Curse of the Seattle Prospects? Look Again
zuuuumball has our prospect mood skyrocketing, for the moment anyway



We always mourn the passing of Smoak, Ackley and Montero.  But ... look again and there are some Seattle blog-o-sphere hopefuls who are panning out.

1) Kyle Seager is morphing from very fine ballplayer to franchise player

2) Michael Saunders is still slugging .500, and we spent the first half of the season moaning how we missed out on him

That would be 2-for-5, if you count Saunders, out of the "Great White Whale" prospects under Zduriencik.  But: 

3) Jury's out on Zunino, and at the moment it's leaning towards vindication

4) Brad Miller has gone nuts, slugging .529 this year; his ISO change is the subject of much interest at Fangraphs

We'd be talking about 3-for-7 or 4-for-7 then - more than you could expect.  James has consistently made the point that Alex Gordon might take one year or six.  Fans tend towards impatience.  Point is, it's getting to where we can start rethinking this "Seattle Prospects Are Doomed" mentality :- )


There's Taijuan Walker, and James Paxton, and ... Jack Zduriencik made it a point to powerflush everybody who wasn't his own guy.  How thankful are you that Jerry DiPoto has no such prejudices?

Robinson Cano was going to be here regardless, but still, that's one huge Zduriencik guy and that would have been the quota for some GM's.  Nelson Cruz was the quintessential Zduriencik choice.  Kyle Seager was accelerated and Jack Z's fingerprints are all over him, from an insider standpoint.  It's actually weird that DiPoto was willing to give ex-Angel Chris Iannetta's job to Mike Zunino in midseason, with Iannetta playing well.  If the Mariners won the World Series, DiPoto would be subject to all sorts of quibbling about, Yeah, but he won it with Zduriencik's guys.

DiPoto doesn't seem to care how he wins it.



Zunino doesn't have to hit like Piazza, or even Bench, he just has to OPS 85+ and he's vindicated because of his recieving abilities.  As long as he maintains a K rate no higher than 25% he'll continue to be a threat at the plate.

Saunders was alwasys going to poach a bunch of homers vs RHP, but this year he Slugging .600+ vs. LHP!  That really isn't sustainable but the rest of his game is.  BTW, the Condor hit just like this (minus the LHP Slugging) for us in '14.  That year saw him mini-leap and he's settled into a 120+ OPS player.

We bailed out a bit early on Miller but Karns was dang appetizing.  Miller wasn't going to be our everyday SS, not with our love affair with Marte....but it was really easy to envision him as a bashier O'Malley...and still getting 550 PA's.  He's getting to about .6 balls less per game than the league average, which is interesting because in Seattle he was at or above the league average Rf/9.  Is TB's staff full of guys with gopheritis?  

If Ackley was hitting then you could nearly say that Seager-Saunders-Miller-Ackley was the Jack Z. left-handed Grand Slam.  But even the triple is some vindication for Z.


Being 1st or 2nd in their divisions is largely the same thing.   Lots of Z guys with supplements picked up more recently.   An eye on winning at all levels is something we've heard from the FO a few times.  Little else is getting said from people outside the org. on the successes going on this year on that front. 

Doesn't Diaz belong in the conversation?  Marte even?   You don't have to be an All-Star to have been a good acquisition.  Marte was an international FA signing in '10, Diaz drafted.  I would also count Paxton, Walker, Franklin, Smith and Capps, mention Chris Taylor, Stephen Romero and how about Pryor?  Only 30 some innings but they were good ones on the cheap.  Where you draw the line changes how many you'd name but there are a few others who have made it to the show and several others that still have decent to good chances.

Let's say you only count Seager, Walker, Paxton, Saunders, Zunino, Miller, Franklin and Diaz as the solid contributors, ignoring international and those with more minor impacts.  That's just over 1 solid contributor per year of drafting.  We could argue on Diaz (His impact is already enough to list, IMO) or Franklin (only 108 PA of 138 OPS+ this year) but there's alternates like Smith and Capps.  That's also nobody yet who was drafted in Zs last 2 drafts.  I think in some years we'll be able to count a 2 or more contributors per draft average, as long as All-Star level isn't the line we draw. 

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