Results tagged ‘ Seattle Mariners ’

Bonus Mariners prospects: Nos. 21-25

The march of bonus prospects goes on. Next up: The Seattle Mariners.

As of today, the Mariners are just a game out of a Wild Card spot. While the current big league roster has certainly received a boost from big-time acquisitions like Robinson Cano, there’s also been a lot of help from within. Seager, Miller, Taylor, Ackley, Zunino, Paxton… just some of the names who were drafted and developed under the watch of GM Jack Zduriencik and his staff.

There’s more coming, with Taijuan Walker back and healthy, D.J. Peterson not far off… I wouldn’t say it’s the deepest system in the world, but they do keep churning out big leaguers. There is a bit of a dropoff at the back end of the list, but that doesn’t mean the 21-25 set can’t produce some talent.


21. John Hicks, C:  A 2011 Draft pick out of the University of Virginia, HIcks struggled in Double-A in 2013. The good news is he went back this past year, performed well and earned a promotion to Triple-A. His best tool is his arm, throwing out a combined 38% of would-be basestealers in 2014 (He’s at 47% for his career). He greatly improved other aspects of his defensive game, cutting his passed balls total from a whopping 17 in 2013 to just two this past season. He also bounced back with the bat, hitting for average albeit without much power. He appears just about ready to help out as a big league backup soon.

22. Jack Reinheimer, SS: The East Carolina product was a fifth-round pick in the 2013 Draft and had a solid first full season as a pro in 2014.  Most of it was spent in the Midwest League, though he did get bumped up late to the California League. He’s a solid defender who’s tools play up because of his plus instincts. He saw some time at second base as well, but the Mariners like to have their middle infielders play multiple positions as they move up, if at all possible (Nick Franklin, Chris Taylor stand out as examples). Reinhemer’s baserunning instincts also allow him to maximize his solid, though not plus, speed. His 39 steals in 2014 put him second in the organization. How much he’ll hit will determine what kind of future he’ll have.

23: Austin Cousino, OF: The Mariners like their college position players, don’t they? Cousino was their third-round selection from the most recent Draft (He was ranked No. 182 on our Draft Top 200.). The University of Kentucky product debuted in the short-season Northwest League this summer, hitting .266/.341/.402 while his 23 steals (in 27 attempts) were good for fourth in the league. He runs well and plays a very good defensive center field. It’s all going to be about the bat for Cousino. If he can hit for average and get on base (he’s not a power guy), he has the chance to patrol center field at the highest level.

24. Stephen Landazuri, RHP: Sometimes talent can be found in the later rounds. The M’s took Landazuri out of the California high school ranks in the 22nd round of the 2010 Draft and he spent the 2014 season in Double-A. He fits the mold of the “undersized right-hander,” but has shown a solid three-pitch mix with his fastball that touches 93-94 mph, a curveball and a changeup. He missed nearly two months of the season with an oblique injury. He’ll need to tighten up his command a bit, but could be a back end of the rotation type in the future.

25: Dylan Unsworth, RHP: It’s been a slow climb for this South African right-hander, who made his United States debut at age 17 back in 2010 (He struck out 44 and walked just one in the rookie-level Arizona Legaue that summer). A member of South Africa’s World Baseball Classic team, he struck out Shawn Green in a qualifier against Israel. He spent the 2014 season in High Desert, a horrific place for pitchers in the California League. He’s still a command/control type, and walked just 19 — while striking out 119 — in 119 innings. He has fringy stuff across the board and was way too hittable (11.5 hits per nine innings), but it will be interesting to see if he can make adjustments once he gets away from High Desert.

OMG: The AL West

Sorry for the short delay, but it’s now time to take a look at the AL West prospects. As always, here are the links to the organizational previews and the Top 20 lists, followed by the OMG (One More Guy) from each team in the division:

Astros: Preview | List

Angels: Preview | List

A’s: Preview | List

Mariners: Preview | List

Rangers: Preview | List

And now, here’s the OMG, aka Prospect No. 21, for each system:

Astros — Jio Mier, SS — Still young and talented enough at a premium position to not give up on. There are other SS now in the system, so he’ll have to get it going.

Angels — Natanael Delgado, OF — 16-year-old signed this summer, chance to be RF type. May take a long time, but considerable upside.

A’s — David Freitas, C — Offensive-minded backstop came in the Kurt Suzuki trade, hit well following bump to Double-A post-trade.

Mariners — Patrick Kivlehan, 3B — Rutgers football standout decides to play baseball again as a senior; wins Big East Triple Crown, then Northwest League MVP. Raise your hand if you want to see more.

Rangers — Hanser Alberto, SS — That’s right, another shortstop prospect in this system (though he has played a little 3B). He’s gotten Elvis Andrus comparisons, surprise… and earned a promotion to the Carolina League before he turned 20

Who’s Next: The second basemen

The list of top 10 guys at second hasn’t been too deep in the past, but I have to say, this year’s version isn’t too bad. Read the story or just check out the list.

There are even some worthwhile prospects to put on the 11-15 list. Check it out.

Stefen Romero, Mariners — He’s hit .318/.368/.534 in his Minor League career so far. An argument can be made that he belonged in the top 10.

Grant Green, A’s — He started as a shortstop, then moved to the outfield and now is back in the infield at second, which is a good home for him. The bat has always had a chance to contribute.

Rougned Odor, Rangers — The Rangers are good at developing shortstop prospects, why not on the right side of second base? Odor can hit, with a little pop, and can run a little, too.

Ronny Rodriguez, Indians — Yes, he’s nore of a shortstop now and has the skills to stay there. But if he’s going to play in Cleveland with Francisco Lindor someday, he’ll have to move and he did play 45 games at second in 2012.

Angelo Gumbs, Yankees — He has plus speed and is a basestealing threat. He only knows one speed and continues to improve defensively.

AFL Reports: White Sox, O’s and Braves

Been a busy week, what with participating in our democracy and all. Let’s catch up, shall we?

The report on the White Sox featured Trayce Thompson. The video report focused on Thompson, Carlos Sanchez and Andy Wilkins.

The Orioles’ report featured Jonathan Schoop, while the video report’s focus was on Schoop, Clay Schrader and Chris Petrini.

And, finally, the report on the Braves centered around Nick Ahmed , while the video report focused on Edward Salcedo, Ahmed and Cory Rasmus.

And a quick catch up on Stars of the Day:

Monday: Chris Owings of the Diamondbacks. The D-backs’ No. 5 prospect went 3-for-5 with a double, homer and 3 RBIs.

Tuesday: Nick Franklin of the Mariners. The M’s No. 3 prospect went 4-for-5, with two doubles and 6 RBIs.

Wednesday: Logan Darnell of the Twins. The left-hander went four innings, allowing no runs on one hit while walking none and striking out five in his first AFL start.

Thursday: Rymer Liriano of the Padres. The Padres’ No. 1 prospect went 3-for-5 with two doubles and 3 RBIs.


AFL Star of the Day, Vol. 4 and 5

Hey all —

We’ll cover two days with one post, as long as there aren’t any objections.

First, for Friday’s action:

I’m declaring it a draw, an all-UConn day. There was shortstop Nick Ahmed of the Braves. The 2011 second round pick out of UConn went 3-for-3 with a double, two runs scored and four RBIs. He’s gone 5-for-9 in two AFL games to date after a solid first full season in the Carolina League that saw him steal 40 bases.

Then there’s the Astros’ George Springer. A 2011 first-round pick (No. 11 overall) also drove in four runs with a homer and a triple, going 2-for-3 with three runs scored. Springer was  a California League All-Star, putting up some big numbers, albeit in Lancaster (22 HR, 28 SB, .557 SLG). He earned a promotion up to Double-A, where he struggled a bit.

Ahmed, in case you were curious, is No. 10 on the Braves’ Top 20 Prospects list. Springer is No. 3 on the Astros’ Top 20 and No. 48 overall.

Now on to Saturday’s action:


It’s tempting to go with Mike Zunino of the Mariners. After all, how often does a catcher hit two triples in one game. But the real Start of the Day has to be Brock Kjeldgaard of the Brewers. The outfielder hit two homers and drove in three runs.  Kjeldgaard clearly has some pop — he hit 24 homers in 2011 — but took a step back in 2012. Could he be righting the ship in Arizona? He’s 4-for-7 with three homers and 4 RBIs in two games.


Mariners keep going with Pike signing

Yesterday, the Mariners announced the signing of 25 Draft picks, most notably second-round selection Joe DeCarlo. On Wednesday, it was learned they’ve also signed the player they took with their Compensation B (between rounds 3 and 4) pick, high schooler Tyler Pike.

Pike will receive $850,000, above the assigned value for the pick, which was $370,800.

It is not the first player to get above the assigned value from the Mariners thus far. DeCarlo signed for $1.3 million (assigned value: $806,000). Fifth-rounder Chris Taylor signed for $500,000 (assigned value: $264,500). And Timmy Lopes got $550,000 in the sixth round (assigned value: $198,100), showing that it is possible to be aggressive in this new system.

They are currently over their pool ($1.42 million over) when adding up the assigned values for all signed picks, but they still haven’t signed first-rounder Mike Zunino, third-rounder Edwin Diaz and eighth-rounder Nick Halamandaris. The combined assigned values for those three picks is $5,825,500. The Mariners currently have $5,253,200 left after the Pike signing. It’s easy to do the math — look for some value to be found in that trio and for the Mariners not to incur any penalties for going over.


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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