With all the emphasis on the non-waiver trade deadline recently, it’s been a few weeks since we’ve checked in on any of the happenings within the Dodgers farm system. Triple-A Oklahoma City is holding steady in second place in the PCL American Northern division, while Double-A Tulsa is clawing away at a potential playoff appearance in the Texas League. High-A Rancho Cucamonga continues to lead the way in the Cal League South, appearing to be destined for a postseason run fueled by several powerful bats. And there have been more than a handful of individual performances lately that are certainly worth mentioning.
Although he may be a few years removed from the typical prospect age, righty starter Wilmer Font continues to impress on the bump for OKC. Against Tacoma last Tuesday, Font struck out seven batters to set the all-time Oklahoma City strikeout record, which now stands at 154 and counting. The previous record was held by Matt Perisho, who struck out 150 in 1999.
For the season, the 27-year-old Venezuela native has posted a 9-5 record with a 3.49 ERA over 113-1/3 innings of work, and is probably wondering what more he can do to warrant a cup of coffee when rosters expand in early September, whether it be as a spot starter or somewhere in the bullpen.
In the same game, stealing a little thunder from Font’s glory was outfielder Henry Ramos, who after suffering a severe groin injury in early spring training, made his Triple-A debut after hitting .416/.425/.652 over 25 games in Tulsa. All Ramos did in the affair was go 4-for-4 at the dish with three singles and a home run to lead OKC to a 3-1 victory. Across both levels, Ramos is now hitting a combined .422/.465/.657 with six long balls and 18 RBI in 28 games.
All-Star corner infielder Matt Beaty is continuing his torrid pace at the dish, having hit to the tune of .537 with two home runs and 14 RBI over his last 10 contests. For the year, the Belmont University product is slashing a very impressive .329/.392/.526 with 40 extra-base hits and 57 RBI. Continuing his current pace, the 2015 12th round draft choice of the Dodgers has put himself in position to contend for the first batting title in the Tulsa Drillers’ 41-season history. Beaty currently stands first in hitting in the pitcher-friendly Texas League, leading Ian Miller of Arkansas by a very narrow margin.
Speaking of the Tulsa offense, designated hitter Blake Gailen had a huge night against Arkansas on Saturday evening, going 3-for-5 with two home runs and six RBI. So far this season, the 32-year-old journeyman has hit .298/.353/.543 in 27 games with the Drillers. The Dodgers signed the free agent Gailen to a minor league deal back in late June.
The bash brothers of Rancho Cucamonga — first baseman Ibandel Isabel and center fielder DJ Peters — continue to propel the offense of the Quakes. The 22-year-old Isabel is slashing .260/.330/.494 with 24 bombs and 68 RBI, while Peters, 21, is hitting an impressive .285/.386/.529 with 22 long balls, 22 doubles and 66 RBI.
Isabel’s 24 jacks lead the entire Cal League.
Left fielder Luke Raley, currently on the 7-day disabled list, is third on the Quakes with 13 home runs.
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