Joe Pistorese’s minor league baseball career has taken him to the California League this spring.
All four of the Seattle Mariners’ full-season affiliates announced their 2017 Opening Day rosters last week, and the Flathead High School graduate landed with the Modesto Nuts, the franchise’s Class A advanced farm team.
The 24-year-old lefty is playing for his fifth minor league club in three years since being drafted in the 17th round in 2015. The former Kalispell Lakers star has excelled in the minors and boasts a 1.94 ERA over 40 games spanning different levels. Entering this season, he’s receiving early praise as a top pitching prospect in Modesto.
As one of the team’s relievers, Pistorese appeared in his first game of the spring on April 7, pitching two scoreless innings, striking out three batters and allowing no hits. He walked two batters. It was the Nuts’ second game of the season and the squad lost to Lake Elsinore, 7-2.
Modesto (2-3 overall) competes in the North Division of the California League and is in its first year as a Mariners’ affiliate. Before Seattle took over ownership, the club was affiliated with several MLB franchises over the years, including most recently the Colorado Rockies.
In terms of Seattle’s overall farm program, Modesto ranks above the Class A Clinton LumberKings and below the Mariners’ AA affiliate, the Arkansas Travelers, and the AAA club, the Tacoma Rainiers.