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Hot Stone League

Larry Stone gives his take on a wide array of baseball issues and weighs in about the Mariners, too.

April 30, 2010 at 10:50 AM

Mariners minor-league report, Friday, April 30: Michael Saunders struggling big-time

Here’s the latest.

The Rainiers were back in action and won a 14-inning victory over Reno on Tommy Everidge’s two-run walkoff homer. Jack Hannahan, trying to work his way back to Seattle, sent the game into extra innings with a run-scoring single in the ninth. Josh Wilson continues to swing a torrid bat. He has hit safely in 13 of his last 14 games, with a .386 average during the streak (22 for 57) to raise his overall average to .338.

On the opposite extreme is Michael Saunders, who was hung with an 0-for-7 last night and dropped to .138 for the season. In 58 at-bats, Saunders’ eight hits are all singles. Garrett Olson (speaking of someone trying to work his way back to Seattle) gets the start tonight.

We’ve focused on slugging outfielder Carlos Peguero (who had two more hits yesterday for West Tennesee and is hitting .385). Another power hitting prospect to keep an eye on is Rich Poythress, who was the Mariners’ second-round selection (No. 51 overall) in last year’s draft. Poythress, a first baseman, had a great collegiate career at the University of Georgia, and he’s off to a great start in his first full minor-league season at High Desert. The 6-foot-4, 235-pound Poythress, a right-handed hitter, leads the California League with 20 runs batted in to go with a .313 average and five homers (keep in mind that this is a hitters’ league, and numbers tend to be inflated).

By the way, Mike Wilson, who has been in the Mariners’ system since he was a second-round pick in 2001, is playing for West Tennessee this year and also has 20 RBI, to go with a 1.100 OPS. Wilson is now 26, and you have to wonder if he’s the classic “4A” player. But he keeps hanging in there, and if he keeps hitting like this, he’ll get himself noticed.

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