Outfielder T.J. Bohn (Photo/Max Waugh)
In 2002, 909 players were drafted ahead of this week's hitter of the week. The mound honors go to a 2004 draftee that toed the rubber and went up against Jered Weaver, pitch for pitch. This week, the POTW is FREE for all readers!
InsidethePark.com’s Position Player of the Week
T.J. Bohn, OF – San Antonio
Bohn’s hot streak began three weeks ago and finally landed him on top of the ballot for player of the week. The 25-year-old went 8-for-17 (.471), seemingly for the umpteenth week in a row, but the difference of late has been the power stroke of the M’s 2002 30th round pick. Bohn hit three home runs for the week and drove in five, including his 12th home run of the year in Monday night’s 7-4 victory over Corpus Christi.
Bohn, a 6-foot-5, 205-pound right-handed hitter, is hitting .311 on the season, with 53 RBI and 26 stolen bases. The recent improvement in the power department have Bohn on track to see Triple-A in 2006.
Jaime Bubela, OF – San Antonio
Bubela continues to thrive in the leadoff spot for the Missions, going 11-for-23 (.478) with six runs scored and three steals last week. The 27-year-old added his eighth home run of the year and drove in three. Bubela is hitting .301 on the season as the center fielder in San Antonio.
Yuniesky Betancourt, SS - Tacoma
Betancourt is cruising right a long – and showing improvement in the areas he has shown to be among his weakest. When the 23-year-old was promoted to Triple-A Tacoma on June 2, he had drawn a total of nine bases on balls in 52 games. Through his first 42 games with the Rainiers, the Cuban drew just three walks. In his past five games, Betancourt has drawn three walks, two were key plate appearances late in close games. The glove man went 8-for-19 (.421) last week with a double, two triples, four RBI and, of course, his usual top drawer defense. Betancourt is hitting .299 in Tacoma.
InsidethePark.com’s Pitcher of the Week
Chad Fillinger, RHP – Inland Empire
Fillinger was the Mariners 16th round pick in the ’04 draft and took on a heavyweight last Thursday night. Fillinger, a Santa Clara product, went toe-to-toe with Angels first round pick Jered Weaver – and more than held his own. The 22-year-old right-hander went seven shutout innings allowing just two hits. Fillinger did not allow a hit until the fifth inning, did not walk a batter and struck out nine Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, including uber-prospect Brandon Wood twice in three at-bats. Fillinger received a no-decision for his efforts, mostly due to Weaver’s seven-inning, one-hit outing and a tough 1-0 loss.
Fillinger’s third start with the 66ers offset his previous two disasters and “lowered” his ERA to 8.49.
Jason Mackintosh, LHP – Inland Empire
Mackintosh followed up Fillinger’s gem with a strong start of his own the very next night. The southpaw allowed an earned run on just three hits versus the Quakes. Mackintosh walked three and fanned eight in the 66ers 8-1 win. The 24-year-old is 6-8 on the season, sporting a decent 4.01 ERA in 130.1 innings of work.
Bobby Livingston, LHP – Tacoma
B-Liv made his second start in Triple-A and returned to form in a strong five-inning outing. Livingston allowed just three hits, one a solo home run in the first inning, walked just one and struck out six Tucson Sidewinders to grab his first victory in Tacoma. The win was Livingston’s ninth of the year.
Brent Johnson continued his hot hitting in Wisconsin, going 6-for-15 (.400) with four runs scored. Johnson is hitting .274 in 71 games for the Timber Rattlers.
Left-hander Ryan Feierabend tossed out his fourth straight strong start on Monday, scattering five hits over six innings and allowing just one earned run. The 19-year-old is 5-5 with a 3.87 ERA with 86 strikeouts in 109 innings.
The M’s 47th round draft pick last month is making a name for himself in the Arizona Rookie League. Andy Hargrove is hitting .354 after a 7-for-15 week. The 22-year-old first baseman has two home runs and 19 RBI on the season, hitting cleanup for the Peoria Mariners.
Timber Rattlers left-hander Eric O’Flaherty made one appearance last week and made the most of the relief outing. The Yakima native fanned five of the six batters he faced in picking up his third win of the season. Oddly enough, O’Flaherty was credited with a blown save when shortstop Matt Tuiasosopo couldn’t handle a routine ground ball in the top of the ninth inning.
The Real T.O. is in a groove in the Texas League after struggling to find his rhythm for much of the year. Oldham, 23, went seven more strong frames last week, allowing two earned runs on eight hits. The left-hander struck out six, earning his ninth win of the season.
Emiliano Fruto has settled into his new role as Missions closer, tallying his 10th and 11th save of the year in 3.2 scoreless innings last week. The 21-year-old allowed just one hit and a walk and struck out five. Fruto is 2-3 with a sterling 2.66 ERA in 38 games in the Texas League. In 64.1 innings, the right-hander has allowed just 55 hits and sports a 62-20 strikeouts-to-walks ratio.
Abraham Nunez is a bit of un unsung hero in Tacoma, where big name prospects steal the thunder on a daily basis. Nunez went 7-for-20 last week and supplied some power, smacking two doubles and a homer, his 12th of the season, and driving in four.
Ever wonder how the guy the M’s got in return for Dave Hansen last summer is doing? Right-hander Jon Huber is doing just fine. The 24-year-old rolled out seven string inning this past week, allowing two earned runs on eight hits. Huber walked two and struck out six. The Florida native is 6-5 with a 4.95 ERA in 18 starts for Double-A San Antonio, but has allowed just 11 earned runs in his past five starts.
2004 draftee Mark Lowe returned from the disabled list and looks to be back to the form the right-hander displayed in the first month of the season. The Texas-Arlington product went six strong innings last week in his first full outing since the injury. Lowe allowed five hits and an earned run and is now 6-3 with a 4.66 ERA in 15 starts.
Jason A Churchill is the Executive Editor at InsidethePark.com and can be reached via e-mail at JasonAChurchill@InsideThePark.com