This Top 10 is Midrange?! Seriously?
never been so happy to have AAA in Tacoma the next coupla years

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Regarding Sheffield and Crawford, and to a lesser degree Swanson and Dunn ... HQ also had a study, "When do Top 100 Prospects Get Promoted?"

Excerpting just a little bit of the study:  If a Top-100 arm finished the last season in AAA, the odds were 86% he'd be in the bigs the next season.

The odds were 3-in-8 (38%) that he'd be up in the first MONTH.  The odds were 50% for the first two months, and 75% for the first HALF.

MLB teams go through pitching injuries, pitching failures and it's a war of attrition.  We can figure on these dudes being up -- and being up quicker than we think.  Regarding Crawford, they've already said they merely want him "going good" before he's up here.

HQ does say that AA pitchers, like Dunn, have much lower chances of being up quick -- AA pitchers have only a 50% chance of being promoted during the year and if they're in the lower tiers of the prospect list it drops to more like 33%.  By that logic the Mariners might well allow Dunn to pitch AA/AAA for most of the season, while getting the ex-Yankees up here quickly.

.....

It's fascinating, and charming, that Dipoto will sacrifice MLB production to make the Japanese fans happy.  By some tiny amount, it lowers the Mariners' Wild Card chances to give Ichiro a game there, but baseball is there for the fans.  We can volley Gerritt Cole's words back at him:  "I'm not paying for a ticket to watch a math equation."

Ichiro can't play any more but it puts a smile on my face that the Seattle Mariners are going to use him for a game against Oakland.  The whole "follow the club around thing," high-fiving the winners on the field after games, that kind of stuff, is unprecedented and I commend it highly.

....

On Slack, Wishhiker pointed out this interesting article.  Here's a bit of the white meat:

“When you trade away the players we traded, the expectations are pretty high of what you’re getting back in return,” McKay said. For the most part, you’re seeing that. When you’re watching Sheffield out there, you can’t deny what you’re seeing. He’s showing you that he’s a Major League pitcher.”

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Music to Dr. D's ears.  Also:

“With Evan, industry-wise, it flies under the radar a little bit, but internally we feel we have a person, if there’s 80 makeup and character, Evan White has it. He’s a really good player. He’ll win a Gold Glove playing first base in the big leagues. It’s a very unique skillset as a right-handed hitting first baseman who is a 65 runner.”

White hit 11 homers during his first full season as a hit-over-power type at a spot that values pop and run-production. He’s never going to abandon his overall approach, but there’s more over-the-fence ability to come for sure as he approaches the upper levels.

“The exit velocity is so present, it’s just a matter of him getting a little more loft in his swing, which he’s doing gradually,” McKay said. “The launch angle has improved. I think it will continue to evolve in the next few years because he hits the ball extremely hard. He just hits a lot of low line drives right now. When you have an athlete like that and the intelligence to go with it, he’s going to figure it out.”

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G-Money has been all over Evan White since who knows when.  I had never quite been able to figure out the attraction (to the insiders).  If a player is hoping to be Mark Grace, why is he ranked above Julio Rodriguez and, essentially, everybody except the Big Four we just nicked out of New York.  

But here is MLB Pipeline's writeup on him.  The 65 runner part kind of makes your awareness go "Dinnggggg" -- if you are talking about the ideal version of Darin Erstad, that's another thing.   You're looking for dazzing cat-quick defense, line drives zinging around the park, a .360 OBP and now they're saying he has untapped power ... well, okay.  It's a "unique skillset" at first to have an ideal #2 hitter there but ...

  • Keith Hernandez' typical year was
  • Gold Glove 
  • .300/.380/.440
  • 10-15 homers and 10-15 stolen bases
  • 30-35 doubles

As a certified .300 hitter with dazzling defense, who chipped in bases EVERYWHERE in addition to the .300 with 80 BB, Hernandez wound up with 60 WAR in his lifetime and was a 5-time All-Star.  Count me a conversion on Evan White.

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Well, those aren't necessarily the Big 5.  :- )  We left out the Blue Jays outfield pending with Kelenic, Lewis and Rodriguez.  Anybody remember the 80's Blue Jay outfield with George Bell, Lloyd Moseby and Jesse Barfield?

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So where does this top 10 truly rank?  It is so VASTLY superior to what I'm so used to seeing in Seattle that I have a rough time believing it's a #17 farm system.  I wonder what it would rank if it were in Boston.

BABVA,

Dr D

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Comments

1

When they make these lists and ranks, they're looking for the bulk of the system having a large number of guys with the potential to contribute at the big league level. The Mariners do not have that. They're still very thin for pitching, they don't have much depth anywhere when you go below the top 12 or so.

But, to me, the vast majority of the value teams reap from their farm system comes from the top ten or twelve guys...whether you have a deep system or not. Unless you are accounting for trades, perhaps, which is a factor for Dipoto, admittedly.

But if we're just talking MLB WAR from home-grown prospects, the Mariners are top eight or ten in potential. JRod, Kelenic, Lewis, Dunn, Sheffield...those guys aren't just blue-chip. They all have the very real (and fairly strong IMHO) chance to be all-stars. We could be talking about over 100 WAR out of that group. Prospects always have injury and bust potential, so I don't really care about those risks when assessing a system - all teams have roughly the same such risks.

2

For as good as I remember that trio being, looking back they weren't quite as amazing as I thought. And the longevity was surprising to me as well. Bell was finished at 33, Barfield at 32 and Moseby 31.

That said I'd certainly take a similar outcome from the M's OF prospect group.

3

I was down in Peoria last weekend, and on one morning I was standing on top of the little risers by field 1. Haniger, Lewis, and Santana were taking BP and crushing. Behind me was the infield practice field where 8-10 guys were turning DPs from Manny Acta. They wrapped up, and Manny called Evan White over from the group. He stayed back, the only guy, and they proceeded to hit tough grounds at him (forehand and backhand) to turn and throw to second. I tell you, I haven’t seen a fielder that smoother since Beltre did the same thing on that exact same practice field in 2006. White is extremely graceful and almost ballet-like out there. He’s much taller than I thought, similar to Ryon Healy. If his new offense is for real, I can’t wait to see him in Seattle.

5

They figured it out with his swing in the last 6 weeks or last season or so. You can see his swing plane change and he started to RAKE. Instead of .280/ .350/ .420 you're thinking .300/ .370/ .480 which is a completely different player in terms of impact, especially with his speed on the bases and his unbelievable defense. We'll see if that turns out, but he looks like the player Ackley was meant to be. And he's closer to the bigs hitting like that than Kelenic or J-Rod, so he gets the bump up the ratings ladder. If he turns out to have even average 1B power he'll be a minor force.

If JRod and Kelenic turn out to be better players than that, then Seattle's offense will be in very good hands indeed in a few years. Evan White should be a good replacement for Seager in the lineup. Seattle deserves for one of these guys to work out - let's hope it's more than one. My money is still on Kelenic - I could not be higher on him - but Evan White is showing all the promise you could possibly want to fill Seattle's 1B hole for a decade.

6

Hey G,

I was really impressed with the video of Kelenic’s tater the other day.  He looked really explosive through the ball AND he looked big. For lack of a better comparison, he reminded me a bit of Andrew Benintendi.  

In a real world, without Super Two stuff, Kelenic plays in the bigs by June 2020.  

JRod is a can’t miss guy, as well.

Kelenic, JRod, Lewis, Fraley, Dom........Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh my.

Then White, Curletta, etc.  

BTW, here’s the Divish write up of the M’s win over the Yomiuri Giants today:  https://www.seattletimes.com/sports/mariners/mariners-use-pair-of-late-home-runs-to-rally-for-another-win-over-yomiuri/

And here’s the box score:  https://www.mlb.com/gameday/mariners-vs-giants/2019/03/18/586080#game_state=final,game_tab=box,game=586080

I will admit to being bummed that we didn’t get either Vogs or Bishop in the starting lineup for either Exhibition game.  EE did get 2 BB’s, however.....his first two of the spring!  He’s now 5-36 with 2 doubles and 2 BB’s.  Sigh.  

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