InsidethePark.com's Position Player of the Week
Adam Jones, SS – Inland Empire
The kid in line to possibly be the shortstop of the future for the Mariners is starting to turn it up a notch with the bat, collecting nine hits in 26 at-bats last week for a .346 average. More importantly, however, Jones toned down the strikeouts, with just five in 30 plate appearances, and hit for more power. Thanks in part to the thin air at High Desert, Jones posted a .654 slugging percentage for the week, hitting his sixth home run of the season and tallying five more doubles to pad his team lead in that category with 11 two-baggers.
Jones drove in four and scored seven and had two 3-hit games to end the week. For the season, the 2003 first-rounder is hitting .287 with six home runs and 24 RBI. Jones is second on the club with 20 extra-base hits, a .481 slugging percentage and has a solid .351 on-base percentage. Jones is making solid strides in the California League this season.
Asdrubal Cabrera, SS - Wisconsin
Cabrera started last week with four straight multi-hit games and ended with 10 hits in 24 at-bats (.417). The infielder scored four runs, drove in four more and got on base at a pesty .481 clip, batting from several slots in the lineup and playing second base, shortstop and third base. Cabrera is hitting .357 going into mid-week play and is sporting a very strong .479 slugging percentage.
Wladimir Balentien, OF – Inland Empire
Balentien continued his "bashing" ways, smacking two homers and driving in seven last week. But he also whiffed seven times to just one base on balls – typical of the free-swinging outfielder. Balentien did hit .360 with a double and a triple to go with his team-leading ninth and tenth long balls. The 20-year-old is hitting .291 on the season with 28 RBI and a 66ers' best .556 slugging percentage.
InsidethePark.com's Pitcher of the Week
Masao Kida, RHP - Tacoma
The veteran Kida had as good a week as any reliever in the system has had all season, surrendering just two hits in 7.2 innings of work and punching out 10 batters. The right-hander is pitching in middle relief for the Rainiers and has been a large part of Tacoma's solidified bullpen, helping vault the club into a winning streak.
Three times last week, Kida came in with runners aboard, and all five runners were left stranded – something Kida has done well all year long, stranding 94.4 percent of inherited runners. Versus Nashville at Cheney Stadium, Kida had his best outing of the season, going three innings and allowing two hits while striking out five, including the final two batters of the sixth inning with two on and the game tied.
For the season, Kida is 0-1 with an ERA right at 4.00 in 36 innings pitched. Since the opening homestand, Kida is 0-0 with a 2.47 ERA in 29 innings, with 28 strikeouts and just seven walks.
Cesar Jimenez, LHP – San Antonio
Jimenez has shaken off a somewhat foggy start in Double-A and put himself right back where he was a year ago – in the top echelon of relief prospects in the farm system. The left-hander made three appearances last week, yielding three hits over three innings of work and striking out four. Jimenez lowered his season ERA to 2.92 in 25.1 innings. The 20-year-old has a sharp 20-8 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 16 games.
Renee Cortez, RHP – San Antonio
Cortez has teamed with Emiliano Fruto and Jimenez to form a 1-2-3 setup punch that the Missions can count on to get the games to closer Sean Green. Cortez went four shutout innings last week, allowing just two hits while striking out seven. The 22-year-old walked just two and lowered his ERA to 4.00 in 18 innings of work.
Sean Green, RHP – San Antonio
Green has quietly had a great first six weeks in the Mariners organization, posting a 3.44 ERA in 18 appearances. The 26-year-old went three hitless innings this past week, collecting saves in all three. Green leads the Texas League in saves with 13.
Jeff Harris, RHP – San Antonio
Harris made two appearances last week, one in relief and one start – both resulted in stellar outings. Harris, 30, went nine total innings, surrendering just four hits without walking a batter and striking out nine. The former independent league find by former Mariners scout Charley Kerfield ended his Double-A season with a 5-0 record and a 2.10 ERA. The club sent Harris to Triple-A Tacoma on May 23.
Mumba Rivera, RHP – Wisconsin
Rivera's name should be glued to this weekly feature, and he earned another spot last week with a 7-inning, 5-strikeout performance, earning his sixth win. The 24-year-old is now 6-0 with a 2.52 ERA after allowing just one earned run on six hits in his only appearance of the week.
Craig James, RHP – Wisconsin
James only made two appearances last week but still has not allowed a run all season. James earned his third save of the year in 1.1 perfect innings. For the season, James is 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA in 15.1 innings. The Midwest League is hitting just .143 off the Florida native, who is serving as the Rattlers' closer.
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