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Series preview: Omaha vs. Sky Sox

By: Brent Briggeman, The Gazette
July 11, 2014 Updated: July 11, 2014 at 9:07 am
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Pitcher Tim Collins is one of a handful of Omaha Stormchasers players that has logged time in the major leagues. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Omaha Stormchasers at Sky Sox

Game times: 7:05 p.m. Friday, 6:05 p.m. Saturday, 1:35 p.m. Sunday

What to watch: The season's shortest homestand, a three-game set before the All-Star break, will be highlighted by a chance to win used cars in a Saturday promotion sponsored by Security Service FCU. The Sky Sox enter playing their best baseball, having gone 8-4 over their past 12 games.

 

Omaha prospects to watch

Michael Mariot, RHP - That he's the top prospect on the roster says a lot about where the Kansas City Royals' minor league talent (ie. it's not in Triple-A). Mariot entered the season owning a 3.43 career ERA over four minor league seasons, mostly in relief. He has spent much of this season as a mop-up man in the Royals' bullpen, posting a 6.48 ERA over 17 appearances.

Brett Eibner, CF - A second-round pick in 2010, Eibner posted averages of .213 and .196 over his first two seasons, but his power kept him moving up the ladder. That power, which saw him slug .451 last year in Double-A, hasn't translated to Triple-A, as he's slugging .382 with seven home runs in 73 games.

Chris Dwyer, LHP - Once a highly regarded prospect, Dwyer flew through the lower minor league levels before finding himself slowed by a thyroid condition and an inability to retire hitters in Double- and Triple-A. The organization is trying to resurrect his career as a reliever to mixed results - 33 strikeouts in 201/3 relief innings, but still a 5.75 ERA in that span.

 

Names you may know

From the coaching staff on down, Omaha offers little in the way or name recognition if you are not a Royals fan. Many Stormchasers - Tim Collins, Johnny Giavotella, and Justin Maxwell among them - have spent at least part of multiple seasons in the major leagues, but none have excelled. Infielder Paul Janish, who played 67 games this season with the Sky Sox, is now playing for Omaha.

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