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Mariners Minor League Roundup: June 13 - June 18

Seattle Mariners Photo Day
Riley O’Brien is ready to dominate
Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

Welcome back to this week’s Mariners MiLB roundup, a segment where we take a look at all the affiliates of your Seattle Mariners. This was a fairly successful week down on the farm, with all the teams showing well in some capacity. With a couple of exciting debuts and several names beginning to really carve out a name for themselves, there’s plenty to cover in this week’s wrap.

Tacoma Rainiers

The Rainiers continued their middling ways of this year, splitting the series against Albuquerque three games apiece. The Rainiers have definitely been the major league team’s back pool of arms and legs that can fill in for injury and/or fatigue, and the results more or less reflect that. Outside of a select few, the roster mainly consists of journeymen fighting for a shot at their big league aspirations. Not the most exciting for prospect watching, but very fun to root for nonetheless.

Hitting hero:

2023 Mariner Cooper Hummel had a nice week this week, going 7-17 with a pair of doubles and only four strikeouts. Hummel has been on a tear in the month of June, slashing .292/.469/.521 thus far. Should Hummel continue his hot hitting, he re-enters the conversation for a spot on the big league roster should a utility position open up. He’s not quite there yet, but more offensive depth is definitely better than less!

Prime pitching:

Riley O’Brien has been absolutely nails all year, and this week was no different. Pitching in three different outings, O’Brien struck out five across three innings and allowed just two baserunners, a walk and a hit. He’s easily been the best pitcher in the Tacoma bullpen and should be at the top of the list for the next big league callup. He’s got a big fastball that rides at the top of the zone and a hammer breaker that’s hell on hitters. If the M’s weren’t so flush with bullpen pitchers, you absolutely would’ve seen O’Brien in the big leagues already and I’d be surprised if we didn’t see him up with the squad at some point this summer.

Arkansas Travelers

The Travs went 4-2 this week, a typical result for the incredibly consistent Arkansas squad. This year’s team may not have the same level of prospect pedigree we’ve grown accustomed to in years past, but this team is incredibly gritty and finds ways to win. Currently sitting at 40-23, the Travelers are tied with the Dodgers affiliate atop the Texas League.

Prospect update:

Jonatan Clase has been a bit of a funk recently, having a rough series at the plate. Going a disappointing 2-21, Clase did manage to grind out five walks but struck out an alarming 12 times. Hopefully Clase is able to break out of his slump and get back to be being the electrifying talent we all know he can be. He’s been on such a meteoric rise in the last month or two, I think it’s fair to let him struggle a bit and see how he adapts. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger sort of deal. Emerson Hancock, the other primary prospect on the Travs roster, turned in an excellent seven inning outing, allowing three earned runs and striking out eight batters with no walks. It’s really been a year of inconsistency with Hancock, with electric outings marred by truly horrendous blowups. The stuff flashes, but he needs to find a rhythm and string together these quality starts. This week is a great start to a new streak.

Hitting hero:

Matt Scheffler doesn’t get enough credit for what he does. He’s a quality catcher that can hit a bit and is probably the closest thing they have to catcher prospect not named Harry Ford. He’s a bit older, but is a local guy that’s showed some great defensive ability and some offensive skills. Collecting 5 hits in 10 AB’s this week, he’s a fun guy to root for.

Prime pitching:

Prelander Berroa has begun to ramp up his usage this week, pitching twice after not pitching for almost a week. He pitched three clean innings, striking out three and walking one. Prelander is one of the many electric bullpen arms the Mariners have at their disposal should they need an arm for the major league club. They may choose to let Prelander develop more in the hopes they can season him into their next relief ace, but should they need an arm, Berroa is definitely an option in his current form.

Everett Aquasox

Everett took on the Tri-City Dustdevils this week, the Angels affiliate who unfortunately has decided people are not allowed to enjoy their teams and thus have not installed cameras. The ‘Sox took four of six from their rivals in the standings, an excellent result for a team that has been scuffling a bit since some injuries and promotions to key players have left the team in a less than stellar place. That said, the roster is still well positioned to win games, and a recent influx of players may just help them start a run as the weather heats up.

Prospect update:

Harry Ford had a tough week this week, going 2-22 with an un Ford-like six K’s to three BB’s. Ford has unquestionably had a tough June to date, struggling to make solid contact on a consistent basis. Hopefully he can get things sorted out and moving back in the right direction shortly. Axel Sanchez went 5-23 with a concerning 10 K’s to just two walks. Sanchez has been steadily pulling his slashline up as he’s come back from injury, however the strikeouts this week were at an alarmingly high rate, especially with the lack of power displayed. I still absolutely think Sanchez can be a premiere type of prospect and he’s shown flashes this season, but he will need to show a bit more prowess at the plate and find some consistency. We’re all rooting for you, Axel!

Hitting hero:

The ever-steady Hogan Windish had an excellent series this week, going 8-22 with a dinger, three doubles, and two walks. The 7th rounder in last year’s draft, Windish has consistently found success in his professional career and has shown a real ability to barrel the ball. He’s got a lot of similarities to what Ty France was in the minor leagues: A bigger bodied infielder that makes a ton of contact and has average or better power. I am not saying Windish will be Ty France, but the type of player is not dissimilar. He’s a name to watch if you aren’t already.

Prime pitching:

Everett now has a tandem of pitchers at the top of their rotation that have done nothing but shove all year in Reid VanScoter and Brandon Schaeffer. The two were no different this week, with VanScoter going for 6IP 2H 1ER 2BB 6K and Schaeffer following suit with a line of 6IP 4H 1ER 2BB 5K. Both a part of last year’s draft, they’ve both pitched themselves into a bit of prospect relevancy, something not super typical of older pitchers. They’ve really showed well this year and I’ve really enjoyed watching each of them pitch.

Modesto Nuts

The nuts went 3-3 this series with many lopsided victories and defeats. There were several offensive explosions that vaulted the Nuts over the lowly Visalia rawhide, however the oft inconsistent Modesto staff had several explosions of their own, an unfortunate turn for a staff that had been making some headway in the consistency department. That said, there were a ton of really fun performances this week from both big prospect names and under the radar guys alike. With the big promotion of Michael Arroyo to full season ball kicking off this week, the Nuts are positioned to be one of the better lineups the M’s have had on a minor league team in a while.

Prospect update:

This week, the newly founded three headed monster atop the Modesto lineup consisting of Gabriel Gonzalez, Cole Young, and Michael Arroyo was in full force. Gonzalez went 13-29 with 18 total bases in the series. Young followed with a nice week of his own, going 8-23 with a homer and five walks. Finally, Michael Arroyo, the recent call up from the ACL, went 6-22 with three doubles, a triple, a homer, and an even 2/2 K/BB ratio. He even played a bit of shortstop in the series, an exciting development for the primarily second and third baseman. Arroyo, like Gonzalez, is going to be flying up prospect lists this summer and should be considered a premiere prospect in the system, firmly in the top 10 and pushing for top five consideration.

Hitting hero:

Colin Davis has a nice series, going 8-25 against the Visalia staff. The 2021 seventh rounder out of Wofford is already 24 and will need to continue to progress quickly, but has some decent tools and could be a late bloomer. Hopefully he can keep up the hot hitting this summer and earn himself a promotion.

Prime pitching:

For whatever reason, Darren Bowen has pitched incredibly sparingly this season but has completely dominated every time out. Likely easing his way back from injury, Bowen got a spot start this week and struck out all six batters he faced. To date, Bowen has pitched 6.1 innings, allowing just one hit and one walk while striking out 13. The 13th rounder from last year’s draft from UNC Pembroke is looking like yet another late round gem from the 2022 class.

ACL Mariners

The baby M’s went 3-2 this week, tallying some big run totals in the process. Recent draftee Walter Ford made his debut this week and crushed it, throwing two innings of shutout ball. Obviously the development team has planned to keep things slow with their younger arms, a strategy that should pay off long term. Offensively, infielder Starlin Aguilar has had a hot start to the season, sporting a .500 OBP and .971 OPS.

DSL Mariners

The Dominican League Mariners went 3-2 this week and currently stand at 7-3, an excellent start to the season. Top pitching signees in this year’s international class Dylan Wilson and Jeter Martinez both pitched well, with Wilson throwing 4.2 innings of shutout ball with seven K’s and three walks and Martinez going six innings while striking out eight, walking none, and surrendering one hit. He’s yet to allow an earned run in his professional career and is looking like a tremendous player.