Archive for the ‘ Minor League Report ’ Category

Brandon Maurer Named Southern League Most Outstanding Pitcher

All season, the Mariners Double-A affiliate Jackson Generals have were considered one of the top teams in minor league baseball. They had a banner season, clinching a spot in the playoffs winning the first half of the North Division. There were numerous articles written about the pitching staff, with Danny Hultzen, Taijuan Walker and James Paxton getting much of the publicity. The entire pitching staff had a great season, posting a league-leading 3.37 ERA.

And leading the bunch was right-hander Brandon Maruer, who was named the 2012 Southern League Most Outstanding Pitcher. An award voted on by league managers, radio broadcasters and print media.

Maurer went 9-2 with a 3.20 ERA in 24 starts. The 6-foot-5 righthander led the league with an .818 winning percentage and ranked 5th in ERA, helping Jackson record the best record in the Southern League (79-61).

With an injury to Paxton in late May and the promotion of Hultzen to Triple A at the conclusion of the first half, Maurer emerged as the Generals most dependable starter over the final three months of the season. Beginning with a complete-game, 6-1 win against the Pensacola Blue Wahoos on June 1, Maurer went 7-1 with a 2.50 ERA in his final 14 starts.

Maurer was particularly dominant in July, going 3-0 with a 1.99 ERA and 35 strikeouts in 31 2/3 innings. He limited the opposition to a .198 batting average that month without surrendering a home run in five starts. Overall, Maurer gave up only four homers in 137 2/3 innings in 2012.

The 22-year-old Maurer concluded his regular season with six scoreless innings in a 5-2 win against the Mississippi Braves on August 16. It was Maurer’s 14th quality start of the season.

Maurer was originally selected by the Mariners in the 23rd round of the 2008 draft out of Orange Lutheran High School in Costa Mesa, CA.

- JE

Eight Mariners Selected to Play in Arizona Fall League

Major League Baseball today announced the rosters for the Arizona Fall League, and eight players in the Mariners organization will play for the Peoria Javelinas.

Mike Zunino has combined to bat .367 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in his first 40 professional games with Everett and Jackson.

“We are extremely proud with the seasons each of these players have had this year and look forward to seeing all of them compete in the Arizona Fall League,” said Mariners Director of Player Development Chris Gwynn. ” The Arizona Fall League allows each player to set goals and work on individual areas of their game, while competing against some the top prospect in the minor leagues.”

In addition to the eight Mariners players, Jackson (AA) pitching coach Lance Painter will serve on the Javelinas coaching staff.

Opening Day for the 20th Anniversary season of the AFL is set for Tuesday, Oct. 9. The six-team league, owned and operated by Major League Baseball, plays six days per week (Monday-Saturday) in six Cactus League stadiums in the Phoenix area — Mesa Hohokam Stadium (Solar Sox), Peoria Sports Complex (Javelinas), Phoenix Municipal Stadium (Desert Dogs), Salt River Fields at Talking Stick (Rafters), Scottsdale Stadium (Scorpions) and Surprise Stadium (Saguaros). Daily start times are 12:35 p.m. and 6:35 p.m., and games can be followed online at MLB.com.

You can follow the Arizona Fall League on twitter via @MLBazFallLeague.

Taijuan Walker – Prospect Spotlight

CBSSports.com turns the “Prospect Spotlight” on Mariners minor league right-handed pitcher Taijuan Walker in their Eye on Baseballblog. Walker started hot, went through a bit of a rough stretch while trying to get comfortable with his curveball, and is now getting back.

RHP Taijuan Walker, pictured here at the MLB Futures Game, is 7-6 with a 4.12 ERA at AA Jackson. (Getty Images)

 

RHP Carter Capps Promoted to AAA Tacoma

The big news out of the Mariners Player Development Department today was that right-handed pitcher Carter Capps was promoted from AA Jackson to AAA Tacoma. The hard-throwing right-hander was a dominating force in the Southern League, and will make the jump to the Pacific Coast League.

Here is an excerpt from today’s minor league report that shows how dominating Capps has been:

Capps, 21 turns 22 on Aug. 7, has allowed only 2 earned runs (3 R) over his last 29 relief appearances (37.1 IP) for a 0.48 ERA…overall with Jackson went 2-3 with 19 saves and a 1.26 ERA (7 ER, 50.0 IP), and pitched over an inning in 10 of his 19 saves…has limited opponents to a .212 (40×189) average, while walking 12 and striking out 72…held opponents scoreless in 34 of 38 relief appearances…led all Mariners farmhands and the Southern League with 19 saves, and was tops among Southern League relievers in strikeouts per 9.0 innings (12.96/72 K, 50.0 IP), 3rd in games finished (31) and 5th-lowest in walks per 9.0 innings (2.16/12 BB, 50.0 IP).

Capps was the Mariners 3rd-round supplemental selection in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft out of Mount Olive College (NC). He went 1-1 with a 6.00 ERA (12 ER, 18.0 IP) in 4 starts with Single-A Clinton in 2011. 

Carter Capps was promoted to AAA Tacoma after leading the Southern League with 19 saves. (Photo Credit – MiLB.com)

Rainiers Savastano Walk-Off Makes Himself Winner

As you may have noticed in the Mariners Minor League Report, Tacoma’s Scott Savastano made himself a winner last night by hitting a walk-off solo home run in the 18th inning after pitching a scoreless 18th inning.

Savastano began the game on the bench but ended up logging time at first base in the 13th and then moved to the mound in the 18th.

Mike Curto, the Rainiers play-by-play man, has a detailed blog post about last night’s game with a few tidbits. Curto’s “Booth, Justice and the American Pastime” is a must-read if you want to follow the Tacoma Rainiers and the future Mariners. You can also follow the action through Curto’s twitter account at twitter.com/curtoworld.

You can follow the Rainiers online on:

Facebook.com/TacomaRainiers

Twitter.com/RainiersLand

Here’s a video of Scott Savastano ending the game with his solo blast in the 18th frame:

 

Tacoma Rainiers Celebrate Scott Savastano’s 18th Inning Walk-Off HR.

Minor League Spotlight – Gabriel Guerrero

Mariners minor league outfielder Gabriel Guerrero became the second Mariners farmhand (also: Stefen Romero, Single-A High Desert) and the third Minor League Player to hit for the cycle this season when he accomplished the feat last night as the Dominican Summer League Mariners defeated the DSL Royals 9-1.  Guerrero (4-for-5, 3 R, 2B, 3B, HR, 3 RBI) grounded out (5-3) in his first at-bat in the bottom of the 1st inning, hit a 2-run homer in the 3rd, singled and scored in the 5th, had a RBI double in the 6th, and completed the cycle with a triple in the 8th.

Gabriel Guerrero of the DSL Mariners is batting .366 with 8 home runs and 34 RBI in 23 games. (Photo courtesy of IBAF.org)

In 23 games this season, Guerrero is batting .366 (34×93) with 17 runs scored, 4 doubles, 3 triples, 8 home run and 34 RBI. He has recorded 10 multi-hit games this season, including 2 season-high 4 hit games. On June 20 vs. the DSL Athletics, Guerrero (4×6, 2 R, 2B, 2 HR, 8 RBI) recorded a career-high 8 RBI, including grand slam and a 2-run homer.  He is one of 12 DSL players to hit a grand slam this season, but is the only player with multiple GS. Guerrero  currently leads the DSL in home runs (8) and RBI (34), while ranking amongst the league leaders in totals bases (2nd, 68), slugging percentage (2nd, .731), extra base hits (T2nd, 15) and hits (T3rd, 34).

Guerrero, 18, signed as a non-drafted free agent by the Mariners on January 11, 2011. He began his pro career with the DSL Mariners in 2011, batting .236 (45×191) with 24 runs scored, 9 doubles, 1 home run and 14 RBI in 57 games. Guerrero is the nephew of former Major League outfielders Vladimir and Wilton Guerrero.

The DSL Mariners are 20-3 this season and currently lead the Boca Chica Northwest Division by 5.0 games over the Dodgers. The Mariners won 14 consecutive games, June 11-26, which is the longest streak in the Minors this season. The Bakersfield Blaze (California League) have the second-longest streak, winning 11 consecutive games from April 16-27.

You can catch up on all the Mariners minor league players and teams in the daily minor league report.

- KM

A Big Night in Tacoma – Hultzen vs. Moyer

With Mariners top prospect Danny Hultzen going against former Mariners pitcher Jamie Moyer tonight, Cheney Stadium was a hot ticket.

Rainiers PR guy Ben Spradling sent the following factoids:

  • The game sold out about 20 minutes before first pitch, the second sold out game of the season for the Rainiers.
  • With over 7,400 tickets sold, it’s the largest crowd this season for the Rainiers.
  • In addition to the regularly credentialed media at the game, the Rainiers issued 11 additional media credentials.
  • An auxiliary press box was set up to house the extra media in attendance.

Moyer, who is 49 years old, is hoping to get back to the Major Leagues after Tommy John surgery. He signed a minor league deal a few days ago with the Toronto Blue Jays. He’ll make a few starts for the Las Vegas 51s before the Blue Jays decide if they will call him up.

By the second inning of tonight’s game, Moyer had surrendered two home runs—a two run shot by newly named PCL All-Star Luis Jimenez and a solo homer by Adam Moore.

Hultzen, the #2 overall pick in last year’s draft, made his second Triple-A start tonight.  In 4.0 innings he allowed 3 hits, 1 run, 4 walks, 6 strikeouts (90 pitches/52 for strikes).

Two Rainiers chosen for Triple A All-Star Game

The Pacific Coast League today announced representatives for the Triple-A All-Star Game in Buffalo, NY on July 11.

The Rainiers are sending designated hitter Luis Jimenez and catcher Guillermo Quiroz. This is the first time the Rainiers have had more than one player named to the Minor League All-Star game since 2009 when Chris Shelton and Bryan LaHair represented the PCL.

Here’s a link to the news release the Rainiers posted today.

Tacoma Rainiers catcher Guillermo Quiroz (left) and designated hitter Luis Jimenez (right) will play in the Triple-A All-Star game.

- RH

Hultzen & Walker Selected to Futures Game Roster

Earlier this morning Mariners minor league pitchers Danny Hultzen and Taijuan Walker were selected to play in the 14th annual SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game to be played Sunday, July 8 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City (2 p.m. PT/ESPN2, MLB Network Radio).

Major League Baseball has held the game during All-Star weekend since 1999, featuring minor league prospects in a USA vs. World showcase. The Mariners have had 28 selections to the Futures Game since its first beginning in 1999. Six players on the current 25-man roster played in the Futures Game in the past: Miguel Olivo (2000), Franklin Gutierrez (2003), Felix Hernandez (2004), Michael Saunders (2007), Jesus Montero (2008-09) and Hector Noesi (2010).

Major League Baseball, in conjunction with the Major League Baseball Scouting Bureau, MLB.com, Baseball America and the 30 Major League Clubs, selected the 25-man rosters for each club, the U.S. Team and the World Team.  Each Major League organization is represented and players from all full-season Minor Leagues were eligible to participate.

Hultzen, 22, is 8-3 with a 1.19 ERA (10 ER, 75.1 IP) in 13 starts with Jackson in his first professional season. He was promoted to AAA Tacoma yesterday, and is scheduled to make his Rainiers debut Saturday at Colorado Springs. After allowing 5 runs in 4.0 innings in his first start of the season, Hultzen has allowed only 5 earned runs in his last 71.1 innings (0.63 ERA), lowering his ERA from 11.25 to 1.19 ERA in last 12 starts. He heads to Triple-A with a string of 26.2 consecutive scoreless innings (dating back to 5/23 at Montgomery). Hultzen left Jackson leading the Southern League in ERA (1.19), opponent batting average (.151), WHIP (0.93), while leading all starters with the fewest base-runners per 9.0 innings (8.72). He also ranked T1st in the league in wins (8), 2nd in strikeouts (79), T4th in innings pitched (75.1) and in strikeouts per 9.0 innings (9.44). Hultzen was the starting pitcher for the North Division in the Southern League All-Star game on Tuesday night, tossing a scoreless first inning with a walk and strike out.

Danny Hultzen

Hultzen was the Mariners first round selection (2nd overall) in the 2011 First-Year MLB Player Draft out of the University of Virginia. He made his professional debut in the 2011 Arizona Fall League, going 1-0 with a 1.40 ERA (3 ER, 19.1 IP) in 6 starts. He entered the 2012 season ranked as the No. 16 prospect in baseball by MLB.com and also listed as the No. 3 left-handed pitcher by the website.

Walker, 19, is 4-3 with a 3.79 ERA (24 ER, 57.0 IP) in 12 starts with Double-A Jackson. He has limited opponents to a .249 (53×247) average, while walking 23 and striking out 59 in 57.0 innings. As one of the youngest players in the Southern League, he has allowed 2 or less earned runs in 9 of his 12 starts this season, including holding opponents scoreless in 3 starts.

Walker was selected by the Mariners in the first round (43rd overall) in the 2010 First-Year Player draft. He was named Mariners Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2011, after going 6-5 with a 2.89 ERA (31 ER, 96.2 IP) in 18 starts with Clinton. Walker was also named the top Midwest League prospect in 2011 by Baseball America. In his first 3 seasons in the Minor Leagues, Walker is 11-9 with a 3.14 ERA (56 ER, 160.2 IP) in 32 games, 30 starts.

Taijuan Walker

You can view the complete Futures Game Roster via MLB.com.  Fans can stay updated by following @MLBFutures on Twitter and can send/receive tweets to/from the U.S. and World team dugouts during the game by following @USDugout and @WorldDugout.

Here is a list of all the Mariners that have been selected to play in the Futures Game dating back to 1999:

Mariners in the Futures Game

1999:
Chris Mears, RHP (World)
Ryan Anderson, LHP (USA)

2000:
Craig Anderson, LHP (World)
Ryan Anderson, LHP (USA)

2001:
Joel Pineiro, RHP (World)
Jamal Strong, OF (USA)

2002:
Jose Lopez, INF (World)
Shin-Soo Choo, OF (World)

2003:
Clint Nageotte, RHP (USA)
Travis Blackley, LHP (World)

2004:
Jeremy Reed, OF (USA)
Shin-Soo Choo, OF (World)
Felix Hernandez, RHP (World)

2005:
Yuniesky Betancourt, INF (World)
Shin-Soo Choo, OF (World)

2006:
Wladimir Balentien, OF (World)
Yung Chi Chen, INF (World)

2007:
Wladimir Balentien, OF (World)
Michael Saunders, OF (World)

2008:
Phillippe Aumont, RHP (World)

2009:
Tyson Gillies, OF (World)
Alex Liddi, 3B (World)

2010:
Alex Liddi, 3B (World)
Carlos Peguero, OF (World)

2011:
Alex Liddi, OF (World)
James Paxton, LHP (World)

2012:
Danny Hultzen, LHP (USA)
Taijuan Walker, RHP (USA)

Mariners Promote Hultzen & Franklin to AAA Tacoma

Fresh off their appearances in the Southern League All-Star game yesterday, left-handed pitcher Danny Hultzen and infielder Nick Franklin are being promoted to Triple-A Tacoma. The pair will join the Rainiers roster today.

Hultzen, 22, went 8-3 with a 1.19 ERA (10 ER, 75.1 IP) in 13 starts with Jackson in his first professional season. After allowing 5 runs in 4.0 innings in his first start of the season, he has allowed only 5 earned runs in his last 71.1 innings (0.63 ERA), lowering his ERA from 11.25 to 1.19 ERA in last 12 starts. He also held opponents scoreless in 26.2 consecutive innings (dating back to 5/23 at Montgomery). Hultzen currently leads the Southern League in ERA (1.19), opponents batting average (.151), WHIP (0.93), while leading all starters with the fewest base-runners per 9.0 innings (8.72). He also ranks T1st in the league in wins (8), 2nd in strikeouts (79), T4th in innings pitched (75.1) and in strikeouts per 9.0 innings (9.44). Hultzen was the starting pitcher for the North Division in the Southern League All-Star game on Tuesday night, tossing a scoreless first inning with a walk and strike out.

Danny Hultzen

Hultzen, who is scheduled to make his first Triple-A start with Tacoma on Saturday, June 23 at Colorado Springs, was the Mariners first round selection (2nd overall) in the 2011 First-Year MLB Player Draft out of the University of Virginia. He made his professional debut in the 2011 Arizona Fall League, going 1-0 with a 1.40 ERA (3 ER, 19.1 IP) in 6 starts. He entered the 2012 season ranked as the No. 16 prospect by MLB.com and also listed as the No. 3 left-handed pitcher by the website.

Franklin, 21, hit .322 (66×205) with 25 runs scored, 17 doubles, 4 triples, 4 home runs and 26 RBI in 57 games with Jackson. He was named Southern League Player of the Week, May 28-June 3. He currently ranks 2nd in the Southern League in average (.322) and T3rd with a .394 on-base percentage. Franklin was the starting shortstop in the Southern League All-Star game on Tuesday night, going 0-for-33 with a walk. Franklin was recently named the Topps Southern League Player of the Month for May, an award voted by Southern League Field managers. He also leads the league with a .457 on-base percentage and a .648 slugging percentage, adding up to a 1.105 OPS that currently ranks 2nd in Double-A.

Nick Franklin

Franklin was originally selected by the Mariners in the first round (27th overall) in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft. In his first 4 professional seasons, he is batting .292 (332×1136) with 191 runs scored, 56 doubles, 19 triples, 35 home runs and 123 RBI in 291 games. He entered the 2012 season rated by MLB.com as the No. 52 overall overall prospect and the No. 6 shortstop.

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