Wednesday, May 8, 2013

May 8- Everett AquaSox

Of all the Minor League caps I own this is one that had always been on my radar until I finally scooped it up in December of 2010. The name “Sox” have been around baseball almost as long as the game itself, and I always find it to be rather nostalgic when a team can cleverly incorporate into their team name. The Everett Aqua Sox is definitely one of the teams.

I didn’t really notice it at the time but the current logo for the Aqua Sox has a slight difference in comparison to the original logo introduce in 1995 when the team changed it’s affiliation from the San Francisco Giants to the Seattle Mariners.

The symbol on the cap of the frog for the original logo merely featured an “E” while this cap features the sideways Mariners trident which is the centerpiece of their alternate/road cap that I wrote about on January 20th I don’t think I really need to point out how awesome that cap is as well.

Like the cap that features the trident, the Aqua Sox introduce this version of the cap, as well as two others (the second I’ll get to down the road) for the start of the 2010 season. While uniform and logo changes have always had a tendency to haunt teams in Major League Baseball, this change actually proved to be on of the more successful move in baseball history. I say this because the team ended up winning their fourth division title in the franchise’s history as well as only the second Northwest League Championship, but the first as the Aqua Sox.  The 2010 squad managed by Jose Moreno posted a 49-27 record which is their second-best franchise record behind the 49-26 record the Everett Giants posted in 1987.

With my original post I had marked my cap with the jersey numbers of Luis Rodriguez and Tom Wilhelmsen. Rodriguez was a member of the 2011 team while Wilhelmsen was a member of the 2010 Championship team. Due to the amount of time that has passed, on top of the Major League call-ups, it made it a little difficult to pick out some quality names to write a bit about. Lucky for me playing the waiting game has given me two more names for this particular cap.

#38- In 2005 the Mariners signed Yoervis Medina as a free agent out of Puerto Cabello, Carabobo, Venezuela. From 2006-2009 he pitched in 65 games for the Mariners’ Venezuelan Summer League team until finally making his United States debut in 2010 with the Aqua Sox. During his time with Everett he made eight starts, going 3-2 with a 4.60 ERA and 48 strikeouts. Medina was then promoted from the short season-A Aqua Sox to the intermediate-A Clinton Lumber Kings for six games at which he went 5-0 with a 2.50 ERA and 42 strikeouts. As the 2010 season came to a close he was promoted one last time to the AAA Tacoma Raniers for one game which ended with a win in his pockets, no runs allowed and four punch outs.

2011 was a very interesting run for Medina as he played the entire season in the Minors, but with all of the other Mariners affiliates he missed in 2010: the Arizona Rookie League Mariners, advanced-A High Desert Mavericks and AA Jackson Generals, which is where he spent all of 2012 as well. With that, Medina is one of the few players to play in every lower level affiliate, including international, for the Mariners organization.

In 2013; however, Medina got his break and was given a post on the 25-man roster. He made his debut on April 16th out of the bullpen in the eighth inning with two out. Medina finished out the game walking two and striking out three without giving up a single run in the Mariners 6-2 loss to the Detroit Tigers. In the six appearances he’s made this season only one of them has been in a winning effort; May 4th as the Mariners beat the Toronto Blue Jays by the final score of 8-1. Medina pitched one perfect inning for the Mariners in the eighth with one strikeout.

#45- This guy I probably could have left off the cap and just stuck with Medina; however, I like to pay tribute to as many players who have made an impact and gone to the Show as much as I can. Because otherwise, how would most of you know who any of these guys are or where they started?

Stephen Pryor made 11 appearances for the Aqua Sox in 2010 before being promoted to the Lumber Kings after the halfway point in the season. What did Pryor do with those 11 appearances? Not much. And by not much I mean he only walked seven, gave up seven hits and one earned run in 18 1/3 innings which equated out to four saves and a 0.49 ERA. Pretty stellar!

Pryor is no stranger to the Majors Leagues this season though. The Mariners 2010 fifth round pick made his MLB debut on June 2, 2012 at which he made 26 appearances, going 3-1 with a 3.91 ERA and 27 strikeouts in 23 innings of work. In 2013 he has been borderline perfect, only giving up a walk and three hits in 7 1/3 innings of work with seven strikeouts. Clearly both of these guys have a bright future and it showed back in 2010 when the Aqua Sox were one of the best teams in all of baseball that season.


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