Infuse a roster with three high-upside teens who all land in the Mariners’ top 30 prospect list? Check. Ride the hot bat of another prospect who’s garnered Yordan Alvarez comps? Check. Win sixteen games in a row and win the California League North Championship? Check. This Modesto Nuts team is arguably the hottest in Minor League Baseball at just the right time, as they kick off what looks like a deep playoff run tonight against San Jose.
The Nuts have an intriguing roster with a ton of talent. Six of the Mariners’ Top 30 prospects are suiting up for Modesto, and they are all significant contributors. International amateur signees Luis Suisbel, Laz Montes, and Michael Arroyo, all bat in the top third of the lineup. 2023 draftees Aiden Smith, Colt Emerson, and Tai Peete are playing up the middle premium positions and performing at high levels.
Offensively, they are an elite group of position players with complementary skill sets. That complete offense is underscored by Modesto’s ranking first in the California League in runs, doubles, runs batted in, average, on-base percentage, slugging, and OPS. San Jose should have a tough time navigating the following projected playoff lineup and a deep bench that includes Curtis Washington, Gabe Moncada, Freuddy Batista, Jared Sundstrum, and Miguel Perez and Milkar Perez.
Position - Player
2B - Brock Rodden
SS - Colt Emerson
3B - Tai Peete
RF - Laz Montes
1B - Luis Suisbel
DH - Michael Arroyo
CF - Aidan Smith
LF - RJ Shreck
C - Tatum Levins
While the starting pitching is solid, with Shaddon Peavyhouse, Tyler Cleveland, and Michael Morales anchoring the top of the rotation, the bullpen is the strength of the staff though. Playoff success usually comes down to shortening games with relievers armed with swing-and-miss stuff. Modesto has those types of pitchers in spades. The relievers are holding opposing batters to a .234 average. The group has fired 345 innings and racked up 417 strikeouts, with flamethrowers Juan Burgos and Naranael Garabitos leading the way.
Modesto went 16-14 against San Jose this season and won 10 of their past 12 in the matchup. This should be another great series and an opportunity for some of the Mariners’ most heralded prospects to experience playoff baseball.