OMG: Seattle Mariners

Mariners fans are excited about the future and big reason why is the farm system. Take a look at their Top 10 prospects, now up for your consideration. Here’s OMG (One More Guy) from that organization:

Rich Poythress, 1B: He’s not the first prospect, and certainly won’t be the last, that forces uspoythress.jpg to ask just what we should make of numbers compiled for the California League’s High Desert club. Back in December 2007, I did a series of stories on ballpark factors in the Minors (cleverly titled Factor Fiction). One focused on Lancaster in the California League, but also discussed High Desert, which during the 2005-07 seasons had two of the top 10 seasons in terms of OPS.

So, then, what to make of Poythress’ first full season? The University of Georgia product, taken in the second round of the 2009 Draft, led the Minor Leagues with 130 RBIs. He also hit 31 homers, good for third in the Mariners’ system (Greg Halman had 33, No. 7 prospect Johermyn Chavez had 32 — Chavez also played for High Desert). Poythress’ .315 avearage was good for fourth in the organization. Not surprisingly, four of the top five full-season averages in the organization came from guys who got to hit in High Desert.

It should be noted that Poythress only struck out 100 times all year, not bad for a guy with those kinds of power numbers. He hit lefties and righties well and while he hit better at home (.991 OPS), he didn’t falter much away from the friendly confines (.927 OPS). His SLG was actually a touch higher on the road. In the end, of course, we’ll learn more about just how legitimate a power threat Poythress is when he moves up to Double-A in 2011.

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