2018 Mariners Minor League Season Review

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AFFILIATES UPDATE: The Mariners 7 minor league affiliates combined for a 362-397 (.477) record. The organization had 3 teams with a .500 or better record (AA Arkansas, Short-A Everett & R DSL Mariners). Arkansas and Everett qualified for a post season berth after winning their respective league’s first half title.

 

MARINERS MINOR LEAGUE AWARDS FOR 2018 SEASON:

  • 1B/DH Joey Curletta (AA Arkansas) received the Ken Griffey Jr. Minor League Hitter of the Year.
  • RH Matt Festa (Seattle/AA Arkansas) received the Jamie Moyer Minor League Pitcher of the Year.
  • C/INF/DH Dean Nevarez (Rookie AZL Mariners) received the Edgar Martinez PTPA Award.
  • RHP Jack Anderson (High-A Modesto) received the “60 ft. 6 in. Club” Award.
  • 1B Evan White (High-A Modesto/AAA Tacoma) received the Alvin Davis “Mr. Mariner” Award.
  • OF Braden Bishop (AA Arkansas) received the Dan Wilson Minor League Community Service Award.
  • Manager Jose Umbria (A Clinton) received the Dave Henderson Minor League Staff Member of the Year Award.

 

MARINERS MINOR LEAGUE WEEKLY AWARDS:

  • Johendi Jiminian, RHP    Arkansas – April 30-May 6 (Texas League Pitcher of the Week)
  • Daniel Vogelbach, INF     Tacoma – May 7-13 (PCL Player of the Week)
  • Nathan Bannister, RHP    Arkansas – May 7-13 (Texas League Pitcher of the Week)
  • Ljay Newsome, RHP         Modesto – May 14-20 (California League Pitcher of the Week)
  • Braden Bishop, OF           Arkansas – May 28-June 3 (Texas League Player of the Week)
  • Casey Lawrence, RHP     Tacoma – June 4-10 (PCL Pitcher of the Week)
  • Chuck Taylor, OF             Arkansas – June 11-17 (Texas League Player of the Week)
  • Keegan McGovern, OF     Clinton – July 16-22 (Midwest League Player of the Week)
  • Chase De Jong, RHP        Arkansas – July 23-29 (Texas League Pitcher of the Week)
  • Bobby Honeyman, OF      Everett – July 30-August 5 (Northwest League Player of the Week)
  • Orlando Razo, LHP           Everett – August 6-12 (Northwest League Pitcher of the Week)
  • Austin Hutchison, RHP    Modesto – August 13-19 (California League Pitcher of the Week)
  • Evan White, INF                Modesto – August 20-26 (California League Player of the Week)
  • Chris Mazza, RHP             Arkansas – August 27-September 3 (Texas League Player of the Week)

 

BASEBALL AMERICA LEAGUE TOP PROSPECTS:

 

California League:

  • Evan White, 1B                 #14

 

Northwest League:

  • Josh Stowers, OF             #12
  • Cal Raleigh, C                   #13

 

YOUTH MOVEMENT: The Mariners had 2 players make their Major League debut this season, including 1 homegrown player: OF John Andreoli and RHP Matt Festa (7th round selection by Seattle in the 2016 MLB First-Year Player Draft). There were also 27 Mariners minor league players that appeared in a game with Seattle as well, including OF John Andreoli, RHP Dan Altavilla, RHP Shawn Armstrong, INF Gordon Beckham, RHP Christian Bergman, RHP Ryan Cook, RHP Chasen Bradford, RHP Ross Detwiler, RHP Justin Grimm, RHP Roenis Elias, RHP Matt Festa, C David Freitas, OF Ben Gamel, RHP Erik Goeddel, OF Guillermo Heredia, C Chris Herrmann, RHP Casey Lawrence, C Mike Marjama, RHP Ariel Miranda, INF Taylor Motter, RHP Mike Morin, RHP James Pazos, RHP Nick Rumbelow, RHP Marc Rzepczynski, INF Zach Vincej, INF Daniel Vogelbach and RHP Rob Whalen.

 

MAJOR LEAGUE DEBUT: RHP Matt Festa, 25, made his Major League debut with the Mariners on July 14 at Colorado, tossing 0.2 scoreless innings in relief. Festa was the 6th player from the 2016 MLB First-Year Player Draft to make their Major League debut, including the 5th pitcher. He joined LHP Eric Lauer-SD (1st round selection; debuted: 4/28/18), OF Austin Hays-BAL (3rd round selection; debuted: 9/7/17), RHP Corbin Burnes-MIL (4th round selection; debuted: 7/10/18), LHP Joey Lucchesi-SD (4th round selection; debuted: 3/30/18) and RHP Shane Bieber-CLE (4th round selection; debuted: 5/31/18).

 

GOLD GLOVE: Minor League Baseball and Rawlings Sporting Goods Company, Inc., announced the 9 recipients of the 2018 Rawlings Gold Glove Award® for defensive excellence. The winners at each position were selected from players in the 10 domestic based, full-season Minor Leagues. Each player will receive his own Rawlings Gold Glove Award, modeled after the iconic award given to Major League Baseball’s top defensive players, during the 2019 season. Evan White was tabbed as the best defensive first baseman in the Minor Leagues. He posted a .996 fielding percentage in 972 total chances for the Modesto Nuts and Tacoma Rainiers. White, 22, played 110 games at first base and recorded 894 putouts as a midseason and postseason All-Star in the California League. White was selected by the Seattle Mariners in the first round of the 2017 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Kentucky.

 

WALK THIS WAY: The Rainiers led all of Minor League Baseball with 623 walks this season, an average of 4.48 walks/game. They were the only MiLB team to draw more than 600 walks in 2018, and took first place by a margin of 56 free passes — the next closest MiLB team was Triple-A Fresno, who finished the year with 567 walks. The Rainiers .349 on-base percentage in 2018 was the 5th-best mark among full-season minor league teams, and the club’s best mark since posting a .351 OBP in 2014. Tacoma INF Daniel Vogelbach ranked 2nd in the Pacific Coast League, 2nd in Triple-A baseball, and 13th across all of Minor League Baseball with 77 walks this season. The Rainiers single-game high mark in walks drawn was 11, accomplished 5 times — they went without a walk in just 3 games.

 

AN ALL-STAR AMONG US: The Mariners had 26 minor league players representing the organization in 2018 All-Star games, including 1 player from Triple-A Tacoma in the Pacific Coast League, 6 players from Double-A Arkansas in the Texas League, 9 players from High-A Modesto in the California League, 4 players from Single-A Clinton in the Midwest League, 4 players from Short-A Everett in the Northwest League and 2 players from the Dominican Summer League. Mariners All-Stars include: Tacoma: RHP Shawn Armstrong (0.1,0,0,0,0,1); Arkansas: RHP Nathan Bannister (Did Not Pitch), OF Braden Bishop (2×4, 2B), INF Joey Curletta (1×4, R, 2B), RHP Chase De Jong (1.0,1,1,1,0,0,HR), RHP Johendi Jiminian (1.0,0,0,0,0,1), INF Chris Mariscal (0x1); Modesto: OF Bryson Brigman (1×5), RHP Seth Elledge (1.0,0,0,0,1,0), OF Kyle Lewis (1×3, R), RHP Darren McCaughan (Did Not Pitch), RHP Wyatt Mills (1.0,1,0,0,0,2), INF Joe Rizzo (2×2, R, 2 2B), INF Donovan Walton (Did Not Play – Promotion to AA Arkansas), INF Evan White (2×4, R, HR, 3 RBI), INF Nick Zammarelli III (1×5, R); Clinton: 1B Ryan Costello  (0x2), RHP Ryne Inman (Did Not Pitch), RHP Collin Kober (1.0,0,0,0,0,1), OF Jack Larsen (Did Not Play); Everett: RHP Jheyson Caraballo (0.2,3,1,1,0,1), INF Connor Kopach (0x2), LHP Michael Plassmeyer (0.1,2,3,3,1,0,HR) and OF Josh Stowers (1×5) and DSL Mariners: RH Jesus Ozoria (1.0,0,0,0,0,0), CF Julio Rodriguez (0x2)…Manager Mitch Canham and coaches Joe Thurston (hitting) and Peter Woodworth made up the coaching staff for the Northern Division California League, while Cesar Nichols was the manager for the Dominican Summer League American League All-Star team.

 

AWARD SEASON: The Mariners had 5 minor league players representing the organization on Postseason All-Star squads, including 2 players from Double-A Arkansas in the Texas League, 1 player from High-A Modesto in the California League, 1 player from Short-A Everett in the Northwest League and 1 player from in the Dominican Summer League. Mariners Postseason All-Stars include: Arkansas: 1B Joey Curletta (Player of the Year) and RHP Matt Festa (relief pitcher); Modesto: INF Evan White (first baseman); Everett: INF Bobby Honeyman (third baseman) and DSL Mariners: OF Julio Rodriguez (outfielder).

 

DRAFT RECAP: The Mariners selected 40 players in the 2018 Major League Baseball’s First-Year Player Draft, highlighted by their first pick, RHP Logan Gilbert, who was the 14th overall selection in the draft. 21 pitchers, 3 catchers, 11 infielders (6 2B, 4 SS, 1 3B) and 5 outfielders. Seattle selected 33 college players and 7 high school players. In all, 34 of the Mariners 40 draft picks signed contracts and been assigned to minor league teams.

 

THE FUTURE IS NOW: Mariners minor league OF Kyle Lewis (0x1, R, BB) represented Team USA in the 20th annual SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game on Sunday, July 15 at Nationals Park in Washington DC. The Mariners have had 39 selections (including Lewis) to the Futures Game since its first began in 1999. Eight players on the current 25-man roster (+DL) have played in the Futures Game in the past: Robinson Canó (2003-04), Nelson Cruz (2005), Edwin Díaz (2015), Dee Gordon (2010), Ryon Healy (2016), Félix Hernández (2004), James Paxton (2011) and Jean Segura (2012). Canó (All-Star: 2006, 2010-14, Futures Game: 2003 & 2004), Cruz (All-Star: 2009, 2013-14, Futures Game: 2005), Gordon (All-Star: 2015; Futures Game: 2010), Hernández (All-Star: 2009, 2011-14; Futures Game: 2004) and Segura (All-Star: 2013; Futures Game: 2012) have competed in both the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game and the Major League Baseball All-Star Game.

 

ARIZONA FALL LEAGUE: The Arizona Fall League, owned and operated by Major League Baseball, is in his 27th season. The teams plays Monday-Saturday from Tuesday, October 9 through its annual championship game on Saturday, November 17. The 13th Fall Stars Game is scheduled for Saturday, November 3 at Surprise Stadium. The Fall League’s six venues remain Camelback Ranch-Glendale (Glendale Desert Dogs), Peoria Sports Complex (Peoria Javelinas), Salt River Fields (Salt River Rafters), Scottsdale Stadium (Scottsdale Scorpions), Sloan Park (Mesa Solar Sox) and Surprise Stadium (Surprise Saguaros). The Major League affiliations for each AFL team are as follows: Glendale Desert Dogs-Camelback Ranch (Baltimore, Chicago-AL, Cleveland, Los Angeles-NL, New York-AL); Peoria Javelinas-Peoria Sports Complex (Atlanta, Milwaukee, San Diego, Seattle, Tampa Bay); Mesa Solar Sox-Cubs Park (Boston, Chicago-NL, Detroit, Los Angeles-AL, Oakland); Salt River Rafters-Salt River Fields (Arizona, Colorado, Miami, Minnesota, Washington) and Scottsdale Scorpions-Scottsdale Stadium (Cincinnati, Houston, New York-NL, Philadelphia, San Francisco) and Surprise Saguaros-Surprise Stadium (Kansas City, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Texas, Toronto). AFL team is comprised of 5 major league organizations working cooperatively. The roster includes right-handed pitchers David McKay, Wyatt Mills and Matt Walker, left-handed pitcher Anthony Misiewicz, catcher Joe DeCarlo, infielders Chris Mariscal and Evan White and outfielder Ian Miller. Daren Brown will serve as the Peoria Javelinas Manager, while Andy Lyon will be the team’s Strength and Conditioning Coach.

 

PLAYER OF THE MONTH: Arkansas Travelers center fielder Braden Bishop was named Texas League Player of the Month for June it was announced by Minor League Baseball. Bishop hit .379 (39×103) with 24 runs scored, 8 doubles, 3 home runs, 12 RBI, 2 HBP, 10 walks and 1 stolen baes in 24 games. He led the Texas League in average (.379), runs (24), hits (39), total bases (56), and on-base percentage (.443). Bishop finished 2ndnd in doubles (8) and OPS (.987) and 3rd in extra-base hits (11). For the season, Bishop is batting .289 (95×329) with 67 runs scored, 20 doubles, 7 home runs, 31 RBI, 3 HBP, 36 walks and 4 stolen bases in 79 games. Since May 5 he has raised his season average from a season-low .154 average to his current .289 average. Bishop was voted as a Texas League midseason All-Star and was the starting centerfielder for the North Division as well as being named a league player of the week earlier this season. Off the field, he is renowned for creating and promoting the 4Mom charity to raise money and awareness for Alzheimer’s disease after his mother’s diagnosis in 2014.  He was the fifth round selection of the Mariners in 2015 out of the University of Washington. Bishop, 24, was selected by Seattle in the third round of the 2015 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Washington.

 

JULY MILB ARIZONA LEAGUE PLAYER OF THE MONTH: INF Beau Branton was named Arizona League Player of the Month for July by Minor League baseball. Branton hit .469 (23×49) with 17 runs scored, 2 doubles, 3 triple, 10 RBI, 10 walks and 10 stolen bases in 14 games with the AZL Mariners in July. He led the Arizona League in average (.469), on-base percentage (.587) and OPS (1.220) prior to a July 20 promotion to Class-A Advanced Modesto. Branton walked 10 times while striking out just 3 times and was 2nd in the league in stolen bases (10). Branton was selected by Seattle in the 28th round of the 2018 MLB First-Year Player Draft out of Stanford University.

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