Seattle Mariners Pre-Season Top 20 Review
1) Felix Hernandez, RHP
9-4, 2.23 ERA in 15 games for Triple-A Tacoma, 83/40 K/BB in 77 innings, just 55 hits and 3 homers allowed. Everything looks good except his walk rate, which is still too high. Only real doubt I have is about his health.
2) Jeremy Reed, OF
Hitting .257/.326/.350 for the Mariners. Defense has been better than expected, offense less than expected. I am still very optimistic in the long run.
3) Shin-Soo Choo, OF
Hitting .255/.371/.392 with 15 steals for Tacoma. Reasonable on-base skills, but lack of power is hurting his status.
4) Yuniesky Betancourt, SS
Hitting .293/.315/.429 since being promoted to Tacoma last month, after .273/.301/.410 performance in Double-A. Holding his own, I expect gradual improvement if he can increase his walk rate even a little.
5) Clint Nageotte, RHP
Has pitched just 13 innings this year due to a sore arm. Has pitched well in those 13 innings, but has to show he is healthy.
6) Matt Tuiasosopo, SS
.287/.372/.413 for Wisconsin, earning Class A Midwest League All-Star honors. Holding his own, making progress, no change in his status really.
7) Jorge Campillo, RHP
2.98 ERA in 11 starts for Tacoma, with 38/16 K/BB ratio in 60 innings, 61 hits allowed. Strike-thrower, still projects as number 4 starter or swingman.
8) Chris Snelling, OF
Has somehow managed to stay healthy most of the time this year, hitting .363/.447/.540 for Tacoma. This isn't a fluke, he is an excellent hitter when he isn't in the doctor's office.
9) Jamal Strong, OF
Hitting .310/.383/.417 with 18 steals in 71 games for Tacoma. Status unchanged, still an effective line drive hitter with good speed but not much extra-base power.
10) Ryan Feierabend, LHP
19 starts at Class A Inland Empire, 4.28 ERA, 4-5, 84/43 K/BB in 95 innings,118 hits allowed. Doing OK considering league context, will need better location at higher levels since his stuff isn't overpowering.
11) Wladimir Balentien, OF
.272/.325/.513 with 14 homers in 76 games for Inland Empire. Good power, but has struck out 94 times. Contact will be serious issue at higher levels.
12) Adam Jones, SS
Rapid progress. Hit .295 in 68 games for Inland Empire, earning promotion to Double-A San Antonio, where he is at .329/.379/.481 after 22 games. With 7 steals. Blossoming in all categories, likely belongs on Top 50 list.
13) Michael Morse, SS
Hit .253/.317/.407 in 49 games at Triple-A, but .340/.410/.434 in 33 games for the Major League Mariners. I have never been very impressed with him, and I think his early numbers are quite probably a fluke. We will see.
14) Cesar Jimenez, LHP
3.11 ERA in 32 games for San Antonio. Just promoted to Triple-A, has fanned 6 in 5 innings but allowing 6 runs and 7 hits. Looks like a LOOGY to me.
15) Cha-Seung Baek, RHP
5.71 ERA in 15 starts at Tacoma, with 53/21 K/BB in 80 innings, 94 hits and 12 homers allowed. Not impressive, his stock is dropping.
16) Bobby Livingston, LHP
Finesse lefty doing well in Double-A: 8-4, 2.86 in 18 starts, 78/27 K/BB in 116 innings. Passing the Double-A Finesse Pitcher test so far, although relatively mediocre K/IP rate warns that future success is not guaranteed.
17) Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
Hit .318 at Wisconsin in 51 games, now at Inland Empire where he is at .338/.378/.554 after 18 games. Doing just fine, reasonable plate discipline with good pop.
18) Yung-Chi Chen, 3B
Hitting .286/.328/.405 at Wisconsin. Making contact, has stolen 14 bases, other numbers adequate but not terrific.
19) Jesus Guzman, 3B
Hitting .274/.340/.417 for San Antonio. Doing OK, holding his own, not wonderful numbers, status unchanged.
20) Rich Dorman, RHP
5.57 ERA with poor 18/19 K/BB in 7 starts for Tacoma. Has spent most of the year on the DL with a finger injury.
Best news here is rapid development of Adam Jones and good numbers from Chris Snelling. King Felix is still the best pitching prospect in the game.