The Mariners farm is both more exciting and more functional than it’s been in a long time, which means it’s worth paying attention to how the prospects are performing down at the lower levels of the organization. In addition to our stalwart State of the Farm weekly roundup that takes a longer view on the farm, we’ll have minor league roundups thrice a week or so to share some highlights, gifs, and notes in our Midshipmen’s Log (it’s a baby sailor, get it? **waits patiently for ‘ba dum tiss’ on the drums** yeah yeah).
At long last, we have achieved the elusive minors sweep, made even sweeter by the big-club winning, delivering the even-rarer organizational sweep.
West Virginia Power (9-5) defeat the Asheville Tourists (6-9) (nice), 12-7
Don’t look now, but the Power are on a tear, recording their fifth consecutive win. Every member of the Power’s lineup recorded at least one hit, with the standouts being Jarred Kelenic, who had a three-hit day including a double and two infield singles (and robbed extra bases on a fine running catch in the outfield to boot); Jake Anchía, who hit his second home run of the young season; and glove-first shortstop Cesar Izturis Jr., who came up with two clutch hits and a bases-loaded walk to give him 3 RBIs. Julio Rodriguez is set to return to the team this weekend, so the Power’s offensive output should only increase. If you want to follow the Power more closely but don’t have time to listen to all their games, I recommend strongly subscribing to the “Expanding the Grid” podcast produced by the Power broadcasters, which is exceedingly well-produced for a low-minors team, and you can find here.
Modesto Nuts (6-9) defeat Stockton Ports (6-9), 6-4
Stockton doesn’t have video, booooo, so we don’t have any images to show you from this game, but today was a much-needed strong offensive performance from the Nuts, all of whom had a hit except for Jack Larsen, who had a walk (and has been performing well lately). Anthony Jimenez had a triple but also had to leave the game after a hard slide into second, which is bad news for a prospect whose ceiling has been limited by injuries sustained in his young career. The Nuts found themselves short-handed after Jimenez’s exit as outfielder and former second-round pick Gareth Morgan was released earlier in the day. Morgan, a Jack Z draftee, offered tantalizing power in his bat, but was never able to solve his strikeout issues in affiliated ball. Matt Sanders, who had been coaching first base, entered the game, while infielder Connor Kopach moved to the outfield, where he acquitted himself well over the back half of the game. After starter Raymond Kerr surrendered four runs over less than three innings of work, the Nuts bullpen converged to hold the Ports off the board in successive innings, with Jake Haberer working 1.1 scoreless, hitless innings to continue his streak of fourteen retired in a row (including a strikeout at 97+ mph), and Gas Camp graduate Reggie McClain working three innings of five-strikeout ball. Short King Sam Delaplane finished it off with two hitless innings, recording three strikeouts of his own.
Arkansas Travelers (11-3) defeat the Tulsa Drillers (7-7), 8-2
The Travelers continue to be the most dominant team in the system. It took them until the seventh inning to break out against 36-year-old knuckleballer J.D. Martin, who the Dodgers keep throwing out as a sacrificial lamb for some reason, but when they did, they did so in a big way, recording three home runs against him in the inning to break a 2-2 tie. Kyle Lewis didn’t have one of the home runs, but he did have a walk and two hits, including this double:
Former indyballer Parker Markel struck out the side in his inning of relief, and Jack “The Creature” Anderson worked two scoreless innings of relief with two strikeouts, earning the win:
Jack "The Creature" Anderson with two scoreless innings in Arkansas tonight, and two Ks, including this inning-ending one: pic.twitter.com/2on8GEpIjl— Lookout Landing (@LookoutLanding) April 19, 2019
Tacoma Rainiers (6-9) squeak by the El Paso Chihuahuas (7-7), 7-6
Nabil Crismatt undid all the work his offense did in building a 6-2 lead over the first four innings, falling apart in the fifth. Tayler Scott gave up a single to allow the Chihuahuas to get within a run, and then the perpetually-annoying Jacob Scavuzzo homered off Ryan Garton in the sixth to tie things up. Eric Young Jr. broke the tie with a solo shot in the top of the ninth, and Nick Rumbelow held it together over the last 1.1 innings to preserve the win.
Two of the system’s best pitchers go today in Darren McCaughan and Ljay Newsome. If you have MiLB.tv, you can watch McCaughan in beautiful hi-def, because the Tulsa Drillers have a nice HD stream. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Newsome, toiling in the pit of Stockton, but you can listen to the start for free on TuneIn (and honestly, even if there was video, I’d still listen to Keaton Gillogly on the radio feed, because he is an excellent broadcaster and offers information dialed-in baseball fans really care about. And, if you tweet at him @gillogly, he’ll probably give you an on-air shoutout. If you care about that kind of thing. Which I didn’t think I did, until I got one.)
West Virginia at Asheville, 4:05 PT (RHP Steven Moyers)
Arkansas at Tulsa, 5:05 PT (RHP Darren McCaughan)
Tacoma at El Paso, 5:35 PT (TBD)
Modesto at Stockton, 7:10 PT (RHP Ljay Newsome)