Orem Owlz June Report

Ten games into the Orem Owlz season, several players are already making news. Gordie Gonkowski certainly isn't acting like a 49th-round pick (unless his name is Mike Piazza). Jerry Gonzalez-Lopez has a hit in every game. Hector Estrella has flashed power not seen in college. James West is blowing through the competition. Robert Fish is not so close to home. Decisions abound for Tremayne Holland.

After hitting .283 over 13 games with the Owlz last season, Gordie Gronkowski ias back at it again, and he leads the pack with a .429 average through 10 games. He is in the midst of a six-game hitting streak with five straight multi-hit games. He is 13-for-26 over his hitting streak with six runs scored and nine RBIs. The first baseman clubbed career-highs on Thursday with four hits and six RBIs. Eight of his 18 hits on the season have come with runners in scoring position. A 49th-round pick last year, Gronkowski has scored a run in seven of his 10 games and is among the Pioneer League leaders in five offensive categories.

Jerry Gonzalez-Lopez has opened the year with a 10-game hitting streak. The shortstop, signed as a non-drafted free agent, has five multi-hit games and has stolen a team-leading three bases. Gonzalez-Lopez has collected four of his multi-hit games over his last six and has found a comfort level at home where he is batting .412. The Puerto Rico native is also tied for the team lead with four doubles while his five extra base hits are a team best.

Hector Estrella is one of two players to have more walks (7) than strikeouts (5). While the second baseman has collected hits in five of his nine games, he has reached base safely in all but one and has amassed 11 hits total – thanks to a 4-for-5 night on Thursday that came with four runs scored. He is tied for the team lead in homers with two and had drawn a walk in six of his first seven games before being shutout from the walk column over his last two. Estrella hit just two homers over 53 games at USC this year, batting .306 in 193 at bats. He was taken in the 40th-round.

An 18th-round pick in 2005, Jim West is in the desert after seeing just four games last year with Cedar Rapids. The 22-year-old righty has appeared in three games for the Owlz, striking out 13 over 7.2 innings. He has fanned four or more in each contest, despite having an outing as short as an inning and two-third and nothing longer than 3.1 frames. Seven of the eight hits he has allowed have been singles, and he is holding right-handed hitters to a .158 average against.

Robert Fish, a sixth-round pick a year ago, has found a home in Orem after making one spot appearance with High-A Rancho Cucamonga in May – getting to play close to his San Bernardino home. The left-hander has made two starts for the Owlz after a debuting with a relief appearance. Fish sports a 5.40 ERA as a starter but has struck out 12 in 8.1 innings.

Last year for the AZL Padres, Fish worked in 10 games and saw just 14 innings of work, giving up 13 hits, walking 12 and striking out 16. Fish has given up two hits in 14 at bats with runners in scoring position this season to limit some of the damage.

Tremayne Holland already has three decisions under his belt while no other pitcher on the roster has more than one. He is 2-1 in the early going – earning a win or loss in each of his appearances. A 20th-round pick this season, Holland began the year with a loss after allowing three runs, two earned, on two hits and two walks. He has won his last two decisions – but has given up a hit and walked at least one in both of those outings.

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