(Photo of Donnie Walton by Mark Wagner/Arkansas Travelers)

Here’s how the Mariners’ farm system performed Tuesday:

Tacoma Rainiers (AAA)– Pacific Coast League

No. 9 Shed Long, 2B/3B/OF
TUE: Gm1: 0-3, 3 SO  |  Gm2: 1-5, RBI, 2 SO
2019: .282/.346/.471, 7-2B, 4-3B, 8 HR, 35 RBI, 20 BB, 57 SO

Long belongs in the big leagues right now. The end.

No. 10 Braden Bishop, CF
TUE: Recalled 6.2.2019 (IL)
2019: .293/.378/.500, 13-2B, 7 HR, 29 RBI, 21 BB, 38 SO, 2 SB

No. 11 Jake Fraley, OF
TUE: Gm1: 0-3, 2 SO  |  Gm2: 2-4, HR, 3 RBI, BB, 2 SO
2019: .313/.383/.554, 18-2B, 5-3B, 13 HR, 62 RBI, 27 BB, 67 SO, 19 SB

No. 22 Erik Swanson, RHS
TUE: 2.2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, BB, 4 SO
2019: 8 G, 20.2 IP, 23 H, 10 ER, 7 BB, 22 SO

No. 26 Gerson Bautista, RHR
TUE: 1 IP, 0 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 3 SO
2019: 12 IP, 7 H, 6 ER, 9 BB, 21 SO

NEW: Top 40 Prospect Rankings Update

No. 30 David McKay, RHR
TUE: 2.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R,  BB, 6 SO
2019: 24 G, 38.2 IP, 24 H, 28 BB, 63 SO

No. 32 Tim Lopes, 2B
TUE: Gm1: 1-3, 3B, RBI, SO  |  Gm2: 0-4, BB, SO
2019: .282/.347/.425, 23-2B, 3B, 5 HR, 37 RBI, 28 BB, 59 SO, 21 SB

Arkansas Travelers (AA) — Texas League

No. 3 Justin Dunn, RHS
TUE: 5 IP, 8 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 6 SO
2019: 75.1 IP, 73 H, 32 ER, 23 BB, 96 SO

Dunn had decent stuff but on several occasions just when it appeared he was righting the ship, he’d catch too much of the plate and give up a big hit.

No. 5 Justus Sheffield, LHS
2019: 67 IP, 71 H, 44 ER, 43 BB, 64 SO, 5.91 ERA

6.29.2019: Sheffield had a no-hitter through six and threw 64 of 96 pitches for strikes over his eight frames. He’s clearly found some rhythm in Arkansas.

The stuff is better as a result of better extension and finish and, of course, a consistent and repeated delovery with more lower-half energy.

The slider has benefitted the most, but Sheffield is getting real value from his fastball his last three starts. Might be time to check the fix in Triple-A again. Sheffield, if he keeps throwing strikes, is likely to see the majors rather quickly.

I’m still concerned about the fastball. He’s not going to miss bats at 93 with no plane, so he has to create deception and/or command it well. And not just average. Or he has to throw more changeups or start using a cutter, too. Something to get more value from pitches other than the slider.

No. 7 Kyle Lewis, OF
2019: .253/.352/.366, 14-2B, 2-3B, 4 HR, 41 RBI, 41 BB, 89 SO, 2 SB

No. 14 Evan White, 1B
TUE: 1-7, SO
2019: .299/.358/.483, 7-2B, 2-3B, 10 HR, 28 RBI, 19 BB, 52 SO, SB

No. 20 Ricardo Sanchez, LHS
2019: 81 IP, 89 H, 37 ER, 22 BB, 79 SO, 4.11 ERA

No. 21 Dom Thompson-Williams, OF
TUE: 1-5, BB, 2 SO
2019: .244/.321/.430, 18-2B, 3-3B, 8 HR, 30 RBI, 27 BB, 78 SO, 13 SB

No. 27 Jake Haberer, RHR
2019: 24 G, 34 IP, 29 H, 19 BB, 52 SO

No. 28 Joey Gerber, RHP
2019: 25 G, 26 IP, 17 H, 10 ER, 12 BB, 39 SO

No. 35 Wyatt Mills, RHR
2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 SO
33.2 IP, 33 H, 16 ER, 13 BB, 39 SO, 3 SVS

Mills has been consistently good since April 26. Since that date, Mills has allowed earned runs in just three of 14 appearances, covering 24.2 innings.

In this one, he threw 19 of 24 pitches for strikes, which is outstanding since he struck out the side twice, and did it both times with the winning run on second base.

Mills induced swings and misses with the fastball at the top of the zone and above the hands and with the slider down and away.

No. 38 Luis Liberato, CF
TUE: 3-5, 2B, 2 RBI, SO
2019: .279/.349/.417, 7-2B, 7 HR, 30 RBI, 22 BB, 53 SO, 4 SB

No. 39 Sam Delaplane, RHR
TUE: 1 IP, 2 H, ER, 2 BB
2019: 28 G, 42.1 IP, 25 H, 18 BB, 84 SO, 2 SVS

Delaplane’s control and command were each absent Tuesday. He walked two batters, fell behind a lot and served up a meatball that was hit out of the yard.

It was the first outing of the season the right-hander did not record at least one strikeout. In fact, it’s the first inning he’s pitched in all year — even partial innings when he replaced another pitcher and recorded one or two outs — when he failed to record a strikeout.

He’ll probably strike out 13 of the next 18 batters he faces, though, so don’t feel bad for him.

UR Art Warren, RHR
2019: 16 G, 15.2 IP, 10 H, 2 ER, 5 BB, 21 SO

7.1.2019: Warren has allowed just two earned runs all season and has run three straight clean appearances — no baserunners. When he’s right, it’s an easy 94-96 mph, and he can pump it up to 99.

He’s had some injury issues the past few years — had Tommy John in college — but he’s throwing a lot of strikes and is boasting career bests with a14.5% swinging strike rate and 33% K rate.

He should be a candidate for Tacoma before too long and if the control and command stay steady the big leagues should not be out of the question, either.

UR Donnie Walton, 2B/SS
TUE: 4-7, 3B, 3 RBI  
2019: .315/.406/.443, 9-2B, 3B, 8 HR, 37 BB, 44 SO, 8 SB

UR Darren McCaughan, RHS
TUE: 7 IP, 5 H, ER, 0 BB, 7 SO
2019: 15 GS, 2.62 ERA, 92.2 IP, 90 H, 7 BB, 78 SO

MLB Sam Tuivailala, RHP (rehab)
TUE: 1 IP, H, 0 R, 0 BB, SO

That’s three solid outings in a row for Tuivailala after a rough outing to restart his rehab back on June 24.

Modesto Nuts (A+) — California League (All-Star Break)

No. 1 Jarred Kelenic, OF
TUE: 3-3, 2B, HR, BB
2019: .290/.367/.558, 17-2B, 4-3B, 14 HR, 37 RBI, 31 BB, 66 SO, 11 SB

Kelenic’s single came on an 0-2 pitch away and he punched it down the left-field line. The home run was a gong shot on a 2-0 pitch from San Francisco Giants prospect Jose Marte.

Caught up with a coach on a club that’s faced Modesto several times this season. Asked about Kelenic:

“We know what he can do. He was playing amateur travel ball 13 months ago but he made it known pretty quickly you can’t make mistakes with him. But he’s different. It always seems like he knows the Powerball numbers, but won’t tell you. I hear he’s a great kid, so maybe he wins and shares it, but he’s not telling you the numbers.”

Kelenic is seeing a steady diet of offspeed stuff diving out of the zone and some splitters and changeups, often in the zone, but down or away — or both.

Here’s tonight’s homer from the stands between home and third base. He knew it:

No. 2 Logan Gilbert, RHS
2019: 71.2 IP, 53 H, 16 ER, 15 BB, 94 SO, 2.15 ERA

6.29.2019: Gilbert, in what is believed to be a planned short-script, threw 25 of 41 pitches for strikes.

SCOUT: “I still think he’s a ‘3’ but in a good rotation where the ‘2’ is a real ‘2’ and the ‘1’ is an ace.”

JAC: What’s the ceiling here, then?

SCOUT: “Peak Anibal Sanchez? Carlos Carrasco? Aaron Nola?”

No. 12 Cal Raleigh, C
2019: .246/.321/.462, 18-2B, 13 HR, 48 RBI, 27 BB, 63 SO

No. 16 Ljay Newsome, RHS
2019: 16 GS, 86.2 IP, 93 H, 38 ER, 10 BB, 115 SO

West Virginia Power (A) — South Atlantic League (All-Star Break)

No. 4 — Julio Rodriguez, OF
TUE: 0-4, SO
2019: .299/.390/.458, 5-2B, 4 HR, 13 RBI, 12 BB, 27 SO

No. 36 Ryne Inman, RHS
2019: 16 GS, 80 IP, 64 H, 38 ER, 31 BB, 89 SO, 4.45 ERA

Inman’s line won’t impress but the stuff does. While I still like him as a reliever, he’s been hurt a lot by his defense — extending innings, adding baserunners, adding pitches — data that doesn’t show up in ERA or even fuly in FIP.

No. 40 Jake Anchia, C
TUE: 2-3, 2B
2019: .238/.300/.431, 6-2B, 11 HR, 13 BB, 73 SO

Everett SquaSox (SS-A) — Northwest League

No. 6 George Kirby, RHS

No. 15 Brandon Williamson, LHS

No. 18 Carter Bins, C
TUE: 1-4, 2 SO
2019: 9-38, 2 HR, 12 BB, 19 SO

No. 24 Austin Shenton, 3B
TUE: 1-3, BB, SO
2019: 13-for-38, 2-2B, 3 BB, 9 SO

Shenton returned Tuesday after sitting out a week with a minor injury.

No. 25 Damon Casetta-Stubbs, RHS
2019: 65.1 IP, 79 H, 26 BB, 57 SO

No. 34 Tim Elliott, RHS
2019: 6.2 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 6 BB, 9 SO

No. 37 Jorge Benitez, LHS
2019: 12.2 IP, 14 H, 4 ER,11 BB, 8 SO

UR Kelvin Nunez, RHP
2019: 15.1 IP, 16 H, 5 ER, 5 BB, 11 SO

UR Juan Then, RHP
TUE: 5 IP, 2 H, ER, BB, 8 SO
2019: 14 IP, 9 H, 5 ER, 3 BB, 16 SO

Then induced 11 swinging strikes in just five inning of work. He faced 19 batters and threw 54 of 79 pitches for strikes.

Arizona Mariners (R) — Arizona Rookie League

No. 19 Juan Querecuto, SS
2019: 1-11, 3 BB, 5 SO

No. 23 Levi Stoudt, RHS

No. 13 Isaiah Campbell, RHS

In 18 starts for Arkansas, the right-hander went 12-1 with a 2.13 ERA. He rung up 125 strikeouts versus 22 walks in 118 1/3 innings of work.

I’d be surprised if he throws more than a few innings somewhere this summer — which was the plan for Logan Gilbert last summer before he became ill. It’s entirely plausible Campbell will not make his pro debut until next spring.

No. 29 Brayan Perez, LHS
TUE: 5 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, BB, 7 SO
2019: 20 IP, 17 H, 5 ER, 3 BB, 18 SO

No. 31 Ty Adcock, RHR

No. 33 Adam Macko, LHS

UR Tyler Driver, RHP
2019: 9 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 9 SO

The Mariners’ 18th-round pick has pitched well in all three of his starts. Maybe he’ll see this sentence, DM me on Twitter and tell me more about his arsenal. 🙂

UPDATE: Driver tells me he’s using five pitches, including both a four-seam and two-seam fastball, each of which have armside run, which are creating a lot of weak contact (and broken bats) thus far.

He’s also using all three secondaries — slider, curveball, changeup — with the slider serving as his swing-and-miss pitch.

UR Nolan Perez, 3B
TUE: 2-4, RBI, SO
2019: .302/.326/.512, 2B, 3B, 2 HR

Perez is a switch-hitting third baseman with arm strength and quick hands in the batter’s box, projecting some power.

UR Danny Chang, LHP
TUE: 4 IP, H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 SO
2019: 12 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 21 SO

Chang, whom we discussed at more length in the podcast last week, might be too good for the Arizona League.

UR Blake Townsend, LHP
2019: 5.1 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 0 BB, 8 SO

UR Luis Veloz, OF
TUE: 0-4, 2 SO
2019: 4-21, 7 BB, 5 SO

UR Daniel Santos, C
1-4, BB, 2 SO
.323/.410/.406, 2B, 3B, 3 BB, 8 SO

DSL Mariners (R)

No. 8 Noelvi Marte, SS
TUE: 0-5, SB
2019: .286/.346/.451, 5-2B, 2-3B, 2 HR, 14 RBI, 9 BB, 22 SO, 10 SB

UR Jonatan Clase, CF 
1-3, 3B, BB, SO
.253/.390/.458, 5-2B, 3-3B, 2 HR, 11 RBI, 17 BB, 24 SO, 12 SB

Here’s that guy again. He’s 5-foot-8, 155 pounds, lefty stick, packs some pop, average arm, plus speed, could be a plus defender in center with legit leadoff skills.

UR Ortwin Pieternella, C/OF
TUE: 2-4, 2-2B, RBI, SO
2019: .356/.500/.600, 4-2B, 3B, HR, 8 RBI, 13 BB, 7 SO, 3 SB

Piertenella has been catching, but he’s also getting time in the outfield. Right-handed bat. Turned 20 in May.

International Signings

(Dollar figures are as reported by Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com)

I’ve long been a believer that unless you can get players that come with star upside, you’re probably better off taking more shots at secondary and tertiary prospects than to throw fewer noodles on the wall.

The international market is far less predictable than the draft and despite clubs getting so much better at that over the past 15 years, the failure rate with domestic 18-22 year-old kids is very high.

Almost all of the July 2 prospects are 16 or 17 — most wouldn’t be high school seniors this year in the states. Prospects change physically and mentally so much between 16 and 18 that those two years make it that much more difficult to project the player.

Judging by Jerry Dipoto’s approach to Latin America, he agrees with my preferred approach. Get Noelvi Marte and Julio Rodriguez, but rather than spending the rest of your pool money on four more players that cost between $500,000 and $700,000 each, maybe go get eight players for $250,000 to $350,000.

Phillips Castillo. Guillermo Pimentel. Greifer Andrade are good examples of the risk here in recent to semi-recent years for the Mariners.

Michael Pineda and Asdrubal Cabrera serve as gerat examples of players that far exceeded expectations. Neither were seven-figure signings.

Here’s the Mariners international class of 2019 (so far), and what I have on them.

George Feliz, OF — Dominican Republic ($900,000)
Can run, throw, hit and has polished defensive peripherals. Wasn’t “ranked” high but there’s more probability here than in most top 20 international prospects, per one Lat Am scout.

There have been at-same-age comparisons to Victor Robles, per Sanchez.

Carlos Jimenez, OF — Dominican Republic
Switch hitter with a big right-handed swing — better and shorter from the left side (natural). Lots of 45s on the one sheet here, but reminds a bit of Luis Liberato and Dom Thompson-Williams. Short on stature, not on energy, quickness.

Andres Mesa, SS –Dominican Republic ($500,000 est.)
Projectable infield glove, likely to end up at second or in the outfield, but a chance to stick at shortstop for awhile. Short, quick swing, terrific feet and hands, has the actions to plays second or short, average arm, quick release and arm talent to make a lot of tough throws look easy. Power likely to be limited — Starlin Castro? Above-average runner; quicker than he is fast.

Edryn Rodriguez, SS — Dominican Republic
Similar to Mesa, but with more projectable power, perhaps to average and beyond.

German Guilarte, C — Venezuela
Very good athlete donning the tools of bravery. Needs to get stronger and put on weight. Advanced footwork. Transfer & technique about average for age and experience. Bat projects.

Axel Sanchez, SS — Dominican Republic
Solid-average shortstop at present, likely to outgrow the position. Has arm for third base or right field. Raw tools at the plate include 55/60 raw power. Could be the best player of Seattle’s class in the end.

The Mariners also signed:
Luis Suisbel, SS — Venezuela
Adrian Quintana, RHP — Dominican Republic

Jose Corniel, RHP — Dominican Republic
Pedro Lemos Da Costa, RHP — Brazil
Emmanuel Marcano, RHP — Venezuela
Yoander Rojas, C — Venezuela


Jason A. Churchill

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