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Triple-A Snapshot: Red-Hot Rainier

Nate Rowan

Nate Rowan analyzes prospects for RotoWire, and focuses on the Triple-A level during the season.

We are a week into the minor league season and once a month I will write a Triple-A Snapshot which will touch on every team's highest affiliate and spotlight a few highlights, more often than not about prospects. Despite the small sample size, here's a look around the Pacific Coast League and International League after Week 1.

Arizona Diamondbacks, Triple-A Reno (PCL):

A pair of Aces position players had solid opening weeks. After going hitless in the opening game, Chris Owings hit safely in six straight games to end the week, including two three-hit games. Matt Davidson had a five-game hitting streak to begin the season and added two home runs and six RBI. Davidson also drew five walks.

Atlanta Braves, Triple-A Gwinnett (IL):

Brother of Blue Jays' outfield Colby, Cory Rasmus earned a save in three outings while the only hit he allowed in four innings was a solo home run. Joey Terdoslavich and Todd Cunningham both hit over .290 during the week.

Baltimore Orioles, Triple-A Norfolk (IL):

Both L.J. Hoes and Jonathan Schoop have struggled to begin the year, meanwhile Russ Canzler and Trayvon Robinson have started hot, as both enter Thursday with five-game hitting streaks while Canzler leads the International League in RBI and Robinson is batting .450 (9-for-20), tied for fourth in the league.

Boston Red Sox, Triple-A Pawtucket (IL):

An offseason self-inflicted gunshot wound sidelined Bryce Brentz for a majority of spring training, but he has started the season by hitting in his first six games and is currently tied for the league lead with four doubles.

Chicago Cubs, Triple-A Iowa (PCL):

After being cut by the Red Sox in the spring, Ryan Sweeney latched on with the Cubs and has started the season batting .438 (7-for-16) with a home run in five games. He could get a callup if he hits well, given the state of the Cubs' outfield. Top Triple-A prospect Brett Jackson hit .250 (7-for-28) but struck out 10 times, fourth-highest in the league.

Chicago White Sox, Triple-A Charlotte (IL):

Josh Phegley has started the season with a five-game hitting streak with two home runs and five RBI while hitting at a .353 clip. Meanwhile, Jared Mitchell who played both baseball and football at LSU, has struggled to begin the season, batting 3-for-28 (.107).

Cincinnati Reds, Triple-A Louisville (IL):

Despite batting .364 and stealing six bases, Billy Hamilton is not the talk of the Bats. Starter Tony Cingrani was named International League Pitcher of the Week for his six-inning, no-hit performance with one walk and 14 strikeouts on Opening Day. He followed that up by allowing three hits and one walk in 6.1 shutout innings with seven strikeouts in his second start.

Cleveland Indians, Triple-A Columbus (IL):

Reliever Scott Barnes appeared in two games, going 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA while not yielding a hit to a left-handed hitter in three at-bats. Daisuke Matsuzaka allowed two runs on four hits in 5.0 innings with three walks and six strikeouts in his only start.

Colorado Rockies, Triple-A Colorado Springs (PCL):

It would seem that the Rockies are waiting to start the arbitration clock on Nolan Arenado. After a four-homer spring, Arenado has started off with a .438 mark (7-for-19) including four extra-base hits and slugging .938, third-best in the league.

Detroit Tigers, Triple-A Toledo (IL):

Believed to be the Tigers' closer for most of spring training, Bruce Rondon was sent down to the minor leagues and has not allowed a hit in three appearances this season while walking two and striking out three. Meanwhile, Nick Castellanos is batting .250 (7-for-28), though three of his hits came in one game.

Houston Astros, Triple-A Oklahoma City (PCL):

Jarred Cosart had an impressive start to 2013 by making two starts, going 1-0 with a 1.00 ERA in nine winnings. He left with the lead in his opening start but did not qualify for the win by only working fpur innings. Cosart allowed just four hits but walked five men with 12 strikeouts in the two games.

Kansas City Royals, Triple-A Omaha (PCL):

Reliever Donnie Joseph made two appearances in Week 1 and found himself in trouble in both outings. He allowed one of two inherited runners to score by walking in a run. Joseph allowed just one hit in the week in 1.2 innings but walked four but also struck out four.

Los Angeles Angels, Triple-A Salt Lake City (PCL):

Most of the Angels' top prospects are with Double-A Arkansas, though Luis Jimenez had a nice start to the campaign by hitting safely in all seven games with a home run and three doubles. Kole Calhoun appeared in just one game before landing on the disabled list with the Bees.

Los Angeles Dodgers, Triple-A Albuquerque (PCL):

If you haven't seen the video of Scott Van Slyke's sixth-inning home run in game two on Wednesday I suggest giving it a look here. Van Slyke destroyed Pacific Coast League pitching in the first week, batting a league-best .625 (15-for-24), and is tied for the league lead with four home runs, along with 14 RBI. His OPS was an absurd 1.981.

Miami Marlins, Triple-A New Orleans (PCL):

It was mixed results for Zephyr starters Brad Hand and Jacob Turner in Week 1. Hand, who has 13 major league games under his belt, allowed one unearned run in 10.0 innings, allowing seven hits and five walks with 12 strikeouts. Turner struggled in his only start, allowing six runs (five earned) in four innings while surrendering seven hits, including a home run, and one walk with three strikeouts.

Milwaukee Brewers, Triple-A Nashville (PCL):

Plenty of good arms fill the Sounds' roster and Johnny Hellweg had an impressive first outing. Hellweg allowed one hit and two walks with three strikeouts in five innings, earning the win in his lone start. Fellow starter Hiram Burgos made two starts and was 0-1 despite allowing just two earned runs, a two-run home run, with 11 strikeouts in 10.0 innings of work, but he did walk seven batters. Scooter Gennett had a fine week at the plate, batting .474 (9-for-19).

Minnesota Twins, Triple-A Rochester (IL):

Kyle Gibson yielded a single run on four hits in five innings with four strikeouts in his lone start, earning a no-decision, but the most important number was zero walks. Meanwhile, Oswaldo Arcia homered in each of the first two games and has a pair of three-hit games already as four of his nine hits are of the extra-base variety.

New York Mets, Triple-A Las Vegas (PCL):

Top pitching prospect Zack Wheeler has struggled a bit in his first week of the Pacific Coast League after the Mets' Triple-A squad was in the International League last season. Wheeler went 0-1 while allowing six runs (three earned) in 8.2 innings but walked six batters. On a positive note, he did strike out out nine men.

New York Yankees, Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (IL):

Catcher Austin Romine has three two-hit games to begin the season and sports a .389 average with three runs, but has not tallied an extra-base hit and eight of his 11 outs have come via the strikeout.

Oakland Athletics, Triple-A Sacramento (PCL):

The River Cats struggled to a 1-6 record to open the season but that wasn't because of Michael Taylor. Taylor has hit in all seven games so far this season, batting 13-for-31 (.419) with two home runs, four doubles and six RBI.

Philadelphia Phillies, Triple-A Lehigh Valley (IL):

After dominating the International League last season, Tyler Cloyd has been roughed up in his first two starts of 2013. Cloyd is 0-2 with a 10.13 ERA and has allowed 12 runs on 14 hits, including three long balls, after earning Most Valuable Pitcher honors in the league in 2012 after going 12-1 with a 2.35 ERA.

Pittsburgh Pirates, Triple-A Indianapolis (IL):

Gerrit Cole has struggled in his first two starts of the season, pitching to a 6.00 ERA while allowing four runs and nine hits, including a home run. He threw 63 pitches in both starts and has tossed at least 30 pitches in three of his six innings this season.

San Diego Padres, Triple-A Tucson (PCL):

The Triple-A Padres started slow as a team to begin the season and a few of their prospects struggled as well. Robbie Erlin had a rough first start, allowing three runs on six hits and three walks in 3.1 innings. Keyvius Sampson got hit first taste of the Pacific Coast League by allowing two runs on four hits and two walks in 2.1 innings with three strikeouts, but was pulled in third inning after allowing three straight hits, including a home run.

San Francisco Giants, Triple-A Fresno (PCL):

Francisco Peguero collected 11 hits, all singles, in 25 at-bats (.440) including a four-hit performance. Fellow outfielder Gary Brown did not find similar success. Brown hit just .185 (5-for-27) but did score five runs. Reliever Heath Hembree collected two saves in two chances while making three scoreless appearances.

Seattle Mariners, Triple-A Tacoma (PCL):

It was the Mike Zunino and Danny Hultzen show with the Rainiers in Week 1, as Zunino led the Pacific Coast League with 17 RBI as eight of his 10 hits went for extra bases, including four home runs. Hultzen made two starts during the week, going 2-0 with a 2.45 ERA. He allowed four runs (three earned) on seven hits and three walks but did strike out 14 batters in 11.0 innings.

St. Louis Cardinals, Triple-A Memphis (PCL):

There are a number of solid prospects with the Redbirds to begin the season and Kolten Wong and John Gast shined in Week 1. Wong hit safely in all seven games, added back-to-back three-hit games and scored a run in the first six games. Gast, meanwhile, went 1-0 in two starts and did not yield a run, allowing eight total hits and four walks with 12 strikeouts in 11.0 innings.

Tampa Bay Rays, Triple-A Durham (IL):

The Bulls started 6-1 and have received production from four of their top prospects. Chris Archer and Jake Odorizzi combined to go 3-0 while Wil Myers is 9-for-25 (.360) with five RBI and Hak-Ju Lee had a triple among seven hits to go along with four stolen bases which ranks second in the league.

Texas Rangers, Triple-A Round Rock (PCL):

Despite a 5-2 start, the Express had their top hitting prospects struggle. Jurickson Profar batted .250 (6-for-24) and walked eight times while Mike Olt managed just three hits in 27 at-bats (.111). Both struggled with strikeouts, as Olt had the third-most strikeouts in the PCL while Profar added nine K's of his own.

Toronto Blue Jays, Triple-A Buffalo (IL):

The Bisons' roster is not filled with as many prospects as it could have been had it not been for the blockbuster trade with Miami in the offseason. Anthony Gose, who played in 56 games with the Blue Jays last season following Jose Bautista's injury, hit safely in the first three games and drove in three runs during the first week. For what it's worth, Andy LaRoche homered three times and collected seven RBI with a 1.139 OPS.

Washington Nationals, Triple-A Syracuse (IL):

Eury Perez has hit in all six games for the Chiefs to begin the year with five of the six being multi-hit efforts while setting the table nicely at the top of the lineup. Converted pitcher Micah Owings has four multi-hit efforts to begin the season to go along with a home run and six RBI.