BA's Top 10 M's Prospects
Blogger's been giving me grief, so I have to cut it a little short, but Baseball America released their top 10 Mariners prospects
last night, their final of the season. The list goes like this...
1. Jeff Clement
2. Adam Jones
3. Kenji Johjima
4. Chris Snelling
5. Matt Tuiasosopo
6. Asdrubal Cabrera
7. Shin-soo Choo
8. Emiliano Fruto
9. Clint Nageotte
10. Rob Johnson
There are a few surprises on this list, Fruto being the big one, but I was also impressed with the placement of Rob Johnson. I didn't really expect B-Liv to make a list like this one, but Bazardo's absence is also telling. I guess they're also concerned about the velocity dropoff. The chat
will be underway soon, and yes, it's subscriber only, but I hope to see some good turnout all the same.
OnDeck Baseball's Top 40 M's Prospects
Let's return to baseball content, shall we?
Scott at OnDeck Baseball ran the M's final minor league stats through his number cruncher
and ended up with a top 40 that looks something like this...
1. Jeff Clement, C
2. Matt Tuiasosopo, SS
3. Adam Jones, OF/SS
4. Chris Snelling, OF
5. Yorman Bazardo, RHP
6. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
7. Clint Nageotte, RHP
8. Shin-Soo Choo, OF
9. Wladimir Balentien, OF
10. Michael Saunders, OF
11. Anthony Varvaro, RHP
12. Luis Valbuena, 2B
13. Bobby Livingston, LHP
14. Travis Blackley, LHP
15. Stephen Kahn, RHP
16. Rob Johnson, C
17. Francisco Cruceta, RHP
18. Jesus Guzman, 3B
19. Welington Dotel, OF
20. Kuo-Hui Lo, OF
21. Yung-Chi Chen, 3B
22. Robert Rohrbaugh, LHP
23. Rene Rivera, C
24. Ryan Feierabend, LHP
25. Chia-An Huang, RHP
26. Tom Oldham, LHP
27. Cesar Jimenez, LHP
28. Luis Gonzalez, LHP
29. Emiliano Fruto, RHP
30. Bryan LaHair, 1B
31. Oswaldo Navarro, 2B
32. Craig James, RHP
33. Sebastien Boucher, OF
34. Jake Woods, LHP
35. Renee Cortez, RHP
36. Michael Wilson, OF
37. Ismael Castro, 2B
38. Casey Craig, OF
39. Danny Santin, C
40. Shawn Nottingham, LHP
Scott pays attention to the transaction wires, so you'll see Lo and Varvaro on here even though they haven't played, as well as Dominican hitting machine Wellington Dotel. There are also some nifty depth charts to take a gander at on your own time.
Oh, and Tim Auty is now the Phillies #17 prospect, according to his rankings. Just in case anyone out there was wondering.
OT: Annual Music Post
Ah, the Grammys. The one time of the year I dare to bust up the barrier between baseball blog author and the guy at the keyboard behind that (though I admit, I am not The Great and Terrible Oz), if only to rag on the best alternative album selections...
Well, this year, like any other year, "best fill-in-the-blank award" revolves around whenever the music industry as a whole bothers to find the artist/album, so some of them don't line up perfectly, but the field of five includes The Arcade Fire's Funeral
, Beck's Guero
, Death Cab for Cutie's Plans
, Franz Ferdinand's You Could Have It So Much Better
, and The White Stripes' Get Behind Me Satan
I'm risking a lot of my indie rock street cred on this one, but I have Funeral, and while it's a decent little album, I think it's probably one of the more overrated pieces I've come across in the past few years. I'm generally a fan of most of what the Montreal scene generates, they have a lot of amazing talent up in that area, but Funeral, to me, sounds like someone tried to rein in Godspeed You Black Emperor! or A Silver Mt. Zion and try to make them record a rock album without any sort of deep philosophical or political undertones. It's a nice little effort, and I may pay attention to them in the future, but I have to break with tradition here, because emotionally overblown bands just aren't my forte. It seems like every time one comes around, the indie rock community goes nuts over it and everyone starts reciting Pitchfork reviews, which is strange to me considering most shows involve crowds of kids with folded arms, nodding their heads, and internalizing whatever they're experiencing at that moment. Strange little dichotomy there.
I enjoy some of Beck's works. Like a lot of people, I have a copy of Mellow Gold and Odelay if I'm feeling nostalgic, and as an added bonus, I did pick up Sea Change, which is a startling break from the old tradition. In that sense, Guero throws me off because it seems to attempt to return to the old Odelay-style, fusing various genres, while adding a little bit more in the way of artificial beats. The question is, then, is that still relevant or has the rest of the world caught up to him, leaving the Beck-tionary nonsense as the defining characteristic of his work? I'm not too much of music snob ("What's the best way to piss off an indie rock snob? Actually enjoy music."), nor have I had the opportunity to delve into too many of the classics, but I think that some context helps when you're appreciating music. Guero has some great tunes on it, I've caught myself singing Girl
or Farewell Ride
on a number of occassions, but it feels like an anachronism compared to where his music had been going. Willfully stifling, perhaps.
Death Cab... God... I could come up with some firey words for this, but what tracks I've heard, I've caught on the radio. Having a limitted background hasn't stopped anyone from forming an opinion before, so I'll jump in anyway. I had copy of Transatlanticism
for a while (someone was insistant that I get it), and there were some things that were all right about it, but there were more aspects about it that grated on me. Ben Gibbard has an attitude of sorts, he tries to be clever about what he's conveying, but it's really all the same story and it's frequently built out of something trivial (which is part of what prevents me from fully enjoying The Postal Service). Other artists have the ability to take something relatively simple and create a genuine depth of feeling out of it, but option one and option three don't strike me as being fully capable of that. He's stumbled on a few clever ideas from time to time, but the execution, both musically and lyrically, has been done better by other bands. Also, as long as I'm here, memo to those of you out there forming bands: develop a vocal style that doesn't sound like a Ben Gibbard or Stufjan Stevens rip-off. It's been done. While you're at it, don't name your band after a song off of Belle and Sebastian's If You're Feeling Sinister
release. I saw that one coming and it makes me feel horrible.
Franz Ferdinand... well, I saw them with Cut Copy and TV on the Radio in the fall when they were playing at the Paramount. They're showmen, but TV on the Radio put on the more enjoyable show. I can appreciate their brash nonsense and general silliness and the way they go about their business (sharp contrast to the Interpol show I saw earlier in the year, where the band members didn't appear to want to be there, particularly playing new songs), but I'd say that their earlier self-titled release was the superior album. There are a few slower songs and accompaniments that give, arguably, a greater variety to the songs on the new release, but they don't have the same impact in the execution. I kind of feel like they hurried through this one in their excitement rather than sitting down and coming up with any standout songs. If the self-titled didn't deserve the award, this one certainly doesn't either.
Finally, White Stripes... The band, unfortunately, I have comparitively little famliarity with, but what better time to have the White Stripes in the Grammies than the year they give Robert Johnson a posthumous lifetime achievement award? I'm not sure I'll be around for the part of the ceremony, but I hope that Jack White does his rendition of Stop Breakin' Down Blues
, and that I can find some video of that later. The White Stripes seem to do a good job of reinterpretting classic rock elements and giving them new context. For being portrayed as a "garage rock" band, the depth of his musical knowledge is pretty impressive (and he built a tesla coil
), so I might be inclined to support them. I just wish I had bothered to get a copy of this one before now, so I could offer a more substantial opinion.
Overall, it seems like a bit of a thin field. I don't know what to expect out of it, but don't count on any sort of ridiculous follow-up post this year.Edit (Later): Except to attack the decision to use Jay-Z and Linkin Park after announcing the award for Robert Johnson. I don't know who exactly was in attendance, but there was probably someone in that crowd who would've been more appropriate. And the whole thing about how the artists brought in for the tributes not actually playing a song written by those they payed tribute to... ack...
And now, back behind the curtain.
News Around the Minors (2/7/06)
I've been busy working on a few things, some of which are (gasp) actually baseball related, and I've been trying to recover from the wackiness that was the Super Bowl (being primarily a baseball fan, I'm in better shape than most), but it seems like as good a time as any to compile a few things of note that have been floating around.
Though it's not as big of a deal to those of us up here, the Caribbean Series is underway
for the Latin American leagues and is actually drawing to a close at the moment. Former M's 'spects like RHP Juan Ovalles and LHP Miguel Martinez have been making an impact, which is good to see, but a few current M's are helping their respective regions as well. Rene Rivera had a pinch-hit single in the bottom of the ninth as Venezuela beat Puerto Rico on day two, Yorman Bazardo gave up a run in two innings on two hits, two walks, and two Ks before Venezuela rallied back to win 11-9 against the Dominican Republic on day three, and the two faced off against each other on day five, with Rivera goign 0-3 with two Ks and Bazardo pitching 1.2 perfect innings of relief in a 5-1 Venezuelan victory. If Venezuela wins tonight, they take home the title.
There's also an article that G found a while back on the tournament from the Puerto Rican perspective
, via USA Today. It was written two weeks ago, so some of it is a bit dated, but the background info is still good.
Another competition still going on, but getting even less press, is the Financial Wealth Baseball Challenge going on between Taiwan and Australia in Perth right now. The other day, RHP Chia-an Huang pitched 2.2 innings of middle relief, walking two and striking out one, after a 0.2 inning stint the previous night, but IF Yung-chi Chen has also been doing his part, going 1-4 on the 5th and 2-4 yesterday with a double, a run scored, and a RBI. The Taiwanese Terror
has been keeping track of all this, so if you're looking for more info, I'd check his site out.
Back to news around the affiliates, starting from the top and working our way down... By now, you've probably heard about the exhibition game between the Rainiers and the Mariners
on April 1st, at 1 pm, but they've also extended their radio agreement
with FoxSports AM 850, so you'll be able to find them there for the duration of the '06 season.
The Missions had a press conference today to announce that Daren Brown will be the 2006 manager. No link on that one, but you should be able to find it at MiLB.com
for the time being.
Scott Steinmann is eager to return to Wisconsin
and apply what he learned last year. This article is also quite old, so I'd expect him to be evaluating things in Peoria right now.
Finally, closing with the Aquasox
, I'll note that the player development contract has been extended through '08 and that former major league LHP Juan Alvarez has signed on as the team's pitching coach.
Hey, it's just a little over a week until pitchers and catchers report!