Minor League Wrap (6/4-10/12)

Jay Yencich · June 11, 2012 at 6:30 am · Filed Under Minor Leagues 

I’m probably not going to be around to respond early in the day because it’s supposed to be nice out and having no school-related obligations, I’d rather be outside.

Some quick hits on the week:
* Taylor Ard and Patrick Kivlehan have signed. Kivlehan got to watch the no-hitter as his introduction to Seattle baseball. Both are reporting to Everett and the first exhibition game will be Wednesday while the first (road) game is on Friday. I’ll have a roster preview together once that information becomes available to me.
* The Rainiers were 0-6 this week.
* Danny Hultzen is still awesome.
* Gabriel Noriega had a double this week, which is more doubles than he’s had in any previous week this year.
* The Generals have eight all-star representatives. The Lumberkings have three. Everything else is coming later.
* Churchill talked promotion candidates. “PROMOTIONS!” ‘And raises!’ “…” ‘…Promotions.’ “PROMOTIONS!”
* I’m going to be on KRKO talking baseball stuff on Saturday at 11:15 am. It may even be a regular-ish (though bi-weekly) thing, except for the fact that I’m going to be out of town on the 30th. But it could definitely happen more than once.

To the jump!

Tacoma Rainiers (0-6 this week, 24-39 overall, 13 GB in PCL Pacific Northern)

The Week in Review:
Monday, June 4th 2012
Sacramento 13 (OAK + 15), Tacoma 4
W: Ross (1-1, 3.38) L: Vasquez (5-4, 6.53)

Tuesday, June 5th 2012
Sacramento 8 (OAK + 16), Tacoma 1
W: Godfrey (4-0, 1.03) L: Marquez (4-6, 6.82) S: Banwart (1)

Wednesday, June 6th 2012
Off day

Thursday, June 7th 2012
Salt Lake 3 (ANA + 1), Tacoma 0
W: Smith (2-3, 3.19) L: Sweeney (1-1, 3.82) S: Geltz (1)

Friday, June 8th 2012
Salt Lake 2 (ANA + 2), Tacoma 0
W: Johnson (1-2, 5.68) L: Ramirez (3-2, 3.11) S: Brasier (7)

Saturday, June 9th 2012
Salt Lake 3 (ANA + 3), Tacoma 2
W: Shoemaker (5-5, 4.95) L: Carraway (2-2, 3.41) S: Brasier (8)

Sunday, June 10th 2012
Salt Lake 4 (ANA + 4), Tacoma 2
W: McKiernan (2-1, 6.43) L: Marquez (4-7, 6.75) S: Geltz (2)

Hitter of the Week:
DH Luis Antonio Jimenez, L/L, 5/7/1982
6 G, 21 AB, R, 7 H, 2 2B, RBI, 4/2 K/BB, .333/.391/.429

So, the Rainiers averaged a run and a half of offense per game this week. They were shut out twice. The most runs they scored in a game was four, and in that game they lost by nine. On more than one occasion, I looked up a possible option only to find out that the hitter went 0-for-the week. This is Luis Jimenez. He was not terrible this week. He might have been the only one to qualify [Guti excluded] and not be terrible. He also has more walks than Ks despite striking out two more times than he walked this week. Yep.

Pitcher of the Week:
RHP Erasmo Ramirez, 5/2/1990
0-1, GS, 2.25 ERA in 8.0 IP, 2 H (HR), 2 R, 5/2 K/BB, 7/9G/F, HB

The same night that the Mariners threw their no-hitter, Ramirez was running his own through seven and two-thirds, having retired 23 of 26. And then, with those two outs on the board, things began to slip. Ramirez gave up a single and then a home run, a home run to a guy who, at the time, was batting .179 and had two home runs on the year. A guy who had pretty much been called up because the team needed a live body out there (he’d only played thirty games of full-season ball prior to this year). Cripes. Well, anyway, Erasmo is pretty good. Over the last three starts: 21.1 IP, 14 H, 4 R, 20/4 K/BB. Call him up or something! The downside of that being that, unless Hultzen comes up too, the Rainiers would be losing one of their few good pitchers. (Read that as: no second pitching mention)

From The Training Room:
C Adam Moore’s activation from the DL set off a series of catching dominoes that sent C Ralph Henriquez back to Jackson for the time being. Moore is 0-for-7 with a sac fly since getting back… Franklin Gutierrez was 7-for-24 this week with two doubles and a 5/1 K/BB. He’s kind of disqualified from getting a hitting mention as an Established Major Leaguer.

Strange Happenings:
Forrest Snow is in the bullpen now, which is all right, I guess. He probably wasn’t going to crack the future rotation for long anyway… Delabar has been down for three innings and hasn’t allowed a hit yet… Carlos Peguero struck out in half his at-bats this week. Some things just seem right… Curto has been watching this offense. Too much.

Mike Curto ?@CurtoWorld
(last time I did this we got hot) Current individual Rainiers slumps: 0-22, 1-43, 2-18 w/ 9K, 0-13, 0-9, 1-11, 1-12, 0-7.

Jackson Generals (3-4 this week, 38-26 overall, 1st in SL North)

The Week in Review:
Monday, June 4th 2012
Jackson 4, Chattanooga 6 (LA 0)
W: Aguasviva (2-3, 2.27) L: Garrison (3-2, 4.31) S: Bawcom (4)

Tuesday, June 5th 2012
Jackson 5, Chattanooga 4 (LA – 1)
W: Stanton (1-1, 7.56) L: Webster (1-6, 5.68) S: Capps (6)

Wednesday, June 6th 2012
Jackson 7, Chattanooga 4 (LA – 2)
W: Maurer (4-1, 3.80) L: Martin (6-2, 3.38)

Thursday, June 7th 2012
Jackson 2, Jacksonville 4 (MIA – 3)
W: Poveda (5-2, 4.34) L: Walker (4-2, 3.04) S: Ramos (3)

Friday, June 8th 2012
Jackson 1, Jacksonville 0 (MIA – 4)
W: Hultzen (7-3, 1.28) L: Alvarez (1-3, 4.19) S: Capps (7)

Saturday, June 9th 2012
Jackson 0, Jacksonville 7 (MIA – 3)
W: Bramhall (1-1, 1.54) L: Garrison (3-3, 4.93)

Sunday, June 10th 2012
Jackson 0, Jacksonville 9 (MIA – 2) (seven innings)
W: Taylor (4-5, 4.60) L: Stanton (1-2, 10.22)

Hitter of the Week:
CF Denny Almonte, S/R, 9/24/1988
7 G, 24 AB, 4 R, 10 H, 2 2B, HR, 2 RBI, 2 SB, CS, 5/3 K/BB, .417/.481/.708

Sometimes, I find myself looking up players stats to try to get context on certain things. Crazy, I know. So, Sunday morning, I was looking up Almonte and saw where he now has twenty-six walks on the season and it’s taken him 253 plate appearances to get there. Not bad, it seems. In 2009 and 2010, it took Almonte 445 and 526 plate appearances to get to twenty-five walks, respectively. Last year, he only got to twenty-two with 537 to work with. And then there are the strikeouts. Almonte struck out 192 times two years ago and 161 times last year. Almonte is pacing out to roughly 130 Ks this season. He’s turning the corner at double-A. All he needs to do is keep it up.

Peripherals! (But to a Lesser Degree than Blash) Mention:
DH Joe Dunigan, L/L, 3/29/1986
7 G, 19 AB, 3 R, 5 H, HR, 2 RBI, 2 SB, 7/5 K/BB, .263/.417/.421

Pitcher of the Week:
LHP Danny Hultzen, 11/28/1989
1-0, GS, 0.00 ERA in 8.0 IP, 2 H, 8/1 K/BB, 7/6 G/F

Yeah, it’s Hultzen again. Last week, I found myself complaining about his strike rate, but this time out he seemed to have it down, throwing about 64% of his ball for strikes, so there goes that one thing I had to gripe about. Here’s a fun thing: if you count those batters erased on a double play, Hultzen retired fourteen in a row to start the game. In the whole of the eight innings he pitched, only one batter managed to get himself stranded out there, and stranding did seem inevitable at times. If he does this next week, I think that in lieu of trying to report anything on it, I’m just going to sit down and type up a list of all the various categories Hultzen leads the league in. I don’t know. Go listen to Jack McKeon compare Hultzen to Jim Kaat.

Big Four Mention:
RHP Brandon Maurer, 7/3/1990
1-0, GS, 2.25 ERA in 8.0 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 7/2 K/BB, 9/2 G/F

Extra Pitching Notes:
Capps once again failed to hit the 4.0 inning cutoff. He also had his first unearned run since, I don’t know, April? First run of any kind is what I’m getting at. And he had a 7/1 K/BB in 3.0 innings pitched. Aces… Taijuan Walker continued to struggle and got the hook this time after 3.0 innings, with four runs (three earned) allowed on six hits, two walks, and two Ks.

From the Training Room:
Thursday afternoon, 3B Francisco Martinez hit the DL with a left hamstring issue. The guy they decided to call up was IF Jharmidy de Jesus, whose development has stalled anyway. He was hitting .216/.302/.331 for the Lumberkings and had played eleven of forty-two games at third. Which is to say that he could end up filling those games in at third. Or he could sit on the bench while Eric Campbell and Leury Bonilla do that… With Henriquez returning to Jackson, C Andrew Giobbi was pushed out to High Desert.

Strange Happenings:
The Generals have eight All-Stars, since LaFromboise was recently named as a replacement. Four double plays in the game on Wednesday… In Hultzen’s start, in the ninth inning, the Generals were trying to play add on. Sucre singled with one out, but then Sams hit into a double play. And by hit I mean popped. And by popped I mean popped into foul territory and it was turned into a double play. Oh 🙁 … Sunday afternoon, with two outs in the top of the fourth inning, Gabriel Noriega hit his first extra-base hit of the season. It is June… Sunday’s game, the starting pitcher was Taylor Stanton. Opposing him was Graham Taylor. The line score reads: W: Taylor L: Stanton. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

High Desert Mavericks (2-5 this week, 33-31 overall, 1 GB in CAL South)

The Week in Review:
Monday, June 4th 2012
Inland Empire 9 (ANA – 4), High Desert 5
W: Russell (3-4, 4.73) L: Arias (3-3, 6.51) S: George (2)

Tuesday, June 5th 2012
Lake Elsinore 4 (SD + 3), High Desert 9
W: Raga (2-2, 4.01) L: Jackson (3-3, 4.94)

Wednesday, June 6th 2012
Lake Elsinore 7 (SD + 2), High Desert 8
W: Hudson (2-3, 6.06) L: Franklin (2-1, 5.68) S: Arias (5)

Thursday, June 7th 2012
Lake Elsinore 8 (SD + 3), High Desert 5
W: Andriese (4-3, 3.38) L: Hobson (1-2, 8.51) S: Quackenbush (12)

Friday, June 8th 2012
High Desert 1, Rancho Cucamonga 6 (LA + 2)
W: Roberts (3-0, 1.83) L: Elias (5-4, 4.08)

Saturday, June 9th 2012
High Desert 2, Rancho Cucamonga 4 (LA + 3)
W: Sanchez (5-3, 4.76) L: Fernandez (2-4, 3.81) S: Eadington (7)

Sunday, June 10th 2012
High Desert 4, Rancho Cucamonga 7 (LA + 4)
W: Redding (5-1, 4.59) L: Boyce (0-1, 2.92)

Hitter of the Week:
SS Brad Miller, L/R, 10/18/1989
6 G, 25 AB, 5 R, 10 H, 4 2B, 3B, RBI, .400/.400/.640

Uh. I think this marks the first time that I’ve had a hitter of the week who neither walked nor struck out. Well, whatever. Brad Miller has an eleven-game hit streak. In that span, he’s hit eight of his twenty-three doubles and one of his three triples. I’d make remarks about the contact-only stuff, but he has only nine more Ks than walks and I’d say the positives outweigh the negatives there. What concerns me at the moment is that left-on-left, he’s batting only .237. It’s not so bad because his OBP against southpaws is .375 (!!!) and his BABIP is something like a hundred and fifty points lower, but it’s something that catches my eye, I guess. He should expect a promotion to double-A once Franklin leaves.

Eleven Walks in April, Three Walks Since Mention:
C John Hicks, R/R, 8/31/1989
6 G, 23 AB, 2 R, 9 H, 3B, HR, 3 RBI, SB, 1/1 K/BB, .391/.417/.609

Putting it Together Mention:
RF James Jones, L/L, 9/24/1988
7 G, 23 AB, 5 R, 7 H, 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBI, SB, 7/4 K/BB, .304/.407/.609

Probably Could Walk More Mention:
2B Stefen Romero, R/R, 10/17/1988
7 G, 30 AB, 3 R, 10 H, 2 2B, HR, 5 RBI, SB, 5/0 K/BB, .333/.333/.500

Pitcher of the Week:
RHP Angel Raga, 7/25/1989
1-0, 2 GS, 2.08 ERA in 8.2 IP, 8 H, 4 R (2 ER), 12/3 K/BB, 8/3 G/F, 3 HB, WP

I suppose this is my annual mention of the weirdness of Angel Raga’s career trajectory. Raga missed his first pro season entirely because he had Tommy John surgery. His next three seasons were in the VSL, where he initially had awful command and has progressively improved over time. Raga’s stateside career before this season consisted of 44.0 innings in Pulaski last year. He’s now in High Desert, vaulting over the Northwest and Midwest Leagues, and he’s actually not doing that badly at all. Sunday was a “disaster” outing in relative terms, because he gave up two runs on six hits, two walks, and five Ks in just 3.2 innings, but that also goes to emphasize how good he was at home on Tuesday: 5.0 innings, two hits, 7/1 K/BB, the only runs unearned runs. How long this will last, I don’t really know, but let’s enjoy it while it’s good and weird.

Also Not Aided By Defense Mention:
LHP Anthony Fernandez, 6/8/1990
0-1, 2 GS, 3.21 ERA in 14.0 IP, 13 H (HR), 8 R (5 ER), 15/0 K/BB

From the Training Room:
The move that went with Proscia’s return was C Jack Marder gong on the DL. Crap… Since Marder was out and other options were found wanting, it was okay that Giobbi came in to cover. The loser in that exchange was C Carlton Tanabe, who went back to extended spring training.

Strange Happenings:
The Mavericks made six errors in the game on Tuesday, about half their total for the week. A third of the errors were by Brad Miller. They still won… Morban was 7-for-14 this week, but was only in four games…. Sound the alarms! Proscia hit a dinger on the road in a pitcher’s park!

Clinton Lumberkings (3-3 this week, 23-39 overall, 16.5 GB in MWL Western)

The Week in Review:
Monday, June 4th 2012
Cedar Rapids 3 (ANA – 7), Clinton 9
W: Dobbs (1-1, 4.87) L: Wood (2-5, 5.50)

Tuesday, June 5th 2012
Off day

Wednesday, June 6th 2012
Clinton 4, Wisconsin 6 (MIL + 14)
W: Goforth (5-4, 5.25) L: Shipers (2-2, 3.49) S: Pierce (2)

Thursday, June 7th 2012
Clinton 2, Wisconsin 1 (MIL + 13)
W: Kittredge (1-0, 0.00) L: Barnes (2-2, 2.97) S: Shackleford (1)

Friday, June 8th 2012
Clinton 4, Wisconsin 7 (MIL + 14)
W: Miller (4-5, 4.41) L: Miller (3-4, 4.14)

Saturday, June 9th 2012
Clinton 3, Cedar Rapids 4 (ANA – 8 )
W: Bedrosian (1-5, 5.23) L: Hidalgo (2-8, 5.04) S: Kelley (10)

Sunday, June 10th 2012
Clinton 10, Cedar Rapids 8 (ANA – 9)
W: Corrales (3-0, 1.67) L: Odom (0-3, 6.33) S: Shackleford (2)

Hitter of the Week:
3B Ramon Morla, R/R, 10/20/1989
6 G, 24 AB, 6 R, 10 H, 5 2B, 2 3B, 5 RBI, SB, 4/1 K/BB, .417/.440/.792

I sometimes wonder which players, if any, read this. Morla’s big gripe in last week’s wrap was that he wasn’t walking, and hadn’t walked since April. This week, walk. Not multiple walks, but a walk, and accompanied by a decreased strikeout rate. Wisconsin doesn’t hand out of a ton of walks either, though Morla’s was one of four the day it happened. Anyway, I guess that allows me to speak more positively for a moment, so consider the 70% extra-base hits this week. Consider that for the season, he’s been approaching a 50% extra-base hit rate. He’s pretty good at this hitting thing.

More than Just the Walks Mention:
2B Dillon Hazlett, R/R, 1/22/1989
6 G, 18 AB, 2 R, 6 H, 2 2B, HR, 4 RBI, CS, 4/4 K/BB, HBP, .333/.478/.611

Peripherals! Mention:
RF Jabari Blash, R/R, 7/4/1989
5 G, 15 AB, 5 R, 3 H, 3B, HR, RBI, 3/4 K/BB, .200/.368/.533

Leadoff Guy Mention:
CF Jamal Austin, R/R, 8/26/1990
5 G, 22 AB, 2 R, 8 H, 3B, 2 SB, 3/2 K/BB, .364/.417/.455

Pitcher of the Week:
LHP Kyle Hunter, 6/18/1989
0-0, G, 0.00 ERA in 4.0 IP, 3 H, 3/9 K/BB, 6/1 G/F

Early on in the year, the starting rotation seemed to be a pretty solid strength for the Lumberkings. Since then, Hobson has been called into action in High Desert, Landazuri has been injured, Shipers hasn’t been able to get past the fifth since May 15th, and relievers have been starting more often than not. In light of that, I wouldn’t really have a problem with Hunter getting a start at some point. He’s running a 24/2 K/BB right now and has a low .230 average against. This week, he managed to save the rest of the bullpen as Trevor Miller only got two innings into a start. Why not have him open a game for a change?

Local Guy Mention:
RHP Andrew Kittredge, 3/17/1990
1-0, G, 0.00 ERA in 3.0 IP, H, 5/1 K/BB, 0/1 G/F

From the Training Room:
de Jesus was on the DL so his moving away was not especially important. UT Patrick Brady hit the DL though and that brought in OF Nate Melendres, whom I think was injured to start the season or something.

Strange Happenings:
We have the second All-Star reps of the season, three from the Lumberkings in CF Jamal Austin, LHP Jordan Shipers, and RHP Tim Griffin. My guess is that Landazuri might have stood a shot had he been healthy… Blash and Morla hit back-to-back triples on Monday. Uh… Note the Miller vs. Miller match-up on Friday… The Timber Rattlers’ hitting coach got ejected on Thursday, which is something you don’t see terribly often… The league is still trying to figure out Nate Melendres’ defensive abilities. Hint: he’s good. He threw out two runners trying to stretch singles on Sunday… Steve Baron was 7-for-15 this week with one of each kind of extra-base hit. Yup.


17 Responses to “Minor League Wrap (6/4-10/12)”

  1. Leroy Stanton on June 11th, 2012 7:17 am

    Who is 1 for 43 at Tacoma?

  2. msfanmike on June 11th, 2012 8:00 am

    ^ Carlos Triunfel

  3. dnc on June 11th, 2012 9:05 am

    Any word on how much Kivlehan or Ard signed for?

  4. 9inningknowitall on June 11th, 2012 9:09 am

    Sweet I get to watch Kivlehan and Ard play at the end of this month when they come down to Salem and play the Volcanoes. Kivlehan is really interesting to me. The guy has to be super athletic and I would bet pretty strong. Could be a steal if he develops.

  5. dnc on June 11th, 2012 9:19 am

    Loved the McKeon interview, thanks for sharing that.

    Pretty amazing his level of knowledge about the various levels. I had to laugh though when he was asked about the ACC guys the M’s have drafted recently and he added “Varitek”. I guess 94 doesn’t seem that long ago when you’re in your 80’s.

  6. bookbook on June 11th, 2012 11:24 am

    I’d love to see your best guess for how the organization depth charts do/ought to shake out at each position. (i.e., is Brad Miller ahead of Daniel Carroll at CF? Is Marder still on the C depth chart at all, etc.) It wouldn’t be easy.

  7. NF on June 11th, 2012 1:51 pm

    I can’t let it go without mention…great Harvey Birdman reference….

  8. jimabbottsrightarm on June 11th, 2012 4:59 pm

    What’s going on with Poythress and Paxton? Did I miss something there?

  9. Jay Yencich on June 11th, 2012 6:18 pm

    So, I forgot, Nick Franklin was SL hitter of the week last week, and Danny Hultzen has been named twice in a row, and the first time out Erasmo was also PCL pitcher of the week. And Hicks, Miller, Morban, and Romero are Cal League All-Stars.

    I can’t let it go without mention…great Harvey Birdman reference….

    I think that’s the first time this season I’ve made a reference that was understood!

    Any word on how much Kivlehan or Ard signed for?

    No, not yet. BA also has Michael Faulkner signing, which means William Faulkner references for me. Insiders tell me Levi Dean has also sign. Start the fan clubs immediately!

    I’d love to see your best guess for how the organization depth charts do/ought to shake out at each position. (i.e., is Brad Miller ahead of Daniel Carroll at CF? Is Marder still on the C depth chart at all, etc.) It wouldn’t be easy.

    Well, to take some of the suspense away, I’m not going to list Brad Miller as a center fielder without him ever having played an inning there. Marder is probably more of a utility guy who also catches, like Chris Gimenez or something, but I don’t know the nature of his injuries or why they keep happening.

    What’s going on with Poythress and Paxton? Did I miss something there?

    YES YOU DID. Paxton has a balky right knee and has been out since the end of May. Poythress has been out since early May with a stress fracture in his foot.

  10. the tourist on June 11th, 2012 9:36 pm

    Is there a website where we can easily track the draft signings?

  11. Jay Yencich on June 11th, 2012 10:09 pm

    Baseball America

    We’ve also signed Jamodrick McGruder and Grady Wood while coming in $138.3k under budget, Kivlehan and Wood signing lower deals. U.S.A.! U.S.A.!

  12. steeze on June 11th, 2012 10:56 pm

    Hey Jay,
    I assume that means Ard and McGruder signed for full pick value? Can you tell us what kivkehan and wood each signed for? I can’t find it anywhere and I’m not a BA subscriber. If that’s the only place it’s available and you don’t want to divulge that’s fine.
    Also Morban was punch hit for tonight after hitting a home run earlier. Anytime he leaves a game I fear the worst. Do you know if he left because of injury?

    Edited to add: also I read somewhere on the M’s blogosphere that Tyler Pike also signed. Can’t remember where but I guess he talked about it on twitter. Hasn’t been confirmed by BA or anyone

  13. Jay Yencich on June 12th, 2012 12:25 pm

    That’s the only place I’ve seen it available, so I’m not divulging.

    Didn’t see anything on the Mavericks twitter feed about Morban being injured, or in the local paper. I don’t know why Mar Mar would have pinch hit.

    I’ve seen no hits on Tyler Pike signing.

  14. steeze on June 12th, 2012 1:23 pm

    Just saw pike signed for $850,000. Way over slot. Kendall Rogers from PG had it on twitter

    Slot was $370

  15. steeze on June 12th, 2012 1:33 pm

    Rogers also reported that we signed DeCarlo for $1.3 mil. Slot was $806. So if his figures are correct we are over almost $1 mil on just those two guys. Really surprised on the bonus for DeCarlo since he was seen as a bit of an overdraft. Hopefully Zunino Diaz and Taylor come in well under pick value.

  16. Jay Yencich on June 12th, 2012 1:56 pm




    I’m glad both are in system, because Pike was a guy I had some real questions about, in that it seemed like a risk to take a HS kid with a strong college commitment with a supplemental round pick. Still, that puts us in the hole about $835k. That’s not something I’m comfortable with. I guess we’re hoping that Chris Taylor and Zunino cut below slot deals.

  17. steeze on June 13th, 2012 12:10 am

    Did a quick twitter search on draftees

    According to Divish looks like Diaz and Taylor should sign tomorrow hopefully for well under slot

    The following have also signed
    14th rd Brock Hebert $75K
    15th rd Dario Pizzano
    16th rd Dominic Leone $100K
    22nd rd Gabrial Franca
    27th rd Blake Holovach

    Also saw a report that 17th rd Isaiah Yates turned down 2 offers from the M’s

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