Seattle Mariners Top 20 PRE-SEASON Prospects in Review
1) Felix Hernandez, RHP
Everything you've heard about him is true. If his arm holds up, he will be a superstar.
2) Jeremy Reed, OF
Hit .254/.322/.352 in 141 games for the Mariners. Good news is that his glove was better than advertised. Bad news is that he didn't hit as well as expected. I think he will eventually but maybe not until 2007.
3) Shin-Soo Choo, OF
Hit .282/.382/.431 with 20 steals, 11 homers for Triple-A Tacoma. He seems to have leveled out as a "tweener," not a bad player but not quite enough power to play a corner.
4) Yuniesky Betancourt, SS
Hit .256/.296/.370 in 60 games for the Mariners. His minor league performance before the promotion was not that great, and his numbers in Seattle are an accurate reflection of his current skill level.
5) Clint Nageotte, RHP
36/22 K/BB in 34 innings for Tacoma, 2.65 ERA. Still has the killer slider, still has shaky control.
6) Matt Tuiasosopo, SS
Hit .276/.359/.386 in 107 games for Class A Wisconsin. Has decent strike zone judgment but offense was disappointing this year.
7) Jorge Campillo, RHP
2.71 ERA with 45/18 K/BB in 66 innings for Triple-A Tacoma. Old for a prospect at 27 and not overpowering, but he can probably help someone.
8) Chris Snelling, OF
Hit .370/.452/.553 in 65 games in Triple-A, then .276/.382/.448 in 15 games in the majors. His Seattle performance is in line with expectation. Now he has to stay healthy for more than two seconds a year.
9) Jamal Strong, OF
Hit .293/.371/.393 with 25 steals for Tacoma. Good on-base skills to go with plus speed, would make a good backup outfielder or even a starter if you have enough power at other positions.
10) Ryan Feierabend, LHP
Went 8-7, 3.88 in 29 starts for Class A Inland Empire, 122/51 K/BB in 151 innings. Gave up 186 hits but survived. Double-A will be a difficult test for him.
11) Wladimir Balentien, OF
Hit .291/.338/.553 with 38 doubles and 25 homers for Inland Empire, but he also struck out 160 times in 123 games. Immense power but can he handle Double-A breaking stuff?
12) Adam Jones, SS
Breakthrough! Hit .295/.374/.494 for Inland Empire, then .298/.365/.461 in 63 games for Double-A San Antonio. Spiked some power, while improving plate discipline. Still just 20 years old, has a very bright future.
13) Michael Morse, SS
Hit .278/.349/.370 in 72 games for the Mariners. Strike zone judgment a problem, probably won't exceed these numbers without further plate discipline development.
14) Cesar Jimenez, LHP
Good year in San Antonio bullpen, 2.62 ERA, 54/24 K/BB in 69 innings. Just 20 years old, could be/should be useful relief arm.
15) Cha-Seung Baek, RHP
6.41 ERA in 21 starts for Tacoma, gave up 147 hits in 114 innings. Seems unlikely to develop now.
16) Bobby Livingston, LHP
Pitched well for San Antonio, 8-4, 2.86 in 18 starts. Did OK in Triple-A at 6-2, 4.70 in 10 starts, 41/15 K/BB in 52 innings. Finesse lefty who will have to be perfect to duplicate these numbers in the majors.
17) Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
Hit .318/.407/.474 for Wisconsin, then .284/.325/.418 for Inland Empire. Just 19, a long way from the majors but has good tools and has played fairly well so far.
18) Yung-Chi Chen, 3B
Hit .292/.339/.416 in 121 games for Wisconsin, with 15 steals. Another guy holding his own but not putting up super-strong numbers at this point.
19) Jesus Guzman, 3B
Hit .258/.330/.393 in 119 games for San Antonio. Will have to do better than that to push his way to the Show.
20) Rich Dorman, RHP
6.28 ERA in 39 innings for Tacoma, with poor 22/26 K/BB. Now 27 years old and not really a prospect any more.
The huge bright spot here is Felix, of course, and I'm also impressed with the progress made by Adam Jones. Otherwise I don't see much to be excited about in this group. The 2006 list will look a lot different.