Mariners Prospect Watch: Three Up, Three Down

Our second weekly installment of the minor league season, taking a look at the hot and not hot from week two (4/13 - 4/19) of minor league action in the Seattle Mariners system.

For the fifth season, SeattleClubhouse is checking in each Monday with a rundown of the best and worst performances in the minor leagues from the past week within the Seattle Mariners' organization. The goal with this weekly piece 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.

While the roster in Seattle doesn't have a lot of soft spots, the talent in the system still is a very important part of the ability for the Mariners to sustain success. And there is still quite a bit to be learned on some of the better prospects in the organization. Hopefully Three Up, Three Down helps with that learning, covering players in their age-26 or younger season who have not exhausted their MLB rookie status.

Let's jump right in to our second look at six players who hope to make some positive strides in their game on their way towards Seattle this season. Here we go, Three Up, Three Down.

THREE UP

Joe DeCarlo - 3B, Clinton Lumber Kings: .350/.444/.900 (7-20), 3B, 3 HR, 6 RBI, 4 BB, 5 SO
DeCarlo -- repeating Low-A, where he out-OPS'd the league in 2014 as a 20 year old (.732 to .692) -- had a monster showing in fall instructs and continued to hit and defend well in the spring to the delight of the M's player development staff. And now he's carrying it into the regular season for Clinton. He sits alone atop the M's minors in homers with four, extra base hits with six and total bases with 24. Joe has also drawn six walks while striking out just nine times in his 43 trips so far this season.

DeCarlo's defense at third, which M's minor league field coordinator Jack Howell calls "10-time Gold Glove quality", continues to impress, too. While he isn't exactly a household name that many seem to be high on at this point, if DeCarlo can ride a hot streak early in the year here in 2015, a quick promotion to High-A is certainly a possibility for the M's 2nd round pick in 2012, and that could start to turn some heads.

Sam Gaviglio - RHP, Tacoma Rainiers: 1.50 ERA, 0.67 WHIP, 6 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 SO, .100 oAVG
Originally from the Pacific Northwest (Ashland, Oregon), Gaviglio was a standout at Oregon State before being selected in the 5th round of the 2011 draft by the Cardinals. The Mariners picked him up this past off-season when minor league utility darling of some, Ty Kelly, was sent to St. Louis. This year is his first taste of Triple-A as a pro, and, so far so good! Gaviglio went five shutout frames in his debut and then this past week he went six, allowing only two hits while striking out six.

He's averaging just over 14 pitches an inning and has allowed only one hit (a single) to right-handed hitters in 20 trips to the plate. He really held righties down a season ago, too, and has run a 26.7% strikeout rate against them entering this season. Sam continues to get a lot of ground balls and his sinker/slider repertoire has kept hitters honest so far. He isn't a pitching prospect in the vein of Paxton or Walker, but he has abilities that should allow him to reach the big leagues at some point.

Misael Siverio - LHP, Jackson Generals: 0.00 ERA, 0.60 WHIP, 5 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 SO, .167 oAVG
Siverio, signed by the Mariners out of Cuba this past November for a six-figure bonus, pitched very well in his professional debut for the Generals, striking out five and getting a lot of swinging strikes on his big curveball from what I was told. His scouting report prior to this start was that his stuff and size would limit his future potential, but after a solid showing in spring and him handling his first appearance in the Southern League, he is one to watch for sure. His fastball isn't overpowering and isn't the key pitch in his repertoire, but with his curve working like it was in this game, that mid-80s fastball is enough for the southpaw to get by on.

Siverio is already 25 and had pitched more than 150 games in Cuba's top level prior to coming stateside, so he could move quickly if he finds success and could end up as a long man or spot starter in the not-too-distant future potentially if his four-pitch mix led by that big curve continue to dazzle after pro baseball here in the U.S. develops a scouting report on him.

THREE DOWN

Alex Jackson - OF, Clinton LumberKings: .083/.214/.083 (2-24), 2 BB, 9 SO
Jackson, who was handed with an aggressive assignment to the Midwest League at age 19, started the year with extra base hits in his first two contests and an RBI in each of the first three games. But he struggled putting his bat on the ball this past week, striking out nine times and picking up just two singles in 28 trips to the plate. His overall numbers would have been even worse, but he did get hit by two pitches to tie for the organizational lead during the week.

He continued to hit in the 3-spot in the order for Clinton, and he remains perhaps Seattle's most promising offensive talents and one of the best hitting prospects in all of baseball, but this week was a good reminder that the road to the top isn't always going to be easy for him. Expect Jackson to start to put things together, and I suspect that we'll see him on the other side of this ledger several times in the 2015 season.

Forrest Snow - RHP, Tacoma Rainiers: 6.00 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 2 G, 3 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 HR, 0 BB, 4 SO, .231 oAVG
It isn't as if Snow was terrible this week, but he had two appearances and allowed a home run in each of them. He allowed a homer in his only appearance of the first week of the season, too, so Snow has allowed home runs to three of the 22 hitters he's faced here in the first three appearances of the young season. And dating back to the end of 2014, Snow has now surrendered 11 home runs over his last 24 2/3 innings, with at least one long ball coughed up in each of those seven outings.

At his core, Snow isn't exactly a ground ball machine, but his tendencies have been getting further and further away from ground balls since 2011. He's under 30% of balls in play on the ground since the start of 2014, and that isn't a great number for a guy that doesn't have huge velocity. Snow is a good, versatile arm that can touch the mid-90s and start or relieve, but the dinger trend is troubling.

Austin Wilson - OF, Bakersfield Blaze: .111/.238/.111 (2-18), 2 RBI, 1 BB, 9 SO, 2 HBP
Seattle has had a number of their top minor league hitters struggle out of the gate, and Wilson's struggles have extended through the season's first two weeks as he faces the challenge of High-A for the first time. He's now just 4-for-31 with 16 strikeouts on the young season, still without an extra base hit in 37 trips to the plate for the Blaze in the hitter friendly Cal League. Certainly nothing to panic about, but we should remember that Wilson is just about a month younger than draft classmate D.J. Peterson, who obviously is at Double-A.

The five multi-strikeout games for Wilson are a concern, who has been right around 20% on his strikeout rate to date, and if he can't manage the strike zone better as he climbs the ladder, that will definitely negate much of his power. But Wilson (like Peterson) has started off slowly each of the last two seasons at each stop before turning it on, and a run like that could be coming here in Bakersfield, too.

. . . . . . . . .

That does it for our second weekly installment of the good and bad in on-field performances in Seattle's system. We have a lot more coverage to come as the year goes on, so check back in with us as each week as we incorporate "Three Up, Three Down" into our regular reports. And make sure to stick with SeattleClubhouse throughout the entire calendar year for reports from all of the Mariners' affiliates and prospects.

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.


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