Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
In this week’s edition of the Ben Lively Week in Review…
In the three previous editions of the California League Week in Review, there has been a lot of talk the Cincinnati Reds pitching prospect. Don’t get too used to it, however, as Lively could be on his way to Double-A before long.
As far as the league’s official statistics, the Bakersfield ace leads the league in wins (5), strikeouts (40), WHIP (0.48), batting average allowed (.134), K/9 ratio (12.41), BB/9 ratio (0.31) and base runners/9 (4.34).
This week, Lively earned two victories, allowing a combined six hits and one walk in 12 innings. He struck out 17. To date, the 22-year old right-hander is 5-0 with a 0.31 ERA, 40 strikeouts (42.9%) and one walk (1.3%) in 29 innings. He has held right-handed hitters to a line of .105/.121/.193 in 58 plate appearances.
As for the rest of the California League…
Lively’s teammate Carlos Gonzalez has yet to allow a run this season. He collected three saves this week and has five on the season. The 23-year old right-handed reliever pitched 4.1 scoreless innings this week across four games, and allowed just one base runner. Jimmy Moran allowed his first earned run of the season this week and now has a 0.49 ERA in 18.1 innings across nine appearances.
Padres’ pitching prospect Zech Eflin worked six scoreless innings in an April 25 start against Inland Empire. The 20-year old allowed just three hits and one walk and lowered his season ERA to 3.14. He is 4-1 in five starts this season. Reliever Cody Hebner allowed just one base runner in 4.1 innings in three games this week. Right-handers are hitting .077/.200/.077 in 29 plate appearances against him this season.
Lefty Chris O’Grady worked 5.1 scoreless innings in three games for Inland Empire (LAA). Teammate Jake Boyd tossed five scoreless in two appearances this week and has not allowed a run in his last 12 innings of work dating back to April 10. Austin Adams still possesses a 0.00 ERA, though he lived dangerously with five walks and two wild pitches in two innings April 23 before tossing a perfect inning Sunday.
For possibly the first time all season, a Modesto Nuts (COL) starting pitcher makes the cut. Ben Alsup allowed just one unearned run in seven innings April 24 against Bakersfield. He surrendered five hits and one walk and struck out eight. Reliever Brandon Erbe continued his good work, tossing a combined four scoreless innings in two appearances this week. He now has a 0.82 ERA with 13 strikeouts in 11 innings and eight appearances.
For Stockton (OAK), Nolan Sanburn followed a rough week with a solid one. The Ports reliever had two separate scoreless two-inning outings, allowing a combined three hits and one walk. Tim Atherton has won three games in a row, including his start April 24 against Lake Elsinore. The A’s farmhand worked 7.1 innings and allowed one earned run on two hits. He struck out nine and walked none.
Visalia (ARZ) lefty Spencer Arroyo allowed three runs, two earned, across 12.2 combined innings in two starts this week. He is 2-1 with a 2.56 ERA in five starts this season. Henry Garcia lowered his ERA to 1.10 with 4.1 scoreless innings this week split across two games.
Lancaster’s (HOU) Vincent Velasquez was roughed up April 24 against Inland Empire. The right-hander allowed five earned runs on eight hits – including two homers – and one walk in just two innings.
Dodgers uber-prospect Julio Urias allowed three earned runs on one hit and four walks in two-thirds of an inning April 25. The 17-year old lefty has allowed nine earned runs in his last 6.2 innings for Rancho Cucamongo.
San Jose’s (SF) Joan Gregorio allowed seven earned runs in five innings April 23. The 6-foot-7 22-year old allowed seven hits, including two home runs, and two walks against Visalia.
Bakersfield outfielder Kyle Waldrop continued his hot hitting, collecting 11 hits in seven games. He still leads the league in batting average and has a line of .389/.448/.495 to date. Jesse Winker went 4-for-4 on April 23 with two doubles, a home run and four RBI. Juan Silva leads the league with 15 stolen bases and swiped seven this week. Catcher Chris Berset was 7-for-15 with three doubles in four games.
Seattle Mariners catching prospect Tyler Marlette may be turning the corner, going 6-for-18 with two homers and four RBI in four games for High Desert. Outfielder Gabriel Guerrero reached base 13 times in seven games, hitting safely in each. He scored six runs and drove in five for the Mavericks. Third baseman Patrick Kivlehan added his league-leading eighth home run and drove in ten runs in seven games. Jordy Lara drove in 11 runs and scored seven. The first baseman is hitting .333/.400/.583 on the season.
Shortstop Jose Rondon is knocking on the door of a .300 average. He collected at least one hit in each game this week for Inland Empire and now has a ten-game hitting streak.
Lake Elsinore’s (SD) Hunter Renfroe added his sixth home run of the season this week and drove in five runs. In nine games from April 14 to April 23, the outfielder collected 17 of his 22 RBI.
Infielder Trevor Story spent the week at shortstop for Modesto, going 8-for-23 with one home run, four RBI and six runs scored. The 21-year old is hitting .314/.416/.512 for the 6-18 Nuts.
Rancho Cucamonga infielder-outfielder Adam Law– who has appeared in three games at second base, three at third base and nine in left field this season – had 13 hits in seven games this week. He scored eight runs and drove in three and now has a line of .338/.405/.405.
Giants outfielder Jesus Galindo hit safely in six of seven games this week, including four multi-hit efforts. He was 12-for-29 with two homers, four RBI and six runs scored for San Jose.
Stockton catcher Bruce Maxwell has an eight-game hitting streak, including hits in all six games he played this week. The left-handed hitter had a home run and three RBI and now owns a line of .325/.365/.463 this season.
Brandon Drury had nine hits in Visalia’s first four games this week, connecting for three home runs and eight RBI. The third baseman is now hitting .305/.368/.579 with six home runs and 23 RBI in 23 games for the Diamondbacks’ California League affiliate. Shortstop Raul Navarro was 9-for-23 with a home run and five RBI in five games.
After spending the last few weeks among the hottest in the league, Astros’ prospect Teoscar Hernandez struggled this week. The Lancaster outfielder was just 2-for-30 this week and has gone hitless in his last five games.