The Arkansas Travelers were rained out again and West Virginia had scheduled day off, so it was an abbreviated day down on the farm. But below are notes on Sam Delaplane and Cal Raleigh, plus the day’s results.

Tacoma Rainiers (AAA)– Pacific Coast League

No. 1 Justus Sheffield, LHS
TUE: DNP
2019: 27.1 IP, 19 H, 11 ER, 23 BB, 20 SO, 3.76 ERA


No. 8 Shed Long, 2B/3B/OF
TUE: 0-3, SO
2019: .270/.349/.452, 4-2B, 4-3B, 3 HR, 14 RBI, 14 BB, 31 SO


No. 22 David McKay, RHR
TUE: DNP
2019: 11 G, 5.50 ERA, 18 IP, 17 H, 9 BB, 30 SO


No. 31 Matt Festa, RHR
TUE: DNP
2019: 6 G, 8.22 ERA, 7.2 IP, 11 H, 3 BB, 10 SO


No. 35 Tim Lopes, 2B
TUE: DNP
2019: .267/.327/.395, 5-2B, 3B, HR, 8 BB, 20 SO, 5 SB


No. 40 Nick Rumbelow, RHR
TUE: DNP
2019: 10 G, 12.34 ERA, 11.2 IP, 22 H, 9 BB, 7 SO


J.P. Crawford, SS — 1-for-4. Crawford now is up to .319/.420/.457 with 10 extra-base hits, 19 walks and 25 strikeouts.

5/6/2019: Been asked a bit about WHY he’s in the minors still. Service time is not the reason. He’s already surpassed the point where he’d end the season with two years of service because he needed 152 days of service this season to get there and there are only 146 days remaining.

What could be a reason or some reasons?

First off, results can’t be the driving force here. He’s performing, but it’s not like he’s embarrassing the Pacific Coast League. It’s a hitter’s league, a down year for arms in the circuit and the ball is of MLB caliber, unlike previous years in Triple-A, which is to say it likes bats.

But he is hitting.

Clubs often wait to see a hitter handle same-handed pitching to a certain level before making the move. Crawford is doing that in 2019, but it’s been just a month of baseball, so small sample.

Clubs sometimes want to see a hitter handle plus changeups from off-handed pitchers or same-handed sliders or big velocity or simply show a long-enough string of high-quality PAs, so they can say “yeah, we can trust now that the same quality PA is going to come in the majors.”

But the club does have to consider the most likely results of those PAs. You don’t set up a player to fail. Is he covering the plate? Is he swining at strikes and not chasing out of the zone? Is he hitting the ball hard consistently?

And then sometimes clubs ask hitters to do certain things for an extended period of time, such as a new timing mechanisim or a swing adjustment or to hit a breaking ball away to the opposite field or to drive fastballs more to the pull side, things like that.

Once the club checks off all the boxes — and it’s for a long enough period to buy into beyond small-sample streaking — the conversation is had and move is made. These convos are being had constantly, however. Jerry Dipoto, his assistants, and his player development staff are always talking about their players in the minors. It’s one of the most critical parts of building a good team and sustaining success once the club gets there.

Anecdotally, I can’t imagine Crawford making consistent hard contact with a little pop and regular high-quality plate appearances for another month and not getting the call to the big leagues.


MLB Mallex Smith, CF — Smith had three more hits and is now batting .474 with two doubles and four stolen bases for Tacoma in four games.


Arkansas Travelers (AA) — Texas League

No. 3 Justin Dunn, RHS
TUE: DNP (weather)
2019: 25.1 IP, 21 H, 9 ER, 8 BB, 33 SO, 3.20 ERA


No. 6 Kyle Lewis, OF
TUE: DNP (weather)
2019: .242/.364/.404, 5-2B, 3B, 3 HR, 16 RBI, 18 BB, 32 SO, SB


No. 7 Evan White, 1B
TUE: DNP (weather)
2019: .273/.359/.400, 4-2B, HR, 6 RBI, 7 BB, 13 SO


No. 14 Ricardo Sanchez, LHS
TUE: DNP
2019: 36 IP, 33 H, 7 ER, 7 BB, 26 SO, 1.75 ERA


No. 15 Dom Thompson-Williams, OF
TUE: DNP (weather)
2019: .316/.404/.520, 3-2B, 3B, 5 HR, 16 RBI, 13 BB, 25 SO, 7 SB


No. 16 Jake Fraley, OF
TUE: DNP (weather)
2019: .301/.379/.534, 5-2B, 2-3B, 5 HR, 16 RBI, 11 BB, 27 SO, 7 SB


No. 24 Wyatt Mills, RHR
TUE:
DNP (weather)
2019:
12.2 IP, 19 H, 11 ER, 6 BB, 10 SO, 2 SVS


No. 23 Art Warren, RHP
TUE: DNP (weather)
2019: 1-0, 5 SV, 1.04 ERA, 8.2 IP, 6 H, 3 BB, 10 SO, 5 SVS


No. 27 Darren McCaughan, RHS
TUE: DDNP (weather)
2019: 6 GS, 4.28 ERA, 33.2 IP, 36 H, 2 BB, 30 SO


Modesto Nuts (A+) — California League

No. 5 Logan Gilbert, RHS
TUE: DNP
2019: 24 IP, 14 H, 7 ER, 7 BB, 37 SO, 2.63 ERA


No. 9 Cal Raleigh, C
TUE: 0-4
2019: .213/.286/.380, 6-2B, 4 HR, 17 RBI, 10 BB, 28 SO

Raleigh is 2-for-20 as a right-handed batter so far in 2019, dragging his numbers down from… let’s call it more respectable than they actually are. It’s a small sample overall and a smaller one using the split, but it’s something worth monitoring.

Last year’s 3rd-round pick is batting .239/.302/.398 as a left-handed batter.

Scout have been relatively impressed with Raleigh’s throwing and improvement blocking. There’s a chance he’s a fringe-average defender in time, suggesting if the bat develops he’s a No. 1 backstop.


No. 13 Ljay Newsome, RHS
TUE: DNP
2019: 7 GS, 39.2 IP, 32 H, 11 ER, 4 BB, 59 SO, 2.50 ERA


No. 18 Jake Haberer, RHR
TUE: DNP
2019: 10 G, 14 IP, 7 H, 6 BB, 23 SO, 3.21 ERA


No. 19 Joey Gerber, RHP
TUE: DNP
2019: 11 G, 10.1 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 5 BB, 16 SO, 3.18 ERA, 4 SV


No. 25 Luis Liberato, CF
TUE: 1-4, 2 SO
2019: .265/.336/.478, 3-2B, 7 HR, 4 SB, 12 BB, 29 SO


No. 34 Joe Rizzo, 3B
TUE: 1-4
2019: .351/.423/.447, 8-2B, HR, 16 RBI, 15 BB, 22 SO


No. 39 Connor Kopach
TUE: 1-3
2019: .258/.333/.402, 6-2B, 3B, 2 HR, 10 BB, 26 SO


UR Sam Delaplane, RHR
TUE: 2 IP, H, 4 SO
2019: 20.1 IP, 11 H, 10 BB, 41 SO, 3.10 ERA

Delaplane, a 5-foot-11, 180-pound right-hander the Mariners selected in Round 23 out of Eastern Michigan two years ago, has now struck out 51.3% of the batters he’s faced this season. He’s also induced more than 25% swinging strikes. If it weren’t for 10 walks, Delaplane’s stat line would be insane.

As-is, the 24-year-old reliever is an arm to keep an eye on. he doesn’t throw 98 but he does touch 94 with life all over the zone and offers a plus curveball. He throws from a high arm slot and the fastball doesn’t have a lot of horizontal movement, but he creates some plane and commands it well to both sides of the plate.

West Virginia Power (A) — South Atlantic League

No. 2 — Jarred Kelenic, OF
TUE: DNP
2019: .327/.429/.598, 11-2B, 6 HR, 16 RBI, 18 BB, 29 SO, 6 SB


No. 4 — Julio Rodriguez, OF
TUE: (IL, wrist)
2019: .355/.429/.452, 3-2B, 3 RBI, 4 BB, 5 SO


No. 12 Damon Casetta-Stubbs, RHS
TUE: DNP
2019: 15.1 IP, 16 H, 6 ER, 3 BB, 12 SO, 4.15 ERA


No. 20 Ryne Inman, RHS
TUE: DNP
2019: 6 GS, 27 IP, 17 H, 9 ER, 10 BB, 44 SO, 3.00 ERA


No. 29 Nolan Hoffman, RHR
TUE: DNP
2019: 9 G, 1.08 ERA, 4 SVS, 8.1 IP, 4 H, 4 BB, 7 SO


No. 32 Joseph Rosa, 2B
TUE: DNP
2019: .272/.404/.370, 3-2B, 2 HR, 16 BB, 19 SO, 5 SB


No. 33 Dean Nevarez, C
TUE: DNP
2019: .242/.286/.606, 3-2B, 3 HR, BB, 11 SO


No. 36 Elias Espino, RHR
TUE: DNP
2019: 5 G, 2.77 ERA, 13 IP, 7 H, 9 BB, 17 SO

Jason A. Churchill

Churchill founded Prospect Insider in 2006 after getting his start at InsidethePark.com. He spent several years covering prep, college and pro sports for various newspapers, including The News Tribune and Seattle PI.

Jason spent 4 1/2 years at ESPN and two years at CBS Radio prior to joining HERO Sports in July, 2016.

Find Jason's Mariners podcast, Baseball Things, right here and follow him on Twitter @ProspectInsider.