Mariner Minors
Saturday, June 10, 2006
  Game Recaps (6/9/06)

The first wave of draft signings is in, ten in all, with Adam Moore (C, 6th), Doug Fister (RHP, 7th), Justin Souza (RHP, 9th), Joseph Kantakevich (RHP, 13th), Austin Dirkx (RHP, 16th), Johan Limonta (20th, INF), Kyle Parker (RHP, 24th), Greg Nesbit (LHP, 29th), Stan Posluszny (OF, 34th) and Alex Meneses (INF, 35th) all signing contracts. Of that group, Souza probably intrigues me the most, though Limonta is also interesting as a Cuban defector. Still working on that full recap, folks.

Tacoma 7, Las Vegas 9 (LA + 7)
RHP Francisco Cruceta (3.55, L) took the loss as he gave up three runs (two earned) on six hits (HR), two wild pitches, a hit batter, and two walks against four Ks in six innings of work. We can’t expect him to be on all of the time. RHP Scott Atchison (5.62) followed for an inning and gave up two more on three hits, a walk, and a K. After that, RHP Mike Nannini (10.00, E) gave up four runs (two earned) on two hits and two walks in a third of an inning, though newcomer RHP Jon Huber (0.00) scored two of those on a hit while he recorded the final two outs.
The big hit of the night was a grand slam off the bat of C Guillermo Quiroz (HR, 4 RBi, 2 PB, .311), though RF Greg Dobbs (2B, R, .292), LF Jon Nelson (3B, RBI, .500), and DH Brian Schweiger (2B, R, RBI, .750) all had two hits and 2B Michael Garciaparra (R, .353) and 3B Hunter Brown (R, CS, .284) both had three walks.

Sometime last night, in my absentmindedness, I failed to mention that it was Bohn going on the DL with a busted finger that brought Nelson up in the first place, and that Scotty Baseball has been playing short while Drubie recovers from a strained hip. In more strange roster news, Marquise Liverpool is also on the Tacoma roster now and made an appearance late in the game. There would be no corresponding move to Huber coming up, as Feierabend had been on the Everett roster on paper anyway, which brings us to the Missions game…

Frisco 1 (TEX + 3), San Antonio 7
LHP Ryan Feierabend (4.91, W) tossed five strong innings, giving up just the four hits, a wild pitch, and two walks while he rung up three. RHP Chad Fillinger (2.50) came in for two frames after that, with a hit, a wild pitch, a walk, and three strikeouts to show for it, and then in the final two RHP Stephen Kahn (5.14) gave up a solo home run, walked one, hit another, and struck out three more.
LF Erick Monzon (2B, 2 RBI .273) and 2B Ismael Castro (2B, RBI, .253) both had doubles, and SS Oswaldo Navarro (R, .246) had a single and a walk, but the offense was spread pretty evenly throughout the lineup.

Wladimir Balentien may be back tomorrow!

Lancaster 4 (ARI - 6), Inland Empire 5
If you had been wondering where LHP Justin Thomas (3.00) had run off to, here’s your answer. Thomas went six innings and gave up two runs on four hits and a walk while he struck out nine. Nice debut there. LHP Ryan Rowland-Smith (4.91, BS) gave up two runs as well on the same number of hits and walks, but only lasted an inning and a third and struck out two, so RHP Jon Lockwood (3.15, W) had to come in and get the Sixers through that inning, striking out one of two batters he faced. In the ninth, RHP Jose de la Cruz (4.50, S) got his fifth save.
The gameball has to go to 1B Matt Rogelstad (2B, 3 RBI, .255) for his two-run double in the ninth and another hit earlier in the game, but 2B Yung-chi Chen (2 2B, R, .326) and 3B Matt Tuiasosopo (2B, 2 R, .323) also deserve mention for their two hits.

Kane County 3 (OAK + 15), Wisconsin 2
So close, and so far away. LHP Harold Williams (3.42, L) gave up two runs through five innings on four hits (HR) and six walks against two Ks. Edging closer and closer to the walk per inning mark. LHP Lance Beus (3.00) followed him and gave up a run on two hits while striking out one in the sixth. RHP Roman Martinez (3.18) came in for an inning and a third, giving up two hits and striking out two, and then LHP Rollie Gibson (6.26) walked two batters to load the bases. So what did RHP Edgar Guaramato (4.40) do? He struck out all five of the batters he faced, including two with the bases loaded to end the eighth. I haven’t said it for some time now, but Guar rules.
A bunch of hits were spread throughout the lineup in this one two, so I’ll note CF Michael Saunders (2B, .222) for managing to get a double, his fifth of the season.

I’m still waiting on news for who got bumped to Wisconsin in the promotion of Thomas, but in the meantime, here’s a story on the big guy, Justin Ockerman, and his basketball days.

VSL Orioles/White Sox 9 (+ 3), Aguirre 3
On the brink of .500, Aguirre has lost four straight, which isn’t so surprising considering the relative age of their roster, I suppose. RHP Alfredo Venegas (2.84, L) gave up four runs (two earned) through four innings on seven hits, a walk, and two Ks. After that, LHP Edlando Seco (12.46) got absolutely shelled, giving up five runs on three hits (HR) and two walks without recording an out. LHP Jose Jimenez (1.80) let two of those score, but otherwise turned out to be fairly dominant, giving up five hits, two wild pitches, and a walk through five innings while he struck out six. It’s that potential that made him stick out to me when he entered the league, but he’s so blasted inconsistent with it sometimes.
There were a lot of odd substitutions in this one, which is fine, I guess it was a blowout anyway. Of the regulars, RF Mario Yepez (2B, RBI, .212) had a double, and of the subs, CF Nicomedes Gomez (CS, .050), 3B Pablo Orfila (R, .444), and PH-SS Terry Serrano (.140) all had one official at-bat each, but Gomez had a hit and two walks, Orfila had a hit and one walk, and Serrano had two walks.

Tomorrow’s Starters:
Tacoma: LHP Bobby Livingston, at Las Vegas, @ 7:05 pm PDT
San Antonio: LHP Adam Pettyjohn, at Corpus Christi, @ 5:05 pm PDT
Inland Empire: RHP Ivan Blanco, in San Bernardino, @ 7:11 pm PDT
Wisconsin: LHP Jose Escalona, at Lansing, @ 4:05 pm PDT
Aguirre: TBA, at Tigers/Marlins, @ 8:05 am PDT

Tacoma Rainiers: 30-30, .500, 4 GB in PCL Pacific North
San Antonio Missions: 23-36, .390, 11.5 GB in TL South
Inland Empire 66ers: 35-26, .574, 1st in CAL South
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers: 25-36, .410, 13 GB in MWL Western
Aguirre Mariners: 8-13-1, .386, 6 GB in VSL
Organizational Record: 121-141-1, .462

Friday, June 09, 2006
  Game Recaps (6/8/06)

Tacoma 18, Las Vegas 8 (LA + 6)
Conveniently, we get to start out with the game that was probably the most fun. RHP Clint Nageotte (4.11, W) gave up two runs on eight hits, a walk, and a K through six innings, and then RHP Dan Wright (7.36) came in, showing some more rust in giving up two runs on two hits and four walks in an inning and two-thirds. While RHP Aaron Looper (6.59) didn’t let any of those score while he struck out the final batter of that inning, he did give up four runs in the ninth on four hits. Bring back Ryan Ketchner. (Yes, I know he’s on the DL).
The offense, however, was awesome, as CF Adam Jones (3 2B, 2 R, 5 RBI, .251), LF Jon Nelson (3B, 4 R, 3 RBI, .600), and 2B Michael Garciaparra (2 R, 2 RBI, .364) all had three hits, and 1B-RF Greg Dobbs (R, 4 RBI, SB, .290), 3B Hunter Brown (2B, 2 R, RBI, .288), C Guillermo Quiroz (2B, R, RBI, .313), and SS Scotty Baseball (2 R, .209) had two apiece. DH Todd Sears (2B, 2 R, .267) added a double and a walk, and there were quite a few of those going around as well, with Brown and Garciaparra picking up two and Dobbs getting one. The ten-run third deserves specific mention here…
Tacoma Top 3rd
· Jon Nelson reaches on fielding error by second baseman Sergio Garcia.
· Scott Youngbauer singles on a line drive to right fielder Jon Weber. Jon Nelson to 3rd.
· Michael Garciaparra singles on a line drive to right fielder Jon Weber. Jon Nelson scores. Scott Youngbauer to 2nd.
· Shin-Soo Choo grounds into a force out, second baseman Sergio Garcia to shortstop Cesar Izturis. Scott Youngbauer to 3rd. Michael Garciaparra out at 2nd. Shin-Soo Choo to 1st.
· Adam Jones doubles (10) on a ground ball to left fielder Delwyn Young. Scott Youngbauer scores. Shin-Soo Choo to 3rd.
· Greg Dobbs singles on a ground ball to center fielder Jeff Duncan. Shin-Soo Choo scores. Adam Jones scores. Greg Dobbs to 2nd on the throw.
· With Todd Sears batting, Greg Dobbs steals (9) 3rd base.
· Todd Sears walks.
· Hunter Brown walks. Todd Sears to 2nd.
· Pitcher Change: Eric Hull replaces Justin Reid.
· Guillermo Quiroz pops out to shortstop Cesar Izturis.
· Jon Nelson triples (1) on a fly ball to center fielder Jeff Duncan. Greg Dobbs scores. Todd Sears scores. Hunter Brown scores.
· Scott Youngbauer hit by pitch.
· Michael Garciaparra singles on a ground ball to right fielder Jon Weber. Jon Nelson scores. Scott Youngbauer to 3rd.
· With Shin-Soo Choo batting, wild pitch by Eric Hull, Michael Garciaparra to 2nd.
· Shin-Soo Choo singles on a ground ball to left fielder Delwyn Young. Scott Youngbauer scores. Michael Garciaparra scores.
· Adam Jones called out on strikes.

With Nelson coming up two Tacoma, Gary Harris was reinstated from the DL in San An. Brian Schweiger is also with the Rainiers (PH single!), as Rob Johnson was sent to Everett for reasons I have no explanation for currently.

Frisco 5 (TEX + 4), San Antonio 2 (eleven innings)
LHP Jason Mackintosh (3.70, PO) went six and two-thirds innings and gave up a run on fuor hits while striking out three. RHP Craig James (2.12) went the next inning and a third, walking two and striking out one, but RHP Stephen Kahn (5.40, BS) got tagged with the blown save, giving up a run on three hits, a walk, and a K in the ninth. RHP Mike Flannery (4.94, 2 E, PO, L) took the loss after two innings in which he gave up three runs (one earned) on three hits, a hit batter, a walk, and two Ks.
2B Jesus Guzman (HR, E, .266), 3B Erick Monzon (2B, R, .276), and SS Oswaldo Navarro (RBI, .244) all had two hits.

Lancaster 3 (ARI - 5), Inland Empire 12
This may be one way of busting out the team slump, with ten of those runs coming quite late in the game. LHP Robert Rohrbaugh (1.80, PO, W) turned in another quality start, going seven and two-thirds innings and allowing three runs (one earned) to score on five hits (HR), a hit batter, and a walk against three Ks. He’s striking out six and a half per nine and running a WHIP under one through eight appearances, and had fifteen grounders to four flies in this one. LHP Thom Oldham (7.71) retired the last four in order and struck out one of them.
3B Matt Tuiasosopo (R, 2 RBI, SB, E, .319) had three hits in the game and CF Brent Johnson (2 R, E, .300), DH Reed Eastley (R, 2 RBI, .265), RF Mike Wilson (2 R, 2 RBI, .325), and LF Josh Womack (2 R, RBI, .302) had two each. 1B Matt Rogelstad (2B, R, RBI, .233) had a double as well. The eight-run seventh highlighted the action…
Inland Empire Bottom 7th
· Defensive switch from shortstop to 3rd for Mark Reynolds.
· Defensive Substitution: Derek Bruce replaces shortstop Mark Reynolds, batting 8th.
· Pitcher Change: Jonatan Valverde replaces Matthew Green.
· Matt Tuiasosopo singles on a ground ball to third baseman Mark Reynolds.
· Ronnie Prettyman strikes out swinging. Matt Tuiasosopo steals (5) 2nd base.
· J. B. TuckerIII singles on a line drive to left fielder Brandon Burgess. Matt Tuiasosopo to 3rd.
· Matt Rogelstad doubles (2) on a fly ball to right fielder Carlos Gonzalez. Matt Tuiasosopo scores. J. B. TuckerIII to 3rd.
· Josh Womack singles on a fly ball to right fielder Carlos Gonzalez. J. B. TuckerIII scores. Matt Rogelstad scores. Josh Womack to 3rd. Fielding error by right fielder Carlos Gonzalez.
· Brent Johnson walks.
· Yung Chi Chen walks. Brent Johnson to 2nd.
· Pitcher Change: Hipolito Guerrero replaces Jonatan Valverde.
· Reed Eastley singles on a ground ball to shortstop Derek Bruce. Josh Womack scores. Brent Johnson to 3rd. Yung Chi Chen to 2nd.
· Michael Wilson singles on a line drive to center fielder Chris Rahl. Brent Johnson scores. Yung Chi Chen scores. Reed Eastley to 2nd.
· Matt Tuiasosopo singles on a fly ball to right fielder Carlos Gonzalez. Reed Eastley scores. Michael Wilson to 3rd.
· Ronnie Prettyman singles on a fly ball to left fielder Brandon Burgess. Michael Wilson scores. Matt Tuiasosopo to 2nd.
· J. B. TuckerIII strikes out swinging.
· With Matt Rogelstad batting, passed ball by Joshua Ford, Matt Tuiasosopo to 3rd. Ronnie Prettyman to 2nd.
· Matt Rogelstad grounds out, third baseman Mark Reynolds to first baseman Cesar Nicolas.

Kane County 5 (OAK + 15), Wisconsin 1
Well, as much as I want the T-Rats to succeed, I have to admit that this a serious mismatch, pitting the best team in the division by a good margin against the second-worst. LHP Paul Fagan (4.48, E, L) did his part to keep the team in it and was let down by the defense, going seven innings and giving up four runs (two earned) on five hits and four walks against a lone K. RHP Edgar Guaramato (4.67) walked two in the eighth, and then LHP David Asher (3.27) gave up an unearned run on two hits and rung up one in the ninth.
LF Casey Craig (SB, .267) and CF Michael Saunders (R, CS, .220) both had two hits, and Saunders took a walk as well. They seem to have been hitting rather well lately.

VSL Mets 3 (+ 3), Aguirre 2 (ten innings)
RHP Yovanny Olivero (2.41) started yesterday’s game, giving up four hits, balking, and punching out four. The name of the new mystery pitcher is RHP Yorjans Chourio (0.00), though at 23 it seems like he would’ve been around the block a few times. All the same, he gave up a couple of unearned runs in two and a third innings of work on three hits and a walk while he struck out one. RHP Jesse Nava (3.09, PO, BS) let both of those score, with two hits, two walks, and two Ks in an inning and two-thirds of work. LHP Jose Jimenez (2.70, L) let an unearned run score in the tenth on a hit and a walk, and he also struck out one.
CF Dwight Britton (2B, R, .244) had a double, and C Israel Nunez (RBI, .333) had two hits. Not much offense on the whole.

Aguirre 0, VSL Pirates 3 (+ 4)
RHP Juan Ramirez (3.00, L) only got through three innings, giving up two runs (one earned) on a hit, two wild pitches, four walks, and three Ks before he gave way to RHP Felix Correa (3.09), who pitched the next three and a third innings with three hits, two walks, and two strikeouts to show for it. RHP Yoervis Medina (5.40, PO) gave up one more run on a hit, a hit batter, and two walks with on K in the final inning and two-thirds.
For the offense, I’ll note PH Pablo Orfila (.375) for getting a PH single in the ninth, and yes, that’s the furthest I can remember reaching for a notable on the offense.

Today’s Starters:
Tacoma: RHP Francisco Cruceta, at Las Vegas, @ 7:05 pm PDT
San Antonio: LHP Ryan Feierabend, in San Antonio, @ 5:05 pm PDT
Inland Empire: RHP Ivan Blanco, in San Bernardino, @ 7:11 pm PDT
Wisconsin: LHP Harold Williams, in Appleton, @ 5:05 pm PDT
Aguirre: TBA, in Aguirre, @ 8:05 am PDT

Tacoma Rainiers: 30-29, .508, 4 GB in PCL Pacific North
San Antonio Missions: 22-36, .379, 11.5 GB in TL South
Inland Empire 66ers: 34-26, .567, 1st in CAL South
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers: 25-35, .417, 12 GB in MWL Western
Aguirre Mariners: 8-12-1, .405, 6 GB in VSL
Organizational Record: 119-138-1, .463

Wednesday, June 07, 2006
  Game Recaps (6/7/06)

Instead of the usual five nine-inning games, I seem to be recapping four seven-inning games and a nine-inning (with one more potentially coming later). Doubleheaders will take a lot out of you.

Frisco 1 (TEX + 4), San Antonio 4 (seven innings)
RHP Yorman Bazardo (3.25) pitched three innings this time around, walking one and punching out three. LHP Eric O’Flaherty (2.57, S) pitched the three innings after that, giving up a run on four hits and a walk while striking out four. Every time he pitches three, four, five innings like this I start hoping that they’re toying around with the notion of moving him back into the rotation, but at the double-A level that’s kind of rare and the M’s may not be sold on the idea that his back issues are gone. Oh well, I can dream I guess. RHP Jon Huber (4.88, S) gave up a hit and struck out one in the ninth.
The Missions beat Thomas Diamond! WOOOOOOO! CF Sebastien Boucher (R, .216) was 0-for-1 with a couple of walks batting leadoff, 3B Jesus Guzman (3 RBI, .255) drove in most of the runs with his two hits (all RBI coming with two outs, I might add), SS Oswaldo Navarro (HR, .240) had his first HR of the season, and C Justin Ruchti (2B, 2 R, .256) had two hits and a walk. In the greater scheme of things, it seems like the whole offense has been struggling a lot lately. Balentien and Guzman are the only ones who had better OPS in May than April.

Frisco 1 (TEX + 3), San Antonio 2
RHP Nate Mateo (3.96, W) went five innings and gave up the one run on two hits and three walks while ringing up three. RHP Mark Lowe (0.00, S) was perfect through the next two and struck out one to pick up his first double-A save.
3B Jesus Guzman (SB, .263) and 1B Jon Nelson (RBI, CS, .245) both had two hits, and Guzman also drew a walk.

Inland Empire 4, High Desert 6 (KC - 1)
Still skidding. RHP Aaron Jensen (4.30, L) let two runs score in two-thirds of an inning on two hits and two walks, with one of those scoring after RHP Mumba Rivera (2.64) had a meltdown and walked six in an inning and two-thirds. Four runs (three earned) would score against Rivera, and RHP Mike Hrynio (2.60) was responsible for three of those, giving up two hits and a walk in two and two-thirds innings of work. RHP Justin Jordan (4.84) only gave up a hit and a walk while striking out one over the last three, but the bats couldn’t put anything together by that point.
2B Yung-chi Chen (R, RBI, .324) had three hits in the game, so yes, he is back. RF Mike Wilson (RBI, .321) had two, and DH Marshall Hubbard (2B, RBI, .258) had a double. SS Matt Tuiasosopo (E, .311) managed to walk twice, but also made his eighteenth error of the season.

Kane County 3 (OAK + 14), Wisconsin 2 (seven innings)
RHP Ruben Flores (5.55, L) pitched four and one-third innings and gave up a run on a solo shot, and otherwise had a wild pitch, three hit batters, two walks and three Ks in that span. RHP Roman Martinez (4.15) gave up two more runs on three hits while ringing up two batters in two and two-thirds innings.
Five singles, one walk, one hit batter, all spread throughout the lineup… I guess I note LF Casey Craig (2 RBI, SB, .266) for getting some mileage out of his hit.

Kane County (OAK + 13) 2, Wisconsin 6 (seven innings)
Reaction to this one was that of startled confusion, RHP Justin Ockerman (9.00), the 6’10” right-hander, decided to give baseball another shot after playing basketball last year (IIRC), and gave up two runs on four hits and three walks against four Ks in two innings of work. RHP Nick Allen (2.61, W) followed him for four innings and gave up three runs while striking out four, and then RHP Joe Woerman (1.53) struck out two in the seventh. Free Joe Woerman.
SS Jeff Dominguez (RBI, SB, .281), 3B Jeff Flaig (R, .230), and RF Eddy Hernandez (2B, R, 2 RBI, CS, .221) all had two hits, and C Curtis Ledbetter (3B, R, .SB, 197) and CF Michael Saunders (3B, R, 2 RBI, A, .211) both tripled.

The recap of the VSL game will be coming as soon as they update. There WAS a game, mind you, I checked the Venezuelan site, but they can’t be bothered to update players batting lines and I don’t feel like going back and recalculating them. There may have been a new pitcher debuting with the team by the name of Yoelvis Chourio, but that might also be a typo of some sort.

Tomorrow’s Starters:
Tacoma: RHP Clint Nageotte, at Las Vegas, @ 7:05 pm PDT
San Antonio: LHP Jason Mackintosh, in San Antonio, @ 5:05 pm PDT
Inland Empire: LHP Robert Rohrbaugh, in San Bernardino, @ 7:11 pm PDT
Wisconsin: LHP Justin Thomas, in Appleton, @ 5:05 pm PDT
Aguirre: TBA, at VSL Pirates, @ 8:05 am PDT

Tacoma Rainiers: 29-29, .500, 5 GB in PCL Pacific North
San Antonio Missions: 22-35, .386, 10.5 GB in TL South
Inland Empire 66ers: 33-26, .559, 1st in CAL South
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers: 25-34, .424, 11 GB in MWL Western
Aguirre Mariners: 8-10-1, .472, 3.5 GB in VSL
Organizational Record: 117-134-1, .466

Tuesday, June 06, 2006
  (Incomplete) Draft Notes 2006
Sometime, about halfway through the draft, I got an IM asking if this was my favorite day of the year. “To prospect watchers, it’s like Christmas,” I said, “except this year I got clothes I won’t wear and gift cards I’m desperately trying to find a use for.”

About seven hours later, that statement feels about right for the most part. If we’re to break it down by the stages of grief, I’ve been bouncing back and forth between general numbness and searching for reasoning of any sort. I was in the same position after the first day last year, but we managed to grab some decent slipping talent there, like Kahn and Varvaro. We didn’t pick nearly as many pitchers, except early on, but a lot of the guys picked were under the radar. Much like Seahawks fans have to trust Ruskell to bring them through, I had to put my faith in Fontaine that he was taking the best player on his board, and that it’s just possible that he was picking them based on criteria that others weren’t paying as much attention to. The jury’s still out on ‘05, but Tui, Rob Johnson, and Lowe are all interesting prospects, and Boucher, Dominguez, Saunders, Fillinger, Mumba Rivera, and Harold Williams have all shown promise at times. Back in ’04, a lot of those guys looked like odd picks, being either reaches or guys with some question marks as to their ability or experience.

Yes, we reached a lot, but the talent in this draft wasn’t considered to be anything great to begin with, so the gap separating the guys who made the cut and the guys who didn’t may be rather small. Yes, we drafted a lot of pitchers, but as Manuel pointed out in a BA chat, have you seen the system’s pitching recently? Inland Empire is your only bright spot as a team, and a lot of the prospects there are relievers who have moved on. Even the Sixers had issues with walks. As for the rest of the system, the Rainiers haven’t lived up to expectations or been able to find the strike zone with any regularity, San Antonio has been split evenly between the capable and the inept in all areas and has dealt with some of the pains of inexperienced pitchers making a big jump, and Wisconsin is among the league leaders in all the wrong categories, and would probably lead them all if not for Woerman and a few flashes of brilliance elsewhere. There is pitching on the way from the summer leagues, but it still needs more time and something had to be done now. San Antonio and Wisconsin still need more inexperienced hitters of Wisconsin will adjust as the weather gets warmer. Should I demand more? Probably, but given that pitching was the strength of the draft, it was a weak class as a whole, and that the M’s weren’t keen on getting into any lengthy negotiations (a drawback), I don’t know how much more we could’ve gotten. You can only hope that what hitters we do have pick it up, or that there’s someone available tomorrow (and curse you BoSox for picking Lars Anderson after I had left the computer).

I had forgotten how much Blogger hates… well, blogging, particularly live blogging, so here’s the rundown….

1. Brandon Morrow, RHP, R-R, 6-3, 190, 21, University of California, Rohnert Park, CA

I guess I have to come to terms with the idea that Miller’s demands were unreasonable and likely to draw out a long time, and that they were concerned with Lincecum’s durability and command, so Morrow was the top guy still available on their board. I’ve listened to the conference call now, and while it’s strikingly different from the leader personality you had in Clement from last year, I did come away feeling better about a few things that concerned me. For one, his poor results from earlier in his college career were the result of a loss of command from his jump in velocity. He responded to it by working out more to strengthen his shoulder to where he didn’t get that same soreness after pitching, and I think that speaks well to his conditioning habits, which are sometimes a concern with players. The other was his inconsistent secondary stuff, which he said he fixed by committing to the slider as his breaking pitch midseason, instead of trying to switch between a few different pitches. Both those factors help him in the long run. I’m not an expert on pitching motions or anything, but watching the video, his motion looks good, consistent, and repeatable, though he does show the ball pretty early. He doesn’t jerk his head during delivery or seem to loss his balance at any point, though sometimes his momentum seems to carry him a bit farther down the mound than you’d like. It’s a very centered motion, and should prove to be a healthy one.

2. Chris Tillman, RHP, R-R, 6-5, 195, 18, Fountain Valley HS, Fountain Valley, CA

This was the other pick that was at least on the radar. Tillman was one of a number of guys selected who had better seasons last year, though he still remained high on the charts for prep prospects in California. His delivery on the videos is also rather smooth and isn’t violent at all. His pitches seem to have a strong downward plane to them, but I was also noticing that his release looked a little high in some places, which could mean he’s letting go a little early. He was a bit off mark in his location, but younger guys can get by for that. He’s said to have a 90-94 mph fastball and a curve that could turn into a plus offering as well. It’s a solid two pitch combo right there, but in his attempts to get a third pitch, he’s started throwing a split and scouts don’t like that with younger elbows. I don’t know if that’s causing any problems yet, but they might get him on a two-seamer once he’s in the system. There were some questions about his willingness to maintain stuff late into games, but he seems pretty focused on baseball and may react differently when doing it all the time against advanced competition.

3. Tony Butler, LHP, L-L, 6-7, 205, 18, Oak Creek HS, Oak Creek, WI

In past years, I might accuse the M’s of going into a tall lefty swoon, but they did pass over Miller, and may be right to think that Butler could improve his velocity with a move to a better climate and a more active pitching regiment. Watching some (limited) videos on him, he starts off slow and then kind of has something of a pounce in his forward motion that moves at a faster rate. He seems pretty well balanced for a big guy, and moves very little upon landing. His pitches seem to sink, which is good, but I’m not too sure about everything in his delivery. It looks to be less over-the-top than that of Tillman and Morrow, more of a 3/4th release. Seems to have added some velocity in each of the past few years and it’s reasonable to think there’s more there. He’s a smart, well-balanced kid and you kind of wonder why he wasn’t ranked higher.

4. Enrique Orta, RHP, R-R, 6-2, 195, 21, University of Miami, Miami, FL

Here’s the big question mark. He had a decent year last year, posting a 1.35 WHIP, though I don’t like the 7K/9 combined with the 4BB/9. There’s not much written on him, because he gave up more hits this year while picking up another K per nine. The motion’s kind of uninspired, which makes you wonder if there’s more there, but nothing really stands out otherwise. This is the “I hope they know what they’re doing” pick for me.

5. Nathan Adcock, RHP, R-R, 6-4, 185, 18, North Hardin HS, Vine Grove, KY

Just prior to the selection, Jason made some comment to me about how good the recent fifth-round picks have been for the Mariners, yielding Stephen Kahn and Mark Lowe in the past two years. The Mariners have been following Adcock closely this season, and seemingly with good reason. He’s considered to be one of the top prep prospects in the state, and had tied his school’s strikeout record (seventeen in a game) at least three times this year, punching out 140 batters total in 80.2 innings pitched. He’s reaching the low-90s already (already a few more MPH than last year) and has said that he liked it when the scouts are watching him because it pumps him up to do even better. He fits the old Mariners profile of being an all-around good scout (perfect attendance and extracurricular activities already noted), but he also seems to have a solid attitude, a competitive nature, and good stuff to boot.

6. Adam Moore, C, R-R, 6-2, 220, 22, University of Texas, Mineola, TX
7. Doug Fister, RHP, R-R, 6-8, 195, 22, Fresno State University, Merced, CA
8. Steve Richard, RHP, R-R, 6-2, 230, 20, University of Clemson, Billerica, MA
9. Justin Souza, RHP, R-R, 6-1, 190, 20, Sacramento CC, Galt, CA
10. Chris Minaker, SS, R-R, 6-0, 195, 22, Stanford University, Lynnwood, WA
11. Aaron Solomon, RHP, R-R, 6-4, 205, 20, Cumberland University, Layton, UT
12. Gavin Dickey, LF, R-R, 5-11, 205, 22, University of Florida, Tallahassee, FL
13. Joseph Kantakevich, RHP, R-R, 6-2, 195, 22, William and Mary College, Rockville, MD
14. Jared Baehl, 3B, R-R, 6-2, 200, 18, North Posey HS, Poseyville, IN
15. Andrew Fiorenza, RHP, R-R6-1, 205, 21, Clemson University, Atlanta, GA
16. Austin Bibens-Dirkx, RHP, R-R, 6-2, 190, 21, University of Portland, Keizer, OR
17. Daniel Runzler, LHP, L-L, 6-5, 210, 21, UC, Riverside, Simi Valley, CA
18. Kameron Mickolio, RHP, R-R, 6-9, 255, 22, Utah Valley St. College, Orem, UT

To be completed at a later date.

  Game Recaps (6/6/06)

Tacoma 4, Colorado Springs 8 (COL – 12)
RHP Cha Seung Baek (3.44) gave up four runs (three earned) on eight hits, a hit batter, and three walks against three Ks. RHP Aaron Looper (5.40) followed him and gave up four runs on five hits and struck out one, all in the seventh. RHP Mike Nannini (8.38) walked two in the eighth. I tried telling G that watching this one wouldn’t take the sting off the draft, but…
LF-RF Shin-soo Choo (3B, 2 RBI, .269), 3B Hunter Brown (2B, R, .282), C Guillermo Quiroz (2B, RBI, .312), and 2B Michael Garciaparra (R, .339) all had two hits.

Frisco 2 (TEX + 5), San Antonio 1
LHP Travis Blackley (3.80, L) got the loss in his last tune-up before facing the Rocket, but otherwise pitched quite well and gave up two runs on five hits, a wild pitch, and two walks against seven Ks in six and one-third innings. RHP Mike Flannery (4.97) pitched the rest of the game, giving up a walk and striking out one.
CF Sebastien Boucher (R, .217) and 2B Ismael Castro (.275) both had two hits, and 3B Jesus Guzman (.249) and DH Erick Monzon (RBI, .268) had a hit and a walk apiece.

Inland Empire 3, High Desert 4 (KC - 2) (ten innings)
RHP Cibney Bello (4.61) pitched decently, going six and a third innings and allowing two runs to score on six hits, two wild pitches, three hit batters, and two walks against five Ks. LHP Ryan Rowland-Smith (0.00) struck out the next batter, then RHP Jon Lockwood (3.20, L) came in and let two more runs, including the walk-off, score over the next three innings on two hits and two walks against six Ks.
CF Brent Johnson (2 2B, .302) had three hits in the game to lead the team. Otherwise, 3B Matt Tuiasosopo (2B, R, RBI, .315) had a double, and RF Mike Wilson (R, .318) and C J.B. Tucker (SB, .100) both walked twice.

T-Rats and Aguirre were both rained out, but hey, Garth, Craig, Williams, and Guaramato are all All-Stars. Woot!

Tomorrow’s Starters:
Tacoma: Off day
San Antonio: RHP Yorman Bazardo, in San Antonio, @ 4:05 pm PDT
Second Game: RHP Nate Mateo
Inland Empire: RHP Aaron Jensen, at High Desert, @ 7:05 pm PDT
Wisconsin: RHP Ruben Flores, in Appleton, @ 9:35 am PDT
Second Game: LHP Justin Thomas ?
Aguirre: TBA, at VSL Astros, @ 8:05 am PDT

Tacoma Rainiers: 29-29, .500, 5 GB in PCL Pacific North
San Antonio Missions: 20-35, .364, 11 GB in TL South
Inland Empire 66ers: 33-25, .569, 1st in CAL South
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers: 24-33, .421, 11 GB in MWL Western
Aguirre Mariners: 8-10-1, .472, 3.5 GB in VSL
Organizational Record: 114-132-1, .464

  Live Draft Day Blogging 2006

10:12 am: Rather tempted to just say "I Quit" right now. It's not really that bad, but it is a disappointment.

10:24 am: I'll probably feel better about this later, but I had an odd dream just before I got up that involved the M's taking a bunch of no-names (I, of course, didn't realize it was a dream even though they had the fifth AND eighth picks).

Dave from USSM is busy throwing himself off a bridge, or something.

I wanted Kiker, but the Rangers got him. I have gotten over the delusion that Snider would fall, but it still hurts.

10:39 am: First round over, with a lot of talent dropping. We may be in luck for the 49th pick, but I kind of feel like the supplemental round is painful.

As for Morrow, well, while Fontaine isn't exactly Ruskell, he does make odd picks on occassion that he's done considerable research on. If Morrow is their guy, there's probably a good reason for it, and they probably believe his breakout is legitimate.

  The Night Before Christmas Draft Day
I've been pretty busy, but before I cash it in for the night, I wanted to go over a few things.

* There are a couple of interesting notes I wanted to get in on the 2005 DFEs that hasn't quite made it to press yet.
--LHP Will Brown tossed a seven-inning no-hitter in high school, twelve Ks and four walks. He threw 90-92 when he was pitching for Downey High School, and mixes three pitches.
--C Travis Scott was primarily a first baseman, near as I can figure, and backed up at catcher, otherwise there's no way he could've played in as many games as he did. He was right at the top in just about every offensive category for the Lincoln Land CC Loggers for the past two years. Curiiously, his high school career contains more info on him as a basketball player, even though he seems to have been named to the first-team for the state.
--1B Joe White is a two-way player who hits lefty for some power and is less spectacular on the mound. He led his high school team to a final four appearance followed by an elite eight showing before going to Georgia Perimeter. The early rumbling was that, due to his superior hitting ability and strong arm, they'd try him behind the plate, but it remains to be seen if they're still going with that thought. A switch of positions between Scott and White wouldn't be bad.

* My board right now is looking like Lincecum, Hochevar, Miller, Lincoln, and Scherzer for the top five.
--I'll admit to being a bit of a local homer when it comes to Lince, but he's a unique case with superior talent, and at this point, I believe that if he's survived with this motion and no noticable soreness or complaints, even considering his height, he'll be fine. The walks don't concern me as much as they seem to others either. He has the potential to be truly dominant, and I would give strong consideration to him even if I was convinced he had to sit out the rest of the season (which I'm not, heck, just throw him in relief ala Thomas last year).
--Hochevar is another interesting pick. He was already a top level talent last year, but the layoff seems to have also helped him pick up a little velocity, though the polish isn't quite back yet. I would be higher on him, but to be honest, I'm a little nervous about pitchers who take the better part of a year off and then come back throwing full strength re: Wade Thompsen last year. Boras holding out also spooks me, just a little bit.
--Left-handers and Safeco are a good mix, and while there are inherent risks with a lot of these picks, the consensus is that Miller's basement (opposite of ceiling, for lack of a better term) at least places him in the rotation. Good fastball, great slider, still working on another pitch. The contract demands for him are even more scary in terms of money, but if he's on the board and the other two are gone, you just can't pass on him.
--Lincoln is the best combination of stuff and polish, the guy who could probably be ready for rotation work a little sooner than some of the others. His velocity is above average, touching the higher end of the spectrum on occassion, and his curveball gets rave reviews. Combine that with his hitting ability, and he becomes a rather interesting pick, if you're a National League club, but he's a competitor, and that's a plus I can't ignore.
--Which is why I can't pass up on Scherzer if he comes by and the other four are gone. I realize that he's been injured, but mizzoufan came by Detect-o-vision and added some additional insight on Scherzer's injuries, and that certainly helped. Realistically, there isn't a better combination of stuff and poise in the draft, or in a lot of other places you can look. The only question mark is what he'll do with the secondary pitches, and how his level of effort in his pitching motion will affect him in the long-run.

* Beyond that, I'll concede that Morrow isn't bad, but health is another worry I have for him and comparing his numbers to Lince's within the Pac-10, well... The velocity puts him on the map, but he's a guy who broke out this season and still has some inconsistency in his pitching. I won't throw a fit if they pick him, unless he's picked over the top four I have (or, God forbid, Greg Reynolds is our number one). I liked Kershaw and Drabek, but I've recently been bludgeoned with the notion that all the college guys have gotten over the biggest injury hurdle, and considering the M's are going to need pitching sooner rather than later and can't really afford to blow this pick, I've since agreed with that assessment. For me to take either, I'd have to be convinced that Matsuzaka was in the bag for the offseason and Cruceta/Blackley(/Nags/Livingston) were realistic options to fill out the rotation if need be. That's not to say I'm not convinced, but having that extra arm is always a bonus.

* The draft has turned wacky this year. While last year Calis managed to pick something like the top ten or fifteen with perfect accuracy, bets seem to be off this year, and teams may not have decided yet whether money is going to be an issue or isn't. There are rumors of Longoria (pass), Reynolds (pass), and Drabek (maybe under different circumstances) going in the top four somewhere, and they're equally balanced by rumors that everyone's grabbing the top pitchers leaving the M's to pick whatever's left over. I'm in no position to make predictions right now (I'm not even thinking about round two yet), but I'm eager to see how it all plays out and am hoping that it works in our favor.

* Tempering the draft enthusiasm, I have articles on Brien Taylor, bricklayer, Ryan Anderson, aspiring steak chef, and an old one I'm digging out of the archives on Roger Salkeld, which I intended to post in a News Around the Minors segment, but don't know that I ever did.

I'll be on all three messengers I use from about ten AM on. I might be scouring the web for bits and pieces while I'm on, but if you want to shoot me a question or vent, I'll be here. I considered claiming a "religious holiday", but on 6/06/06? Nah. My co-workers know I'm crazy for this kind of thing, so we'll just leave it at that.

  Game Recaps (6/5/06)

Tacoma 3, Colorado Springs 4 (COL - 12)
Continuing the fog suspended game, RHP Rich Dorman (4.76, PO) pitched five and two-thirds innings and gave up two runs on two hits (HR) and eight walks against four strikeouts. Wacky. RHP Renee Cortez (2.65) pitched the next inning and a third, giving up two hits and striking out two, and then RHP Emiliano Fruto (3.00, L) blew the save op, giving up two runs (one earned) on two hits, a hit batter, and a walk against three Ks.
RF T.J. Bohn (R, .271), PH-C Guillermo Quiroz (2B, RBI, .361), and 2B Scotty Baseball (.164) all had two hits, and DH Greg Dobbs (2B, R, RBI, .289) doubled in his only plate appearance prior to the fogout.

Tacoma 9, Colorado Springs 0 (COL – 13) (seven innings)
LHP Cesar Jimenez (5.91) only let five runners reach via two hits and three walks in five innings while he struck out three. RHP Scott Atchison (3.86) walked one and struck out one over the final two.
Nine runs! RF T.J. Bohn (2B, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, .268) and CF Adam Jones (2B, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, .250) both had three hits, one of the few differences being Jones’ walk, and 3B Hunter Brown (2 RBI, .274) and 2B Michael Garciaparra (2B, R, .328) had two hits.

The Missions weren’t playing today, but you’ll be able to catch them on TV on Sunday if you get FoxSports Southwest. Also, Lahair, Balentien, and Bazardo were voted onto the South Division’s All-Star Team, which isn’t bad for a last-place team.

Inland Empire 0, High Desert 6 (KC - 3)
LHP Shawn Nottingham (4.67, L) gave up four runs on seven hits (HR) and a walk against five Ks through five and one-third innings. RHP Justin Jordan (5.29) let one of those runs score after a hit and a walk as he finished up the inning, and then RHP Jose de la Cruz (4.68) struck out two in the seventh. LHP Thom Oldham (18.00) pitched the eighth and gave up two runs on four hits (HR) and struck out two.
CF Brent Johnson (2B, .294) had a double and a walk. There were only three other hits.

Clinton 6 (TEX - 19), Wisconsin 9
The T-Rats ought to be beating Clinton, and so they are, sweeping them, in fact. That’s good news. What wasn’t was LHP Jose Escalona (4.31) giving up six runs to them on seven hits (HR) and three walks with five strikeouts. Fortunately, LHP Rollie Gibson (6.36) pitched an inning and two-thirds without incident (and isn’t going into the devilish day with a devilish ERA), and RHP Edgar Guaramato (4.85, W) got another two outs, one of them a K, but I’d say the win was more important. RHP Roman Martinez (0.00, S) gave up a hit and struck out two in the ninth for the save.
SS Jeff Dominguez (2B, R, 2 RBI, SB, CS, .277), 3B Jeff Flaig (2B, R, .200), and RF Eddy Hernandez (2B, R, 2 RBI, .217) all had two hits, and DH Casey Craig (HR, .267) and C Nick Prosise (HR, 2 RBI, .279) both had home runs. 2B Luis Valbuena (2 R, RBI, .238) had a hit and two walks.

Cagua Reds 4 (+ 1), Aguirre 0
RHP Miguel Marquez (1.19, L) got the loss, going four and two-thirds innings and giving up a run on five hits, a wild pitch, two hit batters, and two walks (both intentional) against three Ks. RHP Leonardo Rodriguez (6.30) pitched two and a third innings after that and gave up a run on two hits, two wild pitches, a hit batter, and four walks against a K, then RHP Carlos Sanchez (2.57) came in for the final two, giving up a couple of unearned runs on a hit and two walks against two Ks.
SS Carlos Ramirez (2B, E, .111) had a double and a walk, making a rare appearance in these listings. The only other guys to get hits were from the usual top four.

Tomorrow’s Starters:
Tacoma: RHP Cha Seung Baek, at Colorado Springs, @ 6:05 pm PDT
San Antonio: LHP Travis Blackley, in San Antonio, @ 5:05 pm PDT
Inland Empire: RHP Cibney Bello, at High Desert, @ 7:05 pm PDT
Wisconsin: RHP Ruben Flores, in Appleton, @ 5:05 pm PDT
Aguirre: TBA, in Aguirre, @ 8:05 am PDT

Tacoma Rainiers: 29-28, .509, 4 GB in PCL Pacific North
San Antonio Missions: 20-34, .370, 10 GB in TL South
Inland Empire 66ers: 33-24, .579, 1st in CAL South
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers: 24-33, .421, 11 GB in MWL Western
Aguirre Mariners: 8-10-1, .472, 3.5 GB in VSL
Organizational Record: 114-129-1, .469

Monday, June 05, 2006
  Game Recaps (6/4/06)

Tacoma 3, Colorado Springs 4 (COL - 13)
I don’t really feel good about how the Rainiers are struggling against such a bad team. LHP Bobby Livingston (5.58) is still out of whack, and gave up three runs on nine hits, a hit batter, and three walks against two Ks. As Jeff pointed out in his version of the recaps, Bobby’s been just terrible since coming back. Check it out if you want to see the full breakdown. RHP Dan Wright (4.50) made his first appearance since ’04 and gave up a couple of runs on two hits while striking out three.
For the offense, 3B Scott Youngbauer (HR, .203) was the highlight, going 2-for-4 and hitting a home run to bring it within a run in the ninth. Jeff suggested that we should call him Scotty Ballgame now, and I think I’m going with that. Otherwise, you had RF T.J. Bohn (2B, .256) doubling and walking and DH Chris Snelling (R, .268) reaching base three times, twice via walks and once by getting hit. Shame on you, Randy Williams, you should know better, being a former Rainier and all.

San Antonio 0, Wichita 1 (KC - 5)
Ouch. RHP Yorman Bazardo (3.44) pitched one inning, hit a batter and struck out one, and then LHP Adam Pettyjohn (1.69, L) came on and gave up the game’s only run on five hits, two walks, and five Ks through six innings of work. RHP Chad Fillinger (2.65) would give up a hit in the eighth.
1B Jon Nelson (E, .248) had two hits, but I find his position probably more interesting, as well as Guzman at second. Otherwise, the Missions only had two hits, including a double from LF Kevin Reynolds (2B, .333).

Inland Empire 8, Rancho Cucamonga 9 (ANA + 3) (ten innings)
Give. Take. A few steps forward, and one too many back. The pitching didn’t really help, as RHP Ivan Blanco (3.58, PO) gave up four runs through six innings on seven hits (HR), a wild pitch, a hit batter, and three walks against four Ks, and RHP Mike Hrynio (3.68) followed him and let three more runs score on three hits, a hit batter, and a walk against two Ks in the next two and one-third innings. I guess you’d have to mark down RHP Mumba Rivera (2.11, L) as the culprit in a rare meltdown, as he let all of Hrynio’s runs score on a grand slam and gave up the walk-off run on two hits, a walk, and a K in his inning of work.
2B Yung-chi Chen (HR, 4 RBI, SB, .330) and LF Josh Womack (3 R, CS, .306) both had three hits and a walk, CF Brent Johnson (RBI, .293), 3B Ron Prettyman (R, .311), and 1B Matt Rogelstad (2 R, 2 RBI, .229) had two each, and DH Marshall Hubbard (PO, .263) had a hit and two walks. Good offense, but lacking in power, except for Chen.

Clinton 4 (TEX - 18), Wisconsin 9
The system managed to eke out one win, and that went to LHP Harold Williams (3.40, PO, W), who went five innings and gave up two runs on three hits and four walks against six Ks. LHP David Asher (3.60) followed for an inning and a third and gave up two runs on three hits and a walk with two Ks. RHP Edgar Guaramato (4.97) then finished up that inning with a flyout and a groundout, before giving way to LHP Lance Beus (0.00), who struck out one in the eighth. RHP Joe Woerman (1.59) also punched out one in the ninth. Free Joe Woerman!
3B Jeff Flaig (2B, 2 RBI, .173) went 3-for-4 and played at the hot corner, and if he can do both of those more often, it would certainly help. In fact, everyone in the lineup was hitting, so that was pretty awesome. SS Robby Hudson (3B, 2 R, 2 RBI, .295), LF Casey Craig (2B, 3 RBI, .267), and 1B Bryan Sabatella (HR, 2 R, .190) all had two hits, and C Curtis Ledbetter (2B, R, .190), DH Eddy Hernandez (2B, .209), and RF Jairo Hernandez (2B, R, RBI, SB, .191) all doubled.

Tomorrow’s Starters:
Tacoma: RHP Rich Dorman, at Colorado Springs, @ 4:05 pm PDT
Second Game: LHP Cesar Jimenez
San Antonio: Off day
Inland Empire: LHP Shawn Nottingham, at High Desert, @ 4:05 pm PDT
Wisconsin: LHP Jose Escalona, in Appleton, @ 7:05 pm PDT
Aguirre: TBA, in Aguirre, @ 8:05 am PDT

Tacoma Rainiers: 28-27, .509, 4.5 GB in PCL Pacific North
San Antonio Missions: 20-34, .370, 10 GB in TL South
Inland Empire 66ers: 33-23, .589, 1st in CAL South
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers: 23-33, .411, 11 GB in MWL Western
Aguirre Mariners: 8-9-1, .472, 3.5 GB in VSL
Organizational Record: 112-126-1, .471

A closer look at the minor league system of the Seattle Mariners baseball club.

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2006 Minor League Splits
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2003 Prospect Lists:
Rotoworld Top 100 Prospects
Rotoworld Top 10 Mariners Prospects
The Minors First Top 100 Prospects
Inside The Park's 21-30 Mariners Prospects
On Deck Baseball's Mariners Prospect Rankings
On Deck Baseball's Future 500
On Deck Baseball's Future 500 (AL Only)
Wait Til Next Year's Top 50 Prospects
Wait Til Next Year's 51-90 Prospects
The Sports Network's Top 10 Mariners Prospects
Creative Sports' Top 10 Mariners Prospects
CBS Sportsline's Top AL West Prospects's Top 10 Mariners Prospects's Top 50 Prospects
Seattle PI's Top 15 Mariners Prospects
2003 Runs Created (Current system players)
2003 Runs Created (New acquisitions)
2003 Secondary Avg. (Current system players)
2003 Secondary Avg. (New acquisitions)
2003 WHIP Charts (Current system players)
2003 WHIP Charts (New acquisitions)
2003 K/BB Charts (Current system players)
2003 K/BB Charts (New acquisitions)

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