Baseball Prospectus' top 10 Mariners prospect list is out, and I'll give it to you straight. There's no point in beating around the bush. Tyler O'Neill and Kyle Lewis are #1 and #1a. So sorry you had to get that from SSI.
A consensus has also jelled, on seven continents, that Luis "CC Sabathia" Gohara is #3. But as to who is #4 ... at SSI we'd have had Mitch Haniger there, or a few amigos would have Dan Vogelbach, and one guy has Ben Gamel, and who knows what G-Moneyball would put #4. Our supplemental pick next year, probably.
Baseball Prospectus went with ... wait for it ... Max Povse. Cue Danny DeVito ... "Who's the fairest of them all? NEW ENGLAND WIRE & CABLE? ... ?!?"
The most concise, to-the-point EXEC SUM was also Baseball Prospectus', back on Dec. 2 when the M's grabbed Povse. They said:
Povse would be a top-10 prospect in a lot of systems. In the Braves' system he might not even be in the top 10 pitching prospects. The 6-foot-8 right-hander has the usual timing issues you’d expect from a pitcher that would tower over most NBA small forwards. His skinny build and long levers mean the command can waver—although he has no issues throwing strikes—but he gets added deception and plane on his low-90s fastball from the length in his mechanics.
He offers a curve and a change as well, both of which have a chance to be average, but neither of which looks like it will be a bat-misser. He’s your standard OFP 50 fourth starter/late-inning reliever type, with maybe a bit of projection past that still left even at age 23. In the Braves organization, that is expendable, but he immediately becomes the Mariners' second- or third-best pitching prospect.
I guess they weren't kidding about Povse being "org top 10" in "a lot of systems." He just became #4 in baseball's most winning system.
=== DOUG FISTER? NIX ===
SSI was all over Doogie back in the day ... if we've had half-a-dozen Best Bets the last ten years, then the next half-dozen woulda had Doogie in there. Granted, both Fister and Povse get tremendous downhill angles. They do. They both release the ball from halfway up the Space Needle. And they have the HR records to prove it.
But the sim-yoo-larities stop there. Doogie had super quiet mechanics, ballet-like CG control for a basketball center, "three different fastballs" type command in the zone, and he came up with a hellacious parachute change. Fister, from day one, had "gimme the ball, let's get rolling" body language and he commanded the mound like a boss.
Povse, from what I've seen, has absolutely zero of these. Well, there is one more similarity, the 1+ walk rates, but Povse's is deceptive. Doogie's was not.
CHECKING THIS EARLY VIDEO, Povse does have strengths of his own. The arm action on the curve ball was not good, but the RPM's on it most certainly were. Povse can hit mid-90's, they say, and Fister made his shtick work at only 87-88 MPH. So, Max Povse has a quite different skill set, and NOT one to make you push my chips into the pot so hard.
But! A guy with a SUPER DEE DOOPER DOWNHILL plus fastball, thrown from 7' in the sky, and a big yakker? He does remind you of Jon Rauch, and Rauch had his own bread-and-butter game that was quite predictably useful against ML hitting. Rauch was also more predictably useful to an AM/PM cashier than Povse is, no doubt.
I think it's this, probably, that has Rauch er Povse rated as such a good percentage bet. His fastball is no doubt tougher to barrel up than most guys', and you can work with that.