M's Minor League Players of the Week

The Everett AquaSox have a power-packed lineup led by second baseman Luis Valbuena, first baseman Jeff Flaig and outfielder Casey Craig. But don't forget about this week's player of the week. The infielder is key to the Sox offense.


Reed Eastley, 1B - Everett

Eastley is a perfect example of an organization drafting well, even in the middle rounds. The Niagara product was a 13th rounder this past June but has performed like a first-round talent, leading the Sox into a heated pennant race during the final few weeks of the season.

Eastley went 10-for-31 (.323) with a home run and nine RBI thru games of August 29. The former shortstop gets most of his playing time at first base but his left-handed bat is what the Sox value the most. Eastley's lone long ball during the past week was a grand slam that propelled Everett to victory and led off a fine week for the Frogs.

For the season, Eastley is hitting .326 with a .448 on-base percentage and 28 RBI. The 22-year-old has four home runs and a 33-to-34 strikeouts-to-walks ratio to polish off a solid line.

Scott Atchison, RHR - Tacoma

Atchison has been with the Rainiers since July 28 and has been sensational from the get-go. The 29-year-old reliever has been a horse for the Tacoma 'pen, allowing just three runs on 10 hits over 12 innings of work.

The right-hander made three appearances over the past seven days, allowing just one baserunner - a single - and striking out six. Atchison is primed and ready for big-league work but after spending much of the season on the disabled list with a flexor bundle injury. The former 49th round draft pick is likely to remain in Tacoma through the postseason.

Atchison has made nine appearances for Tacoma, striking out 16 and walking just four batters in a dozen innings. The result is a shiny 2.25 ERA and the attention of the M's front office.

Notables:
  • Inland Empire's Bryan LaHair went 12-for-28 with nine RBI last week, bringing his season total to 113 - now fourth best in all of pro baseball behind Boston Red Sox sluggers Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz, and Rancho Cucamonga (LAA) shortstop Brandon Wood. LaHair is also hitting .310 on the year.
  • Everett's Michael Saunders went 9-23 (.391) with three doubles, a triple and four RBI. The left-handed hitter drew four walks and has made solid progress in his rookie season.
  • Shin-soo Choo went 9-for-28 (.321) with six runs scored for Tacoma last week. The left fielder hit his 11th home run and drew three walks to bring his season total to 68.
  • Rich Dorman's demotion has helped two teams and Dorman himself. He's yet to allow a run in two starts in Double-A, the Missions have another reliable starting pitcher and the Rainiers are void of a struggling arm. Dorman has allowed just three hits with 18 strikeouts in his 13 innings of work with San Antonio.
  • Left-hander Julio Santiago went eight scoreless innings on August 25 versus Fort Wayne, allowing six hits while striking out eight.
  • Sebastien Boucher had 11 hits in 27 at-bats for a .407 average as the center fielder continues his impressive first year in pro baseball. The 23-year-old added five RBI, three doubles and four bases on balls.
  • AquaSox reliever Edgar Guaramato pitched in four games over the past seven days and was nearly perfect. The right-hander walked two and struck out seven over eight innings without allowing a hit.
  • Rainiers lefty Damian Moss gave Tacoma skipper Dan Rohn exactly what he needed in game two of a double-header in Tucson - a complete-game shutout. Moss went all seven, striking out two, allowing eight hits and not issuing a walk for the first time in 23 starts this season.
  • Last week's player of the week Jeff Clement made a strong effort to retain his title, coming up a bit short but still putting together a fine week of work. The 21-year-old went 9-20 (.450) with his fifth home run of the year. Clement drove in four and drew two more walks for the Timber Rattlers.
  • Wladimir Balentien backed up LaHair's solid week by going 11-for-31 (.355) with four doubles and six RBI. Balentien leads the M's minors in home runs with 23 - one ahead of LaHair.


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