Due to the increase in my duties for the current week and my never failing need for change I am posting the HOTLIST early with a weekly recap of what has been going on with the minor league teams. Let me know what you think of this format.
Richmond 13-9 (2-3 WTD)
Richmond had an entire series with Charlotte rained out this week and then subsequently took 2 of 5 (yeah they play some five game series in the minors if you didn't know) from Norfolk to maintain a comfy 2.5 game lead over Charlotte in the South Division of the IL league. Not bad considering the yo-yo that was the transaction wire this week with Stockman being called up (and demoted within 2 days), Lillibridge being called up in place of Escobar and having his shoes filled by Diory Hernandez.
Mississippi 6-19 (3-4 WTD)
Actually not a bad week for the M-Braves as they doubled their win total for the year. I think it might have a lot to do with having a legitimate power bat in the middle of the order. Jason Perry has been huge for this team and shows signs of being able to boost the offense for an extended period of time (though he'll probably never see a minute for the big club). Another piece of interest for the M-Braves is they have only played 3 teams so far this year. They played a five game series with Birmingham and all the other games have come against Huntsville and Mobile. I don't know if that is a schedule anomaly or if they do this every season, but those three teams are either first or second in the two divisions in the SL. Are they that good or just a product of getting to play the M-Braves a lot? We'll see with the start of new month.
Myrtle Beach 13-10 (4-2 WTD)
A good week for the Pelicans who continue to be boosted by good pitching. The team leads the league in almost every major pitching category including ERA (2.43), strikeouts, WHIP and (oddly enough) walks and homers allowed. Strange. I did miss a couple things this week with the Myrtle Beach club. The first being Atlanta renewed their contract with the team through 2010. This is the only team not owned by the parent team so this is big news as far as keeping them team in town for a while. The second being that Gorkys Hernandez was put on the 7 Day DL on April 25 and Concepcion Rodriguez was called up from Rome to replace him. Hernandez's hammy is still listed as day-to-day and they are planning on letting him air it out a little today to see how it feels.
Rome 10-14 (4-3 WTD)
The pitching has stabilized itself a bit with their ERA 12th in the league (out of 16) which is better than the last place spot it held last week at this time. The offense has been a little better, though not much. They are hitting a few homers and stealing some bases. Stolen Bases are one of those things that kind of skew the other major stats a little cause a lot of formulas don't take them into account anymore. Anyways. On to the hotlist.
- Tommy Hanson: He holds the top spot down for another week even though he allowed his first earned run of the season. Can't really argue with his production so far. I do still have issues with his groundball ratio. Which is almost disturbing. Key Stats: 3-0, 0.31 ERA, 29 IP, 8 BB, 38 K
- Jo-Jo Reyes - So close to taking the top spot this week, but I had to give it to Hanson in the end. Reyes has been just as dominant, if not more so than Tommy Hanson has been. He did finally get his first win this week in his longest outing of the season. The biggest thing for Reyes is he has only given up 6 BB in 21IP so far this year. Key Stats: 1-0, 0.43 ERA, 21 IP, 6 BB, 24 K
- Jason Heyward - Heyward hit .370 for the week and is currently riding a 6 game hitting streak. I was starting to get a little worried about him because his K rate escalated for a few games, but something must have clicked this week with 2/2 K/BB in 7 games. His power also spiked back a little with a 2 HR game against Savannah. Key Stats: .337 AVG, 3 HR, 15 RBI, 9 BB, 19 K, 7 SB.
- Brandon Hicks - Hicks has been hurt a bit this season, but since returning to action on the 22nd he has been hitting the with authority. He had 7 hits on the week and 5 of them went for extra bases. His yearly stats aren't on par yet, but he is looking healthy and could really impress with his polished approach. Key Stats: .263 AVG, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 4 BB, 16 K, 2 SB
- Jason Perry - He makes the list simply due to his impact on the club. He hit 3 HRs on the week and his team has as many wins since his arrival as they did on the whole season before it. At the end of his first week with the team he is in sole possession of the team lead in HR, RBI, OBP, SLG, and OPS. So he gets on by default. Key Stats: .286 AVG, 4 HR, 13 RBI, 5 BB, 9 K, 0 SB.
Honorable Mention: Eric Barrett, Rome; Todd Redmond, Mississippi; Josh Anderson, Richmond; Barbaro Canizares, Richmond; Charlie Morton, Richmond; Deunte Heath, Myrtle Beach; Steve Evarts, Rome; Scott Diamond, Rome.
Also as an added bonus here is an interview with Tommy Hanson that was done by Carroll Rogers of The Sun Times in Myrtle Beach. Enjoy!