11 Righties, Eight Lefties make up Mariners Pitching Staff
The official roster of the Pulaski Mariners was released earlier today with many new faces joining the club. In 2012, the Mariners finished fifth in the East division of the Appalachian League with a 29-38 record, but hope to bounce back in 2013 with a solid core of new players taking the field.
Of the 19 pitchers named to the 33-man roster, only one pitcher was a member of the 2012 squad.
The lone pitcher returning from last season is Wander Marte, a lefty from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The 6’2 starter compiled a 1-6 record and had an ERA of 4.94 in 31 innings pitched. Marte will be joined by 18 other pitchers.
Here’s a rundown of the 2013 staff.
Eddie Campbell was taken in the 15th round of the 2013 draft and won’t have to travel far to begin his professional baseball career – his collegiate career was spent right up the road in Blacksburg at Virginia Tech. This past spring, the lefty made sixteen appearances, five of which were starts. He finished his junior year with a 2-5 record and a 5.40 ERA, despite holding opponents to a .240 clip at the plate.
Luiz Gohara comes to Pulaski at the young age of sixteen years old, signing as an undrafted free agent last year. Despite his youth, the 6’3 prospect from Tupa, Brazil, consistently hits the low to mid 90’s with his fastball. He is considered one of the more promising prospects throughout the entire Seattle Mariners farm system. Keep an eye on him.
Will Mathis is a 22-year-old graduate from the University of New Mexico who the Mariners selected in the 25th round of the 2013 MLB Draft. Mathis made 22 appearances from the Lobos bullpen, working 20 1/3 innings in relief. Mathis was a teammate of Lobos third baseman D.J. Peterson who the Mariners selected in the first round at 12th overall.
Leoncio Munoz has been in the Mariners system since the age of 19, having played his first three years of professional ball in the Dominican Summer League. Every year his numbers get better – in 2010 he was 2-1 with a 3.82 ERA, in 2011 he was 3-0 with a 3.67 ERA, and 2012 was his best yet as he went 6-2 with an impressive 2.01 ERA. Those dominant numbers earned Munoz a well-deserved promotion in 2013.
Luis Pina enters his third season of professional baseball, having spent his first year in the Venezuelan Summer League and last year in the Arizona League. Pina was predominantly a starter in his first two years, having started 17 games in his 20 total appearances. He threw just fifteen innings last summer.
Scott Ronnenbergh is a 21-year-old that hails from Amsterdam, Netherlands. Ronnenbergh begins his fourth season in the Mariners farm system after spending the first three years in the Arizona League. He made all of his fourteen appearances out of the pen last season.
Jake Zokan is the eighth lefty on the Pulaski Mariners pitching staff. Zokan was drafted in the 9th round of the 2013 MLB Draft out of College of Charleston in South Carolina. Zokan was the ace for the Cougars and finished his senior campaign with a 4-3 record and a 2.85 ERA in 79 innings pitched. He started fourteen games and had an impressive K/BB ratio of 5.33/1.
Ramire Cleto looks to crack the Mariners starting rotation after an impressive second season in the Dominican Summer League. Cleto finished with a 6-4 record and a 2.33 ERA, despite striking out just 26 batters in 69 2/3 innings of work.
Cameron Copping comes in as one of the power arms of the Mariners staff. Although Copping was undrafted in 2012, his frame (6’6, 220 pounds) is intriguing. Copping made fifteen bullpen appearances last year in the Arizona League, going 0-1 with a 5.94 ERA. However, he did strike out 22 batters in 16 2/3 innings.
Noel De La Cruz looks to be a potential workhorse for the Mariners in 2013. De La Cruz completely dominated in the Dominican Summer League last year, going 8-2 with a 1.92 ERA in 13 starts. He allowed just 68 hits in 79 2/3 innings pitched.
Dylan De Meyer enters his second year in the Mariners organization, having signed as a non-drafted free agent in 2011. He spent his first year in the Arizona League and made twelve appearances, nine of them starts.
Edwin Diaz was selected in the 3rd round of the 2012 MLB Draft out of Puerto Rico. A highly-touted prospect, Diaz struggled during his first professional season in the Arizona League. Diaz made nine appearances (one start) and held an ERA of 5.21. Command issues plagued the 19-year-old – in 19 innings he struck out 20, walked 17, and hit five batters.
Jose Flores begins his fourth season in the Mariners farm system, and at the age of 20, is ready to turn the corner. Flores pitched well in the Venezuelan Summer League his first two professional seasons, but struggled last year in the Arizona League. Flores had a WHIP of 1.07 in 2011, but saw that jump to 1.62 in 2012. Let’s hope he finds his 2011 form.
Emilio Pagan was drafted in the 10th round of the 2013 MLB Draft out of Belmont Abbey College in North Carolina. Pagan was the Crusaders everyday third baseman and was also tabbed as the closer. As a junior, Pagan converted 13 saves in 13 chances and didn’t allow a single run all season. Those dominant numbers earned the Simpsonville, South Carolina superstar second-team All-American honors.
The Seattle Mariners found a gem in the 30th round of the 2013 MLB Draft, selecting right-hander Rafael Pineda from Texas A&M. Pineda finished his junior season on a high note with the Aggies, posting a 6-5 record and a 3.23 ERA in the ever-so-tough Southeastern Conference. The 6’6, 210 pound prospect was equally as impressive his sophomore season as he was 5-1 with a 2.71 ERA in 83 innings of work.
Gabe Saquilon begins his third year in the Mariners organization and first at the advanced-rookie level. The Mariners selected Saquilon in the 25th round of the 2011 MLB Draft. Saquilon spent his first two professional seasons in the Arizona League with mild success, going 3-4 with a 4.48 ERA in 21 appearances (eight starts).
In the 18th round of the 2013 MLB Draft, the Seattle Mariners selected 6’3 right-hander Troy Scott of Riverside Community College in California. Scott was used strictly as a reliever this past season and put up some gaudy numbers, going 1-0 with a 1.93 ERA in 14 innings. It’ll be interesting to see if those JUCO numbers translate to the professional level.
Daniel Thieben, a 6’4 righty from Buchholz in der Nordheid, Germany, spent his first professional season in the Arizona League. Thieben managed a 3-1 record paired with a 4.02 ERA in 15 appearances (one start). Opponents hit .308 against the German product, and command issues also seemed to be Thieben’s weakness. In 31 1/3 innings, he struck out 18 but walked a whopping 21 batters. Those numbers will have to improve as Thieben makes the jump to the Appalachian League.
The season is set to get underway Thursday against the Burlington Royals, the defending Appalachian League East champions. Probable starters can be seen below.
Thursday: Edwin Diaz
Friday: Luiz Gohara
Saturday: Noel De La Cruz