Welcome back to a slimmed-down version of the Midshipmen’s Log. We’ve got more teams to cover with Rookie League ball starting up, plus things are about to get hairy with the draft, so I figured a little haircut was in order. I’m not sure exactly when the DSL starts or what their schedule will be like, but the ACL (formerly the AZL, now the Arizona Complex League) is already underway. Unfortunately, the games are next to impossible to follow via the web (there is no Gameday, and also, weather concerns—both rain and extreme heat—have forced the cancellation of several of those games. We’ll try to bring you any info we can in the best way we can as soon as possible. In the meantime, let’s check in with our Tuesday-through-Sunday buddies.
Modesto Nuts (32-22) sweep away Visalia Rawhide (ARI) (13-41)
After facing off against some of the former Cal League’s tougher teams in June, Modesto got a chance to do some stat-padding against the Cal League’s worst team, the absolutely dismal Visalia Rawhide. Perhaps pushing back against Keith Law’s claim that the Diamondbacks have a better system than the Mariners, Modesto didn’t just sweep the Rawhide this weekend, they went into Visalia’s Valley Strong ballpark and ran roughshod on the Rawhide, outscoring them 63-28 over the six-game series. Noelvi Marte ended the series with seven total hits, two homers and two doubles. After a slow start to the season, OF Alberto Rodríguez has been steadily heating up and now has earned the three-hole spot behind Marte after Cade Marlowe was promoted to Everett; he had six hits of his own over the series, also with two homers and two doubles. Cuban speedster Victor Labrada’s bat also perked back up towards the end of this series after he experienced a little mini-slump; he even knocked his first stateside home run.
On the pitching side, Josias De Los Santos had another good outing, going six strong with seven strikeouts in the first game of the series. Sam Carlson continues to work on his command, walking five in five innings, hitting two batters and throwing a wild pitch, but he also struck out eight and only allowed one run in his outing. Credit to the Nuts bullpen, too, who are still covering innings in spot starts after the promotion of Taylor Dollard while Adam Macko and Connor Phillips remain on the shelf with injuries. Luis Curvelo continues to shine, striking out over 13 batters per nine innings while walking just a hair over two.
Everett AquaSox (34-18) are almost perfect against Vancouver Canadians (TOR) (27-27)
Backed by big crowds from the grand re-opening post the lifting of COVID restrictions, the AquaSox put on a show for the Everett faithful. The Sox pounced all over Canadians starter and Toronto 2020 second-rounder CJ Van Eyk in game one of the series, tagging him for seven runs and chasing him out in the first (they were a little nicer in game six, when they only got to him for five runs over 4.1 innings). By contrast, Mariners 2020 second-rounder Zach DeLoach looks almost bored at this level as he continues to post a prime-Edgar-like slashline of .300/.400/.500; he had another nine hits in this series, with five doubles (Doubles DeLoach) and a triple—and all without playing in the final game of the series, even, which was probably a day off for CJ Van Eyk as much as it was for him. Jack Larsen continues to petition for a promotion with a similar statline including three doubles in one game, and Austin Shenton homered twice.
On the pitching side, things were...okay. Juan Then allowed eight runs on ten hits in just four innings in the first game of the series; Matt Brash picked the team up in game two with a quietly solid six innings of no-run, four-hit ball. Levi Stoudt followed that up with a similar quietly solid five innings. George Kirby provided the fireworks in the box score in his outing with eight strikeouts in just five innings and no runs on three hits (although he also walked two, what’s up with that, George). Everett’s lone loss in this series came on a bullpen day, as Emerson Hancock didn’t make his start this week. Recently promoted from Modesto, Taylor Dollard earned the win in his second start in High-A despite giving up four runs over six innings (three of them came on two home runs), walking just one while striking out five.
Arkansas Travelers (27-26) split series with Tulsa Drillers (LAD) (30-23)
Every time it feels like these Travelers are going to go on a little run, they fall right back to .500 ball again. A gold-star day for Julio Rodríguez in a double-header where he hit his first Double-A home run (a game-winner!), had three more singles in the other game, and walked three times total was answered right back by the Drillers’ Ryan Pepiot perfecto’ing the Travs into the eighth in the final game of the series. Brian O’Keefe drew the walk that busted up the perfecto; he’d also doubled off Pepiot in the first game of the series, as did Julio.
Mr. Big Moments, Julio Rodríguez, does it again. On the fourth anniversary of his signing a professional contract, he hits his first Double-A home run to break a scoreless tie for Arkansas. Felicidades @J_RODshow! pic.twitter.com/5cztTXLWZh— Lookout Landing (@LookoutLanding) July 2, 2021
It was mostly rough going for the Travs pitching staff against a prospect-packed Tulsa lineup, but Adam Hill was strong in his turn, going six innings and allowing no runs on just one hit while striking out five. The Travs also scraped out a win on Devin Sweet’s start day; Sweet needed almost 100 pitches to get through five innings, but limited damage, giving up just two runs, both in his final inning of work. Brandon Williamson pitched the first game of the shortened doubleheader and improved on his first start at Double-A, giving up no runs over five innings while striking out five and walking none (he did hit two batters). He looks very comfortable for someone who’s only pitched barely over 50 professional innings.
Here's a full at-bat where Williamson retires Donovan Casey on four pitches so you can see how he sequences and attacks hitters. Just a very complete pitcher. pic.twitter.com/6A9egv5fj5— Lookout Landing (@LookoutLanding) July 2, 2021
Upcoming matchups, July 6-11:
AA: Arkansas vs. Frisco (TEX) Tue-Fri 5:10 PT, Sat 4:10, Sun 12:10 [on MiLB TV]
A+: Everett @ Eugene Emeralds (SFG), Tue-Sat 7:05 PT, Sun 5:05 [MiLB TV]
A: Modesto vs. Stockton Ports (OAK), Tue-Fri 7:05 PT, Sat-Sun 6:05 [MiLB TV]