Two position players the Seattle Mariners drafted out of Stanford University are starting to heat up at the plate.
Short-A Everett infielder Drew Jackson has been on a tear, carrying a 14-game hitting streak into Saturday’s game. A fifth round draft pick in July, Jackson is hitting .383 over his first 36 professional games, while going 31 for 33 on stolen base attempts.
Fellow Stanford product Austin Wilson is beginning to hit after a dismal first half at Advanced-A Bakersfield.
Considered one of the Mariners’ better hitting prospects entering the season, Wilson batted just .191 before the midseason break despite playing in the hitter-friendly California League.
Things have turned around recently for the outfielder, who was a second round draft pick in 2013. Wilson has batted .305 since the break, with four multiple-hit games in the past week.
For the season, Wilson is hitting .228 with seven home runs, 32 runs batted in, and a .332 on-base percentage.
HOMER CHAMP HESSMAN HINTS AT RETIREMENT
Toledo’s Mike Hessman broke the minor league career home run record on Monday, and recent comments suggest he might be hanging up his spikes after the season.
Hessman, 37, hit his 433rd career minor league home run, breaking a tie with previous recordholder Buzz Arlett, who hit 432 from 1918 to 1937.
When asked by Baseball America if he would come back next year, Hessman suggested he might change roles.
“I would love to stay in the game, either as a coach or a manager,” Hessman told the magazine. “But it’s something I won’t decide until after the season.”
In addition to 433 minor league homers, Hessman has hit 14 in the major leagues and six in Japan.
CROSSOVER ALL-STAR GAME A SUCCESS
The first Northwest League vs. Pioneer League All-Star Game was held Tuesday night, and it was a big success at the gate.
Avista Stadium in Spokane hosted the game, which the Northwest League won, 7-6, in 10 innings. A crowd of 7,083 saw Mariners pitching prospect Luiz Gohara (of Everett) work 2 1/3 scoreless innings from the bullpen to earn the win.
Cross-league all-star games are somewhat rare in the minors. The Triple-A All-Star Game pits the International League against the Pacific Coast League, and the Class A California League All-Stars have played the Carolina League annually since 1996.
The two short-season leagues announced they will repeat the format next season, with the Pioneer League hosting the game in Ogden, Utah.
Mike Curto is the radio broadcaster for the Tacoma Rainiers.