We had a bit of fun last week with BaseballHQ's Seattle Top 15. Local minors conoisseurs went through a fair amount of candy-unwrapping, before coming up with HQ's "9E" Wonka gold ticket draw at a future ML All-Star.
Dominican Julio Morban, 16 when he hauled in $1.1 mills from the M's in 2008, is now 18.
Other authorities have Morban at 16, 19, 22, not on the M's list. HQ, which rates the M's minors hitters the best in O.B., pegged Morban at a preposterous #4, ahead of Moore, Saunders, Tuiasosopo and... well, everybody, except UNC-Mariner Ackley and Carlos Triunfel. (Liddi doesn't actually exist; he's an urban myth.)
There are two ways of viewing Julio Morban:
- HQ's way of viewing him
- Everybody else's way of viewing him
=== The Gospel According to the World ===
Here's Baseball America's July 2008 post-signing review: we'll trash-compact the gospel into the sermon title. Morban was a "pure hitter with an advanced approach."
If you're a little unclear what specific tactics and strategies an "advanced approach" would refer to, with respect to a boy of 16 years, don't feel bad. I'm a lot unclear.
Here's the TNT, quoting another Baseball America source crediting Mor-Ban with "an advanced bat with a good swing and feel for hitting."
Scouting Book: "a mature bat."
It's not one source; it's all of them. The high school soph wielded a more sophisticated bat than the grownups. SSI was quite bemused riffling through these characterizations. Edgar Martinez didn't have an "advanced" bat at 16; he had a gift for contact. Anyway.
That's the exec sum. All of the other 2008 international signs were tools guys; Morban was the ar-teest at the plate, maybe not as gifted, but more brainy. Morban pegged as a fleet #1-2 hitter with perhaps a bit of gap power later, a la Tyson Gillies. Here's Saber Scouting repeating the consensus.
If you're an Insider, ESPN pegged Mike Trout and Julio Morban as the future ML All-Stars out of the AZL.
=== HQ Dept. ===
Gordon and Deloney go into their Hotel California dueling guitars in an entirely different key:
- VERY RAW with bat (!!) especially vs LHP's, and when working count
- Lean, athletic with excellent TOOLS
- Season handicapped due to sprained shoulder (owwwwie) (don't overemphasize results)
- Plus arm, plus range, plus instincts in CF
- Impressive power, plus bat speed
- CLEAN swing
Hm. It's hard to even visualize what wildlife the camera-hunters had in the lens, to bring back two such divergent reports...
One thing's for sure. Everybody who watches Morban can visualize the glory days, including the M's, who forked over a ton of money to a 16-year-old.
=== Don't Know What This Has to Do With Anything, But I Thought I'd Bring It Up ===
$1.1 million -- in $20 bills -- weighs about 120 lbs. and would require about four or five briefcases.