Two of the M's top 10 prospects take home the players of the week honors. One, a future all-star at his position, the other is a potential candidate for the M's starting rotation as early as mid-2006.
Jeff Clement, C - Wisconsin
The M's first round pick is earning his stripes as a professional, convincing many critics early on that the 21-year-old was more than worthy of the third pick overall. Clement went 13-for-26 (.500) with three home runs last week. In six games, Clement drove in 10 runs and drew three walks.
The left-handed hitting backstop started four games behind the plate, throwing out one of four base stealers but his performance at the plate took over - Clement logged four multi-hit games, three of them 3-hot efforts.
Clement's bat is shining bright, just the way the Mariners saw it sparkle when the club's fortune teller suggested he might have all-star offensive qualities.
In 19 games with the Timber Rattlers Clement is hitting .324/.420/.529 with four home runs and 13 RBI. He's whiffed 12 times while drawing 11 walks.
Bobby Livingston, LHP - Tacoma
When a young pitcher is promoted one of the aspects of his game that is challenged with the most vigor is his confidence and his ability to respond to adversity. Livingston saw more than adversity two starts ago in Oklahoma City. The left-hander allowed nine earned runs on nine hits in a 12-10 road loss.
The challenge was met last week as the Texas native went seven shutout innings versus Las Vegas, allowing just three hits. Livingston added five solid innings on August 22, allowing just two earned runs on five hits - the 22-year-old picked up wins in both starts to move to 4-2 on the season.
Livingston's consistency is key to his development as a potential big-league starting pitcher. His approach is condusive to the organization's need for strike throwers, but due to a lack of velocity, the 2001 fourth round pick must hit his spots and keep his fastball out of the middle of the strike zone.
Since his promotion to Triple-A, Livingston has produced a 5.59 ERA, but has posted a 3.58 ERA in seven of his eight starts.
Sebastien Boucher was 9-for-22 (.409) with seven runs scored, six walks and two steals last week. Boucher enters the new week with a .335/.435 line as the 66ers leadoff man.
Jeff Heaverlo's season yo-yo'd through the first two months but since May, the right-hander has been nails for the Rainiers. The 27-year-old went six scoreless frames last week, striking out six, walking one and surrendering just four hits. Heaverlo's three appearances netted him his sixth win of the year and his fourth save.
Shin-soo Choo has turned his game back on in Tacoma, collecting 10 hits in 28 at-bats last week for a .357 average. The 23-year-old drew five more walks to bring his season total to 62 and raised his on-base percentage to .377. Choo is hitting .270 with 10 home runs and 17 steals on the year.
Lance Beus, the M's 28th round pick out of BYU in June, whiffed 10 in just 4.2 innings of work last week. The left-hander made two appearances and allowed just one hit and one walk, lowering his ERA to 4.09 on the year. Beus is 1-1 in 33 innings for the AquaSox, striking out 32 and walking just 12 batters.
Rich Dorman was sent to Double-A after putting up a robust 6.28 ERA in 10 games for Triple-A Tacoma. In his first start with the Missions this season, Dorman went six hitless innings, walking six and striking out 11.
Left-hander Troy Cate continues a solid return to the mound this season with 5.1 solid innings last week. Cate, 24, struck out six, walked two and allowed two hits in his three games. The M's sixth round pick in 2002 is 3-3 on the year with a 2.82 ERA and 47 strikeouts in 38.1 innings. The California League is hitting just .201 against the Temecula, California native.
Jose Lopez is tearing the cover off the ball in Triple-A Tacoma, collecting 13 hits in 30 at-bats (.433) last week, smacking five doubles and driving in five runs. Lopez scored seven times and started each game at second base without recording an error. The 21-year-old is hitting .338/.377/.560 with five home runs and 27 RBI in 37 games in the minors.
Jason A Churchill is the Executive Editor at InsidethePark.com and can be reached via e-mail at JasonAChurchill@InsideThePark.com