This week, much of the Southern League is recovering from stormy weather, which caused multiple games to be postponed. However, several of the big names in the league put together notable performances. The Mobile BayBears (ARZ) went 5-1 , thanks to several strong performances at the plate and on the mound and are in first place in the South with a 17-10 record. Huntsville (MIL), also 17-10, continues to lead the North.
Mobile’s Chase Anderson continues to shine. After tossing a combined 14 scoreless innings across two starts this week, the 26-year old right-hander is 4-2 with a league-best 0.69 ERA in 39 innings. This week he allowed eight hits and two walks and struck out 13. Reliver Matt Stites surrendered only two hits in 3.2 scoreless innings across three games, earning his third save of the season Thursday.
One of the most impressive starts of the week belonged to Marlins prospect Justin Nicolino. In eight scoreless innings April 27, the lefty held Montgomery to only three hits. He walked one and struck out four to earn the win. The 22-year old is 2-2 with a 2.83 ERA for Jacksonville this season.
Aaron Northcraft was stellar this week for Mississippi (ATL). The 23-year old right-hander was perfect in four innings of relief April 26, and then put together five scoreless innings in a start April 30. He allowed just two hits and one walk, and combined for ten strikeouts in the two games.
Dodgers prospect Chris Reed worked eight strong innings in Chattanooga’s win over Birmingham April 26. Reed allowed one earned run on seven hits without issuing a walk. He struck out four. The 6-foot-4 lefty has been very tough on right-handed hitters this season, holding them to a line of .150/.246/.230 over the first 112 plate appearances.
Tennessee’s (CHC) Corey Black was solid again this week, working six strong innings in a victory over Huntsville April 28. Black allowed three hits, including a solo home run, with one walk and struck out five. Opponents are hitting just .128 against him this season. Reliver Armando Rivero has been dominant recently. The Cuba native has not allowed a run in his last six outings – a span of eleven innings. On the season, the 26-year old right-hander is 1-0 with a 1.35 ERA with 21 strikeouts in 13.1 innings and is holding opponents to a .114 batting average.
Pensacola’s (CIN) Jon Moscott held Mississippi scoreless over eight innings April 27. The 6-foot-4 righty allowed three hits, one walk, and hit one batter in the victory. He is 1-1 with a 2.08 ERA in five starts this season.
Reliever David Goforth was solid in two appearances for the Huntsville Stars this week. The Mississippi native worked three scoreless innings in two appearances, earning the win Thursday against Montgomery.
Jackson (SEA) lefty Cam Hobson tossed six scoreless innings against Mobile April 28, earning the victory. He allowed only five hits and did not walk a batter. Two days later, fellow left-hander James Gillheeney also worked six scoreless in a win over Pensacola. Gillheeney allowed only two hits, but walked three.
Birmingham (CWS) lefty Scott Snodgress has been keeping opponents at bay in his last two starts, allowing just one earned run in each. Left-handed hitters are batting just .176/.222/.176 against the 24-year old this season.
Montgomery (TB) reliever Andrew Bellatti has not allowed a run in his last ten innings, after posting five scoreless in two appearances this week, including his second save.
Marlins top prospect Andrew Heaney is human after all. The lefty allowed seven runs (five earned) in 8.2 innings across two starts for Jacksonville this week. Heaney allowed ten hits and walked five over that span.
Robert Stephenson, the top pitching prospect in Cincinnati’s system, also struggled in two starts for Pensacola. The flame-throwing 21-year old allowed a combined eight earned runs on ten hits and four walks in 11.1 innings. He is now 2-2 with a 5.20 ERA in six games this year.
Offensively, no one was hotter than Huntsville first baseman Nick Ramirez this week. The 24-year old homered four times this week, drove in eight runs and scored nine for the Stars. He now leads the Southern League with six home runs.
Jackson’s Jabari Blash played well enough to earn a promotion to Triple-A Tacoma. The outfielder homered and drove in three runs in four games this week. He was hitting .262/.418/.512 with five homers and 20 RBI for the Generals.
Mike Freeman had exactly two hits in all six games this week for Mobile, stretching his hitting streak to nine games. The infielder/outfielder went 12-for-28 with two home runs, five RBI and five runs scored to raise his season line to .280/.352/.484. Teammate Jake Lamb is also on a hitting streak with hits in each of his last six games. The third base prospect had a homer and five RBI this week. David Peralta drove in nine runs in the six games this week.
Birmingham’s Micah Johnson continues to hit well. The second baseman has hits in each of his last five games, collecting eight this week to push his line to .363/.458/.529. Outfielder Michael Earley also had a nice week, going 7-for-15 in the Barons’ last four ballgames.
Outfielder Scott Schebler has been on a hot streak for the Chattanooga Lookouts. The left-handed hitter is 12-for-24 in his last seven games, including three home runs, two triples, seven RBI and six runs scored.
For Jacksonville, Alex Burg put together a nice week that included three multi-hit games. The right-handed hitting Burg, who has played third base, first base and in the outfield, is hitting .400/.467/.500 against righties this season. Marlins catching prospect J.T. Realmuto continued his good work at the plate, raising his season line to .321/.376/.536 after a 6-for-12 stretch that included a home run, three RBI and three runs scored.
The Mississippi Braves got several strong offensive performances this week. Shortstop Elmer Reyes is 6-for-14 in his last three ganes, with a home run, three RBI and four runs scored. He is now hitting .373/.418/.588 in 13 games this season. Gustavo Nunez, who saw time in left field and at second base, went 7-for-18 this week. The switch-hitter had four RBI April 28 against Pensacola. Third baseman Kyle Kubitza homered twice April 26, and outfielder David Rohm has had two hits in three consecutive games.
Montgomery’s Ryan Brett was 5-for-5 April 28, just two days after a 4-for-6 performance. The second baseman was 13-for-32 in all with a home run and five RBI, raising his line to .330/.368/.450 on the season.
Outfielder John Andreoli has been great at the plate for Tennessee recently. A native of Shrewsbury, Mass., Andreoli has hit safely in his last five ballgames, going 7-for-16 over that span to push his season line to .307/.424/.413, including a .362/.456/.489 mark as the club’s leadoff hitter. He also has 12 stolen bases in 13 attempts. Left-handed hitting catcher Rafael Lopez is in the midst of an eight-game hitting streak. He had nine hits this week, including a home run and four doubles, and is hitting .323/.457/.569 this year.
After a very strong start to the season, Trayce Thompson has cooled for the Birmingham Barons. The outfielder did homer this week, but is just 4-for-28 in his last eight games.
Stars outfielder Kentrail Davis is also on a cold streak, collecting only one hit in his last five games.