Spectator's Top 40 up and runnin'


Spectator's top 10 is more info-taining than many a top 10 we've seen from "celebrity" sources.  Wish there were some way to disseminate it nationally.  Ah well - it's only a matter of time  :- )


Spec pointed out earlier that being in AA at 19 portends impact in the majors.  In this article he did a survey of the 13 such pitchers since 2000, and found that about half (including Felix and Greinke) have already become ML stars.  

So what to say about a 19-year-old pitcher ... the only such who is IN double-A this year ... who is likely the best pitcher in AA as well?

Taijuan is officially a Felix-level prospect.  On my board.  At age 19, tell me how Felix' future was any brighter than Taijuan's is now.


The Liddi-Catricala-Franklin relative rankings show an admirable lack of attention to the last six weeks.  You can't be impulsive and do a decent top 40.

At Prospect Insider, they float the idea that the Mariners might consider shedding Franklin's right hand bat after all.  Dr. D certainly hopes so.  In his view, Franklin going all-lefty is a slam dunk.  Here is the reason why.


Great stuff all the way through Spec, but especially enjoyed your giving the nod to Capps over Pryor :- )

You've got high-90's pitchers who both throw strikes.  As Spec aptly notes, the grades on the ammy drafting are helium-ing to loftier and loftier heights by the week.  Meanwhile, as Capps and Pryor outpitch most of the relievers in the major leagues, our fearless Mariners leaders tell us that League's got to close.  Nothin' we can do.

If one of those two guys had to go in a trade tomorrow, and we could pick which one to keep, which would you push at the other team and which would you keep your hooks into?

Think I'd plump for Capps.  But that's pretty much sight-unseen.


Dr D



Spec pointed out earlier that being in AA at 19 portends impact in the majors.
Especially when said pitcher probably could actually be in the Majors right now.

posterformerlyk...'s picture

I don't like putting anyone in the Felix category as a prospect because Felix had 5 plus pitches at 18. He's a once in a generation talent.
Tajuan Walker is good, but he doesn't belong in the Felix mold.


It's not just Taijuan Walker who is setting himself up for quite the career. Franklin performing this well at 21 in AA is pretty special too.
In the top-20 hitters in the Southern League (per B-R) there are two batters under the age of 23: Nick Franklin and Matt Davidson. Both infielders, both 21. Matt is a 3B (and a fellow top-100 prospect). Matt’s year is built on walks and crazy power, but he looks like a power hitter who needs work with a glove not to get moved to 1B. I’d still like to have him. Very Liddi-esque.
But if Franklin can’t stay at SS he still stays in the middle of the diamond at 2B. He’s got a good arm. The Mariners are gonna give him every opportunity to play shortstop and he’s getting better. I don’t think he’ll finish his time in AA at the .340/.407/.535 he’s at now, but he’s skimming along in rare air right now.
Players on the top-20 OPS leaderboard in AA at 21 or younger (140 AB minimum):
Southern – none
Eastern - none
Texas – Mike Trout (age 19!), Jose Altuve (150 PAs). Both are in the bigs now.
Southern – Brett Jackson and Alex Liddi. Liddi’s a pro and Jackson will be soon.
Eastern – none
Texas – Hosmer & Moustakas (bigs in summer 2011), Wilin Rosario (bigs Sep 2011)
Southern – Heyward (age 19!), Logan Morrison (bigs summer 2010)
Eastern – Montero (age 19!)
Texas – Adrian Cardenas (bigs 2012)
Southern – Michael Saunders (T-19)
Eastern – Pablo Sandoval (round mound of pound!)
Texas – Kyle Blanks
21 or under is tough to do, especially as a MIF. It’s pretty tough at 22, which is why Catricala impressed last year and his early self-immolation has been so disappointing. Nick Franklin is currently outperforming everyone on that list relative to league, is one of the most confident players you’ll see this side of Bryce Harper, and he’s got game to back that swagger.
He’s also been delayed half a year by taking a bat to the face, and actually debuted in AA at 20.
But based off that list of 21-and-under hitters, and looking at the number of immediate or anticipated successes, you should feel pretty good about Franklin and his current hitting prowess in AA. Looking forward to seeing it continue the rest of his time there.

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