Minor League Wrap (7/1-8/12)

Jay Yencich · July 9, 2012 at 6:30 am · Filed Under Minor Leagues 

To anyone wondering, I’ll get around to adding AZL stats sooner or later here, but for a reasoning as to why it’s not a high priority? For one, I’m busy. For another, I was sitting at my computer checking to see if the Peoria M’s were playing on Saturday and noticed that in the Brewers vs. Royals game, the Brewers scored seventeen runs. In the first inning. Twenty-three batters, three outs.

Look! Taijuan Walker talked about being selected to the Futures Game.

To the jump!

Tacoma Rainiers (5-2 this week, 38-51 overall, 14 GB in PCL Pacific Northern)

The Week in Review:
Monday, July 2nd 2012
Fresno 3 (SF + 12), Tacoma 4 (twelve innings)
W: LaFromboise (2-0, 1.23) L: Rodriguez (3-2, 6.88)

Tuesday, July 3rd 2012
Fresno 2 (SF + 11), Tacoma 8
W: Hultzen (1-1, 5.25) L: Stevenson (2-2, 5.97)

Wednesday, July 4th 2012
Tacoma 6, Salt Lake 5 (ANA – 1)
W: Sweeney (4-2, 4.70) L: Mills (3-4, 4.76) S: Patterson (4)

Thursday, July 5th 2012
Tacoma 5, Salt Lake 9 (ANA 0)
W: Shoemaker (6-7, 5.40) L: Carraway (3-4, 4.17)

Friday, July 6th 2012
Tacoma 4, Salt Lake 7 (ANA + 1)
W: Cassevah (2-0, 7.94) L: Moran (0-1, 6.52) S: Geltz (3)

Saturday, July 7th 2012
Tacoma 13, Salt Lake 5 (ANA 0)
W: Beavan (3-0, 3.19) L: Bell (1-5, 7.71)

Sunday, July 8th 2012
Tacoma 14, Salt Lake 9 (ANA – 1)
W: Hensley (1-1, 7.36) L: Smith (4-6, 4.20)

Hitter of the Week:
RF Mike Wilson, R/R, 6/29/1983
7 G, 23 AB, 11 R, 10 H, 4 2B, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 5/2 K/BB, HBP, .435/.500/1.000

This was a good week for the offense and a rather miserable week for the pitching. A contributing factor there was the team playing in Salt Lake, which inflates offensive numbers a bit, though LH hitters reap more benefits where doubles and dingers are concerned. Mike Wilson has been hitting ever since he’s been healthy this year. This might get some people excited, but he’s hitting right-handers worse this year than he has in previous years, though he’s still batting .270/.337/.494 off of them. There’s also the issue of him missing a lot of time at the beginning of the year, which confirms the whole health thing I’ve been talking about all along. Still, if the team is set on shaking things up, I guess there are worse options.

Maybe This Time He’s Coming Around? Mention:
3B/LF Vinnie Catricala, R/R, 10/31/1988
6 G, 21 AB, 6 R, 9 H, 3 2B, 7 RBI, 2/6 K/BB, .429/.556/.571

Thirteen-Game Hit Streak Mention:
CF Darren Ford, R/R, 10/1/1985
6 G, 30 AB, 4 R, 12 H, 2 2B, 2 3B, 5 RBI, 4 SB, CS, 4/0 K/BB, .400/.400/.600

Doing All Right in the Rehab Stint! Mention:
DH Mike Carp, L/R, 6/30/1986
5 G, 21 AB, 5 R, 6 H, 3 2B, HR, 2 RBI, CS, 4/3 K/BB, .286/.375/.571

Not Embarrassing Himself at This Level Mention:
SS Nick Franklin, S/R, 3/2/1991
7 G, 29 AB, 10 R, 9 H, 3 2B, 3B, 2 RBI, SB, 8/5 K/BB, .310/.412/.483

Pitcher of the Week:
LHP Danny Hultzen, 11/28/1989
1-0, GS, 1.80 ERA in 5.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R (ER), 6/3 K/BB, 5/3 G/F, HB

It’s pretty safe to say that Hultzen’s starts have been getting better. He ran a 3/5 K/BB in three innings for his first outing, a 6/4 K/BB in four innings the second time out, and a 6/3 K/BB in five this time. For your own reference, his first three outings in double-A went like this: 7/3 K/BB in 4.0 innings, 9/3 K/BB in 5.2 innings, and 5/2 K/BB in 6.1 innings. While you might have been thinking that he started out really rough in Jackson and got things evened out as time went on, that’s not technically accurate. His worst outing for walks came on the fifth of May when he walked seven in 4.1 frames, and the next time out he walked four in seven innings. It would be nice if progression was relatively even. It isn’t. We can only hope that Hultzen’s outings where his command is awful get less frequent with experience.

I Needed To Pick Another Guy Mention:
LHP Steve Garrison, 9/12/1986
0-0, GS, 3.00 ERA in 6.0 IP, 7 H (HR), 2 R, 4/0 K/BB, 5/7 G/F

From The Training Room:
With Kinney gone, RHP Jandy Sena came in from Jackson. He gets around, does he not?… DH/1B Mike Carp also showed up on a rehab stint… There was the exchange of RHP Hector Noesi for LF Carlos Peguero with the All-Star Break approaching. If you were to ask me if Peguero has changed his approach this season, I’d just say “not enough” without looking… C Adam Moore was picked up on waivers by the Royals. I don’t think I have anything more to say about that than has already been said over the past several years. To summarize: Injuries!

Strange Happenings:
Sean White is now with Salt Lake. Sean White… Hensley allowed five runs to score in two innings on Sunday. He won! Offense!… Beaven threw four wild pitches in six innings on Sunday. Yup… Liddi and Daren Brown were both ejected in the 8th inning on Friday.

Jackson Generals (4-3 this week, 6-5 in the second half, 48-33 overall, 2 GB in SL North)

The Week in Review:
Monday, July 2nd 2012
Montgomery 1 (TB + 2), Jackson 2
W: Hensley (2-2, 2.87) L: Freeman (2-4, 3.86)

Tuesday, July 3rd 2012
Montgomery 6 (TB + 3), Jackson 1
W: Thompson (6-5, 4.70) L: Hernandez (4-1, 5.19)

Wednesday, July 4th 2012
Jackson 4, Mississippi 2 (ATL – 5)
W: Fernandez (3-0, 1.08) L: Sheets (0-1, 7.20) S: Capps (14)

Thursday, July 5th 2012
Jackson 11, Mississippi 4 (ATL – 6)
W: Walker (5-4, 4.50) L: Hale (6-4, 4.18)

Friday, July 6th 2012
Jackson 2, Mississippi 3 (ATL – 5) (twelve innings)
W: Jones (2-2, 3.71) L: Capps (2-3, 1.54)

Saturday, July 7th 2012
Jackson 2, Montgomery 7 (TB + 5)
W: Lobstein (4-4, 4.47) L: Snow (1-3, 4.10)

Sunday, July 8th 2012
Jackson 8, Montgomery 3 (TB + 4)
W: Arias (1-2, 6.00) L: Thompson (6-6, 4.96)

Hitter of the Week:
2B Stefen Romero, R/R, 10/17/1988
7 G, 29 AB, 6 R, 11 H, 2 2B, 3B, HR, 9 RBI, 5/3 K/BB, .379/.438/.620

Oh my goodness! He walked! Three times! That’s as many walks this week as he had the entire month of June! His strikeouts also seemed to increase a touch (he’s at 11.7% for the year, around 15% this week), but I think that’s an acceptable tradeoff, don’t you? Particularly while maintaining an isolated slugging of .241. I don’t know what to say about Romero any more other than “I hope he doesn’t have the same response to the PCL as Catricala did initially.” I think that most people are on board these days with the idea of him as one of our top ten prospects for whatever that means.

Veteran Grit Mention:
LF Chris Pettit, R/R, 8/15/1984
5 G, 22 AB, 3 R, 9 H, 2B, 3B, 2 RBI, SB, 5/1 K/BB, .409/.435/.545

One Trick, But It’s a Good One Mention:
DH Joe Dunigan, L/L, 3/29/1986
6 G, 23 AB, 2 R, 6 H, 2 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, SB, 9/0 K/BB, .261/.261/.609

Resume Hitting… Er… Walking Mention:
1B Rich Poythress, R/R, 8/11/1987
7 G, 23 AB, 2 R, 8 H, 2B, SB, 4/4 K/BB, .348/.444/.391

Pitcher of the Week:
RHP Brandon Maurer, 7/3/1990
0-0, GS, 1.17 ERA in 7.2 IP, 6 H, 7/1 K/BB, 5/4 G/F, PO

Realistically, I probably could have played Paxton in this spot, but Maurer did what he did in one outing and Paxton could have just been cutting loose knowing that his pitch count was going to be limited anyway. Going over the month-to-month components for Maurer, what we’ve seen this year is a steady increase in Ks so far, going from 11.5% in April, to 19.7% in May and 20.5% in June. The walks have been more erratic, going from 9.7% to 6.8% then back up to 8.3%. The Braves aren’t a great team at collecting free passes, so this doesn’t mean a whole heck of a lot to me. The next start is probably against the Braves too, so we may have to wait until the Montgomery series later in the month before we get some good data on where things are headed for him.

He’s Baaaaaaack Mention:
LHP James Paxton, 11/6/1988
0-0, 2 GS, 1.08 ERA in 8.1 IP, 8 H, R, 10/1 K/BB, 5/4 G/F WP

What, No More CGs? Mention:
LHP Anthony Fernandez, 6/8/1990
1-0, GS, 2.57 ERA in 7.0 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 4/1 K/BB, 10/3 G/F, WP

Defending that 40-Man Spot Mention:
RHP Yoervis Medina, 7/27/1988
0-0, 3 G, 0.00 ERA in 4.2 IP, H, 5/1 K/BB, 6/1 G/F

Extra Pitching Notes:
Walker ran a 4/2 K/BB and allowed three runs on five hits plus the walks in five innings. The game was on MiLB.tv but I didn’t watch. I think Churchill was saying that Walker looked better than the results… Capps pitched 3.0 innings. He gave up two runs on five hits and had a 3/1 K/BB. So I guess that scoreless streak is over now.

From the Training Room:
Sena left in part because LHP James Paxton was coming off the DL. We are glad to have him back?

Strange Happenings:
The manager of Mississippi is Aaron Holbert, who played with the Rainiers in 1998 and 2002. He also got ejected in the eleventh inning on Friday… I usually love the schedule the Southern League runs on because you get nothing but five-game series, which means that each team runs through all the starters in a single series. July is… not doing that? For some reason? I’m seeing the month open with three-game series with Mississippi, Montgomery, and Mississippi again, then a four-game with Tennessee, four games in three days against Huntsville, and then things go back to five-games again. Weird.

High Desert Mavericks (2-5 this week, 9-9 in the second half, 46-42 overall, 5.5 GB in CAL South)

The Week in Review:
Monday, July 2nd 2012
High Desert 11, Rancho Cucamonga 8 (LA – 4) (fourteen innings)
W: Boyce (2-2, 2.05) L: Smith (3-1, 4.20) S: Ramirez (1)

Tuesday, July 3rd 2012
High Desert 2, Rancho Cucamonga 4 (LA – 3)
W: Santiago (4-3, 5.50) L: Hobson (2-3, 6.27) S: Eadington (12)

Wednesday, July 4th 2012
Lake Elsinore 12 (SD + 8), High Desert 11 (twelve innings)
W: Quackenbush (3-1, 0.74) L: Boyce (2-3, 2.63)

Thursday, July 5th 2012
Lake Elsinore 6 (SD + 9), High Desert 5
W: Lara (1-0, 2.57) L: Kittredge (0-1, 3.00) S: Quackenbush (16)

Friday, July 6th 2012
Lake Elsinore 7 (SD + 10), High Desert 6
W: Andriese (7-4, 3.45) L: Raga (3-4, 6.25) S: Quigley (3)

Saturday, July 7th 2012
Modesto 18 (COL + 7), High Desert 13
W: Padilla (2-0, 4.22) L: Boyce (2-4, 4.38)

Sunday, July 8th 2012
Modesto 4 (COL + 6), High Desert 6
W: Hobson (3-3, 5.56) L: Gomez (0-1, 7.36) S: Smith (4)

Hitter of the Week:
CF James Jones, L/L, 9/24/1988
6 G, 27 AB, 7 R, 8 H, 5 2B, 3B, 6 RBI, 2 SB, CS, 9/4 K/BB, .296/.387/.556

Jones’ one point OPS advantage over Miller gives me an opportunity to continue some of the discussion from last week. Jones has been known about equally for his physical talent and erratic performance since signing. His first two years in full-season ball were characterized by him coming alive only in the second half. In his first tour with High Desert Jones was batting .136/.271/.169 in April, .267/.357/.407 in May, and .192/.289/.342 in June before busting out with .359/.446/.538 in July. His season ended soon after. But going over the park splits, last year he was .245/.355/.406 and .248/.339/.353 on the road. This year, he’s .329/.394/.582 at home, which is an improvement, and .233/.320/.349 on the road, which is not. I’m willing to give it the rest of the year, but I think that during the offseason the M’s may have to at least consider moving him back to the mound.

Average! Mention:
SS Brad Miller, L/R, 10/18/1989
7 G, 35 AB, 5 R, 14 H, 2 2B, HR, 4 RBI, 2 SB, CS, 5/0 K/BB, .400/.400/.542

Peripherals! Mention:
RF Mike McGee, R/R, 3/7/1989
7 G, 29 AB, 9 R, 6 H, 2 2B, 3 HR, 4 RBI, 2 SB, 10/5 K/BB, .207/.324/.586

Pitcher of the Week:
RHP Carson Smith, 10/19/1989
0-0, 3 G, SV, 0.00 ERA in 4.2 IP, 2 H, 7/0 K/BB, 6/1 G/F

A quick look over the starter numbers told me that I wasn’t going to be highlighting any of them, and with Fernandez gone, that may be a less frequent occurrence in general. Even though this was a worse week in terms of strikeouts per batter faced, the hits have dropped down to levels that seem more in line with the way he’s throwing. He’s now down to a .245 average against through ten appearances dating back to mid-June, which incidentally was the last time he allowed an earned run to score. He should be in Jackson as soon as Capps gets promoted to Tacoma. Both probably should have happened yesterday.

Competent Relief #1 Mention:
RHP Stephen Kohlscheen, 9/20/1988
0-0, 2 G, 1.69 ERA in 5.1 IP, 5 H (HR), 2 R (ER), 8/0 K/BB, 7/2 G/F

Competent Relief #2 Mention:
RHP Tyler Burgoon, 4/25/1989
0-0, 2 G, 0.00 ERA in 4.1 IP, 2 H, 4/1 K/BB, 7/0 G/F

From the Training Room:
The bullpen took a couple of hits when RHP Tyler Blandford and RHP Willy Kesler both went on the DL. RHP Andrew Kittredge and RHP Mario de Jesus were the additions. Like Sena, Kittredge also gets around… Further activity was to come, as Friday afternoon, 2B Carlos Ramirez went to the DL and RF Kevin Rivers went to Clinton while 2B/LF Jack Marder and OF Julio Morban were activated from the DL. Remember after Rivers’ Everett tenure when everyone was trying to get me to talk about him like a top prospect? Good times.

Strange Happenings:
Miller made six errors this week. Do I only notice when he does poorly? Not exactly, but I read some article recently that was trying to make a thing of his month-to-month improvement, which exists primarily because April was SO. BAD. But then you end up with weeks like this and I don’t know anymore… The Mavs stole seven bases on Wednesday. One of them was by Dennis Raben. It was Dennis Raben’s first stolen base of the season. It was also a steal of home. This is significant to those of us who remember that Dennis Raben’s knees are held together with pipe cleaners… Hobson had a worse start at Rancho Cucamonga than he did at home. ‘Kay… That was Carlos Ramirez who got the save in the fourteen inning game.

Clinton Lumberkings (4-3 this week, 10-7 in the second half, 33-52 overall, T-1st in MWL Western)

The Week in Review:
Monday, July 2nd 2012
Clinton 8, Burlington 10 (OAK – 2) (ten innings)
W: Macias (3-5, 5.10) L: Shackleford (0-1, 3.09)

Tuesday, July 3rd 2012
Clinton 2, Burlington 8 (OAK – 1)
W: Frankoff (2-5, 5.98) L: Kim (1-1, 2.53)

Wednesday, July 4th 2012
Beloit 6 (MIN – 1), Clinton 8
W: Shore (1-1, 2.89) L: Johnson (0-1, 3.38) S: Shackleford (4)

Thursday, July 5th 2012
Beloit 3 (MIN – 2), Clinton 5
W: Taylor (2-4, 4.55) L: Williams (2-3, 3.55)

Friday, July 6th 2012
Beloit 5 (MIN – 1), Clinton 4
W: Wheeler (9-4, 3.94) L: Corrales (3-2, 2.91) S: Dempster (4)

Saturday, July 7th 2012
Clinton 4, Quad Cities 2 (STL + 5) (ten innings)
W: Taylor (3-4, 4.15) L: Miranda (4-4, 3.61) S: Shackleford (5)

Sunday, July 8th 2012
Clinton 5, Quad Cities 0 (STL + 4)
W: Kim (2-1, 1.56) L: Paulino (2-7, 4.91)

Hitter of the Week:
3B Ramon Morla, R/R, 11/20/1989
6 G, 26 AB, 6 R, 9 H, 2 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, SB, 6/1 K/BB, .346/.370/.654

I was curious because I feel like I’ve complained about two guys not walking enough for the year: Morla and Romero. The difference is that going into Sunday, Romero had nine more walks (Morla had ten total walks), and has struck out eighteen fewer times. It’s not a huge gap, but it’s a gap and Morla’s been less patient this year overall, going from 6.7% walks to 3.8%. At this point, he’s still hitting for a high average and posting good power numbers. One major difference there is that his BABIP last year was .286 overall and now he’s at .355. If the latter is his true level of talent, hooray! If it’s the former, uh, ouch.

Only the Fifth HR For the Year Mention:
2B Dan Paolini, R/R, 10/11/1989
6 G, 23 AB, 6 R, 8 H, 2 2B, HR, 4 RBI, 4/2 K/BB, .348/.400/.565

Peripherals! Mention:
DH/1B Ji-man Choi, L/R, 5/19/1991
6 G, 20 AB, 3 R, 3 H, 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 4/6 K/BB, HBP, .150/.370/.500

Dingers! Mention:
LF Guillermo Pimentel, L/L, 10/5/1992
6 G, 23 AB, 3 R, 5 H, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 8/1 K/BB, .217/.250/.609

Pitcher of the Week:
LHP Jordan Shipers, 6/27/1991
1-0, GS, 1.50 ERA in 6.0 IP, 7 H, R, 7/0 K/BB, 0/6 G/F

It’s just one start. But what a start? Shipers hadn’t struck out more than three in a start since April 23rd when he rung up (surprise!) four. Ten starts fell between then and this last outing. This is kind of weird in that his start on the 18th, he rung up five, and six in the outing prior to that. It’s not as though he hasn’t struck out anyone this year, he had a 16.7% K% in April and a 15.4% rate in June (boosted by fairly low BF totals), but in May it was down to 10.4%. Beloit isn’t a bad hitting or particularly strikeout prone team either, they have the second-highest team walk totals in the league, Shipers just managed them for six innings and turned in one of his best starts of the year. Hope?

Good Start, Less Good Start #1 Mention:
RHP Seon Gi Kim, 9/1/1991
0-1, 2 GS, 1.46 ERA in 13.1 IP, 8 H (HR), 3 R (2 ER), 12/5 G/F, 14/5 G/F

Good Start, Less Good Start #2 Mention:
RHP Trevor Miller, 6/13/1991
0-0, 2 GS, 2.25 ERA in 12.0 IP, 12 H (HR), 6 R (3 ER), 10/4 K/BB, 13/9 G/F, HB

From the Training Room:
RHP Jordan Pries was added from an AZL stint where he was tearing it up. He was in Everett last year and I guess he wasn’t healthy to start the season. Rivers’ addition was partially motivated by OF Nate Melendres returning to the disabled list… DL moves continued, as C Steve Baron and RHP Mayckol Guaipe landed there. Their replacements were C Toby Demello and RHP Nolan Diaz from Pulaski.

Strange Happenings:
Taking notes from the good portion of the Olivo and Ackley books, Ji-Man Choi and Ramon Morla hit home runs on consecutive pitches to give the Lumberkings the lead in extra-innings on Saturday… Blash and Menchaca both got ejected in the 9th inning of the 8-2 loss to Burlington.

Ramon Morla walked this week. Yes, that’s worth mentioning. Him making two errors in a game two days in a row is also worth mentioning but not for the reasons I’d like to be doing it… Shipers went seven frames his first time out and had eight hits allowed and a 10/4 G/F. The downside to that was his 3/0 K/BB. On Saturday, he wasn’t as lucky, since he gave up three runs with a 1/2 K/BB in five innings and both the hits he allowed left the yard… Dowd picked off two runners in a game from behind the plate. How about that?

Everett Aquasox (4-3 this week, 17-7 overall, 1st in NWL West)

Monday, July 2nd 2012
Eugene 1 (SD + 1), Everett 10
W: Ewing (1-0, 2.92) L: Church (1-1, 10.13) S: Wood (1)

Tuesday, July 3rd 2012
Eugene 4 (SD 0), Everett 5
W: Unsworth (3-0, 3.42) L: Scott (1-2, 5.00) S: Garcia (5)

Wednesday, July 4th 2012
Everett 1, Eugene 9 (SD + 1)
W: Hancock (1-1, 3.06) L: Hidalgo (1-1, 6.52)

Thursday, July 5th 2012
Everett 6, Eugene 7 (SD + 2) (twelve innings)
W: Church (2-1, 8.10) L: Bordonaro (1-1, 6.75)

Friday, July 6th 2012
Everett 4, Eugene 2 (SD + 1)
W: Sanchez (3-0, 2.76) L: Marcano (1-1, 2.95) S: Wood (2)

Saturday, July 7th 2012
Everett 3, Vancouver 4 (OAK + 6)
W: Brosnahan (2-0, 2.89) L: Ewing (1-1, 4.24) S: Permison (4)

Sunday, July 8th 2012
Everett 10, Vancouver 6 (OAK + 5)
W: Leone (3-0, 1.42) L: White (2-3, 6.12) S: Reyna (1)

Hitter of the Week:
3B Patrick Kivlehan, R/R, 12/22/1989
7 G, 29 AB, 10 R, 11 H, 2 2B, 4 HR, 11 RBI, SB, 13/1 K/BB, HBP, .379/.400/.862

I think that this was the week that people were waiting for from Kivlehan where hitting was concerned. You had the dingers, which get him to five overall, all in his last ten games. You had doubles, two of his four this season. The only issue really was AHHHH THAT PLATE DISCIPINE. So, Kivelehan has 31 Ks in 88 at-bats. This week it was worse. But he drew a walk! It was his first walk of the season. So somehow he’s striking out that much and hitting .295/.347/.534 for the season. That’s 38.5% extra-base hits now after a rather slow start to year. But yes. Some semblance of patience would be a nice addition to his line.

Also Worrying About Strikeouts Mention:
RF Alfredo Morales, L/R, 11/6/1992
7 G, 28 AB, 5 R, 11 H, 2B, HR, 7 RBI, 2 SB, CS, 13/3 K/BB, .393/.452/.536

The Usual “Some Power, Not So Much Walks” Mode Mention:
3B/DH Jean Acevedo, R/R, 12/5/1990
6 G, 24 AB, 4 R, 7 H, 2 2B, HR, 3 RBI, SB, 7/1 K/BB, .292/.320/.500

Pitcher of the Week:
RHP Victor Sanchez, 1/30/1995
1-0, 2.25 ERA in 8.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 5/2 K/BB, 7/8 G/F, HB

Sanchez was given the opportunity to finish this one out, which is rather unusual for his age and level here. But then he was perfect through three and a third and had a no-hitter through five and a third. It wasn’t until the Emeralds recorded a hit and a walk in the top of the ninth that he was pulled in favor of Wood, who then proceeded to score both of those runners because there was a single and a bases-loaded walk, followed by a K and two groundouts. So Sanchez ended up allowing two runs but as you can tell, he really didn’t deserve to have those runs score against him. He could’ve had a CG shutout, but baseball is baseball.

Otherwise Pitched Well Mention:
RHP Grady Wood, 5/18/1990
0-0, 2 G, 2 SV, 0.00 ERA in 4.0 IP, 3 H, 6/1 K/BB, 3/1 G/F

From the Training Room:
De Jesus went to High Desert. That was it.

Strange Happenings:
The Emeralds used seven pitchers on Monday. The ‘Sox used two.

Pulaski Mariners: (4-2 this week, 9-10 overall, 4.5 GB in APL East)

Monday, July 2nd 2012
Pulaski 1, Bluefield 2 (TOR – 2)
W: Osuna (1-0, 1.00) L: Gonzalez (0-2, 2.31) S: Carmona (1)

Tuesday, July 3rd 2012

Wednesday, July 4th 2012
Princeton 6 (TB + 4), Pulaski 5
W: Snell (2-0, 0.51) L: Ogando (1-1, 2.05)

Thursday, July 5th 2012
Princeton 4 (TB + 3), Pulaski 5
W: Brazis (1-0, 0.00) L: Keudell (1-1, 3.86)

Friday, July 6th 2012
Princeton 5 (TB + 2), Pulaski 6
W: Garcia (2-1, 4.34) L: James (0-1, 5.52) S: Holman (2)

Saturday, July 7th 2012
Kingsport 2 (NYM – 10), Pulaski 13
W: Marte (1-0, 1.20) L: Gsellman (1-1, 6.59)

Sunday, July 8th 2012
Kingsport 3 (NYM – 11), Pulaski 5
W: Gonzalez (1-2, 1.84) L: Morris (0-4, 7.50) S: Brazis (2)

Hitter of the Week:
RF Dario Pizzano, L/R, 4/25/1991
5 G, 19 AB, 7 R, 10 H, 2 2B, HR, 2 RBI, 4/2 K/BB, .526/.571/.789

When Pizzano was drafted, I geeked out a bit in response, but a lot of that was tongue-in-cheek. Being the Ivy League Player of the Year surely means something, but relative to conferences known for their athletics, it’s not as much of a big deal. Pizzano hasn’t played that much so far. He’s been in twelve games and there are eight guys on the roster that have played more than that, with only five playing fewer games. Still, in what games Pizzano has played, he’s batting .424/.558/.576 and has an even strikeouts to walks ratio. The extra-base hit percentage isn’t good and that’s actually a bit more than Ks than I’d like, but he’s hitting! That’s better than not hitting! Hooray!

A Hitting Catcher Mention:
C Tyler Marlette, R/R, 1/23/1993
6 G, 22 AB, 3 R, 10 H, 4 2B, HR, 3 RBI, 5/1 K/BB, .455/.478/.773

Dingers! Mention:
LF Reggie Lawson, R/R, 8/14/1991
5 G, 18 AB, 4 R, 5 H, 3 HR, 5 RBI, 4/0 K/BB, .278/.263/.778

Only Flaw is the Ks Mention:
CF Jabari Henry, R/R, 11/11/1990
6 G, 20 AB, 6 R, 7 H, 3 2B, 3 RBI, 6/4 K/BB, CS, .350/.458/.500

First Walk of the Season! Mention:
2B/3B Martin Peguero, R/R, 11/3/1993
5 G, 21 AB, 4 R, 8 H, 3B, 4 RBI, 3/1 K/BB, .381/.409/.476

Pitcher of the Week:
LHP Wander Marte, 6/30/1992
1-0, 2 GS, 0.90 ERA in 10.0 IP, 7 H, R, 14/1 K/BB, 4/4 G/F, WP, BK, 2 PO

Last week, Marte celebrated his twentieth birthday. This week, he pitched crazy-well. Right on. Marte actually posted some pretty awesome strikeout rates while he was in the DSL too, ringing up 30.8% in his first year and 33.1% in his second. The issue is that his command was not always there and really all you need to strike out that many batters in a summer league tour is an adequate change-up. Stuff is otherwise a near non-factor. This is to say that I don’t know what Marte throws beyond probably a change-up. Maybe if he keeps this up, we’ll end up finding out if he has any kind of velocity or if he’s the second coming of Craig Anderson or Cesar Jimenez.

Starting and Not Starting Mention:
RHP Isliexel Gonzalez, 5/10/1991
1-1, 2 G, 1.50 ERA in 6.0 IP, 5 H, R, 7/2 K/BB, 7/3 G/F

Only One Start With Bad Command Mention:
RHP Rigoberto Garcia, 9/23/1993
1-0, GS, 0.00 ERA in 5.0 IP, 3 H, 3/1 K/BB, 3/5 G/F

From the Training Room:
Diaz and Demello left, but there were no immediate replacements. The lower level leagues tend to have larger roster caps so the priority to get players in is somewhat diminished.

Strange Happenings:
Thursday’s game featured three consecutive two-out hits to walk off with it, a double by Castillo, a double by Marlette, and a single by Burin… Wednesday, there were four double plays and all of them were different.


26 Responses to “Minor League Wrap (7/1-8/12)”

  1. tewminator on July 9th, 2012 8:15 am

    Great stuff JY.

    Was Walker expected to have such seemingly poor K/BB numbers or is this surprising to you? I realize the whole, “he is young for the league.” But curious if he is meeting your expectations or struggling in AA.

  2. everblue77 on July 9th, 2012 8:16 am

    High Desert –

    Not only are Carson and Burgoon roommates…they are practically sharing stats as well.

    Carson/ Burgoon
    April ERA– 5.63/ 9.00
    May ERA– 4.61/ 3.77
    June ERA– 4.15/ 3.09
    July ERA– 0.00/ 0.00

    W/L– 3-1/ 2-1
    SV– 4/ 2
    BB– 17/ 19
    K– 45/ 50
    Innings– 40.2/ 39.1
    games– 30/ 34
    Ave– .274/.255
    WHIP– 1.48/ 1.45

    Both have improved as the season moves on. Burgoon is making good strides dispite the tough April start.

  3. Westside guy on July 9th, 2012 8:38 am

    Thanks Jay.

    Hultzen pitching better… sometimes I think those early bad games when he arrives are just him messing with our minds.

  4. bookbook on July 9th, 2012 9:55 am

    I know Romero doesn’t make national top 150 lists. In your opinion, should he? If not, is it more the ceiling or the odds of getting there that hold him back from that kind of consideration? (or is there some residual stain from being a low draft choice that plays a role?)

    Yes, I know prospect lists don’t matter, but they are interesting to me.

  5. Mariners35 on July 9th, 2012 10:06 am

    So what’s your bets on who’s going up to the big club this week?

  6. maqman on July 9th, 2012 11:00 am

    I like that the earlier signings are allowing us to get a taste of what the new farmhands might bring to the table. Some of the initial numbers are a bit gaudy. Presumably they will regress, hopefully before they get to The Show. Romero is starting to look legit, time to move him up a notch.

  7. Jay Yencich on July 9th, 2012 11:40 am

    Was Walker expected to have such seemingly poor K/BB numbers or is this surprising to you? I realize the whole, “he is young for the league.” But curious if he is meeting your expectations or struggling in AA.

    I was reading a short interview with Walker on BA this morning and he says that he’s been lacking command of anything but his fastball the past few weeks. Let’s go with that. Also interesting: he doesn’t much like throwing the curveball, even though people seem to think it’s a great pitch, and would prefer to be throwing his slider. Huh.

    I know Romero doesn’t make national top 150 lists. In your opinion, should he? If not, is it more the ceiling or the odds of getting there that hold him back from that kind of consideration? (or is there some residual stain from being a low draft choice that plays a role?)

    Romero probably isn’t a top 150 prospect. But if you care about things like that, you’re absolutely asking the wrong person.

    I think it’s probably in part because he’s unlikely to be a 2B at the major league level with Ackley around and is more of a doubles hitter than a HR hitter, which is less interesting at the corners.

    So what’s your bets on who’s going up to the big club this week?

    (shrugs) Going over the guys that are actually on the 40-man, Liddi hasn’t really improved on the strikeout thing. Trayvon only played half of June and didn’t do that well with it. Francisco Martinez hasn’t been healthy or hitting all that well and Johermyn Chavez is just now coming back from a hamate bone injury. Triunfel had a .502 June OPS. Bringing in any of those guys would be rearranging deck chairs.

    I’d consider calling up Luis Antonio Jimenez or Mike Wilson for the laughs, but both of those moves would necessitate 40-man movement for guys that probably don’t have a future with the club anyway. Same with Chris Pettit in Jackson, or Luis Rodriguez if you want to try that experiment again. I don’t see them calling in actual prospects like Hultzen and Franklin without giving them adequate time to develop. So basically, what we have here are a lot of demands for wholesale change without adequate options to implement that change. The players that we would be introducing are not likely to be a part of the team’s future plans any more than the current options with their present performance. It’s not a good position we are in.

  8. Rick L on July 9th, 2012 4:17 pm

    I don’t see much we can do internally to improve either. Sending Smoak down and plugging Carp in at first base could conceivably bring some improvement, but maybe not. Trading a pitcher for a proven major league hitter would seem like the only way to significantly improve the offense.

  9. eddie on July 9th, 2012 6:53 pm

    Really well written piece, I like your style!

    I was thinking that possibly the Mariners would maybe think about (possibly) bringing up Romero to play second, and sending Ackley to Tacoma.

    Also, Carp to replace Smoak.

    I think they are at their wits ends with these guys, and something drastic is in order.

    Triunfel might also be in the mix, he had a horrible o-fer this season, but has potential.

    At this point, I really would love to see Mike Wilson in the majors, and Luis Rodriguez.

  10. just a fan on July 9th, 2012 6:59 pm

    What are the various absurd hitting parks in the Cal League? And which are the more pitcher friendly parks?

    I’ve been checking the affiliate scores every night because otherwise I’d be watching the Mariners game, but don’t know what parks to half-ignore the 13-12 games besides obviously Adelanto.


  11. Breadbaker on July 9th, 2012 7:46 pm

    Sean White was called up to Salt Lake when David Pauley (since released) was called up to the Angels.

  12. Jay Yencich on July 9th, 2012 8:49 pm

    What are the various absurd hitting parks in the Cal League? And which are the more pitcher friendly parks?

    I use Statcorner for 90% of the park factor stuff I mention. The short of it is that it’s easy to hit dingers in Adelanto (natch), Bakersfield, Stockton, Visalia (primarily for RHB), and Lancaster. Inland Empire, Modesto, and Lake Elsinore are hard to hit jacks in. Everything else is close to neutral.

  13. henryv on July 9th, 2012 9:02 pm


    After a long series of “busts” from positional players in the organization, I’m beginning to wonder if the Mariners organization does something different than most organizations that might be making them so unsuccessful. It is easy to write off a few failures, but it seems like the organization simply doesn’t produce hitters. And those who have succeeded don’t do so until they are outside of the organization.

    So, what I’m asking is “Is there the ‘Mariner Way’ or some method they are using (or not using) that has caused them to not produce much in the way of good hitters?”

  14. Jay Yencich on July 9th, 2012 9:55 pm

    I’d prefer that the question stop being asked. The list of players that have had a decent track record, sucked it up their first couple of years and then gone on to do good things is rather long.

  15. henryv on July 9th, 2012 11:16 pm


  16. kuptain on July 10th, 2012 6:29 am

    Does anybody know when Zunino will be joining the Aquasox? I mean, he’s already signed and everything. Is he just waiting until the ESPYs is over?

  17. HighBrie on July 10th, 2012 9:27 am

    Hi Jay. Any idea on the promotion schedule for Miller, James Jones, Hicks, and Morban? I realize there’s got to be some place to put them in Jackson before you can move them, but nobody cares about success stories in High Desert. Failures, well, now those are interesting… Also, is Guillermo Pimental hurt, or where is he at?

  18. TheBird on July 10th, 2012 10:02 am

    @kuptain: I was listening to the Aquasox broadcast on the way home last night and they said Zunino will join Wed or Thu for the homestand with Tri-cities.

  19. kuptain on July 10th, 2012 10:53 am

    Thanks Bird.

  20. Mid80sRighty on July 10th, 2012 12:11 pm

    Really sucks Everett always comes to the Tri-Cities so early in the season. We never get to see the M’s high draft picks.

  21. 9inningknowitall on July 10th, 2012 1:06 pm

    I’m pumped to see Zunino next week when he comes to Salem. I’ll try and get a quote out of him and few pictures and post them on my page.

    As for Victor Sanchez, that kid is a big kid. I was expecting a skinny young teenager but this kid is thick, not fat, thick. I would compare him to a Bartolo Colon type of body but I think a little bit trimmer, not a lot, but a little.

    Taylor, Kivlehan and Ard all looked better then I thought they would when they were here in Salem a couple weeks ago.

  22. dnc on July 10th, 2012 1:30 pm

    “Also, is Guillermo Pimental hurt, or where is he at?”

    Not Jay, but Pimental’s healthy. He’s been in Clinton this season, where has mostly struggled, but is hitting better as of late. The big issue with him is still plate discipline. Right now he has 80 K’s and only 11 walks in 245 at bats.

  23. Jay Yencich on July 10th, 2012 3:01 pm

    Any idea on the promotion schedule for Miller, James Jones, Hicks, and Morban?

    I feel like Miller could go to Jackson at any time now. His numbers are inflated a bit by the home park, but I can’t say that he’s learning anything by staying there, and failing to move him because of Noriega would have been like failing to promote Franklin because Luis Rodriguez was on a hot streak. Except Noriega isn’t on a hot streak. Ever.

    Jones I already talked about. Hicks has run a .691 OPS in away games and has had a serious passed ball issue lately. I just don’t see them promoting a catcher to Jackson or changing up things too much because it looks like they purposefully put some veteran backstops on that squad to work with that pitching staff.

    Morban, I would have promoted a while ago, but bear in mind that he missed nearly a month of play to another stupid injury, and he wasn’t perfectly healthy before that. I could see him getting a taste in August, but I don’t see it as a huge priority at the moment and the outfield in Jackson is overloaded as is.

  24. HighBrie on July 11th, 2012 12:46 pm

    Cool thanks all. I guess my question about Jones was mostly “If you think he’s candidate to switch back to the mound, don’t you think it’s time to see what he can do at AA or AAA?” I guess I’m voting for throwing him into the fire and seeing what happens. I understand he’s not consistent from April – Sept, he has some struggles home v away, and left vs. right, but while he might not be better than Mike Wilson or Chris Petit, he might be more interesting if he succeeds, given his age and the scope of his talents.
    Also thanks for the input on the Pimental and apologies for failing to read closely enough. Between Philips Castillo and Pimental, who’s winning the race to the Next Carlos Peguero crown?

  25. Jay Yencich on July 11th, 2012 2:22 pm

    Pimentel, because Castillo isn’t hitting dingers 🙁

  26. HighBrie on July 12th, 2012 9:32 am

    One last question. Any thoughts on Marder’s ultimate position? It seems he can hit and draw a walk (even if we only look at his away numbers, he’s doing fine at High Desert). I understand there’s no rush with him, as he needs to stay healthy and learn how to balance diabetes and pro ball- but if he’s not a catcher, where would you rank him among outfielders?

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