Put me in coach.......
I can play centerfield

So, with the addition of Jake Fraley and his highly regarded defensive abilities, the M's now have a fine farm team stable of centerfield horses.  He's a brief rundown:

1. Jake Fraley:  He jumps to the top of the list, I think.

2. Kyle Lewis:  At mid-season, Prospect Insider had him as the M's top prospect.  I am not quite seeing THAT, to tell you the truth.  He was certainly highly regarded out of college and certainly was jinxed with a blown knee, but he has a ways to go to live up to the can't miss hype.  he looked pretty spiffy in Everett as a 20-year old, but struggled in the Cali League the next season......a league well known for astronomical batting numbers.  He returned from the ACL injury to hit Cali League pitchers nearly identically to his '17 numbers, and when bumped to AA, he hit .220-.309-.371.  One of the sites speculated that he now goes to a COF position with the addition of Fraley (they will both start in AA), but that only puts a bigger demand on his bat.  Power is reputed to be his biggest tool, maybe the switch to a corner helps him show it off.

3.  Braden Bishop:  At 24 years old, he was having a fine AA season (.284-.361-.412) before injury ended the '18 season after 84 games.  In 119 '17 games, (A+/AA) he hit .306-.393-.413.  His 8 HR's this summer were a new career high, and that in just over 1/2 a season.  He can fly and takes a walk.  I hope we just give him the Tacoma job.  He's not that far from being a MLB 4th OF right now, and maybe more; he hits LHP as well as he hits RHP.  I am a big fan. 

4.  Josh Stowers:  This 2nd round '18 pick lived up to the billing by hitting .260-.380-.410 in Everett last summer.  He stole 20 bases and walked 37 times in 58 games.  In (only) 47 PA's vs LHP, he hit .313-.500-.500!  Of course, he's never been above Everett.  I hit .300+ in Babe Ruth League one summer.

5. Ian Miller:  .264-.324-.324 in 155 AAA games.  He dramatically upped his AAA BB rate last season (from 5 in 177 PA to 43 in 478) and he's 46/56 in AAA base stealing.  He has shown almost zero pop, but in 13 AFL games over the past month (50 PA), he's hit 2 HRs (but no doubles).  He's hitting .273-.360-.409 in the desert, besting Evan White's .254-.309-.429.  Joe DeCarlo is bashing .344-.476-.438.  Chris Marischal, who played in AA last year, is ripping up Arizona; .419-.489-.548.

6:  John Andreoli:  Didn't we just resign him to a MiLB contract?

7:  Luis Liberato:  He's not yet 23 and has already played 482 MiLB games. Minus a 3-game AA stint (0 hits) at age 19, he's never played above A+.  Career line is .245-.323-.394, with a 22% K rate and just 36 HR's.  His strength is his glove; it better be.  He probably starts the season in AA, which gives us a Liberato-Fraley-Lewis alignment.  A ball may never fall in.  Liberato doesn't steal bases, doesn't really walk and doesn't hit the ball out of the park.  He's going to get lapped.

8.  Chuck Taylor:  OK, he isn't really a CF, getting most of his reps in LF. But he used to play CF.   He just had a AA season where he hit .297-.377-.376 and he was similar the year prior. He should start the year in Tacoma.  He switch hits. Two years ago he hit .810 vs. AA LHP and last year year it was .811 vs. righties. He walks almost 90 points over his career, but has hit only 13 AA homers in 289 games.  He may be a AAAA type of player.


tjm's picture


I love Bishop, too, and would have given him a shot at the job next year before I tossed Z overboard. Unless the M's are in hard on Realmuto - extremely unlikely - I just can't get my head around the trade.

BTW: I've gone over those Babe Ruth boxscores - you thought you had destroyed them, right? - and you hit .273, which is OK but not .300. I'm sure it was an honest computational error.


I can see him playing his way into Safeco next season.  I almost put him ahead of Lewis, but that seemed almost too contrarian. Let me call him 2B, then.  If he hadn't been injured he would have been in Tacoma pronto, last summer. 

If Gordon goes to 2B and Cano to DH, then we have a wide-open 4th OF position.  Really, nobody in-house is any better a bet than Bishop.  I imagine we sign a cheap veteran bat, see Wlad Balantien in my previous post, but Bishop will be in play for an Uber ride up the freeway to Safeco.  I like Gamel, always have, but I would like to see a return of some homers from his bat.....plus the great Eye he showed last season.  It wouldn't surprise me if he gets pushed a bit by Bishop.

BTW, Cano has run + dWAR numbers at 2B each of the past two seasons.  He's not done there, but if we keep Gordon then it puts us in an interesting place.  Do you just use Gordon as your Utility guy? 

And as to my BRL batting average:  It was .300+, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.  Or .270+.  One of those.  The one homerun I hit was a shot over the CFers head, as he turned to chase it he threw his glove at it.  When I slid into 3B the Umpire awarded me the extra base.  Man, it was a tater in the books!  45 summers ago.

tjm's picture

I agree that Cano is still fine at 2B, especially in the shift era when range is less a facotr. He catches everything he gets to and will still have that arm when he's 50. I see Gordon in the McLemore role, playing all over the field. Of course, if he doesn't hit better than he did last year he won't be playng anywhere.

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