Two of the highly-regarded prospect analysts released Mariners prospects lists in the last 24 hours, and we’ve got some conflicting viewpoints.
ESPN’s Keith Law had his entire annual prospect package released this week, with a national Top-100 list and team-by-team Top Tens.
Keith put two Mariners in his Top 100: he has Alex Jackson ranked No. 59, and D.J. Peterson is No. 61.
Since Peterson is likely to play for the Rainiers this season, let’s copy Law’s write-up on him (note: the reports are for ESPN Insider subscribers, but I contacted Keith and he granted permission to share his Peterson report).
Peterson just missed my top 100 last year, moving up to the middle of the list this offseason thanks to a strong debut campaign that saw him perform well at two levels despite a series of nagging injuries. This says nothing of the broken jaw that ended his 2013 campaign; Peterson showed no ill effects from that injury. (It was caused by a 96 mph fastball, and he never flinched or bailed out on inside pitches thereafter.) He’s more of a pure hitter than a power guy but can get a little homer-happy and lose some of his knack for making hard contact. He has dropped his load further down toward his rear hip since college, which gives him a little more loft through contact but also puts him on top of the ball too often. I’d rather see him keep his hands a little higher and hit more line drives, even at the cost of five homers per year.
He’s played more third base than first in pro ball, but first is his ultimate position. He can be a high-average, 15-20-homer hitter or a lower average, 20-25-homer hitter. The latter would make him more of an average regular, but the former gives him a chance to be a full grade higher.
Here are Law’s Top 10 Mariners prospects:
1. Alex Jackson, RF
2. D.J. Peterson, 1B/3B
3. Austin Wilson, RF
4. Ketel Marte, IF
5. Gabriel Guerrero, RF
6. Luiz Gohara, LHP
7. Edwin Diaz, RHP
8. Tyler Marlette, C
9. Patrick Kivlehan, 1B
10. Gareth Morgan, OF
Meanwhile, Baseball Prospectus released their Seattle Mariners Top-10 list today, and it looks a bit different:
- 1B/3B D.J. Peterson
- RF Alex Jackson
- 2B/SS Ketel Marte
- RF Gabriel Guerrero
- RHP Edwin Diaz
- C Tyler Marlette
- LHP Luiz Gohara
- RHP Victor Sanchez
- RHP Carson Smith
- OF Austin Wilson
The big difference – other than the flip-flop up top – is the vastly different opinion on Class-A outfielder Austin Wilson. Law ranked him No. 3, and BP stuck him at the end.
Law placed 2014 second-round pick Gareth Morgan in at No. 10, while BP decided to keep Victor Sanchez in theirs – noting in the scouting report (link below) that Sanchez has a strong chance of being a back-of-the-rotation starter in the big leagues.
Patrick Kivlehan also generated different opinions: Law likes him enough for a No. 9 slot, while BP lists him as a “factor on the farm” saying that he could end up being a bench player in the majors.
It’s interesting to see the different opinions, but it is important to remember that is exactly what they are: opinions.
- For ESPN Insiders, here are links to Keith Law’s various prospect rankings: a list of the Top-100, Scouting reports on players 1-to-50, scouting reports on players 51-to-100, his Seattle Mariners Top 10, and ranking by organization 1-to-30.
- Baseball Prospectus also requires a subscription, but they have detailed reports with their Mariners Top 10.
- Here is Bob Dutton’s report on the Mariners signing veteran catcher John Baker.
- Buster Olney did a video report on Taijuan Walker.
- Former Rainiers slugger Bryan LaHair signed a minor league deal with the Red Sox.
- If you are a die-hard Rainiers fan, you know that since joining the league in 2009 the Reno Aces have always, um, kicked our butt. Perhaps this act of generosity by a Tacoma man to a former Reno hockey player will turn Karma in our favor? Even if it doesn’t, it’s a good story.
- The Las Vegas 51s announced their coaching staff. Wally Backman and Frank Viola are back.
Have a wonderful Super Bowl Weekend, you guys.