M's Minor League Performances, 7th April

The fact that there's a date in the title is not an implicit promise to do this regularly. I can barely manage breathing regularly. Instead, this is just because I noticed a few interesting performances yesterday when looking at the box scores.

Tacoma Rainiers (lost 5-4)

James Paxton: 4 IP, 6 K, 0 BB, 7H, 2 ER.

StatCorner adds that he had a 76.3% contact rate and a 58.3% GB rate (those are good); he also threw 56 strikes in 82 pitches (68.3%). The only bad news is that it took him 82 pitches to get through four innings.

Alex Liddi: 1/4, 1 3B, 1BB, 0K

After striking out three times in one game to start the season, Liddi has struck out one time in the other three games while hitting the ball rather hard. I anticipate another season of me obsessively watching Liddi's strikeout and contact rates to see if he's in danger of turning into a major-league hitter.

Jackson Generals (won 10-0)

Chance Ruffin: 6 IP, 1K, 0BB, 2H, 0 ER

Successful in terms of runs, and the absence of walks is nice, but just one strikeout and lots of flyballs (25% GB rate) - one doesn't include a Chance Ruffin start because it's done well but because it's done at all.

Brad Miller: 3/4, 1 HR, 1 BB, 1 error

In the previous game only one General managed a hit: Miller. Miller has now added to his distinction by being the only General to make an error so far. Errors seem to be the only thing that would prevent him playing shortstop at the major league level, so let's hope this one isn't a sign of things to come. Alternatively he could just keep producing an OPS of 1.221, which would allow me to forgive an awful lot of errors.

Julio Morban: 3/5, 1 HR

Over the off-season I kept being surprised when Morban was left off Mariners prospect lists. Suspicions about High Desert stats and Morban's health problems probably accounted for that, but the club liked him enough to add him to the 40-man, and he's off to a flying start at Jackson. Here's to him staying healthy, and preferably reducing his current 30+% strikeout rate.

High Desert Mavericks (lost 10-4)

Ugh. Not a lot to choose from here. Patrick Brady went 3/4 with a triple, but he's 25 and still not in AA so I'm finding it hard to care.

Clinton Lumberkings (lost 0-5)

Tyler Pike: 5 IP, 6 K, 1 BB, 5 H, 2 R, 0 ER

He also managed 58.3% groundballs.The recent record of high-schoolers thrown into the Midwest league is mixed: two thrived and went on to be top prospects (Franklin, Walker) and two cratered (Baron, Littlewood), so I was a bit worried about Pike jumping from Arizona to Clinton. Looks like I might have been worrying unnecessarily.

Guillermo Pimentel: 0/1, 3 BB, 0 K

Yes, 0 K: Pimentel went an entire game without striking out. He's another one where I'll be tracking the strikeout rate in the hope of a breakout. So far so good (17.6%!), but "so far" is just 17 PAs.

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