Mariner Minors
Saturday, January 31, 2004

WHIP Charts

There won't be any more prospect rankings for a while, unless I come up with my own. We're still waiting on Top Prospect Alert and Baseball America, which is currently reviewing college baseball.

In the meantime, I'm creating some WHIP charts. The posting of this is going to be somewhat patchwork, in the interest of contributing something right now, I'm posting these bit by bit and eventually they'll be completed. Once those are done, I'll determine the league average WHIP for the league and indicate which pitchers were above average and below average and, of course, add commentary at the end.

For those unfamiliar with WHIP, it's nothing too complex, just hits plus walks divided by total innings pitched. Sort of a OBP for pitchers.

Tacoma Rainiers

Name	        Age	IP	H	BB	WHIP

Taylor, Aaron 26 40.1 30 13 1.07
Putz, J.J. 27 86 69 34 1.20
Looper, Aaron 27 75.1 72 26 1.30
*Anderson, Cra 23 177 187 46 1.32
Atchison, Scot 27 108.2 114 37 1.39
Heaverlo, Jeff 26 123.2 150 38 1.52


Name	        Age	Levels	      IP	H	BB	WHIP

*Thornton, Matt 27 AAA, AA, A+ 43.1 31 16 1.08
*Williams, Rand 28 AAA, AA 67.1 58 18 1.13
Johnson, Rett 24 AAA, AA 154 137 39 1.14

San Antonio Missions

Name	        Age	IP	H	BB	WHIP

*Sherrill, Geor 27 27.1 19 12 1.13
*Blackley, Trav 21 162.1 125 62 1.15
Nageotte, Clint 23 154 127 67 1.26
*Madritsch, Bob 28 158.2 133 67 1.26
Martinez, Gusta 28 92 76 50 1.37
Hoerman, Jared 27 58.2 62 23 1.45


Name	        Age	Levels	IP	H	BB	WHIP

Baek, Cha Seung 23 AA, A+ 112.2 104 26 1.15
Strelitz, Brian 24 AA, A+ 73.1 69 18 1.19
Olore, Kevin 27 AA, A+ 79 89 35 1.57

Inland Empire 66ers

Name	        Age	IP	H	BB	WHIP

Steele, Mike 26 38.2 29 8 0.96
*Ketchner, Ryan 22 156.2 133 33 1.06
Perez, Elvis 23 65.1 55 16 1.09
*Rall, Tim 25 37 34 9 1.16
*Bott, Glenn 22 142.1 131 38 1.19
*Cate, Troy 23 160 165 37 1.26
*Blood, Justin 24 58.2 48 27 1.28
*Thomas, Jared 23 87.1 67 46 1.29
Fruto, Emiliano 19 78.2 80 38 1.50
Done, Juan 23 68.2 77 31 1.57


Name	      Age	Levels	IP	H	BB	WHIP

Cortez, Renee 21 A+, A 68 50 22 1.06
*Rowland-Smith 21 A+, A 52 34 22 1.08
Dorman, Rich 25 A+, A 82.1 65 45 1.34

Wisconsin Timber Rattlers

Name	      Age	IP	H	BB	WHIP

*Martinez, Migu 21 55.2 41 17 1.04
Fulmer, T.A. 24 167.2 154 37 1.14
*Livingston, Bo 21 178 176 28 1.15
Viane, David 24 60.2 59 18 1.27
*Dowdy, Justin 20 24.1 25 7 1.32
Wear, Greg 24 20 22 6 1.40
*Delgado, Oscar 23 58 55 28 1.43
*Jimenez, Caesa 19 125.2 134 46 1.43
Heaston, Bryan 23 53.1 53 26 1.48
Sandoval, Juan 23 157.1 190 58 1.58
Watson, Tanner 21 116 142 53 1.68


Name	      Age	Levels	        IP	H	BB	WHIP

Hernandez, Feli 18 A, A- 69 52 27 1.14
*Hintz, Beau 23 A, A- 106 112 41 1.44
Morrow, David 22 A, A-, R 44.2 37 38 1.68

Everett Aquasox

Name	      Age	IP	H	BB	WHIP

*Oldham, Thom 21 63 48 23 1.13
Acosta, Nibaldo 21 15 14 6 1.33
Moorhead, Mich 24 23 27 6 1.43
Chang, Kenly 21 36.1 37 16 1.46
Ovalles, Juan 21 26.2 29 10 1.46
Stitt, Brian 21 26 28 10 1.46
Rose, Brad 20 44 54 17 1.61
*Ramirez, Victo 21 68 79 31 1.62
Frye, Randall 20 62 73 33 1.71
Ockerman, Just 21 31.1 24 31 1.76
Alcantara, Audy 22 36.1 40 26 1.82
*Hays, Sam 22 42.1 44 37 1.91


Name	      Age	Levels	IP	H	BB	WHIP

*O’Flaherty, Er 19 A-, R 38.1 25 10 0.91
*Perry, Brandon 19 A-, R 24.2 19 10 1.18
Forbes, Terry 19 A-, R 47.2 56 17 1.53

Peoria Mariners


James, Craig 21 26 28 4 1.23
Flores, Ruben 19 31.1 28 12 1.28
Tucker, Cardoza 19 18 16 7 1.28
*Nottingham, S 19 19.1 17 8 1.29
*Hall, Vance 20 46 42 20 1.35
*Fagan, Robert 19 33 40 6 1.39
*Feierabend, Ry 19 20.2 23 6 1.40
Hrynio, Mike 21 24.1 31 9 1.64
Bello, Cibney 21 35.2 42 19 1.71
Leaist, Ryan 21 14 12 12 1.71
Woerman, Josep 21 10.2 14 5 1.78
*Bergdall, Kend 21 30.2 40 20 1.96
Bernat, David 20 23.2 35 12 1.99
Dorn, Timothy 21 11 17 6 2.09
Martinez, Roman 19 21 34 12 2.19
Falconer, Kenny 21 8.1 8 11 2.28


Name	      Age	IP	H	BB	WHIP

Mercedes P., Mi ? 41.2 35 16 1.22
Mateo, Jesus ? 23.2 19 11 1.27
Perez, Victor ? 20.1 13 13 1.28
Suriel, Jose ? 32.1 29 13 1.30
Luna, Jael ? 60.1 61 19 1.33
Sosa, Adolfo ? 32.1 31 13 1.36
*Vasquez, Rucky ? 26 26 11 1.42
Colon, Carlos 19 38.1 30 25 1.43
Soto, Sterling ? 38.2 38 20 1.50
Torres, Leonar ? 21.1 19 14 1.55
Arias, Oliver ? 49 56 23 1.61
Bonilla, Leury ? 37.2 54 16 1.86
Torres, Victor ? 12.1 23 7 2.43


Name	      Age	IP	H	BB	WHIP

Blanco, Ivan 19 74.1 40 15 0.74
Acosta, Jorge 19 55.1 38 16 0.98
Figueroa, Carl 19 51.2 40 13 1.03
Gaetano, Dionny 19 24.1 16 9 1.03
Garcia, Dumas 20 40.1 16 26 1.04
Yerovi, Carlos 22 18 14 5 1.06
*Castro, Hugo 20 32 19 19 1.19
*Santiago, Juli 18 48 39 19 1.21
Correa, Felix 18 50 44 18 1.24
Alarcon, Kelvin 18 25 18 14 1.28
Gutierrez, Alej 19 31 28 13 1.32
Rodriguez, Irwi 19 28 29 11 1.43
Bolivar, Esteb 19 26.1 25 15 1.52
Izaguirre, Luis 19 13.2 16 9 1.83

Quick notes:
*When/if I get around to compiling my own prospects list, I'm doing something different. Blackley's my number one, not Nageotte.
*The answer to why Rich Dorman never garnered much attention despite posting a sub-3.00 ERA as a swingman? His peripherals didn't match up.
*Juan Sandoval was unimpressive this year in low-A, but last year, under the name of Luis Espinal, he won pitcher of the year in Peoria.
*Hays' stock has fallen considerably since being our first pick in 2000, mostly due to injuries. I don't think he's back to normal yet.
*Eric O'Flaherty should see more time in the rotation next year. I think he should begin next season in Wisconsin, he's certainly good enough.
*Dorn is a two-way player, he has a power bat that would work well in RF or 1B. Nice to have something to fall back on.
*Leury Bonilla... I can't figure out if he's a pitcher turned third baseman or the other way around. Or whether his first name is Leury or Tomas. Something to watch...
*Ivan Blanco is definately a name to watch this year. He should at least be in Peoria (and is already on the roster there).

Other news, I've been up for less than a week and already the counter has gone over 1000. Wow.

I'd also like to congratulate myself for doing what few sports writers and statisticians can claim to have done, that's right, getting through an entire article on WHIP without a single Devo reference.

Friday, January 30, 2004
Today's prospect ranking is tracked down from CreativeSports, where the Mariners system comes in at number eight overall.

The Mariners are a big market team with a strong international presence in their farm system. The old Seattle front office had a strict scouting background and dipped into Latin America and Australia quite often. While the team does have a new GM, the player scouting and player development portions have been kept together for the most part. As a result, the Mariners should remain among the better systems in the game.

1. Felix Hernandez, SP: The only thing more amazing than Hernandez’s ability is the fact that he dominated Low-A at the age of 17. He throws in the high-90s with good secondary pitches. He had a 73/24 K/BB ratio last season in just 55 innings along with a 2.29 ERA. There is always a worry about young pitchers like Hernandez losing velocity as they get older, but as of right now his ability is amazing. If his velocity is able to hold up, he could be the next great pitcher in baseball. ETA: 2006

2. Clint Nageotte, SP: Nageotte works off of a mid-90s fastball and outstanding slider. He is a very good strikeout pitcher as a result, but he is beginning to have elbow problems. Also, Nageotte’s lack of control has some thinking that he should be moved to relief. He will not do much better than Mike MacDougal even in that role unless his command gets better. ETA: 2005

3. Travis Blackley, SP: After Jamie Moyer retires, the Australian Blackley should be able to pickup right where he left off. The soft tossing lefty throws several pitches including his bread and butter, a changeup. He had a 2.61 ERA in Double-A last season with decent control numbers and should be a good third or fourth major league starter at the very least. ETA: 2005

4. Jose Lopez, SS: Lopez has the potential to be among the elite middle infielders in the game. At just 19 in Double-A last season, he hit 13 homers and stole 18 bases with good defense and a decent batting average. Rich Aurilia was signed as a placeholder for Lopez this season, and Lopez will likely man the position in 2005. ETA: 2005

5. Chris Snelling, OF: Snelling has been one of the better outfield prospects in the game for several years, but a torn ACL during the 2002 season set him back. The 22-year-old Australian hit over .300 in Double-A last season, and many believe that he will be a 20-20 man in the majors. However, he has not shown much power since his teenage years. His major league stock has dropped quickly, and he could use a big year in Triple-A. ETA: 2004

6. Jamal Strong, OF: Strong is a prototypical leadoff hitter and most likely a fourth outfielder. He can hit .300 and has great speed to steal after he gets on base. The Mariners could move Randy Winn and plug-in Strong if they fall out of the playoff race early next season. Otherwise, Strong should see a year between Triple-A and the Seattle bench. ETA: 2004

7. Rett Johnson, SP: Johnson is your typical fourth or fifth starter with good control to go along with a low-90s fastball. He had an ERA near 2.00 in Triple-A after a successful beginning in Double-A and is definitely looking at a call-up in 2004. One concern is his low strikeout rates, but Safeco Field will help him quite a bit with that problem. Look for him in the Seattle pen in the immediate future. ETA: 2004

8. Ryan Ketchner, SP: Ketchner does not have great stuff, but his control is excellent. The 21-year-old carried a 3.45 ERA and 159/33 K/BB ratio in 156.2 innings pitched in High-A last season. The team used him as both a starter and reliever with good results in both situations. Most likely, he will develop into a middle reliever in the majors. ETA: 2005

9. Shin-Soo Choo, OF: The 21-year-old Choo could be an average offensive starter in the majors. While he does need to improve his plate discipline, he hit .286-9-55 with 18 steals in High-A last season. He is excellent defensively, but he will need to improve his hitting to play a corner outfield position in the majors. Do not bet on him being much more than a fourth outfielder. ETA: 2006

10. Wladimir Balentien, OF: The 19-year-old Balentien broke the Arizona League record for homers last season with 16. He added 52 RBI in just 187 at-bats. Still, he is very raw at the plate, often striking out. If he continues to develop, he projects as a monstrous Rob Deer-type hitter. ETA: 2007

Other Players Worth Noting:

Glenn Bott, SP: Bott is a good control pitcher that had an ERA near 3.00 in High-A last season. He could have a nice future in the majors as a middle reliever or fifth starter.

Aaron Taylor, RP: Taylor is a very good relief prospect. He throws in the high-90s with decent control and a good minor league track record. If the Mariners have room, he will make a nice impact in the majors in 2004.

Quick notes:

*One of the main things you'll hear about Hernandez is his presence on the mound; he doesn't give in, or lose his cool. He always seems to be in control, and pitches with an advanced level of maturity. Putting him as number one on this list seems a bit premature, but he will end up being number one on most lists and, hopefully, on the M's staff in the future.
*Nageotte's control is a concern, in some respects. He has a tendency to throw the occasional wild pitch, and his K/BB dropped from 3.15 in 2002 to 2.34 in 2003. He did, however, give up four fewer HR. For now, I'm going to attribute the seeming lapse in control to Rafael Chavez (SA Pitching coach last year, moving up to Tacoma for this year) having him throw more change-ups and fastballs, instead of the slider. Hopefully, more variety in his pitch selection will help reduce stress on his elbow and ease the fatigue of a long season.
*Comparing Blackley to Moyer is more in their style of pitching. Blackley has a few more MPH on his pitches than Moyer. Fellow Aussie LHP, Craig Anderson, provides a better comparison to Moyer.
*Snellings power seems a bit exagerrated here. His HR power has seemed to decrease over the years. He may hit 20 in the majors, but I would not expect him to hit many more.
*Ketchner's control is fantastic, putting up a 1.06 WHIP and striking out more than a batter per inning. I don't know if I'd place him as middle reliever, but he is going to be effective no matter where you put him.
*I disagree with the assessment of Choo. He strikes out, at worst he could strike out 100+ times a season, but he gets on base consistantly around 100 points more than his batting average. Choo does have flaws in his game, but fourth outfielder he is not.
*Yikes. Balentien will definately have a better average than Deer. I agree about his tendency to strike out, he has what has been described as an "all or nothing" swing, but it seemed to be improving from what I saw in the box scores towards the end of the season.

Thursday, January 29, 2004
Tonight's prospect ranking comes from On Deck Baseball Prospects. Additional thanks to Jeff who e-mailed me reminding me of the site.

For those of you who aren't familiar with On Deck, it's run and maintained by Scott Rex who, in addition to being statistically aware enough to create his own formulas to measure the performance of both hitters and pitchers, can easily out-quote me when it comes to the Simpsons (no joke). He also has a daily update where he details the action around the minors and recent transactions. The rankings are almost entirely based on numbers, with a little past performance coming into play. Injuries are given minor attention, questions about age are similar, though if a player such as Justin Leone outperforms a younger level of competition, points will be deducted. Scott goes after performance and potential based off of the numbers and age, leaving question marks behind. The result is a unique take on the minor leagues which cannot be found anywhere else.

Without further ado, the Mariners rankings from On Deck Baseball Prospects.

Seattle Mariners Top 40 Prospects

1. Clint Nageotte, RHP
2. Felix Hernandez, RHP
3. Chris Snelling, OF
4. Jose Lopez, SS
5. Travis Blackley, LHP
6. Ryan Christianson, C
7. Shin-Soo Choo, OF
8. Rett Johnson, RHP
9. Cha Seung Baek, RHP
10. Wladimir Balentien, OF
11. Ryan Anderson, LHP
12. Jeff Flaig, 3B
13. Miguel Martinez, LHP
14. Ryan Feierabend, LHP
15. Adam Jones, SS
16. Jesus Guzman, 3B
17. Ryan Ketchner, LHP
18. Emiliano Fruto, RHP
19. Bobby Madritsch, LHP
20. Justin Leone, 3B
21. Jamal Strong, OF
22. Aaron Taylor, RHP
23. Jeff Heaverlo, RHP
24. Matt Thornton, LHP
25. Bobby Livingston, LHP
26. Troy Cate, LHP
27. Cesar Jimenez, LHP
28. Josh Womack, OF
29. Tom Oldham, LHP
30. Ivan Blanco, RHP
31. Ruben Flores, RHP
32. Michael Wilson, OF
33. Glenn Bott, LHP
34. Luis Oliveros, C
35. Oswaldo Navarro, SS
36. Greg Dobbs, 3B
37. Cristian Guerrero, OF
38. Ismael Castro, 2B
39. Reve Rivera, C
40. Juan Gonzalez, SS

Seattle Mariners All-Prospect Teams

1st Team 2nd Team 3rd Team
1B A.J. Zapp Luis Soto Reynaldo Cruz
2B Ismael Castro Nick Orlandos Roman Cordova
3B Jeff Flaig Jesus Guzman Justin Leone
SS Jose Lopez Adam Jones Oswaldo Navarro
OF Chris Snelling Jamal Strong Cristian Guerrero
OF Shin-Soo Choo Josh Womack Casey Craig
OF Wladimir Balentien Michael Wilson Chris Colton
C Ryan Christianson Luis Oliveros Rene Rivera
SP Clint Nageotte Ryan Anderson Matt Thornton
SP Felix Hernandez Ryan Feierabend Bobby Livingston
SP Travis Blackley Ryan Ketchner Troy Cate
SP Rett Johnson Bobby Madritsch Cesar Jimenez
SP Cha Seung Baek Jeff Heaverlo Tom Oldham
RP Miguel Martinez Aaron Taylor Ryan Rowland-Smith
RP Emiliano Fruto Renee Cortez George Sherrill

4th Team 5th Team
1B Brenton Metheney Jon Nelson
2B Tim Merritt E. Bastida-Martinez
3B Greg Dobbs Hunter Brown
SS Juan Gonzalez Matt Rogelstad
OF Josh Ellison Samuel Bradford
OF Matt Ware T.J. Bohn
OF Greg Jacobs Gary Harris
C Chao Kuan Wu Cesar Quintero
SP Ivan Blanco Elvis Perez
SP Ruben Flores Julio Santiago
SP Glenn Bott Vance Hall
SP Craig Anderson Victor Ramirez
SP Robert Fagan Randall Frye
RP Darwin Soto Brandon Perry
RP Eric O'Flaherty Jared Thomas

Quick notes:

*Prospects in the DSL or the VSL are not considered unless they have been placed on the roster of a US based minor league team for the coming year.
*Roman Cordova, 2B for the third team, was released earlier this winter.
*Eric O'Flaherty will probably end up starting, the main reason he didn't was due the presence of pitchers that were drafted higher than he did. He has the ability of a third or fourth rounder, but was drafted in the sixth round.
*I've already made mention of the abilities of Jesus Guzman before. Joining him on this list from the VSL are RHP Ivan Blanco (20) and LHP Julio Santiago (18). I might do a profile on Blanco or both at a later date, but Blanco is a prospect that really impresses me. In 74 and 1/3 innings, he had a sub-1.00 ERA, two complete games, 103 SO against 15 BB, and allowed only 40 hits without a single home run (though four was the highest number of HR allowed by any one pitcher). It is just the Venezuelan league, but Blanco flat out dominated them.
*Third team 1B Reynaldo Cruz is coming in from the DSL. He played 1B throughout last year, but he can also play the outfield.
*Reports have said that fourth team OF Matt Ware will enter the NFL draft this year, I believe as a running back. Ware demonstrated an excellent hitting ability in limitted time for the Peoria Mariners.
*It's debatable whether or not Jeff Flaig will be at 3B. He was originally a shortstop, though shoulder surgery last season (which prevented him from playing and hurt his draft status) may move him to another position. He is said to have above average power, so they'll try to get him in where they can. His move from shortstop may also be affected by the performance of Adam Jones.
*A number of the prospects on the teams or in the top 40 did not play last season or had very limitted time. Christianson, Heaverlo, Dobbs, and Ryan Anderson to name a few.

In other news, thanks to Jeff from Leone For Third (Fire Bavasi) for a mention today. Those visiting from his blog, welcome. Hopefully, those tables will work out for you, Jeff.

I've also been offered a writing position at InsideThePark to help with their minor league coverage. We'll see how that works out.

It's amazing the amount of support I've received considering this blog has been up under a week so far. I may even crack 1000 visitors before the week is over. Thanks everyone, I really appreciate it.

New post on another prospect ranking may be delayed somewhat, my internet connection is acting flakey.


Transaction Update:

According to the Seattle PI and its blog, the Mariners have signed Taiwanese player Yung-Chi Chen.

What I can dig up on Chen is basically what you'll find in the article, 20, was a member of the Taiwanese Olympic qualifying team, hit .405 in some world series type games against the US with 17 hits and 11 RBI (he apparently batted third in this setup, upon further review, one double, one HR, one walk against four strikeouts, and five for five in SB attempts), and was, surprise, a shortstop.

Other information is harder to come by. He seems to hit doubles with some regularity, an occasional triple, a little HR power. After doing some additional digging I've found out that he won't turn 21 until July 13th and bats and throws righty.

Wu didn't do too bad in his short time in Arizona, so I expect that Chen won't do too poorly either. He seems to have a good eye for getting his hits, good baserunning ability, but his fielding seems somewhat questionable, .895 in the games agaisnt the US.

Wednesday, January 28, 2004
As per request, I'm running the RC calculations through the machine for newer acquistions either via trade or minor league FA signing. Right now, I'm not planning on running the calculation for players who came from indie leagues, like Pichi Balet or Brian Moon, just because I don't feel like I can look at something from the Atlantic League or the Frontier League and be able to give proper context to it.

If a player was above average offensively for their particular level, they get their name underlined.

Name	        Age	Pos.	Levels	         AB	RC	RC/27

Jacobsen, Buck 28 1B AA 447 101.29 8.36
#Balfe, Ryan 28 C/IF AAA, AA, A+ 371 63.10 6.20
Gonzalez, Wiki 30 C AAA 149 25.03 5.93
*Hoffpauir, Jo 27 UT AA 356 47.87 4.63
Bocachica, Hir 28 UT AAA 322 43.81 4.46
#Gonzalez, Juan 22 SS A 453 58.49 4.27
*Faison, Vince 23 OF AA 392 42.15 3.65
#Falcon, Omar 21 C A, A- 143 13.85 3.02
Boone, Matt 24 3B R, A 231 17.76 2.54
Reyes, Ivan 22 IF R, A 91 4.24 1.43

It's worth noting that Omar Falcon's lack of numbers is in part due to the fact that he only recently started switch hitting. He shows power from both sides, so he might be a player to watch in the future.

I've also gotten some recent mentions on both No Pepper and Mariner Musings. Thanks guys, glad to provide what info I can.

Today's prospect ranking is a little harder to judge. Primarily because their site is subscription based and non-members can only gain access to prospects 21-30 for free.

Luckily, just before the new year they were offering a free preview, which I took full advantage of and copied down the other twenty, along with their rankings for positions. I apologize, but even though I mooched the information myself (and mooch I shall, unfortunately, for all subscription based sites, I don't have much money to invest in this), I still respect the time and effort put into this ranking, and you'll see why below. I will give a list for prospects beyond 21, at least until someone stops me, but I won't offer any of the profile goodies. Sorry.

1. Clint Nageotte, RHP, 23, 6-4/214
2003 Team: San Antonio-AA
11-7, 3.10ERA, 154IP, 157K, 67BB

2. Jose Lopez, SS, 20, 6-0/200
2003 Team: San Antonio-AA
.285/.303/.403 13HR, 69RBI, 35 2B, 18SB

3. Travis Blackley, LHP, 21, 6-3/192
2003 Team: San Antonio-AA
17-3, 2.61 ERA, 162.1IP, 144K, 62BB

4. Rett Johnson, RHP, 24, 6-2/212
2003 Teams: San Antonio-AA, Tacoma-AAA
11-4, 2.63 ERA, 154IP, 112K, 39BB

5. Shin-soo Choo, OF, 21, 5-11/184
2003 Team: Inland Empire - High-A
.286 AVG/.365 OBP/.459 SLG, 9HR, 55RBI, 18SB

6. Chris Snelling, OF, 22, 5-11/189
2003 Teams: San Antonio-AA, Tacoma-AAA
.316/.359/.457, 6HR, 35RBI

7. Felix Hernandez, RHP, 17, 6-2/211
2003 Teams: Everett-SS-A, Wisconsin-A
7-2, 2.22 ERA, 69IP, 91K, 27BB

8. Cha Seung Baek, RHP, 23, 6-4/224
2003 Teams: Inland Empire - High-A, San Antonio-AA
8-4, 3.13 ERA, 112IP, 96K, 26BB

9. Justin Leone, 3B, 27, 6-1/197
2003 Teams: San Antonio-AA
.288 AVG/.405 OBP/.541 SLG 21HR, 92RBI, 38 2B, 7 3B, 92BB

10. Ryan Ketchner, LHP, 21, 6-1/190
2003 Team: Inland Empire - High-A
14-7, 3.45 ERA, 156.2IP, 159K, 33BB, 2 Shutouts

11. Ismael Castro, 2B, 20, 5-9/187
2003 Team: Inland Empire - High-A
.275/.314/.373/ 3HR, 23RBI, 9SB

12. Adam Jones, SS, 18, 6-2/186
2003 Teams: Peoria-R, Everett - SS-A
.303/.392/.369, 12RBI, 5SB, 6 2B, 1 3B

13. A.J. Zapp, 1B, 25, 6-3/192
2003 Team: San Antonio-AA
.278/.346/.496 25HR, 92RBI, 35 2B

14. Luis Oliveros, C, 20, 6-1/205
2003 Team: Inland Empire - High-A
.286/.333/.391 5HR, 41RBI, 19 2B

15. Jon Nelson, 1B, 24, 6-5/214
2003 Team: Wisconsin-A
.264 AVG/.292 OBP/.432 SLG 16HR, 91RBI, 38 2B, 2 3B, 13SB

16. Hunter Brown, 3B, 24, 6-2/200
2003 Team: Inland Empire - High-A
.248/.353/.436 15HR, 68RBI, 34 2B, 3 3B

17. Glenn Bott, 22, 6-0/180
2003 Team: Inland Empire - High-A
7-7, 3.16 ERA, 142.1 IP, 143K, 38BB

18. Michael Garciaparra, 20, 6-1/170
2003 Team: Wisconsin-A
.243/314/.289 2HR, 38RBI, 14SB, 12 2B

19. Rene Rivera, C, 20, 5-10/200
2003 Teams: Wisconsin-A
.275/.344/.388 9HR, 54RBI, 19 2B

20. Greg Jacobs, OF, 26, 5-9/187
2003 Teams: Inland Empire - High-A, San Antonio-AA
.345 AVG/.404 OBP/.526 SLG 10HR, 78RBI, 42 2B

21. Bobby Livingston, LHP, 216, 6-3/190
2003 Team: Wisconsin-A
15-7, 2.73 ERA, 178IP, 105K, 28BB
Outlook/2004: Livingston had a solid, consistent season in 2003 while pitching in the spacious, pitcher-friendly Midwest League. The M’s 4th-round draft pick in 2001 has been everything you could ask for. Livingston’s control is what catches the eye statistically, with just 42 walks in 258 innings pitched in his minor league career. His strikeouts dropped from almost nine per nine innings pitched to five per nine innings pitched, but that isn’t much of a concern with a 20-year-old in his second season in pro ball. Armed with a fastball clocked between 87 and 90MPH and a solid breaking ball and change-up, Livingston sets up hitters for contact as much as for a strikeout. Look for Livingston to test the warmer waters of the California League to start 2004.
MLB ETA: 2006
MLB Clone: Jarrod Washburn, Brian Anderson

22. Jamal Strong, OF, 25, 5-11/182
2003 Teams: Peoria-R, Tacoma-AAA
.311/.398/.373 2HR, 23RBI, 28SB
Outlook/2004: Following an early spring shoulder injury, Strong came back with a vengeance and was the one of few bright spots offensively for Triple-A Tacoma in 2003. Speed is his best asset as evidenced by his 28 steals in limited action and ability to steal 50-plus bases in a full year. Strong, a right-handed hitter, will be a candidate for a bench spot on the M’s roster when Spring Training begins in February. An experienced outfielder, Strong would likely play both center and left in the majors to use his speed in the great green pastures of SAFECO Field.
MLB ETA: 2004
MLB Clone: Juan Pierre, Dave Roberts

23. Bobby Madritsch, LHP, 27, 6-2/220
2003 Team: San Antonio-AA
13-7, 3.65 ERA, 158.2IP, 154K, 67BB, 2CG
Outlook/2004: Madritsch was an Independent League signing last Fall and had a fantastic season. Used in the starting role in 2003, Madritsch will get a shot at making the big club in Spring Training as one of two left-handed relievers. Using a 91-95 MPH fastball and a hard slider, Madritsch’s pitch arsenal seems perfect for relief work. At worst Madritsch will spend the start of 2004 in Triple-A Tacoma.
MLB ETA: 2004
MLB Clone: Allan Embree, Mark Remlinger

24. Greg Dobbs, 3B, 25, 6-1/205
2003 Team: San Antonio-AA (injured)
(2002) .365/.425/.542, 5HR, 15RBI, 27GMS
Outlook/2004: Dobbs is right there with the M’s top third base prospect, Justin Leone, but is better defensively than Leone. It was Dobbs’ season ending injury in April that opened the door for Leone to win the job and then the Texas League MVP. Dobbs will get his chance and could play some first base as well just to keep his bat in the lineup. Armed with 20-plus homer power and a solid approach at the plate that minimizes strikeouts, Dobbs should start the year in San Antonio once again with an open opportunity to progress as the year goes. The battle at the corners for both Tacoma and San Antonio could both involve Dobbs. MLB ETA: 2004 (September)
MLB Clone: Tino Martinez, Corey Koskie

25. Troy Cate, LHP, 23, 6-1/193
2003 Teams: Inland Empire - High-A, Tacoma-AAA
9-11, 4.03 ERA, 165.1IP, 159K, 39BB
Outlook/2004: Cate has the stuff to pitch at Triple-A full time in 2004 and could see Tacoma to begin the year. His 86-89 MPH fastball and plus slurve are enough to get him through five innings. It’s beyond that where he ran into some issues last season. His change-up needs work and his confidence needs scattering for him to compete at the Triple-A level. At times in 2003 Cate made it known that he believed he should have been at Double-A to start the year. The distraction was mainly stowed upon himself as he struggled at times. The southpaw was able to overcome the issue and pitch well down the stretch and be a major cog in the 66ers title run. Expect Cate to join fellow Inland southpaws Ryan Ketchner and Glenn Bott in Double-A San Antonio to start 2004.
MLB ETA: 2005 (September)
MLB Clone: Mark Buehrle, Mike Hampton

26. Wladimir Balentien, OF, 19, 6-1/204
2003 Team: Peoria-R
.283/.363/.658 16HR, 52RBI, 12 2B, 5 3B
Outlook/2004: Balentien is already being touted as the best power prospect in the system after a single year in the organization. Normally that would simply be a shot at the Mariners seeming inability to draft or sign young hitters, but Balentien earned that respect with a great 2003. Hitting 16 homeruns and driving in 52 in a short rookie league is nice enough from the first year right-handed hitter. When you add in 12 doubles and five triples to go with solid defense at the raw age of 19, your talking top of the line production. Expect Balentien to begin his 2004 campaign in Wisconsin of the Midwest League, or possibly the more hitter-friendly California League with the defending champion Inland Empire 66ers.
MLB ETA: 2007
MLB Clone: Carlos Lee, Brian Jordan

27. Cesar Quintero, C, 21, 6-1/200
2003 Teams: Peoria-R, Inland - High-A
.322/.375/.436 1HR, 17RBI, 6 2B
Outlook/2004: 2003 saw Quintero hit well over .300 in Peoria and then see some time with the Inland Empire in September. He lacks power but with catchers the run production and power come later than most other positions. Quintero is part of a catching threesome that will fill the catching duties of San Antonio, Inland and Wisconsin. It’s also possible that Quintero could share catching responsibilities with either Rene Rivera or Luis Oliveros at either of the two higher levels in double-A San Antonio or Advanced-A Inland. Worst-case scenario is that he begins 2004 as Wisconsin’s starting catcher.
MLB ETA: 2007
MLB Clone: Benito Santiago, Mike Barrett

28. Emiliano Fruto, RHP, 19, 6-3/225
2003 Team: Inland Empire - High-A
7-8, 3.78 ERA, 83K, 38BB
Outlook/2004: Fruto is well advanced considering his age (19) and has shown maturity in tight game situations that scouts love to see. His tall but strongly built frame allows for his 89-92 MPH fastball to gain momentum as he builds arm strength from year to year. Used primarily as a reliever in 2003, Fruto has started 29 games in his career and projects as a starter in the future. He spent all of 2003 at Inland and made one relief appearance in triple-A Tacoma going four scoreless innings. Fruto could repeat his time in the Cal League in 2004 and jump to double-A San Antonio late in the year.
MLB ETA: 2006 (September)
MLB Clone: Miguel Batista, Ramiro Mendoza

29. Oswaldo Navarro, 2B/SS, 19, 5-11/163
2003 Team - Everett-Short-A
.258 AVG/.302 OBP/.318 SLG, 23RBI, 16SB
Outlook/2004: Navarro is probably going to make a switch to second base at some point but played well at shortstop in Everett in 2003. Considering the lack of depth in the organization at second base, Navarro will likely move up more rapidly there than in the six-hole, where the M’s seem fairly deep. Navarro has great speed and quickness and is learning to use both to his advantage while at the plate. Wisconsin of the Midwest League will welcome the switch-hitter's speed and defense in their lineup in 2004.
MLB ETA: 2007
MLB Clone: Luis Rivas, Tony Womack

30. Craig Anderson, LHP, 23, 6-3/185
2003 Team: Tacoma-AAA
13-11, 3.56 ERA, 4CG, 67K, 46BB, 28G
Outlook/2004: Anderson is the Rodney Dangerfield of the Mariners farm system. He doesn’t throw 95 MPH, have an electric delivery, or release a knee-buckling 12-6 curveball that baffles hitters every fifth day of a baseball season. He's very similar to fellow Aussie Chris Snelling in that respect. They both possess many skills but don’t have a single plus tool that scouts drool over. So why is Craig Anderson thought of as a solid prospect? He has many intangibles that can’t be measured. Maturity, intelligence, emotional command, and most of all, a lot of determination and grit. Anderson hits 85 to 88 on his fastball and mixes in a plus change-up, and a curve-ball with great command of all three. His fastball has gained velocity each year since 2001 and could top out in the 89-90 range when all is said and done, but Anderson won’t be trying to overpower anyone anytime soon. Armed with the ability to simply get hitters out, he doesn’t need to. Just ask Jamie Moyer.
MLB ETA: 2004 (September)
MLB Clone: Billy Traber, Jamie Moyer

Quick Notes:
*I've read interviews with Madritsch saying that he prefers to remain a starter. The M's are so deep in SP that I don't expect him to be utilized as such. Sad, but true.
*It's generally up to debate who is the better defender of Dobbs and Leone. Leone, I believe, has better range and throwing arm. Dobbs may be more accurate.
*Cate will likely end up as trade bait. I'm not opposed to this either, he's an effective pitcher and left-handed. The M's just won't have room for him.
*Balentien's MLB comparisons, I imgaine, are partially based off of the fact that his age is in question. Not only did he lead the league in homers (and the AZL doesn't give those up to easily), he led the league by nine. The tie for second place was seven. Translate that over the course of a full season and it's not even close. That said, Balentien needs to work more on cutting down his SOs, which he improved towards the end of the season. Hitting for a higher average couldn't hurt either. And since he did play every outfield position last year...
*In 2002, Fruto was an excellent starter and a bad reliever. In 2003, it was just the opposite. Many would still project him as being a starter, others suggest that he'll have a breakout season soon and point to his age compared to his level. Personally, I don't see it as being such a bad thing if he ends up as a reliever. Saves the Soriano-types for the rotation.

Tuesday, January 27, 2004
The 2003 Runs Created tables are now in (relatively) clean order.

Big thanks to Brad over at No Pepper who helped me out with that. And to Peter over at Mariner Musings who originally showed Brad how to do it.

New prospects list, this time, The Minors First's Top 100.

26. Clint Nageotte- RHP SEA Outstanding slider… maybe the best in the Minors… and a plus fastball. That combo used to make me wonder if the bullpen wasn't in his future. I like the fact that he's improved as he's moved up and it took a trip to the Texas League for him to finally get his H/IP ratio into the good range. Now, I think he can and will be in the Mariners' rotation. Continued development with his change would be the icing on the cake.

36. Travis Blackley- LHP SEA An Australian, Blackley has been playing baseball for less than 5 years. Still, after working through some early mechanical issues, he was untouchable in a good hitter's league (Texas League). Upper 80's velocity is the best he can muster and that's fine for a lefty. His curveball is downright nasty and his change was equally effective in fooling hitters… to the tune of 144 K's.

42. Chris Snelling- OF SEA The epitome of a "baseball skills" player. Snelling was born to hit. What he lacks in tools, he makes up for in effort. The reason for dropping him in the rankings is my concern that he might become more of a pre-2003 Bill Mueller than a batting champion contender. Spending so much time on the DL, is 350 AB, a .290 average with 8 homers going to be his norm?

43. Jose Lopez- SS SEA Can it really be true that Lopez has only just turned 20? A 19-year old shortstop doesn't normally hit 35 doubles and 13 homers in Double A without garnering a huge amount of publicity. That's what Lopez did last summer. He'll never be a high walk player, but he at least makes very good contact. Some in Seattle think he's a perfect fit at short, but I'm not sure … is a move to second or third in his future?

75. Shin-Soo Choo- OF SEA Choo has slipped a little in the rankings... partly because there's so much talent out there and partly because he's coming off a down season in some key areas. He's a good line-drive hitter with a short stroke that should hit for a good average, he'll run a little and it seems like there should be enough pop in his bat for 30-10-10 extra-base hits. He also plays good defense and has the arm to stay in right field. Right now, he's the likely successor to Ichiro.

97. Rett Johnson- RHP SEA Johnson throws a low-90's sinker and it's been a tough pitch to drive. His slider has been a decent pitch and in 2003, he started using his change more often… and with good results. Seeing him improve as he's moved up is also a good sign. Previously thought of as a future reliever, he's now going to get a shot at making the Mariners' rotation.

Felix Hernandez (RHP) got an honorable mention at the end.

Quick notes:
*For reference, one of the reasons why Nageotte's overall strikeout numbers were lower in his AA run was because they were trying to get him to throw his fastball and changeup more often. He has a thing for his slider, and rightfully so, but if he mixes up his pitch selection, he may be able to get batters out with fewer pitches than it would take to strike them out (not to mention putting less stress on his elbow).
*Blackley gets the credit he deserves. Since he's only 21, he still has room to improve, including his veloctiy, which might end up in the low-90s.
*Lopez's movement to another position, I imagine, would depend in large part on the development of the collective shortstop glut in the minors. He could end up at 2B, where he would most definately be above average, but I'd rather see a Leone or Dobbs type (or further down the road, maybe a Guzman or Flaig) at the hot corner.
*Choo's arm is as good as suggested, he was a LHP in high school and there were some, when the scouting began for him, who suggested they'd pitch him every five days and play him in the OF for the other four. You'd have to have considerable stamina to pull that off...
*Johnson probably would have gotten his shot for a spot start in September if not for the cyst on his arm (which was thought to have developed when he was playing football years prior). He may be one of the prime candidates for a spot, should an injury come up next year, but a lot of people are worried about the dreaded minor league arm injury.


Transaction Update:

According to the Mariners transactions site, they have signed Tim Dierkes and he is currently slated to play in Short-Season Low-A Everett.

Dierkes is a catcher, originally drafted out of high school by the M's in the 36th round of the 1998 draft. He instead, opted to go to college. I'd place his age around 23 or 24.

What information I've been able to get on him is scattered, since the statistics for his college were listed on a weekly basis and mostly listed only the top performers. He did not appear to play during his senior year, for reasons unknkown. It's possible that he had an injury and remained undrafted as a result. What I can say about him is that he was consistantly near or at the top of his league in catching runners who were trying to steal. He also seems to have some decent power and speed, in 2000 he was tied for the lead in triples with four and in 2001 he led his league in doubles with 21. He does seem to strike out a great deal, though. His bat overall seemed to be above average for a catcher in his league, but it was a relatively small league, not part of any big conference, and college stats can be hard to judge based off of the variety of levels of competition. Dierkes seemed to have also played one or more infield positions on days when he wasn't catching, but that's an assumption on my part after seeing him listed as playing 2B on a box score or two.

This isn't really any sort of impact signing, the M's like college catchers and signing one they had already drafted once seemed to make sense. Dierkes may prove to be more versatile than the average catcher (Where have you gone, Craig Kuzmic?), but shouldn't be anything big.

Monday, January 26, 2004
Tried to add in the RSS, corresponding to though the last few steps that weren't cut and paste seemed to confuse me a little.

If it works, it works, if not... little help?

Adding a link to the sidebar to correspond with a mention I've received.

Mariner Optimist is currently listing me in the Too Soon To Tell column (wouldn't devoting this much time to the minors make me optimist by default? Kidding of course, though I'll probably end up there eventually. I'll admit the MLB team has grown on me a little, and I appreciate the flexibility it provides us for the future.)

Don't worry, M.O., I don't think that the listing is any knock on the viewpoint you provide, I just think I sort of unwittingly found a niche and took advantage of it (Derek's exact words were "Oh hell yeah", and I feel really quite honored.) You'll make the listing in time.

No Pepper and the Mets equivilant, Raindrops, have been discussing what the reasonable age range should be for each level of the minors. This is based on and article in Strike Three written by USS Mariner's own David Cameron. The range given runs like this:

AAA 22-23 years old
AA 21-22 years old
High-A 20-21 years old
Low-A 19-20 years old
(R 18-19 years old)

While it does bring into question the overall performance of players such as Justin Leone, Greg Jacobs, Dustin Delucchi, and AJ Zapp, it shouldn't take away anything from their potential for usefulness in the major leagues. They just aren't outperforming players of the same age group. Though this ranking does present problems with college drafted players (if there was a followup piece on that, then please direct me to it and I'll edit my statment) and players from the Dominican or Venezuelan leagues who may get to the US a little later.

Strictly going on these rules, the top offensive prospects are:

*Chris Snelling, OF (AA/AAA)
*Shin Soo Choo, OF (A+)
Rene Rivera, C (A-)
*Josh Womack, OF (A-)
Josh Ellison, OF (A-)
Wladimir Balentien, OF (R)
*Casey Craig, OF (R)

Seven players overall, six of them outfielders, though Casey Craig MAY move to 2B before all is said and done.

There are other players who are more on the borderline, not quite meeting certain criteria, either playing at a level high for their age, recently entering US minor league baseball, or just missing the offensive cutoff. The significant ones for these are:

Jose Lopez, SS (AA)
#Ismael Castro, 2B (A+)
Luis Oliveros, C (A+)
*Matt Rogelstad, SS (A+, maybe)
Chris Colton, OF (A-)
Adam Jones, SS (R)
Luis Soto, 1B (R)
#Michael Wilson, OF (R)
*Chao Kuan Wu, C (R)
#Jesus Guzman, 3B (VSL)
#Asdrubal Cabrera, SS (VSL)

I list Guzman and Cabrera primarily because they're both on the current Peoria Mariners roster and could make their US minor league debut next year.

Overall, its not a bad list, though the numbers are thicker for the lower levels, as expected. I think that Colton, Ellison, and Rogelstad may drop from the list, Wilson is also a candidate to do so, as is Balentien, if he isn't the reported age. Others, like Soto and Wu, are harder to judge based on sample size, and the fact that both are originally catchers, who take longer to develop.

Getting together some prospect rankings for the coming year. Though it's by no means the best source, I'm starting with Rotoworld.

From their Top 100 Prospects...

27. Clint Nageotte - RHP Mariners - Age 23 - ETA: Aug. 2004
Previous rankings: 2003 #71, mid-2003 #19

11-7, 3.10 ERA, 127 H, 157/67 K/BB in 154 IP for Double-A San Antonio

Nageotte has a quality 91-95 mph fastball, but it's his vicious slider that has made him a top prospect and allowed him to strike out 617 batters in 520 career innings. He'll probably be a quality reliever as soon as the Mariners need him, but his future is in the rotation. If he can turn his changeup into an above average offering, he'll be a No. 2 starter. As is, he looks more like a future No. 3. He likely won't have a rotation spot until 2005 at the earliest.

29. Chris Snelling - OF Mariners - Age 22 - ETA: April 2005
Previous rankings: 2001 #31, mid-2001 #26, 2002 #19, mid-2002 #21, 2003 #22, mid-2003 #23

.333/.371/.468, 3 HR, 25 RBI, 30/8 K/BB, 1 SB in 186 AB for Double-A San Antonio
.269/.333/.433, 3 HR, 10 RBI, 12/5 K/BB, 1 SB in 67 AB for Triple-A Tacoma

Snelling had a difficult time coming back from a torn ACL last season and further knee problems limited him to 253 at-bats. Because the Aussie is a reckless player center field, the injury troubles probably aren't going to go away. Still, he'll be a quality regular when healthy. Even though he's played in just 96 games over the last two years, he should be ready to help the Mariners as a reserve in August or September and then become a regular in 2005. Snelling will be a .300 hitter in the majors and his walk rates will look quite a bit better than they did last year.

45. Shin-Soo Choo - OF Mariners - Age 21 - ETA: 2006
Previous rankings: mid-2002 #64, 2003 #44, mid-2003 #35

.286/.365/.459, 9 HR, 55 RBI, 84/44 K/BB, 18 SB in 412 AB for Single-A Inland Empire

Choo, signed out Korea in 2000, resembles Snelling as a hitter. He's not quite so gifted, but since he does figure to be more durable, he could have the better career. The left-hander also would have been a prospect as a pitcher, and his arm will make him an asset in right field once he's moved out of center. Choo could emerge as a Rusty Greer-type hitter. He's blocked pretty well in Seattle, but he'll be ready for the majors in 2006.

57. Jose Lopez - SS Mariners - Age 20 - ETA: Aug. 2005
Previous rankings: mid-2002 #79, 2003 #50, mid-2003 #51

.258/.303/.403, 13 HR, 69 RBI, 56/27 K/BB, 18 SB in 538 AB for Double-A San Antonio

Lopez didn't come close to matching his California League numbers (.324/.360/.464) in his first season in Double-A, but since he was just 19, that was to be expected. Although he saw time at second and third in 2003, Lopez still currently projects as a shortstop in the majors. He has the range and the arm for the position. Offensively, he projects as a .280-.290 hitter with 15-homer power. If he has a good season in Triple-A, the Mariners might hand him a starting job in 2005. More likely is that he'll need two more years in the minors.

103. Travis Blackley - LHP Mariners - Age 21 - ETA: April 2005

116. Rett Johnson - RHP Mariners - Age 24 - ETA: May 2005

145. Felix Hernandez - RHP Mariners - Age 17 - ETA: 2007

Quick shots on this.

*Travis Blackley, for a guy who nearly won the Texas League Triple Crown for pitching, does not get nearly enough credit.
*Choo's stock fell, in part, due to a foot injury early in the season. I expect him to rebound to his usual .300 BA next season.
*I think that Lopez might develop more power than they say, but we'll have to wait and see.
*Disagree on Nageotte's ceiling, so long as he does start using a changeup.

Their ranking so far as team prospects went like this...

1. Clint Nageotte - RHP - Age 23 - ETA: Aug. 2004

2. Chris Snelling - OF - Age 22 - ETA: April 2005

3. Shin-Soo Choo - OF - Age 21 - ETA: 2006

4. Jose Lopez - SS - Age 20 - ETA: Aug. 2005

5. Travis Blackley - LHP - Age 21 - ETA: April 2005
17-3, 2.61 ERA, 125 H, 144/62 K/BB in 162 1/3 IP for Double-A San Antonio

Another prospect from Australia, Blackley limited Texas League hitters to a .215 average in his first season in Double-A. He's been very successful despite average velocity. He tops out at 89 mph and usually throws 85-87, but his fastball remains difficult to hit and he has an excellent changeup. His curveball and especially his slider are works in progress. He should be ready in 2005, but like so many other Mariners prospects, he could have a difficult time securing a roster spot. Memo to Bill Bavasi: stop signing average talents to multiyear contracts.

6. Rett Johnson - RHP - Age 24 - ETA: May 2005
6-2, 3.04 ERA, 74 H, 63/21 K/BB in 83 IP for Double-A San Antonio
5-2, 2.15 ERA, 63 H, 49/18 K/BB in 71 IP for Triple-A Tacoma

Johnson resembles Nageotte, but he's not quite as good of a prospect, making it likely that he'll end up as a reliever. The 2000 eighth-round pick out of Coastal Carolina has a low-90s fastball and a hard slider. His changeup is below average. Another team would probably keep Johnson in the rotation and see if he could make it as a starting pitcher, but the Mariners figure to turn him into a setup man before long.

7. Felix Hernandez - RHP - Age 17 - ETA: 2007
A candidate to top this list next year, Hernandez went 7-2 with a 2.22 ERA, 52 H and 91/27 K/BB in 69 IP between SS Single-A Everett and low Single-A Wisconsin last season. Throws in the mid-90s and has a great curveball.

8. Jamal Strong - OF - Age 25 - ETA: April 2005
Strong has very little in the way of power, but he should be more than just another Jason Tyner. He hit .305/.390/.371 in 210 AB for Triple-A Tacoma after recovering from a dislocated shoulder last season. The Mariners won't give him a real opportunity, but perhaps a lesser team will.

9. Aaron Taylor - RHP - Age 26 - ETA: Now
Still a very good relief prospect, Taylor recorded an ERA under 2.50 for the third straight season in 2003. He's about ready now, but he's hardly guaranteed a bullpen spot.

10. Cha Baek - RHP - Age 23 - ETA: Aug. 2005
Baek made a successful return from Tommy John surgery last season, going 8-4 with a with a 3.12 ERA, 104 H and 96/26 K/BB in 112 2/3 IP between Single-A Inland Empire and Double-A San Antonio. He's potential fourth starter on a weaker team, but on the Mariners, he's trade bait.

Last year's top ten - Chris Snelling, Ryan Anderson, Shin-Soo Choo, Jose Lopez, Clint Nageotte, Jamal Strong, Jeff Heaverlo, Travis Blackley, Aaron Taylor, Ismael Castro

Quick notes on that:
*Final line of Blackley's profile: no, really? Kidding aside, the only probelm I have with Bavasi's pitching selections was getting Jarvis, and even then, Jarvis should be easier to move than Cirillo. The Simpson trade I'm still undecided on. The M's have avoided signing starters for a reason.
*Aaron Talyor, would not be considered by many to be number nine in a top ten list. He CAN dominate AAA, he NEEDS to live up to expectation in the MLB. Don't get me wrong. A relief prospect (or two) of his potential could mean the difference between easing Soriano into the rotation or not. I just don't think of him as being top 10.
*The analysis on the Mariners ability to utlize minor league talent, is sad, but true. Except for the trade bait part. Near as we can figure.
*It's sad, looking at this and last year's lists, to see how many young pitchers have been lost to arm injuries. There was a post concerning this on Mariners Wheelhouse a while back. More needs to be done to prevent future injuries. For a little more money, we could stop losing these "investments" and start looking into other areas of need in the draft, such as stronger hitters.

Ran some calculations to figure out the league average R/27 for the Arizona League. Others are free to use this information as they will, though a little credit would be nice since it was a pain to do and that is why I refuse to do the same for the Dominican (though Venezuela is a relatively small league, so maybe). I can safely say that the Arizona League was a hitters league last year, though the results may be skewed since the Royals had two teams there last season.

In other news, got a mention from the USS Mariner, right on, and greetings to anyone following the link from there. By the way, should any of you bloggers want mention of your link on my sidebar, I'll be happy to add it. The current blogs were the ones that immediately came to mind.


Sunday, January 25, 2004
Now directing your attention to the right sidebar, where there are now links, after some time messing with the HTML. More links will be coming tomorrow.

Help in formatting the numbers below would still be greatly apprectiated.


But the numbers keep on circling me...

In the interest of getting some overall judgement as to how the minor league batters handled themselves during 2003, I've run some calculations.

The formulas is used were these:

Runs created = {(H + BB + HBP - CS - GIDP) * (TB + .26[BB - IBB + HBP] + .52[SH + SF + SB])} / (AB + BB + HBP + SH + SF)

RC/27 = (RC) / (AB - H + CS + SH + SF + GIDP) * 27

These formulas are identical to the ones used on the Brave's No Pepper site.

Now, these formulas are by no means fool-proof. They disregard strikeouts entirely, and that skews the results slightly. A player who strikes out less has greater potential for moving a runner, and so on. They are strictly offense, and have nothing that would take away points for errors on the field (Michael Garciaparra and his fifty errors have escaped statistical wrath). They don't account for age, though I have added the age the batter will be at the start of the 2004 season. The final shortcoming is park factor. I don't have access to anything that shows how certain parks played. I do know that the Mariners office has tried to select larger parks to get hitters accustomed to Safeco-like dimensions. I also know that certain leagues behave in certain ways; the Arizona League allows more doubles/triples and less HR, Midwest is a pitching-dominated league, California is more hitter friendly, etc.

For the sake of filtering here and there, I've left out players that were traded or released and have only included batters with a certain number of AB (my apologies to Christopher Phillips, who had to back up Rene Rivera this year). I've also chosen to only review batters that were with Seattle last year. New signees such as Matt Boone or rule V kids like Omar Falcon won't have their numbers run through the machine at this time (and in the unlikely event anyone IS that interested, I will give numbers for them as well).

Also, I apologize for the mess that is the numbers for the Dominican. According to BA, the team went through the entire season without a lefty on the roster, used two 1B per game, and somehow became possibly the first team ever to play any sort of season without a catcher. What you see, is what little I could find.

For purposes of determining league average R/27, I used league statistics, then knocked off some points from the final number to compensate for lack of data on SH, SF, IBB and GIDP, usually a little more than half a run (except in A-, which is short-season). Call it educated guesswork. There are dividing lines between above league average and below.

AAA Pacific Coast League 4.84 R/27
AA Texas League 4.62 R/27
A+ California League 4.88 R/27
A Midwest League 3.83 R/27
A- Northwest League 4.52 R/27
R Arizona League 5.27 R/27*

*This is completely accurate, so far as I know.


Name	       Age	Pos.	AB	RC	RC/27

Borders, Pat 41 C 293 52.45 6.50
Strong, Jamal 25 OF 210 33.24 5.47
#Lopez, Mickey 30 2B 455 61.24 4.53
Castillo, Ruben 25 SS 337 22.00 2.00

San Antonio

Name	       Age	Pos.	AB	RC	RC/27

Leone, Justin 27 3B 455 107.90 8.44
Lindsey, John 27 DH 307 52.85 6.31
*Snelling, Chri 22 OF 186 31.13 6.27
*Zapp, A.J. 25 1B 528 88.53 5.89
Horner, Jim 30 C 254 37.39 5.37
*Bubela, Jaime 25 OF 473 61.70 4.55
*Gandolfo, Rob 26 2B 157 18.49 4.09
Lopez, Jose 20 SS 538 64.19 4.01
*Guzman, Elpidi 27 OF 475 51.63 3.74
#Ugueto, Luis 25 IF 350 35.43 3.39
Maynard, Scott 27 C 237 16.27 2.23

Inland Empire

Name	       Age	Pos.	AB	RC	RC/27

*Jacobs, Greg 27 OF 347 87.95 9.98
*Delucchi, Dust 26 OF 312 59.76 7.14
*Choo, Shin Soo 21 OF 412 69.84 5.93
Brown, Hunter 24 3B 452 74.49 5.53
Guerrero, Crist 23 OF 311 42.57 4.75
Collins, Chris 22 C 199 25.62 4.43
Bastida-Martine 25 2B 288 35.86 4.32
Oliveros, Luis 20 C 322 39.03 4.18
#Castro, Ismael 20 2B 327 36.18 3.88
Menchaca, Eribe 23 SS 331 23.31 2.21


Name	       Age	Pos.	AB	RC	RC/27

Bohn, T.J. 24 OF 471 81.22 6.04
Rivera, Rene 20 C 407 56.39 4.93
*Harris, Gary 24 OF 526 68.91 4.56
Hagen, Matt 24 3B 450 60.06 4.39
Nelson, Jon 24 1B 537 66.03 4.31
Harrington, Cor 23 UT 353 44.72 4.30
*Arroyo, Carlos 23 OF 359 43.12 4.14
Merritt, Tim 24 2B 339 35.46 3.49
Garciaparra, Mi 21 SS 440 43.40 3.35


Name	       Age	Pos.	AB	RC	RC/27

*Womack, Josh 20 OF 155 27.07 6.19
Blakely, Eric 24 IF 195 32.40 5.91
Orlandos, Nick 23 2B 265 40.16 5.31
Colton, Chris 21 OF 250 35.49 4.70
Ellison, Josh 20 OF 182 24.95 4.65
#Bradford Jr. 22 OF 184 24.64 4.43
*Dutton, Jeremy 23 3B 245 31.02 4.32
#Navarro, Oswal 19 SS 233 23.64 3.55
*Lahair, Bryan 21 1B 201 19.09 3.26
Cox, Michael 23 3B 175 16.75 3.04
Lentz, Brian 24 C 106 9.27 2.75

Split time

Name	       Age	Pos.	Levels	         AB	RC	RC/27

*Metheny, Brent 23 IF R, A 181 31.80 6.27
*Rogelstad, Mat 21 SS R, A-, A+, AAA 161 24.61 5.83


Name	       Age	Pos.	AB	RC	RC/27

Balentien, Wlad 19 OF 187 44.55 8.35
*Craig, Casey 19 OF 142 26.52 7.09
#Wilson, Michae 20 OF 177 31.68 6.58
Quintero, Caesa 21 C 96 15.84 6.20
Soto, Luis 20 1B 118 19.60 6.01
Schweiger, Bria 21 C 125 20.38 5.61
Jones, Adam 18 SS 109 16.01 5.15
*Sandel, George 23 2B 205 29.10 4.82
*Wu, Chao 19 C 86 10.98 4.63
Ozoria, Pedro 20 3B 141 16.38 3.88
Hymon, James 23 UT 115 12.22 3.79
Cruz, Elvis 20 OF 156 15.42 3.36


Name	       Age	Pos.	AB	RC	RC/27

Lugo, Henry ? SS 202 30.44 6.68
Cruz, Reynaldo 21 1B 153 24.35 5.57
Castillo, Arami ? OF 115 15.62 4.74
Pimentel, Manel ? 1B 163 21.04 4.27
Thomas, Fernan ? 1B 94 9.32 3.31
Rustan, Gerdal ? 2B 191 18.32 3.09
Ruiz, Donato ? OF 119 10.45 2.94
Hernandez, Eddy ? OF 158 12.18 2.59
Mejia, Jose ? 1B 115 8.73 2.48
Guaremato, Edg ? OF 172 12.93 2.42
Tejada, Pedro ? 2B 139 9.29 2.09
Fernandez, Har ? 1B 100 6.52 2.07
Bonilla, Leury ? 3B 90 5.79 1.83


Name         Age	Pos.	AB	RC	RC/27

#Guzman, Jesus 19 3B 206 49.10 9.21
Quesada, Jorge 21 OF 125 19.78 5.29
#Cabrera, Asdr 18 SS 198 29.10 5.14
Garth, Ronald 19 IF 177 25.14 4.85
Pacheo, Livio 20 OF 174 23.13 4.49
Graterol, Jose 19 OF 203 27.41 4.41
Marun, Fajith 20 C 106 12.85 3.99
*Valbuena, Luis 18 2B 167 19.91 3.79
Mudarain, Carlo 19 1B 88 10.49 3.63
*Avila, Gerardo 17 1B 149 13.59 2.96
Pinto, Manuel 18 OF 97 5.65 1.82

This should help to predict future success for batters, but also helps to give greater context to the numbers. Though the overall stats for the Wisconsin team seemed below par, when compared to the league they played in, most were above average.

Quick notes:
*IF, Balentien is 19, then we have a power prosepct of absurd potential.
*Jesus Guzman, who is on the Peoria roster now, should be an interesting player to look at in a system lacking 3B.
*TJ Bohn could very well have a breakout year this season. Now if only he could cut down on the strikeouts...
*Call up Leone. Move up Jacobs and Delucchi, make use of them in the future if possible.
*Enough shortstops. Draft differently.
*At this point in time, the Mariners Dominican scouting is lacking.


Welcome to the latest blog on the Seattle Mariners, Mariner Minors.

This blog is set out as an attempt to give deeper insight to the Seattle minor league system, in the same vein as the Brave's No Pepper site and others. During the offseason, I'll break down what others are saying and crunch some numbers here and there. As the camp breaks and rosters are set up for the coming year, I will give previews of things to look for from each team. During the season, I'll analyze transactions and post boxscores/highlights for each game I can get my hands on.

I don't consider myself to be well-schooled in sabermetrics, and respect the fact that others are, and will try to provide information for both them and more traditional viewpoints. This is a bit of a learning experience (both blogging and stat analysis), and things should improve as time goes on.

Thanks for visiting, and I hope you continue to use this site as a resource.

(Any assistance provided on adding sidebars with links, and other HTML mumbo jumbo to make certain things easier to read, would be greatly appreciated.)

A closer look at the minor league system of the Seattle Mariners baseball club.

Contact me: marinerminors"at"
Replace the "at" with @, used in foiling spambots.
Or on AIM or YIM as "MarinerMinors"

2006 Minor League Splits
2006 Organization Stats
2006 Runs Created and SECA
2005 M's Minor League Review

Top Prospect Lists:'s Mariners System Review
InsideThePark's 41-50 Mariners Prospects
Baseball America's Top 10 Mariners Prospects
John Sickels' Top 20 Mariners Prospects
Diamond Futures' Top 10 Mariners Prospects
Rotoworld's Top 10 Mariners Prospects
Sportsblurb's Top 10 Mariners Prospects
Creative Sports' Top 10 Mariners Prospects

Charts and Data:
2004 Minor League Hitting Review
2004 Minor League Pitching Review

Around the Minors:

SeattleHardball (it's dead, Jim)
ProspectInsider Blog
FanHome Mariners Forum
Global Baseball Blog
Sportspot Minor League Forum
Tacoma Rainiers (AAA):
Official Website
Current team stats
Recent news
Listen online
West Tenn Diamond Jaxx (AA):
Official Website
Current team stats
Recent news
Listen online
High Desert Mavericks (A+):
Official Website
Current team stats
Recent news
Listen online
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (A):
Official Website
Current team stats
Recent news
Listen online
Broadcaster Blog
Everett Aquasox (SS-A):
Official Website
Current team stats
Recent news
Listen online
Peoria Mariners (R):
Current team stats
Aguirre (VSL):
Current team stats
Santo Domingo (DSL):
Current team stats

Recent Blogosphere Updates:
Blogosphere Links:

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An essential Mariners blog
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Mad baseball science, without all the nasty chemicals
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Nice Guys Finish Third
Self-described fine line between stupid and clever
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Because 2001 took many by surprise too...
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M's coverage + NPB coverage
Mariners Revolution
A weekly column... oh, and revolution.
Hope Springs Eternal
Balanced optimistic perspectives
Caffinated Confines
From the guy who brought us Mariner Bullpen
Sodo Oh No
Fortunately, not the illegitimate child of Sodo Mojo and Yoko Ono
Grand Salami Blog
From the people who bring you the magazine
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Sports. Bremertonians. 'Nuff said
From Basketball to Baseball...
M's and Zags content
Seattle PI Mariners Blog
Articles and angry fans galore
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Formerly the Mariners Top MLB forum
Minor League Ball
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JDM's Rookie Reports (Minors)
Tireless reporting on the minors and winter legaues
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General minor league reports and news
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News from all around the indy leagues
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More focus on the Far East part of the game
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A high standard to live up to
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Fans from three different regions discuss sports
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Cubbies equivilant of Mariner Musings, Wheelhouse, etc
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Texan's perspective on A's and their minor leagues
All the blogs that have an RSS feed hooked up
Baseball Almanac
The complete history of baseball, abridged
MLB Center
Baseball forums and more

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2003 Prospect Lists:
Rotoworld Top 100 Prospects
Rotoworld Top 10 Mariners Prospects
The Minors First Top 100 Prospects
Inside The Park's 21-30 Mariners Prospects
On Deck Baseball's Mariners Prospect Rankings
On Deck Baseball's Future 500
On Deck Baseball's Future 500 (AL Only)
Wait Til Next Year's Top 50 Prospects
Wait Til Next Year's 51-90 Prospects
The Sports Network's Top 10 Mariners Prospects
Creative Sports' Top 10 Mariners Prospects
CBS Sportsline's Top AL West Prospects's Top 10 Mariners Prospects's Top 50 Prospects
Seattle PI's Top 15 Mariners Prospects
2003 Runs Created (Current system players)
2003 Runs Created (New acquisitions)
2003 Secondary Avg. (Current system players)
2003 Secondary Avg. (New acquisitions)
2003 WHIP Charts (Current system players)
2003 WHIP Charts (New acquisitions)
2003 K/BB Charts (Current system players)
2003 K/BB Charts (New acquisitions)

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