Mariners Minor-League Roundup: Who’s Hot & Who’s Not
Tacoma Rainiers: 19-14, 1st place in Pacific Coast League Northern Division
Shawn O’Malley, UTL – Hot
The super-utility man is doing his thing in Tacoma, slashing .333/.424/.462 across 78 at bats in 2016. O’Malley has 5 doubles, 1 triple, 1 home run and 13 RBI through 24 games with the Rainiers. As M’s fans know, the Kennewick, WA product is threat on the base paths, and he has tallied 5 stolen bases this season. O’Malley is going to earn a promotion to Seattle soon if he can keep it rolling.
James Paxton, LHP – Hot
The veteran southpaw failed to make the Mariners out of spring training, but he is not letting that setback affect his attitude in Tacoma. Paxton is currently 4-2 with a 2.81 ERA in 7 outings. He has won four consecutive decisions. Pax-Man has posted a 30:11 strikeout to walk ratio and allowed just 1.13 walks/hits per inning in 2016. He should get another chance in Seattle before long if he can continue baffling hitters in the PCL.
Stefen Romero, 1B/RF – Hot
Romero is putting up arguably the best numbers of any player in the PCL this season. The Oregon State alum is hitting .383 with 6 home runs and 26 RBI across 28 games with the Rainiers. He has registered a .424 on base percentage and slugged .654 through 107 at bats. Romero has posted a 10:8 strikeout to walk ratio so far in 2016. Dae-ho Lee is mashing and there isn’t an immediate path to Seattle for Romero at the moment. However, he is going to force his way back into the big leagues in the very near future.
Adrian Sampson, RHP – Hot
The Redmond, WA native has been the Rainiers most consistent hurler in 2016. Sampson has posted a record of 3-2 with a 3.47 ERA in 6 starts. He has struck out 33 and issued just 4 free passes in 36.1 innings pitched. Sampson has limited the opposition to a .257 batting average and 1.10 walks/hits per inning. Barring an injury in Seattle, Sampson is unlikely to make his Major League debut before August.
Mike Zunino, C – Hot
The M’s former everyday backstop continues to give PCL pitchers fits this season. Zunino is slashing .321/.371/.651 with 9 home runs and 25 RBI across 29 games. He has also added 8 doubles to his impressive stat line with Tacoma. Strikeouts were a massive problem for Z last season in Seattle, but he has only whiffed 21 times in 106 at bats in 2016. I think Jerry Dipoto will stay patient with Zunino, but he may force the Mariners’ hand if he keeps hitting.
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