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Weekly Farm Recap 7/22-28: Arozarena hits for the cycle

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The speedy outfielder has put any previous struggles with AAA pitching aside, with 149 wRC+ with Memphis this season.

MLB: Spring Training-St. Louis Cardinals at Detroit Tigers Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome back to the weekly farm recap.

You can read all of this week’s daily farm reports from Andrew St. John and Austin Ward at the previous links. Also, take a look at yesterday’s edition of A.E. Schafer’s System Sundays series.

Memphis Redbirds

Past week: (4-2) | Overall: (45-62)

Division: 3rd, 12 GB

This week’s results:

2-1 vs. New Orleans Baby Cakes (55-50)

2-1 @ Oklahoma City Dodgers (49-57)

Upcoming:

3 vs. Albuquerque Isotopes (45-62)

4 vs. El Paso Chihuahuas (63-44)

Hitter of the Week: Randy Arozarena, OF

Stats: 6 G, 25 AB, 7 R, 12 H, 2 2B, 3B, HR, 4 RBI, 0 BB, 5 K, 3 HBP, 2 SB

Arozarena put up solid numbers for Memphis with a 12-for-25 week, but he was able to achieve something pretty special. The outfielder hit for the cycle on Friday night.

It only took four at-bats for Arozarena in an offense-heavy game, completing the feat by the fifth inning.

Any struggles the speedy outfielder had with AAA pitching in 2018 have since subsided, as he carries an outlandish .367/.439/.572 line in 189 PA as a Redbird.

Pitcher of the Week: Génesis Cabrera, LHP

Stats: 1 G, 1 GS, 6 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 4 ER, HR, 1 BB, 1 HBP, 9 K

Run suppression wasn’t the strong suit of Memphis this week, but Cabrera put up a start that was enough for the Redbirds to get a win. He struck out nine batters in the contest and only gave up two free passes.

The season numbers for Cabrera still aren’t pretty. His ERA and FIP are 6.38 and 6.09 through 67.2 innings with Memphis. He’s giving up two home runs per nine innings, with a HR/FB rate of 16.7%. His walk rate sits at 11.9%. Until the lefty can get his command under control and do a better job of keeping the ball in the ballpark, he’s going to be a bit of a frustrating prospect.

Springfield Cardinals

Past week: (4-2) | Second half: 20-16 | Overall: (50-56)

Division: T-1st (with Arkansas Travelers

This week’s results:

1-0 @ Corpus Christi Hooks (17-19)

1-2 vs. Amarillo Sod Poodles (20-16)

2-0 vs. Corpus Christi

Upcoming:

2 vs. Corpus Christi

4 @ Arkansas Travelers (20-16)

3 @ Tulsa Drillers (18-18)

Hitter of the Week: Dylan Carlson, OF

Stats: 5 G, 21 AB, 6 R, 8 H, 2B, HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 2 K

Back again.

Carlson went 8-for-21 with two walks this week, launching another homer that put his total at 17 on the season. Through 422 PA with Springfield, Carlson has a slash line of .290/.370/.521. His 143 wRC+ is tied for second in the Texas League, behind only Gavin Lux of the Dodgers.

Pitcher of the Week: Johan Oviedo, RHP

Stats: 2 G, 2 GS, 12 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 HR, 4 BB, 2 HBP, 16 K

Oviedo makes the list this week because of a sterling performance on Saturday, pitching seven innings and allowing one run, walking none and striking out a whopping 11 batters.

Oviedo began the season with Palm Beach, where he excelled at limiting runs, but has struggled in that respect since joining Springfield. He’s pitched 83.2 innings for the Cardinals, with an ERA of 5.27 and FIP of 4.55.

A walk rate of 11.4% hasn’t helped in that respect, and his struggle to limit free passes has him averaging about 5.1 innings per start.

Palm Beach Cardinals

Past week: (3-4) | Second half: (13-26) | Overall: (48-55)

Division: 6th (last), 15 GB

This week’s results:

0-3 vs. St. Lucie Mets (25-15)

3-1 vs. Dunedin Blue Jays (21-17)

Upcoming:

3 @ St. Lucie Mets

4 @ Charlotte Stone Crabs (28-11)

3 vs. Jupiter Hammerheads (18-22)

Hitter of the Week: Julio Rodriguez, C

Stats: 5 G, 19 AB, 9 H, 2 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K

Rodriguez didn’t show a ton of power this week, but he flaunted some crazy contact skills with a 9-for-19 week.

The 22-year-old catcher had a strong offensive approach in rookie ball in 2016 and 2017, but fell off considerably last season with Peoria. He posted wRC+ of 177 and 113 in those first seasons, falling to just 93 last year.

This season with Palm Beach, Rodriguez has found his stroke again. The catcher is slashing .274/.319/.406 through 285 PA in the Florida State League, notching 7 home runs in that span.

Pitcher of the Week: Perry DellaValle, RHP

Stats: 1 G, 1 GS, 6.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 7 K

DellaValle made this list a lot last season when he came in after the 2018 draft and tore apart the competition at rookie ball, and he’s adjusted extremely well to a major jump to High-A.

At this point, DellaValle has an ERA of 3.22 and FIP of 3.27 over 106.1 innings. He’s made 19 starts for Palm Beach (and one relief appearance) and has been great at limiting walks. He’s been someone who’s focused more on weak contact, as his strikeout rate is just over seven batters per nine, but his average against is just .247. DellaValle’s BB/9 is only 1.95.

Peoria Chiefs

Past week: (3-3) | Second half: (9-26) | Overall: (39-65)

Divison: 8th (last), 15 GB

This week’s results:

0-1 @ Lake County Captains (20-15)

2-1 @ Quad Cities River Bandits (19-16)

1-1 vs. Burlington Bees (15-20)

Upcoming:

1 vs. Burlington

4 vs. Kane County Cougars (24-11)

4 @ Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (20-15)

Hitter of the Week: Brandon Riley, OF

Stats: 6 G, 21 AB, 6 R, 8 H, 2 2B, HR, 5 RBI, 5 BB, 5 K, 2 SB

Riley’s overall stat line for the season is pretty low, with 81 wRC+ that’s owed to nearly every aspect of his game. His OBP is barely over .300, and his slugging percentage is below that mark. A somewhat bright spot is that he’s walking 11% of the time, but that’s hurt by the fact that he’s striking out in 23.7% of plate appearances. That’s all with a BABIP of .301, even indicating some luck.

This week, the 22-year-old outfielder posted some strong numbers for the Chiefs, showing some of the power he’s lacked in his approach and boosting his already decent walk rate.

Pitcher of the Week: Kyle Leahy, RHP

Stats: 2 G, 2 GS, 11 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 HR, 4 BB, 12 K

Leahy has made multiple appearances in the recap this season, and he continues to pitch very well in the Midwest League. After his two starts this week, the 2018 17th-rounder has a 3.00 ERA and 3.06 FIP over 90 innings. He’s averaging 5.2 IP per start.

This week, Leahy’s first start was a six-inning shutout appearance where he allowed four hits and one walk while striking out six. The strikeout rate he posted this week was a little higher than usual, but he’s currently logging 8.10 K/9 and 2.20 BB/9 for Peoria with a minuscule 0.40 HR/9.

That stat deserves a little more acknowledgement. Leahy has a fly ball rate of 37.9%, but gets infield fly balls at a rate of 28% with a HR/FB rate of just 4%. Weak contact is a specialty for the righty.

State College Spikes

Past week: (4-3) | Overall: (22-21)

Divison: T-3rd, 3 GB

This week’s results:

1-0 vs. Williamsport Crosscutters (14-28)

1-2 @ Mahoning Valley Scrappers (22-21)

2-1 vs. West Virginia Black Bears (22-19)

Upcoming:

3 vs. Vermont Lake Monster (16-27)

3 @ Lowell Spinners (26-15)

Hitter of the Week: Pedro Pages, C

Stats: 5 G, 17 AB, 1 R, 6 H, 3 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 HBP, 4 K

Pages was a sixth-round pick in the 2019 draft out of Florida Atlantic and has been wiping the floor with the New York-Penn League over his 102 PA.

His slash line this season is .301/.412/.434, good for 154 wRC+ in the Low-A league. Pages’ on-base ability has especially been impressive, with a strikeout rate of 18.6% and a walk rate not far behind at 14.7%. The catcher also swiped a bag in his lone attempt this season.

Pitcher of the Week: Dalton Roach, RHP

Stats: 1 G, 1 GS, 5 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 HR, 3 BB, 10 K

Roach gets the spot again, flaunting the strikeout stuff we discussed in last week’s recap. The right-hander recorded 10 of the 15 outs in his five-inning start with Ks. He again had a problem with home runs, surrendering two on the night, but otherwise did a great job of shutting batters down.

Roach now has a 34.8% strikeout rate in his two starts with State College, but also sports a troubling 28.6% HR/FB rate. That’s mirrored in his 4.24 FIP, much higher than the 2.45 ERA he’s posted.

Johnson City Cardinals

Past week: (6-1) | Overall: (21-17)

Divison: T-1st (with Elizabethton Twins)

This week’s results:

1-0 vs. Danville Braves (16-23)

2-1 @ Kingsport Mets (17-21)

3-0 vs. Greeneville Reds (16-22)

Upcoming:

3 @ Princeton Rays (18-20)

3 @ Bluefield Blue Jays (19-19)

Hitter of the Week: Malcom Nunez, 3B

Stats: 7 G, 27 AB, 4 R, 12 H, 4 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 4 K, 2 SB

Lott earns the honors again this week, showing some major gap power with four doubles over his seven games.

The 2019 draftee has been strong to start the season with a .320/.375/.470 in 112, good for 131 wRC+.

Pitcher of the Week: Michael YaSenka, RHP

Stats: 1 G, 1 GS, CG (7 IP), 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 HR, 1 BB, 10 K

Did YaSenka was going to put someone else in this spot? Not when he’s pitching like this.

(That was my little gift/curse to you for making it this far into the piece.)

Making his third straight appearance, YaSenka was lights-out over seven innings, striking out 10 with the lone run surrendered on a homer. As part of a shortened double-header, it was a complete game. The 2019 17th-rounder now has a 0.68 ERA and 2.77 FIP over 26.1 innings, with a K-BB of 27.4%.