Mariners Prospect Watch: Three Up, Three Down

After taking the short week off last week, we check in again for the best and worst showings in the system from the past 14 days (7/13 - 7/26) and double the number of players from six to twelve in this version of our look around the Seattle Mariners' minor league system.

For the fifth consecutive 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 for our readers, covering players in their age-26 or younger season who have not exhausted their MLB rookie status.

Every Monday, we look at three players on each side of the spectrum who dream of being on their way towards Seattle in 2015. Due to the short week last week that led to no report and many deserving performances on each side of things, this week's installment of Three Up, Three Down will actually be Six Up and Six Down!

SIX UP

Drew Jackson - SS, Everett Aquasox: .486/.537/.622 (18-37), 2 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 3 BB, 4 SO, 8-9 SB
Jackson, Seattle's 5th rounder out of Stanford, has been red hot from Day 1 with the AquaSox this year, hitting .360 on the season so far and collecting 12 multi-hit games in the 29 he's played with Everett. The right-handed hitting 22 year old ended this past week on a 7-game hitting streak that saw him reach base 21 times. Jackson has also stolen 21 bases on the season and has played very good defense, showing a big arm at shortstop.

Anthony Misiewicz - LHP, Everett AquaSox: 3 G, 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 0.42 WHIP, 12 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 13 SO, .105 oAVG
Misiewicz was one of eight players drafted out of Michigan State this past June, coming to Seattle via their 18th round selection. The 20 year old left-hander pitched mostly in relief in college (54 relief appearances, 12 starts), but he's been getting stretched out for Everett, making four starts and going four innings in each of his last three outings. Those three outings culminated in his last appearance, when he struck out seven and walked just one without allowing a hit.

Dan Altavilla - RHP, Bakersfield Blaze: 2 G, 0-1, 2.08 ERA, 0.85 WHIP, 13 IP, 10 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 HR, 1 BB, 13 SO, .200 oAVG
Altavilla was just on our weekly Upside recently, and four of his last five starts have been very good for Bakersfield, with lots of strikeouts and low walk totals. He did it twice more in the last two-week stretch, and even though he got a no-decision and a tough-luck loss, the right-hander is cementing his spot as one of the more promising arms in the system, even if it isn't clear if his long-term home will be in the rotation or in the bullpen.

Jabari Blash - OF, Tacoma Rainiers: .275/.396/.600 (11-40), 1 2B, 4 HR, 11 RBI, 8 BB, 6 SO
Blash had nothing left to show at the Double-A level, so Seattle moved him back up to Tacoma, and Jabari has responded with a better approach and lots of power. He reached base in 10 of his first 11 games back with the Rainers and ended the week homering in back-to-back games. Blash now has 16 homers and 44 walks combined on the season, and at 25, is starting to round into more complete form at the plate.

Logan Taylor - OF, Everett AquaSox: .310/.431/.476 (13-42), 4 2B, 1 HR, 14 RBI, 6 BB, 8 SO, 3-3 SB
Taylor has played all over the diamond for Everett defensively, but his work at the plate has stood out the most. He led the organization in RBI over this two week period with 14 and has 30 RBI and 13 extra base hits in his first 32 games as a pro. Seattle's 12th round pick this June, the right-handed hitting 21 year old has crushed right-handed pitching to the tune of a .352/.417/.505 slash so far.

Jose Leal - OF, Peoria Mariners: .300/.349/.475 (12-40), 5 2B, 1 3B, 10 RBI, 2 BB, 13 SO
Already in his fourth season in the system and his third in the Rookie Arizona League, Leal is finally starting to show the promise with the bat that the Mariners saw before signing him to a deal for just under $2m back in 2011. The right-handed hitter had a 5-RBI game to close out June and has hit .316/.73/.526 in 20 games in July so far, picking up four extra base hits and six RBI in his last four games.

SIX DOWN

Tyler Pike - LHP, Bakersfield Blaze: 3 G, 0-1, 8.18 ERA, 2.00 WHIP, 11 IP, 10 H, 13 R, 10 ER, 4 HR, 12 BB, 8 SO, .238 oAVG
At the end of 2013, Pike's stock as a pitching prospect were very high, peaking at No. 5 on our Top-50 prior to the start of the 2014 season. But Pike has walked 140 in 199 innings since then and has not been able to find himself even with an early-season demotion back to Bakersfield this year. He walked four in each of his short starts these past few weeks and allowed three homers and eight base runners while facing 15 hitters in one of those.

Gareth Morgan - OF, Peoria Mariners: .233/.271/.535 (10-43), 2 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 3 BB, 22 SO
Morgan did check in with some extra base knocks and produced some runs for the AZL M's in this latest 11 game stretch, but he also struck out a whopping 22 times -- twice or more in seven of those 11 games. Seattle's 2nd round pick in last year's draft had an abysmal debut season in 2014, hitting just .148/.244/.252 in 45 games, but he is actually even striking out more this year than (41.3%) he did last year (41.0%) so far.

Brett Ash - RHP, Bakersfield Blaze: 3 G, 0-2, 9.26 ERA, 2.40 WHIP, 11 2/3 IP, 24 H, 17 R, 12 ER, 3 HR, 4 BB, 8 SO, .407 oAVG
Prior to this three start stretch, Ash had pitched to extremely good results as a starting pitcher for the Blaze this season, putting up a 2.89 ERA and allowing just a .664 OPS against him in eight starts. But the past two weeks have been rough on the undrafted right-hander as he allowed a 1.105 OPS and nine extra base hits. After going eight innings twice in his most recent three starts before this stretch, Ash couldn't make it through the third in his latest outing.

James Gillheeney - LHP, Tacoma Rainiers: 2 G, 0-2, 13.50 ERA, 2.42 WHIP, 8 2/3 IP, 18 H, 13 R, 13 ER, 4 HR, 3 BB, 5 SO, .429 oAVG
Gillheeney's pitched more in relief this year that at any point in his career before, but after starting in eight of his previous nine outings, he was moved back up to Tacoma to fill a rotation spot on the 19th, the left-hander was shelled in two outings for the Rainiers, allowing seven extra base hits and a .786 SLG against him in two losses. The best home for Gillheeney is probably in the bullpen, where he's posted a 0.75 ERA in 24 innings this year.

Nelson Ward - 2B, Bakersfield Blaze: .200/.250/.311 (9-45), 2 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 3 BB, 19 SO, 2-2 SB
Ward was probably the hottest hitter in the organization for the first half of June, hitting .339/.400/.559 in his first 15 games at the High-A level, but it hasn't been so pretty since then. Ward has hit just .203 in 141 plate appearances since that time, striking out 42 times in 31 games. He struck out two or more times in six straight games during this two week stretch and also made two errors at second base for the Blaze. Ward's 2015 numbers are now right in line with his 2014 numbers, and it doesn't seem that the 12th rounder in 2014 out of Georgia has really improved as much as his earlier hot streak had some believing.

Jabari Henry - OF, Jackson Generals: .088/.205/.118 (3-34), 1 2B, 1 RBI, 5 BB, 14 SO
Just a quick reminder that Henry hit .291/.398/.584 with 61 extra base hits (30 HR), 95 RBI and 69 walks in 114 games last season. With yet another poor two weeks under his belt, Henry is now hitting .158/.251/.261 with 14 extra base hits (two home runs), 12 RBI and 22 walks in 56 games this season. The two hits he got on the 18th actually broke Jabari out of an 0-for-27 slump...but it didn't prove to be much of a "break out". He's only had multiple hits in back-to-back games one time all year and hasn't had a single month where he's OPSd over .563 yet. Henry's .512 OPS overall is the third lowest mark in all of baseball for hitters in Double-A or Triple-A with 200 or more plate appearances.

. . . . . . . . .

That does it for this week's installment of the highlights and lowlights in on-field performances in Seattle's system. 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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