The KC Royals went 4-3 last week and increased their lead over Minnesota in the American League Central to 7.5 games (still the largest lead in baseball). The Royals head out on the road for seven games beginning tonight in Cleveland.
The Royals made it be known that they are serious about getting back to the World Series in 2015. On Sunday, they acquired Johnny Cueto from Cincinnati for lefties John Lamb, Brandon Finnegan, and Cody Reed. Reed was just named Texas League Pitcher of the Week.
Triple-A Omaha has won seven games in a row and moved to within five games of OKC in the Pacific Coast League American Northern Division. The Storm Chasers have the second best record in the PCL and finish up their homestand tonight against Colorado Springs.
Double-A NW Arkansas went 4-3 last week, but are still in last place in the Texas League North Division (11-18). The Naturals play at first place Arkansas for three games beginning tonight.
High-A Wilmington went just 2-5 last week and dropped to last place in the Carolina League Northern Division (2.5 games back at 14-16). The Blue Rocks finish up their homestand tonight against Lynchburg.
Low-A Lexington went 3-3 last week and are still four games back in the South Atlantic League Southern Division (13-14). The Legends continue their homestand tonight againt Hickory.
The Legends had a pair of SportCenter Top 10 plays this past week, including the one below by left fielder DonAndre Clark (credit to the Lexington Legends):
Now to the awards…
Royals Hitter of the Week: First baseman Eric Hosmer has been on FIRE over the last week. He went 10-for-20 with a double, two triples, and a home run. He drove in two runs and scored four.
Royals Pitchers of the Week: The bullpen has been the Royals strongest asset over the last two seasons and adding these two this offseason has made it even better. Lefty Franklin Morales threw four perfect innings over three appearances last week. He struck out two. Right-hander Ryan Madson threw three perfect innings while striking out three.
Minor League Hitter of the Week: Legends third baseman Wander Franco went 8-for-23 (.348) last week. He hit a double and two home runs, including the one below on Sunday (credit to the Lexington Legends for the video). Franco drove in four runs and scored six.
Minor League Pitchers of the Week: Naturals reliever Kyle Zimmer is making a nice comeback from yet another injury, with speculation that he may be promoted to Triple-A with an open roster spot up there. In two appearances last week (totaling 4.1 innings), Zimmer allowed three hits and a walk while striking out five.
Fellow Naturals reliever Mark Peterson made three appearances last week. Over 7.1 innings, he allowed two runs (one earned) on six hits, a hit batter, and two walks. Peterson struck out four.
Honorable Mention: Blue Rocks reliever Kevin McCarthy made two appearances last week. Over six innings, he allowed an unearned run (along with an inherited run) on two hits while striking out three. Of the 74 pitches he threw, 54 were strikes.