Seattle Mariners: Top 10 prospects
1. Michael Pineda / SP / Pineda had a true breakout, all-star caliber season. He seems to have put his durability concerns to bed, upped his velocity, and improved his slider. An ace-level talent is in the works.
2. Nick Franklin / SS / Who saw Franklin’s power coming? Honestly? He looked good coming out of high school, but power was a concern back then. The only issue in his stat line now is the high strikeout rate. Franklin is a good prospect, but he needs to repeat his success at higher levels before he joins the elite.
3. Dustin Ackley / 2B / Ackley posted a ho-hum debut season. The hype surrounding his home run power and speed were always questionable, and his stats back up those concerns. On the other hand, he is one of the more polished bats in the minors, and the move to second base has sent his stock skyward.
4. Carlos Triunfel / 3B/2B/SS / Triunfel has always had his fair share of fans, and there’s certainly no reason to sour on him yet. Expect him to repeat the Southern League with major success in 2011. Maybe he will find his permanent position, too.
5. Johermyn Chavez / OF / It may have been only the California League, but Chavez was one of the more dangerous bats in A-level ball in 2010. He has gotten attention for a few years now and continues to impress. Double-A awaits, where we’ll see if his strikeout rate becomes his Achilles’ heal.
6. Mauricio Robles / SP / Robles quietly posted a quality season between Double-A and Triple-A at 21 years old. Maybe it’s his short stature that causes him to be overlooked, but his good-but-inconsistent three pitches should not be. He has the mentality of a workhorse.
7. Rich Poythress / 1B / Poythress’ power is as good as advertised, with an impressive plate approach and bat speed this past year, too. He should have been proving his worth at Double-A Jackson, however. He may get lost in the shuffle against that level of competition.
8. James Jones / OF / Jones is a toolsy outfielder who quietly found his groove over the second half of his Midwest League season. He was raw when he was drafted, but his walk rate is encouraging. He will be expected to do big things in the California League next year.
9. Blake Beavan / SP / Despite possessing merely a low-90s fastball, Beavan pumps the strike zone and has an intimidating presence on the mound. Further upside is still waiting to blossom.
10. Alex Liddi / 3B/OF/1B / A couple of teenage outfielders, Julio Morban and Guillermo Pimentel, were considered, but Liddi was chosen because he showed his power is legitimate enough to make it. His defense and strikeout rate might not be, however.
Seattle Mariners: Top 10 Players Under Age 26 (as of 4/1/11)
1. Felix Hernandez / SP
2. Justin Smoak / 1B
3. Michael Pineda / SP
4. Michael Sauders / OF
5. Nick Franklin / SS
6. Dustin Ackley / 2B
7. Carlos Triunfel / 3B/2B/SS
8. Johermyn Chavez / OF
9. Mauricio Robles / SP
10. Rich Poythress / 1B
Texas Rangers: Top 10 Prospects
1. Martin Perez / SP / Perez’s stuff and movement are still there, but the command of his secondary stuff isn’t, and the Texas League took advantage in 2010. He’s still one of the best pitching prospects in baseball, but not as invincible as he looked at this time last year.
2. Tanner Scheppers / RP/SP / Scheppers has one of the better fastball/curveball combos in the minors, but his command comes and goes. While his value would be maximized as a starter, it’s likely he will settle in as a reliever, possibly becoming one of the best late-inning relievers in baseball.
3. Jurickson Profar / SS / Profar is getting ridiculous amounts of hype in some circles, and when the dust settles those pundits might be proven right. But it’s best to take a more conservative approach, although the kid clearly has the intangibles to be a star. He combines good defense, an advanced approach at the plate, and a good line drive stroke, but has only so-so power potential and has much to prove.
4. Robert Erlin / SP / Erlin burst onto the scene in 2010, sporting excellent command of his low-90s fastball and above average curveball. His fly ball rate and small frame are the only negatives on his resume.
5. Robbie Ross / SP / The stat sheet didn’t do Ross a whole lot of favors in 2010, but it’s tough not to like his plus three-pitch mix and ability to keep the ball low, despite his small stature.
6. Neil Ramirez / SP / Command issues had been Ramirez’s downfall—until 2010. He quietly blossomed in the Sally League, and will be looking for bigger and better things in 2011. His fastball/curveball combo could send him rocketing up prospect boards everywhere very soon.
7. Kellin Deglan / C / Deglan is a well-rounded high school catching prospect whose defense stands out more than his offense right now, but he has a solid set of tools offensively and could blossom with patience.
8. Jake Skole / OF / Skole is a good athlete with a short, line-drive swing and above average power potential. But he is rather raw at the plate, which should be expected of a high schooler. Skole is a project with some decent upside.
9. Michael Olt / 3B / Olt is another member of Texas’ stout 2010 draft class. He has solid tools pretty much across the board, and may even be able to replicate his college power numbers. One thing to watch for is his propensity to strike out way more than he should.
10. Luis Sardinas / SS / A few players that would be considered more veteran in Wilfredo Boscan, Wilmer Font, Engel Beltre, and Michael Kirkman were bandied about, but too many faults were found with all of them. Sardinas has his faults too, but his age, solid glovework, speed, and line drive swing won out.
Texas Rangers: Top 10 Players Under Age 26 (as of 4/1/11)
1. Martin Perez / SP
2. Neftali Feliz / SP/RP
3. Derek Holland / SP/RP
4. Elvis Andrus / SS
5. Chris Davis / 1B
6. Julio Borbon / OF
7. Tanner Scheppers / RP/SP
8. Jurickson Profar / SS
9. Tommy Hunter / SP
10. Mitch Moreland / 1B/OF