Minor League Wrap (7/23-29/12)

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

Tacoma had a doubleheader on Sunday that didn’t start until six, so I was piecing together the last of this rather late. Gosh I hope it makes sense. Anyway, I was in Everett earlier in the week and have brought back with me some notes on the Aquasox. Anyway, there are a fair number of names this week that are popping up as Hitter or Pitcher of the Week for the first time and there were a lot of transactions going around. Imagine what next week will be like if we trade people! Given historical precedent, I imagine trades to happen early today and push this post off the front page in short order.

To the jump!

More Aquasox Notes:

Instead of going to Ichiro’s last game at Safeco [this year?] on Wednesday, I used the morning to go to Everett Memorial and watch the Aquasox for a while. Relative to other trips there, I wasn’t being especially diligent in my note-taking because I was distracted by the Mariners game in later innings, but this is the scattering of what I have:

* Given his strikeout numbers and how statistically, he’s not far off from Sanchez, I was really excited to see that Unsworth was the starting pitcher. I became less excited as time went on. It was his worst outing in a while, so I don’t know how representative the stuff was. He was mixing pitches well and seemed confident throwing whatever he needed to get the K. He’s unusually polished for his background, which is a plus in his column. The stuff isn’t that great though. His heater was 86-88. He had a couple of offspeed pitches, one around 77, one around 70. He pitches well, now, but hitters are smarter or more skilled as you move up and it’s hard for me to look at the present arsenal and think he’s really going to do the same stuff at higher levels.
* I didn’t see much of Zunino, since I was at the game where he got plunked twice. He seemed to have an idea of what he was doing at the plate, but it also seemed like he was swinging at a few things, trying to make something happen, when he knew better. It was a weird thing to watch, so you’ll have to excuse me if it doesn’t come off as making sense in writing.
* The catcher that day was Littlewood, who nearly lifted one out to dead center.
* Hebert’s last name is pronounced in the French way, so it’s like ‘ay-BEAR. Don’t make the same mistakes I did.
* Ordinarily, the guys that I don’t perceive as prospects, I wouldn’t pay all that much attention to. But Palase drew attention to himself, because he had a few balls hit to him in the outfield and his arm strength is terrible, and because he swings like he thinks he’s bigger than he is because I saw him pull a couple to left that were just skied and ended up dying out there.
* McGruder was in center, which is a start. One would think that with his speed, center would be a viable spot for him, and indeed there were times when he looked pretty natural out there. He seemed to read the balls well on the whole. The issue was communication. A couple of times, once in left with Palase, once in right with Morales, the two outfielders converged on a ball and no one got it, despite it being playable. Sometime in the future, McGruder is going to be invited to some sort of counselor’s office and in the room, there will be the rest of the outfielders on the roster and they will say, in unison, “we need to talk.” While I was overall impressed with how he was handling things out there, late in the game he was shifted to left so that a more regular center fielder could enter and that led to one of the more uncomfortable moments of the game when a ball came at McGruder, he dove for it, and it went under him. After that play, the Volcanoes were ahead 5-4.
* I was watching Kivlehan’s defense a bit more this game than I had been previously. He made a backhanded grab of a ball that really impressed me, and looked easy from his end. Perhaps it’s because I’ve spent years and years either watching or hearing about guys on the left side of the infield splaying out to make a play on a ball, but Kivlehan didn’t, despite having a few opportunities to do so. I’m presenting that as information rather than making a real judgment on it, maybe he could have reached them, maybe not. The third bit is that, after the costly error by McGruder, Kivlehan made one of his own, throwing a routine out into the dugout to let the sixth and final run score. He reined in a lineout on the next play, but as far as momentum went, that was a kick when we were already down.

Tacoma Rainiers (3-5 this week, 44-65 overall, 20GB in PCL Pacific Northern)

The Week in Review:
Monday, July 23rd 2012
Tacoma 1, Colorado Springs 9 (COL + 5)
W: White (2-4, 4.10) L: Hultzen (1-2, 4.33)

Tuesday, July 24th 2012
Tucson 4 (ARI – 24), Tacoma 3
W: Reyes (7-9, 5.30) L: Noesi (0-2, 10.54) S: Hamren (7)

Wednesday, July 25th 2012
Tucson 3 (ARI – 25), Tacoma 4
W: Pauley (3-0, 1.80) L: Palmer (6-7, 6.18) S: LaFromboise (1)

Thursday, July 26th 2012
Tucson 1 (ARI – 24), Tacoma 0
W: Hynes (5-8, 6.05) L: Mitchell (0-1, 1.80) S: Hamren (8)

Friday, July 27th 2012
Tucson 1 (ARI – 25), Tacoma 2
W: Moran (2-1, 4.29) L: Hamren (2-2, 2.65)

Saturday, July 28th 2012
Tacoma 8, Tucson 7 (ARI – 26)
W: LaFromboise (3-1, 1.54) L: Mikolas (1-1, 2.76) S: Pryor (3)

Sunday, July 29th 2012
Tacoma 3, Tucson 5 (ARI – 25) (seven innings)
W: Reyes (8-9, 5.25) L: Noesi (0-3, 10.31) S: Hamren (9)

Tacoma 0, Tucson 2 (ARI – 24) (seven innings)
W: Wagner (4-1, 4.78) L: Pauley (3-1, 1.96) S: Burns (3)

Hitter of the Week:
CF Darren Ford, R/R, 10/1/1985
7 G, 27 AB, 5 R, 8 H, 2 2B, HR, 7 RBI, 5 SB, CS, 3/1 K/BB, .296/.321/.481

The Rainiers averaged just over 2.5 runs a game this past week. That’s partially unfair because there was the doubleheader in there and that’s a few innings in which anything at all could have happened, but given the sampling, I don’t know how unfair I’m being. There were eight runs on Saturday. That was nice. If I pull that out, the Rainiers were under two runs a game. This is Darren Ford. He wasn’t terrible this week. In fact, during that run outburst, he was 4-for-5 with a double and a home run, along with six of his RBI. That made the Rainiers offense look slightly less bad, and allowed him to just barely qualify for this list.

Pitcher of the Week:
LHP Steve Garrison, 9/12/1986
0-0, GS, 1.13 ERA in 8.0 IP, 4 H (HR), 4/0 K/BB, 8/8 G/F

Early in the season, it felt like there were a few times, on that loaded Jackson pitching staff, that I was highlighting Garrison. Prospects, particularly the younger or more inexperienced ones, they have a way of running into their patches of inconsistency. Sometimes they have it, sometimes they don’t. They can over think something, or they can underthink it. Garrison has been in pro ball since 2005, when he was drafted by the Brewers out of high school. He’s had some time to figure things out. He doesn’t get strikeouts, but he does get outs. Since arriving in triple-A this year, he’s also dropped his walk rate from 4.3% to 1.5% and increased his strikeouts from 10.7% to 12.6%, changes hardly insignificant for a guy who ends up putting the ball in play a lot. Did you know that his first name isn’t Steven, but Stevenson?

Other New Guy Impresses Mention:
RHP D.J. Mitchell, 5/13/1987
0-1, GS, 1.80 ERA in 5.0 IP, 4 H, R, 4/2 K/BB, 3/4 G/F

From The Training Room:
This was the place of activity this past week. The Ichiro trade (still weird to type out) brought in RHPs Danny Farquhar and D.J. Mitchell, Mitchell needing to be optioned. Around the same time, RHP Andrew Carraway landed on the DL. Mitchell is taking his spot in the rotation. The next day, 1B Justin Smoak was optioned and 1B Mike Carp and OF Trayvon Robinson were both added. Also RHP Jeff Marquez was released… As RHP Erasmo Ramirez came back from the DL, LHP Jose Jimenez was sent back to Jackson… A few days later, RHP Carter Capps came in and RHP Jandy Sena was sent back to Jackson because a week is not complete without him going somewhere… When RHP Matt Fox came off the DL, or finished his rehab in Arizona, or whatever, he went to Jackson too.

Strange Happenings:
Hultzen had a pretty bad week. Surprisingly so, I would say. Over two starts, he let eleven runs (ten earned) score on twelve hits, seven walks, and eleven Ks. He was pitching in unfriendly parks, but be aware that this is happening… The Rainiers are in the midst of nine games in eight days against Tucson. In the PCL, there is someone who makes schedules for the teams, which they then follow to the best of their ability… Brian Moran had an outing this week where he went two and two-thirds innings and struck out six, which brings me to a point about ERA being useless. Moran in Tacoma, against right-handers, has allowed seven hits, good for a .159 average against, and has walked one. He has an ERA of 5.54. Against left-handers, he has allowed five hits, a .179 average, and has walked four. That’s a 2.25 ERA… D.J Mitchell’s first and middle name are William and Douglas. Perhaps he was known for his skills at the turntable in a pre-baseball life… Noesi first time out: 5.1 IP, 4 R (3 ER), 4 H, 9/3 K/BB, 3 WP. Noesi second time out: 4.2 IP, 5 R, 11 H, 3/1 K/BB. One day, you will not be reading about Hector Noesi here. Remember this, when that time comes…. Alex Liddi in July: .172/.239/.273.

Jackson Generals (2-4 this week, 19-16 in the second half, 61-44 overall, 1.5 GB in SL North)

The Week in Review:
Monday, July 23rd 2012
Off day

Tuesday, July 24th 2012
Montgomery 2 (TB + 7), Jackson 0
W: Colome (7-3, 3.68) L: Arias (1-3, 5.40) S: Rearick (1)

Wednesday, July 25th 2012
Montgomery 4 (TB + 8), Jackson 3
W: Lobstein (6-5, 3.93) L: Snow (1-5, 4.78) S: Yates (11)

Thursday, July 26th 2012
Montgomery 2 (TB + 7), Jackson 5
W: Walker (7-5, 4.09) L: Thompson (7-8, 5.23) S: Capps (19)

Friday, July 27th 2012
Montgomery 3 (TB + 6), Jackson 5
W: Paxton (5-3, 3.34) L: Buschmann (4-6, 4.17) S: Medina (1)

Saturday, July 28th 2012
Montgomery 3 (TB + 6), Jackson 2 (ten innings)
W: Kelly (6-1, 3.47) L: Sena (1-2, 3.29) S: Yates (12)

Sunday, July 29th 2012
Jackson 1, Birmingham 4 (CHW – 2)
W: Rienzo (4-1, 2.41) L: Fox (0-1, 4.50) S: Kussmaul (11)

Hitter of the Week:
SS Brad Miller, L/R, 10/18/1989
6 G, 22 AB, 2 R, 8 H, 2B, HR, 2 RBI, SB, CS, 4/3 K/BB, .364/.440/.545

If you’re wondering how the Generals lost more games than they won with starting pitching that was typically pretty good, this is part of the answer. Qualifying hitters weren’t doing a whole lot and Miller has had to pick up the slack on his own, in his first week in the league. He’s handled it fine and has an OPS through this week about fifty points higher than from when he was with the Mavericks, thanks to the walks and the more atypical home run. He also got through the week without making an error (despite thirty-one, oof, in a Mavericks uniform) and was party to eight double plays in that span, so it wasn’t as though he wanted for chances. He has improved the glovework since that frighteningly bad first week-and-a-half, but it seems to come and go for him, which is kind of strange. It’s not like a pitch grip.

Pitcher of the Week:
RHP Taijuan Walker, 8/13/1992
1-0, GS, 0.00 ERA in 6.0 IP, 2 H, 8/0 K/BB, 6/3 G/F, HB, WP

When I was on KRKO on Saturday (whoops, forgot to mention that was coming), Walker came up as a subject and I mentioned that his command had been off in June, no curve, no change, just the heater really, and we saw that in the 23/16 K/BB in 20.2 innings. That was more walks in June than he’d had in April and May combined. July is nearly over, and he’s at a 21/9 K/BB in 23.0 innings, worse walk numbers than in April or May, but there’s also that five-walk game in there. This week’s outing got him headlining the Prospect Hot Sheet, and I figure that he’s got a fighting chance at league honors as well. But to return to the original subject, and the original thrust of my bit on the radio, Walker is a young pitcher and one who was late coming to it. In his senior year, for example, he completely lost his curveball and picked up a slider instead. This isn’t the first time he’s lost the feel for a pitch or two and probably won’t be the last either. We just have to wait these things out and hope that he rights himself in time.

Second Fiddle Mention:
RHP Brandon Maurer, 7/3/1990
0-0, GS, 0.00 ERA in 7.0 IP, 4 H, 8/2 K/BB, 6/2 G/F

Third Fiddle? Mention:
LHP Anthony Fernandez, 6/8/1990
0-0, GS, 2.57 ERA in 7.0 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 7/0 K/BB, 10/2 G/F, PO

Two “Poor” Command Outings in a Row Mention:
LHP James Paxton, 11/6/1988
1-0, GS, 1.50 ERA in 6.0 IP, 4 H, R, 4/3 K/BB, 6/3 G/F

From the Training Room:
Somewhat overdue, the week was kicked off by SS Brad Miller coming in and IF Gabriel Noriega being sent to High Desert, where he might be able to hit for any kind of power… The pitching moves came later, the short of it being Sena, Jimenez, and Fox in, Capps up to Tacoma, and RHP Andrew Kittredge down to High Desert because oh my goodness I was really just joking about them being moved around every week but it’s actually happening it really is.

Strange Happenings:
Medina had a 6/1 K/BB in 3.0 innings and no hits allowed, so yeah, he’s still holding on to that 40-man spot. In the second half, he has a 23/6 K/BB in 18.1 innings and a .219 average against. In the first half, it was a 34/18 K/BB in 36.1 innings and a .268 average against… Francisco Martinez hasn’t had a hit since July 20th. He hasn’t struck out all that much either but there are other concerns I think… Tenbrink is 7-for-19 in his last five games with two doubles, two home runs, and two walks. He has taken from the 19th to the 28th to get those five games. I know there were a couple of off days in there, but still.

High Desert Mavericks (4-2 this week, 24-13 in the second half, 61-46 overall, 1st in CAL South)

The Week in Review:
Monday, July 23rd 2012
Off day

Tuesday, July 24th 2012
High Desert 2, Modesto 4 (COL + 8)
W: Gonzalez (5-10, 6.23) L: Gillheeney (7-4, 5.33) S: Solbach (1)

Wednesday, July 25th 2012
High Desert 10, Modesto 3 (COL + 7)
W: Hobson (6-3, 5.52) L: Gomez (2-2, 5.97)

Thursday, July 26th 2012
High Desert 6, Modesto 3 (COL + 6)
W: Raga (4-4, 5.80) L: Rose (3-5, 3.49) S: Smith (9)

Friday, July 27th 2012
Visalia 9 (ARI + 2), High Desert 5
W: Meo (6-6, 3.71) L: Stanton (4-3, 5.75)

Saturday, July 28th 2012
Visalia 3 (ARI + 1), High Desert 5
W: Elias (9-5, 4.13) L: Chafin (4-6, 5.66) S: Smith (10)

Sunday, July 29th 2012
Visalia 9 (ARI 0), High Desert 10
W: Kohlscheen (2-1, 4.11) L: Schuster (4-4, 5.29) S: Smith (11)

Hitter of the Week:
2B/LF Jack Marder, R/R, 2/21/1990
6 G, 18 AB, 10 H, 2 2B, HR, 5 RBI, SB, CS, 4/6 K/BB, 2 HBP, .556/.667/.833

I was going to start off by saying something like “there was no game in this week where Marder didn’t reach twice,” but I suppose that’s evident in the line. July marks the first month where Marder’s played twenty or more games, and he’s batting .418/.500/.696 in those games. That’s good! He only played two games in June and since that concussion he had earlier in the year, he’s not seen any time behind the plate and has been in either left or at second instead. What we’ve seen from Marder, when healthy, is a very high average and about 33% extra-base hits, both of which might taper off once he goes to places that aren’t High Desert. Is the production enough playing those two positions? What do the Mariners even intend to do with the few good hitting second base prospects they have? These are things that would keep me up at night if I didn’t have so many other things to think about instead.

It is the Second Half Mention:
CF James Jones, L/L, 9/24/1988
5 G, 23 AB, 7 R, 9 H, 2 2B, 3B, HR, 2 RBI, 2 SB, CS, 5/1 K/BB, .391/.400/.696

Pitcher of the Week:
LHP Roenis Elias, 8/1/1988
1-0, GS, 2.25 ERA in 8.0 IP, 4 H (HR), 3 R (2 ER), 5/2 K/BB, 11/5 G/F, 2 BK

With a reputation for strikeouts, or at least fits of strikeouts, you’d think that an outing this long would result in some kind of wacky K totals here. After all, this is his longest outing in the last ten and within that he has two starts with nine Ks and one with eleven. Riiiiiight? It didn’t happen. Visalia is the second-hardest team in the Cal League this season with 780, ahead of the outlying Inland Empire crew, which has 634. So, there’s some explanation for why things didn’t work out this time around, but not sufficient. Did you know that in the last ten appearances, Elias has had an average against of under .150 four times and one over .300 four times. Roenis Elias: not a big fan of the middle ground.

Still Awesome in Relief Mention:
RHP Tyler Burgoon, 4/25/1989
0-0, 2 G, 0.00 ERA in 3.0 IP, H, 5/0 K/BB, 1/1 G/F

From the Training Room:
So there was the Noriega/Miller thing. That was a move that happened… Later in the week when Kittredge was coming back, the team released RHP Willy Kesler. Let me tell you something about Willy Kesler. Kesler had a .325 average against. That’s pretty bad. Well, you see, at home, he had a .439 average against, because he had allowed twenty-nine hits in 12.1 innings. On the road, he had a .193 average against, with eleven hits allowed in 15.2 innings and a better strikeout rate. This is an example of High Desert getting into a pitcher’s head. This is why I hate having that park around… Anyway, later in the week IF Carlos Ramirez came off the DL which meant UT Patrick Brady got to go back to Clinton.

Strange Happenings:
Hicks had a nine-game hit streak going and was 6-for-15 this week. All were singles though. He had a 1/2 K/BB and that’s interesting, for him. He also stole another couple of bases. Catchers stealing bases does not get old, somehow… Jones has a .959 OPS post-ASB and was at .831 before it. EVERY YEAR THIS HAPPENS.

Clinton Lumberkings (5-1 this week, 21-14 in the second half, 44-59 overall, 1st in MWL Western)

The Week in Review:
Monday, July 23rd 2012
Clinton 6, Bowling Green 2 (TB + 6)
W: Dobbs (3-2, 5.93) L: Woodall (1-4, 5.53) S: Shackleford (7)

Tuesday, July 24th 2012
Off day

Wednesday, July 25th 2012
Quad Cities 0 (STL + 2), Clinton 1
W: Colvin (3-2, 3.60) L: Barraclough (0-1, 0.00)

Thursday, July 26th 2012
Quad Cities 4 (STL + 1), Clinton 5
W: Shackleford (1-1, 2.45) L: Miranda (4-5, 3.44)

Friday, July 27th 2012
Quad Cities 1 (STL 0), Clinton 10
W: Guaipe (2-0, 3.43) L: Watson (1-1, 11.37)

Saturday, July 28th 2012
Wisconsin 2 (MIL – 2), Clinton 3
W: Colvin (4-2, 3.38) L: Williams (5-9, 4.35)

Sunday, July 29th 2012
Wisconsin 9 (MIL – 1), Clinton 4
W: Barnes (4-3, 3.24) L: Miller (6-7, 3.48) S: Wawrzasek (1)

Hitter of the Week:
RF Kevin Rivers, L/R, 8/24/1988
6 G, 22 AB, 3 R, 10 H, 4 2B, 3B, 8 RBI, 2/2 K/BB, HBP, .455/.500/.727

Kevin Rivers: batter that doesn’t make sense. Of course, there are opportunities to hit in High Desert. There are opportunities to hit on the road there too. But Rivers’ average sat at .224 at the end of his Mavericks tenure, with a slugging percentage over two-hundred points higher, but the main point is that he wasn’t really hitting as well as he could have. So now he’s in Clinton and has about three-quarters of his hit total in about half the at-bats. He’s close to having the same number of doubles. He’s not hitting dingers, or walking as much, and is striking out about the same, but the average is there now. Average seems like a poor metric to be looking at here. He has a wOBA that is sixty-one points higher in Clinton than he did in High Desert. Nope, still not making sense. He drove in the walk-off run on Wednesday. He has that going for him.

Hey Look, He’s Doing Something Mention:
1B Jharmidy de Jesus, R/R, 8/30/1989
5 G, 16 AB, 3 R, 5 H, 2 2B, HR, 2/2 K/BB, HBP, .313/.421/.625

High Average the Past Two Months Mention:
C Mike Dowd, R/R, 4/10/1990
5 G, 19 AB, 7 H, 4 2B, 3 RBI, 1/1 K/BB, .368/.400/.579

Pitcher of the Week:
RHP David Colvin, 1/7/1989
2-0, 2 G, 0.00 ERA in 6.0 IP, 2 H, 9/0 K/BB, 6/2 G/F, WP

Each of the last three times Colvin has entered the game, he’s come away with the win. This isn’t exactly win-vulturing either, though in Saturday’s outing he did allow the one runner he inherited to cross. But there was only that one hit and so many walked away with strikeouts, it seems unfair to penalize him a lot for that. I really want to get excited about these longer stints paying off for him, but the only other outing I see like the ones this week came at the end of June when he had a 4/1 K/BB and two hits and a run allowed in three and two-thirds innings, on his way to his second save. His ERA and average against this month aren’t all that impressive otherwise. So many things can happen over small sample sizes!

Better Starting than in Relief Mention:
RHP Bobby Shore, 1/27/1989
0-0, GS, 0.00 ERA in 6.0 IP, 3 H, 6/2 K/BB, 4/5 G/F

What is This? Mention:
RHP Seon Gi Kim, 9/1/1991
0-0, GS, 0.00 ERA in 6.0 IP, 2 H, 3/5 K/BB, 4/8 G/F

Another Okay Starter! Mention:
RHP Mayckol Guaipe, 8/11/1990
1-0, GS, 1.50 ERA in 6.0 IP, 4 H (HR), R, 3/1 K/BB, 9/1 G/F, HBP

From the Training Room:
The Lumberkings, so far in the second half, have been right in the thick of it and the organization’s major contribution to the effort was promoting SS Chris Taylor from Everett, where he had been hitting .328/.430/.474 after an especially hot June. The loser in this was not a shortstop, but instead OF Mario Yepez, who was released after hitting .219/.293/.301, the worst mark of anyone on the team who had played more than thirty games. Next in line: de Jesus. Or not.… DL moves prompted the Lumberkings to take a few players off the Pulaski roster. So, CF Jamal Austin and RHP Richard Vargas, the closer at times, both went to the DL bringing in CF James Zamarripa and RHP Matt Brazis. Zamarripa had been hitting .221/.293/.353 for the M’s and is not especially interesting as such. Brazis on the other hand, struck out nineteen in eight and a third innings and had allowed just one hitter to reach safely against him. He wasn’t learning much down there… Brady’s addition was prompted by RF Jabari Blash landing on the DL. Much activity, much of it not exactly good… Shipers went another three innings this week. I don’t get it.

Strange Happenings:
Miller was the latest entrant in the Jekyll/Hyde starting competition. Early in the week against Bowling Green, he allowed seven hits and a walk over six innings while ringing up six. All right! Then against Wisconsin he let five runs plate on seven hits, which included two dingers, three walks, and four Ks…. Anthony Phillips had five hits this week including three doubles, and a home run, which is a quarter of his totals for either, for the season… In former catcher news (this is where I make a sad face), Choi was 6-for-16 in the four games he played this week. All singles… So from the tail end of last week to the early part of this week, Ramon Morla walked six times in four games. Morla has sixteen walks this season. I DON’T KNOW. One of them was intentional.

Everett Aquasox (5-2 this week, 4-2 in the second half, 32-12 overall, 1st in NWL West)

Monday, July 23rd 2012
Everett 3, Yakima 1 (ARI + 4)
W: Sanchez (5-1, 3.70) L: Carreras (5-3, 3.74) S: Plotz (3)

Tuesday, July 24th 2012
Salem-Keizer 2 (SF – 1), Everett 3
W: Bordonaro (2-1, 5.11) L: Bilodeau (0-1, 2.75) S: Hauser (1)

Wednesday, July 25th 2012
Salem-Keizer 6 (SF – 1), Everett 4
W: Mizenko (1-0, 2.87) L: Vedo (1-2, 1.93)

Thursday, July 26th 2012
Salem-Keizer 1 (SF – 2), Everett 4
W: DeCecco (1-1, 3.86) L: Biagini (0-4, 3.78) S: Reyna (2)

Friday, July 27th 2012
Vancouver 4 (TOR + 1), Everett 3
W: Brown (2-4, 7.07) L: Shellhorn (1-1, 2.87) S: Sikula (1)

Saturday, July 28th 2012
Vancouver 6 (TOR 0), Everett 7
W: Bordonaro (3-1, 4.61) L: Breault (1-2, 6.75)

Sunday, July 29th 2012
Vancouver 6 (TOR – 1), Everett 11
W: Garcia (2-0, 4.50) L: Anderson (2-2, 5.85)

Hitter of the Week:
1B Taylor Ard, R/R, 1/31/1990
6 G, 23 AB, 4 R, 10 H, 3 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 6/2 K/BB, .435/.462/.826

For how good Ard has been this year, attention to him has been limited, having been intercepted instead by Taylor, or Zunino, or sometimes Littlewood or Kivlehan. Ard, for the season, is batting nearly .300 and slugging nearly .500. He’s drawn a respectable number of walks and is tied with Kivlehan for first in the league in dingers (Zunino will overtake both any time now). Ard has the RBI lead all to himself and has somehow struck out in only 14.8% of his plate appearances, which is not exactly what you expect from your slugging first baseman. I’m looking forward to seeing what he does next year against better competition.

No, He’s Still Pretty Awesome Mention:
C Mike Zunino, R/R, 3/25/1991
7 G, 26 AB, 8 R, 8 H, 2 2B, 3 HR, 10 RBI, 8/4 K/BB, 2 HBP, .308/.438/.731

Walks in Three Consecutive Games, Stolen Bases in Five Mention:
3B Patrick Kivlehan, R/R, 12/22/1989
7 G, 27 AB, 2 R, 10 H, 2 2B, HR, 6 RBI, 3 SB, 7/2 K/BB, .370/.414/.556

Pitcher of the Week:
LHP Scott DeCecco, 5/8/1991
1-0, GS, 1.59 ERA in 5.2 IP, 3 H, R, 9/2 K/BB, 5/0 G/F

“Who?” is an appropriate response here, I think. DeCecco was a 21st-round pick out of South Carolina-Upstate this year, a college that you probably didn’t know existed. This is the third start he’s had this year. He seems to be more comfortable with it because in roughly equal samplings, he had a 11/9 K/BB as a reliever and a 16/3 K/BB as a starter. Overthrowing? Something? This outing was additionally interesting in that no outs came in the air, but he’d been a somewhat solid flyball pitcher before. I should clarify that to “as a reliever, he had two air outs for every groundout and as a starter, he nearly has one-and-three-quarters times as many groundouts as air outs.” Tune in next season as we collect more data.

A Very Difficult Decision Mention:
RHP Ambioris Hidalgo, 2/4/1991
0-0, 2 G (GS), 0.00 ERA in 10.2 IP, 9 H, 12/4 K/BB, 11/5 G/F, HB, WP

Good Outing, Middling Outing, Run Totals Reversed Mention:
RHP Victor Sanchez, 1/30/1995
1-0, 2 GS, 3.00 ERA in 12.0 IP, 10 H, 6 R (4 ER), 13/4 K/BB, 16/2 G/F

More than a K per Inning Mention:
RHP Grady Wood, 5/18/1990
0-0, G, 0.00 ERA 3.1 IP, 6/0 K/BB, 3/1 G/F

This Somehow Ended Up as a Loss Mention:
LHP Rusty Shellhorn, 2/25/1990
0-1, GS, 0.00 ERA in 4.2 IP, 3 H (HR), 4 R (0 ER), 8/1 K/BB, 5/3 G/F

From the Training Room:
Taylor leaving meant UT Richard Palase coming in from the Appalachian League. That wasn’t entirely a fair replacement, so the team also got SS Brock Hebert from Pulaski. Hebert was hitting .288/.385/.360 over there.

Strange Happenings:
Vancouver was leading the Aquasox 6-0 after two innings and went on to lose by five. Suckerssssss… Villasuso had four hits this week. He has twelve hits on the season… Kivlehan took seventeen games to get his first walk and then drew a walk in three consecutive games. Whaaaaat?

Pulaski Mariners: (1-3 this week, 13-22 overall, 12 GB in APL East)

Monday, July 23rd 2012

Tuesday, July 24th 2012
Further rain

Wednesday, July 25th 2012
A well-deserved off day

Thursday, July 26th 2012
Burlington 9 (KC + 15), Pulaski 2
W: Peterson (4-0, 2.02) L: Marte (1-3, 3.80)

Friday, July 27th 2012
Burlington 9 (KC + 16), Pulaski 7
W: Rassi (1-0, 10.13) L: Dean (0-1, 10.38) S: Walter (5)

Saturday, July 28th 2012
Burlington 6 (KC + 15), Pulaski 7
W: Holman (2-2, 1.72) L: Martinez (1-1, 2.12)

Sunday, July 29th 2012
Pulaski 7, Danville 8 (ATL + 2)
W: Castillo (2-3, 10.08) L: Brazoban (0-1, 9.00) S: Garcia (3)

Hitter of the Week:
RF Dario Pizzano, L/R, 4/25/1991
4 G, 11 AB, 4 R, 4 H, 2B, HR, 4 RBI, 1/5 K/BB, HBP, .364/.556/.727

In short weeks, any extra base hit is going to be blown up. Hitting a home run is practically cheating (the starting outfield is comprised of cheaters). But walks? On top of that? Reducing the number of at-bats we’d be considering? That’s what Pizzano was up to this time around. It was a fine week to be certain, but some aspects of it seem to be misaligned with what the season has ended up like for him. For example, half his hits went for extras. That’s good! Those were his third double and his third home run of the year. Less good. And while I thought that he had been walking a lot, he’s a 22/17 K/BB, which is still solid, but not from the standpoint of him striking out in 21.6% of his plate appearances while showing that kind of power. I’ll continue to root for him, but I don’t feel as though I can be blind about what he’s doing up there.

Cheat Codes #1 Mention:
LF Phillips Castillo, R/R, 2/2/1994
4 G, 13 AB, 2 R, 5 H, 2B, HR, 3 RBI, 3/0 K/BB, HBP, .385/.400/.692

Cheat Codes #2 Mention:
CF Jabari Henry, R/R, 11/11/1990
4 G, 15 AB, 4 R, 5 H, 2 2B, HR, RBI, 2/1 K/BB, HBP, .333/.412/.667

Pitcher of the Week:
RHP Jochi Ogando, 5/27/1993
0-0, GS, 4.50 ERA in 4.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 7/1 K/BB, 2/1 G/F

Some manner of god was frustrated with Pulaski baseball this week. There was a rainout. Then the doubleheader was canceled. So a lot of the guys were pitching on irregular schedules. Thursday, there were four pitchers that took the mound and none for more than three innings. Four-inning outings by a starter were pretty common. Here we had Ogando striking out a lot of dudes, boosting his % to 19.5% of PAs for the season. There are a number of starters and quite a few relievers or “relievers” who are better than that, but he’s only walked 5.3% this season and only one reliever who has pitched more than fifteen innings has a better mark. Ogando might be a sleeper on this team. But he’s the only pitcher I’m mentioning this time out.

From the Training Room:
Palase and Zamarripa and Brazis and Hebert all left without more than one move, that move being the addition of C David Jones, who was signed as a NDFA out of Long Island. As I’ve said several times, DL moves here are underreported.

Strange Happenings:
Holovach had a run allowed in four innings this week despite three hits and four walks. So that happened… Kaalekahi was close to being a runner up for a 4/1 K/BB and two runs allowed in five innings. He was nixed because he allowed nine hits and two left the yard. Nolan Diaz was also in consideration before his second outing where he let three plate on three hits, a walk, and two Ks. Prior to that, he had a three-inning stint where he allowed a hit and two walks while ringing up three… Despite playing just four games, I’m seeing four sac flies and six hit batters, all different, for the M’s this week. I rarely get more than two or three of either… Despite there being only four games, Burin walked four times. He has a 10/10 K/BB now. Be still, my heart.

Dispatches from the Land of Rehabbers and Teens:
1B Kristian Brito: 19 G, 78 AB, 9 R, 16 H, 2B, 2 3B, 6 RBI, 2 SB, 25/1 K/BB, .205/.222/.269
CF Daniel Carroll: 3 G, 7 AB, R, H, 3B, 2/1 K/BB, .143/.250/.429
3B Joe DeCarlo: 29 G, 100 AB, 18 R, 24 H, 6 2B, 3B, 3 HR, 19 RBI, CS, 24/14 K/BB, .240/.358/.410
RHP Dylan De Meyer: 2-1, 7 G (5 GS), 3.90 ERA in 30.0 IP, 38 H (HR), 17 R (13 ER), 17/5 K/BB, 3 HB
RHP Edwin Diaz: 2-0, 7 G, 4.50 ERA in 16.0 IP, 7 H (HR), 10 R (8 ER), 17/14 K/BB, 4 HB
SS Gabrial Franca: 24 G, 92 AB, 18 R, 25 H, 6 2B, 3B, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 7 SB, 2 CS, 19/14 K/BB, .272/.374/.424
C Luke Guarnaccia: 16 G, 64 AB, 11 R, 15 H, 2B, 3 3B, HR, 12 RBI, 2 SB, 13/1 K/BB, .234/.246/.391
LHP Nick Hill: 0-0, 2 G, 3.00 ERA in 3.0 IP,2 H (HR), R, 2/2 K/BB, HB
OF Jose Leal: 17 G, 45 AB, 3 R, 2 H, 31/8 K/BB, .044/.218/.044
SS/2B Timmy Lopes: 29 G, 121 AB, 29 R, 40 H, 6 2B, 9 3B, 19 RBI, 5 SB, 2 CS, 17/16 K/BB, .331/.406/.529
LHP Tyler Pike: 1-0, 6 GS, 1.38 ERA in 26.0 IP, 15 H, 7 R (4 ER), 27/11 K/BB, 2 HB
RHP Gabe Saquilon: 2-0, 7 G (GS), 1.44 ERA in 25.0 IP, 17 H (HR), 6 R (4 ER), 22/8 K/BB
RHP Daniel Thieben: 2-0, 8 G (GS), 4.26 ERA in 19.0 IP, 24 H, 12 R (9 ER), 10/13 K/BB
RHP Richard White: 1-1, 8 G, 3.38 ERA in 13.1 IP, 11 H, 11 R (5 ER), 14/7 K/BB


9 Responses to “Minor League Wrap (7/23-29/12)”

  1. BackRub on July 30th, 2012 9:25 am

    Thanks, as always, for these write-ups. What odds would you give for Zunino being promoted this late in the year?

  2. DutchPink on July 30th, 2012 9:32 am

    Thanks, Jay! This feature is one of the only good things about Monday mornings.

  3. henryv on July 30th, 2012 10:32 am

    Went to the Rainiers game on Friday.

    Franklin made a Brenden Ryan-esque stop deep in the whole, and tried to throw out the runner, but missed him by a half a step or so.

    Franklin is listed at something like 6’1″ 180. Just looking at him, I’d put him under 6′, and about 170. He really looks small and undersized. Not a bad thing, but a “maybe he’ll get bigger/stronger” thing.

    He is also batting .214 at home. Oh jeez. Really? Tacoma, too?

    Steve Garrison didn’t seem to be throwing anything mind-boggling or I don’t know… fast… but kept getting guys to swing and miss.

  4. henryv on July 30th, 2012 10:33 am

    Oh yeah, quick question:

    Since Paxton missed so much time, will he possibly move up just to get him some more innings after AA ball ends, or will he be shut down when Jackson finishes, you think?

  5. Typical Idiot Fan on July 30th, 2012 11:26 am

    Ard is as enticing as a deep fried stuffed mushroom. K’ing that low? That’s powerful scary.

  6. maqman on July 30th, 2012 11:36 am

    I’m hoping they will move Zunino up a couple of levels before this season is over. It would be interesting to see how he fares at higher skill levels and hopefully stimulate him to up his game during the off season. Glad to see Walker getting his game back on track, hope Hultzen does the same.

  7. HighBrie on July 30th, 2012 1:26 pm

    Hi Jay,
    Thanks for the report. I’m excited about Marder and Jones at High Desert and while I would love to see them challenged, I understand there’s no need to rush one of them and perhaps little confidence in the consistency of Jones. I had two questions: In what current level of the Mariners farm system do you see the most promise/excitement currently? At the start of the season I think it must have been Jackson, but I’d be curious about the answer now. Second question: which outfielder and first baseman currently in the system do you think could become a significant (better than league average) contributor at the major league level? Are there any?

  8. Westside guy on July 30th, 2012 2:57 pm

    Thank you Jay!

  9. Jay Yencich on July 30th, 2012 7:55 pm

    What the crap. No trades?

    What odds would you give for Zunino being promoted this late in the year?

    They might keep him there in Everett, but they might also promote him to Clinton to help their playoff chances, in which case I guess his replacement would be Tyler Marlette because Pulaski certainly isn’t doing anything otherwise.

    Since Paxton missed so much time, will he possibly move up just to get him some more innings after AA ball ends, or will he be shut down when Jackson finishes, you think?

    Paxton isn’t on the 40-man and I don’t think they’ll add him just for a September call-up. No reason to set yourself up for a burned option next year, and they’d probably prefer to lay off him. Similarly, I don’t expect Hultzen up in September. No reason to pile on innings.

    I had two questions: In what current level of the Mariners farm system do you see the most promise/excitement currently?

    A good question. Tacoma has Franklin, Capps, and Hultzen, then a drop to get to Catricala or Liddi or Triunfel.

    Jackson retains Walker, Paxton, and Maurer, has Brad Miller, Anthony Fernandez, and Stefen Romero as late additions, and a few marginal semi-interesting guys like Almonte and Martinez.

    The Mavs have a few guys who would rank in the teens or twenties somewhere, Hicks, Marder, to a lesser extend Elias. Morban is a guy who would probably get a range of rankings, as would Jones, though lower in his case. The most surefire contributors would probably be the relievers, Carson Smith and Tyler Burgoon.

    Clinton has Chris Taylor and Matt Brazis right now. Pimentel, Blash, and Morla are interesting though erratic. Shipers is in a similar camp. Kyle Hunter is sometimes neat and sometimes forgettable. I would love Choi if he were still capable of catching, but he still has the best OPS on the team by a wide margin.

    Everett has been talked about. Sanchez is a legit prospect even if he dogs it sometimes on fielding. Zunino is a legit prospect, could be third in the system right now. Kivlehan and Ard are both guys who could be interesting if they can sustain their production, Littlewood too though his production has tapered off. I would like McGruder better if he were producing.

    Pulaski doesn’t have a whole heck of a lot going for it right now. The rotation is intriguing between Ogando, Garcia, and Marte. Castillo and Marlette are hitting prospects. Pizzano, we need more data on.

    I’d say Jackson is still the best, since they replaced great talent with good talent and picked up Romero on top of that.

    Second question: which outfielder and first baseman currently in the system do you think could become a significant (better than league average) contributor at the major league level? Are there any?

    It depends on how serious you want me to be with the answer. Or what likelihood you want me to talk about.

    At first, we have Poythress, who has walked a lot this year and been talked up by a few people. He’s only hit one home run this year though. Oh my god, he’s only hit one home run this year. Ard is good right now, but Everett is destroying the rest of the league and I’m starting to wonder about the strength of the NWL right now. I love Choi, but he probably won’t produce enough to stick. Proscia, I dislike for his home/road shenanigans.

    Outfield? Almonte has the potential that he probably won’t ever reach. Pimentel and Castillo and Blash have similar things they’re trying to figure out, and hey, the first two are young. Morban would be the best OF prospect in the org if he were at all capable of staying healthy. Jones just drives me nuts.

    I’d give Morban decent odds, provided he’s healthy and stays that way, which is a not insignificant conditional, much like assuming that Pimentel and Castillo are going to learn plate discipline. Jokes! First base, eh, that seems less likely, but I’d go Ard, then Choi, then Poythress in my rankings.

    Thanks all.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.