It wasn’t a great night for the big league club, but the Mariners’ MiLB affiliates kept things rolling on their side.
No matter what day it is, you’re likely to see at least one big-name Mariners prospect do something special. That’s just the lay of the land these days. Last night, it was Justin Dunn, who threw four scoreless innings against the Astros’ Double-A affiliate Corpus Christi. Dunn faced 12 batters and struck out eight of them despite feeling the effects of an incredibly hot Texas day.
Panic struck the Twittersphere when Dunn exited after the fourth, leading some to speculate about a potential injury or promotion to the Mariners’ MLB roster. However, Dunn simply bowed out of the game after experiencing a headache and some signs of dehydration. Plus, Arkansas is primed to make a deep postseason run and Dunn will be a big part of it, so giving him a little bit of a breather beforehand was probably for the best.
The Travelers wound up winning that game by a score of 5-2, powered by a pair of 2-for-4 days from Cal Raleigh and Evan White, including a mammoth dinger from the former. The 31st-ranked prospect in our recent top 40 re-rank of the Mariners’ system, Donnie Walton, also had a strong day at the office, going 3-for-5 with a trio of singles.
Dunn wasn’t the only Mariners’ pitching prospect who dominated last night, however. In Everett, 18-year-old Deivy Florido, who just missed our new top 40, hurled eight shutout innings while striking out six and walking none in an 8-0 AquaSox victory.
Last but certainly not least, we have to talk about Julio Rodriguez some more. The 18-year-old sensation notched another multi-hit game with a 3-for-5 day that included a triple in Modesto’s 4-3 extra innings loss to Visalia. I said this yesterday and I’ll say it again: Rodriguez is quickly playing himself into a spot on the Double-A roster to start the 2020 season, which would drastically shift his timeline to Seattle.
If the next eight games—plus a potential playoff run—go as extraordinarily well for Rodriguez as the first 11 have, I don’t see any point in him staying in the Cal League. It just looks too easy to him. Perhaps his performance in the Arizona Fall League will ultimately force the Mariners’ hand one way or another, but if it goes as strongly as this has, I don’t think there’s any question about where he needs to be to start next season.
He’s good. Really good. Oh, and he doesn’t turn 19 until December 29. Yeah.
If you haven’t been keeping up with the state of the Mariners’ farm a whole lot but have heard all the great things about it, I suggest following @MiLBMariners on Twitter or purchasing an MiLB.TV subscription to watch Arkansas and Modesto games, which is now just $29.99 for the rest of the year.