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Diamondbacks Minor League Update - May 24, 2011 | May

Just as the Major League Diamondbacks have climbed back to .500, the organization's four active minor league clubs have now pushed their overall record up to 92-86.  Leading the way is AAA Reno, with a 27-18 record and a remarkable average of 7.1 Runs/Game. In AA, Mobile is also above .500 at 23-20, led by the hot bat of 1B Paul Goldschmidt. The two clubs in A Ball, Visalia of the Caifornia League and South Bend of the Midwest League, are both at 21-24.  Individually, the Diamondbacks have three players leading their leagues in Home Runs - Wily Mo Pena (PCL), Paul Goldschmidt (Southern), and Yazy Arbelo (Midwest), while LHP Tyler Skaggs leads the California League in strikeouts. Here is an update on the key performers at each level.

AAA Reno Aces (27-18)
Everyone at Reno is hitting. The club as a whole is batting .311/.387/.532, and its .919 team OPS is .025 higher than any team in professional baseball. A lot of that is due to the park and the PCL, of course. The individual stats are just as ridiculous, as the team has nine players with an OPS over .900, and ten players slugging over .500. Leading the way is OF Wily Mo Pena at .375/.448/.771, with 15 HR and 42 RBI in 38 Games. Pena has only struck out 26 times while drawing 15 walks.  It would not be a surprise if Pena replaces Sean Burroughs as a bench option at the Major League level.  The other player of interest in Brandon Allen, who has a nice overall line of .312/.425/.529, but also has 43K to go with 30 BB. Allen's numbers look nice, but keep in mind that his OPS is actually lower than teammates Pena, Burroughs, and Cole Gillespie, and virtualy the same as Cody Ransom, Andy Tracy, and Collin Cowgill

Not surprisingly, the numbers for the pitching staff are not as nice. The team has a 5.48 ERA, and no one on the current roster has an ERA below 4.00. The best pitcher has been recently-promoted Micah Owings (4.85 ERA, 27K/9BB in 39 IP). Barry Enright (1-2, 5.00 ERA, 12K/3BB in 18 IP) and Kam Mickolio (4.42 ERA, 16K/6BB in 18.1 IP) are both trying to earn a spot back in the Majors, and Zach Duke just made a rehab start on Monday night (5.1 IP, 7H, 5 ER, 1BB, 2K). Edit: Mickolio has just been called up to replace the injured Sam Demel.

AA Mobile Bay Bears (23-20)
The talk of the minor leagues so far in 2011 (after Bryce Harper) has been Mobile 1B Paul Goldschmidt. Goldschmidt has hit .333/.469/.693, with 15 HR and 43 RBI in 43 Games. Remarkably, he has only struck out 28 times while drawing 39 walks. LF Marc Krauss has been red-hot over the past five games, going 9 for 16 with 3 HR, 2 2B, 5 BB, and 8 RBI, bringing his overall numbers to .255/.375/.489. Krauss is second on the team in walks with 26, but does lead the team in strikeouts with 43. Other hitters of note for Mobile are SS Taylor Harbin (.326/.396/.433), RF Ollie Linton (.301/.402/.398), IF Ryan Wheeler (.293/.356/.401) and CF A.J. Pollock (.295/.342/.415).

On the pitching side, Wes Roemer has been Mobile's top starter so far, with a 2.97 ERA and 46K/12BB in 47.2 IP. Also pitching well has been Charles Brewer - 3.38 ERA, 24K/6BB in 26.2 IP. Unfortunately, three highly touted members of the Mobile starting rotation are off to slow starts - Jarrod Parker (6.39 ERA, 29K/21BB in 38 IP), Wade Miley (8.21 ERA, 21K/12BB in 34 IP), and Patrick Corbin (6.20 ERA, but 36K/10BB in 45 IP). In the bullpen, Bryan Shaw compiled a 0.87 ERA over 20.2 IP, and has just been promoted to AAA. Other pitchers of note in Mobile are Ryan Cook (3.92 ERA, 21K/7BB in 20.2 IP) and Clay Zavada (1.76 ERA, 14K/6BB in 15.1 IP)

High A Visalia Rawhide (21-24)
Several batters for Visalia have been heating up recently, including former first round picks 3B/1B Bobby Borchering and 3B/1B Matthew Davidson. Borchering is now up to .301/.347/.500, while Davidson is at .288/.356/.441. Borchering leads the team with 7 HR and 40 RBI in 43 Games, and Davidson has 5 HR and 36 RBI. Unfortunately, both players have poor strikeout-to-walk ratios - Borchering has 63K/10BB and Davidson has 52K/17BB.  SS Chris Owings also has the same problem, with 48K/7BB to go with his .242/.281/.403 batting line. Two other players playing well for Visalia are CF Adam Eaton, who is batting .402 for the year, with a .509 OBP, .598 SLG, and 15 SB in 20 attempts, and LF Jon Mark Owings, batting .301/.374/.553.

The pitching staff has been led by LHP Tyler Skaggs, who has a solid 3.29 ERA and 64K/22BB in only 52 IP. The strikeout rate of 11.1K/9 IP is the best in the organization among pitchers with over 25 IP, and the 64K lead the California League. RHP Chase Anderson has only pitched 13.1 IP, but has an excellent 20K/1BB ratio. Others with interesting numbers are Taylor Sinclair (2.49 ERA, 31K/5BB in 21.2 IP), Diogenes Rosario (4.01 ERA, 21K/5BB in 24.2 IP), Derek Eitel (4.87 ERA, 37K/17BB in 44.1 IP), and Kevin Munson (5.40 ERA, 22K/16BB in 15 IP). 

Low A South Bend Silver Hawks (20-24)
South Bend has only a .690 OPS as a team, and just three players have an OPS over .800. Leading the way is 1B Yazy Arbelo, with a .286/.396/.617 line and a league-leading 13 HR, five more than anyone else in the Midwest League. Arbelo is 23 years old, however, making him one of the older players in the league. Also hitting well have been SS Zachary Walters (.270/.368/.473) and C Raywilly Gomez (.319/.400/.417).

The pitching staff has several promising young players. The best is probably 19 year old LHP David Holmberg, who has struck out 50 while walking only 12 in 49 IP, while surrendering only 3 HR. The pitcher with the most impressive numbers on the staff is left-handed reliever Daniel Taylor, who has 33K/4BB in 24.2 IP. But at the age of 23, Taylor is a little old for the Midwest League. Other pitchers of note in South Bend are Patrick Schuster (4.21 ERA, 31K/17BB in 47 IP), J.R. Bradley (5.19 ERA, 26K/14BB in 43.1 IP), and Tyler Green (2.40 ERA, 24K/13BB in 30 IP).