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).
Pitching was the theme of the day as the Mariners affiliates outscored their opponents 37 to 20. Let’s check out how they all nursed their post-freedom hangovers!
DSL Mariners (11-19) made to walk the plank by DSL Pirates (24-6), 2-1
The DSL Mariners took a few shots across the bow and landed one of their own but mostly both teams engaged in nautical nonsense for nine innings as they splashed through a 2-1 game. Noelvi Marte continued to make it difficult to keep him out of Arizona by adding his 8th double in a 2-4 game that raised his slash line to .311/.373/.485 and chipping in the lone run with an RBI groundout. Venezuelan Catcher Ortwin Pieternella continued to hit well in his first full taste of the DSL, landing himself on this here MSL for the second time with a single and a walk. The 20 year old now has 14 walks to 12 strikeouts and an OPS of 1.059. LHP Jose Aquino, signed in Marte’s class last season, made his professional debut by tossing two innings with one hit, one walk, and three strikeouts.
AZL Mariners—Did Not Play
Everett AquaSox (11-11) present convincing argument for using water as socks, beat the Eugene Emeralds (9-13) 10-4
An exciting day for the young ballers of Everett. 4th round draft pick Tim Elliot started the game and went 3 innings giving up just one run. He kept the walks in check with only 1 allowed; they’ve been a problem for the Georgia righty as he has 7 in 9.2 innings.
Tim Elliott is through 2IP, 1H, 1R, BB, 2K, 30-18. AquaSox up 5-1. pic.twitter.com/uPxspiIjaY— Mariners Minors (@MiLBMariners) July 6, 2019
Jorge Benitez followed and pitched his best outing of the season with 4 innings, no walks, and 6 Ks. He’s also been struggling with control as he managed his first walk-free outing of the year. It’s a step in the right direction for the 20 year old.
3B Austin Shenton, meanwhile, continues to sprint in the right direction. The 5th round draft pick racked up another double, his 5th in 13 games, and raised his OPS to .931. Look at him hit the absolute Shenton out of this baseball:
Austin Shenton RBI double. pic.twitter.com/88jwxLcYAN— Mariners Minors (@MiLBMariners) July 6, 2019
His swing reminds me of Shed Long’s if only because of the pronounced uppercut. I enjoy watching it.
Cade Marlow and Utah Jones also made a case for the strength of the 2019 position player draft by chipping in with two hits each. But let us discuss DeAires Moses who had a hit, two walks and swiped his 7th bag this year. He is, how do I put this in layman’s terms... fast? Does that translate well? He also has shown some pop with two dingers and two triples so far with a .892 OPS. He’s also hitting those dingers while standing at 5’9”, which also reminds me of Shed Long—whom I miss everyday.
West Virginia Power (45-41) lo—wait for it—se to the Lexington Legends (42-43) 7-11
The power were over-themselves’d by the Legends thanks to an early hole dug by starting pitcher Ryne Inman, who gave up 6 in 4 innings with 5 walks. It looked bleak early with Lexinton up 8-2 in the 5th, but this Power team has a knack for fighting and staying in the game with several walk-off come from behind victories under their belt already. Maybe I’m too bought into the narrative about the infectious positivity of Julio Rodriguez, but the Power coming back to score three a half inning after a 6-spot being thrown on them with Julio leading the charge had me ready to follow our Baseball-Breaker to victory.
The Power are getting blown out after a six-run half-inning, but the joy on Julio Rodriguez's face as he crosses home makes it look like he just scored the go-ahead run. He is such a positive force to be around, truly a special player, special person. pic.twitter.com/IpOrgWzPPG— Lookout Landing (@LookoutLanding) July 6, 2019
They didn’t win. But hey, at least they showed some fight and some trademark clutchiness, hitting 5-11 with RISP. Julio finished with a couple singles, converted catcher David Sheaffer chipped in with two hits playing left, and hot-hitting catcher Jake Anchia went 1-3 with a single and a walk. In the 13 games since the All-Star break, Anchia is hitting .300/.364./480 and—importantly—striking out at a more reasonable 23.5% clip. If he can sustain a sub 30% K-rate his plus defense and power should carry him onto prospect lists.
Modesto Nuts (38-48) shell Stockton Ports (41-43), 7-3
There is no video feed in Stockton and I am pretty sure it is within my right to call the police. Partly because the Nuts managed to set a new club-high scoreless inning streak at 36, only to give it up late in the game. Still, they’ve been lights out.
Jarred Kelenic, who had to be lifted early to catch a red eye flight to the Futures Game, went 2-3 with a dinger (his 4th), a double (his 5th), and a walk. In his last five games since his mini slump he’s hit .474./524./895 with two homers. Call the Escape Room manager because Jarred Kelenic is locked in. I feel sorry for whichever pitchers have to toe the rubber in the Futures Game with a red hot Kelenic staring them down. It’s probably for the best that Jarred went through his slump, experienced failure that has been in short supply in his career, and was able to come back better than ever. The nice thing about Jarred’s skillset is that, even when he does slump with the bat, he’ll still make his highlight reel catches, steal bases, and hose guys from center. That’s the benefit of a 5-tool player. They never really slump.
Whew. That was a lot of words on Jarred.
Here are some on Penn Murfee. Penn made the transition from his namesake into the starting rotation and has really taken to the new assignment. Against the Ports he was electric, going 6 innings, allowing 6 hits, no walks, and striking out 9. He did all of this in 86 pitches, 63 for strikes. The 33rd rounder now has a 2.42 ERA in his 10 starts and is controlling the zone with a 57:8 strikeout to walk ratio. He’s having trouble with lefties, but Penn has been making a case for a promotion and for more words to be written about him.
In other news, almost everyone in the lineup hit today, with red-hot Beef Boys Keegan McGovern and Cal Raleigh each smacking a baseball, Keegan for his first triple. Jack Larsen hit a big three-run bomb and Joe Rizzo continued to make me look like an idiot for doubting him by notching two hits and raising his post-break OPS to .988.
Arkansas Travelers (54-29) cage the Springfield Cardinals (36-49) and allow just one hit, 3-0
Let’s check in on the second-to-none Arkansas Travelers ballpark festivities.
When your boys want to hit the dance floor but your best move is Drinking pic.twitter.com/ZwLgDSLwta— Nicholas Stillman (@nick_at_day) July 6, 2019
Stay golden, Arkansas.
The Travelers squeaked one past the Cardinals thanks to some outstanding pitching from Nabil Crismatt (6ip, 1H, 2BB, 3Ks), rehabbing Sam Tuivailala (1ip, 0H, 1BB, 1K), Matt Tenuta (1ip, 0H, 1BB, 1K), and Wyatt Mills (1ip, 0H, 0BB, 1K). They combined to one hit the Cardinals. One hit. Just one. The whole game.
The Travelers have been pitching great for so long with a dynamite bullpen where every pitcher seems to be a prospect. Nabil Crismatt has been on fire this season, as the 24 year old has the lowest qualified xFIP in the Texas League at 3.33. Wyatt Mills hasn’t allowed a baserunner in his last 5 innings and in that span has struck out 10. He’s locked in right now and finally showing the results that his nasty side-armed stuff suggests he should be getting.
The offense was led by a three hit day from Kyle Lewis, who clocked three singles, a walk, and a stolen base. It was great to see Kyle spread the ball around the diamond, but still a bit worrisome that his power has yet to show up, with only one homer since May 1st. We’ll see if Kyle can build on the solid contact and start elevating the ball. He was driven in twice from Luis Liberato’s two singles as he continues to adjust to AA pitching.
Tacoma Rainiers (42-46) mace the Fresno Grizzlies (45-43), 8-1
Another dominant pitching performance from an unexpected source with the 29 year old Sean Nolin going 7 innings of 1 run ball with 8 Ks. Nolin has only been with the Mariners for 4 starts but he’s made a great first impression with 4 quality starts and a sub-3 ERA. Have the Mariners unlocked something in Nolin others have missed? Or a meaningless blip? Probably the second one, but worth keeping an eye on.
The offense was led by new old-timers hitting the bouncy ball with authority. Ryan Court, who is 31 and has been playing all over the diamond, crushed a 3-run homer and has been raking consistently all season. Recently acquired OF Jaycob Brugman, another player I forgot existed, had two hits and a walk and is slugging .572 on the season. John Andreoli hit a triple and is destroying the baseball regularly, and the under-appreciated Jake Fraley tallied a hit and an RBI.
A great day for Tacoma but not a very exciting place for prospects at the moment. Still, we’ll probably see some of these guys up in September and some, Fraley, will be quite exciting.
DSL SEA at DSL Tigers, 7:00 AM PT
West Virginia at Lexington (TV), 3:35 PM (RHP Devin Sweet)
Springfield at Arkansas (TV), 4:10 PM (RHP Darren McCaughen)
AZL Mariners vs. AZL Cubs, 6 PT
Tacoma at Fresno (TV), 5:05 PT (RHP Erik Swanson), Game 2 (Tyler Cloyd)
Everett at Eugene (TV), 7:05 PT (RHP Austin Hutchison)
Boise at Everett, 7:05 PT (RHP Damon Casetta-Stubbs)