Minor League Wrap (8/20-26/12)

Jay Yencich · August 27, 2012 at 6:30 am · Filed Under Minor Leagues 

This is the penultimate minor league wrap of the year, which is in no small way an excuse to use the word “penultimate.” The regular season ends for a lot of teams on next Monday, so the last or ultimate edition will probably come Tuesday or Wednesday depending on what I’m up to. I’m usually up to something. There’s also a pretty solid chance that I won’t be around to answer any questions until later because I’m out/away from the computer.

External links! The Mariners are the best at catching runners stealing! John Sickels was hanging out at a Lumberkings game and has since written about RHP Mayckol Guaipe, OF Jabari Blash, and LF Guillermo Pimentel.

To the jump!

Tacoma Rainiers (4-3 this week, 59-77 overall, 16 GB in PCL Pacific Northern)

The Week in Review:
Monday, August 20th 2012
Reno 6 (ARI + 16), Tacoma 5
W: Brewer (10-7, 6.13) L: Moran (2-3, 3.48) S: Albaladejo (22)

Tuesday, August 21st 2012
Reno 5 (ARI + 15), Tacoma 14
W: Mitchell (1-2, 3.47) L: Kroenke (6-4, 5.78)

Wednesday, August 22nd 2012
Las Vegas 1 (TOR + 15), Tacoma 3
W: Carraway (5-7, 4.51) L: O’Sullivan (14-6, 4.06) S: Kelley (5)

Thursday, August 23rd 2012
Las Vegas 6 (TOR + 16), Tacoma 1
W: Hill (9-1, 4.64) L: Noesi (1-5, 5.71)

Friday, August 24th 2012
Las Vegas 4 (TOR + 17), Tacoma 2
W: Murphy (6-5, 4.72) L: Hultzen (1-3, 5.14) S: Carpenter (4)

Saturday, August 25th 2012
Las Vegas 1 (TOR + 16), Tacoma 4
W: Ramirez (5-3, 3.98) L: Cecil (1-2, 2.70) S: Kelley (6)

Sunday, August 26th 2012
Las Vegas 1 (TOR + 15), Tacoma 2
W: Mitchell (2-2, 2.95) L: Korecky (3-3, 3.46) S: LaFromboise (4)

Hitter of the Week:
DH Luis Antonio Jimenez, L/L, 5/7/1982
7 G, 22 AB, 6 R, 10 H, 4 2B, 3B, HR, 2 RBI, SB, 4/5 K/BB, .455/.556/.864

Officially, as of this moment, Jimenez has outdone himself. Which is to say that the .400/.517/.642 line he put up in May has been trumped by his .385/.478/.769 August line, largely by virtue of the fact that half his hits have gone for extras and he’s beating the tar out of the ball. The walks aren’t there to the same degree, but you won’t find complaints about anything else, which gets us to that nasty point of what might have happened if not for July. Recognizing that we would have had to position him at DH and not first, the more obvious position, that would have still translated to some value for the Mariners offense. It wouldn’t be a long-term solution, but it would have been something. As it stands, with how things have gone, I see Power Sphere headed elsewhere in the offseason, because there’s not been any real opportunity for him here. We’ll find another large first baseman, but he probably won’t be as fun.

.400 Hitting? Mention:
RF Carlos Peguero, L/L, 2/22/1987
7 G, 25 AB, 4 R, 10 H, 2 2B, HR, 6 RBI, SB, 4/1 K/BB, .400/.407/.600

Come Back, We Still Love You Mention:
CF Franklin Gutierrez, R/R, 2/21/1983
5 G, 18 AB, 5 R, 6 H, 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBI, CS, 3/4 K/BB, .333/.455/.722

Pitcher of the Week:
LHP Bobby LaFromboise, 6/25/1986
0-0, 2 G, SV, 0.00 ERA in 4.1 IP, 3 H, 7/0 K/BB, 2/4 G/F

I’ll take the opportunity here because it’s been a while since we’ve mentioned him. LaFromboise hasn’t been as good in Tacoma. His Ks have gone from 31.4% to 22.9%, his walks jumped from 4.9% to 11.4%, and his line drive rate has gone up from 6.2% to 10.9%. Not that it’s a big sample to work with, but he’s also struggled more against lefties than one might have expected. Struggled in relative terms of course: left-handed bats manages an unimaginably low .228 OPS against him as a General, and now they’re up to .573 in Tacoma. Still, that’s better than Moran, who is viewed as a fringe relief contributor, and we may as well regard LaFromboise in the same way at this point.

Still a Pretty Competent Starter Mention:
RHP Andrew Carraway, 9/4/1986
1-0, GS, 1.50 ERA in 6.0 IP, 4 H, R, 4/1 K/BB, 5/5 G/F, HB

Long Relief Mention:
RHP Brian Sweeney, 6/13/1974
0-0, G, 0.00 ERA in 5.1 IP, 2 H, 3/1 K/BB, 8/3 G/F

Good and Bad Mention:
RHP Erasmo Ramirez, 5/2/1990
1-0, 2 GS, 3.65 ERA in 12.1 IP, 11 H, 6 R (5 ER), 13/3 K/BB, 9/7 G/F, WP

From The Training Room:
RHP David Pauley got a fifty-game suspension for testing positive on a drug of abuse, so he went inactive and that brought LHP Cesar Jimenez, who had been rehabbing in Peoria, back from the DL.

Strange Happenings:
Note the record of the Monday’s winning pitcher for Reno relative to his ERA… Hultzen got a start in this week and was yanked after forty pitches, only sixteen of which he threw for strikes. That ended up translating to four runs, two hits, four walks, one K. If you’re counting on Hultzen to compete for a job in spring training, adjust a bit… Kelley this week: 3.0 IP, H, 3/0 K/BB. I don’t know either… I could highlight Mitchel because he got two wins this week, but I don’t really like the components? Four runs total, three earned, and six or more frames both times, but two dingers and a 4/5 K/BB makes me pass… Noesi regressed a bit: 0-1, 6.0 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 6/2 K/BB.

Jackson Generals (4-4 this week, 34-29 in the second half, 76-57 overall, 2 GB in SL North)

The Week in Review:
Monday, August 20th 2012
Jackson 4, Mobile 2 (ARI – 10)
W: Paxton (8-4, 3.08) L: Holmberg (4-5, 3.90) S: Bawcom (15)

Jackson 3, Mobile 4 (ARI – 9)
W: Eitel (8-10, 4.26) L: Fernandez (4-2, 2.91) S: Munson (3)

Tuesday, August 21st 2012
Jackson 7, Mobile 5 (ARI – 10)
W: Snow (4-5, 5.13) L: De La Rosa (4-4, 3.03) S: Bawcom (16)

Wednesday, August 22nd 2012
Jackson 3, Mobile 9 (ARI – 9)
W: Tomko (2-0, 2.70) L: Garrison (5-4, 4.77)

Thursday, August 23rd 2012
Jackson 2, Mobile 5 (ARI – 8)
W: Anderson (5-3, 2.66) L: Walker (7-8, 4.22) S: De La Rosa (7)

Friday, August 24th 2012
Jackson 2, Chattanooga 1 (LA + 9)
W: Medina (4-5, 3.22) L: Magill (10-8, 3.81) S: Bawcom (17)

Saturday, August 25th 2012
Jackson 5, Chattanooga 8 (LA + 10)
W: Patterson (7-1, 3.03) L: Jimenez (1-2, 3.60) S: Rodriguez (3)

Sunday, August 26th 2012
Jackson 5, Chattanooga 4 (LA + 9)
W: Medina (5-5, 3.18) L: Dominguez (0-1, 2.70) S: Bawcom (18)

Hitter of the Week:
1B Rich Poythress, R/R, 8/11/1987
8 G, 29 AB, 5 R, 9 H, 3 HR, 5 RBI, 2/4 K/BB, .310/.394/.620

A rather close one, but then it seemed like the offense was carried this week by the two guys I’m mentioning. Half the home runs that Poythress has hit in double-A this year came this week, which the sort of power surge I previously speculated might happen. For the month, he was running an ISO of .260 coming into Sunday and had seen a third of his hits go for extras. The negative aspect to this is that two of the home runs against Mobile, which is a dinger prone team, and a dinger prone park, since Mobile’s right-handed HR factor is 114. On the other hand, Chattanooga has given up the fewest home runs of any team in the league and they have a RH HR factor of 89, so that one was surely legitimate. Figure it out as you will.

More Walks than Ks this Month Mention:
SS Brad Miller, L/R, 10/18/1989
8 G, 24 AB, 2 R, 9 H, 3 2B, 4 RBI, 6/7 K/BB, .375/.500/.500

Pitcher of the Week:
RHP Forrest Snow, 12/30/1988
1-0, 2 G (GS), 1.80 ERA in 5.0 IP, 6 H, R, 7/2 K/BB, 4/4 G/F, WP

Oh, I don’t know. Snow is an interesting case because last season he went from Clinton to High Desert to Tacoma in a single season and we regarded him as a pitcher literally and figuratively on the rise. He gave up fifty-three runs in fifty-six and two-thirds innings in Tacoma before earning his first taste of double-A by way of demotion. I could talk about the adjustments in the earned run average, but more practically we would be better served by talking about components. In Tacoma, he had 22.8% line drives and 28.3% ground balls, in Jackson, 18% line drives and 37.2% ground balls. In Tacoma, 13,7% walks and 15.2% Ks, in Jackson, 10.7% walks, 11.1% Ks. His Tacoma line against was .303/.399/.522 and in Jackson it’s been .264/.347/.384. The ball is in play more, but the contact is also not as solid as it once was, so perhaps he is working on something.

Still Mostly Good Command Mention:
RHP Jonathan Arias, 2/8/1988
0-0, 3 G, 0.00 ERA in 6.1 IP, 3 H, 5/2 K/BB, 7/4 G/F

Still Kind of Meh Command Mention:
LHP James Paxton, 11/6/1988
0-0, G, 2.25 ERA in 4.0 IP, 5 H, R, 5/4 K/BB, 2/2 G/F, 2 WP

Extra Pitching Notes:
So pitching. Fernandez was 0-1 this week, giving up four runs (three earned) on six hits, two walks, and five Ks in four and a third innings, his only start. Walker gave up five runs (four earned) over five and two-thirds after seven hits (HR), two walks, and three Ks.

From the Training Room:
In an effort to keep the innings in check, the team placed RHP Brandon Maurer on the temporarily inactive list, just like happened with Shipers. His season is over. RHP Jandy Sena also landed on the DL and the two replacements are RHP Moises Hernandez, last seen freaking out over his younger brother’s perfect game, and RF Kalian Sams, last seen either striking out or hitting a home run.

Strange Happenings:
Brett Tomko pitched against Jackson on Wednesday. You wanted to know! But Brett Lorin also pitched! Two former Mariners named Brett! And Matt Mangini is with the team too, after he almost retired that one time. This is weird…. Going into Sunday, Chiang was hitting .230/.256/.284 in August, which I think follows a brief period when we thought he might be going into a revival… Zunino was 8-for-20 this week with three doubles, two dingers, two walks, and no strikeouts, but ohhh noooo playing time.

High Desert Mavericks (5-2 this week, 43-19 in the second half, 80-52 overall, 1st in CAL South)

The Week in Review:
Monday, August 20th 2012
Lake Elsinore 5 (SD + 2), High Desert 6
W: Kittredge (2-1, 3.98) L: Sullivan (4-5, 4.56)

Tuesday, August 21st 2012
Lake Elsinore 4 (SD + 1), High Desert 6
W: Griffin (1-0, 7.36) L: Haney (1-1, 4.91) S: Kohlscheen (3)

Wednesday, August 22nd 2012
Lake Elsinore 3 (SD 0), High Desert 8
W: Hobson (9-3, 5.01) L: Lollis (0-5, 5.76)

Thursday, August 23rd 2012
Lake Elsinore 9 (SD – 1), High Desert 18
W: Shankin (7-2, 7.03) L: Smith (9-6, 3.99)

Friday, August 24th 2012
High Desert 1, Inland Empire 2 (ANA 0) (twelve innings)
W: Cendejas (4-3, 2.65) L: Kohlscheen (3-2, 3.32)

Saturday, August 25th 2012
High Desert 1, Inland Empire 2 (ANA + 1)
W: Reynolds (1-3, 6.92) L: Miller (0-2, 3.04) S: Tillman (8)

Sunday, August 26th 2012
High Desert 4, Inland Empire 0 (ANA 0)
W: Elias (11-5, 3.87) L: Correa (8-10, 4.42)

Hitter of the Week:
IF Steve Proscia, R/R, 6/26/1990
5 G, 21 AB, 7 R, 14 H, 4 2B, 3B, 3 HR, 12 RBI, 2 SB, 3/0 K/BB, .667/.636/1.381

There’s something I can say about Proscia this week that’s new. Steve Proscia, listed at 6’2 and 210 lbs, played second base all five times out. That’s interesting in its way. So is the fact that for August, he’s hit .440/.450/.747, with as many walks as ever, but only thirteen Ks in seventy-five at-bats, which is low. What isn’t new is his home road splits, 1.225 OPS at home, .668 on the road, though the proportions have changed to where he has twenty dingers in Adelanto and two anywhere else in the league. He still has a .250 point OPS advantage against southpaws. Should he end up in double-A next year, and it might be hard to sell him on the idea of repeating the league, he would probably be on a Johermyn Chavez level of exposure the first run. And while Proscia doesn’t share quite the same K issues, Chavez did walk more.

Also Poor Road Numbers Mention:
DH/1B Dennis Raben, L/L, 7/31/1987
7 G, 27 AB, 7 R, 10 H, 3 2B, HR, 5 RBI, 5/1 K/BB, HBP, .370/.413/.592

Triples! Mention:
RF James Jones, L/L, 9/24/1988
7 G, 32 AB, 6 R, 10 H, 4 3B, 4 RBI, CS, 5/3 K/BB, .313/.371/.563

Pitcher of the Week:
LHP Roenis Elias, 8/1/1988
1-0, GS, 0.00 ERA in 6.1 IP, 2 H, 5/0 K/BB, 5/5 G/F, BK, PO

Take a deep breath here, because this start was in Inland Empire. You remember them, right? Former affiliate of ours, cuts home runs to three-fifths, reduces run scoring in general to four-fifths? How I miss it. Anyway, that’s where Elias threw this last performance, which makes the hit suppression perhaps less surprising. In the series so far, the teams combined have scored less than four runs of offense per game. But then Elias did some other cool things, for example, Inland Empire is fancy enough by Cal League standards to have Gameday and thus pitch tracking, which means I can tell you that Elias threw 70% of his pitches for strikes in this game. Regardless of park factors, dude was on his game. The only strange thing is that it was ten days between starts for him. Perhaps they’re tweaking his workload as well, since he’s got decent odds on hitting 150 IP for the year next time out.

Part of the Next Wave of Relief Arms Mention:
RHP Tyler Burgoon, 4/25/1989
0-0, 3 G, 0.00 ERA in 4.2 IP, 4 H, 7/2 K/BB, 2/3 G/F

No Walks This Month Mention:
RHP Andrew Kittredge, 3/17/1990
1-0, 2 G, 1.80 ERA in 5.0 IP, 5 H, R, 8/0 K/BB, 3/2 G/F

Best Start, and At Home Mention:
RHP Brett Shankin, 10/30/1989
1-0, GS, 0.00 ERA in 7.0 IP, 6 H, 4/3 K/BB, 13/2 G/F, WP, BK

Out Whispering Mention:
RHP Taylor Stanton, 1/15/1988
0-0, GS, 1.29 ERA in 7.0 IP, 8 H, R, 3/1 K/BB, 7/8 G/F

From the Training Room:
RHP Angel Raga landed on the disabled list, which brought in RHP Ambioris Hidalgo to take a spot in the rotation for the Mavs. I don’t g et it, but hey, live arm, attached to a body and functioning more or less okay… Later in the week the team brought in UT Nathan Melendres, who had been in Peoria getting healthy or learning a new position or both. He was an outfielder last year, this year he’s been partially an infielder.

Strange Happenings:
The Mavericks announced that, contrary to every other discussion in the past several years that rumored the team was going to leave town, the organization signed a three-year lease extension with the city with three additional one-year options, and that the city would be investing money into assorted stadium improvements that ultimately will not change the fact that the wind blows out 20 mph most nights. I have become resigned to the idea of the Mavericks. I expect nothing… Monday was not the first time Proscia played second this year, as it had happened five other times prior to now.

Clinton Lumberkings (5-2 this week, 39-22 in the second half, 62-67 overall, 1st in MWL Western)

The Week in Review:
Monday, August 20th 2012
Cedar Rapids 3 (ANA – 23), Clinton 10
W: Pries (3-0, 3.67) L: Bedrosian (3-11, 6.66)

Tuesday, August 21st 2012
Cedar Rapids 2 (ANA – 24), Clinton 3
W: Shore (4-3, 1.75) L: Odom (1-5, 5.43) S: Brazis (2)

Wednesday, August 22nd 2012
Clinton 5, Burlington 1 (OAK + 6)
W: Guaipe (4-0, 3.14) L: Granier (11-8, 3.11) S: Colvin (4)

Thursday, August 23rd 2012
Clinton 3, Burlington 1 (OAK + 5) (ten innings)
W: Shackleford (5-2, 1.66) L: Macias (6-6, 4.48) S: Brazis (3)

Friday, August 24th 2012
Clinton 1, Burlington 4 (OAK + 6)
W: Cole (6-3, 1.99) L: Shellhorn (1-1, 3.75) S: Chitwood (1)

Saturday, August 25th 2012
Quad Cities 3 (STL – 3), Clinton 6
W: Pries (4-0, 3.86) L: Gaviglio (8-9, 4.00) S: Brazis (4)

Sunday, August 26th 2012

Hitter of the Week:
2B/1B Dan Paolini, R/R, 10/11/1989
5 G, 22 AB, 5 R, 8 H, 2B, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 4/2 K/BB, .364/.417/.818

It’s been two different halves for Paolini this year. Paolini came in with a reputation for some competent power-hitting, but defensive limitations that might push him out to left, so it was imperative that he hit, particularly if he was going to move off second. He did see time at first, but then he was also batting .260/.343/.365 before the break, which is hard to stomach from any position. Not that it’s terribly uncommon for hitting to be a chore early in the MWL season, but I feel like I expect more of an even trajectory with college hitters. In the second half, he’s been batting .302/.377/.532. The average has improved, the plate discipline is mostly the same, and he’s hit eleven of his fourteen home runs since the all-star break, seven in August alone. It’s enough to get him back on the radar, at least for the time being.

Same Old, Same Old Mention:
CF/RF Jabari Blash, R/R, 7/4/1989
5 G, 21 AB, 3 R, 7 H, 2B, HR, 3 RBI, 6/1 K/BB, .333/.364/.524

Pitcher of the Week:
RHP Mayckol Guaipe, 8/11/1990
1-0, GS, 1.50 ERA in 6.0 IP, 3 H, R, 6/1 K/BB, 4/3 G/F, HB

So, I’ll suppose for my own purposes that you’ve already read Sickels’ article about Guaipe’s somewhat inconsistent mechanics and how that affects his velocity. It certainly puts things in context because you look over his nine starts with Clinton and he’s averaged a little over five and a third every time out, and yet he’s only struck out more than three in a third of his outings, one of which was the August 6th showing against Peoria where he gave up four unearned runs after four hits, four walks, and four Ks. Have I mentioned I love lines like that? Anyway, Guaipe was a four-year guy in the VSL and was in the Appalachian League last year. He’s never really had the quantity of Ks that suggests good or consistent stuff and his command isn’t elite either, which is problematic. He could put it all together. He might not. It is usually pretty safe to say that most guys won’t do anything at the major league level. Also sort of lazy.

Interesting Relief Again Mention:
RHP David Colvin, 1/7/1989
0-0, 2 G, SV, 0.00 ERA in 5.0 IP, 3 H, 6/1 K/BB, 3/2 G/F

Wanting Ks Himself Mention:
RHP Seon Gi Kim, 9/1/1991
0-0, GS, 0.00 ERA in 6.1 IP, 5 H, R (0 ER), 3/1 K/BB, 4/8 G/F, HB

From the Training Room:
1B/DH Ji-Man Choi came off the DL yaaaaaay. Since coming back, he’s been 6-for-15 and the one game where he didn’t have two hits, he walked three times. No extra-base hits though. Sadness… Later in the week, RHP John Taylor went on the injured list and RHP Mario de Jesus came in from Everett to replace him… Melendres also got re-assigned on paper since I think he was on the DL for Clinton officially.

Strange Happenings:
So on Monday, a guy with a surname that’s one letter away from being “Priest” defeated a guy with the devil’s earned-run average. Aaaaaannnnd baseball…. Saturday, the third baseman for the River Bandits made three errors, bringing him to twenty-two on the season. Brad Miller isn’t the only guy who has issues throwing…. There was a seven-game win streak by the team that ended this Friday! Remember when the Lumberkings were bad?… Brazis had two hits allowed and a 6/3 K/BB in 3.2 innings this week which isn’t quite good enough. I didn’t think he had it in him to walk two in a game, and yet here we are… Hazlett was 5-for-12 this week with a couple of doubles. He didn’t qualify. Kevin Rivers also ran a 3/7 K/BB, which is interesting on its own merits but he didn’t hit enough to be worth adding.

Everett Aquasox (4-3 this week, 16-17 in the second half, 44-27 overall, 3.5 GB in NWL West)

Monday, August 20th 2012
Eugene 5 (SD + 2), Everett 1
W: Wieber (1-0, 1.41) L: Ewing (3-2, 5.05) S: Shepherd (2)

Tuesday, August 21st 2012
Eugene 7 (SD + 3), Everett 5
W: Reyes (3-2, 3.06) L: Unsworth (6-2, 4.02) S: Madrid (12)

Wednesday, August 22nd 2012
Yakima 2 (ARI – 3), Everett 6
W: DeCecco (2-3, 5.23) L: Stultz (1-2, 4.05)

Thursday, August 23rd 2012
Yakima 1 (ARI – 4), Everett 6
W: Hauser (3-1, 2.08) L: Jose (2-3, 1.76) S: Leone (5)

Friday, August 24th 2012
Yakima 4 (ARI – 3), Everett 3
W: Burgos (2-3, 2.48) L: Plotz (2-2, 3.30)

Saturday, August 25th 2012
Yakima 3 (ARI – 4), Everett 6
W: Wood (3-0, 2.10) L: Platt (1-4, 9.13)

Sunday, August 26th 2012
Yakima 2 (ARI – 5), Everett 5
W: Unsworth (7-2, 3.90) L: Forslund (1-3, 6.44) S: Vedo (4)

Hitter of the Week:
3B Patrick Kivlehan, R/R, 12/22/1989
6 G, 20 AB, 5 R, 6 H, 4 2B, HR, 3 RBI, SB, 6/3 K/BB, 2 HBP, .300/.440/.650

Because it’s worth having fun with, Kivlehan didn’t walk once in June. In July, he walked six times. In August, it’s twelve. Soon, he will have all the walks. But he also got caught stealing this month and that’s kind of a drag. That aside, I think one would be surprised to learn that his RBI and extra-base hit totals are off for August and his average is around forty-five points lower than what it was when he was so hot in July. With the peripheral hitting marks coming around, I don’t mind all that much. Experience for him is going to be the most important thing, which makes me think that the M’s might be conservative with his assignment next spring and hope that he hits his way into a promotion. I only wish there were an appropriate winter league to stash him in the meantime.

Finally Doing Something Mention:
OF Michael Faulkner, L/L, 6/28/1991
5 G, 16 AB, 4 R, 7 H, 2 RBI, SB, 1/2 K/BB, HBP, .438/.526/.438

Low Ks for a 1B, With Power Mention:
1B Taylor Ard, R/R, 1/31/1990
7 G, 27 AB, 3 R, 7 H, 2 2B, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 3/3 K/BB, HBP, .259/.355/.556

Still Reaching Base Mention:
C Marcus Littlewood, S/R, 3/18/1992
6 G, 21 AB, 3 R, 8 H, 2B, 4 RBI, 8/3 K/BB, .381/.458/.429

Pitcher of the Week:
RHP Victor Sanchez, 1/30/1995
0-0, GS, 0.00 ERA in 5.1 IP, R (0 ER), 6/0 K/BB, 3/4 G/F, HB

It’s been a little while since we last checked in with Sanchez in this position. That’s because a while back, on the 8th, he had a bit of a disaster outing against Boise where he gave up seven runs (five earned) on five hits, two of which left the park, two walks, and four Ks. And yet even considering that, he’s only given up ten runs, seven of which were earned, over the course of 27.1 August innings. Unsworth now has three and a third more innings, but they’re tied in Ks and share the second spot in the league. There are some concerns I have with Sanchez going forward, like his conditioning (he’s big already) and work ethic, but it’s been a solid debut season for him and the team is probably going to have to lean on him heavily if they’re going places in the playoffs.

Only His Second Pro Start Mention:
RHP Marcos Reyna, 11/4/1989
0-0, GS, 1.69 ERA in 5.1 IP, 4 H, R, 6/2 K/BB, 3/5 G/F

Dingers? Mention:
LHP Scott DeCecco, 5/8/1991
1-0, GS, 2.57 ERA in 7.0 IP, 4 H (2 HR), 2 R, 8/1 K/BB, 5/5 G/F

From the Training Room:
Hidalgo left for the Desert and de Jesus for the Midwest League. Rather than add a pitcher, the Frogs got OF Dario Pizzano from the Pulaski M’s on Saturday. He went 1-for-3 with a walk in his first game!

Strange Happenings:
The Emeralds have a closer named Roman Madrid. Whaaaaaaat… I wanted to make a William Faulkner reference for Michael Faulkner, but the good one I came up with applied to one of the books I hadn’t read so… Kivlehan has been plunked thirteen times, which sets him at third in the leaguue. Second on the team and eleventh overall going into Sunday was Ard… Unsworth had the “good outing, bad outing” thing rocking this week. Seven innings both times out, first time five runs (four earned) on eight hits and six Ks, second time two hits, one walk, five Ks. There was a dinger each time… I was at Monday’s game, but with friends and in a rather casual observing capacity. Notes: Ewing isn’t that good, Hebert takes his defense seriously, McGruder has poor hands, Morales was pressing, and Littlewood was uncharacteristically bad with runners on in a way that I can’t really substantiate numerically.

Pulaski Mariners: (3-4 this week, 27-38 overall, 12.5 GB in APL East)

Monday, August 20th 2012
Pulaski 2, Bluefield 10 (TOR – 8)
W: Gonzalez (1-0, 0.00) L: Dean (0-2, 6.29) S: Broussard (3)

Tuesday, August 21st 2012
Pulaski 9, Bluefield 6 (TOR – 9)
W: Huijer (1-2, 4.20) L: Estrada (2-6, 4.80) S: Holman (8)

Wednesday, August 22nd 2012
Pulaski 6, Bluefield 7 (TOR – 8)
W: Tirado (1-0, 4.50) L: Holovach (1-5, 3.86) S: Dorsett (3)

Thursday, August 23rd 2012
Elizabethton 6 (MIN + 22), Pulaski 4
W: Berrios (2-0, 1.29) L: Ogando (2-3, 4.17)

Friday, August 24th 2012
Elizabethton 7 (MIN + 23), Pulaski 5
W: Merck (3-1, 4.57) L: Holman (2-3, 3.48) S: Chargois (5)

Saturday, August 25th 2012
Elizabethton 1 (MIN + 22), Pulaski 4
W: Garcia (5-4, 5.37) L: Arevalo (1-3, 5.25) S: Gonzalez (2)

Sunday, August 26th 2012
Pulaski 6, Kingsport 4 (NYM – 18)
W: Dean (1-2, 6.37) L: Reyes (3-6, 6.18) S: Pereira (1)

Hitter of the Week:
CF Jabari Henry, R/R, 11/11/1990
6 G, 18 AB, 6 R, 10 H, 2 2B, 3 HR, 9 RBI, SB, 4/7 K/BB, .556/.680/1.167

Fans of the name “Jabari” everywhere, rejoice, because Henry absolutely trounced the league and I’d be stunned if he wasn’t named hitter of the week. Although, it must be pointed out that up until August, he had really been struggling. In June, his line was .167/.229/.300, and in July, .241/.315/.380, improvement to be certain, but not yet striking. In August, he’s hit .319/.420/.628 and clubbed out six of his eight home runs and seven of his doubles, which as much as he had combined before August. He’s also seen the walks spike: ten before August, sixteen in it, though the Ks have remained somewhat static. Mostly positive signs from him, but he’s on the record as hitting far better at home, walks included (17 vs. nine on the road) and I’ve noted some hard transitions away from the league in the past few years. At least only half his home runs this month have come at home.

Still Ending with a Worse Line While Repeating the League Mention:
3B/1B Jordy Lara, R/R, 5/21/1991
7 G, 24 AB, 3 R, 6 H, 3 2B, HR, 5 RBI, SB, 3/2 K/BB, HBP, .250/.321/.500

Pitcher of the Week:
RHP Rigoberto Garcia, 9/23/1993
1-0, GS, 1.50 ERA in 6.0 IP, 3 H, R, 8/0 K/BB, 5/3 G/F

I haven’t mentioned Garcia as much as I was hoping to this year, which is one of those things with young pitchers I guess. I was excited about Garcia, no reports on stuff, but similar build to Pineda at the same stage while spending his second year in the APL instead of the DSL. The comparisons aren’t that bad, Garcia’s at 7.5% walks, whereas Pineda, a year older and in the Midwest League, was at 6.35%, and Pineda had 23.2% Ks to Garcia’s 20.2%. Pitching in a more friendly league, we could see improvement in Garcia’s hits and home runs allowed. It’s a poor comparison until we know anything at all about Garcia’s stuff (for all we know, he has Beavan’s curiously low velocity), but he’s on the radar at least. The fact that he just shut down the league’s top offense [by a wide margin] should get him some attention.

Thirty-Two Ks in 25.2 August Innings Mention:
RHP Charles Kaalekahi, 5/13/1992
0-0, GS, 3.00 ERA in 6.0 IP, 3 H (HR), 2 R, 8/2 K/BB, 5/4 G/F

From the Training Room:
Not that I regularly go looking for moves in the APL transaction log, but LHP Wander Marte went on the DL shortly before the last wrap was published. Also Pizzano left. Pizzano was 7-for-18 in his last games before leaving, with a couple of doubles, a walk, and two Ks.

Strange Happenings:
The Appalachian League All-Stars were named and C Tyler Marlette and OF Dario Pizzano made the list, which is not surprising so much as it is entirely unsurprising… That seven games in four days thing: apparently they decided it was too much and so the M’s just played a regulation nine-inning game against Bluefield on Monday. It didn’t go well!.. Pulaski’s season ends Tuesday. Whoops… Castillo is going into the dregs of August batting .174/.255/.250 for the month. Owwwwwwwww… Revisiting the “good start, bad start” phenomenon, Levi Dean. First start of his pro career, three runs (one earned) on five hits, a walk, and five Ks in four and two-thirds innings. Next time, four runs on five hits, a walk, and four Ks in five and a third innings. The win-loss totals are reversed. It’s less impressive if you don’t factor for defense.

Dispatches from the Land of Rehabbers and Teens:
RHP Matt Anderson: 2-0, 5 G, 0.00 ERA in 7.2 IP, 2 H, 11/1 K/BB
1B Kristian Brito: 28 G, 106 AB, 13 R, 21 H, 2B, 2 3B, HR, 12 RBI, 2 SB, CS, 36/4 K/BB, .198/.232/.274
CF Daniel Carroll: 3 G, 7 AB, R, H, 3B, 2/1 K/BB, .143/.250/.429
3B Joe DeCarlo: 51 G, 176 AB, 29 R, 43 H, 12 2B, 3 3B, 4 HR, 31 RBI, 2 CS, 44/28 K/BB, .244/.369/.415
RHP Dylan De Meyer: 3-2, 12 G (9 GS), 4.12 ERA in 54.2 IP, 71 H (3 HR), 31 R (25 ER), 39/14 K/BB, 5 HB
RHP Edwin Diaz: 2-1, 8 G (GS), 5.50 ERA in 18.0 IP, 11 H (2 HR), 13 R (11 ER), 20/16 K/BB, 5 HB
SS Gabrial Franca: 46 G, 177 AB, 35 R, 46 H, 12 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR, 14 RBI, 17 SB, 3 CS, 35/26 K/BB, .260/.364/.384
C Luke Guarnaccia: 29 G, 109 AB, 16 R, 28 H, 3 2B, 5 3B, HR, 14 RBI, 3 SB, 25/3 K/BB, .257/.277/.404
OF Gabriel Guerrero: 16 G, 67 AB, 15 R, 20 H, 4 2B, 2 HR, 14 RBI, 12/2 K/BB, .299/.310/.448
LHP Nick Hill: 0-0, 2 G, 3.00 ERA in 3.0 IP, 2 H (HR), R, 2/2 K/BB, HB
RHP Stephen Landazuri: 0-0, 2 G, 0.00 ERA in 3.0 IP, 3 H, 4/0 K/BB, HB
OF Jose Leal: 25 G, 69 AB, 5 R, 5 H, 4 RBI, SB, CS, 41/8 K/BB, .072/.200/.072
SS/2B Timmy Lopes: 51 G, 207 AB, 40 R, 64 H, 10 2B, 11 3B, 30 RBI, 6 SB, 3 CS, 29/23 K/BB, .309/.374/.464
LHP Tyler Pike: 2-1, 11 GS, 1.78 ERA in 50.2 IP, 34 H, 13 R (10 ER), 57/21 K/BB, 5 HB
RHP Gabe Saquilon: 3-1, 11 G (5 GS), 2.95 ERA in 42.2 IP, 39 H (HR), 17 R (14 ER), 33/15 K/BB
RHP Daniel Thieben: 3-1, 14 G (GS), 4.20 ERA in 30.0 IP, 34 H, 19 R (14 ER), 16/21 K/BB
RHP Richard White: 2-1, 15 G, 5.64 ERA in 22.1 IP, 19 H (HR), 22 R (14 ER), 21/13 K/BB


9 Responses to “Minor League Wrap (8/20-26/12)”

  1. Rainiers_fan on August 27th, 2012 9:07 am

    Great writeup as usual Jay. Thanks for some very entertaining reading that is much appreciated!

  2. HighBrie on August 27th, 2012 10:06 am

    You should read Light in August. As things shut down around the Minor League World, what interests you? Which players have the most to gain or lose in these final weeks? So..High Desert and James Jones. Do you care about James Jones? Do you think he’s a better pitcher? He gets caught stealing a lot, but I want to see him play at a higher level.

  3. CarpCarter on August 27th, 2012 10:11 am

    Maybe if more people read the minor league wraps, they would stop penciling Hultzen, Paxton, and Walker in as the back end of the 2013 opening day rotation.

    I’m as excited for interesting Mariners prospects as the next guy, and require daily Zunino box scores for sustenance, but the whole “Cerberus” meme becomes a little tiresome when everyone seems to be taking for granted that three pitchers who have scuffled in AA or regularly looked lost in AAA will all not only make it to the MLB level, but will do so in a matter of months, not years.

    But enough negativity. Hopefully Poythress gets a spring training invite and starts next season in Tacoma. I wonder how seriously the org views him as we look to plug a hole at 1B for the future.

  4. Msfanchicagoland on August 27th, 2012 10:44 am

    Thanks for the minor league wrap. I always enjoy seeing and reading about what the Mariners have waiting in the wings. It’s easy to find info about the Rainiers, but not so much about the AA teams and lower.

    What’s your opinion about Kivlehan? Does he have a legitimate shot at making the major league roster in 3 or 4 years? Seems his strikeout rate is way too high at the moment and should be a point of concern. I was impressed with his college numbers, especially since he was not concentrating on baseball.


  5. BackRub on August 27th, 2012 11:50 am

    Heard/read any new info about Pike’s stuff/mechanics/etc. since he has been drafted? How probable would him starting the year at Clinton be? Thanks!

  6. Westside guy on August 27th, 2012 12:04 pm

    Thank you, as always, Jay!

    Right now I’m irrationally hoping Zunino continues his march of destruction through the minor leagues, goes to AAA early and tears through there, forcing his way onto Seattle’s roster some time mid-2013. If you want to tell me that’s completely unreasonable LA LA LA LA I CAN’T HEAR YOU

  7. Jay Yencich on August 27th, 2012 9:51 pm

    Thanks for some very entertaining reading that is much appreciated!

    I do try for entertainment, thank you.

    You should read Light in August.

    That was my intended reference. I was thinking “Alight in August,” because he’s on fire, and stuff. I rather like Faulkner but the only work of his I’ve read to completion is The Sound and the Fury. I’d say 90-95% of my reading consumption is either poetry or the analysis of poetry.

    Which players have the most to gain or lose in these final weeks?

    This is the final week, but I’d say that Rich Poythress is one guy who stands to gain a considerable amount. I think that he’s probably on the short list to go to the AFL, since he’s due to be added to the 40-man in the offseason, but other candidates would include Carraway, Jones, and Catricala. I just see Poythress as being the most likely to state his case.

    So..High Desert and James Jones. Do you care about James Jones? Do you think he’s a better pitcher? He gets caught stealing a lot, but I want to see him play at a higher level.

    Three months of the season, I don’t think about James Jones. Then I start to notice him for one month and get frustrated by him the next, because he can only ever seem to hit in July and August and has been that way for his entire career. Or at least such is usually the case, but his May and June numbers this year really aren’t that bad. He’s been better in the second half by a noticeable amount though. He doesn’t have any plate discipline issues in his splits, but he has only three of his home runs on the road and his average suffered a lot. He’s more suspect than prospect for me even if I want to like him.

    Maybe if more people read the minor league wraps, they would stop penciling Hultzen, Paxton, and Walker in as the back end of the 2013 opening day rotation.

    Pfft, no one reads these.

    the whole “Cerberus” meme becomes a little tiresome when everyone seems to be taking for granted that three pitchers who have scuffled in AA or regularly looked lost in AAA will all not only make it to the MLB level, but will do so in a matter of months, not years.

    I’ve pushed the Cerberus thing, mainly because I hate nicknames of the “Big Three” ilk since they’re flavorless, but to address your point, back around the all-star break after Walker had gone through a good month of struggles, BA still listed him and Hultzen as top ten prospects. Results become more important as one moves up, but process is also there and all of these guys are hitting the end of the season as well. Fatigue is a not insignificant consideration.

    What’s your opinion about Kivlehan? Does he have a legitimate shot at making the major league roster in 3 or 4 years? Seems his strikeout rate is way too high at the moment and should be a point of concern. I was impressed with his college numbers, especially since he was not concentrating on baseball.

    People seem to have somewhat unreasonable expectations of him at times. The weirdest one I remember reading was someone looking at his college numbers and wondering if he might have a Pujols-like trajectory to the majors. All that untapped potential and all.

    What we saw from him early on in his Everett career was a whole lot of pressing and things didn’t go well for him at the outset. He’s producing, but as you mentioned, there is the strikeout issue, and baseball being a rather skill-oriented sport, it’s hard to say. Maybe things click for him somewhere along the line, maybe he goes through patches of erratic production as he comes up and takes a while to put it together.

    Heard/read any new info about Pike’s stuff/mechanics/etc. since he has been drafted? How probable would him starting the year at Clinton be? Thanks!

    Nothing new. One’s lucky to hear anything from an Arizona League affiliate. What we know is that Pike can throw three pitches and handled himself in a pretty smart manner in general. That makes it easy to put up some silly numbers at that level.

    I don’t know that I expect him at Clinton at the outset of the season, but I could see him making his first appearance there. That’s to say that he goes the Walker/Paxton route from last year and ends up in extended to start the year before pitching his way out of it. That’s not to say he’s in the same tier of prospects as those two, he isn’t, but hey, it could happen.

    Right now I’m irrationally hoping Zunino continues his march of destruction through the minor leagues, goes to AAA early and tears through there, forcing his way onto Seattle’s roster some time mid-2013.

    Some think he could compete for a job next spring. Whatever rids us of Olivo.

  8. msfanmike on August 28th, 2012 9:59 am

    “Whatever rids us of Olivo”

    I need to get a T-Shirt that says this.

    Jay, I have a question about Stefen Romero and his durability. He recently had a 6-7 day span where he did not play. I have noticed a few other occasions throughout the season where he would sit for a few days and then get back to doing what he does. Is he a bit injury prone?

  9. Jay Yencich on August 28th, 2012 11:36 am

    Don’t know, other than if he isn’t on the DL, maybe it isn’t serious. I’ve seen a lot of guys sitting lately as I go through the box scores. Could be an organization thing.

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