MadFriars Daily Farm Report: May 31

A trio of starting pitchers help the bottom half of the system shine on Sunday. Ronald Herrera, Michael Kelly and Thomas Dorminy dominated in victories, while some key outfielders continue to shine in the upper minors. Ryan Miller's first homer of the year highlights his impressive output so far.

Iowa Cubs 8 – Chihuahuas 4

Key Statistics: CF Rico Williams 2-for-4, HBP, 2R, OFA; 1B Yonder Alonso 2-for-4, BB, 2B; RF Rymer Liriano 2-for-4, 2B, BB; LHP Robbie Erlin 6IP, 9H, 3ER, 3K, 3BB

Prospect Watch: The Chihuahuas took a 4-1 lead into seventh, but Robbie Erlin, Nick Vincent and Leonel Campos gave up seven runs in the frame and the Cubs ran away with the victory late. Erlin had allowed only one earned run through the first six innings, but allowed a bunt single and walk before giving way to Nick Vincent. Sunday was only the third quality start the 24-year-old has turned in this year. Despite the disappointing start to the year, Erlin remains capable of turning things around and positioning himself to be a useful big league contributor before the year is out. … Rymer Liriano finished off a strong May with another 2-for-4 night. He posted a .292/.376/.469 line for the month. He’s been especially effective against right-handed pitching, collecting a 910 OPS so far this year. … In what could be Yonder Alonso’s last rehab game before rejoining the Padres, he reached base three times with a single, double and walk.

For further reading on the El Paso Chihuahuas, see the El Paso Times.

Northwest Arkansas Naturals 3 – Missions 1

Key Statistics: CF Travis Jankowski 1-for-4, 2B; 3B Duanel Jones 1-for-4, 2B, E (3); RHP Ryan Butler 5IP, 7H, 3ER, 2K, 2BB; RHP Aaron Northcraft 3IP, 0H, 0R, 1K, 0BB

Prospect Watch: Ryan Butler continues to look for his first win since getting to the Missions. The fireballing righty was charged with all three Naturals runs in five innings, keeping his Texas League ERA at 4.76. Surprisingly, he’s only recorded seven strikeouts, against nine walks, in 17 innings over three games. Encouragingly, 40 of his 69 pitches Sunday were for strikes. … After missing almost four full games, Travis Jankowski returned to action on Friday, and he’s picked right back up where he left off. The 23-year-old defensive ace had a double in four trips on Saturday and his hit in each of his three games since returning. While his on-base percentage has dropped off a bit in May, he’s had a very promising .444 slugging percentage this month. … Duanel Jones had a double in his four plate appearances Sunday as he tries to keep things rolling after joining the Missions. He’ll head home to San Antonio with a .308 average through his first 13 at-bats.

For further reading on the San Antonio Missions, see the San Antonio Express-News.

Storm 6 – Stockton Ports 2

Key Statistics: CF Nick Schulz 2-for-4, HR (2); C Ryan Miller 1-for-4, HR (1), 3RBI; RHP Ronald Herrera 6IP, 4H, 1ER, 5K, 3BB

Prospect Watch: Ryan Miller’s first homer of the season put an exclamation point on a five-run fourth inning and sent the Storm on to an easy win in Stockton. The 22-year-old catcher, a 14th-round pick in 2013, has hit in all seven games he’s played in, wrapped around six weeks spent on the DL with back issues. Six of the Hemet native’s ten hits have gone for extra bases. … Undrafted free agent Nick Schulz was an important contributor through April, but has really labored through May. He finished it up on a positive note though, blasting his second homer among a pair of hits. … Ronald Herrera, the youngest pitcher on the circuit, turned in his best of six May starts. The 20-year-old Venezuelan only allowed one earned run in six innings, though he did match his season high with three walks surrendered. He’s issued six free passes in 10 innings against the Ports and only eight in 44.2 frames against the rest of the league.

Tincaps 3, 2 – West Michigan Whitecaps 0, 1

Key Statistics: SS Ruddy Giron 2-for-6, HR (4), 2RBI; LF Nick Torres 2-for-5, 2B, BB; RF Franmil Reyes 2-for-2, SF, RBI; RHP Michael Kelly 5IP, 3H, 0R, 3K, 1BB; LHP Thomas Dorminy 6IP, 2H, 1R (0ER), 3K, 5BB

Prospect Watch: Starters Michael Kelly and Thomas Dorminy were both strong Sunday, putting the TinCaps into position for a sweep of the double-header. After getting shelled in his first start following a late start because of shoulder issues, Kelly was really impressive in the opener, pairing with T.J. Weir on the club’s first shutout of the year. The 22-year-old, who was a supplement high school pick in 2011, could pair with newly-promoted Jose Castillo to bolster the TinCaps pitching staff considerably. … Dorminy, who will turn 24 Monday, was charged only with an unearned run in six innings himself. The lefty walked a season-high five, but only gave up two hits. … Franmil Reyes had a pair of hits in the nightcap and is slowly getting things back together. Though he’s still not walking, he hit .257 with a respectable .467 slugging percentage for the month. His strikeout rate is continuing to drop which bodes well for the summer in the Midwest League.

For further reading on the TinCaps, see the Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette.

For the box scores of all the games please go to the scoreboards.

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