Every Monday we present a rundown of the best and worst performances from the past week within the Seattle Mariners' organization. The goal is to keep you up to date on your favorite M's prospects while also shining a little brighter light on some of the lesser known standouts in the system, spreading the coverage around and highlighting those that deserve it most.
With all of the recent MLB graduations, Seattle's system isn't nearly as top-heavy in talent as it has been in years past. But that means that there is more to be learned on some of the better prospects in the organization. Three Up, Three Down should help with that learning, covering players in their age-26 or younger season who still have MLB rookie status.
Let's get into this week's look at those who stood out for their performances in the minor leagues' for the Mariners.
Patrick Kivlehan - 3B, High Desert Mavericks: .385/.407/1.077 (10-26), 2B, 3B, 5 HR, 9 RBI, BB, 3 SO
Even though High Desert had Sunday off, Kivlehan tied for the MiLB lead in extra base hits (7) and led in total bases (28) over the last seven days for the Mavericks, blasting five homers with back-to-back multi-homer games against Lancaster. Patrick leads the organization in home runs (7), RBI (16), total bases (48) and now owns a .318/.383/.563 slash in 85 games in the California League.
The former Northwest League MVP and former Rutgers football player (obligatory mention) is a tad older than the standard competition in that league and it could be possible that he sees a promotion before D.J. Peterson, even though they are sharing time at third base currently and Peterson has more cache as a prospect. Kivlehan's been playing first for the first time in his pro career this season, too, and it isn't out of the question that the former defensive back sees some time in the outfield before the year is out.
Stephen Landazuri - RHP, Jackson Generals: 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 0.33 WHIP, 6 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 SO, .053 oAVG
Landazuri is an arm that doesn't blow you away with his stuff, but he pitches with smarts and his average 3-pitch repertoire really plays with very good location. That recipe this week led to a nine strikeout start against Tennessee. It was Stephen's third straight outing of 6 innings, just one walk and two earned runs or less and his second straight with more strikeouts than innings.
The 22-year-old former 22nd round pick has always shown good command and an ability to get ground ball outs while working up the Mariners' organizational ladder, and his penchant for strikeouts the past two seasons is a good indication that he's learning better to put hitters away. He isn't a front-of-the-rotation, knockout stuff guy, but he's still an arm to watch.
Jordan Pries - RHP, Jackson Generals/Tacoma Rainiers: 0-0, 1.50 ERA, 0.42 WHIP, 12 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 2 HR, 2 BB, 10 SO, .077 oAVG
Speaking of guys without overpowering stuff that continue to shine, Jordan Pries -- who Seattle selected out of Stanford in 2011's 30th round -- has a low-90s fastball, a good curve and an improving changeup (much better the last two years) that is still shutting lineups down. No all the way up to Triple-A. Pries made his Tacoma debut in Game 1 of the Rainiers' double header Sunday night and had a no-no into the sixth before leaving with a no decision having allowed just one hit and two walks in six innings.
Pries was decent at times for High Desert last year but he ended the 2013 season with a 5.13 ERA, walking more batters (2.9/9) than he ever had before. Through three starts this season he's walked just two and has allowed only four hits in 18 innings, having starts of six innings and one hit, 6 innings and two hits and six innings and one hit again.
Matt Anderson - RHP, High Desert Mavericks: 0-1, 10.00 ERA, 1.89 WHIP, 9 IP, 11 H, 10 ER, HR, 6 BB, 8 SO, .306 oAVG
On the opposite end of the pitching spectrum, Anderson has had a hard time trying to deal with the conditions in the Cal League, and following this poor two-start week the right-hander now sports a 6.99 ERA and 1.58 WHIP in 14 starts at the level. Anderson signed as an undrafted free agent with Seattle back in 2012 and impressed with a good fastball that could touch 94, but he's had a hard time with command (5.0 BB/9) since reaching the not-so-pitcher-friendly confines of Adelanto and the surrounding stadiums.
Anderson's still got a good arm and is just 22, but it's possible that he could be nearing the point of his career where he becomes a bullpen arm if he can't make the necessary adjustments to make it through a lineup multiple times.
Austin Wilson - OF, Clinton LumberKings: .167/.318/.278 (3-18), 2 2B, 3 RBI, 0 BB, 8 SO
Wilson got off to a hot start for the LumberKings but he ran into a lot of swing-and-miss this past week, whiffing eight times and dropping his season's OPS by more than .100 in the process. It would have dropped more, but he had the "good fortune" of being hit by four pitches this week, keeping his OBP up a bit. Wilson continues to struggle a bit against left-handed pitching, hitting just .154/.267/.231 in 15 plate appearances against them so far in 2014.
The big, physical, right-handed hitting outfielder is a strong candidate to make an in-season level jump if he figures out these early contact issues, but even if he doesn't Wilson is still a solid bet to remain a Top-10 prospect for Seattle into 2015.
Arby Fields - OF, Clinton LumberKings: .056/.190/.056 (1-18), 3 BB, 4 SO, 1 CS
Fields -- signed by Seattle in October after the White Sox cut him -- definitely wins points for his name. But he's interesting beyond just that, thanks to athleticism and explosiveness that saw him play rush for nearly 3,000 yards in two seasons in high school before playing football and baseball at Northwestern prior to transferring to LSU. Prior to 2014, though, Fields had just 18 pro plate appearances; all with Great Falls of the Rookie Pioneer League. His jump to the Midwest League to open 2014 is a big one, and the results so far have shown that.
Fields went 1-for-18 this week and is just 2-for-23 overall so far. It seems likely that Arby could see himself moved back to extended spring training before winding up in Everett in a few months if things don't turn around soon. Still, for an UDFA, there are some tools to like with him.
That does it for this week's look at six prospects and their performances. We do these every week and try to spread the coverage around, so come back next Monday to check in on the latest installment of Three Up, Three Down.
Looking for more Mariners news, articles and player interviews? Want to keep up with which prospects are hot and cold for the M's? "Like" SeattleClubhouse on Facebook and follow SeattleClubhouse site Editor Rick Randall on Twitter at @randallball.