With the promotion of D.J. Peterson, the Mariners have moved pretty much all of their advanced hitting prospects to AA or AAA, and it’s going to be hard to get playing time for everyone.
Still at AAA Tacoma:
- Nick Franklin
- Mr. Blash Splash Jabari Blash
- Our man Ji-Man Choi
- Chris Taylor
- Erstwhile Pencil favorite Abe Almonte
- Two guys traded from the O’s who can’t be ruled out: Ty Kelly and Xavier Avery
And now at AA Jackson:
- The Deej
- Emerging 20-year-old shortstop Ketel Marte
- Oft-injured but still mightily talented Julio Morban
- Three semi-longshots with devoted fanbases: Patrick Kivlehan, Dario Pizzano and Dan Paolini
- Two guys with diminishing stars trying to stay relevant: Leon Landry and Jack Marder
That’s a lot of guys with some level of MLB potential to be juggling in and out of lineups.
Peterson started at third for Jackson in his first game, pushing Kivlehan over to first [to help clear some space, Ramon Morla has gone back to rookie ball to learn to pitch, and Mickey Wiswall was released].
Paolini ended up at second (after Marte left the game), for the first time since 2012, and Marder moved over to shortstop. Paolini was originally drafted as a 2b, while Marder has been at short only twice in his career (originally he split time between 2b and C).
Taylor and Franklin have been sharing 2b and SS, although Gabriel Noriega gets some time at both spots as well. Blash, Almonte and Avery have settled in as the regular outfield, with Choi at first, but that will get complicated when rehabbing Michael Saunders, Corey Hart and Justin Smoak return to Seattle and some mix of Jesus Montero, Cole Gillespie, Stefen Romero and/or Endy Chavez return to AAA. [Although Chavez, I believe, can opt-out if he doesn’t want to go back to Tacoma.]
Since they still have hope for Montero and Romero, at least, they’ll need to figure out how to make that work. Trades seem likely.
It’s funny that Almonte, Avery and Landry were all considered ahead of James Jones not that long ago. That’s why I focus more on the Pipeline than on the success or failure of any one player (up to and including Smoak, Montero and Dustin Ackley). You give yourself as many bullets and you can, knowing that sometimes you’ll shoot blanks.
And entering the Pipeline at the starting point on Thursday: General Jackson and Captain Morgan!
- Jackson was the DH: 2-for-4, triple, single, walk
- Morgan was in RF: 1-for-3, single, 2 walks
Both are 18. Morgan is three days younger than Daniel Missaki. Jackson is a few months older. All three are older than Luiz Gohara, who won’t turn 18 until July 31.
Just the other day I was wondering why Isaiah Yates hadn’t moved up the ladder more quickly. And then today he shows up in Low-A Clinton, skipping Everett entirely. And he got a double and a walk on his first night in town. Cool!
Wayne Taylor wants to be this year’s version of similarly-monikered Chris Taylor. The guy not known as a college hitter who shows up and goes nuts with the bat.
Taylor hit eight home runs total for Stanford in three seasons. But, amazingly, two of them were in the NCAA playoffs with his team on the brink of elimination (one against eventual national champion Vanderbilt). And now he has three more in his first few days as a pro.
But not just that. He went 4-for-4 with two doubles and that third home run on Thursday to raise his OPS to 1.560 in his first week in Pulaski. [Of course, college guys from major programs should do well in rookie ball, but still … ]
Maybe some kind of major light bulb went on for Taylor.
Rest of the Daily Prospect-palooza
- Mariner affiliate scoreboard here.
- Jackson was shut out despite the Deej getting a double and a walk in his Southern League debut. Victor Sanchez gave up 4 ER in 4.0 IP. Unlike Taijuan Walker he does seem a bit over his head in AA at 19. The 1.6 HR/9 is killing him.
- I can’t tell why Marte left the game, unless they just wanted to rotate in Paolini for some playing time.
- High Desert outscored Modesto, 6-5, despite only two extra-base hits.
- Clinton went on an offensive romp: 12 runs on 14 hits, including Yates’ double. Aaron Barbosa had four hits and Martin Peguero had three. Lars Huijer went 6.0 IP with no runs, but walked five.
- Austin Cousino had three hits for Everett, including a triple.
- Pulaski rolled to a 10-0 win behind the brilliant outing of starter Missaki, as discussed in the other article. And the amazing night from Taylor, mentioned above.
- And the rookies won too, with the help of their new buddies, also as mentioned above.