The Everett AquaSox practice Tuesday, April 2, 2024, at Funko Field in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

The Everett AquaSox practice Tuesday, April 2, 2024, at Funko Field in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

“Scrappy” AquaSox ready to start their season

Everett begins its 2024 campaign Friday at Hillsboro without any big-name prospects.

EVERETT — Get ready for plenty of scratching and clawing from the Everett AquaSox this season.

Everett, the High-A Northwest League affiliate of the Seattle Mariners, begins its 40th-anniversary season when the Sox travel to face the Hillsboro Hops at 6:35 p.m. Friday, and the opening-day version of this year’s team is all about doing the little things.

“I’d say we’re very scrappy,” outfielder Bill Scott said following Tuesday’s workout at Funko Field. “We don’t have a lot of power hitters or things like that, but we’re going to get a lot of stuff done. It’s going to be a great year.”

Since Everett was elevated to High-A in 2021, the Sox have had many of the Mariners’ biggest prospects on their opening-day roster, names like Julio Rodriguez, Noelvi Marte and Harry Ford.

This year’s team is different. None of’s list of top-10 Mariners prospects are starting the season in Everett. The biggest names are right-handed pitcher Michael Morales, a 2021 third-round draft pick who is listed by as Seattle’s No. 13 prospect, and third baseman Ben Williamson, a 2023 second-round pick who’s lasted at No. 16.

“I haven’t really figured out what the identity is going to be,” second-year manager Ryan Scott said. “There are probably some guys who will hit some homers, but we’re also going to play some real good situational baseball. We’re going to get guys over to the next base and find ways to score runs. That’s all we’re trying to do on offense, get good pitches to hit, hit those pitches when we get them, take them when we don’t get them, get on base, get to the next base and ultimately touch home plate.

“But I’m really excited,” Scott added. “We had such a good spring out there, the guys got after it in spring and are itching to get back out here and play some real games. It’s a really exciting group we have this year so we’re ready for them to get going.”

Scott said he expects Everett’s offense to be solid throughout the lineup. For Williamson it will be his first true professional experience, as the 23-year-old form Fairfax, Va., saw just a total of 12 games between Rookie and Single-A ball last season. Scott said shortstop Axel Sanchez, a returner from last season who battled through injuries and dropped out of’s list of Seattle’s top 30 prospects, had a good spring training. Scott is also expecting positive things from the likes of outfielders Knight and RJ Scherck, catcher Freuddy Batista and infielders Brock Rodden and Josh Hood.

The situation on the mound is similar to the one at the plate, as Everett doesn’t necessarily have the big-name prospects, but does have pitchers who will battle. The Sox begin the season with a rotation of right-handers Morales, Ty Cummings, Ryan Hawks and Marcelo Perez and left-hander Brandyn Garcia. Perez, listed by as Seattle’s No. 28 prospect, has been named the opening-day starter.

“I think we have a really good team,” said the 21-year-old Morales, who hails from Enola, Pa., and struck out 106 batters in 101 1/3 innings at Single-A Modesto last season. “It seems like we have a really mature group. The pitching staff seems really mature, there are a ton of strike throwers, a lot of really good stuff, everyone seems dialed in on their respective needs and what they need to do in the clubhouse in order to perform. All the guys had really good springs and threw the ball well. I’m just excited to be a part of the group.”

Sanchez, Knight, Hood and Perez all spent time in Everett last season. Other returners include pitchers Nick Davila, Jimmy Kingsbury and Troy Taylor, catcher Ty Duvall and outfielders Victor Labrada and Colin Davis.

Everett is coming off a season in which the Sox went 78-54 and reached the Northwest League championship series. The Vancouver Canadians won the best-of-five series 3-1.

Everett plays three games in Hillsboro, then holds its home opener at 7:05 p.m. Tuesday against the Eugene Emeralds.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Sports

Jean-Luc Baker leads advanced students through a warmup during the Seattle Skating Club 2024 Your True Step figure skating seminar on Saturday, June 15, 2024, at Olympic View Arena in Mountlake Terrace, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Patterson: What’s next for local Olympian Jean-Luc Baker?

The Edmonds ice dancer brought Olympic gold medalist Nathan Chen to town with Your True Step.

Logan Gilbert of the Seattle Mariners throws a pitch during the second inning against the Texas Rangers at T-Mobile Park on June 16, 2024, in Seattle, Washington. (Alika Jenner / Getty Images)
Mariners week: Gilbert’s brilliance lifts Seattle to sweep

Seattle’s 8 1/2-game lead in the AL West is its largest since the 2001 season.

AquaSox week in review: Mariners’ Polanco does rehab stint

Everett wins five of six on the road against Eugene; Schreck and Garcia have big weeks.

Women’s PGA Championship offers fans chance to watch and learn

The women’s golf major tournament comes to Sahalee Country Club in Sammamish beginning Thursday.

Jackson senior and UNLV commit Yanina Sherwood is The Herald’s 2024 Softball Player of the Year. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
2024 Softball Player of the Year: Jackson’s Yanina Sherwood

With both her arm and bat, Sherwood led the Timberwolves to their second-straight state title.

Kamiak’s Synclair Mawudeku (2) pitches during a 4A softball game between Kamiak and Jackson at Kamiak High School on Tuesday, April 9, 2024 in Mukilteo, Washington. Jackson won, 9-0. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
The Herald’s 2024 All-Area softball team

Editor’s note: The Player of the Year and All-Area teams were chosen… Continue reading

Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba catches the game-winning touchdown pass as Eagles cornerback James Bradberry defends in the fourth quarter on Dec. 18. (Yong Kim / Tribune News Service)
Seahawks look to fully unlock Jaxon Smith-Njigba’s potential

Seattle is expecting good things from the receiver, who was taken 20th overall in the 2023 draft.

Everett 8-year-old Ryder Romano was selected to compete in the prestigious Brick Invitational Hockey Tournament. (Photo courtesy of Brittany Walker)
Everett 8-year-old selected to prestigious hockey tournament

Ryder Romano will play at the Brick Invitational Hockey Tournament on July 1-7 in Edmonton, Alberta.

Seattle Seahawks cornerback Devon Witherspoon (21) celebrates a stop of Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Pollard (20) during the fourth quarter at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Nov. 30, 2023. The Cowboys won, 41-35. (Tom Fox / Tribune News Service)
Captain of the Seahawks defense? Why it could be Witherspoon

The talented second-year cornerback brought ‘outrageous energy’ to Seattle’s minicamp.

Drew Bryson, the new Arlington boys basketball head coach, at Arlington High School on Tuesday, June 11, 2024. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Arlington taps alum Bryson to continue boys hoops tradition

The former Eagles star succeeds Nick Brown as Arlington’s head coach.

Why Seahawks are joining NFL trend with joint practices

Seattle will conduct practices with the Tennessee Titans prior to their preseason game.

Seattle Storm head coach Noelle Quinn on the sidelines June 15, 2023, during a game against the Las Vegas Aces in Las Vegas. (Ellen Schmidt / Las Vegas Review-Journal, file)
As WNBA exposure grows, Storm content to quietly stack wins

Amid the Caitlin Clark-fueled buzz, Seattle has won seven of its past eight.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.