Mariners Minor-League Roundup: Who’s Hot & Who’s Not
Tacoma Rainiers: 8-2, 1st place in PCL Northern Division
Hot – Mike Zunino – C
There is no one in the M’s system hotter than Mike Zunino right now. The 25-year-old backstop was just named the PCL Player of the Week, and rightfully so. Z leads the Rainiers with a .441 batting average. He has clubbed a team high 4 home runs and driven in 11 runs through 8 games in Tacoma. Zunino is unlikely to be promoted to Seattle anytime soon, but the University of Florida alum is proving doubters wrong so far with the Rainiers.
Hot – Cody Martin – RHP
The 26-year-old right-hander is another example of a veteran player excelling in the PCL with Tacoma. Cody Martin has dazzled through 2 starts with the Rainiers, going 2-0 with a 2.38 ERA. He has posted an impressive 11:2 strikeout to walk ratio in 11 innings, and he has limited the opposition to just 0.71 walks/hits per inning.
Hot – Stefen Romero – OF/1B
Stefen Romero nearly made the Mariners opening day roster this spring, but was passed over in favor of Dae-ho Lee. The Oregon State alum has not let this discourage him, as he is raking with the Rainiers right now. Romero has slashed .432/.457/.727 through 10 games with 1 double, 3 triples, 2 home runs and 9 RBI. He is well on his way to earning a mid-season promotion to the Emerald City.
Not – James Paxton – LHP
Surprisingly, the most disappointing player for the Rainiers has been James Paxton. The Ladner, BC product has spent the past two seasons working out of the Mariners starting rotation, but he has looked overmatched thus far in Tacoma. Pax-Man is 0-2 with an 11.37 ERA through 2 outings. Most disturbing of all, he sports a gnarly 5:9 strikeout to walk ratio. Going with Nate Karns as the Mariners fifth starter in 2016 is looking like a wise decision.
Hot – Adrian Sampson – RHP
Adrian Sampson was acquired last July from the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for J.A. Happ, but he was overlooked by most pundits entering 2016. However, the 24-year-old right-hander fared well this spring in Peoria and is arguably the Rainiers top hurler so far this season. He is 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA through 2 starts. Sampson has rung up 9 hitters and walked 2 across 12 innings of work. I would not be surprised to see the Bellevue Community College alum make his big league debut this summer in Seattle.
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