Mariners Minor Leaguers Honored by Baseball America

Right-handed reliever Carter Capps was named to this year’s Baseball America First-Team Minor League All-Star squad, while second baseman Stefen Romero was named to the Second-Team.

Capps, 22, was the only reliever selected from all levels of minor league baseball to make the first team.  He went 2-3 with 19 saves and a 1.29 ERA (7 ER, 51.1 IP) in 39 relief appearances combined between AA Jackson and AAA Tacoma. The 6-5, 220-pound right-hander averaged 13.2 strikeouts and 2.1 walks per 9.0 innings and converted 19 of 21 saves opportunities. He held opponents to a .212 (40×189) batting average, while walking 12 and striking out 75.

Capps was selected to Seattle on July 31 and made his Major League debut on August 3 at New York (AL). He was the third players from the 2011 draft to make his ML debut this season.

Capps was the Mariners 3rd-round supplemental selection (121st overall) in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft out of Mount Olive College (NC). He was named the 2011 NCAA Division II Pitcher of the Year after going 14-1 with 2 saves and a 1.75 ERA in 20 games/15 starts.

Romero, 23, hit .352 (167×474) with 85 runs scored, 34 doubles, 7 triples, 23 home runs and 101 RBI in 116 games combined between A High Desert and Jackson. Romero was tied for the organizational lead in average, while ranking second in RBI. He was one of 19 players to knock in at least 100 runs in the minor leagues this season.

Romero was selected by the Mariners in the 12th round of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft from Oregon State University. In his first two seasons in the Mariners organization he is batting .318 (287×903) with 147 runs scored, 56 doubles, 11 triples, 39 home runs and 166 RBI in 232 games.

Capps and Romero were the only Mariners farmhands to be recognized on either the first or second teams, but catcher Mike Zunino, third baseman Patrick Kivlehan, and left-handed starter Tyler Pike were also honored by Baseball America.

Zunino, 21, was named to Baseball America‘s Short-season-A All-Star Team as a catcher, as well as the Player of the Year.  Zunino, the Mariners 2012 first-round draft selection out of the University of Florida, was the 3rd overall selection in the 2012 Major League Baseball First-Year Draft and was the recipient of the 2012 Golden Spikes Award. With Everett, Zunino reached base safely in 26 of his 29 games, batting .373 (41×110) with 29 runs scored, 10 doubles, 10 home runs, 35 RBI and 18 walks. Prior to his promotion to Jackson on August 12, Zunino was named the Northwest League Player of the week three times, including back-to-back weeks to begin his career (July 16-22, July 23-29 & Aug. 6-12). Despite only appearing in 29 games, Zunino finished T4th the Northwest League in home runs (10). Overall Zunino hit .360 (58×161) with 35 runs scored, 14 doubles, 13 home runs and 43 RBI in 44 games combined between Everett and AA Jackson.

Kivlehan, 22, was named to Baseball America‘s Short-season-A All-Star Team. The third baseman, hit .301 (85×282) with 46 runs scored, 17 doubles, 3 triples, 12 home runs and 52 RBI in 72 games. He finished amongst the league leaders in nearly every offensive category, including slugging percentage (1st, .511), home runs (T1st, 12), totals bases (2nd, 144), extra-base hits (2nd, 32), RBI (T2nd, 52), at-bats (2nd, 282) hits (3rd, 85), runs scored (3rd, 46), games (3rd, 72), average (T3rd, .301) and doubles (T4th, 17). Kivlehan was earlier named Player of the Year by the Northwest League.

Pike, 18, was named one of four starting pitchers to Baseball America‘s Rookie All-Star Team.  He went 2-1 with a 1.78 ERA (10 ER, 50.2 IP) in 11 starts with the Peoria Mariners. He limited opponents to a .193 average (34×176), while walking 21 and striking out 57. Pike, who was named to the Arizona League All-Star team, led the league in ERA and opponents average, while ranking 2nd in WHIP (1.90) and 4th in strikeouts (57). Amongst starters he ranked 1st in highest strikeouts per 9.0 innings (10.13) and 2nd in fewest baserunners per 9.0 innings (10.66). Pike limited opponents to 2 runs or less in all 11 starts, while holding opposing teams scoreless in 6 starts. He tossed 7.0 scoreless innings before allowing his first run in his 3rd career start on July 8 at AZL Rangers. Pike tossed a season-high 15.0 scoreless innings over 3 starts, July 14-25.


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