Mariners “Bat” Search: Tradeable Prospects, At a Glance

Greg Halman, OF, AAA-Tacoma, 22 years old: Great athlete with star potential. Has all the physical ability to be great, plate discipline has plagued him throughout his time in minors. Scouting-based front offices may value Halman, but stat-based front offices will pass.

Presently: Scuffling at AAA

Michael Saunders, OF, Seattle Mariners, 23 years old: Most MLB ready hitter in Mariners farm system. If he hits in pros he may be the answer in left. If he doesn’t, his struggles may be perceived as reality in second stint with big club, and his value could drop as a result.

Presently: Hitting well in at MLB level.

Michael Pineda, RHP, AA-West Tenn, 21 years old: Pineda has a very high ceiling, but if he can’t stay healthy his potential may be wasted. He probably can’t profile as a high-leverage reliever though, even if his ability as a starter is compromised, because he’s at his best when he’s throwing all three of his above-average pitches for strikes.

Presently: Striking out more than a batter an inning, with a 40/9 K/BB while dominating during his first run at AA-West Tennessee

Adam Moore, C, Seattle Mariners: Moore’s place atop Mariners prospects has always puzzled me. He’ll never for high average or power, and his potential behind the dish is limited. I personally think he’s a career backup, or a stop-gap between a catcher with better skills either at or behind the plate.

Presently: Struggling mightily at MLB level.

Carlos Peguero, OF, AA-West Tenn, 23 years old: Peguero, like his countryman Wladimir Balentien, has shown several glimmers of hope the minors. After falling off the map, he’s coming back in a big way at West Tennessee, with 11 home runs in 135 PAs so far this year. He’ll never be a great hitter, but his power may play. Increased value with tools-based front offices, decreased among stat-based.

Presently: Tearing up AA-West Tenn

Dan Cortes, RHP, AA-West Tenn, 23 years old: Came to Seattle in the Yuniesky Betancourt trade. Control has always been an issue, but a plus fastball and slider have kept Cortes employed despite character concerns. Working as a starter right now, but without command and a third pitch, he’s probably a high-leverage reliever at best.

Presently: Struggling with control, but striking out a batter an inning.

Maikel Cleto, RHP, A+-High Desert, 21 years old: The hidden gem of the Franklin Gutierrez trade. His stuff, rawness, and projectable frame have some fans excited. Good control, and has managed to start striking out batters without adding to his walk totals. Missed most of last year as part of falsified documents probe by MLB.

Presently: Pitching well in hitter-friendly High Desert.

Guillermo Pimentel, OF/1b, ???, 17 years old: Mariners fans will love Pimentel’s profile, left-handed power, huge frame, and supposedly an advanced plate approach. They won’t like that they can’t find much information on the young lefty, or that he will likely have to move to first base as his size could eventually preclude him from a defense-oriented outfield.

Presently: The Rangers, who targeted Pimentel, apparently have a prospect by the same name who is right handed, 20 years old, and much smaller. Info is scarce.

Carlos Triunfel, SS/3b, AA-West Tenn, 20 years old: Triunfel has been an untouchable bargaining chip for the past few years, until Jack Zduriencik took over at GM. He’ll have to move off of shortstop (8 errors in 30 games so far this year), but his arm will play at third. If his power develops, and his defense lets him stay in the infield, he could be a valuable bat at third or second base.

Presently: Hitting for average, but not much power, and not walking while playing mostly shortstop at West Tennessee.

Joshua Fields, RHP, AA-West Tenn, 24 years old: Fields was drafted by Bill Bavasi in the first round with eyes on making a quick ascent to the big leagues as a high-leverage reliever. An extended holdout later Fields hasn’t been impressive so far. While he’s struck out more than a batter an inning, he’s walked almost six per nine innings.

Presently: Boasting a respectable ERA and walking 5.8/9 innings at West Tennessee.

Dennis Raben, 1b, A-Clinton, 22 years old: Raben was another prospect whose ascent was expected to be faster. He hit for power at Everett in 2008, but missed all of 2009 after microfracture surgery. He probably can’t play the outfield anymore, but if his bat progresses he’s a better prospect than any of the AAA first basemen.

Presently: Beating the ball around Clinton, with eight homers and 16 extra-base hits.

Jose Lopez, 3b/2b, Seattle Mariners, 26 years old: Lopez is in a strange circumstance. He seemed destined to depart Seattle after Betancourt was traded. A year later, he’s still a Mariner, and has shifted to third base. The team has gained considerable infield defense (which is another article, for another day, a day that will come soon).

Presently: Struggling with the bat, but flashing the glove at the MLB level.

Johermyn Chavez, OF, A+-High Desert, 21 years old: Think of Chavez as the insurance for a potential reclamation of Brandon Morrows potential to be a starting pitcher. The Mariners traded Morrow for Brandon League and Chavez, and probably ended up with a better reliever (where Morrow will probably end up anyways) and a projectable bat in Chavez, but one that needs refining.

Presently: Posting a respectable line in hitter-friendly High Desert.

Mauricio Robles, LHP, AA-West Tenn, 21 years old: Robles is a lefty who throws in the low 90’s, and boasts four average pitches. His sinker is new, and probably only remains in his repertoire if he projects as a starter down the road. His low-90’s fastball and plus-curve could make an interesting LOOGY repertoire, while his changeup could add to neutrality against right-handed batters.

Presently: Starting and improving, apparently, at West Tennessee.

Kanaoke Texeira, RHP, Seattle Mariners, 24 years old: The Rule Five draft pick has become something of a LOOGY himself, but from the right side. Asked to get lefties out this year in nearly half of his work, he’s had a lot of success. However, while opposing hitters have an inflated BABIP against Texeira, he’s also only given up two extra base hits (both to lefties) in his brief time in Seattle. Both will probably regress to their more realistic means as the season wears on. His value is limited by Rule Five status.

Presently: Pitching successfully in short relief at MLB level.

Mario Martinez, 3b, A-Clinton, 20 years old: A former shortstop, Martinez has struggled to transition to third base. If he continues to grow physically, second base may no longer be an option, and his bat may not play in the outfield. It may sound crazy, but the Mariners may hold on the Martinez and let him take a crack at High Desert in 2011, where Tyson Gilles raised his value considerably.

Presently: Scuffling at A-Clinton.

Alex Liddi, 3b, AA-West Tenn, 21 years old: The Italian born Liddi has had a resurgence of sorts in the past season and change. After a rough introduction to pro baseball at A-Wisconsin, Liddi tore apart High Desert. High Desert, however, has been known to yield some deceiving stats. He has power potential, but may not be able to stick at third long term.

Presently: Proving doubters wrong at West Tennessee.