman struck out 4 in 5 innings of 2-run ball. Nate Webb struck out 7 in 3.1 innings of relief. Adrian Alcantara will take the mound for Columbia tonight.
ACL Royals Blue (3-3): L 0-3
Not a lot of offense going on in Arizona, which sounds like an oxymoron of sorts, as the two teams tallied just 6 hits combined last night. Erick Pena finished 0-3 with 2 K. Omar Florentino, Rothaikeg Seijas, and Jean Ramirez each finished 1-3. Daniel Tillo started for the team in a rehab assignment, throwing 2 hitless innings with 1 BB and 2 K.
ACL Royals Gold (2-5): L 12-16
Offense aplenty in this one. Seuly Matias hit his first HR of the season in a rehab start for the Royals Gold team. He finished 2-4 with a BB and a K. Nate Eaton doubled and walked in his first rehab appearance for the team as well.
Photo Credits: Tim Campbell