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Triple-A Snapshot: April Recap

Nate Rowan

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

Arizona Diamondbacks, Triple-A Reno (PCL):

Chris Owings had at least one hit in all but five of his 26 games he played in with the Aces, leading the Pacific Coast League with 40 hits during the month. Tyler Skaggs, who was competing for a spot in the Diamondbacks’ rotation, scuffled a bit, allowing eight or more runs in two of his five starts, going 2-3 with a 6.15 ERA.

Atlanta Braves, Triple-A Gwinnett (IL):

Ernesto Mejia tied for the Triple-A lead with eight home runs in the opening month which included a stretch of four straight games with a long ball. Sean Gilmartin was 2-0 with a 2.40 ERA in five starts for the Braves, allowing one run in three of those starts.

Baltimore Orioles, Triple-A Norfolk (IL):

Jonathan Schoop hit better as the month went on, raising his batting average over .100 points during a 10-game hitting streak and after not driving in a run in his first six games, L.J. Hoes collected 17 RBI over a 13-game stretch. Freddy Garcia, who will start for the Orioles on Saturday, tied for the league lead with four wins and sported a 2.67 ERA.

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

Bryce Brentz homered in the final three games of the month and appears to have put his offseason behind him, batting .272 with 12 extra-base hits and 18 RBI. Jackie Bradley Jr. hit .278 in nine games after being demoted from Boston.

Chicago Cubs, Triple-A Iowa (PCL):

Barret Loux was 2-0 with a 0.90 ERA in two starts at home but struggled on the road, going 0-1 with a 14.29 ERA in two starts. Brett Jackson had no home runs and just three RBI entering play on April 27 but finished the month with two homers and nine RBI.

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

Not a whole lot went right for the 7-20 Knights in the month of April and Carlos Sanchez hit just .207, though the middle infielder remains the youngest player in the International League.

Cincinnati Reds, Triple-A Louisville (IL):

Billy Hamilton leads the International League and is tied for third among all minor leaguers with 15 stolen bases despite only reaching base via a hit or walk 27 times and hitting just above the Mendoza Line. If the numbers do the talking it would seem unlikely that Tony Cingrani appears in another game with the Bats this season.

Cleveland Indians, Triple-A Columbus (IL):

Reliever Preston Guilmet tied for the International League lead with eight saves as opponents hit just .136 (6-for-44) during the month and both runs he surrendered came on a two-run homer. Trevor Bauer made three starts for the Clippers and didn’t allow more than two runs in any start and struck out at least seven batters in all three.

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

Suspicions were proved accurate when the Rockies finally called up Nolan Arenado on April 28. Drew Pomeranz won his final four starts and pitched to a 2.54 ERA despite allowing six earned runs in his second start of the season. In his other four starts, Pomeranz allowed four or less hits but didn’t work more than six innings in any start.

Detroit Tigers, Triple-A Toledo (IL):

It took 19 strikeouts and just five hits allowed in 14 innings for the Tigers to call up Jose Ortega who could move into a more important role with the struggles of the Detroit bullpen. Nick Castellanos has been the second-youngest player in the International League and seems to be adjusting to Triple-A pitching, raising his slugging percentage .128 points from April 18 to the end of the month.

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

Oklahoma City went 15-10 in the opening month thanks in large part to a pair of pitchers. Jose Valdez saved seven games in eight chances and collected a win while pitching to a 1.32 ERA out of the RedHawks bullpen and Jarred Cosart was 3-0 with a 2.63 ERA in six games (five starts) and allowed more than one run in just one outing during April.

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

Will Smith had an impressive start to 2013, going 2-1 with a 2.45 ERA in four starts and struck out 31 batters in 22.0 innings. Lefties hit just .233 (7-for-30) against him during the month.

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

Remember Chad Cordero? He’s attempting a comeback with the Angels , going 1-0 with a 4.26 ERA in six games out of the Bees’ bullpen. Unfortunately for Salt Lake City, the top prospects remain at Double-A Arkansas.

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

Scott Van Slyke tore up the Pacific Coast League in the first month, leading the league in home runs (eight) and total bases (72). He also finished with a .419 average, third-best in the league.

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

It was a rough month for Jacob Turner who was 1-3 with a 6.56 ERA in five starts and allowed four or more runs in four of those contests, surrendering 27 hits in 23.1 innings. Brad Hand has yielded six earned runs in five starts to begin the season, all in one start on April 20, while accumulating 29 strikeouts in 27 innings, though he has walked at least two batters in every game.

Milwaukee Brewers, Triple-A Nashville (PCL):

Scooter Gennett held the fifth-best batting average (.403) in the Pacific Coast League after one month but only four of his 31 hits went for extra-bases and he scored just 12 runs. Mike Fiers had a solid rookie season in 2012 but was demoted to Triple-A to begin the season and is 0-1 despite a 0.82 ERA in two starts, allowing eight total hits and seven walks with nine strikeouts in 11 innings.

Minnesota Twins, Triple-A Rochester (IL):

Seven-year Independent League veteran Chris Colabello was fifth in the International League with 19 RBI over the first month while finishing third with 52 total bases. Kyle Gibson seemed to pitch better as the month progressed despite a 1-3 overall record. Gibson was 1-2 with a 2.04 ERA in his final three starts with 16 strikeouts in 17.2 innings.

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

Zack Wheeler was greeted rudely by the Pacific Coast League, pitching to a 4.80 ERA in six starts but he did strike out 36 batters in 30.0 innings of work. Unfortunately for Mets’ fans Travis d’Arnaud played just 12 games before fracturing his left foot. He expected to be out until at least mid-June.

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

When the weather cooperated for the RailRiders, Mike Montgomery was very good, going 1-1 with a 1.50 ERA in seven relief appearances while striking out 17 batters in 12.0 innings.

Oakland Athletics, Triple-A Sacramento (PCL):

A's 2009 first-round pick Grant Green is in his second season with the River Cats and has hit .321 in the opening month with 10 extra-base hits. The A’s have a habit of producing great starting pitchers and the next appears to be Sonny Gray. Gray had a rough two-start stretch, but yielded just one run over six innings in his final start of the month.

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

Two IronPigs who tore up the International League last season have started the season slow. Tyler Cloyd was 12-1 last season but has started 2013 0-3 with a 6.67 ERA in five starts. Meanwhile Darin Ruf led all minor leaguers last season with 38 home runs is batting .267 through the first month with four home runs. Ruf only had two homers through one April last season.

Pittsburgh Pirates, Triple-A Indianapolis (IL):

It appears Francisco Liriano is almost 100 percent healthy after going 2-0 with a 1.64 ERA in two starts on rehab from the Pirates. Liriano has yet to walk a batter while accumulating 17 strikeouts in 11 innings. Gerrit Cole has been rock solid since his first start when he allowed three runs in 4.0 innings. After leaving his second start after two innings due to a high pitch count, Cole is 2-0 with a 1.04 ERA in three starts.

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

Robbie Erlin made his major league debut on April 30 and appears to be the pitcher the Padres will call up if an injury occurs or they need a spot starter. Erlin was 2-0 with a 4.73 ERA in three starts before the promotion, allowing 18 hits in 13.1 innings.

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

Two of the three runs that Heath Hembree has allowed have come via the home run but the 6-foot-4 right-hander is 1-0 with seven saves and a 2.19 ERA in 12 appearances. Gary Brown was 0-for his last-18 to end the month and ended April with a .180 average.

Seattle Mariners, Triple-A Tacoma (PCL):

Nick Franklin was the Rainier that gained the most out of the opening month, finishing April with a .410 average, fourth-best in the Pacific Coast League. Franklin drove in 14 runs and scored 16 more. After a red-hot start, Mike Zunino cooled off a bit. Zunino drove in 18 runs through his first seven games and had eight RBI over the final 12 games, which isn’t a bad rate by any stretch.

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

Kolten Wong and Oscar Taveras had decent months but Michael Wacha was the Redbird with the biggest month. The 6-foot-6 right-hander was 3-0 with a 1.86 ERA in five starts, allowing 19 hits and 11 walks with 15 strikeouts.

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

Unfortunately for Rays fans Hak-Ju Lee was off to a hot start at the plate before tearing ligaments in his left knee on April 20, ending his season. Wil Myers homered three times and drove in 17 runs and is off to a good, but not eye-popping start.

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

Josh Lindblom was solid for the Express, winning his final three starts of the month while pitching to a 1.90 ERA in five games (four starts). Mike Olt (.139), Jurickson Profar (.232) and Chris McGuiness (.229) have all struggled to begin the season.

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

Luis Jimenez led the International League with 26 RBI in April thanks in large part to an eight RBI game on April 18 as part of a 27-run outburst by the Bisons offense. Ryan Goins batted just .267 in the first month as the top prospect with Buffalo to begin the season.

Washington Nationals, Triple-A Syracuse (IL):

Daniel Rosenbaum was really solid for the Chiefs in April, going 2-1 with a 1.14 ERA in four starts and did not allow more than two runs in any start. He struck out just five batters (!) in 23.2 innings while allowing 16 hits and eight walks. Eury Perez hit .316 after a disabled list stint after leaving the game on April 13.