Pulaski Mariners Preview

00a00a8630752565_5c1068167e_z== Lots of new draftees plus some of our most interesting international guys ==

Pulaski is in the Appalachian League, which is rookie-level, but slightly higher than the Arizona Rookie League.  Whereas the AZL is played at the team complexes with minimal crowds, the Appy League is in actual stadiums with actual fans.  And the players are bit more advanced.

Last year, the P-M’s won the league title, with a very exciting team featuring big-time prospect Luiz Gohara, and my favorite little sparkplug Aaron Barbosa.

Gohara was assigned to Arizona to start this season (perhaps to help him maintain a comfort level), though I expect he’ll be at short-season-A Everett eventually.

But there will be at least one Brazilian teen in Virginia this year.  Here’s a quick look at this year’s squad:

Pitching

Daniel Missaki is a Brazilian of Japanese descent who showed strikeout ability last year in Arizona at 17.  He’s in our “MB100” as one of the “26 in the Mix.”  Missaki is in his second pro season, but is still the youngest player on the team.

Jeffeson Medina (no “r”) is a Venezuelan righty who put up solid numbers in Arizona last season.  He’s on our “Watch List.”

Another one from the Watch List is Ugueth Urbina (Jr.).  You probably remember his dad from his days as closer for the old Expos, or for being thrown in jail in Venezuela on a homicide charge.  I’m sure he prefers you remember the former.  Anyway, the son has been working his way up the system with some decent numbers.

Did they pick a bunch of LHP in the last draft?  Yes they did.  And several are in Pulaski:

  • Ryan Yarbrough, the 4th-round pick who went that high due to low bonus demands, is from Old Dominion.
  • Lane Ratliff, the 6th-round pick from a junior college in Mississippi.
  • Taylor Byrd, the 7th-round pick from Nicholls State in Louisiana.
  • Jarret Brown, the 22nd-round pick from Georgia.
  • Pat Peterson, the 23rd-round pick from North Carolina State.

Yeah, there’s enough lefties to go around.

But a few RHP as well:

  • Trey Cochran-Gill, the 17th-round pick out of Auburn.
  • Peter Miller, the 9th-round pick out of Florida State.
  • Rohn Pierce, the 19th-round pick out of Canisius.

If you recall, due to the oddball rules, college seniors picked in rounds 4 through 10 are actually going to be less-coveted players than college juniors picked in rounds 11 through the 20s.  They are picked there because they are willing to sign for very low bonuses which help the team operate under the cap.

So, Yarbrough, Byrd and Miller — seniors picked in those rounds — probably have lower expectations than the others picked lower.  Just so you know.

Hitters

Two of our “Radar Alert” prospects are at Pulaski: Yordi Calderon and Gianfranco Wawoe.  Their original article can be found here.

Calderon is a bigger power-hitting guy and Wawoe is a smaller speedy guy.  Wawoe is also a switch-hitter who developed doubles power while hardly ever striking out last year in Venezuela.

There will also be a couple of college guys:

  • SS Nelson Ward, the 12th-round pick from Georgia (remember junior in 12th round better liked than senior in 7th).
  • Wayne Taylor, the 16th-round pick from Stanford.
  • 3b Jay Baum, the 23rd-round pick from Clemson.
  • OF Taylor Zeutenhorst, the 38th-round pick from Iowa.

And then there’s Arby Fields, a former White Sox prospect signed as a free agent who has been working his way down the ladder, from Clinton to Everett to Pulaski.  “Arby” seems to be his real name.

===

The P-M’s are already off to a good start, with Ward totally dominating the first game:

  • home run
  • double
  • two singles
  • walk
  • 3 stolen bases

That’s a pretty amazing professional debut.

Calderon homered in the 12th to win that first game.

Ward got two more hits in the second game, and Calderon doubled, with catcher Taylor adding a homer.

 

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One thought on “Pulaski Mariners Preview

  1. Missaki is my dude here. I love that guy. His motion and poise are terrific. He needs a little more oomph but I think he’ll get it as he matures, and he’s a quality pitcher with great balance. He piped a few too many pitches last year but didn’t get a lot of chances to work on his stuff in games. He started off this year killing Burlington with 8 Ks and 3 hits in a scoreless 6.1 IP. I’m looking forward to every start from him this year. If Gohara is a shot at Walker / Pineda, then Missaki is trying to Kuma his way to the bigs (even throws a delightful split/forkball). Those two are gonna be great fun to watch in the system.

    Nelson Ward is destroying the Appy League in his first week. I hope his East Coast friends and family get out to see him soon, cuz he’ll gonna get bumped up in a bit if he keeps that up. His college team said he was the sparkplug at the top of his lineup for them, a dude who did everything and led by the way he played, and he’s playing that way for us right now too.

    Gianfranco should be fun to watch. Hopefully he does better than some of our smaller domestic types recently. I dunno what to think about Yordi. 20 is a little old to be coming over as an IFA (since they can be signed at 16) but his last year in the Venezuelan was nice. Fingers crossed for him – we got him started on the cultural adjustment at the end of last year, so maybe he can hit the ground running.

    Ratliff is the baby of this year’s domestic pitchers in Pulaski, so I hope he does well. The college guys SHOULD do well here… but I’m still glad to see somebody like Yarbrough get off to a nice start. Innings are gonna be random as we monitor innings on the college arms after their season, so enjoy the smorgasbord, I guess.

    And hope Missaki lives up to all that talent potential, cuz he could be an absolute gem.

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