Baseball America is the king of the prospect ranking game – they’ve been doing it the longest, and have been copied by many outlets.
Today they web-published their Mariners Top 10 Prospects package. Most of it requires a free online registration, but they do release the list and an overview article without registration. Here is their ranking:
- Alex Jackson, OF
- D.J. Peterson – 3B
- Ketel Marte – SS
- Patrick Kivlehan – 3B/1B
- Austin Wilson – OF
- Edwin Diaz – RHP
- Gabriel Guerrero – OF
- Luiz Gohara – LHP
- Ryan Yarbrough – LHP
- Carson Smith – RHP
A few thoughts on the list:
- The top five are all position players. When was the last time that happened in the Mariners system?
- They are quite high on Ketel Marte, who looked impressive in his first taste of Triple-A baseball at the end of last season.
- Carson Smith is down the list because Baseball America values starting pitching prospects over relievers. I wouldn’t be surprised if Smith spends the entire 2015 season in Seattle – although he could ride the Tacoma-to-Seattle shuttle.
- Marte, Patrick Kivlehan, and possibly Smith should be Rainiers on opening day. I think D.J. Peterson opens the season in Double-A but I’ve been wrong a hundred times before, so…
- Baseball America is still quite high on Luiz Gohara, an 18-year-old lefty from Brazil who is built like CC Sabathia. Gohara really struggled in Everett last year but he was much younger than the hitters he was facing. We’re talking three-to-five years younger in most match-ups.
- I find it interesting that they have Austin Wilson ahead of Gabriel Guerrero. Wilson is a year-and-a-half older than Guerrero and a level behind him in the system. They must think that Wilson has the proverbial “higher ceiling.”
This is the first of the “big three” Mariners prospect rankings. Baseball Prospectus and John Sickels will have their rankings later in the off-season.
Surely you’ve heard by now that on Wednesday afternoon the Mariners officially announced the Nelson Cruz signing, and also announced that they traded outfielder Michael Saunders to the Toronto Blue Jays for left-handed starting pitcher J.A. Happ.
The Saunders trade was imminent – it’s been clear since the end of the season that there was some sort of disconnect there, and the only question was a matter of where to and for who.
Getting Happ helps the starting pitching depth, which was a weakness. They currently have six starting pitchers, which is good because it (almost) never fails that there will be injuries in spring training.
It’s sad to see Saunders go, as he is truly a classy guy to have on the team. We watched him grow since he first showed up in Tacoma in 2008. Including rehabilitation assignments, he wore a Rainiers uniform for at least three games in seven of the last eight years!
I’ve heard that Saunders is pleased with this trade – he couldn’t control the destination, of course, so it was surprisingly cool for a Canadian to join a Toronto team that is making moves to try to win the AL East
Hopefully this trade will work out for both teams.
The Winter Meetings start on Sunday and will go on most of next week. The meetings are in San Diego this year – a huge improvement from the recent locations.
The Rainiers will have a contingent of five or six people who will participate in league meetings, canvass the Baseball Trade Show, meet with Mariners officials, and perhaps hire a staffer or two.
I will not be there, but I’ll be following the MLB player news/rumors from my North End Office. I’ll pass along the Mariners and Rainiers-related tidbits here on the blog.
- Bob Dutton has the story on the Michael Saunders-for-J.A. Happ trade.
- Baseball America analyzed the Saunders/Happ trade.
- After being traded, Michael Saunders sent this message to Mariners fans.
- Art Thiel quickly got answers to the three big questions for Nelson Cruz.
- The Seattle Times has a story on Cruz’s press conference.
- Dutton’s story on the Cruz signing includes some additional Mariners notes at the end.
- Larry Stone writes that Kyle Seager is a role model for other young Mariners.
- The controversial Melky Cabrera could be the final piece for the Mariners, Jerry Brewer writes.
- Patrick Kivlehan‘s hometown newspaper has a story on him today.
- Baseball America’s minor league free agent tracker says that the Mariners have signed veteran curveballer Justin Germano. Germano has been around for a while – here is his career stats page.
- A ripple effect of the Oklahoma City name change from RedHawks to Dodgers: they have to retire their mascots and get a new one.
- The Round Rock Express have a new manager: it is former PCL infielder Jason Wood. He played in this league *forever*: Edmonton 1995-1998, Nashville 2000-2001, Calgary 2002, Albuquerque 2003-2006 and 2008. That’s all or part of 12 years in the PCL, including five years with teams that no longer exist!
- Reno Aces owner Herb Simon sat down with the newspaper guys and discussed the franchise’s future.
- The Giants are signing a bunch of interesting minor league free agents. This could be seen as an attempt to add organizational depth or it could be seen as an attempt to field a winning team in the first year of their new affiliation with Sacramento. Probably both.
- There is now an Official Wine of Minor League Baseball.
Winter Meetings week coming – it’s like Christmas for those of us who like to follow the off-season rumors!