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).
Tonight is the Triple-A All-Star Game at 6 PM PT on MLB Network. Our own Ian Miller will be representing the Mariners, and he loves hitting El Paso; during the Mariners’ last series there he crushed two doubles and a HR and reached base seven times.
ROSTER MOVES: RHPs Parker Markel and David McKay have been recalled by Seattle, and Tacoma adds INF Connor Kopach and LHP Raymond Kerr from Modesto.— Tacoma Rainiers (@RainiersLand) July 6, 2019
OF Ian Miller will take Markel's place in the Triple-A All-Star Game on Wednesday. Congratulations to all #ThisIsRCity pic.twitter.com/hgz6E93gnQ
In other All-Star news, SS Noelvi Marte was named to the DSL All-Star Game. He’s displayed both an ability to get on-base and flashed power in the DSL, with a line of .297/.353/.449. On the pitching side, 17-year-old David Morillo will represent the Mariners; in 21 IP he’s allowed just four earned runs and struck out 20.
DSL Mariners (13-20) erode DSL Rockies (16-17), 11-7
Another win for the Baby Marineros! Recently-crowned All-Star Noelvi Marte had three hits, all singles, and 18-year-old Julio De La Cruz had a monster day as the DH, crushing a triple and a home run for a three-RBI day. 17-year-old CF Jonatan Clase continued to impress, with two hits from the leadoff spot, including a double, and added a stolen base as well, giving him 14 on the season already, which is good for 10th in the league. Pitching is not the story in the DSL but on his second time through the level Elbis Afanador has some strong numbers, striking out 14 in 19 innings and allowing just three earned runs. He was strong in this outing, pitching five innings (a long start for a DSL arm) and allowing just one run.
AZL Mariners (10-8) devalue AZL Brewers Gold (5-13), 9-2 (July 8)
The motley crew of young prospects, rehabbing players, and non-prospects that make up the AZL Mariners jumped all over their counterparts from the Milwaukee Brewers organization on Monday. Shortstop Kevin Santa hit lead-off and knocked a single and double, while Eric Young, Jr. (still around and currently rehabbing according to milb.com!) walked 3 times and hit an RBI single. On the pitching side of things, Kelvin Nunez and Deivy Florido pitched the bulk of the game. Nunez gave up the 2 runs, one from a solo shot, while striking out 4 and walking no one over 5 innings. Even more impressively, Florido racked up 5 K’s over 3 innings while surrendering zero walks or runs.
Everett AquaSox (14-12) make poutine out of Vancouver Canadians (6-20), 9-1
The Canadians (Blue Jays affiliate) are not...good, but Damon Casetta-Stubbs was also extremely sharp. The Vancouver (WA) native put on a show in his hometown’s Canadian twin, hurling his best start as a Mariner: eight strikeouts in five innings with just one walk and one run on two hits, all coming in the fifth inning. DCS is still building up a pro’s stamina after graduating from King’s Way Christian just last year, but outings like this are an encouraging sign that his development is progressing nicely. 2019 draftee Reeves Martin finished out the game with four shutout innings.
Offensively, the Frogs did more than they needed to considering the strong pitching, racking up nine runs against a hapless Canadians pitching staff. OBP machine Patrick Frick had three hits and two walks; SS Utah Jones, C Dean Nevarez, and RF Cade Marlowe all had multihit days. Austin Shenton, who is hitting a tidy .358, only had one hit, but it was a big one: a bases-clearing double. He also walked twice, and has a wRC+ of 177, which seems good.
West Virginia Power (46-43) left to bake in the low tide by the Delmarva Shorebirds (62-26)
As far as minor league cities and team names go, the Sally League definitely gets me the most on “Wait, where is that?” and DELMARVA certainly takes the cake on that. As Kate graciously informed me before I Googled it, Delmarva isn’t a city, but a peninsula and/or region, as it covers areas of 3 states: Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia. DEL-MAR-VA, get it?!?! Like SeaTac, but way more redneck. See, this is the quality educational content you’ve come to expect from the Midshipman’s Log, right?
Anyways, the Orioles-affiliate Shorebirds are quite good and they trounced all over our nice Power lads, despite Josias De La Santos pitching 4 scoreless innings before running into trouble in the fifth inning and then bullpen arms continued to falter from there. The Power bats couldn’t get anything going against Ryan Wilson, aside from Julio Rodriguez knocking a double and Bobby Honeyman hit a single. Other than that, a pretty quiet night from the WV Power.
Modesto Nuts (41-49) fell the San Jose Giants (38-51), 4-1
Look out because here come the Nuts, who with this win snuck into first place in the Cal League North. Modesto has been on a tear lately; their starters just completed a turn through the rotation where no starter gave up a run, which ended, funnily enough, on Ljay Newsome’s last start—but then he went ahead and threw a complete game anyway. The bar has been raised for all of Modesto’s pitchers and even on a bullpen day (starter Austin Hutchison’s grandmother is ailing and he’s away from the team; the Hutchison family is in our thoughts), the bullpen brought it. Matt Walker looks recovered from the elbow injury that sidelined him earlier this year as his curveball looked back to its pre-injury self. Ray Kerr, a free agent signing who was working at an IMAX a little over a year ago, continued to impress, with three shutout innings. Flow Bros Kyle Wilcox and Colin Kober also worked strong innings, although Kober gave up a run in the 9th—the first run allowed by the pitching staff since Ljay Newsome gave up a three-run homer in the first inning the day before. The pitching staff also got a lift from CF Jarred Kelenic, recently returned from his stint at the Futures Game:
Wow, what a catch by Jarred Kelenic. Ran at a dead sprint, made a leaping catch, and saved the tying run, ending the inning. pic.twitter.com/hQrUrPcdVu— Lookout Landing (@LookoutLanding) July 9, 2019
Offensively, Jarred continued to round back into form, with a hit and two walks. The big hitting hero on the day was 3B Jake Scheiner, acquired from the Phillies in the Jay Bruce trade, who had three hits, including two doubles, and two RBI. Scheiner has quietly been hitting very well lately, raising his average to .272 after a slow start in his new org, and he seems to have a special knack for clutch hits; he’s seventh on the team in RBI despite having almost 200 fewer ABs than RBI leader Cal Raleigh (who has 57, which is pretty bonkers in and of itself. The next closest is Joe Rizzo at 38).
Jake Scheiner RBI double. pic.twitter.com/wuwgH9at2C— Mariners Minors (@MiLBMariners) July 9, 2019
Arkansas Travelers (56-31) out-natural’d in the Natural State by the Northwest Arkansas Naturals (40-46)
Today I learned Otey the Swamp Possum is named after a real baseball player from Arkansas. Just wanted to share that. Anyways, Justus Sheffield continued his run of encouraging starts in Double A with 6 innings of 2 run ball with 5 strikeouts and 2 walks. Travs bats stayed mostly in their natural, non-swinging state, aside from a double from Nick Zammarelli and an RBI single from Donnie Walton. Also of note, Sam Tuivailala threw a clean inning of relief with one strike out as he continues his long road of rehabbing.
Despite the loss, @MiLBMinors provided a couple bits of video to chew on. Here’s Evan White doing his thing at first base:
Evan White Gold Glove defense. pic.twitter.com/JS9TD4RDra— Mariners Minors (@MiLBMariners) July 10, 2019
And here’s Wyatt Mills gettin’ nasty:
Wyatt Mills strikes out the side in the 8th. pic.twitter.com/StdZnQujgi— Mariners Minors (@MiLBMariners) July 10, 2019
Wyatt Mills, after scuffling a little to begin the season, has been very sharp since the AA ASB. He strikes out the side in order tonight and has 12 Ks in his last 4 games. pic.twitter.com/xsIvKka5yn— Lookout Landing (@LookoutLanding) July 10, 2019
Tacoma Rainiers (43-46): OFF
We’re getting today’s MSL out the door a little later, so the DSL game has already happened, and we’re delighted to report they won, 8-1. The Baby M’s hit five doubles as a team, including one each for Noelvi Marte and Jonatan Clase, who each had multi-hit games. See the full box score here. Other than that, today is a pretty light day in the system with Tacoma still on their All-Star Break and Everett off. With just eight teams, it sometimes feels like the Cal League is just endlessly playing itself (I am so sick of the Visalia Rawhide), but tonight is actually a team the Nuts haven’t seen very much, the Lake Elsinore Storm, so that might be a fun one to tune into and check on how relief conversion project Penn Murfee does as a starter. Also, even those of you without MiLB TV can check out the Triple-A All-Star Game at 6 PM on MLBN and cheer on Ian Miller.
Delmarva at West Virginia, 4:05 PT (RHP Clay Chandler)
Northwest Arkansas at Arkansas (TV), 5:10 PT (RHP Nabil Crismatt)
AZL Padres 2 at AZL Mariners, 6 PT
Lake Elsinore at Modesto (TV), 7:05 PT (RHP Penn Murfee)