Mariners Minor League Players of the Week

Another week of baseball is in the books and the awards are in. Check out the hottest players in the Mariners farm system as InsidethePark's Jason A. Churchill breaks down the finalists and hands out honors to the top pitcher and position player in the organization.

After six weeks of baseball it's reasonable to expect a weekly winner to come out of nowhere to snag the honor once in awhile. You know, one of those sleepers that nobody seems to talk about, an overachiever that grabs the headlines for his 15 minutes of fame. This happens more often than not in the pitcher's category, since one strong start can etch a player's name onto the winner's trophy. So far there haven't been any "no-names" that have raced across the radar to pick up the player of the week award, but there is a good explanation for that; a certain Inland Empire southpaw serves as the reason. This week we have a newcomer picking up some headlines, and a familiar name that becomes the first three-peat winner of the year. If he keeps this up we might need to think about naming the award after him.

Position Player of the Week Finalists

5. Bucky Jacobsen, DH, Tacoma Rainiers
Jacobsen made the most of the three games he played last week, smacking two home runs among his six hits in 14 at-bats for a .429 average. The 31-year-old slugger drove in three and leads the entire organization with 27 RBI on the season.

4. Hiram Bocachica, RF, Tacoma Rainiers
The Rainiers outfielder returned from injury two weeks ago and immediately began bashing the baseball all over the park. Bocachica went 8-14 (.571) for the week, including two multi-hit games that produced seven total hits. The 28-year-old belted a home run, scored two runs and drove in a pair in just three games played.

3. Gary Harris, OF, Inland Empire 66ers
Harris filled up the scorebooks this past week, hitting safely in all seven games played. Hitting in the three-hole, the 24-year-old had 10 hits in 30 at-bats (.333), scored five runs and drove in eight. Harris leads the 66ers with 26 RBI on the season and carries a .270 average into this week's schedule.

2. Juan Gonzalez, SS, Inland Empire 66ers
Gonzalez has done nothing but hit all season and recently has began to cut down on the strikeouts, his only shortcoming thus far in 2004. The 22-year-old, acquired in the trade of Carlos Guillen, went 9-26 (.346) with a double, a triple, a home run, and two RBI. Gonzalez also scored nine runs and stole two bases. The 66ers starting shortstop leads the Mariner farm system in hits with 46 and is hitting .322 for the year. Position Player of the Week

1. Jesus Guzman, 3B, Inland Empire 66ers
Guzman joined the 66ers just three weeks ago and made it clear from the very start that he was more than a roster fill-in. The 19-year-old Venezuelan native went 8-25 (.320) this past week with two doubles and three RBI. Placed in the second slot in the lineup, the switch-hitting Guzman displayed the top-of-the-order hitting skills by walking eight times and scoring eight runs.

The Mariners signed Guzman in July of 2000 and watched him develop in the Dominican and Venezuelan Summer Leagues that season. Guzman was named as Aguirre's team MVP last season in the VSL and showed flashes of solid power potential. The M's hope to see him develop the power stroke somewhere down the line after getting his feet wet with the Inland Empire squad this season.

Guzman is hitting .308 in 18 games this season.

Pitcher of the Week Finalists

5. Bobby Madritsch, LHP, Tacoma Rainiers
Not sure what else Madritsch can do to prove that he is ready to get a shot at the next level but he seems to have caught the eye of the Mariners, which could replace Gil Meche in the rotation soon. The 28-year-old left-hander had another fine outing, scattering six hits over seven innings while picking up his third win of the season. The Rainiers ace struck out four and walked just one and is now 3-0 on the year with a 2.59 ERA. Madritsch has 41 strikeouts in 41.2 innings, while yielding just 11 walks.

4. Troy Cate, LHP, San Antonio Missions
Cate bounced back to form this past week after a few rough outings had lit up his ERA, making it resemble an Olympic figure skating score. The 23-year-old went 7.1 strong innings, allowing just one earned run on four hits while striking out six. Cate is now 1-3 on the year with a 4.42 ERA in seven starts.

3. Clint Nageotte, RHP, Tacoma Rainiers
The M's best bet for an impact starter for 2005 has had a bit of an up and down first season in Triple-A. Nageotte has electric stuff but at times has struggled with his control, as evidenced by his 22 walks in 37.1 innings. The 23-year-old surrendered five more walks this past week but allowed just two hits over seven shutout innings while striking out six. Nageotte is now 3-2 with a 3.38 ERA in seven starts for Tacoma. (Nageotte gave up nine earned runs in four innings against Memphis on Monday and fell to 3-3 with a 5.01 ERA)

2. T.A. Fulmer, RHP, Inland Empire 66ers
Fulmer started out the year with four-straight high-quality outings before running into a few bumps in the road that quadrupled his ERA. The 24-year-old recovered nicely this past week, going seven scoreless frames and allowing just three hits. Fulmer struck out eight and did not walk a batter in an 8-0 win over High Desert. Fulmer is now 3-2 for the season with a 3.86 ERA. The right-hander continues to have no trouble finding the strike zone; he currently has 41 strikeouts and nine walks. Pitcher of the Week

1. Bobby Livingston, LHP, Inland Empire 66ers
Surprise surprise, the Texan does it again, blah blah blah. It's becoming an old trick but the southpaw just won't stop dominating the Cal League. Two more strong performances last week land the 21-year-old his third Pitcher of the Week award and more accolades than a straight-A student at an inner city school for dropouts. Livingston went 15 innings and allowed just three earned runs on 10 hits. He struck out 18 and walked just three during that time.

In the second start, Livingston took a two-hit shutout into the ninth and settled for the win after the game was sent into extra-innings. The M's 4th round pick in the 2001 draft recorded wins in both outings and is now 6-0 on the season with a minuscule 1.44 ERA.

Depending on how each team performs in the win-loss columns, Livingston could leave the 66ers behind and join the Double-A Missions in his home state. The Mariners tend to stick to their guns when it comes to promotions but Livingston may leave them no choice in the matter if he continues at his current pace.

  • Missions backstop Jim Horner went 7-18(.389) last week, with three doubles and four runs scored
  • San Antonio DH John Lindsey went 7-21 (.333) with two doubles and three RBI. Lindsey is hitting .311 with six home runs on the year
  • Inland Empire outfielder Jon Nelson went 4-9 with five RBI and five runs scored. The 23-year-old ripped a double and even legged out a triple on his way to hitting .444 for the week
  • Frederico Balet had nine hits in 28 at-bats and drove in six runs last week. The 1B/DH just missed the cut for Player of the Week honors, adding six runs scored a double and a triple to his week's resume
  • Utility-man Matt Rogelstad went 7-20 (.350) with five RBI last week. Playing three positions (2B,SS,DH), Rogelstad laced two doubles and scored four times to round out a solid week
  • Inland Empire outfielder Carlos Arroyo had seven hits in 21 at-bats in five games this past week. He is now hitting .301 for the year
  • Catcher Rene Rivera continues his solid season with seven more hits and four more RBI this past week. The 20-year-old is hitting .307 with two home runs and 23 RBI this season
  • Inland Empire right-hander Rich Dorman, still flying in a bit under the radar, went six strong innings, allowing just one earned run and struck out a career-high nine batters. Dorman is 3-2 with a 2.68 ERA this season
  • Wisconsin closer Brian Stitt saved two games and allowed just one hit over 3.2 innings this past week. The T-Rats ace reliever struck out five and lowered his ERA to 1.50 on the season
  • Cesar Jimenez went four scoreless frames allowing one hit and striking out four. The left-hander is now 1-2 with a 2.60 ERA in 11 games on the season
  • Inland Empire 66ers southpaw Melvin Pizarro pitched three shutout innings, striking out four batters to lower his ERA to 0.59
  • San Antonio righty Juan Done went 13 innings over two starts and allowed just two earned runs on eight hits despite nine walks. Done did strike out 11 and picked up two wins
  • Renee Cortez made his season debut for the Missions and went two scoreless innings, allowing just one hit and striking out two.

  • Jason resides in Tacoma, Wash., where the rain doesn't stop just because the sun comes out. Jason continues his hatred for all things Yankee and despises the slider-speed bat. He does, however, ask one question of anyone who might know; Why do players put up with corrupt agents and trainers anyways? Whoa! If anyone knows the answer contact Jason at

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