Happy Thanksgiving! Let’s clean up some recent Mariners news before we clean our plates.
The Arizona Fall League ended earlier this week, and a Mariners prospect was one of the top performers in the circuit.
Outfielder/first baseman Eric Filia hit up a storm in the desert, batting .408 with a .483 on-base percentage while slugging .605. He reached base safely in all 23 games he played in, and finished runner-up to Atlanta Braves mega prospect Ronald Acuna for league MVP.
Filia hits for contact, draws walks, and has doubles power. He’s a career .337 hitter in the low minors, and is expected to open the 2018 season with Double-A Arkansas.
As an older prospect – Filia has a very unique background, which brought him to professional baseball late (read about it here) – the Mariners may move Filia to Triple-A quickly next year if he hits well early in the season at Arkansas. Assuming he isn’t traded for a relief pitcher during the offseason.
Max Povse pitched well in the Arizona Fall League after returning to his natural role as a starting pitcher.
His final numbers don’t jump off the screen – 1-2 with a 4.61 ERA in six starts – but he improved as the season went on, culminating with a six inning, one run start in his final outing.
Another Mariner in the Arizona Fall League who had a big showing was reliever Art Warren.
A right-hander who turns 25 in March, Warren did not allow a run in nine appearances, covering 11 innings. He struck out 12 and walked four, and allowed only five hits.
Warren spent all of last season at Class-A Modesto, but he could be a quick climber through the upper levels of the farm system in 2018.
As expected, the Mariners did not protect any Rule 5 Draft eligible prospects prior to the deadline. This is due to a lack of young talent in the upper levels of the farm system, a situation created by all of the trades of prospects for major league and Triple-A players over the last two years.
Speedy outfielder Ian Miller was the most likely candidate to be protected, but the Mariners elected to keep a handful 40-man roster spots open for waiver claims and free agent signings. We’ll have to wait and see if Miller gets selected in the Rule 5 Draft at the Winter Meetings next month.
- Eric Filia capped off his outstanding Fall by winning the AFL’s Dernell Stenson Sportsmanship Award. He ranks second on Baseball America’s final Arizona Fall League Hot Sheet.
- Hisashi Iwakuma told the Japan Times he has received an offer from the Mariners. Might as well bring him to spring training and see how he looks.
- The Mariners made yet another trade, sending two low-level prospects to the Yankees for reliever Nick Rumbelow. His stats can be found in Ryan Divish’s story.
- The trade for Rumbelow caused somebody to write about how Jerry Dipoto‘s strategy of churning through the final five spots on the 40-man roster comes at the cost of player development. It’s a very strange time in the Mariners farm system.
- Larry Stone shared his thoughts on the Mariners offseason needs, touching on both Shohei Ohtani and Ichiro.
- Dipoto is listed as one of three general managers who must deliver a winner in 2018, according to ESPN.com (Insider access required – the story basically says the M’s really, really need Ohtani).
- ESPN.com has a look at which teams are most likely to land Ohtani. Yes, the Mariners are on the list.
- The Mariners announced the spring training schedule, and it includes more night games. The story explains why.
- If you are a stats nerd (cautiously raises hand), Dave Cameron vs. Bill James on the benefits and shortcomings of WAR is a good read.