Gabriel Noriega, SS, Jackson Generals (AA, 24.4 years old on average in 2011)
6-2, 170 lbs, 21 years old
Bats:Right, Throws: Right
Acquired: International Signing (2007)
Noriega is a prospect who has really been hit hard by gravity, as he’s fallen down, or off of most prospect lists. Slick with the glove but weak with the bat, the Mariners have continued to rush Noriega through their minor league system. Noriega hasn’t shown that he has a great bat. He hit decently last year, but did so at High Desert, where he was still 36 percent worse than the average California League player. Noriega may end up having power, but his skills presently don’t mean that he’d have truly inflated numbers in Adelanto. The most concerning aspect of Noriega’s developing offense, though, are his strikeouts. Strikeout rates in the mid-20s are more acceptable when a player does some damage when he does make contact. Ultimately, Noriega’s potential lies in his bat. He’s got a large frame, and may develop into a league-average hitter. If he does that, combined with his plus defense, he’ll have a lot of value as a major league shortstop.
Potential (of 40): 20
Probability of Success (of 30): 9
Positional value (of 20): 20
Character (of 10): 10
Check out the rest of the Mariners Top 25 Prospects.