EVERETT — After the Mariners went heavy on pitching in the 2019 MLB draft, it wouldn’t have been unreasonable to think heading into the season that the AquaSox would struggle to hit in the Northwest League, which is comprised mostly of freshly-drafted college players.
The AquaSox, especially of late, have proven that belief to be true.
After being no-hit by Tri-City on Saturday and held to just two hits on Sunday, Everett boasts the second worst batting average in the league at .202 and has the the third worst clip in on-base plus slugging.
“Hitting is one of the toughest things to do, but of course we have to do a better job at it,” Everett manager Jose Moreno said. “Our kids are working, trying to swing at better pitches and not chase any one out of the strike zone and try and be aggressive with fastballs.”
It hasn’t been all doom and gloom for Everett’s offense this year. In fact, the AquaSox are one of the better power-hitting clubs in the Northwest League with 12 home runs, which is second in the league. They are also third in the league with 77 walks.
It’s also possible this collection of hitters is more susceptible to peaks and valleys, at least according to the small sample size available. After getting out to a slow start to the season by scoring 2.8 runs per game over the first five games, the AquaSox offense produced 7.3 runs per game over their next nine contests before producing just one run in their final two games against Tri-City.
Shenton close to return
AquaSox third baseman Austin Shenton is close to returning to the lineup after injuring his left knee in the third inning of Everett’s June 25 win over Vancouver. Shenton took part in pregame batting practice before Monday’s game, but wasn’t in the Frogs’ lineup.
Utah Jones, the Mariners 26th-round pick in June’s MLB draft, and right-handed pitcher Deivy Florido were assigned to the AquaSox on Monday from Single-A West Virginia. Jones, a North Greenville University standout posted a .159/.229/.456 slash line in 12 games with West Virginia and Florido posted a 4.95 ERA in 10 games, six starts.