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State of the Farm, 7/14/22: Noelvi Marte rakes, Zach DeLoach stays hot, Michael Morales improves

Also: happy trails to Mariners former prospect and pitching coach Nathan Bannister

Noelvi Marte
Dan Rogers

Welcome to this week’s installment of State of the Farm, a broad overview of the Seattle 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.


  • C David Sheaffer promoted to Everett AquaSox; C Freuddy Batista activated for Modesto
  • LHP Rob Kaminsky (Arkansas) to the 7-day IL; RHP Rodney Hutchison assigned to the Travs from the ACL Mariners to replace him
  • Tacoma Rainiers activated RHP Drew Steckenrider from the 7-day IL

One last transaction: former Mariners prospect and long-time pitching coach Nathan Bannister is moving on to be the pitching coach at GCU. Thanks for all your years of service to the Mariners organization, Big Game Banni, and best of luck in the future.

Modesto Nuts (40-43):

Team Stats:

Second half: second of four in the California League (North), .588, 2nd of 8 in the League

The Nuts missed an opportunity to really climb into the driver’s seat in the League with a disappointing series against a poor Stockton team, and have to play the very good Lake Elsinore Storm this week, although they won the first game of the series in commanding fashion and lost by just a run last night.

Team OPS: .742 (5th of 8)

Team ERA: 4.26 (3rd of 8); Team WHIP: 1.37 (2nd); Team Ks: 809 (6th of 8)

After years of being atop the league in strikeouts, this Modesto club just doesn’t strike that many batters out, but they do get outs. It’s like a whole staff of Marcos and Flexens.

Player Leaderboard:

OPS leader: Edwin Arroyo, .899 (5th in the league); HR leader: Robert Pérez Jr., 18 (2nd); AVG leader: Arroyo, .314 (4th, 2nd among active players); Hits leader: Arroyo, 100 (1st); wRC+ leader: Arroyo, 132 (5th among active players)

The Giants finally promoted 24-year-old Vaun Brown to High-A and Warming Bernabel was promoted to Spokane by Colorado, so it’s really Arroyo and fellow 19-year-old phenom Deyvison De Los Santos vying for the highest average in the Cal League. For OPS, Arroyo is chasing top Angels prospect Edgar Quero.

ERA leader: Jordan Jackson, 4.07; FIP leader: Jackson, 3.97 4.33; K leader: Joseph Hernández, 86; Saves: Jorge Benitez, 10 (1st); K% leader: Andrew Moore, 44.9%

Modesto’s pitching staff has been dealt a blow in losing staff ace Joseph Hernández to injury for all of July (although he’s slated to come back tomorrow), but Michael Morales has been compensating for that by bouncing back as he continues to learn the ropes in his first professional season. The statlines won’t show it yet, but Morales has been stacking improved outing upon improved outing, upping his strikeouts while managing contact better and steadily lowering his ERA/FIP.

SB leader: Jonatan Clase, 29 (4th)

Top prospect updates:

Harry Ford (4): .258/.395/.415; 17.1% BB 24.8% K, 5 HR 13 2B 4 3B 13 SB

Steady Harry keeps plugging along; this week he added twenty points to his average as he continues to rebound from an early-season injury and adjust to his first full year in pro ball.

Edwin Arroyo (8): .314/.386/.513; 8.9% BB 22.8% K; 12 HR 17 2B 5 3B 17 SB

Milkar Perez (12): .144/.314/.170; 19.4% BB 26.7% K; 4 2B 1 SB

Michael Morales (18): 79 IP; 5.47 ERA/4.58 FIP; 23% K 8.6% BB

Jonatan Clase (19): .261/.350/.441; 11% BB 30.3% K; 12 2B 8 3B 7 HR 29 SB

Sam Carlson (26): 22.1 IP; 5.24 ERA/3.92 FIP; 22.6% K 10.4% BB

Carlson continues to steadily build his innings count as he works back from injury.

Bryan Woo (30): 11 IP; 4.09 ERA/3.05 FIP; 28.3%K 10.9% 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. Pay little attention to his numbers now as he’s pitched just 11 innings, although he has struggled a little over the past week after coming out dominant.

Prospect Performer:

RHP Chris Jefferson: 31.7% K%, 2.12 ERA/3.34 FIP

Chris Jefferson came to the Mariners as a free agent signing last August. After spending most of 2022 as an org guy bouncing around, the 25-year-old New Mexico State product has settled in at Modesto, where he’s become a key part of Modesto’s bullpen and a steadying veteran presence on a young team. Penn Murfee had a similar start to his career and is now a major player in a big-league bullpen, so don’t sleep on Jefferson.

Everett AquaSox (40-41)

Team Stats:

Fourth of six in Northwest League; .494%. 381 runs scored (2nd), 420 runs allowed (6th).

Team OPS: .727 (1st of 6) Team Ks: 836 (5th of 6) Team BBs: 355 (1st of 6)

Team ERA: 4.63 (6th of 6); Team WHIP: 1.36 (6th of 6); Team Ks: 819 (1st of 6) Team BBs: 334 (6th of 6)

Player Leaderboard:

OPS leader: Andy Thomas .882 (3rd); HR leader: Dariel Gomez, 16 (1st); AVG leader: Andy Thomas .272 (10th); Hits leader: Alberto Rodriguez 73 (8th); wRC+ leader: Thomas, 154 (2nd)

ERA leader: Prelander Berroa 2.18 (1st); FIP leader: Prelander Berroa, 2.56 (1st); K leader: Bryce Miller, 90 (2nd); Saves leader: Isaiah Campbell, 8 (2nd); K% leader: Berroa, 37.1% (1st)

SB leader: Lavey, 16 (9th)

Top prospect updates:

Noelvi Marte (1): .262/.324/.364; 11.4 BB%; 21.9 K%; 13 HR, 14 2B; 129 wRC+

Big smiles all around here - I think you can probably guess that I’ll have plenty to write down below.

Alberto Rodríguez (7): .250/.319/.384; 8.4 BB%; 25.1% K; 5 HR, 22 2B; 102 wRC+

Would you trade for the success of the best prospect in your system, if it cost you the success of your favorite prospect? Though Berto, my beloved, leads the team in doubles, and is second in the league, he hasn’t seen that translate to above average offensive value - he’s striking out far too much, and his swing hasn’t lent itself to getting the ball over the fence with consistency.

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): 71.2 IP; 3.52 ERA, 3.49 FIP; 30.2% K, 8.5% BB

Same story as last time - he just hasn’t looked right since that comebacker.

Before: 1.82 ERA, 2.55 FIP, 0.30 HR/9, 23.1 K-BB%.

After: 9.77 ERA, 7.34 FIP, 2.87 HR/9, 12.5 K-BB%

You have to wonder where the staff will take him from here. I do not think this will dim his fast-rising status in the org, but it certainly doesn’t help to keep trotting him out like this, if he is hurt.

Victor Labrada (25): .211/.307/.346; 10.3% BB, 28.8% K; 6 HR, 5 2B, 5 3B, 14 SB, 89 wRC+

More inconsistency from the Havana native.

Prelander Berroa (30): 57.2 IP, 2.18 ERA, 3.34 FIP; 37.1% K, 14.7% BB

Berroa, incredibly, has ticked up his K-rate again. I was able to keep this first sentence from the last article, because he has done it again, again. 51.8% of his plate appearances end in a strikeout or a walk - he’s the pitching Adam Dunn of the Northwest League.

Prospect Performers:

SS Noelvi Marte

LET’S GO. After a really miserable start to the week that had several commentators saying that he has lost his ceiling as a franchise-caliber player ($), or talking about Marte’s conditioning and work ethic (Kyle Glaser of Baseball America said that he’s out of shape, which, ???????). He’s dropped in several prospect mid-season rankings, from #8 to #21 in MLB Pipeline’s ranking. Is it bulletin board motivation? Is it the best prospect in the system merely correcting after a slow start to a season? Who’s to say, but, the results speak for themselves. In 12 games since June 29, Noelvi is running the following line:

.432/.545/.886, 282 wRC+, 6 HR, .601 wOBA, 16.4 BB%, 12.4 K%

Since June 3, when Kyle Glaser described how out of shape Noelvi was:

.293/.394/.560, 165 wRC+, 9 HR, .419 wOBA, 12.4 BB%, 19 K%

Marte had the honor of being the NWL Player of the Week last week, and he’s continued to produce since. While I wouldn’t say that Noelvi is absolutely crucial to the rebuild in the same way that Logan, JK and Julio are, players like him are the difference from a contender and a powerhouse. The thought of Noelvi as the long-term 3B solution, with Lewis, Kelenic and Julio ranging the outfield is enough to jump-start my playoff-tickets budget planning.

I hope to continue to write Marte up in this column. For now, enjoy his two homers from his double-dong game.

Arkansas Travelers (43-40)

Second of five in Texas League - North

Team OPS: .706 (10th of 10)

Team ERA: 4.22 (1st of 10); Team WHIP: 1.31 (1st of 10); Team Ks: 774 (3rd of 10)

OPS leader: Jack Larsen, .812 (29th); HR leaders: Joe Rizzo, 16 (7th); AVG leader: Zach DeLoach, .270 (29th); Hits leader: Rizzo, 85 (5th); wRC+ leader: Larsen, 113 (24th)

ERA leader: Taylor Dollard, 1.40 (1st); FIP leader: Dollard, 3.20 (1st); K leader: Stephen Kolek 88 (4th); Saves: Michael Stryffeler, 13 (1st); K% leader: Dollard, 23.9% (5th)

SB leader: Cade Marlowe, 23 (5th)

Emerson Hancock (5): In 41 IP: 2.41 ERA, 4.41 FIP, 5.28 xFIP. 23.5% K 7.2% BB

Levi Stoudt (6): In 77 IP: 5.14 ERA, 4.57 FIP, 4.63 xFIP. 22.7% K 6.4 % BB

Zach DeLoach (11): .275/.381/.426; 26.7% K; 13.7% BB; 8 HR, 12 2B, 2 3B 1 SB

Taylor Dollard (14): In 83.1 IP: 1.40 ERA, 3.20 FIP, 4.88 xFIP. 23.9% K 5.5% BB.

Cade Marlowe (16): .253/.345/.425; 28.8% K; 11.1% BB; 10 HR, 11 2B, 2 3B 23 SB

Kaden Polcovich (23): .232/.334/.331; 23.2% K; 11.1% BB; 4 HR 9 2B, 3 3B 12 SB

Juan Then (24): [currently injured]

Stephen Kolek (29): In 83 IP: 4.55 ERA, 4.52 FIP, 5.40 xFIP. 23.6% K 11.5% BB

Prospect Performer: Zach DeLoach

How many games are enough games to consider a hot streak an actual trend of positive results? Zach DeLoach has been red hot for over a month now, and it's not in the "underlying issues are evident, but the results are still there." style, but rather more of a "wait, did Zach DeLoach turn into a good hitter?" type of way. Sure, the 151 wRC+ with a .304/.439/.519 slash line over the last month is excellent. More importantly, since May 12th, DeLoach has raised his BB rate to 16.4% over the last month from 12.4 over the first two months of the season. Even more encouraging for DeLoach, he lowered his K% from 31.9% on May 11th to 21.4% over the last month. It is still a uncertain if DeLoach is just in the middle of an impression hot streak or if something clicked for the 2020 2nd round pick, but it is a positive sight for one of the highest rated bats in the Ms system.

Tacoma Rainiers (35-50)

Team Stats:

Fifth of five in Pacific Coast League (West); .412%, 10th of 10

Team OPS: .763 (10th of 10); Team AVG: .241 (10th of 10); Team HR: 119 (4th of 10); Team SB: 105 (1st of 10)

Team ERA: 5.71 (8th of 10); Team WHIP: 1.49 (3rd of 10); Team Ks: 727 (8th of 10); Team BBs: 318 (9th-most of 10)

Player Leaderboard (min. 150 PA/40 IP):

OPS leader: Jarred Kelenic, .945 (18th); HR leader: Marcus Wilson, 13 (T-14th); AVG leader: Kelenic, .291 (36th); Hits leader: Erick Mejia, 71 (16th); wRC+ leader: Jarred Kelenic, 124 (T-23rd)

IP leader: Darren McCaughan, 88.0 (3rd); ERA leader: Darren McCaughan, 5.11 (25th); FIP leader: McCaughan, 4.66 (13th); K leader: McCaughan, 84 (6th); Saves: Nick Ramirez 4 (T-8th); K-BB% leader: McCaughan, 16.7%, (15th)

SB leader: Forrest Wall (22, 2nd)

Top prospect/notable player updates:

1B/OF Evan White: Still has not played since June 14th, still working to return to health, reportedly in Tacoma but with Seattle during homestands.

OF Jarred Kelenic: 43 games, 199 plate appearances, .291/.352/.593 line, 124 wRC+, 7.5% walk rate to 27.1% strikeout rate.