Four RockHounds will represent Midland and the Oakland Athletics at the 2011 Texas League All-Star game in San Antonio on June 29. Texas League batting leader Jermaine Mitchell will be playing with teammates Michael Spina, Ethan Hollingsworth and Grant Green, who was a focus on last week’sRiver Cats Farm Report. This week we will be focusing on Midland center fielder Jermaine Mitchell and Stockton Ports pitcher Jose Guzman.
Jermaine Mitchell, Midland RockHounds
Jermaine Mitchell has had a breakout year that outshines most players in all of Minor League Baseball. Through June 13, Mitchell has hit .367, with 12 doubles, 13 triples, 10 home runs and 41 RBI through the first half of the season. Although he was caught stealing 11 times, he showed some speed on the base paths with 11 steals through 59 games.
The Texas native was a fifth-round pick in 2006 out of the University of North Carolina. Mitchell spent two full seasons and a portion of the third season in Stockton before being promoted to Double-A Midland. In his first two years for Stockton Mitchell hit just under .250 but hit .309 for Stockton in 2010. Mitchell wasn’t able to keep that pace for Midland in 2010 but did see some time in Sacramento, going 2-for-12 with a double and two RBI for the River Cats.
If Mitchell can continue playing at the pace he is right now he could soon find himself playing in Sacramento once again.
Jose Guzman, Stockton Ports
Although he might not be the biggest guy, 5-foot-11 and 185 lbs, Jose Guzman has played big for Class A-Stockton. In 21 games this year (as of June 13) the 24-year-old righty has allowed just eight runs. Guzman has pitched 36.1 innings for Stockton while striking out 37 on the season.
Although he struggled at the start of the season, having a 3.68 ERA in April, he has been an entirely new pitcher since then. So far this June, Guzman has allowed just one hit in five appearances, striking out seven in seven innings of work.
If Guzman can have a second-half of the season that is in any way similar to that of his first-half he could make that same jump that Mitchell made last year.