A veteran minor league pitcher and a young up-and-coming infielder take him this week's Mariners Minor League Player of the Week honors. Read on to find out who they are.
InsidethePark.com's Position Player of the Week
Luis Valbuena, 2B - Everett
Vabuena, 19, went 7-for-23 in his first week in the M's system, and smacked two home runs for the AquaSox. The Venezuelan second baseman moved into the leadoff spot late in the week and had a big weekend, collecting four hits, including both of his long balls.
Valbuena was signed in 2002 and played for Aguirre in the Venezuelan Summer Leagues for the past two seasons, earning team MVP honors as well as the league's honor in 2004. Valbuena committed just three errors in 61 games at four different positions last summer. Settling in at second base, the 5-foot-10, 175-pound Valbuena has offensive skills that could carry the left-handed hitter through the system fairly quickly.
Jaime Bubela, OF - San Antonio
Bubela hit in all four games last week, extending his hitting streak to 16 games entering play on June 28. The 27-year-old went 8-for-17 (.470) and stole three bases (20) from his leadoff spot. Bubela is hitting .292/.352 with six homers and 32 RBI. The speedy outfielder ranks third in the Texas League with 20 steals.
InsidethePark.com's Pitcher of the Week
Andrew Lorraine, LHP - Tacoma
Lorraine shutout the Tucson Sidewinders June 23, allowing just five hits. The left-hander did not walk a batter and yielded just one extra-base hit in earning his fifth win of the season.
The 32-year-old veteran was signed this spring to fill out the Rainiers pitching staff that was to be without the services of Clint Nageotte
and Travis Blackley, both out with injuries. Lorraine has held his own all season and his complete game shutout, the first of the season for Tacoma, earns him the pitcher of the week honors.
Eric Carter, RHP - Everett
Carter's first start of the season yielded a 10-strikeout effort versus Boise on June 23. The right-hander went five scoreless innings, allowing just two hits and three walks in the AquaSox 8-1 victory. The 2004 10th round pick by the M's out of Delaware State spent last season in the rookie leagues, compiling a 4.26 ERA in 13 games.
Chia-an Huang went 3.1 shutout frames versus the Rangers, allowing just one hit and striking out five. The Taiwanese teenager used a low-90s heater to get off to a fast start on U.S. soil.truck out six and walked one, earning his fourth win of the year for Double-A San Antonio.
Mike Steele, primarily used as a late-inning reliever, made his first start of the year for the Inland Empire 66ers, and went five shutout innings at Stockton. Steele allowed six hits but did not walk a batter and struck out four, earning his fourth win of the year.
Asdrubal Cabrera continues to shine after being promoted early last week. The 19-year-old went 6-for-18 (.333), smacking two doubles and driving in four.
Adam Jones' first week in Double-A was a success as the 19-year-old went 4-for-14 for San Antonio. Jones hit his first home run as the Missions shortstop on June 27.
Oswaldo Graterol, 20, went 6-for-10 in his debut with the M's rookie league club in Peoria. Graterol, a 6-foot-1, 200-pound outfielder from Venezuela, is leading the club in batting heading into the current week.
Juan Sandoval produced another strong outing last week, going 7.2 solid frames on June 25 versus Springfield. Sandoval earned win No. 5, striking out five and allowing one earned run in the Missions 3-2 win.
Chris Snelling, 23, loaded up another strong week, collecting six hits in 15 at-bats (.400), to raise his average to .364. Snelling is likely just a few weeks away from being called up to Seattle.
Rainiers right-hander Jeff Harris has had a stellar season, split between Double-A San Antonio and Triple-A Tacoma. Harris went five strong innings in one start last week, striking out seven and allowing just one earned run.
Casey Craig had six hits in 14 at-bats (.429) for Everett last week and might give the stubborn M's front office no choice but to let Craig play everyday in Wisconsin, where he truly belongs. The 20-year-old might hit .400 if he stays in the Northwest League for another season.
Andy Hargrove went 6-for-13 (.461) with a home run and an organizational-best eight RBI last week. The Kent State product, son of M's manager Mike Hargrove, is playing first base for the rookie league Mariners.
Jason A Churchill is the Executive Editor at InsidethePark.com and can be reached via e-mail at JasonAChurchill@InsideThePark.com