Mariners Prospect Watch: Three Up, Three Down

SeattleClubhouse with our weekly look at the statistical good and bad of the past seven days throughout the Seattle Mariners minor league system.

Each Monday during the minor league season, I will give our readers a rundown of the best and worst from the minor league week that was within the Seattle Mariners system. The focus will be to concentrate only on true prospects, but if any player has an exceptionally noteworthy good (or bad) week, he could appear here as well. This isn't necessarily a "stock going up" or "stock going down" on the player, just simply a recap of their week.

The goal is to not only keep you up to date on the goings on, but to try and give you a better look of what talent is in the system by spreading the coverage around.

Not the best of weeks overall throughout the system (*cough* TACOMA *cough*), but enough on each side of the ledger to fill out our list. Here is Three Up, Three Down.

THREE UP

Danny Hultzen - Jackson Generals: 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 0.38 WHIP, .083 oAVG, 8 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 SO
Hultzen might just be having the best pitching season in all of minor league baseball having allowed just five earned runs in his last 11 starts after allowing five in his very first minor league start. This past week Danny had his 3rd straight shutout performance, needing just 94 pitches to go eight shutout frames against the Jacksonville Suns.

No pitcher in the minors is limiting opposing batters more (.145 oAVG), and with just eight walks in his past five starts, Hultzen has cleaned up his only "issue". Triple-A is waiting for him...and he will be there very soon.

Denny Almonte - Jackson Generals: .417/.481/.625 (10-24), 2 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 3 BB, 5 SO, 2 SB
Almonte continues to impress with his newly enhanced plate discipline and patience, and so far in June his power -- which was almost completely non-existent in May -- has resurfaced as he has just one fewer extra base hit through 11 games as he did in 27 last month.

Still playing well in center field and chipping in with 13 stolen bases on the year as well, Almonte continues to climb up the organizational depth chart with his improved play in 2012.

Julio Morban - High Desert Mavericks: .500/.563/.786 (7-14), 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 0 SO
Morban only got into four games this past week, but he continues to swing a white-hot bat for the Mavericks and is hitting .343/.390/.639 with an organizational best 12 home runs, which just happens to be four more than his previous career high.

Health is the biggest thing going for Morban, even though he did have one stint on the 7-day DL earlier this season. He is staying relatively bang and bruise free thus far and getting a chance to show what his talent -- with the added muscle from this past offseason -- can produce on the diamond.

THREE DOWN

Vinnie Catricala - Tacoma Rainiers: .000/.000/.000 (0-19) 1 RBI, 6 SO
Catricala -- the easy choice as minor league hitter of the year for Seattle last season -- still hasn't put a consistent streak of productive games together yet in Triple-A Tacoma and is hitting just .215/.255/.309 through more than one-third of the season. This past week was a clean 0-fer as Vinnie went hitless in 19 at bats, striking out six times.

His strikeout:walk ratio is getting up around 4:1 now, and despite tallying 35 RBI for the Rainiers, he still has just three home runs on the year. His error total also climbed into double digits this past week and his GIDP number is now at 11. Rough, rough start for Catricala in the minors' highest level.

Carlos Triunfel - Tacoma Rainiers: .000/.105/.000 (0-17), 1 RBI, 2 BB, 7 SO
Triunfel is really struggling in Tacoma right now and is actually 0-for-June -- hitless in 27 at bats since the calendar turned. That streak of ineptitude has dropped his season numbers all the way down to .232/.294/.373, and the seven strikeouts from this past week are part of a bad trend as well as Carlos is now up to 47 punch outs.

The 20 extra base hits and the cutting down of the mental/throwing errors from his shortstop position are good signs, but time may be running out for Triunfel to get himself a big league shot with Nick Franklin continuing to push from a promotion from Double-A Jackson.

Carlos Peguero - Tacoma Rainiers: .111/.200/.111 (2-18), 2 BB, 9 SO
Speaking of strikeouts, Carlos Peguero. After pounding out nine homers in 19 games, Peguero has now gone into a tailspin at the plate and is hitting just .129/.206/.323 in June for the Rainiers. And oh those strikeouts. Nine in the past week, 15 in his last 34 plate appearances.

Peguero isn't likely to be knocking on the door to Seattle any time soon in 2012, but that doesn't mean that his performance isn't important in Triple-A this season. The progress he showed early needs to come back and Carlos needs to make the big club make a call on him, one way or the other.

Looking for more Mariners prospect player interviews, news and articles? "Like" SeattleClubhouse on Facebook and follow SeattleClubhouse's Rick Randall on Twitter at @randallball.

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