M's Minor Leagues


Again, Dr. D is proceeding from the presumption that there isn't a lot of overview material around that captures Dipoto's intent.  Dr. D plowed through every significant source around and found little to orient him.  Dipoto did claim that the M's' minor league system had moved from Bottom 10 to Top 5.

A start on an overview might be the below.  Kyle Lewis was easily the #1 before the trades; now he drops to #4 before Sheffield, Kelenik and Dunn.


1.  James Paxton for

org #1 JUSTUS SHEFFIELD, LHP #31 IN BASEBALL and #1 in M's org, ready to compete in March, compared by Marc at USSM to Sean Manea.  Throws #8 slowest spin rate among 650 batters in baseball, so that's a hellacious sinkerball to work with from a lefty.

org #11 ERIK SWANSON, RHP probably readier to compete in March although perhaps as a reliever ... has excellent control and slots in as a #4 starter, perhaps not unlike a Mike Leake type ... and

org #16 DOM THOMPSON WILLIAMS, a low-minors prospect (A / A+) with decent upside.

Picture Sheffield, Swanson and Dunn as arriving quickly in Beane style and it's not so difficult to "imagine" an A's-style spike.


2.  Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz for:

Jarred Kelenik, #62 in baseball's top 100 and #2 in M's org, low minors, bats LH, fields OF lefty.  You might say the pride and joy of the entire return.

Justin Dunn, #89 in baseball and #3 in the M's org, AA righty, 93-96 MPH + with putaway slider.

RHP Gerson Bautista, and the contracts of 

LF Jay Bruce (a genuine writeoff; slugged about .460-.490 until an off season of .370 last year at 31.  The sooner Gamel swaps in there the better) and 

Anthony Swarzak  (oscillated between 2+ ERA's and 6+ ERA's the last four years; runs a 9-10 K rate with 2+ BB rate and gopheritis at $8M per year).


3.  Mike Zunino (with Heredia) for

Mallex Smith 115 OPS+ (with Fraley), 


4.  Juan Segura and two ML relievers for

1B Carlos Santana - Santana has a 119 OPS+ and a 110:93 OPS+ *last year*.  #2 in the National League in walks to Bryce Harper.  and

J.P. Crawford, SS.


5.  Alex Colome for

C Omar Navarez, the anti-Zunino in the sense that he does nothing but create left-handed traffic.


One cubicle right we put the depth chart.  Assuming you assigned James Paxton an alien abduction or a rotator cuff tear or something, the M's will still run Mitch Haniger out there, Nelson Cruz will have hit his 40-ish age curve and the M's job may not be as different as some people have it.



What have the M's cashed in their 25-man roster for?  Well, they kept their existing #1, #3, #5, #6 players in Gordon, Haniger, Seager and Healy.  

They acquired three OF/1B's to play with them; Bruce is dubious but we'll just swap him out for Gamel after a failed audition.   .... Santana? nobody who walks 110 times is dubious and Mallex Smith is simply good.

Their #8 hitter at C has 3.6 WAR in 189 games, based on tons of lefty walks so we've got a push there.  We've got a brand-new SS, J.P. Crawford who carries a promising mitt and a promising BB totals.


They've got essentially 3 Oakland A's-type starters to step in cheaply for Paxton -- Sheffield and Dunn in the top 100 and Swanson a control artist -- so all that leaves is the horrific bullpen mess to figure out.

Your turn now,

Dr D



Is Dipoto actually still looking at upside scenarios for 2019? In other words... is he seriously trying to field a .500 team that could break north if everything goes right, both on the team and in the league big picture?

Or is he going to finish the teardown - waiting on guys like Seager (for example, until he re-establishes value next year) but still eventually shipping them out?


I may be in the minority, but I'm really looking forward to rooting on these newbies. Odds are that more are likely to sink than swim, or even float. Neverthess, there is something kinda cool about being in on the ground floor and watching them grow as a unit. Besides, all of these years of Mariner's fandom have well prepared us to take a year low on W's in stride. It'll be great pulling for tweeners like Marvaez and Crawford who--because of current deficiencies--seem less likely to fully fill the demands of their positions. There is a special kind of joy when the underdog succeeds. #sunnysideup


Keep it up, TUner! We may need a lot more of it, as the season wears on. 

Actually, I agree with you: I enjoy rooting for the youngsters a lot more than the millionaires!

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