D-backs minor-league report: Walker, Walsh earn player-of-week honors

Christian Walker hit .348 with four home runs and 16 RBI in the season's first 11 games. (Photo credit: RenoAces.com)

Reno first baseman Christian Walker was named the Pacific Coast League Player of the Week for the period of April 6-16, hitting .348 (16 for 46) with four home runs, four doubles and 16 RBI in 11 games.

Walker has some steep competition for hottest hitter on the Aces team, however. Outfielder Oswaldo Arcia hit a pair of home runs in Reno’s 13-2 victory over El Paso on Monday, capping a three-game series in which he went 8 for 13 to boost his batting average to .405.

The Aces (6-6) had five home runs in Monday’s victory — two each by Arcia and outfielder Zach Borenstein, and one by pitcher Braden Shipley. Shipley also had his most impressive pitching performance of the season — — giving up five hits, three walks and two earned runs. He struck out five and improved his record to 2-0 with a 5.82 ERA.

While Reno’s  starting pitching has been inconsistent, the Aces have gotten solid work out of the bullpen. Left-hander T.J. McFarland and righties Erik Davis, Silvino Bracho and Jimmie Sherfy have yet to give up an earned run. In 25 1/3 combined innings, they’ve limited opposing hitters to 14 hits and seven walks while striking out 33. Bracho has 10 strikeouts and one walk in 5 1/3 innings, and Sherfy has seven strikeouts and no walks in 5 innings.

Double-A Jackson

Generals second baseman Colin Walsh was named Southern League Player of the Week, hitting .371 (13 for 35) with two home runs and seven doubles in nine games. Walsh, 27, is in his first season with the D-backs organization after spending his first seven professional seasons with the Cardinals, Brewers and Athletics.

Jackson (8-2) is three games ahead of the pack in the Southern League’s North Division, leading the league in runs (63) and batting average (.293) and ranking third in ERA (2.50).

Third baseman Dawel Lugo, the organization’s fourth-ranked prospect, and first baseman Kevin Cron are tied for the league lead with four home runs.

Alex Young pitched five shutout innings in a 6-2 win over Mobile on Sunday, and Brad Keller gave up one run over five innings in a 3-2 win on Saturday. Keller is 2-0 with an 0.90 ERA and 11 strikeouts over 10 innings.

Single-A Kane County

Kane County oufielder Marcus Wilson belted a pair of three-run home runs in the Cougars’ 8-4 victory over Quad City on Saturday. The 20-year-old Wilson has four home runs on the season — after hitting just three in the first three seasons of his professional career, covering 165 games.

Wilson, ranked as the D-backs’ No. 21 prospect by mlb.com, has eight hits in his last three games, bumping his season average to .405, with a .511 on-base percentage and .811 slugging percentage. He’s walked eight times and struck out five.

Kane County is off to a 7-3 start and continues to get outstanding pitching, with a 1.45 team ERA through 10 games. Sam McWilliams struck out eight while allowing one hit and no walks over five shutout innings on Thursday. In two starts this season, the 21-year-old McWilliams has yet to give up a run in 10 innings. He’s allowed four base-runners (three hits, one walk) while striking out 13.

Teammate Ryan Atkinson has an 0.77 ERA with 15 strikeouts in 11 2/3 innings, and Jon Duplantier has an 0.00 ERA with 14 strikeouts in 10 innings.