Edgar Adds A Bigger, Better Hall

It is with great pleasure that the Tacoma Rainiers organization congratulates Seattle Mariners legend Edgar Martinez on his election to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Cooperstown is where he belongs.

Edgar was a tremendous major league player, of course – one of the greatest hitters of his era. Prior to that, he was one of the best hitters in the Pacific Coast League.

Did you know that the PCL Hall of Fame was ahead of the curve on Edgar? He was inducted in 2013 to the PCL Hall – his “online plaque” is right here.

When Edgar played in the PCL, the Mariners affiliate was in Calgary. We were the Tacoma Tigers with the Oakland A’s affiliate back then – Martinez played in the league all or parts of the 1985 through the 1989 seasons.

Martinez was a career .344 hitter in the PCL. And get this: in 276 games and 950 at-bats in the league, Edgar drew 182 walks while striking out only 102 times. That’s a heck of a ratio.

More recently, we have seen a lot of Edgar at Cheney Stadium as he increased his role as a hitting instructor, first in the minor leagues and eventually at the major league level.

Some of you will remember when Edgar threw out the ceremonial first pitch to open the 2015 season at Cheney Stadium. I imagine the conversation went something like this:

Rainiers employee No. 1: OK, we have to find someone to throw out the ceremonial first pitch on opening day. It needs to be awesome.

Rainiers employee No. 2: How about a Mariners legend, like Ken Griffey Jr. or Edgar Martinez?

Rainiers employee No. 1: Edgar lives around here. He’ll do it.

Rainiers employee No. 3: I’m not sure, he’s a pretty mellow guy who doesn’t really seem to be into that kind of thing. How are we going to convince him to do it?

(some moments of silence)

Rainiers employee No. 2: Tell him we’re gonna fly him in on a helicopter, and land in center field!

The Mariners made a trade on Monday, and it’s one that will help the Tacoma Rainiers.

Infielder Shed Long was acquired from the New York Yankees, in exchange for outfield prospect Josh Stowers. Long had just been acquired by the Yankees from the Cincinnati Reds, as a part of a trade involving major league pitcher Sonny Gray.

Long spent the 2018 season at the Double-A level, hitting .261 as an everyday player in the pitcher-friendly Southern League. The 23-year-old showed some pop for a second baseman, belting 12 homers and 22 doubles. He had a .353 on-base percentage, and he swiped 19 bases.

Long has been playing the last season-and-a-half in Double-A, so a promotion to the Triple-A level makes sense.

The Mariners gave up their second round draft pick from last June – Stowers – in order to get him.

Long had to be added to the 40-man roster, so Kaleb Cowart was designated for assignment and now we must wait to see if he clears waivers and is outrighted to Tacoma. Cowart is a solid Triple-A player who we have seen a lot of the last couple of seasons when he was with Salt Lake. He would definitely be a nice addition to the Tacoma roster.

Both Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus announced their Top 100 (or in BP’s case, 101) Prospects today.

Baseball America is more bullish on the Mariners farm system, ranking four players in the Top 100. Baseball Prospectus has two – but it should be noted that one of BA’s is not eligible for BP’s list. Baseball Prospectus does not qualify signings from the Japanese league as “prospects,” so Yusei Kikuchi is not listed.

Baseball America

  • LHP Justus Sheffield (27)
  • LHP Yusei Kikuchi (45)
  • OF Jerred Kelenic (68)
  • 1B Evan White (100)

Baseball Prospectus

  • LHP Justus Sheffield (50)
  • OF Jerred Kelenic (63)

As always, please remember that prospect lists are fun for discussion but what happens on the field is what actually matters.

Links:

  • We’ll start with the Seattle Times story on Edgar Martinez being elected to Cooperstown, complete with reaction from the man himself.
  • Larry Stone was with Edgar and his family when he got the call, and wrote this great piece.
  • The Times has a cool look at Edgar’s top moments.
  • The News Tribune has five reasons why Edgar belongs in the Hall. Here is the paper’s story on Edgar’s election.
  • Some fans have been actively pushing Edgar’s candidacy since the very beginning, and Larry Stone found them.
  • Here’s the Seattle Times story on the trade for infielder Shed Long.
  • Some Rainiers players from last year are on the move. We’ve lost outfielder John Andreoli to a waiver claim – the Texas Rangers claimed him. Starting pitcher Christian Bergman was a free agent after the season, and he signed a minor league deal with the Chicago Cubs.
  • In a feel-good story, former Rainiers and Mariners reliever Danny Farquhar signed a minor league contract with the New York Yankees, and has been cleared to pitch after his scary episode.
  • PCL news: Memphis announced its new manager, former St. Louis Cardinals minor league outfielder Ben Johnson. New Orleans has hired former Salt Lake skipper Keith Johnson as their new manager.
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