Mariners Notebook: 3 things from the local minor league teams

Jul 2, 2024, 2:02 PM

The Seattle Mariners made a trade that went under the radar in May, acquiring 27-year-old minor leaguer Jake Slaughter from the Chicago Cubs for relief pitcher Tyson Miller.

Passan: With prospect wealth, Mariners should be bold

Slaughter came to the Mariners’ system with strong power numbers, owning an .879 OPS with five homers in 32 games for Triple-A Iowa. And on Monday night, fans of the Tacoma Rainiers got the chance to see a particularly impressive example of his power at the plate.

If you’ve ever been to Cheney Stadium, home of the Mariners’ Triple-A affiliate, you know about the very tall wall in center field. And that means you know how hard it is for a hitter to homer over that wall.

Well, add Slaughter to the very short list of players who have done it.

That’s a 452-foot home run, an absolutely mammoth blast from Slaughter that needed not just distance to get over the wall (which is 425 feet away from home plate) but also towering height to clear it.

Slaughter’s blast was just one of three on the night in the Rainiers’ 7-3 win over the Salt Lake Bees, with the other two coming from some familiar names for Mariners fans: Tyler Locklear and Jonatan Clase, a pair of rookies who have made their MLB debuts with Seattle this season.

After going 1 for 3 with a walk on Monday, Slaughter has a .278/.363/.413 slash line for a .776 OPS with seven homers, 13 doubles, 36 RBIs and 36 runs scored over 68 Triple-A games combined between Iowa and Tacoma this season. The LSU product was an 18th-round MLB Draft pick by Chicago in 2018.

The Rainiers are in Tacoma for two more games against the Bees on Tuesday (7:05 p.m.) and Wednesday (6:05 p.m.), then will head out on the road for the next two weeks.

Santos set for M’s system debut

Speaking of those Rainiers home games, Tuesday night will be one worth keeping tabs on.

Mariners relief pitcher Gregory Santos was scheduled to join Tacoma for a rehab assignment on Tuesday, where he will throw a pitch as a member of the Mariners organization for the first time in a competitive game.

More: Mariners reliever Santos to begin rehab assignment

Seattle acquired Santos in an offseason trade from the Chicago White Sox, but the high-leverage option has been sidelined since the start of spring training due to a lat injury. He pitched against some Mariners hitters in live batting practice sessions last week, and the reviews were strong.

“He would be a weapon in the bullpen for a team like us, and I’m just excited for him to get back,” said Mariners second baseman Ryan Bliss, who faced Santos in both live BPs. “… (Santos’ sinker) is 98 mph with splitter movement. You really just don’t see that. I mean, the ball drops out of nowhere, you don’t really see it. It’s just something unique and it’s a really good pitch.”

With Santos starting his rehab assignment Tuesday, it remains to be seen if he could debut with the Mariners before or after the MLB All-Star break, which starts in less than two weeks.

Meanwhile in Everett

Finally, let’s take a trip up I-5 to look at the strong start Lazaro Montes is having with the High-A Everett AquaSox.

Called up from Single-A Modesto last week, the 19-year-old outfielder is 9 for 25 (.360) through his first six games for Everett. Montes has two doubles, a homer, and three walks to eight strikeouts so far at High-A, and has reached base safely in each of his six contests.

Montes is the Mariners’ No. 4 prospect and the No. 53 overall prospect in baseball as ranked by, and he checks in at No. 49 overall per Baseball America.

The AquaSox will wrap up a series at Vancouver with a game each Tuesday and Wednesday, then will be back at Funko Field in Everett for three 7:05 p.m. games against the same Canadians on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

More on the Seattle Mariners

Two Mariners prospects named to All-Star Futures Game
Mariners Update: AL West lead shrinks ahead of tough series
Mariners PxP Goldsmith: ‘How do you get Julio free again?’
Mariners Breakdown: Storylines after fourth straight series loss
MLB insider Jon Morosi reports on Seattle Mariners’ trade pursuits

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