First of all with a name like Chavez and from Venezuela I give lots of points...This guy is going to be a star. The Mariners are loaded with young talent. I would like to see where Baseball America rates the organization for talent. If you are a Mariners fan, there is a lot to get excited about.
Q. Do you take it seriously, that Zduriencik just called Chavez a "potential All-Star type talent" in his letter to the regulars?
A. I do, sure.
Zduriencik listed seven minor leaguers as "potential All-Star type talents." You object, this is a fluff letter designed to get ticket renewals.
I respond, of course it is, but ... supposing that Zduriencik had been asked to name "potential All-Star type talents" at a USSM interview, and he ripped off seven names. Would you have taken that seriously?
Q. Those names being?
A. The Big Four, the three Mariner blue-chippers who are top-10 talents, plus Franklin who's a top 50 or even 25 .... then Zduriencik named Chavez, along with SSI fan-fave Kyle Seager, and Carlos Peguero.
SSI doesn't assume that these #5-7 names, in that line (thanks Vidya!), are necessarily #5-7 on Zduriencik's Big Board. But the fact is, the Seattle Mariners are sky-high on Johermyn Chavez.
Bear in mind, Zduriencik hand-picked Chavez, brought him into the org.
Q. How did Chavez come out of nowhere so fast?
A. Actually, the Hardball Times had Chavez as the #1 prospect in the Jays org, when the M's dealt Morrow for him.
That was before Chavez' bustout. Imagine what Chavez' fans think of him after he slugged nearly .600 this year.
Chavez was super high with guys like Matt Hagen and Marc Hulet because of his tools. Chavez, like Adam Jones for example, wasn't a saber find. He's a tools-scout find.
Q. How does his saber track set up for ML stardom?
A. He kicked high-A ball's tail at age 21. A franchise minor leaguer does that at age 20 -- so you could say he's on the default All-Star arc, one year behind.
In other words, sabermetrically there are no objections to his stardom, in terms of age-and-skill.
Q. How much do you penalize for High Desert?
A. You take it into consideration. However, you don't simply ignore his hitting at home and use his road hitting as his "real" performance, either. (For example, there are a whale of a lot of kids who don't hit at High Desert.)
Neutralizing park and luck, he hit .300/.375/.525.
He tatoo'ed right hand pitchers to the tune of .310/.385/.560. Here's a bigtime power guy who doesn't melt against breaking pitches.
Video looked good. I didn't see Winfield (we forget what an exceptional athlete D. Winfield was. Heck of a D-1 BASKETBALL player) but I did see Jermaine Dye, or that type of twitchy stroke. I really like the way he tracked the ball on the pitches he didn't swing at...and I like the way he lowered himself into the pitch he doubled on. A slight power squat andthen he stayed down. I did think he flew open on the pitch he fouled down the 3B line. But he may have been sitting dead red on that one and in a hurry.
And, like you, I did see a bit of early Frank Thomas.
Let's see what this next year brings....but Tacoma at some point looks quite reasonable.
I meant that Tacom at some point, NEXT YEAR, seems reasonable!
BaseballHQ had the M's #1 for hitting *last* year.
I would think that by next year, Baseball America would have caught up about half or two-thirds :- ) putting the M's 12th or so...
Starting with the length and leverage. Not to mention the 3,000 hits :- )
As in, "Joe Dunigan has a great shot to be a Rainier some day."
I mean, a lot of AquaSox certainly don't.
They called Guillermo Pimentel, our $2 million, 17-year-old bonus baby the #1 Prospect in the AZL.
The kid has like a .00001 Batting eye, scads of power, huge, 5-tools...
Greg Halman 2.0, basically. But we have something for everyone. You like tools? We have tools players. Scrappy guys with good batting eyes? Have that too. Mix of both? We can work that out. Polished college players? We're working on it. International FA babies? Yep, them too.
Our system has a cross-section of all kinds of hitting types. And even among the international guys we have some like Choi who are not total free-swingers. Jack seems to want highly-regarded talent, not simply one kind of talent (take walks, work the count A's players, for example).
Maybe that's because he knows some GMs prefer one type over another. I think Jack DOES have a type that he prefers, but in early returns it looks to me to be the Nick Franklin type: baseball rat who eats, sleeps and breathes the game but doesn't have all the tools that make some drool.
And then he's planning to use the training program to give kids like that those tools that they were not genetically pre-disposed to be favored with.
He's trying to train 5-tool players into existence with their baseball skills already honed.
I'm curious to see how that goes. Littleton's the next shot at it - coach's kid who just "doesn't have the athleticism" to be a top prospect even though he's a hard worker with a great glove. And now Jack is gonna see if Dr. Elliott's training program can take a baseball kid who might have to slide to 3B and turn him into Ryan Zimmerman.
In the meantime, he's got some regular 5-toolers without the same level of baseball skills lingering around the minors waiting for trades.
Baseball America should have a hard time ranking our system. We don't have a lot of starting pitching beyond Pineda and Robles that will turn heads, but a lot of it DOES have accolades (Beavan was the AA Southern League pitcher of the year, wasn't he?) and it works for us in our park.
But relievers and bats are starting to turn up in droves, and not all of it is park-aided by any means. Those other than BHT and HQ will have to take note soon enough. Jack's had a remarkable run in 2 short years as far as adding talent to the system. Maybe we're not as far behind the Rangers as we think.
In a typical year -- not considering where other clubs' systems happen to be right now -- if this were say 2004 or 2007, you'd be thinking of this current system as ranking, like what?
Looks pretty loaded to me. If you're counting both Ackley and Smoak as part of the system, with Franklin, Pineda and then all the other guys, I'm used to seeing only three-four systems in baseball look that packed.
Lack of frontline pitchers after Pineda hurts the system.
Still, how do you rank a system with:
- Potentially the best minor league arm in the country (Pineda)
- The #2 pick in the 2009 draft ready to hit the majors at a glove position (Ackley)
- the #11 pick in the 2008 draft, ready to hit the majors at a bat position (Smoak)
- First-round SS with one of the best seasons ever by a teen in the MWL (Franklin)
- 4-tool CF who walks a ton and is still raw, also cruised through the MWL (Jones)
- A Crusher in a corner OF spot at 21 with off-the-chart tools and a K problem (Chavez)
- A college HR champion who has located his pro power at age 23 (Poythress)
- #1 AZL prospect, 5-tool potential monster (with one of the worst eyes ever).
--- then times that by Morban and Morla and the rest of the similar ilk in the system.
- 19 year old C/1B who jumped 4 levels to the Cal League and hit .300 (Choi)
We ALSO have a ton of interesting teenage pitchers from lands foreign and domestic who are too young to really tell yet.
We have several monster relief prospects.
We have the best LH prospect in the AA Southern League (Robles) and the AA Texas League pitcher of the year (Beavan).
Wilhelmsen is a frontline arm as a first-round pick from eons ago who is getting back in the groove rapidly. Guys like Seager and Tenbrink aren't slouches.
John Sickels won't have any trouble finding worthwhile players to put in next year's top 20.
I'm basically with you - I don't see a lot of farm systems with the bat potential we have. What tends to make people bite on a top-5 system, though, is a bunch of young power starters who MIGHT wind up being someone.
Robles and Wilhelmsen are our only real mid-90s starters currently besides Pineda (correct me if I'm wrong) and both might get moved to the pen at some point. Our other guys are mostly control guys, though I'm very interested by Tony Vasquez, and Kasparek and Beavan and Erasmo Ramirez aren't nothing.
I don't study other people's farm systems enough to put together a real ranking. We're gonna drop some next year when we graduate Ackley, Smoak AND Pineda at a minimum...but we'll be adding a top-4 pick in the draft and should have Paxton in the fold at that point too.
I don't see how we COULDN'T be a top-10 farm system, and somewhere around #5 looks right to me as an eyeball ranking.
The #2 pick is virtually certain. Assuming Rendon does not fall, and assuming they think George Springer is a reach at #2, then we will have our pick of a very nice class of near-ready pitching talent. Not a stretch at all that Cole or Gray or Purke could be in an MLB rotation sometime in 12. They have the stuff.
Wilhelmsen, Robles and Paxton are wild-cards, but all have the potential to plug into the middle of the rotation. Wilhelmsen was very consistently going 6 or 7 IP, so I am more bullish on him sticking as a starter (Robles was more 5 or 6 IP). Paxton can't hold out till the end of time, but who knows what he'll be like if he ever signs. How they turn out would go a long way toward avoiding the need for FAs like Silva/Batista/Washburn that eat up dollars without much return.