There’s about to be a big new Nut in town…
Rather than a bunch of activity to get excited about on the farm this season, there’s been one real big move this week to get excited about: highly touted prospect Jarred Kelenic received his much-anticipated promotion to High-A Modesto.
Click here for a sortable list of stat lines on all the system’s top 30 prospects, per MLB.com’s Prospect Pipeline.
(AAA) Tacoma Rainiers
Team Record: 26-27 (3rd in Pacific Northern Division)
.291/.362/.466, 2nd in PCL in hits
6.21 ERA, 1.62 WHIP, 3rd-worst ERA in PCL
Misiewicz Strong in Second Start
He was roughed up badly in his first PCL start, but LHP Anthony Misiewicz impressed in his second chance on Saturday, picking up the quality start with a line of 6.2 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 5 SO. Still just 24 years old, he continues to hang out as one of the only legitimate left-handed starting pitching prospects in the system.
Lopes Heating Back Up
After a brief dry spell, INF Tim Lopes is back at it, collecting two hits in each of his last three contests. He’s posted a 115 wRC+ through 45 games, a mark that’s his best since his first professional season back in 2012. After stealing 18 or more bases in each of the last five seasons, he’s on pace to do so again this year and has combined it with a career-low ground ball rate.
Lobaton Chomping at Bit to Return to Bigs
34-year-old seasoned major league veteran C Jose Lobaton has used a couple of monster games this week to inflate his batting line to .284/.331/.525. He followed up a 4-for-5 game on Friday in which he homered with another home run Sunday, and had a five-hit, 5 RBI game Tuesday. He may still be behind Austin Nola on the depth chart, but he’s been a quality veteran bat for Tacoma of late.
(AA) Arkansas Travelers
Team Record: 32-17 (1st in Texas League North Division)
.244/.328/.362, 2nd-most strikeouts in Texas League
3.21 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, fewest walks in Texas League
Fraley on Fire
If the Mariners initiated a wave of movement among the organization’s outfielders by promoting Kelenic this week, OF Jake Fraley could absolutely see himself in Tacoma before long. He’s posted a 172 wRC+ during the month of May and has already nearly doubled his career high in home runs with seven so far this season. He’s also swiped 12 bags through 45 games, good for second in the system. His line drive, fly ball, and ground ball rates are all at career-best levels as well.
Moore Dazzles in Debut
Making his return to the organization after being claimed off waivers last week, soon-to-be 25-year-old RHP Andrew Moore was dealing on Thursday. Through 6.0 innings, he allowed just one hit and struck out seven. A competitive balance pick by the M’s in 2015, he never exactly found his footing at the Triple-A level in Tampa Bay’s system after being dealt there in the deal that brought Denard Span and Alex Colome to Seattle just over a year ago.
Alt Ironing Out Walk Issues
After walking 10 batters through 5.1 innings in the majors and at Triple-A, RHP Dan Altavilla has issued just one free pass through his last six outings while racking up nine strikeouts. Now 26 years old, he’ll have to show quickly that he’s got it figured out if he wants to resurrect and extend his career at the highest level.
(A+) Modesto Nuts
Team Record: 23-29 (3rd in California League North Division)
.238/.317/.359, 4th in Cal League in runs scored
3.67 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, fewest home runs allowed in Cal League
Murfee Emerging as Next Relief Ace
Despite being drafted just last season, RHP Penn Murfee is already 25 years old, so the organization can afford to be fairly aggressive with him, and it’s easy to argue that they should. His pitcher’s slash since joining Modesto currently sits at 0.47/1.43/2.03 through 19.1 innings of work.
Kopach Adjusting to Cal League
A 24-year-old Southern Illinois alum, SS Connor Kopach hasn’t been know for his bat through his young professional career, but he’s turning it on lately. He’s collected two hits in four of his last six games, and is now slashing .274/.348/.407 through 36 games with the Nuts. He’s also swiped nine bags already, and stole two more during a five game stint with Tacoma.
Raleigh Regressing in a Positive Direction
Last year’s third-round pick C Cal Raleigh picked up a trio of two-hit games over the last week, boosting his wRC+ to 110 as he sees his BABIP inch towards .300—it currently sits at .270. He’s slashed .265/.338/.531 over his last 16 games, and has cut down the strikeouts more recently, fanning just eight times in his last 10 games.
(A) West Virginia Power
Team Record: 25-26 (4th in South Atlantic League North Division)
.226/.315/.364, 3rd in South Atlantic League in walks
3.96 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 4th-fewest walks in South Atlantic League
Inman Continuing Breakout
Strikeout kings Logan Gilbert and Ljay Newsome are leading the organization’s starters in K/9, but RHP Ryne Inman isn’t far behind those two at 11.6 K/9, and he’s doing so after failing to eclipse double-digits in any of his first four seasons. A 15th-rounder out of high school back in 2015, he’s just freshly turned 23 and is turning into a seriously interesting starting pitching prospect that nobody really saw coming.
Kelenic Crushes, Receives Promotion
We’d been anticipating a promotion for OF Jarred Kelenic for some time now, and while we speculated it’d come after the all-star break, he was moved up to High-A Modesto this week. The promotion came after he homered in consecutive games, boosting his season-long slash line to .303/.391/.564 with a system-leading 10 home runs. He’ll face a new set of challenges in Modesto, but will have plenty of time to sort things out as he won’t even turn 20 until July.
Honeyman Churning out Hits
It’s been a pretty non-inspiring offensive season for 3B Bobby Honeyman; however he’s picked up six knocks in his last four games including his fourth home run of the season. He’s hitting less grounders than he did last year, but has run a BABIP of just .230 so far, so he could well see his line improve as the season moves forward.
Ahmed Joins Organization
27-year-old INF Mike Ahmed was acquired from the Dodgers for cash considerations and has joined the Arkansas Travelers.
Court Hits IL
INF Ryan Court, who was on a bit of a hot streak for the Rainiers, was placed on the 7-Day IL earlier this week.