Mariners Minor League Game Action Recap for June 27
Miller rides off into Safeco sunset ... Hultz is back ... The Tank gets rolling ... etc.


The distinction between covering "Mariners Prospects" and "the Mariners" continues to blur.

With the demise of Brendan Ryan in favor of Brad Miller (Talk40 #6), it's clear that, except for Felix and Iwakuma, and Rent-a-Player-Flavor-of-the-Month, the Pipeline is the Mariners.

For better or worse.

Well, we've got your daily dose of Pipeline rightcheer, as they say.


AAA -- Tacoma 2, Las Vegas 0  -- Box

Moving to the front of the Pipeline, now that Miller has passed through to the other side, is one Danny Hultzen (Talk40 #4).  Is he healthy?

6.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K

That look healthy enough for ya?  ERA down to 2.20, WHIP down to 0.91.

And talk about leaving in a blaze of glory ... Miller: 2-for-4, HR, 22-game hitting streak.  Welcome to Seattle, Brad.

[Edit to add: Here's an article from April on how Miller = Seager, but at SS.]


High-A -- High Desert 9, Modesto 7 -- Box

And then there's the other guy named Miller ... Trevor Miller (26intheMix), who also gets confused with journeyman pitcher Trever Miller, who retired after the 2011 season.

Well, Trevor is trying to make his own name, and Thursday certainly helped:

6.0 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K

He got help from his offense, with Patrick Brady going 2-for-4 with a three-run homer, but not from his bullpen, as inconsistent Seon-Gi Kim (26intheMix) gave up five earned runs in 1.1 IP.

But the increasingly interesting Jeremy Dobbs saved the day.  Dobbs seems to have gotten immeasurably better since arriving at High Desert.  Odd that.


Low-A -- Wisconsin 5, Clinton 4 [11 innings] -- Box

Dario Pizzano (26intheMix) lashed out three hits, including a triple, and Taylor Ard (Talk40 #32) matched him with three of his own plus a walk.

But the see-saw contest fell Wisconsin's way in the bottom of the 11th.


Short Season-A -- Everett 3, Tri-City 2 [11 innings] -- Box

Another 11-inning affair, but this one went in favor of the Mariner affiliate.

D.J. Peterson played third again, and had a pair of singles.  The second one started the game-winning rally.  He got to third on a botched force play, and came home with the winning tally on a wild pitch.

Gonzaga product Tyler Olson had another strong start: 6.1 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K.


Rookie -- Pulaski 8, Danville 2 -- Box

A few new-ish names here:

  • Virginia Tech lefty Eddie Campbell (15th round pick): 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K.
  • Marist middle infielder Zach Shank (28th round pick): 3-for-5, double, triple
  • Venezuelan outfielder Jesus Ugueto: 2-for-5, triple


AZL Rookie -- Mariners 10, Reds 4 -- Box

Of course, the big news was that The Tank rolled into town: Tyler O'Neill was the DH and went 1-for-4.  He's listed on the roster as a catcher, which is interesting because I think the team made a point on draft day of saying they wanted him listed as a right fielder.

Estarlyn Morales was the offensive star, with a home run plus a single.

Zack Littel made his debut on the mound.  The 11th-round pick from North Carolina (high school) went 2.0 IP with one unearned run and two strikeouts.


Looking Ahead

James Paxton (Talk40 #3) will try to build on his last outing, which was a huge success.  Tyler Pike (Talk40 #14) is scheduled for Clinton.  Emerging Brazilian Thyago Viera is slated for Everett.




Pizzano at 523 MiLB PA's: .331-.416-.491, 39 doubles, 3 triples, 9 homers.
He will hit at High Desert.
I would really like to see him at Jackson this season. That looks unlikely, I suppose. But I want to see him swing bats against AA guys.
I think a .290-.370, 35 double, 10 homer, top of the order LF'er is well within his reach. Nearly an Eye of 1.
Guys like that, Daniel Nava types, get overlooked sometimes.


The sergeant all but called Ryan's bat yellow after last game, and here we have our new era shortstop for a splash landing by the next game.
What do we know about Miller? Well, the Mariners love him. He hasn't even had a chance to build hype as a prospect, because he hasn't hardly played in the minors. There was 2012, and this year, and 14 games in 2011. This is like the Seager call up where the reaction was, "Who is Kyle Seager?" We know Miller is one of the better hitters in the PCL. We know that he fields better than Nick Franklin. The shortstop war was over even before it was fought. We know that he hits better than Brendan Ryan. Ryan toiled 5 long years in the minors before making the bigs. He has a minors career slash line of .292 .340 .384 .724. That included his age 24, and partial age 25 and 26 seasons that Miller has not had a chance to play. He never reached .800 OPS in the minors.
Miller once had an .882 OPS in his first 40 games at Jackson. That was his low point. He is a career .925 OPS hitter. He is hitting 1.022 OPS this year at AAA at 23.
Miller is an entirely different class of hitter than Ryan. It is beyond my ability, and is a Spec project to explain how much better a 23 year old .925 minor's hitter is than a 26 year old .724 hitter. But, I can say with confidence that Miller shouldn't have to do too much to improve the team production wise.
The Sergeant knew all of this. It seems likely that he stormed into General Z's office Tuesday, complained about his men getting slaughtered, and demanded immediate deployment of the secret weapon.

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