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Midshipmen’s Log, June 26, 2019: Pena Power, Frick clicks, Cal flexes

All that plus an intriguing arm in the DSL and Texas League ASG content

Onil Pena/Pena Power
West Virginia Power on Twitter

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).

DSL Mariners (7-14) dampened by DSL Tigers (8-13), 2-1 (6 innings)

Link to full box score

The DSL Mariners continue to be...not...very...good, which is a little troubling since the Mariners are among the few teams that only run out one DSL team per season. It’s fine to limit the quantity if it results in higher quality, which so far this team has not. Bright spots include top prospect Noelvi Marte continuing to hit and hit and hit, adding a double today, his fourth; also interesting is the primary pitcher from today, a 17-year-old Venezuelan named David Morillo, who has a 1.17 ERA in his first year of DSL play and today struck out five over four innings, allowing one run on one hit. Here’s a sampling of what Morillo offers from his Instagram:

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AZL Mariners (3-4) lose again to the AZL Rangers (6-1), 4-2 (Monday)

Link to full box score

The baby Mariners were off on Tuesday after suffering another loss at the hands of the AZL Rangers on Monday, this time without their ringer in the titanic form of Joey Gallo. Aside from a home run from 2019 draftee C Anthony Lepre, the baby M’s were unable to come up with a single extra-base hit over the contest.

Everett AquaSox (5-7) battez the Vancouver Canadians (3-9), 6-5

Link to full box score

It took a walk-off walk, but the Frogs brought home their second win at home. The AquaSox collected three doubles off Canadians pitching: one from teenager Robert Perez, who continues to impress after shining at Tacoma in a fill-in role over the past month; one from 2019 draftee Cade Marlowe; and another from fellow 2019 draftee Patrick Frick, who was my pick for MY GUY thanks to his strong on-base skills. P-Frick had the kind of night at the plate that I was envisioning when I picked him as MY GUY, with two hits, two walks, and no strikeouts. He’s still soliciting ideas for a walk-up song, to which I might suggest: It’s Fricky to rock a rhyme, to rock a rhyme that’s right on time, it’s Fricky! Local kid Austin Shenton had two hits and scored two runs but was removed with a possible knee injury late in the game; we’ll monitor that situation going forward. The AquaSox walked (8 times) almost as many times as they struck out (9) in this game, which is some good C the Z stuff, and won the game on a bases-loaded walk taken by teenager Miguel Perez, making up for a two-K night.

West Virginia Power (40-36) stomp on Greensboro Grasshoppers (46-29), 12-6

Link to full box score

After a brief foray to Lakewood, NJ, and its glorious, full-color video, the Power are sadly back in black-and-white Kansas, or in this case, Greensboro, NC. The Power lost the opening game of this series and came into this game looking for their first win against the Hoppers this season, and the bats obliged. After falling behind 2-0, the Power rallied in the second to tie the game thanks to the bottom third of their lineup, as Ryan Ramiz and Utah Jones both hit two-out singles, allowing the lineup to turn over so leadoff men Charlie McConnell and J.R. Davis could drive in some runs. The game teeter-tottered from there: the Hoppers would hit a home run, and then Onil Pena came back with a two-run blast of his own to put the Power back on top. The Hoppers got another solo home run; the Power scratched across another run from the bottom of their order. In the sixth and seventh innings, the Power would add another seven runs combined to put the game safely out of reach, with the big blast coming again from Onil Pena, who had an RBI single and a three-run bomb in those innings to finish with six (!) RBI on the day.

Modesto Nuts (32-44) stomped by San Jose Giants (32-43), 8-4

Link to full box score

Both these teams have some big prospect power but not the wins to show for it, although today the Giants prospects outdid the Mariners prospects. Jarred Kelenic was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts, Cal Raleigh was hitless (although he did walk twice), and Joe Rizzo had one hit, a nice oppo single. Meanwhile, top Giants prospects Heliot Ramos had three hits, and Joey Bart one, although it was a triple. The bottom of the Nuts lineup tried to help out: Johnny Adams hit his sixth dinger, Jake Scheiner continued his hot hitting with a double, and Jack Larsen had two hits, including a triple that was inches away from being a home run. Unfortunately it just wasn’t enough to undo the damage done by a poor start from recently converted reliever Penn Murfee, who gave up five runs in four innings, and was followed by Collin Kober, who also struggled, giving up three more runs. On the bright side, Eric’s favorite prospect, J.T. Salter, returned to his dominant ways, posting two scoreless, hitless innings with three strikeouts.

It was a bummer of a game, especially after Modesto got out to a lead early, but let’s take a second to appreciate third-rounder Cal Raleigh flexing on second overall pick Joey Bart by stealing a base on him:

Who has the highest caught stealing % in the Cal League? Not you, Joey!

Arkansas Travelers: OFF, but the North loses the All-Star Game, 5-1

Today was the Texas League All-Star Game. No Arkansas Travelers were selected to participate in the derby, which in the words of Travs pitcher Zac Grotz: “What?” It doesn’t count for his hitting streak, but Evan White would have had another two notches in his belt if today’s game had counted, including this RBI double.

Unfortunately he also struck out in a key spot that could have helped the North rally. Donnie Walton also had a hit and took a walk, playing in front of a Tulsa fanbase that fondly remembers Walton from his OSU Cowboy days. The Travs pitchers mostly acquitted themselves well; Ricardo Sanchez allowed two hits and a run but every other Trav pitcher posted a scoreless frame, with Darren McCaughan leading it off (1 H, 1 K), Nabil Crismatt following him (0 H, 1 BB, 2 K), then later Justin Dunn (1 H, 1 BB, 2 K), and Jack Anderson squeaking in at the end to pitch to one batter, whom he retired on a groundout.

Mostly, though, we are happy for Rockhounds’ catcher Collin Theroux, who despite playing for the South squad and being an A’s prospect (boo! hiss!) is an honorary Mariner due to his deep ties with M’s prospects Braden Bishop (Bay Area baybeee) and Donnie Walton (OSU), and who has basically been adopted by the Travs squad. Theroux had a two-run bomb in front of a crowd that, like Walton, remembers him fondly, and got to enjoy some payoff for this moment:

Tacoma Rainiers (35-41) zapped by the Albuquerque Isotopes (34-44), 9-7

Link to full box score

Tacoma started off strong with a three-run first inning, but then poor Tyler “Cannon Fodder” Cloyd got lit up again in a brutal pitcher’s park, surrendering five runs in the second inning alone en route to a nine-run drubbing. The silver lining: another three scoreless innings from Reggie McClain, who continues to angle his way into a potential MLB callup later this summer. For a guy who once joked he’d have his number retired at John Thurman Field in Modesto, that’s a pretty incredible achievement. The Rainiers batters did their best to keep the game competitive; Kristopher Negron, Jose Lobaton, and Ian Miller—continuing to emerge from his brief slump—all had two hits each, including a HR for Lobatón, and Jaycob Brugman contributed a two-run homer as well, causing the heartstrings of our own Connor Donovan to flutter. Jake Fraley had his first clunker of a game at Triple-A; he had a hit and didn’t strike out, but he left six on base from the two-hole and was caught trying to steal.

Today’s games:

Arkansas - OFF. Happy last day of the ASB, fellas.

DSL Tigers2 vs. DSL Mariners, 7:30 AM PT

West Virginia at Greensboro (No TV), 9 AM PT (RHP Devin Sweet)

Modesto at San Jose (TV), 12:30 PT (RHP Austin Hutchison)

Tacoma at Albuquerque (TV), 5:35 PT (LHP Anthony Misiewicz)

AZL Mariners at AZL Royals, 6:00 PT

Vancouver at Everett, 7:05 PT (RHP Damon Casetta-Stubbs)