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Minor Leaguers of Note, June

It's time for another glance at the activity down on the Mariners farm. Here we go:

Where are they now?

Looking back at the first post from April here are some updates worth mentioning about players highlighted then.

Chris Taylor and Mark Lowe both got promoted to the majors. Taylor struggled and got sent back down, but Lowe has stuck and been a revelation in the bullpen. I wrote that his triple-digit heat isn't returning, but I was mistaken.

Stephen Landazuri was promoted from AA Jackson to AAA Tacoma but has struggled mightily. I haven't had a chance to see him in Tacoma yet so I don't know exactly why he has been so bad, but AAA has been a rude awakening for him.

Tyler Marlette, Edwin Diaz, Trey-Cochran Gill, and Gianfranco Wawoe all earned promotions up to AA Jackson since April. Diaz in particular is enjoying a bit of a breakout season. He will represent the M's in the MLB futures game in a few weeks and has cemented himself as the M's best pitching prospect at the moment, or at least the most promising one close to the majors.

Now, time for some new players of note:

Tacoma (AAA)

  • Leon Landry, OF - Landry was acquired from the Dodgers a few years ago with a similar skillset to James Jones and (if you remember him) Abe Almonte. He was stuck in AA and seemed destined to be nothing more than organizational depth. However, he got an early promotion to AAA this year and has hit well, particularly with a bit of surprising power. Maybe he is having a lucky year, or maybe he has taken a step forward.
  • Forrest Snow, RHP - Snow is enjoying the best season of his pro career. He has been a great organizational depth pitcher for the M's, though he does have a nice, lanky 6'6" pitching frame with a fastball that sits in the low 90s. I think it would be a nice gesture for the Mariners to bring him up for at least a cup of coffee in the majors at some point, and this September would be a logical time.
  • Tyler Smith, SS - Smith, unlike almost everyone else in the M's minor league system, has plate discipline! He walks a ton and plays a premium defensive position. His tools fall short of other M's shortstop prospects - namely Ketel Marte (who somehow I haven't written about extensively yet) and Chris Taylor - but he provides organizational depth with some upside to be a decent option as the 25th guy on a roster.
  • Anthony Fernandez, LHP - Fernandez just had his first start of the year and I wouldn't be surprised if he is in Tacoma soon. Fernandez is working back from Tommy John surgery. He's never been a high-profile prospect, but he had an assortment of solid breaking balls with good command pre-Tommy John surgery. He could easily be an option at the back end of the M's rotation going into spring training next year, which is why I'll be tracking his starts closely the rest of the way.
  • Tyler O'Neill, RF - O'Neill is raw but producing in his own way. He is a violent free-swinger, with 10 walks, 83 strikeouts (!!), and 26 extra-base hits (including 15 home runs.)  The power is impressive for a young man who just turned 20 years old a week ago. He has major work to do on his plate discipline and/or contact rate, but he has time and at least one tantalizing tool (that power) to work with.
  • Paul Fry, LHP - Fry recently participated in the California League all-star game, and rightfully so. He has racked up 62 strikeouts in 47.2 innings. He doesn't throw incredibly hard, and is a bit old for the league, so his results are a product of his refined command and off-speed offerings. Still, results are results, and he has emerged as a lefty relief prospect.

I've got nothing for this team. Nothing. It's been a bizarre year in Clinton. The players of note have either been demoted to Everett now that their season is underway or promoted up in the system. It looks like a long summer in Clinton.

I'll devote a post just to the short-season teams in the near future. Stay tuned.