InsidethePark.com's Players of the Week
Paul Fagan, LHP - Everett
Fagan was the M's fourth round selection in the 2003 First Year Player's Draft and signed for $300,000 out of Bartram Trail High School in Jacksonville, Florida.
Fagan inked his first pro contract in plenty of time to toss 33 quality innings in the Arizona Rookie League, where the the left-hander posted a solid 4.36 ERA and a 24-6 strikeouts-to-walks ratio. In his nine games, seven of which were of the starting variety, Fagan did not allow a home run and posted a 1-2 record.
The 6-foot-5, 195-pounder repeated the rookie leagues last summer, winning four of seven decisions and logging a 5.07 ERA in 12 games. The numbers are somewhat disappointing for a fourth rounder in their second season, but considering he was just 19, the secondary stats suggested enough that the M's were satisfied with his work heading into this season.
Fagan fanned 57 in 60.1 innings, allowed just three long balls in the hitter friendly summer heat in Arizona and came into the 2005 season ready for a new challenge.
Fagan began his season in late June with the short season Everett AquaSox. The southpaw has made 10 starts, but this past week the 20-year-old turned the corner with back-to-back solid outings.
Fagan's second start of the week on August 8 resulted in six strong innings - but didn't end the way he would have liked. He received a no-decision after allowing two earned runs on eight hits, while striking out six Eugene Emeralds. Fagan did not walk a batter but the bullpen and defense allowed four runs after Fagan's departure to blow the lead - and the game.
The Sox lefty tossed eight shutout innings at the Yakima Bears on August 3, scattering five hits and striking out five batters. Again, Fagan did not walk a single batter and after his six walkless frames on Monday night, has not walked a batter in 16 innings, spanning three straight quality starts.
On the season, Fagan is 3-2 with a 3.53 ERA and 31 strikeouts in 51 innings of work. In his past three outings, Fagan has fanned 13 in 19 innings with just two bases on balls and four earned runs allowed. The M's may have a left-handed stating pitcher making his way through the system - and his name is Paul Fagan.
Michael Garciaparra, 2B - Inland Empire
Garciaparra started off the week with nine hits in 11 at-bats and finished 16-for-35 (.457) with 10 runs scored. The 66ers poured on the offense with 34 runs combined in two nights and 71 for the week (10 per game).
The 22-year-old infielder did more than just pound out an organizational-best 16 hits in a week and tally one four-hit game and one five-hit game. He also posted a two-hit night and a three-hit night and added seven extra-base hits, including three home runs.
Furthermore, Garciaparra became one of four Mariner minor leaguers to total 10 RBI for the week, joining teammates Bryan LaHair, Wladimir Balentien and Wisconsin Timber Rattler outfielders Mike Wilson and Chris Colton.
Garciaparra has Chris Snelling disease and has not been able to stay on the field long enough to build on streaks such as this. If the California native can sustain good health and continue to progress at the plate, the M's could have another second base option in a few seasons.
Garciaparra is hitting .292/.393 with five home runs and 24 RBi in 60 games.
The younger brother of All-Star shortstop Nomar, has a chance to make a name for himself, and this past week is as good a place to start as any.
Didn't Miss These Performances:
Chris Colton went 15-for-28 (.536) with four home runs and 10 RBI for Wisconsin this past week. The 23-year-old outfielder struggled this season with Class A Inland Empire but is flourishing in his second stint with the Timber Rattlers. Colton ended the week with four straight three-hit efforts.
Yorman Bazardo went seven shutout frames versus Corpus Christi - his first start in the M's organization. The right-hander allowed just three hits and a walk while fanning five batters and picking up his ninth win of the season.
Erick Monzon went 13-for-24 (.542) with two homers and five RBI in five starts last week. The infielder went 5-for-6 on August 2, collecting both long balls.
Sebastien Boucher continued his fine first season as a pro by going 12-for-27 (.444) to raise his season average with the 66ers to .357. Boucher walked three more times and hit his second home run since being promoted to Inland Empire in July.
Bucky Jacobsen's rehab is going fine as the slugger has eight hits in 14 at-bats and four extra-base hits in five games. Jacobsen has driven in six and could rejoin the M's in September.
Craig James can pitch. Don't believe me? Look closely - (whisper this to yourself) - His ERA is 0.83 in 38 games this season. He's walked eight batters in 43.2 innings - (you can stop whispering now.) James added 3.2 more stellar innings to his line this past week - allowing three hits and two walks while striking out four. And no, he did not allow any runs. Big shocker.
Stephen Kahn has five saves this season. Stephen Kahn has made six appearances this season. Five saves in six appearances. The 21-year-old has five straight shutout appearances, covering 4.2 innings. The right-hander struck out four without allowing a hit in his 3.2 innings last week - collecting three saves.
Jason A Churchill is the Executive Editor at InsidethePark.com and can be reached via e-mail at JasonAChurchill@InsideThePark.com
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