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).
The org had an up and down stretch of games but none of that matters because Jarred Kelenic is going to Modesto. That is the entire highlight of this Midshipman’s Log.
West Virginia Power (25-26) win/lose to the Lexington Legends (24-27), 5-4; 0-3
The power lost the first 7-inning make-up game 3-0. Almost nothing happened in this game except that it was played.
The Power won game two 6-5 and it was the exact opposite of game one. It featured a very exciting finish as Mets-Tears-Generator Jarred Kelenic hit his eleventh home run in the sixth to tie the game, and then laced a single to center to put the go-ahead run on third, which was driven in promptly by Onil Pena.
All of this is great but none of it as great as this:
Kelenic is set to be one of the youngest position players in the California League and will join top prospects Logan Gilbert and Cal Raleigh (Ljay Newsome, too). The Nuts game will become must-watch MiLB TV, and I will be making the trek out to cover a game or two before I move.
Arkansas Travelers (32-17) lose to Northwest Arkansas Naturals (21-29), 4-5
The Travs received strong performances from Jake Fraley, Ricardo Sanchez, and Reggie McClain, which helped to offset the sting of Zach Grotz giving up an uncharacteristic 3 runs, including a bomb, to lose the game in the ninth. Jake Fraley smashed his 7th dinger and improved his AA slash line to .324/.400/.532, only a few points off of his slash line in A+ ball last season. He’s been swinging the bat well consistently, and is one of the few in Arkansas who have maintained their offense for an extended period of time.
Things were less rosy for Kyle Lewis, who went 0-4 today. I am officially worried about Lewis and his .181/.274/.229 May slash line. The power has been down, the strikeouts up, and it’s hard to see the positives that Jerry Dipoto talked about. There’s plenty of time to turn it around, but we still haven’t seen the Kyle that destroyed spring training.
Sanchez pitched his best game this month, going 6.1 with 2 runs and no walks allowed. He kept the ball on the ground and had better control than his last few starts.
Reggie McClain just hit 97 on the gun for Arkansas.— Lookout Landing (@LookoutLanding) May 29, 2019
Last year he was 88-89.
Gas Camp, baby. Gas Camp. ⛽️
Reggie McClain continued his bid for AAA with another great outing, 1.2 hitless ball with 2 Ks. He’s hitting 97 often now. His breaking ball still seems inconsistent and he occasionally leaves it up in the zone, but he’s got weapons now. Ricardo Sanchez also looked good, putting everything on display as he continues to get grounders in spades.
When you get caught looking and consider fleeing the ballpark to begin a new life elsewhere pic.twitter.com/5b1fkyZGIp— Lookout Landing (@LookoutLanding) May 29, 2019
Tacoma Rainiers (26-27) smoke out the Salt Lake Bees (23-28), 13-5
This rout featured some surprising offensive performances. Jose Lobaton went 5-5 with a double, and though I thought his slash line was impressive, it’s nothing compared to last year’s AAA OPS of 1.029. He’s 36 and hasn’t hit in the majors, but he seems to enjoy hitting a step below. Ian Miller hit his fifth home run.
Even if you knock off points for a juiced ball/PCL parks, three of Miller's HR have come in the relatively neutral Cheney Stadium. He's leading all of AAA in doubles and is tied for third in all of the minors.— Lookout Landing (@LookoutLanding) May 28, 2019
Ian has taken well to the new Super Ball. I feel we are about due to start talking about him more. He’s hit 4 homeruns and stolen 12 bases in May alone. From a cursory glance it looks to be the hottest month of his career.
Kristopher Negron had himself a nice night with a double and a home run, his sixth, and Braden Bishop checked in with a SB and a double. Even somehow-still-in-the-org Billy Cooke reached base three times. The pitching was not at the same level of the offense outside of Parker Markel’s two hitless innings.
Modesto Nuts (22-29) raid the Stockton Ports (19-30), 4-3
Modesto has been feeding off of Cal Raleigh and Joe Rizzo most of May and tonight was no exception. Cal hit two doubles, the first of which netted him quite the honor:
Cal Raleigh with a first-inning double has recorded his 20th extra-base hit for the @ModestoNuts to move into a tie for first in the California League.— Keaton Gillogly (@Gillogly) May 29, 2019
Although the average is only .232, his SLG% is up to .434 after that double.
The fact that Cal has been able to deliver offensively while being more than acceptable behind the plate is exciting: the Mariners actually have a catching prospect. Joe Rizzo chipped in with his first triple of the year and has continued to drive the ball this month. The Nuts trailed much of the game and came back from the brink of defeat in the 8th thanks to the combination of Cal’s double which scored Rizzo, and Eugene Helder’s bases-loaded walk. Joey Gerber recovered from his shaky outing on the 24th to slam the door with 2Ks to net the save.
Tomorrow West Virginia has the day off, but you might want to tune in to the Arkansas game to watch Andrew Moore try to revive his career, or maybe future home of Jarred Kelenic might interest you?
Arkansas at Northwest Arkansas, 5:05 PT (RHP Andrew Moore)
Tacoma at El Paso, 6:05 PT (LHP Jonathon Niese)
Modesto at Stockton, 7:10 PT (RHP Austin Hutchinson)