Mariners Prospect Watch: Three Up, Three Down
This story originally published on SeattleClubhouse.com
Ramirez is succeeding while stretching out
Ramirez is succeeding while stretching out
SeattleClubhouse Publisher
Posted Jun 4, 2012


SeattleClubhouse checks in with our weekly look at the statistical good and bad of the past week throughout the Mariners minor league system.

Each Monday during the minor league season, I will give our readers a rundown of the best and worst from the minor league week that was within the Seattle Mariners system. The focus will be to concentrate only on true prospects, but if any player has an exceptionally noteworthy good (or bad) week, he could appear here as well. This isn't necessarily a "stock going up" or "stock going down" on the player, just simply a recap of their week.

The goal is to not only keep you up to date on the goings on, but to try and give you a better look of what talent is in the system by spreading the coverage around.

The draft is getting a lot of the coverage right now, but the minor leaguers are plugging along and several put up noteworthy weeks. This is the M's minor league recap of risers and fallers with Three Up, Three Down.

THREE UP

Erasmo Ramirez - Tacoma Rainiers: 2-0, 1.35 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 13 1/3 IP, 12 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 15 SO
Sent down to Tacoma to get stretched out and refine some of his secondary offerings and command, Ramirez is not disappointing. He was tied for the most PCL K's during the week with one Trevor Bauer and now has five very good starts (and one horrendous one) in his six outings for the Rainiers.

With Kevin Millwood and Blake Beavan both pitching decently enough to hold onto their rotation spots for now and with Danny Hultzen seeingly punching his ticket for Tacoma (at least) with every passing start, Ramirez isn't exactly waiting by the phone for a call-up to rejoin the Mariners, but he is showing enough command and is now comfortably stretched out enough that if/when the M's do need an arm to make a start he will be among the first players considered.

Nick Franklin - Jackson Generals: .407/.467/.852 (11-27), 2 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 3 BB, 8 SO, 1 SB
Franklin went 6-9 with 2 HR and 6 RBI the last two nights and is now up to .345/.410/.560 with 24 extra base hits, 19 walks (and 30 strikeouts) and 25 RBI on the season in Jackson and finishes the weekend leading the Southern League in AVG and OPS on the year (.969)

He's also only made one error in his last 22 games, but the caveat there is that he has played only 12 games at short while getting in eight at second base. The Mariners probably want to give him some Triple-A time before they bring him to the big leagues, but he looks like he may be ready for either league right now.

Ramon Morla - Clinton LumberKings: .458/.440/.792 (11-24), 1 3B, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 0 BB, 6 SO, 1 SB
Morla started off 2012 back in Low-A once again and did not play well early, hitting just .220/.292/.366 in April for the LumberKings. But he hit .270 and slugged three homers in May for a nice .568 SLG and is now hitting .248/.292/.426 on the year for Clinton with four home runs and 13 extra base hits in his 35 games.

He is averaging a strikeout a game, has drawn just seven walks and has made 15 errors, but only four of those errors have come since May started and the fact that Morla is driving the ball more now is encouraging. He is 22 and in his 6th year in the system so it would be nice to see him get to at least High-A this year, and that isn't out of the question for the near future if he can stay on this hot streak.

THREE DOWN

Carlos Triunfel - Tacoma Rainiers: .038/.107/.038 (2-26), 2 BB, 4 SO
After a 7-game hitting streak with a bundle of RBI in the previous week, Triunfel fell flat on his face this past week, posting the 2nd worst OPS (.146) of everyone in the PCL. With the slump, his season numbers have fallen to .251/.310/.403 for the Rainiers in a league that is hitting .277/.343/.428 as a whole.

I suppose that the fact that Carlos still managed to draw two walks during the week and is up to 14 free passes on the year is an encouraging sign, as is the fact that he has just one error in his last 10 games, but with Franklin lighting it up in Double-A, Triunfel may be skipped over at this point if Seattle decides to make a move at shortstop to get more offense.

Mario Martinez - High Desert Mavericks: .077/.107/.192 (2-26), 1 HR, 3 RBI, 0 BB, 11 SO
Just last week I was seriously considering finding a spot for Martinez on the "Up" side of this weekly column as his increased power continued to show regularly and his plate discipline seemed to have improved. But that all went down the drain this week as he managed just two hits (one more HR) and struck out 11 times in just 26 plate appearances after fanning only 29 times in his first 166 at bats on the year.

Martinez has good power to his pull side when he's making contact and has quick hands and a strong arm at third base, but he's hitting only .215/.227/.376 on the road and has drawn just five unintentional walks while also making 12 errors -- most of them of the throwing variety -- in the field for the Mavericks.

Cameron Hobson - High Desert Mavericks: 0-0, 10.61 ERA, 2.79 WHIP, 9 1/3 IP, 20 H, 11 ER, 6 BB, 6 SO
Another Maverick with a really rough week, Hobson now finds himself running with an 8.35 ERA and 2.05 WHIP in four California League starts under his belt. He was pretty good in Clinton before his promotion to the Mavs mid-month, but he has been pretty ugly in all but one of his starts in High Desert and finds opponents hitting .391 off of him in High-A now.

The left-hander is getting torched from hitters on both sides of the plate, but Cal League lefties are hitting him to the tune of .417/.481/.583. And with just 13 strikeouts in 20 innings so far at the level, Hobson is having a hard time finding a way to limit the damage despite running a high ground ball ratio thus far.

Looking for more Mariners prospect player interviews, news and articles? "Like" SeattleClubhouse on Facebook and follow SeattleClubhouse's Rick Randall on Twitter at @randallball.



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SS Nick Franklin (profile)
P Cameron Hobson (profile)
3B Mario Martinez (profile)
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