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State of the Farm, 5/26/22: Edwin Arroyo impresses on both sides of the ball, Bryce Miller shoves, Cade Marlowe shines

Also, the Travs search for a league-average hitter

Bryce Miller
Shari Sommerfeld

Hello! As a reminder, now that the minor league season is well underway, we’ll be dividing our minor league coverage into the Midshipman’s Log (a granular encapsulation of each affiliate’s week, publishing Tuesdays) and this post, the State of the Farm, a more bird’s eye view on each Seattle Mariners affiliate where we will also single out particular prospect performances. As a reminder, we’ll be updating each week with the latest stats we can find from MiLB and FanGraphs; all numbers are updated at the time of writing but might have shifted some by publication.

Transactions:

  • Tacoma: RHP Asher Wojciechowski activated from the 7-day injured list; RHP Adrian Sampson elects free agency; Justin Upton optioned to Rainiers

Modesto Nuts (18-22)

Team Stats:

Third of four in California League (North); .450%, 6th of 8

Team OPS: .737 (4th of 8)

Team ERA: 4.27 (3rd of 8, improved from 5th); Team WHIP: 1.31 (2nd of 8); Team Ks: 416 (6th of 8)

Player Leaderboard:

OPS leader: Robert Pérez, .994 (4th overall, improved from 8th); HR leader: Pérez (14, 1st); AVG leader: Edwin Arroyo, .301 (12th, up from 18th); Hits leader: Arroyo, 46 (2nd, up from 7th); wRC+ leader: Pérez, 150 (8th)

ERA leader: Joseph Hernández, 2.90 (4th, down from 2nd); FIP leader: Michael Morales, 4.32 K leader: Hernández, 48 (t-4th); Saves: Jorge Benitez, 4 (3rd); K% leader: Hernández, 29% (6th)

SB leader: Jonatan Clase (18, 5th)

Top prospect updates:

Harry Ford (4): .222/.389/.313; 19.0% BB 28.6% K; 2 HR 3 2B

Edwin Arroyo (8): .301/.376/.542; 9.2% BB 20.2% K; 8 HR 7 2B 3 3B 8 SB

Milkar Perez (12): [recently returned from rehab in AZ, has fewer than 100 PA]

Michael Morales (18): 37.2 IP; 5.50 ERA/4.32 FIP; 22% K 7.9% BB

Jonatan Clase (19): .243/.325/.385; 9.6% BB 29.5% K; 6 2B 3 HR 3 3B 17 SB

Sam Carlson (26): [recently returned from rehab in AZ, has pitched fewer than 5 innings]

William Fleming (28): 37.2 IP; 4.78 ERA/4.24 FIP; 24.8% K 7.2% BB

Prospect Performer:

Harry Ford has been slowed by injury, but Edwin Arroyo has stepped up to lead the Nuts with electrifying performances night after night. In addition to his performance in the batter’s box, Arroyo has also been showing off the true shortstop skills that were most remarked upon when he was drafted, showcasing smooth and elegant footwork, solid range, and a strong, accurate arm in the field. The camera work in Modesto doesn’t show it, but Arroyo had a beautiful play in the field to close out a Nuts win during this series; ask Nuts announcer Keaton Gilllogly (@gillogly) on Twitter if you don’t believe me. Perry Hill is going to be over the moon when this kid gets to spring training next year.

Other names to know:

RHP Andrew Moore: 1.20 ERA/2.06 FIP

The Mariners’ 14th-round pick in the 2021 draft, Moore started in Modesto last year and hasn’t progressed out yet, largely because of his walk rate, which is just a touch too close to double digits for comfort. The stuff is nasty, though: a big fastball that’s anywhere between 96-98 paired with a hard slider that elicits some ugly swings when he’s locating it. Over 15 innings pitched out of the bullpen (13 games, the most on the team), Moore’s strikeout rate is nearly 40%, leading the team.

Everett AquaSox (16-23)

Team Stats:

Sixth of six in Northwest League; .410%. 165 runs scored (3rd), 214 runs allowed (6th).

Team OPS: .713 (2nd of 6)

Team ERA: 5.05 (6th of 6); Team WHIP: 1.46 (6th of 6); Team Ks: 379 (5th of 6)

Player Leaderboard:

OPS leader: Andy Thomas, .897 (5th); HR leader: Spencer Packard, 7 (2nd); AVG leader: Thomas .298 (7th); Hits leader: Noelvi Marte 37 (3rd); wRC+ leader: Thomas, 164 (4th)

ERA leader: Bryce Miller, 0.82 (1st); FIP leader: Miller, 1.49 (2nd); K leader: Adam Macko, 60 (1st); Saves leader: Evan Johnson/Leon Hunter Jr., 2 (5th); K% leader: Miller, 36.8% (2nd)

SB leader: Lavey, 8 (7th)

Top prospect updates:

Noelvi Marte (1): .257/.353/.396; 11.1 BB%; 22.8 K%; 4 HR, 8 2B; 121 wRC+

Noelvi is starting to get a little hotter - the numbers aren’t quite eye-popping yet, but his wRC+ indicates he has been an above average hitter so far this season in the very offensively-stunted Northwest League. Would really love to see Noelvi start to run this league, though it’s worthwhile to remember that he will be 20 for all of this season, and was never considered to be as advanced as Julio development-wise.

Alberto Rodríguez (7): .233/.291/.363; 6.3 BB%; 24.3% K; 3 HR, 8 2B; 91 wRC+

Worth noting that as unseemly as these numbers may look, he’s managing a 91 wRC+. As the season heats up, look for him to show us 2021 Berto.

Adam Macko (10): 38.1 IP; 3.99 ERA, 3.54 FIP; 35.9% K 12% BB

Has been striking out everyone in sight. He’s also been a bit unlucky, with a .367 BABIP, so look to see some of these results improve.

Bryce Miller (22): 33 IP; 0.82 ERA 1.47 FIP; 36.8% K, 4.8% BB

Miller has obviously been a bit lucky with the stellar numbers he’s put up, his xFIP is still 2.44, a pretty fabulous number. The Texas kid, last year’s 4th-round draft pick, has legit stuff. More on him in a sec.

Victor Labrada (25): .202/.260/.371; 6.3% BB, 39.6% K; 4 HR, 4 2B, 1 3B, 5 SB

You want a guy this fast to get on base more often so he can pump up those steals numbers. Putting the ball in play has been a challenge for him, evidenced by his 39.6% K-rate and a .260 OBP. When speed is your biggest tool, you’ve got to give it a chance to shine. He snagged 32 stolen bases last season.

Prelander Berroa (30): [has only tossed 6.2 innings since being acquired from SFG]

Prospect Performer:

RHP Bryce Miller

A strong outing from Miller this week lowered his already-sterling numbers across the board while pumping up his strikeout rate. If he can repeat this performance over the next week or two, it’s time to seriously consider the 2021 fourth-rounder for a promotion to Arkansas, especially since his vaccination status won’t loom as largely there. His fastball has flashed plus, as has that nasty slider. If his command stays this way, expect him to remain in the rotation for as long as possible - if not, expect to see him move quicker as a high-leverage bullpen arm.

Other Names to Know:

OF Spencer Packard

Credit where credit is due - FanGraphs actually had Packard as their 20th-ranked Mariners prospect at the beginning of the season, and he’s proving them right. While his otherworldly start has started to fall off, he’s been a bit unlucky, seeing his BABIP drop from the .295 range to .270. While he’s no Jonatan Clase, he also isn’t that slow, though a little bit more speed training this offseason could only help. The dude can hit, no doubt about it - he’s also got an exceptional eye at the plate, with matching BB and K rates of 14.7%. Both of those are stellar! Let’s see what he can do with a full season, and how long he’ll be playing Everett.

Arkansas Travelers (18-22)

Team Stats:

Fourth of five in Texas League - North

Team OPS: .625 (10th of 10)

The good news is that the Travs raised their OPS by one point from last week. The bad news is that they are still 123 points behind the next closest team. Not ideal.

Team ERA: 4.07 (1st of 10); Team WHIP: 1.38 (1st of 10); Team Ks: 368 (4th of 10)

OPS leader: Jack Larsen, .740 (51st); HR leaders: Jake Scheiner, 6 (T-16); AVG leader: Jake DeLoach, .246 (50th); Hits leader: Rizzo, 34 (T-32nd); wRC+ leader: Larsen, 95 (46th)

ERA leader: Taylor Dollard, 0.99 (1st); FIP leader: Dollard, 2.59 (1st); K leader: Stephen Kolek, 42 (4th); Saves: Michael Stryffeler, 6 (T-1st); K% leader: Dollard, 26.7% (4th)

SB leader: Cade Marlowe, 10 (9th)

Prospect Performers:

Emerson Hancock (3): [recently returned from rehab in AZ, has pitched just 4 innings this season, we’ll update his actual stats once he gets once more start under his belt]

Levi Stoudt (6): In 41.2 IP: 4.10 ERA, 4.01 FIP, 4.34 xFIP. 24% K 6% BB

Zach DeLoach (11): .246/.338/.369; 30.4% K; 12.2% BB; 2 HR, 6 2B, 2 3B 1 SB

Taylor Dollard (14): In 36.1 IP: 0.99 ERA, 2.59 FIP, 4.13 xFIP. 26.7% K 6% BB.

Cade Marlowe (16): .242/.347/.363; 27.1% K; 13.2% BB; 3 HR, 2 2B, 2 3B 10 SB

Kaden Polcovich (23): .226/.364/.287; 20.7% K; 15% BB; 5 2B, 1 3B 7 SB

Juan Then (24): [currently injured]

Stephen Kolek (29): In 36.1 IP: 4.57 ERA, 4.30 FIP, 5.35 xFIP. 23.2% K 12.2% BB;

Top Prospect Update:

OF Cade Marlowe

It is probably cheating to put Taylor Dollard here for the second consecutive week (despite throwing two gems since I wrote him up last week), so instead, we’ll go with Cade Marlowe here. My first thought when I saw the Mariners signed Justin Upton, while I guess after thinking, “man, I didn’t expect things to be so bleak by May that Justin Upton would be the savior”, is that it is unfortunate for someone like Marlowe. A team with postseason aspirations isn’t rolling Cade Marlowe out there a few days a week, but I would rather see the 25-year-old get a shot at it to see what he’s got over Upton. Marlowe had an outstanding 2021 with a .935 OPS across three levels (Tacoma was only for one game, but it counts nonetheless.) On top of that, he added 24 steals last season, and he is well on pace to break that this season with ten stolen bases before the end of May. His offensive numbers don’t look tremendous outside the stolen bases, but no one else on the Travs is exactly lighting the world on fire on offense this season. Baseball America has Marlowe with above-average defense, which I don’t think we’ll be getting from Upton when he is able to take the field. Marlowe probably needs the bat to heat up against Texas League pitching before the Ms even consider putting him in the box against MLB pitching. Still, I would love to see Marlowe in Seattle by the end of the season, even though that probably means the season hasn’t turned around much.

Other Name to know:

OF Jack Larsen

The Travs (almost) have a league-average hitter! Larsen has a 95 wRC+, we’re so close we can taste a league-average bat. Larsen is likely a familiar name for those that have been following the Mariners farm for a while. The UC San Diego alum signed with the Ms as an undrafted free agent after the 2017 draft and has been in the system ever since. Larsen’s bat impressed during his stint in rookie ball, but he had a dreadful stint in 2018 in HI-A, so he was sent back to the level to repeat all of 2019. He was technically above average with a 105 wRC+, but you would hope for more from the 24-year-old in his second stint in Hi-A. After the pandemic interrupted 2020, he once again returned to Hi-A, and this time he put up the number we were looking for, enough to earn a promotion to Arkansas to finish out the year. This season he is running his highest BB% since rookie ball at 19.1%. It theoretically shouldn’t be something to celebrate, but the way things are going on offense for the Travs this year, I hope they have a tiny celebration the moment that Larsen gets that wRC+ over 100.

Tacoma Rainiers (16-28)

Team Stats:

Fifth of five in Pacific Coast League (West); 16-28, .364%, T-10th of 10

Team OPS: .774 (7th of 10)

Team ERA: 6.08 (9th of 10); Team WHIP: 1.55 (6th of 10); Team Ks: 376 (8th of 10); Team BBs: 171 (8th of 10)

Player Leaderboard:

OPS leader: Sam Haggerty, .890 (13th overall); HR leader: Zach Green, 9 (T-8th); AVG leader: Haggerty, .304 (12th); Hits leader: Green, 39 (20th); wRC+ leader: Haggerty, 123 (14th)

ERA leader: Daniel Ponce de Leon, 4.74 (10th); FIP leader: Darren McCaughan, 4.86 (8th); K leader: McCaughan, 48 (T-2nd); Saves: Nick Ramirez/Penn Murfee, 2 (T-13th); K-BB% leader: McCaughan, 15.8%, (6th)

SB leader: Forrest Wall (16, 2nd)

Top prospect updates:

RHP Matt Brash (5): in 10.0 IP out of the bullpen: 6.30/6.87 ERA/FIP, 18 K, 9 BB.

Others of Note:

OF Jarred Kelenic: 8 games, 8-34, 2 2B, HR, 3 BB, 16 K.

1B/OF Evan White: Rehab assignment - 5 games, 2-17, 2 BB, 6 K.

LHP Justus Sheffield: 12.1 IP, 8.76/7.19 ERA/FIP, 14 K, 6 BB.