Prized shortstop Noelvi Marte was traded to the Cincinnati Reds last Friday. The former AquaSox star is one of three key players Everett lost over the past 10 days. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Prized shortstop Noelvi Marte was traded to the Cincinnati Reds last Friday. The former AquaSox star is one of three key players Everett lost over the past 10 days. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

AquaSox bid farewell to trio of top players after recent moves

In the midst of turnover atop its roster, Everett took 4 of 6 games from Vancouver this past week.

Roster fluctuation is always a big part of minor league baseball, with numerous players moving up and down the ladder of an organization’s farm system over the course of a season.

Until recently, the Everett AquaSox hadn’t experienced much turnover this year.

That certainly changed over the past week and a half.

On July 23, right-handed ace Bryce Miller was promoted to Double-A Arkansas after a dominant first half of the season with Everett.

Last Friday, the Seattle Mariners dealt highly touted AquaSox shortstop Noelvi Marte to the Cincinnati Reds as part of the blockbuster trade that netted All-Star pitcher Luis Castillo.

And on Saturday, right-handed ace Prelander Berroa was promoted to Arkansas following a spectacular two and a half months with Everett.

In the span of a week, the Sox lost three of their top players.

“Those guys are obviously big parts of our team, and losing them will always sting,” Everett manager Eric Farris said. “It’s always bittersweet.

“But at the end of the day, that’s how this game works,” he added. “These guys performed and they’re able to move forward. So we’re very happy (for) those guys.”

Marte, a 20-year-old shortstop from the Dominican Republic, was the top prospect in the Mariners’ system before being traded. He’s currently ranked as MLB.com’s No. 17 overall prospect and Baseball America’s No. 46 prospect.

Marte got off to a slow start with the Sox this season, batting .238 with eight home runs through his first 64 games. But he turned the corner with a scorching July, slashing .384/.455/.709 with seven homers and seven doubles in 21 games this past month.

Miller, a 2021 fourth-round draft pick, posted a 3.24 earned-run average in 77.2 innings pitched with Everett this year. The 23-year-old struck out 31.3% of the batters he faced, totaling 99 punchouts and just 25 walks.

Berroa, who the Mariners acquired in a May 11 trade with the San Francisco Giants, was similarly impressive during his time with the Sox. The hard-throwing 22-year-old from the Dominican Republic logged a 2.41 ERA in 52.1 innings, while recording 81 strikeouts and just 32 walks. He fanned an eye-popping 37.7% of the batters he faced and limited opponents to a .160 batting average.

“Obviously, it’s gonna be some tough holes to fill,” Farris said. “But hopefully guys will step up and (they’ll) see the new opportunities to continue getting better and put their names on the map.”

In the midst of their roster turnover, the Sox won four of six games during this past week’s road series against the Vancouver Canadians. It was a nice rebound from the previous weekend, when Everett was swept by the Eugene Emeralds in a three-game series coming out of the All-Star break.

“Very happy with the way we performed and were able to bounce back after that last series,” Farris said.

The Sox are 47-48 overall this season, including 16-14 in the second half. They are in third place out of six teams in the Northwest League’s second-half standings, sitting three games behind first-place Eugene.

Players of the week

Hitter: Mike Salvatore. The 25-year-old middle infielder had his fingerprints all over Everett’s first three wins of the series last week. On Tuesday, he hit a solo homer in the Sox’s 2-1 victory. On Wednesday, he lifted Everett to a 3-2 triumph with a go-ahead double in the top of the ninth inning. And on Thursday, with the Sox down to their final two outs in the top of the ninth, he hit a game-tying homer to force extra innings en route to a 4-1 win. Entering the series, Salvatore was batting just .192 through 27 games this season. But he’s headed in the right direction after going 6-for-17 with two homers, a triple and a double this past week.

Pitcher: Logan Rinehart. The 24-year-old right-hander tossed five scoreless innings of no-hit ball in Everett’s 4-1 extra-inning win last Thursday. He struck out nine of the 17 batters he faced, while allowing just two walks and facing just two batters over the minimum. It was a major milestone for Rinehart, a 2019 16th-round draft pick who underwent Tommy John elbow surgery last year. Due to the canceled 2020 minor league season and his recovery from surgery, he went more than 33 months without pitching in a professional game. Rinehart made his long-awaited return to action in mid-June and was promoted to the Sox at the start of July. In five starts with Everett, he’s posted a 2.41 ERA in 18.2 innings, with 27 strikeouts and just seven walks.

The week (or two) ahead

The Sox have a chance to make up ground in the standings over the next two weeks. Everett hosts the Hillsboro Hops for a six-game series this week, and then travels to face the Tri-City Dust Devils for a six-game set next week. The Hops and Dust Devils are tied for last place in the Northwest League’s second-half standings at 11-19. Hillsboro is a league-worst 40-54 overall this season, while Tri-City is just a half-game better at 40-53.

Hillsboro, an Arizona Diamondbacks affiliate, is highlighted by prized 20-year-old shortstop Jordan Lawlar. The 2021 sixth overall draft pick is one of the top prospects in baseball, ranked No. 10 overall by Baseball America and No. 11 by MLB.com. He tore up the California League earlier this season, batting .351 with nine homers and 22 extra-base hits in 44 games at the Low-A level. He’s off to a slow start since being promoted to Hillsboro in July, hitting .211 with five extra-base hits in 14 games with the Hops.

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