It’s time for another Royals On The Farm report, a weekly look at each level of Kansas City’s minor-league system.
(Statistics through Wednesday’s games.)
Class AAA Omaha
Perhaps the Balbino Fuenmayor of 2015 has returned, casting aside the glorified singles hitter of the first three months of this season.
One year after the first baseman posted a shocking .358/.384/.589 slash line in 89 games with the Royals’ top two farm clubs, his power numbers fell off a cliff.
Heading into July, Fuenmayor owned a respectable .279 batting average but an unseemly-for-a-corner-infielder .385 slugging percentage.
But in six games this month, he’s hitting .364 with two home runs and a slugging percentage of .682. He went 2 for 4 with a solo homer in the second game of a doubleheader at Iowa on Wednesday, and he has a .287 average and .413 slugging percentage this season.
Third baseman Irving Falu is five hits away from tying Jed Hansen’s club record of 662 with the Storm Chasers. Falu is hitting .324 with a homer and nine RBIs in his last 10 games.
Center fielder Bubba Starling is hitting .238 with eight strikeouts in 21 at-bats since getting promoted on Saturday.
Right-hander Luke Farrell had a solid return to the rotation Sunday after about six weeks on the disabled list. He allowed two runs, three hits and a walk with seven strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings against Memphis. The former sixth-round draft pick is the son of Red Sox manager John Farrell.
Class AA Northwest Arkansas
Shortstop Raul Mondesi has four hits in 11 at-bats with four stolen bases since his return to the Naturals following a 50-game suspension for a failed drug test. The Royals’ top prospect, according to Baseball America, Mondesi hit .243 in a nine-game rehab assignment with Class A Wilmington before rejoining Northwest Arkansas. Despite his lengthy absence, Mondesi is sixth in the Texas League with 15 stolen bases.
Utility man Terrance Gore is tied for second with 21 stolen bases.
Left-hander Matt Strahm, 3-7, struck out eight batters and allowed two unearned runs in 5 1/3 innings Tuesday against Frisco to earn his first win since May 6.
He leads the league with 87 strikeouts, one more than teammate Jake Junis.
Class A Wilmington (Advanced)
Third baseman Brian Bien is hitting .355 in his last 10 games. The former 31st-round draft pick is still searching for his first career home run and only has six extra-base hits in 238 at-bats.
Righty Zach Lovvorn fell to 0-10 on the season on Sunday after allowing two unearned runs in five innings against Winston-Salem. The former sixth-round pick has a 3.51 ERA in 82 innings.
Class A Lexington
In his first start with the Legends on Saturday, A.J. Puckett had four strikeouts in four scoreless innings against Rome. The Royals promoted the former Pepperdine pitcher, their first selection in June’s draft, a day earlier. He has a 2.45 ERA in 11 innings pitched between the Arizona and South Atlantic leagues.
Outfielder Anderson Miller, a third-round pick last year, has hit three home runs this week after only hitting four in his first 87 games in the minors. The Lexington native is hitting .324 in his last 10 games. However, advance metrics suggest he’s run into some good luck this season with a BABIP (batting average on balls in play) of .433, a ridiculous .120 higher than his batting average. By comparison, Miller posted a .300 BABIP and .260 average last season in Lexington, according to Fangraphs.com.
All-star catcher Chase Vallot went 0 for 2 Wednesday in his first game of a rehab assignment with the Arizona League Royals. He hadn’t played since taking a fastball to the face on June 14.
Rookie Idaho Falls
It was a good week for the Chukars, who went 5-2 and added 73 runs to their league-leading total of 156.
Catcher Meibrys Viloria continues to crush Pioneer League pitching to the tune of a league-high 1.317 OPS (on-base-plus-slugging percentage). Despite a pair of hitless games in the past week, Viloria, who is from Colombia, is hitting .444 with 19 RBIs in 14 games.
Outfielder Luke Willis is hitting .359 with nine RBIs in his last 10 games.
Righty Alex Luna is off to strong start in the hitter-friendly league, posting a 2-0 record with a 2.59 ERA and 24 strikeouts in 24 1/3 innings.
Shortstop Emmanuel Rivera is hitting .432 with nine RBIs in his first 11 games.
Left-hander Garrett Davila started his professional career without allowing a run in his first 12 2/3 innings. The streak ended with a two-run second inning Tuesday, but it was the only damage he’d allow against Danville in six frames. The former fourth-round pick is 2-0 with a 1.02 ERA and 1.08 WHIP in 17 2/3 innings.
Arizona Rookie League Royals
Parkville native Grant Galvin, a 29th-round selection in June’s draft out of Central Missouri, could be in line for a quick promotion. The 20-year-old righty has allowed just five hits in nine scoreless innings of relief.
Second baseman Jose Marquez is hitting .348 after seven games.
Jeff Patterson: 816-234-4767, @jeffpatt_KC