Minor League Wrap (8/15-21/11)

Jay Yencich · August 22, 2011 at 8:30 am · Filed Under Mariners, Minor Leagues 

No intro this week, except you should know that there will only be two more wraps after this and in the next one I’ll probably go over the DSL affiliate, which narrowly made it into the playoffs in spite of some late season incompetence.

To the jump!

Tacoma Rainiers (1-6 this week, 63-66 overall)

The Week in Review:
Monday, August 15th 2011
Iowa 2 (CHC – 13), Tacoma 3
W: Robertson (5-5, 6.53) L: Gaub (4-3, 2.88)

Tuesday, August 16th 2011
Omaha 3 (KC + 13), Tacoma 2
W: Mendoza (9-5, 2.30) L: Vasquez (4-3, 3.21) S: Chavez (15)

Wednesday, August 17th 2011
Omaha 4 (KC + 14), Tacoma 2
W: Sisk (4-1, 1.52) L: Patterson (3-3, 4.12) S: Herrera (3)

Thursday, August 18th 2011
Omaha 7 (KC + 15), Tacoma 4
W: O’Sullivan (7-2, 3.47) L: Roe (0-6, 6.65) S: Chavez (16)

Friday, August 19th 2011
Omaha 3 (KC + 16), Tacoma 1
W: Miner (2-1, 1.65) L: Castro (5-4, 3.93) S: Herrera (4)

Saturday, August 20th 2011
Tacoma 7, Reno 8 (ARI + 11)
W: Stokes (1-1, 9.35) L: Jimenez (5-4, 3.86) S: Cook (4)

Sunday, August 21st 2011
Tacoma 2, Reno 4 (ARI + 12)
W: Kroenke (9-2, 5.83) L: Robertson (5-6, 6.43) S: Demel (1)

Hitter of the Week:
LF Greg Halman, R/R, 8/26/1987
7 G, 27 AB, 3 R, 9 H, 2 2B, 2 SB, CS, 9/4 K/BB, .333/.419/.407

Last week, I griped about Halman striking out seven times in twenty-four plate appearances. Nine times in thirty-one appearances is an improvement so slight that in order to care you’d have to know that his season strikeout rate last year was 36.3% of his PAs and it’s down to 24.8% now. That may be some of the improvement that we were hoping for. He also managed to walk four times this week, which comprises a third of his season total with the Rainiers. However, he’s walked in 10.3% of his plate appearances this year in Tacoma and last year it wasn’t even 8%. Still, he hasn’t hit a home run since May (he had nine games pre ASB, sixteen since) and overall, in this limited triple-A sampling, it looks like he’s shifted towards greater contact/discipline and less power. It’s something to think about in his last option year. I don’t know if this makes him more or less likely to hold down a job right now.

Didn’t Really Miss a Beat Mention:
CF Michael Saunders, L/R, 11/19/1986
7 G, 27 AB, R, 10 H, 2B, 4 RBI, SB, CS, 7/1 K/BB, .370/.393/.407

Pitcher of the Week:
RHP Forrest Snow, 12/30/1988
0-0, GS, 1.29 ERA in 7.0 IP, 4 H, R, 9/1 K/BB, 5/5 G/F

While there had been talk of promoting Snow a month or so ago, I don’t think it was originally supposed to end up with him sticking around in Tacoma. This is just my own conjecture based of the fact he was sent back to the Cal League a few times on paper. Snow wasn’t even supposed to be the starter, but in his relief outings he was averaging nearly six innings owing to some weakness in the rotation for the Rainiers, so it seemed natural enough to give him his own spot eventually. Omaha was his opponent this week, and while they aren’t lighting the world on fire or anything in hitting, they’re a Royals affiliate and have enough quality players on the team to allow them to lead their division by five games. Snow struck out the side in two of the innings he pitched against them. I really wouldn’t expect him to break camp with the team next year, but he’s securing a spot for himself in the PCL for next year and that moves up his timetable quite a bit.

Very, Very Close Second Mention:
RHP Jarrett Grube, 11/5/1981
0-0, GS, 1.29 ERA in 7.0 IP, H (HR), R, 6/0 K/BB, 6/8 G/F

No Runs for August Mention:
RHP Steve Delabar, 7/17/1983
0-0, 3 G, 0.00 ERA in 4.0 IP, 5 H, 7/1 K/BB, 3/0 G/F

From The Training Room:
The week in transactions was not so compelling as it has been in other recent stretches. DH Luis Antonio Jimenez came back to Tacoma on Monday and on Tuesday, RHP Forrest Snow was activated from the temporarily inactive list… Thursday, OF Carlos Peguero hit the DL and LHP Luke French was officially outrighted… Gimenez was 4-for-16 this week.

Strange Happenings:
We’ve seen some unconventional CGs lately and Monday brought another one, when LHP Nate Robertson had two runs score against him through nine innings after three hits (HR), five walks, and four Ks… Langerhans plays for Reno now and it makes me sad. Kam Mickolio also plays for Reno but it’s harder for me to feel anything about that… Triunfel has hits in eight of his last nine games. That’s the good news. The bad news is that they’re all singles and he’s walked once… How about Grube’s one-hitter?

Jackson Generals (0-7 this week, 23-33 in second half, 61-65 overall)

The Week in Review:
Monday, August 15th 2011
Huntsville 1 (MIL – 7), Jackson 0
W: Sanchez (3-5, 4.82) L: Carraway (8-4, 3.57) S: Manzanillo (3)

Tuesday, August 16th 2011
Tennessee 11 (CHC + 5), Jackson 6
W: Raley (7-9, 4.17) L: Kasparek (4-4, 4.66) S: Dolis (14)

Wednesday, August 17th 2011
Tennessee 8 (CHC + 6), Jackson 6
W: Martinez (3-0, 2.66) L: LaFromboise (2-3, 3.63) S: Hatley (3)

Thursday, August 18th 2011
Tennessee 4 (CHC + 7), Jackson 1
W: Searle (5-2, 3.49) L: Gillheeney (0-3, 7.06) S: Beliveau (3)

Friday, August 19th 2011
Tennessee 3 (CHC + 8), Jackson 2
W: McNutt (3-5, 4.56) L: Hensley (3-7, 5.00) S: Hatley (4)

Saturday, August 20th 2011
Tennessee 7 (CHC + 9), Jackson 4 (eleven innings)
W: Martinez (4-0, 2.45) L: Paredes (1-1, 4.65)

Sunday, August 21st 2011
Jackson 2, Mobile 3 (ARI + 21)
W: Corbin (9-7, 4.01) L: Carraway (8-5, 3.55) S: DeMark (12)

Hitter of the Week:
LF Vinnie Catricala, R/R, 10/31/1988
7 G, 24 AB, R, 9 H, 2 2B, 3B, 2 RBI, SB, 7/3 K/BB, 3 HBP, .375/.500/.542

It seems like each week, I find myself trying to come up with new things about Catricala, who doesn’t seem to want to stop showing up here. Cat got up to eight consecutive doubles before doing something else. That’s one thing that’s new and worth mentioning. He also was hit three times though he’s only been plunked eleven times for the season. Another new thing is that it’s gotten to the point where he’s hitting better in Jackson than he did in High Desert. Pringles Park plays fairly neutral in a league context, slightly more favorable to left-handers, and with the Generals, Catricala has a .451 wOBA. He only had a .402 wOBA for the Mavericks. Bizarre, isn’t it? Also bizarre is that, given the league context, he’s got three hundred extra points of OPS at home over what he has on the road. And that he’s pretty much the same hitting whether runners are on or the bases are empty. I keep expecting to find things to complain about, but it hasn’t happened yet. Tune in next week as we probably talk about his left/right splits or some other odd thing.

Hanging Out on the Fringes Again Mention:
IF Scott Savastano, R/R, 6/12/1988
6 G, 21 AB, 3 R, 6 H, 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 6/2 K/BB, .286/.348/.619

Pitcher of the Week:
LHP Brian Moran, 9/30/1988
0-0, 3 G, 0.00 ERA in 5.1 IP, 3 H, 6/1 K/BB, 5/4 G/F

The Generals’ playoff hopes were effectively torpedoed because they went 0-for the week, so this makes it about as good a time as any to talk about someone we might not have examined in much detail otherwise. Moran posted a sub-2.00 ERA at two levels this season and was picked by a lot of people as a guy that could contribute to this year’s bullpen. For various reasons, that didn’t come to pass. In the first half, he made nineteen appearances and ran a 8.51 ERA through 24.1 innings, with thirty-four hits allowed and a 21/10 K/BB. The second half has proven kinder to him and through twenty-one outings, he’s run a 1.82 ERA in 29.2 IP, allowed just nineteen hits (that’s almost half the average against from before), and run a 34/9 K/BB. He’s quite simply missing more bats and making less contact in the second half. What I don’t get is why, as a guy who was regarded as being deceptive and a future LOOGY bullpen type, he’s allowed a .362 average to left-handed batters and only been at .213 for the season against right-handers. My guess is that they were trying to get him to try something new, which is nice and all, but a left-hander who can’t get left-handers out is not exactly a hot commodity.

The Starter I Fault the Least Mention:
RHP Andrew Carraway, 9/4/1986
0-2, 2 GS, 2.31 ERA in 11.2 IP, 11 H, 3 R, 9/1 K/BB, 9/8 G/F, 2 HB

From the Training Room:
OF Kuo-hui Lo came off the DL on Monday and that may be what prompted Jimenez to head west… Thursday was far more active, with LHP James Paxton hitting the inactive list, shut down, and 1B Rich Poythress going on the DL with back strain. SS Nick Franklin came back as a result, and was 3-for-4 in his first game, and RHP Joshua Corrales came over from Pulaski because hey, he’s a live arm… Corrales later went back to Pulaski as RHP Yoervis Medina came up from High Desert to make a start.

Strange Happenings:
In not-awesome news, Chiang is batting .205/.250/.256 since arriving in Jackson which means that he’s less than half the hitter he was for Portland. I’m scared.

High Desert Mavericks (3-4 this week, 20-35 in second half, 52-73 overall)

The Week in Review:
Monday, August 15th 2011
High Desert 2, Inland Empire 7 (ANA + 3)
W: Evans (1-0, 2.70) L: Medina (1-13, 6.50)

Tuesday, August 16th 2011
Inland Empire 7 (ANA + 4), High Desert 1 (seven innings)
W: Pena (10-5, 4.21) L: Stanton (2-4, 6.21)

Inland Empire 5 (ANA + 3), High Desert 7 (seven innings)
W: Kesler (5-2, 3.77) L: Kenney (4-6, 5.21)

Wednesday, August 17th 2011
Inland Empire 9 (ANA + 2), High Desert 12
W: Markovitz (3-2, 5.90) L: Graham (1-1, 3.67) S: Kesler (7)

Thursday, August 18th 2011
Off day

Friday, August 19th 2011
High Desert 1, San Jose 5 (SF + 7)
W: Reichard (8-2, 2.88) L: Sorce (7-11, 4.86) S: Quirarte (1)

Saturday, August 20th 2011
High Desert 2, San Jose 0 (SF + 6)
W: Hudson (4-4, 5.62) L: Vessella (3-3, 3.75) S: Kesler (8)

Sunday, August 21st 2011
High Desert 3, San Jose 4 (SF + 7)
W: Harrold (1-0, 5.28) L: Jimenez (3-2, 6.41)

Hitter of the Week:
LF Daniel Carroll, R/R, 1/6/1989
6 G, 21 AB, 4 R, 6 H, 3B, HR, RBI, 2 SB, 7/4 K/BB, .286/.400/.524

I wasn’t convinced at first that Carroll was going to keep hitting as he had. After all, he seemed to be scuffling going into the all-star break, and despite setting all kinds of personal bests, he was a still getting plunked fairly often and still striking out at an alarming rate. We’re fifty-two games now into the second half, and comparing it to the earlier sixty-six games, I see one minor difference that gives me a little hope going forward with him: plate discipline. In the first half he ran a 85/38 K/BB. The walks were good and all, probably leading the team back then by a good margin, but the Ks were awful. In the second half, thus far, we’ve seen a 62/33 K/BB, and he’s slipped out of the league lead in strikeouts. The improvements are minor overall, and August has not been a particularly good month with him at 22/6 at the moment, but I would hope that it indicates some ability to improve on that front as he moves forward in the minor leagues.

Still Wanting Better Discipline Mention:
CF Denny Almonte, S/R, 9/24/1988
7 G, 23 AB, 3 R, 7 H, 2 2B, HR, 3 RBI, SB, 3 CS, 7/2 K/BB, HBP, .304/.384/.521

Still Not Walking Mention:
3B/1B Steve Proscia, R/R, 6/26/1990
7 G, 27 AB, 4 R, 7 H, 3B, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 4/0 K/BB, .259/.259/.556

Pitcher of the Week:
LHP Jonathan Hesketh, 6/3/1986
0-0, GS, 0.00 ERA in 4.0 IP, 3 H, 6/0 K/BB, 2/2 G/F, HB

The sudden promotion of Medina to Jackson left the Mavs without a starter to take over in Saturday’s game, so they tabbed two relievers, Hesketh and Austin Hudson, to get as far as they could with it. They split the first eight innings, but Hesketh had the superior performance. Due to various DL stints, Hesketh is at 36.0 IP for the season, two-thirds of those in High Desert, after pitching 120+ innings last season. It doesn’t make for much of a sample, but let’s look at his April and August numbers. After Hesketh broke with the team, he pitched seven games (two starts) and had twenty-seven hits allowed with a 18/8 K/BB in 16.2 IP. For a guy who treaded water in the Cal League last year, that was pretty surprising. Since coming back, he’s pitched 7.1 innings and allowed ten hits while running a 9/1 K/BB. That’s an improvement, but not one that he was showing in Clinton while running 6/12 K/BB. At the same time, take his combined numbers in High Desert and that’s pretty close to what you have for his whole career.

Still a Stud in Relief Mention:
RHP Willy Kesler, 8/11/1987
1-0, 3 G, 2 SV, 0.00 ERA in 4.0 IP, 3 H, 4/2 K/BB, 3/4 G/F

From the Training Room:
C Angel Salome went away to the AZL on a rehab assignment… On Friday, the Mavs picked up 3B Matt Browning from Clinton because their infield got crowded. Medina left the next day… On Sunday, C Steve Baron was activated from the DL. I’ve missed him.

Strange Happenings:
Taylor Stanton pitched a complete game, albeit a seven inning one, on Tuesday. He let seven runs score on eight hits (2 HR), a walk, and seven Ks. That’s a pretty bad CG. I don’t think it was worth it. As an added bit of weirdness, he pitched eight innings on Sunday with a run scoring on six hits, three walks, and six Ks to go with a 12/1 G/F, so seventeen of the team’s innings this week were all him… Mar Mar is hitting .258/.286/.358 in the second half while playing his home games in one of the most offensively-friendly parks in all of known baseball. I’m preparing to shift him into the “failed prospect” header.

Clinton Lumberkings (4-2 this week, 30-25 in second half, 54-71 overall)

The Week in Review:
Monday, August 15th 2011
Clinton 9, Peoria 5 (CHC – 10)
W: Nava (2-4, 3.76) L: Gonzalez (5-5, 4.78) S: Kiel (1)

Tuesday, August 16th 2011
Off day

Wednesday, August 17th 2011
Quad Cities 12 (STL + 9), Clinton 10
W: Corpas (2-2, 7.32) L: Taylor (0-2, 9.53) S: Kiekhefer (6)

Thursday, August 18th 2011
Quad Cities 5 (STL + 8), Clinton 7
W: Kohlscheen (3-3, 5.14) L: Russell (6-10, 4.42) S: Arias (7)

Friday, August 19th 2011
Quad Cities 2 (STL + 7), Clinton 5
W: Fernandez (6-3, 2.88) L: Whiting (3-2, 2.18) S: Arias (8)

Saturday, August 20th 2011
Kane County 7 (KC + 10), Clinton 1
W: Perez (7-11, 3.23) L: Elias (2-1, 4.18)

Sunday, August 21st 2011
Kane County 1 (KC + 9), Clinton 7
W: Capps (1-0, 3.72) L: Garrido (2-5, 6.20)

Hitter of the Week:
RF Kalian Sams, R/R, 8/25/1986
6 G, 20 AB, 5 R, 8 H, 2 2B, 3 HR, 6 RBI, CS, 7/4 K/BB, .400/.500/.950

Every so often, I get asked how Sams remains in the system when he’s in his fifth season and has played all of twenty games in advanced-A. Aside from the fact that marc would cry if he were released, weeks like this ought to count for something. The strikeouts are still there, almost ever-present it seems, but when coupled with the walks (this is 13.8% of his season total right here) and the home runs (14.3%), one doesn’t feel obligated to care as much. What I really like about this however is that even with this week of 1.450 OPS, his line in coming into Sunday’s game was .208/.306/.358 through fifty-three August at-bats. This week aside, he’s been wretched in most regards save for the facts that 1) with eight walks in the month, he’s already surpassed any previous monthly total from this year, and 2) he’d somehow only struck out eleven times, though he made sure to add three more on Sunday so that we didn’t go freaking out. Kalian Sams isn’t a prospect, he’s not even really that great a baseball player, but he’s a fun study.

Regular Addition Mention:
2B/DH Stefen Romero, R/R, 10/17/1988
6 G, 24 AB, 6 R, 9 H, 3 2B, HR, 4 RBI, 5/3 K/BB, .375/.444/.625

Regularly on the Fringe Mention:
CF Mike McGee, R/R, 3/7/1989
6 G, 26 AB, 6 R, 7 H, 2B, 3B, HR, 4 RBI, CS, 0/2 K/BB, .269/.321/.500

Power, From Somewhere Mention:
3B Carlos Ramirez, S/R, 12/2/1988
5 G, 23 AB, 3 R, 8 H, 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBI, CS, 2/0 K/BB, .348/.333/.652

Power, From Known Places:
LF/1B Mickey Wiswall, L/R, 11/25/1988
6 G, 26 AB, 5 R, 10 H, 2 2B, HR, 5 RBI, 3/0 K/BB, .385/.385/.577

Slap Hitter Hot Streak Mention:
SS/2B Anthony Phillips, R/R, 4/11/1990
6 G, 19 AB, 2 R, 7 H, RBI, 3 SB, CS, 2/4 K/BB, HBP, .368/.500/.368

Pitcher of the Week:
LHP Anthony Fernandez, 6/8/1990
1-0, GS, 3.60 ERA in 5.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 10/3 K/BB, 2/4 G/F, WP

Even if Fernandez isn’t always getting the recognition for doing certain things, at least he’s setting personal marks. When he pitched the nine innings sans-complete game last week, it was the first time he’d thrown nine frames in a start. This week, he didn’t really get all that deep and had some things go against him on the field, but it marked the first time he’d reached double-digit strikeouts. He’d already hit nine twice in his previous eight starts, but in both cases it took him a few more innings to do it. I never know whether it’s appropriate to try to read too much in to box scores, but Fernandez for his career has been a pretty solid groundball pitcher and in this particular start, things were trending on the extreme flyball end of the spectrum for him. I doubt that it actually means anything, but it does seem like a different kind of line from what we’ve seen before from him, so we’ll have to cross-reference if something like this comes up again.

Command Comes and Goes Mention:
LHP Tony Butler, 11/18/1987
0-0, GS, 3.00 ERA in 6.0 IP, 2 H (HR), 3 R (2 ER), 6/5 K/BB, 3/4 G/F

From the Training Room:
Browning had to head out because SS Brad Miller, the team’s second round pick, joined the team. Miller only started play on Saturday and is 3-for-7 so far… Capps has made a couple of starts now since being added to the team and has gone 9.2 with four runs scoring against him on nine hits and four walks with eleven Ks.

Strange Happenings:
For those curious about some of the pitching issues I’ve brought up before, like Fernandez’ dominance and Arias’ second half, there was an interview with pitching coach Rich Dorman on the Lumberblog. There are also bits on Kohscheen, Elias, and Capps. Elias touches 93 mph, according to Dorman, and Arias’ development is partly due to the advances in his slider (he’s 92-94 with the heater).

Everett Aquasox (5-2 this week, 17-9 in second half, 33-31 overall)

Monday, August 15th 2011
Everett 7, Eugene 1 (SD 0)
W: Pries (3-2, 3.24) L: Herrera (2-4, 4.38)

Tuesday, August 16th 2011
Everett 5, Eugene 0 (SD – 1)
W: Hobson (1-2, 2.30) L: Rea (3-3, 1.84)

Wednesday, August 17th 2011
Everett 3, Eugene 8 (SD 0)
W: Scott (2-0, 2.34) L: Landazuri (4-3, 4.55)

Thursday, August 18th 2011
Everett 3, Vancouver 2 (TOR – 7)
W: Griffin (3-0, 2.51) L: Longpre (4-3, 1.62)

Friday, August 19th 2011
Everett 4, Vancouver 3 (TOR – 8 )
W: Diaz (2-3, 6.66) L: McFarland (5-6, 5.64) S: Griffin (5)

Saturday, August 20th 2011
Everett 9, Vancouver 13 (TOR – 7) (ten innings)
W: Brua (6-1, 3.15) L: Krakowiak (1-1, 4.70)

Sunday, August 21st 2011
Eugene 2 (SD + 2), Everett 8
W: Pries (4-2, 3.26) L: Rea (3-4, 2.11) S: Hunter (1)

Hitter of the Week:
LF Jabari Blash, R/R, 7/4/1989
7 G, 23 AB, 2 R, 6 H, 2 2B, HR, 8 RBI, SB, 7/3 K/BB, 2 HBP, .261/.393/.478

What hairs can we still split with this guy? I can probably come up with a few if I force myself to. This week was pretty typical for him so far in that half of his hits went for extras, which is the clip that he’s been running at with Everett. Back in his Clinton days, it was closer to a third. That he’s swinging so hard is probably affecting his overall line. Despite going to a lower level and facing less experienced pitchers, he’s not striking out any less on average, or walking any more as we’ve talked about a number of times. The good news is that this month he has been improving. In June, he struck out ten times in thirty-one or so appearances, then in July he was up to twenty-four in seventy-six appearances. Right now, he’s at fourteen in sixty-four appearances, a drop from a third to a little over a fifth. Wouldn’t it be awesome if this continued? A man can dream.

The Extremes of Peripherals Mention:
SS/2B Marcus Littlewood, S/R, 3/18/1992
6 G, 23 AB, 10 R, 4 H, 2B, 3B, HR, 3 RBI, 8/7 K/BB, .174/.367/.435

Could Use Some Extra-Base Hits Mention:
RF Mario Yepez, S/R, 6/15/1988
6 G, 23 AB, 2 R, 9 H, 2 RBI, SB, CS, 3/1 K/BB, HBP, .391/.440/.391

Pitcher of the Week:
RHP Jordan Pries, 1/27/1990
2-0, 2 GS, 2.38 ERA in 11.1 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 14/2 K/BB, 7/9 G/F, WP, 2 HB

Immediately after the draft, Pries was probably more interesting to me for his background than any abilities that I knew of. His great uncle, Don, started the major league scouting bureau and his grandfather, Bud Daley, pitched in the AL during the 50s and 60s and was an all-star a couple of times. Most guys don’t have ties to the sport that are that strong, but you can count on a few in every draft that have something similar going for them. Pries has become more interesting to me because it seems as though he can pitch a bit. Going back to his high school days, he was noted for having a solid three pitch mix and an average heater, and one would expect that would have continued to develop in college. Yet, we’ve only seen some incremental improvements so far. Could additional coaching help him out, as it did with Snow? That will be one thing I’ll be looking for next season.

The Relieving Equivalent Mention:
LHP Kyle Hunter, 6/18/1989
0-0, 3 G, 1.22 ERA in 7.1 IP, 6 H, R, 9/2 K/BB, 7/5 G/F, WP

Sustained Dominance Mention:
RHP Vicente Campos, 7/27/1992
0-0, GS, 1.50 ERA in 6.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R (ER), 7/1 K/BB, 4/8 G/F, BK

Another Fine Starter Mention:
LHP Cameron Hobson, 4/10/1989
1-0, GS, 0.00 ERA in 5.0 IP, 4 H, 5/2 K/BB, 5/3 G/F

From the Training Room:
Nothing much, but I think that Shipers may have hit the inactive list because he’s not starting.

Strange Happenings:
Saturday’s game ended in a walk-off grand slam in extra innings, which would have been amazing, except for the fact that we didn’t hit it… Promotions for the final homestand: Thursday’s game will feature Campos Court, in honor of another pitching Venezuelan, Sergeant Slaughter, who has been touring the minor leagues this year, will make an appearance on Friday, and the Aquasox Car Show will take place on Sunday… Littlewood scored more than a quarter of the runs for the Aquasox this week.

Pulaski Mariners (2-4 this week, 26-33 overall)

Monday, August 15th 2011
Off day

Tuesday, August 16th 2011
Greenville 3 (HOU – 9), Pulaski 4
W: Corrales (2-0, 0.00) L: Dando (1-2, 4.55)

Wednesday, August 17th 2011
Greenville 1 (HOU – 10), Pulaski 13
W: Unsworth (5-4, 4.94) L: Houser (1-2, 5.40)

Thursday, August 18th 2011
Greenville 4 (HOU – 9), Pulaski 3
W: Zuloaga (1-0, 6.75) L: Kim (1-2, 6.97) S: Dando (3)

Friday, August 19th 2011
Pulaski 3, Bluefield 5 (TOR + 11)
W: Duvall (2-1, 4.95) L: Shore (0-1, 3.77)

Saturday, August 20th 2011
Pulaski 6, Bluefield 13 (TOR + 12)
W: Taylor (4-1, 2.89) L: Raga (2-3, 4.50)

Sunday, August 21st 2011
Pulaski 2, Bluefield 9 (TOR + 13)
W: Ybarra (2-0, 2.41) L: Hidalgo (1-3, 4.85)

Hitter of the Week:
RF Alfredo Morales, L/R, 11/2/1992
6 G, 22 AB, 5 R, 8 H, 4 2B, 3 RBI, 6/3 K/BB, .364/.440/.545

I think this is the first opportunity I’ve really had to talk about Morales in the body of the wrap, so this should be fun. Morales was an under-the-radar signing from the period two years ago, the same class as Pimentel. He wasn’t listed among the big bonuses of the year, no one was really on him, but the Mariners thought they had something there and promptly sent him to Peoria the next season without anyone having the slightest idea who he was. He hit .224/.283/.362 in 174 at-bats, which meant that people still didn’t know who he was because they didn’t have much incentive to go figure it out. As he hit .405/.452/.608 through seventy-four at-bats in Peoria this season, people started to ask questions. Soon after he got the call to Pulaski and scuffled the first month or so, only really coming around the past couple of weeks. Morales played in center in Peoria, but has been mostly a right fielder for Pulaski thanks to a slightly above-average arm. The tools are there for him to keep producing, and in the long run, he might prove to be quite the steal.

Hitting Again, But Still Not Walking Mention:
LF Guillermo Pimentel, L/L, 10/5/1992
6 G, 26 AB, 2 R, 9 H, 2 2B, HR, 7 RBI, SB, 6/0 K/BB, .346/.346/.538

Pitcher of the Week:
RHP Ben Cornwell, 11/2/1988
0-0, 2 G, 0.00 ERA in 6.0 IP, 3 H, 8/0 K/BB, 5/3 G/F

NDFAs provide some learning opportunities for me because rarely do I know anything about them. Cornwell came out of the University of Georgia, like Josh Fields and Rich Poythress did years ago, and prior to that was at Georgia Perimeter and Virginia Tech. He was well-regarded as a prep arm, at least enough to get mention on BA’s state-to-state scouting reports back in 2007, throwing a fastball with average-to-slightly above velocity, a plus curve, and a developing breaking ball, but he was never drafted and ended up redshirting his freshman year due to Tommy John surgery. For the Bulldogs this season, he only pitched 31.2 innings and had a 22/20 K/BB in that span. The year before, he only pitched 10.1 innings. The knee jerk thing would usually be to say that as a pitcher with college experience, he should kill it at this level, but he really hasn’t pitched all that much and has been rehabbing for some of that span. I’d say we’re buying low with him, but there’s no telling what we’re going to get.

Sharkie Watch Mention:
RHP Dylan Unsworth, 9/23/1992
1-0, GS, 1.50 ERA in 6.0 IP, 4 H, R, 4/2 K/BB, 9/4 G/F

From the Training Room:
C Tyler Marlette joined the team as Corrales went out because the team really did not have enough catchers already. He’s 1-for-12 to start his career… Corrales was gone but not for long.

Strange Happenings:
I just noticed that Morales is about a month younger than Pimentel. I hope somebody else noticed that before I did.

Dispatches from the Land of Rehabbers and Teens:
IF Yidid Batista: 36 G, 119 AB, 21 R, 36 H, 2B, 3B, HR, 18 RBI, 9 SB, 6 CS, 17/16 K/BB, .303/.408/.353
2B Felipe Burin: 35 G, 139 AB, 11 R, 46 H, 12 2B, 19 RBI, 2 SB, 3 CS, 31/15 K/BB, .331/.397/.417
OF Phillips Castillo: 43 G, 154 AB, 34 R, 48 H, 16 2B, 5 3B, HR, 25 RBI, 8 SB, 5 CS, 57/15 K/BB, .312/.384/.500
RHP Min-sih Chen: 4-4, 10 G (9 GS), 6.65 ERA in 43.1 IP, 53 H (4 HR), 40 R (32 ER), 29/23 K/BB, 6 HB
C Luke Guarnaccia: 8 G, 16 AB, 2 R, 4 H, SB, CS, 4/3 K/BB, .250/.368/.250
RHP David Holman: 2-1, 14 G (GS), 5.27 ERA in 27.1 IP, 34 H (4 HR), 28 R (16 ER), 19/6 K/BB, 5 HB
RHP Lars Huijer: 0-0, 4 G (2 GS), 5.40 ERA in 10.0 IP, 12 H (HR), 6 R, 7/2 K/BB
OF Reggie Lawson: 41 G, 158 AB, 16 R, 36 H, 4 2B, 3 3B, HR, 21 RBI, 5 SB, 4 CS, 42/5 K/BB, .228/.268/.310
RHP Jochi Ogando: 1-4, 8 G (5 GS), 5.84 ERA in 24.2 IP, 23 H (HR), 19 R (16 ER), 15/25 K/BB, 2 HB
SS Esteilon Peguero: 43 G, 165 AB, 23 R, 46 H, 12 2B, 3B, HR, 25 RBI, 17 SB, 5 CS, 22/6 K/BB, .279/.309/.382
LHP Scott Ronnenbergh: 1-0, 14 G (GS), 5.33 ERA in 27.0 IP, 37 H (2 HR), 20 R (16 ER), 21/13 K/BB
C Angel Salome: 11 G, 41 AB, 11 R, 15 H, 5 2B, 6 RBI, SB, 10/3 K/BB, .366/.400/.488
RHP Gabe Saquilon: 0-1, 8 G (2 GS), 20.2 IP, 25 H, 11 R, 17/9 K/BB
RHP Alex Sunderland: 0-0, 16 G, 3 SV, 5.40 ERA in 20.0 IP, 22 H (4 HR), 15 R (12 ER), 23/6 K/BB
LHP Nick Valenza: 0-1, 9 G (3 GS), 8.24 ERA in 19.2 IP, 23 H (HR), 21 R (18 ER), 13/22 K/BB
RHP Richard White: 0-0, 4 G (2 GS), 3.38 ERA in 8.0 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 11/2 K/BB, 2 HB
CF James Zamarripa: 31 G, 124 AB, 20 R, 34 H, 5 2B, 2 3B, 9 RBI, 6 SB, 3 CS, 35/13 K/BB, .274/.345/.347


4 Responses to “Minor League Wrap (8/15-21/11)”

  1. maqman on August 22nd, 2011 9:59 am

    I like what Saunders is doing in Tacoma, he might just figure it out. I hope so. I can’t get excited by Snow. Too bad Grube probably will never get a shot at The Show. Ditto Shaffer. Burin is coming along. Cat the Bat should go to Tacoma and show us what he’s got.

  2. The Ancient Mariner on August 22nd, 2011 10:09 am

    You realize, whenever the point comes that you don’t have to talk about Catricala anymore, you’ll still have to talk about him, to explain why he isn’t the HOTW.

  3. joser on August 22nd, 2011 12:49 pm

    How many times has Saunders seemed to figure it out in Tacoma, only to be brought to Seattle to fall on his bat? I realize there are extenuating circumstances (and not just the Canucks’ Stanley Cup loss) and I really want to root for the guy (he’s essentially the only significant sports star from Victoria besides Steve Nash) but still, what makes this time different?

  4. dnc on August 22nd, 2011 1:51 pm

    How many times has Saunders seemed to figure it out in Tacoma, only to be brought to Seattle to fall on his bat?



    He had a .922 OPS in his first ever 64 games at Tacoma in 2009, then was brought up to Seattle where he posted a .537 OPS as a 22 year old.

    He only spent 21 games in Tacoma in 2010, and if I recall correctly he started the year in Seattle, got sent down and brought back up, but I could be wrong. Regardless, those in those 21 Triple A games he had a .506 OPS, so he definitely didn’t get brought up because he “seemed to figure it out” there.

    In 2011 he started the year in Seattle only to fail miserably enough that Greg Halman seemed like a better option.

    Before this most recent stint Saunders has had but one successful partial season in Tacoma, in 2009. I have no idea if he’s really figured something out or not, but we’re not talking about a AAAA guy who’s repeatedly demonstrated he could handle Triple A but always failed in the bigs.

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