Welcome to this week’s installment of State of the Farm, a broad overview of the Mariners farm that complements our weekly check-ins with how each affiliate is doing. 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.
- Tacoma: activated: LF Trey Amburgey, RHP Chris Mazza, LHP Brennan Bernandino, 2B Forrest Wall from the 7-day IL
- Everett: activated RHP Tim Elliott from the 7-day IL; OF Spencer Packard to the 7-day IL
Modesto Nuts (35-36)
Third of four in California League (North); .493%, 5th of 8 in the League
After a pair of strong series, the Nuts have climbed to almost-.500 ball for the first time since the beginning of the season. If we’re going just by second half standings, Modesto is atop the Cal League with a 5-0 record. Go Nuts!
Team OPS: .748 (5th of 8)
Team ERA: 4.44 (3rd of 8); Team WHIP: 1.38 (2nd); Team Ks: 695 (6th of 8)
OPS leader: Edwin Arroyo, .927 (5th in the league); HR leader: Robert Pérez Jr., 17 (2nd); AVG leader: Arroyo, .320 (3rd); Hits leader: Arroyo, 87 (1st); wRC+ leader: Arroyo, 137 (6th)
ERA leader: Joseph Hernández, 3.03 (2nd); FIP leader: Hernández 4.33 (5th); K leader: Hernández, 86 (1st); Saves: Jorge Benitez, 9 (1st); K% leader: Andrew Moore, 42.2% (4th among pitchers with 20+ IP)
SB leader: Jonatan Clase, 24 (4th)
Top prospect updates:
Harry Ford (4): .243/.393/.407; 18% BB 24.7% K, 5 HR 8 2B 4 3B 9 SB
Edwin Arroyo (8): .320/.390/.537; 8.8% BB 23.1% K; 12 HR 13 2B 5 3B 13 SB
After a bit of a dip in what was a tough couple of weeks for Modesto as a team, Arroyo has bounced right back to form and continues to be one of the brightest stars in Seattle’s system. He pairs his power with above-average speed, trailing just speedster Clase in triples.
Milkar Perez (12): .148/.320/.178; 19.5% BB 24.9% K; 4 2B 1 SB
Michael Morales (18): 63 IP; 5.57 ERA/4.90 FIP; 22% K 8.1% BB
Jonatan Clase (19): .270/.351/.443; 10% BB 30.8% K; 10 2B 6 3B 6 HR 24 SB
Sam Carlson (26): 11.1 IP; 4.76 ERA/3.86 FIP; 29% K 12.7% BB
Carlson continues to steadily build his innings count as he works back from injury.
Bryan Woo (30): 5 IP; 1.80 ERA/1.44 FIP; 44.4%K 5.6% BB
Woo enters the Top 30 on MLB Pipeline’s list of Mariners prospects after William Fleming was traded to the Royals. He was the Mariners’ sixth round pick in the 2021 draft but has been sidelined by TJ (plus appendicitis and a comebacker to the face—it’s been a rough road!). Like Mitch Haniger, Woo is a fellow Cal Poly Mustang.
Ben Ramirez: .303./367./423
Ben Ramirez, a 13th-round pick in 2021 out of UCLA, won’t pop up on any top prospect lists, but he’s on fire for Modesto of late. His .300 average is currently 8th-best in the California League, and he’s provided several key hits over the past week to propel Modesto to victory. He doesn’t strike out a lot (18%), takes his walks (8.8%), and plays hard-nosed, team-focused baseball—exactly the kind of player the Mariners prize in their system.
Ben Ramirez goes 441ft for a 3-run HR! 6-0 Nuts. pic.twitter.com/gfsDUZQAep— Mariners Minors (@MiLBMariners) June 25, 2022
Everett AquaSox (33-36)
Importantly for this week - I (Nick) am writing this before the Wednesday night game is over, so those stats will not be included.
Third of six in Northwest League; .478%. 312 runs scored (3rd), 350 runs allowed (6th).
Team OPS: .723 (2nd of 6) Team Ks: 697 (5th of 6) Team BBs: 308 (1st of 6)
Team ERA: 4.51 (6th of 6); Team WHIP: 1.34 (6th of 6); Team Ks: 670 (2nd of 6) Team BBs: 269 (5th of 6)
OPS leader: Spencer Packard .842 (8th); HR leader: Dariel Gomez, 13 (1st); AVG leader: Justin Lavey .276 (9th); Hits leader: Alberto Rodriguez 63 (6th); wRC+ leader: Packard, 142 (7th)
ERA leader: Prelander Berroa 1.76 (1st); FIP leader: Bryce Miller, 2.40 (1st); K leader: Bryce Miller, 78 (2nd); Saves leader: Leon Hunter Jr., 4 (3rd); K% leader: Berroa, 35.4% (2nd)
SB leader: Lavey, 14 (10th)
Top prospect updates:
Noelvi Marte (1): .232/.324/.364; 10.5 BB%; 23.7 K%; 7 HR, 12 2B; 102 wRC+
Treading water here. Though this is certainly disappointing given his meteoric rise so far, he’s young yet.
Alberto Rodríguez (7): .254/.331/.367; 9.4 BB%; 24.8% K; 3 HR, 17 2B; 104 wRC+
A slightly less-dismal week for our second-youngest Cotuisano - he’s been hitting the ball with a a little more authority, and is second on the team in XBHs.
Adam Macko (10): 38.1 IP; 3.99 ERA, 3.54 FIP; 35.9% K 12% BB
Macko is still out for a bit with an elbow issue.
Bryce Miller (22): 60 IP; 2.25 ERA, 2.28 FIP; 32.3% K, 8.3% BB
Since getting hit with a comebacker a couple weeks ago, Miller has looked a little bit weaker, with a couple inconsistent outings. Might be that he’s a little hurt, might be that it’s just a coincidence.
Victor Labrada (25): .234/.331/.368; 10.4% BB, 26.7% K; 5 HR, 5 2B, 4 3B, 11 SB, 104 wRC+
A bit of a down week for the speedster, though overall, we are seeing him on an upwards trend over the season.
Prelander Berroa (30): 46 IP, 1.76 ERA, 2.62 FIP; 35.4% K, 13.8% BB
Berroa, incredibly, has ticked up his K-rate again. He’s also working a little bit on the BB rate - hoping as this sample size grows, the results stay this strong.
P Isaiah Campbell
This is a little bit less of a “top performer of the week” and is more “someone I want to talk about because there weren’t any super standout performers I could come up with this week.”
Campbell returned from injury after about a month off in early June, and has been in the bullpen after starting the year and his career as a starter. He’s been working his way back slowly, pitching a game every 3-4 days, but has looked very sharp since his return. In sen one-inning outings, he’s allowed two hits and zero (0) (none) runs. He’s also recorded 9 strikeouts vs 2 walks. Nice! He’s earned five saves as well, as his last five outings have seen him serving in a more traditional closer role.
The video of this is, of course, non-existent, but reports are that the fastball is showing some good life. I would personally like to see the Portuguese prospect return to the rotation - Everett could probably use it, once he’s ready for the innings.
Arkansas Travelers (38-33)
First of five in Texas League - North (SECOND HALF)
Team OPS: .697 (10th of 10)
Team ERA: 3.90 (1st of 10); Team WHIP: 1.28 (1st of 10); Team Ks: 658 (5th of 10)
OPS leader: Jack Larsen, .838 (23rd); HR leaders: Joe Rizzo, 15 (T-5th); AVG leader: Larsen, .271 (26th); Hits leader: Rizzo, 69 (12th); wRC+ leader: Larsen, 122 (16th)
ERA leader: Taylor Dollard, 0.99 (1st); FIP leader: Dollard, 2.83 (1st); K leader: Stephen Kolek 73 (4th); Saves: Michael Stryffeler, 11 (1st); K% leader: Dollard, 24.7% (6th)
SB leader: Cade Marlowe, 16 (T-9th)
Emerson Hancock (5): In 29.2 IP: 3.03 ERA, 4.94 FIP, 5.52 xFIP. 23.1% K 6.6% BB
Levi Stoudt (6): In 70.2 IP: 5.09 ERA, 4.54 FIP, 4.60 xFIP. 22.7% K 6.4% BB
Zach DeLoach (11): .262/.367/.396; 27.3% K; 13.5% BB; 5 HR, 11 2B, 2 3B 1 SB
Taylor Dollard (14): In 65.2 IP: 0.99 ERA, 2.83 FIP, 4.23 xFIP. 24.7% K 5.5% BB.
Cade Marlowe (16): .230/.318/.400; 28.8% K; 10.6% BB; 10 HR, 5 2B, 2 3B 16 SB
Kaden Polcovich (23): .236/.347/.336; 22% K; 12.7% BB; 4 HR 7 2B, 2 3B 9 SB
Juan Then (24): [currently injured]
Stephen Kolek (29): In 72.2 IP: 4.71 ERA, 4.42 FIP, 5.53 xFIP. 22.9% K 11.6% BB
Prospect Performer: Stephen Kolek
Stephen Kolek is in a very undesirable position in the Arkansas rotation. He has nowhere close to the prospect pedigree that Levi Stoudt has. He is also being overshadowed by the dominant performance of the best pitcher in the Texas League, Taylor Dollard, and his sub-one ERA as we enter July. Pair that dynamic duo and the fact that Kolek’s numbers don’t jump off the page, and it is easy to see why he is flying so low under the radar. However, a closer look at his numbers indicates that he is quietly having an encouraging season and could be a potential name to watch down the road.
At first glance, the 25-year-old 11th-round pick of the Dodgers in 2018 looks very underwhelming. He has an ERA of 4.71. That is after having an ERA of 6.03 across three levels last season. In 2019 he had an ERA of 5 while with the Dodgers Low-A team. On paper, that is nothing more than a depth piece for an organization with the hope that he can eat some innings. And it is still possible that is what he is going forward, but he might be an excellent innings eater, which could be quite valuable.
Stephen Kolek had it all working tonight. Final line: 6IP, 2H, 0R, BB, 9K, 95-60. pic.twitter.com/1QLszUilcd— Mariners Minors (@MiLBMariners) June 4, 2022
This season Kolek leads the Texas League in pitches thrown and is second in innings pitched. That shows that despite the not-ideal raw numbers, he is able to battle through outings and save the Travs bullpen a little bit. The more we dive into the peripheral numbers, the better Kolek looks this season. His 4.42 FIP is 6th among qualified players in the league. Even if we drop that requirement down to 40 innings to pretty much only include starting pitchers, he is 15th in the Texas League. Keeping that same 40-inning requirement, he has the 7th lowest line drive percentage in the league at 18.2%. Quick side note, Connor Jones has the second-lowest line drive rate and is the runaway leader in ground ball rate and the lowest fly-ball rate. It is a wonder why he is not putting up stronger outings.
Stephen Kolek was great tonight. Final line: 5IP, 1H, 1R, 3BB, 10K. pic.twitter.com/96gWyyAP8v— Mariners Minors (@MiLBMariners) June 10, 2022
His numbers will rarely impress in the box score, though he does have a few gems this season, but he is much more valuable than it looks at first glance. Kolek likely won’t receive nearly as many headlines as his counterparts in the Arkansas rotation, but he is the type of player who is critical to winning baseball games.
Tacoma Rainiers (29-44)
Fifth of five in Pacific Coast League (West); 29-44, .397%, 10th of 10
Team OPS: .766 (8th of 10); Team AVG: .243 (9th of 10); Team HR: 102 (4th of 10); Team SB: 97 (1st of 10)
Team ERA: 5.81 (9th of 10); Team WHIP: 1.50 (5th of 10); Team Ks: 623 (8th of 10); Team BBs: 277 (8th-most of 10)
Player Leaderboard (min. 130 PA/40 IP):
OPS leader: Jarred Kelenic, .916 (22nd overall); HR leader: Marcus Wilson, 12 (T-11th); AVG leader: Kelenic, .295 (26th); Hits leader: Erick Mejia, 60 (18th); wRC+ leader: Brian O’Keefe, 121 (T-29th)
ERA leader: Darren McCaughan, 5.09 (20th); FIP leader: McCaughan, 4.71 (10th); K leader: McCaughan, 74 (5th); Saves: T-Nick Ramirez & Matt Koch, 3 (T-11th); K-BB% leader: McCaughan, 17.1%, (12th)
SB leader: Forrest Wall (22, 2nd)
Top prospect/notable player updates:
RHP Matt Brash (5): in 21.0 IP out of the bullpen: 4.29 ERA/4.96 FIP, 38.9% strikeout rate to 14.4% walk rate. Lookin.... pretty good!
1B/OF Evan White: Still has not played since June 14th, still working to return to health, reportedly in Tacoma.
OF Jarred Kelenic: 31 games, 141 plate appearances, .295/.340/.576 line, 120 wRC+, 5.7% walk rate to 27.7% strikeout rate.
Kelenic’s numbers continue to be a mixed bag. Community member flygutifly wrote a fantastic dive into Kelenic’s strides and shortcomings, primarily centered around some improvements on going the other way but still working more incrementally to improve against breaking balls.