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Midshipman’s Log, July 12 — Kyle Lewis Dominates, Brandon Williamson Debuts, and No One Catches

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While it was tough day for the system, there was still enough prospects prospecting to keep it interesting

Minor League Baseball: California League-All Star Game
Couple of goofs being buds
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

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).

First, the bad news.

Shed Long hurt his hand and landed back on the DL. This is devastating news to him, after working to get back on the field, and to us as fans because watching Shed in Seattle would make the entire viewing experience more enjoyable.

The good news is that while only two affiliates managed a W today, there were some great performances to appreciate. Come, let us appreciate.

DSL Mariners (15-21) bend knee to DSL Royals (17-19), 3-7

Link to full box score

This one was not pretty. For any Mariners involved. Noelvi Marte went 0-5 with a caught stealing, and as a team they committed 6 errors on the day and couldn’t muster much offensively. The worst offender was young Jose Caguana who had a very tough day as the 17 year old catcher threw the ball away three times and also allowed a passed ball. I hope he can shake it off, at 17 you should be allowed to have terrible days. There is nothing more to say so I will not say more.

AZL Mariners (10-10) sunk by AZL Royals (11-9), 11-7

Link to full box score

Another error-fest for the young Mariners affiliate resulted in an L. Brandon Brennan got the opener-bid on his rehab assignment and produced a very Arizona League line of: 1IP, 1H, 3R, 0ER, 1BB, 3Ks. There’s nothing to read into a rehab assignment except that he came out healthy and oh boy would it be weird to be pitching in the majors one day and then throwing to 18 year olds in the Arizona heat the next. I can’t believe that this happens.

Antoine Mistico. Mistico. Antione. The beautifully named 2019 12th round center fielder from GateWay Community College in Arizona knocked his fist home run of the season and is hitting well out of the gate, with 5 walks to only 3 Ks and an OPS over 1.000. Good for you, Antione Mistico. INF Connor Hoover also hit a home run, his second, and continues to be a bit of a head scratcher as an AZL player. He hasn’t played there since he was drafted in 2017, but he’s played in Arizona the majority of his time, while also siphoning some ABs from three other affiliates.

Everett AquaSox (14-14) out manners’d by Vancouver Canadians (8-20), 4-9

Link to full box score

Wow, it just has not been a good day for young Mariners. The big news of the game was 2019 2nd rounder Brandon Williamson making his professional debut. If you want to read up on his repertoire and scouting report, Joe Doyle covered the pick here. He allowed 2 unearned runs, struck out 1, in 1+ innings. On a strict pitch count, he got through the first inning allowing only a single and notching his first K, but after allowing a line drive single to the first batter and seeing Carter Bins allow a runner with a catcher’s interference (1 of 2 errors), he was lifted for Juan Mercedes, who struggled and allowed both runners to score. Without video there isn’t much to draw from the debut, but it’s great to see Williamson healthy and throwing, especially considering he was comped to the original Soggy Bottom Arm Boy Drew Smyly.

For the offense, Billy Cooke did something fairly noteworthy by hitting two triples for the AuquaSox. The speedy, glove-first outfielder has spent most of his year with the Rainiers and did surprisingly well with the bat considering he ended 2018 in A-ball. Other than roster crunch, I’m not sure why Cooke is hanging out in Everett again, but he’s exciting to watch in the field and if he can exploit poor fielding with his wheels. Austin Shenton continued his complete takeover of the Rookie League by swatting his first home run of his professional career. He now has 10 XBH in 10 July games and today started at 2B instead of 3rd, showing a little infield versatility.

West Virginia Power (47-45) feed the Greensboro Grasshoppers (56-34) to pet frog, win 9-7

Link to full box score

Julio Rodriquez did not hit a 440+ foot home run today. But we do have video of that. It’s glorious.

Unfortunately all he managed was two hits and an incredible clutch RBI.

Julio has been hitting better his last few games and striking out less than before his injury. Whether hitting home runs, throwing dudes out at the plate, lining clutch base hits, or generally being a great person to be around, J-Rod seems to come through in some shape or form every single night. The Power batted around in the 8th to take the lead and David Sheaffer started it off with a double, his second, and Jake Anchia and Onil Pena walked before the rest of the lineup played small ball, with two singles and a sacrifice. A lot of little things done right and done late in this game, which seems to be the Power’s M.O.

I have no idea what is going on with the catching today but Jake Anchia had an error and a passed ball. That’s 6 errors by catchers and 2 passed balls. This means nothing but it’s weird.

Modesto Nuts (42-51) drenched by the Lake Elsinore Storm (46-45), 4-7

Link to full box score

Jerry Dipoto is in Modesto and I know what he came to see. A BeefBoy bomb. Sadly, he did not get to see one. But he did see something on the lighter side. A TurkeyBoy single, I suppose?

The Nuts climbed out to an early 2 run lead thanks to a Connor Kopach double and clutch hitting by Cal Raleigh (who also netted two walks) and Joe Rizzo. But spot-starter Evan Johnson, who was called up from Everett, had trouble holding the lead, giving up 4 runs in his 3 innings, but he did show off a fairly impressive curveball.

Jack Larsen hit his seventh home run, Joe Rizzo had two hits, but it was Jarred Kelenic who came up clutch with an RBI double in the 7th to tie the game.

Unfortunately it was not to be as closer Kyle Wilcox couldn’t keep the Storm from blowing, giving up two runs in the 8th and one in the 9th. And, get this, catcher Nick Thurman contributed an error and a passed ball. That brings the total on the day to 7 and 3. Weird. Just, weird.

Arkansas Travelers (57-33) journey is ended by Springfield Cardinals (41-51), 9-7 (in 11 innings)

Link to full box score

This was a strange game. It ended in a loss, but it did, though, feature some great performances from a couple big prospects.

The game started with a ding and a dong from the heart of the order with Kyle Lewis (his 7th) and Dom Thompson-Williams (his 10th).

This hit by Kyle Lewis has done more for me than any of the other hits in his hot streak. As our own John Trupin and Joe Doyle have been discussing in various places, Kyle has had trouble getting the ball in the air to his pull side. The power had been to opposite field while he’d been rolling over balls to short and third on over 60% of his balls in play. This homer is an absolute behemoth and with one swing gave a glimpse of that potential power we saw in Spring. He also hit a clutch double in the 11th and saved a run by gunning out a runner at the plate. He put on a show.

Justin Dunn pitched exceedingly well once again, going 6 innings, striking out 6, and giving up 2 runs. What that line doesn’t show is that through 5 Dunn had only given up one hit, and in the sixth there was some singles sprayed around deflected by infielders that could just as easily been caught. He’s been needing to get deeper into games and it’s great to see him pitching past the 5th.

After the Cardinals came back in the ninth off of Art Warren, it was in the 11th that the Travelers scored 4, only for Zach Grotz and Wyatt Mills to fall to pieces and allow six runs (Mills’ three runs were his first ERs since June 15th). It was a tough game for what is still a very talented bullpen. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the passed ball. Catchers: 7 errors, 4 passed balls.

Tacoma Rainiers (44-48) declare “King High” rules with Reno Aces (40-51), 2-1

Link to full box score

Tacoma got the better end of a pitchers dual in this one. Veteran starter Sean Nolin continued to pitch exceedingly well with his 5th straight quality start since joining the Rainiers, going 6 innings of one run ball with 8 punch outs. Sam Tuivailala made a rehab appearance and seems to have locked in his control, with two punch outs in his one inning and maintaining nice shape and location with his breaking ball. He looks ready. Pop-up reliever prospect Reggie McClain closed the door with two clean innings and two Ks.

The offense was driven by two veterans, the familiar and fun-to-say John Andreoli, and the masher Ryan Court. Andreoli drove in a run, hit a double and swiped a bag while Court hit his fifth homer in his 25 games played. Neither player is very exciting, but they are putting up some eye-popping numbers. In other exciting-prospect news, Jake Fraley did not get a hit, but he did make a nice running catch in center. Importantly, no catcher errors were recorded.

Today’s games:

If you are in the area (no TV, sadly), the game to watch will definitely be first round draft pick George Kirby’s professional debut.

West Virginia at Greensboro, 4:00 PT (LHP Steven Moyers)

Arkansas at Springfield (TV), 5:10 PT (LHP Ricardo Sanchez)

AZL Mariners at AZL Indians, 6 PT

Reno at Tacoma (TV), 7:10 PT (TBD)

Inland Empire at Modesto (TV), 7:05 PT (RHP Ian McKinney)

Vancouver at Everett, 7:05 PT: (RHP George Kirby)