Minor League Report: Five Players To Watch

This is the final edition of this feature before the minor league playoffs begin. By then, teams will have been crowned champions and many players will be looking ahead to the Arizona Fall League or going home.

The five chosen this time managed to play solidly through the July heat and into the final couple of weeks of their season.

Matt Moore, LHP, Durham Bulls, International League, Tampa Rays – For starters there’s that 0.88 ERA. Add to that his 8-1 record and that between July 22nd and August 12th he mowed hitters down in each of his five starts. Moore posted a 0.69 ERA for July,  striking out 49 batters in 30.2 innings. Highlight: His July 27th gem. Over 8 scoreless innings he allowed just 3 hits and struck out 13.

Gary Sanchez, C, Charleston Riverdogs, South Atlantic League, New York Yankees – Before going on the DL, Sanchez was putting together a productive season. In August he got 13 hits in 9 games, hitting.433 with 5 multi-hit games. Highlight: On August 3rd he hit two home runs and then did it again on August 10th.

Mike Trout, CF, Texas Travelers, Texas League, Anaheim Angels – Trout’s consistency through July and August was just more of the same. He hit .300 in July and is hitting .358 through the first two weeks of this month. He has a 9-game hitting streak going, with 13 hits accumulated. Highlight: On August 6th Trout went 3-3 with an RBI and a walk.

Greg Billo, RHP, Kane County Tigers, Midwest League, Kansas City Royals – While a pitcher’s record doesn’t always reflect his performances, in this case it does. Billo is 9-2 with a 0.75 ERA through the first two weeks of August. He finished July with a 1.19 ERA. In five starts he’s allowed just six earned runs. Billo has pitched deep into games, logging 55 innings in ten starts. Highlight: On August 10th he picked up the win against Peoria after pitching a seven-inning one-hitter.

Mason Williams, OF, Staten Island Yankees, New York Penn League – Through 10 games in August he has 18 hits, putting his average at .500. He finished July hitting .357, improving his average steadily throughout the season. Williams has struck out just once in his last five games. Highlight: On August 6th he got 3 hits, a walk, and stole two bases.

My eye on… Erik Arnesen, RHP, Harrisburg Senators, Eastern League, Washington Nationals: On August 14th against the Trenton Thunder, the big righty came back from a shaky first inning to pitch six scoreless innings . He struck out ten Thunder hitters by mixing speeds and attacking the strike zone. It was Arnesen’s 8th win of 2011.