Welcome to week two of In the Tank, the Rays weekly report for the farm system. This will take a look at the top hitters and pitchers from the week of June 27th through July 3rd.
Today is also a busy day for the minor leagues as the MLB Futures Game rosters will be unveiled this afternoon and will hopefully feature some top prospects in the Rays system.
While the Durham Bulls split their series last week in Charlotte versus the Knights, the Bulls were able to take over the #1 spot in International League after starting the week last 4th. So far this week for Durham, they have split, as they are 1-1 in their six-game set versus the Memphis Redbirds (STL) and look to hopefully stay at the #1 spot in the standings.
As for the top players last week, Jonathan Aranda, second baseman and Tommy Romero, pitcher, both put together solid weeks. Aranda, who recently was called up just a few weeks ago, last week went 10-22 with 2 homers, a .455 AVG, and a 1.295 OPS. For Romero in 1 start threw 6 innings of work, 5 Ks and had a 0.67 WHIP.
The Montgomery Biscuits last week was able to take 4 out of 6 over the sunshine state Marlins-affiliated rival, the Pensacola Blue Wahoos. This week the Biscuits welcomed in another sea-themed team into Montgomery, as the Biloxi Shuckers (MIL) came into town, with Montgomery up 2-0 in the six-game set.
The players of the week for the Biscuits are repeats, as 2B Brett Wisley and top prospect RHP Taj Bradley both played another week of solid baseball, with Wisley going 5-15 last week, stealing 3 bags and getting on 6 times via walks, showing off his patience at the plate. For Bradley in 1 start, he also went 6 innings of work with 5 strikeouts and 1.00 WHIP, putting up similar numbers to Romero.
The Hot Rods, the 1st Half South Atlantic League champions, were only able to take 2 out of 5 on a rain shortened week versus Asheville (HOU), as they turned to this week looking to try to capture some of their first magic versus the Hickory Crawdads (TEX). So far, Bowling Green has turned things around winning their last 3 and taking the first 2 over Hickory in the six-game set.
2B Ronny Simon and pitcher Mason Montgomery were the top players this past week for Bowling Green, as both players put together a solid week on the road. Simon went 11-24 with 3 HRs and 10 RBIs while Montgomery went 5 innings in 1 start and had 9 strikeouts.
The Riverdogs came into this week dropping their series last week in Myrtle Beach to the Pelicans, only winning 2 out of 6. This week they have rewrite the script as they have been able to take the first two against the Augusta Green Jackets (ATL).
As for the top performers from last week, Willy Vasquez, 2B, and Neraldo Catalina both had great weeks with Vasquez going 10 for 24 with a triple and Catalina pitched 2 games with 4 strikeouts in 3.1 innings.
The final level in the Rays system, the Rookie teams for the Rays all put together solid weeks, as the FCL Rays and DSL Tampa Bay both currently lead their respective divisions as we speak.
With that being said, both DSL teams for the Rays had top performers from this past week leading to each teams' successes. For the DSL Tampa Bay squad, the #1 team in the DSL Northwest, Nathanael Rodriguez, shortstop, and Gerlin Rosario both had solid weeks last week, with Rodriguez going 5-16 with a .313 AVG and Rosario going 4 innings of perfect baseball with 5 Ks added in the mix of his only game and start.
For the 2nd of the two DSL teams, the DSL Rays feature a repeat from last week, as Luis Hernandez had another solid week on the bump, and Victor Valera, shortstop, also boosted the team as well, as they are now out of the bottom spot in the division. For Hernandez in 2 starts, he went 8 and 2/3rds with a 2.08 ERA in last week's games while Valera went 7-12 with 2 doubles and a .583 AVG in a small sample size.
For the final minor league top performers for the Rays, Ruben Cardenas, right fielder who is rehabbing in the FCL for the FCL Rays and Yoniel Curet, pitcher, both had great weeks in the complex, as Cardenas showed signs of no injury bothering him as he went 8-13 with 3 homers, a .615 AVG and a 2.030 OPS while Curet pitched 6 innings with 8 strikeouts and a 1.50 WHIP.
For the Rookie teams upcoming games, the DSL Tampa Bay squad will see the DSL Miami team today on the road while the DSL Rays meet the DSL TEX Blue squad at home. For the FCL Rays, they play at JetBlue Park today against AL East foe, the FCL Red Sox.
All MiLB Player Stats can be found at: MiLB.com