Seattle Mariners' Minor League Players of the Week

Have you ever wondered how the career minor league players keep going? How they still have the drive to play hard everyday at the advanced baseball ages of 27, 28 and even over 30 years of age? After up to 10 or more years of minor league action some ballplayers continue to give it everything they have. Day in. Day out. In this edition of the weekly feature, Mariners' minor league players of the week, the persistence pays off.

Position Player of the Week: IF Mickey Lopez, Tacoma Rainiers

The 29-year-old went 9-22 for the week with two homeruns, seven RBI and eight runs scored. Lopez is now hitting .279 with six homeruns and 37 RBI and has gained more playing time of late with the promotion of Chad Myers and the trades of Craig Kuzmic and Kenny Kelly. Lopez's hot hitting hasn't hurt his cause, either.

Other notables include Inland Empire 3B Hunter Brown, San Antonio 1B AJ Zapp, and Tacoma 1B JR Phillips.

Brown, 23, was 7-22 for the week with a homerun, four RBI, and three runs scored. Brown is now hitting .250 on the year with 30 doubles, 14 homeruns and 60 RBI.

Zapp hit his 23rd and 24th homeruns during the week, those coming among his 10 hits in 27 at bats. The 25-year-old added six RBI to raise his total to 83 on the year.

Phillips, 33, went 8-24 for the week with four doubles and four RBI. The 15-year veteran is hitting .291 with 10 homers and 36 RBI on the year.

Pitcher of the Week: LHP Bobby Madritsch, San Antonio Missions

Madritsch started two games, winning both, going 15 total innings and allowing just one earned run on four hits. The 27-year-old walked just three and struck out nine. He raised his record to 12-5 to go with the 3.28 ERA and 135 strikeouts in 140 innings pitched.

Other notables include Tacoma righties Brian Sweeney and Allan Simpson, San Antonio right-hander Cha Baek, Inland southpaws Troy Cate and Glenn Bott and right-hander Elvis Perez, and Wisconsin righty T.A. Fulmer.

Sweeney went 6.2 innings, allowing one run on six hits and striking out 10 for the Rainiers. The 29-year-old then was called up by the Seattle Mariners and went three one-hit innings vs. Boston. Sweeney earned his tenth win to even his season record and lowered his ERA to 4.35.

Rainiers teammate Allan Simpson has been lights out coming from the pen of late. He went 5.1 scoreless innings, striking out eight without walking a batter. The 25-year-old right-hander is 2-4 with a sinking ERA of 4.25.

Baek went seven scoreless innings, giving up just five hits while walking two and striking out three. The 23-year-old is now 2-2 with a 1.98 ERA since joining the Missions in the Texas League.

Cate was the runner-up in the Pitcher of the Week voting after going 7.1 innings and yielding just three hits, one earned run, and 14 strikeouts without a walk. The 22-year-old left-hander shares the California League lead in strikeouts with 138, while improving his record to 9-10 with a 3.99 ERA.

Bott is the co-strikeout leader with Cate and helped his own cause with six strikeouts in seven innings. The 21-year-old allowed just three hits and a run and walked two. Bott ranks 3rd in the league with a 3.07 ERA.

Inland's third mentionable, right-hander Elvis Perez, went seven scoreless innings, allowing five hits while walking two and striking out four. Perez, 24, is now 4-4 on the year with a 4.44 ERA in 48 innings or work.

Fulmer tossed seven scoreless innings and gave up just five hits and two walks while striking out four. The 23-year-old righty is now 9-7 with a 2.54 ERA and a league-leading five complete games. The key to Fulmer's success is his 31 walks in 148.2 innings pitched.

Jason resides in North Tacoma, Wash., where his father is his best friend, his mother has a better fastball than he does, and his nephew is the only person better suited for stardom. Feedback is always welcome at

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