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 MLB graduations for 2014, 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.
We cover some regulars and some of the names who have recently moved this week with our take on the best and worst from week 21 in this Three Up, Three Down.
Jabari Henry - OF, High Desert Mavericks: .375/.483/.917 (9-24), 2 2B, 3B, 3 HR, 6 RBI, 5 BB, 7 SO
Henry has quietly put together one of the best power years in not only Seattle's system, but in all of minor league baseball. He homered three more times this past week -- including an inside-the-park job -- to bring his season total to 30, making him one of just seven players in the minors to reach that home run milestone so far this season. For his six extra base hit week, Henry was recognized as the Cal League Player of the Week -- the 10th time this season a Mavericks player has been recognized. Leading the M's system in homers, Henry's 95 RBI are good for fourth in the organization and his .298 average is eleventh among qualified minor leaguers. The right-handed hitter has also drawn the fourth most walks in the system with 66.
While it is certainly fair to point to Henry's home park when speaking of overall offensive numbers, he has hit 13 home runs and posted a .924 OPS on the road this season after coming into the year with 19 career minor league home runs in his 161 games in the last two seasons. A solid defender who has been in center with average speed the previous two seasons, Henry has played very well while manning mostly left for the Mavs in 2014 and he has seven outfield assists to his name this year.
Daniel Missaki - RHP, Pulaski Mariners: 2-0, 0.68 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 2 G, 13 1/3 IP, 9 H, 1 ER, 5 BB, 11 SO, .196 oAVG
Missaki missed three weeks earlier in Pulaski's season, but when he's been healthy and on the field in the Appalachian League, the right-hander out of Brazil has been very impressive. That continued in this past week's two-start sample as he led Puaslki to two wins with two incredibly strong performances. Missaki has now allowed two runs or less eight of the ten times he's taken the mound in 2014 and he owns a 59 to 15 strikeout-to-walk ratio on the year in his 55 1/3 innings in those 10 starts.
The youngest player to appear in the 2013 WBC, right-handed hitters are hitting just .171 off of Daniel and lefties haven't fared much better, managing just a .552 OPS. His 2.11 ERA leads the league and his .198 opponent's batting average allowed is just .001 off of the lead there. He's just 18 and has impressive command, but there is some concern with the effort in the delivery and whether or not there is any more velocity in there. Still, Missaki is making a strong case to be a player to watch going forward for the M's.
Edwin Diaz - RHP, Clinton LumberKings: 1-1, 2.70 ERA, 0.80 WHIP, 10 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, HR, BB, 12 SO, .200 oAVG
Diaz only threw ten innings in his two starts this past week, but the results were very good without too much effort required. Diaz threw 59 and 61 pitches in the two starts, continuing the trend of the M's keeping his pitch count down. After a bit of a rough patch to end July which included back-to-back starts of just 1 2/3 where his fastball command was very bad, Diaz has a 1.88 ERA in four July starts and has walked only one while striking out 20 over his 24 innings. He's also been getting ground balls at a much higher rate, running a 1.63 GO/AO for the month which bumped his season rate up over 1.00.
He hasn't picked up a lot of wins this season (5-8), but Diaz has held opposing hitters to just a .206 average in 10 starts since the break, and he hasn't walked more than two in any of those. The 6-foot-2 right-hander has reached new career highs in starts, innings and strikeouts while still sticking with his profile of keeping the ball in the yard, allowing just five home runs. He's still just 20 and has improved by leaps and bounds since being a raw draftee out of Puerto Rico in 2012 by Seattle, particularly in terms of command.
Jack Reinheimer - SS, High Desert Mavericks: .143/.167/.143 (4-28), 2 RBI, BB, 4 SO
Reinheimer was moved up to the Mavericks as part of the shortstop shuffle in the organization at the beginning of the month that was started by Willie Bloomquist's injury. The 2013 5th round pick started out strong for High Desert, getting hits in five of his first six games in High-A, including four multi-hit contests, but he's struggled since, going just 4-for-32 in his last eight games, seven of which covered this past week. The 22-year-old has been hitting 2nd or 3rd in the order for the Mavs and he's continued to make good contact after the jump in level and competition, but the production hasn't been there so far in High-A.
Despite being a higher pick than fellow 2013 draftee and shortstop Tyler Smith, and despite playing at a higher level than him in 2013, Smith has been a level ahead of Reinheimer all season. Jack is the better defender, and one of the better ones in Seattle's system altogether, but his bat is behind in terms of offensive potential. Reinheimer is second in the organization in steals, however, having swiped 38 in 49 tries on the year, and his defense and baserunning make him a true prospect to watch.
Jordan Cowan - SS, Everett AquaSox: .048/.160/.048 (1-21), 2 RBI, 3 BB, 3 SO
Cowan is a local kid from Kentlake High School who was signed as Seattle's 37th round pick in 2013 that played primarily in the AZL last year. A slightly-built left-handed hitter that had a defense first profile, he managed to hit close to league average OPS last year, but the jump to the Northwest League in 2014 has been a tough one for the 19-year-old. Jordan picked up just one hit this past week despite starting all week and he's now just one for his last 33 dating back 11 days for Everett.
With the recent stretch of struggles, Cowan's season line is down to .214/.275/.267 in 211 plate appearances for Everett and despite just a 15% strikeout rate, he's not seeing many balls put in play turn into hits. As mentioned above, a lot of that could be attributed to his lack of present strength, but being a solid defender and fundamentally sound player with good bat-to-ball skills figure to buy him time in the organization for the physical tools to come around a bit more.
Carlos Misell - RHP, Clinton LumberKings: 0-1, 20.25 ERA, 3.38 WHIP, 2 2/3 IP, 8 H. 6 ER, 2 HR, BB, SO, .533 oAVG
Misell's second shortest outing of the year came in the midst of Clinton's 5-game losing streak this past week that basically dropped them out of any possible contention for making the playoffs with a second half run. The right-hander allowed multiple home runs for the fourth time in the 2nd half of this season and saw his ERA jump to a season worst 4.63 in the process. After throwing just 7 2/3 innings of regular season ball in 2013 -- his first in organized ball -- Misell is at 118 2/3 this season (the sixth highest in the system), so it is very reasonable to think he's running out of gas a bit.
Misell has gone four innings or less in six of his 24 starts this season and has gone six or more seven times. He's also allowed four or more earned runs seven times and two or less 11 times, so he's been all over the map in terms of effectiveness for Clinton. When he's keeping the ball down and getting groundball outs he tends to have a lot more success, but when he gets the ball elevated he has been getting hurt a lot. This is evidenced in that he's allowed 11 of his 15 home runs on the season in those 4+ earned run games, and in those games he has run just a 0.53 GO/AO ratio. In his 11 best starts that number has jumped to 0.86.
That does it for this week's look at the best and worst performances in Seattle's system. Check back in with us next Monday for our 22nd Three Up, Three Down, and stick with SeattleClubhouse throughout the year for reports from all of the Mariners' affiliates.
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.