Here we go with the latest from the Midwest League!
The Player of the Week for the Midwest League was Andrew Velazquez of the South Bend Silver Hawks. Velazquez had a beautiful triple slash line of .370/.419/.889 with three doubles, four(!) triples and a home run. He drove in six runs and stole a pair of bases. Only 19, the Diamondbacks’ farm-hand already has 11 triples on the season to go along with nine doubles and four home runs. Drafted in the seventh round in 2012, Velazquez is currently on an 13-game hitting streak, during which he has hit .370/.422/.722.
Bringing home the Pitcher of the Week award is Jonathon Crawford of the West Michigan Whitecaps. The Detroit Tigers’ 2013 first rounder struck out nine batters in a seven-inning outing on May 23, allowing just three hits and one walk for a Game Score of 79. It was his longest outing of the season and he has yet to allow more than one earned run in a game since his first outing of the year. Crawford boasts a 2.16 ERA, 1.03 WHIP and 41 strikeouts to just 12 walks in 41 2/3 innings.
And they’re off! The South Bend Silver Hawks (ARI) have ridden an 8-2 streak over their last 10 games to take a commanding lead of first place in the Eastern Division. The West Michigan Whitecaps are now five games back of South Bend and Dayton has slipped to third in the division, one back of Dayton. South Bend has gotten it down with the bats, slugging their way to a league lead in runs scored and home runs and place in second in the league in slugging percentage and OPS.
In the Western Division, things are fairly static with the Kane County Cougars (CHC) leading the Peoria Chiefs (STL) by 7.5 games with just a couple of weeks to go in the first half. Kane County’s 8-2 run has given them what is essentially a stranglehold on the first-half division title thanks to a 3-7 slide from Peoria and a 4-6 record by Clinton in their last 10. Kane County is doing things differently than South Bend, having the best pitching staff in the league, posting an ERA of 3.07 (best) and 1.24 WHIP (best) and allowing, by far, the fewest runs of anyone in the Midwest League despite having a rather mediocre offense.
Despite being in the same organization as Mike Trout, Michael Fish is not related to the big leaguer with a similarly fishy name. On Memorial Day Monday, Fish went deep twice, going 3/5 with 3 RBI. He has been fairly solid for the Burlington Bees (LAA), hitting .269/.317/.468 in his first full season as a pro after being drafted in the 32nd round in 2013.
Ryne Stanek has gotten off to a slow start in his professional career, mainly due to a hip injury that he underwent in December that has kept him out of action. The Tampa Bay Rays’ 2013 first round pick hasn’t waited to make an impression and was electric in his fourth professional start on Monday, throwing six shutout innings at the West Michigan Whitecaps, allowing just one hit and no walks and striking out four.