The KC Royals went 5-2 last week and remain in first place in the American League Central at 39-27. The Royals are 3.5 games up on Minnesota and begin a West Coast trip tonight, beginning in Seattle.
Triple-A Omaha went 6-1 last week and moved into second place in the Pacific Coast League American Northern Division (still 8.5 games back of OKC). The Storm Chasers take their six-game winning streak to Iowa beginning Tuesday night.
Double-A NW Arkansas clinched the first half North Division title in the Texas League on Thursday. The Naturals finish up the first half tonight at Arkansas.
High-A Wilmington clinched the first half Northern Division title in the Carolina League on Friday night. The Blue Rocks begin the second half at home against Potomac beginning Thursday night.
Low-A Lexington finished the first half tied for last place in the Southern Division of the South Atlantic League. The Legends open the second half on the road at first half champion Savannah beginning Thursday night.
Now to the awards…
Royals Hitter of the Week: It seems second baseman Omar Infante wants to thank the fans for putting him atop the All-Star voting. Last week, he went 11-for-27 (.407) with three doubles and one RBI.
Royals Pitcher of the Week: Joe Blanton was thrust into the starting rotation last week with all the injuries and more than held his own. On Wednesday, he beat Milwaukee, as he allowed one run on five hits over five innings. He struck out four. Blanton looks to continue his resurgence tonight in Seattle.
Minor League Hitters of the Week: This was a tie. Omaha shortstop Dusty Coleman went 9-for-21 (.428) with a double and two home runs. He scored four runs and drove in five. Naturals catcher Zane Evans hasn’t missed a beat since his promotion. Last week, he went 7-for-14 (.500) with three doubles and two homers. Evans scored three runs and drove in five.
Minor League Pitcher of the Week: Ever since losing the college baseball bet to teammate Brett Eibner and getting his mustache haircut, Buddy Baumann has dominated. He struck out seven in three scoreless innings on Monday before allowing just one hit and striking out five in four scoreless innings in Friday’s spot start.
Honorable Mention: Christian Binford won back-to-back starts for the Naturals last week. Over 11 innings, he allowed one run on seven hits while striking out seven. The negative was that he walked five.
Carolina League All-Star Alec Mills DOMINATED in his final first half start for the Blue Rocks. He allowed just three hits and walked one over 8.1 scoreless innings on Thursday night. Mills struck out seven.
Best debut: Reliever Matt Strahm, a SAL All-Star, was promoted to Wilmington and dominated in two outings last week. Over seven innings, he allowed one run on two hits and a walk. Strahm struck out 11.