Mariners Minor League Players of the Month

Several Mariners minor leaguers played out of their minds through April, and here at we feel they are worthy of an award. Joseph A. Yencich tells you who they are in his first installment of the Mariners Minor League Players of the Month.

Ah, April. The month that symbolizes the start of spring with the words, "Play ball!" on the minds of baseball fans around the world. Each new season bears hope for each team of breakouts, team championships, and individual improvement. For the Mariners farm, pitching is the word, but a group of rising stars and comeback kids are starting to make their cases with the bat.

Here at, we bring you the top Mariners' minor leaguers from the month of April:

Position Players of the Month:
John Lindsey, DH, San Antonio Missions
T.J. Bohn, RF, Inland Empire 66ers

Though Lindsey has been quoted as saying he's just happy to play ball for a living, he doesn't seem to have taken a Double-A repeat season lightly, or at least his bat hasn't. The 27-year-old DH lost 30 pounds in the offseason and his newfound flexibility has done nothing but help his game. In the first 12 games, Lindsey was hitting .362 with a league-high four homers (including a ninth-inning game winner on the 11th). He started the year on an eight-game hitting streak to put his batting average at .394. At the end of the month, you can hardly say he's cooled down, though his recent seven-game hitting streak in which he batted .417 with a slugging percentage of .708, was recently broken on April 28th. Currently, he's second in the league in homers (5), fourth in batting average (.352), third in OBP (.442) and fourth in SLG (.595).

Lindsey was originally drafted out of high school by the Colorado Rockies in the 13th round of the 1995 draft (347th overall). He made his Mariners minor league debut in 2002 for San Bernardino (now Inland Empire) after being released by the Rockies following his third straight year in the High-A Carolina League. He had a career minor league average of .266 and a career slugging of .421 coming into the 2004 season.

Bohn, meanwhile has snuck under the radar both on the lists and in the draft, but he's done nothing but improve his game with each passing season, sometimes by leaps and bounds. After hitting .245 and .272 in his first two seasons, respectively, Bohn has been raking to the tune of a team-leading .338/.432/.500 line. He goes into the end of April with a 10-game hitting streak. His previous season-high was a five-game streak from April 8th-13th, which he capped off by going 3-4 with a double, a homer, two runs scored, and two runs batted in.

The 24-year-old has been seeing some time in center, but his arm is making its mark in right, where deep fly outs are starting to become dramatic double plays at an alarming rate. With five outfield assists so far, at his current pace Bohn is going to shatter his previous outfield assist record of 20, set last season with Wisconsin.

Bohn was selected by the Seattle Mariners in the 30th round of the 2002 draft out of Bellevue College in Nebraska. He made his debut in the Northwest League in the 2002 season. Bohn was named to the All-Star Team for the Midwest League last season and will repeat the honor in the California League if he continues at this pace. His career line is .264/.362/.400.


San Antonio Missions outfielder Greg Jacobs just barely falls short of making this list, due to lack of at-bats. Jacobs has missed time due to a hamstring pull, a heel injury, and personal issues, but when he's been in the batter's box, what he's done to Texas League pitchers is downright cruel. The 27-year-old has hit.462 and slugged .769 in his 52 at-bats so far, and his seven doubles holds the team lead and is tied for sixth among the league leaders. Though he looks like he could easily achieve his second-straight batting title, Jacobs probably won't remain in San Antonio too long if he keeps this up.

Tacoma Rainiers first baseman A.J. Zapp came to Triple-A looking to cut down on his strikeouts, but he's done all that and then some so far. While the former first-round pick by the Braves in 1996 does lead the team in walks with 12 and OBP with .419, he's still shown the power that has made him notorious with five doubles and three homers. To give you a clearer idea of how much power that is, the most recent one on April 30th broke his bat too.

Missions centerfielder Dustin Delucchi has started the season off red hot. The 26-year-old began the season with a 12-game hitting streak that saw him hitting .354 for the duration. His pace hasn't changed all that much since; he's still hitting .346 and is tied for the team lead in runs scored with 15.

Inland Empire 66ers 2B Ismael Castro will get his first and last honorable mention for player of the month in 2004. The 20-year-old twisted his knee in the April 25th game against Lancaster after reaching on an error and will be out for the season with damage to his ACL, MCL and meniscus. Prior to his injury, Castro was hitting .303/.343/.500 and was looking like he would be promoted to Double-A San Antonio shortly.

Pitchers of the Month:
George Sherrill, LHP, Tacoma Rainiers
Bobby Livingston, LHP, Inland Empire 66ers
T.A. Fulmer, RHP, Inland Empire 66ers

For a relief pitcher to be pitcher of the month, he has to be good. George Sherrill, has been more than good, and seems like a likely candidate to fill the vacancy on the 40-man left by the departure of Kevin Jarvis while challenging for Mike Myers' job as well. After nine April appearances, the 27-year-old lefty was tied for fifth in the league in strikeouts (24), despite only pitching 14.1 innings. That's 42 percent of the total batters he has faced. His peripherals have been outstanding as well, holding opponents to a 1.05 WHIP while maintaining a 6.00 K/BB ratio. Let me put it this way: if opposing batters had to face nine full innings of Sherrill, they'd strike out over fifteen times. He ends April with a 1.88 ERA and a 4.2 inning scoreless streak, during which time he's rung up nine batters.

Sherrill was signed as a non-drafted free agent from the Winnipeg Goldeneyes in July of 2003. He went to Austin Peay State University and played a few seasons in the Independent Leagues prior to signing with the M's. In 2003 with San Antonio, he made 16 appearances and pitched 27.1 innings, allowing only one earned run the entire time, good for a 0.33 ERA.

What Bobby Livingston has been doing to Cal League batters when he's been on has been nothing short of unfair. His first start merely set the tone of things to come; eight innings, two hits, three strikeouts. Since then, putting up zeroes on the scoreboard has merely been business as usual for the 22-year-old southpaw. It was 14.2 innings and two full starts before someone finally scored on him, a homer given up against Lancaster. Prior to that, opposing batters had only been hitting .136 off of him, getting two free passes and striking out eight times. While he got "roughed up" a little by his standards in his last outing (7.2 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 5 SO), opponents are still hitting only .158 against him. Take out the "fluke" start, and the number drops back down to .134.

Livingston was drafted out of high school by the Seattle Mariners in the 4th round of the 2001 draft (129th overall). He made his debut with the Everett Aquasox in the Northwest League in 2002. Livingston was named to the Midwest League All-Star Team in 2003 and could very well be the starter for the Cal League All-Stars this year at Arrowhead Credit Union Park, provided Rockies prospect Ubaldo Jimenez cools down a little. Coming into the 2004 season, he was 21-12 in his minor league career with a 2.83 ERA and a 4.31 K/BB ratio in 258 innings pitched.

T.A. Fulmer has been acting as the third punch in what really seems to be a five punch starting rotation for the Inland Empire 66ers. His first start (5.2 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 SO) wasn't as dominating as Livingston's, but following that start it was another 12.1 innings before he allowed another earned run, though he was the victim of an occasional defensive miscue. In his four April starts, the 24-year-old righty has demonstrated excellent control and had yet to allow a home run or hit a batter. Not only that, but he's struck out no less than five batters and gone no less than six innings in each one of his outings. The opposing teams chances don't look like they'll have a shot against him any time soon; he's only allowing them to hit .151 thus far.

Fulmer was selected in the 13th round of the 2002 draft (400th overall) out of The Citadel. He also made his debut with Everett in 2002, being used as a swingman before holding his own as a starter with Wisconsin, where he too made the all-star team. Prior to this season, in 200 career innings pitched, he was 10-10 with a 2.70 ERA and a 3.57 K/BB ratio.


Tacoma Rainiers relief stud LHP Randy Williams put up a 1.32 ERA in April while going an average of about two innings per appearance. The former Independent Leaguer was responsible for two of the Rainiers' 11 wins in the month. Pacific Coast League batters have only been hitting .167 off of the 28-year-old. In his April 16th win against Tucson, he went two innings and allowed only a hit and a walk as he struck out three.

Sixers LHP Melvin Pizarro has been the Cal League equivalent of George Sherrill, coming out of nowhere in the Independent Leagues to dominate in out of the pen. In nine innings, he has yet to allow an earned run, but most impressive has been his ability to turn balls in play into outs. Opposing batters have only hit .129 off of him and his WHIP has been a miniscule 0.78. Not bad, for the guy who holds the Atlantic League record for most consecutive losses at 10.

Wisconsin Timber Rattler's co-ace RHP Brandon Moorhead was stellar in April, going 2-1 in four starts with a 2.70 ERA. The 24-year-old has struck out more than a batter per inning and has held his opposition to a .193 average. In his April 21st start against Burlington, he went seven and a third innings, allowed only four hits and a walk, and struck out nine batters. He has gone at least five frames and struck out at least four in each one of his outings.

San Antonio Missions RHP Gustavo Martinez took over the rotation spot left by the departure of LHP Glenn Bott and hasn't looked back. In five appearances, three of them starts, he's had a 2.29 ERA and pitched 19.2 innings, marks good for best and second on the team, respectively. The 28-year-old has been holding opposing batters to a .203 average. On April 21st, his best outing thus far as a starter, he logged 7.0 scoreless innings and only gave up four hits and two walks while punching out four.

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