Friday, March 23, 2012

Seattle Mariners 2012 Pre-Season Top 15 Prospects

Here is my Top 15 Prospect list for the Seattle Mariners. The stats are from the 2011 season unless otherwise noted.

1. Jesus Montero, C/DH - 420 AB, .288/.348/.467, 18 HR, 67 RBI, 36 BB, 98 K, 0 SB 0 CS (AAA)

No matter how poor his defense is at whatever position he ends up at, Montero is an elite hitter to the point where the Mariners gave up one of the best young pitchers in the game to get him. I expect him to continue right where he left off after his impressive debut with the Yankees in September.

2. Danny Hultzen, LHP - 12-3, 1.37 ERA, 118 IP, 76 H, 23 BB, 165 K (College)

A much safer bet to be a quality ML starter puts Hultzen ahead of the next two guys and don't be surprised if he dominates early in his minor league career and contributes in Seattle by September.

3. Taijuan Walker, RHP - 6-5, 2.89 ERA, 96.2 IP, 69 H, 39 BB, 113 K (A)

Considered the best athlete in the system, the 19-year old Walker has enormous potential and could be a Top 10 prospect overall if he pitches like he did last year when he leads the High Desert rotation in the extremely hitter-friendly California League in 2012.

4. James Paxton, LHP - 6-3, 2.37 ERA, 95 IP, 73 H, 43 BB, 131 K (A/AA)

Paxton has electric stuff from the left side and he can be a frontline starter sooner rather than later if he can repeat his delivery consistently and improve his command.

5. Nick Franklin, SS - 352 AB, .281/.352/.418, 7 HR, 26 RBI, 37 BB, 80 K, 18 SB 4 CS (A+/AA)

Franklin made up for a slow start to 2011 by excelling after a surprise promotion to AA Jackson. With above-average power for a SS and good instincts for a 21-year old he could be starting in Seattle by 2013. 

6. Vinnie Catricala, 3B/1B/OF - 521 AB, .349/.421/.601, 25 HR, 106 RBI, 57 BB, 92 K, 17 SB 4 CS (A+/AA)

You will be hard-pressed to find a better #6 prospect on any team list as Catricala raked over two levels last year to earn 2011 Seattle Mariners Minor League Player of the Year. The only question right now is where he will play defensively but his bat will work at any position.

7. Alex Liddi, 3B - 559 AB, .259/.332/.488, 30 HR, 104 RBI, 61 BB, 170 K, 5 SB 1 CS (AAA)

Only has one plus tool in his power, but I think it will be enough to overcome his strikeout issues and his weak defense and he can at least become a serviceable DH/platoon player.
8. Chance Ruffin, RHP - 77 AB, 3-3, 2.03 ERA, 19 SV, 48.2 IP, 37 H, 22 BB, 60 K (AA/AAA)

He's got a wide repertoire of pitches for a reliever which gives him a lot of flexibility, but he struggled with his control in the Majors due to an inability to repeat his unorthodox delivery. If he can perhaps settle down his delivery while maintaining his stuff he has the potential to be a closer in this league.

9. Francisco Martinez, 3B - 477 AB, .289/.321/.426, 10 HR, 69 RBI, 23 BB, 104 K, 10 SB 10 CS (AA)

I am not a big believer in Martinez as I believe the Tigers really hindered his development by rushing him through the minors. He's only 21 so there's plenty of time for improvement, but his poor strike-zone judgement leads me to believe he won't get the most out of his tools.

10. Phillips Castillo, OF - 170 AB, .300/.366/.482, 1 HR, 27 RBI, 15 BB, 61 K, 8 SB 5 CS (RK)

Castillo has a long way to go, but the 18-year old had an impressive debut in the Arizona Rookie League and has perhaps the highest upside of any hitter in the system.

11. Martin Peguero, SS - 165 AB, .279/.309/.382, 1 HR, 25 RBI, 6 BB, 22 K, 17 SB 5 CS (A+/AA)

One of the top international prospects when Seattle signed him to a big bonus in 2010, Peguero has a huge ceiling but he is extremely raw and may need to move away from SS.

12. Brad Miller, SS - 53 AB, .415/.458/.528, 0 HR, 7 RBI, 4 BB, 9 K, 1 SB 0 CS (A)

An unorthodox style at the plate, Miller leaves it all on the field and while he may not have the tools to stick at SS, he could turn into a valuable utility player.

13. Guillermo Pimentel, OF - 245 AB, .265/.308/.441, 11 HR, 46 RBI, 15 BB, 73 K, 4 SB 1 CS (RK)

Huge power potential with the 19-year old Pimentel, but it comes with very poor strike-zone discipline and no other plus tools.

14. Carter Capps, RHP - 1-1, 6.00 ERA, 18 IP, 19 H, 10 BB, 21 K (A)

A power pitcher out of Division II Mt. Olive College, Capps can hit the high-90's with his fastball out of the pen which is where he should end up.

15. Tyler Marlette, C - 45 AB, .156/.156/.200, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 0 BB, 13 K, 0 SB 0 CS (RK)

An outstanding defensive catcher drafted in 2011 out of HS, Marlette's bat will need to catch up to his glove if he wants to reach the Majors.


Cameron Hobson, LHP - 4-2, 2.89 ERA, 43.2 IP, 41 H, 8 BB, 51 K (AA)

A polished lefty out of Dayton, Hobson throws four effective pitches for strikes, with his curveball his best pitch when it's at its best. Has the ceiling of an innings eating 3-4 starter.

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