September 1, 2021
Off The Deep End With The Seattle Mariners
Lots of September 1 roster shuffling, as is the norm for most organizations, but this date and the day before the MLB Pro Amateur draft are the two days we make wholesale organizations changes. Some highlights to share with you:
- RP Bill Arthur and INF Matt Jenkins both get recalled from AAA Tacoma, as they were simply victims of a 26-man roster crunch with our trade deadline moves adding bullpen pieces, so they have retaken their spots on the main roster.
- Our #1 starting pitching prospect Matthew Thompson was promoted to AA Jackson after 177 innings pitched across A+ and A with an ERA of 2.69, WHIP of 1.01, ERA+ of 190, and K/9 of 9. We’re excited to see what he can do at the next level, as we view Thompson as a vital piece of our rotation in 2023 or 2024.
- Also earning the promotion to AA was SP/RP Justin Wade, who pitched to an ERA of 2.79, WHIP of 1.2, K/9 of 8.2 and an ERA+ of 152 over the course of 225+ innings across A+ and A. Wade is an interesting one for us, as he grades out with only 40 stamina, but has 4 plus pitches, so we’re continuing with our development of his stamina.
- Rounding out the trio of pitchers promoted to AA Jackson is CL Cooper Benson. According to our scout, Cooper grades out with plus stuff, movement, and control, with 3 plus plus pitches, after 53+ innings pitched in 51 games across A recording an ERA of 1.68 with a WHIP of .78, K/9 of 11.1, and ERA+ of 262, we like his chances to earn a bullpen spot in Seattle sometime during the 2023 season.
- Sticking with the bullpen theme, our 2020 2nd round pick Cole Kelley has earned the promotion to AAA Tacoma, with an ERA of 3.19, a WHIP of 1.39, K/9 of 8, and an ERA+ of 117. Kelley’s numbers suggest that he could have used more seasoning at AA, but it’s make or break time for him AKA we need bullpen help sooner rather than later. (we also think he’s ready for AAA)
- Another player that we are forcing forward a bit is our 2020 first round pick (#28 overall) Michael Wright. After 2 years in R ball accumulating 23 HRs, a .270 BA with OPS of .737 and OPS+ of 88 in 505 plate appearances, its sink or swim time for this 19 year old, highly touted prospect. We are hoping his 40 contact and 55 gap power play in A- Everett.
- Originally signed out of Panama as an OF by the Colorado Rockies organization, and then sent to Seattle as part of the Roy McKenzie deal, 17-year old Domingo Manuel was promoted to A- Everett as well. We’ve recently transitioned him from an OF position to 1B to take advantage of his 6’6″ frame. We’re looking forward to seeing continued development out of him under the Aqua Sox banner.
- OF Corbin Carroll is off to AA Jackson after compiling a triple slash of .281/.358/.438 across A and A+ the past 2 seasons, over 600 plate appearances.
- One player that was surprised us greatly is 2021 2nd round draft pick Nolan Harrison, who started the year at A- Everett tallying an ERA+ of 173, K/9 of 7.4, WHIP of 1.19 and ERA of 2.35 in 10 starts with the Aqua Sox. He’s off to A Clinton taking the spot of…
- …SP Hunter Brown, who has been promoted to A+ Bakersfield. Hunter only pitched 68 innings at A, with 1.32 ERA, 0.72 WHIP, 9.1 K/9, and an ERA+ of 297, but with regards to our starting pitching prospects–even with 6-man rotations in the minors–we don’t have enough innings to go around in A+, A, A-, and R. We simply needed to promote some guys to get others some innings to see what they can do.