State of the Stalk
Spectator recapping minors playoffs nightly

... and the Stalk has eighty-nine kinds of source material to work with, being as the M's bushes are dominating all levels of baseball Stateside and international.  If Pryor, Capps and Erasmo have piqued your thirst for good news about M's kiddies, crash Spec's place.  As colorful as Disneyland and twice the fun.  If you haven't been following this week, his index page makes it easy to start with (say) Sept. 4th and move forward in time from there.


The "Zuumballs" continue to fly fast and furious, with three Zunino playoff homers reminding Dr. D of his boyhood days rooting for Johnny Bench.  Spec provides a clickthrough to Prospect Insider, where Jason quotes a scout* already seeing Zunino as an All-Star.  Read:  Zunino looks physically dominant down there.

It brings up the question of just how fast would be too fast, for Zunino's arrival in Safeco that is.  I'm sure you could find young catchers who had any level of minors (in)experience you wanted to find.  Buster Posey had 600-odd at-bats in the minors before landing in the NL with an instant .500 SLG.  Matt Weiters tore up A+ and AA for a full year, and then spent a month-and-a-half in AAA the next year.  Yasmani Grandal was drafted out of the U of Miami in 2010, had 600 AB's in the minors, and landed with a .478 SLG this year.  I guess bigtime college programs are doing a great job with these premium catchers, eh?

There's Tony Sanchez, drafted in 2009, still in the minors.  Kyle Skipworth, drafted top-10 in 2008, and Jason Castro out of Stanford, haven't impacted the majors yet...

Recently if a big-time catcher comes out of the College World Series and everything goes right for him in the pros, you're looking at one full year in the minors.  Undoubtedly the M's are thinking next September for the Zooomballs if everything stays on track.  Does this mean a 1-year tender for glove specialist Miguel Olivo?  Gotta have a Legitimate. Catcher. on the roster, y'unnerstan.


Spec tracks the Marder Mania with great interest.  He's been on base 11 times in 15 playoff PA's, sez Spec, this following a .400+ OBP during the regular season (at launching pad High Desert).  Spec aptly rolls out the Craig Biggio reference.  Who plays catcher and second base?


Finally, at long last, Stefen Romero is acknowledged by the scouts as a top-100 type talent.  The scouts, typically understated, represent four M's minor leaguers (Franklin, Zunino, Miller, Romero) as being "projected average or better major leaguers" which is about nine miles past any such quotes you'll be able to dig up in past years.

You can't have eight or nine Mariners in Baseball America's top 100, but the fact is that if any 50% of them joined the Peace Corps, the other 50% would be there.

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