Minor League Wrap (5/7-13/12)

Jay Yencich · May 14, 2012 at 6:30 am · Filed Under Minor Leagues 

Baseball America’s first mock draft of the year has us taking C Mike Zunino because Buxton somehow goes second to the Twins. Discuss this entirely too much.

In this week, we have a walk-off grand slam, mention of a 27-game safely reached streak, possible breakouts from prospects that people have pinned a lot (too much?) of hopes on, the vagaries of splits, competent pitching in Tacoma (!!), a team going 2-4 while remaining in first place, and baseball baseball baseball baseball baseball.

To the jump!

Tacoma Rainiers (3-4 this week, 14-23 overall, 5 GB in PCL Pacific Northern)

The Week in Review:
Monday, May 7th 2012
Tacoma 10, Reno 13 (ARI – 3)
W: Lane (2-0, 7.45) L: Jimenez (0-1, 5.89)

Tuesday, May 8th 2012
Albuquerque 4 (LA + 7), Tacoma 2
W: Savage (6-0, 3.22) L: Marquez (2-3, 6.06) S: Wall (8)

Wednesday, May 9th 2012
Albuquerque 9 (LA + 8), Tacoma 7
W: Loop (3-1, 3.38) L: Ruffin (0-4, 9.00) S: Wall (9)

Thursday, May 10th 2012
Albuquerque 3 (LA + 9), Tacoma 2
W: Ely (3-2, 4.28) L: Grube (0-2, 9.90) S: Ledezma (1)

Friday, May 11th 2012
Albuquerque 0 (LA + 8), Tacoma 4
W: Carraway (1-0, 0.00) L: Antonini (1-1, 4.00) S: Perez (1)

Saturday, May 12th 2012
Round Rock 1 (TEX – 3), Tacoma 6
W: Ramirez (1-0, 2.25) L: Hankins (1-3, 3.09)

Sunday, May 13th 2012
Round Rock 1 (TEX – 4), Tacoma 9
W: Vasquez (4-2, 5.22) L: Ramirez (4-3, 6.21)

Hitter of the Week:
DH/1B Luis Antonio Jimenez, L/L, 5/7/1982
5 G, 20 AB, 3 R, 9 H, 4 2B, 2 HR, 11 RBI, 1/2 K/BB, .450/.500/.950

I didn’t expect to be highlight The Power Sphere two weeks in a row, but when he’s slugging nearly a thousand it’s harder for me to say “yeah, he’s hitting, but this other guy who’s hitting way worse in relative terms is an actual prospect.” The things I have to put up with. To recap, Jimenez is hitting .476/.569/.905 in May over eleven games, after hitting just .231/.326/.436 in April, which was still better than a lot of guys hit. He’s also only suffering a platoon split of about a hundred points for the season (lest his numbers against right-handers be even more insane) and he’s OPSing over 1.000 for the season. It’s hard to see a place for him on the roster when we’re giving DH at-bats to Carp, Jaso, and Montero, but baseball is dumb and plenty of things can happen in a season.

U.S. Citizen? Mention:
OF/DH Johan Limonta, L/L, 8/4/1983
5 G, 17 AB, 3 R, 7 H, 2 2B, HR, 5 RBI, 5/1 K/BB, .412/.444/.706

Sustained Relevant Hitting! Mention:
SS Carlos Triunfel, R/R, 2/27/1990
7 G, 27 AB, 7 R, 10 H, 3 2B, HR, 4 RBI, 7/2 K/BB, HBP, .370/.433/.593

2B Luis Rodriguez, S/R, 6/27/1980
7 G, 23 AB, 7 R, 10 H, 2B, RBI, SB, 4/4 K/BB, HBP, .435/.536/.478

Pitcher of the Week:
RHP Andrew Carraway, 9/4/1986
1-0, GS, 0.00 ERA in 7.1 IP, H, 4/1 K/BB, 7/8 G/F

Coming into the week, I had expected that Ramirez would be given a couple of starts, providing me something additional to care about in the Tacoma rotation, but I did not anticipate Carraway. Nor did I anticipate Carraway’s results. Carraway was perfect through the first six innings on his way to ending Tacoma’s seven-game losing streak, and that was enough to get him a story in the TNT, a feature on MiLB.com, and a Built to Spill reference from Mike Curto, and I can’t imagine that he gives those out to just anyone. The prospect-watcher in me wants more Ks, obviously, but the results against a good-hitting Albuquerque team are not to be dismissed. The other three pitchers in Jackson will likely be slower coming along, so if ever there were a year for Carraway to try to break into the big leagues, this is it.

Also Maybe a Starting Candidate! Mention:
RHP Erasmo Ramirez, 5/2/1990
1-0, 2 GS, 2.25 ERA in 8.0 IP, 9 H, 2 R, 6/0 K/BB, 12/4 G/F, HB

Knocking Louder Mention:
RHP Stephen Pryor, 7/23/1989
0-0, 3 G, 0.00 ERA in 4.0 IP, H, 7/2 K/BB, 1/2 G/F WP

Competent Relief! Mention:
LHP Sean Henn, 4/23/1981
0-0, 2 G, 0.00 ERA in 4.0 IP, 2 H, 6/2 K/BB, 5/1 G/F

From The Training Room:
Monday set off a series of transactions, as RHP Stephen Pryor got the promotion to Tacoma. In Jackson, he had been striking out 39.3% of the batters he faced, walking just 8.2%, and allowing hits to 11.5%. So, to parse that out a bit, he was ringing up about twice as many batters as were permitted to reach against him. Kind of a big deal. The loser in the exchange was LHP Mauricio Robles, who had been running a sub-1.00 K/BB. The hope is that he’ll figure out how to throw strikes somewhere else. Good luck with that… Wednesday afternoon, OF Carlos Peguero was activated from the DL after roughly four and a half weeks dealing with the knee thing. He had a couple of singles his first night back. He also struck out three times. Bless him. OF Mario Yepez was sent back to Clinton to make room… Thursday brought more movement, as RHP Brian Sweeney went on the DL with a sprained neck/concussion which does not sound good at all. That resulted in RHP Andrew Carraway coming in from Jackson. He had been running a 3.12 tRA in Jackson, and with the variation of league tRA, that’s a bit worse in the larger scheme of things than it was last year. He’s striking out more guys but also allowing more line drives it seems. I don’t know.

Strange Happenings:
Brandon Bantz has only played in nine games, but is batting .357/.367/.607 in those nine games. He’s the best… Anthony Vasquez opened Sunday’s game with consecutive strikeouts. Minds were in fearful anticipation of being blown. Then he struck out one the rest of the way. Keep at it, champ… Snow might have garnered a mention here, but he faced two batters in the seventh inning on Wednesday and the result was a two-run shot. Otherwise, his line was 6.0 IP, 6 H (HR), 5 R, 8/2 K/BB, 2/5 G/F, 2 WP… Jeff Marquez, a right-hander, had two pickoffs at first on Tuesday… Curto notes that Perez’ save of Carraway’s game was his first since 2000 when he was in the Mexican League.

Here is an exchange between a co-worker and me on Friday:
Co-worker: “They should call up that Pryor guy from Tacoma.”
Me: (blank stare)
Co-worker: “I hear he’s throwing like a hundred miles an hour.”
Me: “No, I know who he is, I’m just surprised that you do.”
Co-worker: “What? I read the paper.”

How far we have come.

Jackson Generals (2-4 this week, 22-15 overall, 1st in SL North)

The Week in Review:
Monday, May 7th 2012
Huntsville 6 (MIL + 4), Jackson 5
W: Thornburg (4-0, 1.98) L: Garrison (1-1, 1.29) S: Wooten (7)

Tuesday, May 8th 2012
Huntsville 2 (MIL + 5), Jackson 1
W: Anundsen (2-1, 2.48) L: Paxton (3-1, 2.60) S: Wooten (8)

Wednesday, May 9th 2012
Huntsville 4 (MIL + 6), Jackson 2
W: Heckathorn (2-1, 3.54) L: Moran (0-2, 0.57) S: Sanchez (2)

Thursday, May 10th 2012
Huntsville 3 (MIL + 7), Jackson 2 (eleven innings)
W: Wooten (3-0, 1.74) L: Medina (1-3, 5.85) S: Seidel (1)

Friday, May 11th 2012
Jackson 2, Tennessee 1 (CHC – 6)
W: Hultzen (3-3, 1.91) L: Raley (1-2, 3.50) S: LaFromboise (1)

Saturday, May 12th 2012
Jackson 9, Tennessee 2 (CHC – 7)
W: Garrison (2-1, 0.75) L: Struck (4-3, 3.86)

Sunday, May 13th 2012
Rain out 🙁

Hitter of the Week:
DH Joe Dunigan, L/L, 3/29/1986
5 G, 18 AB, 2 R, 5 H, 2B, 3B, RBI, SB, CS, 6/3 K/BB, 2 HBP, .278/.435/.444

When he was in High Desert, one of the things I talked about regarding Dunigan was that he was capable of doing interesting things, like showing plate discipline or hitting for power, but he wasn’t often doing them at the same time and that in and of itself was concerning. Dunigan has walked five times in May, and his on-base percentage is 101 points above his average. In April, he drew four walks total and had an on-base percentage thirty points higher than his average. Also during April, he had 59.3% extra-base hits and had seven dingers. His isolated slugging was .337. This month, 23.1% of his hits have gone for extras. His isolated slugging is .100. The more things change, the more they stay the same in some cases.

Undersung Mention:
UT Eric Campbell, R/R, 8/6/1985
6 G, 21 AB, 2 R, 6 H, 2 2B, 3 RBI, 3/4 K/BB, .286/.385/.381

Pitcher of the Week:
RHP Brandon Maurer, 7/3/1990
0-0, GS, 3.00 ERA in 6.0 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 7/0 K/BB, 5/2 G/F, BK, HB

Thus far, Maurer has been the forgotten man in the rotation, which wasn’t really what I expected. Overshadowed by pitchers with superior command? Certainly. Not mentioned at all? Unexpected, particularly when he leads the team in innings pitched. A huge component of this is that his strikeouts have been uncharacteristically low. This marked the first time this season that he’d struck out more than three in a start. For his career, he’s posted a K/9 under nine just once in a season. Strikeouts, and to a lesser extent walks, had been a given. I’ll credit him here though for context: Huntsville is one of the best hitting teams in the league (though poor at walking) and rank second to last in strikeouts. A performance like this would seem to be legit.

Some Wildness #1 Mention:
LHP James Paxton, 11/6/1988
0-1, GS, 3.00 ERA in 6.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 7/3 K/BB, 5/4 G/F, 2 WP

Some Wildness #2 Mention:
LHP Danny Hultzen, 11/28/1989
1-0, GS, 0.00 ERA in 7.0 IP, 2 H, 2/4 K/BB, 8/3 G/F, WP

Sliding into Closer Role Mention:
RHP Carter Capps, 8/7/1990
0-0, 2 G, 0.00 ERA in 3.0 IP, 2 H, 4/0 K/BB, 3/2 G/F

Extra Pitching Notes:
Some might be questioning, “Why Maurer over Paxton and Hultzen, particularly when Hultzen didn’t allow too many base runners?” It’s the walks really. Huntsville has the second fewest walks drawn, just ahead of the good ol’ Generals, and Tennessee is just ahead of them. There are teams that you probably can’t avoid giving out walks to, but those that you can, you probably should. Besides, Hultzen had 60 of 95 pitches for strikes, and still managed to walk four? That’s just weird. And he’s only managed two starts so far where he’s walked fewer than three. Anyway, to cover the last head of Cerberus, Taijuan Walker had a weak outing this week, lasting just four innings and giving up two runs on four hits, two walks and four Ks. He probably hit a pitch count and then got the hook.

From the Training Room:
The stuff with Pryor/Robles has already been covered. Also happening on Monday, RHP Moises Hernandez, aka Felix’s bro, hit the DL with a shin contusion, and LHP Steve Garrison came off it. Because of the recent doubleheader in Pensacola, the rotation was left off-balance and Garrison was immediately used to spot start and stagger it out into its normal order. Which will now include Garrison anyway. More on that later. Concurrently with that, IF Eddy Martinez-Esteve was reinstated from the DL and released. EM-E was the third-round pick of the M’s in 2002, and then the second-round pick of the Giants in 2004. He had various health issues and his development was hampered by that… Tuesday afternoon, RF Johermyn Chavez went on the DL (hamate bone) and LF Daniel Carroll (dislocated shoulder) came off it. Thanks to Larry Stone for the causes there… There was no immediate corresponding pitching move to Carraway going to Tacoma, but there was a hitting move as 1B Rich Poythress hit the DL with a sprained left foot and IF Steve Proscia was promoted to Jackson. Proscia was hitting .431/.453/.843 at home and .286/.333/.329 on the road for the Mavericks. This should be a learning experience for him… Nick Franklin was used gingerly this week. That seems like a word I should scope out the etymology for.

Strange Happenings:
Almonte only had three hits this week, but that’s less concerning to me. What I like is the fact that he walked seven times, which is two times more than he struck out… This is the line from Steve Garrison’s second start: 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1/0 K/BB, 3/0 G/F… Ken Griffey, Jr. dropped in on the Generals last week to hang out for a while. Griffey!

High Desert Mavericks (3-3 this week, 20-17 overall, 1st in CAL South)

The Week in Review:
Monday, May 7th 2012
High Desert 3, Lake Elsinore 6 (SD + 1)
W: Roach (6-0, 1.93) L: Elias (3-2, 2.39) S: Quackenbush (8)

Tuesday, May 8th 2012
High Desert 4, Lake Elsinore 3 (SD 0)
W: Smith (2-0, 3.46) L: Quigley (2-1, 2.45)

Wednesday, May 9th 2012
High Desert 6, Lake Elsinore 5 (SD – 1)
W: Burgoon (2-1, 9.00) L: Quackenbush (0-1, 1.23) S: Arias (4)

Thursday, May 10th 2012
Rancho Cucamonga 7 (LA – 4), High Desert 6
W: Smith (1-0, 2.93) L: Raga (0-1, 2.35) S: McGough (2)

Friday, May 11th 2012
Rancho Cucamonga 13 (LA – 3), High Desert 11
W: Wilborn (1-0, 6.23) L: Smith (2-1, 4.91) S: Eadington (1)

Saturday, May 12th 2012
Rancho Cucamonga 12 (LA – 4), High Desert 13
W: Arias (2-2, 4.42) L: Stem (0-1, 9.00)

Sunday, May 13th 2012
Off day

Hitter of the Week:
OF Mike McGee, R/R, 3/7/1989
5 G, 16 AB, 5 R, 5 H, 2B, 3B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 1/2 K/BB, HBP, .313/.400/.875

Here’s a player I don’t talk much about. So Mike McGee! McGee was our 14th-round pick last year. In 2010, he won the inaugural John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year Award. You see, in addition to being an outfielder, he was also the closer for the Florida State Seminoles. He was initially listed as a RHP when we picked him, but that was quickly rectified. Expect him to show up some time in a blowout. Since I’m talking about him specifically as a hitter, this year he’s showing no L/R splits, but he’s batting .372/.429/.767 at home and .255/.359/.345 on the road, which means he’s one of the guys that I’m concerned about in the long run.

Walk-Off Grand Slam Mention:
2B Stefen Romero, R/R, 10/17/1988
4 G, 18 AB, 4 R, 8 H, 2B, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 3/0 K/BB, .444/.421/.833

Still Has Better Road Numbers Than Home Numbers Mention:
OF Julio Morban, L/L, 2/13/1992
6 G, 23 AB, 4 R, 7 H, 3 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBI, SB, 8/2 K/BB, .304/.360/.696

Contact-Hitting in May Mention:
3B Mario Martinez, R/R, 11/13/1989
5 G, 19 AB, 5 R, 6 H, 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 6/0 K/BB, HBP, .316/.350/.684

On-Base Ability! Mention:
OF James Jones, L/L, 9/24/1988
5 G, 15 AB, 5 R, 4 H, 3B, 2 RBI, CS, 5/5 K/BB, .267/.450/.400

Pitcher of the Week:
LHP James Gillheeney, 11/8/1987
0-0, GS, 3.60 ERA in 5.0 IP, 4 H (2 HR), 2 R, 8/1 K/BB, 5/1 G/F

Thursday’s game was an ordinary one at Mavericks Stadium. Which is to say that the wind was blowing fifteen miles an hour out to center field. Which is to say the teams combined for five dingers. Which is to say that the results of Gillheeney wound up looking a bit worse than how he pitched, seeing as how he struck out 40% of the batters he faced. It also represented something of a rebound for Gillheeney, or rather, one of his better commanded outings. Last time out, at Visalia, he had a 2/3 K/BB with a couple of dingers allowed among seven total hits. Two outings before, he had a 2/4 K/BB in 5.1 innings at San Jose, but evaded most trouble of the run-scoring variety. The overall line just looks fine for him because he’s sprinkled in outings like this, but he hasn’t gone more than five and a third yet and he has spots where he’s struggled to get strikeouts. I don’t know what his deal is, but let’s just say for now that the numbers might be a little misleading on a few different fronts.

Perhaps, If Not For the Unearned Runs Mention:
RHP George Mieses, 5/3/1991
0-0, GS, 1.50 ERA in 6.0 IP, 5 H, 4 R (ER), 4/1 K/BB, 6/7 G/F, HB

From the Training Room:
OF Julio Morban didn’t have to spend too long on the DL, as he came off it on Monday and almost immediately resumed hitting. I sure wish he could stay healthy somehow! IF Carlos Ramirez was transferred to Clinton to make room… Since Proscia left, another move had to be made and that was C/UT Jack Marder coming off the DL yay. His first game back was in left field. Coleman remains with the team as a third catcher. Marder has gone 5-for-15 with two doubles and a walk since coming back.

Strange Happenings:
A curious thing happened Saturday night. It was late and I was waiting for the Mavericks box score to go final. Drawing into the eighth inning, the Quakes had just scored four runs to put them ahead 6-7. When they scored another run to open the inning, I figured that would be that, but then the Mavs scored two in the bottom half of that inning, on various singles, doubles, walks, and wild pitches. “It could go to extras,” I thought to myself. That thought was quickly displaced by resignation, as the Quakes scored four runs in the top half of the ninth, and what had been an 8-8 tie quickly turned into a 8-12 deficit. “Oh well,” I thought, “process over results and at least I won’t be stuck waiting here indefinitely.” I was right about part of that as the bottom half of the inning came around.

High Desert Bottom of the 9th
• Mike McGee doubles (8) on a fly ball to right fielder Brian Cavazos-Galvez.
• Mario Martinez grounds out, third baseman C. J. Retherford to first baseman Austin Gallagher. Mike McGee to 3rd.
• James Jones walks.
• Brad Miller out on a sacrifice fly to center fielder Leon Landry. Mike McGee scores.
• Jack Marder walks. James Jones to 2nd.
• Kevin Rivers walks. James Jones to 3rd. Jack Marder to 2nd.
• Pitcher Change: Craig Stem replaces Eric Eadington.
• Stefen Romero hits a grand slam (5) to center field. James Jones scores. Jack Marder scores. Kevin Rivers scores.

… The bullpen allowed 17-of-22 inherited runners to score this week. Wheeeeee!… Miller has been down to one or two errors a week. It’s not great, but much improved over the start to the season. Hicks has been allowing about one passed ball a week. That’s…. bad.

Clinton Lumberkings (1-6 this week, 12-24 overall, 10.5 GB in MWL Western)

The Week in Review:
Monday, May 7th 2012
Burlington 2 (OAK – 2), Clinton 5
W: Hobson (1-5, 4.26) L: Powers (2-2, 4.91) S: Griffin (1)

Tuesday, May 8th 2012
Burlington 7 (OAK – 1), Clinton 0
W: Murphy (3-2, 1.23) L: Hidalgo (1-4, 5.24)

Wednesday, May 9th 2012
Clinton 2, Kane County 5 (KC – 1)
W: Giovenco (2-2, 6.28) L: Hunter (0-2, 2.57) S: Graffeo (7)

Thursday, May 10th 2012
Clinton 3, Kane County 5 (KC 0)
W: Yambati (1-0, 3.60) L: Taylor (1-2, 5.25)

Friday, May 11th 2012
Clinton 7, Kane County 8 (KC + 1)
W: Ridings (2-1, 2.66) L: Kohlscheen (1-1, 5.29)

Saturday, May 12th 2012
Clinton 1, Beloit 3 (MIN + 6)
W: Summers (3-2, 4.02) L: Hobson (1-6, 4.36) S: Williams (6)

Sunday, May 13th 2012
Clinton 1, Beloit 3 (MIN + 7)
W: Tomshaw (2-1, 2.54) L: Hidalgo (1-5, 5.40) S: Tonkin (2)

Hitter of the Week:
LF Guillermo Pimentel, L/L, 10/5/1992
7 G, 21 AB, 11 H, 4 2B, 5 RBI, SB, CS, 6/3 K/BB, HBP, .524/.600/.714

A couple weeks ago, people were asking me how long the leash was with Pimentel, and my stock answer based on Morla and Littlewood was that, as bad as he was hitting in April (worse than either of those two did last year), he’d probably get a couple of weeks in May and then get the hook. Guillermo, forgive my sins. This week, he’s been showing plate discipline, hitting for extra bases, and showing off all around. But because I can’t go through any performance this positive without being a terrible buzz kill, both Kane County and Beloit are known to give up their share of hits and Pimentel is hitting an absurd .042/.080/.042 against left-handed pitchers in his paltry 24-at-bat sample this year. Things to worry about if you are a worrier.

Walks in Six Consecutive Games! Mention:
RF Jabari Blash, R/R, 7/4/1989
7 G, 22 AB, R, 5 H, 2B, 3B, 2 RBI, 6/6 K/BB, HBP, .227/.414/.363

Pitcher of the Week:
RHP Stephen Landazuri, 1/6/1992
0-0, GS, 1.50 ERA in 6.0 IP, 7 H, 5/0 K/BB, 6/0 G/F

With younger pitchers, you often find yourself scrutinizing various trends in their development and trying to make sense of what’s going on with them based off of the subtle shifts that might occur from one month to the next. Take Landazuri as an example, even if our May sample is presently a little short. In April, he walked 9.1% of the batters he faced and had a .165 average against. Now in May, his walk rate is 2% and other teams are hitting .277 off him. There’s a slight shift in Ks too, from 20.9% to 18.4%, but mostly what we’re seeing is that, after missing the strikezone a lot in April, he’s been more around it in. Let’s see if he manages to adjust again to reduce the hits while not increasing the walks that much.

In Command in May Mention:
LHP Cameron Hobson, 4/10/1989
1-1, 2 GS, 3.65 ERA in 12.1 IP, 15 H (HR), 5 R, 9/1 K/BB, 12/11 G/F, 2 HB

Not So Much in Command Mention:
LHP Jordan Shipers, 6/27/1991
0-0, GS, 1.50 ERA in 6.0 IP, 2 H, R, 2/4 K/BB, 8/7 G/F, BK

From the Training Room:
The biggest shake-up on Monday was happening in Clinton. In addition to adding Ramirez, the Lumberkings picked up middle infielder Bryan Brito and RHP Ben Cornwell. RHP Wes Alsup, IF Jean Acevedo, and OF Alfredo Morales all went back to Peoria. I’m only slightly bothered by the loss of Acevedo, since Morales wasn’t getting playing time and Alsup was struggling to throw strikes. The addition of Brito is probably the most interesting as he seems to have his fans in the organization right now and it would be nice to add to the infield depth… Yepez came back later in the week. I think that’s because 3B Ramon Morla is on the DL, seeing as how he hasn’t played since the 5th.

Strange Happenings:
Something that I picked up in the game notes, and probably mentioned at some point this year, but Jamal Austin has hit safely in 23 of 27 games and has reached base in every single game since April 14th. The weird thing about that streak? He’s only the second-longest streak in minor league baseball, and the other guy is in the MWL too… Shipers CG shutout last week was the first thrown in the Midwest League this year. Milestones!.. Steve Baron leads the team with eleven doubles. Coming into Sunday’s game, that was good enough to tie him for 6th in the Midwest League. I will remind you that the Midwest League is freaking huge… How the heck did Pimentel not score a run this week?


23 Responses to “Minor League Wrap (5/7-13/12)”

  1. jimabbottsrightarm on May 14th, 2012 7:52 am

    Thanks Jay! Any idea what was up with Franklin? I don’t think he started any games this week, but noticed he pinch ran and hit a few times.

  2. Westside guy on May 14th, 2012 8:26 am

    Thank you Jay. Seeing how things are going down on the farm is always a great way to start off my week!

  3. 9inningknowitall on May 14th, 2012 9:40 am

    Jay, with Marcus Littlewood still working on the transition to Catcher, and the fact that he never got promoted, do you think that Everett is going to be his destination for this season again?

  4. bookbook on May 14th, 2012 10:11 am

    Speaking of catchers in extended spring training, any Tyler Marlette sightings?

  5. HighBrie on May 14th, 2012 10:20 am

    Hi Jay, two quick questions: how has Triunfel’s range and arm accuracy looked at Tacoma? And, remain curious to know about the status of Ji Man Choi. The impression I get from you is that he is a light hitting corner infielder with no future in the organization if he can’t catch. Has he been making strides in rehab, or is he really done? Bonus question: Any word from instructs concerning Cavan Cohoes or Phillips Castillo?

  6. HighBrie on May 14th, 2012 10:24 am

    I’m sorry for the double post. Is Dennis Raben still injured as well?

  7. Jay Yencich on May 14th, 2012 10:51 am

    Thanks Jay! Any idea what was up with Franklin? I don’t think he started any games this week, but noticed he pinch ran and hit a few times.

    He’s got some toe thing going on that they’re trying not to aggravate.

    Jay, with Marcus Littlewood still working on the transition to Catcher, and the fact that he never got promoted, do you think that Everett is going to be his destination for this season again?

    Probably something like that. Considering he was completely new to the position in instructs and had never hit very well anyway, I don’t know why anyone would have expected him to break camp with Clinton.

    Speaking of catchers in extended spring training, any Tyler Marlette sightings?

    No? If he were around, I would have mentioned it…

    Hi Jay, two quick questions: how has Triunfel’s range and arm accuracy looked at Tacoma?

    I can’t help you for “looked” because I haven’t seen him. I hear good things. Arm strength has never been an issue, but he’s been showing enough range to pass at short over the past couple of years.

    And, remain curious to know about the status of Ji Man Choi. The impression I get from you is that he is a light hitting corner infielder with no future in the organization if he can’t catch. Has he been making strides in rehab, or is he really done?

    Again, mid-May is not the best time to be asking about guys who have never begun a year with a full-season team anyway. I’ve heard nothing about him in the past year other than his back was giving him trouble which makes it unlikely that he’ll continue to catch.

    Bonus question: Any word from instructs concerning Cavan Cohoes or Phillips Castillo?

    I don’t hear anything from extended spring. I don’t have access to that kind of information.

    I’m sorry for the double post. Is Dennis Raben still injured as well?

    The only information I really have on that is this Q & A from a couple of weeks back where he talks about how his knee was giving him trouble last year. They’re trying to steer him away from the more intensive exercises for that reason.

  8. dgood on May 14th, 2012 11:10 am

    “He is a little different than the normal former major leaguer that is around, but that’s because of his easy going personality and is extraverted. So he really takes the pressure off when you are around him,” said Poythress.

    This quote makes Poythress sound smart. Or smarter than I would have assumed.

  9. msfanmike on May 14th, 2012 1:00 pm

    Yes, let’s commence the “talk about it entirely too much” portion of the program, please.

    I’ll bite. I don’t know jack-squat about any of the prospects except for what I have read. The catcher (Zunino) could be equal parts Clement and Posey … or he could be zero parts of either.

    Buxton and Carrera are awfully young, but if this organization has a need – it is for an athletic OF or an athletic SS. Too far away from knowing what either would be, actually – so they are big time crapshoots.

    Since Zunino fills a position of constant need (although we might not need a C – or do we?) and since he is probably closest to MLB ready, he would probably be a safe pick.

    It would not suprise me if the org took a pitcher again if they felt the 3rd slot was best served by a pitcher. If they could add another stud pitcher, it would make a packaged trade of some other stud pitching prospect more palatable … to fill a position of near-term need.

    It would also not completely surprise me if they took Seagers brother with the pick under a Billy Beane-esque “we will take you sooner if you sign for less than a 3 pick otherwise would” type of scenario. Maybe the somewhat imaginary slotting system will play against this type of scenario from occurring.


    Keith Law has Corey Seager going 18th to the Dodgers. Since the MLB draft is basically a crap-shoot and since this years class of draft eligibles is considered to be pretty “meh” – why not take Seager’s brother with the third pick if you like him and if you are certain he will not be around at the 64th pick. His brother is 6’3″ with a higher ceiling than Kyle had at the same age. He is a SS who may eventually grow out of the position. Why not take the “blood line” route. Who out there in Marinerland would complain about having Seager’s younger brother in the system?

    Not being able to trade picks is something that I do not like about the MLB draft. Teams could parlay a top pick for multiple picks which may be beneficial to them or may just be more “crap-shooting.”

    I am sure the cross-checkers are cross-checking their asses off right about now and I am sure the org will come up with a pick that we like.


    Put me down for a Carrera or Seager.

  10. lokiforever on May 14th, 2012 1:15 pm

    Awfully nice of BA to remind us of Jeff Clement, instead of Troy Tulowitzki.

  11. 9inningknowitall on May 14th, 2012 1:20 pm


    I have to say that your idea for getting Seager is the same one I had the other day. If he is as good or better then his brother then all I have to say is, good enough for me. Plus you have to think he would be far more likely to pass on his commitment to college if he could have the chance to someday play along side his brother.

  12. SonOfZavaras on May 14th, 2012 1:41 pm

    Buxton and Carrera are awfully young, but if this organization has a need – it is for an athletic OF or an athletic SS. Too far away from knowing what either would be, actually – so they are big time crapshoots.

    It’s Carlos Correa, actually. And as far as org need in drafting, it’s Best Player Available. Always. Regardless of position. If they determine Correa or Buxton (assuming availability here) have higher upside than Zunino, I fully expect them to take one of the two.

    Personally, I think it WILL wind up being Zunino. And I’ll be happy if it’s the case.

    The good news for us fans is that the farm system is in condition enough so that it should be providing valuable young talents to the big club for the next few years.

    So, a prep pick like Buxton or Correa- where you’re going to have to wait 3-4 seasons, maybe longer- is a course we can go with probably no lull in talent matriculations.

  13. msfanmike on May 14th, 2012 1:44 pm

    ^ Cool. I did not know you had already chimed in regarding Seager’s brother. “Good enough for me” is a pretty accurate summation, too.

    For all we know, a guy with his tools and bloodline is less of a risk than the player they will likely take at #3.

    I did see a video clip/interview with Corey Seager. Very poised, very adult, nice swing, moves well/fluid. A potential danger with him could be that as Kyle has started to emerge, some of that light might be shining on Corey. Then again, that’s still good enough for me, too – probably.

    At #3, they will be looking for an absolute stud, and hopefully they get the guy they want. It’s not like they won’t have a chance to draft Corey, so – they might have a little bit of pressure on them to consider it hard if his stock continues to rise over the next 3 weeks.

    This is where Scouting Directors and their team of bush beaters have to stick their necks out on the line.

    Yes, “Correa” … thank you. Like I said initially – I don’t know squat about any of these guys – other than what I have read.

  14. mariners88 on May 14th, 2012 4:53 pm

    As always Jay, really appreciate these!
    I remember one time a while back you posted something along the lines of “does anybody still read these?”

    Are you able to see the amount of views each particular article gets? If not, know that at least I read everything that goes up here, and your work surely does not go unnoticed.

  15. DarkKnight1680 on May 14th, 2012 6:29 pm

    I too look forward to these updates. I have to say, Jay, I greatly miss checking Mariners Minors every day, and chatting there about specific prospects and scenarios. Still appreciate all the effort here, though.

    Buxton or Zunino seem like the most likely options at #3 but of course we’ve been surprised before. Maybe they take Giolito believing he’s the #1 guy in the draft and the injury is minor. Maybe they love Appel and would be willing to move Paxton or someone to get a hitter that is closer to the bigs.

    As a thought – if Zunino and Appel are still available, would they be better off with Zunino (and keeping, say, Paxton) or taking Appel if they had a deal in place to move Paxton to Toronto (they tried to draft him and he’s Canadian, and they can always use pitching) for Travis D’Arnaud? Which C/P combo (Zunino/Paxton or D’Arnaud/Appel) is better/closer to the majors?

    Lots of intrigue. Question – you can’t trade a drat pick but once the guy is selected, when can you deal him specifically?

  16. Jay Yencich on May 14th, 2012 7:13 pm

    So, Point of Clarification: Chris Harris says Franklin has a thumb thing going on. Also, Walker was pulled for an ankle issue today, which is good news, insofar as the ankle is not part of the arm.

    And yeah, it’s Correa. Crazy people seem to be throwing out Tulo comps right now but I hear that Correa is a free swinger and that’s the kind of thing that causes me to worry about him even if our track record is getting better. If Zunino and Buxton are gone by #3, I might be content with a pitcher.

    I remember one time a while back you posted something along the lines of “does anybody still read these?”
    Are you able to see the amount of views each particular article gets? If not, know that at least I read everything that goes up here, and your work surely does not go unnoticed.

    That was a meta moment for me because I find that either the comments taper off or people just use it as a forum to ask me the same questions every week. Maybe it’s just because I spend hours writing them that actually reading them doesn’t take much time for me, but everyone always jokes about how long they are and how it takes them days to work through it, so I don’t know. Thank you, anyway.

    I too look forward to these updates. I have to say, Jay, I greatly miss checking Mariners Minors every day, and chatting there about specific prospects and scenarios. Still appreciate all the effort here, though.

    I miss it sometimes too, particularly on days like today when the VSL season is opening up and I want to talk about how the M’s have a pitcher named Wladimir Marruffo and an infielder named Jhonbaker Morales, but I’m hilariously overextended at the moment and I probably should have tried to quit cold turkey at the end of last season.

    Lots of intrigue. Question – you can’t trade a drat pick but once the guy is selected, when can you deal him specifically?

    It’s about a year after. That’s what the A’s did with Bonderman, and we may end up doing the same thing.

    Shooting from the hip on the Appel/D’Arnaud and Zunino/Paxton thing due to limited familiarity with everyone but Paxton, I think Zunino is probably the better defender of the two catchers and D’Arnaud might be the better hitter, and Paxton is good, though inconsistent, while Appel doesn’t have numbers that live up to his stuff, complicating matters a bit. I don’t know which I’d pick, but it’s a big assumption in the first place to think that Paxton on his own would be enough to get you D’Arnaud.

  17. marcus_andrews on May 14th, 2012 7:57 pm

    While I’m not super familiar with D’Arnaud, I’ve heard that he’s MUCH better than JP Arrencibia defensively and a better hitter too. While Arrencibia isn’t exactly a stud, I find it hard to believe that having Zunino would be safer than having D’Arnaud.

    Also, I think that there’s no way that the Jays would take that trade but if they would, I would take it in a heart beat. I like Paxton but his issue is missing the zone, Appel’s is missing bats. While you’d like to see more K’s against college guys, Appel’s stuff is almost as good and his command seems to be better. I think they’re close to equal and I think D’Arnaud is much safer and has almost the same, potentially more upside than Zunino.

    Basically, I think neither situation is bad and one is much more likely (drafting Zunino) while the other is slightly more desirable.

  18. marcus_andrews on May 14th, 2012 8:04 pm

    Also, sorry for the double post but I don’t think Correa will stay at short. He’s already pretty big and he seems to be bulking up more. I see him as a 3b and his bat would probably not be as big of a plus there but it might still play. Don’t know if it’s worth the 3rd pick though given that he probably won’t play as premium of a position and he’s very, very raw.

    As far as taking Seager 3rd, I just don’t see it. While it’s a nice sentiment, he has a higher risk than Zunino and a much lower ceiling than Correa or Buxton. Furthermore, Appel, Fried, Giolto, Gausmann are all legitimate pitching prospects. I know this is a weak draft but I don’t think that justifies using the 3rd pick on a sentimental choice. He projects to have more power than Kyle but that’s mostly because he’s bigger. I think it’s virtually impossible to say “he’ll be better than Kyle and that’s good for a number 3 pick” because he’s still 18. Also, while much less likely if we take him 3rd, it’s still possible he goes to school which is a very risky proposition at the #3 pick.

    Okay now I’m off track but I just talked myself in to an idea… This is considered a VERY weak draft, so is taking a guy at 3 that might not sign worth the risk because the 4 pick next year might be a better player than the 3 pick this year? I mean some say that 5 guys last year would have gone #1 this year. If next years is as good (or close) than the #4 pick could theoretically be as good as the #2 pick or so this year, right? I mean I know it would suck to come away with nobody, but could it be a decent trade-off?

  19. Jay Yencich on May 14th, 2012 9:33 pm

    Montero might be better than Arrencibia, which spares me the hyperbole of comparing Arrencibia’s abilities to that of an inanimate object. Strange, because his defense on draft day was not slammed in the slightest. But I don’t know that D’Arnaud is quite the hitter Arrencibia is. That’s a legit “don’t know” more than skepticism.

    I’m also not really in the camp that believes in Correa at short, but I don’t believe in any of our existing third base options more than I might believe in Correa. I think between Miller and Franklin, there’s enough good depth at short to keep me happy, so if Correa is picked and we’re of the mindset that he’s at the hot corner long-term, I don’t care.

    People talk about Corey Seager. I won’t. I think it’s latching on to a familiar name against other considerations, but I would also point out that given Zduriencik’s draft record with Fielder, etc, do not put it past them to go off the radar. As for the #4 pick stuff… I don’t know, it could happen accidentally due to the new CBA, but trying to do it on purpose would probably come off very poorly with the commissioner’s office and I don’t think anyone would do that.

  20. marcus_andrews on May 15th, 2012 9:47 am

    I appreciate the response and just wanted to clarify a few things. Arrencibia probably has more power but in terms of average D’Arnaud is definitely better at least in terms of what they’ve done to the same points in their career (AA and AAA numbers for both).

    I’m not necessarily saying that I think that getting a third baseman is bad, I’m just asking is Correa really a #3 worthy bat or does positional value boost him up and if so, doesn’t moving him hurt that boost.

    Finally, I am not by any means saying intentionally boot the pick this year, I’m just saying it might be worth taking a riskier guy like Giolito (sp?) or Fried even though they’re UCLA commits (who are known to keep their drafted recruits better than most schools)because the risk of coming away with nothing isn’t as high in comparison to other years. Basically, last year you pass on Starling because he might not sign and there are other viable options. If there aren’t any other great options, and not signing your pick wouldn’t be too disasterous, doesn’t it make sense to take a guy that is a little more risky but has a higher upside?

  21. marcus_andrews on May 15th, 2012 9:55 am

    Oh and the Arrencibia comp is more as a basis of saying I don’t think the Jays would trade a catcher in their system that is better than the one they have on their MLB roster. Executing that trade would imply that they think they’re set at catcher and I was more questioning that idea.

  22. Jay Yencich on May 15th, 2012 10:57 am

    Correa would hit enough to play third, I would think. Whether he’s a #3 or not, that’s something I question because I hear he’s a contact hitter and I’d prefer a pick that high to have a better overall offensive game.

    One consideration regarding taking the risky pick this year is that, yes, we would get the #4 next year in a better draft, but the end results are probably more complicated than that. Baseball America covered the basics in their Ask BA post this morning.

  23. bookbook on May 15th, 2012 7:15 pm

    Re: Corey Seager.

    I think it’s important to remember that Jeremy Giambi was supposed to be better than his brother. So, too, Marcus Giles. (Not to mention we still don’t know how good Kyle will end up being)

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