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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.

July 16, 2010 at 12:38 PM

Friday’s Mariner minor-league report

Here’s today’s report, which includes word of Dustin Ackley hitting a home run for Tacoma last night against Reno on the second pitch he saw — and his first swing — as a Triple-A player. He also grounded out three times and struck out. Greg Halman and Matt Mangini are both in the midst of impressive stretches in Tacoma. It’s especially encouraging for the Mariners to see Halman’s continued improvement, because he has unlimited physical tools.

Josh Lueke, the fireballing reliever obtained in the Cliff Lee trade, made his debut last night at Class AA West Tennessee, and it was an impressive one. He gave up one hit in 1 1/3 scoreless innings, and three of the four outs were via strikeout.

Third baseman Kyle Seager, a third-round pick in 2009 and Ackley’s North Carolina teammate, has run his hitting streak to 22 games at Class A High Desert. He’s batting .421 (40-for-95) during the streak and has his avearge up to .331.

I’ll always caution to take numbers from the California League with a grain of salt, because it’s a hitters paradise — particularly High Desert. But Johermyn Chavez, an outfielder acquired with Brandon League from Toronto in the Brandon Morrow trade, is raking for the Mavericks. He has 21 homers and 58 RBI with a .557 slugging percentage (but 92 strikeouts in 88 games). Baseball America today included Chavez at No. 12 on their “Prospect Hot Sheet.”

And here’s a player to watch: Ramon Morla, a 20-year-old third baseman from the Dominican Republic. Morla, listed as 6-foot-1, 205 pounds, is tearing up the rookie Appalachian League with the Pulaski Mariners. In 23 games, he has eight doubles, nine homers, 21 RBIs and a .695 slugging percentage to go with a .305 batting average.

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