Seattle Mariners 2010 Minor League Review
Overall farm ranking via Baseball America:
2010 (11) | 2009 (24) | 2008 (11) | 2007 (24) | 2006 (27) | 2005 (11) | 2004 (12)
Records of Major and Minor League Teams
MLB: [61 – 101] AL West
AAA: [74 – 69] Pacific Coast League – Tacoma
AA: [73 – 66] Southern League – West Tennessee
A+: [75 – 65] California League – High Desert
A: [74 – 65] Midwest League – Clinton
A(ss): [48 – 27] Northwest – Everett
R: [37 – 28] Appalachian League – Pulaski
The Run Down
GM Jack Zduriencik’s genius might have been overplayed entering the 2010 season. After a poor major league season, he has a lot of questions to answer in 2011. His minor league development has been average. He got value for his Cliff Lee trade (Justin Smoak) but has traded major league talent for big question marks in return. The Mariners still have a glut of talent in their minor league outfield – all whom struggle with strikeouts but possess tremendous power (Halman, Peguero, Chavez). Dustin Ackley leads their minors as their 2010 and 2011 number ranked prospect, according to Baseball America. Michael Pineda rose faster than anyone anticipated and Nick Franklin (SS at Low-A) won the Midwest League’s home run crown. There is some hope in the minors but beyond the names mentioned above, there aren’t many impact players ready to shine in 2011.
Arizona Fall League Players – Peoria Javelinas
Pitchers: (RHP) Maikel Clato; #16 (RHP) Josh Fields; (RHP) Josh Lueke; (RPH) Thomas Wilhelmsen
Hitters: #1 (2B/CF) Dustin Ackley; (3B) Matt Mangini; (OF) Nate Tenbrink
Players of Interest
#1 Dustin Ackley | 2B | D.o.B: 2-26-88 | Stats (AA/AAA): .267/.368/.407 | 501 AB | 48 XBH | 7 Hr | .140 ISO | 10/3 SB/CS | 79:75 K:BB | .308 BABIP
Patient hitter, solid bat, average power, and plus speed could mean Ackley is the next fantasy MI stud. Ranked number 7 in my Top 50 Fantasy Prospects. Read his Scouting the Unknown for further details. Expect a late May or June 1st call up.
#5 Alex Liddi | 3B | D.o.B: 8-14-88 | Stats (AA): .281/.353/.476 | 502 AB | 60 XBH | 15 Hr | .195 ISO | 5/7 SB/CS | 145:50 K:BB | .366 BABIP
Has good power to all fields but has a long swing. Defense is still a work in progress. Scouts believe Liddi could be a hitter that slugs 20 home runs with a .275 average. The strikeouts are a concern, yet the scouting reports believe time will improve his plate discipline with experience. Needs a solid 400 at-bats in Triple-A this year before expected ETA.
Carlos Peguero | OF | D.o.B: 2-22-87 | Stats (AA): .254/.340/.463 | 488 AB | 51 XBH | 23 Hr | .209 ISO | 7/9 SB/CS | 178:56 K:BB | .351 BABIP
Ranked 25th in the newest Baseball America Handbook, Peguero had a tale of two seasons. His early season home run binge led me to give him a Scouting the Unknown. That was the perfect time to write the article. After April his slash line according to Baseball America (2011) was just .227/.317/.399 along with leading Double-A with 178 strikeouts. Struggles hitting lefties, poor strikeout-to-walk ratio, long swings, chases pitches and doesn’t recognize breaking balls. The power is legit and his main asset. He could be best served as a platoon player in the mold of a Jacques Jones.
#10 Greg Halman | OF | D.o.B: 8-26-87 | Stats (AAA): .243/.310/.545 | 424 AB | 58 XBH | 33 Hr | .302 ISO | 15/4 SB/CS | 169:37 K:BB | .315 BABIP
Physically compared to Andre Dawson and Alfonso Soriano and projected to perform more like Preston Wilson. Halman is a gifted athlete with average speed and possesses tremendous raw power. He plays solid defense with a strong arm in centerfield. Struggles with contact, drawing walks and a consistent approach in the batters box. John Sickels 2011 handbook has this revealing line, “If you stuck him in a major league lineup and gave him 500 at-bats, he could hit 25 homers and steal 15 bases for you, while hitting .195.” So Carlos Pena’s 2010 with steals. Even after six minor league seasons, Halman is still only 23 entering the 2011 season. His 2010 major league call up in September was far from spectacular, resulting in 11 strikeouts in 29 at-bats. Although his 2010 season saw him draw a career high in walks (37), Halman has to develop a more consistent game plan otherwise we have another Chris Davis on our hands.
#6 Carlos Triunfel | SS/3B | D.o.B: 2-27-90 | Stats (AA): .257/.286/.332 | 470 AB | 20 XBH | 7 Hr | .075 ISO | 2/8 SB/CS | 54:13 K:BB | .279 BABIP
Finally had a healthy year. Still leaves a lot to be desired. His hype keeps him on this list alone. Still very young (21 entering the 2011 season), but doesn’t have a swing that will generate many extra base hits and defensively there isn’t anything to praise. He may have the tools such as a good swing with “exceptional hand-eye coordination.” He’s a slap hitter with an injury history rivaling Ricky Weeks. I fully expect him to play at Double-A again to open the 2011 season.
#23 Mike Carp | 1B | D.o.B: 6-30-86 | Stats (AAA): .257/.328/.516 | 409 AB | 47 XBH | 29 Hr | .259 ISO | 1/2 SB/CS | 93:41 K:BB | .259 BABIP
Not ranked in Baseball America 2011 handbook. With Justin Smoak expected to man first base for the next 10 years, Carp is nothing more than a filler (read: bench role). Moderate power in the majors, sufficient plate-discipline and average defense, Carp is the perfect backup.
Matt Mangini | 3B | D.o.B: 12-21-85 | Stats (AAA): .313/.352/.521 | 447 AB | 53 XBH | 18 Hr | .208 ISO | 3/0 SB/CS | 96:26 K:BB | .320 BABIP
Ranked number 18 in Baseball America’s 2011 handbook, Mangini doesn’t profile to be a full-time player. Mangini appears to be a role player with solid average and moderate power. BA’s comparison is Greg Dobbs. Nothing wrong with that. Defensively, he’s average. At the plate, he has a “professional approach with average,” power. Should see time as DH while Alex Liddi is manning third.
#7 Michael Pineda | RHP | D.o.B: 1-18-89 | Stats (AA/AAA): 9.9 K/9 | 2.2 BB/9 | 139 1/3 IP | 3.36 ERA | 2.16 FIP (AA); 3.60 FIP (AAA) | 1.11 WHIP | .6 Hr/9 | 7.8 H/9 | .306 BABIP (AA); .290 BABIP (AAA)
Minor League Numbers:
77 innings at Double-A; 9.1 K/9 | 2.0 BB/9 | 1.09 WHIP | 2.22 ERA
62 1/3 inning at Triple-A; 11.0 K/9 | 2.5 BB/9 | 1.14 WHIP | 4.76 ERA
One of Keith Law’s favorite pitchers during the course of the 2010 season. Pineda surprised many scouts. He did allow more runs to cross the plate in Triple-A but his strikeouts were slightly better while seeing an increase in walks. I ranked him number 15 in my Top 50 Fantasy Prospects due to the assumption that he wouldn’t pitch until June in the majors. You can read the full scouting report in the Scouting the Unknown article. Some more details on Pineda. He throws a 93 to 97 MPH fastball and can top out at 101 MPH. Slider was tighter in 2010 and his improved change-up. Mechanically he has a lot of motions and a “high-effort delivery.” With stellar control and a great strikeout rate, he should slot nicely in right behind Felix Hernandez as a number two starter.
#11 Dan Cortes | RHP | D.o.B: 3-4-87 | Stats (AA/AAA): 9.2 K/9 | 5.3 BB/9 | 96 1/3 IP | 5.23 ERA | 3.83 FIP (AA); 3.59 FIP (AAA) | 1.53 WHIP | .5 Hr/9 | 8.4 H/9 | .308 BABIP (AA); .353 BABIP (AAA)
He threw five innings at MLB level during September and appears to be a high-risk, high-reward late innings reliever. Throws a 96 to 98 MPH fastball, a “hammer 12-to-6 curve” and a sharp slider with work in progress changeup. With command issues, a switch to the bullpen could occur. Beyond the control and command issues, Cortes has a lot of upside.
#17 (TEX) Blake Beavan | RHP | D.o.B: 1-17-89 | Stats (AA/AAA): 5.4 K/9 | 1.1 BB/9 | 168 1/3 IP | 3.90 ERA | 3.03 FIP (AA); 4.79 FIP (AAA) | 1.16 WHIP | .7 Hr/9 | 9.3 H/9 | .272 BABIP (AA); .352 BABIP (AAA)
Received in the Cliff Lee trade. Beavan is like vanilla ice cream, always solid, but never spectacular. He throws a 90 to 92 MPH fastball with heavy sink, a slider with good tilt, and an average-at-best changeup. Beavan projects as a number four or five starter.
Josh Lueke | RHP | D.o.B: 12-5-84 | Stats (A/AA/AAA): 13.4 K/9 | 2.1 BB/9 | 63 IP | 1.86 ERA | 1.00 WHIP | .3 Hr/9 | 6.9 H/9
Another member of the Cliff Lee Trade. Lueke has a serious legal past. The charges were reduced/pleaded down to false imprisonment with violence. Strictly speaking baseball, Lueke throws a 94 to 98 MPH fastball, a splitter that “falls off the table,” and a plus slider. He’s going to pitch in the bullpen long term. With career rates of 11.4 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9 in 177 2/3 innings, Lueke could be a worth-owning-in-fantasy middle reliever.
#13 Mauricio Robles | LHP | D.o.B: 3-5-89 | Stats (AA/AAA): 9.8 K/9 | 4.5 BB/9 | 142 IP | 3.99 ERA | 3.74 FIP (AA); 3.84 FIP (AAA) | 1.35 WHIP | .8 Hr/9 | 7.7 H/9 | .305 BABIP (AA); .258 BABIP (AAA)
Part of the Jarrod Washburn trade in 2009, Robles throws a 91 to 95 MPH fastball along with the best changeup in the Mariners farm system. His curveball has improved but still inconsistent. Struggles with control. Ceiling is a solid number three starter. With 28 innings at Triple-A in 2010, I expect Robles to return to Triple-A and see a mid-season call up.
#9 Nick Franklin | SS/2B | D.o.B: 3-2-91 | Stats (A): .281/.351/.485 | 513 AB | 52 XBH | 23 Hr | .204 ISO | 25/10 SB/CS | 123:50 K:BB | .328 BABIP
Defense at short is average at best and projects long-term at second due to fringe-average arm. Above-average bat speed, swings with good leverage. Swings hard and this leads to a long swing at times. Is a switch hitter, but hits better from the right side. Has average speed.
#21 (TOR) Joherymn Chavez | RF | D.o.B: 1-26-89 | Stats (A+): .315/.387/.577 | 534 AB | 69 XBH | 32 Hr | .262 ISO | 6/9 SB/CS | 131:52 K:BB | .364 BABIP
Received in the Brandon Morrow trade. His numbers are inflated due to an extreme hitters home ballpark (23 of 32 home runs were hit at home – High Desert). Has power to all fields; overall has above average power. Concerns over strikeouts, but in comparison to other prospects mentioned previously, his strikeouts are more under control. Plays decent defense but is a below-average runner with a strong arm. Mentally, scouts praise his ability to handle the ups-and-downs of the season. He made a change to his swing to eliminate a loop and tendency to chop down on the ball which allowed him to turn on inside pitches and tap into his above-average raw power according to Baseball America (2011). His future rests on his performance in 2011 at Double-A.
#28 Rick Poythress | 1B/3B | D.o.B: 8-11-87 | Stats (A+): .315/.381/.580 | 476 AB | 64 XBH | 31 Hr | .265 ISO | 3/2 SB/CS | 100:52 K:BB | .334 BABIP
Swing is built for line-drives and moderate power. With a focus on pulling, scouts believe Poythress could be a “masher.” Has solid at-bats, a fine strikeout-to-walk ratio and plays decent defense at third but projects as a first baseman. Although he played in the same environment as Joherymn Chavez, Poythress slashed .291/.346/.581 on the road compared to .339/.413/.579 at home. He is old for the level of play, but could rise fast if he plays well at Double-A in 2011.
Vincent Catricala | 1B/3B | D.o.B: 10-31-88 | Stats (A): .302/.386/.488 | 496 AB | 58 XBH | 17 Hr | .186 ISO | 7/3 SB/CS | 112:56 K:BB | .356 BABIP
John Sickels claim he is a worthy of a sleeper alert. His age would lead one to believe otherwise. Catricala looks to start the 2011 season at High-A High Desert were numbers are inflated. If he has a strong showing next year, he’ll start to raise a few eyebrows like Joherymn Chavez did this year.