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).
This weekend was a struggle for most of the clubs, which was too bad, as the big-league club was playing some fairly unwatchable baseball. However, the gang banded together on Sunday to go three-for-four with the electric performance being delivered by an Arkansas Travelers team that’s becoming must-watch. This is largely the same crew that won the California League Championship in 2017, and it shows.
West Virginia Power (20-15) scared off by the Kannapolis Intimidators, 2-1
As Jarred Kelenic goes, so goes the Power, and today was an 0-for-4 day with only two other members of the Power lineup mustering hits: new addition J.R. Davis and Nick Rodriguez, who had a multi-hit day and the only RBI for the club. The pitching staff held together well, with Steven Moyers bouncing back from a rough last outing with a six-inning, eight-strikeout performance, and a lockdown performance by relievers Dayeison Arias and Bryan Pall. The Power bats were more alive on Saturday, but couldn’t overcome a shaky performance from starter Damon Casetta-Stubbs and another three runs given up by the bullpen—Sal Biasi, acquired in the David Freitas trade, and a normally-steady Devin Sweet. Jake Anchía homered twice in that contest, collecting five RBI combined. He also threw out a batter trying to steal, because apparently batters in the South Atlantic League haven’t figured out “don’t run on Anchía” yet.
Arkansas Travelers (22-12) jam the Tulsa Drillers (20-15), 7-6 (11)
The best team in the system continued their winning ways, although this one took extras. The Travs jumped out to an early lead thanks to first inning homers from Evan White, who’s showing some encouraging power, and Dom Thompson-Williams, who continues to make AA his playground. Top-10 Dodgers prospect and Tulsa starter Mitchell White had allowed one home run all season before White and DTW touched him up back-to-back.
That’s how things remained until the fifth inning, when Anthony Misiewicz surrendered the first runs of the day on a two-run RBI single. Zac Grotz came in to stop the bleeding, but then allowed the go-ahead run to score in the next inning. The Travs came back to tie up the score again, but then things got out of hand quickly in the 7th, when Oliver Jaskie, up from extended spring to fill in for a Travs bullpen depleted by promotions, walked five straight batters, and then Darin Gillies threw a wild pitch to allow another run to score. But the Travs offense kept clawing back. Donnie Walton hit an RBI single in the seventh to cut the deficit to two runs, and pinch-hitter Chris Mariscal, back from the IL, hit a two-run bomb to tie the game, because that’s what Chris Mariscal does. Gillies held the door for the next two innings and Robinson Leyer took care of the extras, holding on long enough to allow Donnie Walton to act as the hero again and hit a two-out walk-off single.
Modesto Nuts (17-20) cage the Lancaster JetHawks (21-16), 6-4
Cal Raleigh hit two home runs for five total RBI, meaning he essentially single-handedly carried the Nuts to victory today. He now has three homers in his last two games: one to right, one to left, and one to dead center. I love symmetry!
About Cal Raleigh figuring out the Cal League...this three-run shot gives him two HR on the day and three in his last two games: one each to left, right, and center. pic.twitter.com/J6fJqJNIaP— Lookout Landing (@LookoutLanding) May 12, 2019
Joe Rizzo also added another hit today and now has the second-highest average in the Cal League. J.T. Salter made his second appearance for Modesto and it was every bit as impressive as his first:
And follows it with this hook: pic.twitter.com/CvpixTVkmc— Lookout Landing (@LookoutLanding) May 12, 2019
It’s only been two appearances, but in both the innings I’ve seen, batters have looked utterly flustered and helpless against Salter. Not only is he throwing hard from almost eight feet over their heads, but Salter is also an extremely quick worker; his operating theory for at-bats seems to be “nasty, brutish, and short.”
Tacoma Rainiers (18-20) ground the Vegas Aviators (22-16), 10-6
Depleted team? No problem. The pitching staff wasn’t sharp—starter Tyler Cloyd walked as many batters as he struck out in as many innings as he pitched (5), David McKay struggled mightily in a brief appearance—but the Rainiers batters walloped Vegas’s pitching, starting by jumping on the starter Tanner Anderson for five runs, but going on to score at least one run off each of the three pitchers who relieved him. Kristopher Negron, Tim Lopes, and Ian Miller all hit home runs, with Lopes’s a three-run blast the death knell for the A’s affiliate. Every batter for Tacoma recorded at least one hit (except weirdly Austin Nola, who is still hitting .340 after a couple hitless days); fill-in Connor Kopach, up from Modesto, had three hits, as did Negrón (including a HR and a triple) and Ian Miller, who has been scorching hot lately.
Tomorrow is a very early game for West Virginia, but if you’d like some very early morning breakfast baseball, you can listen for free on the TuneIn app.
West Virginia vs Augusta: 7:35 AM PT (RHP Josias De Los Santos)
Arkansas at Springfield, 4:30 PT (RHP Darren McCaughan)
Modesto at Visalia, 6:00 pm PT (RHP Austin Hutchison)
Tacoma at Las Vegas, 7:05 pm PT (LHP Jon Niese)