All-Star Break + Minors Rewind: Not All Stars are All-Stars

hi1== A few nominations ==

Four Mariners are in Minneapolis Tuesday: Felix Hernandez will start the game for the American League, and Robinson Cano was voted in as a starter at second base.  Kyle Seager and Fernando Rodney were added as injury replacements.  But it still counts!

Also, D.J. Peterson and Gabriel Guerrero were on the rosters for Sunday’s Futures Game.

And Nick Franklin, Chris Taylor and Gabriel Noriega (all nominally shortstops!) will be at the AAA All-Star Game representing the Pacific Coast League.

But I have a few nominations for non-All Stars who were all stars in their own way:

  • Hisashi Iwakuma‘s 0.74 BB/9.  Best in all of Major League Baseball.
  • Chris Young‘s 61% “Quality Start” percentage (at least 6.0 IP, 3 or fewer ER).  25th best in the AL.  But the expectations were more like 40%.
  • Charlie Furbush yet to issue a walk to a LH batter (51 batters faced).  He has a 1.22 FIP vs. LH.
  • Mike Zunino‘s .188 ISO and .348 wOBA vs. LH pitching.  We said at the start of the year that the burden was on Zunino to be the RH bat.  His plate skills have been horrible, but he’s delivered the power.
  • Brad Miller getting off the mat.  On June 1, he was .158/.234/.250.  Since June 1, .263/.323/.432.  That .169 ISO during that stretch (5 HR) has been crucial for a struggling offense.

===

Prospect-palooza Catch-up

Got caught up researching Marlon Byrd, and now need to catch up on prospects.

  • Saturday affiliate scoreboard here.
  • Sunday affiliate scoreboard here.
  • Monday affiliate scoreboard here.
  • Taijuan Walker went for the Rainiers Saturday: 5.0 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K.  Lloyd McClendon was not impressed, but also sounded skeptical of plugging Tom Wilhelmsen into the rotation.  Still, the next MLB start earmarked for Taijuan remains “To Be Announced.”
  • Jesus Montero homered and had two walks in that Saturday game.
  • If Walker was underwhelming, Victor Sanchez took a huge leap forward.  Probably his best AA start yet: 8.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 9 K.  He got offensive help from Dario Pizzano who had two triples.

===

  • Peterson had a double in the Futures Game (video link with snazzy neon-yellow gloves here).  Guerrero was 0-for-2.
  • Franklin had three hits in Tacoma’s Sunday loss.
  • Tyler Pike followed up Sanchez’ strong start with a good outing of his own: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 3 K.  He got offensive help from Dan Paolini (7th HR) and Ketel Marte (2 doubles and a single).
  • Jabari Henry got his 18th homer and Tyler Smith had three hits in High Desert’s loss.
  • Patrick Brady had a homer and two doubles for Everett, but couldn’t carry his team to a win.  He’s been bouncing around the minors since 2010, so he’s not a prospect anymore, but it’s still a great accomplishment.
  • One of our bust-out picks — Gianfranco Wawoe of Pulaski — had three hits Saturday and three more Sunday.  Two of his Sunday hits were doubles.
  • Starting a rehab assignment in Arizona:  perennial favorite Nate Tenbrink!  He had a walk and a strikeout.
  • 2nd-round pick Gareth Morgan had three hits for the rookies, but he can’t outshine Alex Jackson.  The golden boy is off to the kind of roaring start that Zunino and Peterson had: .322/.373/.525.

===

  • Jordy Lara and not-that Burt Reynolds both homered in a High Desert victory Monday.  It was the 15th for Lara and 11th for Burt.
  • Low-A Clinton has been pretty mediocre, but it got some offense Monday with Jeff Zimmerman delivering a solo shot in a win.
  • Luiz Gohara continues to struggle, although Monday wasn’t as bad: 4.1 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 3 K.  He was backed by a homer from Corey Simpson, who had made a brief foray into Tacoma over the weekend as a short-term fill-in. He went 1-for-6 in that period.   He also had a single and a walk Monday, so maybe he learned something.
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