Mariners Top Prospects; Winter Meetings Underway

A few weeks ago, I wrote that the Baseball Prospectus list of the Mariners Top-11 Prospects was one of the three prospect lists I really look forward to each off-season.

Well, the second of the three came out today: Baseball America’s Top-10 list was revealed on its website. Here is the list and accompanying article (free), and here are the subscriber-only scouting reports. There is also a subscriber-only live chat, with Q’s and A’s, here.

The list looks like this:

  1. Dustin Ackley, 2b
  2. Michael Pineda, rhp
  3. Nick Franklin, ss/2b
  4. Taijuan Walker, rhp
  5. Guillermo Pimentel, of
  6. Mauricio Robles, lhp
  7. Johermyn Chavez, of
  8. Marcus Littlewood, ss
  9. Kyle Seager, inf
  10. Dan Cortes, rhp

It’s an interesting mix – we have four players already in Tacoma, and on the cusp of reaching the majors (Ackley, Pineda, Robles, Cortes); three players coming off monster seasons at the Class-A level who could be wearing Tacoma hats in late 2011 or 2012 (Franklin, Chavez, Seager); and three recently signed teenagers who are a long ways away from the majors or Triple-A (Walker, Pimentel, Littlewood).

The Baseball Winter Meetings are underway, and already the news – and cash – is flying around in Orlando, Florida. Jayson Werth at seven years, $18 million per? It’s going to be a crazy week.

Both area newspapers have sent beat writers to cover the proceedings, and I’ll just direct you there if you want Mariners-related coverage of the event: Ryan Divish is all over it on The News Tribune’s Mariners Insider, and over at the Seattle Times Mariners Blog, Geoff Baker is typing up a storm – and he also is posting video of some of his interviews.

As for the national coverage, if you are an ESPN Insider, its times like this when analyst Keith Law really shines. His column is here.

More links:

  • Congratulations to former Mariners General Manager Pat Gillick, who was elected into the Baseball Hall Of Fame by the Veteran’s Committee today. Larry Stone has more on the vote. Gillick’s best work came with Toronto and Philadelphia, but he was also the architect behind the Mariners 116-win team in 2001.
  • Former Tacoma Rainiers relievers JJ Putz and Brian Fuentes are both free agents going into the meetings – I’m hearing Putz to Arizona, nothing yet on Fuentes.
  • In the PCL, the Escondido ballpark project continues – the latest update is here.
  • Also, the 2011 PCL schedule is complete, with all game times announced – you can see the Rainiers full schedule.*

This is always one of the most entertaining weeks of the baseball off-season. Stay tuned!

* when it comes to the schedule, I look at it very differently than fans. How are the road trips? Mostly good, except for that 12-game, 13-day jaunt in June. Do we get off-days at home? Not this year. What will be the worst travel day? I’m guessing August 7. Single-series road trips where you leave home and come back after just three or four games really wear you out – how many are there? Only three, which is a nice low number. Do we get a day-game-followed-by-night-game situation in Las Vegas? Yes, June 26-27! Is there an opening where I am likely to get myself into trouble? Uh-oh, the night of May 15 looks potentially troublesome for your loyal RG. Do we have any bus trips? Yes, we have two easy Fresno-to-Sacramento bus trips. Will I be able to attend the Mariners home opener? Not this year – that’s two years in a row. Do we finish the season at home? YES!

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