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 of 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 second half of the season has begun for the Travelers, the Nuts, and the Power. None of the Mariners prospects really stood out in their All-Star turns, although Ljay Newsome showed why he was tabbed to start the Cal League ASG for the North, leading off the game with a scoreless inning with two strikeouts, and Jose Umbria managed the North squad to a victory.
DSL Mariners (6-11) stomped on by DSL Giants (4-9), 13-9
The pitching isn’t the star attraction in the DSL, but the baby Marineros have truly struggled on that front, and the bats haven’t been lively, either. Noelvi Marte continues to be a bright spot, adding another hit and two RBI on the day. Here’s his home run from Wednesday:
Los buenos resultados llegan cuando trabajas fuerte todos los días pic.twitter.com/TxR0mpLmEb— Noelvi Marte (@MarteNoelvi) June 20, 2019
AZL Mariners (3-0): Off
The baby Mariners had the day off but have won all three of the games they’ve played so far, most recently defeating the baby Dodgers 6-3. The offense was led by a pair of teenage infield prospects who were in the DSL last year, Osiris Castillo (18) and 3B Edwin Gil (19), who started off in the DSL this year before being moved stateside. The pitching performance of the day belongs to 2019 draftee Jarod Bayless, whom the Mariners took in the 33rd round out of arm farm Dallas Baptist. Bayless can rack up big K totals and he did that in his system debut on Wednesday, striking out four in just 2.2 innings while walking one and allowing three hits, no runs. He’s a candidate for an already-stacked Everett pitching staff if he can keep that up. He also appears to have a sense of humor, something we always appreciate around here.
Everett AquaSox (3-4) ground Boise Hawks (3-4), 7-2
The poor ickle AquaSox had to start their season on a lengthy roadtrip, and despite starting strong by winning their first two games, they went on to drop the next four and play some sloppy ball. They finished on a win, however, and although they didn’t have a HR in the game the Sox did combine for five extra-base hits. Two of those, a double and a triple, belonged to speedy CF Miguel Perez, who continues to look impressive on both sides of the ball. The AquaSox struck out 13 times and walked just once—catcher Carter Bins, who also had a hit in the game—so that will be something to watch going forward with these free-swinging Frogs. On the pitching side, 2019 fourth-rounder Tim Elliott looked good in his two innings of work, striking out four, walking none, and allowing just one hit. Slender lefty Jorge Benitez had the lion’s share of work for the game and went 4.2 innings, allowing one run on two hits, walking one and striking out two, and 2019 21st-rounder and Short King Reeves Martin went 3.1 scoreless, hitless innings, striking out five and walking just one.
West Virginia Power (37-34) lose a nailbiter to Lakewood BlueClaws (30-41), 5-4 (10)
The Power have been humming along a little better now that Julio Rodriguez is back in the lineup, but a late, game-tying home run from Julio (his second already since coming off the IL) wasn’t enough to help the Power seal the deal in extras. Starter Ryne Inman really only had one bad inning, but unfortunately that inning featured a grand slam that dusted an early West Virginia lead with one swing of the bat. Reliever Sal Biasi had a rough 2.2 innings in which he walked three batters and eventually surrendered the walkoff win. But on the plus side: Julioooooooo!
Modesto Nuts (30-41) edged out by Visalia Rawhide (45-22), 2-1 (10)
The Nuts put up a good fight against the best team in the Cal League but with the new rules in place, the odds are heavily stacked against the road team to earn a victory in extras. Poor Scott Boches got stuck with this one, even though he didn’t pitch poorly; nor did Joey Gerber or Collin Kober (4K in 3IP) in relief of starter Penn Murfee, who went five innings and gave up one run on four hits with two walks and six strikeouts as he continues to transition into a starter. The Nuts lineup just couldn’t scrape together any hits in sequence; Joe Rizzo and Jack Larsen did the best they could, each coming up with two hits (or 2⁄3 of Modesto’s hits on the night, but over half of the rest of the lineup was 0-for tonight, including top prospect Jarred Kelenic, who struck out twice in his first game back from a minor wrist injury. Jarred did make a diving catch at the warning track to send the game to extras, which would have been nice to see if Visalia believed in TV cameras.
Arkansas Travelers (46-25) crush the Midland RockHounds (36-36), 10-6
Even without OF Jake Fraley (promoted to Tacoma) and Evan White and Kyle Lewis both getting days off, the Travs continued to put their brief losing streak behind them. Arkansas staked starter Ricardo Sanchez to a five-run lead in the third inning when they Bugs-Bunnied their way around the bases, at one time recording five straight hits against Midland (A’s) starter James Naile. OF Luis Liberato, recently promoted to take Fraley’s place, started off the scoring with an RBI single; he finished the day with two hits in his 2019 Double-A debut. Dom Thompson-Williams continued to heat up, with three hits and a walk, and INF Logan Taylor had three hits behind him. The big blast of the day, though, belonged to Joe DeCarlo, who after a solid year in Arkansas last year has been deeply cursed by the BABIP gods. After Midland tied things up in the sixth when Sánchez opened the inning by giving up five straight hits and Zac Grotz was unable to keep the tying run from coming in, Joey Deeks answered right back with one mighty swing of the bat:
Grotz came back out and worked a scoreless inning, and submariner Jack Anderson polished off the ninth. His ERA is 1.82.
Tacoma Rainiers (34-39) bitten by El Paso Chihuahuas (45-27), 10-4
Tyler Cloyd got lit up by El Paso’s powerful offense to the tune of nine runs (eight earned) in 4.1 innings, which put the Rainiers in a spot that not even Dillon Overton (remember him?) could screw up for El Paso. Tacoma scored half their runs in garbage time, so this one wasn’t quite as close as it looks; they actually had 10 hits off El Paso’s pitching staff, but couldn’t string them together to do damage. On the bright side, Ryan Garton and David McKay teamed up to record nine strikeouts in 4.2 innings of relief.
DSL Giants vs. DSL Mariners, 7:30 AM PT
West Virginia at Lakewood (TV), 4:05 PT (RHP Devin Sweet)
Arkansas at Midland, 5:00 PT (RHP Andrew Moore)
AZL Brewers at AZL Mariners, 6:00 PT
Modesto at Visalia (no TV), 7:00 PT (RHP Austin Hutchison)
El Paso at Tacoma, 7:05 PT (LHP Anthony Misiewicz)