By George Farelli
Canadian Baseball Network
Four homers in four straight game has placed Tyler O’Neill into a tie for the second place among minor-league sluggers with affiliated teams.
What is even more impressive for O’Neill (Maple Ridge, BC) is the fact he had climbed to 30 homers in 95 games since he missed two weeks of play to hit in the No. 3 spot and help Canada win gold at the Pan Am Games in Ajax.
The leaders in affiliated ball
Japhet Amador, triple-A Diablos Rojos del Mexico, 41 in 103 games
Adam Duvall, triple-A Sacramento and triple-A Louisville, 30 in 121 games
Tyler O’Neill, class-A Bakersfield, 30 in 95 games
A.J. Reed, class-A Lancaster, double-A Corpus Christi 30 in 122 games
Cody Bellinger, class-A Rancho Cucamonga, 28 in 116 games.
Jabari Blash, double-A Jackson, triple-A Tacoma, 28 in 110 games.
Adam Walker, double-A Chattanooga, 28 in 121 games.
The leaders not in the majors
Byung-ho Park, Nexen Heros, Korea, 43 in 107 games
Eric Thames, NC Dinos, Korea, 37 in 104 games
Yamaico Navarro, Samsung Lion, Korea, 34 in 106 games
Cyle Hankerd, Diablos Rojos del Mexico, Southern Maryland-IND 31 in 91 games
Min-ho Kang, Lotte Giants, Korea, 23 in 93 games
By going deep in four consecutive games means of course O’Neill is yet again the Canadian Baseball Network minor league player of the week for Week XX, the best of the 92 Canucks to have appeared in the minors.
O’Neilldrafted by Seattle Mariners scout Wayne Norton (Burnaby, BC), a two-time winner of the CBN's Jim Ridley award, shared the lead amongst Canucks with week for hits. He had nine along with Dalton Pompey (Mississauga, Ont.) of triple-A Buffalo and Justin Atkinson (Surrey, BC), who is at class-A Vancouver. The outfielder led with four homers and nine RBIs.
How O’Neill’s week that was went:
_ Was 1-for-4 with four RBIs as Bakersfield beat Lake Elsinore Storm 6-2 before 300 fans at Sam Lynn Ballpark. He hit a three-run line drive homer -- his 27th -- in the third for a 3-1 lead and bounced out to knock in a run to make it 6-1 in the seventh.
_ Was 2-for-4 with a solo homer as the Blaze dropped a 3-2 decision to the San Jose Giants before 3,150 fans at Municipal Stadium at San Jose. He homered in the sixth, his 28th -- hear the broadcaster say “Wow!” -- to cut the San Jose lead to one run and singled in the eighth on a line drive to centre. 2B Skyler Stromsmoe (Etzikom, Alta.) singled and scored for the Giants.
_ Was 1-for-3 with a two-run homer in a 5-3 win at San Jose in front of 3,712 fans. His two-run drive, No. 29 -- hear the announcer claim that his bat should be checked for too much pine tar -- cleared the left field fence in the sixth putting Bakersfield up 5-1. Stromsmoe had a pair of hits for San Jose.
_ Was 2-for-4 with a with a solo homer in a 6-3 Blaze win over San Jose before 3,888. He singled in the four-run first and hit his 30th homer -- hear the announcer talk in amazement at his swing -- on a drive to left in the fifth for a 6-0 lead.
_ Was 2-for-3 in a 6-4 loss at San Jose in front of 4,058 fans, but the Giants managed to finally keep O’Neill in the park for the first time in the four-game series. He reached on an infield hit to 2B Stromsmoe in the second and singled to centre in the eighth. Stromsmoe doubled and scored for San Jose.
_ Was 1-for-4 in a 9-7 loss to the Visalia Rawhide before 483 fans at Sam Lynn. He reached on an infield single in the eighth.
_ Had the night off in a 9-6 victory against Visalia.
For the season, he’s hitting .260 with 17 doubles, 80 RBIs, 16 stolen bases and a .559 slugging percentage. He was also named the Mariners Player of the Year by the Seattle Times.
BEST OFFENSIVE PERFORMANCES
Player / Class / Team AB R H HR RBI AVG
Cole Bauml - Rkie GCL Tigers 10 2 5 - - .500
Tyler O’Neill - A Bakersfield 22 6 9 4 9 .409
Dalton Pompey - AAA Buffalo 23 5 9 - 1 .391
Eric Wood - AA Altoona 13 7 5 - 2 385
Justin Atkinson - A Vancouver ;25 2 9 - 7 .360
Dustin Houle - A Brevard County 17 1 6 - 1 .353
Connor Panas - A Vancouver 20 5 7 3 9 .350
Skyler Stromsmoe - A San Jose 21 4 7 - - .333
Mike Reeves - A Dunedin 18 1 6 - - .333
Pete Orr - AAA Colorado Springs 25 3 8 - 3 .320
Kellin Deglan - AA Frisco 19 1 6 1 2 .316
Terrence Dayleg - AA Jacksonville 20 6 6 2 5 .300
Cedric Vallieres - IND Quebec 12 2 5 - 1 .417
Sebastien Boucher - IND Ottawa 31 4 12 1 9 .387
Mike Blanke - IND Long Island 29 5 10 1 5 .345
(*Minimum 10 AB’s required.)
BEST PITCHING PERFORMANCES
REIGN LETKEMAN RHP - RKIE CLASS GULF COAST RAYS
AP IP H R ER BB K W-L SV WHIP WK ERA
1 5.0 1 - - 2 4 1-0 - 0.60 0.00
A native of Red Deer, Alberta Reign Letkeman is a 20 year old Rookie pitching prospect in the Tampa Bay organization, and this week had his best outing of the season thus far. On August 24th in a 2-0 shutout win over Gulf Coast Twins he pitched five scoreless innings, surrendered only one base hit while striking out four Twins batters, to earn his first win as a professional. His overall record with the Gulf Coast Rays is now 1-2 with a 6.46 ERA.
ERIC SIM RHP - A SALEM-KEIZER VOLCANOS
AP IP H R ER BB K W-L SV WHIP WK ERA
2 4.1 2 - - 3 1 1-0 - 1.22 0.00
Anyone who has ever tried it will confirm, making the switch from a position player to a pitcher is the toughest transition in baseball, particularly at the professional level. Eric Sim a 26 year old former
Catcher in the San Francisco Giants organization, is currently in the process of making this switch with Salem-Keizer Volcanos in the Single A Northwest League, and so far the results have been very encouraging. This week he made two relief appearances, the first was on August 19th in a 10-7 victory over Hillsboro Hops when he pitched 3 1/3 innings, gave up two base hits to earn his first win of the season. On August 22nd in a 6-5 extra inning win over the Eugene Emeralds he threw one scoreless inning, gave up zero hits, but was not involved in the decision. These two outings improved his record with the Volcanos to 1-1, 1 Save with a 2.36 ERA in 22 appearances.
NICK PIVETTA RHP - DOUBLE A READING FIGHTIN’ PHILS
AP IP H R ER BB K W-L SV WHIP WK ERA
1 7.0 7 4 3 3 5 1-0 - 1.42 3.86
When a highly rated prospect such as Nick Pivetta gets traded to a new organization, sometimes it takes awhile to get adjusted to the new surroundings. In Pivetta’s case, it seems this period of adjustment is shorter than most. On August 24th he made his fifth start for Reading in an 11-5 victory over Altoona Curve, he pitched seven innings gave up seven base hits and three earned runs while striking out five Altoona hitters, to earn his second win for the Fightin’ Phils. This outing improved his record with Reading to 2-1 with a 5.81 ERA. Overall for this season, including a prior stint in the Washington Nationals system, his record now stands at 9-7 with a 3.96 ERA.
PLAYER MOVES AND TRANSACTIONS
3B/1B Matt Hague (Bellevue, Wash.) - Called up to Major League Roster by Toronto Blue Jays from Triple A Buffalo Bisons, appeared in one game and was optioned back to Buffalo.
1B Freddie Freeman (Fountain Valley, Calif.) - Re hab assignment with Triple A Gwinnett Braves ended by Atlanta Braves, and he was recalled to Major League Roster.
LHP James Paxton (Ladner, BC) - Sent out on Re hab assignment by the Seattle Mariners at Triple A Tacoma Rainiers.
RHP Steven Inch (Edmonton, Alta.) - Sent out on Re hab assignment by Philadelphia Phillies at Rookie Class Gulf Coast Phillies.
LHP Andrew Albers (North Battleford, Sask.) - Activated from Disabled List by the Toronto Blue Jays at Triple A Buffalo Bisons.
LHP Rob Zastryzny (Edmonton, Alta.) - Placed on the Disabled List by Chicago Cubs at Double A Tennessee Smokies.
LHP Shane Dawson (Drayton Valley, Alta.) - Placed on Temporary Inactive List by Toronto Blue Jays at Single A Dunedin Blue Jays.
RHP Jesen Dygestile-Therrien (Montreal,Que.) - Placed on Temporary Inactive List by Philadelphia Phillies at Single A Clearwater Threshers.
1B Josh Naylor (Mississauga, Ont.) - Placed on Temporary Inactive List by Miami Marlins. On Loan to Team Canada for the 2015 U-18 Baseball World Cup being held in Osaka, Japan.
OF Demi Oriomolye (Orleans, Ont.) - Placed on Temporary Inactive List by Milwaukee Brewers. On Loan to Team Canada for 2015 U-18 Baseball World Cup being held in Osaka, Japan.
RHP Phillippe Aumont (Gatineau, Que.) - Released by Toronto blue Jays at Triple A Buffalo Bisons.
C Justin Marra (Toronto, Ont.) - Free Agent signs with Quebec Capitales IND Can Am League.
OF Tim Smith (Toronto, Ont.) - Released by the Quebec Capitales IND Can Am League.