Midshipmen’s Log 8/2/22: Ford walks it off, Everett regroups, Prelander packs a Texas League punch, Haniger goes hard in rehab
If you’re a frequent reader of the Midshipmen’s Logs, you know how bittersweet the trade for Luis Castillo was for us, personally, writers of the Midshipmen’s Log and close followers of these players. Obviously, it’s super-exciting that the Seattle Mariners made a splashy move at the deadline, but it also resulted in us saying goodbye to some prospects we’ve covered—some of them for years, and some more recently. These things are always tough, but as the saying goes, you gotta give to get, and we’re confident our former Mariners prospects will flourish in their new system, and we wish them all luck: from Noelvi Marte, who we’ve covered since he was just a teenager in the DSL, to new sensation Edwin Arroyo, to Modesto bullpen bright spot Andrew Moore, to podcast guest Levi Stoudt. Good luck to all, and we wish them all well.
Modesto (48-48) nearly sweeps the Fresno Grizzlies (COL) (56-40)
It’s hard to say what Modesto’s squad will look like without their best bullpen arm in Andrew Moore and their best hitter and all-around team leader in Edwin Arroyo, but the Nuts certainly sent those two off in style with a near-sweep of the Grizzlies at home. It started with an 8-6 win in Game 1, where Modesto staved off a late comeback by Fresno after blasting out to a 6-3 lead with a six-run fourth inning. The Nuts were aided this week by their unvaccinated friends visiting from the AquaSox, who were in Canada for the week, and got an immediate boost (if not a booster) from Victor Labrada, who paced the offense in the opener, going 3-for-5 from the top of the lineup. The Nuts regulars were led by Edwin Arroyo, who hit his last triple as a Mariner (get used to it, we are going to be taking a long farewell tour of Arroyo’s final highlights) in a two-hit day, and Robert Pérez Jr., the notorious RPJ, whose bat has been heating up of late; he doubled, and stole a base. Bryan Woo, who got bounced back to Modesto after being promoted to Everett because of his own vaccination status, gave up four runs over 4.2 innings, but Modesto’s offensive explosion in the sixth pushed the Nuts ahead and saved him from a loss; the win went to Brayan Pérez, who gave up one run over 1.1 inning, and Tyler Driver and Jorge Benitez, who picked up his league-leading 11th save (no other pitcher in the California League has more than 8), shut the door at the back end of the bullpen.
Game 2 was a decidedly tougher win, as starter Michael Morales regressed some from a recent good run and surrendered eight runs, seven earned, over four innings of work. But Modesto kept hammering away, with Labrada again driving the offense with three hits and seven (!) RBI, three of which came on a fourth-inning homer. After Andrew Moore pitched a scoreless ninth, earning his second and final win as a member of Seattle’s system, Labrada came up with one final clutch hit, a single in the bottom of the ninth, to walk it off for the Nuts, 10-9.
After a close shave in Game 2, Modesto decided to give themselves some breathing room with an easy 11-4 win in Game 3. Once again, Modesto used the Big Inning—it was super effective!—racking up seven runs in the seventh inning on just three hits. The Nuts took advantage of some poor control from Fresno’s relievers (six walks—Jonatan Clase had two in this one inning—and two wild pitches), but also got two runs on a Labrada double. Arroyo also had his last RBI single as a member of the Nuts as well as his final double, and Clase stole his 33rd base on the season. Sam Carlson had a strong start, going five innings and allowing just one run.
Modesto’s lone loss in the series came in Game 4, when Edwin Arroyo was on a plane to…Daytona, I guess? Wherever the Reds assign him. Victor Labrada went 0-for-5 out of the leadoff spot, leaving Walking Cabrera to generate most of the offense with a double and a triple out of the three-hole; Jonatan Clase also contributed a pair of hits, including a double, and stole his 34th base. On the pitching side, a bullpen day didn’t work out great for Modesto, and the Nuts fell, 10-4.
With a leadership vacuum on the squad, new Mariners top-ranked prospect Harry Ford stepped up in Game 5, producing a walkoff hit in the 10th inning to push Modesto to a 9-8 victory.
But he maybe wasn’t the biggest story on the day: that honor goes to 2022 draftee 2B Hogan Windish, added to the squad in light of infielder Ben Ramírez’s promotion to Everett, who had four hits, all singles, in his full-season debut. I love a bat-on-ball pure hitter and that’s what Windish seems to be. The other story of this game is 19-year-old shortstop Axel Sánchez, promoted to the Nuts to play shortstop in Arroyo’s stead, who came a homer short of the cycle but whose biggest hit was his triple in the 10th that pulled Modesto even with Fresno. Robert Pérez Jr. (RPJ) also continued to heat back up with his 20th homer, and Jonatan Clase added two more hits as well as his 35th and 36th stolen bases.
Still riding the high from their walkoff victory on Saturday, the Nuts offense went…well, nuts in an 18-5 victory to close the series. The big blow was a Freuddy Batista grand slam in the sixth, in the midst of a seven-run inning for Modesto, but almost every Modesto starter had a hit, and those that didn’t still got on base (three walks each for Cabrera and Clase, and one for Sánchez). Ford, RPJ, and Windish all doubled (Windish’s first double at the level, okay kid!), as RPJ paced everyone with four hits and a career-high seven RBI.
Up next: Modesto travels to Stockton, which means no MiLB TV, which is a HUGE HUGE bummer because new #4 Mariners prospect, OF Gabriel González, or “El Dron,” has been promoted from the ACL to Modesto but we won’t be able to see him play until the squad gets back to Modesto. Stupid cheap A’s. If any friends of the site live around Stockton, we will send you a bag of gummy bears to go get footage of El Dron.
Everett AquaSox (47-48) say goodbye to beloved friends, win international series against Vancouver Canadiens (48-44)
Well, this was a bittersweet week down on the farm. We said goodbye to the Mariners’ No. 1 prospect, SS Noelvi Marte, as he left the organization, along with SS Edwin Arroyo, SP Levi Stoudt, and RP Andrew Moore in the trade for SP Luis Castillo. Read our coverage of this trade here, and Isabelle’s lovely hype piece here.
Noelvi had certainly been pouring on the heat, with a 160+ wRC+ since he was fat-shamed on June 3, and all of the buzz was that Noelvi would be headlining whatever The Big Trade would be; whether it was for Juan Soto, Shohei Ohtani, Frankie Montas, or indeed, Luis Castillo, it began to feel like if Noelvi was still in the org after the trade deadline that the Mariners would have failed in their duty to bolster this team for a run at the playoffs.
Still, it is a huge bummer to see a potential superstar (two, counting Arroyo) leave the organization. And, selfishly for me, it is a bit sad to say goodbye to the best player and heart of this Everett squad. Even on nights where Everett has faltered, it’s been the Noelvi Show for the last couple months.
We also say goodbye to Isaiah Campbell, Prelander Berroa and Bryce Miller, who, in their time with Everett absolutely shoved, earning their promotions to Arkansas. We’ll take more about all of that on an upcoming podcast.
Luckily, this comes at an otherwise exciting time for the team – we’ve got draftees coming up now, and can expect some of the more developed college products to make their way up to Frog Land, and promotions from Modesto.
Game One: Prelander says goodbye, bullpen says good night, Everett wins 2-1
Goodbye, Prelander, we barely knew ye – after an early-season trade for Prelander Berroa, he threw a solid four innings in his last start for Everett before his premotion (get it?) to Arkansas. He gave up just two hits and a run while striking out six. Prelander made two mistakes on the night – the first was this pitch taken for a drive that was robbed by Trent Tinglestad.
The second of the night was on a solo home run to checks notes Damiano Palmegiani. Obligatory mafia is not an aesthetic link.
Meanwhile, the bullpen was absolutely lights out – five innings of two-hit ball for Evan Johnson, Luis Curvelo, and Matthew Wilrodt, who earned the save for the night. Curvelo was dealing, striking out 4 in his couple innings.
Meanwhile, the bats only needed two runs to get it done – one was found on a Mike Salvatore solo home run, and the other from NWL home-run leader Dariel Gomez, who singled home Noelvi in the top of the sixth for the go-ahead run.
Game Two: Salvatore saves game, Isaiah Campbell earns save, Frogs with 3-2
Another tight affair with a strong performance from a staff this season that has been somewhat perforable. In particular, the bullpen shined – after Fred Villareal’s second start of the season ended after three innings and two runs given up, Jarrod Bayless, Big Mike Mokma, Tim Elliott and Campbell combined for six scoreless innings, three hits, and eight strikeouts.
Elliott’s slurvey breaking ball looked filthy, fooling hitters left and right.
Campbell also earned his tenth save, lowering his ERA to 0.84 this season.
As for the three runs, Noelvi knocked in two with this clutch double:
Mike Salvatore, meanwhile, drove in the winning run in the top of the ninth inning on a double of his own to score Cole Barr, who was on third after a stolen base and a wild pitch.
Game Three: Another come from behind victory for 4-1 win
Three in a row! I’m sure Everett would love to get ahead early but will take three wins in a row any way they can get them.
Logan Rinehart laid the foundation for another great game for the Everett pitching – in his fifth start with Everett, he dropped five hitless innings with ten strikeouts. He absolutely shoved, lowering his ERA to 2.03 in Everett. All of his pitches were on display, especially the fastball and the droppy slider.
The only run for the night came in the bottom of the eighth inning off of Leon Hunter Jr., but luckily, Salvatore wasn’t done playing the hero – Mike hit a home run in the top of the ninth to tie it up, and Hunter Jr. shut it down in the bottom of the ninth to send it to extra innings.
My favorite Cotuisanos got the job done in the top of the tenth – Noelvi hit the go-ahead sacrifice fly before Alberto Rodríguez drove in two with his RBI single to put the Frogs up 4-1. That set the stage for Kyle Hill, who took care of business in the bottom of the tenth for the save.
Game 4: Noelvi gives parting gift but Frogs finally lose, 6-5
The final game with Noelvi Marte in the Mariners organization was one to remember. He delivered three hits in his coda and scored once.
The bats overall delivered: Berto (no. 3 prospect in the Mariners system, babyyyyy) James Parker, David Sheaffer, Myles Miller and Cole Barr all drove in runs throughout the game, but it simply wasn’t the pitching staff’s night, as all three pitchers that appeared gave up earned runs. Everett unfortunately watched the game slip away, as the bullpen gave up four runs in the last three innings.
Game 5: Frogs win first post-Marte game, 8-4
The offense, a la The Years from Smashmouth’s All Star, never stopped coming in the Saturday night game. Josh Morgan, on a rehab assignment from Tacoma, did his part, scoring three runs on a two-run bomb and a sacrifice fly.
James Parker also contributed a home run, taking this hanging breaker for a ride.
Berto nearly went all the way around on this triple, featuring some comical outfield play by Vancouver.
Overall, a stellar night for the offense. For the pitching, it was another great night for the bullpen, this time picking up a subpar start from Juan Mercedes. Mercedes delivered five innings of four-run ball, while Luis Curvelo, Tim Elliott and Isaiah Campbell gave up just one hit between them to shut things down.
Game Six: Bats go to sleep, errors cost Everett, lost 6-1 in series finale
After a long series, with the series win in the bag, Everett never really felt close in the finale. Villarreal looked strong in another short start (open?), throwing three scoreless innings. Bayless threw another two scoreless, but it fell apart after that. Brendan McGuigan gave up three runs in his .2 innings, and Mike Mokma’s outing was marred by two unearned runs on two errors by Mike Salvatore at shortstop. Sources say Salvatore’s errors came from trouble getting enough rotation on his throws to first, as his back was very sore from carrying this team on his back for the first half of the series. /s
The bats never really got going either, with just three hits, and the only run coming from a Parker double in the top of the sixth.
Up Next: Everett returns home to face the Hillsboro Hops (40-54).
Arkansas Travelers (46-50) drop series to Tulsa Drillers (53-41) but welcome new faces and say goodbye to some friends.
Like in Everett and Modesto, it was a hectic week in Arkansas. The Travs bid adieu to Levi Stoudt following his impressive outing to open the series. However, the Ms added not one, but two standout pitchers from Everett to replenish their roster. Bryce Miller was all that was advertised in his Texas League debut. Prelander Berroa was also very impressive early on against Texas League hitters. The Travs also saw Jack Larsen get promoted to the big-league club and Jake Scheiner temporarily join the taxi squad. Although the results did not come against Tulsa, hopefully, things will balance out a bit for the Travs as we move past the trade deadline and they can regain a sense of stability and comfort.
Game One: Levi Stoudt exits on a strong note, Travs lose late 2-1
Do we think it was the six-inning start on Tuesday where Levi Stoudt allowed just one run and struck out five that convinced the Reds to deal Luis Castillio for a package that included Stoudt? It probably didn’t hurt to make the deal a little more enticing. Kate and Nick have already discussed losing the crown jewels in Edwin Arroyo and Noelvi Marte, and while losing the top two prospects in the organization certainly doesn’t feel great, I want to make you feel better by assuring you that Stoudt’s departure probably doesn’t line up with his high prospect pedigree. He was a borderline top-five prospect in the organization, depending on the site.
While it’s certainly possible that Stoudt was just having a tough time adjusting to the Texas League, his numbers this season have not inspired a ton of confidence for someone his age. The soon-to-be 25-year-old has probably gotten a little unlucky with an HR/9 of 1.34 compared to 1.02 last season. His BB rate is just 5.9%, but he is getting hit hard with a .266 BAA and .315 BABIP, which are around 40 points higher than his previous high. The walk rate is encouraging, and the 4.74 FIP isn’t that much higher than his past seasons, but I don’t think losing Stoudt is as painful of a loss as it appears if you’re only following prospect rankings. He is sorta the opposite of Arroyo in that way. One quick video to make you feel probably not as great. Sorry.
As for the game on Tuesday night, the offense could only score once for Stoudt. Devin Sweet gave up a double in the bottom of the seventh that was too much for the Travs to overcome. The Travs nearly tied it up in the final frame, but the speedy Cade Marlowe was thrown out at home attempting to score.
Game Two: Travs 1-0 in the Bryce Miller era
It would’ve been cool for the Travs to welcome Bryce Miller to the Texas league by scoring enough runs when he was still in the ballgame to reward him for his solid first outing in the Texas League, but at least the offense decided to pick him up late by scoring six runs over the final two innings. Miller allowed one earned run over five innings in his Arkansas debut.
It is very fun to imagine a front of the rotation consisting of Miller, Emerson Hancock, and Taylor Dollard (I am writing this mere hours before the trade deadline, so I’m sorry if one or all of these pitchers are no longer in the organization).
Matt Scheffler knotted things up in the eighth inning with a two-run base knock. The Travs slowly bled across four more runs in the ninth inning in the most painful way possible. Former Travs legend Jack Larsen gave Arkansas the lead with a single to score Tanner Kirwer. Quick aside, it is fantastic to see Larsen get the call-up to Seattle. Seeing a 2017 undrafted free agent finally claw his way to the bigs, even if it is temporary, is one of the best things to see in this sport. The Travs proceeded to take four straight walks, which I’m sure was exhilarating baseball to watch, to put the game out of reach.
Game Three: Hancock impresses in 4-2 loss
I have seen all of the people lamenting the Ms for including both Arroyo and Marte in the Castillio trade and not keeping one of them in exchange for Emerson Hancock. Heck, I am one of those people, tbh. I am sky high on Arroyo, and the Mariners have shown an impressive ability for developing pitchers. Sure, if Cole Young and Lázaro Montes are all they are hyped up to be, losing Arroyo (and Marte) won’t matter. And while I still would’ve moved Hancock instead, I think we (as a collective baseball community) are severely underrating Emerson Hancock while also overrating his trade value.
Hancock is a 23-year-old who has not had a full season of pro ball yet. His ceiling is not comparable to Arroyo, plus Arroyo fits the Reds timeline much better than someone who should be pushing for a spot in the rotation next spring. All that being said, fans should be hype that Hancock is still with the organization. I don’t think it’s a huge stretch to imagine him coming out of the bullpen in September (and maybe October) if the Ms want to try that for the stretch run. Hancock looks every bit the player that he was coming out of Georgia, which made him a top-six pick. On Thursday, he went seven complete innings for the first time in his career with nine strikeouts. It’s cause for celebration that the Ms didn’t dump Hancock in a lopsided deal just to improve by a couple of wins this season when it’s not out of the realm of possibility that Hancock is going to be helping the 2022 ballclub within the next two months.
Emerson Hancock had it all working tonight. Longest start of his career to go with a new best in strikeouts. Final line: 7IP, 4H, 3R, BB, 9K, 89 pitches, 62 strikes. pic.twitter.com/BCoQC6HdxW
— Mariners Minors (@MiLBMariners) July 29, 2022
Unfortunately, the three runs Hancock allowed in the first were too much for the Travs to overcome. They narrowed it down to one with a Riley Unroe homer in the fifth inning but only had one other runner reach scoring position the rest of the game.
Game Four: Travs lose on a walk-off for what feels like the 32nd time in July
Remember the Chaos Ball that was the 2021 Seattle Mariners? Yeah, so the 2022 Arkansas Travelers are doing the polar opposite of that right now. I know three walk-off losses in a month doesn’t sound like a ton, but it’s not great when you only have 15 road games during July. A 20% walk-off rate is decidedly not what you want.
The Travs took the 5-3 lead on a grand slam by Jake Scheiner in the fifth inning.
I guess that was enough to warrant a look from Seattle because, on Sunday morning, Scheiner was in Houston as a taxi-squad player in case of emergency after the onslaught of injuries facing the Mariners after a nightmare weekend in Texas. Scheiner did not officially get added to the big-league roster, but it appears that he is close to a potential promotion.
The Travs bullpen could not hold onto the lead. Buddy Reed tied it up with a home run of his own off Ben Onyshko. It was another home run by the Drillers that doomed the Travs. It is even more painful because it was off of Michael Stryffeler in his penultimate appearance before getting the call-up to Tacoma. Although he has “struggled” over his last few outings, it is neat to see Stryffeler earn a trip up to the Pacific Northwest. I don’t think it’s a stretch to expect him to continue up I-5 when rosters expand in September if he impresses over the next month at Cheney Stadium.
Game Five: Please don’t trade Taylor Dollard
Please, Jerry, I am begging you. I know I was considerably more neutral about the idea last week, but like Taylor Dollard is really good at baseball, and it feels unlikely that his trade value is on par with his performance this season.
Taylor Dollard in 2022:
19G, 10-2, 1.61ERA, 100.2IP, 69H, 22BB, 92K, .190 BAA. #ARTravs
— Mariners Minors (@MiLBMariners) July 31, 2022
He once again dominated in his final start before the trade deadline, going seven innings with two earned runs and five strikeouts. With Edwin Arroyo out of the system 🙁 it is not a hot take to say Dollard has been the most impressive prospect in the Mariners organization this season.
Unless it is for a star bat (IYKYK), it would be dumb to trade Taylor Dollard. I am going to be devastated if they end up trading him for a backup catcher or a rental bullpen arm. Pablo Lopez says hello.
Jake Scheiner made it easy on Dollard before making his trek from Tulsa to Texas. Scheiner had an RBI double, and a two-run home run on the way to a 7-2 Travs win.
Game Six: Nope, we don’t need to talk about this one.
The good news is that Prelander Berroa looks like the next ace of the Arkansas Travelers if they ever decide to cut baseball games down to two innings, which knowing how much Rob Manfred loves paying minor leaguers, probably isn’t totally off the table. The bad news is that Berroa and the Travelers had to play more than two innings on Sunday afternoon. Let’s just focus on the cool parts real quick.
See? Look at how cool that is. Also, Zach DeLoach launched his ninth home run of the season.
Super rad. Neat. So there’s no reason to mention the 16-3 final score, right? Cool.
Up Next: The Travelers look to rebound from a shaky start to the second half of the season when they host the Midland RockHounds for a six-game series.
Tacoma Rainiers (43-55) bamboozle El Paso Chihuahuas (54-45) by continually screaming “remember the Alamo”, scoring when they try to explain that was San Antonio
Game One: Five-ways to shutout day, Rainiers win 2-0
A Jarred Kelenic double in the 5th was all the R’s needed to open the series with a win, as Austin Warner did the bulk work for a five-pitcher shutout. Also featuring were several newer additions – LHP Brennan Bernardino who made his big league debut later in the week against Houston, RHP Taylor Williams who is hoping to rekindle his 2020 success with Seattle now on a minor league deal, and healthy-again RHP Drew Steckenrider who penned a scoreless 9th.
Game Two: Chihuahuas unchained, Rainiers lose 9-4
The low point of the week actually is not to be placed particularly heavily on starter LHP Justus Sheffield, who worked 5.0 IP and allowed three runs, scattering six hits and a pair of walks. Instead, this one got away late as Tacoma took El Paso to extras by answering a run in the top of the 9th with one of their own to send things 4-4 into free baseball. The Manfred Runner was stranded four straight times, twice by both sides, before El Paso erupted on Nick Margevicius in the 12th for five.
Game Three: Mitch mash splish splash, Rainiers win 4-1
An opposite field solo shot for Mitch Haniger got Tacoma on the board in the 6th, preceding a 7th inning explosion lead by Kelenic, Forrest Wall, and Drew Ellis. The only scoring surrendered by Tacoma came on a solo shot by rehabbing big leaguer Wil Myers, a lone blemish on Konner Wade’s excellent 6.0 inning outing. Once again, the bullpen was stellar, with Kyle Bird, Taylor Williams, and Nick Ramirez shutting the door scorelessly.
Game Four: El Paso plays copydog, Rainiers lose 4-1
Giving Haniger a day off after some solid outfield work, Tacoma’s offense was utterly silenced by LHP Ryan Weathers and the rest of the San Diego Padres farm bullpen. Veteran RHP Chris Mazza put up a quality start of his own and both Roenis Elías and Steckenrider worked shutout frames, but Seattle was lucky to score at all. Their three hits came from the top two in their order – a 2-for-2 night with two walks for Alex Blandino and a single single by Kelenic was the extent of the offense Friday night.
Game Five: Comeback city in the South Sound, Rainiers win 5-4
The work Darren McCaughan has done for the Rainiers this year is the type of stuff not always remembered by fans of the big league club, but absolutely of import to it and to the fans of Tacoma’s finest. His 7.0 IP with 4 R/ER and not a single walk to 6 Ks is not technically a quality start, but with the bullpen heavily taxed much of the series as it has been all year, McCaughan has had to ladle double servings of innings onto his plate time and time again. 71 strikes out of 94 pitches is a cartoonish level of efficiency, and Saturday night it kept the R Squad in the game. Entering the 8th inning trailing 4-3, OF Trey Amburgey clubbed a two-run shot to take the lead and Nick Ramirez slammed the door in the ninth.
Game Six: Sunday funday, Rainiers win 8-3
Taylor Trammell and Mitch Haniger both returned to the lineup for rehab continuations, with Trammell DHing and leading off while Haniger took right field once more with Jarred Kelenic departed for the bigs. Both played key roles in the victory, as the Rainiers whole-staffed their way to victory with six relievers combining for 6.0 innings and just one run (unearned) in relief of Warner. Despite El Paso taking a 2-0 lead off Warner through a frame and a half, Tacoma roared back, with a crooked inning capped by a three-run blast from Haniger on a RHP Matt Waldron slider.