Minor League Wrap (6/8-14/09)

Jay Yencich · June 15, 2009 at 6:05 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Aside from our draft, which was decent, the big minor league news of the week was uber-prep player Bryce Harper enrolling in the College of South Nevada so he’ll be eligible for next year’s draft, assuming he passes his GED, of course. If you haven’t heard of him, he’s the fellow who has moved beyond baseballs in batting practice and is now using beans. He also hit a 570 foot home run at one point, and he’s a lefty to boot. So, next year, the Nationals might have the most touted battery in recent memory, while the M’s continue their up-and-down season and end up picking around ten or so.

To the jump!

Short-season Ball is Coming:
The draft means it’s only another week and a half before the short-season leagues start opening up. The Everett Aquasox open up on the 20th in Vancouver and begin their first homestand on 23rd. The Peoria M’s start up play a day later against the Dodgers, and the Pulaski M’s will be at home vs. the Danville Braves on the 23rd to open their season. The weekly wraps will probably be subject to some change in response to this, maybe the doing away with the dishonorable mention. I feel like I should give poor Halman a break.

Tacoma Rainiers (2-4 this week, 32-31 overall)

The Week in Review:
Monday, June 8th 2009
Tacoma 8, Las Vegas 10 (TOR – 12)
W: Purcey (1-1, 4.60); L: Hall (2-1, 6.66); SV: Accardo (7)

Tuesday, June 9th 2009
Tacoma 6, Las Vegas 3 (TOR – 13)
W: Fister (2-0, 4.60); L: Cecil (1-4, 5.71); SV: Messenger (12)

Wednesday, June 10th 2009
Off day

Thursday, June 11th 2009
Tacoma 6, Sacramento 4 (OAK + 12)
W: Corcoran (1-0, 0.00); L: Marshall (2-1, 2.08); SV: Thomas, J (4)

Friday, June 12th 2009
Tacoma 2, Sacramento 3 (OAK + 13)
W: Eveland (4-0, 3.64); L: Rowland-Smith (1-2, 6.86); SV: Webb (1)

Saturday, June 13th 2009
Tacoma 0, Sacramento 3 (OAK + 14)
W: Gonzalez, G (3-1, 2.75); L: Seddon (4-4, 4.76)

Sunday, June 14th 2009
Tacoma 2, Sacramento 3 (OAK + 15)
W: Rodriguez, H (1-0, 5.19); L: Hernandez, G (3-5, 4.85); SV: Webb (2)

Hitter of the Week:
RF Prentice Redman, R/R, 8/23/1979
4 G, 17 AB, 6 H, 2B, 2 RBI, 4/1 K/BB, SB, .353/~.389/.412

Prospecting was not good this week. Saunders’ walks were down to two, good for most guys, but bad considering he had eight last week. Carp went for 0-for his last three games. Clement is 0-for the last four. Moore managed four hits in the past week, which is neither bad enough to doom him to the dishonorable nor good enough to really be worth mentioning. Redman is the best of the remainders, along with Woodward, who I guess could be useful if one of the double play twins goes bye-bye and we don’t trust Cedeno to hold it down. Redman, on the other hand, may not have a place, as Saunders will probably be up in the outfield if it’s anyone.

Honorable Mention:
IF Chris Woodward, R/R, 6/27/1976
6 G, 22 AB, 7 H, 3B, 3/0 K/BB, .318/~.318/.429

Dishonorable Mention:
The offense, for scoring four runs in the last three games.

Pitcher of the Week:
RHP Doug Fister, 2/4/1984
1-0, GS, 2.57 in 7.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 4/0 K/BB, 10/7 G/F

As long as he doesn’t walk anyone, Fister is an interesting pitcher. So he’s remained pretty interesting over the past few months because with 47.0 IP under his belt in Tacoma, he’s walked just three and struck out forty. However, because he keeps the ball around the zone so much, he proves to be quite hittable, with a .337 average against while in the rotation. In the ‘pen, where he’s likely to project long term, that’s about half and the strikeouts are also improved. As a reliever, I can’t imagine too many flaws he’d have, and I think he could work in either a long or setup role pretty soon.

Honorable Mention:
LHP Ryan Rowland-Smith, 1/26/1983
0-1, GS, 3.00 ERA in 6.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 4/1 K/BB, 6/8 G/F

Dishonorable Mention:
RHP Josh Hall, 12/16/1980
0-1, 14.54 ERA in 4.1 IP, 11 H, 7 R, 3/2 K/BB, 8/2 G/F

From The Training Room:
No injury news on the week, save for Tui remaining on the DL. Other players, such as LaHair and Crabbe, are getting erratic playing time, but that’s about it. Stark has rejoined the team. Corco, who is up and out already, had two appearances of one inning, a hit, and a K.

The Week in Preview:
6/15-7, at Portland (SD, 32-32), All Times 7:05 pm PDT
6/11-14, vs. Reno (ARI, 29-35), All Times 7:00 pm PDT except Sun (1:30 pm PDT)

West Tenn Diamond Jaxx (2-4 this week, 25-39 overall)

The Week in Review:
Monday, June 8th 2009
Huntsville 2 (MIL + 11), West Tenn 1
W: Bramhall (2-3, 6.56); L: Christensen (0-4, 4.57); SV: Baron (1)

Tuesday, June 9th 2009
Huntsville 6 (MIL + 12), West Tenn 2
W: Holliman (4-2, 4.88); L: Souza (4-5, 3.48)

Wednesday, June 10th 2009
Off day

Thursday, June 11th 2009
West Tenn 2, Carolina 1 (CIN + 6)
W: Shell (1-0, 0.00); L: Medina (1-3, 3.52)

Friday, June 12th 2009
West Tenn 0, Carolina 4 (CIN + 7)
W: Wood (6-3, 1.11); L: Parker (3-3, 3.84)

Saturday, June 13th 2009
West Tenn 10, Carolina 3 (CIN + 6)
W: Munoz, L (2-2, 4.60); L: Smith, J (4-2, 3.13)

Sunday, June 14th 2009
West Tenn 3, Carolina 4 (CIN + 7)
W: Watson (1-2, 3.41); L: Rivera, M (5-6, 3.16); SV: Geronimo (5)

Hitter of the Week:
1B Marshall Hubbard, L/R, 4/16/1982
6 G, 20 AB, 10 H, 3 2B, 3 HR, 6 RBI, 6/6 K/BB, .500/~.615/1.100

Marshall Hubbard had a slugging this week like some guys in High Desert’s OPS. After hovering around .800 in OPS through April and May, Hubbard is now looking more like the hitter he was last year, running a near even eye ratio for the month. One caution is that he’s hitting about half as well against left-handers as right-handers. There’s not a huge market for a defensively-limited platoon bat entering his late twenties, and with Poythress soon to be added, he may have dropped another rung in his own org. He should probably get out if only to play in triple-A for once instead of yet another year in double-A, where he’s been stuck since the M’s were in San Antonio.

Honorable Mention:
OF Johan Limonta, L/L, 8/4/1983
6 G, 20 AB, R, 6 H, 2 2B, 5/4 K/BB, 2 CS, .300/~.416/.400

Dishonorable Mention:
OF Gregory Halman, R/R, 8/26/1987
5 G, 19 AB, H, 8/1 K/BB, CS, .052/.100/.052

Pitcher of the Week:
RHP Steve Bray, 12/22/1980
0-0, GS, 1.50 ERA in 6.0 IP, 4 H (HR), R, 5/1 K/BB, 4/9 G/F

There’s something to be said for consistency. Bray’s numbers this week are roughly half what they were last week when he had two starts. He was the only pitcher in the rotation to make it to six innings this week and the past three starts his walk rates have really cleaned up. Through the first three turns in the rotation, he had walked eleven in fifteen innings. It’s three in the last eighteen now. The Ks have gone up and down, but he’s been one of the more useful pitchers on the roster of late and that’s been worth something.

Honorable Mention:
RHP Ricky Orta, 11/6/1984
0-0, 2 G, 0.00 ERA in 3.1 IP, 3/0 K/BB, 4/3 G/F

Closer-of-the-Future Mention:
RHP Josh Fields, 1/2/1984
0-0, 2 G, 0.00 ERA in 3.0 IP, 3/0 K/BB, 5/1 G/F

From the Training Room:
Steven Shell has joined the D-Jaxx, with Renfree being sent to Clinton, which is about where his experience level is. There’s been more movement on the field, where Colt Morton, a former Padres farmhand, has been signed as back-up catcher. Since he’s not ready to play quite yet (restricted list?), Guy Welsh was brought up to fill that part. On the infield, minor league vet David Espinoza has joined the team and Gavin Dickey had recently turned up in the outfield.

Strange Happenings:
Former Mariner David Bell is managing the Carolina Mudcats. How did I discover this fact? He got ejected on Sunday. Sounds about right.

The Week in Preview:
6/15, at Carolina (CIN, 35-28), 9:00 am PDT
6/17-20, vs. Montgomery (TB, 30-34), All Times at 5:05 pm PDT except Sun (3:05 pm PDT doubleheader)

High Desert Mavericks (3-3 this week, 41-22 overall)

The Week in Review:
Monday, June 8th 2009
High Desert 5, Visalia 2 (COL + 12)
W: Hume (6-3, 4.76); L: Harden (1-4, 3.38)

Tuesday, June 9th 2009
High Desert 4, Visalia 9 (COL + 14)
W: Perez (2-0, 4.18); L: Adcock (4-3, 4.21); SV: Christianson (3)

Wednesday, June 10th 2009
Inland Empire 6 (LAD – 5), High Desert 2
W: McAnaney (7-1, 2.98); L: Wild (3-2, 3.26)

Thursday, June 11th 2009
Off day

Friday, June 12th 2009
Lancaster 6 (HOU – 19), High Desert 7
W: Richard (5-1, 6.75); L: Icenogle (0-4, 5.60); SV: Aumont (11)

Saturday, June 13th 2009
Lancaster 12 (HOU – 18), High Desert 2
W: Kelly (1-1, 5.70); L: Ramirez, J (4-2, 4.41)

Sunday, June 14th 2009
Lancaster 2 (HOU – 19), High Desert 13
W: Hume (7-3, 4.48); L: Cespedes (1-5, 7.98)

Hitter of the Week:
CF Tyson Gillies, L/R, 10/31/1988
6 G, 23 AB, 8 R, 13 H, 2 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 3/5 K/BB, 3 SB, 2 CS, .565/~.643/.913

This morning, as I was running some preliminary calculations, I was looking at Gillies as a possible HOTW, but was concerned about his lack of power, despite the fact that he was 10-for-19 at the time. Then on Sunday he doubled his home run total. Gillies is turning himself into a legit lead-off prospect, with about as many walks as strikeouts. Don’t worry about the home/road splits, he actually hits better overall on the road thanks to an improved average (isolated slugging is better at home, obviously), the only two major flaws in his game right now is his stolen base accuracy (16 of 26 for the year) and his trouble hitting same-handed pitchers (.758 OPS, one XBH in 78 AB).

Also Hitter of the Week:
RF Carlos Peguero, L/L, 2/22/1987
6 G, 29 AB, 6 R, 11 H, 2B, 3B, 4 HR, 10 RBI, 5/0 K/BB, .379/~.379/.897

I don’t know how I nearly overlooked this, but Peguero hits some home runs, if nothing else. He’s actually two behind the Liddi/Dunigan duo for the year and had managed seven triples on top of that, which is basically taken out of his doubles total, but still kind of neat. He does have some home/road splits, but oddly, it’s not slugging-based. He had nine of his home runs on the road. The major difference is on-base percentage, which is .377 at home and .308 away. That’s not the sort of thing I can easily explain.

Honorable Mention:
3B Alex Liddi, R/R, 8/14/1988
6 G, 23 AB, 5 R, 9 H, 2 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 8/3 K/BB, .391/.462/.739

Pitcher of the Week:
LHP Donnie Hume, 8/29/1985
2-0, 2 GS, 1.38 ERA in 13.0 IP, 10 H, 2 R, 7/4 K/BB, 12/19 G/F, 2 WP

The numbers don’t pop off the page, but he was the only starter this week to win anything, and is the owner of two of three Mavericks wins this week. The rest of the rotation was responsible for all three losses, and you’ll see below how badly that went for them. Hume has had better weeks, and consistency is one of the major things keeping him from moving forward at this point. Thanks to the Mavs offense, he’s tied for the league lead in wins with seven.

Honorable Mention:
RHP Stephen Richard, 3/7/1985
0-0, 2 G, 0.00 ERA in 1.1 IP, 2 H, 2/1 K/BB, 2/0 G/F

Dishonorable Mention:
The rest of the Mavericks rotation
0-3, 4 GS, 7.58 ERA in 19.0 IP, 30 H (4 HR), 21 R (16 ER), 13/5 K/BB, 20/23 G/F

From the Training Room:
Stahely did make an appearance, but Pullen did not and there was little bullpen help that they actually needed. The rotation waits on Harben and Pineda to get healthy. As position players go, Yepez has rejoined the team after being sent back from double-A. There are only three official outfielders on the roster that the moment in Gillies, Lo, and McOwen, but Peguero and Dunigan, in a pinch, are capable out there.

Strange Happenings:
He didn’t make the top hitter list this week, but Dunigan is still getting on base, and his streak is at at least eleven now.

The Week in Preview:
6/15-7, vs. Rancho Cucamonga (ANA, 26-37), All Times at 7:05 pm PDT
6/18-21, at Inland Empire (LAD, 28-35), All Times 7:05 pm PDT except Sun (1:05 pm PDT)

Clinton Lumberkings (6-1 this week, 36-27 overall)

The Week in Review:
Monday, June 8th 2009
Clinton 16, Quad Cities 2 (STL – 6)
W: Pribanic (5-2, 2.32); L: Thomas (2-2, 4.10)

Tuesday, June 9th 2009
Clinton 3, Quad Cities 7 (STL – 5)
W: Cardenas (4-2, 3.91); L: Lorin (4-3, 2.29)

Wednesday, June 10th 2009
Peoria 3 (CHC + 3), Clinton 5
W: Penney (1-1, 3.93); L: Kreier (3-2, 4.13); SV: Flores (10)

Thursday, June 11th 2009
Peoria 0 (CHC + 2), Clinton 5
W: LaFromboise (4-1, 3.21); L: Shafer (4-3, 5.31); SV: Hann (2)

Friday, June 12th 2009
Peoria 2 (CHC + 1), Clinton 4
W: Kasparek (3-4, 2.80); L: Siegfried (0-1, 3.80); SV: Flores (11)

Saturday, June 13th 2009
Peoria 2 (CHC 0), Clinton 4
W: Pribanic (6-2, 2.25); L: Archer (2-2, 2.18); SV: Hann (3)

Sunday, June 14th 2009
Clinton 9, Beloit 2 (MIN – 15)
W: Nation (1-1, 3.38); L: Blevins (2-3, 4.05)

Hitter of the Week:
UT Nate Tenbrink, L/R, 12/21/1986
6 G, 19 AB, 6 R, 7 H, 2 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 2/5 K/BB, .368/.500/.789

The book on Tenbrink when he came into the organization was that he had greattools and very little consistency. What the M’s wouldn’t give for a bit more of that consistency. Like Gillies above, Tenbrink doubled his home run total this week, but four home runs from a guy limited to the corner is not so exciting, even if he does hit lefty. Similarly, five walks is awesome, but not so much when he’s usually two Ks to every walk. There hasn’t been a whole lot of variation to his month-to-month stats, so it’s hard to tell if he’s getting something or if he’s just a similar type of hitter to what T.J. Bohn was. At least he’s improved over last year’s numbers in Everett.

Honorable Mention:
2B Luis Nunez, R/R, 12/31/1986
7 G, 31 AB, 5 R, 11 H, 3 2B, 5 RBI, 4/1 K/BB, CS, .355/~.375/.452
[eleven+-game hitting streak]

Also Honorable Mention:
1B Kris Sanchez, L/L, 1/9/1984
7 G, 26 AB, 8 H, 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 3/4 K/BB, .307/~.400/.576

Pitcher of the Week:
LHP Bobby LaFromboise, 6/25/1986
1-0, GS, 0.00 ERA in 8.0 IP, 4 H, 8/1 K/BB, 6/10 G/F

I complain about Hume, but I think to this point, LaFromboise has more worst-to-first transitions. This week saw him frustrating the Peoria Chiefs. While there weren’t any impressive batter retired streaks, just six a couple of times, the Chiefs never had more than two hitters reach in any inning. They’d get on, leading off the inning a few times, and just stay there as Bobby rang up the rest or got a quick DP and that would end it. His ceiling is probably as a Rohrbaugh-type pitcher, an organization lefty with potential for a little more.

Honorable Mention:
RHP Blake Nation, 5/16/1987
1-0, 3 G, 0.00 ERA in 5.1 IP, H, 4/1 K/BB, 6/6 G/F

Also Honorable Mention:
RHP Aaron Pribanic, 9/1/1986
2-0, 0.81 ERA in 11.0 IP, 9 H, R, 4/0 K/BB, 22/7 G/F

From the Training Room:
Matt Renfree joined the bullpen, which is closer to where he should be. Suriel and Gallagher (if you remember him) are still on the DL, along with Carroll, who really needs to get away fro mthose pitches a little better. Ogui Diaz is also back in the MWL.

Strange Happenings:
The Lumberkings have won nine of their last ten games are among the hottest teams in the league at the moment. Despite being around .500 not too long ago, they now have a chance of overtaking the division-leading Kane County Cougars, whom they picked a few wins off of last week and remain only two games ahead in the division… I didn’t want to highlight three relievers, but check out what Cheyne Hann and Ruben Flores are doing.

The Week in Preview:
6/15-7, at Beloit (MIN, 24-39), All Times at 5:00 pm PDT
6/18-21, at Cedar Rapids (ANA, 36-26), All Times at 4:35 pm PDT except Sun (12:05 pm PDT)


11 Responses to “Minor League Wrap (6/8-14/09)”

  1. cdowley on June 15th, 2009 10:18 am

    Once again, thanks for doing these.

    Quick question, any early indications on who in the draft class (besides Barron, obviously) might sign quickly and who may not sign at all? Also, who do you think may already be developed enough to skip the lower levels and start of at, say, High A or AA?

  2. Jay Yencich on June 15th, 2009 10:29 am

    Quick question, any early indications on who in the draft class (besides Barron, obviously) might sign quickly and who may not sign at all? Also, who do you think may already be developed enough to skip the lower levels and start of at, say, High A or AA?

    Baron actually seems to be waffling on whether or not he’s going to sign, and is saying that he want $1.3 million or something like that. If there really was a pre-draft deal, he would have already signed, but I would guess that Duke upped his scholarship offer or some such thing. I don’t expect Griggs, the 34th rounder, to sign unless they throw a lot of money at him. There weren’t a whole lot of risks the M’s took with their strategy. I don’t recall seeing any draft-eligible sophomores, for example.

    Ackley, obviously could move quickly. I think Poythress would be able to move up quickly if not for the first base position being so blocked, so something will have to give there.

  3. Dave on June 15th, 2009 11:35 am

    Another Josh Fields note – he hasn’t walked anyone in his last five outings. Over those five appearances, his totals are 5 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 5 K.

    The M’s are really spacing out his appearances (he pitches every three days), but it looks like the mechanical tweaks they’re having him work on are taking effect.

  4. joser on June 15th, 2009 1:10 pm

    Bryce Harper seems to be an amazing talent (the Verducci hagiography profile makes him sound like the third icon in a triptych between Sidd Finch and Roy Hobbs). But then I remember all those other amazing highschool “can’t-miss” kids. Where is Ryan Harvey these days? Oh yeah, Tulsa.

  5. joser on June 15th, 2009 1:16 pm

    Zduriencik, in his radio interview with Drayer that we dissected in detail here last week, emphasized that they were picking guys that would sign. Now, obviously no plan survives contact with the enemy, and the guys in the high rounds don’t matter much either way, but I would think (hope) that with that emphasis the one thing we could count on would be getting most of the top guys signed (however long that actually takes).

    And yeah, though I always forget, thanks for doing this Jay (and all the work it entails).

  6. joser on June 15th, 2009 1:37 pm

    Also, I think Drayer mentioned that she had heard (so that makes this, what, 3rd hand?) that Clement had started catching bullpen sessions? If it’s true, and his knee doesn’t turn into a coconut in the process, that’s good news. Of course I’d also read somewhere that he was getting time at 1B (though from B-R it looks like just 2 games so far), which seems to be a more likely career direction for him at this point, alas.

  7. Jay Yencich on June 15th, 2009 1:54 pm

    Yeah, word has been going around for a while that Clement is getting close to being behind the plate in games again.

    and to all: you’re welcome.

  8. SequimRealEstate on June 15th, 2009 2:13 pm

    I was looking at Gillies as a possible HOTW. What is HOTW?

  9. Jay Yencich on June 15th, 2009 2:37 pm

    HOTW = Hitter of the Week

  10. The Ancient Mariner on June 15th, 2009 6:03 pm

    If Baron starts getting sticky, what do you think are the odds that they sign Griggs instead?

  11. Jay Yencich on June 15th, 2009 7:08 pm

    That would depend on how much Griggs wants to sign, and how much for. The college commitment scared most people off but if equivalent money would be enough to get him, it would be a good deal, most definitely.

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