Minor League Wrap (8/23-29/10)

Jay Yencich · August 30, 2010 at 6:05 am · Filed Under Mariners, Minor Leagues 

Things are winding down for the year. The summer leagues are both done, the Arizona League played its final game on Sunday, Pulaski will finish up the regular season on Tuesday and presumably head to the playoffs after that, and what’s more, this will represent your last chance to go to Cheney Stadium before the renovations hit. Let’s get to it then…

To the jump!

Dispatches from the Dominican:
Throughout the minor leagues, having the data is one thing, and figuring out what to do with it as you go further on down is often another matter entirely. For years, box scores weren’t even available for the Dominican Summer League, and the season stats you’d get were updated erratically and often incomplete. These days, we get box scores from them just as easily as we might from any other location stateside, sometimes about a day delayed, but usually coming through eventually. This aesthetically makes it appear like the same kind of data we’re accustomed to, since we’re removed from days of the DSL operating its own website that looked like something you might host Geocities or Angelfire ten years ago.

The trouble with this is that people often stumble upon the information and don’t realize exactly how flawed it is. One of the major issues in the league is that teams play almost entirely within their own division. Three of the divisions have eight or nine teams, but the M’s happen to have their complex in a group that has only four, meaning that any weakness in the other three teams is going to distort the set to the point where it’s practically unusable. The other issue is that you’re dealing primarily with kids in their mid-to-late teens who were coached in the “you can’t walk your way off the island” mindset, who are battling wacky strikezones and have probably never seen a change-up in their lives before turning pro. Of the forty players on a roster in any given season, six getting promoted to the states the next season would be considered a pretty good haul.

This is all a long setup because I’ve had people come in lately asking about one LHP Brandol Perez, who had a 68/14 K/BB in 48.1 IP and only allowed twenty hits all season. While he does have projection on his side, as he’s recently seventeen and already 6’4, the scouting report on him reads pretty much like a guy that I know would put up insane numbers in this climate: mid-80s velocity, and a killer change-up (credit to Churchill on that one). Everyone had been was asking me if he threw in the high-90s or what. It’s probably the best summer league season I’ve seen out of a pitcher, but most of the best seasons I’ve seen have turned out to be little, and the second best was Cesar Jimenez, though I’ll grant that he never had much size to him in the first place. Projection is nice and all, when we remember about it paying off as it did with Pineda, but the short-season rosters are often littered with guys like Miguel Marquez and Douglas Salinas, who signed big contracts because they showed fascinating physical abilities as youngsters. So, try to understand my hesitation when other people are going nuts about these guys.

Moving away from the larger philosophical issues, the M’s had a pretty good season, ending up 43-28 after some early struggles and ultimately losing in the second round of the playoffs. Pitching was one reason the team managed what they did, as Brandol Perez was complemented by another change-up artist, veteran Henry Perez who had a 76/10 K/BB in 73.0 innings, completing his fourth year in the league. The other big, projectable southpaw, newcomer Leonel Cortoreal, didn’t fare as well as he had a 28/35 K/BB in 42.0 innings in his first go at the league. And if 6’5 pitchers are your thing, they also had a right-handed counterpart in Jochi Ogando, who was similarly at 32/27 K/BB in 38.1 innings for his first try at the league.

If you get the idea that the tendency is more towards inconsistent command, you’re not far off. The guy who ranked second in IP, RHP Ambioris Hidalgo, had a 48/30 K/BB getting there, and is in his third season. Sorry, for those of you who were eager to see another kid named after a general who fought the Romans make an impact in the states. New southpaw Wander Marte often had a name strangely appropriate to his command, as he had a 28/19 K/BB through 20.1 IP. Only one other pitcher besides Cortoreal had more walks than Ks, but on the whole you’re not going to see good K/BB ratios over a long stretch of time, and the best of the bunch was LHP Martin Abad, who was 28/7 in 35.0 IP.

The hitting had a more veteran look to it, with a few guys who had already spent time in the states in 2B George Soto, C/1B/3B Rudy van Heydoorn, who picked up catching this year, and OF Efrain Nunez. The experience in some ways paid off, because van Heydoorn and Nunez both were in the top five for walks with forty-two and thirty-four, respectively, and van Heydoorn was tied for the team lead in home runs with seven. The guy he was tied with was 3B Jordy Lara, a nineteen-year-old in his second year who also beat van Heydoorn out in walks, but somehow only managed to hit .191 otherwise. For the all-around hitting package, OF Janelfry Zorilla also intrigued, hitting .286/.376/.429 at the end of the season with four home runs, good for third on the team, though he was also in his third season and at twenty is probably less interesting than the others. CF Randy Perez was one of two hitters on the team to have more walks than hits, and stole thirty-one bases to lead the team by a wide margin, but as his power is limited and he’ll turn twenty-two during spring training, it’s hard to say one should expect much out of him.

A few other prospects flashed interesting tools at times, and failed to put the whole package together. A tall, left-handed shortstop who just turned seventeen, Noe Berro had a July where he hit .300/.323/.400 in fourteen games, but couldn’t crack a .600 OPS his other months. Another hitter gaining notice for his ability to work counts was OF Estarlyn Morales, who will turn eighteen over the winter. Through the first two months of the season he ran a 19/12 K/BB, not bad at all for a debut, though his August turned out poorly, and relative to the rest of his season, where he mustered only a .167/.300/.262 line, that’s saying something.

On the whole, the pitching staff, which added a whole lot of left-handers in the offseason, is much more interesting than what came out for the hitters, and I’d expect more out of them in the future. But please, for the sake of my sanity and your own, keep those expectations in check a bit.

Tacoma Rainiers (2-5 this week, 70-65 overall)

The Week in Review:
Monday, August 23th 2010
Tacoma 7, Reno 12 (ARI – 9)
W: Mulvey (7-8, 4.48) L: Rowland-Smith (2-2, 6.04)

Tuesday, August 24th 2010
Tacoma 6, Reno 7 (ARI – 8 )
W: Torra (11-6, 4.20) L: Beavan (2-2, 6.10)

Wednesday, August 25th 2010
Portland 2 (SD – 26), Tacoma 0
W: Luebke (5-0, 2.97) L: Robles (1-1, 4.50)

Thursday, August 26th 2010
Portland 17 (SD – 25), Tacoma 12
W: Webb (1-0, 0.92) L: Paredes (0-1, 5.60)

Friday, August 27th 2010
Portland 1 (SD – 26), Tacoma 3
W: Feierabend (4-6, 5.11) L: Ramos (5-7, 3.36)

Saturday, August 28th 2010
Portland 5 (SD – 25), Tacoma 3
W: Munter (4-1, 2.28) L: Rowland-Smith (2-3, 6.00)

Sunday, August 29th 2010
Portland 8 (SD – 26), Tacoma 17
W: Speigner (5-7, 4.99) L: Carrillo (5-14, 5.60)

Hitter of the Week:
3B Matt Mangini, L/R, 12/21/1985
6 G, 28 AB, 8 R, 15 H, 2 2B, 4 HR, 5 RBI, 3/0 K/BB, .536/.536/1.036

The thirteen home runs given up by the pitching don’t seem so bad when the hitters knock out nineteen. Might as well fight fire with napalm. Mangini launched three over the weekend to scramble to the top of the list, but it’s not some aberration of hitting as he had two four-hit nights to end last week, making his ten-game line .511/.511/.915, which also makes more apparent the lack of walks. He has only four in August and hasn’t topped seven in any month, unfortunate because in both of the previous seasons, he had 35+ walks. But hey, he has eighteen dingers this year and with two more, he’ll have as many as in his ’08 and ’09 combined. I think that’s within reach, and he’s four doubles away from also hitting the combined total for those years.

Still Hitting Mention:
SS Tug Hulett, L/R, 2/28/1983
6 G, 23 AB, 4 R, 10 H, 3 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 3/2 K/BB, .435/.480/.826

Just Power #1 Mention:
LF Mike Carp, L/R, 6/30/1986
7 G, 24 AB, 8 R, 6 H, 2 2B, 3 HR, 3 RBI, 6/4 K/BB, .250/.357/.708

Just Power #2 Mention:
DH Brad Nelson, L/R, 12/23/1982
7 G, 26 AB, 4 R, 7 H, 3 HR, 5/3 K/BB, .269/.344/.615

Power and Some Walks Too Mention:
1B Justin Smoak, S/L, 12/5/1986
7 G, 26 AB, 5 R, 7 H, 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 7/6 K/BB, .269/.406/.538

Somehow Missed the Memo Mention:
RF David Winfree, R/R, 8/5/1985
7 G, 29 AB, 9 R, 9 H, 3 2B, HR, 7 RBI, 6/1 K/BB, .310/.333/.517

Pitcher of the Week:
LHP Ryan Feierabend, 8/22/1985
1-0, GS, 1.29 ERA in 7.0 IP, 5 H, R, 2/2 K/BB, 8/9 G/F, HB

That a pitcher is going to need a lot of innings to sort things out after a surgery is a given. Feierbend is closing in on eighty now with the Rainiers, 113.2 overall, and has pitched over twenty-five each month since June. So how are things looking? The Ks have been pretty stable on the whole, going from twelve, to thirteen, to fifteen from June to August. The unfortunate thing is that the walks are climbing at a better rate. First it was six, then eight, now twelve. If it’s any consolation, he’s not giving as many home runs up this month, which is impressive given that Rainiers pitching gave up so many of them this week, and the only game without was Feier’s.

109 Pitches Later, This Mention:
LHP Mauricio Robles, 3/5/1989
0-1, GS, 3.00 ERA in 6.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 8/6 K/BB, 3/6 G/F

From The Training Room:
When RHP Michael Pineda was finally shut down for the season, RHP Yusmeiro Petit was pulled off of it.

Strange Happenings:
On Monday, Curto reported a strange occurrence. “Just had a 7-8 putout. LF Wilson dived, ball hit glove, popped into air, CF Halman caught it.”… Two games this week had seven home runs. Just by the offense. And on Wednesday the same offense had only five hits, all of them singles.

West Tenn Diamond Jaxx (2-5 this week, 67-65 overall)

The Week in Review:
Monday, August 23th 2010
Tennessee 4 (CHC + 15), West Tenn 7
W: Munoz (6-5, 4.04) L: McNutt (0-1, 9.64)

Tuesday, August 24th 2010
Tennessee 9 (CHC + 16), West Tenn 6
W: Harris (1-0, 0.90) L: Bray (7-10, 4.78)

Wednesday, August 25th 2010
Tennessee 4 (CHC + 15), West Tenn 5
W: Jimenez (1-0, 1.50) L: Smit (3-1, 2.00)

Thursday, August 26th 2010
West Tenn 0, Montgomery 2 (TB – 4)
W: Rollins (5-1, 4.50) L: Grube (3-5, 3.40)

Friday, August 27th 2010
West Tenn 5, Montgomery 12 (TB – 3)
W: Reid (2-3, 4.19) L: Gillheeney (0-1, 9.64)

Saturday, August 28th 2010
West Tenn 3, Montgomery 6 (TB – 2)
W: Hall (6-8, 3.54) L: Munoz (6-6, 3.97)

Sunday, August 29th 2010
West Tenn 1, Montgomery 10 (TB – 3)
W: Torres (11-6, 3.33) L: Bray (7-11, 5.23)

Hitter of the Week:
3B Alex Liddi, R/R, 8/14/1988
7 G, 28 AB, 4 R, 12 H, 4 2B, 6 RBI, 6/2 K/BB, HBP, .429/.469/.571

Coming out of the crazy High Desert environment, expectations of Liddi were pretty high, and with a season line of .269/.343/.467 and a wOBA of .363, you can’t really say that he knocked anyone’s socks off. So here’s some context for everyone to chew on for a while. For one thing, though it’s certainly a flawed way of judging prospects, he’s second on the single season leaderboard in RBI for the Jaxx with eighty-six, two more than Mike Wilson had in ’08. Granted, the Jaxx have only been around since ’98, but it’s something. Another thing worth noting is that the average hitter in the league is two-and-a-half years older than Liddi. He’ll probably make the 40-man in the offseason, and from there, we’ll have three years to determine what to with him.

Also Looking for a 40-Man Spot Mention:
2B Matt Lawson, R/R, 11/18/1985
7 G, 29 AB, 3 R, 9 H, 4 2B, 3B, 5 RBI, SB, CS, 5/3 K/BB, HBP, .310/.394/.454

Not Until Next Year Mention.
LF Nate Tenbrink, L/R, 12/21/1986
7 G, 26 AB, 6 R, 8 H, 2B, 3B, 2 RBI, SB, 3/4 K/BB, HBP, .308/.419/.423

Pitcher of the Week:
LHP Anthony Vasquez, 9/19/1986
0-0, GS, 3.60 ERA in 5.0 IP, 7 H, 3 R (2 ER), 7/0 K/BB, 4/3 G/F

Enough of the pitchers were turning in good performances this week, but the offense couldn’t put it together enough to get them the wins they deserved. Vasquez was a guy who ended up losing the decision in a win, getting only through five innings, but also needing only eighty-two pitches to do it, as all the D-Jaxx starters seem to be on tight pitch limits these days. I’d expect Vasquez to start next year with the Jaxx too, but one cool item of interest is that he’s lost four-tenths of a walk per nine innings since moving up from High Desert, and understandably, had run a better K/BB. He may be legit in the upper minors.

Elder Statesman #1 Mention:
RHP Luis Munoz, 1/10/1982
1-1, 2 GS, 3.27 ERA in 11.0 IP, 10 H (HR), 4 R, 9/1 K/BB, 14/7 G/F

Elder Statesman #2 Mention:
RHP Jarrett Grube, 11/5/1981
0-1, 3.18 ERA in 5.2 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 7/1 K/BB, 8/2 G/F

Quality Relief Work Mention:
RHP Steven Richard, 3/7/1985
0-0, 3 G, 0.00 ERA in 4.2 IP, 2 H, 3/1 K/BB, 4/6 G/F WP,

From the Training Room:
OF Dwight Britton was sent back to Everett as DH Eddy Martinez-Esteve was promoted from High Desert after leaving the DL. It makes sense that he should be playing at this level.

Strange Happenings:
The offense was 16-for-66 with runners in scoring position this week… Limonta achieved a career high in home runs with fourteen.

High Desert Mavericks (5-2 this week, 70-62 overall)

The Week in Review:
Monday, August 23th 2010
Lancaster 3 (HOU 0), High Desert 10
W: Kasparek (9-4, 3.67) L: Cespedes (2-6, 6.55)

Tuesday, August 24th 2010
High Desert 9, Inland Empire 4 (LA – 15)
W: Carraway (10-7, 5.27) L: Walter (1-8, 6.56)

Wednesday, August 25th 2010
High Desert 4, Inland Empire 6 (LA – 14)
W: Blevins (2-7, 5.95) L: Reed (0-1, 6.75)

Thursday, August 26th 2010
High Desert 12, Inland Empire 5 (LA – 15)
W: Cleto (4-8, 6.25) L: Redding (4-9, 5.63)

Friday, August 27th 2010
Lake Elsinore 8 (SD 0), High Desert 12
W: Cooper (1-0, 4.76) L: Gonzalez (6-4, 6.92)

Saturday, August 28th 2010
Lake Elsinore 12 (SD + 1), High Desert 8
W: Garrison (1-1, 3.18) L: Kasparek (9-5, 4.08)

Sunday, August 29th 2010
Lake Elsinore 4 (SD 0), High Desert 5
W: Carraway (11-7, 5.26) L: Musgrave (3-4, 2.43)

Hitter of the Week:
2B Kyle Seager, L/R, 11/3/1987
7 G, 28 AB, 8 R, 10 H, 3 2B, 3B, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 2 CS, 5/7 K/BB, HBP, .357/.500/.750

It’s been hard this season to talk about Seager without invoking the other left-handed second baseman in system. Still, Seager has a good chance with two games left in the month to walk more than he’s struck out, currently at an 18/17 K/BB, and that was one comparison I made a lot earlier in the year. One that’s worthwhile to make at present is that Seager doesn’t have really any platoon issues. Against left-handers, he’s .368/.424/.513, and against right-handers it’s .336/.419/.487. How much of that is the High Desert factor coming into play, well, I can’t easily say, so we’ll have to take another sampling when he encounters the trickier pitchers at the double-A level.

Minor League RBI Leader (now w/ 30th HR!) Mention:
1B Rich Poythress, R/R, 8/11/1987
5 G, 17 AB, 4 R, 6 H, 3 2B, HR, 11 RBI, 5/4 K/BB, HBP, .353/.478/.706

Two or More Hits a Game This Week Mention:
OF Jake Shaffer, L/L, 8/16/1987
7 G, 33 AB, 9 R, 15 H, 3 2B, 2 3B, HR, 10 RBI, 5/1 K/BB, .454/.471/.758

Reaching Base Dangerously #1 Mention:
SS Edilio Colina, R/R, 10/10/1988
7 G, 28 AB, 10 R, 12 H, 2B, HR, 4 RBI, SB, 3/4 K/BB, 3 HBP, .429/.543/.571

Reaching Base Dangerously #2 Mention:
RF Johermyn Chavez, R/R, 1/26/1989
7 G, 27 AB, 7 R, 8 H, 2 2B, HR, 4 RBI, SB, 3/3 K/BB, 3 HBP, .296/.424/.481

A Sixth of his Season Walk Totals Mention:
CF Denny Almonte, S/R, 9/24/1988
6 G, 24 AB, 3 R, 7 H, 4 2B, HR, 4 RBI, 8/4 K/BB, .292/.393/.583

How Is This Still Happening? Mention:
1B Ji-man Choi, L/R, 5/19/1991
6 G, 24 AB, 5 R, 7 H, 2B, 3B, HR, 4 RBI, 3/4 K/BB, .292/.393/.542

Recently Hitting Catcher Mention:
C Trevor Coleman, S/R, 1/19/1988
4 G, 15 AB, 5 R, 4 H, 2 2B, HR, 3 RBI, 3/3 K/BB, .267/.368/.600

Pitcher of the Week:
RHP Daniel Cooper, 11/6/1986
1-0, 3 G, SV, 1.80 ERA in 5.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R (ER) 8/4 K/BB, 6/1 G/F, 2 WP

Having a competent bullpen in High Desert seems significant, what with the risk that you’re a few flyballs away from the starter being knocked out at any given time. So credit to Coop here for winning one of the games and saving another. His tenure as a Lumberking was largely undistinguished, with 37/21 K/BB in 56.2 IP, but as that season went on he showed one skill that has been helping him get by in the Cal League, and that’s getting groundballs. There’s only been one home run off him this season and I wouldn’t expect more, as he seems to be keeping the Mavericks infield busy so far. If he can somehow avoid walking the world, he’ll be all right.

Breaking the Rules [Usually a 4.0 IP Minimum] Mention:
RHP Blake Nation, 5/16/1987
0-0, 2 G, 0.00 ERA in 3.0 IP, 3 H, 2/1 K/BB, 6/2 G/F

From the Training Room:
After EM-E left, the Mavs opted for an outfielder and brought in CF Daniel Carroll from Clinton while sending OF Julio Morban to where he probably belongs in Everett.

Strange Happenings:
The Mavs had three post season all-stars and I don’t think anyone’s going to be surprised to hear than none of them are pitchers. Congratulations to 2B Kyle Seager, 1B Rich Poythress, and RF Johermyn Chavez… The Mavs slipped out of first this weekend, which means that this upcoming series with Rancho Cucamonga is going to be pretty intense… After I went and posted about LaFromboise having better numbers in the rotation, they ran Nate Reed out there instead and LaFromboise got kicked around for two out of three appearances… Carraway gave up three home runs in a start this week and that still isn’t his season worst… Saturday’s game might have been closer, but in the sixth inning Chavez was called out on a controversial third strike which not only led to the bases being left loaded, but his ejection… Choi is the youngest hitter on the roster by two years and four months and he’s still doing this thing.

Clinton Lumberkings (6-3 this week, 72-59 overall)

The Week in Review:
Monday, August 23th 2010
Peoria 1 (CHC – 2), Clinton 3
W: Czyz (4-4, 4.71) L: Kirk (0-1, 4.50)

Tuesday, August 24th 2010
Peoria 5 (CHC – 3), Clinton 10
W: Wilhelmsen (4-1, 2.05) L: Wallach (6-2, 3.90)

Wednesday, August 25th 2010
Quad Cities 5 (STL + 6), Clinton 14
W: Stanton (11-6, 4.29) L: Rondon (4-7, 4.99)

Thursday, August 26th 2010
Quad Cities 5 (STL + 7), Clinton 4 (ten innings)
W: Terry (5-4, 4.04) L: Josselyn (3-4, 3.96)

Quad Cities 3 (+ 6), Clinton 6 (seven innings)
W: Jimenez (3-4, 3.19) L: Kelly (6-8, 4.13)

Friday, August 27th 2010
Quad Cities 0 (STL + 5), Clinton 5
W: Medina (5-0, 2.17) L: Smith (7-2, 3.45)

Saturday, August 28th 2010
Clinton 1, Peoria 7 (CHC 0)
W: Kirk (1-1, 2.79) L: Czyz (4-5, 4.57)

Sunday, August 29th 2010
Clinton 6, Peoria 2 (CHC – 1) (seven innings)
W: Wilhelmsen (5-1, 2.15) L: Wallach (6-3, 4.16)

Clinton 1, Peoria 2 (0) (seven innings)
W: Martin (3-2, 6.75) L: Josselyn (3-5, 4.22)

Hitter of the Week:
LF Vinnie Catricala, R/R, 10/31/1988
9 G, 30 AB, 8 R, 14 H, 5 2B, 2 HR, 10 RBI, 5/5 K/BB, HBP, .467/.526/.833

Catricala spent most of the season playing second-fiddle to Franklin, but has bookended it with some pretty solid months. August, after all, has him hitting .440/.496/.743 to Franklin’s .258/.355/.383. These days, he’s getting most of his starts in left with Martinez being the superior third basemen and Wiswall and Morris fighting over first, but he’s been pretty solid defensively out there, which opens some possibilities for him down the line. Even if his left/right split, which is .180 right now, stays roughly the same or deepens a little in coming years, he still might have a bit of a future.

High Average Mention:
RF James Jones, L/L, 9/24/1988
9 G, 36 AB, 6 R, 15 H, 3 2B, 5 RBI, 2 CS, 6/1 K/BB, HBP, .417/.436/.500

For Some Reason, Not Seeing a Lot of At-Bats Mention:
CF Matt Cerione, L/L, 1/4/1988
9 G, 19 AB, 7 R, 9 H, 4 2B, HR, 4 RBI, SB, 4/6 K/BB, .474/.600/.842

Peripherals! Mention:
SS Nick Franklin, S/R, 3/2/1991
9 G, 28 AB, 6 R, 7 H, 2 2B, HR, 5 RBI, 9/9 K/BB, SB, CS, .250/.447/.429

Pitcher of the Week:
RHP Taylor Stanton, 1/15/1988
1-0, GS, 2.57 ERA in 7.0 IP, 6 H (HR), 2 R, 14/1 K/BB, 6/0 G/F, WP

Stanton has had a season that I would qualify as intriguing, but difficult to sort through. Through his first two months, he had only walked six, and through the last three he’s averaged nearly nine. Strikeouts were at around one per inning in May and June, and little over five per nine in both April and July. Then, of course, you have more than half his Ks for this month coming in the one start. Whether he’s been a groundball or flyball pitcher has been no more stable. He’s one of a bunch of tertiary pitchers in the system that have shown enough to make them worth keeping track of, and exhibited few signs of assembling it all into something interesting.

Seco Special Mention:
RHP Yoervis Medina, 7/27/1988
1-0, GS, 0.00 ERA in 6.0 IP, 2 H, 9/6 K/BB, 2/7 G/F, WP

Spot of Bad Luck Mention:
RHP Erasmo Ramirez, 5/2/1990
0-0, GS, 1.50 ERA in 6.0 IP, 5 H, 4 R (ER), 6/2 K/BB, 6/5 G/F

Reliever on the Rise #1 Mention:
RHP Stephen Pryor, 7/23/1989
0-0, 3 G, SV, 0.00 ERA in 5.0 IP, 2 H, 9/3 K/BB, 1/3 G/F

Reliever on the Rise #2 Mention:
RHP Forrest Snow, 12/30/1988
0-0, 2 G, SV, 0.00 ERA in 4.0 IP, H, 5/2 K/BB, 3/4 G/F, HB

From the Training Room:
Carroll left. No one came back because no one needed to.

Strange Happenings:
Wilhelmsen’s command has gone a bit erratic on him. After running a 36/4 K/BB in the first two levels over 19.2 IP, he’s 30/14 in 37.2 innings for the Lumberkings. He had an 11/5 K/BB this week… Royster hit .455/.600/.727 in his first week with the team, but as he only managed to accrue eleven at-bats I couldn’t note him… Franklin and Ramirez were MWL Post Season All-Stars, which rectifies the earlier BS of that one other shortstop starting in the game… Franklin also had a classification report written about him behind the subscriber wall at Baseball America.

Everett Aquasox (4-4 this week, 44-25 overall)

Monday, August 23th 2010
Tri-City 9 (COL – 6), Everett 5 (seven innings)
W: Sitton (1-0, 2.70) L: Lewis (0-1, 23.62)

Tri-City 4 (- 5), Everett 1 (seven innings)
W: Jarrett (1-0, 0.00) L: Hudson (4-2, 2.76)

Tuesday, August 24th 2010
Tri-City 2 (COL – 6), Everett 3 (thirteen innings)
W: Merry (2-0, 4.40) L: Tilford (3-3, 6.19)

Wednesday, August 25th 2010
Everett 7, Eugene 4 (SD – 1)
W: Sorce (7-2, 4.03) L: Tabachnik (3-3, 3.83)

Thursday, August 26th 2010
Everett 1, Eugene 6 (SD 0)
W: Branham (5-3, 3.17) L: Seco (2-3, 2.53)

Friday, August 27th 2010
Everett 4, Eugene 6 (SD + 1)
W: Everett (5-2, 2.70) L: Burgoon (1-1, 3.18)

Saturday, August 28th 2010
Eugene 1 (SD 0), Everett 4
W: Fernandez (7-3, 2.79) L: Sanchez (0-2, 3.15)

Sunday, August 29th 2010
Eugene 2 (SD – 1), Everett 7
W: Diaz (4-3, 5.12) L: Carter (1-1, 4.98)

Hitter of the Week:
3B Kevin Mailloux, R/R, 3/5/1986
6 G, 24 AB, 7 R, 9 H, 4 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, SB, CS, 8/0 K/BB, .375/.375/.792

Because one has to be ever vigilant to keep one’s spot on the leaderboard, Rivers has lost out to Mailloux as to who leads the team, and the league, in slugging. However, where Rivers also ranks second in walks with fifty-three, and first in OBP by a good margin, Mailloux has walked half as often, and is twelfth on OBP behind Serrano. That particular issue seems to be getting worse, as he had nine in thirteen games in June, then eleven in twenty-four games for July and finally six in August. Ten home runs is nice and all, but you’d think that he’d be able to parlay that into fear of pitchers giving him anything down the heart of the plate, and that just hasn’t happened.

Can Actually Get On Base Mention:
OF/DH Kevin Rivers, L/R, 8/24/1988
8 G, 26 AB, 3 R, 11 H, 2B, 3B, HR, 8 RBI, SB, 6/6 K/BB, HBP, .423/.545/.654

Same For Him, Just Don’t Expect Power Mention:
IF Terry Serrano, S/R, 2/6/1987
8 G, 25 AB, 8 R, 10 H, 2 2B, 3 SB, 3 CS, 5/7 K/BB, .400/.531/.480

Pitcher of the Week:
LHP Anthony Fernandez, 6/8/1990
1-0, 2 GS, 1.63 ERA in 11.0 IP, 6 H (HR), 2 R, 12/4 K/BB, 14/5 G/F

Sure, after I go and talk up Fernandez’ command, he has to go and lose it and trade it for groundballs again or whatever. Fine. I’ll talk about his splits a little more then. His K-rate vs. right-handers is 7.74 and against left-handers it’s 7.08, but the real interesting thing to me again is that when facing left-handed bats, the walk rate goes to 3.54, where it’s only 1.42 with right-handed bats. Again, this comes back to the groundball difference, which is a full three more against left-handers, so I’m thinking that he has a two-seam against them that he’ll use that isn’t quite as good as the change, or what have you, he uses to get right-handers out. I feel like I said or gestured towards all this last week.

Extreme Groundball Pitcher Mention:
RHP Ogui Diaz, 12/1/1985
1-0, 2 GS, 0.90 ERA in 10.0 IP, 6 H (HR), R, 4/3 K/BB, 23/3 G/F

“Consider the” Mention:
RHP Chris Sorce, 10/28/1987
1-0, GS, 2.70 ERA in 6.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 9/3 K/BB, 7/4 G/F, HB

From the Training Room:
Britton came back, as mentioned. Morban was added too. He’s now the youngest player on the roster by over a year. Take that, Steve Baron.

Strange Happenings:
The Aquasox have forty-four wins in the regular season which is as many as they’ve ever had… Valdez had a 7/1 K/BB and two hits allowed in one of his appearances this week, lasting 3.1 innings, but I think I’ve set 4.0 IP as a baseline (High Desert excluded) to get in and he was an out shy.

Pulaski Mariners (3-4 this week, 36-27 overall):

Monday, August 23th 2010
Burlington 3 (KC – 4), Pulaski 2
W: Avinazar (5-3, 2.49) L: Mieses (4-4, 3.18)

Tuesday, August 24th 2010
Burlington 6 (KC – 3), Pulaski 4
W: Dooley (4-6, 4.56) L: Nava (4-3, 4.60)

Wednesday, August 25th 2010
Pulaski 5, Elizabethton 4 (MIN + 16)
W: Bischoff (4-4, 3.10) L: Salcedo (4-3, 3.23)

Thursday, August 26th 2010
Pulaski 3, Elizabethton 2 (MIN + 15)
W: Kohlscheen (3-0, 2.51) L: Dean (2-2, 2.82)

Friday, August 27th 2010
Pulaski 0, Elizabethton 5 (MIN + 16)
W: Darnell (2-3, 2.20) L: Boyce (9-3, 2.98)

Saturday, August 28th 2010
Pulaski 6, Bristol 9 (CHW – 8 )
W: Evans (2-2, 5.19) L: Vitale (0-2, 5.31)

Sunday, August 29th 2010
Greeneville 4 (HOU – 4), Pulaski 5
W: Vancil (2-1, 2.84) L: Bullock (3-1, 1.26)

Hitter of the Week:
3B Ramon Morla, R/R, 11/20/1989
5 G, 16 AB, 6 R, 6 H, 2 2B, 2 HR, 3 RBI, SB, 5/0 K/BB, .375/.375/.875

At some point between the last time I talked about it and now, Morla passed Oswaldo Arcia for the league lead in home runs with sixteen, and with two games left in the season, he has a good chance of holding it. Part of that is probably that he’s been slugging .705 in August, though he had two more home runs in July. Regardless, he’s cut down on strikeouts by a fair amount, from 35 in 121 ABs in July to 19 in 88 ABs in August, and he’s continued to steal bases as often as ever. They may opt to continue the slow and steady development with him, but there’s a chance he could open in the Midwest League next season as a twenty-one year old, which wouldn’t be bad at all.

Will Hopefully Escape Short-Season Next Year Mention:
OF Jose Rivero, 1/8/1990
7 G, 26 AB, 4 R, 9 H, 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 2 SB, CS, 6/1 K/BB, .346/.370/.615

Pitcher of the Week:
RHP Preston Vancil, 11/15/1986
1-0, 2 G, 0.00 ERA in 5.2 IP, 3 H, 8/0 K/BB, 1/7 G/F

Vancil is the second-oldest guy on the staff right now in a league where the average hitter is under drinking age. The story of how he came to be with the Mariners, however, is a bit different from the average pitcher. He was undrafted out of his D-2 university, where he led the conference in Ks as a senior, and pitched in the Frontier League last season (where he had a 149-pitch no-hitter) before signing on with the Mariners before spring training. What does all this mean? I don’t know, but he has a memorable name and has struck out a bunch of dudes on occasion so feel free to root for him.

Another Quality Start Mention:
RHP Steve Kohlscheen, 9/20/1988
1-0, GS, 1.80 ERA in 5.0 IP, 4 H, R, 7/0 K/BB, 4/3 G/F

Sort of Started? Mention:
RHP Lance Abbott, 9/22/1986
0-0, GS, 0.00 ERA in 5.1 IP, 4 H, 2/2 K/BB, 3/0 G/F, HB

Not Starting Until Next Year Mention:
RHP Matthew Bischoff, 5/21/1987
1-0, G, 0.00 ERA in 3.0 IP, H, 6/1 K/BB, 8/5 G/F

From the Training Room:
There may be minor DL and not-DL moves going on, but (shrug)

Strange Happenings:
Four M’s made the Appalachian League All-Star Team, those being 3B Ramon Morla, IF Jorge Agudelo, OF Jose Rivero, and RHP Tim Boyce. They have separate utility infielder and utility outfielder positions, which is how Agudelo and Rivero got on.

Dispatches from the Land of Rehabbers and Teens:
RHP Danny Cruz Ayala: 8 G, 3 S, 4.05 ERA in 13.1 IP, 13 H (HR), 6 R, 23/3 K/BB
2B Michael Acevedo: 40 G, 155 AB, 19 R, 51 H, 8 2B, 2 3B, 14 RBI, 7 SB, 4 CS, 31/6 K/BB, .329/.358/.406
C/1B Ji-Man Choi: 39 G, 135 AB, 23 R, 51 H, 15 2B, 2 3B, HR, 23 RBI, 10 SB, CS, 30/21 K/BB, .378/.459/.541
RHP Jeroen de Haas: 15 G (GS), 4.18 ERA in 28.0 IP, 33 H (2 HR), 21 R (13 ER), 23/6 K/BB, 2 HB
1B Jose Flores: 38 G, 127 AB, 17 R, 29 H, 10 2B, 3 HR, 21 RBI, SB, 2 CS, 45/14 K/BB, .228/.322/.378
RHP Seon Gi Kim: 13 G (7 GS), 5.14 ERA in 61.1 IP, 76 H (3 HR), 37 R (35 ER), 71/12 K/BB
RHP Brandon Maurer: 4 G (4 GS), 1.64 ERA in 11.0 IP, 8 H, 4 R (2 ER), 14/2 K/BB
CF Alfredo Morales: 48 G, 174 AB, 25 R, 39 H, 17 2B, 2 3B, HR, 14 RBI, 6 SB, 3 CS, 59/14 /BB, .224/.283/.362
OF Guillermo Pimentel: 51 G, 184 AB, 20 R, 46 H, 7 2B, 6 3B, 6 HR, 31 RBI, 5 SB, CS, 58/5 K/BB, .250/.276/.451
LHP Derrick Saito: 3 G (3 GS), 5.14 ERA in 7.0 IP, 7 H, 5 R (4 ER), 9/4 K/BB
RHP Jandy Sena: 13 G (4 GS), 4.01 ERA in 42.2 IP, 43 H, 22 R (19 ER), 35/14 K/BB, 2 HB
RHP Luke Taylor: 10 G (GS), 5.24 ERA in 22.1 IP, 25 H (HR), 22 R (13 ER), 14/17 K/BB, HB
RHP Dylan Unsworth: 11 G (10 GS), 3.93 ERA in 50.1 IP, 71 H, 27 R (22 ER), 44/1 K/BB, HB
RHP Taijuan Walker: 4 G, 1.29 ERA in 7.0 IP, H, 2 3 R (ER), 9/3 K/BB, HB


14 Responses to “Minor League Wrap (8/23-29/10)”

  1. GoldenGutz on August 30th, 2010 6:43 am

    Is Walker being groomed as a RP? So far in the AZL he has only came in relief. It seems like Taijuan would be a guy joining Ackley and Lueke in the AFL.

  2. Big Leagues on August 30th, 2010 9:24 am

    No mention of Nick Hill this year??? He started bad with the knee injury but since he has come back in June he has a 2.60 ERA. 7+K/9. Not sure why the Mariners did not get him back in the starting lineup after injury but even as a reliever he has been very good after being great last year as a starter. Does he get a 40man spot? Surely he will get interest in the Rule 5 if not. LHP can relieve or start and lefties are batting .236 against 3BB/9 and 7+K/9?? Right?

  3. coasty141 on August 30th, 2010 9:33 am

    Thanks for all the hard work Jay.

    As far as Nick Franklin goes… He put up a 177/227/282 line against lefties in 124 Ab’s. At what point would a team make a decision that a player is no longer a switch hitter and just have them bat from the left side? Is that a 2 or 3 year evaluation process?

  4. lalo on August 30th, 2010 10:15 am

    Do you think Seager or Lawson are futures third base, or Ackley will move to the outfield

  5. Oolon on August 30th, 2010 10:43 am

    Thanks Jay!

    I was at the game on Saturday night and Dwight Britton was playing center field. I remember that he lost 2 or 3 balls in the lights in one inning at Yakima or Tri City or somewhere a few weeks ago when I was listening to the game on the radio. In the game on Saturday there was a high flyball (not a line drive) hit to center field and he backpedeled to get to it – but at the same time the left fielder (Anston?) came zooming across and slid and caught the ball in medium center field! Britton was 40 feet away from where it came down!

    Later in the game Britton struck out and came back to the dugout and acted like he was going to smash his bat on the ground (waving it over his head) and then didn’t but rushed into the dugout on a run. He was replaced defensively in the next inning.

    Not sure what it all means, but he probably needs some work before he moves up…

  6. CarpCarter on August 30th, 2010 11:35 am

    I’m sure this has been asked before, since I don’t usually follow the comments on the minors posts, but is there a specific reason Poythress never earned a promotion to AA all season? From what I can tell the guy’s been putting up solid numbers all year.

  7. dnc on August 30th, 2010 11:36 am

    It seems like Taijuan would be a guy joining Ackley and Lueke in the AFL.

    He’s barely 18 years old. There’s not an organization in baseball that would send him to the AFL.

    And while I’m not Jay and have no insider info here, my educated guess to your earlier question about him would be no. Most likely they are bringing him in sporadically in relief to keep his innings down. He’s a very young arm who is very raw. They don’t want him accumulating too many innings until they’ve had a chance to fully gel his mechanics. I’m sure they still consider him a starter long term.

  8. Jay Yencich on August 30th, 2010 12:52 pm

    That takes care of the Walker question then. What dnc said is accurate, pitchers whom they expect to have starting later aren’t often doing it their first year. It’s just a way of having them focus on the little things or resting them. And the organization is allowed to send one player from below double-A to the AFL and given the competition/climate there’s just no reason for it to be a recently-drafted high school pitcher.

    No mention of Nick Hill this year??? He started bad with the knee injury but since he has come back in June he has a 2.60 ERA. 7+K/9. Not sure why the Mariners did not get him back in the starting lineup after injury but even as a reliever he has been very good after being great last year as a starter. Does he get a 40man spot? Surely he will get interest in the Rule 5 if not. LHP can relieve or start and lefties are batting .236 against 3BB/9 and 7+K/9?? Right?

    There were some rumblings after he was injured that he got hurt because of the previous year’s workload, so they may be steering away from him starting again. Also his walk-rate is a little high for my tastes.

    And because I can note it, I mentioned his performances in 6/21-7 wrap, but in general I’m not keen on highlighting relievers because it’s easier to look good when you only have two or three innings to worry about. He is in contention for a 40-man spot though, so you have that part right.

    As far as Nick Franklin goes… He put up a 177/227/282 line against lefties in 124 Ab’s. At what point would a team make a decision that a player is no longer a switch hitter and just have them bat from the left side? Is that a 2 or 3 year evaluation process?

    This was something that Churchill was talking about recently (read his blog if you don’t). He was saying that “exactly zero scouts are worried about his swing from the right side” or something like that (sounds like something he’d say).

    Myself, I’m a bit spooked, but that BA report on him that I referenced had mention of them trying to fix his right-handed swing to where it’s closer to the left-handed one. This is good because the two were very different from one another when I saw him in Everett and I didn’t like the RH one at all. I’d consider having him give it up if there wasn’t any discernible progress after next year, but as you might expect, he’s in a better position having a good lefty swing than he would be if he was better from the other side of the plate.

    Do you think Seager or Lawson are futures third base, or Ackley will move to the outfield

    I think Seager or Lawson are probably closer to utility men or trade pieces than Ackley. Neither profile for enough power to play third regularly and unless you’re the Figgins of last season it’s kind of hard to be valuable there without that.

    I’m sure this has been asked before, since I don’t usually follow the comments on the minors posts, but is there a specific reason Poythress never earned a promotion to AA all season? From what I can tell the guy’s been putting up solid numbers all year.

    There weren’t a lot of promotions of that nature this season. Tenbrink got out, but he was hitting .377/.449/.646 at the time and had been drafted a year before most of the guys on the roster. It’s not as though he was blocked in West Tenn, it’s just that they weren’t promoting many hitters, particularly if they weren’t old for the level they were at.

  9. Big Leagues on August 30th, 2010 1:23 pm

    I must have missed the 6/21 wrap. As an aside Nick hurt his knee and had to have it scoped. Had nothing to do with his arm or innings so those rumblings were speculation.

  10. just a fan on August 30th, 2010 3:19 pm

    Where would you expect Ji-man Choi to start next season? I’m so excited the M’s have a solid Korean prospect now.

    While I’m on Koreans, does Seon Gi Kim have any particular tools and skills that should place him on the radar?

  11. dchappelle on August 30th, 2010 6:20 pm

    Thanks Jay. The fact that you can keep up with so many prospects, most of whom will never play a game as a Mariner is amazing. The fact that you can distill it to such an easy format for us all is great.

    Many many thanks. Since you already do so much work for free, any chance of seeing a minors summary of some sort? High, lows, most surprising, most disappointing or some such?

    Just the kind of viewpoint I think you could provide very very well.

    My quick view is that the value we got from Yuni is looking fantastic and what in the world happened to Triunfel?

  12. Jay Yencich on August 30th, 2010 6:38 pm

    Where would you expect Ji-man Choi to start next season? I’m so excited the M’s have a solid Korean prospect now.

    I’m really excited about Choi right now. Seeing the level of hitting acumen out of a kid his age is just uncommon.

    Right now, I would probably have him vault over Pulaski and Everett, but stick it out in the Midwest League, assuming that the M’s are still on board with the idea of playing him behind the plate. I’m not opposed to sending him to the Cal League either, it’s just that I think it would be easier for him to work on a more demanding defensive position in one of the lower leagues.

    While I’m on Koreans, does Seon Gi Kim have any particular tools and skills that should place him on the radar?

    Aside from his command, which is usually a plus for him, he had a high-80s fastball and developing curve when he signed. He’s a decent-sized guy, so he could end up sitting in the low-90s down the road.

    What’s been curious to me is that both Choi and Kim cost roughly the same amount to sign when Choi was always presented as the superior specimen, but I don’t know, something else may have been going on there.

    Many many thanks. Since you already do so much work for free, any chance of seeing a minors summary of some sort? High, lows, most surprising, most disappointing or some such?

    You’re welcome, and I’ll see what I can do about that once the season’s over, I’m just not sure about timing. I’m going into my last semester here and need to be sorting out what to do about grad schools. It’s why I’ve been projecting possible updates to the Future Forty so far out.

  13. dnc on August 31st, 2010 1:16 am

    Not sure if anyone’s pointed this out yet, but Halman is having a historic month, even for him. Thus far in August, he has 3 walks versus 46 strikeouts.

    Since the All Star break he has drawn just 9 walks, against 70 strikeouts.


  14. mymrbig on August 31st, 2010 7:59 am

    As far as Nick Franklin goes… He put up a 177/227/282 line against lefties in 124 Ab’s. At what point would a team make a decision that a player is no longer a switch hitter and just have them bat from the left side? Is that a 2 or 3 year evaluation process?

    Nick Franklin’s other splits:
    RHP: 10.2 BB%, 20.6 K%, .238 ISO, .371 BABIP, 5.7% IF/F
    LHP: 6.1 BB%, 25.8 K%, .105 ISO, .227 BABIP, 15.9% IF/F

    I crunched everything but IF/F from the raw numbers at milb.com, as the stats at minorleaguesplits aren’t as up-to-date (but they had IF/F).

    His .227 BABIP against LHP isn’t just bad luck, as he is popping up a lot, hitting the ball with less authority, and striking out more. But there is some bad luck involved. His BB%, K%, and ISO aren’t pretty, but they are not anywhere close to hopeless for a 19-year-old SS in the MWL. I imagine this will be a point of focus for him during instructs.

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