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By Jon Weisman
Though the Pacific Coast League has put a slight break on the rapid rise of Corey Seager, it wouldn’t be fair to say he’s lost all momentum.
Seager, who turned 21 last week, is 5 for 20 with a double, a walk and four strikeouts since his promotion to Triple-A Oklahoma City from Double-A Tulsa. Seager had hits in two of his first three at-bats, then went 0 for 9 (with his one walk). But in his last two games, Seager is 3 for 8 with a double and two RBI, heading into tonight’s game against New Orleans.
On to this week’s roundup …
Oklahoma City Dodgers (AAA)
Thus far: 19-7
Chris Heisey has boarded the Dodgers-to-Dodgers supertrain, called up by Los Angeles to take the roster spot of Joe Wieland, who heads back to the Oklahoma City affiliate. Heisey has a .356 on-base perccentage and .607 slugging percentage in 18 games this season.
Second in OPS behind Heisey for Oklahoma City is Buck Britton (.376 OBP/.425 slugging), despite starting May in a 1-for-15 slump (with two walks). Though OKC has essentially dominated its opponents this season, the team is last in the PCL in OPS at .647. Next worst is Memphis, with a .695 OPS.
That might lead you to believe that OKC is looking pretty good on the pitching side. Prepare to have your beliefs validated. The team’s 2.61 ERA is more than half a run better than No. 2 New Orleans (3.24). OKC has more strikeouts than any other Triple-A team.
Mike Bolsinger got a no-decision Wednesday while striking out seven in five innings, giving him 28 whiffs in 19 innings in Triple-A this season to go with a 1.42 ERA. Bolsinger would be second in the PCL in ERA, but he needs two more innings to qualify — which might be hard to come by if he’s the next Dodger pitcher to take a turn in the starting rotation. The Dodgers will need to call someone up for their May 11 game against Miami.
In two games since moving up from Tulsa, lefty reliever Chris Reed has pitched four innings, allowing a run on five hits (and no walks) while striking out two.
Tulsa Drillers (AA)
Thus far: 13-13
Julio Urias is the scheduled starter tonight for the Drillers. who host 17-9 Arkansas. In his last start, Urias allowed his only home run of the season to date, going six innings and giving up three runs while striking out seven. The 18-year-old’s ERA is 2.70, with a 0.79 WHIP and 11.1 strikeouts per nine innings.
Cuban outfielder Yadir Drake continues to turn heads. The 25-year-old, who was only promoted to Single-A on April 20, arrived in Double-A at the start of May and has gone 8 for 20 with a homer and three walks (1.028 OPS), including a 3-for-4 effort Wednesday.
With Seager’s promotion, the reigning OPS leader for Tulsa is 33-year-old Brian Burgamy (1.085), who is 14 for 29 with four homers in his past eight games. Burgamy played in the Mets organization last year.
Chris Anderson had a 1.50 ERA and 0.83 WHIP after his first three starts of 2015. Since then, Anderson has pitched 12 1/3 innings and allowed 15 earned runs, walking nine while striking out 10.
Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (High A)
Thus far: 15-12
Jose De Leon had a dazzling start Tuesday for the Quakes, allowing one hit, one walk and one hit-by-pitch over seven innings while striking out 12. The 22-year-old righty now has a 1.80 ERA, 0.88 WHIP and 13.7 K/9 in 25 innings this season. He is fifth in the California League in ERA and second in whiffs.
John Richy followed a rehab appearance by Kenley Jansen on May 1 with 4 2/3 innings of eight-strikeout shutout relief, then came back five days later with seven solid innings, in which he allowed three earned runs and 11 baserunners while striking out seven. Richy had a dip early this season where he allowed 11 runs in six innings over two starts. In the rest of his 2015 outings, his ERA is 1.59.
Center fielder Devan Ahart is 6 for 13 in May with two triples, a homer and four walks, for a .588 OBP and 1.000 slugging percentage.
Great Lakes Loons (Low A)
Thus far: 12-12
After hitting one homer in their first 17 games, the Loons now have five — one each by the Four Js (Johan Mieses, Josmar Cordero, Jacob Scavuzzo, Justin Chigobu) and one by Brian Wolfe, who stubbornly has no J anywhere in his name. Cordero, a 23-year-old from Venezuela, is 7 for 19 in May with three doubles and a walk to go with his homer (1.084 OPS).
Top 2014 draft pick Grant Holmes had his best start of 2015 on Monday. He pitched six shutout innings, allowing four hits and three walks while striking out four. Half of those hits came in the sixth inning, when he escaped a bases-loaded, one-out jam to finish on a high note.
Trevor Oaks had his longest outing of the season on Tuesday, going eight innings and allowing two runs on eight baserunners. He continues to succeed without the strikeout, fanning three in the game to give him 15 in 31 innings this season.
Top 10 prospects thus far
- Corey Seager (Tulsa/Oklahoma City) .350/.383/.600, five homers
- Julio Urias (Tulsa) 26 2/3 innings, 2.70 ERA, 0.79 WHIP, 33 strikeouts
- Grant Holmes (Great Lakes) 21 2/3 innings, 4.57 ERA, 1.71 WHIP, 26 strikeouts
- Alex Verdugo (GL) .222/.263/.289, four doubles, three steals
- Chris Anderson (Tulsa) 30 1/3 innings, 5.34 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, 27 strikeouts
- Jose De Leon (Rancho Cucamonga) 25 innings, 1.80 ERA, 0.88 WHIP, 38 strikeouts
- Darnell Sweeney (OKC) .231/.349/.363, 13 steals in 15 attempts
- Scott Schebler (OKC) .218/.330/.449, five homers
- Zach Bird (RC) 20 2/3 innings, 5.23 ERA, 1.45 WHIP, 20 strikeouts
- Chris Reed (Tulsa/OKC) 15 2/3 innings, 1.15 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 15 strikeouts