M's Mystery Prospect and Rich Poythress

=== Win A Free Subscription Dept. ===

In this article, we remarked on the fact that BaseballHQ's very fine Minor League Baseball Analyst had a super-surprise pick in our org top 5.  Their top 15, again:

  • 1 Dustin Ackley, 1b/OF
  • 2 Carlos Triunfel, SS (told you they were great)
  • 3 Alex Liddi, 3b (they especially like his ML HR potential)
  • 5 starting pitcher
  • 6 Adam Moore, c
  • 7 Greg Halman, of (an illustration of how good they are even compared to the excellent Sickels)
  • 8 starting pitcher
  • 9 Michael Saunders, of (yeeee-owch)
  • 10 Nick Franklin, ss
  • 11 starting pitcher
  • 12 Ezequiel Carrera, of
  • 13 Jharmidy DeJesus, 3b
  • 14 relief pitcher
  • 15 Dennis Raben, of (SSI had been guilty of forgetting Raben, as we'd accused others of doing on Triunfel)

If you own the book, please don't spoil the (well, okay, my) fun.  Guesses, however, are another subject...

You can order MLBA on this web page.  Now that it's in publication, it's usually just a few days to arrive.


=== Rich Poythress ===

Jay posted this interesting guess, which is on the right track, because MYSTERY PROSPECT is a "9E" hitter.  Longshot (E = 10%) but with huge upside (9 = ML All-Star).  It's easy to imagine a pundit feeling like Poythress is a 9E, and giving him a very high ranking based on the 9E logic.

Let's see what HQ has on the righty 1B Poythress...  We'd better chunk it out so as to not get into word-for-word swampwater on the copyright, I s'pose...

  • 7C, good 50% chance of being an ML starter
  • Big, strong, natural hitter (read: won't need roids; is ballplayer, not athlete)
  • Professional, brainy approach at plate, may hit for real high AVG
  • Questionable batspeed despite brawn, questionable PWR
  • Will draw BB's in majors

Hm.  I can easily see this precise writeup on Kevin Youkilis in the minors, though of course Youk was famed throughout the land for his sky-high BB totals.

Poythress is also quite patient, scoring a neat-O 15% BB rate fresh out of college in the high minors (AA).

I wonder if HQ says that Poythress' batspeed and PX is mediocre, simply going off his lousy SLG in 2009, or if they saw him a lot (and Poythress did play in Gordon's and Deloney's neck of the woods, both in college and AA West Tenn).

Poythress SLG'd .750 as a senior.  25 homers in 62 games in the SEC, LOL.

What do you think, Jay, Gordon?  You think Poythress has pedestrian home-run depth despite his size, or are they making too much soup off the 2009 SLG oyster?


=== James Jones ===

Anonymous (sighhhh ... lol) posted this interesting guess.  Not quite, but wow, looking Jones up now, they've got him at 8C!  A better guess than I thought...

We'll write up Jones here shortly.  In the meantime, remember Gordon's and Deloney's view of the landscape:  your Seattle Mariners have the best hitting talent in organized baseball.

Will be nice to get a little of it into Safeco.


Dr D



JFro''s picture

I had an idea shortly after I posted Poythress.  You see, I like Poythress.  The concerns about his bat speed have been voiced before, but I also see him as an intelligent hitter.  Many of his home runs go to right or center field and so I wonder, somewhat, whether or not the concerns about his bat speed are tied up in him not pulling the ball often.  I don't know.  Scouts kept saying they liked Gordon Beckham's power better, and he was the shortstop on the team.  Maybe Poythress does ultimately pull a Youk and figure it out later.  I'd like that.
But Poythress is not an unknown.  People know who he is because he was picked in the second round last year.  If people know who Jones is, and they may as well given he was in Everett, then they might as well know who Poythress is.
I'm also going to venture out on another limb here, saying that these folks don't seem the type to overweight international signings.  That puts Guillermo Pimentel on the outs.  Which leads me to my other guess...
I'm going to say Mighty Joe Dunigan.  Power to hit 25+ doubles and home runs, speed to take 20+ bags, ugly but not appalling strikeout numbers, and incredible talent masked by lack of polish and general inconsistencies.
Failing that, I 'unno, Julio Morban?

NyMariner05's picture

I'll go with Noriega given the hype he's generated of late and the position he plays (on these lists). I'd say the Top 15 empty slots are Noriega, Pineda, Cortes, Robles, Fields.
I can't really think of anybody else for that #4 spot if Poythress and Jones have been ruled out. Doubt they've seen enough of Morban to put him that high.


Which is sayin' a lot, of course.
Actually HQ's minors aficioanados, much to my pleasant surprise, work the international signings hard.  They've got a special section for it and include many of them in their org top 15's.
Pimentel they rate as the 13th best international U-25 prospect, and that includes Darvish, Yulieski Gourriel, and other players not likely to play in the U.S. any time soon.
the fact that Pimentel is not in (Rob) Gordon's top 15 is more a statement on his regard for our hitters; Gary Sanchez is NYY's #9, Miguel Sano is Min's #5, etc.
I dunno Jay, maybe Gordon is a guy who could actually carry on a conversation with you!


You went 3-for-4 on the pitchers NYM.  That is seriously smokin'.
Not Robles.
They don't have Noriega in their top 15, but don't some other sources have Noriega in the top 10?  MLBA lists Noriega as a genuinely great fielder whose bat remains to be seen.

JFro''s picture

The order is debatable, but I feel pretty confident it's those three.
I would be mildly bewildered if it were Noriega.  There's been hype, sure, but his power potential was exaggerated because the Appy League is easy to hit in.  He's one of those "we're not sure if he'll hit for average power" types, so the only way I can see him as nine, with a similarly high risk, is if he's playing the entire infield on his own.


Although both were skeptical that MLBA would have the erudition to rank Morban that high.
So we've got to cave in and ID Morban as their org #4.  :- )  18 years old and they've got Morban above Michael Saunders, who they understand just fine, thanks.

JFro''s picture

I think I may have to buy one of these now.  I hadn't really paid much attention to them before.  If they can throw down like that, then I think they're up there with the BA folks as far as my interest level in what they have to offer, even if I might have individual qualms with slotting one guy in this spot over that one and such.

JFro''s picture

Saito wouldn't make sense in context.  People love Cleto though.

JFro''s picture

He made the top ten for me.  Back end of the top ten, but I can see it.

NyMariner05's picture

So Cleto above Cortes? Interesting. Hope he has everything squared away this year, so we get a nice sample size of what he can do.  I like the Morban pick better than the folks who have been putting Noriega in that Top 5.  I think Morban has a heckuva better chance to perform at the plate than Noriega does, and both (according to early reports) can handle premiere defensive positions.
Still amazed how little love Poythress has gotten on these lists. He's in my Top 10 for us.


But it is a challenging thing to get all of the Mariner hitting prospects I like onto one list.
I really hadn't noticed how stacked this team has become in bat-first prospects, but now that I look at it...it is starting to add up.
Perhaps this year's draft should focus a bit more on pitchers?


Considering the broad base they have to cover, their judgment seems pretty uncanny.  Best I've seen to date, not counting you local guys covering local players, naturally.


5 Pineda
8 Cleto
11 Cortes
14 Josh Fields
Of course no matter how good any source is or isn't, those top 10's, 15's and 20s are going to look imprecise ten years from now.  Fun to kick around, though.

NyMariner05's picture

Yeah, I'm a little horrified at how weak the pitching in our system is. Maybe Blandford does something, but this recent draft has very little to be excited about in terms of arms.
That being said, I won't complain given that they hit a homerun in my opinion with Ackley, Franklin, and Poythress.  Although how nice would those top four picks look if they grabbed one of those high upside arms instead of a no-stick HS catcher?


You could handle the pitching by dealing some minors talent for a Cy Young winner, or something :- )
Yeah, hard to tell what they were thinking on a couple of those picks.  But on balance there are some excitin' playas there.

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