Today we will focus on the Northwest League roster, who will go up against the Pioneer League tonight. The classic will be played at Lindquist Field, home of the LA Dodgers affiliate Odgen Raptors and will be the 2nd All-Star Game between the two Leagues. Marc and I absolutely love the lower minors, as they are the harbinger of the UTR’s that could be impact sleepers of the future. The Northwest roster is also loaded with true UTR’s, but unlike the Pioneer, had three selections recently receiving promotions to LoA. Two pitchers announced were drafted above the 5th round (Vancouver’s Patrick Murphy (3rd), Boise’s Javier Medina (3rd). The Hillsboro Hops garnered the most pitchers on the roster with three, followed by two from Everett. The last All-Star Game to be played this season will be the NY-Penn League on August 16th. Once that roster has been announced, I will provide a breakdown and that will conclude my in-season postings.
The UTR tracking period will come to a close on August 14th and work then begins on my post-season reviews with the UTR Organizational All-Stars.
Jake Winston (Hillsboro – Arizona) 22 years old
In 17 appearances, in which this 17th round pick (2016) out of Southern Miss has pitched 20 innings, he has only allowed 4 earned runs (1.80 ERA) and picking up a win and 3 saves. He hasn’t allowed a run over his last 13 innings while striking out 15 and posting a groundball rate of 67 %.Tyler Mark (Hillsboro – Arizona) 21 years old
With Tri-City’s Emmanuel Ramirez getting a promotion, this opened the door for Tyler Mark to be the marquee UTR on the Northwest roster. Tied for second along with Ramirez and 5 other NW pitchers, Mark has made the most starts with nine and leads the league in innings pitched (51.2) and K’s (52). A 6th round selection in 2015 started the season with LoA Kane County where he made 7 appearances (4 starts) posting a 0-5 record with a 8.03 ERA. He was sent to Hillsboro just as their season got underway in mid-June, where he spent the bulk of his debut season.Tommy Eveld (Hillsboro – Arizona) 22 years old
If you read my breakdown on the Pioneer League All-Stars about how relief pitchers can fall through the UTR crack during the season, then you’ll understand when I say the same about Eveld. The 6’5″ 195 lbs righthander (9th Rd-2016) has only made two scoring entries in my spreadsheets, but is having a solid year so far. In 13 appearances, Eveld is 1-1, 2.20 ERA, 16.1 IP, 13 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 17 K with 2 saves. He will definitely be in a battle to reach one of the top relief spots as a UTR Organizational All-Star, as the Diamondbacks have several solid arms across the minor league bullpens.Jesus Castillo (Eugene – Chicago Cubs) 20 years old
Well….Eugene had three pitchers selected to play, but as of this writing, it looks none will be representing Eugene.. Just as I was typing this write-up, Jesus Castillo was dealt to the Los Angeles Angels. So the question will be….will there be a Great Falls jersey awaiting, as he will be moving over the Pioneer League. Others from Eugene were Jose Paulino and Jared Cheek who were both promoted to LoA South Bend.Ljay Newsome (Everett – Seattle) 19 years old
Newsome got off to a nice start on the season and then came apart at the end of June and through 2 starts into July. He got turned around in a start on July 16th, but only lasted one inning on his next. The 26th round pick in 2015 didn’t get shelled during that start, in-getting 3 quick outs, but did in his next appearance this past Friday in giving up 6 hits over 3 relief innings, so something is amiss. All in all, this early success earned him the Mariner’s top UTR Rookie League pitcher in June. He’s currently 4-1 with 3.82 ERA in 33 innings with 6 walks and 32 strikeouts.Brandon Miller (Everett – Seattle) 21 years old
Miller gets the All-Star nod even though the AquaSox seem to be stretching out the 6′ 4″ 210 lbs 6th round pick in 2016. Miller has made 9 appearances with 8 starts, but only one start went through the 5th inning. In short bursts he’s posted a 1-2 record with an 3.48 ERA in 33.2 innings.Diomar Lopez (Tri-City – San Diego) 22 years old
The pitcher appearing at the top of most stat categories has been Tri-City’s Emmanuel Ramirez who was promoted to LoA Fort Wayne on July 27th, so Lopez will be lone arm for the Dust Devils. From the bullpen, the 2013 non-drafted free agent is among the leaders in the Northwest League with four wins. The Dust Devil staff lead the NW League in ERA and WHIP. Lopez has been solid during his 3 seasons as a pro, carrying a 2.21 ERA and 0.951 WHIP over 61 innings in 33 appearances.Julian Fernandez (Boise – Colorado) 20 years old
What I didn’t cover during my write-up in the Pioneer League piece was the oddity of the Rockies having affiliates going against each other in the All-Star Game. The Rockies other affiliate is the Pioneer League Grand Rapid Rockies and has three hitters on the roster. Fernandez is an International free-agent signee from all-the-way back in 2012 and leads the Northwest League with eight saves. Over his last 11 appearances, the righthander has only allowed 1 earn run over 13.1 innings and a 0.68 ERA. All this given that he’s allowed 7 hits and 10 walks over that time, while striking out eleven.Tyler Ferguson (Spokane – Texas) 22 years old
Ferguson is a 6th pick (2015) out of perennial Vanderbilt University. The Spokane Indians lead the League in strikeouts, thanks in part to the righthander. Ferguson has 44 K’s over 29.1 innings in 12 appearances and a 1.84 ERA.