Nick Neidert Grows Into Velocity

Best Player

High Class A Modesto righthander Nick Neidert edges Triple-A Tacoma righthander Andrew Moore, whom the Mariners recently called up, for this award.

The 20-year-old Neidert is a 2015 second-round pick out of high school in Suwanee, Ga., whose velocity keeps perking up as his frame matures. He now works at 92-93 mph while retaining remarkable control.

Neidert walked just 1.3 per nine innings in the first half of the California League season while going 7-3, 3.09 with 92 strikeouts in 87 innings.

“His strikeout rate is way up,” general manager Jerry Dipoto said, “and he doesn’t walk anyone. He throws strikes with good stuff. He’s turned himself into a real prospect.

“Like (KyleLewis was on most (preseason) lists as a top 50 prospect, I think Nick Neidert will be among that group this year.”

Biggest Leap Forward

Modesto outfielder Braden Bishop, a 2015 third-rounder from Washington, gets a slight nod over Double-A Arkansas outfielder Ian Miller.

Bishop, 23, was chosen as the MVP of the California League all-star game after going 4-for-4 with a double, a triple, three runs scored and two stolen bases.

That followed a breakout season in which Bishop batted .310/.402/.410 with 13 stolen bases through 72 games. He has plus speed and plus defensive skills in center field.

Braden Bishop is having a great year,” Dipoto said. “He has been, maybe, among the guys not generally considered our top guys, (but he’s) a standout.”

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