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Felix is ours.

Updated: 2017-05-28T11:00:02-07:00


2017 MLB Draft: The Mariners and Division II Players, South/Southeast/South Central Regions


Just to warn you, Colorado is considered “South Central” so this list is going to be long With Ethan tackling some of the more well-known prospects for the 2017 draft, I’m going to cover some deeper possible picks, especially in the realm of Division II pitching. Each year, between 30-50 D-II players are drafted, and the Mariners usually select one or two players. The success of Dan Altavilla (5th round in 2014, Mercyhurst) and solid performance so far in the minors by Brandon Miller (6th round in 2016, Millersville), both of whom were Division II standouts, might tempt Jerry to dip back into that pool in this year’s draft. I’m going to work my way through the divisions, highlighting the most intriguing names from each school. So far I’ve tackled the Atlantic Region, which includes powerhouse Mercyhurst ;the Central/East regions; and the Midwest/West regions. The series concludes today with a tour through the southern part of the country, although Colorado schools are in this division so I’m not exactly sure how we’re defining “south” here. Bligh Madris, OF, Colorado Mesa (So.) I’ve so far tried to restrict myself to just profiling upperclassmen, but I couldn’t pass up a chance to talk about Bligh (and mention his brother, STYLE JR.). Madris is a extreme super-utility player who can hit, play the outfield and infield, and even pitch in relief; in 8 IP this year he has a 2.16 ERA. But his real calling card is the bat. After a sparkling freshman season that saw him named RMAC Freshman of the Year, Madris suffered a hand injury that kept him out of 2016. He’s roared back in 2017, hitting .438 this year with 14 doubles and 16 home runs in about 200 ABs. He also walked 42 times while only striking out 13 times (6.5%!). The local television station profiled Madris here; he has a nice, easy swing and shows an ability to spray the ball around the field. The 6’2” Madris also has plus speed, which helps him in the outfield, where he makes fine running catches. He’s also on the all-region academics team. A speedy outfielder with excellent plate discipline and a high baseball IQ who coaches glow about? That’s some Jerry catnip right there. Kyle Leahy, RHP, Colorado Mesa (So.) Again, another young guy, but I wanted to highlight Colorado Mesa, which has been playing spectacular baseball this year and doing so with a heavy heart. Right before the season started, they lost third baseman Ryan Teixeira to his battle with cancer. The team has taken “17 Strong” as a rallying cry this year, honoring Teixeira with both his number on the field and their strong play on it. Anyway, about Leahy: he sports a perfect 4.0 GPA, which earned him the NCAA Elite 90 award this year. The 6’4” sophomore also sports a 1.22 ERA. He’s not a huge strikeout pitcher (89 in 103 innings) but batters don’t make a lot of hard contact off him: he allowed just nine doubles this year, no triples, and only three home runs. A Pars fracture in high school cost him playing time and maybe caused him to slip under some DI colleges’ radars. His 1.22 ERA is the second-lowest in all of DII baseball, and he’s a finalist for the Brett Tomko award. Marshall Kasowski, RHP, West Texas A&M (Jr.) In December of 2015, the car Marshall Kasowski was driving was struck by a driver doing 100 mph and thrown across the highway on impact. His car came to a rest facing oncoming traffic. He describes the experience of sitting on the highway, dazed, waiting for another car to hit and kill him him in a powerful video here. After this harrowing experience and missing most of 2016 with an injury, Kasowski has rebounded in a tremendous way this year. He was electric for the Buffs, striking out 165 batters in 93.1 innings. 165. Not a typo. He allowed 50 BBs, just four doubles and seven homers, for an ERA of 2.22. His 165 strikeouts is a new Lone Star conference record and passes Placido Torres (drafted by the Mets last year and 2016’s Brett Tomko Award winner) for 10th-highest in DII baseball history. Kasowski, also a finalist for thi[...]

Mariners Moose Tracks, 5/28/17: Fidget Spinners, Chris Taylor, and Kelsey Plum



Sunday links free of charge.

Fidget spinners are sweeping the nation, people! At first glance, I thought they were looked overrated; however, I got one the other day and I love it. If you want to be a part of the trend, but don’t want to pay for it, the Mariners have your back:

Luke’s Pick...

  • The WIAA 3A baseball state championship is today. I thought I would take this opportunity to remember Mercer Island High School’s unbelievable state championship in 2015.

Friday night and all the M’s are out, let’s head on over to the twist and shout


Find a two-strike partner and Ryan Blakley, he’ll call you out on a crap strike three. Yovani Gallardo tried. The 31-going-on-68 year-old righty put together a line that is unremarkable in the box score and was only slightly more credible to watch live, but he tried. It may seem silly to herald a guy who walked six and struck out five, but dammit he tried. For 5.1 innings he kept a terrifying offense guessing and out of the air by working determinedly low and lower. Then he dug even deeper, for 112 pitches in total. BrooksBaseball The result was seven groundouts and just a single flyout, as well as allowing just two extra-base hits, both doubles on grounders. Unfortunately, it also meant with the bases loaded, a curveball in the dirt in the pouring rain skipped off Mike Zunino and allowed a run to score. Two batters later, a Dan Altavilla fastball that had no business being anything but narrowly ball one instead bent the rim of Zunino’s glove and skimmed to the backstop for the second time in the inning. 3-0, Red Sox in the bottom of the 5th. 3-0, Red Sox, it would remain. It’s silly to focus on Gallardo in this game when he was far from the issue, but watching him today was especially tough. I have pitched this game many times, and seen teammates pitch it as well. Pitching a game knowing the offense does not have your back is more demoralizing than pitching with a shaky defense will ever be, and I have plenty of experience with both. Pitching with a shaky defense is a game-long certainty. It can be freeing, in a way. But pitching with an offense that looks lost makes every moment stressful, and tonight I stressed for Yovani Gallardo. He nibbled. He worked backwards. He lived low and away. He reared back and found a 96 mph fastball at one point, proof that the velocity woes of 2016 are certainly long behind him. But it wasn’t enough, and none of it mattered, because the offense didn’t have his back. A good, mostly healthy offense that is missing only Mitch Haniger. Even if I would usually bristle at Mitch Haniger being described as an “only,” this was the most unsatisfying Mariners game of the season to watch for me. Part of it was the swath of exciting games going on around the league, and part of it was the ineptitude of actors outside of the Mariners control. The home plate umpire, Ryan Blakley, was as erratic as a thunderstorm aiming for a rodent. His zone wandered more than Wotan. Ben Gamel, Nelson Cruz, Danny Valencia, and Guillermo Heredia were all victims of balls that dreamed so big they were adopted into the fold of strikehood thanks to Blakley’s phantasms and Christian Vázquez’s framing. Neither team would be proud of their offensive display, in truth, with the Mariners goind 0-for-6 w/RISP to the Red Sox 0-for-9. This was a winnable game, however, because the pitchers did their job. Dan Altavilla looked the best he has since his first outing of the season, with 1.2 innings of demolition, and Steve Cishek worked a shutout inning as well. The game was there, and the offense was not. The players are getting healthier. James Paxton pitched well in rehab tonight and should return next week. Mitch Haniger hit today and should be back soon. Félix throws a bullpen tomorrow. The team that is on the field right now has to perform now so that it matters when they return, and tonight they swung the bats like they knew it. A team-wide 41 wRC+ in the past week dropped tonight, and whether its from pressing or bad luck or injury the result is the same. The pitching can sometimes be this good, but the offense has to be better regardless. Tomorrow they face a AAA pitcher, and may have the better pitcher on the mound for the first time in weeks, with Rob Whalen making his Mariners debut. Hopefully the bats (other than Jean Segura) make their debut on this road trip as well. [...]

21-28: Chart



Hit a thing not at people wearing red you dolts

(image) Fangraphs

Fangraphs decided the game was over in the 6th inning just like the Mariners so we only got numbers up until then. They will tell the story just fine.

Full House: Kyle Seager (.089 WPA)

Fuller House: Robinson Canó (-.099 WPA)