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Daily Farm Report: Helsley, Arozarena, Sosa power Memphis victory

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Recapping Wednesday’s minor league action

St. Louis Cardinals v Cincinnati Reds Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Memphis Redbirds 7, Albuquerque Isotopes 6

Ryan Helsley (SP) - 3 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K

Randy Arozarena (RF) - 3-4, 2B

Edmundo Sosa (SS) - 4-4, 2 RBI

Joe Hudson (C) - 1-3, HR, 3 RBI

I’ve mentioned Randy Arozarena plenty of times in this series, but we’ve yet to really look under the hood at how he’s doing what he’s doing to the Pacific Coast League. Wednesday’s effort propelled him to 10th in wRC+ amongst PCL batters with at least 190 PA’s, supported by a .374/.443/.579 slash line. The PCL is generally regarded a hitter’s environment, but the label is not universal. On the higher end of the park factor spectrum, you’ve got homer happy venues like Colorado Springs, Reno, Albuquerque, El Paso and Las Vegas. However, these ballparks are slightly balanced by much more modest environments like Nashville, New Orleans, San Antonio, and Omaha. Memphis falls somewhere in the middle, at least based on Baseball America’s June 19 park factor update. Is Arozarena feasting on Triple-A pitching, or benefitting from friendly ballparks? Well, to start, he’s played nineteen games and batted .301/.378/.521 on the road since joining the Redbirds on June 12. In that time, Memphis travelled to Oklahoma City, Iowa, Round Rock, and Omaha. Of that group, only Oklahoma City is a friendlier park than Memphis, but even then Arozarena had his worst Triple-A series there between June 20-24. He’s hitting better at home, but not by a wide enough margin to chalk his surge up to a favorable assignment.

The Redbirds are now 47-62 on the year. Tonight’s 7:05pm CDT start marks the series finale, after which Memphis will travel down south to face Arkansas.

St. Lucie Mets 9, Palm Beach Cardinals 4

Diego Cordero (SP) - 5 IP, 13 H, 7 ER, 1 BB, 4 K

Nick Plummer (LF) - 1-3, 2B, 2 RBI, BB, 2 K

Scott Hurst (CF) - 2-4, HR, RBI, K

Nolan Gorman (3B) - 1-4, RBI

Hurst is back in Palm Beach after another unsuccessful stint in Springfield. He has twice now banged his head against the biggest jump in the minor leagues, falling back to High-A each time. He’s treaded water there, but the plate discipline numbers have gone in the wrong direction, and the power is still middling.

Palm Beach falls to 48-57. They’ll take on the Mets again this evening at 5:30pm CDT.

Kane County Cougars 7 @ Peoria Chiefs 5

Logan Gragg (SP) - 3.2 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, HR

Connor Thomas (RP) - 4.1 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, HR

Brady Whalen (1B) - 1-4, 2B, 2 RBI

Jonatan Machado (CF) - 3-5

Mid-round college arms Logan Gragg and Connor Thomas combined for the tandem start, and both continued their run of early success. Gragg has now tossed 21.2 innings between State College and Peoria, and in that timeframe he’s struck out 25 and walked just five. Thomas, meanwhile, has thrown exactly 29 innings while striking out 27 and walking five. Both are churning up big ground ball rates, as well, adding another layer to the resume.

The Chiefs are now 41-66. They take on Kane County again tonight at 6:35pm CDT.

Vermont Lake Monsters 7 @ State College Spikes 2

Enmanuel Solano (SP) - 5 IP, 8 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 H, HR

Cameron Dulle (RP) - 2 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K

Moises Castillo (SS) - 2-3, BB, K

Martin Figueroa (DH) - 1-4, 2 RBI, 2 K

This Spikes game is a tough one to glean a recappable nugget from. Reliever Cameron Dulle has been just fine since being selected out of Mizzou, striking out about a batter per inning while walking a non-alarming amount. Enmanuel Solano seems to have pitched every time I’m scheduled to recap, I feel, but I really know next to nothing about him. He’s rolled up a lot of grounders and keeping balls in the park for State College but isn’t running a healthy enough K-BB ratio to be super effective, but he’s just 20 years old, and is listed at a height/weight that generally shouts undersized, athletic, arm-speed bet. I am, however, largely tilting at windmills here

The loss drops the Spikes below .500, to 22-23. They’ll continue the series with Vermont at 11am CDT today.

Princeton Rays 6, Johnson City Cardinals 5

Luis Ortiz (SP) - 5 IP, 7 H, 5 ER, 1 BB, 1 K

Tre Fletcher (CF) - 2-5, 2B, 2 K

Malcom Nunez (3B) - 2-5, 2B, 2 RBI

Kyle Skeels (DH) - 2-4, HR, 2 RBI

Jhon Torres hasn’t played for State College since July 19 (I have not yet found why), but he and Nunez nonetheless have become my favorite subplot of the 2019 farm season. Both bounded into the year with inflated expectations, puttered around extended spring for a time, then got challenged with assignments to Peoria. Both crashed and burned. Torres was bumped down to the Spikes, and has rode game power and walks to a 154 wRC+. Nunez got a delayed start with the lower level Johnson City squad, but he’s been effective there in a small sample, running a 133 wRC+ though his first three weeks.

With the loss, Johnson City is now 22-18. They face the Rays again this evening at 5:30pm CDT.

DSL Cardinals Blue 0, DSL Phillies Red 0 (Suspended, Bottom 8)

Yordy Richard (SP) - 5 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K

Eduar Pimentel (RP) - 2 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K

Brandon Hernandez (3B) - 1-4, 2B

Darlin Moquete (LF) - 1-3, 2B

DSL Cubs 11 @ DSL Cardinals Red 3

Yonael Dominguez (SP) - 3.2 IP, 7 H, 8 Er, 4 BB, 4 K, 2 HR

Smith Vargas (CF) - 1-4, 3B

Erik Pena (3B) - 1-4, 2B, 2 K

~

MEM: Austin Warner

SPR: Angel Rondon

PMB: TBD

PEO: TBD

SC: TBD

JC: Julio Puello