2010 Seattle Mariners Top 20 Prospects in Review
Here is a review of the 2010 Mariners prospect list, originally published January 11, 2010. THIS IS A REVIEW OF THE OLD LIST AND PRE-SEASON GRADES. THIS IS NOT A NEW LIST. The 2011 list and new grades won't be ready until the season is over and I start writing the book.
1) Dustin Ackley, 2B, Grade A-: .265/.389/.388 with eight steals, 67 walks, 52 strikeouts between Double-A and Triple-A. Shows outstanding plate discipline, but not much power at this point. Still working on defense at second. I think he has a good chance to breakout next year, although I expect I'll lower his grade to a strong B+.
2) Michael Saunders, OF, Grade B: .238/.309/.427 in 65 games for the Mariners, 19/55 BB/K in 185 at-bats. Has shown some pop but rather disappointing overall. At 23 he still has time to improve.
3) Gabriel Noriega, SS, Grade B-: .225/.289/.277 for Clinton in the Midwest League. Can't hit yet, but still very young at 19. Has split season between 2B and SS, will likely end up at 2B.
4) Alex Liddi, 3B, Grade B-: Hitting .267/.341/.472 for Double-A West Tennessee. Needs work with the glove and his plate discipline is marginal, but he's shown enough to indicate that last year wasn't a complete High Desert illusion.
5) Carlos Triunfel, SS-3B, Grade B-: .267/.296/.348 in Double-A, with an 11/45 BB/K in 407 at-bats. Positives: he's still just 20. He doesn't strike out much. Negatives: no power yet, miniscule walk rate, poor range at shortstop. Stock dropping though still young enough to improve.
6) Nick Franklin, SS, Grade B-: .286/.349/.517 with 19 homers, 19 steals, 32 walks, 83 strikeouts in 381 at-bats for Low-A Clinton. Very impressive power/speed production, stock is rising.
7) Michael Pineda, RHP, Grade B-: Outstanding season, 11-3, 2.71, 131/28 K/BB in 123 innings, 98 hits between Double-A and Triple-A. Now one of the elite RHP prospects around in my view.
8) Mario Martinez, 3B, Grade C+: .254/.289/.398 in 88 games for Clinton, 15/81 BB/K in 327 at-bats. Defense at third is pretty good according to reports, but the bat needs work. Still just 20.
9) Dan Cortes, RHP, Grade C+: 5.61 ERA with 77/52 K/BB in 89 innings in Double-A, 73 hits. Awful as a starter, but has a 1.17 ERA and a 12/3 K/BB in eight innings since moving to relief role last month. I suspect the bullpen is his long-term job.
10) James Jones, OF, Grade C+: Hit .205/.319/.364 in the first half, .319/.394/.514 in the second half. Overall .249/.347/.422 for Low-A Clinton with 18 steals, nine homers, 49 walks, 89 strikeouts in 358 at-bats. Has figured something out lately, breakthrough candidate in 2011.
11) Adam Moore, C, Grade C+: .321/.359/.463 in Triple-A, .188/.224/.328 in the majors. He'll get more chances.
12) Ezequiel Carrera, OF, Grade C+: .284/.353/.336 in 81 games split between three levels, now with Indians system. 13 steals. Future reserve outfielder, I don't think he'll show enough power to get behind that.
13) Dennis Raben, OF, Grade C+: .221/.320/.450 in 42 games for Clinton, .356/.413/.681 in 40 games for High Desert, 20 homers combined but also 96 strikeouts in 82 games. Power impressive, not sure about batting average and OBP at higher levels.
14) Mauricio Robles, LHP, Grade C+: 4.17 ERA, 115/47 K/BB in 108 innings, 98 hits in Double-A. Not bad at all, and he's just 21.
15) Kanaoke Texeira, RHP, Grade C+: 5.30 ERA with 14/10 K/BB in 19 innings for the Mariners. Claimed on waivers by the Royals, 3.60 ERA with 14/8 K/BB in 30 innings. I think he can be a competent middle reliever.
16) Johermyn Chavez, OF, Grade C: .313/.382/.584 with 27 homers, 41 walks, 105 strikeouts in 409 at-bats for High Desert. Looks like a breakout...but it is High Desert and the Cal League.
17) Julio Morban, OF, Grade C: Has received just 10 at-bats in the Appalachian League.
18) Greg Halman, OF, Grade C: .253/.329/.562 with 24 homers, 31 walks, 120 strikeouts in 297 at-bats for Triple-A Tacoma, with 11 steals in 13 attempts. Still has terrific power/speed potential, but the strikeout rate is still very excessive.
19) Mike Carp, 1B, Grade C: .252/.329/.472 with 17 homers for Tacoma. Not exactly exciting, and at 24 he needs to take a step forward soon or get stuck as a Triple-A slugger.
20) Maikel Cleto, RHP, Grade C: 5.63 ERA with 62/23 K/BB in 72 innings for High Desert, 93 hits. Not pretty, but it is High Desert. ERA is almost two runs lower on the road than at home.
Not a great year for this group of prospects. Pineda and Franklin are the only ones who have significantly improved their stock; the others are holding steady or dropping. Jones could put up some stunning numbers next year at High Desert if he maintains his current progress.