KLAY FARM REPORT: VOGELBACH AND MILLS WIN JULY AWARDS

 Bob Dutton

Bob Dutton

   TACOMA, WA. — Despite a couple of brief promotions, Daniel Vogelbach appears blocked in the Mariners’ system by a big-league roster logjam at first base and designated hitter.

   That hasn’t stopped him from putting together a strong season at Triple-A Tacoma that just might catch the eye of scouts from rival organizations.

   Vogelbach, 25, is the Mariners’ minor-league player of the month for the second time in three months after battling .393 in July with a .507 on-base percentage and a .607 slugging percentage for the Rainiers.

   Hi-A Modesto closer Wyatt Mills is the organization’s minor-league pitcher of the month after working nine scoreless innings in nine games with converting all five of his save opportunities.

   KLAY (1180 AM) picks a player and pitcher of the month throughout the season for each of the Mariners’ affiliates and an overall player and pitcher of the month for the entire farm system.

   Vogelbach is batting .304 overall this season at Tacoma with 18 homers and 47 RBIs in 67 games, but it’s hard to see where he fits in the Mariners’ future.

   First baseman Ryon Healy, acquired last November from Oakland in a trade, is under club control through 2022.

   Perhaps more telling, club officials say second baseman Robinson Cano, under contract through 2023, is likely to begin a career transition to first base when he returns in mid-August from an 80-game suspension for a drug-policy violation.

   Designated hitter Nelson Cruz is a pending free agent, but even if the Mariners don’t re-sign him — whether by their choice or his — most of those at-bats would seem likely to go to either Healy or Cano in order to keep both in the lineup.

   All of this puts Vogelbach in a holding pattern for now. His strong season at Tacoma might position him for another big-league shot, but that opportunity seems less and less likely to be with the Mariners.

   The individual affiliate citations:

   ***Triple-A Tacoma: Alongside Vogelbach, right-handed reliever Ryan Garton is the Rainiers’ pitcher of the month after compiling an 0.73 ERA over 12 1/3 innings in 10 appearances. He struck out 15 and walked three.

   ***Double-A Arkansas: First baseman Joey Curletta is the Travelers’ player of the month for the second time after hitting eight timers while posting a .292/.366/.604 slash. Right-hander Chase De Jong, traded July 30 to Minnesota in the deal that netted lefty reliever Zach Duke, had a 2.97 ERA in six starts.

   ***Hi-A Modesto: Infielder Kevin Santa, a 17th-round pick in 2017, batted .326 in 24 games and joined Mills as the Nuts’ award winners.

   ***Lo-A Clinton: Outfielder Keegan McGovern, a ninth-round pick in this year’s draft, posted a .283/.377/.489 slash in 25 games with four homers and 16 RBIs. Right-handed reliever Kyle Wilcox, a fourth-year pro, had a 1.93 ERA in eight games with 23 strikeouts in 14 innings.

   ***Short-A Everett: Infielder Nick Rodriguez, a 22nd-round pick this year, had a .349/.382/.518 slash in 25 games. Right-hander Carlos Hernandez was the rotation’s most reliable arm in going 2-2 with a 3.94 ERA in six starts.

   ***Rookie Peoria: Outfielder Jepherson Garcia, a 19-year-old Dominican in his first stateside season, had a .310/.375/.552 slash in 16 games with two doubles, three triples and two homers. Right-handed reliever Erik Espinal, another Dominican in his first stateside season, had a 1.17 ERA in six games.

   ***Dominican Summer League: Catcher Daniel Santos, 19, is a repeat winner after posting a .323/.348/.484 slash in 16 games. Left-hander Brayan Perez, a 17-year-old in his first pro season, had a 1.89 ERA over 19 innings with 22 strikeouts and one walk.

 

KLAY PLAYER OF THE MONTH

   July

     Overall: 1B Daniel Vogelbach

     Tacoma: 1B Daniel Vogelbach

     Arkansas: 1B Joey Curletta

     Modesto: INF Kevin Santa

     Clinton: OF Keegan McGovern

     Everett: INF Nick Rodriguez

     Peoria: OF Jepherson Garcia

     Dominican: C Daniel Santos

   June

     Overall: Arkansas OF Braden Bishop

     Tacoma: INF Gordon Beckham

     Arkansas: OF Braden Bishop

     Modesto: 1B Evan White

     Clinton: 1B Ryan Costello

     Everett: OF Josh Stowers

     Peoria: INF Cal Hernandez

     Dominican: C Daniel Santos

   May

     Overall: Tacoma 1B/DH Daniel Vogelbach

     Tacoma: 1B/DH Daniel Vogelbach

     Arkansas: 2B/SS Chris Mariscal

     Modesto: 2B/SS Donnie Walton

     Clinton: OF Jack Larson

   April

     Overall: Modesto SS Bryson Brigman

     Tacoma: OF Cameron Perkins

     Arkansas: 1B Joey Curletta

     Modesto: SS Bryson Brigman

     Clinton: OF Jack Larson

 

KLAY PITCHER OF THE MONTH

   July

     Overall: RHP Wyatt Mills

     Tacoma: RHP Ryan Garton

     Arkansas: RHP Chase De Jong

     Modesto: RHP Wyatt Mills

     Clinton: RHP Kyle Wilcox

     Everett: RHP Carlos Hernandez

     Peoria: RHP Erik Espinal

     Dominican: LHP Brayan Perez

   June

     Overall: Tacoma RHP Casey Lawrence

     Tacoma: RHP Casey Lawrence

     Arkansas: RHP Johendi Jiminian

     Modesto: RHP Seth Elledge

     Clinton: LHP Raymond Kerr

     Everett: RHP Joey Gerber

     Peoria: LHP Jorge Benitez

     Dominican: Juan Mercedes

   May

     Overall: Modesto RHP Darren McCaughan

     Tacoma: LHP Ariel Miranda

     Arkansas: RHP Matt Festa

     Modesto: RHP Darren McCaughan

     Clinton: RHP Scott Boches

   April

     Overall: Clinton RHP Tommy Romero

     Tacoma: RHP Eric Goeddel

     Arkansas: RHP Andrew Moore

     Modesto: RHP Wyatt Mills

     Clinton: RHP Tommy Romero