WISHING A VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO
7-12: LHP Tony Sipp (33)
7-14: LHP Salvador Montano (22)
7-15: LHP Carlos Hiraldo (20)
7-15: OF Ramon Laureano (22)
7-16: IF Keach Ballard (24)
7-16: IF Reiny Beltre (20)
7-18: IF/OF Marc Wik (24)
Ramon Laureano - June 2016
Photo by Jayne Hansen
Since we last checked in on the standings, Fresno has gone 5-2, has surpassed the Reno Aces (Diamondbacks) to take second place in the division and now lags behind the first place Tacoma Rainiers (Mariners) by only two and a half games. There are no wild cards and no first half qualifiers in the Pacific Coast League so they will have to take the division outright from the Rainiers in order to advance to the playoffs.
The Hooks are 4-4 in their last eight and are now three games behind Midland (Oakland) in the second half. However, Midland lags behind Corpus Christi in the overall season standings by 11 games and the Hooks are assured of a playoff berth regardless of what happens in the second half by virtue of winning the first half.
Lancaster is 6-2 since we last looked and has taken sole possession of first place in the second half. There is currently a three-way tie for second place among High Desert (Rangers), Lake Elsinore (Padres) and Rancho Cucamonga (Dodgers) who are only two games in back of Lancaster. This will be a fun second half race to follow!
Quad Cities is 5-3 in their last eight games and is now in a three-way tie for second place in the second half, along with Beloit (A's) and Wisconsin (Brewers). First place Clinton (Mariners) leads the pack by four games.
The ValleyCats have gone 5-2 in their last seven games and are now only two games behind division-leading Connecticut (Tigers) and one game behind the second place Lowell Spinners (Red Sox). They are currently tied for third place in the division with Vermont (A's) and are on a four-game win streak.
Greeneville is 4-4 in their last eight and trail division leaders Johnson City (Cardinals) by three and a half games and second place Bristol by only half a game. That's the good news. The bad news is that the remaining two teams in the division only trail Greeneville by a half game each so it's a very tight race.
The Gulf Coast League Astros have gone .500 in their last six games and trail the front running Nationals and Mets by two and a half games. Only three games separate all five teams in the division.
The DSL Blue team has been treading water, going 4-4 in their last 8 games and are now three and a half games behind the DSL Red Sox 1 team. The DSL Orange Astros has struggled over the last week and are 1-6 in their last seven. They are tied with the Rangers 2 team and trail the Red Sox 2 team by seven and a half games, but only trail the second place Phillies 2 team by one game.
AAA Fresno 2nd 46-42 .523 2.5GB W2
AA Corpus Christi 1st 57-31 .648 0.0GB W1 (Overall)
2nd half: 2nd 10-8 .556 3.0GB W1
(Clinched playoff berth by winning first half)
A+ Lancaster 3rd 46-42 .523 6.5GB W2 (Overall)
2nd half: 1st 12-7 .632 0.0GB W2
A- Quad Cities 6th 41-47 .466 11.5GB W1 (Overall)
2nd half: T2nd 10-9 .526 4.0GB W1
SSA Tri-City T3rd 13-11 .542 2.0GB W4
Rk+ Greeneville 3rd 8-11 .421 3.5GB W2
Rk- GCL 4th 7-9 .438 2.5GB L1
FRk DSL Blue 2nd 23-9 .719 3.5GB L1
FRk DSL Orange T3rd 15-16 .484 7.5GB L1
RANDOM FORMER ASTROS MINOR LEAGUER UPDATE
Ariel Ovando signed with the Astros for 2.6 million in 2010 as an outfielder. He hit .237/.287/.289 for Tri-City in his final season in the Astros organization. In December of 2014, Ovando was claimed in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 draft by the Cubs and the left-hander was converted to a pitcher. In 15 appearances for the Cubs rookie level Arizona League team, Ovando had a 0.43 and a 0.952 WHIP in 21 innings. Ovando was subsequently claimed from the Cubs by the Angels in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 draft in December 2015. In his second season as a pitcher, he has not fared quite as well as his first, compiling a 6.43 ERA and a 2.000 WHIP in seven outings (7IP) for the rookie level Orem Owlz. However, that ERA and WHIP are inflated by one particularly rough outing and Ovando has a 1.50 ERA and 1.667 WHIP in the remaining six outings. He will be 23 in September.